I embark on a journey off the map, off the yoga mat, out of time, and out of orbit. Against Father’s wishes (naturally!). I find myself sitting in a dense forest of consciousness. Human consciousness. Light consciousness. Flower consciousness. Tree consciousness. Stone consciousness. Insect consciousness. God consciousness.
Before all grows dark here, there is opportunity to read Spirituality and the Writer by Thomas Larson.
No need to move the body. Let the eyes move across the page. Let the mind process the meaning of words, but that is not all the consciousness experiences now. There is also the awareness of primal stillness, a silence so heavy with presence that we could wear it as a warm garment in the cold Himalayas. Let the presence of primal stillness be the robe you wear! And look at the spaces between these words! Sense the borderless, the unfathomable, limitless uncertainty, the heartbeat of Ardhanareeshwara and Saint Augustine. Sense the synaptic activity within the brain of both Kabir and Leo Tolstoy. Indulge the solitary visions of Dattatreya and Julian of Norwich. Is it possible to open up and allow the tears of Rumi and Margery Kempe to burn these reading eyes? Is it possible to listen so deeply and with such longing that by reading these words, these ears hear a fierce roar that is a collective cry from the depths of all these beings’ collective consciousness…? Is it possible to open this heart even more to allow every word such pulmonary impact as to oxygenate the blood flowing through these veins now?
Thomas Larson’s personal inquiry into the history of spiritual writing ignites fire within me. Poised aflame in this way, I embark upon a literary pilgrimage, a word yatra… There are no temple walls, no paths, no teachers, no teachings. There is only willingness to be sucked into this black hole that is the unambivalent, exuberant absorption into the subject of Larson’s inquiry: contemplate the extent and the ways of “the writer’s ability to bring his spirituality into syntactic being.”
If only I could shout out and make echo my cry through the tunnels of time: “Beloved ones, all your words have a passionate Lover… Yogi Ma!
I deeply appreciate the reverent way Laron writes about Peter Mattheissen’s Snow Leopard. His respect for Mattheissen’s process presents the layers and beauty of the inner journey that inspire me to be alert to every eternity within this moment. Zen with infinite Zero within one single breath that is with me and one with the Pavan Guru.
So, I add Thomas Larson to my ever-growing list of men for whom I chant So Purkh. I cannot say that I am chanting for any particular reason or means to any end. I have lost faith and am not religious. I simply love the feeling of this Shabad on my tongue and the way it dances on the upper palate of my mouth. Delicious! I roar. Delicious! It’s pure and simple infinite sensual pleasure. Roaring the So Purkh Shabad makes my heart grow large enough to fit everything into its embrace. Roaring the So Purkh Shabad gives me strength to fall madly in love with myself and the universe. Thomas Larson and many of these other men will never know that I roar So Purkh on their behalf (such is the ignorance of men!). Oh why is it that sometimes I still like to squirm and wonder and wrestle over a maddening contemplation: what difference does it make to chant So Purkh for men and total strangers? And when this line of inquiry makes me mad, I roar that Shabad some more. Beloved Guru Ram Das, can you hear me?
Thank you, Spirituality and the Writer for being here with me. As I go, I hang this book upon the Pole Star. I watch the book float weightless at midnight. I ride this book on the heaving surf of the Primordial Ocean. And when the pages are wet with sea water, I use them to wash my body clean. I am happy. My interior horizons quiver and quake with In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God. The beings in this beginning realm never intended books as sources of knowledge. Maybe books are beings that cradle the Word / God and bend time and space and illuminate the inner life with deeper wonder and awe. Books are the tantric shelter. Books are bridges.
I cannot contain the expressive storm much longer. Silence between these two heart beats grows louder than thunder. I have already begged the Primal Being make me Her / His / or Its humble scribe. I have already roared and screamed and sang out crazy wisdom to no one. No one reads a joyful writer. Why is it that writers must always give best expression to the tortured soul to win praises from cool guys like Thomas Larson? Oh, great, have I written myself into a corner where I can finally mope and brood? Ugh! Help!
I am empty.
So, now I shall wait.
Yogi Bhajan said the highest art is to sit and wait and let it come. Am I supposed to believe that when I had embraced with my heart the highest art is literature…? Oh, well. I have no more faith in any of it at all anymore, not art, not yoga. So now is the best moment to sit and wait and let it come. Imagine reading an endless book called The History of Waiting. Let’s hang that one on the Pole Star!
Come, thunder! Come, lightning! Come, all dark intensity!
This one quiet yogi awaits You.