Monday, 23 Nov 2020
I offer the following explanation from my limited ego experience and my understanding of the writings and the Teachings of Bhagwan Ramana Maharshi.
Disclaimer: I am a novice on a Soul Journey of understanding, (a Sramana), and as such there will be a certain resonance with these words by others whose journey is at a similar state of relationship. It is to those Souls that these words are provided. See original texts for accuracy; original Sources should always be sought, and the works of David Godman and Michael James, who have spent large parts of their life dedicated to being exacting about the quality of the Ramana Maharshi message and its legacy, are two very useful sources to be consulted for links to factual information.
i). The cliche, ‘everything is perfect as it is’ can be approached in various ways, one of those, is to accept that in every moment ‘what is happening’ is PERFECT!! This may seem a naive statement, but if the Soul really is surrendering fully to it’s REAL SELF, a ONENESS or UNITY that is considered to be perfect from our own viewpoint, which is a Dualistic perspective, then it is quite LOGICAL as well as energetically preferable, to expect that SURRENDERING FULLY TO WHAT IS, occurs naturally through this very act of just SITTING described in Self-Investigation PART 1, BY JUST being with what is arising, and continually investigating the source, by enquiring Who Am I?. Can it be that simple…..well…YES.
ii). As in every reconstruction of events in time and space, the thought stream called memory, which the brain can process at any given time, (and time is always in the now), is being influenced by our own self acceptance that the ‘Body is ‘i”, that the thought is my thought, and that the role of our functioning in the world we perceive, is to interact, which requires a DECISION. This decision is a choice to act, (or not to act), performed by the Ego, which requires for its own survival, a continuous opportunity to be interacting with a world of its own making.
iii). According to Ramana in answering the enquiries: “WHAT IS ALL THIS? From what does it arise? For what and by what does it all appear? Of what does it consist?
the answer is……
“The Self alone is the cause
What exists in truth is Self alone.
The world, the individual soul and God are appearances in it.
These three appear at the same time and disappear at the same time.
That which arises as ‘I’ in this body is the mind.
If one enquires as to where in the body the thought ‘I’ arises first, one would discover it arises in the heart”.
(NB. This description was given by Ramana so people have a foundation for their belief, in actual Oneness there is no place, so this is strictly speaking, only a relative statement of a truth for our own relationship to understanding).
“Of all the thoughts that arise in the mind, the ‘I’ thought is the first. It is only after the rise of this that other thoughts arise.
Without the first personal pronoun there will not be a second and third.
The thought “WHO AM I?” will destroy all other thoughts…and like a stick used for stirring the burning pyre, it will itself in the end be destroyed.
THEN THERE WILL ARISE SELF-REALISATION”.
a. WRT the term ‘self-realisation’, this is also not Strictly Correct in actual Oneness, because when the ego disappears there is no concept of Self to be aware there was an apparent movement of self-realisation, as the pretend ‘self’ does not exist anymore, and therefore there is not actually a ‘Real Self-Realisation’ as such, it is a description of a MOMENT of Awakening of the SELF to the SELF. That is called “I AM I”, the state in which the Oneness that always exists within each individual ego, is actually made apparent as being purely and wholly in a state where their true awareness is realising only itself, AND THE PHANTOM FALSE EGO HAS SUBSIDED FROM THE PLACE WHERE IT AROSE. As stated above THE SELF ALONE IS THE CAUSE.
b. As in every investigation of the mystery of life that humans try to understand and decipher and find an original cause to or for, there is ultimately NO MENTAL BRIDGE TO THE INFINITE, AS THE MIND, WHICH PROVIDES A PLACE OF RECOGNITION IN DUALITY, IS NON-EXISTENT WITH THE SUBSIDENCE (often called death) OF THE EGO. EVERY EXPRESSED ATTEMPT AT DESCRIBING the SELF, the infinity, the Oneness, the Unity, etc. BY PEOPLE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED GLIMPSES OF MOVEMENT OR SUBSTANCE OR ‘EXISTENCE’ BEYOND THE EGO, CONFIRM THAT WHAT EXISTS BEYOND THE EGO AS SELF, (stated most clearly as being a state of ‘Awareness being Aware of itself’, WHICH ALONE IS THE CAUSE OF EVERYTHING), IS INDESCRIBABLE, BEYOND WORDS. THUS “LIFE” FOREVER REMAINS A MYSTERY FROM THE REALM OF THE HUMAN DOMAIN!
