By Richard Rose
THERE IS AN account of an experience, [titled The Three Books of the Absolute] appended to [The Albigen Papers]. It was written over twenty years ago. The experience described, — had all the symptoms of sorrow and despair, which changed as I progressed in the experience. I tried than to convey the unusual conviction that settled upon me, and do not think that it can ever be said better with any other words, by me.
It happened when I was [thirty] years of age. I had reached a sort of culmination of physical desire and spiritual frustration. My spiritual objectives were still bounded by my intellectual ego, and to compound the foolishness, I was indulging a few other personality-voices. That which I am trying to say here may not be clear enough (about my personal life), but one need not advance into morbidity to describe a dead horse.
I was playing the drama of life with one face, and was looking eagerly to heaven with the other. I came apart at the seams very quickly. It was almost as though a chemical catalyst had been dropped into my mind. At the time, I was sure that I was going insane. I should pause here to acknowledge the many psychiatric fingers pointing in my direction ... at that admission. You may even say that I was preparing for this admission when I attacked psychiatry in my previous writings ... Perhaps I was. But, if I have been there and back, I should know a little more than the mechanic who has had a more limited confusion of the mental type, — because of his protected vegetable existence. And I should be more reliable than any inkblot specialists who may have “been there too,” but whose professional pose prevents them from admitting it.
I did not do anything rash. I had no reason to. I had no reason to do anything. While the ego is being melted, there is no joy. Sorrow permeated my whole being ... sorrow for myself and for humanity. The distress became almost unbearable, and it came upon me from the field of my mind, not from emotion. Emotion may have triggered it. Or a brick in the pavement may have caused it, or my emotional experiments may have triggered it. However, once the catalyst started the change of mind, absolutely nothing mattered. I had no attachments beyond myself ... once I became ... more deeply.
The initial attachment for myself became the prime source of my sorrow. I met myself face-to-face, and the division shocked me. Everything upon which I looked had a different meaning and aspect from previous comprehension, and was impossible to convey in language. Things in their essence are tangible only to mind-essence, and not tangible to the mind of everyday cognition. Somewhere in the being of man there is an eye that must be open. We open it by closing all eyes or egos.
Many things might qualify a deliberate attempt to arrive at such an experience. This is where a brotherhood or sangha becomes useful. It is like walking a tightrope in the dark. A friend to guide each step saves many a fall or loss of time. The friend needs to have walked the tightrope himself, before, to know what it is all about.
The term “tightrope” is used to signify the precariousness of the position of the mind which adventures into intangibles. This acrobat must be well balanced by intuition and common sense. He must be eager, but his eagerness without some skill may cause much spinning of the wheels. He must keep his attention on the search for Truth for years, and decades, if need be. If he is young, he must look forward to a relentless struggle with no guarantee of immediate success. I remember that when I was twenty years of age, I decided to make this search my life’s work. I decided then that I would try to change my being (I thought that it was that simple) within a couple of years. However, I was determined that if it took my entire life, and if at the end of that life I had still failed to pierce the veil, — I would be nevertheless more satisfied than if I had never tried.
I thought that I had a powerful mind those days. I mistook a healthy body for a dynamic mind. I found myself able to decide on plans and carry them out. I made a few predictions that came true, and I thought that I had a superior computer. It helped a bit, but I was living in a glass house. Now and then emotion would settle on me like a stifling fog, and it would interrupt my meditations or studies. Irritation set in and the respites from it were brief periods of mystical peace or joy. I found yoga to be a wonderful sedative. I thought at that time that I was dialing heaven. Years went by, and with the years, my conceit began to shred away. When I reached thirty years of age, I decided that I had been kidding myself. My intense hunger for Truth was waning. I was not sure of anything except that which I could see in the mirror, and that image was not faring too well in the hands of time. Then came the accident, or the event which is referred to as cosmic consciousness. It is important to remember that this was an accident. I had never met anyone previously who had that type of experience. My previous preconceptions about spiritual awakening were the result of readings of lives of mystics, and their glowing personal accounts. These readings brought me to the expectation that enlightenment was coincidental with overwhelming joy.
