“Only drowning men could see him”
This is a line from the beautiful Leonhard Cohen song ” Suzanne” – a song about faith and “the belief in the unseen”.
And Jesus was a sailor, when he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching from his lonely wooden tower.
And when he knew for certain, only drowning men could see him,
He said: “All men will be sailors then, until the sea shall free them.”
Whoever experienced a situation that challenged the “survival instinct” will be finding out that the “witness” only exists up to a certain point. It shows perfectly who the “witness” actually is – the awareness of the conscious mind. The witness is providing insight and experience, allows for integration or dissociation of reactive pattern, and overall is providing the understanding for “ the observer is the observed”.
But there may be an intense level of fear to “go beyond the witness”, into the nothingness of being.
Being on a journey of self-discovery, we are going through many stages. Observing our thoughts, our emotions, and the reactions to it. Understanding our more or less conscious identifications and free ourselves more and more from the baggage. Being the observer is a tool to find “the barriers inside” and to monitor the state of acceptance to “what is” in this very moment. Being the observer and to understand that the “observer is the observed”, is learning to swim with the help of a lifebelt.
It takes faith, the belief in one one’s ability and the inherent safety of all that Life is, to finally let go of the lifebelt. And then there may be a moment of fear, we may grasp for safety, but it is gone. And then we suddenly notice that we are actually swimming – and finally taste the sweetness of freedom.
All of the above is the reason to familiarize ourselves with the meaning of “not knowing”. “Not knowing” to the mind means death, but “not knowing” is what Life is all about. This to me is the same kind of paradox like “free will” or “do nothing”. It does not mean what one would assume just superficially skimming over it.
It really provides great insight to reflect on the meaning of these “concepts”, because to me they all point to the same – the joy of surrender.
And we actually don’t need to go and drown ourselves to see it.