Ramana Maharishi provides yet another description of the “I” word, and how to ‘unseat’ it, thereby diminishing the ego, and false self.
Ram Dass nails this. It was so good, I just had to repost it.
All credits and copyrights are to Baba Ram Dass
Here is the link to his site, which I highly recommend:
Artwork by Sam Brown
It turns out that the universe is lawful – not in a logical law, by the way. The law I’m talking about is what would be called the divine law. That is, it’s not logical law in the sense that a is a and not b. It’s the law that includes paradox and all possibility. Within that law of the universe, everything that is in form – whether it is on this physical plane or on any of the other planes I’ve been talking about – is all perfectly lawful. When we reduce it to our logical analogue, which is not an exact analogue but similar, we can think in deterministic frameworks. There is no free choice in the deterministic system. That is, if the laws are just running off, they are just running off, and the experience of the free choice is merely another run-off of the law. And under those conditions the past, present, and future are all perfectly lawfully related to one another.
Because we are in time, we think that the future has not yet happened. But it’s very much like being a character in a book, and you’re on page 23 and you don’t know what’s going to happen on page 24, because you think you’re the character in the book. But now imagine you’re reading the book – well, you could turn over and find out what happened on page 24. Now imagine you wrote the book. You would already know what happened on page 24. Hinduism and all these dualistic religio-philosophic movements talk about “the One” or the “one guru,” or satguru, or however you want to talk about it; Judaism says “The Lord is One,” and Jesus says, “My father and I are one.” When you go into these traditions, you see that when he has extricated himself from the attachment I’ve been talking about – physical, subtle, and all these different vibrational frequency plays – then he and consciousness are the same thing. And of course since it is all interchangeable, there’s only one of it. The way in which it keeps manifesting in form or in these different planes and coming down into clouds and then solids – and all this is perfectly lawful – you would say in effect, “He is the law.” God is the law.
That’s the way the word “God” finally comes in, which is a hard one for us. But you could say that’s why the Jews were so interested in the law, and what the Ten Commandments were that Moses brought back. Because the universe of form is merely the lawful manifestation of this energy into patterns, and because it is all lawful – past, present, and future – all are already. Therefore when you are around this being, my guru you see that he is no more in the present than in the past or the future, and to him it’s all equally available. Often when I’m sitting with him he would look at a being and later in just a little conversation when it just comes out for some karmic reason I don’t fully understand, he’ll say something about what’s going to happen to that guy. In the Tibetan tradition there’s like a lama who sends out postcards saying, “Next Thursday at 2 I’m leaving my body. I’m going to die. I hope you will come join me.” And everybody gathers at the Thursday at 2 and he turns around three times, he sits down, and he dies. You know that a fully conscious being always knows exactly the moment he’s going to die, if he cared. When he is going to “drop his body” is what the expression is – and that really is what it is, dropping the body. It means dying to the physical plane. Ramana Maharshi, very beautiful, had cancer of the arm and he wouldn’t have it treated and the devotees said, “Oh Bhagavan – God – take care of your body.” And he said, “No, it’s finished its work on this plane.” They said, “Don’t leave us; don’t leave us.” And he looked at them like he was bewildered, and he said, “Where can I go? Just because you’re not going to see me on the plane you’re addicted to, do you think I’m going anywhere?”
My experience with my guru over this time is that in five years he has slowly taken me over – which is a hard one for Westerners. Like my father asks me, “Are you getting married?” – because the woman I used to live with is in India with my guru, and he keeps calling her Mrs. Ram Dass. So I say, “I don’t know, he hasn’t told me yet.” My father comes out of the tradition where you don’t ask somebody else if you are going…”What do you mean, he hasn’t told you?” he says. “Don’t you make any decisions on your own?” And I say, “No.” No. Now from our point of view we really think we lost something. In the Christian Bible it’s called “Not my will, but Thy will, O Lord.” Because once you realize you are not who you thought you were anyway – how long do you want to play out the little melodrama that you think you’re doing it all? And if you don’t think you’re doing it all, and it’s still all lawful, you might as well just sit and listen to how it all came out. That’s the “Not my, but Thy will.” It’s what is called surrender – which we find so horrible because when we think of the word “surrender” we think of one ego surrendering to another. But if you imagine just surrendering into the law or surrendering the illusion that you are the choice maker… The idea is, when you surrender, is the result chaos? Is Freud right? Is the whole idea right that who we are is a wild animal? Or is that just more of the program?
– Ram Dass, excerpt from The Only Dance There Is
What makes us have faith?
Is it something that is learned? or earned? or a validation of belief via experience? or pure experience?
Is it a gift? something we were born with? something we ‘came on to’? a result of Grace? a result of trauma?
