Chasm of Fire: The Laughing Man Interviews Irina Tweedie
The Path of Love is like a bridge of hair across a chasm of fire.
Not long after Irina Tweedie met her Sufi Guru, he explained to her that "love is created or produced in the heart of the disciple by the yogic power of the guru." This love-relationship is the essence of the spiritual process. But such love goes far beyond the consoling "good feeling" that we conventionally associate with the term. The Guru's love is a fire that transforms the disciple, and his spiritual firelight reveals to the disciple all in him or her that is less than love. Such loving ignites in the disciple the urge to engage in a demanding spiritual struggle. As Irina Tweedie put it, "I . . . expected wonderful teachings; but what the Teacher mainly did was force me to face the darkness within myself, and it almost killed me."
TLM: Before you met your Guru, did you have any understanding of the Guru-disciple relationship?
TWEEDIE: Not really. I had studied Hindu scriptures, so theoretically I knew something about it but as we all know, things work out completely differently in life.
TLM: For you, then, the relationship was quite new and unexpected—maybe even a shock. Still, in your book, The Chasm of Fire, you mention you didn't want to know the name of your Guru. According to Sufi tradition, the disciple never pronounces his Master's name. You must have had an inkling of the profound nature of the relationship.
TWEEDIE: It was not quite so simple. I asked my friend to give me the Guru's address, and as she began to write it down, I was suddenly terrified that she would tell me his name. I told her so. "Why?" she asked, and she smiled at me. I said I didn't know. Superficially, I was afraid he was going to have some banal or very awful name. But deep down, I didn't want him to have a name or a face at all. My friend looked at me and said, "Oh, that's a sign." "A sign of what?" I asked, and she only replied, "One day you will know." The disciple never pronounces the name of the Guru and very often doesn't remember the Guru's face. This happened to me and confused me very much. I thought I was completely crazy.
But very often I dream of the feet of the Guru. I have memories of his feet from a previous incarnation, which he confirmed. Also, I saw his sandals in a dream years before I knew I was going to India. He wore an unusual kind of sandal. Those are all signs.
He didn't like to be called Guru. We referred to him as Bhai Sahib, a Hindi expression that means "elder brother." When I spoke to him I called him "sheikh," which means "ruler." He was a Master.
TLM: How would you characterize the moment when you first met your Master?
TWEEDIE: I was very confused. Something in me definitely stood to attention when I met him. I knew I was in the presence of a very great being, but I couldn't analyze it. As soon as I met him, my mind became terribly confused. I didn't know where I was.
Something very similar happened with Socrates. His disciples complained in their debates with him, "We are at a disadvantage!" because his mind was working and their minds were not working at all.
Suddenly everything goes and you know nothing.
But to answer your question properly, at the beginning I was full of doubts. I thought he was a juggler, a swindler. I knew he had powers, but I didn't know what to make of them. It was a terribly confusing situation. He was constantly rude to me, while with other people he was friendly. Of course, this made me very angry. I had no idea what spiritual life is. Here in the West we have no idea.
TLM: So the first period was one of both profound attraction and disturbing doubt. Is that an apt description?
TWEEDIE: Yes. At one point, suffering the sordid surroundings and the ill-treatment he gave me, I decided to leave. I waited for the return of my friend, who was at a religious congress somewhere in Kashmir, because I thought I would be unfair to her if I just ran away. I wanted to tell her that I was going and that I didn't know what this man was, but he was disturbing me too much. I intended to go back to London.
When my friend came and I told her my plans, she became very thoughtful. She said, "I will speak to the Guru." Later in the evening, after talking to him, she told me, "Be careful. Opportunity will come only once in a lifetime. Maybe you will wait for many, many incarnations before you meet your Guru. Or perhaps you never will. Do not miss an opportunity." That's all she said. I replied, "No, I am going away. That's all rubbish."
But I woke up in the night, and I knew that I would never go away, because if I went away I would die. Life would lose its meaning. There was nothing else for me to do. So that was it. I knew I wouldn't leave.
