Sunday, 1 December 2019

Are there three states, two states or only one state?

Referring to one of my videos, 2019-08-10 Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK: discussion with Michael James on Āṉma-Viddai verse 1, a friend wrote an email (which I have lightly edited here for clarity, including adapting the punctuation and adding some explanatory words in square brackets, but without changing the wording or substance):
In the last question and answer you mentioned that there are only two states: dream and sleep. I understood that there are four states: jagrat [waking], swapna [dream], sushupti [sleep] and turya [the ‘fourth’].

However Bhagawan states in ‘Who am I’ that there is no difference between dream and jagrat [waking] state. One is shorter and the other is longer. This implies probably our normal jagrat state is also a dream state ... is this right?

Then where is the turya state ... is this one only on awaking of the SELF?

Is your answer to the question for normal people before awakening, [namely that there are] only two states, sleep and dream?
In reply to this I wrote:

In verse 32 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu Anubandham Bhagavan says:
நனவு கனவுதுயி னாடுவார்க் கப்பா
னனவு துயிற்றுரிய நாமத் — தெனுமத்
துரிய மதேயுளதாற் றோன்றுமூன் றின்றாற்
றுரிய வதீதந் துணி.

naṉavu kaṉavuduyi ṉāḍuvārk kappā
ṉaṉavu tuyiṯṟuriya nāmat — teṉumat
turiya madēyuḷadāṯ ṟōṉḏṟumūṉ ḏṟiṉḏṟāṟ
ṟuriya vatītan tuṇi
.

பதச்சேதம்: நனவு, கனவு, துயில் நாடுவார்க்கு, அப்பால் நனவுதுயில் ‘துரிய’ நாமத்து எனும். அத் துரியம் அதே உளதால், தோன்றும் மூன்று இன்றால், துரிய அதீதம். துணி.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): naṉavu, kaṉavu, tuyil nāḍuvārkku, appal naṉavu-tuyil ‘turiya’ nāmattu eṉum. a-t-turiyam adē uḷadāl, tōṉḏṟum mūṉḏṟu iṉḏṟāl, turiya atītam. tuṇi.

English translation: For those who experience waking, dream and sleep, waking-sleep, [which is] beyond [these three], is called turya [or turīya, the ‘fourth’]. Since that turya alone exists, [and] since the three [states] that appear [or seem to exist] do not exist, be assured [that turya is actually] turya-v-atīta [turīyātīta, beyond the ‘fourth’].
So turya is not actually the fourth state but the only existing state, and it is eternal and is therefore present even now, because it is the pure awareness that underlies the appearance of waking, dream and sleep. For the jñāni there is no waking, dream or sleep but only turya, whereas for us ajñānis there seems to be only waking, dream and sleep. However, if we investigate ourself keenly enough to see what we actually are, ego will be eradicated and along with it waking, dream and sleep will also disappear, so what will then remain is just turya, the only real state.

Though it now seems to us that there are three states, what seem to be three are actually only two, namely dream and sleep, because according to Bhagavan waking is just another dream. Whenever we are dreaming, we seem to be awake, so the current dream always seems to be waking and all other dreams are recognised to be just dreams.

Sleep itself is not a problem, because it is devoid of ego and therefore a state of pure awareness, like turya. The only problem with sleep is that we come out of it, which means that from sleep we rise as ego and consequently begin dreaming. In order to put an end to all dreams and consequently to the appearance of three states, we just need to eradicate ego, which we can do by patient and persistent practice of self-investigation and self-surrender.

Ego is the dreamer, so without ego there are no dreams, and without dreams there would not be the appearance of three alternating states. Sleep bereft of dreams is turya, which is why it is sometimes called ‘waking-sleep’, ‘நனவுதுயில்’ (naṉavu-tuyil) or ‘jāgrat-suṣupti’. In turya we are awake to our real nature and therefore asleep to all appearances.

So clear and simple are the teachings of Bhagavan. All that is required is our willingness to put them into practice.

61 comments:

Border Reiver said...

From the standpoint of the ego turiya sounds rather dull since nothing ever happens

Shiv Sivaram said...

Simply Beautiful....!

Salazar said...

Border Reiver, no worries since the ego will never experience turiya. The imagination of dullness is part of the set-up we call Maya :-)

Michael James said...

Border, in your comment you have highlighted our problem precisely: as ego we fool ourself into believing that our real state, in which nothing ever happens, is rather dull, and that we are therefore much better off clinging to our dreams with all their endless happenings (vyavahāras), whereas in fact every dream is a state of constant dissatisfaction, while our real state is one of infinite satisfaction and therefore happiness. Which would your prefer? Are all these endless happenings really worth all the dissatisfaction and misery that accompany them?

