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December 13, 2007

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Brian wrote: "If God or the guru is everything, and you're nothing, there's just One. And you're on the outside of unity, looking in. How much sense does this make, though?...On the outside of unity? Where's that? How do you separate yourself from One, if it is truly One?"

--This idea of 'you' appears to separate One from One. You can't see One because you think 'you' are looking, but you can't see your own looking. One is what is looking and One is not a 'you'. Like you said, no 'you' could ever see One without making One two. With 'you' removed, One is here. One is here-ing.

Seeing, hearing, being and no "One" to do it. "One" is really no-thing. Not nothing. Rather- NO-thing.

No-thing is ever born. No-thing will ever die.

When the bird sees, it is no-thing that is looking.
When the person speaks, it is no-thing that is speaking.
When no-thing looks for itself, if it sees anything, it is just an idea, a concept, a reflection, but really there is no-thing to be seen.

When Tucson tries to see One (no-thing) it is no-thing that is looking. He can do nothing because only no-thing can do anything.

No-thing is the universe, but the universe is not the object of no-thing. No-thing is universing.

From the beginning...no-thing is. Because unextended in space and time no-thing is formless, unborn and undying. Eternally we are as no-thing but not nothing.

That's the best this one can do to talk about that which can't be described. This is just a word game. All that can be done is talk about (around) it, beat around the bush. Who would know it without unknowing it? Who could say it without unsaying it?

"Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream...it is being, it is seeing, it is shinning. Surrender to the Void".. and no one to do it.

Tucson,

Are you one or two?

Deepak,

neither

If so, Tucson, can I presume that you are enlightened. These days I am coming in touch with so many enlightened persons. Is my date close?

Deepak,
You are thinking that enlightenment is something that happens to someone or is a result of something that someone does. Enlightenment is a name for a state where there is no separate individual at all. It is a name for what we already are, but it can't be recognized by someone who believes he/she is an autonomous individual.

So, any intentional process aimed at achieving this state actually becomes a barrier to it because it accentuates the existence of a "I" that needs to be enlightened. In other words, the function of the "I" concept is will or volition, so it is easy to see that any sort of effort to become enlightened only reinforces that which is a barrier to it.

Let yourself be lived. Let life live through you rather than by you. This is non-volitonal living which is not something 'you' do. It is a doing that isn't done. This is the functioning of enlightenment and by being this functioning the recognition/awakening you seek can occur.

There is a subtle trap here. This unmotivated non-volitional living is not a practice. You can't think, "I will live non-volitionaly." Have you ever noticed that after performing a series of actions, that they seemed to occur on their own. Like no one was there doing it? Like when playing a sport you are so engrossed in it that you forget you are even doing it? There is playing, but no one is doing it..unless you think about it. We hear about athletes that get into the "zone" and someone will say, "That shot was unconscious". Actually, it was fully conscious because the "I" wasn't there.

The primal absolute nature needs no enlightenment since that is exactly what already is and it is nothing you can conceive it to be or make happen.

It is said in Sant Mat that beyond Sach Khand is Anami, the nameless, formless, indescribable region. But it is not a 'region' in some other dimension or place that one goes to. It is this Presence now that is no-thing and by virtue of that is everything.

Beautifully said Tucson.


Tucson,

The Sant Mat that you are talking about is the Faqir Chand version. And the enlightenment that you are talking about is the non-dual version of Buddha, Shankara, JK and UG.

As per Sant Mat cosmology, Buddha is just in first plane (Sahasradal Kanwal which is the region of the Yogis but the first step in Radha Soami), whereas Sanch Khand and Anami are the end points of the spiritual journey.

Do you agree that there is such a well defined journey in spirituality like a train stopping at stations. Or is that all bogus?

Did Faqir Chand really mean that the entire cosmology of Radha Soami is fake? (I have read David Lane's book on Faqir Chand but it seemed vague to me. It seemed as if Faqir was non-committal on several issues and ended up in the "Who am I" Ramana format.

Anyway, do you think Faqir Chand really traversed the five levels of Radha Soami mansion? Or was he hinting that he heard all the sounds and the only thing which really mattered was "Who was the one hearing the sounds?"

Did the RS meditation (Simran, dhun and dhyan) really help you in your self-realisation process).

"The Sant Mat that you are talking about is the Faqir Chand version."

