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How To Break The Spell And Be Free

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In my previous discussions, I spoke about “Awareness”. This word is so important that it could be repeated as much as possible. Is it true that many of us are born blind, grow up blind and die blind?

This has nothing to do with the physical handicap of blindness. The great majority of us believe that we can see the World with both of our eyes. The question is: do we see it the same way? What do we see exactly? How important and true is what we see and feel with our five senses? How do we perceive ourselves and who do we say we are? If I say “I am wealthy”, is that the truth or my perception of the truth about myself?

Nisargadatta Maharaj, an Indian Master of Spirituality, seems not to agree with what we add after I am and say is true. Read his philosophy very carefully in the following lines  and add your comments below.

[On realization] That which cannot change, remains. The great peace, the deep silence, the hidden beauty of reality remains. While it cannot be conveyed through words, it is waiting for you to experience for yourself.

  • There can be progress in the preparation (sadhana). Realization is sudden. The fruit ripens slowly, but falls suddenly and without return.
  • What was never lost can never be found. Your very search for safety and joy keeps you away from them. Stop searching, cease losing. The disease is simple and the remedy equally simple. It is your mind only that makes you insecure and unhappy. Anticipation makes you insecure; memory, unhappy. Stop misusing your mind and all will be well with you. You need not set it right, it will set itself right, as soon as you give up all concern with the past and the future and live entirely in the now.
  • The self is universal and its aims are universal. There is nothing personal about the self.

Learn more about who you truly are in this video

  • Do not try to make yourself happy, rather question your very search for happiness. It is because you are not happy that you want to be happy. Find out why you are unhappy. Because you are not happy you seek happiness in pleasure; pleasure brings in pain and therefore you call it worldly; you then long for some other pleasure, without pain, which you call divine. In reality,pleasure is but a respite from pain.
  • You need not get at it, you are it. It will get at you, if you give it a chance. Let go your attachment to the unreal and the real will swiftly and smoothly step into its own. Stop imagining yourself being or doing this or that, and the realization that you are the source and heart of all will dawn upon you.
  • As long as you identify yourself with them [body and mind], you are bound to suffer; realize your independence and remain happy. I tell you, this is the secret of happiness. To believe that you depend on things and people for happiness is due to ignorance of your true nature; to know that you need nothing to be happy, except self- knowledge, is wisdom.
  • All attributes are personal. The real is beyond all attributes.
  • The moment you know your real being, you are afraid of nothing. Death gives freedom and power. To be free in the world, you must die to the world. Then the universe is your own, it becomes your body, an expression and a tool. The happiness of being absolutely free is beyond description.

 

  • As all waves are in the ocean, so are all things physical and mental in awareness. Hence awareness itself is all- important, not the content of it.
  • The mind misunderstands; misunderstanding is its very nature. Right understanding is the only remedy.
  • All are mere words, of what use are they to you? You are entangled in the web of verbal definitions and formulations. Go beyond your concepts and ideas; in the silence of desire and thought the truth is found.
  • Watch yourself closely and you will see that whatever be the content of consciousness, the witnessing of it does not depend on the content. Awareness is itself and does not change with the event. The event may be pleasant or unpleasant, minor or important, awareness is the same. Take note of the peculiar nature of pure awareness, its natural self-identity, without the least trace of self-consciousness, and go to the root of it and you will soon realize that awareness is your true nature, and nothing you may be aware of, you can call your own. When the content is viewed without likes and dislikes, the consciousness of it is awareness. But still there is a difference between awareness as reflected in consciousness and pure awareness beyond consciousness. Reflected awareness, the sense “I am aware” is the witness, while pure awareness is the essence of reality. Reflection of the sun in a drop of water is a reflection of the sun, no doubt, but not the sun itself. Between awareness reflected in consciousness as the witness and pure awareness there is a gap, which the mind cannot cross.
  • What prevents the insight into one’s true nature is the weakness and obtuseness of the mind and its tendency to skip the subtle and focus the gross only. When you follow my advice, and try to keep your mind on the notion of “I am” only, you become fully aware of your mind and its vagaries. Awareness, being lucid harmony (satva) in action, dissolves dullness and quietens the restlessness of the mind, and gently but steadily changes its very substance. This change need not be spectacular; it may be hardly noticeable; yet it is a deep and fundamental shift from darkness into light, from inadvertence to awareness. For this, keep steadily in the focus of consciousness the only clue you have: your certainty of being. Be with it, play with it, ponder over it, delve deeply into it, till the shell of ignorance breaks open and you emerge into the realm of reality.
  • To me all [persons] are equal. Differences in appearance and expression are there, but they do not matter. Just as the shape of a gold ornament does not affect the gold, so does man’s essence remain unaffected.
  • To see myself in everybody, and everybody in myself, most certainly is love.
  • Deepen and broaden your awareness of yourself and all the blessings will flow. You need not seek anything, all will come to you most naturally and effortlessly.