This is what we should consider, and we should decide wisely. If you agree that infinite satisfaction is a better choice than endless dissatisfaction, then you should consider how to cease dreaming forever. What dreams and consequently experiences dissatisfaction is ourself as ego, and when we do not rise as ego, as in sleep, we are perfectly satisfied, so to get rid of dissatisfaction we must eradicate ego, which Bhagavan says we can do only by means of self-investigation and self-surrender.

anadi-ananta said...

Michael,
"Since that turya alone exists, [and] since the three [states] that appear [or seem to exist] do not exist, be assured [that turya is actually] turya-v-atīta [turīyātīta, beyond the ‘fourth’]."
Does not that statement be confusing for the reader ?
If turya alone exists how can there be anything turya-v-atīta [turīyātīta, beyond the ‘fourth’] ? At least I cannot see any necessity to introduce an additional (fifth) state to the only existing state turya [or turīya, the ‘fourth’].

Sanjay Lohia said...

Since we are one, there is not a knowing self and a known self

Bhagavan teaches us in verse 33 of Ulladu Narpadu:

Saying ‘I do not know myself’, ‘I have known myself’, is ground for ridicule. Why? To make oneself an object, are there two selves? Because being one is the truth, the experience of everyone.

Since we are one, there is not a knowing self and a known self. So saying ‘I do not know myself’ or ‘I have known myself’ is both a ground for ridicule. Saying ‘I do not know myself’ is ridiculous because we are always aware of ourself, and saying ‘I have known myself’ is equally ridiculous because it implies previously we didn’t know ourself. Who can say ‘I have known myself’? This can be said only by a person who still takes himself to be a person because a person of true self-knowledge has no need to exhibit his self-knowledge.

Bhagavan says, ‘being one is the truth, the experience of everyone’. We always experience ourself as one even though we may identify ourself with a collection of phenomena. We may take ourself to be a combination of a body, life, mind, intellect and will, but we still experience ourself as one – ‘I am one person; I am not two persons’. These five sheaths together make up the person we seem to be.

Since I am one, I cannot know myself as an object. We are pure self-awareness, and pure self-awareness is only one. So we can know ourself as single self-awareness and not as anything else.

• Based on the video: 2019-10-05 Sri Ramana Center, Houston: discussion with Michael James on Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu verse 33 (06:00)

Sanjay Lohia said...

Border, this is in reference to Michael’s comment addressed to you. We do want to get rid of all our dissatisfaction, but we do not wish to investigate the root of all our dissatisfaction. We want to end all our dissatisfaction but at the same time want to retain our ego, which is the cause of all dissatisfaction.

We want to eat the cake and have it too: that is, we want to end all our dissatisfaction but at the same time want to hold on to ego. This will obviously never work, so we have to choose between these two options. If we wise, we should try our best to give up our ego and thereby swim forever in the river of eternal and infinite satisfaction!

Sanjay Lohia said...

Bhagavan has given us so much, but we still want more and more

Bhagavan has given us so much, but we still want more and more. We should look at all the bounty we have and thank Bhagavan for that. Why should we act like beggars when we own so much? We are better off than the majority of the masses, so why should we complain about anything?

Our dissatisfaction is our main problem. Such dissatisfaction gives rise to our desires, and these desires strengthen our ego. So let us try to be fully satisfied with whatever we have. This is honouring Bhagavan’s gifts. Such an attitude will help us to turn within without cares and concerns for outside things.

Bhagavan, I wholeheartedly thank you for all these things. Please give me the strength to be fully content with whatever gifts you have given me!

anadi-ananta said...

Sanjay,
"Our dissatisfaction is our main problem."
On the other hand our dissatisfaction is the most powerful impulse to strive for and reach full satisfaction which is said to be our real nature.
To the last paragraph I accede completely, however I would amplify it a little: "Bhagavan, I wholeheartedly thank you for all these things. Please give me the strength to be fully content with whatever gifts and shocks you have given me!":-)

Rob P said...

I remember Michael once saying we must be 'sufficiently dissatisfied with our dissatisfaction'. Most people are seeking ongoing outward satisfaction to combat their dissatisfaction with this world. Those of us that follow Bhagavans path must be like Mick Jagger and accept we simply cannot gain any satisfaction, no matter how much we try and try with this world. So let's give up and be sufficiently dissatisfied with our dissatisfaction and leave it all to Bhagavans grace.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

anadi-ananta said...

Michael,
regarding my yesterday's comment I just found a somewhat satisfactory explanation in your article of Sunday, 21 June 2009 Ulladu Narpadu Anubandham – an explanatory paraphrase:
"In verse 32 he says that the transcendent state of ‘waking sleep’ (that is, the state of true self-knowledge, in which one is awake to self, the one reality, but asleep to the unreal mind, body and world) is called turiya (the ‘fourth’ state) only for those who experience waking, dream and sleep (which are in fact unreal); and that since only turiya really exists, and since the other three states does not really exist, it (turiya) is turiyatita (that which transcends the ‘fourth’).

