Silver Medal Syndrome

Image by Alexey Hulsov from Pixabay

I was perusing the books of Neale Donald Walsch recently on eBay, and was pleasantly surprised to see that there was a “Book Four” in the Conversations With God series. I have found the CWG trilogy to be a very significant part of my spiritual evolution, so when I saw that there was a fourth part, I just had to have it. It truly is amazing how “The Absolute” has its unique way of reaching out to us when we need support and guidance, in EXACTLY the way that is most suitable and relevant to us at the time. I have been asking so many questions lately, and like some kind of Divine Christmas present out of the blue, this book has provided me with answers. I have barely started reading the book, but already, like a piece in a Divine jig-saw puzzle it has just slotted into place in my life and, as well as answering some of my questions, it has also given me the inspiration to come up with an analogy that I have called, “Silver Medal Syndrome.”

I think that many people reading this post will be able to relate to what I mean here. Regardless of what the media would have us believe, there is most definitely a shift in consciousness going on, as I type even. People are gradually waking up to their true nature. However, for many, and I include myself here, we “know” from the perspective of knowledge, that we are already awake and have nothing to seek. But, we do not have the “knowing” of our awakenedness. What I’m getting at, is that there is a difference between knowledge and knowing. Knowledge comes with words, but knowing only comes with experience. So, we have the knowledge that our true nature is consciousness, but in our physical form we are not yet evolved enough to know this experientially. This is where the analogy comes in.

At the moment, we have the silver medal. It’s better than bronze, but it’s not quite gold. From my own experience, when we have Bronze Medal Syndrome, we are on the path but we think we know more than we actually do. Then, we ascend to Silver Medal Syndrome (SMS). It’s not bad, in fact it’s a great effort, but we still only have knowledge. One of the draw backs of SMS is that even though we know that we are awake but not quite there, we still sometimes think and act in ways that we know are not conducive to our spiritual evolution. We might even follow this up with feelings of guilt after the event.

It is important however, to try and not beat ourselves up when this happens. Remember, it’s all a part of the training, the experience of life…and we are all ultimately GOING FOR GOLD!

The Divine Teaser

There were times when dear loving Swami could be such a teaser, and I’m going to share two of my own personal experiences with you here.

The first one took place on the last day of my first visit to Prasanthi Nilayam back in October 2009.  It had been quite an eventful first visit, experiencing life on the ashram and Baba’s leelas, and I’d decided that on the last night I was going to treat myself to a comfortable hotel room.  Even the most expensive hotels in Puttaparthi are very cheap by UK standards so I booked myself into the Sai Towers Hotel, just opposite one of the main gates to the ashram.  The good thing was that it was a 24 hour reservation, meaning that because I arrived at around 7.00 p.m. I had the room until 7:00 p.m. the next day.  Also, for the previous two or three days there had been rumours circulating that Swami would be leaving the ashram to inaugurate a new ashram in Pune.  Where Swami is concerned you can never pay much attention to any rumours that may be flying around, however, this is one rumour that turned out to be true.  On the final day of my visit Baba was indeed off to Pune.

Even though my room was very comfortable I did not sleep that well and I arose quite early.  At some stage I heard chanting coming from the ashram.  I didn’t think anything of it at first but then I realised that it was only about 07:00 a.m. and the Vedic chanting on the ashram does not usually start until 08:00 a.m.  In my naive innocence I presumed that there was an earlier than normal darshan because Baba was going away for a few days.  This was not the case however and I can only presume that the chanting was to honour “God in human form” and to see him on his way.  For some reason I decided to head downstairs.  I say “for some reason” because there was no logical reason for me doing so.  It was still early and I didn’t feel like breakfast at that precise moment, but nonetheless I found myself heading down the stairs.

When I reached the ground floor I noticed that there was people lining the street.  For a moment I wondered what was going on; and then the realisation hit me.  I ventured outside to a hive of activity, and within a few moments of me being out there, Baba’s car swung out of the gate and turned to head right past me.  I couldn’t believe it, my loving Lord engineered my own personal “car darshan” for me on my last morning in Puttaparthi.  As the car went past with Swami’s tiny figure in the back seat I was screaming and pleading in my head for him to make eye contact with me.  But did he do it?  No, of course not; he teased and tantalized me with a view of his Divine human form, he engineered my own personal darshan with precision timing, but he wasn’t going to make eye contact with me.  Ever the Divine teaser, it was as though Baba handed me a bag of sweets, let me eat some and then took them back before I could get to my favourites.  But what he did do was suffuse my heart with his love, and what a feeling it was; my heart just melted.  I felt so blessed that Swami did that for me, and to this day, when I look back on that event I always have a little chuckle to myself at how he manages to tease us until we are on the verge of bursting.  I’m sure there are millions of devotees all over the world who have similar stories to tell.

Watch this space for part two.