Sunday, April 26, 2009

Transcending the world

Transcending the world does not mean to withdraw from the world, to no longer take action, or to stop interacting with people. Transcendence of the world is to act and to interact without any self-seeking. In other words, it means to act without seeking to enhance one's sense of self through one's actions or one's interactions with people. Ultimately, it means not needing the future anymore for one's fulfillment or for one's sense of self or being. There is no seeking through doing, seeking an enhanced, more fulfilled, or greater sense of self in the world. When that seeking isn't there anymore, then you can be in the world but not be of the world. You are no longer seeking for anything to identify with out there.

Eckhart Tolle


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Realizing the Self

The Self is not realized through instruction,
nor by intellectual power,
nor by much hearing
.. It can be reached only
by the one whom the Self chooses.
To him the Self reveals its form.
He who has not renounced evil ways,
who is not at peace,
who cannot concentrate,
whose mind is not composed
cannot reach the Self,
even by right knowledge.

Katha Upanishad 1.2.24-25
Krishna Yajur Veda,

Labels: ,

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Who Am I?

The problem is that liberation (moksha) itself is looked upon as the gaining of an experience. It is looked upon as the gaining of a type of mind, the gaining of a type of thinking, the gaining of a type of thought, rather than the recognition of who I am—the one who wants this type of mind. Who is the one who wants this pure mind? Who is the one seeking this spiritual experience? Who is the one seeking liberation? Who is the one here, right now, asking the question, “Who am I?” We think, “I am a conscious being, and aware being.” My mind, thought after thought, is known: each vri tti (thought modification) is known. Now, am I the subject, the Self, or is the thought modification, which is known, the Self? I cannot be the object known and yet the mind which is an object of knowledge identifies itself with the Self which illumines it, saying “I, the mind, am the Self.” This is the problem. The mind’s mis identification with the Self is called the ahankara, the I-notion. The ahankara is also called the “knot of the heart” because it binds the Self to what it is not, through ignorance. The mind, believing itself to be the Self, wants to have an experience of the “Big Self.” Because the mind has misappropriated the Self to itself, due to Self-ignorance, it then seeks an experience of something away and separate from itself. In reality, there is no such thing as a “little Self” and a “Big Self.” There is only one Self that has been misappropriated due to Self ignorance. There aren’t two beings; there aren’t two ‘awarenesses.’ There is one awareness, you, that is illumining whatever thought happens to be present.
The ignorance born superimposition (adhyasa) that’s causing the mind to identify with the Self -- “I am the Self,” has to be negated through Self-knowledge (atma-vidya). Self knowledge does not involve the attainment of a “new experience.” You, the Self, are already fully present and your thoughts and perceptions are also present. The problem we are facing does not have to do with a lack of Self-experience. It has to do only with the lack of differentiation between the Self and the objects that I take my Self to be, such as the mind and body. The Self is already totally present, but Self-ignorance is also present and that ignorance needs to be removed by Self-knowledge. This problem is a problem for the mind; it is not a problem for the Self. If the Self were inherently bound, nothing could free it from its bondage—neither knowledge nor action. But if the Self is inherently free, then knowledge alone can solve the problem, as no amount of activity can give it what it already is. But for knowledge to take place, a means of knowledge (pramana) is necessary. As an individual you have the means of knowledge to perceive the world; your sense organs do that for you. But the sense organs are not going to give you knowledge of your Self, as your Self is not an object of perception. It is not that you need experiential knowledge of your Self. You are here, a conscious being, self-shining, self-evident, already present. The problem is that your Self has been confused with the objects of your experience. The sense organs cannot solve this problem, but proper teaching can. Words(sabdas) that are handled properly through the teaching methodology of Vedanta remove the Self-ignorance that causes one to feel bound.

Radha (Carol Whitfield, Ph.D.)

© 2005 Vedanta Shala

Labels: , ,