30 April 2011

The death of the ego

Let me ask you a question. How can that which does not exist, die?

Probably because of Ramana's extremely well known recounting of his enlightenment experience which he perceived as a physical death, it has become quite common to accept that the entity known as the ego, I, or me, must "die" as part of the awakening experience. 

At least this true in some Advaita circles.

However, if we examine his experience closely, he talks about an imaginary death of his body, and does not relate the death experience to anything deeper, such as the I, or me. In fact, he talks about the primary experience to be sought in self inquiry is the I-I experience, the feeling of the connection between the small I of the person, and the Self. So the small I experience is a feeling, not an entity, and feelings come and go.

Robert Adams when he talked about his awakening experience, talked about his sense of self expanding until it filled and was identical with his perceived universe. There was a merger with the totality of his perceived universe, but he never mentions a snuffing out of anything. That is, he saw his essential nature as being merged with the totality, then he returned to ordinary consciousness, but with the fantastic knowledge that he was not human, or a body.

The old-school Buddhists, the Theravadins, talked about a "snuffing out" of desire, becoming an empty vessel. But in Buddhism, there is no self to die. Desires and vasanas are to be rooted out through prolonged practice, but there is no self to die. The self is no more than a collection of thoughts, emotions, images, loosely held together in the mind.
Nowhere in Zen to find the concept of the death of the ego. What you do find is an emphasis on embracing of the totality of the moment without interference of the mind.

In a book by David Godman, there is a story mentioned of how Nisargadatta accepted a student known as Rudi as completely enlightened, and showered praise on him. In the story they bantered back and forth until Nisargadatta asked him a question, "Awakening is not really complete, until you die, don't you think?"

Rudi's response would be my own. He stated, "How can you talk about such things? It's all illusion, what is there to die?"

So I ask, what is it in those who fantasize about the death of the ego that they hope to obtain from such an experience? They must have a concept or idea of the consequences of the dissolution of their fantasy selves. That is, they hold onto a concept of some transcendental state that must exist other than what they know in the daily dissolutions of the ego everyone encounters, especially if they practice meditation, that somehow is different in its permanence. But is this not just a fantasy? What kind of experience will satisfy the longing created by a fantasy?

Very readily one can obtain a state of meditation called Nirvakalpa samadhi, wherein the felt sense of self and body disappears, and one obtains unity with the world. Supposedly, repeated often enough, over the years, this samadhi becomes Sahaja samadhi, or the permanent dissolution of the individuality and entering a constant oneness state of merger. 

Robert was often asked if he experienced the world in such a way, as a complete merger. His response was, "Of course not, I would not be able to function if I did not see the world as did you."

So I ask, what is it that these seekers of permanent dissolution of one’s fantasy self, seek? What is it that they seek other than a permanent extension of the temporary no- self state obtained in meditation? What is the benefit? What is the benefit of being in some dissolution of the ego state 24/7 as opposed to off and on all day? 

This same sort of question holds for enlightenment itself. What is it that people think they are seeking, when they are seeking awakening? Do they have the slightest clue? Or is it all fantasy? What kind of experience will satisfy this fantasy itch?

Inside those who believe in the permanent death of the self kind of experience, there is a yearning or hunger for some not yet known experience or fantasized completion.

You see, merger experiences and complete death of the self in the sense I and the mind disappear, are extremely common and easy to obtain in meditation. However, "normality" also keeps returning over, and over, and over, following every no self experience. That is, the internal map of self and other objects and concepts returns which allows us to function in the world.

In Zen, the endeavor is never to transcend the ego or personal self through its death, but to end its dominance, and to integrate both the self and no self experiences in everyday life. They perform this integration either through quiet sitting and reading the Scriptures as in Soto Zen, or through intensive koan work, where they integrate various aspects of the no self experience into a body of knowledge which becomes incorporated in the student is a Zen experience, or a Zen life.

I used to ask myself the question many times a day when I was a new Zen student experiencing the total dissolution of any sense of self many times a day, which state is real? Is it the no-self self state of oneness and dissolution of the personal found in deep meditation, after the mind is flushed away like water down the drain, and one is left thoughtless, selfless, and utterly merged with the world, or is it the state of ordinary mind I returned to after each no mind state? At that time I did not conceive of an answer such as they were both equally real or equally unreal, because they had such different presentations and were such different experiences. I thought one or the other must be real.

