In the great house of the personality, with it’s attics and lofts and cellars there are some rooms which are habitually used, some which are seldom used, some which are avoided, and some which are locked with no access at all. Yoga training at first includes getting used to some of the less frequented rooms and learning to use what is in them. As it progresses the house owner finds he is able to go somewhere that he has avoided, and he will occasionally find some little treasure there.
As enlightenment is approached keys to the locked rooms become available. At first it may take a good deal of courage to use even the smallest of them. Because the room has been locked we do not know what is in it and the mere fact that it has been locked seems to imply that what is in it, is terrible.
And as a matter of fact when one after another these doors are opened, the experience can indeed be terrible. In a certain sense the yoga training is like a hand torch shone into a dark room which does cast strange looking shadows from the furniture and what ever else may be in the room. These experiences are referred to in some spiritual biographies and the light bearer at first feels that it might be better to go out and lock the door again.
But in the end something stronger than fear rises from the depths of the soul and the strength is found to cross the dark room and throw open the shutters. Now the sun shines in as a flood of light completely superseding the little hand held torch.
In the attempted descriptions of final enlightenment it is said that every dark place, every secluded attic, loft or cellar, every nook and cranny of the house-personality becomes transparent.
Besides the light images there are those of sound. There was something crying endlessly in one dark cellar, and something raging furiously in another but as one mystic put it “When the transformation came the voice of God was heard sounding not only from the upper floors, but sounding and resounding from the cellars”.
All the keys are now to hand and have unlocked all the doors; then they are thrown away. The path becomes no path; the many words into the voice of heaven and earth; the many ideas are absorbed into the cosmic purpose.
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© 2000 Trevor Leggett
Categories: Beginners, Buddhism, Buddhist meditation, Chan / Seon / Zen, Trevor Leggett
Love these sentiments – thank you.