--I don't remember Faqir Chand's viewpoint well enough to comment, but the Sant Mat I referred to is the one in the books published by RSSB. Regarding Faqir Chand, I would have to rumage through boxes in the garage to find Lane's book about him and re-read it. I do remember his point of view was refreshing compared to the usual RS dogma but it was still dogmatic. He simply disposed of any notions that he was anything special. It was all in the mind of his followers.

"the enlightenment that you are talking about is the non-dual version of Buddha, Shankara, JK and UG."

--Most likely. I am not familiar with Shankara and JK.

"As per Sant Mat cosmology, Buddha is just in first plane"

--I think Buddha is present in all "planes".

"Sanch Khand and Anami are the end points of the spiritual journey."

--They are also the beginning points. There is no journey from here to there. We are always here. Here is all there ever is.

"Do you agree that there is such a well defined journey in spirituality like a train stopping at stations. Or is that all bogus?"

--Bogus, in a word. There may be the appearance of various levels (stages) of comprehension and refinement, but Presence is always available and complete in every circumstance whether cosmic or mundane.

Regarding the RS Mansion: There is nothing more absolute about one part or aspect of the "mansion" than another. Sound is sound. Light is light. It is the way light and sound or any phenomena (garbage trucks) are perceived that is key. As long as there is an identified perceiver, there is duality and relativity. Absolutely, there is only the functioning of light and sound and that is what we are. I am the garbage truck, goo goo ga joob. (Sorry, I had to make reference to a Beatles song that has been a catalyst for me.)

"Did the RS meditation (Simran, dhun and dhyan) really help you in your self-realisation process)."

It was merely a comfortable couch to sit on. I didn't realize it wasn't needed. I think the whole conceptual framework of RS is an obstacle. Let it all drop away and be free as you are.


Tucson,
Interesting reply, but is it possible to shake off all our beliefs from the sub-conscious. Is it possible to have an absolutely unconditioned mind (if that is what it takes to be enlightened). Is it possible to eradicate all the fears, anxieties, dogmas, relationship blues... et al that we have built up since childhood?

I have spent a lot of time trying to uproot my own beliefs (including the RS beliefs) that I have acquired over a period of time.

You are asking the criminal to eliminate crime when 'you' try to "shake off" those things and it is not necessary to try to do so. They tend to fall away of themselves (or at least lose impetus) when your true nature is recognized, but habits and personality traits, anger and sadness will continue to occur as part of the play as the functioning of Presence. Every manifestation has its unique characteristics. No snowflake is identical to another.

This idea of someone who has seen their true nature behaving like a romantic vison of a saint, serene, wise, and unperturbable is a myth. They may function that way, but they may just as easily be irrasible, eccentric and unpredictable.

There is this sort of religious idea that there has to be a prerequisite condition of purity which comes after travails, struggle, and piety for this recognition to occur. But, being always present it is always available and is there during our normal activities when the "I" thought is not present. It is so simple and obvious it is overlooked. Recognition can't be forced to occur via an act of will, just be aware that it is here as it is now.

The idea that one must be "pure" to enter the 'house of the Lord' is born out of fear and belief in a wrathful, vengeful God that requires this or that. Or, from say a Yogic tradition that believes there is a state to get to via purification and subservience to some conception of what God is.. Again, how can Awareness get to where it already is?

Does meditation help towards reaching that state? if so, what is the one? Is it witnessing, vipassana or zen or just watching?

"Does meditation help towards reaching that state? if so, what is the one? Is it witnessing, vipassana or zen or just watching?"

I think it is helpful not to think of it as a state to be reached and that there is a process, with or without a name, to take 'you' 'there'. It is this presence now already available, so being fully present rather than being caught up in thought processes about past, future, needs and wants, could be a good non-practice. When folding your clothes, be the folding of the clothes. When walking, be the walking. When brushing your teeth, be the brushing of your teeth. When beating your wife, just be the beating. (Sorry, just had to lighten things up a bit with a little quirky humor) Anyway, just be-here-now, and when you do think, think outside the box. Look at things from different perspectives. This breaks up the mesmerization of our habits and conditioning.

Maybe some activities that give you a feeling of being fully present are helpful in recognising a quiet, 'aware in the present' state of mind. This could be walking while avoiding extraneous thoughts. When a bird chirps, really hear the chirping..be the chirping. When a lizard slithers across your path, be immersed in the slithering...be the slithering. If a car goes by, really 'get into' the sound of the engine and the woosh of the tires on pavement. Just completely experience things as they are and don't think about them.