He refers here to turiyatita and says that turiya itself is turiyatita because some texts describe our natural state of ‘waking sleep’ not only as turiya (the ‘fourth’) but also as turiyatita (the ‘fourth-transcendent’), which creates the wrong impression in the minds of some people that turiyatita is a fifth state. The truth is that the state of ‘waking sleep’, which is our natural state of absolutely non-dual self-consciousness, is the only real state, so there is truly no difference between turiya and turiyatita. All differences or dualities appear to be real only in the imaginary perspective of our unreal mind, and hence in the clear light of true self-knowledge they will disappear along with this mind."

anadi-ananta said...

Michael,
additionally I found your article of Saturday, 10 March 2007
The transcendent state of true self-knowledge is the only real state
"...I have therefore revised my translations and expanded my explanation as follows:

...Therefore in verse 32 of Ulladu Narpadu Anubandham Sri Ramana says:

For those who experience waking, dream and sleep, [the real state of] 'wakeful sleep', [which is] beyond [these three ordinary states], is named turiya [the 'fourth']. [However] since that turiya alone exists, [and] since the three [states] that appear [and disappear] are [in reality] non-existent, [the one real state that is thus named turiya is in fact] turiya-atita [that which transcends even the relative concept that it is the 'fourth']. Be clear [about this truth].

Our fundamental and natural state of 'wakeful sleep' or true non-dual self-knowledge is described as the 'fourth' only to impress upon us that it is a state that is beyond our three ordinary states of waking, dream and sleep. However, when we actually go beyond our three ordinary states by experiencing our fundamental state of true self-knowledge, we will discover that this fundamental state is the only real state, and that our three ordinary states are merely imaginary appearances, which are seemingly superimposed upon it, but which in reality do not exist at all. Therefore, though it is sometimes called the 'fourth state', the state of true self-knowledge or 'wakeful sleep' is in fact the only state that truly exists.

Hence, since the term turiya or the 'fourth' implies the existence of three other states, it is actually not an appropriate name for the only state that truly exists. Therefore, though the true state of 'wakeful sleep' is named turiya, it could more appropriately be named atita, 'that which transcends'.

In other words, since it is the one absolute reality and is therefore completely devoid of all relativity, it transcends not only the three relative states of waking, dream and sleep but also the equally relative concept that it is the 'fourth' state. This is the reason why it is also described as turiyatita, a term that literally means 'that which transcends the fourth'.

The above verse was composed by Sri Ramana as a summary of the following teachings that he had given orally and that Sri Muruganar had recorded in verses 937 to 939 of Guru Vachaka Kovai:

When all the states [waking, dream and sleep], which are seen as three, disappear in sages, who have destroyed ego [the self-conceited sense of being a separate individual], turiya [the 'fourth'], which is the exalted state, is that which predominates in them excessively as atita [that which transcends all duality and diversity].

Since the states [waking, dream and sleep] that huddle together [enveloping us] as the three components [of our life as an individual consciousness] are mere apparitions [that appear and disappear] in the non-dual atita [the one all-transcending state], [which is] the state of [our real] self, [which is known as] turiya [the 'fourth'], [and] which is pure being-consciousness ['I am'], know that for those [three illusory states] [our real] self is the adhishthana [the single base upon which they appear and disappear, and] in which they [must eventually merge and] become one.

If the other three [states] were fit [to be described] as real, [only then would it be appropriate for us to say that] 'wakeful sleep', [which is the state of] pure jñana [knowledge], is the 'fourth', would it not? Since in front of turiya [the so-called 'fourth'] those other [three states] huddle together [that is, they merge together and become one], being [revealed to be] unreal [as three separate states], know that that [so-called 'fourth' state] is [in fact] atita [the transcendent state], which is [the only] one [real state]."

Sanjay Lohia said...

Anadi-ananta, yes, dissatisfaction is our main problem. What is the root of our dissatisfaction? It is our ego – in fact, as Michael often says, the very nature of ego is dissatisfaction. We can use this dissatisfaction in two ways: either we allow our attention to move towards the world in order to seek satisfaction, or we try to find this satisfaction within. If we choose the latter option, we are searching for satisfaction where it actually belongs.

Yes, I agree. Our prayer to Bhagavan should on the lines: ‘Bhagavan, I wholeheartedly thank you for all these things. Please give me the strength to be fully content with whatever gifts and shocks you have given me!’ Shocks are an essential part of our spiritual journey.
Bhagavan follows the carrot and stick approach. Sometimes he dangles carrots (pleasurable situations) in from of us, and sometimes he beats us with a stick (painful situations). However, in both these cases, Bhagavan only wants us to move ahead in our spiritual journey.

