Thursday, 1 June 2017

What is the purpose of questions such as ‘To whom have these thoughts arisen?’?

A friend wrote to me today saying that he is practicing a Buddhist tradition of investigating ‘Who is reciting the Buddha?’, which he considers to be ‘no different from Ramana Maharshi’s teaching of self-enquiry’, and he asked whether there is spiritually any difference between investigating ‘to whom have these thoughts arisen?’ and ‘who is giving rise to these thoughts?’. The following is what I replied to him:

The purpose of questions such as ‘to whom have these thoughts arisen?’ is only to turn our attention back towards ourself, the one to whom everything else appears, so that we can see what we actually are. Since we are what is aware of everything that appears in our view, the question ‘to whom?’ will always point us back to ourself.

According to Bhagavan everything that appears in our view is projected by us, just like everything that appears in any of our dreams, so if we accept this, the question ‘who is giving rise to these thoughts?’ will likewise point our attention back to ourself, the one who projects and perceives all this. However, philosophical disputes can and frequently do arise about how thoughts arise, and there are some who claim (rather absurdly, I believe) that thoughts arise without any thinker, so if our mind has been confused by such ideas, the question ‘who is giving rise to these thoughts?’ will not necessarily direct our attention back towards ourself.

However, whatever may be claimed about the origin of thoughts, no one can reasonably dispute the fact that thoughts (or whatever we are aware of) appear to us, so if we investigate ‘to whom have these thoughts arisen?’ or ‘to whom does all this appear?’ our attention will unfailingly be turned back towards ourself, which is the sole purpose and benefit of any such question.

Regarding the other question you mention, namely ‘Who is reciting the Buddha?’, that should also point our attention back to ourself, because it is we ourself who are reciting the Buddha. Therefore as you say, that amounts to the same as the practice of self-investigation taught by Bhagavan, because we could not recite the Buddha if we did not exist or were not aware of our existence. Therefore who is this ‘I’ who is aware of itself reciting the Buddha? Only by looking keenly at ourself can we find the real answer to this question: the ancient and timeless question ‘Who am I?’.

60 comments:

tortoise rock said...

Looking keenly at oneself has the ability to look keenly as a pre-condition.
Otherwise one's looking will be only drowsy dozing.

rise giver said...

"According to Bhagavan everything that appears in our view is projected by us, just like everything that appears in any of our dreams,...".
I admittedly am not very conscious of subtle processes or occurrences. Therefore I never am or was aware of projecting phenomena ('everything that appears in our view'). I assume that 'grasping form' is in terms of content similar to 'projecting things'. Did Bhagavan ever explain in (graphic) detail how 'projecting' go/pass off ?
I remember only the given analogy of the spider and its emission of the web-thread out of itself.

Sri Arunachala Tattuvam said...

Arunachala,
wrap me in your light of blazing fire of Jnana.
Make me one with you.

john imposter said...

there are some who claim (rather absurdly, I believe) that thoughts arise without any thinker

hmmmmm...
is there a thinker?
or is the thinker just a concept?
have you ever found a thinker of thoughts?
i always imagined that the Ramana inquiry was designed to provide a direct experience of absence of thinker.
A search for a non existant thinker.
i always thought sage Ramanas main teaching was based on absence of thinker.

gentle tiger said...

john imposter,
of course, the thinking mind can be called the "thinker".
But we have to doubt the reality of the mind together with its first thought, the ego.
You are correct in implying that there can be never find the thinker. Because of its merely transitive/seeming existence it has no permanent place. According Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi: If searched scrupulously it takes flight.
If the thinker has subsided in its source you may experience its absence directly.

john imposter said...

gentle tiger.

thanks for your response.
i would say its dangerous to equate the mind with the thinker.
the object of the exercise is to focus on the so called thinker not the mind or the thoughts.
if one were to bundle them together as u seem to have be doing is an error.
this error would lead to failure of inquiry.

gentle tiger said...

john imposter,
in practice we should focus our keen attention on the ego which is the root of the mind. This leads - if persistently practised - to the subsidence of the transient ego in its source. That is the only aim of self-investigation - if I am not wrong.
Kind regards.

