Spiritual lessons: the divine flesh : burned by the Mother Goddess in Goa
excerpted from OM, baby! a pilgrimage to the eternal self, by Jack Haas
There is a fallow upheaval awakening from its dormant sleep, a raging blossom of love and unity rising out of our howling souls towards each other.
There is an apocalyptic disentangling, a galactic renovation, a novel fusion re-creating our abandoned home.
Our lives are ephemeral bridges between the eternal spirit above, and the eternal soul below. I know that, for I have learned.
My lesson came on the shores of the tropical paradise of Goa, where my soror and I had retreated as an escape from the turmoil and tension of India proper. And what an escape it was, for to enter Goa is to leave India.
We had left India, but during our exodus to the west coast of Goa I had regained the liberating effects of transcendental consciousness. And so I was once again floating in that removed state of non-being as we came upon the glorious sands of being. I had once again gone beyond the troubles and confusions of this world, beyond the attachment and the revulsion, beyond need and fulfillment, beyond worry and woe. I had grabbed hold of the sky once again, and this time I would not let go and come down.
I believed then that through the guidance of Christ and the assistance of Krishna, having crossed over to the shore of transcendental consciousness, and thus liberated from the bondage of this realm of birth and death, I would help others achieve the same, if they so desired. But, as I said, I was in for a lesson; I was soon to realize that to attain transcendental consciousness is to have attained an immensely important, incredibly subtle and profound aspect of the eternal nature of existence, but it is only one half of the coin, and without the other half, such remote and empyrean awareness is but the false redemption of a person sitting in a movie theater and feeling at peace because they are not part of the action.
This is a conclusion which only the mind could arrive at. For the person, sitting in the theater, watching a movie in which they play no part, is still a person in the theater, and therefore remains as part of the greater play of existence- the part that is the body.
Given that, my soror and I arrived in a small beach-side hamlet on the coast of Goa late one evening, where we settled into a pleasant little bungalow, and, after completing the minimal tasks required to feel at home, we fell into the gentle rhythm that is easily attainable in such seaside destinations.
As such I continued to be in the great abyss of transcendental consciousness, and therefore remained in a liberated awareness, freed from the paradigm of this world and humanity. However, I had forgotten that my body remained behind to take part in life as it exists on this great Mother Earth.
I had gone to the extreme of transcendental consciousness, to the zenith of the great liberated space which is outside of everything associated with this realm, and what happened is... I got burned. Badly burned. Literally.
This came the day after our arrival in Goa. We had gone down to the beach, laid out our giant sarong, and settled down to bask in the sun. I sat there in the serenity of liberation and detachment from this realm, and in that distant realm of consciousness I lost body consciousness and within an incredibly brief period I received the worst sunburn I have ever experienced. I got burned, burned like I had never been burned before. Parts of my body were so badly torched that I received almost second degree burns. I was aghast. I had only been out a couple of hours, the same as my soror, who had suffered none of the calamity which had now overtaken me.
The next few nights were a fit of agony and discomfort the likes of which I had never experienced before. I could not believe that I had received that level of a scalding in such a short time. But the reason for this was not simply a lack of recognition of the sun’s power, it was a disregard for the consciousness of the body, and of all matter, for that matter.
I came to this understanding on the second night of my writhing and pain. In one of the brief periods in which I had fallen into a disquieted sleep during that night, I had a quick visitation from the Goddess herself, and in that brief visit She stated one thing, and one thing only; with matter-of-fact, compassionate wisdom, She declared: “The flesh is Divine.” And then She departed, and I awoke, and understood immediately how my partisanship to the subtle, transcendental consciousness had created a massive imbalance, and the other half of my being- my flesh side- had screamed back at me with a ruthless howl the likes of which I will never forget.
Even today, when I enter into that great space which transcends this realm altogether, I can feel a tingling sensation in the exact same places where I had been so badly scorched. For consciousness, the spirit, and the flesh are intimately connected, and what happened to my flesh in Goa was a direct result of my consciousness departing from it.
I now proclaim unabashedly that this divinity of the flesh, and of all matter, is absolute. This is a reality which I had understood in the past, but the draw of liberation through the incredible release of transcendental consciousness had overtaken me, and I had left this realm like that man who watches a movie in the theater and is glad to not be a part in the action. But in fact I had not left the action of this realm, only my consciousness had left, while my body remained behind to deal with the departure.
As I have said, I had already known and experienced the absoluteness of the flesh and all matter many times, but at the zenith of liberation consciousness such things are all too easily forgotten or obscured. This is why so many things in this world become lopsided, and run counter to the needs of the flesh, the earth, and the soul, all of which are the same one thing.
The thrill of the freedom of transcendental consciousness, of being liberated from a realm in which I had flailed and struggled for so long, was such a relief and an inviting sanctuary that I was drawn like Icarus to the sun, forgetting that I was made of substance, and that the great distance I had achieved was worth nothing without a similarly profound closeness.
I had not yet merged the transcendent with the immanent; I had not yet blended the two into one. When I had rejected the Mother’s gravity back in the Kali Temple, I had created a chasm which I now had to bridge once again, for I had thought it important to escape the Mother, and it is. But I did not know that in the love bridge between spirit and flesh, you cannot escape from Her, you can only escape with Her.
by Jack Haas