THE ALTERNATIVE

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THE ALTERNATIVE

 

Stone: Tanzanite

The Mantra: Vikalpa Satya Prachodayate

 

The Key:

 

Before we have done a certain amount of work on ourselves, there is always

a measure light and of darkness in all of us.

 

Which one do you manifest more in your life?

 

Each instant we must choose between striving to find out and be who we really are

or to keep identifying ourselves with our body and mind

all the way to death.

 

Choose the infinite ecstasy and wonder that the Divine offers us

all the time, the crown of Conscious Immortality,

not the world of illusion and suffering.

 

a) The Mundaka Upanishad introduces the issue with its famous metaphor:

 

Like two golden birds perched on the selfsame tree,

intimate friends, the ego and the Self

in the same body abide.

 

The former eats the sweet and sour fruits of the tree of life while the latter looks on in detachment.

 

Which golden bird do you choose to be?

Why?

The way that the Yoga Vashista put it is:

 

Man is pulled in two different directions, towards the realization of Brahman

or to the ignorant accepting the “reality” of the world.

 

What he makes an effort to realize with a great intensity,

that prevails.

 

What do you strive to realize with a great intensity?

Why?

Do you trust that it will prevail?

To which extent?

Marianne Williamson pointed out that

 

In every moment, we make a choice between the heavenly awareness

of our connection to all living things, or the hell of the delusion

that we are separate and alone.

   

The mind will manufacture according to our choice; whichever we choose, we will seem to experience.

Wu Hsin adds that:

 

You are now confronted with a pivotal choice:

 

living tossed about in various states or abiding in the Stateless.

Living in humanity vis-a-vis living in divinity.

 

Ultimately each man must make a stand.

 

Either he aligns himself with the short-duration being-ness

or with The Eternal.

 

b) As the Mystery Schools affirm:

 

The sanctuary is in front of you, the assassin behind you.

If you go on you will be saved, but

if you sleep you die.

 

Do you fully realize that this isn’t just a touching metaphor, but a REALITY?

In the Nag Hammadi scrolls the Christ says the same thing

 

If you bring forth what is within you,

what you bring forth will save you;

 

And then adds this warning:

 

But if you do not bring forth what is within you,

what you do not bring forth

will destroy you.

 

Why what you do not bring forth will destroy you?

What will you bring forth?

How?

By remembering that:

 

Every instant of our life we must choose to go deep within

or remain identified with the dream

of body and mind.

 

But if you keep doing the wrong choice,

 

you will also die when your body does.

 

Rumi expressed it very strongly:

 

The garden is home of the nightingale,

The dung heap suitable to the beetle.

 

Which one you would rather be is only too obvious.

But do you always think, speak and acted as the nightingale?

Or sometimes like the beetle?

If yes, why?

 

Do not considered it inevitable, and don’t

find mental excuses for it.

 

c) Right now, more than any other time in history,

mankind faces a crossroad:

 

One path leads to Doomsday and the other

to infinite Love, Peace and Vision.

 

The choice could not be more obvious, but then

 

why so many keep making the wrong one?

 

Because of the Veil.

As Emerson pointed out,

 

God offers to every mind its choice between truth

and repose. Take which you please,

you can never have both.

 

Again the choice is pretty obvious.

But do you always make the right one?

Those who attempt to get both end up with neither of them.

Actually,

 

it IS possible to have both, but not at first, for that is the accomplishment

of the Path, the Great Liberation.

 

d) The real Alternative is not between the spirit and the flesh but

 

between the spirit and the mind

 

for to a great extent

 

it is the mind that controls the body.

 

As the text known as The Flame and the Oil noted,

 

Each one of your acts – ample or microscopic, oceanic in consequence or apparently neglectable – is a weight or a counterweight in this universal operation –

the Supreme’s emergency.

 

According to Wu Hsin,

 

In one sense, there is an intense struggle that is ongoing within each of you here.

 

On the one side there is the attraction of the appearances. Stated another way,

it is the entrancement with the world.

 

On the other side, it is the deep calling to abide as the essential Self.

 

The victory can only go to the strongest, and the strongest

is determined by which of the two is better fed.

 

The Kabuli:

When the Kabuli was asked whether if when Jihad (the sacred war against all “Infidels”) would arise he would join it or not He found himself in a quandary: an affirmative answer, even if not followed by actually joining the Jihad, would mean sharing the responsibility for its bloodshed, but a negative answer risked to have Him stoned to death.

The dervishes of the congregation feared for His life, but the Kabuli confounded the Sheik with his reply:

 

Effendi, didn’t the Prophet, blessed be His name, said that

the most essential jihad is the one against

the Unbeliever in all of us?

