There is a unique Self

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Individuality is a mental creation, so is relative; our mind analyzes the information given by our senses, and create our point of view of reality, so we believe there are uncountable separated objects. Also, our mind creates ideas about ourselves, making the so named “ego”, or our psychological individuality, another very relative (and unstable) creation that we take as absolute. Analyzing  deeper, mind finds our own body is made of almost uncountable forms of life named cells, and going deeper, each cell is also formed by uncountable atoms. In this way mind atomizes the reality. But at last, the atomization is so hard that we find void: matter is in 99,99% void! Seems no sense… where are the objects?

Beyond the image given by mind, the reality is one, without any separation. And this unique reality is complex, and can be seen from multiple points of view, having uncountable aspects ans facets.

The Self when it appears behind the universe is called God. The same Self when it appears behind this little universe—the body—is the soul. – Swami Vivekananda

“Is called God” means our mind label the unique Self, giving it a name, and also a sort of “personality”, but, again, is a creation of our little minds; the Self is beyond any conception, because is not mind, indeed, mind is only one facet of the Self.

But this fact not imply we must abandon our mind, on the contrary, mind can be highly developed and refined through study, reflection, concentration and meditation; in this way we become aware of the real, and we don’t fall anymore in ignorance, blindly believes, closed points of views, etc, and we human beings become able to know, to really understand the nature of reality.

The key to happiness: a short tale

The Divine was lonely and wanted to share their Universe with somebody. He decided to create beings who could keep her company, so He did it. But one day, these beings found the key to happiness, followed the path to the Divine and reabsorbed to Him.

God was alone again, the Universe didn’t have any other inhabitant. He reflected. He thought it was time to create the human being, but he feared that he also might discover the key to happiness, to find the way to him and go back to Him. He kept thinking, wondering where he could hide the key to happiness for man not give her. He had, of course, to hide it in a remote place where man could not find it. First he thought hide in the bottom of the sea; then in a cave in the Himalayas; later, in a very remote edge of the outer space. But it was not satisfied with these places. He spent a long time, wondering what would be the safe place to hide the key to happiness. He thought the man would end descending to the most abysmal of the oceans and the key there would not be safe. It would be neither in a cave in the Himalayas, because sooner or later would find the land. It not even is well hidden in the vast sidereal space, that one day man would explore the entire universe. “Where to hide?” Continued wondering for a long. At last, the Divine came up suddenly the only place in which the man would not seek the key to happiness: within man himself. He created man and placed inside the key to happiness.


Look into yourself. “Challenge”  God and steal his supreme happiness.
This story was traduced from “Cuentos de la India” – by Ramiro Calle, a Spanish Yoga Master
singing in the rain

Is not the rain, of course, but the inner happiness the cause of such enjoying (Singing in the rain)

Talks with a master

This post is an extract of one talk between some seekers of knowledge and Antonio Blay, a Spanish master. Blay has not been translated to other languages, he didn’t travel to other countries, and he didn’t establish schools nor ashrams, unlike many oriental masters. That’s why he’s not well known. But his teachings are actually worthy. I read them since twenty years ago. The talk I want to extract is related to Advaita Vedanta philosophy, which nowadays I’m studying. Specifically, the topics covered are:

  • Continuity between different conscience planes
  • Self and Creation
  • Time and conscience. Existence as a pulsation
  • The now and the void
  • Knowledge, reasoning and intuition

 

Continuity between different conscience planes

Student: we feel separated from higher planes of existence, but we have heard there are only one existence, why this feeling then?

Master: Due to our partial perception, indeed there are not any separation. Seen from “above” there are not any creation because creation is all, all is included. Instead seen from “below” there are. 

Student: What do you mean with “above”?

Master: The highest point that can be, which is out of the creation.

Self and Creation

Student: I see, then, there are only a whole and nothing more, is this whole the creator?

Master: As I said, from outside of the creation, creation can’t exist. On the other hand if we are in the conscious of the creation, then the only thing that exist is the creation. We can’t live both aspects at the same time. The problem is: while we are into the creation, we are trying to attribute the subjective notion we have, to the highest Self, imagining a being called God, and this is wrong. If you call Self to the Absolute reality, then the creation is not, and if you call Self to the whole creation, then the Absolute is not. 

Student: But, can’t we see God like something embedded in all the things around us?

Master: Does not matter. Or are the forms, or is God, but not together.  God is not any form nor thing.