I told my friend about it, and she laughed. I told the Guru about it and he also laughed. And that was that.
TLM: In the period of doubting, which can last for weeks, months, or even years, in the Sufi tradition is it lawful to test the Guru?
TWEEDIE: My Guru said, "You are quite entitled to test the Guru and test again and test again. But once you have decided that he is the right Guru for you, then you have to surrender."
TLM: Did you find that even after you came to the point of surrender, you would still occasionally fall into moods of doubt about your Master?
TWEEDIE: Absolutely. When he told me to write the book, he emphasized, "Write down every doubt!" And I did.
TLM: Is doubt a peculiarly Western disease?
TWEEDIE: No, I don't think so. Indian disciples also doubt, only differently. Their minds are different from ours.
TLM: Obviously, when you first met your Guru, you weren't really prepared, just as most people are unprepared. What would a person have to do to be ready for this encounter?
TWEEDIE: I don't think one can be prepared. Obviously, my Guru expected me. He told me, "You should have come before." It is destiny. The relationship with the Teacher is from life to life. To quote him, "It is once and forever and there is no divorce." To meet one's Guru is a Grace from God. It is not an event one can accomplish.
TLM: Master Da Free John has said, "Those who belong to me were rendered to me before all time."
TWEEDIE: Yes. It is once and forever.
TLM: How much of one's spiritual progress is due to Grace, then, and how much is due to self-discipline and self-application to the spiritual process?
TWEEDIE: In this line of yoga, everything is due to Grace. He told us that there are two ways of reaching . . . I would hesitate to say Reality. I don't know how far we reach. It is very difficult to say. But there are two ways of spiritual practice: one depends on yogic power, and the other depends on Divine Power. The yogic way requires much self-discipline, and you really do it with your own energy, your own discipline, your own powers. With Divine Power, you just surrender, and you get everything.
Bhai Sahib sometimes taught yantras, which are either prayers or geometrical signs associated with a kind of magic. Some yantras are used against diseases. He showed them to me and taught me how to use them. But I have never used them, because I have never received instructions to use them.
I don't move without authorization. You see, I don't want to come back here. I remain with the Guru. I am not going to create karmas. If I am not the doer, where is the karma? If I don't receive instructions, if I don't receive an order, I don't move. People ask me for mantras, but I do not give mantras. I wait to receive orders. Sometimes people who come for the first time receive a mantra. Other people must sit for ten years and still have no mantra. I have nothing to do with it. All that I am, and this is the literal truth, is a caretaker of these premises. That's all.
One day while I was in India, a pandit said to me, "Mrs. Tweedie, why don't you ask to be his disciple? I have been initiated today."
I said, "I don't feel I should do it. He treats me like his disciple." Later, I told the Guru about the incident. He just shook his head and said, "No, don't ever ask about anything. How will you learn to become nothing if you are something, if you are a disciple?"
So we learn how to be nothing—nothing before life, nothing before people, and above all, nothing before the great nothingness which is the most absolute bliss. In the West, we think "nothing" is something awful. I disappear! I am extinguished! Yes, but how am I extinguished? It is absolute glory.
The first moment of deep meditation is the most confusing thing in the world. There is nothing upon nothing upon nothing. It is a very frightening experience of the mind. Now I would say it is the nothingness where everything is. It is the fullness where nothing exists. Those statements are absolutely correct, and they are identical.
TLM: For the Sufis, then, is the Guru necessary for the spiritual process?
TWEEDIE: Yes, because there are moments in life that require explanation. When you begin to have experiences of a deeper state of consciousness or in a different space, you need some explanation.
A person came to me one day at 7:00 in the morning, with his eyes popping. "I am crazy!" he said. "I experienced this and that in the night. I can't go to work. I am absolutely crazy!" I invited him in and made him a cup of tea. It was quite an ordinary mystical experience. But the moments of absolute oneness can be very bewildering. You really think you are crazy.
TLM: Many people nowadays are interested in finding a Guru, and some people are naturally afraid of falling into the hands of a charlatan, just as you were. Do the Sufis speak of any signs by which one recognizes the true Guru?