Noob said...

We are like icebergs, we should head to equator :)

Michael James said...

John, you ask a good question: is there a thinker? If there are thoughts, there must be a thinker, and that thinker is what we now seem to be, because we alone are what seems to be thinking. However according to Bhagavan if we investigate ourself, this thinker, sufficiently keenly, we will find that no thinker actually exists, or has ever existed, so no thoughts have ever actually arisen.

If we deny the existence of any thinker, we must logically deny the existence or even the appearance of any thoughts, because thinking entails not only producing thoughts but also being simultaneously aware of them, so how could any thoughts exist or appear without a thinker (the one who produces and is aware of them)? Therefore if we accept the existence (or seeming existence) of any thoughts, we must logically accept the existence (or seeming existence) of a thinker.

As Bhagavan says in the final sentences of the fifth paragraph of Nāṉ Yār?:

மனதில் தோன்றும் நினைவுக ளெல்லாவற்றிற்கும் நானென்னும் நினைவே முதல் நினைவு. இது எழுந்த பிறகே ஏனைய நினைவுகள் எழுகின்றன. தன்மை தோன்றிய பிறகே முன்னிலை படர்க்கைகள் தோன்றுகின்றன; தன்மை யின்றி முன்னிலை படர்க்கைக ளிரா.

maṉadil tōṉḏṟum niṉaivugaḷ ellāvaṯṟiṟkum nāṉ-eṉṉum niṉaivē mudal niṉaivu. idu eṙunda piṟahē ēṉaiya niṉaivugaḷ eṙugiṉḏṟaṉa. taṉmai tōṉḏṟiya piṟahē muṉṉilai paḍarkkaigaḷ tōṉḏṟugiṉḏṟaṉa; taṉmai y-iṉḏṟi muṉṉilai paḍarkkaigaḷ irā.

English translation: Of all the thoughts that appear [or arise] in the mind, the thought called ‘I’ alone is the first [primal, basic, original or causal] thought. Only after this arises do other thoughts arise. Only after the first person appears do second and third persons appear; without the first person second and third persons do not exist.

What he refers to here as ‘நானென்னும் நினைவு’ (nāṉ-eṉṉum niṉaivu), ‘the thought called I’, and as ‘தன்மை’ (taṉmai), ‘the first person’, is the ego, the subject, who is the thinker of all other thoughts (which are what he refers as ‘முன்னிலை படர்க்கைகள்’ (muṉṉilai paḍarkkaigaḷ), ‘second and third persons’), so what he clearly implies here is that only after the thinker rises do other thoughts arise, and that without the thinker other thoughts do not exist.

This is not only what he taught us on the basis of his own experience, but is also what we can infer by simple logic, because thoughts seem to exist only in the view of the thinker of them. Therefore if thoughts actually exist, the thinker must actually exist, but since the thinker (the ego) seems to exist only so long as we are looking away from ourself, and disappears as soon as we look at ourself keenly enough, it does not actually exist, and hence other thoughts likewise do not actually exist.

You ask, ‘is there a thinker? or is the thinker just a concept?’. Yes, it is just a concept, but whose concept is it? A concept is a thought, so the thinker is the first concept and the root of all other concepts, but in whose view does it seem to exist? Only in its own view, but only so long as it is looking at anything other than itself, because if it looks at itself keenly enough to see what it actually is, it will find nothing but pure self-awareness, and hence it will cease to exist as the thinker that it seemed to be, and along with it all other thoughts will also cease to exist.

great Doer said...

Noob,
let come the equator to us.
No, the equator is already in us. So the seeming icebergs/mountains of ice will melt away automatically.

Noob said...

Or even if it seems that the equator is far away, we are still melting :)

gentle tiger said...

Michael,
thank you for answering John's questions properly and adequately.

great Doer said...

Noob,
even in the icy cold arctic fields ice cannot withstand the scorching heat of the blazing jnana-fire. Melt-melt-melt !

john imposter said...