Much later, in 1995, I was to discover both were unreal. Even the unity state is not real. One sees that the state appears "to me," but I am beyond and entirely separate from consciousness.

In that year, I had an awakening experience while taking a shower, wherein I turned my attention inward and asked "Who is it that feels the water touching this body?" I had asked similar questions tens of thousands of times before, and in this ordinary mind state I looked within and saw the inner void which was always there, and saw that there was no I. I saw there was no entity, no person, no Ed to take possession of the experience. The void itself was permeated by a non-centralized awareness thoughtlessly observing the water hitting the body.

What a stunning revelation. I discovered that the word I had no referent. There was only the one Void, encompassing both the inner and outer with no distinction between. I was not my body, but I was everywhere, permeating my body of the universe, the totality of all my experience in the immediate presence with no separation.

I saw that the word I referred to an empty concept of I-ness. There is no I, there is no not I. If there is no I within, there is no not I without. Inner and outer disappeared as a distinction. Consciousness had no direction it permeated everywhere. All words were void. All words were empty. All forms were absorbed in emptiness, and were devoid of any substantiality or permanence. I, whoever that is, was not real; all that I perceived, thought, and felt was not real.

There was no experience or entity that was self sustained and existed apart from me. Experience, the world, and entities were permeated by the void and by me but I myself had no existence, I was not there. There was only witnessing of objects that had no reality.

Given such a realization, and there were others to follow, it is readily seen that there is no ego, or fantasy self, that has any existence such that it could die. There is only a set of thoughts, memories, feelings and images that are loosely tied together in the mind that altogether created the feeling of me. When it is seen that this entity does not really exist, where is there anything to die? One just laughs at one's mistake of having believed that there was an I or ego or world in the first place.

Therefore, to seek a death experience of some sort of self-entity, for whatever fantasy reason, is an endeavor that must be looked upon with suspicion, for that person is not living in the present, in the immediacy of the now.

As Robert stated, Sahaja samadhi is merely a return to the ordinary, but now filled with the wonder of the extraordinary, and the knowledge that the world does not exist, and that my essential nature is not touched by the world, I am entirely beyond it.

29 April 2011

An inner mansion with 100 rooms

To create an analogy of my previous post on post awakening experiences, I would put the process of seeking enlightenment with a teacher like this:

Imagine each of us were made up of 100 rooms, only 20 or 30 of which we explore in our lifetime. But we all have the same or similar rooms, its just that the lights have not gone on in many of them.

A teacher, let us say a master, is one who has explored maybe 70 rooms, and most of the mansion is burning brightly in bathed lights.

We approach that teacher's house at night in the darkness and we see light shining from so many windows compared to our mostly closed mansions. We feel like the master has such a large house and we have such a small one in comparison. We feel humble, wanting all that light.

The teacher shows us some of his rooms the like of which we have never seen before, and he or she shows us we have identical rooms within ourselves. The teacher helps us find the light switch for those rooms in us we have never seen before.

Some rooms are very, very important to open and explore before we can feel freedom. 

One of those rooms is the Void. We need to open and explore that Void. This analogy is weak, as in reality the Void interpenetrates all other rooms. Maybe we can consider the Void to be like the central air conditioning system going everywhere throughout and not a single room at all.

Another room so important to experience is the conviction that we exist even beyond consciousness. This room has lots of nuances. Experiencing ourselves as knowledge. Experiencing ourselves as the knower, existing beyond consciousness. Feeling that prior to consciousness "self" not with the mind, but as something experienced tactilely, with one's heart and an inner apprehension that cannot be put into words.

Another room closely related (indeed, identical, but entered through a different door), is stillness, silence, in a sense the most beautiful room, where one feels absolute peace and sometimes ecstasy, and like the Void, penetrates all other rooms.

Other "need-to" rooms are those of dispassionate compassion and love in its myriad of forms and manifestations, and the four bodies of Nisargadatta and Ranjit, and the shakti room of total surrender.

So, the teacher helps us explore ourselves.

However, no matter how "masterful" the "master" is, there are many rooms he or she has not explored, and which he or she probably is completely unaware of, and then sometimes the student becomes the teacher. the roles are reversed, and there is a sewing together, and later maybe mutual explorations.

I learn so much from those with whom I share presence. No master; no student. Just us. 
Post awakening experience

I need to clear something up. There are so many misconceptions about awakening, just as there are many kinds of awakening in many traditions.

