“Self” is the most misunderstood label there is, from the dictionary word to the “spiritual” connection.
A seeker will be confused depending on their level of consciousness, for “self” is the very beginning of “spirituality” but at the same time, the very end. It is Alpha and Omega.
Most “think” they know what “self” is. It is “me.” That is kindergarten a priori “knowledge” however, it is readily accepted without further observation.
There is the “self” of “Google”: “a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.”
There is the “self” of Krishnamurti:
“ …the idea, the memory, the conclusion, the experience, the various forms of namable and unnamable intentions, the conscious endeavor to be or not to be, the accumulated memory of the unconscious, the racial, the group, the individual, the clan, and the whole of it all, whether it is projected outwardly in action, or projected spiritually as virtue; the striving after all this is the self.”
There is the “Self” of Ramana Maharshi : “That state which transcends speech and thought is mouna. That which is, is mouna. How can mouna be explained in words? Sages say that the state in which the thought”I” (the ego) does not rise even in the least, alone is Self (swarupa) which is silence (mouna). That silent Self alone is God; Self alone is the jiva (individual soul). Self alone is this ancient world. All other kinds of knowledge are only petty and trivial knowledge; the experience of silence alone is the real and perfect knowledge. Know that the many objective differences are not real but are mere superimpositions on Self, which is the form of true knowledge.”
And then, there is the “real self” of Osho: “The Real Self is dangerous: dangerous to the established church, dangerous to the state, dangerous to the crowd, dangerous to tradition, because once a man knows his real self, he becomes an individual.”
And then there is Lao Tzu: “Knowing others is wisdom. Knowing the self is enlightenment.”
And …there is “Nosce te Ipsum” (Know thyself).
An individual will be seeking to “save and continue” his perception of “self” through the belief in “heaven,” the “soul” (Atma or Atman, which is also known as the “real self” by some or Swaroop, etc.) after this lifetime is over, while others believe that everything is over at death time.
Lost in theories, beliefs and what not, we are unable to OBSERVE.
In my experience, when we want to find out something related with “spirituality”, there is no sense in following words. It doesn’t matter how “enlightened” they may be. There are many interferences in between: The level of consciousness of the one describing and the one listening (even “Death” depends on the level of consciousness of a person); the word used to describe a personal experience is a barrier for intellectual understanding; there is interpretation of the word, then there is translation (if it comes from another language) and finally, there is the emotional attachment to that word: “atman /atma/soul” is an example. It has a positive connotation which for many means “self or real-self.”
Confusion is the mother of all religions.
Look at “yourself.” Do you perceive thoughts (the little guy/gal talking to you in your “head”?) Do you perceive his fears, dreams, hopes, desires, activity, patterns, memories? That is typically known as “self.” That is also known as “I.” That is what many are concerned in “saving” for the “afterlife.”
Look at a wall. Hold your breath. Stop breathing for a few seconds. Notice how “your” thoughts will stop. Just notice. Keep focused on that wall.
There is an “observer” and there is the “object” observed (wall).
When the “observer” disappears as well as the “object” although the eyes are looking at a wall, that IS. We could name that infinitesimal experience as “Me without baggage” or “naked me.” “Bagagge” is all the stuff that we perceive when we observe the content of the mind.
Some will describe the experience above as “when the observer and the object merge in each other”, or “when the observer and object are one”. Same experience different words.
That “IS” will be called with many names: “real self”, “swaroop”, “atma”, “atman”, “God”, “Brahman”, that state of “mouna” (according to Ramana Mahrshi- above) which cannot be explained in words, is where “silence” resides.
However a glimpse is not the “state of being” of a self-realized individual. An attempt to float in the Ocean, is not swimming. However, the EXPERIENCE will allow us to “observe” that which we call personality, self, etc. which Krishnamurti points out, and OBSERVE the difference “without using the mind.” Just look.
