LOOKING FOR IRVING AND FINDING HIM
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FINDING THE FOUNDATION 14 NOV. 1996
Somewhere in the woods of Central Virginia, in full fall foliage, is a cozy Foundation called simply: Synchronicity. It is headed by a Guru: Master Charles, an American of Italian lineage.
He was a monk in India for 15 years, earning the privilege to be called a Master Meditator. Almost everybody at the Foundation treats him as if he was of noble birth, revering him, a few perhaps worshipping him. I, too, saw him in all his glory, wisdom and charisma? but for me there was nothing to revere or worship. He was the person I had been looking for all my life.
He is my Irving.
I have been Irving for many people by being a therapist, a teacher, a zealot, a healer, a mystic - Loving and being Loved. Yet there was always something missing deep down, that I yearned for, that I have been searching for all my life. Now my search has ended because I found that something: He is called Master Charles.
From the moment I discovered the Synchronicity Foundation on the Internet, and read about their operating principles, I knew there was something there for me. When I saw his picture I was turned off a little but I ordered his introductory tapes. When I heard his voice I was convinced that the Foundation was for me. And so I committed myself to enroll in a seven day Meditation course, at Synchronicity Foundation, in northwest Virginia.. When I saw him I knew on the spot that I had found the other Irving I was searching for.
He is the most intelligent, sensitive, wise, knowing man I have ever met. He has a true inner peace, illuminated insight, creativeness and mind-fullness. On the outside we were totally different: he is thin, almost effete, darkly Mediterranean in looks, speaking slowly, clearly and always rhythmically. Yet on the inside we were as cloned. The thirty-five workshop participants never talked to him; they asked questions, they responded to his questions. Touch him? Never!
Then Big Irv from the Bronx, brass-balled, funny, witty, bright, a story teller ? and a pretty good con-man - encountered him. I talked to him, cracked jokes, I entertained - - I was very impressive in imparting my knowledge, wisdom, experiences and adventures in Life. I touched him, shook his hand, hugged him, had a whispered conversation with him. (The Workshop participants, mostly old-timers, were in awe of me. "You touched him. You made him laugh!"
And always: deep down, I was serious, respectful, academic and consistently showed my Love for him. He reciprocated in kind except he didn?t do any touching. I had peak experiences, one after the other and the final one brought me enlightenment - and bliss.
(Yes. I know what bliss is.)
This ultimate peak experience evolved from an exercise he gave the group at the end of the fifth day: for the next sixteen hours no small talk or communication of any kind with the others, unless you are truly in touch with your inner Truth. (Exactly what the inner Truth is, the inner Reality is, was what the Workshop was all about.
During the sixteen hours of introspection and mostly silence, I learned, truly learned, how my Ego (ergo: the clear, tiny voice in my mind,) manipulates me almost all the time. This Ego pal speaks to me in my head, (everyone has his own little voice in his mind.) With its quietly crisp tiny voice, it manipulates me to judge, criticize, to give approval/disapproval and seek approval. There is never any question that it knows what I have to do, how I have to act, to get attention, because it is permanently operating in the Survival Mode.
The 7 day program, in effect, starts from six thirty a.m. to eleven thirty p.m., for seven days, As a result of the intensively accumulative experience of the workshop, his teaching sessions, meditating with him, meditating with the group and by myself, I achieved the breakthrough by being able to come to terms with the little voice of my Ego and often enough to get it to listen to me. This labor of inner Love gave birth to my enlightenment.
During the 16 hour exercise I estimate that I aborted about 100 jokes, tens of trivial comments, many obsessive impulses to judge others.
And criticism from the voice of my ego? Continually. During the sixteen hours I power-struggled with it, negotiated, and compromised with the voice: for the most part I triumphed, by containing it, (respectfully but mercilessly most of the time). It wanted to continue to dominate my thinking, emotions and doing but I almost never faltered during the numberless confrontations. It was unfailingly seductive in giving me its approval and trying to get me to seek the approval I was so good at in the world outside of me. Not once did I succumb to needs for giving and getting approval.
The sixteen hours crescendoed to the mind-fully clearly realized me and accepted that there is an Adult Irving in me. I peaked with the breath-taking insight that I am Charles Irving - - or is it Irving Charles? It is the same difference as one and one = One.
It is three weeks since I left the Workshop but I haven?t finished with it, or with Master Charles. I am back to my routine, and I still have the insight, the inner peace and occasional periods of bliss. I meditate regularly and continue to cream my Ego. (Let?s say eighty to ninety percent of the time.)