So we should wholeheartedly welcome even his beatings. It is all driving us back towards our real home.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Rob, you wrote, ‘Those of us that follow Bhagavans path must be like Mick Jagger and accept we simply cannot gain any satisfaction, no matter how much we try and try with this world’. How is Mick Jagger relevant in this context? I was inquisitive.

Salazar said...

It came to me how to define this blog and it is the classical "Bible study group" which are plenty around in the US.

However, instead to pick quotes of the Bible, this group picks quotes by Bhagavan and shares their thoughts about it. It all repeats, doesn't it? Let's just see that we won't forget what Bhagavan pointed to and not get too lost in His words. I am sure Bhagavan wants us to be foremost silent and not keep turning around constantly the concepts he reluctantly shared out of compassion to all of these questioners.

People here are judging mantras as second-rated practices, however - is not this blog a mantra of Bhagaavn's concepts?

anadi-ananta said...

Rob P,
I also had the tune of this old Rolling-Stones-song ("Satisfaction") in my ears. Just the good old Sixties.:-)
Grotesquely Mick Jagger sings "I can't get no satisfaction" - using double negation - which thus is quite the opposite of what he obviously wanted to express.:-)

anadi-ananta said...

Sanjay,
Mick Jagger was the famous British rock star/singer of the rock band Rolling Stones of the early Sixties. As an Indian you were presumably never affected by Western rock music.:-)
One of their most famous rock songs (1965) was about not getting any satisfaction in this world.

Michael James said...

After watching one of my videos, 2019-08-31 Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK: discussion with Michael James on Āṉma-Viddai verse 2, a friend wrote to me some thoughts he had about samādhi, perhaps prompted by something I said about it in that video, and in reply to him I wrote:

Yes, one interpretation of the word samādhi is that it means sama-dhi, an equanimous mind. This is probably not the actual etymology of the word, but it does aptly explain its meaning.

However, it is important to bear in mind that samādhi is not a term that is native to advaita, but originates from yōga, and began to be used in advaita texts only because proponents of advaita sometimes had to argue with proponents of yōga and other schools on their own terms. It is therefore not an important term in Bhagavan’s teachings, and he made only passing reference to it in his own original writings.

Samādhi means different things to different people and in different contexts, so it is not a particularly useful word, and it gives rise to many fanciful ideas about it. Many people are fascinated by it, so to divert them away from such fascination Bhagavan said that the only true samādhi is sahaja samādhi, which is just a name for our natural state, which is what is otherwise called turya. This is the only state we should seek, and since it is our natural state of pure awareness, we can reach it only by persistent practice of self-investigation and self-surrender.

anadi-ananta said...

Michael,
when ego is the dreamer who then is the sleeper ?
Turiya is apparently only underlying sleep and not the sleeper itself. Because ego is absent in sleep whom is to be called the sleeper if there is such one at all ?
Can mind at all grasp or comprehend this matter fully ?

Shiv Sivaram said...

Thanks, Michael.
I agree on all count here.

Michael James said...

Anadi-ananta, it depends what you mean by ‘the sleeper’. What exists in sleep is only pure awareness, which is our real nature (ourself as we actually are), but since it is ever awake to itself, it is never sleeping and therefore cannot be called a sleeper (except in the sense that it is asleep to all appearances, but even this is true only from the perspective of ego, in whose view alone appearances seem to exist).

What is actually asleep is only ego, because as ego we are asleep to our real nature, but since ego does not exist in sleep, it is asleep only in waking and dream, when it is awake to nothing but appearances (namely itself and phenomena).

Sleep is generally taken to be a state in which we are not aware (because we are then not aware of any appearances), so in that sense sleep exists only in the view of ourself as ego, but since ego seems to exist only in waking and dream, sleep seems to be sleep in this sense only in waking and dream. From the perspective of our real nature, which alone exists in sleep, sleep is not sleep (a temporary state of non-awareness) but our eternal state of pure wakefulness (awareness).

So who is the sleeper? Investigate yourself and you will find you were ever awake, so there never was any sleeper, sleeping or sleep.

anadi-ananta said...

Michael,
many thanks for your sound explanation which reminds me that in reality there are not three alternating states but only our ever present real pure self-awareness. So as you say sleep exists only in the view of ourself as ego. Unfortunately I obviously forgot it in the meantime.

anadi-ananta said...

Michael,
"...so there never was any sleeper, sleeping or sleep."
If I understand you correctly then seen from the viewpoint of the real wakefulness ('waking-sleep', ‘நனவுதுயில்’ (naṉavu-tuyil) or 'jāgrat-suṣupti' as a state of pure self-awareness one could rightly also state that there is only 'sleep'.

Regarding your well-meaning advice "Investigate yourself" regrettably my attempts in practising keen self-investigation are mostly still slack.
Therefore I am apparently far away to find that I were ever awake. To say it in a sporty manner I can only persistently try to stay on the ball.

Sanjay Lohia said...

