(茱莉)在最後的幾個月裡，我有幾次被一種劇烈到我以為會無法承受的巨大幸福感包圍。我不知道有哪種幸福感能與之相比，也看不出怎麼可能有。它感覺起來就像快要讓我斃命、而且就算它真的弄死了我我也不在乎。我現在知道了，傑德，你在書中沒有說的部分，也清楚你為什麼沒說。關於這一點，有一個你沒有提及的現實，現在我知道了，我也知道了原因。在這個地方，所有的矛盾都消失了；在這個地方，再也沒有任何問題了。但無法試圖描述這個地方。對於所有看起來無法回答的問題，你給出了一個完美的回答：自己來看。現在我來了，我看到了。它一直都在那。看起來真相的代價是一切，但其實不是。我之前怎麼就不明白呢？真相沒有代價(The price of truth is nothing)。
34. The Price of Truth
The port would fain give succor, the port ispitiful; in the port is safety, comfort, hearthstone, supper, warm blankets,friends, all that's kind to our mortalities. But in that gale, the port, theland, is that ship's direst jeopardy; she must fly all hospitality; one touchof land, though it but graze the keel, would make her shudder through andthrough. With all her might she crowds all sail off shore; in so doing, fights 'gainstthe very winds that fain would blow her homeward; seeks all the lashed sea'slandlessness again; for refuge's sake forlornly rushing into peril; her onlyfriend her bitterest foe!
---Herman Melville, Moby-Dick
(JED)Julie will emerge from her chrysalisexactly as enlightened as the most enlightened person that ever was. No more,no less. Onlookers may assume there are levels of awakeness, so that the Buddhais supremely enlightened at the high end and newcomer Julie is at the bottom,just starting out, but in the void of undifferentiated consciousness no suchspectrum exists. Awake is awake.
(JULIE)The person I was is gone, over, dead. Ican't even comprehend that I was what I was. Who I was makes no sense to menow. How I could have been so obtuse? So comatose? So deceived? So thick? Sounaware? I thought I was a spiritual person and I was anything but. I was likethe exact opposite! My so-called spirituality wasn't a connection with realitybut a shield against it. What kind of sad spiritual groupie was I? Every fewmonths it seems I was growing disenchanted with the last great spiritualbreakthrough and grasping desperately at the next. One mirage after the next. Whateverthey were selling, I was buying. What a rube! What a flake! What was I evenlooking for? I don't know now because I didn't know then. Something that wasgoing to catapult me to some fabulous new strata of being where my wishes werefulfilled, my counsel was sought, my happiness was admired and my life wouldsparkle like a diamond forever. Ego's wretched desires protracted to their grotesqueextremes. What a load of crap, but that's what I was, I guess, a load of crap. Howelse to say it? I can't make sense of it now because it didn't make sense then.It was always about some vaguely but vastly more wonderful state of being, orsome elevated state of consciousness or some level of mastery that I couldn'teven begin to guess the nature of. One month it's the new wonder supplementthat's going to purify me. The next month it's the miraculous new meditationtechnique that's finally going to give me whatever it is I've always wantedfrom meditation. A month later everyone's flocking to hear the latest guru whohas managed to make it all make sense. Paint your door red, sleep facing north,recite tongue-twisting mantras, hose out your innards, tune up your chakras,read this scripture, wear that gem, sit in the pose, burn this incense, gaze atthis saint's picture , get that saint's blessing, buy this book, attend thisworkshop. Take no chances, buy at least one of everything: sacred gems, healingcrystals, calming oils, cleansing incense, mood-enhancing candles, malas, moremalas. My apartment became a warehouse for Indian fetishes, wind-chimes, Hindustatues, Buddhist art, tarot decks, astrology charts, full-spectrum lighting,therapeutic aromas, yantra posters, meditation cushions, yoga mats, safe foods,safe cleaning products, non-synthetic fabrics, non-off -gassing carpets,non-toxic paints. Books, hundreds of books. Every stupid book with a prettycover and a clever angle. Magazines I was once so proud to be affiliated withthat I'm now too embarrassed to even think about. Fad after fad , gimmick aftergimmick, and there I was like a schoolgirl falling in and out of an endlesscycle of spiritual infatuations. That was my life! If God walked in right nowand told me I had to go back to being that person I'd try to kill Him. That, orI'd kill myself, but I wouldn't go back to that prison of vapidity. I had a Zenclock next to my bed for chrissakes!