Student: I mean to see him as something global.

Master: When you have a set of things, you can think in global, but the Creator of everything can’t be another thing, do you understand? We usually think about God like whether He were a thing, a very big thing, but a thing, this is false. Actually, we can’t formulate anything about the Creator, when we do it, we take attributes from our experience, from the becoming, from the manifested, while He is beyond it. 

Time and conscience. Existence as a pulsation

Student: Creation and time go together, right? So, seen from “above”, there are no time, and seen from “below” there are time but no “above”. So seen from here, from creation, what is “above”? 

Master: A phenomenon of consciousness.

Student: Then, the creation is a process running? Seeing it from creation point of view.

Master: Creation seems a continuous process … to our consciousness. But is possible to discover creation has a discontinuity. Is like the images in film: there is an illusion of continuity, but actually is not continuous, there are times that there aren’t images, there is nothing at all. The notion of time come from our conscience of change, comparing our perception of a small part of the whole with others perceptions of other small parts. But time, seen from above, is only one thing, one moment. So the Creation is a single action made from eternity. But also is is an action made in each moment, seen from below. Each moment has their root in the eternity of now. Moreover, we can live, we can experience, that in each moment, things cease to be, and are again. So in each moment we can live in a unique and total way, because in every moment all start to be new

The now and the void

Student: I think we can live the time as non existent, because only exist the present moment, past and future don’t exist, right?

Master: Not exactly. If for you the present is a succession of events or states, then it is not more the present. Present is unique, without any change. You can live it looking for the root of your live, the root of all the phenomena. When you stop to live hypnotized for the phenomena field, and try to find the “I” from where arise all, your subjective notion of time will disappear. Eventually you’ll reach a point without dimensions nor time, but at the same time it includes all possible notion of time. And you are able to do it now: you can do it, you can live it.

Student: yeah, I have read about the void, there are schools teaching it, like Zen for example. They say the world indeed not exist …

Master: Said that way is false. They say the real nature of all is void (Sunyata). According with Mahayana, this is the true reality of everything. And is right. But, if we see it from our consciousness, identified with things, the the notion of void is false. 

Knowledge, reasoning and intuition

Student: All of this seem to me too theoric, and maybe not useful.

Master: Not believe it, this are important questions, related with states of mind. Many people ask this questions, so is a demand from within, borned from a need. Mind needs feed for their develop, the mind is satisfied knowing only. 

Student: But by the way of knowledge we can’t understand this topics, right?

Master: I think so yes, moreover, is the only way for come to understand it. 

Student: You mean understand intuitively, without reasoning?

Master: To think is related to look for intuitions, when you think wanting to know the subject, to understand it. When an area of mind need enlightenment, a research process is needed, human mind works that way. But we don’t have to limit the research to find concepts, instead we need to see what is behind the concepts. The true is behind the thinking, so eventually I have to stop think … even my mind still run, very attentive and relaxed. 

Student: I still believe is complicated to think about this topics …

Master: You don’t have to think, you have to see. I don’t think. Is a inner silent attitude. 


 

Bibliography: “Pláticas sobre el trabajo interior. Conversaciones con Antonio Blay“. (Spanish edition)

 

To be grateful is always the right way?

Lately, in some blogs, Facebook pages and other sites, as if they had agreed in say the same thing at the same time, I have read about to be grateful with all the things that life sends to us, because all is for our well, for our learning and improving, etc etc. Frequently, this idea is showed together with other ideas, like acceptance and forgiveness. Well, I’m sorry, but I can’t agree. Is not the same at all. Let me explain my point of view.

Acceptance and forgiveness 

My life, like many other, have been a hard one, I’m not special, no need to explain details now. I have learned to accept it: we can’t control our lives, bad things and good things happen, and with both we can learn life lessons, true. And I have learned to forgive: resentment is a powerful poison, it can damage ourselves even  more than the events that originated the resentment; moreover, many times people damages us without bad intentions, they do wrong actions due to ignorance, not due to evilness. And lately my own ego has become weak, so is difficult to harm me with words. But, to be grateful with a bad life is something absolutely  different, from my point of view.

A bad teacher

Let me tell us a short history. When I was six years old I had an old teacher, this old man believed in an ancient idea about teaching: “learn to read, needs to bleeding”. Scare, right?

