She, some more lines drawn with my paint brush


Part 4 of Shanti’s ‘A portrait of human dignity’.


VII. She is lost in love.

Her love is unaddressed; she is just a loving heart, overflowing. She is faithful only to love, not to the lover.

Her compassion knows no rules: it is wild, it follows no formalities.

Her love is not limited to anyone in particular, nor only aimed at any of these groups – like religions and nations – into which priests and politicians have divided mankind in service of their power over us.

She has learned that the whole humanity is one brotherhood.

Instead of cutting things apart, she loves putting things together.

She has understood that the flower of love can blossom only when there is no ego, beyond the lust for power and the tendency to impress or wanting to be the first or the last.

VIII. She is utterly contented.

She says: “Why not just be? What is wrong in that which I am? This is how I have happened into this vast universe. This vast universe wanted me to be like this. This is the only reality there is, this is the only possibility there is.”

“The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white, neither need I do anything but be myself.”

Being thankful for what existence is offering her as a gift, she never takes this for granted, nor does she beg for more: you can’t fill a cup that’s full already.

She knows a desiring mind is a beggar’s mind: you can go on throwing things into it, go on throwing worlds into it and they dematerialize; they disappear into this mysterious begging-bowl.

When you have ninety-nine, there is a vicious circle – you want them to be a hundred. And don’t think that when they are a hundred, things will stop. Things never stop.

Mind does not know where to stop. She understands that it goes without stopping anywhere, from A to B, from B to C, and goes on and on until at Z it falls into hell. Even emperors go on begging and fish are thirsty in the ocean. She is no longer a victim of this ‘vicious circle of ninety-nine’.

She understands that perfectionism goes on denying all that is human; that perfectionism is a kind of inhuman ideal.

Her thankfulness is the only authentic prayer. All other prayers are childish because they are nothing but hidden demands.

IX. She is surrendering and accepting.

She is in a let-go, flows with the river of life, moves with the wind, in tune with existence, in tune with nature. Her heart and the heart of the universe are beating in deep synchronicity.

Easily, she says ‘yes’ to whatever is happening in her life. She enjoys all climates, all moods of nature. She trusts that ‘God’ knows what he is doing. Whatsoever life brings is okay for her. She knows that everything happens in its own time, that there is a season for everything and a time for every purpose under heaven.

X. She is aware of and befriended with death.

She is living her life as if today is her last day on earth, and at the same time she is living today as if she is going to live forever.

Every day she is aware that this world is only a caravanserai. Remembering death continuously becomes her greatest stimulation for meditation, for awareness.

Her own death is a peaceful acceptance, a loving entry into the unknown, a joyful goodbye to old friends, to the old world. There isn’t any tragedy in it.

XI. She may be living with all kinds of possessions, but without being possessive.

She is aware that nothing belongs to her, so there is nothing to renounce.

She knows the price of an empire: if you are lost in a desert, it’s one glass of water.

She knows that the things you really need are few, but the things you can imagine you need are infinite.

She recognises ‘souls’, regardless of whether they are dressed rich or poor.

XII. Claiming no-thing, she is humble and as innocent as a just-born child.

Being humble and asking out of her ignorance, she is ready to learn.

Being a receiver, she is learning much.

Not unlike Socrates, she knows only one thing: that she does not know.

Humbleness is her basic thing. Even without a wise man, if you are humble, you will learn much. You can learn from the trees and the springs and the clouds and the winds. If you are humble, this whole existence becomes a teacher to you.

She is aware that all heights and pretended knowledge are suicidal!

If you really want to be a teacher, become a disciple. But disciplehood is difficult, because the ego – the ‘Me! Me! Me!’ – has to be dropped.

Wisdom begins in wonder. Life is such a vast mystery, unfathomable, unknowable. So if you are wise, you cannot be certain. That’s why her wisdom is cautious: wisdom hesitates; wisdom is never certain.

XIII. She is on an eternal pilgrimage, in a search for truth.

From the very conception to the very end, she is on a quest, on a search for truth. She is on her way to feeling the heartbeat of existence within her own being.

That is the difference between other animals and man: they simply live, they don’t enquire. No animal has ever asked: “What is truth?”

XIV. She feels she is a part of the ocean.

She is in an individual love affair with existence. She knows in her innermost core that we are all part of one existence. She is as a wave is in the ocean. She feels herself to be a part of that ocean, part of the mystery.

A wave arises, then the wave disappears: where has it gone? There is nowhere to go! This is the only existence there is.

XV. She remains in the middle. She has melted into oneness, beyond all dualities.

She remains in the middle. She is following the middle path, understanding that only fools are at the extremes.

She doesn’t indulge too much and doesn’t renounce too much, doesn’t be only in the world and doesn’t escape out of it. She goes on keeping a balance.

When she feels hate, she tries to move to the middle. When she feels love, she tries to move to the middle. Whatsoever she feels, she tries to move to the middle.

And you will be surprised that there is a point between every two extremes where both cease to exist – when neither do you feel hate nor do you feel love. This is what Buddha called ‘upeksha’, indifference.

Indifference is not the right word.

‘Upeksha’ means such a middle point from where you are neither this nor that.

When you are not identified, a transcendence happens, and transcendence is the flowering. That is the maturity to be attained, that is the goal.

She knows life has everything; just a new combination is needed.

XVI. She is on her own, because her soul wants to be free.

She is not part of the mob, because being part of any mob or crowd crushes individuality and freedom. And her soul wants to be free.

So, she doesn’t allow anyone to lead her astray: away from her nature, away from her individuality, away from her being.

She knows that she can’t please everyone, because if you try you lose yourself.

Although freedom has no security, no safety, no insurance, although freedom means walking on the edge of a razor, every moment in danger, and although there is fear of freedom too, you will not find her in any confinement, even if it is golden.

To be continued…

Featured image by Jordan Steranka on Unsplash

Read the whole series

Shanti is the creator and compiler of series, including At Home in the Universe and 1001 Tales.

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