TWEEDIE: You do not find the Guru. The Guru finds you! It is a test. To go to India or any other place to seek the Guru is to begin at the wrong end of the stick. Your relationship with the Guru is an act of Grace from God and, above all, karma with the Guru. Only one human being in the whole world can subject you, a free human being, to what the Guru must subject his disciples to without incurring that karma himself. There is a time when the Guru must gag the disciple's will for the disciple's sake, and that is a very, very difficult moment. So the Guru must be infinitely pure and must not seek any advantage for himself—neither money nor prestige.
TLM: In your book, you describe a moment when you discovered the Guru as a Presence that was with you all the time. Did your understanding of who the Guru was change over time?
TWEEDIE: Yes. Let me answer this question by relating what happened after his death. I was extremely disappointed. I felt betrayed by his death. He took everything away from me. I was completely bereft.
Then one day the Guru came back. It was so sacred. It was so intimate, I didn't even feel like writing it down though I was keeping a diary. It was a rainy night, either in September or October. I was in a deep state of meditation, and suddenly I could reach to him. He was just there. It was he as he was in life but the experience was intensely terrifying. I was all clenched up before him. From then on I knew that what he had taught me during his life was only preparation.
Three weeks before he died he said to me, "Training? Nonsense! This is only a preparation." I was furious. I thought, "All this labor is preparation?" But after he died, the real training began in a different space of the mind on a different level of being. And of course it continues.
At the beginning, I could reach him only in meditation. But what I will tell you now is extremely esoteric. The goal of this yoga is to reach a guided life, a life that is guided by the higher Self, who is the Guru. I could reach him in deep meditation, and he was like a father to me: I would just ask, and he would respond. If I had a problem I needed only to ask for help. I would enter into meditation in the night, and I would receive a beautiful answer. Everything went marvelously well. I was very happy.
But then something very strange happened. At first, I didn't even notice it. That was the extraordinary part of it—that I didn't even notice it. There grew to be less and less of him and more and more of simply knowing. Consequently, there was less and less duality. By some incredible miracle, my mind, now used to that connection to the Guru, accepted it as part of the teaching and not as the knowledge from the mind itself. So I couldn't be proud of it. It was wonderful at the beginning I didn't notice how it worked. It was so natural, so much a part of me. It was just there.
It has gone on like that for quite a few years. There is no Guru. There is not me. I just know. The mind recognizes that the help is not from the mind. I know that it is the Guru and inwardly bow to him, but really there is no Guru. There is nothing. The states of oneness with the Beloved are unbelievable! You flow out without ever diminishing. The relationship with the Master? I don't know. There is no Master. And everything is the Master.
In this particular school of yoga, very little is imparted on the level of the mind. He told us, "If I teach you, it is like book knowledge. You may forget it. I give you experiences." Our meditation is to go beyond the mind. The mind goes. The mind is thrown away into the Universal Mind. And it is not there. It has gone home. Every practitioner knows that he or she has no mind. One is only allowed to keep a little bit of Universal Mind in one's aura for the sake of incarnation. That is all.
All those who follow this particular life meet in the night, in dreams. Rumi said, "The prisoner is not in his cell; the king is not in his palace. The soul in the night is free." We are together with the Guru. After several years, the devotee will know it. Suddenly, he will know something we did in the night. I think this is the only line of yoga where that is done deliberately. The Guru is with us in the night, and he will unite our souls with his soul.
TLM: Obviously, in esoteric traditions like yours, the relationship between Guru and disciple depends on the Guru giving of his own essence to his disciple. Master Da Free John speaks of Spiritual Transmission. What is the place of that in your lineage?
TWEEDIE: It is called "Tawadje." It is a direct transmission. We work from heart to heart and from mind to mind. It is a direct impression. The knowledge is infused, or rather reflected, into the heart of the disciple. The Absolute reflects Itself into the Creator, and the Creator is reflected into the universe. Everything in the universe works by reflection. My heart now at this moment reflects upon your heart. Your heart reflects upon my heart. Every lecturer knows that it is the audience who draws the lecture out of one. So I reflect upon the audience, and the audience reflects upon me. Accordingly, I am either a good speaker or a bad speaker. It is absolutely magical how that works.
