WHAT DO YOU mean by relationship – relationship to what or between whom? What is relationship?
Relationship is the state. It is a noun. Look it up in the dictionary. It will define relationship as “the state of being related.” It doesn’t say to what. Relationship is not in motion, it is not looking, it is not craving. It exists in absolute stillness without any source and without any object. Relationship is not to anyone or anything; it is not between any two. The mysterious alchemy of that stillness is this— by not being related “to” or “between,” relationship becomes the expression of everything. Relationship is not to totality, it is totality. This is why so many mystics have discovered that the limitation of worship is that they must maintain the separation from that which they love.
Then what do you mean by the addiction of separation?
The mystic is tempted by his love for God, even after he discovers that maintaining that duality separates him from the totality, which, of course, is the manifest God. So the poor mystic is in a real dilemma. He’s been fasting and praying and doing all kinds of austerities for all these years. He loves his God with all his heart. He prays to God every hour of every day. God returns his worship with words of love. One day he asks God for insight into the nature of the absolute and the boundaryless nature of life is revealed to him. God shows the mystic that the God he worships is the mind’s projection. God shows the mystic that there is no mystic who worships, and no God to be worshiped. There is no separation. There is no difference. The mystic is in rapture. He calls to God his thanks, his praise, his everlasting love. But, there is only silence in response.
In the mystic’s realization of nonduality God has vanished.
So, after a very long night of consideration of the unity of life, the mystic calls to God once more. This time he asks for one last boon. The mystic asks God to take away the knowledge of that true nature of life and to return as his object of love.
Of course the boon is granted. The mystic once again can worship his God. He soon forgets the totality.
In our lives we have built our social constructions around our separation. These are the concepts through which we organize and communicate our reality. We have forgotten the totality of our existence, and yet the pain of our lives, the gnawing emptiness, and the compulsion to fill that emptiness, are reminders that there is something beyond separation. But we can never remain still enough to see what is beyond. We can never quiet our minds or our lives. We are addicted to separation.
You talk about the fear of the unknown being the projection of the memory of our failures, our hurts, our anxieties. Don’t we learn from our past experiences? Isn’t there a difference between irrational fear and knowing that when I touch a hot pan I am going to get burned?
We are not talking about knowing not to touch a hot pan. This is information, not fear. We are not even talking about the caution of touching a pan because it may be hot. This is intelligence.
We are talking about what the mind does with this information as it searches endlessly, relentlessly, for the action that will have no possibility of touching a hot pan. We are talking about the mind that projects the possibility of a hot pan everywhere.
The mind has developed as an instrument of survival. It calculates the likelihood of survival in each action. This worked well thousands of years ago on the savannah. There we had to get to the tree with the fruit before the lion got to us. Our minds calculated. The good minds made it. The not-so-good minds got gobbled up by the lions. The good minds reproduced and got better.
Now this mind has developed into a monster. It cannot stop calculating whether or not the lions are going to eat us. Of course, there are no lions. There are automobiles going through intersections, checkbooks to balance, phones to answer, planes crashing, MTV, fast food— in short, an accelerated world where we don’t know friend from foe. We can’t tell where the lions are. We can’t tell where the pans are, let alone which are hot. Our minds are trying to calculate our survival under the crushing weight of information overload.
Faced with this overload the mind projects danger everywhere. It becomes neurotic. It lives in fear. It no longer knows what it fears. It doesn’t make any difference. Fear ensures survival, and survival is the mind’s game.
You say that our biggest fear is the fear of death. Is that true for very religious people who see death as the passage to eternal life and happiness or whatever their beliefs may describe?
For those, the fear is the loss of their belief system. The identification with their beliefs has become so strong that the loss of the belief system is their death. Fear of death is not just the fear of the death of the body but rather loss of the identification with a center.
For most of us that identification is primarily with our body, and so death of the body is the threat. But for some there is primary identification with ideology. And for many the religious belief is an unexamined conditioning or a backup plan to a life lived entirely materialistically.
Being One: Finding Our Self in Relationship