In Zen, there is mention of the Ten Oxherding stages, from "glimpsing the Ox," or an initial awakening, or Kensho, through to experiencing all the stages of awareness and understanding the dharma, to finally re-entering the world once again as an equal, with an ORDINARY MIND, returning to the "marketplace," happy as a clam.

The path between the stages is extraordinary, but in the end, you return with an ordinary mind, not seeking, with an open heart, giving to the world. You are not in some exalted and extended state of "samadhi." The mind thinks, the heart feels, but you also have easy access to extraordinary stillness and certainty as to who you are.

The difference is that you have explored your mind and beingness so fully, the totality of your awareness is extremely wide and deep.

In the Advaita tradition, there is supposed to be only one huge awakening, and the misconception is that ever afterwards you are in some transcendental state.

Robert rejected that conclusion and I trust him. He always seemed to be in an extraordinary state from the outside, but when questioned about his inner experience, he always said to everyone who asked, "It is just like you. The difference is I know you as consciousness, not as an individual." Robert just loved Silence with a capital S. He had to be pulled out of it. But he was not in some, for most, unknowable state. He was in his own inner stillness.

In Silence of the Heart, the section on the Sadguru, he describes the final state, Sahaj Samadhi as a return to ordinary mind.

In several books written by Ramana's students, they talk of a gradual awakening, or opening to Ramana's teachings.

Seun Sahn Soen Sa, my foremost Zen teacher, talked about the seeker's journey as a circle with 180 degrees. Attaining 180 degrees was living in the wonder of emptiness and the void, nothingness. Then the journey from 180 to 360 was a  post awakening series of magical states, transcendental states, with all kinds of external magical happenings, openings and new awarenesses in one's life.

But then, you progress to 360 degrees, completing the circle, coming back exactly where you came from, but with a transformed mind and personality in the sense of being deeper and wider, but not essentially different or better. The differences are the world no longer stings, and you are totally responsive to the moment. You also know profoundly you are not the body, you are beyond that, and therefore death no longer holds any power over you.

You see, a master is no different from someone who never sought awakening at all. All people are his equals with not a thread of difference between them. He or she has attained nothing. If anything, the finished seeker is good for nothing, has no talents, nothing to offer, nothing wanted, with great humility for even being allowed to serve mankind and animal kind.

All the hype is in the middle of the trip.

One further example is Tibetan Buddhism. There is a famous book entitled "Stages of Emptiness Meditation" which describes various kinds and depths of experience of emptiness or the Void. The author links each kind of experience to a stage of spiritual development and a specific school of Buddhist philosophy. It is all imagination, philosophy, words, insubstantial, essentially meaningless. That is, the Void has many appearances and interpretations associated with differing philosophies of existence and knowing. That is, differing traditions dictate how practitioners will experience various truths and states.

Seeing this clearly, you see two things: The awakening and deepening experiences are closely related to the experiences of the teacher; that is, you will experience awakenings similar to that of the teacher. Secondly, all such awakenings and openings happen at at least two levels: one is what I describe in the blue site (part of http://itisnotreal.com), as discovery of imaginal space, which is an "apprehension" of knowing that is visual in nature. 

There one experiences the sight of emptiness and the Void, as well as seeing thoughts, ideas, the I thought, images, memories, and even emotions require this open space. 

The other is the level of the personal, of human relatedness. Here is where one develops humility, compassion and love.

All the other talk about ego and transcending ego is nonsense. There is no ego. There is nothing there at all but concepts, images, ideas, memories, etc., none of which are real in the sense of being permanent, unchanging or self-created and maintained.

Of course there have been teachers who have created great illusions about the state of a master. One of the foremost is Da Free John, whose teachers were Muktananda and Rudi, who constantly touted his awakening as ther greatest of all time, greater than even that of Ramana, who he considered the next to him greatest, and constantly equated himself and his inner state as the highest and greatest of all time, saying no one could touch him or understand him because his state was so fantastically beyond any human state.

It is crazy people like him who have done enormous damage to the whole world of spiritual seeking by creating an image of psychotic transcendence as the goal.

27 April 2011

Dear Ed,

Thank you.  I love you.  What else is there to do?

Odd that I feel so familiar with deepening states yet insist on getting swept away to babbling thoughts and attending to emotional turmoil. 

I believe you mentioned a meditation retreat.  Is this happening? I want to sit with you, my acknowledgment, my refuge, my peace.  Travel is hard and resources hard to come by but I will try.

