Merry Christmas

Tan Jui Horne wrote:

 Me: "Hey have you read the gospel of Thomas?"

 Christian friend: "HERESY!"

 And that was the end of that.

I replied:

Gospel of Thomas is an early text and IMO could be as authentic as the canonized texts. Actually some mainstream Christians I know like that text, not everyone is against it. That said, the four canonized gospels are also deeply mystical. Most mainstream Christians however do not have access to mystical realizations, but there are Christian mystics around the world, including the contemplative order in Singapore that taught Lee Kuan Yew meditation and led to his Self-Realization.

Quotes from the 4 canonized gospels:

"20 the kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21Â Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22The eye is the lamp of the body. If your vision is clear, your whole body will be full of light."

"I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."

"Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am."

"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending"

"I am the way, the truth, and the life."

'In him was life, and the life was the light of men."

"As long as I am in the world, I am the world's Light."

"Put your trust in the light while there is still time; then you will become children of the light."

"I and the Father are one."

"I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one."

"25Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air: They do not sow or reap or gather into barns—and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his lifespan?c

28And why do you worry about clothes? Consider how the lilies of the field grow: They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was adorned like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans strive after all these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.

34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own."

“Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak to you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwells in me, he does the works.” “I can of my own self do nothing.”

“If you love me, keep my commands. … Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

Also, Galatians 2:20:

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.

Quotes from Gospel of Thomas:

"If those who lead you say, 'See, the Kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the Kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living Father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty."

"Be passerby."

"If they say to you, 'Where have you come from?' say to them, 'We have come from the light, from the place where the light came into being by itself, established [itself], and appeared in their image.'

If they say to you, 'Is it you?' say, 'We are its children, and we are the chosen of the living Father.'

If they ask you, 'What is the evidence of your Father in you?' say to them, 'It is motion and rest.'"

"I am the light that is over all things. I am all: from me all came forth, and to me all attained.

Split a piece of wood; I am there.

Lift up the stone, and you will find me there."

"Jesus saw some infants who were being suckled. He said to his disciples: These infants being suckled are like those who enter the kingdom. They said to him: If we then become children, shall we enter the kingdom? Jesus said to them: When you make the two one, and when you make the inside as the outside, and the outside as the inside, and the upper as the lower, and when you make the male and the female into a single one, so that the male is not male and the female not female, and when you make eyes in place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then shall you enter [the kingdom]."


I also wrote to

Tan Jui Horng:

Most Christians, like most Buddhists, are not developmentally mature enough. They are at a mythic-literal, ethnocentric level of development. What are mythic literal beliefs?

Ken Wilber: "Then the mythic or mythic literal stage, which is just that: the myths are taken to be literally and absolutely true, not symbolic or metaphoric: Moses really did part the Red Sea, God really did rain locusts on the Egyptians, Lot’s wife really was turned into a sack of salt, Lao Tzu really was 900 years old when he was born, and so on. Because the mythic stage is deeply ethnocentric, most fundamentalist “chosen people” religious schools, as we noted, are mythic literal; this stage emerged starting around 10,000 years ago and in today’s development, occurs around ages 5 to 10—though the point is that today, although everybody begins their development at the first, the earliest, the archaic stage, they can stop their development at virtually any of the succeeding stages (magic, mythic-literal, rational, pluralistic, integral); which means that mythic ethnocentric-fundamentalist religion has stopped its Growing Up at the mythic literal level or stage in its spiritual intelligence."

Doing a google search reveals how many Americans are stuck in outdated, mythic-literal beliefs. "4 in 10 Americans Believe God Created Earth 10,000 Years Ago", only 32% of Americans believe in darwinian evolution. This validates my view that majority of people are stuck at pre-rational stages of development. This also partly explains the culture wars and politics going on in America.

They are not ready for rational and trans-rational discourses and forms of spiritual and personal development. And as such, they lack an open-mindedness to anything mystical or deeper than their surface-level dogmatic beliefs, and their religious faith is actually not an 'experiential trust' in a transrational and transpersonal divine but rather, a form of conceptual dogmas and belief.

