16 October 2011

You Have to be Alive in that Dream
[Chanting—Bhaja Govinda and Jyota Se Jyota]
Now, stay as deep as you can.
I am going to say some words about the relationship between the ‘I am,’ and your real nature.  Which is before Consciousness, before awareness, before knowledge, before anything.  Your true nature; the discovery of which is complete silence, peace and immortality.

Because Consciousness always passes.  Everything passes in Consciousness.
Consciousness comes and goes.
A baby is born—you.  It grows up, has kids, gets old, and dies.  But who and what you are is entirely beyond this.  It has nothing to do with the world. The world is a tame and calm thing, when seen from the Absolute; when seen from beyond Consciousness—nothing to be taken seriously.
This question comes up over and over again: What is the relationship between the ‘I am’ and the Absolute? Why do I fool around with the ‘I am’ at all? Why don’t I just go into the Absolute? Well, if you can, go for it—if you know the way in.
The way in is just to look into yourself constantly.  Yet it can be a slow and dry way;  and can take a long time.
But filling the ‘I am’ with vitality, generating and amping up energy and love, results in states of bliss, complete love; the feeling of love flowing through you like a river into your heart and into your throat, through your face and the top of your head, out your arms, through your fingers, to your beloved.
And it fills up.  The river fills you until it stops. You are filled, and when you are filled with love, that is all that you care about.  That is all that you see, that is all that you feel.
Then you become love. Soon, a tingling starts all over your body. Everybody experiences it slightly differently.  But that stationary love becomes bliss, a kind of ecstasy. And there is nothing else in the world except that ecstasy, and you are that.
It can last for minutes, hours or days. It is God’s love, not yours.  But it is yours, too.
Yet even that has nothing to do with you. Even the bliss has nothing to do with you. The ecstasy has nothing to do with you.  Even though you identify with them, and they are yours... not really.
But the pouring of love and the ecstasy purify you, so to speak, even though there is no such purification process, because you do not even exist. It appears that way. The dream clarifies.
And let the bliss do its work. Even though it does not exist and you do not exist, it appears to exist, just like you appear to exist to yourself; until you sleep, and all the appearances go away.  That is your true nature.
You know, so many people get into advaita because it talks about the world being an illusion, that it does not exist—it is not real. And so many people want to run from the world.
Robert ran from the world, and came to the conclusion at age eleven that the world did not exist, because it was too horrible a place to be real. Then three years later he had his awakening experience.  But his first decision was to run—to get away, inside, from that world.
A lot of people, once they run inside and look for the ‘I am,’ begin to experience love.   Maybe for the first time in ten, twenty, thirty years. And it attracts them. The love gets bigger and bigger, and more powerful—burning.  Yearning.  Purifying. An object is sent by God for you to love.
An object is sent by God for you to love. 
Whether it be a dog or a cat, a child, a guru, a lover... and you love that person, that animal, with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your yearning. Then one day you realise that all the love you are feeling is you.
That love is you.
It is not there because of the object—the dog or the cat—although it may appear to be a trigger. That love is you.
You are creating it.  By being still, and fixating on the object.  One-pointed.  Your meditation, the beloved—and the love flowing is your love.  And you see you are love itself.
This is the quick, and painful method. All kinds of emotions come out.  You become fully human.  Fully involved in the world.  Or some things in the world. There is a burning, and a yearning. 
Then one day, spontaneously, you realise all of this is your own creation. It has nothing to do with you. It is your show.  Your circus.  Your play of Consciousness.
So, many people object to this method, the way I teach it—of loving the ‘I am’—because they want to escape and be beyond the world. How many comments I have gotten on the blog from people complaining that this is not the way... this is not true. This is not what Nisargadatta said, this is not what Ranjit said, this is not what Krishna said, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
They so desperately run from feelings, because once they get into the feelings, all kinds of ugliness also comes up at the same time.  They get into advaita to make it all illusion, to go away.  But when you make the bad stuff an illusion, you make the good stuff an illusion also; and then there is no feeling whatsoever.
You become dead.
You become dead, and then when that first hint of love comes, you become alive. It is the name of one of Muktananda’s books: I Have Come Alive.
From a position beyond Consciousness, I come into Consciousness like a dream; and I am aware that I am alive. The Absolute has become alive.  And I am. I finally am, once again.
I am.
And you begin to exalt in all of the feelings of existence.  And you say “Yes” to life. Like an existentialist.
Somewhere along the way, something spontaneously arises in you: the knowledge that you are witnessing all of this.  And even this witnessing takes place in consciousness.
But what about the witness? You know, somehow, that you as witness are beyond this world altogether.  Beyond consciousness. Beyond awareness. Now, all this consciousness and all this awareness is really just knowledge.  Concepts. All of existence is only a concept.  An empty dream. 