The purpose of our (ego’s) existence is not to exit

We should think deeply about Bhagavan’s teachings if we want to know the real purpose of life. The only purpose of life is to surrender everything, including ego which is attached to all these things. Our life will become meaningful only if we understand this true purpose of life. The purpose of our (ego’s) existence is not to exit.

If we focus on surrendering ourself, nothing will affect us. In true spirituality, we are not looking to gain anything. We are looking to give up everything, leave everything.

Our motto should be surrender, more surrender and even more surrender!

• Based on the video: 2019-12-01 Yo Soy Tu Mismo: Michael James discusses loss of interest and motivation in life (40:00)

Sanjay Lohia said...

We are trying to open the knot by trying to turn within

A friend: The knot (chit-jada-granthi) doesn’t seem to have an end.

Michael: The knot certainly has an end, but when we are unravelling it we not know how close or far we are to the end. One day it will all fall apart, but until then we have to patiently try unknotting it. We are trying to open the knot by trying to turn within. We have no idea how fast we are progressing or how near or far we are from our goal. But so long as we are travelling in the right direction, we need not concern ourself with these things. We know the direction in which we have to travel, and we try to travel as fast as we can.

Bhagavan has given us very very simple instructions – surrender yourself; investigate yourself. So nothing else matters. What matters is we follow the path Bhagavan has shown us. We can leave everything to him. Bhagavan will take care of everything.

• Based on the video: 2019-12-01 Yo Soy Tu Mismo: Michael James discusses loss of interest and motivation in life (01:50)

Sanjay Lohia said...

The sign of a truly surrendered life is that we live life happily free of cares and concerns

Ultimately life is meaningless, but that should not make us dejected and depressed because we have a higher purpose in life. Our higher purpose is to surrender ourself, and on the path of surrender there is no room for dejection. If any feeling of dejection or depression arises, that shows we have not surrendered. The sign of a truly surrendered life is that we live life happily free of cares and concerns.

We know one day we are going to die, and so also all our dear ones will die. We know life brings with it its pleasures and pains, but we should be equally indifferent to both. Whatever happens is happening according to the will of Bhagavan, and whatever he wills is best for all. By cultivating such an attitude of surrender, we make our life so much easier, so much more pleasant.

The more we accept both the good and bad with equanimity, the easier it will be to turn within. The deeper we will be able to go within. So self-investigation and self-surrender go hand in hand.

• Based on the video: 2019-12-01 Yo Soy Tu Mismo: Michael James discusses loss of interest and motivation in life (13:00)

Sanjay Lohia said...

We are on a flight which is cruising towards eternal freedom

We have no real responsibility in this world. The only real responsibility we have is to move away from this world, towards our true nature. So we should surrender all our responsibilities and leave everything in the hands of Bhagavan. However, this does not mean our body and mind have to do nothing. They will be made to do whatever they are meant to do. Since we are not this body and mind, we don’t have to be concerned about what they are doing or not doing. They are playing their destined roles, but we have no role to play.

Our job is to surrender ourself completely and let Bhagavan make this body and mind move like puppets in his hand. Everything will happen as it is meant to happen. Even if we do not surrender everything will happen as it is meant to happen. But by not surrendering ourself we are unnecessarily suffering by thinking, ‘I have to do this; I have to do that’.

For example, we (my wife and I) have to soon go to New Delhi to meet our cousins. I have been thinking ‘What should we tell them? We have to somehow convince them’ and so on. However, merely our strong arguments cannot win our case. I am being foolish by thinking too much about such things. The outcome of this meeting is already decided, and since it has been decided by Bhagavan, it has to be for the ultimate good for all concerned.

Just like the train is carrying everything, God is taking care of everything in this world, including us and our little responsibilities. If we surrender our body and mind to Bhagavan, he would make our body and mind work to support our family if such is our destiny. Even if we don’t surrender, Bhagavan would make our body and mind work to support our family because we cannot avoid our destiny. By not surrendering, we are like the passenger who is carrying his own luggage on his head while travelling on the train. If we surrender our body and mind, we are like the passenger who puts his luggage on the rack and sits back and enjoys the journey.

We are on a flight which is cruising towards eternal freedom. We are not aware of the speed of the aircraft when we are travelling on it, but we know that there cannot be any faster way to travel. Self-investigation is like this air travel. We cannot travel faster to our destination. So let us sit back and enjoy the journey!

• Based on the video: 2019-12-01 Yo Soy Tu Mismo: Michael James discusses loss of interest and motivation in life (26:00)

Sanjay Lohia said...

The best we can do for those whom we love or for the whole world is to surrender ourself

Giving up all sense of responsibility – giving up all feelings of ‘my family’ – is all a part of surrender. But that does not mean that our family will suffer in any way. Bhagavan will make our body and mind act in ways which will take care of our family. So we will do whatever needs to be done without actually doing anything. A person may be a perfectly good son, daughter, mother, father and so on. In fact, he can be the best of all these by living a life of surrender.

