Every being has a philosophy of his own, whether he knows it or not. He may not be able to articulate it, but it is evidently operative.
Most individuals never inquire into their beliefs To do so would be to put their beliefs at risk and their hold on sanity is so flimsy that any hypothetical dissolution of their beliefs provokes great fear. A smaller group come to meetings like these, hoping to exchange old beliefs for new ones.
We do not gather here to trade beliefs. We are here to discern if the ‘I’ can abnegate itself. If it can, let us discuss how and if it cannot, then there is no “how”.
I can assure you that when you are impartial to likes and dislikes, desires and aversions, things take their own shape quite naturally. The desire to manipulate events is solid evidence of self-centricity.
When we construct an if-this, then-this notion of how realization occurs, we are structuring little more than a business transaction, an exchange. Whatever can be gained through exchange can be lost.
As humans, we seek to acquire power via acquisitions of material wealth, prestige, knowledge, etc. We seek the power that we believe goes hand in hand with enlightenment. We seek to acquire power because, deep down, we understand that our real power is miniscule.
All spiritual practices are for acquisition, performed by someone, an ego. As such, the result is egoic reinforcement.
The purpose of all practice is to discern the futility of practice. For some, it comes in a relatively short time; for others, a lifetime. Once you have discerned that the person is imaginary, what efforts, what practices can the imaginary person undertake that will result in enlightenment?
Herein lies the madness. Existence is right in front of us and we are practicing to become one with it.
The error is in viewpoint only.
Suppose I had an empty room into which I brought three chairs. Then I added three more and I counted 1,2,3,4,5,6,7. Seeing my error, do I correct it by removing one chair? Of course not, because the error is not existential, but is merely a mental miscalculation.
In your case, the miscalculation is believing that there is something you must gain and effort must be made to gain it. This is like trying to kick in an open door.
The fact of the matter is existence is already here, consciousness is already here. Stop miscalculating that you are some thing in particular and the entire universe will be at your feet.
Q: I don’t believe that I can ever realize because of my karma. Can you take away my karma?
R: No, I can’t, but you can. You take it away by seeing through it.
The form may have karma, this is a subject for discussion at another time. But since you are not this body, how can the karma be yours? it can only be yours if you make the body yours. Refuse to do this and the presence or absence of karma becomes moot.
Q: I want to be at peace, yet I find myself surrounded by conflict. What must I do?
R: Isn’t the demand for peace the seed of conflict? As such, the more we want peace, the greater is our conflict. This world is duality; the good and the less-than-good cycle. Why not accept What-Is? That is peace.
Q: You direct us to pursue the unknown but I cannot. I am so afraid of the unknown that I am paralyzed by it. How can I break out of this?
R: You can’t be afraid of what you do not know. The unknown is not the culprit. What you are afraid of is the loss of the known. The known is your anchor; its loss leaves you adrift. This is your fear.
Q: To me, the end of my ego is the same as death.
R: The disappearance of the centre of reference is not death. The continuum of consciousness, in which all phenomena rise and set, is unmoved. What dies is the trance of egocentricity, replaced by the non-direct alertness that it obscured.
Q: Who am I?
R: You ask this question because you don’t know who you really are. I applaud your acknowledgement.
What you appear to be, what you are conditioned to think you are but are not, is temporal.What you call your Self is some thought, emotion or sensation that you are temporarily identified with.
When you awaken in the morning, what wakes up? The sensing systems wake up. From there, “I-am-this”, me, and “There is that”, the world, arise.
We are constantly trying to be this or that, to achieve a particular state, to capture one kind of experience and avoid another. Sometimes we accept the unnecessary and reject the necessary. All too frequently, what we want causes us to reject what we need. What is needed is the discernment that thinking and becoming are both limited and can therefore never take us to the unlimited.
Simply be aware: “I am not the body, I am not the mind. I am simply pure awareness.” As this awareness deepens, the mind’s impact on you loses all force. And when the awareness is fully settled, psychological mind simply evaporates.
Q: What is my purpose in life?
R: “I am, and I know I am”; this needs no proof. Abide there and don’t be distracted by questions such as “What is my purpose?”. In such abidance, all questions are answered.
Q: It is very frustrating to me that you don’t really provide us with any information. What you says strikes me as profound, but after I’ve left, I don’t feel any closer to my goal.