“Meditation” has been used to experience that which IS. However, a meditation related only with the mind by trying to stop thoughts, still the mind, etc. will not allow us to experience what is beyond the mind (no-mind). Thus, Contemplation.
Looking at a wall in a relaxed way, without any aim whatsoever is contemplation. We could feel our breathing, our heart, we can open our inner senses for what IS to arrive. That could be experienced by some as bouts of bliss. The “inner smile.” We could observe that “thoughts” become an interference, that is why the artifice of stoping to breathe was used. How can we contemplate if thoughts are bothersome then? The power of your feelings shall be used. Feel from you heart and your gut as we breathe in and out. That will overcome our “habit” of “thinking” or “daydreaming.”
When words arrive in our heads, the mind has entered. The show is over.
If you never learned a language to speak, how would you relate with that which we typically call “self”? How the “little guy/gal” in your head could communicate with you?
Experience that. There is more to “self” than what is described here, but this is just a “finger pointing to the moon.” It is not the moon.
Nosce te Ipsum. There is no other “knowledge” more fascinating in Life.
“What is the point in reading your articles if knowledge from outside doesn’t do a thing? What is your point of writing?”
The point of reading my articles depend on you not on me. Why do you read them?
Perhaps you want to gain “knowledge” out of them?
Good news and bad news. The good news is that you could repeat what you read here and perhaps amaze your friends with so much “knowledge” or so much “stupidity” that you have read here. Now, the “bad news”: It is worthless to you, if all you are doing is “reading” these things. But if you decide to “study” these things… It is even worse.
But if you can recognize in these words your own experience, then we are into something different. Your own Life experience, if you are aware; will give you more than knowledge, it will give you insight.
Knowledge is like theory explained in “black or white” language; it could never convey the reality of something paradoxical, beyond duality.
Insight on the other hand, is not borrowed knowledge from someone else. It is your own, which cannot be passed around to another.
Lao Tzu wrote: “ The truth cannot be written.”
You may ask: “Why is he writing then? Is he writing lies?”
You will miss entirely his point. Your logic, your reason does not work in Life, but only in the “office world,” which is a human creation.
If you are a seeker and you are looking for someone to write the “truth,” “knowledge,” the absolute wisdom… you are wasting your time… but it may be part of your “journey” to do so… Therefore, it is good! Waste cannot be any better!
Let me give an example to illustrate the above:
Does God exist or not?
You want the truth. You want a “Yes” or a “No.”
Look, who is answering you. You want a bona fide saint, an impeccable Guru, someone who you think is “higher than thou.”
It is merely your belief in a person. He tells you “Yes” and you believe. Easy. You don’t have to go through anything. That is second hand knowledge. You actually, do not know a thing.
Then, someone else may tell you “No. God does not exist” and you still will be looking for the “truth.” You may have an experience, you may call that experience “God,” and then you believe that you have experienced “God,” but you have doubts for others have had different experiences of “God.”
Those who say: “Yes. God exists” or “No. God does not exist” those people do not know a thing unless they have gone through both ends, through the “Yes” and through the “No.”
That is the journey. What you are looking for is in that journey and not in a simple answer.
First God exists. Then, He doesn’t. Insight is in that process.
Do you see my point?
Some day you will.
Your second question:
“What is your point of writing?”
What is the point of living if we are going to die?
What is the point of eating if we are going to be hungry?
My point of writing?
To write now before I can’t. 🙂
Those practical aspects of Life are what “spirituality” is meant to address. Most everyone would like to be healthy, have good relationships, and able to enjoy their own being.
The above is what we observe in Nature.
A squirrel running around in Nature, embodies all of those characteristics without defining or analyzing the concepts of “healthy,” “enjoyment,” or “ good relationships.”
Is a squirrel worried about being wealthy? Or powerful?
Here we enter into the “Office mentality,” it is a different life style there.
Observe how “spirituality” or “religious teachings” have been taking us away from Life itself for the sake of another “Life” in the world of spirits. That world exists for some; however, human beings are meant to be human beings and to experience in its totality the meaning of that.