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A teacher punishing their students. Francisco de Goya, 1780 – 1785

That teacher used to physically punish their students, scaring them. I never forget a beating I received with a half-meter measuring ruler wood, due to my wrong answer replying their asking about some classification of triangles! The fact is, at the end of these awful year, my marks was excellent, so he achieved his aim: to force that little children to learn. For years and years I had bad feelings for that teacher, I hated him indeed. He was a cruel guy. Of course, now I have forgiven him: he only believed his way was the right one. And I have accepted the events. But, may I be grateful with him, or with the beatings? Must I be grateful with him? I think I must not. If I do it, then in some way I’m giving him some agreement, and this is awful, their methods are entirely objectionables without any doubt. So I think I must forgive, and accept, but never be grateful, for principles.

A bad life, Karma issues?

Life is another school, and we can have good and bad teachers too. We can learn from both, true, but, must we be grateful with bad ones? Sure there are better ways for to learn. Maybe some of the readers now are thinking about Karma: “well, there are people with really a lot of suffering in their lives, but is a consequence of their bad Karma for sure, so they need to clean it for achieve the peace in futures lives“. Of course, of course, but then, Karma are playing the role of my bad teacher, so I can’t be grateful with the consequences of bad Karma. So again, I can accept it and forgive it, but I never can be grateful with pain, suffering, etc.

A higher point of view

But there are light at the end of this post, trust me. So, let me explain a second short story from my own life experience, a story that started to change my life, driving me to the spiritual path.

My beloved mum died at forty-six years old, in an unfortunate accident; I was present in that time, and I was not able to help her. I have to say that she was a lovely person, who had a sad life: her dreams had broken, and she could not enjoy the life as she deserved. So her premature death was the final point to a unlucky life. Due to all this things, I felt in desperation and depression, which lasted almost two years.

In these sad days, sometimes I climbed a little hill, near to home, and looked the city for a while, searching for answers: Why? Why this ugly accident? Why her? It was a big city, about 1.500.000 inhabitants. I remember well the sirens of the firefighters, the police, and the ambulances: I could hear them almost constantly, in one side or another side of the city, people needs help, people are ill, people are dying, without stop.

Barcelona de nit

Source: http://www.marianyka.com/ , thanks for sharing Marianyka 🙂

One of these days, more exactly, a night, I became very angry… with all; the world was a crazy, cruel and ugly site. All seemed to me unfair a lot. And, if there was a God in somewhere, seemed to me He must to was a bad God. Then, with all my energy, I looked up to the sky, and mentally I said to God something like this:  “we are nothing for you, less than an ant, but your behavior is a bad one, very bad indeed, you gave this sad life to my mum, if I could be at your level, I would give your deserved“. I threw this thoughts towards outside with all my energy, all my bitterness, all my angry.

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That night I had a dream, a lucid one, you know, these dreams in which we know we are dreaming. A very tall man, dressed with a black tunic, with a long white beard, and a severe face, was in front of me. Then, he opened his arms and I started to fly toward his body; in this moment I was afraid, because I was awareness, and I thought “Oh my God, maybe this dream makes me crazy, I don’t like it at all“, so I crossed my arms protecting my head, and closed the eyes…

I felt some strange feeling of welfare, while I still was in fetal position, closed, but not so closed for don’t feel that it was something nice outside. Slowly, I began to open my arms and eyes, and then I saw light, but, what light! Impossible to describe it. I only can say that that light gave me welfare, maybe the light was pure welfare and goodness. So I opened myself, letting the light bathed me… the feeling of welfare grew and grew, wow! So I “jumped” into the focus of light, searching more and more. Then, the light was so intense that my body disappeared, in fact I disappeared, dissolved for the light, only remains a little point of self-awareness, I only was a point thinking “I am” within an ocean of pure light… and then I woke.

That pure light have the power of clean up any sorrow, any suffering, nothing negative can live in front of it. Maybe it was the answer of God due to my inflamed thoughts? Who knows it? But, this is my conclusion: no need to give thanks for bad things in life, there are a high awareness which can dissolve all the pain, when we achieve these state, nothing can harm us.

By the way, there are a scene of a cartoon movie, “Prince of Egypt”, that remembers me the pure light of my dream: when Moses was in front of the  burning bush, and God shows him His power.

Atman awareness: the touch of God

It happened one night, a few years ago. I was dreaming a nightmare, a bloody and violent one, I don’t remember the details, but now is not important at all.

