No. 36, February 1977
There seemed to be no time at all between the news and the actual event: Julie's arrival in Sydney followed hot on the heels of the phone call informing us that she was on her way homeward, and as a fully-fledged initiator. The much-heralded Denver initiator development program had become a two-week stay at Malibu with Guru Maharaj Ji. And so with barely time to exchange a "Did you hear the news? Isn't it far out?" premies in Sydney found themselves basking in five days of Julie's satsang.
They say every initiator visit is a little different. To me, there were familiar elements in this one. Julie was still Julie. And satsang, undoubtably, was still the same rich, subtly powerful experience it has always been. But I felt there was something special about this time: a simplicity, an unhyped positivity and rightness beyond anything I can remember experiencing previously (although since such feelings do not easily become memories, it's hard to say for sure). Perhaps it was partly because we have opened up a little over the years of trying to practise Knowledge. But perhaps a greater part of the explanation can be found in the fact that Julie came to us direct from Guru Maharaj Ji, reflecting very clearly his message.
And of course, we arranged an interview:
Julie, what's it like to be back in Australia, doing this service?
Very beautiful. I can't believe - to use a word that we wiped out of our dictionary - I really can't believe the grace in my life at the moment. Guru Maharaj Ji's given me so much that I'm really feeling that I've got something to share. And that's all. I don't feel like "an initiator". I know that I can only serve Guru Maharaj Ji because of what he's given me - all I have to give is what Guru Maharaj Ji's given me. And I really want to give that. I really want to share that. Because right now, I can't describe what I'm experiencing. I really feel very full in the experience of Knowledge. I really feel deeply in love with Maharaj Ji. And it really is like being at home, it really is like being where I want to be. And all I want to do is share the joy of that.
Is there anything that Guru Maharaj Ji's particularly working on at the moment, anything he's particularly wanting us to understand?
I really feel that what Maharaj Ji's doing at the moment is he's taking us from somewhere where it is complicated - because our mind is complicated, that's what's complicated about us - and taking us to a place that's really simple, by showing us just how to slow the mind down. And everything that he's doing is really helping that. But we as premies have to be open to what Guru Maharaj Ji's doing for us, so that we can actually receive it. The thing that I'm just seeing at the moment is that it's really easy to let your focus go out into the world. And when your focus is out into the world, if you try to take Knowledge out into the world it's like you're not going to get anywhere. You'll live a better life in the world, but Guru Maharaj Ji's really trying to help us get out of the world, because the world is what has, as he says, filled that absence. And Maharaj Ji's trying to help us get out of that absence, out of the world, out of the mind, into the presence.
I was just listening to a tape of Bill Patterson(see p11), and he was explaining that Maharaj Ji was saying to the first group of initiator candidates that to get that full experience of Knowledge it takes total surrender, complete and total surrender. And that's just music for me, that just sounds really so beautiful, because I know that the little bit of surrender, just the few times when I'm with Guru Maharaj Ji - whether it's in giving satsang, or whether it's my heart's just really there trying to serve him, or whether I'm just for fleeting moments able to completely let go and just be there in meditation - those few moments when I can really give myself to Guru Maharaj Ji one way or another, are the most beautiful times of my life.
For me at the moment, the thing Guru Maharaj Ji's really emphasising is that surrender. He's making us feel that yes, we really do have to surrender, just by showing us how beautiful Knowledge is. And Knowledge is beautiful. That was the whole thing that came out of the Knowledge review we had with Guru Maharaj Ji in Malibu. Just by where he was in his own oneness with Knowledge, in his own dedication to Shri Maharaj Ji - because I kept seeing that at Malibu - he kept showing us how beautiful it is to be surrendered to the Lord, to be one in that experience. And it was just pure inspiration. There wasn't a lecture in which we were being told we had to do meditation, satsang or service. It was just pure inspiration. And we just all came out realising what an incredibly precious thing we have in Guru Maharaj Ji and in Knowledge.
It's only when we get into what we're going through that we experience that we lose Guru Maharaj Ji. And that's when it's painful. And when we're experiencing pain sometimes it's not clear that we're away from Guru Maharaj Ji. This is something I can just see so clearly that so much of the pain that premies go through is because they're not surrendering to Guru Maharaj Ji, but sometimes they can't see that. Because of that little voice in our head that's saying "Hey, you don't want to do that. You want to do something else." And sometimes when we're not clear, and when we're not inspired, it's really simple to listen to that
The Golden Age
little voice. And that little voice inspires us to do something else. But we really do have to listen to Guru Maharaj Ji, to inspire us to go where we really want to go. Because that's why we came to Guru Maharaj Ji, because we recognised that Guru Maharaj Ji could take us where we wanted to go.
Someone in satsang asked me "What's the key word for 19777 And I said, "Oh my god, I hope there's no key word for 1977," because I just experienced the crazy way that we interpreted the key word for 1976 - understanding - we took it into the operating theatre and killed it just about. But I was just thinking for 1977 it would be really beautiful if we could make it Guru Maharaj Ji's year. Because this is what I'm experiencing that Guru Maharaj Ji's doing. Just doing the initiator development program, it was Maharaj Ji's program. The conference in Frankfurt, it was Maharaj Ji's conference. And Guru Maharaj Ji's working on different projects at Malibu - for the ashram, the aspirants - he's doing so many things to really help the spread of Knowledge. Guru Maharaj Ji's really taking over. And I'm beginning to see, wow, like we really are here to be channels for Guru Maharaj Ji. Not to do it. Not to do it our way, but to be a channel for Guru Maharaj Ji to be able to do it his way, through us. And it would be really beautiful if 1977 could be Maharaj Ji's year. That we could do it Maharaj Ji's way.
