October 30

Sharing God

There are six religions that have shaped our civilization: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Taoism/Confucianism, and Islam. On the surface, these religions seem to be quite at odds insofar as their most fundamental doctrines about the nature of Reality appear to contradict each other.
For example, there is Judaism’s worship of one god in direct opposition to Hinduism’s worship of several million gods and Buddhism’s assertion that there is no God.
However, within each tradition we find a set of mystical teachings on the subject of the Ultimate Reality that, despite large variations in time, geography, and culture, are surprisingly similar. In fact, when they are viewed as a single body of thought, they can be said to comprise what Aldous Huxley called The Perennial Philosophy.
Below are six points agreed upon by the mystics of all the great traditions:
1.       Ultimate Reality, regardless of whether It is called Allah, Brahman, Buddha-nature, Ein-sof, Yahweh, God, Krishna, or the Tao, cannot be grasped by the mind or expressed in words. This is so because thoughts and words, by definition, create distinctions and, hence, duality. Even the simple act of naming something creates duality because it distinguishes the thing that is named from all other things that are left unnamed.
2.       All distinctions are imaginary; the Ultimate Reality is therefore non-dual. While this Ultimate Reality constitutes the true nature of everything, in Itself, It is no thing.
3.       Although it is not a thing, this emptiness or no-thingness is not a mere vacuum or void. It is radiant with the Light of Pure Consciousness, or Buddha-Mind Itself.
4.       All the traditions also agree that when distinctions such as subject and object, I and other, self and world are taken to be real, we lose sight of the Ultimate Reality and experience delusion which is the cause of all our seeming suffering.
5.       In the absence of separate selves, our True Nature is God, Brahman, or Consciousness Itself.
6.       Although the truth of one’s unity with Ultimate Reality cannot be grasped by thought, all agree that it can be realized via an apperception which bypasses the thinking mind altogether. This, in turn, brings freedom from suffering and death.
As such, there is really no argument about what constitutes the Ultimate Reality or God.
Doctrines, laws and rituals are only of value as signposts, which point the way to what is beyond them. Isn’t it time that we set them all aside and end the warfare of competitive dogmas that separate us?
Isn’t it finally time that we all agree to share God? You want to see God in all, but not in yourself? If all is God, are you not included in that all?

October 23

Mailbag October

Roy, I don’t feel that I know enough. I read tons of books, attend satsangs, and listen to hours of mp3s. Yet, even when I gain more knowledge, nothing changes.

The piling on of more concepts, this acquisition of additional knowledge, is not the solution.Adding to the known can never take one beyond the known.

At every moment of your life you know what you need to know. Take it to be sufficient. True knowledge comes via direct apperception and this cannot be forced. It arrives in its own time.
Roy, I get these short bursts of happiness. But they don’t last very long andI return to feeling unhappy. Can you comment on this and maybe give me some advice?

Here’s the paradox: After the acquisition of a desired object or condition, the desire for it evaporates and we experience a time of no desire. Yet, the desired object or condition  never keeps its promise because, soon enough, another desire appears and we embark on a pursuit to attain that one.

This clearly indicates that what we really desire is desirelessness……………… and that cannot be found in objects.

Now, here’s the secret: Thought obscures happiness. If you doubt this to be the case, stop thinking for 5 seconds and tell me if you are not happy.
Hey Roy, Why don’t you prescribe any practices?

What we seem to be is a creature of heredity and society, living by memory and acting habitually. The way out of this is to be alert, and attentive, investigate the validity of every belief and abandon those that prove false.

See the need to recede. Recede from concepts into perception; then recede from perception into Being. Don’t allow words, even mine, to dilute the power of silence. Spend time with silence, seek it out and shun that which subverts it.

This is my advice. If you would like to call it a practice, that’s up to you.
Hi Roy: Aren’t you just adding new concepts with your point of view?

In a sense, yes, I am. But other than through silence, that’s the only way to communicate.

Admittedly, we become enslaved by our concepts. You know, Bertrand Russell was one of the greatest thinkers of our time. The British philosopher was also a highly regarded mathematician as well as an avowed atheist.

In his lectures, he took delight in upholding the infallibility of mathematics claiming that he prove mathematics to the full satisfaction of everyone, while denigrating the claims of religions, such as the existence of God, as unproven.

They have to be accepted only as beliefs. On the other hand, in mathematics everything, like 2 + 2 = 4 can be proved.

One day, Russell was delivering a lecture when from the audience, one person confronted him. The question was, “You say that in mathematics nothing need be accepted as concepts based on faith or belief, but can clearly be proved, dispelling doubts in the listener. Now, Sir, what is ‘2’?”

Bertrand Russell calmly replied, “One plus one is two.” The person persisted, “Thank you, Sir. But, what is ‘One’, Sir?”

The mathematician was stunned, unable to clearly explain what “one” was. For the first time he had to consider that “one”, also, might be only a concept.

“What is ‘One’?” became his life’s unsolved riddle. Is there an answer?

Yes, there is. One is the Source from which the entire expansion of 2, 4, 8, 16  to billions and trillions take place. It is the Potentiality from which the Actuality emerges.

All is One.
Roy, I find the world to be very attractive, drawing me out of my meditations time and time again. What can be done so the world is not so much of a distraction?

The problem is that the pull of the world is still quite strong for you.

When you realise that everything is in your mind, and that you are beyond the mind, there is a shift in the locus of attention.

The particular no longer holds sway over you; you are now Selfward facing, and you rest in Being Awareness. It becomes clear that I-am and the world-is are experienced simultaneously and the body is the instrument that connects the center, the seeing, with the periphery, the seen.

October 19

Flawed Framework

Acknowledge the possibility of unreality.

Because the ego requires a situation to sustain it, there comes the feeling of discomfort in just sitting, doing nothing.

The brain has built a bridge, self consciousness or ego, between itself and its conceptions so it may seem to act in the world.  The brain is, for all intents and purposes, a sixth sense organ. It gathers all the data from the five other senses and forms concepts and representations that comprise the world as it seems to appear. When perception is converted into conception, I-am, the sense of being, is converted into I am this and that.

This is self consciousness whose arrival is like walking into a room wherein the floor, the walls and the ceiling are covered in mirrors. In an instant, you are surrounded by “others”, fear arises and survival programs, previously dormant, go online.

This conceptual framework for understanding the world that the brain has created is flawed. When one sees this, the world loses its force.

October 11

Moving Away

When we exit from a daydream, we can sometimes acknowledge “Wow, I was daydreaming. I wasn’t here”. The true value of the daydream is to invite you to pursue what this “I” is.

“I am” means Being, alternatively moving through the three biologically programmed cycles of deep sleep, dream, and wakefulness. When the state you’re in changes, the world you’re in changes.

In dispassionately observing the organism, you stand outside it. This is the movement away from identification. In seeing the false as false, you are seeing the truth.