Wednesday, April 28, 2010

THE INVISIBLE NET OF DESIRES AND FEARS AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE FALSE SELF. PART 1– SITE CO-HOST: LOUISE STERLING

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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.

The Advaitan teachings tell you that you do not need to change, improve, get, obtain, acquire, transform, metamorphize. All action takes you further away from your true self. How can you improve what is beyond improvement? How can you change what is beyond change? How can you obtain what you already are? All that is required is to remove the false, the layers of conditioned muck that obscure your already present true nature. It is like the kitten raised with a litter of puppies and that believes it is a dog. The kitten may mimic dog-like behaviour; it may attempt to “bark” at strangers or chew on a bone. However this conditioned sense of being a dog and the mimicked behaviours are false. The kitten does not need to do anything to be a kitten. This is already its identity. All that is required is the removal of the false conditioning that obscures its real identity.

While there may be resonance with these teachings, with layers of conditioning in place, statements like these can simply seem like irritants; pieces of jargon that are useless to the personally identified seeker. How then can the seeker understand, when the reality that is pointed to seems so inaccessible and remote?

Listen carefully – the instructions offered are crystal clear: all that is required is the removal of the false – the false ideas you have about yourself. Accept that the false ideas you hold are extensive – layer after layer of deeply cherished beliefs or uninvestigated concepts. How then to “get at” these concepts, to find the hidden or invisible beliefs?

Maharaj says: “Self-interest and self-concern are the focal points of the false. Your daily life vibrates between desire and fear. Watch it intently and you will see how the mind assumes innumerable names and shapes, like a river foaming between the boulders. Trace every action to its selfish motive and look at the motive intently till it dissolves. Discard every self-seeking motive as soon as it is seen and you need not look for truth; truth will find you.”

In other words, an invisible net of self-centred desires and fears are what construct the false self, this mistaken notion of identity. Your parents (the first teachers in the society) teach you language (dualistic and separative by definition) and then use this language to bottle, shape, define and confine you. You are told you are a person confined to a physical body and defined by gender, culture, race, religion, social and economic class, nationality. Further, as you develop a personality to survive the family environment, the traits, preferences and quirks you exhibit become further bars on the confining prison of self-constructed identity. (Yet, even amongst the non-realized there is always the sense of this self as temporary, shifting, unstable because it is false, constructed – the not real.) In this way the movement of desire and fear takes root. Desires motivated by attraction and greed seek to bolster this fictional identity by reinforcing, entrenching, solidifying, and improving. On the other hand, fears motivated by aversion and terror seek to shelter, protect and preserve the false self. Like the programming on a mainframe computer, this invisible data stream of desires and fears runs constantly, delineating this non-existent centre as special, different and separate from the river of life.

According to Maharaj, this is the function of the Guru – to tell you that your conditioned beliefs about your identity are not true and to offer you pointers to your actual identity – formless, borderless, changeless, limitless, beyond birth and death.

So, reverse the threads that trap you in the net of fears and desires. Examine those falsehoods taught to you early on, and unhook from them. Ask yourself:

  • What if you are not a person?
  • What if you are not confined to a physical body?
  • What if you have no gender, culture, race, religion, social and economic class, nationality?
  • What if you are not your personality and its traits and preferences and quirks?
  • What if desires are superfluous – for in reality you lack nothing?
  • What if fears are not necessary – for there is no separate self to protect?
These radical statements are thorns used to remove the false sense you have about yourself. As Maharaj says: "You must give yourself time to brood over these things. The old grooves must be erased in the brain, without forming new ones. You must realize yourself as the immovable, behind and beyond the movable, the silent witness of all that happens."

Brood on what you are not. Examine yourself, your beliefs and your fears and desires ceaselessly. Abandon the futile attempt of applying your "mind" to the beliefs individually. Accept that NONE of these beliefs are true; they are ALL false lies that make up the bars of your cage. Reflect on the unanswerable question: When all that is false is removed, What remains?

To be continued.

Please enter the silence of contemplation.

(For extending teaching on the Advaitan Understanding – and the removal of the false that obscures Your Real Nature, see the links on the right hand side of this blog.)

Comments / clarifications may be sent to louise.advaita@gmail.com

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