Om, shanti Om--with deep, ever-present gratitude I find safety and freedom from the lashes of the chaotic doer-identity.  Thank you.


21 April 2011

I was going mad searching, seeking, questioning, practising Taoist Warrior Monk Kung Fu, then Osho Sannyas school for Centring and Zen Martial Arts working my butt off centring mind, energy and action through hard, arduous effort for years, then out of the blue Nisargadatta Maharaj.  
Things started making sense but I couldn’t get him fully, then again out of the blue Ramana came, so strongly I could not doubt it, although I could feel him I couldn’t fully get him, so more study and intensity.  Then yesterday out of the blue like a thunderbolt Robert Adams appeared and on your site too, while I was looking for something quite different.  Robert was one of the teachers that I totally ignored, but this time I was inexplicably pulled like a magnet.  The effect was like dynamite, finally a click then I just seemed to move to different sites, I finally got one of his chants and some of his spoken word samples and the dynamic effect was incredible.  
Something has profound has triggered; then back to your site again; much reading and absorbing all night, then today I woke up feeling totally different.  
I went back on your site and went through the chants, suddenly I was literally shaking with energy and presence, freezing cold and red hot, strong as a bull through one chant ‘I will sing your name’ ,trancing out, rising up, incredible.  
I wrote his name almost involuntarily Robert Adams and I saw clearly in a flash Sam, Ram, Adam, Rama, Ramdas, it was mad and incredible and still not complete.  Energy and trancing is still kicking off alongside a vast profound silence; I was suddenly pulled to speak to you after watching one of your Satsangs, so if it is alright with you, I want to phone you.  Once only will be enough because I clearly reckon I’m not mad and your attention-mind on me - even for a second - will ground the whole thing in me.  
So send me your number  and even if it’s only a hello that will be enough and I will ditch your number  and  won’t hassle you with questions, because the way I see it it’s between me and you, a one off.
You are in the body, you can stabilize what is happening and it will remain personal.  It is no coincidence I went on your site because believe me, I knew it all and was not seeking instruction from anyone.  The synchronicity of events leading up to this is amazing, even down to someone bringing in a cat and asking me to look after it, a thing that has never happened before, then I see you with cats and a trigger comes when you were talking about Robert crying when one of your cats died, it was mad, but too sane not to be just right.  
The most ridiculous thing possible, enlightenment on the internet while looking for an entirely different site for an entirely different reason, whatever did that, I trust.  
So here’s hoping to hear from you in the Spirit of the Way
Everything changes now

I see clearly now what I must do.  Both Rajiv and Janet came to realization because I was with each for a lot of time while they were awakening. We walked each other through the process. We held hands and heart so to speak.

I must become more available to all of you. But I can only do that with your help.

We need an ashram so that we can spend more time face to face. I have waited for it to manifest but no one took me seriously and it never happened.

So I need to open my home to you to come and start our work together. 

You see, I have so many things to do: Blogs, editing medical reports, taking care of feral cats, non profit incorporation. I can only do these things if we do them together.

This means setting up online Satsang too. I was always the one setting it up on this end, thinking of topics, setting up cameras and all that. It took too much time. I can no longer do it all. I need your help if this is going to work.

Also, I just received two emails from someone who has been on the path a long, long time yesterday, who is also awakening after looking at the http://itisnotreal.com website and download the chants and watching my satsangs at http//wearesentience.org, which is the name of our new non profit, which I will tell you about soon.

I can no longer do these things alone. My function has changed to that of administering grace.

One of our own satsangees has awakened. 
This understanding will just deepen and widen.

Hi Edji, 

I had promised myself not to write to you today but I just had this realization.  I glimpsed at it last night but now it is very clear and it stays with me.  I am everywhere.  I am not the body.  I witness the body from wherever the body happens to be.  Wherever the body goes I am there and I mistakenly believed I was the body.  This is so profound Edji.  And it is so clear.  I am everywhere.  I infuse everything.  I witness everything including this body but I am no longer confused.  I am not the body.  I am not bound to anything.  I am the space that permeates everything.   

Oh Edji, is this correct?   

I love you - you are my liberator.  In deep gratitude. 

As background, J entered total identification with the I Am on Saturday and was in this total identification with the totality and the essence of Consciousness for three days. This state tends to be highly dysfunctional as nothing in the world make sense and the mind does not work.

Then on Tuesday while we were talking on Skype, her realization came, and she started laughing, and laughing, and laughing, for 45 minutes as she looked at her new world in amazement, as a child with no mind.

