Mara’s Assault

I am back writing on this blog after a season of separation from the light Lenore and I shared. There is indeed a season for everything, and awakened persons are not exempt. That’s one of the developments of my sojourn through grief. I have come to own even more consciously and firmly the awakened awareness we shared together. It is a brighter light in me now, the light she said I needed to share here rather than go with her to where she is now.

I am doing that now, one day at a time. I have no idea what the next day will hold. I still want very badly to be with her where she is. I have not “healed” or “passed through” the grief I have experienced since her death. If anything my grief is deeper and more piercing and poignant than ever as I remember who we were together, what we gained together, and how we lived together before she died.

Last night I had an unusual experience I want to share.

Three days after I spoke openly and without reservation on Facebook about the satori, the awakening, Lenore and I had experienced together, Mara appeared in stealth in the darkness of my dreams. I didn’t recognize him. Warriors say the best time to attack is 4:00 am, when the adversary sleeps and is at their most vulnerable. Mara is at war with heaven and is well versed in the tactics of attack upon it.

Until the morning when I awoke Mara assaulted me with the ways and wiles of his art. He was a grinning hound slinking slowly forward, then cavalry charging head-on in full force, then Mara himself wheeling in the field to bear in from a dark, unseen vector of battle.

I was unprepared for the attack, vulnerable in the drift of sleep. I tumbled and turned and rolled and each onslaught pierced me and I had no counter and bore the full force of the onslaught until morning.

In the morning when I got up and went outside, the fog of that night still drifted in thick fingers of cloud across the sunrise. The rising light came flooding across the desert and as darkness faded I awoke and I realized I had been attacked by Mara.

I remembered something the Buddha had said in a similar encounter. “I see you, Mara.”

Doubt is Mara’s goal, and creating doubt in the mind and heart and spirit is Mara’s expertise. I had spoke of the mutual union which manifested in satori for Lenore and I. Mara, drawn by the light of our truth, came to throw up a curtain against it.

Mara attacked Lenore, attacked me, arguing that our love, our faith, our devotion and the resultant revelations and awakening we shared were all illusions; our truth was false, our light benighted, our vision distorted and what we saw together was only meaning given to a universe which held no meaning at all. It was a pretty impressive attack.

Mara appears in the Buddhist canon, and is one of many similarly personified symbols in various religious systems representing adversarial things which we encounter before and after awakening. Satan, in the Judeo-Christian canon, is another.

Mara is doubt. Satan is the small, selfish ego which offers false promises of grandeur and attainment and mundane and temporal gratifications in return for forsaking awakening to the deeper, whole truth of life.

Both Mara and Satan represent powerful influences encountered in the human experience on the path to fulfillment before and after our awakening in conscious awareness of who and what we are really, and before and after we are enlightened.

That’s important to note. They appear before and after awakening. They appear to the Buddha and the Christ and to all awakened and awakening people. They attempt to obscure and prevent people from seeing and owning what they already have: a divine self, a connected self, a true self.

People think they couldn’t possibly be capable of living at the level of awareness I described when I spoke of the satori Lenore and I experienced together. Many doubt that anyone can except for rare, special people who exist far above the station they assign to themselves. That’s just not true.

Mara and Satan are tricky. They turn seeing upside down and attempt to convince us that we are small. One of their ploys is to misuse the quality of humility and insist that it is a good thing – which it is in and of itself – but for the wrong reason. They twist it into the belief that we must be “humble” because we are not great, we are small. They attempt to convince us that we are not who and what we really are.

There are a lot of good reasons to practice humility, but that’s not one of them. True humility grows out of seeing and knowing, simultaneously, the unique beauty of our individual experience in the universe and all the gifts it bestows, and also how small a part of it we are.

The idea that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and the idea that we need to be guided by others and rely on their understanding and depend on the action of some unknowable, omnipotent, mysterious entity outside of ourselves which we have no way of directly connecting with because we are small and weak and not strong and powerful is a historical, institutionalized and socialized power play rooted in the small ego self, the thing which insists it must be in control of our mind and heart and belief and knowing.

Own who you are really. Own the divinity and awareness that you already have – or at least try it on for size and then look for evidence proving it is so. It’s there.

Then when Mara attacks you see what is happening. Then you can say, “I see you, Mara.” Then Mara leaves, defeated, as the sun rises.

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