 

I am already deeply and fully engaged in this Jihad, and if I left it

for the external one I would be disobeying Him!

Surely you wouldn’t want me to do that!

 

Have YOU begun the Jihad again the Unbeliever within you?

If not, why not?

It is long overdue.

 

The Veil:

 

The Veil consists also in the conflict amongst our various alternatives,

especially the unconscious ones.

 

The Dreamgame:

In the Dreamgame, the Alternative is of course the major TEST or RIDDLE, a bit like the multiple choices offered in a video game which determine which allies you will have and which enemies you will encounter in the course of it.

 

Don’t base your course of action only on your past experiences and failures, because nowadays there is a much stronger energy for transformation, for the Great Awakening, perhaps too strong at times for some, and is growing stronger still.

 

If you flow with it you will reach levels of high awareness, ecstasy

and vision beyond your wildest dreams,

 

but if too many parts of you resist it

will tear you apart.

 

This is not joke at all.

How might it tear YOU apart?

Find it out before it happens.

 

The Devil’s Advocate:

So far the “alternative” that you have “chosen”, mostly unconsciously, is absence from yourselves, countless identifications with various aspects of your self-image, conflict and suffering, wars and slavery, but it was no real choice, for it is ALL that is really there!

What gives you the illusion that you have any “alternative?

Don’t you make me laugh!

 

The Khdir:

 

This very instant the immense miracle of Love, Joy, Safety, Fulfillment, Vision

and Conscious Immortality is granted you,

 

but to abide in it we must let go of the illusion of separateness.

All, all is always granted us…Why do you keep

refusing it? For what?

 

Words of Power:

 

The only real alternative is whether to be moved by the Divine

in us or by the blind forces of our life.

 

The Alternative is very simple: always choose the Truth,

never anything but the Truth.

 

“If a man is not rising upwards to be an angel, depend upon it,

he is sinking downwards to be a Devil.”

Coleridge

 

“I have set in front of thee life and death, blessing

and cursing. Therefore, choose life.”

The Deuteronomy

 

“You must choose between total freedom and total bondage,

for there are no alternatives but these.”

The Course in Miracles

 

Living it:

From “The Quest”:

 

I have been contemplating these words of Mère:

 

“On the road of the ascending evolution, everyone is free to choose the direction

he will take: the swift and steep climb towards the summits of Truth,

to the supreme realization,

 

or turning his back to the peaks, the easy descent to the interminable

meanderings of endless incarnations.”

 

Right now, for example, I could keep working on this text, answer my Emails, meditate, go for a nice walk in the forest, make love with my soulmate and many other attractive alternatives are also there, but I no longer think of it as a choice but try to feel what I are really meant to do, what is the Divine’s will.

I have just asked Mère inwardly which of all these things I should do, and She told me…

 

to go for a walk in the forest for a while.

 

Ha ha ha ha!

 

From Vijay’s old journals – 1989 – Jaipur, India

Rezah Shah showed me his collection of antique miniatures. Most were the classic Mughal ones, but there was one representing a man drowning in furious waves, and he translated for me the two lines in Hindi below from Dayal:

 

“If the meeting with Him isn’t accomplished while alive, the contact

not achieved and the Lord not found while alive

then one is simply drowned.”

 

When I went back to my lodge yet another synchronicity occurred: I had lost the bookmark in this text of Nisargadatta Maharaj that I was reading and while trying to find where I had arrived came upon this passage:

“Without the realization of the self you will be consumed by the desires and fears that are futilely renewed. Most are unaware that it is possible to stop the pain.

 

But once we have heard the good news we must immediately put ourselves

above every conflict. Now you know that you can be free,

and that it depends on you.

 

You have two alternatives: you can be forever tortured by hunger and thirst, driven by the desire to search, seize, retain, in a game of loss and regret,

 

or go forward in passionate pursuit of the immutable state of perfection

in which nothing can be added and nothing subtracted.

 

Then the desires and fears disappear, not because we have renounced them

 

but because they have lost all sense for us.”

The Way Out:

Einstein offers a Way Out:

There lies before us, if we choose, continued progress in happiness, knowledge

and wisdom. Shall we, instead, choose death because we cannot forget our quarrels?

 

We appeal, as human beings, to human beings:

remember your humanity,

and forget the rest.

 

Can you forget all your quarrels?

Do you always remember your humanity?

Can you forget the rest?

What is this “the rest” which Einstein recommended to forget?

Another Way Out consists in always remembering that as the Course in Miracles said:

 

Each day, each hour and minute, even every second you are deciding

between the crucifixion and the resurrection;

between the ego and the Holy Spirit.

