Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Union and the Pain of Separation

The Sufi longs for the Friend, for God, with all her heart.  She would give up everything for just one moment of union.  She turns and dances and sings just for Him.

It is now clear to me that the fire of my devotion to the teacher or the guru is really a longing to Merge.  I would line up to come before Baba Muktananda.  Every time I saw him, I would cry.

“Baba, why do I cry every time I see you?” I asked.
He looked at me with such sweetness, saying, “It is love.”

Oh, the eyes of the teacher through which comes the light of God, the awakening to the Absolute!  To look into the eyes of the teacher is to see sweet, human loving.  And also the deep darkness of infinite space and time: unfathomable, impersonal, penetrating to one’s very soul.

So I know the longing to be at one with the guru or teacher, and at the same time, the pain of separation – the seeming isolation from the Other, as we exist in separate bodies and experience.  The pain of separation and the longing for liberation are the same.  This is the play between guru and disciple, between the teacher and student, and between God and the lovers of God.

I thought that because I have always had a living teacher that somehow my husband – who is a great lover of Jesus – would have it easier.  After all, Jesus is in his heart.  It seemed to me that this was already the union of the inner and the outer.  But no, he said that he also feels this pain of separation.  I was amazed. 

“Does that pain ever go away?” I asked him.

“No,” he said, “And you do not want it to.  The pain of separation is awakening.”

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