The best we can do for our family is to surrender because if we do so, we are handing over all our responsibilities for them to Bhagavan. He loves our family more than we love them. Our love is divided between our love for ourself and our love for our family. However, Bhagavan has an infinite love for them because in his view everyone is only himself. So he loves everyone as himself. That is supreme love.

So the best we can do for those whom we love or for the whole world is to surrender ourself. This is the ultimate good we can do – the summon bonum of life. The word summon bonus means the highest good.

• Based on the video: 2019-12-01 Yo Soy Tu Mismo: Michael James discusses loss of interest and motivation in life (44:00)

Sanjay Lohia said...

The enemy is ego and we as ego are fighting this ego

Ego’s willingness makes the ego to surrender, but that willingness does not come from our ego nature. It comes from our real nature. Every little effort we make on this path, ego will try to claim that as ‘my progress’ – ‘I have surrendered’, ‘I have succeeded in not being carried away by these thoughts’. So the enemy is ego and we as ego are fighting this ego.

That is, the fight is within our own will. The fight is between our willingness to surrender ourself and our liking to assert ourself. So as ego we play so many tricks on ourself because we are not willing to let go. Even if we manage to let go, ego will claim ‘I have let go’ and thereby claim surrender for itself. So as ego we are constantly undermining our own efforts.

So this is a very deep and subtle battle we are fighting. But we have grace on our side. The more we surrender to grace, the less scope there will be for ego to assert itself.

• Based on the video: 2019-12-01 Yo Soy Tu Mismo: Michael James discusses loss of interest and motivation in life (1:27)

anadi-ananta said...

Sanjay,
what and how can ego contribute to combating its own arrogance ?

Salazar said...

The more likely question is, who is fighting with whom? There is only one self. There is no fight between two entities (the one who "wants" to surrender and the one who is not willing to let go), that is a false idea.

The notion of fight equals with ego. One cannot "fight" to surrender as much as one cannot remove a fire with pouring gasoline over it.

anadi-ananta said...

Sanjay,
"...Bhagavan has an infinite love for them because in his view everyone is only himself. So he loves everyone as himself. That is supreme love."
One might naively or boldly ask what benefit we may have from Bhagavan's infinite love in coping with our struggle for getting rid of ego.

Salazar said...

Re. the notion of "a fight within one's own will" and I suppose that's the ego's "will" we are talking about:

I am not quite sure if that is entirely correct. The ego itself (as in ONLY ego) will not be convinced, even not with suffering, to give up being ego and commit suicide. It will cling at its life no matter what. Only the inherent element of self is the cause and "will" (so to speak) which pulls from the inside and pushes from the outside and can be called grace. Without that element ego can't do anything. So to emphasize the power of one's own will (as in the ego's will) is a bit exaggerated.

How less important the will of the ego really is can be found in Talk 11 where Bhagavan said, and I quote: "The karmas carry the seeds of their own destruction in themselves."

What basically means that the destruction is already a given fact and the "seeds" of course is self itself. How could ego be so arrogant and really believe it could gain salvation with its "will" what itself is an imagination in self?

I'd boldly claim that the portion of the ego's part (as in its fighting will) in resolving in self is 0.1% and the remaining 99.9% is by self. Of course for the ego its portion must be much higher, no? :-)

anadi-ananta said...

Salazar,
"How could ego be so arrogant and really believe it could gain salvation with its "will" what itself is an imagination in self?"
My answer is that it is just ego's nature to believe all its own impudent and imprudent imaginations.

anadi-ananta said...

Salazar,
can self have any will ?
Just its omnipresence causes its "pull from the inside and push from the outside and can be called grace."
Nevertheless, without one's (ego's) will there will be no salvation.

Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, you said "Nevertheless, without one's (ego's) will there will be no salvation."

Is that your direct experience or is that just a belief you have picked up? I suppose it is the latter. Therefore no need to discuss this further since neither of us two could say (with the authority of direct experience) that this is or is not the case.

IMO, whatever brings us to salvation does not and is not caused by any "ego". We just belief that this is the case (as we seem to belief to be an ego). The ego did not create its existence and it also cannot end it. That is part of maya.

Why? Because the "solution" is beyond duality and any imaginations of an ego "moving" to self is re-enforcing that duality.

That's why only atma-vichara works, it goes beyond duality.

Anyway, it is just a different viewpoint.

Yo Soy Tu Mismo said...

There are two parts of the same ego. Both are playing the perfect melody of the Grace for Liberation

anadi-ananta said...

Salazar,
regarding the mentioned statement,
I better should have been saying "willingness" instead of "will".

