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To dismiss something because it seems obvious has been the source of many grievous errors even in the most concrete disciplines.

Blind Man’s Elephant in Ganesha


I have seen people use silence as a way to get someone to say things they don’t want to. They just ask a question and stare at you, not saying a word and letting you stew in the silence.

That is the way of Ganesha also, and the way of the genuine guru. If you don’t want to talk about the burdens of your Atman or individual soul, you don’t seek to converse with the guru because the guru lives a life with the deva, with the dharma and in enlightenment and liberation. They cannot help but influence you in that way. Even if they ask you known questions, just spending time with the guru, living along side the guru, seeing life even in simple moments as the guru does, will influence you even if you have no official relationship with the guru.

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I am not speaking of any specific gurus. Let’s take sadhus for example. People who have come to live life as simply as they possibly can. Their lives are filled only with the basic experience of life and their minds only with reflection on the broadest aspect of things. How would you make small talk with such a person? They see only life. They live only life. They cease being able to relate to anything much beyond that most basic life.

It might be quite easy for small talk is a component. Indeed, it could be very easy, but you might discover that you are spending a fair bit of that time in small talk actually talking to yourself even though the sadhu is responding to everything you say.

Yes, as they say, “Ooops, the joke’s on me.”

So this is the behaviour of the blind man’s elephant. Everyone tends to believe they know what the problem is. It doesn’t matter what the problem actually is. Everyone approaches it from the point of view that they can understand it best based on their own way of thinking, their own experience and learning. Well, this is Ganesha’s presence in our lives as well. Like the great elephant, Ganesha often moves gently, slowly, and yet you are still very much obliged to get out of the way. When Ganesha emerges in the issues of your experience or learning, the obstacle this being helps you remove from your path … is you.

The devas (or kamis to the Japanese) are not some remote being accessible only in exotic visionary states, though those are the easiest ways for us to feel like we have made contact. States of peak emotion tend to move us beyond our shallow shoal of spirit and experience, and more deeply into the universal. This is why near death or intense ritual experience can be so transformative. When you have this kind of experience, you don’t actually lose your self, otherwise the experiences wouldn’t be able to make any sense to you, wouldn’t be intelligible at all. What you see is your self as it’s reflected in the universal realm, the true, most real you, and well, it’s often a shocking experience.

Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.

Travis Saunders
Dragon Intuitive

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