Tag Archives: Liberation. Nome

Mind & Happiness 131

Mind & Happiness 131

The State of true Self-Knowledge is our natural, eternal, unchanging & Non-Dual State of Self-Conscious Existence.  Since it is the Absolute Reality, which underlies the appearance of all relativity, Self-Knowledge can never undergo any form of change or “becoming”.  It never has become anything, & it never will become anything.  Self-KnowledgeIt just is.

When we imagine that we know anything other than our Self, we seem to “become” something limited.  However, such “becoming” is only imaginary. In Reality, we always remain as we really are that is, as Infinite & Absolute Existence, Consciousness, & Happiness.  Hence when we know our Self as we really are, we do not become anything, but simply remain as the Infinite &

Absolute Reality that we always have been & always will be.  Therefore in Verse 26 of Upadēśa Undiyār Sri Ramana says:

Being [our Real] Self is indeed knowing [our Real] Self, because [our Real] Self is that which is devoid of 2. […]

Since we are the Absolute Reality, we are in truth devoid of any form of Duality, & hence we can know our Self only by being our Self, which is what we always are. Therefore the State that we call Self-Knowledge is not a State in which we know anything new, but is only the State in which we shed all “knowledge” of everything other than our Self.

When we wake up from a Dream, we do not become anything new or know anything new. We merely shed the imaginary experience of our Dream, & remain as we previously were.  Similarly, when we wake up from our imaginary “sleep” of “self-forgetfulness”, in which we have experienced innumerable Dreams, we will not become anything new or know anything new.

We will merely shed the imaginary experience of our “self-forgetfulness” & all our resulting Dreams, & remain as the Infinite & Absolutely Non-Dual Self-Consciousness that we always have been.  Therefore Sri Ramana concludes this 1st Verse of Ēkātma Pañcakam by saying:

[…] finally knowing our self [&] Existence our self is just [like] waking from a Dream of wandering about the World. See [thus].”

The above themes & 2500 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 

short-cut: http://sdrv.ms/YPOgkX or http://tinyurl.com/nnyyr58  link directly to free E-book PDF files

www.jpstiga.com/

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Different blogs (but with graphics) are available on:

http://www.blogger.com     as  “Being-as-Consciousness, Non-Duality – new & final version” with link:

http://Being-as-Consciousness.blogspot.com/

There is no Creation, no Destruction, no Bondage, no longing to be freed from Bondage, no striving for Liberation, nor anyone who has attained Liberation. Know that this to be Ultimate Truth.

  the “no creation” school of Gaudapada, Shankara, Ramana, Nome  Ajata Vada

 for very succinct summary of the teaching & practice, see:  www.ajatavada.com/

[A brief note of explanation this Blog is entitled “Non-Duality & Science”, & so the more Science oriented pages (from what I like to think of as a “comic book”) have been posted there, while other chapters have been posted in the other Blog noted below. Science is a mental discipline that attracts some worthy admirers & participators.  Some of these, too few, are good prospects for the ancient teaching introduced here in many ways.  Otherwise certain Science topics like the Anthropic Principle, reinforce the general Theism which is a good idea in this materialistic age. A few other topics in Science, such as the Copenhagen II Max Born Von Neumann Wigner model of Quantum Mechanics, are worthy entries to the extent that they introduce Consciousness into the physical Sciences. All that aside, the real topic here is the pinnacle as Advaita Vedanta, Non-Duality that pinnacle being Ajata Vada, NoCreation. The great Teachers of the same include Sri Shankara & Sri Ramana Maharshi.  Both would support Theism in general & adaptations of Vedanta, such as Vishishtadvaita Vedanta Qualified Non-Duality, for those not making headway in Ajata Vada, their present course of growth might be better served with a temporary involvement in Qualified Non-Duality. The scientist who perhaps best expresses the influence of Qualified Non-Duality in Science, for instance, would be the quintessential “NewAge” Quantum Physicist, Amit Goswami. And so to that source, & the Quantum Activism he currently advocates [with a 1course  degree program], along with more than a half-dozen good books & former participation in the controversial What the Bleep movie, to him I extend enthusiastic endorsement, for that Qualified Non-Duality described in the context of Science.  I do not stand so much “with him”, as much as nearby saluting his good work. Again, as here, a goal is inserting Consciousness into Science & “saving the World.”]

also:  Most of this material will be long searchable via “John Stiga” etc, on the “Wayback Machine” Internet Archive.

Also related to these topics, there are now 8 Kindle books on “Amazon.com”, reference-able by the author “John Stiga”, each indicated as noncopyrighted, publicdomain, & priced at the minimum $0.99 each.

Going Beyond the Basics part 7/ Analogy 2

Going Beyond the Basics part 7 = Analogy 2 –Tree Stump Bandit

The prior blog “Going Beyond the Basics part 6” could have been called Analogy 1, beginning as it did with the “Snake & Rope” analogy.

Similar in some ways to Snake & Rope, the Stump & Bandit analogy utilizes the  experience of rural country folk in a dangerous region where bandit or attackers of any kind might be lurking in the forest at dusk to pounce upon a passerby. Wary of being caught so close to dark, but still walking through the forest, the rural person might barely pick up the outline of tall tree stump, just vaguely in the corner of his eve, in blurry limits of peripheral vision. As with the Snake & Rope situation:

Glancing obliquely in the dim light, through fear, the rural person cannot clearly see the true nature of the stump.