The old paradigm of “beliefs” may need to be replaced by the practical experience of Oneness with/in Life.
Any God out there wouldn’t oppose to this unity of consciousness.
Any God out there could observe that according to time, the world of duality and the “good and bad” mentality needs to allow for integration, non-duality to appear.
It is a matter of timing, not of fashion.
These writings cannot change someone’s consciousness. However, it is a way to gain some insight for the generations to come.
Newborn children are already in that consciousness of Oneness, without being taught about it. They are called, “Crystal” children.
Observe how Life itself generates the collective consciousness needed in our planet according to time.
One thing is to have intellectual knowledge about Oneness, yet another is to live it.
As most individuals are living the “Office mentality,” there is a need to bridge the gap between them and the “Crystal” consciousness.
That is the job of those who are being “reborn” again. Dying alive. That means to step out from one consciousness into another in the same Lifetime.
That “job description” is not easy. There is a process, which needs to be respected and cared for. It is the process of emptiness, of allowing Love to be a natural feeling coming from our freedom from beliefs, fears and emotional traumas.
That is the work of the “Life walker.” It is inner work for the common good.
For those who are walking that path at this point in their lives, these writings could be of help.
But also, I’d like to share the only 2 books that I have in my home, which I recommend for those who are ready for them.
I have shared these before, but according to time, here they go again:
1. “The Knight in rusty armor.” By Robert Fisher.
It basically outlines the different steps that a Life walker will walk into a new consciousness.
It does not mean that the “steps” should be exactly as the book for everyone. No. This is not “spirituality for the masses.” We are not separated from Life. We will receive exactly what we require.
2. “Hua Hu Ching.” Attributed to Lao Tzu.
Oneness couldn’t be expressed as succinctly and to the point as what this book expresses. It is something that will be understood when we experience the words as part of our life experience. The translator (Brian Walker) has done a pretty good job by putting this work together.
Wish you find value in those teachings for your own Life as I have. 🙂
The starting point of our inner search for meaning in life, could be located into the “black or white” mentality.
Our consciousness may be able to see a “straight” line separating “good” and “bad.” 🙂
At that point the dichotomy of God and the Devil (Maya, illusion) will be needed to reinforce that consciousness.
As our consciousness changes its location, we may be able to see “more” than before or just plain “different.”
It is in that “new” location, when appreciation of differences on ways of doing things or understanding coming from “others,” appears.
That is the consciousness of acceptance or openness.
This blog illustrates that journey through many articles in it.
Once the baby is ready to walk with his own 2 feet, the crib of protection, which at one time was very helpful, becomes an obstacle in learning how to walk.
The need of the baby to walk around may be suppressed, it may be postponed; but eventually it becomes a matter of living or dying…and when life palpitates in our hearts with a tremendous force, the crib is no more.
When that change, that force to walk is coming out of a different consciousness, there is no pain, anger or feeling of guilt when leaving “the crib.” It is so obvious, as when we go from high school into college…
A friend of mine likes to send emails with thoughts and quotes that could elevate someone’s consciousness. One day, I read a quote from one of his emails that resonated tremendously with me. I couldn’t help but to search more about the author of that quote.
It was signed: “Hua Hu Ching.”
It was a book not an author.
The book is called the “unknown teachings of Lao Tzu.” However, I could see that this style of conveying depth is not Lao Tzu’s as in the “Tao Te Ching.”
We could go into details as to how the writings got there, but it is not necessary. The writings are there and Avyakt7 felt almost as if he was the writer of that book.
Some readers have expressed to me that this blog: “puts their own thoughts into words.”
That is how I felt with the “Hua Hu Ching.”
It was not only how succinct and deep the Hua Hu Ching is, but I have experienced as well those things in my own life.
Depth is the thing that entices Avyakt7 every time.