It is not necessary to strain to stop the mind. Just have an attitude of present awareness. I have used this example before: Imagine you are in a pitch black jungle alone and there is a predator out there seeking a meal. Every sense is devoted to detecting where that predator might be. You are completely in the moment. You aren't thinking about business matters, beating your wife, or getting your car fixed. You are just there, completely alert, clear and receptive without expectations.

Tai Chi is a good exercise for this once you get the movements down and don't have to think about technique and you can just go with the flow.

Or, just sit quietly and immerse yourself in your breath, but without a goal or expectation.

I think it is good to do something like these things that take you out of the rut of your everyday thought processes which can be a kind of somnambulance.


Regarding Somnambulance and awareness, are you referring to George Gurdjeiff's line that the common man is always sleep walking and that the only "worthwhile effort" is to wake up from the sleep. Like Tai Chi, the Gurdjeiff dance is also designed for the same. Do you think/feel that waking up from the sleep of usual thought patterns and living in the present is the ultimate goal?

I have never read Gurdjieff, but I would ask, who would wake up?

Reaching a goal requires someone to reach it. There is no one because you can't objectify what you are. Anything which you can objectify is that which you are not. So, the "you" that would reach the goal is the very illusion keeping you from it.

The seeker is the sought. In pure perceiving there is no 'thing' seen since there is no 'thing' that sees.

No you seeing, no thing seen. Just seeing.

Then what you are talking about is the "Ramana" brand of spirituality. Ramana Maharshi's only message was to enquire: "Who am I" and go deep into it.

I don't subscribe to any particular 'brand' of spirituality. However, I am familiar with Ramana Maharshi and enjoy his perspective. I look at his "Who am I" inquiry sort of like an onion. Peel away the layers of ideas, memories, concepts and thoughts that make up our identity and see what remains. Truth has no brand and when the layers are peeled away you will find neither do you.

Benefit from but hold to no brand, for that can become another chain, another peel of the onion.


Deepak,
Some pretty interesting questions.

Read the responses that Tucson has given and read them slowly. We often miss truth because we are in too much of a hurry to get an answer. All answers are part of the trap - because the mind is seeking an answer. The true answer comes only when you stop asking from the mind. The most the mind can do is understand and conceptualise.

Understanding is the booby prize. Understanding is not the same as realising. Realising is beyond the mind.

Deepak, you are trying desperately to make the truth fit into a philosophy - but that will never happen. Truth never fits and is never convenient. Truth is simply truth.

All attempts to define and explain become the the trap.

As soon as you get one answer - the mind asks another question. It is endless because truth cannot be known by the mind. Drop the mind and you are already the 'thing' you seek.

Remember these words are also part of the trap. I am not asking you to practise dropping the mind. All practises including "Who am I?" questioning are traps. They all presuppose that there is a YOU that needs to be liberated.

There is no YOU and no I. Even though you think there is - it is just a thought - an identity created from illusion. Because you have a separate body - you separate everything - and you feel you are a separate entity and you wonder what will happen to you when you die. Hence the whole sant mat philosophy to explain that you must reach Sach Khand.

Excuse my french - but it is all bullshit. Sach Khand is just a metaphor - it means region of truth - where there is only ONE.

You have mis-understood Faqir Chand. Faqir is saying that there is nothing - it is all illusion. No regions - no beings - no stages.

These stages are a nice idea - but they are fake. There are no stations to arrive at and depart from. Buddha was not on the first region. All that is food for the ego. Any follower of sant mat will be able to feel good that he is on the highest path and that the Buddha was only on region one.

Actually the sant mat follower gets nowhere - but has grand ideas of where his master will take him.

Ultimately you must go beyond all masters. A true master will only help you for a while and then help you to stand on your own feet.

Deepak,
you wrote:
Ramana Maharshi's only message was to enquire: "Who am I" and go deep into it.

Any practice - including this one - becomes a trap. Why? because the real essence is beyond the practice. Ramana is not really saying "repeat WHO AM I?" like a parrot.

He is saying find out who you are. He also knows full well that you will fail. If you succeed in finding who you are - then you have found another identity - not the real you. The real you is the same as in the zen koan "What is your original face - the face you had before you were born?"

Find that face and you find truth.

Become the faceless face. Speak the wordless language. Become a non-being. Simply be - and let life happen. If you do - you will see that you have become as a child again.

Sri Ramana had no particular "brand of spirituality". He simply spoke from his own experience.


