Whilst it is perfectly feasible that a religious person is able to display certain spiritual characteristics, and would also undertake some kind of spiritual practice, one who is spiritually awake has no need for a fear-based belief system. Hence, for the one who has awakened, no religion is necessary.
In the last few weeks I’ve been reading a book called “Be As You Are – The Teachings Of Ramana Maharshi”. It’s a very interesting book; although a bit difficult to grasp at times. In a nut shell, Sri Ramana Maharshi advocated a spiritual practice called “Self-enquiry” as a direct means to Self-realisation. It works on the principle that all that exists is the Self (infinite consciousness), and if you constantly enquire “Who Am I”, and go to the source of where the thought arises, then you destroy the mind and realise this Self. However, it’s not as simple as that in practice; or so it would seem. But before I go into more detail I want to touch on Sri Ramana’s views on yoga (I should probably say my interpretation of the great master’s views on yoga).
Sri Ramana did not recommend yoga as a means to realise the Self. He said that yogis simply suppress the mind through their yogic practice, as opposed to “killing” it. The thinking behind it is that if you suppress the mind in your meditative state, once you come out of your meditative state thoughts will once again arise; therefore, through the practice of yoga one can only flit in and out of Self-realisation. Whereas, through the practice of Self-enquiry the mind is obliterated and the Self is realised.
Self-enquiry is very simple in principle; and it makes a great deal of sense. If you go to the source of the “I” thought, or ego (this refers to the false “I” that states “I am this body”) the mind will simply disappear. Does it not stand to reason that if the false “I” arises out of the Self, if you go directly to Self, then this is what you experience; Self, or who you really are. This is why Ramana called it the direct means, because it meant bypassing all the other “stuff” in between. He said that meditation and mantras etc. are OK, but they cannot ultimately take you to Self-realisation because to practice them is to engage the mind and you cannot use the mind to destroy the mind.
He said ask the question “Who Am I” and go directly to the source of the thought, without actively seeking it; because to seek something means to engage the mind. This is where it gets complicated for me, but the great man assures us that it is possible. It would also be possible here to ramble on and on and on because there are so many permutations and possibilities depending on how you interpret Self-enquiry. But instead of rambling on I’m going to get to the point of this article.
It’s quite common for people to develop spiritual snobbery; even if they don’t realise it. You find that followers of certain gurus and teachers get feelings of superiority because their teacher is “more spiritual” than yours etc. But I saw this business of Self-enquiry versus yoga as an opportunity to make a point. Contrary to popular opinion, yoga has got nothing to do with sticking your foot behind your head! The word “yoga” means “union with God”. Therefore, if Self-enquiry is a proven means to Self-realisation (union with God) it is simply another form of yoga.
God bless you all and I’ll see you when I get back from Wales. I haven’t forgotten that I posted recently that I have another video project in mind, “Using The Voice To Enhance Your General Well-Being”. I’ll probably get this underway during the first week in June. Bye for now!!
To commemorate my having officially entered the realms of Old Fartdom I’m offering Universal Law – An Idiot’s Guide as a special promotion on Amazon Kindle for seven days. The promotion will run from 08:00 on Monday 4 May to 08:00 on Mon 11 May. This particular offer applies to the UK only, but later in the year I will be offering other promotions exclusive to the US.
During those seven days you can get a kindle copy of the book for just 99p. Go on! Fill your boots!
Buy on amazon.co.uk http://ow.ly/z55Rl
Once again my blog has been a bit redundant lately, and for the same reasons as I explained last time; namely, that I write mainly about my actual spiritual experiences, which remain at a premium at this moment in time (nearly a year without a decent out-of body; can you believe that?) Never mind, I can take this opportunity to share my musings with you and let you know what projects are on the horizon.
It has occurred to me that we all make judgements about “stuff”, situations and other people, and although these judgements are not always disparaging, they are nonetheless judgements, which serve no purpose unless we act on them in a positive way. What I mean is this, when we see something or hear about something that we perceive as being awful and not in line with all that is humanly decent, we judge it as being so, have a good old tut, maybe feel a degree of despair and sadness about it, but generally we don’t do anything else. In the case of a huge international incident you may be wondering what on earth you could do about it anyway. However…
There is another way of looking at things. We could take the incident and ask ourselves, “who am I in relation to that”? “How does it make me feel”? If the answer to both questions is that the said incident is not in line with our soul purpose (in other words, who I really am), then we may not be able to prevent something that has already happened, but there is something we can do.
It was Gandhi who said, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. So what we can do is this, at the first opportunity, having experienced something that did not resonate with who we really are, and having made that judgement, we can carry out a simple act of kindness. A simple act of kindness selflessly executed with no thoughts of reward is a positive reaction to the negative. Yes, we may not be able to change the individual incident, but the truth is that the only way we will ever achieve peace on earth is if the collective consciousness of the human race is transformed from the selfish state it is in now to the loving state, which is what it is at our deepest and purest level of being. All change must begin somewhere; and it must begin with individuals such as you and I adopting this way of thinking, instead of just accepting things the way they are.
