Friday, March 19, 2010

FOLLOW-UP: Your Self-Improvement Work, Your Religious Practices, and Your Spiritual Disciplines Are Worthless

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An Advaita forum focusing on Realisation, enlightenment, non-duality, Real Love, peace, freedom, Your original nature, abiding naturally, the Oneness, the Nothingness, and Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.

Here, there is nothing that is believed, so there is no one here who wants you to believe anything, either. Here, the invitation is to be free of all that you have been programmed, conditioned, acculturated, and domesticated to believe so that you can be free, period.

FROM A SITE VISITOR: I really fought what youve been writing over the last week. I came to the site and read a few words and left. I thought-dont tell me this guy is really going to attack work people do for self improvement. Then I came back, then I left again. Finally, I read all of what you wrote and today (received March 18th) when whoever you were talking to talked about a conceptual elephant and said that seekers are as addicted to practices and their promised rewards as crack addicts are to their drug, I finally started to see what youve been trying to get at. I finally got why you say to ask WHO has been thinking my work was benefiting me and finally got why I was so angry when you did not go along with the value Ive given to everything Ive done to make myself better. I got really upset when you talked about arrogance when I was sure that everything Ive done got rid of my arrogance. Thanx for explaining this. Im seeing things different now. Larry PS That story about the child protectors helped too.

F.: There are two misunderstandings that are at the root of assigning value to disciplines and practices, and what you describe is the typical belief system among the masses. To reiterate:

1. Persons who use the pronoun “I” without being 100% convinced that the pronoun refers to the unblocked, re-purified / Pure Consciousness (and to nothing else) will believe that some “other I” exists.

When that failure to realize that what “I” can accurately refer to is only to a speck of energy and to nothing else, then whatever ego-state that such persons are erroneously referring to with the “I” will dualistically conclude—as a result of the egotism that is used to sustain a belief in the ego-state—that it can be good or bad, worse or better, unimproved or improved.

If you understand the point behind the example of the child protectors, then You are beginning to see clearly. (However, you are still missing a piece: there is no one to help and no one to be helped. There is only energy.) From that illustration, see that there is no good vs. bad electricity, no worse vs. better electricity, and no unimproved vs. improved electricity. There are merely blocks in place that prevent you from tapping into the energy and allowing it to operate naturally. [See March 14th post.]

So the first point not usually understood is that (a) the only “I” that presently is…is conscious-energy and that (b) energy cannot be improved.

2. The second misunderstanding, and you allude to it, is the false belief that (a) there is some person or some self or some “Better Self” or “Higher Self” that suddenly comes forth if disciplines and practices are used and that (b) the “Better Self” or “Higher Self” can be humble. Impossible.

The very notion of a “Better Self” or “Higher Self” reveals the arrogance associated with those assumed identities. Note, as explained here occasionally, the way that ego-states work: they assume that a false concept is real; soon after, that assumption leads to either an upgrading or a downgrading of the illusion they believe in.

Believe “this world” as perceived is real? Then this world will soon be upgraded to “a better world" … to “heaven” … to “the best world ever” or will be downgraded to “a bad world” … to "hell" … to "the worst place ever.”

Believe that different “countries” are real rather than concepts based in imaginary borderlines? Then your country (especially if you live in the U.S. or any of the nations with the typically grandiose self-image that evolves from Aryan roots) will soon be upgraded to “the best country ever” and other countries will be downgraded to “second rate nations” or to “third world countries” (which implies that the labeler is sure his country is in the “first world” category).

Believe that labels which are assigned by your culture, such as “spouse,” are real? Then “husband” will soon be upgraded to “The Super Husband” and wife will be upgraded to “The Super Wife.” Divorce will eventually come in most such cases. Why?

Because at some point, "Super Spouse" will be downgraded to "The Far-From-Super Spouse" and because of this distorted thinking:

“wife” needs only “husband” to play a co-dependent, counterpart role for her false identity to be sustained, but “The Super Wife” can only exist (in her “mind”) if she has a “Super Husband.” And whatever makes a “Super Husband” a "Super Husband" will vary from one culture to the next, from one person to the next, and (very often) from one moment to the next. The same applies to “the husband” and his false beliefs about "wife" and "Super Wife" as well.

