Question: It still seems impossible to know myself in spite of the body. Why?

We “know” the world through our senses. Our senses belong to the body. It is not surprising that we “think” we are the body. Everything we know is in relationship to the senses. My spouse, my money, my job. You would have no concept about your spouse if you never seen, heard or felt them. When you think of your spouse you think of all the memories you have had through your senses. What they look like, their voice, the texture of their skin, how they think and react, etc. Body’s interacting with bodies-senses interacting with senses.

The reason it seems impossible to discover yourself is because you are still trying to “know your self” through sensational experience. You want to feel it, see it, hear it-experience it. This is impossible, because your True Self is the animator of the body and mind. It is like a lamp wandering around aimlessly illuminating everything looking for the source of the light. You are It!

Do not procrastinate. Discard the illuminated details and remain inward by rooting up your exclusive interest in mind/body activity by surrending your desire to preserve and fulfill the “me,” that is obssessed with forms (conceptual and physical).

Do whatever you need to do that life presents to you. Let that be mind and body business. While at the same time staying fixed in the notion “that all things are preordained.” Therefore, none of my business. Which is an act of complete sacrifice that pulls down the grace that allows for actual contact with the reality “who am I in spite of thought and body sensations?”

What you speak of gives perfect happiness and peace. I have studied ancient scriptures for many years and the conclusion is that the One is unknowable because there is no one to know It besides itself. So what is the point?

You are correct and well learned; but I turn your attention to the part where you say It brings perfection and peace. At the same time you say it is unknowable. How do you reconcile these two statements from your studies? Either confess that you cannot know it; or say that it is knowable and you do know it. You speak from second-hand, therefore your knowledge is not your own.

Many are deluded on this point; and even the best learned will struggle with the reconciliation of these two points. It is grace alone that can reveal the truth of the matter of these seemingly paradoxical statements.

Consider a flashlight that wanders around aimlessly searching for the source of light. It goes on illuminating objects. Objects either conceptual or physical, are known by their qualities upon illumination. So the objects of illumination are the known. The flashlight is self-luminous so does not require to be illumined by an outside agent, therefore will always remain as the unknown. Do we say the flashlight does not exist?

Perfection is the illumination of objects without their conceptualization. Therefore, the One light of consciousness cannot be known but realized as the illuminator and not the illumined. Like the flashlight, it can only realize that it is the light and its search to know the source of light is impossible. It is It! Therefore, the Final Cause is always inferred by the fact of existence.

The Final Cause is realized as one’s self after turning inward away from the desire to have experiences in outside phenomenon (mainly the illumination of mind and body which creates an identification with them). This brings down grace which destroys the exclusive me. Once that occurs, then come back and meditate on that state and your doubts will be cleared.

The Truth of what you Are

Life is like a vast garden with innumerable fruits, flowers and forms. We spend our whole lives searching in this place for the ultimate or most comfortable experience. The spiritual seeker looks for the one fruit that will unite them all, some look for a particular flower that never dies; while others find something pleasing and proceed to fiercely protect it.

There are some who have broken off into groups and have claimed a certain part of the garden, while excluding others and beating back any intrusion. They yell from afar “join us; or keep walking.”

Surely one can spend lifetimes searching, fighting to protect a corner in this place, etc. What do all these forms, people and everything in this vast garden have in common?

It is the one ground from which all these things spring and die back into it. This is the Final Cause or One which is undeniably the source of all things including the seeker.

The discovery of this Sacred Ground, is to discover oneself as It. Therefore, one knows their self as all things simultaneously from the most horrendous to the most sublime-yet are none of it exclusively for this reason.

When the Conceptual-Self dies into this ground, the seeking is over but that is just the beginning. Awareness then deepens the experience of being all things simultaneously. An intense love relationship begins with oneself as you meet yourself in all things, people and places.

The seeking ends, but the love for learning about one self in the infinite expressions of form begins.

Question: What keeps a seeker from actually being spiritually transformed and having the Absolute revealed?

There are three main dispositions that establish a primary place in the mind, and must be overcome in order to reveal one’s Eternal Nature. They are as follows:

The first disposition is wrong thinking due to distrust which thwarts a person from total surrender. This group contains some of the best-learned seekers. These seekers are the ones who quote scripture, send you daily emails of holy sayings; and are always trying to lead others to what they refuse to have faith in them self (they are quick to hand you a book). They have many suspicions,  and fail due to their lack of trust, often going back to childhood or an earlier relationship.Another set that falls in this group are those seekers who follow a teaching that embraces the opposites (mainly one that says there is an opposing force to the Absolute or God). Their distrust lies in the conviction that there is an “evil” force always looking to destroy them. They seem hypocritical on the outside due the conflicting duality on the inside. They fight a battle to keep “left” while the “right” demands integration.
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Seriously Atreya. Help me. I have read every Advaita teacher, attended retreats, listen to audios every day for years; and still I have not been transformed. Why? No games, no semantics. Give me the truth.

There is often one element spiritual seekers and even really good teachers do not have, and unfortunately all to often have an aversion to it because of their past conditioning, this is your issue as well:

You have to create a concrete form of God and pour yourself into it. An all knowing benevolent symbol that has complete control. Surrender then to It destroying any sense of individuality and personal will. Then one can merge with the Lord which becomes you. Make your desire for God’s Grace the only desire. This desire for God is the personal will, willing its own destruction.
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A good day to die

The end of spiritual seeking is like coming to a door that reads: “What you are looking for is beyond this door. Once you enter, there is no turning back. You must leave everything you like, dislike, family, friends, mental positions, desires, expectations, and religion-the entire field of the known. Even that body-and everything associated with your name.”

That is why it stands that one must be willing to die for it, and reject all that stands between you and that door.
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The Art of Having Problems

The reason so many problems are perceived in our lives is because we are conditioned to live life through the formula: Retain and discard.

Look closely, and you will see that this is the framework used in our daily lives. For most, it is the only way we know how to approach life.
We seek greater experiences and try and retain them. We discard people and things that no longer fulfill our desires. These are the intimate relationships we know based on “give and take.” Even for the spiritual seekers life becomes about retaining what is “good” and marginalizing what is deemed “bad.”

The spiritual seeker is still playing the game of opposites-denying themselves certain foods, activities, sex, etc. hoping to rearrange them self to look a certain way to say, “Finally, look I am enlightened, I need nothing, I enjoy nothing.” Yet, the frustrated “I” swings on the pendulum of pain and pleasure, fights to retain; and experiences moments of peace when there is no conflict.

Therefore, it is not about manipulating the form of “me” to look a certain way by condemning and marginalizing some parts, and by seeking and retaining other parts. This is the art of having problems.

Rather, remain as the watcher of this persona that goes by your first name. Repeat constantly, “Yes. I see these thoughts and sensations. But who am I in spite of them?” Practice in this manner with all the intensity you can muster. With great perseverance be free!

 

Your Eternal Friend