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I’ve written a number of articles on the longing for liberation. (2) It’s a built-in, subtidal thirst which only reunion with God will extinguish or satisfy.
I’ve discovered something important about myself in regard to the longing and I’d like to share that discovery. Let me work up to it if you will.
We travel from God to God in a sacred arc which has a spiritual spiral to it. (See 3) We’re driven forward by this below-awareness itch we can’t scratch, this desire for more, that isn’t satisfied until we reunite with God.
Hindus call it the longing for liberation. Other teachers have other names for it – “yearning for God,” “quest for knowledge and truth,” “impulse to be free,” etc.
I’ve just gotten in touch with the form the longing takes in me. And just naming it for you calls out a response from my being, a resonant “yes,” which confirms my suspicions.
The form mine takes is an impulse to go deeper. Continually deeper and deeper.
I just noticed the impulse a few minutes ago and, when I named it, “Go deeper,” it was as if a cavern opened up inside of me and my experience became more blissful and peaceful. (4)
I said to myself, “This is clearly my path, my direction.”
One teacher has called it “settling into being.” Ajahn Sumedo tells us how to get there: “Let go, let go, let go.” (5) Settling into beingness, settling into stillness, settling into silence. And then going deeper into that.
Going deeper into love. Going as deeply as I can. I hypothesize that there will be no end to love’s depth.
For another it might not be to go deeper. It might be to “go higher,” or “go inside.” Who knows? We’re all different and all paths lead to reunion with God, one way or another.
I’ve been asking myself over and over in the last week or so, “What do you want me to do?” And now I have the answer: Go deeper.
I feel as I imagine a man would who is donning his first scuba gear. I’m about to enter a new environment.
(1) “My powers of concentration have been insufficient to have me feel confident that I can focus on being unified and congruent in my life for an entire day. But I’ll start this day with that resolve.” (“Focusing on Being Unified in My Life,”
(2) See “Ch. 7. The Longing for Liberation” in The Purpose of Life is Enlightenment at https://goldenageofgaia.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Purpose-of-Life-is-Enlightenment.pdf
“[The] longing for liberation is the will to be free from the fetters forged by ignorance — beginning with the ego-sense and so on, down to the physical body itself — through the realization of one’s true nature.” (Shankara in Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher lsherwood, Shankara’s Crest-Jewel of Discrimination. Hollywood: Vedanta Press, 1975; c1947, 36.)
“All things long for [God]. The intelligent and rational long for it by way of the stirrings of being alive and in whatever fashion befits their condition.” (Pseudo-Dionysius in Cohn Luibheid, trans., Pseudo-Dionysus, His Complete Works. New York and Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1989, 54.)
“Your quest for knowledge and the truth can never really be satisfied until you reach the ultimate – The Source of All That Is.” (SaLuSa, Feb. 23, 2009.)
“The impulse to be free is an evolutionary spark within consciousness which originates beyond the ego. It is an impulse toward the divine, unity, and wholeness. It is an impulse originating from the Truth itself. This impulse to evolve is often co-opted by the ego, which then creates the illusion of the spiritual seeker. This impulse, which is inherently innocent, is something, in and of itself, has nothing to do with any seeking to attain. It is only when the ego co-opts the impulse and then tries to attain something that the seeker is born. This impulse, this spark of evolution, becomes almost instantly corrupted by a wanting which gives birth to the seeker.” (Adyashanti, The Impact of Awakening. Los Gatos: Open Gate Publishing, 2000, 3.)
What this says to me is that I will never be completely healed, completely restored, in all ways, until I’m One with God again.
(3) See “Sacred arc and spiritual spiral” in “Ch. 2 Is There a Plan to Life?” in The Purpose of Life is Enlightenment, ibid.
Briefly, the sacred arc is obvious enough. From God we came and to God we return. The spiral, which makes the arc look like industrial cable, is that way because we return to the same karmic lessons lifetime after lifetime until we learn them. Thus, when depicted, it looks like returning to the same place over and over again, making of the arc a spiral.
(4) Admittedly I’ve known I have a preference for the metaphor of deeper rather than the metaphor of higher. But never have I had a stronger inner response/confirmation of the importance to me of the resolve to “go deeper.”
(5) “I’m making it very simple for you, to save you from getting caught in incredible amounts of suffering. There’s nothing more sorrowful than having to attend International Buddhist Conferences!
“Some of you might have the desire to become the Buddha of the age, Maitreya, radiating love throughout the world. Just be an earthworm who knows only two words – ‘let go, let go, let go.’” (Ajahn Sumedho, Cittaviveka. Teachings from the Silent Mind. (Hemel Hempstead: Amaravati Publications, 1992; c1984, 44.)