Julie, the message I've been getting from your satsang and from the Knowledge review is much the same as what I've been discovering myself lately - that meditation is something really simple: if you just take the trouble to slow down and be aware, it's there and you can be with it. Yet knowing that, I can still sit down in the morning and think so much …
When you're with Guru MaharajJi, either with him physically or when you're in meditation, satsang and service, it is confronting, you do see where you're at. When you're really trying to serve Guru Maharaj Ji, when your mind goes off, you're confronted with that. When you're sitting meditating, and your mind goes off, you're really confronted with that. I guess it's in our meditation that it really shows up most obviously just where our consciousness is. You can really see it very clearly, when you sit in meditation: where does your mind go? Where's your desire, what do you really desire to experience, and what do you really value in life? How much do you really value Knowledge in comparison with all the day to day things that you do? It's very clear in meditation; it's a complete reflection of where we're at.
But it's like when you're really with Guru Maharaj Ji, it's not confronting in a negative way. It's confronting in a really positive way. You know, when you're with Guru Maharaj Ji, he's not heavy. He doesn't say "You're the worst devotee in the world because your mind's all over the planet." He's just inspiration itself, just to keep on trying to let go. I know for me, in the whole process of my practising Knowledge and being with Guru Maharaj Ji there at Malibu, I was really learning to completely surrender to whatever was happening to me, whether it was a time of extreme bliss-out or whether it was intense confrontation. Just learning, okay, that's what's happening for me at the moment. I just had to trust Guru Maharaj Ji, and I had to surrender. And I just have to all the time be surrendering to Guru Maharaj Ji, and just keep on doing what he says. And then everything comes. It's so simple, it's really, really simple: if you just keep on doing what Guru Maharaj Ji says you just experience so much. And the whole process of what we're going through as premies - it's confronting, and it's exciting, and purposeful and it is fulfilling.
I really experience that it's Guru Maharaj Ji that's really helping us get to a point where we can surrender to him. That understanding comes from Guru Maharaj Ji. And for me at the moment, I'm really feeling that Guru Maharaj Ji's taking me home. He's loving me, he's looking after me, he's giving me everything that I need. Despite where I wander in my mind and in my desires. Just that little, little bit of sincerity that I had, and that little bit of love that I had for Guru Maharaj Ji, Guru Maharaj Ji responds to that. I just experienced that so much at Malibu. And when Guru Maharaj Ji responds to that, it's like water on a wilting flower. That love just bursts. And then you're loving Guru Maharaj Ji, and nothing can touch you, nothing.
A lot of premies, around Sydney at least, have been wondering about the possibility of Guru Maharaj Ji coming here soon …
Actually, I've been really touched by the premies' desire to see Maharaj Ji, since I got back. It really is touching and beautiful to see that. But sometimes I hear premies and for some it's like "Oh my god it's really getting hard. We're beginning to go spinning again: we really need to see Guru Maharaj Ji." And when I see that, I see that what we really need, sure it's Guru Maharaj Ji, but unless we can really surrender to Guru Maharaj Ji, unless we can really do what Guru Maharaj Ji's simply asking us to do, what purpose would Guru Maharaj Ji's darshan serve? Because unless we can really feel open to Guru Maharaj Ji, we're not going to experience what he's got to give us. Unless we're empty, just being with him won't fill us up. And that's the thing, that we've got to give that little voice that's prattling on, telling us that we can practise Knowledge this way and that way, that little voice that's holding us back from completely giving ourselves to Guru Maharaj Ji, because, you know, maybe we're frightened that the pendulum swing is going to go up the other way, or maybe that little voice is saying something negative about a premie who's trying to serve Guru Maharaj Ji. These are the things that we have to give to Guru Maharaj Ji, all those things that are going on in our head.
When Guru Maharaj Ji comes we've really got an incredible opportunity to really give ourselves to him. Not to have him come to get us back in line. But for Guru Maharaj Ji to come and give his darshan, and his satsang, and just completey fill us up. To me, Guru Maharaj Ji's given us the perfect way to prepare to be with him, and that is to learn to do what he's asking us to do.
And really, Guru Maharaj Ji's always there to fill us up. The only thing that blocks that is our mind, is the ideas, is the little desires when we go off to try and seek our satisfaction in some other way. It's only that mind that blocks us. And when that mind can be surrendered in meditation, satsang and service, then we do experience that fulfillment that Maharaj Ji offers. And that's, I guess, what Maharaj Ji's meaning when he says it's a total thing. Like, it's impossible to practise Knowledge in a half-hearted way. It's impossible to love Maharaj Ji with half a heart. There's only one way to love Guru Maharaj Ji, and that's with your whole heart. There's only one way to serve Guru Maharaj Ji, and that's with your whole life. And I know I'm such a long way from that. But I just know that Maharaj Ji's accepting me as I am, completely accepting me as I am. And really helping me just take one step after another towards making that total surrender more real.