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faqs :: PB - Recollections of Him
5. Meditations
Meditating with PB - "the sun behind the sun"
"The mind stilled, the self surrendered, a divine awareness possesses him. For there can be three forms of possession: divine, human (as in artists or writers), and diabolic. In the ideal sage, divine possession has become a permanent state."
(Notebooks of Paul Brunton: Category 22: Inspiration and the Overself > Chapter 2: Inspiration > #33)
This quote stirred a recollection or two of PB: Sometimes he would become so still that the very world around him stopped, as if to honor that silence within him. In those moments, he would become He; His eye-color changed - or rather His gaze became beatific, terrifying, intimate and impersonal all at once. One could barely stand to accept that gaze, much less return it - and at the same time, one could barely tolerate the prospect of ever, ever forfeiting that presence ever again. Should He speak in such a moment, it was so quiet and penetrating that the words seemed mere echoes of the transmission of meaning/consciousness. In such a moment, the meaning of Shruti - the speaking truth of the Rishi became absolutely literal and exquisitely Real.
One day we were to travel from the small town of Vevey to the Cantonal center of Lausanne. Standing on the train platform, I anxiously awaited the arrival of PB. He was nowhere in sight. The train came and left. Then PB appeared walking through a large culvert that ran underneath the tracks. "I tried a different route to the station," he remarked; "evidently, it's not a short-cut!" This being Switzerland, there would soon be another train to Lausanne, so we had about 40 minutes to wait.
PB said to follow him, and headed off towards a pile of railroad ties and other industrial junk. Having just witnessed his egress from the culvert, I had no idea where we were headed or why. A few steps beyond the tracks we found a small well-kept formal garden with three benches encircling a little fountain - all nestled in amongst the detritus of the rail-road station! It was very secluded and yet afforded a glimpse of the tracks, so we could easily know when the next train had arrived. This took place sometime in March, which was still winter in that part of the world - mostly overcast and rainy, but seldom nice enough to be outdoors for more than a few clammy minutes. However, on this particular day, the weather was sunny and clear, and pleasantly warm.
We seated ourselves on the benches, and just rested in the welcome sunlight. Whenever such a moment would present itself in PB's presence, I would always start to meditate, in hopes of partaking of his silence, and in natural response to the overwhelming radiance that flowed from him. This day was such a chance. As the Sun shone down upon us, it complemented the great light I felt shining forth from within PB. The silence deepened, thought slowed, and a great simplicity of light remained. Then the spell was broken - gently, actually, by the arrival of our train. PB rose from his bench, smiled, and remarked: "It is pleasant to sit in the sun." Then He paused, and looked upon the world with those Eyes of Other and added "But it is better to sit in the Sun Behind the Sun."
Later, Anthony Damiani pointed out the following passage from Manly Palmer Hall (Secret Teachings) "Apuleius said when describing his initiation: 'At midnight I saw the sun shining with a splendid light.' The midnight sun was also part of the mystery of alchemy. It symbolized the spirit in man shining through the darkness of his human organisms. It also referred to the spiritual sun in the solar system, which the mystic could see as well at midnight as at high noon, the material earth being powerless to obstruct the rays of this Divine orb." For a more thorough explanation, I suggest "The Oration to the Sun" by Emperor Julian (which I can post if anyone's interested).
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