I have to add now an important detail: I hate terror movies, bloody, gore ones and so. To get  fun watching how other human beings are bloody killed is not in my temperament since my youth.

In the middle of the night, with the horror of the nightmare, I suddenly woke. In the dark of my bedroom, one question arise in my mind: how it can be that a guy that hates terror movies has these awful scenes in their mind? As I have said, I had just woken up, so I was in these mind state between to be asleep and to be full awareness. Otherwise, the question would have a quick and obvious answer: you have had awful scenes in your mind because you are dreaming, is your subconscious that makes this scenes, not you. But in these middle state, my conscious mind can’t answer the question, and the question entered, if I can say it in this way, deepest in my mind.

Then, I felt sleep again, and it happens. I’ll try to describe with words what happened, but I have to say that is almost impossible to do. First, I experienced an absolute, unlimited, pure feeling and conscious of goodness. It was an extreme goodness, without conditions, without any object. Nothing can disturb such perfect kindness. Moreover, it had a peculiar feature impossible to describe, I only can say seems pure love plus pure kindness self-contained, self-maintained. Pure loving-kindness.

In these time, I was sleep, true, but, the conscious and the feeling was real, and I never forget it. In fact, my state in these time was similar to the one that we can experience in lucid dreams. So I was able to really feel these such high state.

Deep in my mind arise the idea that these high conscious have appeared as a answer of my question: how is possible that I dream such awful dreams? But then, another question arises in my mind: wow, this is wonderful, such loving-kindness and peaceful state, but, you know, to be so kind implies also to be weak, this is a common though.

Immediately, as a reaction, the loving-kindness conscious disappears, and another conscious arises, a very different one: energy!  An extreme, unlimited, field of energy. As before, hard to describe it. But it was an answer for my second question: the origin of the kindness also was the origin of this unlimited energy, and I can say that it was terrific, such amount of pure energy is able to destroy all, and is not weak at all!

Then I wake again, but this time I cannot be able to fall sleep again, because the feelings was too strong: God, what was that? A lot of questions were coming: seems as “somebody” answer my two questions, but who? But I experienced this high conscious by myself, so, “somebody” put it in my mind … how is it possible?  I was very confused.

Next days I cannot leave my questions nor forget the feelings. I tried to search some information about it in the Internet. Maybe I have connected with an angel? Only a higher being can produce such conscious states. But why? And the most difficult thing for to understand: how is possible that I live in my own conscious such states?

With time, I become able to accept the truth: this states was my own states, not property of any other being, but mine. Deeply hidden in our own conscious there are such high states. In the Hindu philosophy the name for them is the Atman:  the spark of God in us.

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Breaking the wall of ordinary mind, courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Usually, our mind acts as a wall between our daily conscious and Atman conscious. When we are sleep, this wall can fall apart, so in some cases we can be aware of the Atman magnificence. I can say now that this short episode of my life, just a minute or so, are changing my mind and my life, slowly but without stop. My perspective has changed. I know now we are much more than we can imagine, all of us.

PD: Sorry for my bad English, I’m trying to improve it…

Oneness of the self

About ten years ago my father-in-law, in that time a seventy years old man with basic level of studies,  ask a question to me, not an usual question, but a deep one:

"I was educated under Catholicism thinking, the religion teachers said us: God is omnipotent and omnipresent, He is in all the things, animated and inanimate ones, around you and within you, and He is in all places at the same time. But, when I see the iniquities of the life, as starving children, young people dying due to cancer and so, this teaching becomes too hard to believe for me, because how a omnipotent and omnipresent being can let this evil events be? If this being really exists, then He must be evil too, for to allow this bad way  be, or, otherwise, He can't be so omnipotent and omnipresent. What do you think about?".

In that time I can’t answer anything, although my first thought was “the question is raised in so simple terms, too simple in fact, I think the reality must be more complicated, but I don’t know enough about it for answer this direct and simple question”.

Well, I don’t forget the question, and now I wish to share here a possible answer; unfortunately my father-in-law can’t to know it because now he has a mental disease due to age. My answer have made combining modern physics science and mysticism. Maybe the reader think that is a strange combination, even a incoherent one; in such case, I must say that is a topic already covered, see for example The Tao of Physics. But here I will not follow any book. I must say now that I don’t pretend at all to give here some kind of “demonstration”  about God existence, my aim is only to show that, it He exists,  His omnipresence, omnipotence and goodness is compatible with all the disasters, evil events, etc. of our life. And I will not use any religion or faith, but science and some old mystic claims.

