06 August 2012

So many people claim to be seeking love, either for someone or something to love, or to be loved.  But, in fact, I find most people run quickly when opportunities for real intimacy develop.

Likewise, so many on Facebook speak about love, but it always seems a bit academic in presentation, such as Rumi quotes, or generic pronouncements, such as "I love all my FB friends." Love is just an idea, it is an imagined conceptual state, sometimes a memory of love, and the person is not really in a state of love, but standing within a concept of "I want to be loving."  Rumi takes them close to an experience of love, but love without a real, specific object.

When push comes to shove, with real feelings of love arising for a specific other, and real feelings of neediness and dependency arising for that other, in many of us, a trapdoor snaps down as a protective filter to guard us from the pain of loss and abandonment.  The love connection never really happens due to a fearful closing down so that only a "straw-full" of love and attachment passes between two lovers, including that of teacher/student.

I had a conversation with a dear friend this morning who had an interesting observation, about which I feel is truth.  She said that the newborn baby is hard wired to shout to the world for its support.  "Feed me!  "Hold me!"  "Comfort me!" The infant exclaims.

Gradually the infant grows up and separates from the dire neediness of the infant, even rebelling from it to reach a valued autonomy.

But she said, and I agree, in us, as adults, there is another kind of neediness felt, almost identical to the neediness for mother, and that is neediness for Self or for God.  But, ironically, both Self and God are most easily found in our love for another, whether Guru, lover or a cat, or in Ramana's case, love for a mountain--Aranuchala.

It is so much easier to love another than to love ourselves because really, we do not know ourselves, we do not perceive the Self or the godhead within us.  But when we love another with total abandon, foolishly, madly, completely, we immediately grasp that that love we feel for the object, guru, lover or cat, is I.  I Am Love!  Love and I are one!

At this point, I and Self are one; I Am Self.

As we talked we came to the conclusion that this neediness for God, for Self should never be forgotten and never is transcended.  That is, as long as we are in a human body form, the needingness for Self and God, and the need to worship that Self and God in another always continues.  We should pray that that neediness remains forever, for it keeps us humble with an attitude of servitude, swimming within an ocean of grace.

Siddharameshwar in "Masters of Self-Realization" makes it quite clear that devotion towards others after realization is what makes the Self happy.  Devotion is needed continuously after realization, just as Ramana worshipped his mountain.  This may sound "dualistic," but Ramana worshipped a place, Siddharameshwar said we need to be devoted towards others, and Nisargadatta worshipped his guru.  The Self discovers Itself and worships itself through our love of others, real, specific others.


  1. It's hard, it's scary, it's exhilarating. And it's not just an other idea.

  2. it sounds great, but for me it's theory only. i have such barricades of defenses...i don't allow people in, probably because of the pain and unhappiness i feel intensely at times. it's a wicked cycle and i'm trapped.

    and then i'm too concerned with my own freedom and liberation, spiritually speaking, to really open to love, to really let someone in.

    i see what you're talking about... i appreciate what you're saying... but i feel fundamentally powerless to live it. then there are the episodes of depression, where just functioning is hard enough. the pain runs so deep... and i find a bit of respite in whiskey and smoking pot... which is 'bad', but i couldn't give a damn at that point.

    i've worked with psychologists, i've tried many many things for many years. whatever works for others is fine...but i don't know my love... i know my pain... my 'love' is here today gone tomorrow...what you describe is here today, gone tomorrow. i'm at a loss. it seems i'm locked in cyclical periods of deep pain and a sense of desperation.

    love... what is love at those times?

    if it's karma to have dealt with pain since a young age, and to keep revisiting it, what in the hell is love?

    the damage was inflicted when i was young...before i could understand...and i'm picking up the pieces after so many years.

    what can my spirituality be other than an escape from deep pain?...the Self, whatever that is, seems so ecstatic and complete in one moment...but so utterly devoid and unknowable, distant and totally unconcerned in another.

    i'm fucking lost. i'll read what you say and even like it but i can only imagine...and that's a large part of this 'spirituality', imagining, feeling things that are fleeting... which leaves me dry. what does yesterday's bliss matter?

