A notion exists that transformation or enlightenment changes a person instantly, once and forever. Thus do people love to write about Ramana Maharshi – he supposedly had an experience that changed him at the age of 17, after which he left home for the sacred mountain and became as he was known later by numerous seekers. Even so, we somehow lose sight of the fact that Maharshi lived alone in a cave for a time. What else happened to him there? No one knows. But the mind wants simple and understandable frameworks – here everything depends on the fact of his experiencing death at a young age, in which everything occurred finally, so it seemed. The mind wants completion, so people think up for themselves explanations of another’s transformation which looks final and closes the question once and for all. Then they begin to seek such an experience and never find it; after all, it’s not so easy as the human mind would like it.
The transformation to which the impulse of God’s Grace leads changes a person instantly; that much is true. It is a certain turn in his life, a new point of departure. But receiving the impulse is only the beginning, after which follows a process of transformation which has a certain duration of time and the length of this period directly depends on the amount of Grace received and the depth of the ensuing changes. They also develop gradually, not in a single day. You can awake in one instant but the changes in life after awakening do not come at once, but to the extent of experience of all kinds of situations and an answer to the needs that emerge against their backdrop. This is what happened with Porfiry Ivanov – a vision that occurred to him on April 25 became a turning point which in turn became a manifestation of the action of the impulse of Grace, received by him either at that moment, or somewhat earlier. Such a sudden rebirth and Ivanov’s super-abilities that appeared later can only be explained by transformation, as well as Ivanov’s super-abilities that appeared later. There isn’t another rational explanation here, although if you want, you can explain anything at all for yourself.
Our mind is constructed in such a way that it can ignore any information that doesn’t fit into its customary view of the world. The mind is closed with its ideas about the world from direct perception of it and brackets out everything – or almost everything – that contradicts these ideas. Thus an atheist remains an atheist, even after seeing a real miracle, and all of Ivanov’s abilities can be written off to the uniqueness of his organism. Our mind, encountering information unacceptable to it either enters into a state of protest or falls into a kind of trance state in which it convinces itself that there is an explanation for everything, even perhaps a scientific one. At this moment, the mind blinds itself, and along with it the person to whom it belongs. A state arises in which it doesn’t want to delve into or think about a certain question and it becomes easier to accept another’s perspective or wave it all away.
A strange kind of forgetfulness occurs in which you seemingly know a certain fact but its explanation doesn’t bother or concern you, and the memory regarding it quivers in haze. That is how the mind preserves the status quo of its conditionality – in all people without exception. Something like this happens when a person sacredly believes in an idea, even new for himself, and constructs his actions on it. Then his mind also ignores any information contradictory to this idea, plunging into a trance-like, almost changed state. Then any brutalities can be done to other people, while feeling nothing but pleasure in doing so. The sleep in which people stay can be different in depth. And a state in which the mind is prepared to ignore any information contrary to it very much enables the deepening of this sleep.