Michael,
My only concern is the 1st person, personal entity, thinker of thoughts, and not thoughts themselves.

The reason i set out my argument in this way way to make sure there was a solid and clear distinction made between the thinker and the thoughts or else mistakes will arise....

That all perceptions including thoughts must be separated from the thinker, experiencer, perceiver so one can firmly isolate this thinker for the inquiry to have any chance of success.

daisilui said...

john imposter
how about 'thinking', as a way of unifying the duality thinker-thought?
Same would apply for perceiving, feeling, sensing... regardless.

Ultimately, the investigation would basically be the same, it is just a matter of choosing the right words [this for the sake of communication on this dialogue only, because as a practice, words may not be necessary at all]

It occurs to me that whatever concepts/ideas are proposed in any dialogue/discourse about Reality, they are just attempts of the relative reality, = the unreal, to knock on the door of the absolute. However, there will never be an intelligible response back to the 'thinker/thinking' and therefore one should not be expected. Thinking and being are incompatible

john imposter said...

daisilui
Yes, the duality thinker-thought is the primary duality.
But its only an assumed duality. A non existent duality.
But this duality must be focused upon, and enlarged to see its non existent.
One must realize the absence of the thinker by looking for it.
Of course when you look for it, you cannot see it, you are the so called looker.
You keep removing the target.
You are trying to objectify yourself in order to realize your absence.
I am not talking about reality.
I am only talking about one thing, hard work, trying to fight the usual flow of our habits.
Please don't think i have any philosophy to express.
Only one thing must be done and that's to remember observe the thinker.
To repeat this observation, which must be repeated simply because one is not really observing seriously.
One keeps making an error of observation.
So one must remember to repeat the exercise.
Remember is the operative word.
The habit is to forget to remember the exercise.
Just to notice that one has forgotten is a big thing.
This is what interests me.
Doing what must be done.

gentle tiger said...

john imposter,
you should have your eye on the fact that even while thinking of or intending to separate 'perceptions including thoughts' from the thinking/experiencing/perceiving ego you are running the risk/danger to attend to them.
Attending to thoughts is a kind of attachment for them and naturally quite the opposite of detaching oneself from them.

john imposter said...

gentle tiger,
One is always only attending to perceptions for hours on end.
For minutes, hours, days, endlessly.
I am only talking about the difficultly we are all in.
Even when I attend to myself, the perceiver, it ends up being an object of perception.
Just one difficulty. Just one concern.
I hope we can all acknowledge the problem that we all have.
To remember, to remember to observe the 1st person.
Thats the only concern.

gentle tiger said...

john imposter,
remember is just an other word/name for thinking.
Notice is also included in thinking.

gentle tiger said...

john imposter,
"Even when I attend to myself, the perceiver, it ends up being an object of perception."
Carry on with the investigation to whom 'I' is an object !

john imposter said...

gentle tiger,
I am only always thinking. There is nothing here except for total 100% thinking.
Sometimes that thinking is backed by some action.
If that action is focusing on the so called thinker, the 1st person, then is a great quality thinking.

gentle tiger said...

john imposter,
regarding your recent comment the most proper answer iswhat Michael wrote in this article:
1. "According to Bhagavan everything that appears in our view is projected by us, just like everything that appears in any of our dreams, so if we accept this, the question ‘who is giving rise to these thoughts?’ will likewise point our attention back to ourself, the one who projects and perceives all this."
2. "However, whatever may be claimed about the origin of thoughts, no one can reasonably dispute the fact that thoughts (or whatever we are aware of) appear to us, so if we investigate ‘to whom have these thoughts arisen?’ or ‘to whom does all this appear?’ our attention will unfailingly be turned back towards ourself, which is the sole purpose and benefit of any such question."
3. "Therefore who is this ‘I’ who is aware of itself reciting the Buddha? Only by looking keenly at ourself can we find the real answer to this question: the ancient and timeless question ‘Who am I?’."
So who is this 'I' who wrote recently "If that action is focusing on the so called thinker, the 1st person, then is a great quality thinking." ?

john imposter said...