    1. Dear anonymous,
      It is not real!
      I love you,

    2. Wow! Dennis, I feel like you've slapped me in the face. I feel Anonymous as my self. He was so open, so vulnerable and all you have to say is, "it's not real."

      As a manifestation of eternity, no matter how transient and time bound it appears it is certainly real. In my experience, my deeper sense of self is in love with it's productions; all of them.

      Maybe 'neti-neti' worked for you Dennis. But in my world it's yesi-yesi. All this that you say is not real IS myself. How can I leave any of it out there? How can I not come back for myself? How can I not love that which is causing Anonymous pain? It/He too is myself.

      To be quite open here, I cried when I read your response. My heart felt painfully ripped open. I have been feeling Anonymous all day, been feeling his pain, his fear..and have felt overwhelming compassion for him. I have wanted to take him in my arms again and again, hold him, caress him, tell him I love him...whatever it takes to make him feel loved just the way he is.

    3. What Dennis says is true of course but a conceptual kind of reply does little if anything to address the kind of angst that the Anonymous poster describes. It's rather like Tony "The Parrot" Parsons and his neo-Advaita followers who spout such nonsense with their "nobody's here" for this, "nobody's here" for that type thing. In fact, it wasn't all that long ago that Edji faulted the roving spiritual guide Mooji on just THAT account because the latter was at a loss to address the emotional pain experienced by a woman attending one of his Satsangs.


    5. Lila.
      When you respond to Dennis by chiding him for his insensitivity to anonymous' pain, and then you refer to anonymous in the third person, without addressing him/her directly, do you think that helps anyone? It's very 'nice' that you "felt" anonymous all day, and that you cried his tears for him, and that you "wanted" to console anonymous in a Mothering kind of way, but isn't all of that more about you than anything else?

    6. Anonymous. I really cannot offer an answer to your dilemma, except to say I've been there too.

      My experience was that I eventually accepted that things were the way they were and settled for being fucking miserable, and went to bed to suck my thumb!

      When I truly embraced my existence "as Is", something happened. For a while I didn't want to live, but I didn't want to kill myself either. I just stopped wanting altogether. Love, happiness, success or any of the other things that I didn't think I had (or didn't have enough of).

      My sense that life should be different, somehow better, disappeared along with my dissatisfaction. A deep sense of ennui became an awakening to a new kind of "as is-ness". I basically stopped thinking about "me" and started seeing.

      But I did have to take that swan-dive into the mire of suffering that was me, I really didn't have any choices left. I don't recommend it, I'm just saying that's what happened.

      And, I did commit to being clean. Any addiction (and we've all got 'em), will keep you in bondage to that little "me" for as long as you keep resorting to it and not experiencing what it is you're trying to avoid.

  3. "So many people claim to be seeking love, either for someone or something to love, or to be loved. But, in fact, I find most people run quickly when opportunities for real intimacy develop."

    I couldn't agree more, and at the same time I feel such compassion for those such as 'anonymous' above who feel such pain and the need for the barricades of defenses to hide behind.

    Anonymous I was of the same mind set as you about 16 months ago. I was way too concerned with my own freedom and liberation to open up and let some one in...to really love. It has been my experience that the opening up to and the loving of an other have been far more beneficial to me than any other practices I have committed myself to. I will not say it has been easier...quite the contrary...but well worth it.

    You also mentioned spirituality being an escape from the deep pain. This is so often the case. But we all know that we can only escape for a while and that what we had hoped to escape from is always right there within us begging to be loved. Those parts are us as well.

    There is a deeper more subtle Love that I am coming to experience as I truly embrace those parts of myself that I had always judged, condemned, and avoided. It has been by being in a deeply intimate relationship with another that those 'avoided' aspects of myself began to surface. I didn't even know many of them were there.

  4. hello Anonymus !
    sorry if my english is not very good , i am french ! But when i was reading your words i was thinking about a man here in france who is educator with hoolingans and a catholic priest but no like the others ! he is very special : he didn't how get this boys out of the despair and violence and drugs and he was finding to gather them in a house far from the town in the open country and to put in this farm many many animals which were alone or ill . And all this boys begin again to learn have a love interest for these animals and it make them more and more happy and animals are so giving love in return for this boys that their sufferings become less and less important and they are surrprised to have again pleasure with life ! it is marvellous to see them speak about that . This man is called father Gilbert , do you know him ?
    It is why i do love when Edj speak about his cats !!! if you love an animal it will love you in return . it is more difficult with human beiings !!!
    Other things i can purpose to you is to go in boudhismes centers , like tibetans . i find there is much compassion with people who are living there . it is not like that in all spirituals centers with others religions !
    Most important in fact is no to be loved but to keep oneself love for something else because when you can that the source never is drying !
    much love for you and i hope you will find again a little bright star !

