I am nearly 2 years old. Until this day, I frolicked in undifferentiated awareness, without any sense of separation. It is the natural state, although to even describe it as a state is inaccurate. Timeless, free of all choosing, of any clinging or avoidance, bright and shining being — all just words that of course cannot really convey the mystery rapture of the innocent truth of all of us.
I am sitting in a hallway, about 20 feet from my mother, who has recently returned from the hospital after birthing my new sister. I am radiating pure joy and delight! There is nothing but this persistent bliss, regardless of any sensations, which are also experienced as echoes of the mystery rapture itself.
Suddenly, incredibly – there is a stark and undeniable observation: I am distinct from my mother, separated by an impossible chasm that has somehow opened up before me! She is standing in the kitchen, and I am down here, on the floor, far away in the hallway! Heaven and earth are torn asunder, and all in a blink of an eye, a simple change in the interpretation on perception.
A monumental fear grasps me! I open my mouth to scream, but I am paralyzed. Shocked and mute, I realize that I am “embodied” for the first time. Now it seems for all the world that I am an independent “self” – a solid, continuous, and separate being — and this hell of apparent individuation seizes me in an enormous vice of panic and terror!
Thus begins my dream journey. Now I see that moment as a blessing kiss of generous initiation, true baptism. This is what I was brought here for — to provide a unique vehicle for Spirit to recognize itself in the very form of myself, and express Itself as who and what I am in this very body here, this individualized ocean drop.
I am my mother, the hallway, the fear, the bliss, and I am here, the only place there is – aware space without limit, boundary, or any circumference other that what I might superimpose in my imagination. It is wonderful, and it is terrible, and it is awesome, and it is ordinary, and it is – just is!
How amazing – this human birth! So many would-be teachers would have us think of this life as a kind of nightmare, and indeed, there are certainly moments when it might seem so, but there are other moments, more vivid than fear’s pale shadow, when we know deep down that it is all good – truly, beyond good, beyond any qualification the intellect could devise. Rather than representing some sort of karmic trap or low-level prison from which we must strive to escape, we can instead appreciate it for exactly what it is and allow this life to live us, without resistance or complaint. Perhaps that is the real meaning of surrender – to let it all be as it is, knowing that it is nothing other than the divine play of the Beautiful One, the same One who is living us now.