gentle tiger,
Why do you ask me that?
I think you should be asking yourself.

gentle tiger said...

john imposter,
may I add the first paragraph of Michael's reply to the Buddha reciting questioner of 1 June 2017 ?:
"The purpose of questions such as ‘to whom have these thoughts arisen?’ is only to turn our attention back towards ourself, the one to whom everything else appears, so that we can see what we actually are. Since we are what is aware of everything that appears in our view, the question ‘to whom?’ will always point us back to ourself."

gentle tiger said...

john imposter,
you might inquire who is this 'I' who thinks "I think you should be asking yourself."
Kind regards and best wishes.

daisilui said...


John
"One must realize the absence of the thinker by looking for it.
Of course when you look for it, you cannot see it, you are the so called looker.
You keep removing the target.
You are trying to objectify yourself in order to realize your absence.
I am not talking about reality.
I am only talking about one thing, hard work, trying to fight the usual flow of our habits."

i find that keeping with witnessing the thinker leads nowhere but to remain stuck with the thinker and all that evolves around him [i mean i already know i/the world is an illusion- why do i need to look back at that to confirm its absence over and over again?!]. i agree, there is a hard work but the hard work consists in 'unrealizing the unreal',= abiding/staying in the Reality and not running with thoughts [be they about the thinker or about anything else]. Fighting to me is not the way, ignoring is.

john imposter said...

daisilui,
You state....
"i already know i/the world is an illusion"

Very strange for me to hear this.
Is this a concept or your existential experience?
For me, everything is very very Real.
I don't perceive any illusion.

great Doer said...

John
Everything perceived is only so far real as the ego is.
Newcomers on this blog derive benefit from studying particularly the old articles on this web-site beginning with 2006 or the e-book about Bhagavan Sri Ramana's teachings "Happiness and the Art of Being".

daisilui said...

john
"Is this a concept or your existential experience?
For me, everything is very very Real.
I don't perceive any illusion."

what is the difference do you see between the two in your question? pretty much in sync with the great Doer- the one who experiences can only experience concepts- everything [that which you find very, very Real'] cannot be outside of thought [give it a try, name something that is not thought/concept]. in the absence of thought there is no thing [as opposed to every thing]. the effort of the ego should be aiming to killing the mind/itself rather than strengthening it...

yes, everything is very real when there is an observer but the definition of reality [the one proposed by Ramana Maharshi, which resonates with me the most... at an experiential/conceptual level] is that which is unchanging, permanent and self shining. That, is not the one writing these lines, nor the lines and neither 'the you' reading them, as all these are transitory 'things' and therefore unreal [i'd say- That is rather the blank upon which the lines appear to be written].

Süleyman said...

daisilui,
"...everything [that which you find very, very Real'] cannot be outside of thought [give it a try, name something that is not thought/concept]. in the absence of thought there is no thing [as opposed to every thing]."
Because I do not know much about Indian philosphy please explain further: For example when my hands touch the wooden table in front of me or the computer keyboard...in which way can we speak here of a thought/ concept ? How can a sense perception be (called) only a thought ?

Noob said...

The same way as in a dream you may feel that you are touching a pretty woman, but as soon as you wake up you know that it was an illusion.

john imposter said...

Seems to me that many are making a fundamental error.
Taking the experience and teachings of sage ramana as their own state of being.
Because ramana says something like ego is illusion then they repeat like parrots ego is illusion.
Ramanas teachings are not doctrine.
This might be the experience of Ramana. That this world is like a dream. His experience only.
If another claims his vision it will set his practice back.
I believe we should be authentic about our own state.
If we are searching for truth, then we must start from the truth of our our intimate state.
And the intimate state of most seekers is total confusion.

daisilui said...

Süleyman
i am in no position to explain Indian philosophy as i know very little about it. but i can try to explain what i said or even better let's take a look together to what you said. You tell me what is not thought in the sentence you wrote "...my hands touch the wooden table in front of me or the computer keyboard"
It seems to me you think perception is different from thought. Is there any 'sense perception' outside of thinking about it?! Has there been a time when your hands touched the table without you knowing it? How do you know the world [in this case limited to the table or to the computer keyboard] if not by making the knowing of anything a thought?!
Look even further to bodily sensations like i am hot/cold/hungry or to feelings- happy, sad, depressed... do they exist if you don't think about them/make the feeling, sensation, emotion a thought?

daisilui said...