The next night, again she went deep into the I Am state and again emerged as a new entity, not even a person anymore, but with an identification with all of space, the totality. She was no longer the body.

This morning she wrote the above email of her experience now.


19 April 2011

Satsang in the Valley Saturday at 5 pm. Small gathering, potluck.

Email me and I will give you the contact address and email.


18 April 2011

I was thinking of instituting the rules outlined below for adoption at any future ashram. I think they are quite reasonable. Maybe burkas will be required too.

I just had the most amazing experience. I posted this blog while sitting in a Coffee Bean. There was a man sitting near me who I had met some time ago, who was reading and making comments in a large Bible. I thought I'd show him this video to get his reaction. I was astounded at his answer.

He said what was the use of beating the wife if it did not hurt? He said, and he was dead serious, unless it hurt, she would not learn her lesson. Can you believe that? 

15 April 2011

The most amazing news. Lakshmi's oncologist called about her blood test results. They are absolutely normal for every test! There is only one abnormality, and that is her white blood count. Two years ago it was at 42,000. Now it is 674, lower than the lower limit of normal, which in this case is a good thing. She is absolutely in remission.

Two and a half years ago she was only days away from death when I took her to the oncologist, or at least that is what he said. Her body was riddled with cancer and all of her lymph nodes throughout her body were extremely enlarged. Initially he gave her 3 to 12 months to live depending on the type of cancer she had. Now, it is almost 2-1/2 years later and she is doing better than ever.

However, Lakshmi looked none to happy when she got back from the vet.

Lots of people have asked me about the relationship between the guru and student, especially the place of love. In this video you see four teachers, in order: Chetananda, Shankarananda, Andrew Cohen and Master Charles. All, I think including Cohen, are a product of Muktananda. Notice in the end one of them begins to talk about love and its transient nature, but how true love is everlasting.  

I post this video only because Sw. Shankarananda almost was going to share a satsang with us in June, and one of my students researched him and his associates on the web.

Please, just listen to what they say and the distinctions and complaints they make. Our student said, "I have never heard such whining and complaining."

Watch the video two or three times. Ponder what they say and give feedback.

I disagree with much if not all of what they say. I do not see a dichotomy between spiritual and human, personal and transcendent. I just don't see it. Nor do I see what Cohen claims is taking place: The guru is taking on the karmic burden of a disciple just by listening to complaints. Nor do I see as true, at least for me, seeing myself as set apart or different from my students. Nor do I feel I have to stand back and act in some role being careful of what I say, and holding back. Nor do I feel dumped on. Our satsang family does not appear to dump, nor do I feel I am taking on their burdens in any way. I feel equal. I see no difference between me and any student. When I look at you, I see myself. When I look at you I see deeper than your personality, thinking and problems. I see me at a deep level of consciousness. And we share that mutual recognition.

I don't feel any of what these guys are talking about. So, I guess I am not a guru.  I am Ed and I love you. I do agree though that both student and teacher are transformed in a relationship not only of love, but more deeply a kind of grace that consciousness, more accurately, the self showers on the self during satsang and within our spiritual family. I feel the transformative effects in me due to these interactions, and I both see and hear of transformations happening within our community. Everyone feels embraced and as if they are going deeper into themselves, and it produces both happiness and peace. All these other comments about the bitter role of the poor, put upon guru, to me are pure bull.

At our next satsang I will discuss some of this.

14 April 2011

Good news for Lakshmi and me.

Lakshmi is the little black cat you can see sitting on my chest in the of the vidoes posted on this blog, Youtube, and we are sentience.

I got her off the street in October of 2008. She stopped eating and a vet did an exploratory, finding her riddled with cancer. I took her to Dr. Chretin at the West LA VCA, who put her on Leukeran. He cancer was brought under control, but recently, like Dustin, she developed inflamed gums, called stomatitis, which makes it painful for her to eat.  So she has been treating for both conditions.

I took her in today for a physical, blood tests and a followup ultrasound.

The blood test results won't be in until tomorrow, but a shocker: Her physical and ultrasound revealed no signs of cancer whatsoever!!!

The radiologist said, had he not known her history, he would have judged her insides completely normal, just as Chretin said her gut was completely normal on palpation.

Not only is the cancer under control, it is as if there were a remission!!!!

Hopefully, the blood test results will be as benign.

