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Long ago, the vast surface of the planet of knowing was a desert, in which the uncounted millions, even billions, of people moved about in a stark, wasteland existence. They panted out their lives amid sharp stones, poisonous creatures, glaring sun, searing hot sands, and here and there a magnificent mirage. Occasionally they chanced upon temporarily thirst-quenching, stagnant pools. Only a rare few knew of the possibility of finding springs of pure, clear, cool water at unknown depths, if one were but patient and persevering in digging for them. Someone had even once mentioned a tradition of teachings in such diggings, a master digger, and a great underground river or sea. But such myths were thought to be for children and idiots only. Most of the frantic desert wanderers, on hearing talk of such things, said that the only important consideration was how to obtain moisture by the simplest available means. After one had drunk from the shallow desert ponds, they contended, one’s thirst, at least for the moment, was satisfied; and that was that! Then there was simply no reason to dig down to any depth for other water than that readily around at the surface. Such ponds seemed just fine to those who had tasted nothing but the stagnant, slime-covered, muddy waters. Indeed, to desert wanderers, a tiny, drying, putrid puddle was an oasis.

And so a man of the desert looked compassionately at a fellow working fiercely just over there in the dunes, heaving away great basketfuls of earth and sand, and said to him, in great kindness, "Now, come along, my poor, tired friend. Leave off your hopeless digging, at least for awhile. Here, look! I have filled you a cup of my pond water and have even picked out the bugs and filtered it of all but a tiny, brackish residue. I can tell you are thirsty! Leave off your digging. You see it gets you nowhere, either in this world or the next. Come! Sit! Drink! So long you have held out! Already you have proven your strength, your faith, your courage. But that way leads now only to further futility. Your cup is waiting, brimming full. Soon your ardent diggings will be to you but a distant memory, devoid of even a little of this strange nostalgia for cool, deep waters to which you keep referring. Here! We shall put up a plaque by your diggings so all may see what perseverance you have shown, but be warned away, of course, from wasting themselves on such pursuits."

The young digger listened well to these words and considered them all that day and the next and then, as night fell at the end of another fruitless day of digging, he descended the dune and approached the oasis. The man of the desert saw his return and prepared everyone for a welcoming celebration.

"Welcome, my young friend!" he said, heartily embracing him and clapping him on the shoulder. "You see, we have killed the fatted calf in your honor. You may have the hand of the fairest of my daughters in marriage. Join with us and cast off your weariness and the foolish dream that caused it." Long into the night there was dancing and festivity. The crude wine presses and primitive perfume distilleries worked overtime for the occasion.

And so they killed their healthiest starveling creature. Its few drops of blood clouded the pool. And they crushed and crushed their tiny, shriveled raisins until they’d made a sugary wine of them that fed their thirst for more and more. The husks and dregs they cast to their gods, mounted there in the noonday sun on stalks of bone. These grinned into eternity their empty smiles, gazing on nothing from hollow sockets.

It was the first of many fine parties. Few noticed the hole left off in the distance, with its little hill of diggings.

One day, after a windstorm had swept away the last of their gods and scattered upon the thirsty desert all trace even of their whitened, brittle frames, the hole was gone as well.

The sun rose. The desert drank with an insatiable thirst. Another band of scrabbling wasteland wanderers found a tiny, stagnant puddle of an oasis and rejoiced. They killed one among them in grateful sacrifice. They found a strange, indecipherable plaque one day and marveled at its mystery.

Thus for many ages there scuttled and scraped about the tiny pond a thousand bands of wanderers. In each there were but one or two, and sometimes none at all, who had a weird fascination for digging and who talked of pure, cool water if one could only reach it. But, of course, it was folly; and all at length gave it up and returned to the stagnant pond.

One morning a young man awakes from a night’s fitful, dream-filled sleep ‘neath the overhang of rock, beside the desert oasis. It is still dark except for a little brushstroke of lighter blue on the horizon.

Of the latest little band to find the precious, putrid pond waters, only he is awake. For some time now, he has been in the habit of quietly going out, quite early, before the others are up, and of heaping the sand into a basket, then carrying it patiently, little by little, up out of a gradually deepening hole he is digging.