(JED)I was never really a New Ager. I wasnever a spiritual seeker . Most of what I needed to know I learned in my owntwo-year crash- and-burn course. It was all new and fantastic to me; peopletraveling outside their bodies, discorporate entities dispensing knowledgethrough living people, the stunning depth of wisdom of the East, all thecourageous men and women all over the world, striving to make sense of it all. I'vesince met many New Agey type folks and I recognize the perennial search dynamicJulie describes. She's being a bit harsh about what is, after all, a very humantendency---walking in the small, purposeful circles---but then, she's in aharsh place.
(JULIE)Jesus, I'm a fucking vampire now. Howam I going to deal with all the people in my life from now on? I'ma butterfly and they're all caterpillars who don't know there is such a thingas a butterfly. What do I do now? Do I slip back into the role of Julie? Exchangeinane pleasantries? Pretend to take an interest in people's...what? Theirmake-believe worlds? Their make-believe lives? Their well-defined characters ontheir tiny stages? Their desperate need to inflict themselves on each other? Their...ohdear God...their opinions? I don't think I could stand a minute of it. Not oneminute. It would hardly even be possible to impersonate my former self, butwhat else? What do I do? Tell the truth? I can't, obviously, but why not? Maybethat's the easiest way out; just state the plainest possible truth and letthings fall where they may. What would the truth even sound like? I think Icould restrict all future conversation to a few simple remarks: “I don't know.”“I don't care.” “I have no thoughts on that matter.” “Your words have nomeaning to me.” “There's no point in speaking to me.” “Can't you see I'm notreally here?” But if I have to say things like that, the mistake has alreadybeen made. I'm starting to get a very clear understanding of what it means tobe alone. It's not at all what I'd guessed. If I thought about it at all, Imight have romanticized it a bit, but this isn't romantic. This isn't just asimple realization that I am alone, but the low stripping away of everyone andeverything that tells me I am notalone. I'm starting to see where this road really leads. I think I can dealwith being there because I think that what seems terrible about it only seemsthat way from here, but getting there is worse than any hell could ever be. Ican't even resign myself or make myself numb to it. I know this was all in yourbook, Jed, but I'm only starting to see what it really means now. I'mout. I am no longer a part of anything and I'll never be a part of anythingagain.
(JED)This is the curious problem of the personwho has stepped out of their role but not their costume, i,e., died whilealive. Such a person is no longer in the play, no longer a member of theproduction, but they can't tell others that because, for others, the play isall; there is nothing but the stage, nothing beyond. This new type of role, thenon-role, simply does not compute and gets interpreted as a break from sanityrather than true sanity. Julie's dead, but she'll have a heck of a timeexplaining that to anyone. Vampire is right. She's the living dead, the undead,and only another of her kind can really understand what that means.
(JULIE)The only possible solution is to severconnections and distance myself from people. I don't know how to do this. I'vehad strong ties with many people, deep friendships, lasting relationships. Myfamily ties are very strong, especially with my mother and one of my sisters. Whatdo I do about that ? They have no capacity to understand that Julie, as much as Imay resemble her, is gone. There'll be no convincing them, no explanation couldget through to them, so what do I do? I could make myself to utterly repulsiveto them that even the spell of a mother's love would be broken. I can't evenimagine what that would take. Or I could simply go. Vanish. Change my name,leave the country, make myself disappear. This could actually work becausethose closest to me are all actually fairly conventional in their views andhave always considered me a bit loosely wrapped. I wouldn't even have to movefar away. I could simply send out short notes to everyone saying that I'vepledged myself to a life of service at the feet of Swami Salami and will bemoving to his ashram in the remotest Himalaya, no phones, no email, see yalater, and though I'm sure it would evoke varying degrees of sadness, it wouldn'tarouse much surprise.
Surprising to me, however, is that this entirematter of being permanently set apart is not weighing very heavily upon me. Itseems like more of an operational challenge that the cause for emotionalupheaval I would have expected. That may not be perfectly true at the moment,but I can see that it will be. I have more work to do, more cleaning in theattic, more letting in of light, but the new reality is becoming established. It'sall a dream and I am awake, and I can never believe in the dream again.