R: The flaw in your viewpoint is that you are coming here for information. Information will only provide, at best, intellectual understanding. But that is insufficient; it is like emptying the ocean with a needle.
What is absent for you now will appear when what is present in you now is gone.
Q: I set aside three hours a day for meditation. Is that sufficient?
R: It is better to set aside the “I”. Cessation of the ego occurs when the meditator turns his attention away from all other matters and focuses attention solely upon the attention itself . Constant abidance is the only so-called practice. All else is of a lesser degree.
Q: Why do you place so much emphasis on direct experience?
R: Experience is knowledge of some thing or some event gained through involvement with that thing or event. These experiences may be mental, sensory or somatic or any combination of these.
Experience is the memory of experiencing. When experiencing ends there is experience, the result. This is the goal of all seeking, results. You meditate for specific results, measured by specific experience.
Then, what is it that experiences? Consciousness experiences via its instrument of experiencing, the brain in the body. Consciousness is the Experiencing.
The brain creates a world based on the inbound sensory data. In a state of sensory deprivation, there is no world. Yet, you are and you know that you are. This is because the Knowing is not conditional on sensory data. It is self-luminous and antecedant to the world appearance.
I want you to pursue the direct experience of yourself.
Q: How can I return to my natural state?
R: The Absolute or Self is the transcendental and permanent principle of which the manifested human being is only a transient appearance emanating from the Conscious Life Energy which, itself is the objectification of Self. The Self is that by which all the states of being exist.
One’s natural state is one of being, of presence and of consciousness. In this sense, you are in your natural state all the time. However, the overlaying of psychological structures onto it masks it.
Ask yourself if you are willing to forget, willing to discharge all beliefs, all opinions and every bit of seeming knowledge that you have acquired. Are you willing to return to nothing with a clean slate in hand? Imagine how much of your so called brain-space is taken up with memory and worldly knowledge.
When the ‘I don’t know’ state is accepted, all the energy which was directed outward or inward in its search for an answer is released and is available to Knowing.
Q: Is it possible to transcend the feeling of separation?
R: Imagine that you wanted to explore the ocean floor. You would have to find a suitable vehicle, provide it with all the power it would need to operate and then you would enter inside, introduce it into its new environment and the exploration could begin.
This is no different from the operation of the Conscious Life Energy which has selected what you call your body as its vehicle for the exploration of this manifested world.
It is the mistaken equating of the Self with a body and a mind that is responsible for all the difficulty.
Seeming separation is inherent in individuality as individuality sets one apart from another, creates distinctions. In this regard, one can’t end feeling separate while clinging to one’s individuality. It is like soaking a stone in water to soften it.
Q: Ramana Maharshi advised the inquiry “Who am I” as the best way to realize. Do you agree?
R: Who am I to agree or disagree with Ramana? (laughing)
We read into things what we want to read. What most of you lose sight of is that Ramana was quite clear that this inquiry was of the nature of a sustained scrutiny, not something that is done for an hour a day. Too, he also made it quite clear that it was only for the ripest of souls. However, since we all believe we are above normal, seeing oneself as one such ripe soul is not too far a leap.
He also said that for those not predisposed to inquiry, surrender was the only alternative. Are you ready to make a full commitment to either?
Every being has a philosophy of his own, whether he knows it or not. He may not be able to articulate it, but it is evidently operative.
R: A man goes to the mystic in his provincial capital and says, “Oh Great One, please help me. I believe that I am a cat. I cannot rid myself of this idea. What should I do?”
The mystic replies, “Have no fear, little one, for I will speak only the truth to you. You are neither earth, nor air, nor fire, nor water, nor ether. Know yourself as
the witness, conscious of all these. You are nothing perceivable, yet all perception is because you are. In your absence, nothing is. Do you now understand, my child?”
The man answers “Yes, oh yes, Great One, what you have given to me today makes perfect sense. My understanding is established. May I now trouble you for a saucer of milk?”
Enlightenment is the eradication of the virus, the meme, the belief, I-am-this-body.
Beliefs are contagious, all the more so to those who are in need of them. Parents spreads the contagion to their children who spread it outward.
People believe, ”When we reach the destination, we can relax.” The actuality is the reverse: if you relax, you reach the destination.
