Saturday, April 23, 2016

MAHARAJ: “Lightment” vs. Enlightenment, Part “WW”

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Though Maharaj never enumerated the steps on the “path”which he endorsed and though he never outlined the specific sequence in which the steps must be taken in order for seekers to follow his directions to “go back, reverse to the source” and to “follow the same path by which you came” and to "go to zero concepts," the fact remains that awakened witnesses can read or listen to his talks and can find the seven specific steps and the specific order of those steps on the “path” he discussed.

Originally, he touted a SELF-Inquiry approach which required that all seven steps be completed. Later, he endorsed a “self”-inquiry approach (that is, a false-self inventory) which required that seekers move beyond the first three steps and settle into the fourth step (“The Child Ignorance Stage” or “The Child No-Knowing State”) where all identifications and ideas and concepts and notions (a.k.a., “beliefs”) are abandoned. 

He would eventually say that completion of the first three steps and arriving at the fourth step and abiding once more as a pre-programmed, pre-conditioned child is enough. How much clearer could he have made that point than the way he did by saying, “You do not need to find the answer to 'Who am I?' You need but find the answer to 'Who am I not?' That would be enough.” 

Yet there are relative consequences and "traps" when seekers fixate at the third step (which so many do) as a result of refusing to move beyond their “good” identities and their “Supreme” Identity or Identities. 

In CHAPTER TWENTY of The Relative Results of Returning to "The Child Ignorance Stage" or "The Child No-Knowing State" entitled “The Results of Ending 'The Journey' at the Third of Seven Steps,” this is offered:

When excerpts from the book FREEDOM FROM BELIEFS were being shared, inquiries were received regarding comments about "one's head being in the clouds" and about "transcending spiritual and / or religious roles" and about "man-fabricated religious and spiritual knowledge." 

Visitors over the years have challenged the point that it is either ignorance or insane beliefs or a combination of both which drive some seekers to "abandon a phenomenal dream state, only to reside thereafter in a supposedly 'noumenal' dream state" where they have their heads "in the clouds without having their feet planted firmly on the ground." 

Also challenged by some was the pointer that "those persons fail to understand that they are actually seeing no more of The Light with their heads in the clouds than the persons planted on the ground who also cannot see the sun because of the clouds." Challenges come from persons who believe many false beliefs, including the false belief that they "have become spiritual." They do not know that they cannot "become spiritual," cannot "become better," and, actually, cannot "become" anything. 

"To become" is "to change or grow or develop into something specific and different; to enhance or improve; to be upgraded; to be better than before; to change for the better"; or, conversely, "to worsen or to get worse" or "to be downgraded" or "to deteriorate," as in: 

1. "She became a much better person after she joined that group." 

2. "He became more religious - even spiritual - after he married her and settled down." 

3. "He was raised the right way by good parents, but he sure did deteriorate later one - really went downhill." 

4. "That one lucked out and found a super spouse" or "that one had a streak of bad luck and ended up with three really rotten spouses in a row." 

5. Or, as the defensive visitors who were mentioned above believe, "I have become spiritual and now I see the light; as a result of understanding non-duality, I have become a far better person than I was before" 


6. "If you do not think Advaita Vedanta is all about becoming spiritual, then you do not know what you are talking about." Here, it is made clear that along "the path," "religious and / or spiritual roles" (or "religious-like or spiritual-like" roles) will be assumed and played at the third of seven steps. 

Typically, heads must enter the clouds in an effort to try to see things noumenal, in order to break - to some degree at least - the attachment to phenomenal things only and to be motivated to “seek the light” (that is, freedom from ignorance, which is what Maharaj said “realization” actually is). 

Yet the fact remains, persons cannot see any more light with their heads in the clouds than persons standing on the ground and gazing skyward on a cloudy day and who also have the light blocked from view. 

The problem with the assumption of those "good" or "Special" roles at the third step is that seekers typically fixate at that point - at the level that Maharaj called "kindergarten spirituality." In describing their circumstance, Krishna was not especially "kind" when discussing the ego / ego-state that is assumed at that level, suggesting that “those who do not understand that Reality is beyond both beingness and non-beingness are ‘fools’." 

Thus, such supposed beingness, including "being spiritual," is a trap if one does not eventually "transcend spiritual and / or religious roles" and if one does not transcend "man-fabricated religious and spiritual knowledge."

Maharaj also made clear that those who do not transition their religious and / or spiritual role-assumption and role-playing are also just fooling themselves with their prideful but false belief about having realized and are allowing "others" to fool them as well. As a result, he said, they will never reach the fullness of the light: 

"There are so many who take the dawn for the noon, a momentary experience for full Realization, and destroy even the little they gain by excess of pride." 

Indeed, how foolish one is to believe that he or she “is being bathed in the full light of the noontime sun though actually standing in the dimness of dawn.” And how foolish one is to believe that she or he can "become something different." 

The real does not change and cannot "become different" from what it is: 

Maharaj: “The mistake of students consists in forgetting that all perceivables are transient and, therefore, unreal.” 

He said: “Your world is transient, changeful. My world is perfect, changeless. You can tell me what you like about your world - I shall listen carefully, even with interest, yet not for a moment shall I forget that your world is not . . . that you are dreaming.” 


“Both mind and body are intermittent states. The sum total of these flashes creates the illusion of existence. Enquire what is permanent in the transient, real in the unreal.” 


“We can talk only of the unreal, the illusory, the transient, the conditioned. To go beyond, we must pass through total negation of everything as having independent existence. All things depend.” 

To be continued. 

Please enter into the silence of contemplation. 

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