(The Tao we can deviate from is not the real Tao)
“If the moon, in the act of completing its eternal way around the Earth, were gifted with self-consciousness, it would feel thoroughly convinced that it was traveling its way of its own accord on the strength of a resolution taken once and for all. So would a Being, endowed with higher insight and more perfect intelligence, watching man and his doings, smile about man’s illusion that he was acting according to his own free will.”
The meaning of religion is: to gather all one’s energies to understand the nature of thought, to recognize its limitations and go beyond.
Let’s imagine that life is like the ocean, and each individual is a wave. Just as human beings identify themselves with the body-mind, and feel separated from universal consciousness, the wave endowed by conscience perceives itself as separated and different from the ocean. Perceiving yourself as a wave, you realize how small you are compared to the immensity of the ocean that one day will absorb you. Reflecting on this fact, you will face (without any fear) the problem of death. The space that separates you as a wave from the coast will soon inevitably come to an end; the journey of the wave inexorably moves towards its meeting with the shore and that’s its Ending. The wave knows that when it laps against the cliffs, it will lose its identity as a separated wave, it will become an indistinguishable part of the ocean. Even worse would be to lose its identity absorbed and made one with a calm sea.
The fear of “not being” has generated marvellous fantasies of paradises and heavens but at the moment reincarnation is very popular among more and more people. (From this perspective resurrection and eternal life are terms completely misunderstood). A frustrated wave may say: “given that I’m an insignificant little wave in this life that nobody pays any attention to, in my next life I will be a magnificent wave fit for expert surfers and (as a person) I will be a famous celebrity.” A second wave, who’s thinking is confused might say: “I hope all the dead waves from heaven will show me the right path for my life.” A third may think: “if I meditate all my life, through meditation I will remove all the ups and downs in my life and achieve a kind of frozen immortality”. The narcissist one hopes to be admired by everybody. When a violent storm stirred up by powerful winds lifts and buffets the wave, the wave feels strong and brave and probably believes that it’s dancing like Lord Shiva (the magic of Indian Ocean). Yet another is preoccupied by the fear that other waves may be bigger than itself, and if any of them cause any obstruction in its passage over the surface of the sea, it gets very angry. One has the insight that it belongs to something bigger, and it imagines that one-day it’ll meet God, and so become the highest wave ever, as it has always dreamt of being. Just like those waves which come from the East. These marvellous waves, when questioned about themselves reply: “we rise up effortlessly very high, we are so big only by the grace of the Ocean, and we are not different from you”. It is said that these giant waves reincarnate year after year because of the holy coincidence of some stars (casually it happens always during the monsoon). The petty waves think: “these are the teachers that we should follow. They reincarnate one life after another just to give teachings, they don’t have any pride in their greatness, on the contrary they are so humble that they say that they are nobody, and they do nothing to be so great”.Nobody ever listened, neither understood the message that has been always repeated by the big waves which is: “It’s not me, but the Ocean that acts through me, The Ocean is not different from me because there’s no Me! It’s the mind which separates the Ocean from me.
