I may be skeptical, but I can still long

Author: David Christopher Lane
Publisher: The NEURAL SURFER
Publication date: August 1997

E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at dlane@weber.ucsd.edu

I want to go back to the home base now.

SHIV WROTE: The following is from page 211 of the paperback edition of "Radhasoami Reality": -------------------- "A student in souther California had no such [out-of-body] experiences but felt a deep spiritual emptiness that he knew would be fulfilled by a remarkable person. He formulated a set of expectations regarding the perfect teacher and the perfect teachings and went to meetings in the late 1970s to hear touring Indian religious masters.* He was determined to find one that would meet his measure, but each seemed limited and unsatisfying. One day while talking to a friend in a restaurant, a passing waiter said, 'Just remember 'Radhasoami.' The next day, in a different restaurant, he heard the phrase again, and when he asked the owner what it signified, the owner produced a picture of Charan Singh. As soon as he saw it, the Californian instantly recognized him as the one for whom he had been longing. The restaurant setting and the mysterious waiter are characteristic of two motifs in stories of this sort: a public location and a chance meeting with an unusual stranger. * [footnote] Among the less esoteric requirements exacted of this ideal master was that he would be vegetarian, not charge fees for his services, and wear his hair and beard uncut (Interview with David Lane, San Clemente, California, August 14, 1988). ------------- Dave, how does this incident, which suggests a fateful intersection between the disciple being ready and the master appearing, via a slight bending by consciousness and/or karma of the usual rules of nature, fit into your present understanding? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Thanks so much for your note and for the above excerpt. It is really quite refreshing for me to remember these moments as they are very close to my heart; it also gives me a brief respite from my "skepticism"! I was, as you can imagine, a peculiar kid and I had a deep longing for something which I defined in sacred terms since I was about 6 or 7. This longing increased each year until I was 11. That year I read AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A YOGI. This book, coupled with some other events, had a tremendous effect on my search. I began to formulate an idea in my mind that there could be such a thing as "living" saints or gurus. I started reading anything I could on the subject. I practiced yoga at 12; I prayed; i fasted; i meditated; i read the life of Buddha, of Krishna, went to various centers, interviewed different teachers, etc. By the time I was 15 I had an unusual and traumatic (in the good sense) experience after I spoke in Tongues at Loyola University without having a clue what it was or even having a desire for it. The experience (neurological or mystical) turned my life around and focused my search even more intensely. By the time I was 16 I had met Yogi Bhajan, practiced kundalini yoga, hung out at the Bodhi Tree, Vedanta Temple, saw Franklin Jones' first bookstore.... etc., etc.... But I felt disconnected on a deep level and kept my search..... Well, I don't want to detail this too much, but it so happened that at the age of 17 I found out about Charan Singh. I had prior to meeting him developed a peculiar set of standards, most likely derived from associations with different groups/paths/books. These were as Juergensmeyer cites them. Yet, none of these criteria mattered when I saw Charan Singh's picture...... It is a deeply personal story for me so I won't go into any more details, but will go right to your interesting question: I think this life right now is a very very weird one, whether it is purely the outcome of infinite chance in infinite universes or whether there is some cosmic design....... In either case, falling in love is a magical event (even if the circumstances leading up to it arise from purely algorithmic processes). Magical in the sense that it betrays reason and contradicts, at points, a purely rational understanding. This does not mean, of course, that love is supra-rational, but only that it resists (for whatever reasons) being explained away in such terms (even if those terms are indeed correct, accurate, and right on). Simply put, I fell in love and that love has defined me now for some 24 years. Do I really know why? Do I really think it was because of karma? Divine providence? Random chance? ------- My rational self can see lots of purely algorithmic avenues to explain the circumstances behind my fall in love and I am quite content to accept this explanation. As I have said before, surfing may be a purely physical event but I enjoy it as if it were God's sport. Or, in this context, it may well be that my love has a very simple neurological/sociological interface, but I enjoy it as if it were a Divine rupture. As I was saying to Aaron tonite, it is really more impressive, more startling, more awesome to think that this is the only life we will ever live in all the known and unknown universes. What a truly amazing thought: "I" am alive for just a brief flash................ witnessing a drama that both precedes and exceeds my ability to grasp it..... From an infinite spring of nothingness, to a flash of "THIS", back to a well of infinite nothingness............ Unbelievable! Okay, say the opposite: life is the manifestation of some deeper, hitherto unexplored, spiritual principle (whatever it may be), and here this "I" arises in a certain matrix to ponder a universe which also does the same: transcends my notions to fully grasp it. Unbelievable! ----------------- And in the midst of all that I fell so deeply in love that to this day I can't stop thinking of the times I was in India or England with him. ------------------------------ And if one were to say, "But, Dave, it was only a physical thing...." I wouldn't be saddened one bit....... What an amazing thing this material can weave! I never get saddened thinking that ocean waves are nothing more than transformed salt water..... I only think: what an amazing tapestry and what an amazing roar...... ------------------------------------- I think you know my answer by now: I can see some most definite algorithmic causes behind my magic meeting with Charan....... But regardless of that, I dance in that magic all the same. Indeed, the more concrete the explanation, the more awed I am. ------------------------------ Any mother knows that..... The baby came from HER womb and yet she is wonderstruck. ------------------------------- Karma? Destiny? Chance? ------------------ Yes, PURE luck....... I was just fucking lucky. ------------------------ forgive me for rambling, but your question brought back some nice memories............. I may be skeptical, but I can still long. ----------------------------------

E-mail The Neural Surfer directly at dlane@weber.ucsd.edu

I want to go back to the home base now.