Going Back To Some Basics
As happens here, we return again to the question: Do you exist ? “Inside”, each of us certainly feels: “Yes, certainly I exist !” We also “know” so. That “inner place” of certainty about your Existence, & certainty of knowing so – that is the Self. Known fully, the one Non-Dual Self reveals itself to be Infinite, Eternal, Existence – Consciousness – Bliss, or equivalently, Happiness or Love. But these are places we go latter, since we only take a 1st step at this point.
Then what else is there ? Perhaps one senses [truly or falsely] “there seems to be something.” Perhaps this “something” or “Other” seems characterized by some kind of location, some size or extent, some “substance” constituting this “something”. But what really is all this “other” ? For now we focus on that one bit of “other” that we so often take to be the “I”, take to be oneself, namely, the Body. Quoting Master Nome, disciple of Sri Ramana Maharshi:
For Self-Realization, it is necessary to know the Self as transcendent of bodily form & limitation. By liberating oneself from the ignorant mis-identification with the Body & its attributes, one abides as the infinite & the eternal. Those who understand that they seek a Realization that is not a bodily state … seek to discern the Self’s freedom from the Body & its attributes. That is, one should know the Self’s transcendence of all bodily definition. The results of this knowledge of the Self s freedom from the limitations of the Body & its attributes are, Bliss & Peace that are undisturbed by bodily conditions, spiritual freedom from birth, growth, decay, illness, & death, & transcendence of action.
Among the numerous meditations just enumerated, runs the undercurrent that is the role that the “Body” plays in confusing the “I” – “Other” confusion. Taking that “Body” from out of the “Other” category & mistaking it for the “I”, the Self – this is an insurmountable obstruction to Enlightenment,
Remain detached from the Body, its attributes, & its activities. Utilize the bodily form, while it is alive, as an instrument for selfless activity inspired by wisdom, by the desire for Liberation, & by the immensity of Grace, acting with corresponding equanimity & devotion. The bodily activities are used as an instrument that expresses the divine.
By contemplation on its wondrous workings, the Body may be viewed as a reminder of the Supreme Consciousness by which it appears, as does appear the entire Universe. The emphasis is placed, not on the reminder, but on that of which one is reminded.
Abide unmoved by pleasure & pain, motion & inactivity, & birth & death. For invariable Bliss, one must know one’s freedom from the Body & all bodily attributes. Knowledge is Realization. It is neither something done nor is it any bodily transformation, but it is comprehension of what is true.
And then, as if covering an interim, before Body-misidentification has been released, much of the above guides the Body-identified through & past that delusion.
The Self is Formless, birthless, deathless, & immutable. It is eternal & infinite Being-Consciousness-Bliss. Realization of this results from liberating the Self by the essential discrimination inherent in the inquiry, from the illusory bondage of ignorance, which is composed of the delusive assumption that the Self is something other than the true Being that it is.
It is possible to realize this true Being only if one is thoroughly free of the ignorance that consists of misidentification with the Body, for a Body has form, birth, death, change, does not last forever & is not infinite.
As long as there is any misidentification with the Body, real nature of the Self will not be known, or the Self will be misconceived in terms of the limitations of the Body. When such a misconception is relinquished by a deep inquiry into one’s actual Being, the nature of the Self is self-evident.
The Self is changeless Existence. The Body changes continuously, even if this change is noticed only after some time. How, therefore, can Existence be equated with the Body ?
The Self is birthless. There is no time when it is not. There is no experience, no knowledge, and no memory of non-existence or of the commencement of existence. The Body has a birth. How, therefore, can Existence be equated with the Body ?
The Self is immutable. There is no increase or decrease in Existence. The Body has growth & decay. How, therefore, can Existence be equated with the Body ?
The Self is deathless. There is no time when Existence is not, & nonexistence cannot even be imagined without oneself existing to imagine so. The Body is multiplicity of elements and organs, a conglomerate of cells, apart from which there is no entity that can be referred to as a “Body.” The Body is matter. The Self is immaterial. How, therefore, can Existence be equated with the Body ?
And then finally, the meditations turn back onto the Self, again reiterating non-identification with the “illusory” Body.
The Self is not momentary, but permanent without a moment’s interruption. Its Existence does not cease even in the absence of Perception. The Body is momentary. It endures but for one lifetime. It appears only in the moments of perception.
Pinpointing the “illusory” character of the Body, actually applies to the whole World, & all that is “other”, Master Nome reminds us that the Body “appears only in the moments of perception“. Perceiving anything does prove nothing about the reality of the object seemingly perceived. Only, Perceptual Thoughts are experienced, not any objects themselves, & not any “Body”.
[The above themes & 1600 pages more are freely available as perused or downloaded PDF’s, the sole occupants of a Public Microsoft Skydrive “Public Folder” accessible through www.jpstiga.com ]