Illumination is the end of finiteness. It is not a result of resisting the virus, fighting against the virus. One doesn’t fight darkness; one lights a lamp. The lamp is stillness, silence.
Where is it written that you need to be active every moment?
When the mind becomes still, one is open to a stillness that is prior to mind. In the absence of the noise that the mind makes, one discerns what one truly is.
That I am is beyond dispute. What I am is what is what we examine here.
All manifestation or actualization is an energetic movement in the stillness of Potentiality.
Once one accepts that all is consciousness, it’s not much of a leap to see that “Me” is the I-thought made material into a body and the world is the other-than-I thought made material.
In this manner, duality is reduced to I-am and this-is.
From the unitary Self, numerous derivative, conceptual selves arise. The identification and mesmerization with these selves is a waking-sleep. Throughout the waking-sleep and dreaming-sleep states, one pays attention only to second and third persons, and in consequence experiences cycles of happiness and unhappiness.
This ceases when the attention is fixed on the first person, Subjectivity Itself. Another name for this is Self attention or abidance.
This usually prompts the question “What is to be done?”
To renounce the world of wealth and position is a comparatively simple matter in relation to putting aside the craving to become.
All effort to control is suppression. This, too, applies to your efforts to control the pace of your enlightenment. Your efforts to bring it about only delay it.
You are sitting in the audience watching the play of life onstage. What effort do you need to make in order for the play to continue?
So, let us make clear that to speak of any attainment at some future date is to speak of postponement. The future is not yet, while the present is now. The happening of understanding need not be postponed. Simply set down all those things that preoccupy your mind, empty it, and watch understanding rush in. It is like a green pear ripening into a sweet pear. What did the pear have to do?
It all comes down to a basic difference in perspective. The doer’s logic is this: if I don’t swim, I’ll drown. The view of the surrendered is that if I don’t swim, I’ll float.
Q: To no longer identify with something that I have identified with for so long is not easy.
R: I am not suggesting that it is not a challenge. Everyone around you has the same belief, that they are this body. Then surely, if they are this body, you are your body. And so confusion is perpetually reinforced.
It takes bravery to take your stand outside the crowd, to say “I am not this body, I am not this state, these states appear in me.”
If the drive to identify is very strong, why not identify with the Conscious Life Energy and not restrict your identification to a singular body and mine?
Q: I have heard you use the term “most antecedent” but don’t understand what you mean. Would you please explain?
R: Absence can only be discerned in one’s presence. This explains why we can speak of the blankness of deep sleep, because something was present to observe it. After everything disappears, you remain.
The world being known requires an antecedent Knowing. Before anything is, I am. I am the logical presupposition or the epistemological ground of everything. My existence is proved by logic and confirmed by experience.
Q: You talk about the need for clarity. How long must it take before I become clear?
R: The future is always more alluring than the present. This is the subtle poison of “becoming”. “Me”, as a structure, is a work in progress, a work of becoming. One gathers constituent components, over time adds some and subtracts others. It begins at age two and usually only ends at death. This egoic drive for continuity contains its own outcome insofar as mere continuity must result in decay.
Seeing the flaw establishes the first, albeit small, crack in the foundation of narcissism.
Q: Some teachers say that listening is enough. Do you agree?
R: As the color of the room does not change unless the paint is applied, so too your “color” can only change when Understanding is applied. That explains why listening, of and by itself, is an insufficient means.
Q: What is the end of the search?
R: You go about seeking and searching from place to place, undertaking all kinds of physical and mental disciplines. The search is undertaken by what is a mere appearance with which the self has identified itself, and it is only when this fact is realized that the apperception occurs — in the absence of any individual — that what the seeker has been seeking is the seeker himself.
Q: You have not convinced me that I do not need a Master.
R: I didn’t understand that that was the task laid before me.
Q: So what do you have to say?
R: What kind of a Master are you talking about: living or dead, animate or inanimate, sentient or insentient? When one approaches life with openness, Masters are everywhere.
First discriminate between what you need and what you want. Then, if you are so moved, we can revisit the question.
Q: Is the goal to be free from thoughts? Is that freedom?
R: To be free from thought is not freedom; it is incomplete freedom. To be free from thought and to be free to think, this is true freedom.
