The Golden Age
HOW IT IS FOR ME
Richard Satchell, better know known as Satch, describes himself as a 28-year-old human being.
He's anything but talkative, but his voice is often heard in the Adelaide satsang hall singing to the accompaniment of his intricate, sensitive guitar-playing. He's written some songs of his own for satsang, and has taught music in the past. Now he's a high-school teacher.
Satch received Knowledge in Adelaide two years ago from Padarthanand, after hearing satsang for nine months. We asked him to talk around the questions, "Why are you practising Knowledge, and how has it changed your life?" This is what he said….
I always cherished those moments when I felt fulfilled, and that's what I wanted to experience in my life. I found it in satsang, and now I'm pursuing it in meditation.
At first practising Knowledge didn't seem natural at all, but now it's as natural and involuntary as breathing or walking, so that I can hardly even say that I have a reason for practising Knowledge. It's really been integrated into my being. I mean, it always has been integrated there, but I guess I've been getting rid of the insulating material that stood between me and the experience of Knowledge, the experience of truth, or whatever you want to call it. Because we don't really add anything to ourselves, do we; rather, meditation erases.
And lately I'm finding that I don't really have to try to practise Knowledge. A couple of months ago I was very self-conscious about getting the whole thing together; I was always introverted and preoccupied with how I was doing it. Now I find that that part of my mind isn't there so much, and although I'm practising Knowledge more now than I was then, I'm much more relaxed about it.
Knowledge has changed my life profoundly. Naturally I'd have more awareness now, simply because I'm older. But I've watched the maturing process in friends who don't meditate, and I can see underlying my own maturing the unfolding, the evolution that comes from Knowledge.
Meditation gives us a lot of understanding of life, a lot of clarity, because we can see ourselves. But unless we use it to grow, it becomes like everything else in the world: it stagnates eventually, and the clarity becomes just painful. I can see that at this stage of my life it wouldn't have been hard to evaluate and realise that the answer lies within, and I'd want to take some steps to raise my consciousness. But without Knowledge I'd have no way to activate that and bring it into my life.
Before Knowledge I built up a whole game-structure to compensate for my own inadequacies. I played it at parties of course, and everywhere else I went, deliberately building up my vocabulary just so I could play word-games with other people and win, to elevate me above them. But that's completely gone. I can't play games any more because I'm continually being confronted with the truth, with reality. There isn't even any motivation to play games now.
I really like listening to music. More and more I'm finding that that's my expression - expression by proxy. It's saying something that I couldn't possibly articulate. I want to articulate it. We all do. We all want to express ourselves totally, completely. We want to explode, to dissipate ourselves into the void. We just want to annihilate ourselves. just spread ourselves over everything.
There's lots and lots of ways we can try to do that. We can try conversation, or physical ways like sex, or we can try sound - we can use the whole space/time thing, and it's called "searching on planet
No. 33, October 1976
Earth." But I can't give myself to any one of those limited means of expression any more. The only expression that demands enough of me for me to want to put myself in it, is meditation.
And sometimes what builds up in meditation just flows out in satsang. But we can so easily become "satsang robots", and use that dry, mediocre Golden Age vocabulary, those endless platitudes and cliches. And I want to express myself freshly all the time. A rave about Knowledge isn't really satsang. It doesn't transport you, or focus you. Whenever I've been really drawn into satsang it's been like a vacuum drawing me into nothingness. And that's the only place where we can ever feel comfortable, when there's nothing happening to us. Otherwise we're being stimulated, and that's not where it's at. We want to dissipate ourselves, to dilute our being completely and absolutely.
Before Knowledge I wanted to reinforce my identity. I consciously engaged in a process of reinforcement, like these word-games I was talking about, when I built up a sort of phoney ability to express myself.
But meditation is a solvent for all that crap and you do dissolve into it; it dissolves your being, your identity. And that can be pretty - not frightening, but dramatic, because the ground you're standing on dissolves, and the media you're using to relate to people dissolves, the words dissolve, and the personality. And you're left with one thing, and that's nothing.