 

The way that Mooji put is:

 

Mind offers you a life with death at the end of it.
But the Heart offers you life without end.

You choose.

If you choose Heart, then you become Heart.
When you become Heart, mind will also become Heart.

But you must make the first move.

 

How will you make your first move?

Pema Chodon’s advice is:

 

We have two alternatives: Either we question our beliefs, or we don’t.
Either we accept our fixed visions of reality,

or we begin to challenge them.

Are you challenging them?

Don’t be deceived.

Follow also Rumi’s advice:

 

You own two shops,

and you run back and forth.

 

Try to close the one that is a fearful trap,

getting always smaller. Checkmate,

this way. Checkmate that.

 

Keep open the shop

where you don’t sell fish hooks anymore.

 

You are the free-swimming fish.

 

Keep also in mind this ancient Question:

 

Utram bibis? Aquam ab undam?

What are you drinking, the water or the wave?

 

Do you always choose the water of Reality?

Or sometimes the wave of illusions?

Why?

 

Never say: “I don’t know, I am not sure…”

But tell yourself

 

I choose the Truth, the only real Alternative, for I am aware

that all else is but death in disguise.

 

Question/ko’han 1 to 3:

Which is the most difficult alternative you ever had to confront?
Why?

What did you learn from it?

Question/ko’han 4 and 5:

 

None can be the driver of one’s life

and the vehicle at the same time.

 

How often, or not often, you are no longer the driver and become the vehicle?

How does it make you feel?

Question/ko’han 6 and 7:

According to the Course in Miracles,

 

Every choice we make is ultimately between

a grievance and a miracle.

 

Which one you usually choose?

If the grievance, why?

Don’t be deceived.

 

The Emerald Tablets have the last word by affirming that:

 

Man is only what he believes, darkness’s brother

or the Light’s child.

 

Come through into the Light my Children,

in the pathway to the Sun.

 

Where is the pathway to the Sun?

Much closer than you think.

How will you find your own way to it?

Read the chapter “The Sunlit Path” in this section.

There are so many paths, but the Sunlit Path is always the best alternative of all.

Practice:

1) Consider these words from The Quest:

 

In whatever way it can be expressed,

 

the ultimate Alternative is to choose between the Divine

and the dream of the world.

 

Indeed they are not mutually exclusive, for the Divine is also hiddenly here in the world, but in the Bhagavad Ghita Krishna told Arjun that he had to choose between having Himself (the Divine) or having His army.

 

His army is the world, which is still in the trance

of Maya and Avidya.

 

and if our choice is the Divine, it cannot be made once and for all

 

but must be reconfirmed each instant of our lives.

 

2) Consider also this American Indian little parable on which a shaman once told his grandson:

 

Two wolves abide in my heart. One is very negative;

the other very loving and compassionate.

His grandson asked him:

Which one will win the fight in your heart then?

The grandfather answered:

 

The one that I feed.

 

Which one do you mostly feed?

Why?

 

– Ask yourself:

 

How much and how often do I feed also

the negative wolf in me?

 

Feed the compassionate wolf only.

 

3) Meditate on these words of Mère:

 

Life is a perpetual choice between truth and falsehood, light and darkness,

progress and regression, the ascent towards the heights

or a fall into the abyss.

 

At every minute one has to choose, this is indispensable, and infinitely more so than choosing once for all between cleanliness and dirt, whether moral or physical.

 

The choice: at every second the choice

is before you,

 

and you may take a step downward or a step upward, take a step backward or a step forward;

 

and this state of choice must be constant, perpetual,

you must never fall asleep.

 

Contemplate:

 

1) These verses of Yeats:

 

In tombs of gold and lapis lazuli
Bodies of holy men and women exude

Miraculous oil, odor of violet.

But under heavy loads of trampled clay

Lie bodies of the vampires full of blood;

Their shrouds are bloody and their lips are wet.

 

Which is your inner equivalents, no matter how less extreme, of the miraculous oil and the vampires full of blood?

 

2) These verses of Kabir:

 

Where Rama is, there I am not; where I am,

there Rama is not.

This mansion is of delicate construction; there is no place for two.
While self remains, so long will there be a second:

when this selfhood is blotted out, then there is no other.

When I am not, there is but One;

when I obtrude, then two.

 

3) These verses from Sri Aurobindo’s epic Savitri;

 

On a dizzy verge where all disguises fail

And human mind must abdicate in Light

Or die like a moth in the naked blaze of Truth,

He stood compelled to a tremendous choice.

 

We assume than you are not a fool.

But then, why do you remain there?

 

Haiku:

 

Between a rock and a hard place

no shade is there from the burning sun,

no shelter from the unending rain

only a fool would ever remain there!

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