Q: Is consciousness and awareness the same thing?
R: To be conscious is easy; to be aware is more difficult because you must stop the fixation on imaginations.
Contemporary man, hypnotized by the glitter of his own gadgets, has little contact with his inner world, concerns himself with outer, not inner space. He has limited, if any, real control over his attention. This attention is to awareness as the lighter fluid is to the lighter. While there is fluid, the flame persists. Once the fluid is exhausted, the flame goes out.
This attention can be said to be active perception.
Q: How would you explain maya?
R: There is the obscuration of Essence by substance. This obscuration results in distortion, confusion. This is as close to the traditional context of maya as I will go.
Q: Can you give an example of clarity?
R: Clarity is the difference between being inside the cloud and outside it.
Q: You advise us to observe without opinion or preference. Why do you think this is the key?
R: When you observe, you let whatever happens happen. You have released the need to interfere with it.
When attention is directed towards objects and intellect, the mind is aware only of these things. That is your present state. But when you turn your attention to the Self, you become aware of It alone. It is therefore all a matter of attention. Your mind has for so long been attending to external things that it has formed an addiction to them.
The process of creating conceptual entities has done you a great disservice because it has drawn your attention away from the underlying reality. In the same way that there is seeing but no seer, hearing but no hearer, there is awakening but no one awakened.
When the organism is merely observed, with the intention to understand rather than to judge, fully accepting whatever emerges, the energies that were previously allocated toward judgment are released and can now flow to facilitate further clarity.
Individuality is the awareness of the existence of “my” thoughts. Knowing who is the “I” contained in your “my” is this clarity.
Q: The traditional Advaitins say that scripture is the vehicle for realization. One reads it and one ultimately comes to understand. It seems you don’t agree with that.
R: Knowing is direct experience. Everything else is the accumulation of information. One is informed, yet does not know.
Q: What is most frustrating for me is that I listen to you and I find that what you say makes sense. But you, much like Krishnamurti, avoid telling us how to do it.
R: Sadly, you have been hearing but not listening.
There is no “how”. “How” suggests that there is something you can do, but there is little evidence in support of that.
There is no path to the unknown; there are only paths to the known. The purpose of any practice is to discern that practice is a dead end. The hard way to gain this discernment is to practice; the easy way is to fully accept my words.
What was Jesus’ practice? There is no evidence of any. What about Buddha? Buddha made an untiring effort for six years, and he subsequently came to understand that realization is not attained by effort. So he became quiet, sat and waited. What else could he do?
I am not trying to shift your perspective from attaining through effort to attainment with no effort. I am trying to help you see that there is nothing to be attained, that at best it is a getting of the already gotten.
R: You have spent your whole life in oscillation between getting away from and running toward. It is now time to stop and simply be still.
Now, just listen, without any intrusion of distracting thought.
Man finds himself separated in his mind, his life, and his body from the universal and therefore, even as he does not know himself, he is equally and even more incapable of
knowing anything deemed outside. This is the result of conditioning and a conditioned mind can never understand the Totality.
It is illogical to pursue eternity while embracing temporality.
At its simplest, there is manifestation , its functioning and the perceiving of these. Another way of putting it would be to say there is life and the witnessing of life. Onto these, the human brain superimposes a psychological structure which experiences the two as “my life”. This “my life”, is a movement, experienced as a flow of thoughts. I am perceiving, feeling, deciding and reacting.
But its all rooted in a distorted view of What-Is, appearing as what seems to be. This “what seems to be” is the product of mind and is rooted in an identification with an object, in this case, a psychosomatic object.
The mind must draw distinctions; in the absence of distinctions, the mind is frozen. So I will express this in mental terms: you, as the knower, are the consciousness which knows.
The knowledge is that consciousness, likewise yourself, operating; the known is also yourself, a form or movement of the same consciousness. The three are clearly indivisible though seeming to be divided.
You are the center of perception. The activities of the world and of your self-centric life all take place on the periphery. This is not easy to discern. The activity of observing is passive and subtle whereas the activities of the egoic processes are active and dynamic. As such, the latter covers up the former.
Whatever it is that is experienced as an object ‘out there’, can never be felt in the same way as we feel ourselves as the subject ‘in here’. When one is physically ‘here’ and mentally elsewhere such a person is really ‘there’ and not ‘here’ at that instant of time. A person is ‘here’ whose mind is attending to the same phenomenal content as is the body.