And now it's just a matter of practising at being there.
After four years as a medical student, Jody left university to work in a psychiatric hospital, where he became a qualified occupational therapist. At present he is working at Brisbane's Chermside psychiatric hospital as an O.T.
Over the years Jody has also learned a lot about naturopathy and iridology, and he acts as the Brisbane premie community's health consultant. In addition, he has recently been elected AMP Committee chairman.
All my life I've has a keen desire to find out the real meaning of being alive, the real truth of my own existence, and it was this underlying desire which accompanied my experimentation with drugs, alcohol, mysticism, intellectual things at university, and which now underlies my practice of Knowledge.
I know that what I experienced so much of my life, and still do to a certain extent, was the existential vacuum that people like Frankei talk about. It's kind of like a gap between your present existence and the kind of existence you know you can have. That's something so deep, so painful, something like a hole in your soul. Like feeling you know your potential is something much more than what you're thinking it is. You just have this feeling that you're a lot more than the kind of experiences you are having in the world at the present time.
Up until the time I took Knowledge, what I was experiencing really was that in my moment to moment dealings with other human beings I wasn't able to state clearly or get over clearly that I was existing as a human being, that I was here, and I was a meaningful person with something to give. I kept feeling that I was wishy-washy, that I was two-dimensional, like a cardboard cut-out. I couldn't put my whole life, my whole vitality into it, and one of the things which continually makes me want to come back and experience Knowledge all the time is my desire not to be two-dimensional, not to be wishy-washy, my desire to present myself as a real full vital person and in return experience that same vitality and incredible quality of life in another person. I couldn't do that before I started experiencing Knowledge and no matter how hard I tried to really vibe into a person or really be with that person just in the moment, there was still some part of me that was feeling that I wasn't completely being myself.
It's certainly something that is very tantalizing, something that is a beautiful thing to want to achieve, becoming oneself. I know that I've got the potential now to become someone who is very beautiful, who is not limited by other people's personalities. Someone who is not limited by a large history of conditioning which in my case hasn't always been that positive. Someone who can be free from the memories of the past that are so painful.
I think now that my desire to practise Knowledge is starting to come from the right place, from the experience I have in meditation and also from the experience of service and sat-sang. They are becoming really meaningful things in my life and they're no longer things I have to do or things I figure out ways to escape from doing, but things I actually want to do because I can feel them kind of working me over, doing a number on me. It's that experiential kind of motivation, really experiencing something inside of myself that's really my true nature, something I can identify with so much, that encourages me to practise Knowledge.
I'm also starting to feel more and more that I don't need to get my inspiration to meditate from service or satsang, although these things help and are very powerful, unique experiences in themselves. Instead, I'm starting to feel that my experience in meditation, that thing which allows me to validate my existence in every moment, the thing that I've always wanted to be able to do, is the thing which really motivates me now.
A lot of concepts like wanting to practise Knowledge to help humanity, or to become a great social welfare officer, or to be able to relate to my patients in the coolest way, or be a sparkling example in the hospital have fallen away. Likewise those selfish motives such as I want to get my personality together so that everyone is going to fall in love with me, and I'll be the best public speaker, and I'll be able to give the most amazing satsangs, are all dropping away too.
I think that being single-pointed is the key to it all. If your determination, your desires are primarily focused on practising Knowledge, then everything else comes from that. Like the desire to fall in love with somebody or get married, to be influential amongst friends - those kind of desires tend to be fulfilled to a large extent just through practising Knowledge, and by having a single-pointedness, having a key desire. Then things seem to flow from that energy which you put into that one thing because Knowledge does a number on you, makes you more your real self and therefore more able, more free to utilise your own human potential. Utilising your own human potential is the thing that gives you love affairs, success in business and all those other worldly things that you might feel are important to you, or you feel are appropriate things to experience.