This morning he feels particularly confident and glad. He does not know why the digging seems to make so much sense to him when others think it so foolish. He has no notion why for him there seems such a longing for pure, cool water. But each morning finds him again trotting off to his diggings.

This morning is definitely special. He does not know quite how; but from last night there is one dream that stands out, that he can almost recall, that leaves its traces in a feeling of happiness this morning, a vague, shimmering memory of deep, deep diggings, of magic, and of some other person...oh, if only he could recall!

Now he is almost running in his eagerness to get back to the digging. Once at the hole, he looks down in the moonlight, leaps over the smooth edge, begins to lower himself, and reaches for the bottom to get another basketful of sand. Suddenly he is astonished to see that the hole is far, far deeper than he had left it last night and that there is a light glowing up from the depths below. And there, dim in the distance, some other digger labors tirelessly on. As he looks down into the long, crooked tunnel the hole has become, the digger below looks up, smiles most radiantly, and beckons that he should come down and join him. Warily, he searches for safe footholds and handholds and begins to let himself gingerly down.

As he gets deeper and deeper he continually looks down for reassurance from the master digger, still tirelessly working on the deepening hole below, which now stretches on and on beneath the surface. And as he descends he begins to feel on the sides of the hole an earth-moistness he has never experienced before. Here the water seeps right out of the very stones he uses to clamber down. He continues. Now all about him little rivulets cascade over the rocks in a rush toward the bottom. The glow from below here affects the earth, the rocks, even this magical water. He tastes it and nearly lets go his hold at the ecstasy of such fresh water as he has never known before. His body too is changing and grows lighter with each step. And the dripping of springs produces an enchanting sound that fills him with joy and draws him onward.

At last he stands before the other digger. Beside them, and stretching off into the distance, is a mighty river of such majestic brilliance he finds himself utterly without speech. And in the glow is blended a sound more wonderful and beautiful than he could ever have imagined. He gazes in awe at the digger who has brought all this about, who has lit the way, and has led him here. And suddenly, in the digger’s face and loving eyes, he sees all he has ever wanted or needed to know.

Yet still, he starts to ask, to be certain...but before he can even voice the thought, the digger raises his hand. "No," he says quietly. "You will never have to go back."

He shows him a great ship which they quickly climb aboard. And as the master digger releases the last line, so that the craft races along over the brilliant waves, he turns to the young man and says, "Let’s be off! We’re going home."

15 JUL 74 - Today is the first anniversary of my initiation into LW. Thank you, Maharaji!

26 JUL 74 - Last night I had my first good meditation sitting in several months.

11 AUG 74 - The past week has been one of the most difficult in my adult life. Besides the continuing heat, making both meditation and sleep so difficult, I had visits from my sister, Alice, my (younger, but) oldest brother, Ralph, just in from an eighteen-month tour (for the Air Force's intelligence service), in Italy, and from my sister-in-law, Eve, and her son, Hank, my nephew. The visits turned out to be completely exhausting. Both women are apparently on the verge of leaving their husbands. Alice seemed terribly tired and depressed, saying she really did not feel like doing much of anything during her stay, remaining in bed till after I'd gone to work, though I could tell she was just pretending to still be sleeping. Hank was tired and unhappy much of the time and got into everything and was cranky. And Ralph and Eve felt they had found true love in each other, despite Eve being already married to another of our brothers, Ron, and Ralph having, supposedly, the same strict LW moral precepts as I. Incredible! It turned out that these two had been corresponding secretly, for several months, while Ralph was still overseas. He had proven quite sympathetic to her anguish over an apparent affair of Ron's. She had also found in him a sensitive, positive response to her intentions to take on the rigid, religious framework of the Jehovah's Witnesses. I suppose Ralph saw this option as one somewhat akin to LW, in its severe restrictions and self-denial, and felt this was all to the good. They had, separately, invited themselves to join me for several days in Virginia, neither disclosing in advance that it was also a rendezvous, in essence a long date! I was a nervous wreck once they had all left. I guess they felt it was best to get away too. I had not been shy about expressing my many misgivings about their various circumstances and the decisions it appeared they were making. (Feeling that what Ralph and Eve were planning together might have significant repercussions, but realizing they were not about to listen to my counsel on the matter, all I could do was urge Ralph to write to Maharaji concerning the issues and to follow his guidance. This, at length, he agreed to do.) Whew! They have finally all departed now. I have just seen Ralph off on an early morning train taking him eventually to his new military posting, in California. Being alone never felt so good!