This is why I tend not to discuss spirituality and religion with people in real life, except online, which happens to be because a lot of spiritual people added me online. Like attracts like. But just because we see many 'higher development' people online, doesn't mean the majority of people around us (in real life) are at a high stage of development. Religion and spirituality is mostly either treated as merely a form of mythic, childish and superstitious belief, (by pre-rational believers) or as utter nonsense (by rational atheists) rather than an inner, transformative, mystical and experiential realization (transrational level of spirituality). I only discuss mundane stuff with friends.

As Ken Wilber wrote in his book One Taste,

"Even if we say there were only one billion Chinese over the course of its history (an extremely low estimate), that still means that only one thousand out of one billion had graduated into an authentic, transformative spirituality. For those of you without a calculator, that's 0.0000001 of the total population. And that means, unmistakably, that the rest of the population were (and are) involved in, at best, various types of horizontal, translative, merely legitimate religion: they were involved in magical practices, mythical beliefs, egoic petitionary prayer, magical rituals, and so on--in other words, translative ways to give meaning to the separate self, a translative function that was, as we were saying, the major social glue of the Chinese (and all other) cultures to date. Thus, without in any way belittling the truly stunning contributions of the glorious Eastern traditions, the point is fairly straightforward: radical transformative spirituality is extremely rare, anywhere in history, and anywhere in the world. (The numbers for the West are even more depressing. I rest my case.)... ...although it is generally true that the East has produced a greater number of authentic realizers, nonetheless, the actual percentage of the Eastern population that is engaged in authentic transformative spirituality is, and always has been, pitifully small."

  • Tan Jui Horng Great post. Looking at Buddhism as practiced by its native populations, I'm not surprised if merit-making to prepare for the next life's practice or chanting to get into a pure land are still the most regularly practiced forms of the religion. I mean, just look at our elders.

    Just guessing that it's the availability of quality instruction in those days. Meditation simply wasn't widely taught and was often cautioned against because it was easy to 走火入魔. Then there's likely the need to work your ass off just to eke out a living for most people, leaving less time and energy for much. And that's for a religion that's as mystical as they come. I would think availability for the kind of contemplation/introspection practices that are spiritually transformative are even rarer for the other non-eastern religions.
  • Soh Wei Yu In singapore, it’s like one half, mostly the older generation, are primarily at pre rational stage, another half is primarily at rational/orange. The only concerns for orange would usually be survival/achievement. Something like that. Younger tends to get stuck at orange/rational rather than prerational which is why religiousity is decreasing as people are growing up from prerational to rational. The very young are starting to go green but not that many yet.

    Usually interest in genuine authentic spirituality is likelier for green and beyond than orange and prerational, though it’s not the rule
  • Soh Wei Yu As society grows up the discourse must shift from catering to the prerational crowd to the rational and beyond

    Otherwise religion will sound like nonsense, which in some sense it is, as most mainstream religious organizations are stuck at prerational, which means it doesnt make sense when subjected to rational scrutiny

    This is why so many people identify themselves as “spiritual, but not religious” nowadays
20 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    When any authentic path are being taught to the masses,the results are sadly superficial and wont hv real lasting benefits.

    By its very nature,any real path is a path of tears,lots and lots of tears, darkness,pain,renunciation and extreme struggle.Theres simply no other way ,and the masses simply cannot comprehend the need for such struggle and renunciation.

    (thats why yr path seems too straightforward and lack realism - " i simply follow Thusness's abcd and now im at 'd' .....wheres the renunciation? Wheres the struggle ? Any tears? )

    Eckhart tolle went through severe depression(though sadly,while hasnt completed the path he has bcome a businessman) , Rmana Maharshi after death experience renounce everything,simirlarly,Siddharta renounce evrything in the palace....

    Those sages of old,what do they had in common? Extreme renunciation,went to mountains,caves search for the ultimate....And obviously,wat they had went through was nothing as a walk in the park,but tears,crying dissapointment, etc.. during the struggle for enlightmentment...