Now  there are two points for explain: the first we must consider is our object-oriented mind, and the oneness of the reality. The second, the oneness of the self.

Our object-oriented mind

The mind always works with stuff,  tags and properties. Thus, for example, it divides humanity into countries, religions, races, political systems, etc. It also divide existence into past, present and future. This approach is necessary for the mind to analyze the differences, identify concepts, related things, etc. So, for the mind, all are objects, classes of objects and properties.

Non-fragmented physic reality

Both the theories of general relativity and quantum mechanics work with a treatment of reality as an indivisible whole, although the two theories make it in different and incompatible ways, but both indicate that physic reality is an indivisible whole. And more importantly, this “everything” encompasses our mind! The observer and the observed are not independent, are part of a single whole. Currently this is not philosophy, it’s science.

So, the object-oriented mind can not understand this oneness physical reality: it crashes trying to understand the concepts of non-separability and non-absolute time. Perhaps science have reached the limit beyond which the object-oriented mind, so well that we have been given so far, is proving to be insufficient to understand reality. And here we have the first important concept about our question: if a being like God exists, He must be beyond our object-oriented and limited mind, indeed, He must be as physic reality is: non-fragmented, oneness with the Universe. So indeed, He must be omnipresent, because the reality is.

Oneness of the self

“Everything you consider as being me, you, him, her, and that, everything is One”
Advaita Vedanta (XIX century)

“My nature is harmonized with that of Buddha. There is no duality, but unity and harmony: Satori”.
Yoka Daishi: The singing immediately Satori (Zen Buddhism)

“Do not ask if the Principle is in this or that, it is in all beings.”
Chuang Tzu, between the fourth and third centuries before J. C.

“My Self is God, not another I recognize that my God Himself.”
St. Catherine of Genoa

In the mystical experiences of peoples, cultures and different eras we find a similarity in the description of a mystical state in which one experiences the “identity” of all minds together and with the “supreme mind “. Also religions like Zen , Sufism , Taoism , Tantrism , Christian mystics , etc. . have similarities in this regard.

This similarity between people of different races and religions , separated by centuries and even millennium and far distances, and with little or no relation to each other or know each other, is really striking. In fact, the finding of this regularity is itself a scientific fact.

So let me assume that all these mystics was right, and there exist such consciousness state in which we live the unity. As we show before, such state can not be related with our normal mental state, which is fragmented by his own nature. Is more reliable to relate it with some “universal consciousness”, a state of connection with the whole, without fragmentation, as physic reality indeed is.

So, at this time, we claim:

  • The reality is all-in-one, without fragmentation; that reality includes our minds, of course.
  • There are many persons that have experienced mystic states of oneness with all, like the reality is, beyond the normal states of the mind

Thus our question can be answered in this terms: it is wrong to consider there are, in one side, a God, and in the other side, there are humans beings that suffer without any help of the supreme being, because from the “point of view” of God, all is one, that is, we and Him and the whole creation are one. Is our object-oriented mind that fragments the reality and drives us to such wrong concept.

For to show better the relation between us and the whole that I imagine, let me show a metaphoric similarity, using a well-known physical object: the light.

Nature of light

Physics science shows us that light expands from its source, like a balloon that inflates, filling all the space; the spherical waves are continuous, so with enough time each point of space is filled with light. In fact, light is an electromagnetic field; here, “field” means space, indeed, all the space without exception. Light is in all the points of the space. We can not talk about “this portion of light that is here or there”, but light is filling in all the space. That’s similar to our image of the reality beyond the ordinary mind, not fragmented.(Image from http://www.ualberta.ca)

Screenshot from 2013-10-06 21:03:27

But when light reaches matter, it can happens that light becomes trapped for matter, but not all the light, only part of it. In such cases, light becomes fragmented in units named photons. Every photon is pure light, its nature is the same as the whole, but becomes trapped for the matter.

The metaphor is: our normal consciousness works fragmented, as photons, but its true nature is as light, filling all the space. Moreover, mystics says that the nearest image that we can have of God is … pure light! So we can go more far with this metaphor thinking that God (or Self, or reality, or others names the reader prefers) is like the pure light, and our little individuals consciousness are like the photons: temporarily trapped into the matter, ignorant about its true nature.