AN INTELLECTUAL'S PURSUIT
I've considered myself a hard-core intellectual most of my life. My intellect was to be my weapon, my tool, my salvation. It did not occur to me for a long time that it might also be the source of my frustration.
When in the course of a fairly strict Protestant upbringing I was compelled to read the Bible, I applied my customary analytical approach. A nice story: hard to believe.
Yet somehow I knew that, if by some quirk it were true and that God did exist, a human being had no option but to serve Him.
My struggles to believe came to an abrupt end with the death of my younger sister from an overdose of ether during minor surgery. I could not believe that God could he so cruel as to watch her die from a careless mistake. I challenged Him: if You
exist, prove it to me. Immediately! Until I had concrete proof I would operate under the assumption that the highly regarded "Superior Power" was a convenient concept upon which people who couldn't cope with the absurdity of the human condition could lean.
This became my stand for the next dozen years.
Intellectually I understood that if one thing had meaning, if I could find one constant among all the changes, then everything else would fall into place around it. In college I tried to grab on to a lot of things: time, language, poetry; intellectual constructs that seemed indestructible until one looked too close. Then they just crumbled.
I had some feelings, too, about where that one constant thing should come from.
Love. I was ashamed to admit I wanted it - especially to myself. I couldn't stand it. I didn't believe in it. wouldn't accept it. And I couldn't get enough of it. Love. Many people said they loved my mind or my work or this or that about me. A few people professed to love me. I maintained a good relationship with my parents. got married. But somehow it was never enough.
One day my husband burst in with news that we had to go to New York City immediately to check something out. I learned the details en route: a poster of a child god with a strange name and an incredible claim; an overwhelming sense that this was something big. I didn't know what to make of it, but found myself trailing along in search of something called "Divine Light Mission." I envisioned soup lines of derelicts withstanding a religious rap in exchange for a free meal.
The address my husband had been given turned out to be a recently vacated building. Directory Assistance had no listing for "Divine Light Mission". We went home.
Not long after, someone handed me a pamphlet announcing the arrival in the West of "Guru Maharaj Ji". Again
my husband wanted to hear more. For myself and a couple of friends who went along, it was a lark. One brought a bottle of champagne and straws.
It wasn't hard to pick out the guru's followers. Their manner was tranquil and their smiles benign. It drove me up a wall. But my husband was attracted, and insisted on going to something called "satsang" to hear more. After a couple of weeks, from curiosity and with the assurance that no one would speak to me directly, I went with him.
Each night, upon leaving, we agreed not to return. .And the next night, after supper, we would get up and drive 35 miles to the program. Sometimes we went early to see if we could catch the premies off-guard. But they were still smiling.
Then I received Knowledge. It's impossible to explain. Something came over me, or something overcame me. I found myself aching with a need to experience Knowledge. There was no room even to wonder where that need came from. I emerged from that Knowledge session with a childlike feeling of relief, of wonder.
The first few months were not easy for me. The Knowledge itself was doubly crippling to my ego. First, it was so simple, and second, despite its simplicity, I felt I couldn't do it.
One problem was that I couldn't relate to Guru Maharaj Ji. A few moments in his presence cleared up my dilemma. In those three or four seconds before him, he provided me with ample evidence of the existence of a Superior Power. It was a revelation that completely undermined my personal cosmology, top to bottom - the most traumatic and most mystical experience of my life.
Physically what happened is: he looked at me.
After that initial readjustment in my perspective, the experience of Knowledge began rapidly to come into my life. I noticed that the feeling I felt in those times when I saw Guru Maharaj Ji and the feeling I felt when I experienced satsang and meditation were identical. Something beautiful was happening deep inside of me.
Nevertheless I decided after about a year that I didn't need Knowledge, and I tried to exchange it for my once- familiar world of intellectual pursuits.
It was a bore. Only one thing had any substance for me, and that was the incredible love of Guru Maharaj Ji. I hadn't known the strength of his love. In trying to leave it, I suddenly found that it was the one thing that had any real meaning in my life. It was the constant.
I've been meditating on Guru Maharaj Ji's Knowledge for seven years now, and I'm overwhelmed by the changes it has made in me. Everything I did and said for twenty-three years was dictated by my mind's idea of what I was. Now Guru Maha raj Ji is showing me what I am, and how to live naturally in that reality. l have meaning, a focus for my life. But more than that I have a bond of love that opens me to a realm of experience I never knew was possible. - M.B.