    But in modern times,everything has changed ....Workshop,meditation classes etc.... I mean ,obviously there are benefits,but its only outward and superficial ,never reach deepest level of delusion...

  2. Soh Says:

    They have little in common.

    Eckhart Tolle went through severe depression but Ramana Maharshi did not have depression. The only similarity between them is that both of them had spontaneous awakening through self-inquiry.

    Eckhart Tolle lived in a park for two years but now he's living with a girlfriend and has lots of money.

    Ramana Maharshi was a recluse but Nisargadatta Maharaj chain smoked beedi (leaf-rolled cigarettes) and ran a cigarette business and lived with his wife and daughters until they passed away. Nisargadatta liked sex and cigarettes, and died of throat cancer.

    The point being, you cannot use one person and make it a model that everyone has to follow. Enlightenment does not play out like that, there are no rules as to how enlightenment must unfold.

    I agree most workshops and meditation classes are superficial. But I can only tell you the insights and realizations I had are very rare, you can hardly find it around. At least not in my country, you will not find it in any temples, Zen centers, dharma centers. I tried, and I'm disappointed at the local dharma scene. I'm not even trying to get you to believe me, just go through the stages and find out yourself, with an open mind.

  3. Soh Says:

    It's not my intent to brag about realizations. But to be honest, my realization is beyond what Ramana Maharshi, Eckhart Tolle, Nisargadatta Maharaj, or any Zen masters or dharma teachers that I can find in Singapore, is expressing.

    Just saying this because I don't want to give an impression that what I am saying is similar to them.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    The unfoldment of enlightenment,if it is to be genuine,must follow the path of renunciation,letting go and struggle....theres no other way.Otherwise wat one get is simply brief flashes of gnostic awakening. After Ramana's death experience,why he went to seclusion? Simply intuitively he knew its not the end,and he had to deepen his realizations.So heres an eg of renunciation.

    As for Eckhart,thought his initial realization was genuine he had 'lost' the way(and didnt renounce) progress for him is stunted for now....After such realizations,if one were to go all the way, can one still be immersed in a 'business'(and other things) ? (No doubt hes helping the masses,but as stated earlier,the help when given to the masses will not be deep and genuine)

    Nisargadatta like sex and cigarattes,if true , is bcos he had not yet reached the end of the path,same as Eckhart...

    Its not fair to judge others realizations,for one can never know for sure,but as for you(yr awakening) ,it just seems .....incredibly 'smooth'... why there doesnt seem to involve experiences of struggle,dealing with demons,darknight of soul ,ren7nciation etc... ? And that leave room for ppl to doubt,dont u think?

    And if ppl already hv doubt abt a persons realization,will they listen fully to him/her? ...just my pov...



  5. Anonymous Says:

    Of course ,ppl r free to take it or leave,for all u r giving is free(no charge of $) and generous,which is an immense amt of good karma and merit ....

    I think this is yr karmic path,and possibily in last existence,yr soul(yes,'soul' again,hehe )had made plan for the unfoldment of such path of online dharma preaching...

  6. Soh Says:

    The reason my progress is smooth is because I had guidance from Thusness.

    Dark Night can happen when one gets stuck in a dissociative state after I AM. This is the case of Suzanne Segal -

    She only solved it after getting to Non Dual realization. Being authenticated as the luminosity as all things, there was bliss instead.

    However she was stuck in dark night after her first I AM breakthrough, for more than ten years. This is because no teacher could point out to her, even though she met many teachers. The teachers themselves were not clear.

    So I have to say, it is my great fortune to meet a very clear eyed 'teacher', even though Thusness does not see himself as a teacher and does not want to teach. The only reason why he wrote is because he felt compelled to do something for Buddha/Buddhism, out of reverence and a sense of indebtedness to Buddha.

    I can see why, as there is a lot of lack of clarity even in Buddhism nowadays. Not many know the true essence of Buddhadharma, not even the dharma teachers today. Very few.

    But Thusness does not like teaching and he no longer engages in online discussions with others.