13 AUG 74 - The pressure under which I work in my job, which is for the most part felt to be pointless, combined with the nuisance effect of neighbor noise, car troubles, my present distance from many really good initiates in The Lifestream Way, and the absence of close loving and companionship, go together to keep me nervous, tense, anxious, angry, keyed up, on guard, and restless much of the time. In the face of this, meditation and "submission to Maharaji" seem to be rather indirect solutions. Looked at in one way, it seems almost cruel, when one is in pain, to tell him not to try to stop the hurt but instead to just "be still within" in the midst of it.

And yet, from another perspective, it is very much to the point. One must learn that the painful fire that is raging is inside oneself. The outer winds of destiny are simply fanning the flames of the fire that is already roaring out of control inside. There is nothing wrong with the fire itself. It is, rather, that this energy, this heat, is not channeled or focused. The holocaust within is our greatest hope! One day we may learn to use it like a giant blowtorch. The fire can not be smothered or put out by repression or oblivion. But eventually it may light our way and propel us onward to the very highest regions or states of awareness, and burn away each obstacle in our path with an intense, laser-like beam. Yet, for now, it continually sends us painful signals that things are not right. We look "outside" at the spontaneous combustion that seems to be raging all round us. And with our attention thus scattered "without" we ignore the great cracks in the shielding of our own inner "atomic pile," the fantastic, wasteful spewing out of deadly "radiation" in all directions from the white-hot core of energy, the very source of our being, which seems negative simply because it is not channeled or put to proper use.

16 AUG 74 - I once heard a scholar of philosophy who was teaching a course on death. He seemed to know most all of the pertinent viewpoints on this subject. He went on and on, putting up and tearing down one after another theory about death, until he seemed, logically and irrefutably, to have eliminated all possible arguments for any real form of persistence in consciousness beyond our own individual existences here in this world. So then, in his last session, he asked this question: Is there any possibility left that may reasonably permit us any likelihood of life after death? Yes, he said. There was perhaps one, which had yet to be examined. All of the previous theories had depended upon the existence of our living bodies, finally, as their foundation. One way or another, each was tied to that body. So if the body perished, the theory for life after death perished as well. But, in this last possibility, it was related that by now there were a number of records of experiences that could not reasonably have been had with the individual a complete prisoner of and ultimately bound to the body and its fate. In these there was not only some evidence that states of consciousness exist which are qualitatively and quantitatively greater than our own ordinary bodily consciousness, but also some evidence that on rare occasions individuals had a persistence of awareness at a very high level, despite the apparent loss of life and consciousness of the body itself. On being revived and returned to the land of the living, sometimes they could relate things from the dwelling-place of the dead. He said that, at this time and on this point of research on this subject, philosophy stops and must admit its ignorance. From now on, then, it is up to the individual student to carry out his or her own personal research, to go to the laboratory within and test and see if this thing can be true. I am sure that, if we test within and find that we can indeed go beyond this body, then we shall also find, waiting for us beyond the land of the living, at the entrance to the vast realms of the dead, we shall find our lovely and loving Maharaji. We shall realize that we have not been lied to all along, and that in LW, at last, we have been given that which is true.

I am a strange collage! One part of me is a celebrant of the path of LW and a singer of "songs" for Maharaji. Another is unmoved by this path and would rather celebrate this world. Another yet is a cold cynic. Another is a stoic and existentialist, yet in resigned despair. Another seeks inner realization for its own sake and not from any spiritual context, just for what is intrinsic to the meditation, free of expectations for specific results. Yet another feels simply defeated by life and wants nothing so much as the sweet solace and completeness of oblivion. I wonder how we shall "all" find resolution, what will happen in the end!

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