Observing Our Own Fear


According to the likes of Eckhart Tolle and Rupert Spira, it’s quite common for people who are going through a spiritual awakening process to experience the resurfacing of negative traits, which were thought to have been dealt with ages ago.  Not only that, but also to experience feelings of fear, hopelessness and vulnerability.  This is something that I have been very aware of in my own daily existence for the past few years.  However, the fact that I am actually aware of these experiences, is a very positive factor.  I decided on this as a theme for a blog post, because I thought it would be very helpful for anyone who is experiencing the same thing as me.

My understanding of why this happens is because the ego (which doesn’t really exist) knows that it is on borrowed time, and does its utmost to stay alive; as long as there is fear and the derivatives thereof, the ego will continue to thrive.  Normally, we are so wrapped up in our egoic earthly existence, we get completely sucked in by the “story” being told by the mind.  We demonstrate negative traits and feel negative emotions without the awareness of them.  Not in the context that is meant here anyway.

I have written in many previous posts about how we are “the witness” to the drama that is going on around us, and not participants in the true sense.  So, I feel that it is encouraging to know that even though past negatives may have reared their heads, and doubt and fear have crept in, it is not necessarily a bad thing.  Even though these things still don’t exactly feel good, what is good about it is that I am observing these feelings not only within my body, but also as a detached witness who knows that this is not who I am.  With this understanding, all such thoughts and feelings pass through and dissolve away.  The Self is always exactly as it is; ever still, ever the witness and ever reflecting the light of consciousness.  

 

Original Knowledge


I came across these words by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. He is someone that I don’t really know anything about, however, these words really resonate with where I am today, so I thought I would share them. Hope you find them inspiring.

“There are many spiritual seekers whose aim is to acquire sufficient merit to reach a certain place, such as Heaven or Vaikuntha. I have had no aims except to find out. I was not aware of my awareness, and suddenly I became conscious that I Am. Where and how did this consciousness arise in me? That was my enquiry, going back to that state when the presence of phenomena was not there. That is, original knowledge of the original Self”.

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Debate


As I’ve gone through this life and gradually evolved, two things have occurred to me. Firstly, the actual mystery of life becomes less and less of a mystery. Secondly, and paradoxically, as the mystery of life reveals itself as the “simplicity” of life, I realise more and more how little I actually know; which brings me onto the title of this little post.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Debate! The above statement has brought home to me, like never before, the sheer fruitlessness of getting into debates about spirituality and religion. People have to grow and evolve at their own pace, and this quite often involves holding certain beliefs that may not ultimately be true, but are serving their purpose by way of a stepping-stone. I am also of the opinion, that if you get into a debate with another person about any subject whatsoever, the “winner” will not necessarily be the one who is closest to the truth, it will be the one who has the greater debating skills.

Swami, Sri Sathya Sai Baba always used to say, “never get into debates about spirituality and religion because they are sure to descend into arguments.”

I am now of the view that it is far better to remain as “the witness” and let others debate to their hearts’ content.

Happiness


Happiness is our true nature that is ever present; it is what we are. Because our true nature tends to be veiled by the ego, and we believe that the experience of happiness depends on outer objects and situations that the mind deems to be agreeable, it is commonplace for individuals to be completely oblivious to the joy that they are. However, we do get glimpses of this truth when it reveals itself from time to time. In the main, this is when worldly desires are met; it’s that momentary surge of joy we get when we hold the keys to the new car in our hand for the first time, or at the unboxing of the huge, new flat-screen TV. Because these desires are superficial and egoic, they cause pain and suffering when they remain unmet, and only a brief experience of joy when they are met. Once a desire has been met, it dissolves away and the mind then focuses on something else, equally superficial, as the focus of its latest desire. It’s a vicious circle that can only be broken by the experience of Pure Being; which is the realisation of the Self.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

The only desire of worth is the desire to love, which comes from deep within ourselves. It is the experience of Being, Presence, Bliss, Awareness, or whatever name you want to give it. Language is very limiting and there are no words that could ever describe it aptly. But, whether we are aware of it or not, it is ever present and ever shining in all its glory.

What Meditation Isn’t


I read something today by Rupert Spira, which is as profound as it is beautiful. The central message is that, “Meditation is not an activity.” I thought I would share it with you.

Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash

“Meditation is not a state that comes and goes, it is that in which all states come and go.”

“Meditation is simply the natural presence of consciousness.”

Good old Rupert!

A Visitation


I had an experience recently that was a classic case of rolling back the years. I find it interesting that the experience has a different meaning for me today than if I’d had it 10 years ago. For the first time in ages Swami Sri Sathya Sai Baba appeared to me in a dream. As expected, it was like being in the presence of a doting mother and best friend. Swami let me touch his face, and we had this moment where we were just in each others’ presence before the egoic mind brought me back to the land of objective reality.