There, that’s my musings over with.
So what’s coming up then? Well, I have a birthday this week; the big “Six Oh No”. To commemorate my 60th year and the miracle of life I will be offering the kindle version of my book “Universal Law – An Idiot’s Guide”, at the special promo price of 99p for seven days. More about that soon. There will also be another video project over the next few weeks with the theme, “Using Your Voice To Enhance Your Well-Being”. So watch this space and thanks as ever for supporting my work.
I’m pleased to announce that from 08:00 am on Monday 16 March to 08:00 am on Monday 23 March the kindle version of my book, The Amazing Journey, will be available for the special promotional price of £0.99 in the UK and $0.99 in the US. Below is the synopsis, a couple of extracts and the links to buy in amazon UK and US. Watch this space for more promotions soon.
Previously published as Astral Travelling, The Avatar And Me
In 2000 my life hit rock bottom. Emotionally I was totally spent and did not see any way out of the mire that I found myself in. This book tells the story of how (with a little help) I managed to turn my life around. Miraculously at the onset of the new millennium I started to embark on a series of truly amazing out-of-body adventures, and as the years have gone by, I have learned to pass through solid objects, propel myself in whatever direction I wish to travel, and unbelievably, “will” myself back into my body when I become bored with the journey. As if that wasn’t incredible enough, I have also been blessed by the Avatar of the age himself, Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who first entered my life in 2001. Since then I have had a series of truly wonderous experiences with Baba, the highlights of which were being held in his arms during an out-of-body experience in 2006 and seeing him in physical form at his ashram, Prasanthi Nilayam (abode of the highest peace) in Puttaparthi, Southern India in October 2009.
I was extremely tired and decided to have a lay down in the afternoon. I drifted off into a dream world and felt a very strong presence around me. I felt myself being lifted from my body and then I was moving at a great speed. My third eye became animated and I could see pictures of people and events flashing through my mind, although I couldn’t recount anything specific. I then realised that I wasn’t being taken anywhere in particular. Instead my companion appeared to be giving me some kind of spiritual healing. We were still moving but I could feel the soul’s hands on me and the terrific energy coming from them. This was once again something new and extremely unique for me to experience. The energy was nothing like I’d ever experienced before. I then felt myself returning to my body and when I opened my eyes it was 2:05 p.m.
At some stage, I really can’t remember when, I’d started having strange experiences during the night. I either dismissed these experiences as dreams or tried to convince myself that they simply hadn’t happened. One of the earliest that remains really vivid to this day was when I found myself travelling through the air at a terrific speed. It was quite dark and I found myself heading towards trees. It was a very hairy experience. I braced myself waiting for the impact, convinced I was going to get impaled on the branches. I was amazed when I realised I was simply flying through them as though they were not there.
Buy The Amazing Journey as an eBook on Amazon UK
Buy The Amazing Journey as an eBook on Amazon US
I don’t normally have a problem with death; due to my own actual experiences, which have shown me that this earthly life is just a tiny atom in the infinite ocean of creation and that it really is impossible to die. However, I had an experience of death recently, which although it wasn’t a problem as such, really touched me to the depths of my soul.
In my day job I work in a hospice that provides day services to mainly terminally ill people. It’s probably fair to say that around 95% of the people I’ve come into contact with since I’ve been associated with the job have already left their bodies, or will be leaving their bodies in the near future. I’m not affected by this at all; I’m just glad to be able to offer some kind of help in my own humble way. But recently I found that a particular patient’s transition did touch me; and even almost brought a tear to my eye. I felt it would be appropriate to share my theory as to why this happened.
Quite often, as you would imagine, terminally ill people are full of anxiety and anguish and it is very hard to make a connection with them. This particular man was no different; conversation was quite difficult and I detected a strong feeling of emptiness within him. It is not appropriate for me to share any more detail about the man with my readers, but suffice it to say, when I heard that he’d left this earth I felt a sadness that I’d not felt before with any other patient. It was quite strange considering that there had been no bond between us.
The reason for my emotional reaction to the news, I believe, is because I saw myself in him. He reminded me of the figure of despair I once was and he also seemed to be a mirror image of what I would have become had I not turned my life around. Even though there were no real similarities between us, he cut a very lonely figure. He did have family, but they were based in another town and he lived alone with his horrendous illness. I’m just glad for him that when he made the transition he was comfortable in hospital and his family were at his bedside.
It really was quite a strange feeling and it did not remain with me long, but it seemed that in that moment, an aspect of me contained within the infinite ocean of bliss that is our true nature, reached out to me at a soul level and said “share this”.