    And as I said before, my favorite model is Vimalakirti and Layman Pang. I do not aspire for outward renunciation at the moment.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    I read abt Suzanne Segal b4 , but disagree with u regarding if someone just point out then her 'stuckness' will simply be gone....Certain 'unique stages ' an individual gone through(and her case was truly a very unique one) will had to be passed through and through , b4 the next stage dawns.

    Just like beings in hell had to exhaust their karma,or Jesus had to go through cruxifiction b4 light comes shinning, theres no such thing as simple pointing out :-)

    Spiritual path is the unfoldment through letting go and struggle, not simply listen and being pointed out ....


  8. Anonymous Says:

    Only by passing through and through the 'darkness', will light finally shines.

    Our historical Buddha is said to teach middle path, and many today will based on dis and gv simplistic teaching saying no need to struggle or asceticism ...if ones particular karma had no way to be cleared other than asceticism, then go for it! Look at the egs of thai forest masters ( ajahn mun etc..)And Siddharthas struggle of asceticism is not in vain ...for had he not gone through those years of hardship, he will never discover the proper path...Compare with ppl today,living in comforts of modern life, and thinking enlightenment is easy !

  9. Anonymous Says:

    As for jesus, obviously his cruxifition is part of his prelife plan, and his soul must hv arranged them b4 he was born....and dis was done to clear his karma so that progress to next stage is possible...

  10. Soh Says:

    "As for jesus, obviously his cruxifition is part of his prelife plan, and his soul must hv arranged them b4 he was born....and dis was done to clear his karma so that progress to next stage is possible..."

    Interesting theory, but a theory nonetheless.

    I am always extremely skeptical of theories not born out of direct experience.

  11. Soh Says:

    And I see that there is no such thing as 'soul', self or Self. So I do not believe in any literal 'soul plan' or 'higher Self'.

    Even if intentions may (or may not) have played a role.

  12. Soh Says:

    "I read abt Suzanne Segal b4 , but disagree with u regarding if someone just point out then her 'stuckness' will simply be gone...."

    In my experience, if someone has realized I AM, and is willing to listen, open to contemplate and investigate further, it will not take very long to progress.

    Often it takes months of contemplation or lesser to reach the next stage. Suzanne Segal's problem was completely solved after she reached her next stage -- Non Dual.

    Only if one is very egotistic, unwilling to listen, unwilling to contemplate further, they will get stuck. But Suzanne Segal doesn't seem like that. She was very eager to seek guidance, seek help for her problem, she did not appear egotistic at all. I'm sure if she met a very realized master her problem would have been solved much earlier.

    "Certain 'unique stages ' an individual gone through(and her case was truly a very unique one) will had to be passed through and through , b4 the next stage dawns."

    Perhaps, but the duration can definitely be shortened much further if she encounters good guidance. Unfortunately she didn't.

    "Just like beings in hell had to exhaust their karma,or Jesus had to go through cruxifiction b4 light comes shinning,"

    You're theorizing too much. Fully enlightened and liberated Buddha/arahants who encountered such gruesome deaths are a very small minority.

    You are very eager to formulate theories and beliefs. I can only suggest that you should be more skeptical (but still remaining open to all possibilities) and don't hold too much opinions on things you do not know. Reality is almost certainly never the way you thought it is.

    " theres no such thing as simple pointing out :-)"

    There are too many examples of people who attained liberation through pointing out. Not only Bahiya, so many other scriptures and suttas -- see Khemaka Sutta for example, Anattalakkhana Sutta, and too many others to list now. And so many Zen Masters, Dzogchen Masters, Mahamudra Masters I can think of who attained awakening through being pointed out.

    If someone did not attain enlightenment immediately after being pointed out, they will certainly do so in not too long to come if they put in effort to contemplate.

    "Spiritual path is the unfoldment through letting go and struggle, not simply listen and being pointed out ...."

    Both are necessary.

  13. Soh Says:

    "Only by passing through and through the 'darkness', will light finally shines."

    Only for some people, not for all. Some people attain realization quicker than others.