So…

…it is useless for persons to work at practices and disciplines and self-improvement because the “self / selves” are false. You cannot improve a mirage; thus,

there is no “one” that can be improved; and,

…all such practices and disciplines can only continue if there is a person assuming a personal identity and if that persona is convinced that the work is resulting in changes for the better.

That which is real cannot be changed—it is Absolute. That which is thought to be changeable is not real but is illusory; therefore, persons engaging in all of their religious and spiritual work and believing that they are “improved” and “better” and “good’ and “higher” are totally in delusion.

Finally, the person using wax and a rag to shine up his car while waiting for a massive roadblock to be cleared is engaged in an activity that is going to avail him nothing as far as his “journey” is concerned, but the image looks good, the appearance looks good, and the activity seems as if it is beneficial. (The most that will come of his effort is a "look-at-me, look-how-good-I-look-as-a-result-of-my-work" mentality.)

"Do" all of the self-improvement work you want, "do" all of the religious practices you want, and "engage" in all of the spiritual disciplines you want, but the fact remains that you're only putting a spit-shine on a mirage.

The options are but these: Pure Consciousness or pure nonsense. In the end, see that the only option is Pure Consciousness because pure nonsense is just a mirage as well. Understand that when the sun is hidden from view by dark clouds, the sun is there, the sun is energy, the clouds are not at all what they appear to be, and there is no amount of work that a person can "do" to remove the clouds and see the sun.

All that is required of the one wanting to see the light is to accept the teacher's pointer that the sun is there and the light can be seen. You need but sit quietly and know that, while the light may be temporarily unavailable for viewing, (A) a gentle wind can come along and blow away the clouds and that (B) the gentle wind in Your case is the breath that moves the consciousness along as it speaks.

Please enter the silence of contemplation. (To be continued)

Now you can receive for $40 a downloadable computer file version of the same 7-hour satsang that seekers receive when they visit for the Advaita Retreat with Floyd. You will be guided through the seven steps from identification with the false "I" to the Absolute (and beyond).
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SIX WAYS THAT SEEKERS HAVE REALIZED:

1. BY WATCHING the 4-Disk Video (DVD) Set, or the same retreat available as a downloadable file. Either will provide an entire seven-hour retreat / series of satsang sessions showing three seekers being guided through all seven steps by Floyd and can provide viewers with an “experiential,” step-by-step series of satsang meetings that will move the viewers from identification with the I to abidance as the Absolute and then to abidance as That Which Is beyond

Some seekers are already using the computer file version and the DVD sets for meetings in groups in homes, playing the retreat, pausing for discussion, etc.

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[It is recommended that you watch the video with pen and paper in hand. Write whatever you need clarified. You'll see that there are constant reviews and you might find an answer later in the seven-hour presentation. Then, after you watch it all, there will be a common ground for discussion. Purchase of the DVD’s or the file will include the right to clarifications and answers to your specific questions via e-mail.]

2. BY READING these books in this exact order:
IT'S ALL BULLSHIT (And Why Knowing It Sets You Free)
SPIRITUAL SOBRIETY (Recovering What Religions Lost)
[Those two prepare the seeker to question it all]
THE MEDITATION GUIDES
[Provide a broad overview of the understanding]
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I DIE?
[Begins to free the seeker of body identification and the desire for body continuity]
THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS "PEACE OF MIND" (There Is Only Peace if You're Out of Your Mind)
[Shows the seeker how to be free of the subconscious motivators of the false content of the “mind”]
LIBERATION
[Shows the seeker how to be free of the subconscious motivators of personas]
THE ESSENCE OF THE TEACHINGS
[Provides the final preparation for the seeker to be directed along the “path”]
FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE (A Seven-Step Journey to Reality)
[Directs the seeker along the “path”]
CONSCIOUSNESS/AWARENESS: The Nature of Reality Beyond Self-Realization (Peace Every Day When Abiding as The Absolute)
[Allows the seeker to understand the functioning of the totality, the manifestation, and what is involved with the un-manifestation]
FROM THE ABSOLUTE TO THE NOTHINGNESS
[Provides the seeker the wisdom to understand the Noneness as well as the Oneness]
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3. BY ENROLLING in the Online Advaita Classes
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4. BY ATTENDING an Advaitin retreat for satsang with floyd and being guided through all seven steps. For details of the retreats offered, please visit the retreat information site.

5. BY ARRANGING satsang by telephone in the U.S. or by Skype internationally:
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