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  • Writer's pictureAnne Sweet

A Traveller’s Tale

Part 1:

The Dramatic Self

There has been some background depression or heaviness lately and I am beginning to understand what is behind it: as the years have passed it has become increasingly more difficult to experience a solid sense of ‘I”, the person. I am clearly still here as this specific individual with feelings and ego and all the usual things, but they are not coalesced as or around a personal identity. They simply are, appearing and disappearing. The ‘person’ has been lost or mislaid somewhere along the way, and there is a sense of loss and a kind of grief. I feel very far away from the shore I started out from, and there is no possibility of returning there, even for a brief visit.

All the faculties operate just as they have always done, and it is doubtful anyone will notice my absence, but I notice it, and it is painful. No doubt in time it will all feel normal and probably even a relief but in this moment I know I have lost something, something known and familiar and seemingly substantial. If you don’t exist as a solid person you will be swallowed by the Totality and at that point ... well, you can say goodbye to whatever has gone before. I can feel the immediacy of that precipice and I am resisting it.

I desperately wanted this however and I prayed for it over and over again. The reality though is much more confronting than I imagined. Spiritual life is not a pretty stroll through a garden of joy and bliss. It is a sacrificial plundering of the identity of the individual and a voluntary/involuntary destruction of the sandcastle of the personal self.

Part II:

Beyond the Dramatic Self

The whining and complaining of a dying empire (the personal “I”) is laughable in the face of the reality of slipping over the precipice and falling headlong not into a tragic loss, but the ecstatic merging with the Totality itself. All the stories are true: the river hesitates to join the ocean fearing it will lose its identity only to find its identity is now one with the entire ocean.

In fact its identity has never not been one with the Totality – there was simply a misunderstanding and a narrowing down to something small and fraught along the way. The reality was always an indivisible Whole, but seen through the lens of isolation and separation. I have not lost anything of value (although it is still unnerving to realize what has gone) and the thundering waves of limitlessness are more than enough compensation.

The personal “I” is an inconvenience and a perpetuator of suffering and all its fears and trepidations will be seen through as a mirage. Allow it if you can, to dissolve and eventually disintegrate completely. Boundless Totality is your true domain and human birthright. The gnawing hunger in your soul will be dissatisfied with anything less.

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I was stunned when I realized that all my ideas about renunciation were mistaken. As I came to understand it, the renunciation of external things – sex, money, fame, comfort, was only a preparation:


Sven Hansson
Sven Hansson
Jun 17, 2022

Beautiful Anne. Much recognition!

Anne Sweet
Anne Sweet
Jun 17, 2022
Replying to

That's wonderful, Sven, I'm so glad.

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