Bhai Sahib once sent me to London and ordered me to speak about Sufism. I knew nothing about Sufism. Later, I discovered that whatever I said, it was Sufism. He had forbidden me to read anything about Sufism. But he had also ordered me to work for the Theosophical Society, where I had to review books on Sufism. As it was my duty to the Theosophical Society, I kept reading the books. So I began to read Sufi metaphysics. To my surprise, I discovered that he was absolutely, completely traditional. Every word he said was completely within the Sufi tradition—not the littlest speck to the right, not the littlest speck to the left. It was incredible. And whatever I said—whether I lectured about St. Paul or the Lord's Prayer or a book—it was always Sufism.
The traditions speak of knowledge that is not learned but that is reflected into the tranquil mind of a yogi. When I discovered that, I thought, "Well, I don't think my mind is particularly tranquil." But after five and a half years, I suppose it was tranquil enough that he was able to transmit something through me.
TLM: Testing is part of any traditional practice. The Guru always tests the disciple. In your book, you have described many different tests and periods of testing. What is the right attitude of the devotee in those moments of doubt and discomfort and other so-called negative states of mind?
TWEEDIE: Bhai Sahib used one expression: "Be like a cat in front of a mouse hole," full of infinite attention and infinitely relaxed. But it is such a difficult task that I never succeeded.
The most terrible tests and problems I faced involved the kundalini. They involved sexual experiences, which I had to control. These had nothing to do with the Guru. They were experiences of sex without any subject. The kundalini was just power, energy, upset, absolute terror. The energy is difficult for the human form to bear.
The relationship with God is an intense, spiritually sexual experience. However, the sexual energy is used not for orgasm but for ecstasy very similar to orgasm. The focus is in the throat chakra. Paintings of all the saints in ecstasy show them with their heads rolled back.
TLM: Sometimes even the facial expression is very close to sexual delight.
TWEEDIE: One doesn't know how long it lasts. In the mornings when I come around, I am surprised to the utmost each time that I am still alive. The body is stiff and curved completely backwards.
TLM: In the spiritual process, all the emotions are obviously stirred up. You just mentioned the experience of sexual desiring. In your book, you also related an incident in which you beat a mouse to a pulp in an outburst of anger. How did your Guru explain this?
TWEEDIE: This sudden anger is one of the symptoms of kundalini. At that moment, I realized with horror that I could have killed a human being. But when I talked to Bhai Sahib about it, he very calmly said, "Oh yes, those things do occur." When the kundalini awakens, one can have the most terrible moments of irrational anger. One goes beyond it, of course. Later on, the symptoms are different.
TLM: The person deals with the higher chakras?
TWEEDIE: Yes. That's right.
TLM: Your Guru often threw you very deliberately into utter despair. In fact, that seems to have been his "method" with you. He had you sit outside in the rain and so on. You obviously are not using the same method with your students. Why not?
TWEEDIE: I am not the Guru. I am his devotee, and I hope to remain so the rest of my life. The relationship to the Guru is one of absolute awe. Though I am not the Master, there are people in the world who cannot speak to me, who are afraid of me.
TLM: When people come to you, do they enter through you into a direct relationship with the Guru?
TWEEDIE: Yes. He is with us; the energy is here. We have direct access to him. Anybody here can ask for help. We do not pray to our Guru; we speak to him with our hearts. You pray only to God, but to the Master you speak in your heart.
TLM: You make a distinction in your language between disciples and devotees.
TWEEDIE: Yes. Disciples come for knowledge. Devotees come for the love of the Guru. I am quoting him. Really, one should be a devotee, not a disciple. You shouldn't come because you want something. You should come because you want to give your love.
TLM: Yet, the love in the heart of the devotee is really given by Grace.