  5. Maybe we don't want to admit that it is really not real and thats where actually the pain is coming from? I don't know, just asking.

  6. I trotted out some of "my story" in response to this post on Ed's facebook. Most of us seem to me to be involved in appearance of process -- psych, psycho-spiritual, whatever. 'Dennis' (Keith?) may have experienced "I am not"/dropped beneath dramas, and/or may be "hiding out in the 'security' of an absolute spiritual concept" as has been the case for so many of us, appearing quite common/normal to seekers. All of this stuff -- the tragicomedramadies show -- cannot appear without the Beingness • full stop. Can it really matter if I pokes a bony finger in I? Whatever stuff any of us "have to sort for ourselves" may engender temporary alliances with others of ourself appearing similar stories. Conversely, stories appearing antithetical or 'threatening' to our own seem likely to surface some 'nastinesses'. Some flowers bloom in spring, some in fall, others in winter. All is well -- not because anyone says so -- simply cannot have been otherwise.

  7. Dennis, what do YOU mean by the statement, "It is not real"?

    What do you think Robert meant by that statement?

    It never has meant the world did not exist. It just meant the "I" has no inner object to which it points. It also means that the world we see is interpreted and superimposed on the underlying phenomenal flux that is contained within the emptiness which is its container.

    Lastly, it means none of those phenomenal objects or situations are permanent. The phenomenal world is always in flux and is impermanent, as opposed to the witness who is not touched by the world. This was the meaning most used by Robert.

    The phrase may be used as an escape from the suffering of the person and the world in the moment, but really it is not meant to discount the suffering of others or the world. Robert actively supported "right actions" in the world.

  8. Yes. It is not real, for me, points to the infinite eternal in where there is no division between you and me, this or that. And yes it is the dream of the I. Finaly there is no I accept as mental condition. Yes, to me it seems that this very present moment is a magic, mistery moment. I don't know if this very present moment is real or not but it is a mistery to me. And yes Dennis can suffer and struggle also but after intens practice sometimes it is clearly seen that this person is nothing but a dream. And that is a reveal. But i have to practise a lot. And then sometimes in a mistery moment I can say, It is not real. It is a dangerous statement and without love it is indeed an empty silly concept.

    1. Dennis, you say,

      "I don't know if this very present moment is real or not but it is a mistery to me."

      Since you do not know then you might refrain from plastering IT IS NOT REAL like a mantra across the blog whenever someone is vulnerable enough to share their pain here. Ponder the mystery of it privately in your 'own self.' While you do not intend any harm by saying it, neither do you appear to notice that it isn't necessarily "right action"--nor a compassionate response--to the emotional or existential suffering of others.

      You might also consider asking Ed to give you a "new mantra," and then keep it potent by keeping it to yourself...


    2. Post less concepts.
      Kiss more cows.

      Have more sex with all the time you will save by doing what she said.

    3. Ah, but you are so damn incorrigible...
      have to admit I'm loving you.

  9. cat and dolphins peting each other

  10. I think that to be a Guide(Guru) really needs some skill, feeling, experience etc. Because, one must feel where other is coming from and then an appropriate answer may be given at that moment. Sometimes one can feel that suffering is superficial (not deep enough, only some confusion on thoughts), then such answer as "it is not real" may be very good and mind blowing. In other cases this may not be a case.
    "why so sad?"
    "well, my mother died and this pain i am feeling right now is unbearable"
    "look pal, IT IS NOT REAL... HA! IN YOUR FACE!"
    " *louder cry* " (and maybe even breakdown)

  11. Maybe what Dennis meant to say was see the experience of saddness as separate from you, which it is, and in that sense it is not real, it is an apparent reality which we buy into all too much, when this discrimination arises, dispassion follows and the angst you feel resolves. Awareness brings with it great relief.