The objects I and the world are perceived in the waking and dream states only and not in dreamless sleep. Dreamless sleep is thoughtless, contentless. As such, the movement of thought sources both I and the world. It appears as the first thought I-am and is then added to the second thought, in-this-world.
Q: Despite years of practice, unity consciousness has eluded me; I am still not one with everything.
R: Yes, this is most often the case. Your ego tells you that you must do something. It says this only to sustain itself. Ego equals doing.
Who taught you how to eat, how to breathe? These are actions that occur spontaneously.
The same applies here; what needs to occur will spontaneously occur when it is appropriate.
As far as being one with everything goes, there is an alternative. Just as you can traverse a circle by walking either left or right, this issue can also be traversed two ways.
The first is, as you said, being one with everything. Here’s the alternative way of viewing the world: being prior to everything. While it is easy to consider the world as other, one finds it is quite difficult to consider the instrument for the viewing of the world, that is this body, as other also. Everything as other; when you thoroughly penetrate this, the clarity of it stands out like a black duck walking in the snow.
You are the subject to every object. You discern that the world is like your shadow, following you wherever you go. Yet, what harm can a shadow cause to you?
Q: Can you help me to understand my life’s purpose?
R: You have a role in this manifestation and you will perform it, I have no doubt. There is no action without an instrument of action. You are the latter; all the while, the actor remains invisible.
In the meantime, observe the organism as you would observe any creature in its environment. Come to firmly know that you are neither body nor mind. Nothing more need be done.
Q: Do you also advise meditation?
R: The senses can be used passively or actively. When music is playing but we are “elsewhere”, we only hear it, a passive action.. But when there are no interfering thoughts, then there is listening, itself an activity. It is the application of attention to the arrival of the sense data. It is abidance as consciousness.
The same goes for seeing, which is passive whereas looking is active.
As such, I don’t advise meditation; I advise abidance.
Q: I now see that the whole world is illusory. Yet, little has changed and the illusion persists.
R: According to the present illusory view, an antagonism exists between the outer world and oneself because through certain of its aspects, the outer world threatens the destruction
the individual being. According to this view, the outer world is a powerful not-self, an irreducible antagonist.
As such, a change in viewpoint is clearly required.
The new viewpoint redefines outer and inner. From the phenomenal perspective, there is now no inner. All phenomena, both mental and material, are outer. Inner is subjectivity, itself non-objective.
Ultimately, enlightenment or self realization is the reconciliation of the seeming dichotomy of self and not-self. It is a process of disassembly and reassembly that occurs in an instant.
That which remains over after the disappearance of objects is It. Where there is no other, that is It. This is the perspective from the void. I am everything is the perspective from the plenum. That too is It. Stated differently, one could say that every thing is not Self, that is to say not Subjectivity. One could also say that everything is Self, Self being the source of all.
This is the paradox.
The impediment preventing this apperception is that although you accept the idea that everything is illusory, in this illusoriness you have failed to include yourself.
Q: Is realization nothing more than a new experience?
R: Realization is not a new experience. Realization is the abidance with what is present in every experience.
Q: I find surrendering to be very difficult. What can you tell me that can make it easier?
R: What makes surrender so difficult is that it doesn’t offer the prospect of a soft landing. It means accepting and welcoming any and all outcomes of surrender. It is a total relinquishing of the desire to control. All these, the ego finds far too scary.
Q: How am I to know if there is any progress in my spiritual search?
R: To continue to think and speak as if you were a phenomenal object means you haven’t taken in a single word I’ve said. If you remembered that you are the animating consciousness that gives sentience to the phenomenal objects, the question would never arise. This apperception is not gradual; the concept of progress cannot apply.
Concerns about progress are from the ego. The measure of progress is to have returned to subjectivity.
Q: Where does reincarnation fit in your overall view?
R: We know that life is temporary. Even if death is also seen to be temporary, I don’t concern myself with it. My concern is solely with That which is not temporary, That which is permanent.
Q: Very well, then why do we die?