The fact that I experienced almost the opposite of that which I expected, convinces me that wish was not a father to the result. In other words, the state spontaneously evolved.
I was on the Pacific Coast at the time. I hurriedly left for Cleveland. I had a friend there. I did not wish to go home in my stunned condition. I remained relatively stunned for several weeks. The world was still a very strange place. The people moved about like robots, but gradually they became people again. Then I found a kind of gentle amusement in the apparent foolishness of their aimless scrambling.
I took a job in Alliance, Ohio, and rented a room there. My friend had moved there from Cleveland, and he managed to get me a job with the company that employed him. I do not think that his recommendation of me added any to his prestige with the company. I did not care for the future of the company, and that is not an attitude conducive to social harmony in a research-laboratory. My objective then, was to write a poetic book. The physical world had now become very beautiful to me. It was as if I had died, and had come back to life, to a drama with new meaning. Actually, I was losing contact with the motionless condition imposed on me by my momentarily becoming part of motionlessness. Motion was once more enchanting. A rose was once more a rose. I came home from work each day and propped myself up in front of a typewriter. I thought that I had a message of joy and beauty for the world.
Then one day I began to write my feelings about the strange experience. Previously I had avoided writing anything down because I felt that there was no use in trying to describe it or account for it. I used an emotional medium to describe that which ultimately was without emotion, — that which gave way to nothingness. I called this writing, The Three Books of the Absolute.
They were written automatically. They were not composed. I just began writing, and my thoughts flowed through the typewriter. I did not realize completely at the time that my experience came under any mystical category, or had any label known to the general public. I read the Three Books of the Absolute to my friend, and he was impressed by them. But then he was impressionable, or so I thought.
I filed them away because I did not encounter many people who were interested in the apparently temporary derangement. Between five and ten years later, while working with a psychic-research group in Steubenville, Ohio, a thoughtful lady gave me a book called, Cosmic Conciousness, by Bucke. As I read it, I learned for the first time the extent to which it was possible for laymen to experience the same thing that I had. By laymen, I mean, people with no religious affiliation or mystical discipline. The layman, in fact, may be better able to encounter the experiences needed to bring about the grand experience more so than a cloistered monk. And so I became convinced that it was not impossible to communicate the idea to others, if I took enough pains, perhaps.
A writing of this type was planned over ten years ago. I realized that man’s thinking apparatus was almost hopelessly programmed to give out rationalization and wishful errors. I realized that man was not only a prisoner of space and time, but also a prisoner cast in an unreal world, — completely out of touch with his unidentifiable brothers. All of humanity are hopeless robots, even though their egos are as eminent as their skyscrapers. Occasionally and accidentally, a robot puts to his own computer a question and comes up with an answer about himself, which tells him that he is a robot. And, thus he becomes less of a robot.
And so now, I am trying to contact the other robots… especially the robots who have progressed to that accidental computerization that makes them aware of their robotic state. I have seen this theme portrayed in science fiction stories, and marveled at the hint of truth in them, — and wondered about the authors of some of those stories. Could they too, be trying to give the robots a hint?
[THE END OF THIS ARTICLE]
First account © 1985 Richard Rose from The Direct-Mind Experience pages 83‒84. Second account © 1984 Richard Rose from his April 28, 1984, lecture ‘Peace of Mind in Spite of Success’ in Akron, Ohio. Third account © 1973 from The Albigen Papers, pages 224‒227.
This article is reprinted from a file on SearchWithin.org called ‘realization_richard_rose.pdf.’
Richard Rose (1917 – 2005) was a spiritual teacher and author of eight books.
By Richard Rose
Bart Marshall writes:
“Richard Rose is quite possibly the most profound and original spiritual teacher America has yet produced. In many ways he is our Ramana Maharshi, and yet he remains unknown to all the but the lucky few who have happened upon his books — or the fewer still who have had the great good fortune to cross his path. Of his many writings, Psychology of the Observer is the most indispensable to the serious seeker. In it Rose reveals the essence of the process that led to his enlightenment, and directly points the way for us to awaken also.”
This page was published on June 24, 2017 and last revised on July 2, 2017.