Wednesday, July 15, 2009

This too shall pass

Well I've been back in the Western world now for about a week. One is struck by the lack of plastic rubbish and open putrid drains in the streets. Not to mention the livestock, throngs of people, incessant beeping of horns, exhaust fumes and all that. It's fairly cold here down in Australia in mid winter - not exactly arctic cold but it is getting below zero in some parts.

Another shock to the system was having to pay more for a 15minute shuttle train from Brisbane airport to the city than it cost to travel 1274km across India by sleeper train for 27hrs. The plus is the lack of bacteria and the opportunity to earn some bucks to finance the next expedition to the sub-continent. If I get my act together that is and notwithstanding being struck down by a killer dose of swine flu or becoming a refugee of the 'global financial crisis'.

So India. She's a beauty alright; apart from all of the shitty stuff of course. In my time there I managed to come into contact with over a dozen Saints, Sages, Swamis and Satsang givers, most of whom I would rate quite highly in the Consciousness stakes (in so far as I can tell). I also got mauled by a dog, had two fairly serious bouts of gastro-intestinal illness and nearly became an international fund raiser for a mother-daughter con-team.

Particularly during the month of March I went through an intensive period of introspection and blog publishing which seemed to revolve around a cycle of experience, conceptualization and doubt. It’s not in every place where one could have such an opportunity.

My conclusion based upon said introspections is that the much talked about ‘I AM’ is the simple and direct sense of existing common to us all but mostly overlooked. By persistently and consistently redirecting ones attention away from the egoic ‘I’ (thoughts/feelings/intentions/identifications) back to the underlying pure sense of conscious-being and abiding as that, then presumably/reportedly/reputedly, sooner or later, some thresh-hold is breached and finally some kind of permanent shift occurs which is generally referred to as ‘Self-Realization’.

I have yet to verify that last contention for 'my-so-called-self' and if anyone else gets there before me please let me know how it is over there, on-the-other-side, home and dry.

To refine that somewhat, and to pose an answer to a question which was certainly going around in my head, then this basic sense of existing (‘I AM’) seems to be the unadulterated reflection of the unmanifest pure transcendental consciousness in the individual being before the ego gets it grubby little hands on it and covers up our inherently free and peaceful nature with all kinds of crap and shit! Still, that seems to be the game and if the pundits like Ramesh Balsekar are to be believed then it’s all part of the set-up by the mysterious Source.

Another puzzle I encountered along the way was that at one point I was confused in this quest if I should be focusing more upon the expanded sense of awareness I associated with the head-less space or upon the grounded sense of being I associated more with embodiment. That may be a valid question as far as meditation (upon an object) is concerned but what I realize is that as far as self-inquiry (upon the subject) is concerned, then the real bone of contention is who is the one who thinks they are choosing anything?

I don’t know about this Self-Realization malarkey but it seems to involve something about being here-now in conscious-presence with acceptance of reality as it is. Well it sounds alright to me and in the absence of a better plan I guess I’ll keep plugging away at it in my own sporadic way and perhaps one day the veils will drop. Inner peace is perhaps a better term in that it doesn’t seem to carry so much baggage of expectation and projection of what such a way of being would be like.

Anyway, good luck to you all in your own journey of inner peace and thanks for keeping me company along the way. It may be that I get back to India relatively soon for a second round and it may be that some more of my dribbles will appear on this blog from time to time. If so and if you’d like to keep up with the dribbles then you can register with this free website : to be notified of any new updates as well as through the usual subscription routes.

Again, thanks for sharing the ride with me which made it all the more worthwhile - that is, if you or I really exist in the first place………………

Bon voyage fellow travelers and Aum Shanti.

From 'I Am That' - Talks with Nisargadatta Maharaj :

"In spite of its primevality the sense of 'I am' is not the highest. It arises with the body (and) when Pure Awareness is attained, no need exists anymore, not even for 'I am', which is but a direction indicator towards the Absolute. What prevails (then) is that which cannot be described, that which is beyond words. It is this state which is most real, a state of pure potentiality, which is prior to everything. The 'I am' (is a) mere reflection of it. Return again and again to 'I am' until it is your only abode; until the ego as a limitation of 'I am' has disappeared. It is then that the Realisation will happen effortlessly."

Monday, July 6, 2009

Brain in a jar and the kaleidoscopic universe

It occurs to me that since our brain creates a picture of reality based upon electrical impulses from our senses then who is to say that we are not just brains in a jar in some laboratory floating in some nutritive solution and hooked up to electrodes feeding us impulses from some sophisticated computer?