Watch this video to learn more

  • Once you are in it [true awareness], you will find that you love what you see, whatever may be its nature. This choiceless love is the touchstone of awareness. If it is not there, you are merely interested, for some personal reasons.
  • The value of regular meditation is that it takes you away from the humdrum of daily routine and reminds you that you are not what you believe yourself to be.
  • Keep the “I am” in the focus of awareness, remember that you are, watch yourself ceaselessly and the unconscious will flow into the conscious without any special effort on your part. Wrong desires and fears, false ideas, social inhibitions are blocking and preventing its free interplay with the conscious. Once free to mingle, the two become one and the one becomes all.
  • Realize that whatever you think yourself to be is just a stream of events; that while all happens, comes and goes, you alone are, the changeless among the changeful, the self-evident among the inferred. Separate the observed from the observer and abandon false identifications.
  • Until you are free of the drug [of self-identification], all your religions and sciences, prayers and yogas are of no use to you, for, based on a mistake, they strengthen it.
  • Silence is the main factor. In peace and silence, you grow.
  • Abandon every attempt, just be; don’t strive, don’t struggle, let go every support, hold on to the blind sense of being, brushing off all else. This is enough.
  • Desire, fear, trouble, joy, they cannot appear unless you are there to appear to. Yet, whatever happens points to your existence as a perceiving center. Disregard the pointers and be aware of what they are pointing to.
  • You must unlearn everything. God is the end of all desire and knowledge.

 

  • As long as you take yourself to be a person, a body and a mind, separate from the stream of life, having a will of its own, pursuing its own aims, you are living merely on the surface, and whatever you do will be short-lived and of little value, mere straw to feed the flames of vanity.
  • Everyone creates a world for himself and lives in it, imprisoned by one’s ignorance. All we have to do is to deny reality to our prison.
  • It is earnestness that is indispensable, the crucial factor. Sadhana is only a vessel and it must be filled to the brim with earnestness, which is but love in action. For nothing can be done without love.
  • Get rid of all ideas about yourself, even of the idea that you are God. No self-definition is valid.
  • Look at yourself steadily – it is enough. The door that locks you in is also the door that lets you out. The “I am” is the door. Stay at it until it opens. As a matter of fact, it is open, only you are not at it. You are waiting at the non- existing painted doors, which will never open.
  • To take appearance for reality is a grievous sin and the cause of all calamities. You are the all-pervading, eternal and infinitely creative awareness -consciousness. All else is local and temporary.
  • It is you who are in movement and not time. Stop moving and time will cease. Past and future will merge in the eternal now.
  • You must realize yourself as the immovable behind and beyond the movable, the silent witness of all that happens.
  • It is the absolute in you that takes you to the absolute beyond you – absolute truth, love, selflessness are the decisive factors in self-realization. With earnestness these can be reached.
  • When you demand nothing of the world, nor of God, when you want nothing, seek nothing, expect nothing, then the Supreme State will come to you uninvited and unexpected.
  • As long as you are interested in your present way of living, you will not abandon it. Discovery cannot come as long as you cling to the familiar. It is only when you realize fully the immense sorrow of your life and revolt against it that a way out can be found.
  • It is in the nature of creative imagination to identify itself with its creations. You can stop it any moment by switching off attention. Or though investigation. First you create a world, then the “I am” becomes a person, who is not happy for various reasons. He goes out in search of happiness, meets a guru who tells him: “You are not a person, find who you are”. He does it and goes beyond.
  • You cannot see the true unless you are at peace. A quiet mind is essential for right perception, which again is required for self-realization.
  • Moods are in the mind and do not matter. Go within, go beyond. Cease being fascinated by the content of your consciousness. When you reach the deep layers of your true being, you will find that the mind’s surface-play affects you very little.
  • First of all, abandon all self-identification, stop thinking of yourself as such-and-such, so-and-so, this or that. Abandon all self-concern, worry not about your welfare, material or spiritual. Abandon any desire, gross or subtle, stop thinking of achievement of any kind. You are complete here and now, you need absolutely nothing.

Self discovery may be the right path for you. Find out how here.

  • There can be no experience beyond consciousness. Yet there is the experience of just being. There is a state beyond consciousness, which is not unconscious. Some call it super-consciousness, or pure consciousness, or supreme consciousness. It is pure awareness free from the subject-object nexus. Consciousness is intermittent, full of gaps. Yet there is the continuity of identity. What is this sense of identity due to, if not to something beyond consciousness?
  • The mind produces thoughts ceaselessly, even when you do not look at them. When you know what is going on in your mind, you call it consciousness. This is your waking state – your consciousness shifts from sensation to sensation, from perception to perception, from idea to idea, in endless succession. Then comes awareness, the direct insight into the whole of consciousness, the totality of the mind. The mind is like a river, flowing ceaselessly in the bed of the body; you identify yourself for a moment with some particular ripple and call it “my thought”. All you are conscious of is your mind; awareness is the cognizance of consciousness as a whole.

Here is an interview with Sri Nisargadatta.