But in order to discover this, you have to be alive in that dream.
I posted a post this morning talking about the relationship between the ‘I am’ and the Absolute by quoting from Nisargadatta Maharaj, and from Ranjit  Maharaj.
Ranjit was Nisargadatta’s dharma brother—they both had the same teacher, Siddharameshwar Maharaj, in the thirties. Nisargardatta was awakened in 1939 and began teaching, I think, in the middle 1960s. He wrote that first book, Self Knowledge and Self Realization [Atmagnyana and Paramatmayoga in orig. Marathi] in 1961.
But Ranjit did not start teaching until 1984.  He considered Nisargadatta his teacher after both of their teacher died in 1939. Ranjit has a different flavour from Nisargadatta.
Nisargadatta is a poet, with a hammer. Ranjit is a little more dry; but more discursive, more talky.
This is what Ranjit stated in response to the question,
When I contemplate my real nature I am in the "I AM," a feeling of love without cause pervades in me. Is this feeling correct or is it still illusion?
And Ranjit responds:
It is the bliss of the Self. You feel the presence of "I AM." You forget everything, the concepts and the illusion. It is a non-conditional state. This felicity appears when you forget the object, but in the felicity there is still a little touch of the self. After all, it is still a concept.
When you are tired of the outside world, you want to be alone, to be in yourself. It is the experience of a higher state but still of the mind. The Self has no pleasure nor displeasure. Without the I, "I AM." The complete forgetfulness of the illusion means that nothing is, nothing exists. It is still there, but for you it has no reality. That is what is called Realization, or Self-Knowledge. It is the realization of the Self without self.
It is still there, but for you it has no reality any more.
.... All that exists, all that you see, the objects of your perception, all that is due to Reality.
By reality he means the same thing as Nisargadatta means by the word Absolute; which is the unmanifest state, the state that is invisible, that you cannot see yourself. What you can see is your manifestation, Consciousness and the ‘I am.’  In that reality,
The ignorance and the knowledge do not exist. They are not. So what expression can you give to them.
When you objectivize something, that means there is something experienced. As soon as you feel something, you are away from your Self, from the Self. You feel love, that is better than being in ignorance, but after all it is still a state and a state is always conditioned.
The non-conditioned is stateless. It is the experience of the non-existence of the illusion. As soon as you feel the least existence, it is ignorance. It is very subtle; ignorance and knowledge are both subtle. It is difficult to understand, but if you really enquire, you will get that state. That is, and has always been, but you don't know; that is the difficulty. There is not a single point where Reality is not.
Or where the Absolute is not.
You experience existence through objects but all this is nothing. It -
 the Absolute,
... is omnipresent, but you cannot see it. Why? Because You are the Reality itself, so how can you see yourself? To see your face you need a mirror.
You can see this is a more detached attitude than you find in Pradeep Apte’s Nisargadatta Gita, or Nisargadatta's own book, Self Knowledge and Self Realization.
However, this is more along the lines of what Robert taught: A place beyond bliss and ecstasy.  Completely self-contained.  Wanting nothing.  And, as Robert pointed out, peace beyond understanding.
Ranjit continues:
.... If you understand that you are not the body, your consciousness becomes universal. All limitation disappears. If you break the vase, the space contained in the vase becomes as big as the space of the room, and if you break down the walls of the house, it becomes vast cosmic space. It is all together as one.
In the same way, if the consciousness of the ego is broken, then you become universal consciousness, the "all." But here you must understand that this consciousness is also illusion, or ignorance. In effect, ignorance is the source of consciousness or knowledge.
[From The Bird’s Way by Ranjit Maharaj]
This is exactly my experience.
It is all together as one. That was my experience of unity. The disappearing of the sense of “I” meant that there was no longer a “thou”.  There was only oneness. 
And objects appeared to be like holographic images in my emptiness, in my space. They were not real. I just laughed and laughed—they were just concepts.  Just ideas. Something created by the mind.
But here, you must understand that this consciousness is also illusion, or ignorance. He is identifying illusion with ignorance. In effect, ignorance is the source of consciousness or knowledge.  Because knowledge itself is also of consciousness.  Which is ignorance.  Illusion.
Consciousness itself is illusion. The whole kit and kaboodle is unreal. Everything is one; and the one is not real.
Ranjit is not nearly as poetic as Nisargadatta.
But this is what I see. States come to me, and they go. I am not touched. All the world comes to me, and I am not touched. I know not what I am, only that the drama is not me, even though I can choose to be in, and even identify with, the drama.
My fundamental knowledge, which is experienced within the ‘I am’ itself—or knowledge, which is also ignorance: they are identical—my fundamental knowledge which is experienced within the ‘I am’ is that I am not this way at all.
I am not part of this. I am beyond it entirely, in an entirely different dimension, or the "Unmanifest;" the unborn, silence.