I assume that I have a body but I only seem to experience it based on sensory input. Similarly, I assume that the people and places I perceive are also so real but are they anymore real then the people and places I experience in my dream? Certainly there seems to be more consistency and longevity to 'waking state reality' but does prove anything in itself?

Following on from the previous posting there is a sense of a personal me which assumes it is responsible for my life, my choices and my actions but is this anything more than some kind of perceptual illusion?

Maybe I am not a brain in a jar but maybe the brain itself is part of the illusion and the programmer is some kind of superconscious nonmaterial intelligence playing its own game.

The Sages tell us that all manifestation has its source in one Unified Consciousness which has created this drama and has individuated itself into billions of seemingly separate conscious entities. To experience itself evolving in awareness and eventually reaching the point of awakening from the hypnosis of separate individual doership to the reality of the one Unified Consciousness again.

Consciousness awakening to Consciousness, and for what? Maybe just why not? Just the play and experience of diversity and the joy of reunion once again, time after time and each time unique.

About the kaleidoscopic universe; if it's all just a play and perhaps there have been an infinity of universes coming into being (successive Big Bangs) and imploding back to the source again then perhaps 'In the Beginning', 'God' shakes up the energetic elements and parameters which govern the unfolding of each universe, rather like a kaleidoscope, and then each creation manifests its own unique beauty and symmetry according to multidimensional inter-related cycles within cycles. It may get ugly at times but presumably everything balances out in the end.

From the individual point of view? Might as well adjust to the uncertainty of life, realise that it's not personal and enjoy the ride; if one has the good fortune for that possibility.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


I was supposed to be leaving tommorrow but was able to put my flight forward 3 days which will allow me the opportunity to attend Guru Purnima with Ramesh Balsekar. Guru Purnima, FTWDK, is the full moon day in July which is the traditional time for celebrating and expressing gratitude for our spiritual guides. Wayne Liqourman is also arriving from America for the occassion - he is a well reknowned Satsang giver of whom Ramesh has said is his spiritual son.

The last two days Ramesh has been too weak to give satsang so we have been watching DVD recordings which is also fine. Of course we wish him to have good health but we've all got to go at some time and when the time comes for him I am sure he will go with full acceptance and gratitude for the remarkable and blessed life he has had. For this reason, being here at Guru Purnima with him is also very special as the general expectation among his close circle is that it may very well be his last.

I haven't spoken with him directly again since the first day but the teaching he shares is perculating through. There are many external factors in life over which I have little or no control; I can only repond to them in the best way I see fit and am able to in the moment. My choices in life are governed by my genetics, up-to-date conditioning, feelings etc. so the question is, is it really possible that I can choose any differently than I do in any given situation?

Did I choose my inherent tendencies, did I choose my reasoning and feeling capacities, did I choose what formative experiences and influences I would be exposed to in life? And if I did have any influence over these was that also not guided by the same such pre-exisiting factors? How much choice do I really have? Can I choose my next thought or emotion? Can I choose what life will bring to me in the next moment or is it all just happening?

Perhaps I cannot choose what is arising in each moment but I can choose how I respond to them? If so, is that apparent choosing not also a function of the level of my awareness and development combined with my conditioning and genetic predispositions? Can I not then change my conditioning? Conditioning is changing all of the time according to new inputs and internal evolution but again, what governs which inputs I am exposed to and my inclinations towards change?

When one starts investigating and analysing in this way then it certainly causes one to question the sense of personal 'doership' (I am doing; I am choosing) which we all tenaciously hang onto as an implicit unconscious assumption.

So many Sages and Wisdom Traditions agree that the sense of personal doership is the illusion and the cause of suffering. Buddha says 'Events happen, deeds are done, but there is no individual doer thereof' - Radical indeed.

If all of that is true then who or what is it that I think and feel that I am? The Sages offer answers but ultimately guide us to make the investigation for ourselves and come to our own experiential conclusions.

What I know is that I didn't choose to have the tendencies and inclinations that I have and therefore rather than feeling pride or shame about them it makes more sense to observe the internal mechanism and in that awareness the causes of self-inflicted misery seem to tend towards dissolution.

Along with self-investigation and self-attention I have recently been resonating internally during meditation and in daily life with the resonant sound of Aum. This practice of Mantra Japa is a time tested and Sage authenticated means of helping to relax and quiet the wandering mind. When the practice becomes natural, spontaneous and effortless then one is said to be going the right way about it.