(NB. An interesting aside is whether the apparent multiplicity of individual egos is just one fully connected EGO; as an Ocean has waves of individual SOULS, which is the often suggested analogy for our SOULS as being part of the ONENESS that IS all pervading, one may also ask the question of our apparent ego?).
c. Ramana is explicit in pointing to the likely lack of value of pursuing an answer to this situation; (Ref?), my reading of his advice is to live with the reality we have, and when that changes, then and only then, CAN WE and DO WE HAVE THE EXPERIENCE OF THE ACTUAL STATE OF EXISTENCE that we are seeking to know of. This just seems like good old common sense to me…….
iv). The EGO is generating what ‘the world is’, that is, it is actually responsible for generating the complete CONCEPTUAL REALM of the APPARENT REALITY, also known as THE DUALITY. In Duality, the Ego consists of two aspects that co-exist as its perceived Reality, and ‘Individual Egos’ may or may not be aware of or give credence to this or any other explanation that can be proffered! However, IN NON-DUALITY, THE SELF ALONE EXISTS.
a). The beginning of understanding the EGO is when it arises as the first thought, as it is then “self-empowered” it becomes a self defining and self generating EGO that adopts a personality and believes itself fully capable of knowing and defining and experiencing ALL THAT IS REAL TO ITSELF. IT USUALLY DOES NOT KNOW OR UNDERSTAND IT IS INHABITING A PHANTOM REALITY, A DREAM OF ITS OWN CONSTRUCTION. THE EGO is a combination of SELF or PURE AWARENESS, and ADJUNCTS, or additions to SELF; our experiences and preferences in this and perhaps previous manifestations of energy or form. In FACT, THE BACKGROUND OF SUPPORT can only be what is REAL, and what is arising from ONENESS, from the PURITY of the actual aspect of the ego THAT must be THE AWARENESS BEING AWARE OF ITSELF, and NOT the ADJUNCTS the ego might wish or decide to attach to it.
These ADJUNCTS are conceived to be from a variety of sources, some through the Actual Experiences of people reporting what has occurred to them in their ‘Reality”, while others are conjectures dependent on the need for an explanation of events that are mysterious to explain. Examples such as influences from previous lifetimes, a confluent energy transmission that is a mystery of the cosmos, or perhaps as a function of the ‘Light of God’; however one wishes to describe or use language to conceptualise the origin of the ego, it seems various souls resonate with different reasonings and explanations.
So the Ego has a background which is SELF, plus the ADJUNCT bits that are worldly and human and embedded as nature, and the EGO expresses activity through the mind and action, and has a basis for then interacting with whatever can be cognised through the expansion of itself as the defining aspect of everything else that can be conceived by the inherent faculty of the INDIVIDUALISED EGO, which recognises cognition and defines itself and sees the WORLD.
b). The second aspect to comprehend, is how it relates to a GODHEAD, or HEAVEN, or ANOTHER REALM, A MYSTERY, which exists outside of the boundaries of the WORLD IT KNOWS, and believes it is able to DEFINE. The WORLD of the EGO is the world of Duality, of time and place, of nature and societies, and cultures and their influences, and history and Science of Cause and Effect, of this and that, of opposites, of black and white, etc etc. AND the ADJUNCT ASPECT OF THE EGO is desirous of making IT’S WORLD the ONLY REALITY; that is the REAL WORLD OF THE EGO; IT IS THE ONLY WORLD THAT IT WANTS AND GIVES CREDENCE TO, AS BEING TRULY CORRECT AND ACTUAL, other opinions and ideas are just that, they are not as Valuable as the needs of individual ego, because they may infringe on the ‘All powerful pretence of Knowledge and Desire, and Free Will, which are recognised as inherent, that is a World of Duality, the extent of which is defined by the Individual Ego, is supreme.
