Thursday, January 19, 2006

Why do we do what we do.

We (that is the uniquely programmed human) act the way we do because we're uniquely programmed to respond just that way. We couldn't do anything else - just like a computer is programmed and must function according to that programming. It can't decide to act contrary to it (even though sometimes they appear to). The computer programme sets the parameters of how it will work. Humans are not computers but they do have genetic programming fixed at conception that dictate the parameters. We have cultural identities and individual experiences that go together to make up the unique programming and we must function accordingly. Non-duality points to our true nature. Not only Advaita/non-duality but the past head of Siddha yoga, Muktananda, stated "thou art that" and Sri Nisargadatta Marharaj has a well known book entitled I AM THAT. Where 'that' is the inexpressible awareness of what we are. We can talk about it but not of it and we can conceptualise it but the concept is not the real. Our culture teaches us that we are in control/in charge of our lives and decisions. The me that is supposedly in control is an identitification by awareness with the programming. And, as a result there is this belief in us as an individual with volition. Close observation and exploration (imploration might be a better word) shows that there is awareness first & foremost and that everything including the human animal and it's programming is an appearance in it. That is, we don't exist in the body - the body exists in us. 'Sailor' Bob Adamson points out again & again very effectively that the ego claims doership after the fact. The programming is responsible for the way we act and react to situations. Ramesh Balsekar also tells us that we are not in control of the thoughts that appear & disappear. If we were why would we ever have an unpleasant or depressing thought. Wouldn't we always have happy thoughts? If we were really in control of our thoughts wouldn't we turn them off in the night when we want to sleep - those nights when the damn mind just won't quit - when all we want is to go back to sleep? The fact that the ego claims responsibility blinds us to the reality that we are not in control, that thoughts simply arise when they arise and they don't arise when they don't arise. It's only after the fact that the ego says 'I did that'. Advaita points out that we don't do the things we think we do, although things do get done. It's finally seen, by no-one, that what we truly are is pure subjective awareness and not an object, objects appear in us. In this awareness a body/mind organism, thoughts, feeling, memories and the world appear. Then it is also seen that there is no 'me' in this body driving it and that choices are made but there is no choice maker. As the Buddha is reported to have said (in one of Rameshes books) something like "choices are made, deeds are done but there is no doer thereof". It clearly states that there is no separate individual entity in control of the human animal. Decisions are made simple based on the programming and influenced by thoughts that arise. We may be sitting silently doing nothing and a thought pops up to have a beer, so we get a beer, unless a contrary thought tells us to do something else. A thought may pop up to make a million dollars or to climb a mountain but if it's not in the programming then it won't be acted on.

Monday, January 16, 2006

With clarity & simplicity.

After enlightenment, or self realization life goes on as before unchanged and completely changed. When it's clearly seen that what is, is awareness and that everything appears in that awareness the view becomes one of total simplicity. It's also totally obvious that the awarenes is what 'I AM' and you are. There has to be awareness first & foremost (not that there's any order to it) or nothing could be known. Without awareness there's nothing. What is unchanged is the 'body/mind' programming. That goes on unchanged - it continues until it's supposed to change, or end. What changes is the view. Before, we think we have to do something - to make it all work. Afterwards, we see that awarenes is and that we have no control over what thought pops up - or not. It just all happens. We think we are doing it, because and only because, we (as awareness) are identified with this body/mind. We think this is what we are. So, for example, when the body feels hunger and that hunger triggers a movement to get food - as it's designed to. The mind works out how to get the food that's needed. It's after the fact that we (what's referred to as the ego) claim that we decided to get the food. But you see it was not us who decided to be hungry in the first place. My outward life hasn't changed, because what this body/mind is doing is exactly what it's programmed to do. I can't change my genetics or the influences of the country or time I was born into. That is the main programming that this body follows. There are some constant small changes that go on happening but by & large it's pretty well fixed at conception. There's nothing wrong with that. The imagined problem is when we (awareness) become identified with this body that we start to think it should be some other way. If I was truly in charge of my life I would have an I.Q. of 140, would be a multi-millionaire, would always look about 35 years old with a fittness of a 25 year old, would have a light sun tan, a full head of hair and a perfect set of white teeth, would be ably to speak many languages, play any musical instrument, have a beautiful singing voice and a magnetic personality. BUT, not one of these things is true. In light of the facts how can I possibly claim to be in control.

Appearances come and go and are not at all under 'my' control. That is a concept we're fed with from an early age - you're responsible for how your life pans out, we're lead to believe. The idea that I'm not in control was a hard idea for me to accept when I first read Ramesh Balsekars book 'Consciousness Speaks'. I knew he was telling the truth - or should I say I knew it was a valuable pointer he was giving me. First 'I AM'. And I am awareness and that doesn't change but we do gradually become identified with concepts of who we're told we are from an early age. That's where it all begins to go wrong.

When self realization takes place (and that's not in your hands either) it all becomes incredibly simple and clear. Then there are reminders from time to time (as it were) of just simply watching the appearances come & go. And marvelling at the differing patterns of energy that appear. This understanding brings clarity & simplicity and a beauty beyond measure.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Hello world.

