The eye of the storm roared in furious harmony as walls of black sand enclosed the figure and I.
Behold the chaos of what you are.
The voice rang inside my head, a presence that felt familiar, yet I knew was not me. It felt alien and vast, so vast it encompassed all that was, and all that wasn't. And as I sat amidst the torrent of sand and emotion, we began our talk once again.
Am I dead?
There is no death, there is no life, there is only what is.
I considered carefully my words, so as to coax an answer out of my formless teacher.
Was I ever alive?
Only if you perceived yourself to be.
Is this heaven? Or Hell? Or perhaps purgatory.
This is nowhere and everywhere, we are beyond perception. Consider not where you are. Consider why you are.
Why am I here?
Because this is eternity. You are eternity.
So I am dead.
Only if you perceive yourself to be.
A knot formed in my throat as I recollected all that I had left behind in my life, all I had striven for, all my losses and regrets, my love and hates laid themselves to bare in the desert of the self. I remembered my wife, my children, I had left them all behind. For what? For the sweet pains of a needle in my arm, for seeking too much, and receiving the ultimate end. Death. In seeing this I curled up into a ball on the sands and wept, my tears streaming through the sand and disappearing into the self light. With eyes closed, I screamed in agony for what was lost.
You fail to see, you have been released from your agony. Now you are returned to what is, and what isn't. Be at peace, for the agonies of the perceived world no longer befall you. The sands of the self pervade all.
But I still had so much to do, so much to see.
You saw what you needed to see, and did what you wanted to do. You are ultimately responsible.
The words of the self crushed me under their truthful weight. How I only wished to find someone to blame. But there was no one. No one but myself.
There is only ever only yourself. The only other there is, is the one which is perceived.
I wept further still.
Do not pity yourself. Pity those you left behind, for they are still beholden to their illusion. You are free. You always were.