Glancing obliquely in the dulled discrimination & focus, through the Ego, the Samsaran cannot clearly see the true nature of the Self.  Specifically, looking with blinders this way, the apparent Body [only a jumble of perceptions of such] is taken, in a “side-long glance” to be a “marker”, a symbol for oneself.  But in truth the Body is only an innocent “tree-stump”, an inert object.  Instead of being the physical actualization of the “bandit”, the Ego, this tree-stump Body is not a real Ego-thief, stealer of Happiness & producer of Suffering.

More light [Consciousness] would help the traveler to recognize the stump for what it is, not a Bandit at all.

More discriminating awareness [Discrimination] helps one to recognize that the Body is not a knower, a “thief”, & to recognize the Self for what it is, with no Ego at all.

Reducing fear & attachment to a security that can never be guaranteed can attenuate tendencies to hallucinate.

Reducing all self-concepts & attachments can attenuate tendencies to identify the Self as the Ego.

Analyzing the actual likelihood of a bandit’s presence at that time & place can be helpful, to a limited extent.

Analyzing the preposterous contradictions inherent in the Ego-idea can be helpful, to a limited extent.

Immediately helpful it would be to face the stump directly & examine it without oblique peripheral vision.

Immediately helpful it would be to directly inquire into the nature of the Ego to recognize its unreality & make it vanish.

Facing the fear, the “bandit” initiates best self-defense & is in the “same direction” needed to recognize the stump.

Inquiring into the nature of the Ego initiates release of concepts & is in the “same subjective direction” needed to recognize the Self.

Note on true Happiness

Happiness is felt, experienced, sourced & “contained” in the very heart of the conscious Mind.

Happiness is in no way connected [affecting or deriving from] any external Object, but only in & from ourselves.  We, as Consciousness, are the One that experiences Happiness.

Though we seem to derive Happiness from external objects or experiences, the Happiness that we actually experience derives from Consciousness at the core of our Being.

Desire for Happiness, fear concerning its diminution or absence, such “thoughtwaves” or vrittis leave the Mind troubled & unhappy.  But “beneath” the superficial Mind, Consciousness ever remains peaceful & happy.

Agitation [rajas guna] in the Mind obscures [tamas guna] innate Happiness in the center of our Being.

Upon temporary satisfaction of obscuring desires, some temporary subsidence of such vrittis in the Mind is felt as “partial happiness” all to the extent & for that interval consistent with the degree & continuance of subsidence.

That “partial happiness” is a “whiff” of the limitless innate Happiness that is Consciousness.

Sri Shankara, & before him the Buddha, among many sages from various traditions, delineated some details of this illusion of unhappiness.  Buddha’s 4 Noble Truths concerning the nature of Happiness could be roughly summarized as follows.

Life is of the nature of Suffering.

Suffering arises from Desire.

Desirelessness is Liberation.

Spiritual practice [as in his 8fold Path ] is the way to Desirelessness & Liberation.

Further interpretive intuition implicit in the instructions of the Buddha could be extended thus:

Not getting what you want is Suffering.

Getting what you don’t want is Suffering.

Even getting what you want is Suffering, because deep down you know that the temporary enjoyment is fleeting & will slip away, so that future loss is already intuited & is already painful.

Sri Shankara contribute additional insights amid his thorough discussion of the nature of Happiness:

That an external object cannot produce Happiness is suggested by the fact that its enjoyment is less or even absent at certain other times & by certain other people.

Furthermore, increasing access to the supposed “happinessproducing” [such as having twice as much, etc.] does not increase the enjoyment proportionally, & sometime not at all.  Even reversal to aversion to excess of the imagined “happiness–source” can be the case.

Further, Happiness is not within the Mind.  Mental replay or memory of the supposed “happinessproducing” experience may be slightly enjoyable, but never to full extent of the immediate experience.  The Mind cannot fully [or at all] replicate a happy experience, thus possibly leading the former illusion of attributing the Happiness to an external Object.

In fact, it is removal of obscuring mental waves [vrittis], as mentioned above, that allows some glimmer, little or great portion of innate Happiness to shine through.

Full & lasting Happiness, Liberation arises from transcendence of the Mind & naturally complete Renunciation regarding unreal external objects.

Generally, disturbance in the Mind obscures the calm Peace of the Self, which is Pure Consciousness.

To enjoy full & lasting Happiness, we need only return, consciously to the Mind-transcendence naturally but unconsciously experienced on a daily basis in Deep Dreamless Sleep.  [Specific hints & instruction in succeeding blogs.]

[continuing with Master Nome’s instruction about the World]

The World is constituted solely of Sense Perceptions, usually from a supposedly bodily location.  There is no World apart from these Sense Perceptions.  So, the World is not external.  The “external” is merely

a conceptual interpretations of the sensations. The Senses are known only by & in Consciousness. So, what is thought of as “external” is entirely in Consciousness, which is tree from the Senses.  The “external World” is a mere notion in Consciousness.  Within that notion there appears the whole “external World”.  The “external World” notion is one that depends on the false “I am the

Body” belief.  The World is thus a mere notion, an illusory appearance in one’s own Mind. Therefore it is called Maya, “illusion”.  Illusion is that which is not.

