The holy man I met, “Swami Ji”, has no organization, TV show, or book. His name simply means “great teacher.”
BY SMADAR DE LANGE — How would you describe the experience of falling in love? For me, meeting with Swami Ji (personal name: Krishnamurti) was like falling in love. I fell in love with love itself, and this love had no limitations of being channeled into one person only.
What are we looking for when we are going to meet those who are labeled as spiritual teachers? Do we look for an end for our sufferings?
Do we look for a meaning to apply to our life experience? Do we want to be seen; to have the psychological experience of mirroring? Do we believe that the meeting will show us the path that will take us towards an awakened, elevated future?
Are we seeking love/bliss/freedom? Are we simply seeking to cling onto something, to believe in what will save us from the experiential void of life?
For myself, I deferred to a person who had made a deeper allowing of presence. And, in turn, I felt like I was being expanded to the infinite.
I felt the absence of space and time. The me that I apparently knew through thought and thinking was replaced with many different personas, and I suddenly realized that none of these images and energies were really me.
All that — and much more — have happened through a man, this portal named, Swami Ji. There is no personality there, as in the self-images and personal narratives our friends bounce back at us.
Swami Ji has none.
The thing that motivated me the most to meet with Swami Ji was a psychological experience of living among pale reflections of humans — as if my life experience was to live in an imitation of aliveness.
The people I met felt to me as ghosts, almost like place-holders between life and death.
I recalled going to see another spiritual teacher, whom I met before Swami Ji. The absence of richness and clarity I experienced in that meeting was like walking out into the world as if I know I had a terminal illness.
I was longing to meet another human, to experience aliveness — and heal the hollow life experiences I felt.
The meeting with Swami Ji was as if layers had stripped away from the “seen” of my life. All of my senses had a celebration. The colors were brighter, the sound was clearer, tasting ordinary food was a sensual feast, and I felt again connected to the life experience that I perceived to lose.
I met with Swami Ji many times along the last three years. One of the peak experiences of those encounters with this remarkable man was a meeting in which I ‘lost’ all preconceptions, ideas, beliefs — or any other thought.
In the space, which was opened to me in the absence of thoughts and the machinery of mind, I saw Swami Ji as rays of light. Only, there was no image to be perceived by my senses.
The experience of losing the image of an Other, and then the experience of perceiving just light, shifted my cognition of all things for good.
After this experience I had similar encounters with ‘ordinary’ people
But it was an actual person — rather than a mountain, or a title, or a bank acount, or a press clipping — named Swami Ji that opened my mind to this.
The sweetness of being in that space, where I feel most secure and free, is one of the corner stones of my current life.
Smadar de Lange is a somatic therapist and doctoral candidate in psychology at Santa Barbara’s Pacifica Graduate Instiute.
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