Joe feels depressed. He is disappointed by the experience of Life. He cannot believe that Life is so short and full of troubles, never ending struggle just to meet death at the end. The idea of being inside a wooden casket and seeing all pitch black from there is frightening. He becomes a seeker…
Tina was minding her own business, busy with things to do and places to go. One day through a dream she had an experience: She was speaking with a beautiful being. “He” was a peaceful white light in human form. It was very soothing to hear his voice. He had a message for Tina: “Tomorrow you will know more about me, little child.” The next day Tina met some people, who had the same experience. Tina labeled that experience as “meeting God” due to the support of others “chosen” ones. She became a seeker…
Ralph was born in a religious family. He knew about God. He knew about being a sinner and even though, he didn’t care much about it; he believed in that. It was his conditioning. There was nothing much going on in Ralph’s life. It was a mediocre experience for him. One day he meets some people in a party. These people looked very happy. Ralph wanted that for him. They told Ralph that they have found happiness in their church. Ralph became a member of it. Ralph became a seeker…
The stories may change. The common denominator is that either the seeker wants something more than themselves: To become better, to know the “truth,” etc. or they desire a relationship with the highest being, the highest power, to be “someone” by default of a relationship with the “highest” thing ever.
They are looking for “union” with something “better” than themselves, that ambition will give them a sense of purpose.
That is how Yoga arrives in their lives.
Every deistic religion is a form of yoga, for the ultimate is to be close to God, be equal to God, fused with God, in the grace of God, one with God, etc. The label “God” has such importance in this path.
Every form of Yoga has a common characteristic: To increase the ego of the seeker as the idea of “becoming better” is infused in the participant.
The striving of becoming some ideal, is a form of ego. The ego wants “some of that” to increase its own appreciation, importance, self-respect, etc.
Every yoga path, has a particular practice which separates the participant from everyone else, that is what makes them “better.” Even if it is about performing a physical asana in the yoga studio: That practice gives you a title: “Yogi,” it gives you a sense of belonging to a special circle where “yamas and niyamas” are dutifully practiced, separating you from the rest. “You” are “special.”
That feeling of being “special” will give the seeker a sense of purpose, motivation, an objective in Life to be “better” and to reach to the “top,” just like in the “office world.” But this is even “better,” for it is no mundane stuff. It is “spiritual,” “divine.”
The seeker starts by increasing his ego. Why?
Because as mentioned before, the most important aspect of any religious/ spiritual path is for the participant, to be aware of ego, the “I.” That is the common link of any path.
The easiest way for self awareness to occur is by increasing ego.
Unfortunately, many seekers are not conscious of this and rather believe in their own self-importance, self-righteousness.
Nevertheless, the struggle to become “better” has started by separating ourselves from mainstream. That is what a religion/ spiritual path brings, a different perspective so we could look at our conditioning, what we have learned in mainstream society.
This great “tool” is overlooked and instead it becomes a lifestyle for many, where to be “right” and close to God is believed to be achieved through certain practices, DOINGS, etc.
A path of yoga is without a doubt a necessary path for many to un-condition from the “office world;” it is a subtle continuation of the idea that our society has about the importance of achievement, to become better, higher, more powerful. That is why, this path is readily understood by the majority and part of their “spiritual” journey. 🙂
Throughout these sharings, we have been seeing the importance of observing the self, that means to understand the self.
Because if we are “normal” individuals; then we could find that our “self” is fragmented. That means, we have different “selves” inside ourselves. 🙂
There is the voice of the body. The voice of the past with its own suffering. The voice of hope in the anxious future, the voice of the ego, the voice of boredom etc.
Every voice inside of us has a distinct, unique personality.
Do we recognize those voices inside us? That is what is meant by a fragmented self.
Our consciousness of individuality has taken us to the experience of a fragmented personality. Every voice will take the “lead” at different times. When that happens our personality will change accordingly.
“He does not know who I am. I will show him.”
“Why does she act in that way? She does not love me….but I love her so much… She makes me suffer.”
“I must achieve the illuminated stage. I want to be a pure, illuminated being.”
“I am tired of this. I want something different. When I move out to a different place, everything will change and I will be happy.”
The above, are examples of those inner voices. Every voice brings its own mood, its own colorful theme! 🙂
The task of any spiritual walker is to unify those fragments into something cohesive, so it can be integrated into the Totality.
In brief, that is what spirituality is all about: Integration into the Totality by diluting the ego (or any of the other “voices” inside us.)
The above is not related with “Paradise,” “salvation for all” or the “holy gospel” or some devotional practice to “purify” yourself.
This is about self observation.
We cannot “conquer ego” because there is nothing to conquer.
Who is conquering what?
The observer is being separated from that which is observed. Then, only thoughts will be in between. That separative thinking only preserves ego.
We can dilute ego, because under the light of awareness; ego cannot remain and that is the opportunity to go deeper into its understanding, for the dilution to last. Otherwise, ego will survive and grow stronger like an obstinate weed.
The dilution of ego means greater integration into the Totality. That is what the word “yoga” or “union” means. It is union with everything, not just with someone special or specific.
Yoga is the experience of Totality.
To integrate the “self” into that Totality means to go back into the formless.