My family and friends are amazed at the changes (outer) in me; but they are also skeptical because this is not the first time they had gone through a number of my supposed changes. In Truth, I have made a transformation: where the changes come from the inside, organically: growing outward from the positive sources in me.
And so, this is another beginning of changing change to transformation. How long will this last? I don?t know. I?m too busy to think about it. You see, my Ego won?t let me forget it, and I won?t let it remind me. So there!
Date: Wed, 06 Nov 1996
From: Irving Bronsky
Subject: A message from Charles Irving -- Or is it from Irving Charles? One and one is still equal to One.
Dear Master Charles,
Thank you again for giving me the opportunity -- after so many years of searching -- of finding the "Irving" I was looking for. Irving/Shmirving, Charles/Shmarles, as long as we're healthy. (Could it be that your name is not Master Charles, but Chaster Marles?)
With great respect and endless Love,
PS The following story is a gift from me to you -- or is it from you to me?
THE TWIN SEARCH: an existential fable by Irving Bronsky
A long, long time ago? there was a boy who came from a good family. He was growing up nicely: he had friends, a nice home; he enjoyed school, he was a good student. He loved sports and was a good athlete. He loved his parents, his brothers, and his sisters.
Deep within him, though, he felt he was missing something. He didn't know what it was but this felt need kept pushing him to look for the part of himself that was missing from deep within himself. One day he decided to look for it outside of his home since he was unable to find it at home. He looked around his neighborhood and didn?t find it. He went out of his area to other parts of the city and didn't find it. He went out of the city and into the country. Nothing. He traveled over meadows, into valleys, down to the sea, through deserts and plains, up and down hills. Nothing.
Finally, he came to a forest and went deep into it, sensing that at last he was going in the right direction. He came to a beautiful lake. Standing on the sandy beach of the lake, surrounded by trees, bushes, flowers, a clear sky overhead, he knew this was the place to find what was missing in himself.
Suddenly, a huge storm came up, with howling winds and cloud-blackened skies. The thunder and lightning scared him and he thought he was going to die. He was tossed about by the raging storm like a rag doll. He gave up any little hope he had surviving this disaster. After what seemed like forever the storm stopped and the skies cleared. He found himself in the middle of the lake - which was frozen solid.
The boy looked around him and saw nothing but the blue sky and the ice; on the ice there was the debris of the storm -- broken branches, broken trees, and lots of leaves. He knew he was lost and he didn?t know which way to go. He turned around and around and finally he saw on the edge of the horizon, a little bump. He went that way and as he got closer to it he felt more hopeful. When he got to it he saw a huge cube of transparent ice, nine feet on each of the sides.
Right in the middle of this clear, giant ice cube there was a boy, frozen, who looked and dressed exactly like him: Twin two. Twin one knew he had found what he had been looking for. He took out his pocketknife and started to chip away at the ice. Finally, he chipped away enough ice to free one finger of Twin two - the finger moved. The second twin was alive.
The first twin worked hard, for a long, long time? At last he completely freed the second twin. They stood facing each other, looking deeply into each other's eyes.
Twin one had never been more happy nor had he ever felt more complete. Then he saw in the eyes of Twin two much pain and suffering. He asked Twin two what was wrong and the answer was: "I may look like a normal kid but I am not - I am helpless and hopeless because I do not know who I am or why I am here. I have no feelings and I don?t think of anything important."
Not to worry," said the first twin. "I know why I?m here and who I am. I have lots of feelings and even important things to think about. Now that I found you I feel complete. So much so I can give you some of the best in me, then we?ll both have enough and you will be normal like me."
The second twin answered, "I don't care. I am hopeless and helpless, without feelings and without important things to think of." The first twin shook his head, no, and said, "I know what I am doing. Now I am going to give you some of my own."
Unfortunately, something went wrong and all that he had within him went to Twin two. Now Twin one was helpless and hopeless, with no feelings, nothing important to think about and didn?t have any idea of who he was or why he was living. The second twin said, "Not to worry. I will find what you are missing inside so you can be normal again then you won?t feel helpless or hopeless. You will be a normal human being like you used to be."
The second twin left the first twin standing in the middle of the frozen nowhere and went off to find what was missing. He searched everywhere and found nothing. Finally, he came to a very high mountain and climbed it, knowing this was the last hope of saving Twin one.