    "Our historical Buddha is said to teach middle path, and many today will based on dis and gv simplistic teaching saying no need to struggle or asceticism ..."

    Buddha renounced his earlier asceticism and taught the middle way.

    Yet he always taught that putting right effort in practice is very necessary.

    "if ones particular karma had no way to be cleared other than asceticism, then go for it! Look at the egs of thai forest masters ( ajahn mun etc..)And Siddharthas struggle of asceticism is not in vain ...for had he not gone through those years of hardship, he will never discover the proper path...Compare with ppl today,living in comforts of modern life, and thinking enlightenment is easy ! "

    Modern life is never the problem. Attachment is.

    One of the most famous and important statements attributed to Tilopa is: “The problem is not enjoyment; the problem is attachment.”

  14. Soh Says:

    Quoting from your favourite master Ramana Maharshi:

    Ramana Maharshi – Be As You Are – by David Godman
    Chapter 12 - Life in the world
    There is a well-established Hindu tradition which prescribes four stages of life (asramas) for serious spiritual seekers:
    1 Brahmacharya (celibate study). A long period of scriptural study prior to marriage, usually in an institution which specialises in Vedic scholarship.
    2 Grihastha (marriage and family). At the conclusion of his studies the aspirant is expected to marry and to discharge his business and household duties conscientiously, but without attachment to them.
    3 Vanaprastha (forest hermit). When all family obligations have been fulfilled (which usually means when the children are married off), the aspirant may retire to a solitary place, usually a forest, and engage in full-time meditation.
    4 Sannyasa (wandering monk). In the final stage the seeker drops out of the world completely and becomes a wandering mendicant monk. Having no material, social or financial entanglements the sannyasi has theoretically removed all the attachments which previously impeded his progress towards Self-realization.
    This time-honoured structure sustained the common Indian belief that it was necessary to abandon one’s family and take to a meditative life of celibate asceticism if one was seriously interested in realising the Self. Sri Ramana was asked about this belief many times but he always refused to endorse it. He consistently refused to give his devotees permission to give up their worldly responsibilities in favour of a meditative life and he always insisted that realization was equally accessible to everyone, irrespective of their physical circumstances. Instead of advising physical renunciation he told all his devotees that it would be spiritually more productive for them to discharge their normal duties and obligations with an awareness that there was no individual ‘I’ performing or accepting responsibility for the acts which the body performed. He firmly believed that mental attitude had a greater bearing on spiritual progress than physical circumstances and he persistently discouraged all questioners who felt that a manipulation of their environment, however slight, would be spiritually beneficial.
    The only physical changes he ever sanctioned were dietary. He accepted the prevailing Hindu theory of diet which claimed that the type of food consumed affected the quantity and quality of one’s thoughts and he recommended a moderate intake of vegetarian food as the most useful aid to spiritual practice.
    The Hindu dietary theory which Sri Ramana endorsed classifies different foods according to the mental states that they induce:
    1 Sattva (purity or harmony) Dairy produce, fruit, vegetables and cereals are deemed to be sattvic foods. A diet which consists largely of these products helps spiritual aspirants to maintain a still, quiet mind.
    2 Rajas (activity) Rajasic foods include meat, fish and hot spicy foods such as chillies, onions and garlic. Ingestion of these foods results in an overactive mind.
    3 Tamas (sluggishness) Foods which are decayed, stale or the product of a fermentation process (e.g. Alcohol) are classified as tamasic. Consumption of these foods leads to apathetic, torpid states of mind which hamper clear decisive thinking.
    Q: I have a good mind to resign from service and remain constantly with Sri Bhagavan.
    A: Bhagavan is always with you, in you, and you are yourself Bhagavan. To realize this it is neither necessary to resign your job nor run away from home. Renunciation does not imply apparent divesting of costumes, family ties, home, etc., but renunciation of desires, affection and attachment.
    There is no need to resign your job, only resign yourself to God, the bearer of the burden of all. One who renounces desires actually merges in the world and expands his love to the whole universe.
    Expansion of love and affection would be a far better term for a true devotee of God than renunciation, for one who 79