John impostor
'suum cuique'... each one with his own confusion; enjoy yours and never mind others'!

Noob said...

I personally do not know anything about the state of anyone but me. And my analysis tells me that both my "waking" state and "dreaming" state do not have fundamental differences, meaning that both of them may be just varying degrees of one state of delusion, just like a perception of a rabbit or a duck on a famous picture. And because I want to be always happy, I need to find out what I am and what is my reality in order to know what I need to be always happy.

Süleyman said...

daisilui,
as you rightly assume I think that sense perception is quite different from thought.
In my view feeling the surface structure of a wooden table does not include any thought in the stricter sense. To call such a sense impression a thought is certainly not unavoidable. But ... I admit that knowing the world by the way of sense impressions with regard of their regulation in the brain may in a broader sense called a thought.
Therefore it is at least not wrong to acknowledge all sensations and emotions as thoughts.
Thank you for revealing this coherence to my attention and comprehension.

Sanjay Srivastava said...

"But ... I admit that knowing the world by the way of sense impressions with regard of their regulation in the brain may in a broader sense called a thought."
Our only experience is of mental impressions. A world out there is only an inference. Bhagavan says that our inference is false.

Mental impressions come in different flavours. How we label them does not change the fact that our primary experience and the only possible experience is of these impressions only.

Süleyman said...

Sanjay Srivastava,
1. your statement "Our only experience is of mental impressions." is not true.
Awareness of our mind-free real nature in deep sleep is certainly a kind of experience, but not at all a mental impression because it just happens in absence of the mind.
2. That sense perceptions are "only an inference" may be true. At least that inference is a highly reliable one.
3. Most of Bhagavan's experiences we can recognize/label as above standard. I for the present cannot derive immediately much benefit/advantage from Bhagavan's revelations like 'there is no world outside' when they transcend my level of perception and knowledge. On the other hand I will keep them in my memory till I will experience the same depth as he did.

daisilui said...

Süleyman

1. deep sleep is not an experience- for experience you need mind, there is no experience outside mind and there's no mind in deep sleep.
2.'highly reliable' to whom?! To Süleyman; who is Süleyman?
3. You, as Süleyman may benefit from shifting attention from Süleyman to the Real while ignoring Süleyman whenever Süleyman tries to rise as I-Süleyman. Süleyman will never experience 'Bhagavan's revelations' because Süleyman is not Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi, because both do not exist other than mental impressions. Only no Süleyman can be That [n.b.- not 'experience' That]

some food for thought, if you think you really need it but better no thought entertained...

arch-enemy said...

Noob,
in your waking and dreaming you claim to be in varying degrees of delusion.
And in these states you want always to be happy. So one could conclude that your wanting to be always happy is just a delusion. So one might suggest to you: to be always happy one should leave or lose the wish to be always happy. What other would one need to be always happy ?

Süleyman said...

daisilui,
thank you for providing "some food for thoughts", but
1. awareness is equally experience because both terms require a subject who is aware of awareness or experience. A distinction between the two terms seems to be only a matter of labeling.
2. Süleyman is a mixture of real and unreal awareness.
3. Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi is said to be God - Arunachala Siva - himself who is also our real nature - atma-svarupa. So how can be seriously maintained that he is only a mental impression ?
4. Of course, as you propose Süleyman has to lose the unreal jada-portion.

daisilui said...

Süleyman
1. awareness is your true nature- Awareness as the basic, the 'tabula rasa', before any concepts/thoughts come in to cloud it [like that of an infant], not awareness of this or that, i.e. experience [of any kind]
2.'unreal awareness?!' not sure i get that... as for reality, there is only one, not two
3.Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi is just a name for those who never heard of him; it only has meaning for those who heard of him and give meaning to this name. God is also a concept, quite murky as there is no common intellectual understanding of it among people who believe in such a concept. The concept God has the meaning each one of us assigns to it.
4.you seem to be quite familiar with the Indian philosophical concepts/terminology; more than i am anyways...

