There were times, events, places and people I used to know, so many years ago that – like scenes from an old silent movie – they’re mostly forgotten . But the monumental times, the crucial stepping stones along the way – those I remember vividly.
There was a lady who talked about “filling the void.” I looked into the same emptiness and felt there had to be an answer. A friend of mine was reading Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Someone else found Autobiography of a Yogi. Some were chanting mantras. Some were eating magic mushrooms, and just about everyone was stoned out of our brains at one time or another. Everyone was looking for something whether they knew it or not. There had to be some purpose to it all. I knew I had to find it, whatever it was, but I had no idea of what IT could be or where to find IT.
There was no shortage of people offering solutions to the existential quandary. There was Timothy Leary, Buddha, Jesus, Krishna, Rajneesh, The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a truck load of others, and all of their fans. Nothing resonated with me.
“What trip are you into these days?” That isn’t as cynical as it sounds. A trip has a beginning and an end. The answer I was looking for didn’t have an end, maybe not even a beginning. Maybe it had always been there. I sensed that much. I also remember a growing feeling of frustration along with well developed cynicism. One day I came across a bunch of orange people running a market stall. I stopped and asked one of them, “Why are you wearing orange?” He erupted into visible anger. Bugger! I thought they were supposed to be peaceful.
It was the 1970s, and along came yet another bunch of weirdo vegetarians revering a 13 year old kid. Bloody hell! What next? The orange mob were screwing each other silly, jumping up and down chanting “hoo hoo hoo.” The all dancing, all singing bald headed hari krishnas had a geriatric at the helm, and this new bunch of ex-hippies wore badly fitting suits, spotty ties, and badges featuring a teenage lord of the universe. One guy demonstrated his new found spiritual awareness with a full length white yoga gown. Others looked more or less normal.
Those were the conceptual glasses I wore at the time. None of it mattered. A major piece (peace) of the puzzle was missing. Without that I was always going to be less human, that is, less than what it takes to be truly human. I had little to offer anyone apart from my own blind prejudice. I think most of us suffer from the same dis-ease to some extent.
Those new folk had a quality about them that I had never before encountered. It was an undercurrent, and it barely touched my awareness at first. I was a conscious asteroid flying through a counterculture universe. Something within me scanned ‘space’ for a magnetic field with the right resonance, and there it was, at first barely registering. I began to orbit.
It transpired that there was no “Lord of the Universe.” The term was a very loose translation of a well intended Hindi term of endearment. Instead, at the center of a revolving human storm there was a young man, a teenager freely offering a gift. He was offering to show me the door to the ‘IT’ that I had been looking for, and the irony was that it had always been with me, or within me if you like. No one had to tell me. Inside that door, I knew. In the deafening silence I knew I was home.
There’s a verse of a wonderful song that I’d like to share with you, dear reader.
“The spirit ascended through the inner gate, and came to the Lord’s palace in perfect state. There the unstruck music was played. It’s sweetness removed all suffering and pain.”