Since the World is unreal, it can offer no Bondage. Being unreal, it does not actually come to be. It is for this reason that Maya is said to be beginnigless.  The Reality does not bring forth the unreal.  Being Non-Dual, the Reality does not bring forth anything “else” real. Ever-existent Being, itself unborn, creates not at all.

By the same token, the unreal itself too is also not born, because it does not exist.  Being unreal, it does not disappear, anymore than the Dream World disappears for the Dream character when one awakens from both the Dream World & the Dream character.

The World appears in Consciousness alone. It is known by the Knower.  It is known in the Knower. It has no existence apart from the Knower, which is pure Consciousness. The World appears in Consciousness, by the power of Consciousness, is composed of Consciousness, & is known or experienced by Consciousness.  All of it is just Consciousness.  It has not the least degree of any other existence.

One Being-Consciousness exists everywhere always.  The one Self experiences itself everywhere always. The Self itself is just thought of  as a World, though there is really no such differentiated thing that can be called a world.  Consciousness is the Wor1d, as well as Space, Time, Matter, Motion & Events, the Moments & the Eons, things & people, the animate & the in-animate, the moving & the still, the large & the small, the living & the dead, the far & the near, the atoms & the galaxies, the root & the flower, the cause & the effect, & all else.

The one Self is all. The one Self appears as all this Universe. The Universe appears in the Self.

The Self, being formless & infinite, does not appear in that Universe. The Universe appears in the Self.  The Self appears as the Universe, but really undergoes no modifications. The Self always abides as the perfectly full Void of Being.  lf the World appears, it & its Knower are only the Self.  If there is no

appearance, there is only the Self.  In the Knowledge of the unalterable, ever-same Reality, the Self alone is.  Thus, in Reality, there is no question of a World ever being created or ever appearing.  For whom would it appear, as there is no 2nd self, but only the One Self ever ?

[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 ]

 

 

Going Beyond Some Basics part 6

Snake & the Rope

Jungle environments provide cobras, asps & other poisonous vipers that terrify the human population to an extent that any elongated sinuous form like a Rope lying in a dark corner. Seeing through the understandable concept of fear, the jungle inhabitant cannot clearly see the true nature of the Rope. Seeing through the unnecessary concept of Ego, the Samsaric [typical less spiritual] being cannot clearly see the true nature of the Self, the Absolute Reality of Pure Being & Consciousness. Seeing through the fear, the inhabitant imagines a dangerous Snake where there is only a Rope. Seeing through the Ego, the Samsaran [worldy person] imagines a World where there is the Self alone.

RopeSnakes cannot be seen in broad daylight,  nor Rope itself in thick darkness.  In broad daylight a Rope does not look like a Snake.  The Rope itself cannot be seen in thick darkness; so there is no chance of mistaking it for a Snake.  Only in dim light, in the dusk, in light darkened by shadows or in darkness lighted by dim light does a Rope mistakenly seeming to be a Snake.

Unless the jungle dweller can release the assumption of a Snake, the false superimposition, it is not possible to perceive the Rope. Unless the individual can release the assumption of an Ego & a world, the false superimposition, it is not possible to perceive the True Self.  Dispensing with the Illusion of the Snake, nothing more is needed for the Rope to be clearly known for what it is. Dispensing with the Illusion of the Ego, nothing more is needed for the Self to be clearly known for what it is. Shining a bright light into the dark corner to illuminate the supposed Snake can facilitate recognition of the Rope.

Shining a bright light of Guru’s instruction & Self-Inquiry into the dark corners of the Mind to illuminate the supposed Ego can greatly facilitate recognition of the Self.

Just as at Rope, when not ascertained in the darkness to be a Rope, is instead mistaken for various things. such as a Snake, so likewise is the Self mistaken by the Jiva [individual]. [2.17]

Just as. when the Rope is truly ascertained as a Rope, the mistaken notion ceases & there is

the Non-Dual knowledge that: “the Rope alone is“, likewise is the ascertainment of the Self. [2.18]

The Self is mistaken by the Jiva [individual] to be these countless things beginning with Prana [Life Force].  This is the Maya [cosmic illusion] of that effulgent One, the Self by which He himself has become deluded. [2.19]                Shankara’s Quintessence of Vedanta

Just as knowledge of a Rope removes the Illusion of a Snake in the Rope & the consequent fear, so also the knowledge of the Self (Brahman) removes Avidya or Ignorance & the fear of Birth & Death [unending cycle of rebirth].                                                                                                     Shankara’s    Atma Bodh

More of the instruction of Master Nome [Maharshi disciple] regarding this Waking Dream World:

The Self one, partless, & indivisible.  The World is composed of innumerable parts & divisions.  The Self has no Form & is purely Formless Being.  The World is composed of forms, without which, there is no World.  There is no Formless World.  The Self is not sensorially perceived, but is known more interiorly.  The World is perceived only through the Senses.  The Self is ever the subject, the Knower. The World is only the object, the Known.  Therefore, the Self has no connection with the World, since the Self shares none of its characteristics or qualities.  It is not defined by the World or worldly things.  It is not bound by the World or anything of the world.  It does not depend on the World in any way in order to be.  That which is true of the Bliss of the Self, these 3 [Being, Consciousness, Bliss] not actually being 3, but instead 1 & the same thing.  This  discernment yields freedom the illusory bondage when the World is apparently perceived as well as when it is not so perceived.  By such Knowledge, one realizes that the Self is not of the World & is not in the World. The Self is not produced by anything of the  shares none of its limited qualities, & is not an object within it, for the Self is neither a Body nor located in a Body.

