Sunday, July 31, 2005

REALIZATION: Understanding “the Coming,” Part One

“If persons cannot become free of the misconceptions about ‘how they got here,’ then they will remain in the ignorance of body identification—as far removed from reality as can be.”
[Continued from 30 July 2005]
F.: “How did our seven-step journey begin?”
Q.: “With debunking body identification.”
F.: “So we know that a person cannot be any farther removed from reality than when in that limited identity. Fixed in that false identity, the body becomes the focus of all. It's given status, becomes a tool used to manipulate others fixed in body identification, and becomes a source of egotism. All in life becomes geared toward assuring body continuity. One is set up to believe in the most far-fetched teachings imaginable if the teachings include a plan for body continuity. Some of the longest-standing myths and superstitions deal with where babies come from. From those earliest fabricated explanations came the notion that children are ‘gifts from god.’ Rather high status, yes? Quite the source of ego, yes? We’ve seen that all misery in the relative existence is rooted in what I’ve referred to as false identities, personalities, personas or ego-states. From lack of knowledge come ideas and beliefs; from ego comes the drive to cling to the false ideas and beliefs. The ego-states of ‘Super Parent’ and ‘Super Child’ are rooted in such unawareness. Thus, the first of the seven steps on the journey to Realization must address the error of body identification. If persons cannot become free of the misconceptions about ‘how they got here,’ then they'll remain in the ignorance of body identification—as far removed from reality as can be. [Pause] So we began the journey by debunking, as you said, the myths and superstitions about ‘how we got here’ and by inviting protégés to find the answer to this question: ‘How did this food-body come to be?’ If one cannot get free of the myths and arrogance around this ‘coming,’ then the journey never even begins. The Realized know the answer. They know how this food-body ‘came’ to be. [Pause] Maharaj said that science would one day prove the accuracy of the philosophy that he taught. While science is not necessary for the understanding, the awareness already being within, it does now provide exactly what Maharaj predicted. We now understand scientifically that in most cases it is sunlight’s interaction with plants that allows the process to begin, the exception being certain organisms thriving at the bottom of the ocean that obtain their energy from thermal vents rather than sunlight. With plants, the process of photosynthesis results in the separation of water molecules, the production of oxygen and glucose, and a means by which energy manifests in organisms that obtain their energy indirectly rather than directly. Plant-eaters acquire their energy by consuming plants. Carnivores receive their energy by consuming animals that ate plants. [Pause] These scientific explanations aside, one can understand how this food-body came to be by meditating upon a simple question: “Where were You in the days prior to conception?” Let me read a piece I’ve written for a book that will be entitled The Twice-Stolen Necklace Murders. In an interview that will be included at the end of the novel, I offer the answer to a question asked by the editor: “How did you come to know that you are not the body and not the breath but are the conscious-energy alone?” The answer I gave is [begins reading]
I did what my teacher suggested. I meditated on where I was in the days before conception, before the body began forming, before the oxygen began circulating. I determined where I was, via contemplation, during the days before being manifested in a mother’s womb. I traced my ‘roots’ back to where I really came from in order to know What I Really Am. Anyone with a brain functioning without damage can do the same. If you are 35 years old, let’s say, then count backwards. That is how I reached the pre-conception state and the awareness of What I Am. Literally say out loud, ‘I am 35; I will now go back. I am now 34; I am now 33.’
Try it." Please enter the silence of contemplation. [To be continued 1 August 2005]

Monday, July 25, 2005

PATRICK MISSON, Guest Columnist

Advaitin, Disciple of Dr. Nataraja Guru

F.: “Today, we're deviating again from our regular format in order to allow our third Guest Columnist to address a question regarding witnessing and oneness that was submitted by a site visitor. The reply comes from an advaitin named Patrick Misson who lives in Portugal and hosts several major Advaita Vedanta internet sources on the web at http://www.advaitavedanta.co.uk and
http://www.advaitavedanta.de/ as well as two currently under development at http://www.narayanagurukula.com/ and
Patrick, a.k.a. ‘pog,’ has been a student of Vedanta for many years as a disciple of Dr. Nataraja Guru. His websites try to give a clear picture of what Nataraja taught. Patrick also makes clear that questions, critiques and refutations are welcomed. Now, we welcome Patrick to our site. Patrick, thanks for your response.”

