Cookbook for Sharing Understanding
If we're really going to share any understanding between us, we're going to have to work together and try to get to a deeper level of our own human interaction. When you sit down with someone and try to arrive at an understanding together, you may find it isn't as easy as it might seem. A simple question, what is Knowledge?, may take two of you an hour of sorting through conflicting ideas and concepts before you can come to any underlying meaning. in talking together, you may discover that there area number of obstacles to overcome before you can begin communicating on a more real level. These obstacles will come up in almost any interaction, no matter what its subject, but here are a few hints that may help you get beyond them:
1) Don't be paranoid. Relax. Maharaj Ji saw the need for this enough to make it a main point in his introduction to the IHQ conference. Fear blocks out understanding more than any other single thing. Fear of being wrong. Fear of being right, even the fear of fear itself. Open communication is the first thing we need if we're ever going to share anything.
2) Don't settle for second best. Settle only for things that really feel as though they're coming from someone's experience; and, in the same way, don't hesitate to express what you're really experiencing. You may have to dig a little deeper than you thought or be a little more honest than you thought, and you may have to pass through a layer of rock to get to it, but the true experience that we need to get synchronized with Maharaj Ji is there.
3) Say what you mean. Language is a tricky thing. When looked at more closely, so many of the deepest and most pervasive misunderstandings we have about Knowledge turn out to be nothing but reflections of the old patterns of our culture, still trying to come along for the ride. And so much of the problem we have in misunderstanding each other is nothing but our difficulty finding a language that can get beyond those patterns. We're used to "it's not the words," but when you want to share something on some levels of communication, the definitions of the words we use become critical.
4) And mean what you say. Talk is cheap. But real meaningful sharing of truth is not. If a person is sincerely behind what he is trying to express, listen. And when he has a hard time getting his ideas across, help him bridge that gap - instead of tearing apart the holes in the words he has said. Just be conscious that your sincerity is there; because, without it, all the pretty words in the world will not help get to the root of your understanding.
5) Stick to one thing. Try not to get lost in the infinite implications of the Subject you're talking about. If you start having satsang about "What Knowledge really is," you may soon find yourself drifting off into conceptual space. Stick to your subject and your experience. Be sincere in trying to move toward a greater understanding of the thing at hand. Let's get down to the real meaning of everything.
6) Listen … Be open. Develop an open ear, an open heart and an uncluttered brain. Too often, we want so much to express ourselves - whether we ever say anything or not - that we just barely catch what's actually being said. (A good experiment is to reverse whatever pattern you happen to be in: if you have a tendency to be the one who always talks, listen quietly for a change; and if you never say anything, even when you do have something to say, by all means speak up.)
7) Make stupid suggestions. Occasionally. The most profound ideas are often preceeded by, "This may sound Stupid, but …" Real understanding isn't going to lie along the pathways we already know; be. courageous and upturn an unlikely rock.
8) Ask questions. If something is going on that doesn't make sense to you and you don't try to get it straight, you're missing the point. Maharaj Ji wants each of us to understand the whole package; not just our own private experience.
9) And now for something completely different. Understanding isn't just something we're trying to get back to, though if you've had Knowledge for a while you may sense that. Understanding is something new; a discovery we have yet to make. Approach life with the proper sense of adventure. It's a process, and the more we jump into it, the better things will get.
10) Use your head. And think things out. Maharaj Ji is being very clear about this lately: it is time to separate the terms, "mind", and "brain." "Brain is a God-gift," said Maharaj Ji: a wonderful and efficient tool given to us by our creator to use. An integral part of understanding anything - including this Knowledge - is having it make sense to your head.
11) Perseverance furthers. Keep at it. Denver wasn't built in a day, and the same holds true for our understanding. All of us still have a lot to work through, and we'll have to have patience with each other's faults - and even with our own. You may have beautiful satsang with someone one day, only to see them the next day and find all the common ground you developed has once again dropped out from underneath you. It's okay, just keep on trucking. Patience is knowing that no matter how hard it seems we can rely on the power of what's really happening, on the process Guru Maharaj Ji himself is leading us through.