This book may not be understood intellectually by going literally into the words. It is a translation, and I would recommend to “feel it” first. If the words align with our consciousness and we could find experiences in our own life to give meaning to the words in that book, then we may feel that this book could allow us to “see” different things by being a reflection of our state of consciousness.
The book uses the term “Tao.” That word is not a religion (Although some may make it as a dogmatic religion.) It is Universal consciousness which binds all of us together. It is the “way of things” also known as Life, the Totality…
The book is not for everyone as everybody enjoys a different consciousness, but I thought about sharing this copy (while supplies last 🙂 )I found on the Internet; with those who have been following this blog for the last 2 years now.
You may appreciate this book, as I have done. (Spanish Version here)
Brain Walker is the translator of this book. He has done a great job in my view.
Avyakt7 feels ready to dissolve his role as every “life walker” must dissolve theirs and go on in his or her journey; by leaving the prints of their own steps in the trails of life.
Life is the journey. Enjoy the journey! 🙂
“One of subtle universal virtue
Is not conscious of being virtuous,
Therefore, he is truly virtuous.
One of partial virtue attempts to live up to
An external standard of virtue,
Therefore, he is not truly virtuous.
One of whole virtue does not need to do anything
In order to be virtuous,
Because virtue is the very essence
Of one’s true nature.
But one of partial virtue believes that something
Must be done in order to prove that he is virtuous.
Thus, partial virtue becomes prevalent
When people fail to follow their own true nature.
Benevolence becomes prevalent
When people fail to be naturally kind.
Etiquette becomes prevalent
When people fail to be righteous and considerate.
When people find no response with etiquette,
They roll up their sleeves
And force others to respond to them.
When people stray from the subtle way of universal nature,
They cannot longer perceive their own true nature.
Thus they emphasize relative virtue
When natural virtue is lost,
Society depends on the doctrine of humanism
When humanity becomes corrupted,
Social and religious teachings appear
And become powerful forces.
When social and religious teachings become corrupted,
What is left behind is the empty shell
Of superficial ceremonies and artificial etiquette.
When etiquette is emphasized,
It is because people lack the simple qualities
Of fairness and kindness
This is the starting point of people of confusion
All of these man-made, partial virtues
Are merely superficial flowers, a false nature.
When people begin to move away
From their own true nature,
It is the beginning of hypocrisy.
Therefore, one who integrates
his own individual being
with the deep nature of the universe
sets his heart upon the root of reality
rather than the husk,
and upon the nourishment of the fruit
rather than the fleeting beauty of the flowers.
Truly, he cherishes what is deep within
Rather than what is shallow without.
He knows what to accept and what to reject.”
Tao teh Ching Ch 38 – translation by Hua-Ching Ni from “The complete works of Lao Tzu.”
If we are capable of “understanding” the above without analyzing it, but just by looking into our own experience of life, then we could find its usefulness and appreciate that.
Virtue is not something to achieve by doing a practice. Virtue is already present when we integrate our sentiments or feelings with the whole totality of life; that is when we feel that unity with all. As long as the mind interferes with ideas, philosophies, information, analysis, logic and all of that man made business; there can only be separation. In that separation virtue cannot bloom. The seed is already within us. The water and sunshine of pure feelings is what that seed needs to grow, develop and thrive.
Is avyakt7 a taoist? No just that… but more than that… a human being 🙂
Those who want to know the truth of the universe
should practice the four cardinal virtues.
The first one is reverence for all life; this manifests as
unconditional love and respect for oneself and all
The second is natural sincerity; this manifests as
honesty, simplicity, and faithfulness.
The third is gentleness; this manifests as kindness,
consideration for others, and sensitivity to spiritual
The fourth is supportiveness; this manifests as service
to others without expectation of reward.
The four virtues are not an external dogma but a part
of your original nature.
When practiced, they give birth to wisdom and evoke
the five blessings: health, wealth, happiness,
longevity, and peace.
From the “Hua Hu Ching” Chapter 51 – by Lao Tzu translated by Brian Walker.