"The ego did not create its existence and it also cannot end it. That is part of maya. Why? Because the "solution" is beyond duality and any imaginations of an ego "moving" to self is re-enforcing that duality. That's why only atma-vichara works, it goes beyond duality."
Should not just atma-vichara finish/end ego ? And is not atma-vichara done/carried on by ego's attention ?

Salazar said...

"There are two parts of the same ego."

Well, the ego can have thousands of parts, its potential for imagination is limitless.

If the "two" parts refer to the dyads which represent duality then we are talking about maya. Does maya play the "perfect melody of Grace" for liberation? Maybe, but so far we had Millions of incarnations and that perfect melody is not really working out, is it?

These two parts are mere imagination, a dream within a dream so to speak. They cannot liberate, only the transcendence of the dyads (or the "two parts") will.

anadi-ananta said...

Yo Soy Tu Mismo,
in order to follow your argument could you please give a closer description of the "two parts of the same ego" ?

Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, on a different thread in a response to me you said, "I doubt that saying "doing atma-vichara" is correct. Is atma-vichara an action ?"

And I do agree. Atma-vichara is not an action.

Now you say and I quote, "And is not atma-vichara done/carried on by ego's attention ?"

Now how can atma-vichara be "done/carried" by the ego what is an action (done/doing/do-er)? Or how do you define "to do, to carry" - maybe as inaction? That would be not correct.

The ego is not really attending to self, it can't. Holding "I am" is ego-less, there are no thoughts in that "I am" what would define an ego. There is no subject-object relationship with atma-vichara or "I am" and thus the ego is not involved with that. It's the step out of duality ....

anadi-ananta said...

Yo Soy Tu Mismo,
where could you hear a perfect melody of grace or liberation ? [admittedly Paco de Lucia played nearly perfect guitar melodies:-)]

anadi-ananta said...

Salazar,
as you see I sometimes am in a capricious temper.:-)
Now you say "The ego is not really attending to self, it can't. Holding "I am" is ego-less, there are no thoughts in that "I am" what would define an ego. There is no subject-object relationship with atma-vichara or "I am" and thus the ego is not involved with that. It's the step out of duality ....".
But the ego can quite well try to attend to self. Who is holding "I am" if not ego ? Who else is the holder ? Is not just ego envolved in atma-vichara ? Who else then makes the step out of duality ?

Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, that's the crux of the whole story, there is no "holder". And in holding to "I am" that will become clear by itself. However, not as a thought or concept.

"Holding" is just a necessarily imperfect term of "being" 'I am'. You know that you are [exist] without an ego or an action or thought of an ego. Don't you? No ego necessary for that. That being can also be called atma-vichara. No do-er, no ego, just BEING!!!

That "step" out of duality is of course figuratively speaking, there are no steps really. Nobody can make that step because that entity does not exist but as an imagination!

anadi-ananta said...

Salazar,
thank you for your explanation.
No do-er, no ego, just BEING, no duality.
Great, on a clear day everything is clear.
It is fine if it is so.:-)
(By the way, in my previous comment it should be "involved" not "envolved").

Yo Soy Tu Mismo said...

Grace avails itself of the means through which-according to the level of Consciousness of each jiva-it can be understood, which is generally through the intellect in the early stages of learning.

Yo Soy Tu Mismo said...

I've answered higher in response to Salazar. The ego is pure fragmentation and in its dissociation there are aspects that serve for its reaffirmation and other aspects that, having been purified, serve as a channel for Grace to filter, at the level through which the message can be grasped, for the progression of its Purification.

Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, you said, "It is fine if it is so."

That's the problem. The ego usually does not accept the utter simplicity of it. It refuses to accept it mainly because it makes the ego irrelevant what the ego doesn't like. It wants to be the "spiritual warrior" who for aeons will fight the darkness to finally arrive at eternal bliss :-)

The ego also doubts that simplicity because it tells himself, "Hm, where is my happiness and bliss? That can't be it." Well, that underlying belief (what will only vanish after steady atma-vichara) is the very reason why there is no happiness. Instead to BE [happy] it looks for and demands happiness. That has the opposite effect.

Most, especially in the beginning, overlook all of these subtle thoughts which sabotage that happiness. It takes time to notice this self-sabotaging habit, it is mostly unnoticed in the beginning.

Salazar said...

Yo Soy Tu Mismo, there are no aspects of the ego, it is an incomplete attempt to explain the workings of a figment of imagination [=ego]. Like the karma theory or "free will" and "destiny". All that seemingly works only in duality, something we want to transcend not to dwell on.

One can try to draw meaning from that what is, for me, like trying to get meaning from a Fata Morgana. What really use has that?

So, I know you are repeating Michael's interpretation or better, preference, but I cannot share that preference.

Now, Yo Soy Tu Mismo, what you need to understand is, what you've said in your last comment is not the truth, it is a "watering down" of the truth. Sages like Bhagavan talked only about that to satisfy the urge of certain individuals who insisted to have that IMAGINARY stuff explained.