 Entertaining & debating various concepts or opinions regarding the World can be only so long as there is no clear discernment of the One who perceives the World.  Once there is the deeper Knowledge regarding the Self, the questions about the World’s nature no longer arise. The Realization of the Unborn is the Realization of NoCreation.  In the absence of this Knowledge, there may arise confusion such as, “If it is unreal, why does it appear ?; if it is unreal, why does it not disappear ?”

 e confusion is rooted in the delusive supposition that the mere Senses are the determination of Reality, & the Knower is conceived as a sensory Being engaged in an experience that is of the same nature as himself.  A deep Inquiry into the nature of the Knower himself will result in an absence of a defined separate Experiencer & thus of the World, that which is supposedly experienced.

 This yields the revelation of the one infinite Existence of the Self. The meaning of  “All is the Self” or “All is Brahman” is comprehended in this Non-Dual Knowledge without a trace of anything other.

 To experience a World is to conceive it. The World is not actually a perception, but a conception. To conceive, or experience a World, one must 1st consider oneself as some kind of Body or as in the Body, the Body as existent, & the Body as being somewhere. It is not the truth, for such is only imagined in the Mind.  For this illusion of the World, one must also regard the sensations, not as sensations or modes of Mind, but as endowed with the duality of inner & outer.  Thereupon the apparent object portion of the sensation considered as separate from the knowing aspect.  Since the Body is not oneself, the Self is not in a Body, the World is not around oneself. “Around” is imagined within the Mind & is not all around.

[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 ]

Going Beyond Some Basics part 5

Going Beyond Some Basics part 5 the importance of the Guru

Please take the details of the following scenario “with a grain of salt”, with a little latitude, some suspension of judgment.  What matters in the following is the essence or fundamental idea.  Providing simple & yet accurate analogies may be difficult, but the “flavor” of the situation is somewhat like this.

Love is natural, valued, something we want.  As infants in the Waking Dream, the fortunate children find themselves loved & care for by 1, or better yet, 2 parents.  More or less, friends show up in our lives.  With luck, Life rewards us with a lover, a spouse, whatever.

Other dimensions of Life: learning, sport, art, etc. follow the same pattern.  We have teachers, coaches, masters,  & so on.  This is simply the way this Waking Dream works.

Why imagine or assume that the most important endeavor, waking from this Dream, should be an exception, why should we expect it to be different.  If you take the Waking Dream World to be Real, then random chance militates against odds & probabilities involved in the Great Pattern we now summarize:

Initial transcendent intuition & spiritual aspiration may begin with a sense of the Presence of God.  Whether formally religious, counter-culture spiritual, or otherwise, a dyad is imagined: self & God.  Other patterns of entry can be found, but let this one stand in for all the others, for the sake of discussion.

When Ego is attenuated & Desire for Liberation grows, perhaps for many decades, perhaps for many lifetimes [all in the Waking Dreams], “Grace” allows one to “hear” about a higher Teaching.  Pursuing in good faith that form of the Teaching, however imperfect & partial, leads to access to a higher version of the Teaching that leads to Liberation. Ultimately, like the parent, friend, lover, spouse, teacher, coach, master, …, the Guru appears in one’s Life.  Some overlook that precious opportunity, some check it out, only to drift away later.  Others follow the “breadcrumbs”, thus leading them out of the forest of Ignorance, and attain Liberation in minutes, days, weeks, years, or decades.  Some will only “make it” in the next or some subsequent Lifetime.  Ultimately all are freed, to gloriously find there never was an “all”, an Ego, an Individual at all.  But Grace does take the form of the Guru, 99% of the time,  In that Great Pattern, the individual is found to be a fiction.  The Guru was the True Self all along.

Some more of the instruction of Master Nome [Maharshi disciple] regarding this Waking Dream World:

 In as much as the view of the world is a mirror image of the view of oneself, as the identity of oneself determines the definition of the World since the Seer himself appears as the Seen, the “I” as “this”. For the purpose of knowing Reality without veils, one should inquire to know oneself, giving up the objective outlook, as well as the Ego to whom it belongs.  Those who are detached from the World & the Senses, who are not identified with the Body, who perceive the transient nature of all in the World & who yearn for the direct experience of the Knowledge of Reality as it is should so inquire. View the World as transitory, as inert, & as in a passing Dream. Never expect the World to provide what is one’s own Happiness, Identity, & Reality. To transcend it is to remain blissful, at free in the Knowledge of the unreality of the World & the Self’s freedom from that illusion. This is the perception of Reality free of the forms of illusion.  Abidance in worldless Being, true perception, transcendence of the World, experience of indivisible Existence, & true experience beyond debate or doubt are for those who inquire to know the Self which is the sole-existent Reality.