TWEEDIE: Yes. It is given by Grace. Rabia, the great Sufi woman, said it beautifully: a man once came to her and asked, "If I repent of all my sins and look toward God, will God look toward me?" "Oh no," she said, "He must first look at you. Otherwise, you will never be able to look at Him."
TEXT BOX INSERTS from THE ARTICLE
"I became aware that I was 'seeing things.'"
One of the more well known pitfalls of the spiritual path is obsessive fascination with psychic powers and mystical phenomena. Nonetheless, even sophisticated spiritual practitioners fall prey to the lure of the extraordinary consolations of psychic development, for prior to Enlightenment the ego is always looking for ways to fortify its position. Consequently, the traditions recommend that one not dabble in these realms, except under the guidance of an Enlightened Spiritual Master.
The following account, from the unpublished portion of Irina Tweedie's spiritual diary*, records her rescue from mystical bedazzlement.
(*Since this interview the complete diary has been published by The Golden Sufi Center: Daughter of Fire: A Diary of a Spiritual Training with a Sufi Master)
He was always pointing to the Truth. In every way he was helping us all. For instance, it must have been sometime in January 1962 that gradually I became aware that I was "seeing things."
The world seemed transformed, full of light. The trees, the plants, every object had light around it—vivid light, sometimes static, sometimes dynamic and alive as in trees, plants, animals, but especially in people.
And the colours were of a purity, of a dynamism, luminous, like prismatic colours, and at the same time infinitely delicate, changing, flowing into each other, breathlessly beautiful. I saw an egg-shaped orange thing—its size must have been about two feet—jumping with lightning speed under the trees all around Guruji's garden. It could have been a nature spirit. I don't know. I saw lovely beings in the air: Some had dragon shapes, some had a vague human semblance, but all were of wonderful colours, shimmering, made of light itself. But on the other hand, I could see also black, horrid shapes lurking in dark corners or dirty places. These were sometimes attached to human beings or following them.
The world became a very interesting place to live in. I came to know the thoughts of people, the reasons why they came to Guruji. I used to tell one of his disciples who sat near me: This one comes because his child is ill, this other one because he has a court case and wants some help and advice, that man on the right is ill and hopes that Guruji will heal him, and so on . . . Of course I was delighted. Bhai Sahib did not take any notice of me, was talking to others, and I sat there full of wonder and delight, observing everything around me.
Then one day, when he turned to me and said something, I took the opportunity and told him how pleased I was that after only such a short time with him I was progressing so fast.
"Oh?" He lifted his eyebrows. "And why so?"
I described in detail what I saw and how I knew the reason why each one came to him.
He listened. His expression was that of slight irony. Then he gave me a sideways look and turned away to speak to others.
I did not notice anything at that moment. Many interesting things always happened in his presence. People came and went. So I was not immediately aware that I didn't see anything else except things of this physical world. Going home I expected to see something as of late and watched carefully but in vain. I thought that I was tired—this was the reason. It would be all right tomorrow.
But when I woke up next morning and expected to see everything bathed in those wonderful colors, I was very disappointed. The world was gray and ordinary—no more of this quality of wonder and beauty about it.
I waited. Nothing in his garden, nothing at home. My disappointment was terrible.
Then after three days of fruitless waiting, when he happened to look in my direction, I said to him, "You took it away from me!"
"Of course!" he answered quickly. "Just look at you! You were blown up like a balloon! Are you after Absolute Truth or are you after illusions? How will the self go if you continue like this?"
The heart is the psychic core of one's being, and the true sign of psychic awakening is conversion of the heart to love. Without this conversion, all psychic powers and abilities only bind the ego to a more glamorous form of limitation, suffering, and unlove. This point is made graphically clear in the following story, told to Irina Tweedie by her Guru.
My Grandfather and the Guru of my revered Guru had learned that a great Saint had come to live in a town nearby. They went to him with the intention of staying there for ten days. After four days, the Saint inquired of them why they had come and what they wanted from him.
"We have heard that you are a Great Man of our time," they answered, "and we are without guidance. We would like to ask you for a sitting, and we would like to stay with you."
