Most of you realize by now that I teach a different sort of path, one of winning a radical freedom from concepts, from social conditioning around politics, family, marriage, sex, ideas of progress, and misconceptions about what spirituality, methods, and gurus are.
For most everyone, life is lived from the head: thinking, judging, measuring, calculating, identifying. We do not even have experiences until we can identify them, categorize them, and award a value of good, bad, or indifferent. All day long we see, judge, chat, and respond to incoming information and sensations.
But the mind creates everything. It creates some sort of stability and order to the incoming, ever-flowing and changing world of inner and outer sensations.
My goal is to get you out of your head and living from the heart without thinking, by directly intuiting.
This means getting rid of all concepts, and living with an empty mind but open heart. These are two separate goals rarely found together: living from an empty mind, and having an open, intuitive, loving and compassionate heart.
The felt Void, the all containing emptiness of the Jnani, the sage, often snuffs out love, connectedness and compassion. One becomes an Arhat, dead to the world and dead to one’s own desires, an impersonal puppet of the movements of consciousness, witnessed, from afar, by the Absolute and final Witness, Parabrahman. One has died to his or her self, to desires, to a sense of mission or goals. All are gone to live in peace and a breath of continuous bliss.
This is Nisargadatta in his last years. All emptiness and a cutting mind who had lost his all desires even for life itself. This is so much the position of many of the neo-Advaitins, living in their crystal bright, clear awareness, with no felt sense of a separate self. Ramana was a lot like this as are most Zen classics, and most Buddhist schools.
On the other hand, we find the various paths of the heart: Christian mysticism, much of the Sufi tradition, and the various paths of Bhakti, as espoused by Ramakrishna and others. This path is far different from the quietism of Zen, Buddhist meditations on emptiness, and self-inquiry as described by Ramana and Robert Adams. This path is full of energy, love, passion, anger, jealousy, sometimes violence, sexuality, attachments, and most especially of ecstasies, bliss and movements of currents inside the body and inside one’s sense of presence.
With the latter path the heart opens from the sheer power of the energies aroused. There is a full involvement of the entirety of one’s being at every moment, while emotions and energies constantly rip apart all one’s beliefs and former attachments, such as to social gracefulness, etiquette, former attachments, etc., and one just madly pursues their true love, which is one’s own self, but is first found in another.
How to get you to transverse both paths, that is my constant question. Like Nisargadatta and Robert, I constantly appear to contradict myself because all verbal communication is in words, and words are fixed, while peoples’ minds can be fluid. What I say one day to Rahul, I will contradict the next day responding to Mark. After a while you begin to see the correctness of the answer I gave to Rahul that day, and the opposite answer I gave to Mark the next day. Each was stuck at a different place and each required a separate, unsticking answer.
U.G. Krishnamurti stated that as part of the awakening process he called “The Calamity,” he could no longer think. Words just did not make sense to him. His mind could not wrap around any word or sentence. He saw a reality that was wordless and could not related the network of thought to that new world. They were two very different things.
He had been wrapped in the spirituality of the Theosophical Society and Jiddu Krishnamurti for 30 years. He had personally met all the gur/teachers from Ramana to complete impostures, and had had his mind contaminated by all their contradictory teachings for that entire time. To see who he really was he had to shed all concepts given to him from outside about who he was. He had to see himself directly. In order for that to happen, all the concepts had to be washed out of him. It was like a great enema. All the concepts, ideas and idealization and identities of himself as a man, Indian, scholar, etc., washed out of him, leaving him empty and constantly transforming. Unfortunately, U.G. at the end, had very little heart.
A similar process began with me 20 years ago. I could no longer read. The words just did not penetrate. I lost interest in words as I read them because they seem so far removed from the world I lived in. I saw all others were living in a network of lies, pure bullshit that people accepted as true.
Even when I read Nisargadatta’s I Am That in order to have something to talk about at Satsang, more than half the time my eyes glaze over and my brain refuses to let the words in, because they too are bullshit. He talks about consciousness in motion, consciousness at rest, awareness without content, pure awareness, and that he came into being when Shakti and Prakritka had sort of a sexual union in his imagination. Rarely does he talk about his inner state, how he experiences his own life or the world.
But people are hungry for direction and certainty, battered by millions of inconsistent concepts about spirituality and the nature of humanity and the world. What is real? What is not? Who really knows the “Truth?” Therefore they seek the teachings of those who appear to know.
Ramana is much, much worse. He never says anything about his own inner condition, the way he experiences anything. Instead he talks in generalities, repeating something he read in the Ribbhu Gita about God, Consciousness or the Self.
When I read Ramana’s self account of his awakening, I just have to laugh at his naiveté. He stuck his fingers in his ears, held his breath, and pretended he was dead, yet he still felt the full brightness of his awareness, and, since he declared to himself that his body was dead, still feeling consciousness must mean he was beyond death. In other words, he pretended he was dead, but still felt alive, and concluded he was therefore always alive.
The Robert Adams I knew, knew that all concepts were rubbish, but he used them to entertain people. He often said that. He would say, “I tell you all these things because you like to hear them.” His sangha liked to hear and argue about freedom of choice versus predestination, karma, Turiya, Self, Consciousness, the Four Principles, etc.
People are always trying, either with mere curiosity, or with desperation, to make their lives better. Very few actually shut up and take a deep look at their lives, the pain, the suffering, the fleeting nature of all states and experiences. They run from one self help book or teacher to another, or shop for gurus.
