If all is in truth Sachchidananda (Existence, Consciousness, Bliss), death, suffering, evil, limitation can only be the creations… of a distorting consciousness which has fallen from the total and unifying knowledge of itself into some error of division and partial experience. This is the fall of man typified in the poetic parable of the Hebrew Genesis. That fall is his deviation from the full and pure acceptance of God and himself, or rather of God in himself, into a dividing consciousness which brings with it all the train of the dualities, life and death, good and evil, joy and pain, completeness and want, the fruit of a divided being. This is the fruit which Adam and Eve… the soul tempted by Nature, have eaten. The redemption comes by the recovery of the universal in the individual and of the spiritual term in the physical consciousness. Then alone the soul in Nature can be allowed to partake of the fruit of the tree of life and be as the Divine and live for ever.
Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine,
Chapter VII, The Ego and the Dualities
According to Vedanta and to the teachers of the Vedic sciences, the nature of reality is Sachchidananda.
Sat = Existence. I Am.
Chit = Consciousness. I Know That I Am.
Ananda = Bliss. And the Nature of What I Am is Bliss.
I am (Beingness), I am aware of myself as this being, and what I am as this being is bliss itself.
If this is true, why then do I experience suffering? If I am bliss itself, why am I not able to know it in each moment?
As stated above, it is because I have allowed myself to become identified with the ego. I know myself as this ‘dividing consciousness’ that instead of seeing oneness everywhere sees only the dualities: ‘life and death, good and evil, joy and pain, completeness and want.’
When I see only the dualities of life, then I try to find my happiness–my bliss–within these dualities. I seek more life and continually am confronted with death. I seek good, yet find myself overwhelmed with the evil inherent in the world and in myself. I seek joy, and find it always counterbalanced by pain. I seek completeness, yet live almost exclusively in an experience of want.
The truth of my being is not available to me within the world of dualities. I must go beyond duality in order to find the peace and comfort of true bliss that I am told resides within me. It is only by knowing myself as that which is beyond the dualities that I may find the truth of my being. It is by transcending this limited experience of myself that I may begin to live the spiritual in this physical consciousness.
I must have some way of experiencing this ‘God in myself.’ Knowing it is there is not enough. This keeps me still identified with my dividing mind. I must be able to feel it, to be it.
I must meditate.
It’s not just a good idea. It’s not just a way to lessen the stress I will feel at an audition or in a business meeting or in an argument with my significant other, though it is that as well. It’s not just a way to rest deeply and increase the chemistry of happiness in my blood stream, though it is that, too.
Meditation, in some form, is necessary if we are to have a life that satisfies our deepest yearnings. It is as essential as eating and sleeping and learning how to show up for a job, how to be a partner, how to be a good citizen, how to be a good son or daughter or parent. It is as essential as breathing.
Meditation puts us in contact with the place that makes all the rest of it meaningful. It allows us to know ourselves as the place that makes all the rest of life do-able.
Meditation allows us to begin the task we all are here to accomplish: to know ourselves as the Bliss of Existence Itself.
Today I will meditate twice, morning and evening; and during the day, when I feel put-upon by the world and out of sorts about my sorry lot in life, I will remind myself that I am something other than this limited suffering ego, and I will allow myself to be guided by nature to a greater experience of myself as this other thing.