13 April 2011

12 April 2011

All Sentient Beings Are Equal: Ramana Video, 1946

08 April 2011

Hi Ed,

my name is Bill and if you are willing to give some advice regarding Advaita it would be much appreciated. Briefly, I have been experiencing the beingness as outlined in Ramana Maharshi's teaching since the beginning of January, including extreme blissful states e.t.c.

Can you advise as to whether there is a transitional stage between the beginning of first realizing and Self realised. I have recently contacted another well known teacher
who has stated that there are no stages and there is no final stage called Self Realised. This seems contrary to Ramana's teaching and to your book autobiography of a Jnani.

Whist his insistence is to be in the now without a second, which would therefore do away with concepts either of past or future. He has also discouraged any notion of the mind dropping ( has Ramana put it the breaking of the knot, Nisargardatta said he witnessed his own death - I, ego ). I sought to clarify this but was brought back to the nowness of the I only. I am a little confused as my experience is taking me in the direction outlined by Ramana etc . Regards Bill


The person you talked to probably never had an awakening experience.

There are no stages so to speak. You begin to feel the self and it deepens and deepens and one day you awaken and find out you never existed or ever walked a path.

All concepts and knowledge drop away. At the same time, you recognize that the world you appear to live in continues, but you realize you are in it only when you believe you are in it. It has lost its bite so to speak.

There may be further awakenings later, such as that consciousness itself is not real and you are beyond even consciousness.

Then love awakens in you, if you are unlucky and you can become a teacher.

There is much info and downloads to read on my website: http://itisnotreal.com,

and dialogues with students at http://itisnotreal.blogspot.com


My god you have been so helpful, it is the progressive deepening that was at the heart my question. What you have described is as indicated in Ramana Maharshi's teaching and also affirms my beginning experiences, it is difficult putting in words what this means for me ( without a teacher you have to have some guide, Ramana Maharishi's books have been of immense value ). My warmest gratitude. p.s I will visit the sites mentioned.

Bill Russell

07 April 2011

Unlike the Last Post, the Love Here is Obvious

Satsang 7: Love and the Jnani

So many bhaktis have come to both our online and live Satsangs.  I just couldn't figure it out. I feel like a dried up Jnani type teacher and wondered why so many love-oriented people come to Satsang. We explore this issue here.

04 April 2011

Dear Edji,

Just left your blog-page, with hair standing, with heart aching, and with a crazy feeling of wanting to cry, laugh and leave everything behind. And run to you. This after reading the last posting, from someone grateful, as I am. I am not going to analyze, and try to understand. I only want to burn in your fire. For days I have been wondering what to write, how to make an excuse to get in contact with you, but there are no obvious reasons. I know what to do; follow your instructions and just dive deeper, and pay no attention to experiences. But since I am here writing, I just want to share this burning feeling that has been built up during practices, the constant waching, and the self-inquiry day in and day out.

Love,  Z

03 April 2011

Dear Master,
Our teacher, the Beloved Robert, said this, "The Jnani does not come in peace.  Most people believe when they approach a spiritual Master that he/she will bring peace, harmony, happiness, love and joy into their lives.  A Jnani/Sage/Self comes to upset your life, to pull you out of your samsaras, to resolve your karma, to make you free.  A spiritual Master does not come to please you, and is not lovey dovey. The Sage causes certain things to happen in your life in order for you to be free.  An immature person can not stand the fire of the Sage as things appear to become progressively worse."
I am not at all interested in trying to have my humanhood improved.  It is not my concern at all.  I do not expect this relationship to be comfortable for the 'I'.  Your very presence is the antithesis of this.  Jesus, another great spiritual Master said, "I have not come to bring peace but a sword." 
The purpose for this email is to thank you for asking for and contemplating that picture of me that I sent to you.  All hell is breaking loose - and it is good.  It feels like a fire has been set and at times it is not very comfortable...but all is well. It was mere arrogance to think that I was further along than I was.  Your 'seemingly' cold response about the whole suicide thing last week was exactly what I needed to hear.  Initially, I thought you were cold and uncaring, but as I sat with your words it dawned on me that this body must not be real at all in order for you to say such a thing.  For if this body were real you would have acted  as if it were so. For this I am grateful.  Truly, I do not know as yet the ways of the Self.  I do not know how things ought to unfold or when.  But, there is a deep and sweet surrender to You - the Self . 
Just wanted you to know that I appreciate you Master and it is my greatest joy to surrender all this 'hell' to You.  For You are greater than 'i'.