“Direct knowledge does not require intellectual discourses.”
“Longing for a tiny grain of pleasure, people toil so hard using the mind to plough the field of the five senses, but they never wish for the flood of Bliss which is the fruit that comes by ploughing the Heart, the Source of the mind, with [simple] Self-attention.
Ah, what a wonder!”
In our search for personal peace it never occurs to us at first to do anything other than seek to process happiness as we might possess an object or a lover. This search is futile. In seeking solace in the impermanent it follows that happiness will also be impermanent.
We eventually come to realise that it is only when we wilfully transcend Ego and Mind, and stop trying to possess happiness, that bliss can and must appear, out of the mist where it has been hidden all along.
To live in bliss one must be a Seer and not a thinker. (Swami Bawra) This means giving up believing that we are Mind. Either by simply observing Ego’s impulses and Mind’s chatter as being irrelevant (not Self) or by surrendering these imposters into a sacred fire at the feet of God we are liberated. We cannot possess enlightenment.
Q. When I simply relax in your presence and close my eyes, something very deep opens up in me and peace and joy come back again. The same happens to me with Ramana Maharshi, with Papaji, when I think of them, a very deep joy comes. However, when I try to do the self inquiry, I get a headache. When I try to do what you encourage us to do – to think ‘who suffers?’ and ask ‘who is perceiving this?’ then right there everything gets blocked.
“First of all, you must be clear what you want to know or find out through inquiry. You say, “When I embrace Ramana or Papaji in silence, something naturally unfolds, opens up.” But is that the ultimate? What are you searching to find?
Use the inquiry as a light that somehow scans the beingness to find seeds of ego or the image projections of the mind. Don’t panic and don’t imagine: ‘Oh, inquiry is so mental.’ That imagining is also mental, it is also a thought. Gradually the inquiry becomes so clear for you that it will be like looking in a mirror and immediately seeing the undistorted reflection of your face. That is the power of inquiry. But in the beginning, because we tend to meet life so mentally, we use the inquiry mentally and then say that the inquiry itself is mental. Whether you use it successfully or unsuccessfully, it remains as it is – an instrument, a tool for recognising your own Self. The inquiry does not produce headaches, it does not produce confusion, but it does expose the confusion hiding in you.
If peace goes away, if joy goes away, let them go. Stay only as the awareness. Carry on with the inquiry. Blockage comes, headache comes – blockage and headache is also coming from the mind. Resistance arising through the mind can manifest many strange phenomenon. Headache is a popular one! ‘Oh, I have to stop, I can’t go on.’ Take this attitude: ‘Let the headache explode, but I will observe it.’ Even if it’s growing, know in your heart it’s not real. Hold only on to awareness. Now your efforts may feel very stretched, ‘I can’t go any further, it’s too much,’ but it is still only thought, feeling and pain.
Then take the attitude: ‘Let me die here, but I will not be blackmailed by my mind. Yes! Let the war finish here, or go on from here, but I will not bow to the mind.’ Be happy to be pushed so intensely. It means your victory will be swift and immediate. Stay as the awareness and something must change powerfully at this point.
The sense ‘I am’ is the first born, but awareness is the unborn. It is not an object, but objects manifest in it, in the realm of consciousness and mind. Nothing affects awareness and awareness is not a belief. You cannot ‘believe’ in awareness. You can only be awareness. Not to be as an action taken, but as Truth revealed. It’s the most obvious thing!
Let the actions, reactions and interactions happen, watch them happen. You will still have the sense of being present, even participating, but now there is a space, a distance, a detachment, a serenity. Even in the presence of dynamic activity, there is a natural stillness that doesn’t participate, that remains untouched.
Gradually the mind in the form of ‘me the person’ merges with the awareness. A melting is taking place like a piece of ice in a glass of warm water. Both are water, but still a melting is taking place. The awareness is like this warm water. Your Self is like this warm water. The mind is like this piece of ice, merging. The warm water is not fighting with the ice, yet the ice cannot resist the warm water, cannot resist the melting. It is simply taking place. This is in response to your yes-ness, the surrendering of yourself as person to your Self as Truth.
Where are you now in the light of this introspection?
Nothing… nothing is there…
Nothing is there… Is this a depressing discovery? Is this a terrible, fearful discovery? But don’t go to your mind looking for answers. Stay here as awareness.
I say this because very often we cannot imagine ourselves being nothing. Mind will not go there except as a very negative projection, when somebody tells you, “You are nothing!” Yet there are two kinds of nothing. There is also a nothing which is the realisation: ‘I am not merely the object of my body nor any other object in the universe – I am the witness of them.’
There is a joy here, a space… indescribable.