On the top of the mountain he found a tiny village right on the edge. It was made up of special schools: There was a school to learn how to be a scientific genius; there was a school to learn how to be one of the best athletes in the world. At the very end of the village, in a very small house that sat right on the edge of mountain there was a School for emotions, thoughts and for answers to the question "Why?"
He enrolled in the school and was the best student. He finished in record time and as he was about to get his diploma there was a big shaking of the earth and the School for emotions, thoughts, and answers broke off the mountain.
He fell down, down, down - and hit bottom, landing in a huge pot of chicken soup the size of a two-story building. He was saved. Not only that, he was with other children just like him, happy, having everything they needed, all normal.
All the children lived in this huge pot of chicken soup; in it were pieces of chicken that were four or five feet long. The carrots were six feet long. The soup dumplings were bigger than beach balls. Best of all, there were soup nuts, three feet square and one foot thick, which the children used as boats to get around. Resting against the side of the pot there was a soup ladle the kids used as a sliding pond. It was the greatest. Twin two was never happier since he had everything he needed.
Then came the time when he was sitting on a soup nut, playing, when he felt the soup nut move under him: His first thought was that there was going to be another earthquake. He took the soup nut with him and quickly slid down the soup ladle. Nothing happened. Then something funny did happen. The soup nut began to move in his hands. He dropped it on the ground and moved away from it. It stopped moving. He came closer - it began to move again. He picked it up; one edge had separated. He took a deep breath and looked inside and found -- all the emotions, thoughts and answers he needed to know. Then he remembered Twin one, helpless and hopeless. He closed the edge of the soup nut, said goodbye to his friends, took a last look at the wonderland and he was on his way back to the helpless, hopeless Twin one.
He crossed plains, valleys, deserts; he went through villages, towns and cities. At last he was back, deep in the heart of the forest, to the lake that was clear, blue and calm. He didn?t see Twin one. Then something in the middle of the lake attracted his attention. Some bubbles were coming up. Each time they did, they made the sound, bbrrruupp. Twin two knew he had found Twin one breathing under water. "If my identical twin can breathe under water, so and I."
He began to walk into the lake, holding the soup nut in front of him. He went in up to his knees, then up to his chest. He took a deep breath and went in over his head. Bbrrruupp. He was breathing under the water.
He kept walking in the direction of the other bbrrruupp until he came to Twin one sitting on the bottom of the lake, helpless and hopeless. Twin two motioned for the Twin one to follow him out of the water. Twin one shrugged helplessly and hopelessly but he followed Twin two out of the lake.
On the shore they stood facing each other with only the soup nut between them. Twin two said, "I brought you what you need to be normal." Twin one said, "I don't care." Twin two gave the soup nut to Twin one who lifted the cover a little to see what was is inside. What was in the soup nut moved into Twin one and he became normal. Now there was nothing that stood between them.
They looked deeply into each other's eyes that the distance between them disappeared: Twin one and Twin two became one for an endless moment. Then Twin one separated from Twin two, or was it the other way around? It really made no difference since one and one was now equal to one. Each one went his own way knowing that there was another one ? or was it two, somewhere in the world.
Fri., 15 Nov 1996
From: Synchronicity Foundation: email@example.com
Subject: Message from Master Charles
Irving..... of the One.....I remain delighted when I consider the part you play in our world. Thank you for sharing your truth. It is a lovely story. I hold you in my awareness with Love.
Updating post-workshop Dec.12,'96
The reason I haven't written recently is that I have been on a leave of absence - readjusting from the super-high of the Virginia Workshop - and now I just feel good, well put together, and coping a little better with my problems. For about a month they "disappeared;" I was only aware of the + transformations that occurred in me. "Hail to the returning warriors" is my feverish Caesarish greeting to my problems: Render unto me what is due me, or something like that. More simply stated, I am deeply engaged in confronting them, and I am not in a hurry to solve them. I will win in the long run, (he said somewhat breathlessly), because I have all the time in the world, (however much that might be until I die.)
I continue to meditate regularly, I continue to read and study about Altered States of Awareness, and most importantly, I am better in touch with the Love in me and how to access it. I know that I push it less, and dole it out more softly, gently, less content and more quality.
Since the workshop I have lost my cool three times, very briefly, because of things that annoyed and frustrated me; each time I understood my part in it, (seeing where the other is coming from; I realized that I had a part in creating the situation.