  • ‘I am’ is True, all else is Inference

from I Am That, talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Maharaj: The perceiver of the world, is he prior to the world, or does he come into being along with the world?
Questioner: What a strange question! Why do you ask such questions?
M: Unless you know the correct answer, you will not find peace.
Q: When I wake up in the morning, the world is already there, waiting for me. Surely the world comes into being first. I do, but much later, at the earliest at my birth. The body mediates between me and the world. Without the body, there would be neither me nor the world.
M: The body appears in your mind, your mind is the content of your consciousness; you are the motionless witness of the river of consciousness which changes eternally without changing you in any way. Your own changelessness is so obvious that you do not notice it. Have a good look at yourself and all these misapprehensions and misconceptions will dissolve. Just as all the little watery lives are in water and cannot be without water, so all the universe is in you and cannot be without you.
Q: We call it God.
M: God is only an idea in your mind. The fact is you. The only thing you know for sure is: ‘here and now I am’. Remove, the ‘here and now’ the ‘I am’ remains, unassailable. The word exists in memory, memory comes into consciousness; consciousness exists in awareness and awareness is the reflection of the light on the waters of existence.
Q: Still I do not see how can the world be in me when the opposite ‘I am in the world’ is so obvious.
M: Even to say ‘I am the world, the world is me’, is a sign of ignorance. But when I keep in mind and confirm in life my identity with the world, a power arises in me which destroys the ignorance, burns it up completely.
Q: Is the witness of ignorance separate from ignorance? Is not to say: ‘I am ignorant’ a part of ignorance?
M: Of course. All I can say truly is: ‘I am’, all else is inference. But the inference has become a habit. Destroy all habits of thinking and seeing. The sense ‘I am’ is the manifestation of a deeper cause, which you may call self, God, reality or by any other name. The ‘I am’ is in the world; but it is the key which can open the door out of the world. The moon dancing on the water is seen in the water, but it is caused by the moon in the sky and not by the water.
Q: Still the main point seems to escape me. l can admit that the world in which I live and move and have my being is of my own creation, a projection of myself, of my imagination, on the unknown world, the world as it is, the world of ‘absolute matter’, whatever this matter may be. The world of my own creation may be quite unlike the ultimate, the real world, just like the cinema screen is quite unlike the pictures projected onto it. Nevertheless, this absolute world exists, quite independent of myself.
M: Quite so, the world of Absolute Reality, onto which your mind has projected a world of relative unreality is independent of yourself, for the very simple reason that it is yourself.
Q: Is there no contradiction in terms? How can independence prove identity?
M: Examine the motion of change and you will see. What can change while you do not change, can be said to be independent of you. But what is changeless must be one with whatever else is changeless. For, duality implies interaction and interaction means change. In other words, the absolutely material and the absolutely spiritual, the totally objective and the totally subjective are identical, both in substance and essence.
Q: Like in a tri-dimensional picture, the light forms its own screen.
M: Any comparison will do. The main point to grasp is that you have projected onto yourself a world of your own imagination, based on memories, on desires and fears, and that you have imprisoned yourself in it. Break the spell and be free.
Q: How does one break the spell?
M: Assert your independence in thought and action. After all, all hangs on your faith in yourself, on the conviction that what you see and hear, think and feel is real. Why not question your faith? No doubt, this world is painted by you on the screen of consciousness and is entirely your own private world. Only your sense ‘I am’, though in the world, is not of the world. By no effort of logic or imagination can you change the ‘I am’ into ‘I am not’. In the very denial of your being you assert it. Once you realise that the world is your own projection, you are free of it. You need not free yourself of a world that does not exist, except in your own imagination! However, is the picture, beautiful or ugly, you are painting it and you are not bound by it. Realise that there is nobody to force it on you, that it is due to the habit of taking the imaginary to be real. See the Imaginary as imaginary and be free of fear.
Just as the colours in this carpet are brought out by light but light is not the colour, so is the world caused by you but you are not the world.
That which creates and sustains the world, you may call it God or providence, but ultimately you are the proof that God exists, not the other way around. For, before any question about God can be put, you must be there to put it.
Q: God is an experience in time, but the experiencer is timeless.
M: Even the experiencer is secondary. Primary is the infinite expanse of consciousness, the eternal possibility, the immeasurable potential of all that was, is, and will be. When you look at anything, it is the ultimate you see, but you imagine that you see a cloud or a tree.
Learn to look without imagination, to listen without distortion: that is all. Stop attributing names and shapes to the essentially nameless and formless, realize that every mode of perception is subjective, that what is seen or heard, touched or smelt, felt or thought, expected or imagined, is in the mind and not in reality, and you will experience peace and freedom from fear.

What if all you considered reality were just perceptions? Click here for details

Even the sense of ‘I am’ is composed of the pure light and the sense of being. The ‘I’ is there even without the ‘am’. So is the pure light there whether you say ‘I’ or not. Become aware of that pure light and you will never lose it. The beingness in being, the awareness in consciousness, the interest in every experience — that is not describable, yet perfectly accessible, for there is nothing else.

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