After fifteen or twenty minutes the Saint said, "If I direct my attention towards you, you won't be able to bear it. My look is so powerful that if I look at a stone, I split it in two."
They went out and searched for a stone, the largest they could carry, and brought such a heavy one that they could only carry it with difficulty. It was put before the Saint. He looked at the stone and with one glance it was split in two. The Grandfather made a deep bow.
"Sir," he said, "we have met a juggler and a magician under the disguise of a Saint."
"Why do you speak like this?" said the Saint, obviously displeased. "People say that I am a Great Man."
"Surely you are a great man. It takes a great power to do such a deed. But with all your power you cannot split a human heart. We are simple people. But we can turn the heart of a human being, so that the human being will go on and on, where nobody can even imagine it." And so they left.
Irina Tweedie's time with her Guru was not long—only five short years, two and one-half of which were spent in London while he remained in India. After her Guru's death, she retired to the Himalayas for a time before returning to England. The following excerpt from the unpublished portion of Irina Tweedie's spiritual diary* chronicles the period immediately following the death of her Guru. There in the Himalayas, she came to appreciate what her Guru had given her. And as her love for her Guru was deepened by longing, she began to realize the ongoing nature of the guru-disciple relationship, which even death cannot sever.
(*Since this interview the complete diary has been published by The Golden Sufi Center: Daughter of Fire: A Diary of a Spiritual Training with a Sufi Master)
4th August 1966
When I woke up this morning, there was a great sweetness within my heart. As soon as I opened my eyes, I began my jap. And this sweetness is still with me . . .
I said goodbye to his family. From now on, great changes will be for me: a life of fire in the world. But at first there will be the silence of the mountains.
At the moment I have an intense heart activity. Each day from time to time the heart is beating and beating, and I send a mental greeting to Guruji each time it happens. I do my jap practically all the time. Guruji . . . I am so alone . . . The longing, Guruji; the longing for you . . .
The meaning of a sentence he told me not so long ago occurred to me.
"The time comes when love and faith become one and the same." It suddenly became clear that when the Master is no more, love and faith are one. So many things became clear to me gradually.
"When I am no more, many things you will understand. Now, you cannot understand. It is impossible for you."
It is just raining. That's all. The heart is so heavy, the longing infinite.
I noticed that when I do the jap intensely, the heart activity begins. And when I cry to Him it becomes unbearable.
All of a sudden I realized that though it is only four weeks since his death, it all seems so far away. Even his death is already far away. All I went through begins to lose its importance; the sting is taken out from it. After all, most troubles and suffering were physical happenings only. It was the preparation for the future. The future could be now . . . Now the Reality, the effect of it all will begin to emerge. The Longing will take me to It, the ceaseless jap . . . What he did was to clear the way. Only for that was there time. This was the only important thing, for time was short. The rest will be done now. I feel it. There are signs: The tremendous vibration in the heart is a harbinger of something. I keep remembering his words:
"You will see what vibrations will be when one realizes the Self. It is difficult to bear."
His death is far and somehow not even important. He is alive. He is in my heart my faith is taking me to him. Faith and love are the same thing now.
Before falling asleep and in the night, the longing was tremendous. So terrible were the vibrations, I seemed to suffocate. The heart is wild, going, racing, missing beats, stopping . . . racing again . . . like waves in the ocean, on and off, coming and going, all the time. The reality is the jap—the Longing, the faith.
Five weeks since you went. You are more dynamically alive than ever. Only for the moment there is great separation. I cannot reach you at all. Was that the last warning when you gave me the hint:
"When I put you in the mud, you will try to get out. The more the limitation, the greater the perfection will be. If you want to commit suicide, show me how you are going to do it. If He does not want it, how will you do it?" And he concluded that he was not only once but very often in such a state. It seems that all those hints are referring to the present state I am in now.
When I woke up this morning there was fear—I don't know why—just primitive fear at awakening. I dedicate it to you, I thought, and I will be free, immediately I was. The fear vanished as I began to do jap. Everything I dedicate to Him: my pain of separation, my resentment, my longing, my love. Everything.
