No. 31, July 1976
A Letter from Julie
Julie Collet is presently touring Australian communities in her capacity as initiator-on-training.
Dear Penny and everyone - Hi!
Right now I can see my whole life as a slow and gradual unfolding and opening up to the experience of Knowledge. I feel like I am in a lift that just keeps going up and up and up and I'm feeling that the building has got left behind. Quite honestly I don't know where I am and it's going so fast that I never seem to have a minute to recollect and figure out what I am experiencing. All I know is that it's damn exciting. In fact at times it just starts going so fast that it's almost scarey, but when you can relax and just be in that situation, it's incredibly beautiful.
When I was up in Cairns with Monique, we went skin-diving at Green Island one day. What happens when you go skin-diving is that you get to see what you've been hearing about in the Barrier Reef travel brochures for years and years: all of a sudden there through your very own goggles is the real thing: seaweeds and corals and all different types of fish swimming all over the place. It was really amazing. But when you first go under it can be a bit scarey because you've got these goggles over your eyes and nose, and this rubber snorkel thing in your mouth, and all of a sudden you are under the water and you can't breathe any more, because you're so used to breathing through your nose and all of a sudden you have to learn to breathe through your mouth. When that happened to me all I wanted to do was to surface and breathe again, I didn't care about the fish or the corals or anything. And I found that in order to get the hang of the breathing, in order to sync up with that quite natural function inside of me, I really had to surrender. And once I did, it was beautiful.
And it is just the same with us in Knowledge. The experience that we want in coming to Maharaj Ji is something which is automatically going all the time. And the only reason why we can't experience it is because first and foremost, we don't know it's there; and then when we do know it's there and when we have got our goggles and our snorkels, we've got everything that we need to experience Knowledge, then we can so easily start trying to do it with our mind. We make the mistake of trying to do it ourselves. And it's impossible. And because we will never be able to do it ourselves we really have to make that surrender, we have to be able to trust enough to let go of everything around us and really go into that beautiful experience that is automatically taking place within us. Because it really is like that lift going up and up and up -we don't know what's going to happen next, but it really is the most real thing, the most incredible experience to be in.
The Golden Age
Sometimes when I just get a little inkling what this experience is all about, it makes me want to laugh and laugh. Everything and everybody, and most of all myself, looks completely like a circus. And what makes me laugh most, the most ridiculous thing, is how stubborn and stupid we are. Because we insist on holding our ground, we stick in our minds and persist in thinking so much that sometimes we even tremble with fear. And goodness knows what we are afraid of because where Maharaj Ji is going to take us is somewhere actually safe, somewhere actually real. We can be really silly in the way that we persist in falling into those thoughts, because they really are our cage, they really are what cuts us off from that incredible experience that is automatically there all the time.
Half the time we are so unconscious we don't even know what we are thinking. You sit down to do your meditation, and you figure you're doing it fine, that everything's fantastic, but really you're just sitting down there in your thoughts. And for as long as we keep on doing that, we are never going to be able to progress, we're never going to be able to go into that experience. It's really only when we're breaking through, when things are really happening that we feel that we are experiencing Knowledge. I know that there have been times for me when I've figured I've been doing all the right things, but still nothing seemed to be moving. And looking back, I can see that in those times I've just been unconscious. Sometimes we can even meditate in an unconscious state, which sounds ridiculous but I'm sure if you consider it for a moment, you'll know what I mean. It's a really big trap to fall into.
The name of the game is awareness; consciousness, not semi-consciousness. When you start to become conscious in meditation and see what is happening there, when you really start to meditate instead of thinking, it's amazing how clearly you can see everything around you, it's amazing how you really begin to feel alive, really begin to feel like a premie should feel, really begin to have incredible love for Maharaj Ji. Because this to me is one of the greatest gifts we can have, really feeling that love for Maharaj Ji. To me it is worth anything to have that connection.
We have to make that initial effort, we have to make that first step forward, otherwise it is never really going to happen. We do have to let go. Maharaj Ji once said that this is not the path for going slow, but for going fast. And it's so much easier to go fast. It's like in the middle of the stream there's a current and if you can let go of the banks and get right into the middle, then that current will carry you. You won't even need to swim, you'll just need to make enough effort to keep yourself afloat. And then it's so incredible, because things start going really fast, you can feel things happening in a very real and very meaningful way. But to be right in the centre moving fast, we've got to let go of the banks, and we've got to make the effort to get into the centre. And the banks for us are our thoughts, they're the only thing that we have to let go of.
It's so easy to think that we can let go of this lifestyle or this relationship or this house or this car, but even in letting go of those things physically we can still be attached to them, we can still be thinking about them. And more and more I'm realising that it's those little thoughts, those stupid little thoughts that pop up before you give satsang, those stupid little thoughts that sometimes don't even make sense when you are meditating, that really cut us off from where we can be with Knowledge. And unless we surrender, unless we let go of the sides of the bank, we're going to be doing meditation, satsang and service and it'll be just like running on the spot, we're not going to be getting anywhere. So it is really good to look at ourselves and see just what it is we have to let go of. What is it that's running through our mind? What are all those problems, those fears and desires that we're still trying to work out from the point of mind? Because it's all that worry, all that activity that we have to let go of. And really trust that living life from a point of meditation will give us everything we want. And why is that so hard to do? Because really, we've been trying to work things out for ten, twenty, thirty-odd years and it didn't get us that fulfilment, it didn't make us feel good to the extent that we want to feel good. So there comes a point where we have to make a decision, we have to decide whether we are really going to trust Maharaj Ji and do what he says, or whether we're not. And if we do decide to do what he says, then we have got to do it. And that means literally doing it.
Meditation, satsang and service are completely encompassing things, they can completely encompass our whole life. And the thing that threads them all together is Holy Name because it is the one thing that we can do all the time. When we are in meditation, we never have to feel separated from anything, we never have to feel split ever again. Because that's just what we are, and when we are experiencing what we are there's that incredibly beautiful solid experience of wholeness and completeness, and that wholeness and completeness is always completing itself. It is always getting fuller, deeper and richer, it's something you keep on developing into.
So all we need to do is give in to the inevitable and trust to be taken on and on deeper and deeper into the experience of Knowledge. And don't ask me to define what that is, because my perception of it is forever changing, but somehow it's threading all the changes together into one on-going beautiful experience of being alive.
Going on tour for me is just another of the zillions of opportunities Maharaj Ji keeps loading onto me to prise me open to experience more and more love. It's so beautiful to be continually falling in love - sometimes I feel like everybody's best friend. To really make that moment to moment surrender to meditation takes an incredible amount of trust, and an incredible amount of confidence. What we are here for is to grow in that trust and confidence, and for that we need a lot of help, we need a lot of understanding. And we are the only ones who can help each other, there's no-one else. So we should use each other - it is so beautiful to know that in actual fact that help is there when we want it. It's all so amazing. If we can just let go of our limitations, there's a whole new experience to be had every minute, every second of the day.
So hang on, I'm coming with you because Maharaj Ji's taking us all together. It's nice to say goodbye to a worn-out trip.
P.S. I can't get into writing about the tour. It's just not quite where it's happening, but it sure is helping me to open up. It's all very fantastic, actually.