(JED )The newly awakened person could, Isuppose, make a direct, open declaration of their new status, could say, “I amnow something new, something you can't understand. I am truth-realized. Awake.”One problem is that people don't understand that they don't understand; don'tknow that they don't know. The other problem is that it basically means playinganother role; getting back on stage, acting enlightened person role is not thetrue role of the enlightened person. There is no true role.
So what is Julie to do? Die. That's theobvious answer. Drop the body. Be done with it. But why? Why not live? Why notstay? Why interfere with the flow of things? If nothing else, she has aninteresting decade before her as she learns what it means to be this thing shehas become. No reason to fling oneself out a window at this point.
So what does that leave? She could go sit on amountain in India and answer useless questions for the next forty or fiftyyears. Pointless questions from people eager to stay comfortably numb; turnedAway, not Toward. People who will falsely exalt her, praise her with meaninglesswords, grandly bestow upon her meaningless things. That sort of sideshow functionis so dreadfull to contemplate that it casts immediate doubt on anyone whowould endure it. But what the hell, you go where you go. I myself did a bit ofthe question answering thing for a while. I didn't choose it, I kind of fellinto it. I could never see the larger unifying pattern in which it made senseuntil I realized that it was all about the book. Then it all came together. Thelarger picture revealed itself and the pieces resolved into sharp focus. Theuniverse wanted some books written, and all those hundreds of dialogues formedthe foundation of knowledge and experience upon which I could write them. Myentire life, I saw, was simply the process by which these books brought intobeing.
(JULIE)When I go to the store or the city Ihave to slip awkwardly back into Julie. Friendly, cheerful, but not so muchnow. not needing anything reflected back to me now. more reserved now, not asoutgoing, not overt, not warm, not engaging. Just enough, just nice enough toget what I need and get away. I am beyond opinion. I'm not interested in my ownopinions or anyone else's. I don't have the luxury of caring what people think,least of all myself. I'm willing to lose my self-respect, but I still have it. Ithas adapted. It used to be based on dozens of factors, hundreds, maybe more. Nowit's based one thing only. On this. Nothing else matters. The only reason toact “normal” around other people is to guard this process. Nothing matters butthis process.
There are no more taboos. There is nowherethat is closed to me, nowhere that I won't go. Nothing is off-limits. I shunnothing. Nothing is excluded. Nothing is vile or repugnant, nothing tooextreme. The only criteria by which I judge anything is whether it's of valueto my process of awakening or not. It's not that I'm not scared, just that thisis about tearing down walls, all walls. If my eye offendeth me, I will pluck itout. If my hand offendeth me, I will cut it off. There is no price I won't pay.No price is too high.
I'm starting to wonder what the point of allthis is, this whole process I've spent the last fourteen months clawing my waythrough. What the hell's the point of it? It doesn't make any sense. I guessthis is the essential paradox of the whole thing: the insane humor of it. Whobenefits? No one benefits. There's no Julie left. What's the point of thismassive upheaval? There is none. It's absolutely, undeniably pointless. How cansomething this huge, this transformative, this nuclear, be so pointless? Butthat's what it is. I guess you could say the same about anything.
(JED)Like a child flicking a switch that turnsthe world off like a light. What can you say when the thing that ends isn'twithin a context, but context itself? It hardly merits a shrug.
(JULIE)In the last few months there have beenseveral times when I was overcome by a happiness so intense that I literallyfelt that it might be more than I could bear. I've never known any happinessthat could compare with this and I don't see how any happiness could. It feelslike it could kill me and I wouldn't care if it did. I see now, Jed, what you didn'tsay in your book and I see why you didn't. There's a reality to this that youdidn't go into and now that I know it, I know why. There's the place where allthe paradoxes disappear and where no questions remain, but there's no point intrying to describe this place. You gave the one perfect answer to all theseemingly unanswerable questions: Come see for yourself. I'm here now. I see itnow. It was right there all the time. It looks like the price of truth iseverything, but it's not. How could I not have known? The price of truth isnothing.