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The Emptiness Fills with Self
The appeal of very young children, their nascent and yet-to-coalesce vasanas, is their innocence, their jiva “newness,” tabula rasa. If they are undamaged, the accretions of life have yet to occur. Unburdened with neither hope nor hopelessness, they just are. The realization that their thoughts are not known to all has not occurred, and therefore neither has deliberate deception. Their minds are an open field, no structures, no walls or doors keeping the world out and their world in. There is no wary doer-sentry guarding admission. It is effortless to gain entry to touch the purity of love.
Trusting, free, without knowledge, innocence is so easily defiled, vanquished. Within such a short time, by the time small children reach puberty, and sadly, before for many, despite success or failure, fame fortune or penury, most jivas have erected fortresses of bloody-battle disappointment, within and without, to protect and defend what cannot be protected. The wolf at the door is already inside, devouring hope in great big gulps.
Everyone is seduced and separated by the shimmering mirage, the Great Guna Wall of Maya. Armed and calculating, it is so hard to communicate truly and openly with most minds, to connect, even jiva to jiva, let alone as Self to Self. Trust is just a word signifying nothing, watching with a cynical jaded eye as the doer “struts and frets his hour upon the stage,” waiting for the edge, a winning card, desperately shoring up loss as hope slowly dies. The siren call of the hangman’s noose beckons.
Battered by life, by gale-force gunas, contorted by binding conditioning, afraid of the world and “others” – seeking, always seeking – running, hiding, running, hiding – the exhausting, relentless, push and pull. The mind, driven by love disguised as fear and desire, cannot find what it so desperately seeks – the very love that drives it to seek, behind everything. So distorted, unseen and elusive is that which is the very essence, the corpulent corruption of duality.
And how useless it is, all these defences! There is no way to defend the mind from the effects of ignorance save with Self-knowledge. The demon Maya will pick your bones clean and return them to dust. Therefore give up hope. Take down the useless walls, open the windows, unbolt the doors. Let life charge in, let it do what it must! It will anyway. Why resist? It is futile. You will lose, the game is rigged, you are no match against such a force. Accept it. As the singer and poet Leonard Cohen said, “There is a crack in everything, that’s where the light comes in.”
Yield. Stop hiding and stand naked. Be like the wide-open plains, where the wind blows freely, unobstructed, unresisted. Be an innocent child in the arms of Isvara, defenceless, vulnerable. And indestructible. Allow all that you are to be seen, known. Taken. Give it all away, hold onto nothing and hold nothing back. For the heart that gives gathers and the heart that withholds will be plundered.
Have courage. Surrender to this is finding amaranthine beauty and freedom from the terror of nothingness.
There is no scorching sun, wind or rain strong enough to touch or taint you, nothing to gain or lose.
Knowing this, the mind gives way to emptiness and is filled with its Self.