The following quote, when misunderstood, can lead to a common misbelief:
“The deeper sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.” – Kahlil Gibran
An inexpensive stereo system does not reproduce the high and low frequencies well. If you look at a graphic reproduction of the sound pattern, you would see the highs and lows ‘flat line’ or cut off at some point. This can have quite an undesirable effect on the listener.
As you evolve, your ability to feel the full range, the highs and lows, of human emotions expands. You feel more deeply. You do not ‘flat line.’ Flat lining is an intense experience: the lows feel like fingernails scratching a chalkboard… very painful. The highs too are as if unmanageable or intolerable. Though those feelings are intense, they are limited. You have no doubt seen people flat line. Words like intolerable hysteria come to mind. It is as if the psyche crumbles or buckles over.
In contrast, the ability to feel the full range of emotions is a more highly evolved state. The ability to feel deep sorrow does not enable one to feel deep joy. The capacity to feel both develops simultaneously as one evolves. Expansion occurs in all directions simultaneously.
Now at first glance, this may sound undesirable. Who wants to be able to feel more sorrow? However, it is not like that. As you evolve, the cosmic cushion of the depth of your being is more and more fully experienced. That is to say that you awaken to a place deep within your being that remains untouched by sorrow or joy. It is like the tail of a kite that enables you to soar higher without tumbling.
On the other hand, flat lining is an overwhelming experience. The Self is overshadowed. Integration breaks down. Irrationality consumes ones being. Be it due to great sorrow or joy, flat lining is an undesirable and limiting state.
It is valuable to note that even Lord Rama, fully established in the Self, fell to his knees and sobbed when he learned his beloved wife, Sita, was kidnapped. The equanimity of the enlightened is not a zombie-like state. Great emotions are felt. Yet the Self, the tail of the kite, is not lost. The emotions soar higher. They do not flat line.
Thank you Brahmarshi, Lately I’ve been feeling a lot of sadness about people I have loved that have passed away. I even told Clif maybe it is better not to love—because it hurts so much. This blog has given me a different perspective on my sadness. I can not feel so bad about feeling so sad. Tracy
Great blog… Words like clipped and pegged come to mind. Also, muscle failure comes to mind. I recognize sometimes as my body receives more and more grace from gravity that it can be overwhelming at times… Flat lining might not be the ideal enlightened state but it seems like part of the learning process. As we learn how to use this bongee cord of power…
Thank you Brahmarshi for making that clearer.
There is a saying that seems to fit here even though it grossly simplifies a beautiful blog..”How do you know you are having a good day until you have had a bad one”.My ability to truly appreciate each day and the people I have and think about within each day, has deepened because of experiencing the opposite.I feel that what you speak of will be experienced directly however I hope that the superficial(for now) is at least a hint of the right direction.
Thank you Maharshi I am mostly thankful for the ability to appreciate your gift of knowledge..remembering all the years of confusion that came before.
What a great teaching! This sheds some new light for me on feeling more, including “bad” emotions, as we evolve. Feeling sorrow, fear, or anger, seem to have their own richness but aren’t painful like when we have a flat-lining physiology. It is wonderful to have these insights into evolution.
Thank you Maharshi!
You expanded and clarified one of my favorite quotes from Ramana Maharshi. “The realized person weeps with the weeping, laughs with the laughing, plays with the playful, sings with those who sing, keeping time to the song. What does he lose?”
I think it’s easy for us to underestimate the amount of pain (or joy) that an enlightened individual feels since he also has the ability to hold that incredible depth of emotion so well.
Reminding me, Gaia and I must pay for the Retreat today. I am not handling all this so very well. Thank you and Jai Guru Dev.