Friday, June 06, 2008

Milk & Yogurt

There is a wonderful analogy used in Brahma Samhita to describe the
difference between Vishnu and Shiva. However, I would like to steal
this analogy for a slightly different purpose: Shiva and Shakti.

Shiva is (for our purposes) the Absolute, the pre-coognitive Is-ness,
the Infinite Being. Shakti is that which arises from the Shiva - the
manifest, the relative, the objective. So, you might say they are the
"Spiritual" and the "Material" or the Absolute and Relative existence.

Shiva is pure unadulterated Milk;
Shakti is Yogurt.

What is the difference between milk and yogurt? In one sense,
nothing. Yogurt is nothing but milk, and yet milk to which a bacteria
has been added, which under fairly simple circumstances begins to
cultivate itself more and more. Still milk, but now cultivated, or
you might even say contaminated.

When people say that all is the Absolute, they are correct - All is
Milk. However, there is a culture in that milk, a bacteria, that
makes it milk and yet not milk. It is yogurt. Because yogurt is milk
and to a large extent looks like and feels like and tastes like milk,
it is easy to get confused, especially if you are continuously
experiencing yogurt and have never really tasted pure milk. For one
who knows the taste of pure milk, yogurt will NEVER pass as milk, no
matter how much others insist that it is all milk.

This culture or bacteria continues to feed on the sugars within the
milk until it is eventually all yogurt, and no one knows the
difference. This culture we now have is essentially all yogurt. No
one (or very very few) recognize that it has turned.

So what is this bacteria, this culture, that has entered into the
milk? It is the addition of Ego or a sense of individuation. It is
the beliefs and concepts which are held, the sense of "I" versus "not
I". It is the sense of separation.

There is a verse in the 2nd chapter of Gita which says, "What is
night for all beings, in that the disciplined one awakens. And that
in which all beings are awake, is night to the Self-seeing sage."
They see differently. They experience different things. Imagine that
we both look at what is agreed is a green tree, however, one of us is
color-blind but doesn't know it. One of us actually is seeing red,
not green, but all our lives we have been told that this is green. We
'know' that this tree is green, even though in reality, we are seeing
something else. No amount of argumentation is going to alter our
belief that we are seeing green, even though we have NEVER seen
green. And when the one who truly sees green tells us that we are
seeing something else, we balk, we laugh, we sneer. "How dare that
person tell me that I am not seeing green! I certainly know what
green looks like. I have seen green all my life!!" So, what stops us
from experiencing the truth of their statements? Ego, our own sense
of separation and self-importance. Our self-RIGHTeousness. We are
right, always, and because we are all equal, no one can tell me that
I might be wrong, or at least confused by my condition of color
blindness. And because we have no humility, and no real belief in a
higher power, we cannot be corrected. We will continue to go around
thinking that red is green, and wondering why we keep getting in
crashes when we go through 'green' lights.

So, how do you make yogurt back into milk. It is much harder than
going from milk to yogurt. In reality, I don't know if it is
possible. But for purposes of our story, I would say dilute the
yogurt with pure milk. Just keep adding more and more milk (pure
awareness, focused attention on the Absolute) until all the
self-sustaining and self-nurturing concepts and beliefs have been
diluted out. The more attention, the more focus, the more discipline
and dedication, the faster the process. Most want to add a cup of
milk, and say, "Hey, look, done!" But before you can blink, that wee
bit of milk has also been turned into yogurt.

Don't be fooled. Our society is turning all milk into yogurt, as fast
as it's dribbled in. And few can tell the difference. "It's all okay,
it's all milk!" Perhaps it is now all meant to become yogurt.
Perhaps tasting pure milk is meant to be a thing of the past, that
the culture of the future is the contaminated yogurt culture. But if
you ask anyone who has ever tasted pure milk, they would tend to
vociferously disagree. If you are convinced you are drinking milk,
perhaps you are right. Or perhaps you are simply not quite open
enough to consider you might, possibly, be confused or wrong. When so
many (nearly everyone) shares the affliction of confusing green and
red, who are you to trust? I mean, everyone agrees with you that
'this' is green. It's probably just fine. It's a tough situation, no
doubt. But what if? What if it isn't green at all. What if there is
an entirely different way of seeing it? Is the cost worth the Truth -
letting go of an entire lifetime of seeing things in a certain way?
Only you can answer that.

Good luck!