R: The Conscious Life Energy in us supplies the material by which the form is built up, maintained and renewed. Yet, at the same time, It is constantly using up the substantial form which it creates and keeps in existence. It is the food of the body and the body Its food. When the process goes on naturally, it results in decay and ultimate death. When there is an imbalance in the reciprocity, the result is disease.
Q: How can you say that there is nothing to attain?
R: Suppose you discovered a Picasso canvas in your basement. Have you suddenly attained wealth? Of course not. You were wealthy all along; you just didn’t know it. The same applies here. All I am suggesting is that you take a look around yourself. Most people are so busy attaining that they have little time left to take that look around.
One word of caution: you must approach the understanding of yourself simply, without any judgments and pretensions, without any theories. That means advaita, mahayana, theosophy, zen or what have you is left at the door.
Q: I don’t feel ready to undertake investigation. Is it OK if I wait?
R: How much time do you have left that you can relegate investigation to the future?
Q: I don’t know.
R: Postponement perpetuates itself; there’s always a better time. If you knew that the entirety of your investigation, start to finish, could be accomplished in a single day, would you postpone it?
Q: You seem to place great emphasis on acceptance. Why is that?
R: Ego is able to convert everything to its own use, even self realization. It confuses us by creating a fundamental myth: that we are solid beings. But ultimately the myth is a hoax and it is at the root of suffering. In order to make this discovery, one must see through very elaborate defenses erected by the ego to prevent the discovery of the fundamental deception which is the source of its power.
Insight arises in the absence of conflict, one such conflict being between What -Is and what one thinks ought to be. Acceptance is the resolution of the conflict.One must take responsibility for the conflicts one creates and sustains.
You can’t fart and then point to the dog.
R: As life became more complex, the human brain evolved into a compartmentalized problem-solving machine. Imagine an app-laden iPhone, so to speak, capable of doing a lot of diverse things.
The brain is a master of specialization. This part does this, another part does that. Each part works with the fragment that it is specialized in. However, viewing the world in fragments is like trying to understand the individual pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. As such, a wrong view of the world must consequently arise, one that has distorted and skewed what-is.
In that regard, there is no singular, unified “self” that generates internally consistent and seamlessly coherent output. Instead, we are an amalgam of distinct yet interacting modules which are often at odds with one another. Inner conflict and contradiction must be the inevitable outcome.
So we eat three scoops of ice cream and then perform 45 minutes of aerobic exercise the following day or we cling to our individuality while at the same time making efforts to transcend it.
At the root, we have constantly changing self-images. The moment one of those images appears, we wrap ourselves into it, and claim that image as “I”. I-am-this in one minute, and I-am-another-this in another minute. This results in a multitude of “I’s”, none of which can be the essence.
Q: What have you attained and how can I get it too?
R: I don’t wish to imply that there is something I have attained and you haven’t. My words are only pointers to what is already present and available right now, the self-shining Presence-Consciousness that has been overlooked.
Q: OK, then I’ll restate it; can you help me?
R: Not I nor any one else can help you as long as you continue living your concept. What does this mean? It means as long as you limit yourself to what is mistakenly referred to as a body-mind, the kind of help you desire is not available.
Unless there is something to attain, commercial teachers are out of business. I feel that is what differentiates my viewpoint from others. The others immerse you in expectation, whereas I drain you of it. Once devoid of expectation, one is open to the unknown.
When someone asks what is to be done, they mean what is this body to do, don’t they? Until the I-am-this-body idea goes, “What should I do?” is always the question.
Q: Then how am I to measure my progress?
R: Progress can be only in reference to things to be attained at some future date. To speak of progressing is indicative of a flaw in understanding, that is, that there is something to be attained.
Q: What is the purpose of these meetings?
R: The purpose, if we are to call it that, is the continuous reconciliation between the way things seem and the way they are.
It seems you are imperfect. It seems you are separate. It seems that something needs to be added to you. I could go on but the point is that I want to acknowledge how it seems …… and then I want to address its transcendence.
Q: What is reality?
R: Relative reality is the brain’s interpretation of sensate content and cognitive content. My sensate content and cognitive content is my reality and the same goes for you. Our respective realities may overlap, but they’ll never be identical.
Absolute Reality is that which is and is not open to interpretation.
Q: How do explain all the different teachings that are out there?
R: Different teachings are for different minds. All explanations are meant to satiate the mind.
