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You Are the Meaning
Seeker: Dear James, what do you think this means?:
At 6:00 am I walked outside the house I’m renting in Tiruvannamalai, which is just outside town. I rarely get up this early, but I heard the birds singing and thought it might be good to let my dog outside. I felt a bit clogged-up in my head like I sometimes do in the morning, but this was always my favorite time of day, that inspires me, so on that rare occasion when I am up this early I like to enjoy the beauty of the sounds of nature and the morning sky. Well, I walked outside, I saw the birds that were singing and looked at the beautiful sky and the sun coming up and Arunachala too… but I felt nothing, no joy, no appreciation, no feeling at all; I was disappointed. I could be anywhere in the world during this time of day and I always could appreciate it, every time, it is such a treat for me, so fresh, so new, so beautiful, so magical, but I did not appreciate it today. There was nothing special about it. I had no feeling at all. I wondered if something is wrong with me. My head was all clogged up; maybe it was tamas. But usually, even if I feel dull upon waking, I can get myself up, take a look outside and feel much better. But not today. My dog was fine, happy, appreciating the morning sunrise; he was still, enjoying the breeze and seemed to be very peaceful. So why is my state of mind and experience so different? I began thinking, is it Tiru? When I first came here every experience was magical. What has changed? Why can’t I feel the joy of the sunrise in the morning here like I usually can when I am anywhere else in the world? The sounds were all there: the rooster, the birds singing, but nothing moved me. Why could I not feel joy? It felt like I was watching a movie on the movie screen but with no soundtrack. No music. No feeling. This scares me. Where is the beauty here? Why can’t I feel it? I am getting scared. Maybe I am in the wrong place? I want to appreciate beauty and life. Why can’t I appreciate my life here?
Tiru is a special, powerful and a very unusual place, I know. Is it trying to tell me something? Waking up dull happens to me sometimes, but why was my head so clogged up that I could not even sense beauty in a morning sky?
James: This is the view of life from the self. You were (are?) experiencing life as it is, minus the magical, joyful projections of your spiritual ego. This is a very important moment in your spiritual life, but your ego is interpreting it incorrectly. If you turn your attention to the observer, the one who sees this neutral state of mind, you will find the fullness, the joy that you seek – in spades. Tiru is not special. It is only a symbol for you of your spiritual aspirations. This experience is meant to turn your attention to the self, the one who sees. It – you – is the magic, the joy, the fullness. Don’t go into the void. This is not the correct way to interpret what happened. You can waste a lot of time lamenting the loss of meaning of your spiritual symbols. You are the meaning, not Tiru. Contemplate this carefully.
~ Love, James