HI. Here's my first post, about life after a few months of seeing through the illusion of the self. But first, let me write a little about life BEFORE this.
I spent about forty-some years doing what everyone else seems to be doing - searching for happiness. Living in a society which is rigid about social,religious and cultural norms, I grew up believing that the way I lived was the right, in fact the ONLY, way to be.
And so, within this narrow view of life, I searched. To help myself deal with the different issues that life brings us, I turned to religion and the search for God. I tried to be 'pure' and 'good' in the hope of finding eternal happiness in heaven. I thought I found some peace, mistaking the safety net of old beliefs for contentment.
My best friend, from a different culture and background, talked with me about different viewpoints, but I was sure I knew it all. I'm sure she must at times have been shocked at my arrogance at times, but she was too nice to have told me what a jerk I was sometimes! However, I'm sure at some subconscious level, I must have been registering the fact that there are other ways to think, to be.
Some years ago, I was finding it difficult to cope with life's problems. Having come across meditation techniques on the internet, I decided to give it a go, to find that ever-elusive happiness. At about the same time, I started thinking about things which I had always just accepted to be true and unquestionable. So much didn't make much sense to me anymore... If there was a God, why ever would He make His beloved creatures suffer like this? Or punish them in everlasting hell? No, I couldn't accept that! In the meantime, I diligently meditated for one to two hours every day.
For reasons I don't quite understand, maybe this is the Grace that is spoken of, maybe it was my conversations with my best friend, maybe it was a natural process, whatever the reason, my deepest beliefs started getting shaky, weak at their foundations. I wanted the truth! I looked into all sorts of spiritual offerings on the net. Buddhism, meditations, Sufism, etc, etc. I read "Conversations with God" and "The Power of Now", but nothing seemed 'right' or true. Everything seemed to have extra stuff added on, things I found hard to swallow as being real. Every philosophy seemed to try to make sense of a universe that really made no sense at all, by twisting it to fit its paradigm of life, reality, it's own box!
God, was I confused! But at the same time, there was an excitement, an 'inner rush' at challenging my own beliefs. It sounds weird, but that's how I felt. The mental box I had built around me was showing cracks...