Noob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Süleyman said...

daisilui,
1. as you say we always actually are the pure awareness which is not aware of anything other than itself.
2. Let me express more exactly: Süleyman as the ego is aware not only of itself but also of other things. Süleyman is only the seeming existence of the ego as the object-knowing subject.
3. Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi is just a name for brahman which we already are when experiencing pure intransitive self-awareness alone.
4. I am familiar with Indian philosophy only from reading Michael's articles and comments because I never studied in depth Shankara or the Upanishads in detail.

Parmenides of Elea said...

"Only by looking keenly at ourself can we find the real answer to this question: the ancient and timeless question 'Who am I?' ".
Are there also unreal or untrue answers possible to this question ?
Because I cannot look keenly at myself all day long can anyone tell me which answer he or she found to this most thrilling question ?
Only to discover that the ego is not existent at all seems to be most dreary and dispensable. Which final result can we find ?
The discovery of only an extremely precious treasure is worth to look keenly at oneself.

john imposter said...

Parmenides of Elea..
your very own naked unformed self is the answer...
but its nothing to do with word answers...
its deeper than deep and visceral...
so too must your question become deep and visceral to obtain a visceral answer...

Parmenides of Elea said...

john imposter,
firstly I assume that the "naked unformed self" is certainly not hidden in the viscerals of the body. When you say it is "deeper than deep and visceral" in which direction should I turn my attention to look at myself ? It sounds abstrusely to meet myself in the depth of anything. Am I divided/split in two sections in which the one should look at the other ?
What means "your question must become deep and visceral" ?
Is my experience that I am completely ident with my attention wrong ?
There seem to be no other subject in me.
I never have taken a keen look back to "my awareness/consciousness" because I do not feel to be far away of it.
But I remember that the Old Greek or the so-called "Presocratians" spoke about "Gnothi seauton" which means 'recognize yourself !'. In any case already the old greek philosphers wanted to know their true essence by own experience.

john imposter said...

Parmenides of Elea,
you should turn your attention to yourself.
attention to the most real and most visceral sense of your subject self at any moment.
you ask many questions, and i fear answers from me would be of not much use to you.
you would then question again those answers.
so those answers are not the answer you seek.
unless you are 1 in a million, an answer from another will not work.
only action, very hard work MIGHT work.
hard work is keeping attention fixed on attention when you remember to do it.
you must do it again and again till you find the right formula.
the reason questioning does not work right away is because we not applying it properly.
we get distracted and loose sight of the 1st person by attending to the 1st person as an object.

john imposter said...

Parmenides of Elea,
you are not split in two sections, the reason to look very carefully at this assumed personal I is to directly perceive the lack or absence of this I, that this I is missing, if that is clearly seen then in its place will arise something unexpected.

Parmenides of Elea said...

John,
"Keeping attention fixed on attention" does not make sense.
According Bhagavan one should fix one's attention on the source of the 'I'-thought.
This original 'I'-thought is also called 'ego'. It is said that this ego is only a phantom which rises apparently and oddly enough from our infinite and eternal being. Because of the eternity of our natural state we as we really are cannot get lost at all. So who exactly shall do what you call a "hard work" ? Nothing can "arise in the ego's place because the 'real' substratum of any "personal I" do neither arise nor set.
As you imply the "1st person" is not to be addressed as an object because 'I am' is nothing other but the very subject.

john imposter said...

Parmenides.
my only interest is practice and helping anyone else with their practice.
i am not interested in debating with experts.

Keeping attention fixed on attention is keeping attention on 1st person.

what ramana talks about sometimes is like a spark for the very few advanced, maybe 1 out of a million.
but for the vast majority hard work is needed.
its very sad that many seekers are waylaid from their path because of teachings that don't apply to them personally.
most of us must work very hard in diverting attention back to the 1st person so this attention is maintained in all three states. it is very hard work, with a high price.