Yes. Is there a ‘you’ inside you? What does it look like? I heard that some of the earliest physicians opened up the bodies of dead people to try and find where the person lives. Where in the body is the location of the intelligent principle that arises as the self? Nobody can find it. Just like children look in the back of the radio to try and find the people singing or talking, you are looking in a much gentler way, a more graceful way inside your being to find the location of ‘I’. And you discover only a kind of space is there.
It has no relatives. It has no history. But an aspect of itself that we call ‘the mind’ holds impressions in what we call memory. Yet you are the witness of memory, to the extent that we can say ‘my memory is not as good as it used to be.’ What watches memory? Is that inside memory?
I am not reaching for answers, I am simply inviting you to allow space for these questions that will reveal through direct experience That which words alone cannot.
Turbulence may come. Resistance, doubt and fear from the mind. Fear of losing your fixed boundaries, the fear of transformation. But all these are also phenomenal and momentary. The mind has a dilemma. It is afraid of change, deeper change, yet the mind is attracted to life, which is change. Don’t be mixed up in all that business. You merely observe, casually, passively and keep your attention inside your Heart. This will naturally become easier and easier for you.”
“Stay as That.”
Very good, very good.
For once, relax a little and simply become an audience to your mind’s play.
Just look with a little detachment. Observe for a bit, but don’t spend too long in that cinema.
Then at some point, you may just come to recognise that you have watched the show many times before, and so there is no longer a need to spend any more time and money there. You will forget about it entirely.
And quite unexpectedly, you may find yourself walking along a path of unchanging joy, light and wisdom.
“The mind and the ego are one and the same. “
Mere book learning is not of any great use. After realization all intellectual loads are useless burdens and are thrown overboard as jetsam. Jettisoning the ego is necessary and natural.
Yogas chitta vritti nirodha.
‘Yoga is mastery of the modifications of the mind’.
From Patangali’s Yoga Sutras.
There is an impulse behind every thought that drives us onwards in the belief that mind is real and that WE are Mind. If we withdraw from the dialogue and dispassionately watch the impulse that generates that dialogue that we identify as My Mind, thoughts that can be so intrusive and so damaging at their darkest simply vanish as if they were smoke. This applies to all thoughts – happy or sad. There can be no distinction. So what was mind? The more one practices this the more of a habit it will become. Slowly, like a blessing, a peace emerges.
Q – Quite so; but just what is the impulse referred to?
A –It appears that there is a tiny wordless impulse behind every thought. We are so habitual of being in the dialogue that we don’t see the wordless impulse. Its so quick. Impulses are generated from external or internal stimulation. Environment, body or imagination. We habitually run with them and therefore mind is constantly noisy and busy. Single sentences become volumes of rhetoric. The impulse occurs due to Ego. Mind is a ghost projected by Ego. When we realise that we are thinking and not watching, the act of putting our attention on the sensation withdraws our attention from the dialogue and the dialogue dissolves. The impulse is then replaced by another and we watch that too. It too disappears. In therapy we can use the dialogue to access the sensation but in the end that process is not necessary. It becomes our habit to be permanently in the Seer. Hence to quote my teacher, ‘Be a Seer not a Thinker’. The Seer is the Self.
This is a small part of a conversation between Ramana Maharshi and a Lady Bateman: His explanation of the nature of Mind is simple.
“There is a fixed state; sleep , dream and waking states are mere movements in it. They are like pictures moving on the screen in a cinema show. Everyone sees the screen as well as the pictures but ignores the screen and takes in the pictures alone. The Jnani however considers only the screen and not the pictures. The pictures certainly move on the screen yet do not affect it. The screen itself does not move but remains stationary. Similarly, a person travels in a train and thinks that he moves. Really speaking he sits and reposes in his seat, and it is the train which is steaming fast. He however superimposes the motion of the train on himself because he has identified himself with the body. He says, “I have passed one station – now another – yet another – and so on”. A little consideration will show that he sits unmoved and the stations run past him. But that does not prevent him from saying that he has travelled all the way as if he exerted himself to move every foot of the way. The Jnani is fully aware that the true state of Being remains fixed and stationary and that all actions go on around him. His nature does not change and his state is not affected in the least. He looks on everything with unconcern and remains blissful himself. His is the true state and also the primal and natural state of being. When once the man reaches it he gets fixed there. Fixed once, fixed ever he will be”
(Thoughts) So when we engage with trying to find a reason for our anguish or for that gnawing feeling we wake with every morning we are engaging with the dream. We are lost in the drama. Trying to figure it all out IS the madness. Edifices of meaning that seem to solve the problem by offering a reason, provide short term respite, even a sense of elation, but always collapse to be replaced by despair then more edifices. The more intelligent the sufferer the more complex the edifice, the more profound the madness. Observing the pain (the actual sensation) and not making it mean anything is the only cure. If in watching an insight comes then that is a bonus. It takes practice but it’s not impossible.