by Gangaji: Gangaji shares a simple invitation, to shift your allegiance from the activities of your mind to the eternal presence of your being…
Freedom in Relationship
In any moment of perfect stillness in the open, quiet mind, there is no problem. There is no suffering, no betrayer, no betraying. When we begin to relate to each other as human beings and begin to fill our minds with ideals, with memories, with wanted or unwanted possible scenarios, then problems arise. Those of us who are in relationship encounter tests and trials. I don’t mean in relationship with just a significant other. I mean relationship with all—in relationship with the world. Relationship is wherever or whenever there is an I and other. Relationship can be perceived as all internal, or it can be perceived as all external.
There are hermits who retreat and never have to relate to the world. I don’t know what their inner state is like. Let us assume it is totally open, non-relational oneness. And then there are those like us who somehow have either re-entered or never left the world. Whether it is an evolutionary mandate, or good or bad luck, we find ourselves here with each other. Here we are together in this place of divine illusion—not illusion as a trivialization of form—but rather, illusory as the shape shifting nature of forms; physical forms, mental forms, emotional forms, and circumstantial forms. The great completion for anyone who has experienced, even for a moment, the emptiness of form and the absolute aliveness of that emptiness, is to find that same empty aliveness present even in illusion.
The dissolution of form is the concrete experience of death. There is either struggle over that dissolution, or there is surrender. Like it or not, it is inevitable that all forms—all relationships, all ideas, all physicality, all emotionality, all circumstances—dissolve. When we recognize this inevitability, we are back to where we began: the emptiness of all form.
At this time in our lives we can also realize the sublimity and wonder, even with the occasional huge challenge, of being in relationship with whatever form appears.
Realization in this way requires full relationship. In a partial relationship the opportunity for complete meeting never occurs. You have the capacity to fully meet whatever appears in your life, in either its coming or its going. Fully meeting anything (pleasant or unpleasant) reveals open stillness; resisting causes agitation in the mind. We all have the experience of resisting dissolution. We are human beings, and we have an animal nature that requires we resist death; we are also emotionally connected to others, and we don’t want what we like or love to dissolve. Additionally, as humans we have ideals and idealizations, and those fuel resistance to what either appears or disappears.
For everyone who is in relationship in the world, both disillusion and dissolution are facts. It may be your aging, or your children leaving, or the actions of your government, or the state of the ecology, or your negative emotions, or your neighbors’ negative emotions. Or it may be that somebody who you were certain loved you turned out not to love you. Or you turned out not to love who or what you thought you loved. If you are willing to surrender, to meet what is present without the agitated mind filled with ideals and judgment, a revelation of inherent peace is natural. Relationship is in this way the catalyst to inner peace.
Meeting loss is always about meeting death. Dissolution is death, the thing the mind most fears, and yet the thing that is inevitable. It is what the animal rages against in its fear, and yet it remains inevitable. I deeply invite you and welcome you into whatever particular dissolution may be appearing in your life, so that together we can support each other in seeing where true living freedom is. True freedom is revealed as we consciously let dissolve what has dissolved, as we let reality be reality. (As if we had choice about what reality is!) We discover the peace of freedom as we open to all of whatever is here in the world. It is all here for us to meet so that we can find that the real treasure is everywhere in everything.
The treasure is found as things appear, and equally as everything dissolves, just as everything must. After all the starlight we see and marvel at is from non-existent stars.