Parmenides of Elea said...

John,
"it is very hard work, with a high price."
What is the price and who has to pay it ?
The ego in his limited view is feeling itself as the doer of (hard) work
whereas actually there is only one doer of all work. Call him 'the ordainer'.
Thank you for commenting. Good bye.

john imposter said...

Parmenides,
in order to engage in questioning a very solid sense of oneself is required, a great will.
that solid self will engage in this work and will suffer because questioning is a burden to that self.
one can call this ego but this so called ego is oneself until the day when it subsides.
until that day it remains the most real sense of self and should be respected.
why? because the chances are very rare that the ego will subside.
most people are cowards and hide behind concepts and will not engage in the hard work of inquiry.

Parmenides of Elea said...

John,
when you say "questioning" you mean obviously self-enquiry as Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi taught us.
As you imply a resolute will to be what we really are is necessary.
Our real self cannot suffer because it is nothing but awareness of itself.
However the ego will suffer from its innate unwilligness to die.
Sooner or later every "coward" will walk on the right path of subsidence because he will be disappointed from unsuited and unsatisfactory concepts because in accordance with the regulations of Providence the illusory and transitory ego is born to die. As you say the ego is in its essence nothing but the self. According to Bhagavan there is nothing but the permanent and undivided self which is our real nature. According the sages there is only the unlimited one without a second. Therefore we all ultimately must stop to succumb to the veiling power of maya. That is not a question of "very rare chances". In the long run actually we do not have another choice than to be what we really are.

john imposter said...

Parmenides,
yes, fine and wise words.
why talk about real self cannot suffer?
where do u see any real self?
i do not see the billions alive now seeing their choice and doing something about it.
even the millions of so called seekers, most remain in the maya of confusion.
here i am today, am i questioning now? this moment and the next moment?
is my questioning correct?
no, or else i would succeed in my quest.
so i must stumble on.

Parmenides of Elea said...

John,
with reference to your question "where do u see any real self?"
the ego of course does not (want to) "see any real self" because it instinctively knows that being the real self is possible only by the total eradication of itself. The ego naturally wants to avoid/prevent its death at all costs.
First we should try to be what we actually are by eliminating our ego together with its metaphysical ignorance as Michael writes in his today article.
Then let us see whether the "millions of seekers" are really existing.
According Bhagavan all what one perceives and thinks as other than our real nature (atma-svarupa) does exist only in the view of the mind which itself has only transitory existence. As long as we do not know as we really are we will verily stumble through life.

john imposter said...

Parmenides,
my sincere wish is to discuss self investigation with honest people here.
from the way you speak one can only assume you have fully attained to the unborn self.
let me then ask you something with the hope you answer me directly and sincerely.
are you able to maintain awareness throughout the three states?
or are you subject to loss of awareness?
from your answer i will be able to have an idea of where you are really coming from.

Parmenides of Elea said...

John,
regarding "honest people here",
we can with an easy conscience consider the owner of this blog, Michael James, as the most honest partner in the discussions. If he finds time he surely and usually will reply to your sincere questions.
But there are also other writers of comments who try to explain their viewpoints and experiences with humble honesty.
Nobody is outside of the unborn self. More or less - to some degree - we all are under the influence of the power of self-concealment or self-obscuration, avarana sakti, one of the two forms of maya. Regettably I am far away of having cast off the yoke of tyranny of the unreal ego and its mind. Therefore ignorance still holds sway over me. Thank God !, we never can lose completely our inborn self-awareness because pure self-awareness is our real nature.

john imposter said...

Parmenides,
Yes Michael James is honest, but easily distracted, not one pointed.
In his videos he tends to be taken in by many endless drama of silly questions, instead of turning the questioner towards the 1st person quickly and directly.
He knows about inquiry, many of the small details, but as a pundit or scholar, not a practitioner.

Parmenides of Elea said...

John,
"...instead of turning the questioner towards the 1st person quickly and directly."
Not even Messiah himself will accomplish fully the mentioned task.
Try it yourself and make it better.