  12. Dennis, I didn’t feel that you were minimizing my pain… in fact I felt support from your comment as it clearly came from a good place. I think it’s great the way you feel and the fact that you stick to your guns. Your profile picture is beautiful, btw.

    Lila and Coquelicot, thanks for sharing your support and suggestions.

    David, I was hoping you would respond as you seem to have been through your own process… that you could relate to my falling flat on my face.

    I appreciate what you say… it brings perspective to my own process and to what I should strive to do the next time I fall into the pit of my own miserable self.

    You learned to just see, that sounds great… no more doting on the miserable person and how disgusted, sad, inadequate he feels. I’m taking that to heart…thanks for shamelessly revealing your own past difficulties in order for me to understand my own.

    I’m going to do my best to not drown out the pain with drink. I’m going to try to skillfully … somehow understand and just let be… no matter what rot comes to the surface. It can’t last forever, right?... or if I accept it, this “as-is-ness”, as you say, than the misery becomes a type of beauty, maybe?

    I hope we meet one day… who knows, maybe at Ed’s place. We’ll have a nice cold … carrot juice and talk war stories. That’d be great.

    One more observation…When I get like this I can’t practice anything. I try to sit but… nada… my heart hurts too much, my body can’t incorporate… it’s like enquiry, meditation becomes inaccessible.
    Maybe it’s like David says…. The best thing to do is lie in bed and suck your thumb! I’ll have to try that.
    When pain becomes desperation and the urgency of the sadness is so present… if only I could perceive that I wasn’t stuck… to somehow accept it, the fact of feeling miserable, as something good, something natural, something that has its place.

    Maybe it’s the stuckness that feels most devastating in those times… that I can’t perceive movement; that I’m stagnant… that I’m trapped. I think therein lies the big whopper that I have to remove.

    In any case, I’m appreciative for all the discussion generated here. I guess that means you’re all miserable fucks just like me.

    That’s supposed to be a joke…which I don’t believe nor would hope for a second.

    Thank you… I’m feeling love right now… thank you for accepting me with all my dark and fucked up feelings and showing compassion

  13. hello Trevor !(it is look like tresor !!!)
    i like your answer , it is good we can exhange here as we do because we are the same ones, in the same peasouper a day and felling better another ... it change so often ! actually i am in a difficult moment because my friend has a cancer in the brain . And to help me i am listening music from Muktananda and others one by Edj and also i am listening satsang records by robert Adams and i repeat still and still . And after two weeks i am doing that it makes a smoothy and oceanic feeling in my heart which substitutes for suffering sensation ! So i try to stay in it or to come back when it is going away . And now , as soon as i am listening Robert i m feeling so good !!! it looks like he was in my heart , it is so smooth and subtil feeling . Perhaps if you do also it will happen also to you !!! i should like to send you that ggod thing ! much love for you !!!

    1. Thanks Coquelicot - i feel your support. your recommendations are well received.

      I send you my love! yes, i do love listening to Robert's talks, too.

  14. Hi Trevor.

    I love that LOVE that expresses as the goodwill of all these 'individuals'. That is the balm that soothes the restless spirit.

    You're feelings are just that Trev, feelings. They stay stuck only as long as we remain identified with them, by which I mean; keep having a conversation with ourselves about them, how to fix them, or escape from them, or chiding ourselves for not being able to transcend them or whatever...

    Once we take the conversation outside the confines of of our own minds, the spurious nature of them is revealed. The collective I can get to work on reminding the 'individual' (in this case YOU Trev!) that you are not that and never were. That's all that's required, re-cognizance of the reality of our being-ness.

    Ed reminded me of this very recently and it was the instant cure to that downward spiral that I'd already started to entertain again.

    Self-realization occurs NOW, the moment we remember what we are. It's not some goal to be attained,

    It's really that quick, speed of light.

    Feelings are meant to be transitory, as quick as that moment of self re-cognition, as a response to the reality we perceive around us. We get stuck in the mire only when we start verbalising them to ourselves. Like the old Bee Gees song; "it's only words".

    They are all we have to try and convey that truth which is truly indescribable, and which IS us, but they are NOT truth in and of themselves. Just tools of communication, symbols. Nothing more!