Nisargadatta stated his understanding of the entirety of the ‘I am’ in a nutshell.
Before the beingness was there, look at that, be in that state.
.... That maya is so powerful that it gets you completely wrapped up in it. Maya means “I Am,” “I love to be.” It has no identity except love. That knowledge of “I Am” is the greatest foe and the greatest friend. Although it might be your greatest enemy, if you propitiate it properly, it will turn around and lead you to the highest state.
[from Prior to Consciousness, May 4th 1980, page 13]

Now, although I teach you to locate and love the ‘I am,’ including the use of objects within the ‘I am,’ such as a lover or a guru or a cat or a dog or a child within Consciousness (the objects within the ‘I am’ are within Consciousness) in order to kindle the fires of love, you have to keep in mind that the ‘I am’ is only the gate. It is not the entirety of the unfolding of your spiritual process.
How about Radha Govinda Krishna?
Now with the words, ponder them. Let them just sit and do their thing.
Listen to the music and go deeper. I want you to go deeper this time, until you are swept away by the music, by the chanting.
[Chanting— Radhe Govinda Krishna Kanhaiya] 


  1. Edji said,

    "You know, so many people get into advaita because it talks about the world being an illusion, that it does not exist—it is not real. And so many people want to run from the world."

    "They so desperately run from feelings, because once they get into the feelings, all kinds of ugliness also comes up at the same time. They get into advaita to make it all illusion, to go away. But when you make the bad stuff an illusion, you make the good stuff an illusion also; and then there is no feeling whatsoever."

    I can so relate to the above statements. I spent 3 years immersed heavily in advaita, comparing everyone to Ramana. I had dismissed everything...and grew none the happier as a result. Kudos to the ones that it seems to work for, but in my experience, those heavily immersed in Advaita are cold hearted and uncaring, and most difficult to have any meaningful conversation with. Even the ones who become enlightened on this path seem to have a hard time integrating back into life as we know it and some never do.

    This Advaita experience may not have been such a detriment except for the fact that I, like most of us used spirituality as an escape from dealing with the paradoxes and contradictions of life. I wanted the good stuff and I thought spirituality was a way to eliminate the bad stuff, but like Edji said, "when you make the bad stuff an illusion, you make the good stuff an illusion also; and then there is no feeling whatsoever." That would be such an accurate description of what happened with me. I'm not saying that it happens with everyone,(no attacks from the Advaita police please) I'm simply sharing what happened with me.

    I realize now that you or rather I cannot selectively numb with 'spirituality' or 'chocolate'(darn it) those emotions and feelings that are less desireable. When you numb one you numb them all to a certain extent. Reason being is that they, along with everything else in this apparent world are complimentary contradictions or rather paradoxes. The good and the bad co-exist, they are inherent in each other. You cannot have one without the other. Where would Love be without without hate; clarity without confusion; hope without despair; I'm moving forward without I'm giving up; 3 steps forward without 1 step backward; "I can do this" without, "I can't do this." How would you experience longing without a sense of absence, the bliss of union without the pain of separation? At the deepest core the pairs of opposites are identical. It really doesn't matter which one you are experiencing, as long as there is deep experiencing (non resistance) because they both lead to and are permeated with Source.
    Emracing these 'less desireable' experiences has been difficult for this one, but it is getting easier. There is a sense of freedom in being willing to experience fully 'what is' or Life or God or the Heart's will, or the phenomal dance of Consciousness, whatever you may call it. When I realized that for this Heart there was no way around this, that I was cornered so to speak, the only option was to surrender and go through. And going through I am, however slowly it may seem, however confusing it may appear at times, however painful, however dark. What is left to do? I am without options! I am humbled by Life! I am at the mercy of Grace!

    With Love,

  2. Namaste Ed ....

    Reading your words puts me in a state of such Grace & Beauty ....

    They render me drunk & at rest ...

    Bows .....

  3. In my case I don't see the relationship between emotions,world etc. and realizing our nature. I mean they do not contradict each other.
    I could say that when I came to this 'path', my emotional side had risen even more, many things that I didn't see prior, especially supressed things, just comes up. And it is ok. It just happens. The more important aspect at least for me is understanding this witness, which I felt from the moment of birth, through various states, however "superlicious" they were, that witness always the same.
    Sometimes advaita is not so cold hearted as it may appear to be, rather it is something which rises above dual conceptualism but at the same time does not contradict whatever is happening. There is no wanting to preserve "good" and get rid of "bad" nor is there a desire to be "beyond" both. This is quite difficult to express...
    There is a point on the path, i guess, when one just stops seeing contradictions, it just starts to flow, everything just flowing very beautifuly, like notes in music.

  4. I listened to one of Robert's satsangs last night. A man asked him what was wrong with appreciating the beautiful things in life - in his case: riding his horse through a landscape of mountains and trees (lucky him).

    Robert said, in reply, that the indescribable bliss of realization was so many times greater than the bliss of anything the dream can produce.

    If I lived a privileged lifestyle in a nice part of the world I'd want to keep the 'good stuff' too. But I don't. For people like me who have no money and are stuck in a shitty choked, overcrowded urban environment without vast open spaces (and horses to ride) and nothing but people and buildings and noisy cars - it's easier to negate the world.

    You can keep the world as far as I'm concerned - the 'good stuff' and the bad. It's all bad to me.