For example, week ago I took a taxi to make an emergency call at the home of a patient. The taxi came on time and away we went - slowly, very slowly. I lucked out with the slowest, least aggressive taxi driver in Israel; we get to the first corner where we have right of way and the other corners all have signs. He let three cars through before he assumed his right of way. I mumbled something and he retaliated aggressively that the traffic in Israel is terrible, the drivers are rotten. When we got to the main street there was a very minor traffic jam but suddenly there was an opening to drive a truck through. I told him to take it since I was a medical doctor on an emergency call. He turned around, glaring and eyeballing me and snarled, ?What do you want? I should have an accident??
I lost it then and began shouting at him and we lost about two more minutes, in-fighting. Finally I gave up, with a denigrating hand-wave and a growled, ?What the hell do you know. You?re only a cab driver.? He brought the taxi to a grinding slow-moving stop, he turned around and grinningly spat back at me, ?You better know that.? Then he turned back to the wheel mumbling, ?What the hell does he know anyway.?
I handled the emergency, but not before the patient had calmed me down.
?Now is the time for all good men to come...? Er, now is the Time for me, as a good man, to state how time has entered into my considerations. I now have more time to listen to people, (not as my patients, but with my patience, even cabbies.) When my mouth starts to spin my Word-Wheels and I am producing smelly smoke that stinks up the situation, I catch myself more quickly.
Getting back to the subject of Time: On second thought, recently, I love to sit by myself and do nothing. Speaking of sitting, all my life I have used the sitting toilet to do two, and as a library two (author's emphasis.) You can read anything you want into this, but this change in me is best described as, "There goes Speedy Gonzales,? or, ?In and out like trout."
Soooo - like all good things that come out well, this two must end.
I know what it is to be happy more of the time, topped by occasional moments of bliss. This happens, for example, when I go for my morning coffee to a cafe which is around the corner from my house. It is in the open air atrium of a small shopping center. All around this caffeinated corner haven there are swirling currents of people, including aggressive groups of young mothers pushing their infants in strollers, like a squad of armored vehicles. (Maybe they are covertly in training to be taxi drivers.)
During this Chanukah Holiday there are lots more people because of the eight days school vacation; many kids and adolescents come to the mall for the action. The main focus in the shopping center is in and around the caf?; there is a doughnut making operation on the sidewalk that incessantly produces fresh, smart- smelling Jelly Doughnuts, (with the jelly oozing out of the holes on the powdered sugar snow crests .) Sometimes there are clusters three deep of high school students, yelling their orders at once, waving their arms, jostling and elbowing each other - all in good humor.
Because I go for my morning coffee at different times I don't always meet my regular pensioners club, which always sits at the same large table. They are my buddies after two years of being in this select group. I say select because we are very selective about what we say: Yaacov talks about his "beautiful" children; David talks about sex and how he used to do it; his wife Chana mumbles about her depression and fatigue, dressed in the best of fashion while constantly preening herself; Yehuda, who was born in Spain and emigrated to Israel twenty years ago, can't stop reminding us about his many trips to the ?Terra Oro;? you guessed it, America the Golden. In particular he frequently raves about Radio City Music Hall, which in the telling gets bigger and bigger. (Something fishy about this.) According to Yehuda the number of seats is now well over 10,000. What do I spume at the mouth and ramble about? Well, you would have to ask them; I don?t gossip.
Bliss. When I miss by beloved group, I choose to sit by myself, drinking my cafe latte, intermittently, for about half an hour. Between sips I meditate for one to five minutes, three-four times in all. In between meditations, and sips, I don't listen but I hear everything; I see without looking; I don't olfact the powerful odors of fresh doughnuts and strong coffee, but I smell them anyway.
It is like I built a bridge between what goes on within me and what is happening around me; sometime I go to the other side, sometimes the other side comes to me; sometimes we are together, everywhere and no-where, at the same time. Yet we never leave our personal spaces. .
This experience is deliciously delightful because I am experiencing my experience? as I experience it. The resulting peacefulness, harmony and Oneness - the equality of my inner experience with my outer experience = B*l*i*s*s*.
?What was that?! You experience your experience? While you experience it? You are making with your mouth-wheels and phart-smelling up the joint.?
?Yes, you are right; maybe what I should have said was that: ?I always do what I do when I do it, when I live fully in the Here and Now... After all, it?s my letter isn?t it?
My Love to you and may God bless you.