My heart was melting with tenderness for Him, for His beautiful Creation.
Every movement of my heart is to You—all I think, all I feel. Enjoy
through me, I am here for You, going back to You, wanting nothing but
You, willing to do Your Will only. Take my heart! It is full to the brim
with tenderness for You!
Woke up this morning with His Name on my lips. How imperfect I am. I still have interruptions, forget to repeat His Name all day long. Then, when I remember, I bow and ask His forgiveness. How tender is this feeling of love for Him, the loveliest, the softest feeling.
There is such a deep inner joy in repeating His Name with each breath. It will become part of my being, I know.
"First you do the mantra, then the mantra does you," and "The
time will come when even love will remain behind and only One will remain,
and then even this will go; nothing will remain . . ."
By ceaselessly doing jap, one is really the whole day in meditation. Each repetition leaves a sweetness in the heart, like something infinitely dear—and becoming dearer, more precious, all the time.
There is nothing but Nothingness, nothingness in the triple sense: nothingness because the little self has to go, and one has to become nothing; nothingness because the higher states of consciousness represent nothingness to the mind, for it cannot reach there. These states are completely beyond its range of perception. Complete comprehension on the level of the mind is not possible, so one is faced with nothingness. And in the last, most sublime sense, it is to merge into the luminous Ocean of the Infinite.
I see it increasingly as the consciousness expands and the understanding deepens. One begins to see Him in all and everything. There is nothing but He. One is surrounded by Him everywhere. So one begins to surrender to Life, to people, to things, as being Him and Him alone.
Guruji, my dear, you are no more . . . no more in this physical world. But you are in my heart, and in the states of Nothingness; in the night during the deep meditation, you are with me. But you are so different now that I don't even dare to call you "Guruji." You are just a Great Power, a whirlwind which sucks up my very being, leaving nothing behind but an empty shell.
The day before yesterday it was seven weeks. There is some resentment from time to time. You went, my dear, and left me like this, alone. All I can do is cry to God. Perhaps this is the purpose of it. I don't know. I am so confused sometimes. And the heart is crying, crying . . . Perhaps this was your intention. Perhaps it is exactly what I am supposed to do.
We trust in God and call His Name. That's how we progress. Did Guruji not say to us: "In our line we trust in God only. We surrender to Him, and this is our sadhana."
But the progress is gradual. The states of consciousness change imperceptibly. I can observe it clearly.
Yesterday at about 3 P.M., tremendous vibrations began in the heart. I had the feeling of suffocation. My heart was racing. So many vibrations I have lately, so many and so strong, but this time it was really bad. I was praying—there was nothing else to do.
This morning I am alone. He is far away. Jap is very difficult. And I became disgusted with myself. Told P.
"Well," he said, "why are you disgusted? It is good to be disgusted with oneself, it helps humility. But really there is nothing to be disgusted about. It is God testing you. All is His Will. What happens inside and outside us is His Will. So why the disgust?" He was right, of course. And I put it out of my head.
All is well. He is near. Jap is easy. I do it all day long.
What a consolation it is against all the ills and disappointments in life just to repeat His Name, to call on Him. The heart is immediately filled with sweetness. It is as if my heart was carrying a sweet burden, as if it was wide open, full of helpless love. It is like a continuous call, like one single note sounding ceaselessly, a signal, transmitted on and on. The Call of Longing. Suddenly I remembered his saying:
"It takes time to make a soul pregnant with God." Pregnant with God! That's what he did all the time—nothing but that. Confused, perplexed, in the darkness, I did not see it. Somehow I was expecting that I will "get" God from him. Heaven knows how I thought of it—as a sudden realization, I suppose. But it was nothing of the sort. After purifying my heart he planted the seed. How apt is the expression "pregnant," because He has to be born within our heart. Born—born within me . . . It is only a question of time.
"And the time will come when one wishes that twenty-four hours should be twenty-five in order to love someone one hour more." How his eyes shone when he said that!