Everything is the same indivisible Nature, only the Ocean exists, my form is only a temporary appearance, the Ocean is the only truth, with its unchanging movement. So surrender to Him and be in peace, and stop your illusory thoughts interfering”. Very few waves understand the importance of this, the majority continue to look for the magic myths of the Indian Ocean to become better waves with time and practice. The very rare, less narcissistic waves, instead of competing for height, will direct their efforts to find the root of their own soul, establishing a serenity that liberates them from the ups and downs of life. The little wave guesses the depth of the ocean, but is still influenced by the imagines of the superficial polluted water, where many self appointed gurus sell dreams of Omnipotence that suggest that once you find your soul, you will become a wave with a crest but not a valley, and you’ll have the power to create your destiny, and so realize all your worldly desires. But all the mental efforts to become wise and a balanced wave lead to frustration, because storms, currents, winds, and earthquakes are uncontrollable natural forces, and finally one accepts that it is so, and, above all, that a wave that has a crest but hasn’t a valley does not exist. Sudden hurricanes that elevate waves to the sky don’t depend on the number of mantras the wave repeated, neither the depressing dead calm are punishments for its impure acts. The most awakened ones understand that the solution is in the reunion of their individual self with the ocean, but effort in this direction is useless all the time that the wave sees itself as an individual entity. Some waves think: “Maybe it was better to live like those waves that don’t search for liberation and live day by day. What’s life about? It doesn’t make any sense, all dies all finishes… take the most you can, lord it over some smaller waves, there’s always someone to dominate, enjoy yourself until you can”. The wave that has reached a certain spiritual dimension cannot turn back. It feels that there’s something bigger inside, and guesses that the depths of the abyss exist. After trying in vain for long time to find a stable self, the wave understands that there isn’t a crest without a valley, and no effective methods to stand up when is dead calm. Once it is free from this illusion all of a sudden it remembers in an unclear intuition, that long time ago, at the moment of its birth it was feeling part the Ocean itself. In that moment it had no personality and history, life passed spontaneously moment-by-moment, but this sensation soon vanished with the effort to create a character according to the ideals generated by the ones that surrounded her.The spiritual path that New Age groups suggested consisted in using mental stratagems in the illusion that it’s possible to have all their wishes fulfilled. It was said, that wise waves handed down knowledge long long ago, but the original source was the Creator, finally some authors of bestsellers have rediscovered all this knowledge. Those stratagems unfortunately were totally ineffective, and with deeper analysis they appeared not inspired by the Ocean, but only a distorted version of the sages’ insights, diffused by fearful waves who were scared of death, afraid of facing life, and anxious to become saints (being without the “valleys”). They pretended anyway that with these methods they would be protected, they will reach illumination and after death they would reincarnate in the happy seas. Wise traditions were transmitted in a very distorted way, so that the vast majority of the waves keep on looking for illusory hopes to escape from the inconceivable idea of “not being anyone”. The sages only realize to be one with the ocean, and they have no need to change anybody. They speak very little, because when they do, most of the time they are misunderstood. If you don’t stop identifying yourself with a separated self, you are in an illusory world and you distort all the deepest truths. The wave doesn’t want to see the death of the illusory self it identifies with, even though this is the only way to eternal life and resurrection. The wave wants to get rid of faults, but it wants to keep all the good qualities it is proud of. It doesn’t want to give up its illusory projects, and the drama it has created in its mind: the samsaric theatre of life. And so persisting in the impossible task of becoming what it is not, the wave is the victim of the frustrating and insatiable desire to be better. All of a sudden the wave realises how stupid it is to strain for everything, and surrenders and accepts to be the way it is. SURRENDER TO THE OCEAN, OM NAMAHA SHIVAYA… These sentences are no longer a slogan to be repeated, staying still well fixed in separateness, but right action. At once with great relief the wave will realize that there has never been separation between the Ocean and itself. It realizes that if you surrender to it, your life will anyway go the way it should. What happens is inevitable. A clear mind reveals the gap of the separated “I” that’s the end of dualism, micro-macro, high-low, good-bad, heaven and hell, all coexist in interdependence and not in conflict with each other. Finally, this is liberation. Nothing has really changed. The crest and the valley are still there exactly as before, nor does this awareness increase the height of the wave. It’s only the end of all inner conflicts and fears. Without any effort, the problem of becoming someone, the problem of time and death, dissolves. Eternal movement of waves, eternal abyss silent and immutable! Mysterious creatures live within us and dolphins are playing on our shoulders. Everything is one. More over also the ocean disappears, even that is only a hologram created by consciousness. The Void of the Buddhist, the Brahman of the Hindu, the Holy Spirit of Christian, The eternal Tao of old China, the unthinkable Quantum-mechanic of the New Physics, pervade the apparent reality. And you are That.
Filippo Falzoni Gallerani