To experience supreme happiness you must wake up from the material world
n this chapter let us think about “proud wave”. A wave is the notion of a form in the ocean. The ocean is nothing but water. At times we see small waves, at times big ones. At times, we see foam, as waves go crashing against the shore. At times, we see small bubbles bursting from the tip of a wave. We look at a wave and we know that it’s part of the ocean. We know that it’s essentially water. But let’s switch our perspective for a moment.
Imagine: You are a wave called Mr.Wave. Time moves very slowly for you. Life is long and adventurous, fraught with many dangers. Next to you live countless other waves with countless shapes and names. Your life began as you split away from Mother Wave one fine morning. As you came into being, you heard monstrous, crashing, exhilarating sounds. In a joyous mood, you rushed forward, separating ever farther from mother wave. Many other waves your size were coming into existence at the same time, some bigger, some smaller. For long spans of time, you rushed eagerly forward seeking new adventures, surrounded by the sound of masses of the waves behind you and in front of you. The farther you moved and the larger you swelled, the more proud you felt of your prowess. You compared yourself to other waves next to you and saw that your crest was especially magnificient in its structure and that the sun’s rays reflected from your back with extra splendor. You saw other waves looking jealously at you. You felt sorry for them, but very happy about your own generous endowments.
The new cycles of time began. The exhilarating swelling of your waters started to slow down. You felt yourself flattening out, your speed decreasing. Waves around you warned you that the end was near. You panicked “My life is too short! Any moment now my identity will be lost. My existence will end. Oh, woe is me”
“My life, my identity, my existence” cries Mr.Waves. Its pain comes from its ignorance. It does not realize that its form and its name are but temporary manifestations of its real nature, the ocean. If it realized that it was, indeed, the mighty ocean itself, all regret and fear would dissipate in a second.Each one of us is our own little wave, proud of its shape, attached to its name and its assumed conditionings – position in life, address, circle of friends, bank account. Once we realize that our essential being is Conscoiusness, which we share with all other beings, our world view is recast completely. We realize that there is no otherness in others. We realize that birth and death are just temporary manifestations within our larger, never-changing nature. Death becomes impotent. We began to feel a profound intimacy with all of life – human, animal, plant. Each of us, if we’ve grown up in somewhat normal conditions, has an innate yearning for union with something other than ourselves. We search for a mate, we foster friendships, and we join communities and clubs in order to feel part of a larger whole. We hate isolation and loneliness, for somewhere deep inside us we feel that we belong to a greater whole.
Our life is a movement back to wholeness. Through good actions and misguided ones, we look for ways to create a greater harmony among the parts, so integral life can be experienced. During moments when our own ego is for a moment or two held in abeyance – while listening to a rousing speech, during a great patriotic parade, or while witnessing a rocket launch as we stand among thousands of others – we feel an unencumbered feeling of unity with the humanity around us. We sense, for a moment, that our name, form, and identification number fall away, and we become part of a greater consciousness. It’s an exhilarating feeling, a liberating one, for attachment to our conditionings is very constricting.
Although relief lies in nonattachment, we don’t know how to detach ourselves from the identifications we have created for ourselves, and we continue to cling to things big and small. When we do that, we’re no less silly than the wave who became attached to the gleaming surface of its exterior.