Free as a wild swan
I well understand the urge to see the man not through his (person-less, selfless) karmic residue but as he seems to appear as a person. Curiosity is, of course, a divine, therefore necessary for survival function, which is why priests are dead set against it.*
My re-birth was on 1.12.1980, when I was 40. On that day I achieved initial liberation (to wit, ‘freedom from’) (Sanskrit: moksha, Pali: vimukti) and the cerebral orgasm that is liberation’s after-effect/payoff.
Little did I know then that for me (and so, being merely 1 bite of divine karmic residue, therefore for all living creatures) getting to the top of my (therefore also the ≈ any) mountain (≈ unresolved problem) was not the complete journey. Nor was getting to the mountain top (i.e. solving my problem as mental simulation) a spiritual act. As the ancients have said, ‘you leave your village in the valley to climb the highest peak. It’s a great view. But then you have to return down the mountain to your village (i.e. to manifest the view as bite of transmittable hardware/residue). Some, of course, stay on top of the mountain and don’t return. Climbing the mountain is tough (for the unskilled), getting down is even tougher (for the unskilled). One false step and it’s over.’ That’s why already in approx..600 BC climbing the mountain, meaning recovering the Way, was called the Razor’s Edge Path. Once returned to the village, become a villager again, one can begin to raise the village to the mountain top (and which is the true spiritual act of breathing actual life into a merely virtual vision of the possible), even if the locals are not aware it’s happening or even resisting.
It took me another 19 years to grow up, meaning to return to the village, by sacrificing that initial liberation for the final liberation, meaning a new bondage (i.e. ‘freedom to’) which, as the after-effect of liberation, is blissful; or, restated in the best Dublin jargon, it took a hell (sic!!) of a long time “to transform from being an unhappy sucker into a happy spitter.”
See: The unhappy sucker
On failed pilgrimage at Miyajima in Japan in 1984. Even a marathon a day for 67 days and a Chinese beard failed to provide a glimpse of my goal. I was still too ‘thick’ (i.e. slow, i.e. suffering drag because specifically focussed, viz. Heraclitus (550 BC): ‘If you don’t expect the unexpected, how can you find.’) to respond …. to ‘the Guru (more precisely stated, in my case my Sat Guru in the guise of an apsara) who appears when the disciple is ready.’
Still floundering about in 1986 and having another go at Raman Maharshi’s method (my 1st visit to his ashram in Tiruvanammalai was in 1968). The Brahmin Maharshi’s method, and which he derived from his initial liberation (or moksha) as a teenager, i.e. a naïve and incomplete re-take on the Upanishads, led into a cul-de-sac from which neither he nor his followers ever emerged. In other words, both he and his devotees remained on the mountain.
Painting the mythical picture, as icon, of the experience of the great liberation + enlightenment. The picture was eventually turned into a fibre model, about 14ft high, to be cast in bronze. It was intended as the centrepiece of Victor’s Way (Sanskrit: jinamarga). It arrived in Roundwood in 2002 but was destroyed because bronze casting was not feasible. The Nirvana Man, so to speak ‘the morning after the night before’ icon, took its place.
Seeking help from Lord Shiva, the ancient Indian exemplar of the Split Man, was a true waste of effort (2001). To achieve tantric consummation one has to go via (indeed miss by a hairsbreadth) the opposite (i.e. a differential), in my case a female apsara, meaning a local representation of the (universal) matrix (or Mother). That happened in 1999 when I was 59 years old and after 19 years of stubborn, persistent and sometimes sorrowful preparation for default readiness after the initial ‘birth/liberation’ (i.e. at 40). This, a second initial consummation > liberation > nirvana lasted only a few seconds, just like the initial liberation (and re-birth) at first consummation.
*… Avoiding priests as the plague gives the seeker (of consummation) of the Way, i.e. of the divine software, a head start. Priests are politicians who make and enforce local laws, i.e. safe and comforting holding pens, for the welfare of all. By so doing they block access to the Way because it is a-political and prior to local laws.