Patrick Misson: “In Sanskrit there is a word triputi, sometimes translated as "tri-basic prejudice." This sounds clumsy, but it's not easy to translate philosophical terms. What it means is that the mind tends to see the three terms of seer, sight, and the thing seen, as though they were distinct from each other. For the Advaita Vedanta school of philosophy (to which i belong) this distinction is an illusion. In this case, the "I" who watches, observes or thinks, together with the process of watching etc., and also the thing observed or thought about - all of these are one. The idea that they are separate or distinct is just due to habits of thought which are of the same kind as the one which would make you think that a coil of rope in the corner of a dark room was a snake poised to strike at you.”

F.: "Thanks, Patrick. We invite the site visitors to now enter into the silence of contemplation."

TOMORROW: THE SEVENTH DEGREE OF MOVEMENT TOWARD REALITY: The Non-Beingness, Part Six, continuing the discussion of the oneness and the non-beingness

Monday, July 04, 2005

DENNIS WAITE, Featured Columnist

"Remove this apparent ignorance from the apparent individual and you are left with the Self, non-dual Consciousness, which is then realised (in the absence of the ignorance) always to have been the case."--Dennis Waite

F.: "We'll continue our discussion of 'Child Ignorance' and 'learned ignorance' tomorrow in order to provide an opportunity for our Featured Columnist, Dennis Waite (author of THE BOOK OF ONE, The Spiritual Path of Advaita) to reply to a query submitted by a regular visitor to the site, Sim of Kentucky, U.S. (The response is especially timely since the site discussions this week are focusing on the necessity of removing all 'learned ignorance' as a prerequisite for Realization.) We are grateful to our guest for submitting a question that allows Dennis to offer several pointers for clarification. Thanks to both Sim and Dennis Waite.
Sim: "Do you mean it literally when you say that you just sat and watched/observed? In such cases, one must still be 'thinking,' correct?"
Dennis Waite: "Hi Sim,
There are several points worth elaborating on from this exchange.
Firstly, you imply that thinking is somehow bad. But thoughts simply arise in Consciousness. If you have ever tried to ‘think’ a thought, you will find that this is not possible. What actually happens is that the thought comes and THEN you say ‘Hey, I just thought that!’ But in fact there is never any ‘thinker’, in just the same way that there is no ‘doer’. Every ‘thing’ is just the non-dual reality, partially obscured by the limiting idea that there is an ‘I’ somewhere involved in all of this – there isn’t. In the case of thinking, there is an identification with the idea that there is an ‘I’ who thinks.
Secondly, there is effectively no difference between perceptions, feelings and thoughts. All of these appear to awareness in exactly the same way. We are aware of a chair apparently out there, a pain apparently in here or a thought. Direct path teachings do not differentiate between them – Francis Lucille calls them all ‘mentations’.
The third point relates to spiritual practices. Having said there is no ‘I’, it follows that there is no ‘seeking’ (who would do it?). There is no enlightenment to be gained or received as a prize at the end of a process of seeking. However, contrary to what some modern teachers might tell you, preparation and practice ARE needed. This is not for the individual (since there is none) and not for a result (‘you’ are already the Self) but in order to remove the ignorance that obscures the truth of the matter. Remove this apparent ignorance from the apparent individual and you are left with the Self, non-dual Consciousness, which is then realised (in the absence of the ignorance) always to have been the case.
Best wishes,
Dennis
F.: "Thanks to Sim and Dennis Waite. To find information on his book--as well as a wealth of information on Advaita Vedanta--you may visit Dennis Waite's website using the link at the top of this page.)