 By the term World is meant all that is perceived, all objects, all activities, all events, the forms of living beings, anything in Space & Time, & anything seen, heard, touched, or sensed in any manner. Transcendence of the World is Liberation from bondage & suffering in relation to all of this.

Abandoning the objective outlook constituting the World yields the perception of Reality as it is.  Such cannot be by anything of the World, but only by Knowledge of the Self, the Reality that is.  Where could one go in the World so that one would be beyond World ?  Yet one’s real Being is ever beyond the World, & Knowledge reveals its nature.

 The Self is changeless & permanent.  The World is changeful & impermanent. Each Object has a creation, a changeful duration & a destruction.  This is true for all objects & for the World as a whole, without exception.  The Self is permanent with no creation or destruction.  The perception of the World depends on the changeful senses.  A change in the Senses brings a change in the Object & the World perceived.  The Self does not change as the senses do because it is immutable Being & the unchanging Witness of all the changing Senses.  A change of mode or state of Mind yields a corresponding change in the Senses & the perceived World.  The Self is not changed, being immutable Existence & Consciousness  & the witness of the Mind as well as the Senses.

 [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 ]

Going Beyond Some Basics part 4

Going Beyond Some Basics part 4 – a short, quick deep comment

Many spiritual aspirants “work on the Ego” to complete its erasure [Maharshi’s term], as if it were an Abnormal  Psych “complex”  like a 2nd or 3rd  Personality in a schizophrenic.  But Self-Inquiry, along the lines of searching out the Ego, is essentially complete when thoroughly discovering that the Ego just isn’t there, & never was.

Likewise brief, after a few days break [& just before another break] is this last “Life Force” installment from Master Nome’s discussion.  Longer topics & installments follow in a few days.

The Prana depends upon the Self.  The Self does not depend upon the Prana.  There are ways, such as those known by some yogis. to alter the Prana or its functions.  The Self is unalterable Being & immutable.  One cannot modify Being, & one cannot st& apart from Being to attempt to modify it.  So, how could Prana be equated with the Self ?

The Life energy is ultimately transient, whether viewed as one’s bodily Life-energy or as all the manifest Life energy.

The Self is that which is Eternal.  There is no time when one begins or ceases to exist. This Self which is Absolute Being, ever is as it is.  So, how could Prana he equated with the Self ?

Therefore. the Self is not to be identified with the Prana, the Life-energy & does not bear the Prana as an attribute.  The Self is free of Prana & all that manifests due to Prana.  May there be this unwavering Knowledge   May there be this immortal Knowledge of the timeless Self & Liberation from the illusions of Life & Death.  May this eternal Realization be.

[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 ]

Going Beyond Some Basics part 3

Going Beyond Some Basics part 3

Comparing to the Waking-Dream of everyday Life. the blissful inner Space of pure “I” where Existence is immediately known, where Consciousness is the Substance, where Ananda [Bliss] arises & remains, this allows direct Awakening to That which has always been. Every preliminary Taste [Rasa] of this Freedom is both surprising in its easy Peace & familiar like a long-forgotten Memory dawning once again. Written Summaries serve to spark the interest. But what is needed is actual removal of obstructing Assumptions (Sankalpa’s), Tendencies (Samskara’s), thought Patterns (Vritti’s), & sheer Dullness [Tamas], & thereupon, direct Entry into Self-Realization, derives from Vichara Atma & proceeds with the Guidance of a Teacher, Realized Rishi, Acharya, Avadhuta, Buddha, Jetsun, Sansei, Master, Shaik, Christ, Sage or Enlightened-Realized-Liberated-Awakened Guru, that beloved Lord-Bhagavan who stands as the Truth to be realized. For the Absolute Reality to appear in one’s Waking state Mind as a Teaching, as a Text, as an Experience, as an Intuition, as a Guess, as a Hope, as a Wonder, or even as a Rumor is indeed Blessed. For the Self to enter one’s life in the guise of a Living Master whose Presence one can readily experience, whose Words one can listen to, whose Silence one can bask in, whose Bliss one can perceive, whose Love one can feel, whose Perfect Example one can emulate, whose unerring Guidance one can enjoy along the Path, this Good Fortune towers unmatched as the greatest Grace, the most priceless Treasure, the most wondrous Assurance of limitless & unending “Happiness”.

The last word is more “unofficial” than all the rest.  In the spirit of handling the hypothetical Body-Person objection to the need for a Teacher, the whole Mystery of Non-Duality can be entertained in an even more casual manner.  Rigor here would be beyond the capability of words, but perhaps some Hint can be imparted, some inspiring Clue can be groped for, & all to the good it this attempt were successful.

Response to the sometimes encountered “don’t need a Teacher” objection can be a simple comparison to the relationships of Parent-Child, Instructor-Student, Mentor-Protégée, Master-Apprentice, & such to be found throughout the Arts & Sciences, throughout Trades, Crafts, Academia, & all the examples of skills & information acquisition in all of Life.  New & important Knowledge often comes to us by Dialogue. Writing & Media are lifeless substitutes, being bereft also of the inspiring Power of Example.