For Robert, the final answer was just silence. No concepts, no understanding, and to be good for nothing. But no one could hear that, so he talked about karma, God, Consciousness, unadulterated joy, the Four Principles. Without these words, he would have had few or maybe no one to talk to.
So, what about freedom?
I am trying to get you to a place where you are no longer asking “spiritual” questions about karma, predestination, Consciousness, the absolute, or how Nisargadatta relates to Ramana who relates to Osho, or why what Edji said differs from what Robert said, or what Rajiv or Deeya say. Are they not from the same tree? Should they not all say exactly the same thing as ultimate truth?
I want you to stop looking at books, wandering from guru to guru picking up concepts and teachings, and instead just stop. Just stop and look inside and start with what you know without a doubt.
Is there anything you know without a doubt? That you exist? This is what the neo advaitins teach. Without doubt you know that you exist.
Bullshit! Even that you do not know. Any concept or conclusion is a lie of words. What does it mean to say, “I exist?” What is this ‘I’ that I say exists? Is it “beingness” as the neo-advaitins say? What the hell then is beingness? Is it consciousness? What the hell is consciousness and where did it come from? Is it permanent or temporary, flowing or still? Both? Nisargadatta and Ramana talk about this kind of stuff all the time. So did Western philosophers for hundreds of years before they gave up in the 20th Century after finding no agreement. In the 1950s, the final solution of Western Philosophers about existence and consciousness was epitomized in one sentence of Ludwig Wittgenstein: Of that which we cannot know, we must remain silent.
On the other hand, we have J. Krishnamurti who also said all gurus are talking bullshit and not to listen to any of them, and thousands of people followed him as their guru. U.G. Krishnamurti went even further and said not only have all your teachers since kindergarten been feeding you bullshit, but also your parents, and even J. Krishnamurti has been talking bullshit. He said J.K. had merely tasted what he, U.G., had fully attained. U.G. never lacked immodesty.
U.G. radically rejected all learning, all teachers, all concepts. He said his brain would not let them in. His body rejected teachings.
Something like that happened to me. No teachings can penetrate my mind anymore. Even Robert, even Nisargadatta. Every word they said, every word written in the scriptures and the bibles of the world is bullshit. Every principle of morality taught through society and the various Christian denominations and Muslim faiths, is pure, regulatory fantasy, made up over the centuries by the religious leaders and enforced by the politics and laws of the secular society built around it.
It is all a prison designed to keep you and everyone else living in a narrow channel of experience, keeping you dull and suppressed.
This is why I emphasize so much examining and challenging the everyday assumptions you make about yourself, your family, society, the way the world is run, the continued violence to animals in the form of killing billions in just the U.S. every year for food, leather, furs, etc. I want you to question your own and others’ acquiescence to the constant wars and violence occurring not only in our own society, but in Africa and the Middle East. Question the easy acceptance of the brutality and corruption of Chinese society where you hardly dare eat any food or medication coming out of that country because it has probably been adulterated. Look at the corruption of our own politicians who are bought by the wealthy in terms of campaign contributions.
So, I tell you, what is it that you know without doubt? If you look outside at the world, you see corruption, violence, graft, lying politicos, slanted newspaper coverage, death and poverty everywhere, and everyone trying to sell you something, whether clothes or a spiritual path.
Then, if you look inside, what do you see? Really, what do you see, hear, feel and know? Can you know anything with certainty? Who is the knower? Do you know that? I mean really look inside beneath the layer of thinking and emotional stories.
I assure you, if you try to verbalize any knowing you might discover, it becomes a lie as soon as it leaves your lips. Words cannot touch the “pure” existence you see, hear, feel and touch. All understanding is added onto that more basic experience.
If you practice silence, meditation, or you go into psychoanalysis, whole new inner worlds of experience open up, from matchless love, bliss, ecstasy, samadhis, awakening experiences, which are really blows to the dominance of mind, to an endless unfolding of the tapestry of consciousness.
But after a while, even this wonderment loses its excitement and you begin to return to the world of ordinariness, of chopping wood and carrying water, bringing up a family, feeding feral cats, helping wildlife, opening an ashram, promoting vegetarianism.
You see, there is nothing to grasp onto, no knowing that can be expressed. You are the totality of your experience and more than that, but even that you cannot express for it is only an empty concept that helps no one. In the end you just plain stop and remain as you, completely content as you, but with a heart the size of a freight train, and a mind that barely functions, because you live from that very large heart.
It literally feels that way. You do not feel as if you live in your head anymore. It feels as if your center of beingness, the place you live, is closer to your heart, but is not even part of your body. You feel yourself as your presence, and that presence, at times appears to have a location somewhere near where your heart would be if you could feel it. Or, you may even lose that center, and the identification then is with the totality of your experience.
This is where I am trying to take you, away from “spirituality,” away from family, away from society, away from Facebook into your own sense of presence, and there find “truth” that cannot be expressed in words, peace from resting in yourself instead of rushing around outside or inside looking for something, seeking something, because you know deep down that no matter what you do or where you go, it is always only you.
Yet, this will not happen without one more step. You must learn how to love with all your heart, with all your being, with complete passion, otherwise, just living in emptiness will leave you living as a person dead to the world, or absolutely no use to anyone, not even yourself. This is a hard step for a Jnani, for someone who has thrown away all concepts and conditioning, because in their process, they usually have thrown their passion and love away too.
So, as a teacher, this is my task: How to help you shed all concepts and at the same time, to love completely, passionately and compassionately.