22 April 2012

Self-Inquiry with affection and love

I have become convinced over the past year that self-inquiry, practiced only by itself, basically as described by Ramana Maharshi and my own teacher, Robert Adams, is far less effective than simply going within looking for the I-sense, the feeling that I exist, as opposed to looking for the I-thought, or for the place that the I-thought comes and goes to, and then loving that I-sense when it is found. Become devoted to it.

Both Robert and Ramana became self-realized without a method, they never had to struggle blindly as do most of us through a quagmire of differing concepts.  And, through self-realization, they became full of love for the self, and though they taught the need to love the self, it was not made an essential part of self inquiry.

The essence of the I-sense is the experience of the Turiya state of Sat, Chit, and Ananda, existence, knowledge, bliss.

Self-inquiry, self realization is all about finding the source of the I-sense, which is Turiya, Satchitananda.

When Turiya is found, meaning when it is isolated from all the other distracting experiences of appearances, mood, emotion, the body experiences, etc., one rests in bliss.  Bliss and ecstasy permeate all. One rests in oneself, happy and complete.

Then one begins to understand something further: there is nothing other than Turiya, the Self.  The Self, Turiya, interpenetrates and pervades all the other mental and physical states.  There is nothing outside of the Self—YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE OF YOU AT THE DEEPEST LEVEL.

The proof is the bliss that penetrates every fiber of you beingness, your body, your mind, your sense of presence; all are enveloped in bliss, and you see that there is nothing but YOU.  It is all your show, your emotions and moods, your body and mind, your self-created world with your reaction to apparently external events and beings.  It is all you!

Then religious and secular mores vanish, prescriptions and proscriptions vanish. Concepts vanish as they are only the ravings within the mind which can know billions of concepts, billions of theories of life and love, science and magic.  All disappear in the experience of your bliss. All concepts are eaten by your ecstasies.  The heart then knows no boundaries, no limits, no shoulds or should nots.

This is the real beginning of the spiritual adventure, not its culmination or end. Self-realization is the beginning of living in mystery, completely happy, and as Robert and Nisargadatta both said, living absent the sting of misfortunes in the world.  The bite is gone.  Yes, suffering remains everywhere, it is so clear, you see it so clearly, but the bite is gone, mitigated by your own happiness.

One other thing I discovered as perhaps the biggest aid to self-realization, and that is loving and surrendering to a self-realized being, because the identification can sweep you into your own sense of Self.  You recognize the Self-of-All in the “other,” the guru, and absent that, in a passionate other person, for Self is at both ends of the perceiving; the self is both the lover and the beloved.  When you feel deep love, surrender, wanting, and a sense of servitude with and for another, if it persists long enough, you begin to recognize that the love is YOUR love, experienced within you towards the apparent “other.”

The identification caused by loving the apparent other allows the Self to arise in you because that Self, the Turiya state, is attracted to love and worship, and the Self reveals itself to you.

Then comes the magic moment when you realize that the Self you sought so long outwardly and inwardly is you and only you.  You were both the seeker and the sought, now enveloped in bliss. There never was an “other,” there always has been only you.

You see, it is so strange.  Everyone, all over the world seeks love, the love of another or of God.  This is the way the human race is set up, seeking love for and from another.  This is what makes the human race persist.  This is why we want money and possessions and power: to get love.

This is the way the game is set up, so I say, why not use that “fact” to facilitate self-realization?

The terrible, burning, desirous mad love for “another” also summons the Self to show itself to you, to yourself, once you realize that that mad love is really the self, loving itself through fixation on the Self in another. For many people, this is the way to Self-realization and Self-love, by first feeling it by perceiving the Self in another.

So very many people write to me saying they have read Robert Adams or Ramana and having been practicing one year, two years, or ten years and sometimes much longer and they feel stuck.  I tell them to add the bliss of chanting along with sacred music, and sometimes that helps for a while, but often they still complain about being stuck.

So, I tell them to go out for a while and see if they can fall in love with another, a guru, a man or a woman, hopefully of spiritual bent. Love them totally, worship them, surrender to them, but all the while keep one inner eye always open to your own heart and inner sense of presence.  Then you will discover that the love you feel is totally within you.  

It is not that you have created it, but you perceive it as being part of your own nature, always there if you know how and where to look in profound silence.

The “other” is only apparently the “other.”  The other has a separate body, a separate mind, a phenomenally separate life, but their essence, that which is at the heart of their existence is the same Self, the I-Am, that is you. You and the other are one in this ultimate state. The Self is discovered at both ends of the seeking, loving, devotion, surrender.

At this point love of the other serves as a constant reminder of who and what you really are.  The devotion to the other even while aware of the Self within, is one’s constant reminder of one’s own bliss-nature, and what Siddharameshwar called post-realization devotion as a forever-practice of Self-remembrance.


  1. Today I sat in bliss with myself in the living-room.

    A chair, a big window and sun und rain chased each
    other outside. Hours of doing nothing, just sitting and
    feeling so complete.


    I am speechless and back on track again!

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  3. Edji,

    Thank you

    Today, when I enquire into who-am-I and I experience the void and I recognize that I am witnessing it (instead of all the mind chatter) ... the experience is luscious, wonderful. That seems to be that bliss (or a taste of it, at least) of which you speak. But my thoughts soon arise that I'm just indulging myself in the I-Am, instead of just observing ... so I kept returning to the enquiry.

  4. Rick, Indulge yourself. Don't stand back and watch. Sink in it so that you identify with the self. Don't hold back.

  5. Absolutely!!! The best thing I've ever read.

    This is the story of my life.