In a similar vein, we can imagine those who becomes so enamored of their Computer Hardware & Software, for instance that they neglect or delay proper implementation of the technology to achieve desired & necessary Results.  This would compare to being so enamored of the Mind & its Ideas that they neglect or delay proper implementation of the Mind for the purpose attaining Self-knowledge & Liberation.  More than such comparisons, Non-Duality has the more penetrating response in the Teacher Objection case, but now it is Non-Duality itself to which a similar light-hearted discussion is applied.

The puzzle of Non-Duality & the contrary impression of Dualism & Multiplicity is really quite bewildering.  Countless Self-Realized Sages within the sacred lineages of Advaita Vedanta & other Traditions of Non-Dual Teachings have independently discovered & declared that Multiplicity is an illusory concept.  The initial Duality of believing that there could be an Other different from one’s Self is the core Ignorance. One Non-Dual Consciousness illuminates Thoughts of “Other” & as it does all other Thoughts.  Behind the apparent Mind there is only the one Consciousness which is not only one’s Self, but is in fact The Self, since there is no Other Self.  Nor are there Other Minds, except as the imagined mental characteristics that I attribute to Other beings.  I can perceive what you say & do, but generally, I cannot not know what you are thinking, or even that you are thinking, or have ever had Thoughts. Whatever may be the mechanism of Mind-reading in a given case, should a valid one be investigated, that situation can be described either as the Experience of some sort of Subtle Signal, or the Blending of the two Minds into One Mind.

All that aside for the moment, most of the time, my impression of some Other’s Mind derives from their Words, Gestures, & Actions which I then interpret to construe some Guess as to that Other’s Thoughts & Mind.  If need be, the Subtle Signal possibility can be added to the list of Words, Gestures, & Actions with much the same conclusion.  The Mind-Blend alternative amounts to a non-Multiplicity of Mind in that case, & as will be seen below, this plays right into our final conclusion anyway. Trusting that the Mind-Blend alternative will not upset the discussion then, we can summarize to the point that Sense Experience, Ordinary or Subtle, leads me to assume the Existence of: Others, Other Minds, & similarly: Other Objects, Space, Time & Events Other than my Self, & so on, the whole seemingly separate Universe or World of Multiplicity.

This I can say for my Self. But what about You ?  I can say “there is no You” but I am the You when you call yourself “I” just as I do. If You really do exist as a separate Other, my “there is no You” Statement would then be foolish & useless. If you are Imaginary, how can these  Non-Dual insights be of value to You. What is the good of my communicating them ?  If you remain imaginary, then the good intention could only benefit Me, & the Meditation of sharing this insight with You ends up being an inspiring but symbolic conversation with my Self.  To ask “Why ?” again would be to only invite the Teacher-Student comparisons again, so that by Analogy, Dialogue with one’s Self could be offered the same justification as Dialogue with an Other, that is, because it works so well.  What seems a Dialogue could be just another mode of Thought & Focus.

Two other possibilities could also be entertained, however.  One is that, whether it be accurate or merely expedient to do so, Mind can be considered to extend as a larger field of Thought, embracing all seeming Individuals, all the while this greater Mind remaining only a Reflection of the one Consciousness.  One Mind comprising all minds is a view consistent with various degrees of connection we find between apparently separate Minds.  Short of the full Mind-Blend possibility alluded to above, we see shared Thoughts & also a great similarity of human Nature & Experience throughout the range of Time & Space.  We all Smile, Laugh, & Cry; we all Love & Fear, & so on along surprisingly similar patterns. You & I may not see the same Color Red, nor may 2 charging Bulls. But the similarity in behavior of the Bulls, & in subtle ways, the similarity in the Aesthetic & Emotional response that You & I exhibit suggest that the 2 Bulls see similar or the same Red, as do You & I, & likewise for Other Colors & Sense Perceptions.

Erwin Schrödinger, who proposed the Wavefunction in Quantum theory, was latter a student of Advaita Vedanta & discussed at length this Coincidence of Perception in his essay Mind & Matter.  He felt that, even give personal & cultural differences, the close or identical fashion in which all people do see the World is a fact that supports Non-Duality of Consciousness.  However many Dream characters we may conjure up, we never experience ourselves as more than one character or narrator at a given time.

Seemingly split personalities only display on character at a time. Despite Quadrillions of cells & Billions of Neurons, we feel unified as One, always, & never as Multiple as our Body cells. Many otherwise inexplicable phenomena support such a One Mind perspective.  This leaves all beings as sharing the One Mind despite the apparently diverse Bodies.  These Bodies, in turn, are only known by the Senses which are, in turn, only known by Mind.  The impression of separate Bodies then need be no more confusing than the many Forms that Dream characters display.  One Mind dreams the Dream with all its characters & Bodies.  Likewise, in the expedient One-Mind perspective, this One Mind reflects One Consciousness & projects insubstantial Thoughts that only seem to represent many Individuals.  In One Mind the many Individuals & many Object just become many Perspectives & Viewpoints.