As I may have said before my life mainly stood for the seeking that seemed to go right through from childhood. I had a pretty standard way of viewing life ie that I am an individual person living in the world, that as a person I could think and was in control of my life, at least to some degree and legally I am held responsible. If something went wrong it most probably was my fault. Once I came into contact with non-duality (which isn't a religion or even a set of beliefs) things started to change. All the years of seeking and understanding how the mind works and what was right or wrong with relationships went out the window. It seemed important at the time but once it was clearly seen that what I am is pure awareness (keep asking the question "who am I" really) and that everything else appears in that awareness. Then it is also clearly seen that there is no one here doing the seeking and no individual. So it means that there is no one to be an individual with choices or to make mistakes. The 'me' was an illusion - just a lifetime of being conditioned to put together memories seen from a human animal point of view. The mind created an apparent individual. When this is seen then the seeking ends and peace follows.

I'm thankful to all the 'people' who stood up to be counted, either talking, puting out books, CD's etc. and the trouble it takes to have a web site.


Good evening world.

I've been wondering what it is about doing this blog that I find so intersting. I realized the other day that it's not constrained. When I write or type to a friend, it's always within certain criteria, depending on the relationship I have with the particular person. With this though it's totally free and open ended so I can simply express any thing. It's so free - like this for example - it's just an expression of something that needs to be said.
Think I'm going to bed now though.
Good night world.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Adding a picture

Good evening once again all,

I was unable to work out how to add a profile picture to the top of my blog so have settled with this so far. I'll try again later.

Incidentally it was taken a few months ago while holidaying in Tasmania - a really lovely place to visit.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The name Devgrah

In my search for some degree of understanding of what makes people tick - me in particular and later the search for enlightenment I was introduced to the teachings of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh in 1980. He spoke to me (via an audio tape) in a way no-one else ever had. I was fascinated by who this man was and what he knew that I didn't. I read and listened to his words extensively as well as anyone else who I thought might help me in my quest.

Some years later I went to see Bhagwan in Oregon USA to become a sanyassin (spiritual seeker). The name he gave me was Swami (monk) Prem (love) Devgrah (Temple). I never really used the name publicly which showed just how identified I was with 'my' birth name.

Starting a Blog

I have been keeping a journal since 1969 when some friends and I decided to migrate here from England. The need to travel and expand was the driving force and since the Australian government was offering two years in the sun for ten pounds I thought who am I to refuse an offer like that. I guess it was all a symptom of a restlessness that had started early and was to dominate most of my life. I'm sure I am not the only one to have had that feeling. From an early age I felt something was wrong, or missing. Everyone else seemed ok so I figured it was me with the problem. I've come to realize that the same feelings were common in others too. I wasn't alone - although it seemed that way at the time.

Years went on and the feelings didn't go away. I changed jobs to a mental health nurse in an attempt to understand what made people tick - me in particular. It helped - but not a whole lot. It did, however, lead me to a colleague who had recently attended a 'new age group'. Was that what I was looking for. Apparently it was for I was like a ripe fruit. The experience was amazing and amongst other things showed me that I was a spirtual seeker. A new identity perhaps and a new way of looking at life but it focused my search for what was amiss. Years went by and all the usual new age techniques were tried (many books have outlined them). Life seemed to getting better but that same old feeling somehow just lurked in the background and wouldn't go away.

A long rest from all the accumulated knowledge I'd gained was needed, for clearly more knowledge wasn't the answer. I was introduced to Advaita, or non-duality as it's also called. Ramesh Balsekar, Isaac Shapiro and Bob Adamson in particular helped with the new understanding. Many books later and while reading the web site of John Wheeler it hit me - the sudden and direct intuitive realization of my true nature. The world seemed to light up. This is what I've been looking for - my self! Wow! This is what I've been looking for all these years and missing it by looking beyond it. There hadn't actually been anything wrong - just a wrong identification. For those who know who, or what they are you can identify with these words, I'm sure. Before that moment I was in confusion. Everything I read seemed to be telling me something but I just couldn't put my finger on what it was they were saying. We're so conditioned.

I could go on endlessly talking about my experience but that would be misleading for it would give the impression there is someone here who had the experience. As Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh said when asked if he was enlightened (something like) "if I say no I'll be telling a lie, and if I say yes I'll be misleading you". Advaita is a wonderful set of pointers. It's not for everyone. There are no promises for the ego. But for those close to knowing 'the truth'. It's a pretty hardcore and direct pointing and you have to have a determination, or desperation, to pursue it.

From about two years of age when we first develop the concept of separation, the false identity starts. It's exactly how it is supposed to be so there's nothing actually wrong as such. But the more identity that gets added onto it the more false and separate we feel and more knowledge, money of aquisitions can't help. We need to go back through and understand how it all happened in the first place. We have to find someone who we trust and at a certain point, and for some people the illusion of separation collapses. It's then clearly seen that there never was a 'me' in control. The false 'me' claimed control. What a paradox - the definition of enlightenment being 'the realization that there is no-one to become enlightened'. From then on the seeking stops and peace prevails. A wonderful clarity exists where confusion and frustration had been. Otherwise things go on pretty much as before. The body/mind organism, as Ramesh calls it, carries on with it's same programming.