“But what about alleviating pain and suffering?” some persons ask. "That would be helpful, right?" That talk is for protégés beginning the earliest steps along the “path.” The pain and suffering which are being addressed by the Advaita teachings, and which can be eliminated when the Original Understanding is grasped, are the result of false identities; therefore, that type of pain and suffering is not even real. Eliminate the false belief in ego-states and the imagined pain and suffering vanish; otherwise, one might as well claim that the pain and suffering of a mirage can and must be addressed and eliminated. If the talk is about the pain and suffering being experienced by an illusory mirage, then the pain and suffering must be illusory. Forget focusing on the pain and suffering of mirages and focus instead on seeing that the mirages are mirages. When the mirage “husband” feels as if it is dying because of the departure of the co-dependent, counterpart “wife” that was required for the false identity of “husband” to be sustained, the “pain and suffering” being experienced ends when the person thinking he is truly “husband” discovers That Which he Truly Is. All such pain and suffering is mental, and since the “mind” is fictional and all of its content is false, then any assumed pain and suffering that are generated by the false “mind” must also be fictional. Only consciousness can register pain, and only the warped consciousness can believe that it is experiencing pain when a false identity is dissolving. “What of physical pain?” a site visitor asked recently. Only the consciousness, not the body, registers pain. Those completely detached from any degree of body identification have experienced limitations of physical pain, but even then, only the totally dissociated could be completely oblivious...hardly a goal to seek. But that is not the Advaita “issue.” Whatever degree of physical pain that persons suffer in their lives is negligible in comparison to the instances of mental-emotional suffering that persons/personas think they are experiencing.
Now, for your final inquiry:
How about animals? Animals are living beings too. So are plants. Do they also have the atman in them? And do they have the capability to realize that their atman is but the same as the Brahman?
As mentioned in an earlier post, animals, plants and humans are all manifested consciousness that is aware of its beingness…that knows it is existing. But do animals or plants or birds know the atman? “Atman” is a concept, and animals and plants know no concepts. Persons, not plants or animals, are driven by their erroneous beliefs and baseless concepts that have been dreamed up over centuries by men. Because plants and animals are not subjected to the bastardization of the manifested consciousness (domesticated animals notwithstanding) whatever they do happens spontaneously and naturally. Programmed and conditioned consciousness (a.k.a., “persons”) does not behave spontaneously but behaves according to programming which effectively removes all choice and prevents natural living. Once the consciousness that is manifested in a “human” space is corrupted, persons behave unnaturally or supernaturally. [How to distinguish? Natural behavior is unlearned and makes sense; unnatural and supernatural conduct is learned, makes no sense, and is therefore learned ignorance. For example. Does any human have to be taught how to masturbate or copulate? No. Are both, therefore, natural functions? Yes. Those who do not masturbate or copulate as a result of learned religious or spiritual beliefs are living unnaturally and supernaturally, neither of which is natural. Those persons have been fooled. Being a fool never results from what is done naturally and known instinctively; it is always a result of what is taught by fools and taken to be the truth by fools.]
So the consciousness which plants are remains pure, and the consciousness called “animals and birds” remains pure unless exposed to conditioning by humans; therefore, plants and unconditioned birds and unconditioned animals behave naturally and know their “selfness” only to the extent that consciousness is aware that it IS, but the pure consciousness knows nothing of concepts such as self or soul or essence or Self or Supreme Self. Only the corrupted consciousness manifested in the space called “persons” can be occupied and pre-occupied with any concepts, including those. And persons who spend their days being occupied with concepts are not likely to be much fun to be around, relatively speaking. Lighten up.
Finally, Advaitan protégés who are following the direct “path” are moving away from knowing more and toward knowing less. The process unfolds through five stages thusly: (I) being programmed to accumulate (II) exerting all effort to accumulate, including "stuff" and concepts (III) seeing that accumulation has not provided peace or happiness and then beginning an inquiry into Who/What You Truly Are (IV) seeing that all roles and concepts and ideas are nonsense, thus inspiring the process of de-accumulating—getting rid of—it all (V) living spontaneously and naturally in an AS IF fashion, free of all concepts. Transition all five stages and then live in an AS IF fashion that is as natural and spontaneous as the existence of the unconditioned consciousness that is manifested in plants and animals that live naturally. Only the consciousness manifested in the space called a “human” (that once programmed takes itself to be a “person”) can become so corrupted that it will try to live unnaturally or supernaturally and attach to false identities including a fictional Self or Supreme Self that will “live” eternally via a body-mind-personality triad. Only the corrupted conscious and the ego-states that follow will become infatuated with focusing on all the concepts and theories and ideas and teachings rather than use them to see the nonsense of it all, discard it all, and then relax and take it easy. Persons write to share what Sankara knew, what Marhashi knew, what Moses knew, what Maharaj knew, what Christ knew, what this guru knew, what that priest knew, what this rabbi said or what that preacher said. Other persons write to explain what they have learned. It’s all nonsense. Hang it all and hang them all. The only question that you need answer in order to be free is, “What do YOU know, already, within, that you have lost touch with of because of programming and conditioning and enculturation and ‘holy’ teachings?” Forget worship and practice and study and gurus and jnanis and glossaries and terms and the accumulation of more and more information. Search within to find the Original Understanding—which predated all words and texts. Find that understanding which can free you of all worship and practice and study and gurus and jnanis and glossaries and terms and accumulation and information so that you can merely BE and live AS IF for the remainder of the manifestation.
Therefore, the pointer is this: abandon all efforts to live like any guru you think you know or like any jnani you think you know or like any wise man of the past that you admire or like any god that you might be modeling. Instead, go to the woods, be silent, be alone, and observe the deer from a distance. Then return to your home and community and workplace and live as naturally as the deer lives. Abandon super-natural and un-natural thinking and live in the deer’s natural fashion for ten years and then e-mail to say “thank you.” (In ten years, the consciousness may no longer be manifested in the space called “floyd,” and even if it is it won’t give a damn about any thanks, but you can use that exercise as final closure in the process of having given up all your objets d’adoration…including religious and spiritual roles, expert-level knowledge of holy and philosophical terminology, and all other roles and concepts as well. Please enter the silence of contemplation. [To be continued]