Thursday 14 August 2008


There is a feeling that can only be described by one word.

It is not euphoria. It is not based on feelings of a rush, hormones racing, pulse racing, a feel good, a buzz, a whirr.

It not suffering. It is not fear, or anxiety.

It is not relief.

It is not anger, or pain, or any emotion that can be explained.

It is that sense of total absence of self, that sense that you are still.

The sense that nothing rages, you have no pleasure, no pain, for at this point you feel that state the Buddhists call Nirvana.

And we in the west call Epiphany.


Anonymous said...

You know it's an Epiphany when the wise men show up.

Anonymous said...

At the risk of sounding picky, maybe you need to change your title.

I always thought Epiphany was that “Well I never! Wow!” moment of realisation.

In the classical sense frankincense, gold and myrrh are good pointers;-)

Obviously it is a Christian festival, but that festival celebrates something. In this case a Wow! He is divine! moment the Magi had.

So It can also be a sudden realisation of the essence, or meaning of something.

So not absence of self then…

I am not even sure if Nirvana (Not the group) is actually absence of self. It is more a disinterested compassion and loosening of your ties with the attachments of the world a sense of stillness…

Maybe it is the stillness you are thinking of?

Anonymous said...

:) What to say to that, just letting you know I am back :)

Anonymous said...

Yes I though epiphanies were moments of realisation too, like in Joyce.

I've had a couple of those, though they never last: and I am wary of non-self moments. I think we in the west (if I may generalise for a moment) are very hyped up about control, fear being out of control, fear dissolution, we have extremely strong individual identities (or images of them). A moment such as you describes causes not peace in me, but fear. A moment devoid of my real & constructed self is not a moment of existence at all, but of sleep or death.

Not saying I agree with this but I do think we have a real issue with ideas like this: which is why seek some limited and induced forms of escape (still subject to a certain control, of course) - ie Stella.

Anonymous said...

I would simply say that Epiphany and Nirvana are opposing ways at looking at the same realistion.

Which is transcending self interest and aspiring to a higher love.

I think for most of us, we only experience these things fleetingly.

But they are moments worth experiencing, even if we cannot hold that selfless love for very long before it gets contaminated again.

Anonymous said...

I have to say, I've never thought of that before, though it makes a kind of sense. Care to elaborate, in a post? I think it might deserve your thought...

CBI I admire your interest in these stillnesses...I do find them a bit scary, tbh.