All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.
– Blaise Pascal
I went back to my yoga class today. I felt immense gratitude for the teacher so I asked if I could touch his feet. He’s American, but he spends months in India to learn from the Iyengars, so he knows what that gesture means. I only asked to do it because I felt a deep sense of gratitude flowing out from me, something I’ve not felt in my life for a long time, and I got carried away with that feeling. Never once did I stop to think if it might make him uncomfortable. The desire to express was so strong that the idea of not doing it did not even cross my mind. So in someways, I didn’t ask my teacher, I told him I was touching his feet. And he, being his generous self, blessed me back.
The question is – did he really give me his blessing? Did the gesture give a tangible truth to my gratitude? Did I really seek his blessing or was I merely trying to deposit an overwhelming feeling that I couldn’t deal with outside my self?
When I look at it closely enough, even the mere act of saying something to someone smells of my ego trying to establish itself. To speak without being spoken to, is to try and make one’s presence felt. To seek validation from the outside when the inner voice is inaudible or perhaps, deficient?
I’m beginning to understand why people are called mirrors. The ones that agree are in alignment with a part of you that agrees – let’s call this part A. The ones that don’t agree, are in alignment with a part of you that questions what you’re saying – let’s call this B. Very often the mind knows which way it wants to sway – towards A or B (let’s assume B is a bad thing), so it focuses only on the mirrors that amplify this sentiment. When you’re happy and feel invincible, you ignore the Bs and count the As. When you’re depressed you amplify the Bs. It’s like collecting votes from a sample set of our own choosing (“like minded” people) and then counting among those only the votes we want to. When I see my actions this way, it feels like a convenient use of my environment and its inputs to persist my own delusions. Going as far as possible from the truth.
But then mirrors don’t make a person beautiful, and more voices don’t make your voice the truth. Maybe silence – one’s own and of the voices that one wants to listen to – is the only hope to de-clutter the table, blow away the chaff, and get a glimpse of the seed of reality.
Other questions that I tossed around while writing this:
- If I write to declutter my mindspace, is that an act of my ego?
- Is seeking to understand also an act of my ego?
- Isn’t understanding also subjective, and therefore, also the function of my ego?
- If egolessness is the goal, then would it require me to drop all pursuits, stop the seeking, be silent, and merely witness the now?
- And “who” made the egolessness a goal?