IT MUST HAVE BEEN 2006. I remember the excitement and honour I felt when I was asked by the Office of Tibet in London to attend a meeting. I had written to His Holiness the Dalai Lama directly to ask his name as a patron for my foundation – EmW used to be a charitable foundation which sought to teach the commonality of faith and culture at spiritual retreats. I funded the entire concept myself because I am hopeless at asking for money, and I so believed in the work that I put EmW before the food on my plate. Remember, this was before the Internet as we know it.
It is clear to me now that I was attempting to show the Divine as the common factor, and I would not have known this had the event of 2012 not occurred. Of course, His Holiness knew that, but in order to heal the rifts between cultures and faiths, he must have felt that the world had to start somewhere, and EmW was a fresh idea.
I felt the same when I received confirmation from Cape Town in 2009 from Archbishop Desmond Tutu. I was just a woman with a difficult heritage in 1956 who had a profound vision for peace, and I felt as one of the early cross-cultured of this generation; suffering the savage colour racism against my mother and father in the 1950s, and then creating something that was a mix of the two – and yet me – this could have value because I had integrated East and West, and then made something else. Nelson Mandela was becoming older, but his office wrote me a beautiful letter explaining why he was reducing his patronages. When you lay open your passion for the human condition and offer to stop the world and allow it to get off, important names respond. I think these letters are on the website under early blogs.
As I have written extensively, what happened during the dissolution years changed my perspective forever, and this means that I see no differences anymore, and the world and its 10,000 things are ultimately transparent. How the hell do you explain that? I suffered greatly through those years knowing that EmW, and the tremendous creative input that I gave for 13 years, was lost forever with no help actually to my fellow man.
Of course, it challenged my entire life history and identity – which HAD to go as the indication of true liberation from the mind. EmW was before its time and then never happened. I couldn’t manifest it; family circumstances and finance prevented me from ‘getting it out’, but in those days, advertising was the old model; Mark Zuckerberg was in Senior High and the birds were still tweeting their own songs. I simply didn’t have the money. So, the work was not supposed to happen. I had to let it go, as I had done with my entire life as I watched my self die (sic).
We have an unstoppable creative impulse in us to express something good for mankind; however, let me make this clear – it doesn’t matter how much you will it, if it is to come, it will come when it feels like it. You cannot will anything; if you believe you are a separate entity in a little, secluded bubble trying to create change, you miss the point.
To manifest your dream, you have to embrace it into your Being, and do the work from inner impulses by shifting your vibe. However, the ACT of willing certainly can be imposed, but it is not with the mind, it is with the power of ‘a descending energetic imposition’ from knowing within ultimate Beingness. I’m sorry – that’s heavy, but it is the best way I can describe it. Think of Gandhi’s remark: “To see the change, change yourself.”
Gandhi was not a liberated man and his words sounds trite today, and we certainly don’t need to make statements with dhotis and spinning-wheels. Gandhi learned from swamis certainly, but looking at his ‘Experiments with Truth’, his treatment of his wife and family, notwithstanding sleeping next to little girls to test his capability for celibacy is highly questionable today, and denial of the sexual impulse has nothing to do with Enlightenment anyway. I know an Indian who told me that he met Gandhi and had a very different opinion of him, calling him the worst narcissist he had ever seen.
Enlightenment has NOTHING to do with silly games. Extreme form of self-flagellation found in India with the yogis is cultural – but we remember the fundamental Catholics (and others; fundamental Buddhists exist too), and of course, I always take culture into consideration under pure observation. Enlightenment has specific meanings: (1) To be enlightened of the mind i.e. to be rid of it, or availed of it, as something stuck to your shoe and (2) to see or realise the light, i.e. the emptiness of what is left without the mind. This is NOT a quiet mind; it is what lies behind the mind.
Please remove projected ‘guru’-ness and warmth of Indian temperament; and the tradition of great spiritual ‘achievements’. Yes – spiritual journeys into cosmic energetic fields occur by the bucket-load. By the way, you can do this for yourself for entertainment, if you must, but nothing is to be ‘achieved’. You cannot achieve Enlightenment. You can disappear like a space gypsy into the Milky Way, but this is NOT Enlightenment. Attachment to and obsession with cosmic flight is one of the greatest traps.
I am not the only spiritual postman who talks about this – the highly distinguished Jiddu Krishnamurti was adamant about this separation from ’Indian-ness’, and so were some of the other more westernised Indian teachers and spiritual philosophers.
You say: ”Oh, but yes – who doesn’t love India and its exotic spirituality?” I have to say I have never met anybody who doesn’t love India. I know people who are deeply troubled by the poverty so don’t want to return; but every sense explodes when you experience the vivid colour palette of Indian life, hospitality and its crazy madness. It is the most fascinating country in the world and I am deeply in love with it because of its history, people and culture.
But my 50% Indian parentage has NOTHING to do with my Ultimate. My skin colour and heritage has zero relevance for the I AM. I could be Bo Diddley mumblin’ my guitar (I say that as a trained classical guitarist, and I am not referring to his colour)); the silence and stillness as God that I AM can wear any lick of paint shade on the outside. My incarnation this time simply enabled me to understand Indian spiritual texts immediately, and I was blessed indeed by the charismatic orientalism of my father.
I repeat again as I will always until you see this light: Whoever you think you are, do you see there is something behind that image? It’s sitting there like a still, poised Bengal tiger when you fall silent; pregnant with potential for creation. Feel it. It’s the greatest, sublime magnificence you will ever know.
Welcome to God; looking for you and patiently waiting. You will sense a profound, parental recognition; one that holds great joy and eruptive laughter. And everything you have ever yearned for; peace, happiness, financial stability, family and children, is gently pulsating in this divine Aladdin’s Cave, in the Kingdom of God, longing, indeed, for its own expression through you.
Selima Gurtler is a spiritual writer, philosopher, poet and Jnana yogi.
Her modern teachings to Self-Realization and Liberation are uniquely flavoured through the perceptive eyes of her Indian and European heritage.
Free copies of her books are available for download here: https://www.emwpeace.org/publications/
His Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Grace Archbishop Desmond Tutu are patrons of her work.