“Yes Arvind, I learnt about physical healing but they didn’t teach spiritual healing in medical science. Medicine has taken care of former but we desperately need the later to heal ourselves.” He remained silent and looked at me gently as if complementing me for graciously accepting my weaknesses. He was young and his wisdom came from going through the hardships of life, unrelenting miseries and sufferings to which he didn’t succumb to and instead transformed himself to gold after passing through the fire of life.
His afflictions had not decreased but his response to them certainly had. And from this patient of mine, I was seeking answers to my doubts...my dilemmas which plagued me ever since I remember. Being a young child, he might not be eloquent, not very articulate but eloquence is not always necessary to understand the meaning. My decision had already arrived; he was going to be my master and I was going to be his disciple.
“What is identification?” I persisted with my query once I found him, feeling okay. “Doctor, I told you about body, about mind but I have yet to tell you about our soul. Once we know what soul is, only then we can understand what identification is.” He replied. “Soul is what we actually are, our real identity. It is always free, never bound to anything, unattached and eternal. It is never borne and never dies.” He continued.
“When we are in touch with our real self, our witnessing consciousnesses, we are immune to any external changes, good or bad. You can consider my example, HIV has made weakened my immunity and that’s why my body is attacked by opportunistic infections. If I had strong immunity, no infection would have invaded me. It’s not the question of how virulent is the infecting organism, it’s actually the status of my immunity which decides that whether I would get infected or not. In same way, it’s not the situation, which can be anything, good, bad or worse but how we allow them to affect us.
When we are in touch with our real self, our immunity to any invading situation is strong and we don’t get affected.....like a lotus flower which doesn’t let any water stick to it. But when we lose touch with real self, when we live through our mind, we are not immune to any change in external circumstances, to any invading issues and we get affected by them. "
I don’t understand what is this ‘real me’. I keep trying to know this ‘real me’...my soul, but it keeps eluding me.” I rebutted but then I realize that I was trying to argue with a small child and I said, “I am sorry Arvind, I didn’t mean to counteract you but sometimes it’s frustrating to be not able to actually understand these concepts even after attending thousands meditation camps or reading hundreds of books. "
“Doctor, you have to live through the dilemmas, through your anxieties, your agonies, your doubts to know the ‘Real Me’. The books, the meditation camps, the master...everyone can always guide you, can always give you an idea, even may give your temporary peace and at times may even give you an illusion of ‘self’ understanding but ultimately we all have to travel through that path ourselves. The acquired knowledge may help but we all have to go through that fire alone. And if we can endure the heat of that fire, that pain, that suffering, we can get a glimpse of that ‘self’ that ‘real me’...our soul which remains unaffected by anything...which simply remain at a distance, unattached, witness to your dilemmas. And that is the one which guides us through all our difficulties and doubts if we have patience to listen to it. Then we don’t have to find the solution, solution comes of its own.”
“But why we can’t listen to it? Why we can’t find it? But why we lose our composure, our patience when the situation demands us to be calm and composed, if that is the only way to find our ‘Real Self’? I asked him incredulously. “Because we get identified with the situation. We get identified with our thoughts, our feelings and our emotions and we take it as ‘Real Me’. But actually it’s not. We assume that we are our thoughts, our emotions and our feelings but in reality, we are beyond them. We cannot be anything which becomes our experience; we have to be something beyond, that which witnesses these experiences. If we can appreciate the difference between sad and happy state of mind, if we can differentiate between joy and sorrow, it means we are not that state; we are the one who knows it.
And this entity which is beyond the body, mind and intellect is our ‘real self’...our soul. Our soul is the witness, the presence or the awareness, whatever you might like to call it. And the soul is always in sync with the universe as it has to fulfill its own destiny. He said impassively. His sublime explanation stirred me and for first time in my life, I felt a ray of hope in my quest for the answers. “But why we invariably get identified with our thoughts and what happens as result of that?” I asked again “Doctor, would you mind if I ask you about you and your personal and professional life?”
He looked at me and asked. “ I was little perplexed with this sudden change in the direction of our dialogue. Of course not! In fact, I should have told you in the beginning itself. But why you are asking me this question now?”
~ To be continued