All the above are practical half-steps to begin contemplating Non-Duality.  With the Liberation of each such Individual, the ever-true Non-Duality is again realized, from yet one more Viewpoint.  Each such Awakening is inevitable & yet the most urgent & worthwhile of Dream endeavors.  The Compassion with which the Teacher guides each sincere Student to this Awakening to the Always-so is the Dream Drama that is so noble as to take part in the Real.

Along with the One-Mind Perspective, another more elusive Perspective can also be considered.  What if the idea of Multiplicity were so Illusory that even as various Individuals are considered, there would still be no Multiplicity, there would still not be many Individuals, there would still be only ONe Consciousness.  Within the one Non-Dual Consciousness, a thought of Other leads the one Self to be mistaken for an Ego-self, One-of-Many.  A Dream of Life amid many Beings is only a Waking-Dream. When the Dream hero becomes spiritually oriented, the Dream finally gives way to spiritual Practice & Realization.  That would be how it is for Me, my story.  How would it then be for You? What is your story ?  Well, again, for You too, a Thought of Other leads to a now different Ego self Thought, & from there another Dream of Life & Liberation.  If it can happen once, why can it happen twice, especially since both Dreams are unreal ?  As to Simultaneity of Dream stories, well, what is Time & Simultaneity anyway. Time & Simultaneity are only part of the Dream anyway.  When we seriously contemplate how Consciousness is beyond any Thought of system of Thoughts, & how the one Self, the one Consciousness, is Infinite & Vast, how could such a Simultaneously-Multiple Waking-Dream Perspective be discounted.

There need be no surprise in the fact that a derivative, down-stream Thought-churning function called Mind cannot encompass the true situation.  We still cannot put it past Consciousness, we cannot insist that Infinite Consciousness is incapable of such a multi-character Show.  Ultimately, who can say, at least who could say from the viewpoint of an individual within the Waking-Dream ?

The above kind of basic summary will be continued, but for now, more of Master Nome’s discussion of the World from the perspective of  “living” in a World, being “alive”, from the perspective of  “Life-Force” or Prana.

Those who yearn to go beyond the illusory boundary of Life & Death, who desire to be beyond & who do not wish to suffer death, clearly discriminate between Existence, or Consciousness, & Prana, or Life Energy.  Prana signifies the Life-energy that seems to animate the Body & the Senses, & without which they are inert.  Prana in various combinations with the Body, Senses, & the Mind is that which is responsible for the experiences called “physical” & “subtle”.  Without such animating energy, there is no bodily or sensory experience, for a corpse has no experience & its sense organs, though perhaps intact, are not animated & do not produce any experience. The result of inquiry to know the Self is Abidance as pure Being-Consciousness which transcends the animate & in-animate, & which never dies, & this is Abidance in the invariable state of the Self.

As long as one is identified with the Prana, there will be the differentiation of living & dead, & the one Being which ever is will appear veiled.  When this misidentification is destroyed through Knowledge, this duality vanishes.  Prana undergoes fluctuations from Birth to Death, health & sickness, & varies according to lifestyle & activities.  Being does not fluctuate.  So, how could Prana be equated with the Self‘ ?

The animating Prana is objective.  It is something experienced & not the Consciousness that knows it.  It is not being alive that enables one to be conscious, but Consciousness that knows the state of being alive.  So how could Prana be equated with the Self ?

The Life-energy seems to locate itself throughout the body.  The Self is not located in a body or spatially in any manner.  So, how could Prana be equated with the Self ?

The Prana functions, animating the body & the Senses in various ways. The Self, which is Consciousness, remains as its Witness.  The Self is the immovable Reality of Existence & not a function.  So, how could Prana be equated with the Self ?

The Prana does not remain eternally as it manifests, but, at some time, it is absorbed.  It may be said to be absorbed into the great, Universal Prana [~Mahat], which in turn is absorbed in the Absolute.  It may be said to be absorbed in the Mind, which in turn is absorbed in the Absolute.  The Self is itself the Absolute & is never absorbed into anything. That which actually exists, always is. That which can be absorbed, or which has a beginning & an end, is an unreal appearance, & ultimately does not exist. The Self exists, & there is nothing else into which it can be absorbed.  So, how could Prana be equated with the Self ?

[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 ]

Going Beyond Some Basics part 2

Going Beyond Some Basics part 2

The “Who am I ?” Self-Inquiry, known as Vichara Atma, is a sublime Meditative device for wresting the attention away from the External & Objective so as to focus Consciousness upon Itself, upon the Existence aspect of pure Consciousness by seeking the true “I”, the real Self in this open function of Self-questioning.  To question at all is to give rest to the Projection of mental declarations & to switch the Mind into a most receptive mode. When the Mind becomes thus receptive to the Mind itself, on the deeper level, Consciousness is turning in upon itself.  The Answer to “Who am I ?” is of course the true “I” who is also the meditator, but not the thinker. When that “I” reports in the guise of a Body, the discriminating Inquirer should be able to disqualify the Body as “I”, but the real trick is to live in that Discrimination throughout Life.