    I would also add this:

    When Love begins to have it's way, and announces itself in this world, it is as a foreigner who doesn't speak the language, doesn't know the customs and rules or behavior of this world. There is nothing or no one outside of itself that could have told it how to act or behave. It is rogue!

    Those who judge it by apparent actions have never known it.

    Those who try to contain it, control it, manipulate it or silence it are branded fools by their own efforts.

    Yet, at some point, one begins to feel the deepest compassion for those who feel they are being hurt or wounded by this emerging Love that appears to wreak havoc on this world of concepts, dogmas, rights, wrongs, shoulds, and should nots...

    With deepest appreciation.

  6. Thank you so much again, Ed! It is funny, I've always had an almost painful share of love in my heart... but you were the first who could really convince me to open up to it, no matter where it will take me, even though it's scary sometimes (yet sooo blissful ♥)

  7. It was the same for me Max; without Ed prodding and challenging me at every turn, I would have never had the courage to open up my heart.

    It is so wide open now it's scarey...but like you said, "yet so blissful."... so alive.

    Jesus said something that concurs with this post. He said, "How can you love God whom you canoit see, if you can't love man whom you can see?"

    Is he not inviting self discovery from the place of one's own current reality?

    Where does the differentiation between God and man lie but in the mind?

    It is my experience that to Love, I mean to really love with the desire to give yourself in every way you possibly can, to surrender everything, to lose your self in another, that in that Love, in that act of surrender, one will find the totality of mystery, one's own SELF.

    To drink of another as if they were your last drop of water, to thirst for another with this intensity...nothing will be hidden from the man who does so.

    I feel so fortunate to be experiencing this along with many you.

    With Love,

  8. Thank you so much for what you said Joan, very powerful.


  9. Dear Edji, you wrote it again !
    The shortest and sweetest way to realize the self, through Love.

    I remember when I was adolescent I would spend hours drawing and writing "I love you" on paper, instead of doing my homework :))

    I didn't get any diploma, but I have loved a lot, and powerfully, forbidden love :))

    Lets Love become the law in this dream !

    Welcome back online dearest teacher, we missed you VERY MUCH !

  10. Edji,

    I am confused.

    Your comments seem to contrast with a recent remark to me in which you said "that is the void, which is still objective, an experience. It is a great trap I fell into for many years. You must find the one that witnesses the void"

    ~ Rick

  11. Rich, deeper than the void is the Self, yet the Self pervades all phenomena, including ordinary mind, thew world experience, and the Void which acts as a container for all that experience. The Self is the I that stands behind the mythical ego and separate sense of self. But tyou have to find the pure taste of the self within all experience, including the void.

  12. Thanks again for this Edji. I added sacred music as a preliminary to my practice and thought of you a lot whilst listening. In one session 'I' dozed off during self enquiry except that I did not doze off. I watched the dozing come and go twice whilst I remained in the background silent and watching. This has never happened before in many years of meditation. I am still confused however. If I think or say 'I' the entity or force it conjures feels like it lives in the very center of the head. Whereas beingness lives in the heart. Does focusing on the first lead to the latter ? My confusion arises from buddhism and lots of previous work finding the 'inherently existent I' which seems to be the first 'I' I mention. Sorry for waffling.

  13. So now I have allowed myself to enjoy that bliss, even when thoughts arise. Only when I seem to lose that connection as I identify with the mind, do I lightly enquire and return to that ground state of great enjoyment and peace.

  14. Ed, wonderful response to Rich.

    Thus far, my experience of the void is that it is saturated with the sense of self and also that that which has knowledge of the void must be somewhere beyond it.


  15. great stuff ed.
    i love the ongoing distillation of your message...

  16. Doh ! In my last comment I fell into the trap explained in the previous topic faith. The paralysis of analysis indeed !

  17. Ed, the last word "self-rememberence" has in some ways helped a lot in my practice. Whenever I manage to rest in I-sense ( if thats what it is), there has always been something familiar, something remembered from a billion years ago, in there. It's something I have a fleeting memory of from before I became me. It always gave me confidence that I was in the right place. Should it not be possible that the source of I-sense be familiar ( although not known ) to some extent?

  18. Ed said, ".. deeper than the void is the Self, yet the Self pervades all phenomena, including ordinary mind, the world experience, and the Void which acts as a container for all that experience."

    YES! YES!

    The more I worship the feeling of "I'ness" by offering to it the same passion, wanting, desire, lust, love, and surrender that I feel toward my beloved, the more I feel this I'ness, this sense of Self as the core that permeates all experience.

    It even permeates or rather incites within itSelf this desire to worship itSelf. What I have taken to be 'me' is slowly fading into 'THIS'.

    I see my beloved as this "I Am" in costume. There is no difference. It is the Love that transforms. The object is the trigger.

    The trigger, the object, the other, the physical does not need to be demeaned in order to esteem, value, worship and ultimately become one with that mystery from which it arises.

    Everything belongs, even that apparent one that says something doesn't.

  19. Self-remembrance, YES.

    This is a precious jewel you have placed in front of us Edji. The luminosity is so intense as to be starting to burn away the clouds of doubt and confusion.

    The egocentric "me" does not know where to run. It feels as if the block of salt has been cast into the ocean. There is nothing left to do but surrender until I realize there was nothing to surrender.

    With reverence, Mike

  20. Expectations lead to conflict which leads to disappointment.

    Is that a surprise?