The Enigma of Deep Sleep – 15
The Fourth Quadrant – (A Taste of) Awareness:
Were you in love any time?
Had you ever had a gnawing feeling of ‘lack’ for something?
Did you experience those indefinable pangs of sweet pain and longing to be in close proximity with the object of your love?
Does not matter what it is that made you to pine for it. It could have been a particular model of a car or an intense desire to visit a place or the attractiveness of the other person. Or it could have been even the deity, your personal or favorite god or goddess.
You feel a passionate yearning to be with the cherished object – be that may a thing, a person or a God. You desire to tightly hug or possibly meld into it, and close the gap of perceived separation between you and the object of your adoration. You like to erase the distance between the two of you. You want to unite with it. You want to be one with it. You want to merge in it. You want to forget your ‘personality’ and dissolve your ‘sense of separate self,’ into the object of your worship. You wish that all the borders that set you apart as a distinct ‘person’ should just evaporate.
Love for many of us is a feeling that defines the way “I” connect to the “other.” We usually conceive it to be a parameter that governs the relationship between two human beings or a person and a thing. And mostly it is seen as an obsessive feeling mixed with deep emotion. Our culture glorifies such an emotion; poets write sentimental ballads; composers make soulful music; singers render melodious tunes; writers and artists immortalize it through their stories and paintings or sculpture. Love triangles and quadrilaterals, jealousies and cheating are the standard staple for cinematic drama, novels and even myths.
But we often wrongly define what love is because of our misunderstanding. Youngsters mistake their testosterone-driven lust to be love and some romantics project their infatuation as love. The much admired mother’s love for her new born and the young ones, pardon me for saying it, is also a misnomer. It is actually the natural protective genetic instinct of the mother, driven by the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin, in the interest of the propagation of her progeny. Quite often we also see that what we name as mother’s love is a feeling of possessiveness on the part of the mother for her little ones. If it is truly an expression of selfless Universal love towards one and all, the mother’s love would not have been confined to her own offspring! As people age and become more and more dependent on one another, a bond gets developed between any two mature adults. Even this relationship cannot be called strictly as love. It is a reflection of their growing mutual dependence because each one is in need of the other, once again the hormone oxytocin playing a role in sustaining the attachment between the two.
Therefore, much of the claptrap that usually goes by the name of love is emotional stuff that belongs to the domain of the emotional mind and it is not, really speaking, true Love!
Please appreciate that whatever I stated above should not in any way be taken as a condemnation of the affectionate relationships between individuals. Nor is it a denigration, even remotely, of this emotion. I do not even suggest that such a relationship is of an inferior variety. These feelings have undoubted value and possess irrisible significance in the maintenance of a sane order in human interactions. They contribute enormously towards the sustenance of a healthy society.
But what we are discussing here is pure philosophy. You may call it utterly theoretical; but let us persist with the arguments and see where they will lead us to. Bear in mind, after all, that we are talking here with reference to the Fourth Quadrant and we know that the emotions and feelings that exist within the realm of mind cannot have any meaning in this quadrant. Because the mind itself is either non-existent or inactive and at complete rest, emotional feelings that pertain to the mind are obviously of not any relevance for consideration by us when we are discussing the Fourth Quadrant.
Love, as we understand here in the Fourth Quadrant is not something that links one entity with another. It is not a relational parameter.
Love, in fact, is the absence of “otherness.” Love is that indefinable quality of complete Oneness. There is no sense of a separate ‘me’ existing here screening, judging, allowing or disallowing some other person or thing distinct from me to appear. Love is like the open space that welcomes all. It is just letting everything ‘be’ with a deep sense of acceptance.
No, even to put it that way (as said in the last sentence in the above para) is also not correct because the word ‘letting’ implies a ‘me’ giving permission to a separate ‘other’ to arise. There is no sense of a ‘me’ or any ‘one’ allowing things to happen. ‘All things happening’ is All That IS.
And ‘All That IS’ is what ‘you’ (or “I”) really constitute. Yes, It is the Totality, a seamless Oneness, without divisions in It, is what ‘me’ is. I am not the Witness to what is happening. The entire Universe of happening is Me. “I” am the Infinite Universe.
Fig. 1: Teraacotta Lamp Shade (AkAsh dIp)
The “I” in each one of us, the “I” which we mistake to be finite and confined to a separate puny body-mind is, as a matter of fact, is non-local and has no dimensions. It is like the opening, a hole within the clay lampshade (See Fig. 1). What is the hole actually? It is the open space and the space itself has no limitations. Space itself extends to infinity. There are no bounds to it. And Love is like the luminous Space illuminating everything and everywhere equally. The limiting boundaries belong actually to the lampshade and not to the hole-space which is just like a portal, a doorway to the Infinity. Multiple portals may be present but the Space and the effulgence is One without breaks or parts within it much like the light of the lamp inside the shade.
What happens if you attribute the limits of the hole to the open space and consider the space to be within the hole? Each hole would then appear to be a separate entity. Each hole sees a limited world - a world that is visible within the area illuminated by the narrow beacon of light passing through it.
Now let us get back to the opening paragraphs.
The intense pangs of love and the pining to melt away into the ‘other’ attain fulfillment, as we noted, only when the ‘distance of felt separation’ between the two entities is eliminated. The open space which appears to be contained within each hole in actuality is never ever separated.
The sense of one hole-space being separate from the space in another hole arises on mis-attributing the limitedness of the hole to the open space within. And if you note carefully, the space is not within the hole. The holes are within the open space! The limits belong to the hole and not the illumined space which is infinite.
The mind, when it is present (the two upper quadrants of our Four Outcomes Model), plays the role of the lampshade with the holes. The mind divvies up the one ‘Whole’ and shows a limited view of things that come within its purview like the light that comes out from each hole illuminating only a part. As and when the mind breaks up the holistic oneness apparently into unrelated separate entities, it gives birth to ‘desire’ – a feeling of ‘lack’ for something or the other. So the sense of separation and desire are like the two sides of a coin. Desire is the craving for the other so that the gap of separation is closed. And as long as the mind acts with a sense of a ‘me’ separating all others as ‘not-me’, desire simultaneously arises. So the innate wish to merge with others in order to get back the oneness, overcoming the mind-caused separation, is the ‘driver’ behind desire.
Thus, Love is when there is an absence of ‘distance’ between entities.
(To Continue …… Part 16)