The Body is intermittent & partial in our experience, & has changed completely many times since childhood. Being inert, objective gross matter, it differs too little from a corpse for it to successfully pose as the true “I”.  Putting the Body corpse aside, even the Life Force [prana] itself is far too mechanical & insentient to be “I”. The Mind full of Thoughts is even more changeable than the Body & is still inert & insentient without the Consciousness that illumines each Thought. Even the intellectual function that carries on the Inquiry is clearly searching inside for something closer to the Self, something more all-embracing & constant to stand for “I” .  When I consider My Mind & My Intellect, what position am I in to so deem Mind & Intellect as objects ? The assumption of Personal Identity, the Ego or I-thought is the last to be discriminated & rejected. Left with Consciousness turned inward & directly focused on “I”, the Meditator is afforded the opportunity for direct experience of absolute Self-Consciousness in the deepest way. The irrevocable identification of the Non-Dual Self, Atman, as “I”, characterized as Existence itself, as pure Consciousness, as highest Bliss, Sat-Chit-Ananda, one with Brahman is the culmination of Vichara Atma in steady Self-Realization.

The above kind of basic summary will be continued, but for now, more of Master Nome’s discussion of the World within the Senses.

The Self is changeless, continuous, permanent Existence.  The Senses are changeful, discontinuous, & impermanent.  The senses are lost, dulled, or altered in death, old age, & illness.  The Senses change during the lifetime, from infancy until the end of the body. The Senses are changing all the time, transforming into dull & acute states, subject as they are to the three Guna-s the qualities of Tamas (inertia), Rajas (agitation), Sattva (tending toward the light of Knowledge).   Each Sense takes a turn being predominant & fades due to a change of the sense organ, the mental attention, & similar factors.

Samkhya philosophy [nominally atheistic] describes primal forces of inertia, agitation, & harmony, a scheme found to be expedient for partial half-step explanations within Vedanta.  The point throughout that short paragraph is that Sense change in many ways, all the time, exhibiting no completely steady form or nature.

The Senses appear only in the Waking state.  With each state of Mind, they change. Upon the death of the Body, which is not the Self, the Senses are lost entirely.  Rarely all the 5 Senses are active, or experienced, simultaneously, but Existence is always wholly present. The Senses are just a momentary function. The Self is steady, self-existent Reality, permanent, & not a function of some other thing.

Unlike the steady Self, the Senses change for the Dreamer, or even when the seer becomes the listener.

The Self is Being & not a doing or activity. The Self is not determined by any conditions & is itself without any conditions whatsoever. The Senses, though, are determined by conditions such as the state of the sense organ, the environment, the experience of which is the result of the interaction of what appears to become split in Consciousness that is, the object & the instrument used to know it.  The Senses are also determined by the mental attention given to or removed from the Senses.  From a higher view, in the One Mind, all 3 mutable factors appear [organs, environment, attention], determining the 5 sense experiences.  Partless Existence, which is the Self is beyond the changeful appearances in the Mind.  So, how can the Senses be considered to be the Self ?

The Senses are part of the Body.  The Body is perceived only by the Senses & has no reality apart from them.  Each illusion depends on the other.  Such illusion is like the painting of Wall that is painted on the Wall depicted, when the Wall itself has not yet been built.  The Self is bodiless & is not a part of the Body or associated with a location in relation to a Body, unlike the Senses. So, how can the Senses be considered to be the Self ?

Like the “strange loop” [ala Douglas Hofstadter] Image that has itself again in the image, & even more convoluted than that, the Senses are housed in & are part of the Body.  But the Body is only known by & in the Senses, just like the rest of the World.

The Senses depend on the Self.  The Self exists as it is, innately nondependent on the Senses. This is the highest state of detachment. As pure Being, one is always detached from the Senses &, thus, to the whole World.

The above highlights the relationship between the Senses & the World. The World is known by & actually “exists” only “in” the Senses.

The Self is not the Senses & is not experienced by the Senses. The Senses are capable of perceiving sense objects only, & the Self is not a material object.  The sensory experience is only that of sensation, & not of a separate Sense & object.  The Self is not a sensation or a product of sensations. So, how can the Senses be considered to be the Self ?

“Knowing” by the Senses is a small & unreal part of knowing, while the Self is Knowledge itself

The Self is the eye of the eye, unseen by the eye.  This Self which is formless Being-Consciousness, cannot be sensed & does not have Senses.  It is not a sensing entity, conceived as a nexus of all the sensations, but is instead ever unalloyed Consciousness.

The Self, which is Pure Consciousness, is far more than the limited, fleeting, & ultimately unreal collection of all lesser kinds of knowing.  This one reason why “breath watching” & other exercises in Sense Perception, have preliminary, limited, relaxing value only.

The Self is all-seeing but eyeless.  In truth, the Senses do not exist. They are only a figment of the Mind, which is in the infinite Consciousness.  Upon the substrate of the Self, which is Being-Consciousness, the Senses, which are but the thought of them, appear. The sense objects do not separately exist, but appear only to & in the Senses.  The Senses vanish, leaving the substrate unaffected & all alone. The substrate is Reality, which is immutable.  There is no actual creation of the Senses in that Consciousness.

Just as Result in the Cause, so is the Object within a Perception.  The 2 are 1, & unreal.

By this Knowledge, one remains identified as the Self  & not misidentified with the Senses, which are unreal.  Let there be this steady Knowledge.  May the un-sensed Knowledge of the Self, free of all the limitations of the Senses, abide.

[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 ]