Just as someone looking at a mirage in the desert is not the mirage, someone looking into a mirror and seeing that which is reflected cannot be what is being reflected. It is an image that is being witnessed, not at all unlike the mirage in the desert that is supposedly witnessed but is not real at all.
The Realized in the example of the mirror know that what is being reflected in the mirror is an image and nothing more; the non-Realized do not understand that. With the non-Realized, it is as if they are in a museum, looking at a painting of flowers in a vase and believing that the vase and the flowers are real and are actually there, are truly in their presence.
The Realized would never mistake the image in the mirror for the Real, but the non-Realized always do; and the Realized know that the "I" is the witness while the non-Realized believe that the "I" is that which is seen in the mirror.
To know that the image is merely a play in light can be understood if the image being reflected in the mirror is appearing by virtue of the fact that a light is on in what would otherwise be the pitch-black darkness of a room. Turn off the light and the image disappears. What remains? The witness, even if nothing is being witnessed at the moment.
The witness that is witnessing a mirage in the desert is still the witness even after the angle of the sun changes and the mirage "disappears." In fact, the mirage was never there and was never anything more than a play in light.
If one depends on mirages for pleasure, then at some point the mirage will be exposed as an illusion and the pleasure will end and the pain or misery will begin. So it is with all persons who have taken illusions to be real (or so it shall be eventually for all who are presently taking an illusion as the real).
If it is understood that
(1) the "I" in "I AM" is the witness and not the witnessed
and if it is understood that
(2) whatever the non-Realized think they are witnessing is not at all what it seems (or what "he" seems or what "she" seems or what "they" seem)
the setup for entrapment in the ever-fluctuating pleasure-pain duality can end.
How many persons around the globe at this very instant are experiencing unbelievable misery and suffering over "the loss of a loved one," pining away over what they think they "had" but no longer "have"?
Realize that their bereavement is seldom actually about "losing some person"; it is about losing all of the personas - all of the false self-identifications - that were being sustained when someone who had earlier been present (and who had for a time been willing to play the necessary co-dependent counterpart that is required to support one's false roles) decided to stop playing.
Understand: that which persons think they "had" in the past or "have" in the present is always an illusion, but it will not be seen as such if persons do not know that the "I" in "I AM" only refers to the Self and never to any other identity. The Pure Witness can only witness; it cannot "have" anything.
In the absence of that understanding, persons will also fail to understand that (A) what they think they had, they did not have at all; they will also fail to understand that (B) nothing has been lost because nothing from nothing is always ... nothing. This is the Reality: the mirage will always eventually go away; the witness will remain, for a time. And what of mourning "the loss of a mirage"?
Maharaj said: "Between the remembered and the actual there is a basic difference which can be observed from moment to moment. At no point of time is the actual the remembered. By no effort of will or imagination can you interchange the two."
Thus, the comments that announce the pending end of many "relationships": "I thought I knew you, but I don't really know you at all - you are not the person I thought you were!" or "You have robbed me of my identity with your actions - I don't even know who I am anymore!"
Maharaj: "Wherever you go, the sense of here and now you carry with you all the time. It means that you are independent of space and time, that space and time are in You, not You in them. It is your self-identification with the body, which, of course, is limited in space and time, that gives you the feeling of finiteness. In reality You are infinite and eternal."
Then, Maharaj was asked a question that is tantamount to the question asked by the site visitor quoted above:
Questioner: [To Maharaj]: "This infinite and eternal Self of mine, how am I to know it?"
Maharaj: "The Self you want to know, is it some second self? Are you made of several selves? Surely, there is only one Self and You are that Self."
And the "I" in "I AM" refers to that one and only Self, to the Pure Witness, to the presently but temporarily manifested pure consciousness that can see Reality and Truth when not blocked by the content of a mind filled with ideas and concepts and beliefs.
Maharaj continued: "The Self you are is the only Self there is."
In the case of the mirage in the desert that was referenced above, there actually was no reality to it at all. It was an illusion. Such is the case with all false selves: they never really existed in the first place, so "the Self you are is the only Self there is."
Maharaj advised: "Remove and abandon your wrong ideas about Your Self and there it is, in all its glory. It is only your mind that prevents Self-knowledge."
Please enter the silence of contemplation. (To be continued)
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Whether taking the course with Louise or Floyd, the price of the course includes all 11 of the Advaita eBooks, questions sent after completion of the assigned readings, replies to your answers, and follow-up as required.
With either teacher, you will be guided through all seven of the steps, in order, that lead from identification with the false "I" to the Absolute (and beyond). For more specific information and details about the course, you may click on the link to the right.
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DVD or Downloadable computer file versions of the Four-Day Advaita Retreat
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
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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”]
[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
Received 19 August 2010 from one that just completed the entire course:
I would like to extend deepest appreciation towards you for these teachings that you have offered. It has been most valuable towards what may not have been revealed throughout this manifestation labeled "anthony." Understanding Truth and finding words for gratitude are one as is all. Thank you again for pointing "me" to THAT and the understanding that came as well. Hopeful for future "contact"! Sincerely, Anthony M. W.
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The Twice-Stolen Necklace Murders offers the non-duality message by way of a mystery-adventure novel, discussing the movement from pain to healing to awakening to peace.
From Dr. R.F. Maley, Ph.D, Professor Emeritus and former Head of the Department of Psychology, University of Houston: "Floyd Henderson's book, The Twice-Stolen Necklace Murders, is a fun read and an interesting mystery, but perhaps more importantly it serves as a vehicle for blending Eastern Philosophy and Native American Spirituality to make an intellectually challenging novel. The book's insights into both relationships and authoritarian conditioning of people in our society make it a must read, tracing the roots of narcissistic, sociopathic and psychopathic behaviors to the very core of the culture. This truly witty and politically-incorrect study of the aggressive nature of 'the American character' offers not only a diagnosis but also a treatment plan, making the book an excellent supplemental reading in courses such as psychology, anthropology, philosophy, sociology and counseling."
The Sequel to The Twice-Stolen Necklace Murders:
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF WARS
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YOUTUBE ADVAITA VEDANTA YOGA VIDEOS
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Please enter the silence of contemplation.