29 April 2011

An inner mansion with 100 rooms


To create an analogy of my previous post on post awakening experiences, I would put the process of seeking enlightenment with a teacher like this:

Imagine each of us were made up of 100 rooms, only 20 or 30 of which we explore in our lifetime. But we all have the same or similar rooms, its just that the lights have not gone on in many of them.

A teacher, let us say a master, is one who has explored maybe 70 rooms, and most of the mansion is burning brightly in bathed lights.

We approach that teacher's house at night in the darkness and we see light shining from so many windows compared to our mostly closed mansions. We feel like the master has such a large house and we have such a small one in comparison. We feel humble, wanting all that light.

The teacher shows us some of his rooms the like of which we have never seen before, and he or she shows us we have identical rooms within ourselves. The teacher helps us find the light switch for those rooms in us we have never seen before.

Some rooms are very, very important to open and explore before we can feel freedom. 


One of those rooms is the Void. We need to open and explore that Void. This analogy is weak, as in reality the Void interpenetrates all other rooms. Maybe we can consider the Void to be like the central air conditioning system going everywhere throughout and not a single room at all.

Another room so important to experience is the conviction that we exist even beyond consciousness. This room has lots of nuances. Experiencing ourselves as knowledge. Experiencing ourselves as the knower, existing beyond consciousness. Feeling that prior to consciousness "self" not with the mind, but as something experienced tactilely, with one's heart and an inner apprehension that cannot be put into words.


Another room closely related (indeed, identical, but entered through a different door), is stillness, silence, in a sense the most beautiful room, where one feels absolute peace and sometimes ecstasy, and like the Void, penetrates all other rooms.

Other "need-to" rooms are those of dispassionate compassion and love in its myriad of forms and manifestations, and the four bodies of Nisargadatta and Ranjit, and the shakti room of total surrender.

So, the teacher helps us explore ourselves.

However, no matter how "masterful" the "master" is, there are many rooms he or she has not explored, and which he or she probably is completely unaware of, and then sometimes the student becomes the teacher. the roles are reversed, and there is a sewing together, and later maybe mutual explorations.

I learn so much from those with whom I share presence. No master; no student. Just us. 

14 comments:

  1. So beautifully put dear Ed.

    I have come across many teachers & they wanted to take me directly from where I'm to liberation trying to force me to skip many "rooms", automatically I felt that there is something wrong & I left after trying to shine some light that this is utter bullshit.

    U said:

    "However, no matter how "masterful" the "master" is, there are many rooms he or she has not explored, and which he or she probably is completely unaware of, and then sometimes the student becomes the teacher. the roles are reversed, and there is a sewing together, and later maybe mutual explorations.

    I learn so much from those with whom I share presence. No master; no student. Just us."

    Thank you so much for revealing that this is an Alchemical relation that keeps unfolding in ALL involved.

    BOWS

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  2. Edji, So many times you answer my questions right before I ask them that I gave up on coincidence (and asking them) some months back. Even though you've expounded on this many times before to varying degrees, for a few days now I was considering asking you for another analogy (as I know you there are no exacts in relatives), for just a "little bit more" clarity on this very subject. You never cease to blow my mind with your uncanny ability to answer my ?s before asked (or perhaps many others ask the same things at the same times in the background). Either way, you blew me away again and I don’t think anybody, not even Nisargadatta - with his crystal clarity - could match that analogy! I'm in awe as always Satguru…

    Love,
    Tony

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  3. I am listening.

    Your speak affirms my experience through 'till now. There was a baseline dis-ease - a subtle sense of lack for me with Swamiji, as I felt I could not approach him on equal footing in what appeared to me to be 'his lofty state'. With you for me it is such a relief to feel free in our play, with reverence at times appearing as playful irreverence. Your teachings come for me all ways apropos to that moment. I witness this with you and others of your students as well. More and more the lag time is less and less between your speak and its mark in me.

    I am grateful we are met,
    Thank you, "Loveji"
    Pranams,
    Love,
    Hopalongji

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  4. What would you advice someone who wants to awaken with all his heart and doesn't know what to do ? Solving thousands of koans, exploring many states ? Among those many descriptions he gives up all words and sits down in confusion. Is the best he can do to step back, do nothing and ignore the mind's endless show ?

    Love to you all :)

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  5. Frankly, I believe a great many of the spiritual rituals, mantras, and practices to be more distraction than benefit. I believe a person comes to know himself when he views out of desperation that he finally has no other choice than the one path he has been avoiding most of all- going inward. Sooner or later one has to face the darkness, and in that process be willing to give up every idea of concept that they have grown comfortable and familiar with- even and especially their concepts of "spirituality" or "awakening". One who earnestly asks for truth must be willing and committed to discarding any and all incomplete answers at once.

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  6. Thank you Vahram for your beautiful words.

    If one has to go through the darkness alone, drop all concepts, give up all ideas, step back from the body, mind, world ...
    does then any form of "teaching" exist ? Are those numberless "pointers" from "enlightened" people around the internet (many rather famous in the spiritual scene) not leading to a misunderstanding e.g. like eating the menue card instead of the meal ?

    Of course one can say that sometimes you have to go through this to discover at the end, in your own desparation and darkness, that "it's not that" and thus leave all this behind ...

    Love to all of you :)

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  7. Teaching, or education rather, of any kind consists of an increase in the understanding of cause and effect.

    All knowledge consists of a series of causality, i.e. what combination of notes will create the harmony I am looking for; what application of force will cause this tree to fall; what hairstyle will make women want to sleep with me; etc.

    The trickiness that lies in "teaching" about spirituality is that all knowledge consists of mental symbols and imagery that do not exist in the physical sensory world. The goal of the spiritual teaching is to bring the student into a state of pure physical sensory experience without interference from such mental imagery.

    It sounds like an internal contradiction. A successful spiritual teaching is any one that leaves you with less mental imagery about spirituality than you had going into it. In principle, more imagery cannot leave you with no imagery, but it can simplify your thinking and cut off exits.

    The absolute best of teachers and students can go 99% of the way, right up to the finish line. But no words or concepts can push you over the edge, as the other side of the line consists of no words and concepts.

    Any spiritual teaching which only adds to the complex mental jargon and internal dialogue would only serve to hinder this progress, even if it is momentarily entertaining or distracting.

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  8. Actually, Vahra, it is only one goal of spiritual teaching to bring the student into a state of pure physical sensory experience. That is just one small step in a few traditions, and one really fairly easily and quickly attained.

    There is much, much more than this.

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