A few months ago, my brother and mentor GD shared a radical perspective on life that put everything in question, even spiritual seeking. Here, in condensed form, is the essence of what he said:
“You are an imaginary person
walking on an imaginary path
trying to reach an imaginary goal.
Whatever we think we are, is simply our imagination.
Whatever we think we are becoming is also part of imagination.
And our so-called spirituality is mostly about
fixing or freeing an imaginary entity in our heads.
Our entire ‘life’ is lived in imagination.
We are dreaming throughout the day, thinking we are awake.”
His words rocked a core structure. If the ‘me’ is a fiction created out of words and beliefs, then ‘who’ needs to be enhanced or liberated? Moreover, did this mean that working on transcending ‘me’ was coming from the false perspective that there is a ‘me’ present at all? Was spirituality not about progressively losing concepts and clearing beliefs? After all, even enlightenment is a carrot promised in the future to a person who is taken to be real. A ringing silence inside told me GD’s words were true. An unmistakable clarity and lightness settled in the space where the noisy ‘me’ had been.
Soon after, I got to see the down-to-earth value of this, when the conversation shifted gears into a prickly situation concerning my mother. As my wife, my mother and I expressed our strong points of view, GD asked us to notice how quickly the imaginary ‘Sense-of-I’ appears real and solid again. Sure enough, righteous thoughts had begun sparking. I noticed the loudest thought: “WHY AM I BEING UNFAIRLY BURDENED!?”
As I replayed the thought again consciously, it became obvious that this ‘I’ was just a word, a sound, an empty container! The picture of a sad ‘me’ being burdened was no more real than a cartoon illustration. Suddenly, the booming voice within sounded tinny, fake and meaningless.
Laughter erupted. Not as a result of a gradual healing system, a clearing process or guided meditation. Just the ‘I’ – that false wooden peg-leg upon which the whole problem stood – had been momentarily knocked off. In an instant, there was open space, irrepressible laughter and love.