Goa and enlightenment: the divine earth, the third eye, and spiritual wholeness
excerpted from OM, baby! a pilgrimage to the eternal self, by Jack Haas
Many people consider Goa to be a mecca for hedonism, licentiousness, and distraction, and therefore devoid of any religious or spiritual significance whatsoever. And, to be sure, all of the aforementioned profane practices exist in great quantity in that small Indian state that is perhaps visited by more westerners than the rest of India combined.
However, I consider Goa holy. As holy as anywhere else. For how could a place brimming with thick forests, rolling green hills, endless magnificent beaches, friendly people, marvelous sunsets, and wholesome food be other than holy? In my mind Goa is a temple of the earth, not to mention a unique commingling of Christian practices hybridized with Indian devotion.
But, as I said, most people view it as otherwise.
A Latin fellow I met during our time there had been living in India for the past seven years, and had wandered as a barefoot pilgrim from holy site to holy site, living along the Ganges for much of his stay, and moving in the presence of a spiritual master for some of that time. This Latin man, who had renounced his earlier life for the higher calling, spoke with great contempt for Goa, claiming that it was an unholy place full of stupid people.
Unfortunately for him, as I know only too well, his ‘spiritual’ life and rarified contemplations had placed him outside of the flesh and the earth, and had prevented him from recognizing his own body as an inner sanctuary within this great temple of the earth called Goa. From his rarified vantage point he could see only the stupid and superfluous human activities, instead of feeling the glory of the sacred earth.
For in Goa the true sadhu does not come with begging bowl in hand, mantra on his lips, nor scorn for worldly ways on his mind. No, the true earth sadhu arrives in Goa with an awe and rapture for the beauty of this spectacle of matter. The true Goan sadhu lies beneath the warm and limitless sun, walks upon the endless, unforgettable shore, and bathes not at the holy ghats of the Ganges, but in the tropical, saline blood of the welcoming Indian Ocean.
The true, flesh and blood Goan sadhu fills his belly not with austere alms, but with a generous plate of sumptuous King Fish, washed down with a tall, cold, and bubbly Goan beer. Then he walks out into the star-riddled night, before wandering back to his hut and making love to his mate.
For it is in Goa that a person does not find God in the lofty reaches of the empyrean spirit, but instead in the dark and delicious, divine incarnation of the flesh.
This Latin fellow is an interesting example of one who has yet to build the bridge between spirit and flesh. Although in his earlier days he had lived a sensual life, had been a successful musician, and a father, he eventually turned away from it all in the pursuit of his higher calling. However, there was still a great deal of wild sensuality within him, which he repressed to his own detriment. For if he had accepted this essential Dionysian aspect of his being, as well as his eastern mysticism, he would have spanned the gap that divides Heaven and Earth, and would have become an amalgamation of St. Francis of Assisi, and Casanova. A rare, wholly combination indeed.
Nevertheless, he and I, being two imperfect blokes, enjoyed each other’s company during our brief time together.
After all, I had now fully accepted my substance, and so had unified the subtle, eternal consciousness, with gross, immortal matter. And when that is done in a place like Goa, there is nothing left to do but do nothing.
To remain in a place like Goa, where no effort is required to maintain life’s inherent needs, is to arrive in the realm of effortlessness. And since every day is like every other day, time slows down and eventually disappears altogether, as each new day blends seamlessly in with the last, and only the eternal, flowing now remains.
When such a timeless state occurs, and all unnecessary variables of life are removed, the effortless self cannot help but rise like a distillate out of the ore.
I had experienced similar effortless timeless periods in the past while camping for lengthy durations in the wilderness, or while caretaking remote coastal cabins and lodges. But now I was in Goa, living softly amidst the soft breeze and infinite ocean. And so I became like the soft breeze and the infinite ocean. Which is to say, I knew once again that it is a beautiful thing… to be. I had arrived.
To become effortless is to be the eternal, effortless self. And I was becoming more and more effortless. I was blending gently into Her.
At one point I became so consciously empty and effortless, that a cow which had been grazing nearby must have picked up on my similarly docile vibration, and turned slowly towards me with a curious look, and then meandered over as if to say “Welcome to the ambitionless club.”
This may sound like a bit of useless fable or unnecessary trivia, but the soul within recognizes the subtle yet profound shifts which transform who we once were into another being altogether. The external world may have no clue that a new person now stands before them, but the soul knows, and that is all that matters. And at the moment I- an effortful, accomplishing male- recognized effortlessness, and become effortless, an immense shift happened- I became enlightened. Which is to say, I lay down and an immense amount of energy poured in and through me; the cellular structure of my being transformed; the matter of my body entered a higher vibrational rate, as it was infused with the cosmic light from above.
I became lighter of mind, and lighter of body. My enlightenment had nothing to do with knowledge or realization, but in ‘lightening’ up, both figuratively and actually.
At the critical union of spirit and flesh, in the effortless awareness of my subtle, eternal being, my gross body was elevated energetically, and it became new. I was transfigured.
That is when I understood Christ’s statement- “If thine eye be single thy whole body will be full of light.” This is the true enlightenment, which has nothing to do with wisdom, but is instead the raising of matter to the vibration of light.
When mind and matter are one, and the mind ‘lightens up’, the body must go with it. This is the elevation of the Mother and all of matter into the higher vibrational rate of spirit.
To go down into matter, the Mother, to love Her, and to rise with Her into the Father’s light, is to become the earth ascending.
When the vibration of spirit unites with the vibration of flesh, a whole new harmony is created; a oneness containing all dualities: male and female, consciousness and matter, good and evil, self and other, macrocosm and microcosm, inside and out.
Through my male side I had received Krishna's limitless, liberated consciousness; through my female side I attained union with all matter, the Mother, the entire manifested, warm and integral cosmos. I united spirit and flesh, consciousness and form, and male and female within and as me. I became one with all.
I did not simply come to earth, I became the earth, for I found that finite, manifest existence does not confine the infinite, eternal Self; it completes it. For these two in union become a whole new third event- one great, unified, manifest emptiness.
As humanity evolves, this essential unity will bridge all divisions and dissolve all separations. This wholeness will create an all-pervasive consciousness/being, where every I is part of every other I. All of life will then be linked in a divine matrix of spirit and flesh. All individuals will then become unique patterns on the same cosmic carpet; all souls will be distinct, but not separate. One. Om, baby!
 ie: the third-eye, in which union of the opposites takes place. When the two halves of God unite within you and take up conscious residence behind the third-eye, that is when you have entered the inner sanctum. That is when you can be totally, inviolably inside yourself and totally, sensitively, intimate with others and the world.
 I once had a dream in which my anima (my inner female self) was trying to show me how to fly. As soon as she began to float away, off of the ground, she started yelling back to me- “Everything is light! Everything is light!”, and I knew that her lightness of being was directly related to ‘lightening up’, as they say. This is the enlightenment which is of the flesh, not of the mind.
by Jack Haas