It seems only real as long as you believe in it. Because it is a concept within duality, manonasa is beyond duality and therefore terms like "purification" and "channel of grace" are ultimately obstacles since they work only in duality and keep one stuck there.

Again it is a preference, certainly not the truth and certainly not my preference.

Salazar said...

Let me add a quote by Bhagavan, taken from 'Conscious Immortality':

"[...] There is no time sequence in true spiritual development. You are spiritual here and now. Do not entrap yourself into mental cages of planes, degrees of growth, states of being etc. Do not hug these false limitations. You are the spiritual Self. Be that."

In the spirit of Bhagavan, let's not hug the false limitation of a "purification" what implies a time sequence and just let us BE.

Yo Soy Tu Mismo said...

Salazar in replay to you at 7 December 2019 15:41

The point is, if we don't stick to the evidence of current experience as long as we still perceive separation (if you still perceive yourself as a separate entity, how a body, etc...) to deny that is a pirouette of the ego subtilizing itself as a spiritual ego.
The correction of perception is from level to level (non-existent levels from the perspective of the most apparently real ajata vada from the vivarta vada);
It is very easy to fall into the spiritual by pass for not being able to recognize the level of perception that, by the facts still reigns.

The ego unfolds itself in millions of faces and all with the purpose of making you believe that it is you.

anadi-ananta said...

Salazar,
"Instead to BE [happy] it looks for and demands happiness. That has the opposite effect."
One can start only from that place on which one is. If one feels to be unhappy one cannot start from happiness even when it is said that one's real nature is already happiness. "Especially in the beginning" one cannot be happy simply on someone's order. As you imply one cannot abstain from steady atma-vichara. Nonetheless thank you for your comment.

anadi-ananta said...

Does hearing "You are the spiritual Self. Be that." as a constant background music actually produce salvation ?

Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, to 'BE' IS atma-vichara. To want happiness IS ego. Is that so hard to understand?

Anyway, it seems our exchanges become repetitive looking at your last comment whose argument I already answered in a different thread. Since you keep coming up with that you are either rather attached to that belief or, with all due respect, you do not comprehend what I am trying to say.

My best to you.

Salazar said...

Yo Soy, I do not believe that this is Bhagavan's teachings, "to stick with the current evidence what is the belief to be an ego" and then trying to correct that. You'll find nowhere in any text of his (or by Muruganar) that he said that you have to correct the ego. The ego cannot be corrected. One can only be self. And that "one" is not ego too.

That idea of yours is not really grasping the full implications of the subject-object relationship of Bhagavan's pointers. Because of its paradoxical nature since it denotes something beyond duality.

However, you are welcome to believe that.

My very best to you.

anadi-ananta said...

Salazar,
thanks for your good wishes. The same to you.
I am sorry that in our exchanges currently I cannot offer an adequate comprehension. It should become better.

Yo Soy Tu Mismo said...

Salazar, Bhagavan always addressed his interlocutors at the level of understanding by which they could come to understand him. Ego correction from one's own ego is effected from the Chit aspect or "I am consciousness" as long as we are really willing to surrender to Bhagavan what we are not (any expression at the thought level of our vasanas) and align ourselves with the Chit Consciousness. This occurs insofar as we do not reaffirm the Concept of I-thought.

Salazar said...

Yo Soy, I concur with that particular way of phrasing.

Surrender is a mysterious process and from my experience it requires an enormous amount of faith (or trust) in Bhagavan. And that cannot really deliberately be done, the more one may try to surrender the less surrendering happens since the surrender'er is not surrendering while "trying to surrender".

Yo Soy Tu Mismo said...

Salazar, To the extent that there is a real willingness to surrender (to stop wanting to affirm ourselves as this body-mind-adjuntos) is the Grace that finally propitiates the change of perspective with or from the ego (in its crude aspect) but, curiously, it is necessary that the character (what we believe to be) while living the illusion of believing that he has some choice, decide (only apparently) to stop supporting or reaffirming what gives us entity as a person.

And yes, surrender cannot be operated by a thought that is only an object (the I-thought) but is Grace although it requires our true willingness to let go of the error of perception aligned with the false (like, in another order of things, neither God nor the Guru can grant moksha without us having earned it thanks to a deliberate effort).

Salazar said...

Yo Soy, amen my friend, amen.

AsunAparicio said...

Surrender is only possible to the extent that we can understand and accept that the waking state is not different from the dream state since then it becomes crystal clear that it is not a matter of gaining anything, including self-realization or however they want to call it, but of losing everything. Bhagavan´s teachings are perfectly clear and simple and at that point of understanding and acceptation, putting them into practice as taught by him, really enjoyable and pleasant. Grace is always here and available for everyone, it is us who have to be available for the grace.