I remember that autumn rained softly that morning. Warmly. That morning when I as a young man, soon to be twenty, and after a year or so of turning over rocks large and small to look underneath, stumbled upon and fell into this gorgeous truth.
It was a spiritual orgasm, this is what I told my journal later; and just like the physical orgasm always precedes birth, so the spiritual orgasm always precedes spiritual birth, this is what I told my journal later.
I can still remember swimming in, embraced by, being that wonderful light that like a fountain had exploded about my feet and shot through and up and out into heavens beyond; and equally vividly I remember what I said when I after a second, or minute, or hour—it’s hard to tell how long when time has ceased—alighted from this unbelievable flight, what I said, slowly and carefully: “Now I know.”
This was, I was convinced, Truth. The one I had looked and thirsted for.
I turned me transparent and my perceptions permeated every part of my body. I had woken up. My mind, still as a forest lake, agreed. My life, to put it mildly, had changed and would remain changed for the rest of my days—as it remains changed this day, of course.
But as time passed and gapped itself between me now and me then, swimming that light, it interposed distance between me now and me then, between the current self and what I saw as my true self; and even though the memory remained vivid enough, the experience of light drifted away, fading ever so minimally each day.
How then to get it back?
A long year of looking, reading, writing, attempting, looking, reading, writing, attempting, looking, reading, writing, attempting ensued. Nothing worked. The experience, God’s gift as I sometimes thought of it, remained a thing of the past and would not revisit me.
At the end of the year of looking a close friend, also a seeker, announced quite happily, “I’ve found the way.” He explained and explained and after more explaining I looked at him and said, “I see.”
And so, I set out on my friend’s path to recapture my truth, to relieve the experience that had so brilliantly proved that experience is proof.
Forty experience-less years later I found myself in a dark, cul-de-sac alley, finally at path’s end. I looked back: I had traveled the wrong path.
What do you do when you are aware that you have spent so much of your life traveling in the wrong direction; when you know how much time you have spent doing this but do not know how much time remains for your travels?
What else could I do? I resumed my search, that’s what I did. For the light and my words (“Now I know”) still remained vivid and strong, and even if I only had days to go, I cannot give up.
I am still searching.
Now walking the Buddha’s Path.