As long as you are coming here, it is obvious that your search is not over. Why is it so? Because there is a “you” that continues to search. As long as the doer is present, the ego is present.
Identification anchors you. How far can you travel when you are anchored?
There is either existence without identification, a center without circumference, or existence with identification, a circle. The latter is limitation whereas the former is limitless. The latter is always trying to reconfirm its location whereas the former cannot be found.
Only when you drop all forms, become disidentified with all forms and get connected with the formless, will you be able to comprehend that you are existence without identification.
Q: Why do you put so much emphasis on the brain in your talks?
R: What is life but a series of brain events? Deep sleep, dreaming, and wakefulness are brain states, are they not? Your every experience is the brain’s interpretation of material and mental sense data. What you call the world is the representation the brain has created. All this must not be ignored if one is to truly understand What-Is.
Q: Do you support any religion?
R: Religion requires believers and disavows doubters. To be a believer, one must believe and not doubt. I argue that one should verify, thus dispelling both belief and doubt.
Q: I have been studying the ancient Upanishads for many years and I believe that they can provide the ultimate truth.
R: The study of the Upanishads can provide the ultimate beliefs. Verifying the Upanishads provides the Ultimate Truth.
Q: All the great mystics claim to have gone beyond the world. Have you?
R: There is no going beyond; all going beyond is simply returning to before.
Q: Why is realization so infrequent?
R: Many teachers will say that it is either because of flaws in the practice or that one’s impurities have not been removed. In my view, the event of recognition requires a tremendous amount of energy. When most of your energy is directed toward your mechanical, habitual functioning, the reserve is inadequate to facilitate recognition. That is the reason for the failure.
Q: The word “ego” is used so much and in many contexts. Can you present your point of view without using this word?
R: In humans, when the body consciousness has activated, a self-center micromanagement program initiates. Its primary function was for the survival and continuity of the genetic material. Secondarily, it oversaw the functioning of the body, its processes and its reactions.
However, as the self-center developed greater complexity, the program took on more sophistication, now managing virtually every aspect of the lifestream, albeit often not well. It manifests as the incessant talking that goes on inside your head all day.
At the present time, you only know yourself in relation to other, to objects. Understand that your body and your mind are likewise phenomena that happen to you, but are not you.
Waking arrives and I am. Waking goes, dreaming arrives. Again, I am. The dreams dissolve and dreamless sleep occurs. I persist. The cycles repeat themselves; all the while, I am.
Q: Why should I believe you?
R: Who is asking for your belief? I ask no one to take me at my word. Every time I speak, I throw down the gauntlet, I challenge you to investigate and validate. This style traces back to Buddha himself who repeatedly told people to “come and see” for themselves. However, most are too insincere or too lazy to do so.
Q: Is there no end to self-discovery?
R: It ends where infinity ends.
Q: It seems to me that a large number of teachers agree that the mind needs to be controlled. Would you agree?
R: This advice is based on the belief that the mind is yours. Would you agreed to discipline your neighbor’s child? If you are clear that the mind is there but it is not you, what does it matter what the mind does?
Q: Even after twenty years of searching, I still can’t say that I’ve found it.
R: Where are you searching?
Q: I’ve been reading, sitting with teachers, visiting sacred sites.
R: You can’t find what’s inside the house by looking outside the house.
Self-recognition is the stepping outside of the becoming process and an ending of resistance to What-Is. To know yourself requires no practice. Be still and you will come to know. You will see that the body is in you; you are not in it.
Q: You act as if our worlds are not the same. Is that so? If so, what makes you do that?
R: Our worlds may share the perceived but not the conceived. The mental content that you superimpose on the perceptual content results in vast differences. As such, our worlds may share features, but can hardly be called the same. I can never know your world other than what you might tell me about it.
Q: How long will it be before Self-Realisation?
R: How much time do you have?
Q: I don’t know.
R: That’s my answer too.
Q: Many teachers can provide intellectual understanding but it is clear to me that that is not enough. Why isn’t intellectual understanding the end?
R: Of what use is intellectual understanding with regard to that which is beyond the intellect? When I say it is beyond your grasp, I mean that both literally and figuratively. If you throw a bucket full of holes into a well, as long as it is submerged in water it seems to be full. This is the same as mistaking intellectual understanding for Understanding.