In this state of comprehension, the attraction of the Light of Non-Dual Oneness may not be strong enough to guide a strong conscious path to surrender. The Ego may not want to give up its views and adjuncts and thus surrender itself to the background magnetism that is ever present in daily life, but unwittingly hidden. Even when it is so called trying to improve, it is in fact limited by its own desires, as it proceeds to construct means for change, in a REALM OF DENIAL, where every attempt is doomed to fail. Simple reasoning shows how the EGO is dominated by the interest of its ADJUNCT INTERACTIONS, and UNTIL IT TURNS ITS DIRECTION 180 DEGREES TO INVESTIGATE ITSELF, to attempt to see and understand the hidden aspect that supports ALL OF LIFE, it will remain in the relative domain of self- deception.
(NB. The opportunity given to individual egos to pursue certain functions and experiences and personal growth, toward a conceptual state of Happiness, rather than a life where suffering is inherent, is projected in many Teachings, the well known example being HIndu or Yogic Karma. Prarabdah Karma being the activities that one must undergo while present in this particular current form manifestation in this worldly realm as determined by ‘performance’ in past lives!)
The World of Thought, Senses, Emotions, Appearances, Projections and Memories is a MASSIVE CONSTRUCT, continuously reinforced in daily life, but it can/has-been/is -being, surrendered and dismissed by various people throughout history! These instances are seemingly rare. FULL SURRENDER OF DUALITY IS THE ELIMINATION OF ALL ADJUNCTS AND CONSTRUCTIONS THAT THE EGO HAS GATHERED OR ACKNOWLEDGED AND RETAINED. WHAT REMAINS IS JUST —-‘THE SELF”— THAT IS SAID TO BE ALL THAT THERE EVER WAS IN THE FIRST PLACE ANYWAY, AND IT IS THIS EXPRESSION OF ONENESS, PREVIOUSLY LANGUAGED AND ENVISAGED AS AN EXTERNAL GODHEAD OR HEAVEN, ETC. THAT BECOMES THE REALITY. THE NON-DUAL REALITY THAT WE ALWAYS ARE, YET ALWAYS UNAWARE OF OUR TRUE SELF DUE TO THE ADJUNCTS AND PURSUIT OF WORLDLY DESIRES!
We all believe we have individual egos, and so there are a multiplicity of ‘THOUGHT CONSTRUCTED INDIVIDUAL WORLDS (OR REALMS OF ACTIVITY AND BELIEF), that are in existence if a SOUL is to follow the logic of the dominant thinking stream of DUALITY. What the EGO desires to make REAL. It does so to ENABLE IT”S OWN EXISTENCE for without a world, then there is no ego and thus no person!
v). The Ego is a phantom, it comes into existence when it ARISES, as the FIRST THOUHT, ‘I’, and then THINKS everything ELSE to come into existence. The World, the individual Soul, and God. This DUAL nature of reality comes about BECAUSE OF THE EGO JUSTIFYING IT’S OWN DESIRE TO BE INVOLVED IN INTERACTIONS AS THE DOER. THE EGO IS THE IDENTIFIER OF ITSELF IN EVERY THOUGHT FORM. If thought forms arise, which they do naturally, as extant information exists in a world that is perceived, as enquiry arises as a thought form in the ego, subsequently a second thought may lead to an action or another thought, and the EGO is INLEASHED. Any action or thought arising is given by the Ego, and it grasps each and every opportunity to be an initiator for the commencement of any successive and each subsequent thought.
