Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Karma? Merit?

The idea of either karma and/or merit is an interesting one and easily misunderstood.

If we view this question from a 'me' perspective then it makes sense that we would expect the fruits of good deeds and have to pay for bad ones. However, self realization reveals that the 'me' is nothing but an illusion and hense there is in fact no individual 'me' to benefit or lose on either count.

This does not mean there is no karma or that merit isn't needed to gain understanding. Karma exists as cause & effect, but not for an individual. Cause & effect functions immediately. Put your finger in the fire and it burns now, not in some future life.

If the question is seen from an 'I AM' perspective then karma is seen every day as the way life unfolds, and will continue to unfold until it is due to stop. And merit is a destiny with 'understanding'.

As Ramesh Balsekar once said "there is nothing you can do to become enlightened - because there is no you".

There being no 'you/me/I' doesn't mean enlightenment doesn't happen - it does, but not to the 'me'. Enlightenment is the realization that there is no me - and there never was. This is the untimate freedom, not freedom for the individual but freedom from the individual - from the idea of 'me'.

Are you a seeker?

If you regard yourself as a seeker and are interested in Advaita you might like to take a look at my website.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Nothing new

There is an expectation that blogs have to be updated regularly but everything has been said and repeated here and in the accompanying website. What Advaita points to is the eternal. It's only the superficial and unreal that needs constant reinforcement. What you truly are is unchanging and unchangeable - that's the point but what we've been taught to focus on is the ever changing unreal - that which needs constant support, but no matter how hard or how many times we repeat it the unreal will never become real, we will never become the human although unfortunately most people think they are (the human). It's just a case of reinforced mistaken identity. I think it was Adyashanti who said 'you are not a human having a spiritual experience, but spirit having a human experience.

In the end though, and not to get into philosophy, it really doesn't matter as it's all what's supposed to happen (and I can hear certain people objecting to that already).

In the search for understanding we entertain many ideas, new age concepts, philosophies and religions. Some people are less inclined to look too far from their familiar and known world view, while others eagerly explore anything with a promise of an end to that feeling that 'something is wrong'. All of these new ideas have something to offer but alas none of them are the complete story and in many cases are quite misguiding. We have seen many cases in the past few decades where, it has turned out, the group leader had a narcissistic personality and in those cases inocent 'followers' have become their victims. No matter what the new idea is and however much it promises to give you what you are looking for remember that if the feeling that something is wrong persists then it's still time to continue the search. Learn what's being taught and 'move on'. As someone once said 'be like the wise ant, when it comes upon a pile of sand and sugar crystals, take the sugar and leaves the sand'.

If we find ourselves defending one of those ideas then be aware that it's probably not the truth, but another belief that the mind has accumulated. When we cross a river we may take a small boat to get to the other side but once on the other shore if we pick up that boat and carry, or drag it across the land it becomes an impediment to our journey. We have to know when to get into the boat, recognize that part of the journey is complete and get out again.

There comes a point in our search when Advaita enters the arena, as this has done for you. This can be the final step and is for many.

I'm b-a-c-k.

Some frustrating times - oh yes, being self realized doesn't stop emotions. The human is designed to feel the whole gambit of bodily sensations/experiences/emotions etc that it's programmed to. This doesn't stop, although the experience is modified considerably from the old 'suffering' (finger on the pause button of life) experiencing to a freewheeling, witnessing view of life as it unfolds. What you are is not the one experiencing or the experience but the omnipresent awareness of the perception of the experiences.

Back to the frustrations. Firstly the website became, in a word, "stuffed". A new one was built by a kind friend and as soon as that was in place the computer motherboard got 'fried'. Finaly we're back to normal but with a heap of changes yet to be made or added. The frustrations were from being out of contact - I've discovered I'm bionic!