19 May 2014

Self-Realization as I know it.

     People who ought to know better, and who have read my book, continue to misrepresent what I am teaching.

     Some of them state that I profess to teach about final or ultimate awakening, then spend too much time talking about emotions, the body, energies, etc., which they conclude have nothing to do with any ultimate awakening.

     In point of fact, in my opinion there are multiple paths and multiple awakenings, and depending on how you define "self-realization," there are multiple self-realizations.

     Nor do I believe there is anyone who has completely understood, mastered, revealed, or opened every aspect of him or her self.  I think self-discovery is unending, or can be unending, except that certain paths, such as Nisargadatta's Advaita are self-limiting, because for him, all of the manifest universe, the body, mind, emotions, energies, external world are unreal because they are transcient, and only the unchanging Witness, the subject of all, is real.

     With such an attitude there is no energy behind self-exploration, because anything that can be seen, heard, felt, tasted, smelled, thought of, imaged, is transcient and thus not real, thus not worth paying attention to or understanding.

     This is my own teacher's POV, and one I profoundly disagree with.  This sort of dead end or final enlightenment, for most, is a complete dead end, resulting in a multidimensional being believing that all he or she is, is the Witness, Parabrahman, and all else is illusion.

     I see multiple paths to multiple goals and multiple "realizations."  To me, everything is me and is real, and is personal in the sense that I am the "owner" of the manifest world, its shepherd and protector.

     I profoundly disagree with any teacher who self-proclaims him or herself as being more enlightened, awakened or advanced than all other teachers.

     Having spent over thirty years in the field of psychology, I am well aware of how most "spiritual" people have used spiritual theories and practices to "disappear" emotional and developmental problems.  I see a very large percentage largely unable to articulate what is going on inside of them emotionally because emotions have been downplayed in favor of realizing emptiness, or the Void, or the clear, self-lighted, Consciousness, or bliss, or experiences of inner energies, light, etc., coupled with ideas of how special they are spiritually as a result of their endless inner explorations which have sedulously avoided emotional exploration.

     Even those who have spent years in psychotherapy often trade openness to feelings for insights about themselves and their pasts, or current attainment of functionality as a result of therapy.  They really lack an ability to be open to their emotions and instead talk about them.

     Then there are many, many people that use techniques to "process" emotions, like fear, depression, anger, etc., by letting them "pass through" their self of Self.  They become "possessed" by a continuous process of processing emotions, physical problems, etc., that essentially, again, they have become active witnesses in complete control of their emotions, rather than have them flow freely.

     If they feel lonely, they process this feeling until it is gone. If they feel needy of another, they process this feeling until it is gone.  If they feel angry towards another, rather than express it to the "other," they process the feeling until it goes away and no real contact has been made with the other.

     They want to feel only love, and love of a special kind--love that is universal, impersonal, unattached, and unconditional, rather than the rather "messy" love with many facets that most feel towards others, which is "flavored" by romantic love, sexuality, possessiveness, attraction, projections, protective feelings, or sibling sibling or parental love.

     Emotions are not everything, but they extremely important for those who talk of an ultimate awakening or enlightenment which will make them self-contained and independent of need of any other human or animal. They are important in the sense that powerful emotions motivate their search for transcendence of emotions.

     If you try to feel such people with your heart, you reach but do not touch them.  They are not emotionally solid and tend to be detached, aloof, and self-contained. 

     So, I teach openness to everything within oneself, starting with repressed emotions, progressing to internal energies, increasing acquaintance with "Shakti," and the energetic and emotional linkages to the world, until the Manifest Self, the Atman, reveals Itself to Itself, which, to this point, only believed he or she was human, and had no access to or knowledge of the divine within oneself.

     This is the kind of awakening and Self-Realization that is best for today's individuals as well as for society itself in the sense that psychotherapy has made us more aware of the impact of repression and denial on our health and flexibility, and has allowed us to construct models of the Self that augment and challenge the eastern models. Openness to emotions and subtle body energies gives us more tools to be aware of ourselves and the world.

     Modern Vedantins and Buddhists would have us believe that modern psychology, psychoanalysis, psychiatry, etc., have nothing to add to thousands of year old healing traditions.  This is because their proponents know little of modern psychology.


  1. Sir,
    All this feelings of love, emotions (whether positive or negative or humanhood), etc., are still contained in Consciousness and are thus transient. Don't forget Nisargadatta's advice never to be fooled by this panorama created by five elements. GET OUT OF THIS ILLUSSION.

    Please pardon me for taking your valuable time and poor English.

    1. To go where? Where am I to go from where I am now? How can the unmoving witness go anywhere?

      The "illusion" comes to me; it moves, not I.

      Why should I run from it anyway? I am not frightened by it or captured by it.

      Nisargadatta ran because he was in pain and his Lifeforce was dying. Never believe there is only one truth such as Nisargadatta's.

  2. Agreed, each has one's own life to handle after realization but the content of life spent after realization has nothing to do with it. With realization, that is the end of road of Advaitic realization. A person may (or may not) engage with positive (or negative) aspects of life with same (or different ) attitude as before realization {This is the complete unrelatedness of realization with the affairs of this whole Universe}.

    The Illusion would continue coming to you because the mechanism of the Illusion has not ended {until you achieve the state of Manonasa and destruction of Vasanas); rather that part of Self called intellect has understood the mechanism of the Illusion and (intellect) becomes relatively quiet thereafter. Nisargadatta never ran as can be understood from his reported adventures with hookers which behavior I fully support (as has been revealed by Balsekar afterwards).

    People like me and you may be (or may not be) Self-realized but are definitely not Jivanmuktas or Siddhas in the traditional sense of Advaita, that is why some of us continue to seek some meaning in realization for affairs of this Universe.