The EGO maintains a dominant place in the ever existing moment by moment life happening experience, and the process of daily life is a continuous repetition until eventually the EGO subsides as “I AM I”.
(NB. This is generally expected to occur in a future lifetime, as so few instances are available to confirm an expectation it could happen to “ME”. Which is a tautology as the Me does not exist. HHMMM language)
vi). I leave with my comments on the following observations and attributed statements:
a). “The Purpose of Life is to control one’s environment.”….. Krishnamurti
A perspective of the ego, this is a meaningful observation of the ‘state of the world’ due to the actions of individual and collective egos, and how it has developed through the limitations that are due to a LIMITED Lack of knowledge of awareness of our TRUE SELF. Actions imposed through the limited yet enormous power of the mind, historically shape the world my ego lives in; what I see is a picture and story that portrays the need for reflection for our own individual actions, and those of so called others in the DUALITY we inhabit. Conscious awakening through mindful control of outside actions appears historically inadequate and the Collective Ego practices that have seemingly manifested the ‘inadequate and suffering’ world we currently inhabit continue today.
Krishnamurti stressed the need for a revolution in the psyche of every human being and emphasised that such revolution cannot be brought about by any external entity, be it religious, political, or social. (Reference: Wikipedia).
b). Ramana states:
It is as difficult for a Jnani,
(the realised sage),
to engage in thoughts,
as it is for an anjnani,
(one who has not realised the Self)
to be free from thoughts.
Alignment and acceptance of the apparent paradox, where the ‘World is a perfect place’ as it is; while at the same time, having the subjective experience of something we consider is possibly akin to the opposite of perfection as we live our daily lives in the ‘REALITY OF DUALITY” exemplifies the conundrum that all humans are faced with as ‘Sramanas’ or pilgrims of the journey to Truth. Ramana’s statement above is an EXCELLENT COMMENTARY OF THE SEEMINGLY MUTUAL EXCLUSIVE REALMS OF Manifest DUALITY in one instance AND NON-DUALITY AWAKENING BEING EXPERIENCED BY THE SAGE in the other instance.
(NB. Finally it should be understood that after his EGO-dying experience at 16 years old, Ramana Maharshi, although apparent in bodily form to us, was never an EGO personality again, but simply a material form through which the living expression of SELF could be transmitted for the benefit of the human race. Thus discussions relating to the physical status and condition of the non-sentient body of the apparent Ego-Vessel and personality of Ramana Maharshi as a PERSON, are not in any way a meaningful measurement or topic of discussion that can provide an iota of value wrt. the CONTENT OF THE MESSAGE BEING DELIVERED.
It is widely considered that Sages and Avatars have the means to present themselves in a variety of forms at their command. The reasons why they might represent some aspects of their physical or earthly presence is presumably a PART OF A CONSIDERED RELATIONSHIP, SO THAT THE MESSAGE BEING DELIVERED CAN BE MORE EFFECTIVE. The stories of Ramana’s relationship in deep meditation and ONENESS experience, where the body was being eaten by rodents without any intervention, AND the bodies final demise with cancer growth are well documented. Every aspect of the body-mind form and all apparent daily interactions that occurred, were totally dismissed as unknown by the sage Ramana when the topic arose, as he did not consider there was a physical relationship at all that he was interacting with. The teachings state that the body is insentient and in essence, the Reality of the Sage was exclusive of any aspect of Duality which was being experienced by those present. Ramana has intimated though, that the process of ‘healing others’ in the presence of the Sage, can take a toll on the physical body of the Sage, seemingly through absorption and dissipation of negative energy release that is being dispersed.
(NB. Examples of the physical toll of ‘healing’ on the body of a mystic, are given in the writings of Gurdjeiff, (who was not considered to be in a permanent state of Oneness, as was Ramana), but was well known for his powerful release of Shakti energy to those present. His memoirs include various comments on the physical effects on his own body, both during and after transmission).