Sometimes, I go to Theosophical Society meetings and I find that TS is also RS. Even TS speaks about spiritual planes and its rulers and its saints. (Parabrahma, Sanat Kumar, Kuthumi, Blavatsky). It is no different from Sach Khand, Nanak, Sawan, Charan. They call it occult and esoteric. Is it that spirituality also has a personal and impersonal aspect. As per RS theology, Ramana Maharshi might still be at Sahans-dal-kanwal watching the light.

"As per RS theology, Ramana Maharshi might still be at Sahans-dal-kanwal watching the light."

You have been captured by the romance of these regions. Very frankly, you are hung up on it. This reminds me of ranks in the military. "Well, he's only a major, but so and so is a colonel". Then someone pipes up and says, "But person X is a general, so there!" Such concepts keep you away from the reality that is, because you continually think there is somewhere else to go. Your "face-less face" is just as present here as it would be anywhere else, except there is never anywhere else but here. "As above, so below".

I agree with Tucson about Deepak.

Deepak, it appears that you do not really understand Ramana at all. Your lack of understanding of Sri Ramana, and what is called (for lack of a better term) Self-knowledge, is quite obvious when you say such hierarchical nonsense such as: "Ramana Maharshi might still be at Sahans-dal-kanwal watching the light." So please don't make such ignorant comments about Ramana until you gain a significantly better comprehension of the nature of atma-jnana.


Tao,
I think you and Swami Anami in Ex-Satsang group are the same individual. May I know what happened to you when Charan initiated you?

Nothing happened. In my opinion and perspective, the sant-mat/RS initiation ritual is nothing more than an exoteric or superficial formality. For in my own case, the really profound esoteric initiation occured in 1967, which was many years before I had any kind of affiliation with sant mat and RS.


Tao,
Was that "esoteric initiation occurred in 1967" due to some other Guru or a meditative experience or somewhat like zen satori.
From my experienec, I don't think RS initiation is superficial. When I was initiated by GSD in 2000, I saw a ray of light jumping from his eyes to mine. This, I thought, was conclusive proof that GSD was GIHF (God in Human Form).
I later began doubting GIHF only after Iheard that similar experiences were reported from other cults (owing allegiance to Kal as per RSSB theology). I also came to know later that this experience is even common among laymen who have never meditated nor known any Guru. Now it's time for your castigation.

Tucson,
Though I am an ex-satsangi. I know I still suffer from the RSSB hangover. The simran and the belief system over the year has created some mental grooves. But I am not very serious about the statements I make. Some are made in half zest or humour.
I still maintain that I am open-minded and skeptical about all forms of mind-control including the non-dual advaita that is peddled around. Even during my serious satsangi days, I found RSSB theology funny just like the army hierarchy you mentioned. In fact, I found it even more amusing to question RSSB in front of satsang fundamentalists.
As for Tao, I like his castigations and I wish if he could continue to tear everybody's arguments apart and not just those of Brian.
I truly love commenting on this blog with all kinds of ex-satsangis around. The more the merrier. Atleast I know that I am not alone.
And, yes, I am still confused about the weird experiences that happened to me in GSD's presence when I was initiated. I want more satsangis to disclose their personal experiences so that I know which side I am on.

Deepak,

I think when we believe someone is GIHF, seemingly special things happen. Once when disciples were walking with Charan Singh in a muddy area, it was noticed afterward that Charan had no mud on his shoes while others did. This was thought to be a sign of his divinity and not due to the fact that he was provided a route through the area which was relatively free of mud.

At the guest house Charan answered one of my questions. I was so fixated upon him that everything disappeared in light which I attributed to his aura because I believed he was GIHF, disregarding the fact I had similar experiences prior (and since) when he was not present. This is just the illumination of awareness which is present at any time with anyone.

Hey Deepak,
I found an interesting article about spiritual experiences and its relation to any super beings (GIHF)
www.gnostic.org/amma_j/articles/fundamentalism.htm

By the way , I am no way related to Jessica Lucas or any group if she has any and this is the first time I read her name while searching for spiritual delusions:)

I went through the comments of Tucson, Sapient, Osho Robbins and Tao. All of you have been helpful to me in revising my own position and coming out of the Guru rut. I also went through the article that Sapient mentioned about the GIHF factor. I found it true to a last extent. Keep posting such comments.

Sapient, have you also been through the GIHF syndrome?

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