Is it miraculous events? surviving a traumatic life/death event? seeing or hearing or feeling an event that transcends what we know as our day to day reality?
Is it coincidence? serendipity? destiny? fate? the Will of God? an Angel’s guidance or protection? the intervention of a friend? or the intervention of a stranger?
FAITH to me is a most ephemeral and mercurial element of a belief system. Faith comes and goes, or so it seems. Perhaps it is that you experience the faith for which you have the capacity to experience, until you are so familiar with it, it seems to be normal, and part of your everyday life.
Then, BOOM, something happens and your are thrown into a spin, or you are inspired, or something transports your alertness/presence/aliveness to a new level… So, then you are filled with a sense of renewal, or loss, or pain, but clearly your faith has been impacted. There is ALWAYS benefit to you from your faith being impacted. It may look like you are being pushed to the limit, at the end of your rope, but on the other side of it (if you can hand it over in prayer as a gift), you find your faith is deeper and less shake-able….
Maybe, one day you simply wake up, and realize that your faith is tangible, and that you can rely upon it. Not backslide, but know that it is there when you need it. It is a spiritual muscle, if you will, that once recognized, can be nurtured, appreciated, shared, cultivated by prayer, exposure to deepening events such as vigils, workshops, retreats, silence, common practice in community (like a monastery or weekend/week-long retreat). Let’s say it becomes more tangible as you ‘live through it’, which gives you more confidence in it’s availability and stability.
I often wondered about, questioned and pondered on this topic of FAITH and what is it? How does it come to be? Some are never exposed to the idea that any such thing exists, some are raised with it, some find it and are ecstatic about it, and some simply ignore it.
What is my faith? On what is it based? Why do I even ask about it? What makes me ponder and explore?
For me, I could not imagine NOT having some degree of faith. I believe that faith is ‘hooked into’ trust. Do you trust yourself? If you don’t – does that mean you have no faith? Do you have faith, but do not trust yourself? Do you have trust in others, but have no faith? Do you say you have faith, but do not trust any one?
Faith seems to be an experiential learning that grows as it is challenged.
More to come…(still drafting!)
If you were born with a natural joy, and a desire to express that joy,
and even learned how to transmit that joy through your talents, natural or learned,
and have had that as the core of your life and being,
you were born to bring light into this world.
Many people spread and provide light and have no idea that is what they are doing.
Let your natural joy overflow into your world however it may happen!!! and you will lift those around you in such a way that they will remember you always.
Be Joyful! Be Lightful!
He loves you so much and respects your free will so – that it is you who grants him permission to be with you. That consent is the source of wisdom or ignorance, awakened or asleep, the cloud of unknowing or the cloud of forgetting, oneness or separation.
It is in this transformative Experience that you are in a full exchange and relationship at an intimacy deeper than breath.
We are all connected.
The brutal killing of ourselves by each other causes so much suffering and sadness.
We must love our selves enough to stop/heal/release the ignorance, unconsciousness and blindness we use to bludgeon the life out of ourselves.
Find your peace, it will spread and become contagious.
How the work of this book shall be wrought, and of the worthiness of it before all
LIFT up thine heart unto God with a meek stirring of love; and mean Himself, and none of His goods. And thereto, look the loath to think on aught but Himself. So that nought work in thy wit, nor in thy will, but only Himself. And do that in thee is to forget all the creatures that ever God made and the works of them; so that thy thought nor thy desire be not directed nor stretched to any of them, neither in general nor in special, but let them be, and take no heed to them. This is the work of the soul that most pleaseth God. All saints and angels have joy of this work, and hasten them to help it in all their might. All fiends be furious when thou thus dost, and try for to defeat it in all that they can. All men living in earth be wonderfully holpen of this work, thou wottest not how. Yea, the souls in purgatory be eased of theirpain by virtue of this work. Thyself art cleansed and made virtuous by no work so much. And yet it is the lightest work of all, when a soul is helped with grace in sensible list, and soonest done. But else it is hard, and wonderful to thee for to do.
Let not, therefore, but travail therein till thou feel list. For at the first time when
thou dost it, thou findest but a darkness; and as it were a cloud of unknowing, thou knowest not what, saving that thou feelest in thy will a naked intent unto God. This darkness and this cloud is, howsoever thou dost, betwixt thee and thy God, and letteth thee that thou mayest neither see Him clearly by light of understanding in thy reason, nor feel Him in sweetness of love in thine affection.
And therefore shape thee to bide in this darkness as long as thou mayest, evermore
crying after Him that thou lovest. For if ever thou shalt feel Him or see Him, as it may be
here, it behoveth always to be in this cloud in this darkness. And if thou wilt busily travail
as I bid thee, I trust in His mercy that thou shalt come thereto.