Tuesday, July 31, 2018

My existence is like space.

"My existence is like space; though this body speaks like the radio, there is no one inside as a doer.. Some power acts through the jnani's body to perform actions"

(Ramana Maharshi).

This seems to be a more positive approach in describing the state of the self-realized jnani. It points to existence being akin to just space, which is empty, but also aware. Space-like awareness is a term used by some teachers such as Rupert Spira. Further, Ramana points out that there is no doer inside, no controller, but rather the external appearance of a person is closer to being like an impersonal process that is driven by some hidden power. Of course, this is still a dualistic way of looking at things, but closer to the truth. The ‘hidden power’ being just awareness manifesting as itself in a seeming dynamic way.

This quote brings back some memories of when I was performing the L.U. processes of searching intently for some inner entity or “I”, but not finding any, and just resting in that empty but aware space. When we look inside or directly at the mind, it does feel aware and present, but totally empty in essence. Looking outward there are perceptions happening and the world seems to be present. But looking inwards, there is nothing perceivable.

Now looking from the vantage point of that empty, space-like aware self that we already are, things seem to appear clearer than before. This equates with the pointer of actually being the self. Nisargadatta points out to be just the witness. Ramana gives the advice to ‘be as you are’, or just be yourself. Douglas Harding uses the ‘headlessness’ viewpoint. All are pointing towards this looking out from the essential empty awareness that we already are.

Further, Ramana advises elsewhere to ‘deny the ego and scorch it by ignoring it’, of which, one way would be to just remain as the self, or looking from the vantage point of the empty self.

The pointer to ‘rest as awareness’ seems a little off in this perspective, since it seems to imply an ego / I that takes some action to ‘rest’ and a place to go ‘awareness’, which can end up as yet another action journey into conceptual thought. Looking outward from the perspective of just being empty space, or just one’s self (only) that is aware of and illuminating all phenomena in the knowingness of itself, would be a direct way to access all of this.


Monday, July 30, 2018

Trawling through a couple of BATGAP interviews of modern day guru / teachers.- William Meader, Kosi, Amma Shri Karunamayi.

I've been getting some BATGAP emails of late with notifications of teacher interviews. I actually really like BATGAP for the sole reason that it gives everyone (globally) a change to listen to modern, living teachers and spiritual guru types. These interviews are usually suggested by devotees or students, and some of the teachers have a decent following.

I estimate that probably one in ten teachers interviewed is actually a bona-fide awakened teacher with something to impart. The rest are likely charismatic people who have been either beguiled by their own imagination in believing they're somebody special, or who knowingly have taken up the guru game because they think they have something to teach.

A couple of recent duds seemed to have come through.

William Meader, although a nice enough seeming guy, seems to be off on another planet. He speaks about Atlantis, cosmic plans for the existence of humanity, and what he thinks 'esotericism' really is. Unfortunately, the theorising gets so dense, that even students of the Theosophical Society would have a tough time getting through his material. He offers workshops and global tours, undoubtedly for those who want to theorise and know how the universe works both exoterically and esoterically. Needless to say, there seems to be next to nothing pointing in the direction of actually knowing oneself (or what must be prior to the appearance of the universe in our own awareness) before getting into interesting esoteric laws of the universe.

Kosi is coming from an Advaita Vedanta background. It sounds like she's onto a good thing at times, and does advocate tackling the vasanas (tendencies) and darker side of human nature, besides pointing out what enquiry is and also our own true nature. Unfortunately, she seems to have hitched her wagon to some visionary (imaginary?) experiences that she believes she has experienced over time, from apparitions of Ramana Maharshi to Jesus Christ. (This, despite Ramana Maharshi himself discouraging visions, hallucinations and mystical phenomena by followers due to their distraction from the actual work of self-inquiry).
She then goes on to paste pictures of Ramana all over her website, as if it is some sort of endorsement of lineage. Her other 'lineage' seems to be a spiritual female teacher Amma Shri Karunamayi. Kosi credits her with some prophetical birth and being a global avatar. On listening to a couple of her interviews though, it seems she's a pretty run of the mill Indian spiritual teacher, and espouses the usual "service", "karma yoga" and community practices, further caling her devotees "her babies" and "children". I'm skeptical of what, if anything is being offered by her teachings, besides a figure-head for some devotional practice.

I'm probably too crusty in my old age.. but I'd like to give out a reminder "buyer beware" when jumping into the guru / teacher scene. DYOR.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Ramana Maharshi speaking of the simplicity of self-realization in all.

Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi

Talk 469.

Yogi Ramiah asked: A master is approached by an aspirant for
enlightenment. The master says that Brahman has no qualities, nor
stain, nor movement, etc. Does he not then speak as an individual?
How can the aspirant’s ignorance be wiped off unless the master speaks
thus? Do the words of the master as an individual amount to Truth?

M.: To whom should the master speak? Whom does he instruct? Does
he see anyone different from the Self?

D.: But the disciple is asking the master for elucidation.

M.: True, but does the master see him as different? The ignorance of the
disciple lies in not knowing that all are Self-realised. Can anyone exist
apart from the Self? The master simply points out that the ignorance
lies there and therefore does not stand apart as an individual.
What is Realisation? Is it to see God with four hands, bearing
conch, wheel, club, etc.? Even if God should appear in that form,
how is the disciple’s ignorance wiped out? The truth must be eternal
realisation. The direct perception is ever-present Experience. God
Himself is known as directly perceived. It does not mean that He
appears before the devotee as said above. Unless the Realisation
be eternal it cannot serve any useful purpose. Can the appearance
with four hands be eternal realisation? It is phenomenal and illusory.
There must be a seer. The seer alone is real and eternal.
Let God appear as the light of a million suns: Is it pratyaksha?
To see it, the eyes, the mind, etc. are necessary. It is indirect knowledge,
whereas the seer is direct experience. The seer alone is pratyaksha.
All other perceptions are only secondary knowledge. The present
super-imposition of the body as ‘I’ is so deep-rooted, that the vision
before the eyes is considered pratyaksha but not the seer himself.
No one wants realisation because there is no one who is not realised.
Can anyone say that he is not already realised or that he is apart from
the Self? No. Evidently all are realised. What makes him unhappy is
the desire to exercise extraordinary powers. He knows that he cannot
do so. Therefore he wants God to appear before him, confer all His
powers on the devotee, and keep Himself in the background. In short,
God should abdicate His powers in favour of the man.

D.: It is all right for mahatmas like Sri Bhagavan to speak out so plainly.
Because the Truth does not swerve from you, you consider it easy for
all others. Nevertheless, the common folk have a real difficulty.

M.: Then does anyone say that he is not the Self?

D.: I meant to say that no one else has the courage to put things
straight like Maharshi.

M.: Where is the courage in saying things as they are?