Contemporary knowledge about God, Evolution, and the meaning of human life.
Methodology of spiritual development.
How God Can Be Cognized/Sattva
I do not want to describe all of our trips in detail. Instead, let me share with you only the brightest impressions of that time. I understood then that I had found “a lost paradise”! It was as if I had come back to my native world, where one can only be natural and sincere, where every external “husk” looks like a caricature! I felt such a sense of relief when I cast off my “iron armor” that I had been wearing for so many years! It was like a second birth...
... As I recall now that time of my life, I perceive myself as... a newborn baby who squints its eyes out of happiness. God as if took me on His Palms and started carrying me and showing me a new unfamiliar world that was totally different from the one against which I was used to defending myself.
It was the stage of awakening, of opening myself towards Love, and of accepting the beautiful and pure things that I had not been noticing before.
Even so, it was just the very beginning of the Path, when God, merely for the fact that we have turned our faces towards Him, noticed Him, stretched our arms to Him, — showered waterfalls of golden rain on us and flooded us with blissful delight, much like how a loving mother showered her baby with endless kisses for its first smile, for its every unsteady step, for each word that her baby tries to babble.
It was the time of super-sattva, which overflowed me completely! Sattva is a beautiful stage in the evolution of every person, and from this stage the Way to God begins. Only by strengthening ourselves in sattva, we can move further.
... Sattva! It is a marvelous and unique platform for the next steps on the Path towards direct cognition of the Creator. However, it can also turn into a trap. It gives extraordinary happiness but at the same time creates a dangerous complacency. You start living in it very joyfully, happily, and comfortably, especially if you are not alone but are with other people like you. It is as if a piece of paradise has fallen on the Earth covering everything with a pink and fragrant bedspread! And it seems that here is — eternal happiness and bliss!
Nevertheless, God looks to us for a much bigger achievement, and, as we grow, we need to stop being “wonderful children” and turn into the One, on Whose Palms we luxuriated.
So, God reminded me quite soon that if my intention is to traverse this Path till the end, I have no right to “get stuck” in sattva and that I should only use it as a “launch pad” for the next stage of the Path. In order to make me comprehend this, God had to cause me pain and made me pass through despair. Nevertheless, I was very grateful to Him for these lessons, probably even more grateful than for the waterfalls of bliss that fell on me in the beginning...
... Being carried by sattva, I stopped working, using all my strength. I began to feel like a child on an everlasting festive occasion: only the shining spring forest, the songs of birds, joy, happiness, laughter, and so on was all around me.
Vladimir repeated many times that if we feel satisfaction with ourselves, the state of complacency, — it means that we stopped in our development. He reminded us many times that sattva is beautiful but we should not be carried away by it! It should just be a background for our work! In spite of this, it seemed that I was not hearing these warnings, and even if I heard them, I did not apply them to myself...
Suddenly I started feeling a loss of strength and could barely accomplish new meditations...
I complained about this to Vladimir and his response was:
“Yes, this is true. You need to stop for a while. What I am telling you now, is not some kind of reproach, but just the fact that you are not able to internalize any more knowledge. Your ‘pan’, figuratively speaking, is full, and until you ‘digest’ what you received, you cannot walk further. Well, you can go with us to the forest a couple of times more in order to consolidate what you have already studied, but this is all. If we give new knowledge to you right now, you can simply fall ill.”
He said all this in a very soft and tender manner, but for me his every word sounded like a peal of thunder, like a sentence.
With all my might, I was trying to stay calm. That evening dragged on endlessly, while the only thing that I most longed for then — was to stay one-to-one with my grief. It was as if some string had broken inside me. I had only one thought that gnawed at me: “That’s all... It’s all over!”
I also understood that the fact of being excluded from meditative work meant for me that I would stay utterly alone and that I would never see any one of the group again.
I managed to soberly think over my situation only the next morning, and, curiously enough, I did not start crying but decided not only to accept my destiny but to accept it as a challenge, as Don Juan taught. Then I realized that nothing really had changed, because no matter what would happen to me on the material plane, this would not change the most important thing, namely, that I found the Goal, found the meaning of my life! I chose the Path that leads to God, and whether or not I would be alone, I would walk this Path!
I also comprehended at this moment that God is the only support on this Path. It came to me that I should hold on to Him, not to incarnate people! I should hold on to Him with “both hands”!
At the very same time I realized this, God manifested Himself to me. I had never felt Him before, being so Living and Real! He was so tender! He answered all my questions, smiled, and was not serious at all. Moreover, the meditations that I could hardly do yesterday were now easy and natural to do!
... After two days, we had a new trip to the forest. I felt a phenomenal burst of new strength, because I was with God, and God was with me! Throughout that day, Sathya Sai Baba often came and showed me, how it was possible to enter the Brahmanic Fire layers. That day was grey and gloomy, but I saw His Fiery White Light. David Copperfield would also come and, after allowing me to merge with Him, carried me through a “shaft”, similar to an elevator, to the worlds of protoprakriti and protopurusha... I felt that I was submerging into a tender and thick Calm and saw stars that were twinkling and softly swaying... Anytime I opened my material eyes, I saw Vladimir passing by and casting a glance at me...
At the end of the day, he said:
“I don’t know what you did with yourself, but today everything you do goes great! You and Anna should start preparing yourselves because after a couple of days we will start a new stage of work!”
Anna and I jumped with joy!
... It turned out again that Don Juan was right saying that the best in us becomes apparent when we are “driven into a corner”. It is when it seems to you that everything is lost and you do not have anything to catch hold of — but suddenly “the second breath” appears, and all of you feels the Power that appears “from nowhere”, and this Power is God.