I read an article in the paper this morning that I totally related to. Basically the guy found yoga, became a teacher, but is reminded that ignorance is bliss. And now that the cat's out of the bag, Pandora's box is open, the can of worms is opened, you get the idea, there's no going back. Once your life has been transformed, you can't go back to being ignorant. And knowing what's going on doesn't mean you're happy about it.
I've been talking to people about this lately. I've gone through a very difficult time and I think it was even harder because I could watch it and see what was going on as it was happening. I could feel the pain in my veins as I thought certain thoughts. I am aware of the impact of taking certain actions and how reaching for pleasure will bring pain. The good news about it burning brighter is that it burned for a shorter time. And that really is good news.
Oh to be ignorant again. I don't want to suggest people take on a yogic path - it isn't necessarily fun. It in fact is necessarily not fun a lot of the time. If you can stay with your head in the sand I suggest you keep doing that. I couldn't. And some people are calling that "evolution" or the "flowering of human consciousness." It's the "choiceless choice." Whatever. It sucks. However, it's the way to go.
And I know that because I can see how my life unfolds and see that knowing is better but that doesn't make it comfortable. Witnessing doesn't take the pain away. It lends perspective so I can see that it's temporary, which again, doesn't lessen the pain of life.
I laugh when I think of myself as an early 20-something at a Buddhist retreat hearing that the Buddha said, "life is suffering," and I really thought he just had a bad attitude and if he were to shift his perspective he'd see that it's not that bad. Ha! Ah ya, good old innocence. Ignorance. Same thing.
We had a little chat about enlightenment at the hospital yesterday, god I love teaching those kids, and I explained that apparently when you're enlightened, you're exactly the same as you are before. You're just not bothered by it. And if you're bothered, then you're not bothered by the fact that you're bothered. That's all there is to it. I said even enlightened people have to eat and go to the bathroom and gravity works on them, too. And hey, we're all enlightened really. Really. There's a place inside all of us that isn't bothered that we're bothered.