    When we forget that, we are in the shit again.

    Maggie reminded me that there's a great appendix to I Am That, where Maurice Frydman expounds on this. check it out :O)

    Thanks for sharing Trev, thanks for making your pain known to me. If you hadn't, I wouldn't have been inspired to write this "note to self" (whether that be 'my' self or your 'self'), and these constant reminders to dwell in the sense of 'I', are my only practice. The rest (chants, yoga, etc...) is pure enjoyment.

    1. Your words go straight inside... i don't know why..., but thanks, Dave, for the kindness. i connect with what you say here.

      I'm beginning to see what you say... about my feelings being a narrative (albeit a long winded and historic one); but just that, a narrative.

      That's why i loved hearing the bit about you learning to just see. that sounds profound... beautiful and simple, but profound.

      i guess that's just it, isn't it?... not eradicating feelings but allowing them their place before their dissolving into nothingness once again.

      Cheers, sir. Talk again.

    2. I think you may have misunderstood me. To clarify;

      Feelings are are feelings, quite real and profound in their own way, as part of the natural functioning. But when you say "about my feelings being a narrative... but just that, a narrative" you have it assbackwards. Just turn that statement around to read "narrative about my feelings", and you'll get it.

      I repeat; your feelings are NOT the problem, leave them alone. It's the continuous conversation you have with yourself (and anyone who will indulge you) ABOUT your feelings that keeps you stuck. Turn your attention to that "long winded and historic narrative" which is nothing other than your thinking about your feelings.

      WATCH THE THINKING! Don't try to change it or 'do' anything, just WATCH it! This is the 'practice' that Nisargadatta so often proscribed. Being attentive to what is without judgement. That is dwelling in the sense of "I-ness".

      You can "do" that walking, sitting, vacuuming, doing the dishes or standing on your head. In fact you're always "doing" it whether you know it or not, because you are "it". How do you think you drive a car without having an accident most of the time? "Self Realisation" is knowing that knowing.

      That non-conceptual, attentive awareness that does not divide or judge (but drives the car while "you" are thinking), in other words, Sentience, (Edji calls his site We Are Sentience, it's all in that title!) is your Self.

      That's the only Self there is to realise, and by realise I mean "be conscious of".

      In other words conscious of consciousness.

      The more you stay in that wide open attention, the quicker you will see your true self and the identification with the false self, or that narrative, will be broken.

      Good Luck!

    3. Sorry I am informed that should have been prescribed, not proscribed.

    4. David I hope you are not "proscribed "from the sangha for being too "prescriptive" with your comments!!!!

  15. Hello Trevor !
    It sounds like we are the same family when i read your answer and also David's one !
    what i like so much here is that is not words sayed by parrots like a sunday school ! through it the love is appearing .
    When i read about bee gees'song from David i thinh about another one which refrain is : dust in the wind , by Kansas group. it is also a marvellous song !
    we are so fortunate to be here on this blog . Edj and robert adams is helping so much to feel the "I am" ! Here it sounds like we are at home : nothing else to search for , just stop and open his heart and let suffering go through and not hung up it , and so love presence from Robert and Edj are filling it !
    It is funny because i listen to robert but i dont understand what he is saying , so it is like a music voice but his voice is so smooth , so upsetting because his fragility , it feels like he is breaking it at any moment !
    And Edj seems so strong, so full of humain love feelings that we are submerged by his presence and we can only let him cleaning our heart !
    it is very amazing to feel all that things !!!
    And you Trevor seems very humble and so nice like a wounded cat that Edj is protecting ! All is good here , you are in the good place !
    Much love and happy to speak with you !

  16. hello !
    david says:
    WATCH THE THINKING! Don't try to change it or 'do' anything,
    The more you stay in that wide open attention, the quicker you will see your true self and the identification with the false self, or that narrative, will be broken.
    i have noticed it is more successfull since i am feeling the energy from Edj because it is like a stream which is untiing blocking things in my head and after i am feeling very spacious and the self is filling it for a moment and after it begin again for another blocking thing or more deeply .
    And since i noticed that my meditation is only watching that love stream acting in my head and my shoulders on painful knots without interfering .
    So it is just Edj who do work !!! Let us see how that thing is moving about !
    much love