Swami always used to say that if he comes to us in a dream, it is not a dream but a visitation.  He also used to constantly remind us that he was not the body, and did not encourage devotees to follow him as a physical being, or look on his form as an object of worship.  Nonetheless, it was very difficult not to; especially if you had the grace (as I did) to witness Swami’s amazing smile first hand and experience his awesome presence.  A few years ago I would have relished a visitation from the loving “God man” and would have felt so lucky and privileged that he’d blessed me in such a way.  Even though my recent visitation was an unexpected and wonderful experience; received with equal relish, I interpret the meaning differently. Back then, if Swami the physical being would have been visiting me; I would not have seen his form as a symbol of the one eternal Self.  Yes it’s true, that I would have known this, but confronted with Swami’s beautiful form, all thoughts of the formless would have flown away.

With regard to my recent experience, I enjoyed immensely basking in the presence and having my personal darshan of Swami’s form. But today, I understand what it represents and my interpretation of the visitation is that “The Higher Power” used a method that I would be able to relate to, to let me know that my little individual, egoic self has not been forgotten about.  That for however long I have left in this body, and for whatever work I have left to perform, I am not alone; the loving bliss of eternal spirit will always be enfolding me.

Who Creates Creation?


There are generally three schools of thought surrounding the mystery of creation, and this post will attempt to throw some light on the subject.

The first school of thought on how the universe and our species came about can be split into two theories; either there was a “big bang” and everything just fell into place randomly, or it was created in stages by a god.

The second school of thought, which makes perfect sense to anyone who is actively on a spiritual quest and who can see beyond the restrictions and limitations of organised religion, is that the universe only exists when there is an observer.  To clarify this concept, I always use the analogy of looking at a tree.  The original scriptures, which were not specific to any religion, proclaimed that science and spirituality are inseparable; two sides of the same coin.  Science has told us that everything without exception is energy, which is constantly in motion and vibrates at varying frequencies.  To come back to our tree analogy, the tree doesn’t exist as a tree; it has no idea that it has been given this label by humans.  What we know as “the tree” exists as energy, which is vibrating at a specific frequency.  But, our brains interpret that energy vibration in a particular way, which appears to us as the phenomenon we call “a tree”.  The reason we all see the same thing is because we all exist within the same field of infinite consciousness.  When we fall into deep dreamless sleep, what we refer to as “creation” disappears, and with it, the ego.  On waking, whether that be via dreamstate or not, the “I” thought, or ego, rears its head again and the objective world reappears.

The final school of thought, which will make perfect sense to those who are evolving from the previous school, is that ultimately, there is no creation because nothing exists except consciousness.  When the individual, small self, eventually awakens and merges with the one eternal Self, there comes the realisation that there never was an individual self or “the world”; the whole experience was nothing more than a dream.  This concept is perfectly encapsulated by the ancient Indian sage, Shankara, when he said:

The Universe is unreal

God is real

The Universe is God

It’s my personal preference to substitute the word “God” for either “Consciousness” or “Awareness” but either way, it doesn’t really matter.  That short but very profound statement also appears to clear up the debate often heard in spiritual circles as to whether the objective world is an illusion or not.  It is… or it isn’t, depending on where you are at in your existence as an individual soul.  To the unconscious, the objective world is as real as real can be; along with all the drama that goes with it.  However, to those who are further along “The Road to Nowhere” the objective world is only real in that it is a manifestation of consciousness, all objective reality is a creation of the egoic mind and ultimately does not exist.

Who Is It That Suffers?


I have mentioned in previous posts that I have chosen not to comment on the current situation regarding the pandemic, which has affected so many people around the world. I’ve always felt that there are enough armchair experts out there, without me chipping in as well.

But, with the amount of suffering that is going on, I feel inspired to write this post, not necessarily just about the current world-wide situation, but about suffering in general.

Like many, I have learned that going through difficult experiences has a habit of forcing us to look within ourselves for strength and inspiration, as opposed to looking to the external world; which quite often is the source of our troubles. It is also true to say that as a species, we evolve via our experiences, and being as our true nature is consciousness, this is only natural as consciousness is in a constant state of flux and evolution. I personally, feel very positive about what is happening in the world; I feel that the end product will be something quite amazing. Let us not forget that we have this wonderful thing called relativity and that the world moves in cycles. After every fall there is a rise and every painful experience ultimately leads to a pleasurable one, and vice versa.

Once again, I’m going to refer to the teachings of Ramana Maharshi to demonstrate the whole point of this article, as I feel his simple philosophy holds the key to whether we as humans live a life of peace or pain. The Maharshi would always address questions from devotees and visitors to his ashram in accordance with their ability to understand, so from this respect, it would be impossible to say that the following is the exact answer that would have been given to everyone who asked the question. But quite often, if anyone asked him why they suffer so much or why there is so much suffering in the world, he would say, “who is it that suffers?”

He would tell them to ask the question, “who am I?” The only answer being, “the One eternal Self.” He would remind them of this; their true nature, and say something like, “if you are and always have been the Self, which exists as it is with no knowledge of suffering, who then is it that suffers?” The answer to that question is that it is only the ego that suffers because of our habit of falsely identifying with the body as the reality.

No one is saying that it’s an easy ride; far from it. But having the understanding that we are ultimately just “the witness” to what is happening and not a participant helps a great deal. Finally, I refer you to my previous blog post “Be Still.” I find that simply being still is a very effective way of getting through each day. There is most definitely something happening, but we need to look within ourselves to find out what that is. I find that it is only during moments of stillness that the Self reveals its secrets.