Jnana Yoga

With his hands again spontaneously in the prayer position he contemplated himself in the shape of the Ankh for a few moments and then the rapture subsided again. Sort of knowing that he was “taking charge” of his earthly consciousness for a while again, he went to the living room table, grabbed the first piece of paper and the first pencil that he found and carefully drew the shape he had last perceived. Picture B is a scanned copy of that drawing:        

Ankh Drawing    

                                                                                       Picture B

After making the drawing I just sat in my yoga chair for a few moments, but soon after I stood up and slowly walked around the house for a while. Then I came back to my chair only to stand up shortly after to slowly walk out into the back garden again. There was a constant thought driving my restlessness, that there were perhaps many other people having a similar experience at the same time in many other parts of the world. I felt like I was part of a graduating class, a member of a large group whose time had come to transcend the earthly plane and move forever into the spiritual Realms. I felt like part of a wonderful grand design.

Some time later Hélène walked in through the door. She seemed so innocent that day. I looked at her and she looked back at me a bit startled and asked me if everything was OK, to which I replied that yes. Later on I told her that I had attained the direct knowledge of the Self that Ramana said was in store for everyone who practiced his method. She looked me in the eye and just told me she had noticed something slightly strange in my eyes when she walked in. She did not inquire any further, but that was not unusual of her.

As the day wore off I kept feeling like I was trapped in a bundle of raw flesh and found myself totally incapable of explaining to myself what on earth I was doing on this planet and attached to this body. During certain moments, the contrast between my awareness of the subtlety of my Real self and my awareness of the gross nature of my physical body made me feel somewhat disgusted. I was not feeling very physical at all and even when Hélène tried to kiss me on the lips I backed away from her. I cannot say that my Realization had frightened me, for that would not be the exact term to describe my state of mind, but I was in a mood that involved a good level of shock. Most of all, I did not have the slightest idea of what I was supposed to do with what I had realized that day.

In the course of the following few days I thought of telling my friends about this, about our shared eternal consciousness, about the Ankh, about the Atman. A couple of weeks down the line I even thought that perhaps I should try to organize a sect or a club, where people could come around to hear the good news: “The Eternal Self is here among us, it is within us and it is accessible to all.” But in time I realized the enormity of that task and the small measure of my preparedness to tackle it. I did not think I had the wherewithal to confront the waves of apathy and mockery I would be faced with. “No way I can undertake this project and get out of it in one piece,” I thought.

So I decided to go back to school to study philosophy with the idea of finding out about any western approaches to the Self and about the context in which those approaches might have been exposed. Eventually I also took some psychology classes, as I thought that the psychological aspects involved in Ramana’s method were something worth contemplating under the light of the most salient western psychological theories. In the process I got very interested in mass psychology and later on in Political Psychology. As a result, a few years down the line I ended up getting a Master’s in Political Science, which comprises philosophy, history and political economy as well.

In time I also came to corroborate the consistency of the Ankh's form with some well established mystical notions, such as the notion of the Aura that supposedly surrounds the head of the saints and the notion of the Kundalini, or serpent of wisdom, which is supposed to run from our head all the way down to our coccids. Now I know from first-hand experience that not only the saints are supposed to have Auras, but every existing human being too and, arguably, every other possible living being as well.

As I recounted above, when I was carefully driving from Stanford University to my house right after the Atman revealed itself to me, the bubbles of consciousness that I saw enveloping the heads of the people driving by were not just “Auras” around their heads, but the upper portion of their Ankhs, which was the only portion of their ankhs I was able to see through the windows of their cars. If you look at Picture C below you can see how the Ankh’s upper portion envelops Sal’s head in the shape of an Aura. That is exactly the same way in which the upper portion of the Ankh envelopes every human being’s head.

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