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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Enlightenment has to be found in the very living

Enlightenment has to be found in the very living
Monday, 05.21.2007, 10:25pm (GMT-7)

For the seeker, the basic question should be: what am I seeking? If the answer is enlightenment, what will it do for me for the rest of my lifetime that I did not have before?

It is because this is not addressed, either by the Guru or the disciple, that such enormous frustration is associated with spiritual seeking, ending with the feeling that it is all illusion and hypocrisy. Enlightenment has to be found in the very living, and not considered an ideal or principle of perfection, which as such can only be an escape from life.

The real question, therefore, is whether it is possible to live daily life in a state of enlightenment with a sense of greater ease, a sense of fulfillment, which the ordinary person does not have. What the ordinary seeker expects is something positive: ananda - joy, bliss. And this is what has been held out to him, all these years, as the carrot before the donkey.

Which doctrine, which system offers more, is the usual choice before the seeker. From my experience, I would very clearly tell the seeker that I do not know of any positive joy or bliss which does not very soon give way to misery and pain.

All I would hold out before you is negative gain: if you are able to accept totally, without the slightest doubt, that all action, without exception, happens as an event which has to happen at that time and place, through a particular body-mind organism, according to God's Will - Cosmic Law, and is not an action done by any individual human entity, then that is enlightenment.

What is the benefit of this enlightenment to the individual entity for whom this has happened? Very simply, since he is not doing anything at all, nor does anyone else either, he goes through the rest of his life without the slightest load of shame and guilt for his own actions and without any hatred and malice towards any other entity. A state of negation - that is all. And yet this state of negation is the very basis for peace and harmony: to be anchored in tranquility while necessarily facing life from moment to moment.

Aloneness and Loneliness

There is a fundamental difference between being lonely and being alone. Throughout the history of mankind, what we find is that excessive self-concern, self-occupation, is the outstanding feature of human behavior. Human life is anything but a matter of certainty, fulfillment, plenty. On the contrary, life is like an obstacle race.

We can see that our whole activity is self-centered. We keep thinking about ourselves endlessly: we must improve ourselves; we want a better job; we must fulfill ourselves; we want a better relationship; we want to achieve enlightenment.

Our self-concern motivates all our activities. It is this pre-occupation with the self and rivalry with the 'other', which brings about isolation and loneliness. We try to escape from it in various ways, but such strategies cannot succeed. When one is conforming to a pattern - religious, psychological or even self-imposed - there is bound to be a contradiction between 'what-is' and the pattern. The self becomes supremely important with the idea of self-improvement. One needs tremendous energy to see this situation in its truth and entirety.

It demands utter honesty to recognize that 'what-should-be' is an avoidance from the actuality of 'what-is'. It is only the urgency to see the truth that can make us accept the 'what-is' in the present moment. One needs to be completely alone in this investigation. The accumulation of conceptual knowledge must be totally set aside.

And such aloneness certainly does not mean isolation: it does not mean building a wall around oneself. On the contrary, this means one is not alone but represents all humanity, a universal brotherhood, regarding all separate selves as merely instruments through which the Primal Energy - Consciousness - functions and brings about, at any moment, precisely that which is supposed to happen according to a Cosmic Law.

It is only such an awakening of Divine Intelligence, which ends selfishness - the cause of loneliness of the self. The final truth, as Ramana Maharishi and Nisargadatta Maharaj and all the sages before them have clearly stated, is that there is neither creation nor destruction, neither birth nor death, neither destiny nor free will, neither any path nor any achievement. All there is is Consciousness.
Ramesh S. Balsekar

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Welcome to the spirituality blog






This blog is an offshoot of a website that I had conceived as a result of the spiritual grace and resultant inspiration during Shivaratri Y2K (http://www.jyotirlinga.com) on the joy of Shiva Bhakti and my quest for spiritual progress. Not finding the time (yep, bad excuse!), this blog suits me fine in quickly adding content... my spiritual forays and thoughts - helps log them too. My spiritual journey started with Hinduism and it's simple stories/ teachings as far back as when I was a 2nd grader, with Lord Shiva and has now found convergence with Advaitism / Duality. The Advaitism gurus like Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi, Nisargadatta Maharaj; they have provided that spiritual boost of energy in many lagging moments and have tremendously influenced me ... little baby steps at a time... that will hopefully all lead upto a final crescendo. The merits of satsangh are many!

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