- by Linda Hess
Because of recommendations from you Shabnam, and another friend (who actually got me the book), I'm 2/3 of the way through "Eat Pray Love." On pp 198-202, chapters 67 & 68, she tells about her "transcendent" experience. At the central point of the description of the indescribable, she finds it helpful to use the word "void" 7 times in 4 lines, followed by a quote from Kabir (drop in ocean, ocean in drop). Then she produces her own simple prose version of what could be quite a few Kabir bhajans.
"The place in which I was standing can't be described like an earthly location. It was neither dark nor light, neither big nor small. Nor was it a place, nor was I technically standing there, nor was I exactly 'I' anymore. I still had my thoughts, but they were so modest, quiet and observatory. Not only did I feel unhesitating compassion and unity with everything and everybody, it was vaguely and amusingly strange for me to wonder how anybody could ever feel anything but that. I also felt mildly charmed by all my old ideas about who I am and what I'm like. I'm a woman, I come from America, I'm talkative, I'm a writer--all this felt so cute and obsolete. Imagine cramming yourself into such a puny box of identity when you could experience your infinitude instead. I wondered, 'Why have I been chasing happiness my whole life when bliss was right here all the time?"
Then she has a sudden urgent thought, "I want to hold on to this experience forever," and she starts to lose it fast, crashing down through layers into the old normal places, "my limited comic-strip world." (I remember comparing sabda 55 of the bijak to a comic strip.)
But she's never exactly the same as before and she finds a new understanding and patience with her old self.
The funniest line that made me laugh out loud was p 202, when she's describing how she is now, normally. "The sentences still form in my mind and thoughts still do their little show-off dance, but I know my thought patterns so well now that they don't bother me anymore. My thoughts have become like old neighbors, kind of bothersome but ultimately rather endearing--Mr. and Mrs. Yakkity-Yak and their three dumb children Blah, Blah and Blah."
The reason I could laugh out loud so easily was because I'd just gone to the sunday morning Gentle Yoga class at the Y, which stretches more than my muscles. Or maybe the brain is a just muscle that could use some good Gentle Yoga classes.
that's the news for today.