When the Mother Adopts Your Nervous System - David Spero interview by David Rivers
When the Mother Adopts Your Nervous System
I’m interested specifically in the energetic process of awakening. In your book you speak about the divine energy, “the Mother,” adopting your nervous system — that’s a very interesting point to me.
Yes, this is a fascinating topic. Energetic awakening, which is to be distinguished from Transcendental Realization—what I spoke of earlier – was characteristic of my later sadhana. My early sadhana was meditation-based, whereas the latter was energy-based, and by energy-based I mean immersion in the shakti – the energetic currents in consciousness. For me, energetic awakening was rooted in the Transcendental Reality, not vice versa.
After about fifteen years of daily meditations, meditating sometimes up to six or seven hours a day, I felt compelled to visit a couple of living avatars. Both were known to be incarnations of the Divine Mother Consciousness. I meditated in their company and experienced a whole different kind of sadhana. Basically, the shakti was activated in my meditations. It opened the nadis and chakras in an almost forceful way.
I had tasted the shakti’s presence occasionally in my daily meditations—the powerful vibration-current rising out of the Absolute – but now the shakti usurped my meditations. It overwhelmed my experience of the witness, dissolving my fascination with silence and detachment. Gradually my entire consciousness was transformed by this feminine energy.
Through my encounter with the shakti, the deepest form of devotion also manifested—for the Divine Mother. You could say that I became, over the next six to seven years, a devotee of the Divine Mother Consciousness. Shakti became the complete focus of my meditations from 1990-1997. I lived in my van for much of this time with my dog Blacky.
In late 1996 I was catapulted into full Unity Consciousness. Subject and object became fully transparent in the One. Only That existed. There was no longer an “other.” All spiritual seeking ended. The Self existed on the inside and outside. Sadhana was complete.
In the late winter of 1996-1997, I stopped to rest in a Palm Springs motel. I sat to perform my daily meditation. Blacky lay at my feet, curled up asleep. On this morning my meditation quickly plummeted into Being. As the mind crossed into the Absolute I was transported into the most exquisite state of Unity Consciousness. A huge golden light erupted. Golden rays shot out of my heart, travelling in spherical waves, swallowing everything, everywhere. Golden Light circled the Earth. I held the earth like this (David holds out his arms, making a gesture embracing the Earth)—held it in my arms, so to speak. At the same time, due to my precious advaita Vedanta realization, I calmly witnessed this whole event. I remained pretty level-headed in the midst of this grandiosity.
When I left the motel that morning to have breakfast everything was bathing in a Golden Sea of Oneness. I went next door to the restaurant. The waitress brought me pancakes and I saw golden light carrying golden light. She was in golden light, and I, as golden light, prepared to eat the golden light pancakes. And in the background of my awareness, I cognized that the whole universe, seen and unseen, from the dish of pancakes to the farthest galaxy, was bathing in this same Eternal Light. It was pretty outrageous, beyond belief really, yet utterly concrete. It was as clear as you sitting before me right now.
Everything, even in their individual forms, was suffused in brilliant light. The Light was the source and energetic emanation of all living forms. This God-intoxication lasted for several days. Subjectively, I was lost in it. It was mystical. It was inebriating. I was annihilated.
Annihilated by it?
Yes, the “I” had already been dissolved permanently into the Self, but this golden vision added a new dimension of appreciation to that knowledge.
You can’t experience God. God is not an object, God was not that golden light. That light was a symptom, an eruption in the vicinity of the Transcendental Consciousness. The light was a secondary wave manifestation of that essential consciousness which is beyond everything.
The light faded after a few days, but it never completely faded, you see. I have never left that state. After that, there remained a residue or vasana of that immensity. Vasana, by the way, comes from the root VAS, which literally means “to perfume.” The vasana, or scent, or perfume, or residual ashes of that experience became the substratum of my existence, of my life. This was and is beyond all concepts. You’ve read in books how enlightenment goes beyond conceptualization, how the Absolute isn’t a concept. I’m telling you heart to heart that I live in that state even now. My life has been exploded or imploded into that Oneness.
But to get back to my story, after a few days the Golden Light as an outer perception faded. In that fading, a tremendous energy was unleashed. The shakti was born within that field of light. What remained was a kind of volcanic rumbling in the depth of Being. My ability to transmit consciousness and help awaken others was born. By the way, I had no idea any of this was possible, not for me anyway. I had read about things like this in books, but when it happens to you – now that’s a different story.
Now I can answer your question about Mother adopting my nervous system. About one year after this experience, in late 1997, I was completely taken over by Kali. By Kali, I mean the fiercest form of the shakti, personified as a Goddess-Presence. Kali-Shakti swelled into a tornado-like intensity, abducting my nervous system. Living in me, Kali also “ran” me. During this period, I remembered Ramakrishna who was possessed by the Divine Mother, dressing and acting like a woman, going into intoxicated states, acting crazy.
During this time Mother-Kali “drove” my van. Whenever She suggested going for a ride, I gasped. I knew this meant passing out at the wheel in one location and coming to in another, many miles away, not knowing what town I was in or how far I had travelled. Of course, I cannot be very precise here, only glue together scattered memories and offer as coherent a picture as possible. Much time, after all, was spent out of the mind. Driving my van, I went into samadhi for extended periods. Kali “drove” while I was “unconscious.”
Kali became a fierce task-mistress. It was no fun. This went on for several months. It was maddening. Every aspect of my life was subject to Her whim. Cleaning the floor, brushing my teeth, showering, eating, sleeping – all had to be done to Her satisfaction. Everything had to be done by Her. There was no escape because Kali was arising as my very own mind.
What form did that energy take? I mean how…
There was no actual outer “form” of Kali.
Kali appeared within a vortex of shakti – spiritual current. She communicated with me directly through my own mind, within my own consciousness, as my own thoughts and feelings. She took over my individuality, that’s all I can say. I was possessed. Adi Shankara, in his later days, prayed to Kali to inhabit Him. He implored, ‘let my mind become Your mind, my thoughts become Your thoughts, my become You.’ I experienced the fulfilment of his prayer.
So, it was your entire psychophysical existence that suddenly…
…had become Someone’s plaything. That’s how it felt.
You only knew that it was someone else’s plaything…
I knew it was Kali, the flowering of my devotion to the Divine Mother.
Let me describe how things were at that time. I could not do anything by myself. When I needed clothes, She took me shopping and picked the shirts to buy. If I liked a shirt, I may or may not get it. She had to like the shirt. I had to have Her final permission about everything. This sounds crazy, doesn’t it? She picked all colours I hated. It was terrible. At the same time, I loved every minute of it. I was enthralled, exhilarated, blissful, broken, intoxicated, crying all the time, crying because I was so intimately enamoured of this Presence.
So, there was a presence with this as well.
An energetic presence?
Yes, arising out of my Self, out of the Absolute.