Form and formless is a duality, which trap many individuals. Ego loves form, for that is a way to identify itself. The formless is frightful.
An integrated, sane, healthy human being should be capable of dwelling into those 2 kinds of consciousness (Individuality and Totality.)
There is no need to choose as to which one is “better” or which is “good” or “bad.”
The wind blows in different directions according to the need of time, and so we can.
There is a door in the room of life. Many are only located on one side of that door. That feels safe, that side brings company and comfort but not happiness. Those who dare to know what is on the other side of the door, will be the ones who know both sides. To cross that door means to leave that comfort zone and the fear of losing what we already know.
That is the complete experience.
1. Find quoted below some CONCEPT which I have come across. I will be happy if you can kindly go through this and your experiences if any and your CHURNING on the subject will be of immense help to this SOUL.
“The heart is the only point at which the connecting link between the animate and the inanimate is most clearly felt. This is the reason why meditation on the heart is very useful. Further, heart is the field for the action of mind. Mind is always as it is. It is the heart which, as the field of action of the mind, is to be set right. Hence the most appropriate point for meditation can be only that where from the current flows on, either upwards or downwards. It can only be the heart and nothing else”.
Taken from the book “Complete Works of Ram Chandra, Vol. 1 (1st Indian edn., 1989)”, Chapter “Way to Realisation (Role of the Abhyasi)”, pg. 345, by Babuji Maharaj
Of course according to my present very limited understanding, it is “experiencing”, “being”, “witnessing”, “present”, “detached observer” that matters for the SOUL.
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With Greetings & Good Wishes,
Thank you for sharing that link. As you rightly pointed out, you came across some “concept.”
Gurus, religions and philosophies will give their “experience,” which are explained in a conceptual way.
However, as we are discovering; those concepts pretend to explain with dualistic words something which cannot be explained, thus; “believers” merely follow blindly a literal interpretation of those explanations and make that interpretation into a dogmatic creed. A religion.
The “heart” is another concept. It is a muscle pumping blood in the human body. If we believe that the physical heart is the center of feelings, it is just a belief. It feels as if feelings come from the heart just as when we believe that thoughts come from the brain. Then we could have more information from another source, mentioning for example; that “we are souls and we are located in the center of the forehead. A role is “recorded in the soul” which are thoughts manifested through the brain,” but the brain is not the origin of those thoughts, etc..etc.. etc. With so many differing concepts, which one is the “true” one? Certainly “one” must be the only truth… 🙂
Then, some will fight to find out who has the “truth,” and will demonstrate this by “scientific” means or by logic as if science and logic were the “reference for truth.” 🙂
The above is what “normal” people experience as a religious faith.
When you recognize by your own experience what are “feelings,” you will not worry about where are they “located.” That does not bring any further experience whatsoever. If we study the heart, the soul; as “concepts” we could care about their “location” but as an experience, it does not matter their “location” at all; for the spiritual experience is not related with that.
Nevertheless, when we talk about feelings to others who may be “uninitiated,” to be “understood” (or misunderstood) we will use the word “heart.”
There are some religious beliefs which separate the heart from the mind. There are others, however; which unite them.
The head is separated from the heart in a conceptual basis, but they work together, they are interdependent with the rest of the human being. That is the reality. The illusion is that we can think of them as “individual” entities all by itself. A change in the heart means a change in the mind. Likewise, if the mind changes; the heart will do so. The chicken or the egg dilemma. Who is first? 🙂
Dear reader, It is good to try and to explore different things. The spiritual experience is what is valuable; just be mindful about getting caught up in conceptual thinking and in taking the explanation, the map, the pointing finger as the “thing” to find.
Some religions will focus on the heart, others in the mind. Explore them. There is always room to learn when there is openness of a “big mind” and a “big heart.”
2. Divine Brother, In today’s Murli Baba said that Baba can’t read our thoughts because we exist in the material realm. But then how is it that when we do manmanabhav , he will respond to our needs and also connect to us when we are in yog ?
“Connection” means union.
Manmanabhav is union,
yog is union.
When there is union, everything is known.
It is the story of the self looking for completeness.
It is the glue which brings everything together, as it was meant to be.
When we feel we are merged, we are in communion.
It is merging with God and everything else. A sense of appreciation of this moment as it is.
Without that “everything” then there is just a fractional experience of what could be.
It is a kiss in the cheek rather than the life-giving breath of union of completeness.
The marriage of the Sun with the Moon.
Then, the reflection of the moon in the lake can only be known with just one label: The night.
Breathe in. That is life. It is your emptiness which allows the space for fulfillment.
Breathe out. Feel the heart alive and bursting out those feelings which can only expand into the horizon of a new beginning.
Depth of feelings is bliss. The highest ecstatic and exquisite feeling coming from you. It is just you. Holy, pure, sacred.
There is no one who has the key for your happiness once you have experienced what is in you.
Life is sharing, serving; that is love. To live is to love. “Others” are in you. Union. Celebration.
A feeling has the “heart” to bring the Sun and Moon together. It has the sweetness to melt that ice of separating thoughts into nourishing flowing water, to satiate your neighbor’s thirst for love.
To live is to feel.
Communion. That is everything.