  15. Soh Says:

    Ramana Maharshi – Be As You Are – by David Godman
    renounces the immediate ties actually extends the bonds of affection and love to a wider world beyond the borders of caste, creed and race. A sonnyasi who apparently casts away his clothes and leaves his home does not do so out of aversion to his immediate relations but because of the expansion of his love to others around him. When this expansion comes, one does not feel that one is running away from home, instead one drops from it like a ripe fruit from a tree.
    Till then it would be folly to leave one’s home or job.
    Q: How does a grihastha [householder] fare in the scheme of moksha [liberation]? Should he not necessarily become a mendicant in order to attain liberation?
    A: Why do you think you are a grihastha? Similar thoughts that you are a sannyasi [wandering monk] will haunt you, even if you go out as a sannyasi. Whether you continue in the household or renounce it and go to the forest, your mind haunts you. The ego is the source of thought. It creates the body and the world and it makes you think of being the grihastha. If you renounce, it will only substitute the thought of sannyasa for that of grihastha and the environment of the forest for that of the household. But the mental obstacles are always there for you. They even increase greatly in the new surroundings. It is no help to change the environment. The one obstacle is the mind and it must be overcome whether in the home or in the forest. If you can do it in the forest, why not in the home? Therefore, why change the environment? Your efforts can be made even now, whatever the environment.
    Q: Is it possible to enjoy samadhi [awareness of reality] while busy in worldly work?
    A: The feeling ‘I work’ is the hindrance. Ask yourself ‘Who works?’ Remember who you are.
    Then the work will not bind you, it will go on automatically. Make no effort either to work or to renounce; it is your effort which is the bondage. What is destined to happen will happen. If you are destined not to work, work cannot be had even if you hunt for it. If you are destined to work, you will not be able to avoid it and you will be forced to engage yourself in it. So, leave it to the higher power; you cannot renounce or retain as you choose.
    Q: Bhagavan said yesterday that while one is engaged in search of God ‘within’, ‘outer’ work would go on automatically. In the life of Sri Chaitanya it is said that during his lectures to students he was really seeking Krishna within and he forgot all about his body and went on talking of Krishna only. This raises a doubt as to whether work can safely be left to itself. Should one keep part of one’s attention on the physical work?
    A: The Self is all. Are you apart from the Self? Or can the work go on without the Self? The Self is universal so all actions will go on whether you strain yourself to be engaged in them or not.
    The work will go on of itself. Thus Krishna told Arjuna that he need not trouble to kill the Kauravas because they were already slain by God. It was not for him to resolve to work and worry himself about it, but to allow his own nature to carry out the will of the higher power.
    Q: But the work may suffer if I do not attend to it.
    A: Attending to the Self means attending to the work. Because you identify yourself with the body, you think that work is done by you. But the body and its activities, including that work, are not apart from the Self. What does it matter whether you attend to the work or not? When you walk from one place to another you do not attend to the steps you take and yet you find yourself after a time at your goal. You see how the business of walking goes on without your attending to it. So also with other kinds of work.

  16. Soh Says:

    Q: If one holds the Self in remembrance, will one’s actions always be right?
    A: They ought to be. However, such a person is not concerned with the right or wrong of actions. His actions are
    God’s and therefore right.
    Q: How can my mind be still if I have to use it more than other people? I want to go into solitude and renounce my headmaster’s work.
    A: No. You may remain where you are and go on with the work. What is the undercurrent which vivifies the mind, enables it to do all this work? It is the Self. So that is the real source of your activity. Simply be aware of it during
    80Ramana Maharshi – Be As You Are – by David Godman
    your work and do not forget it. Contemplate in the background of your mind even whilst working. To do that, do not hurry, take your own time. Keep the remembrance of your real nature alive, even while working, and avoid haste which causes you to forget. Be deliberate. Practise meditation to still the mind and cause it to become aware of its true relationship to the Self which supports it. Do not imagine it is you who are doing the work. Think that it is the underlying current which is doing it. Identify yourself with the current. If you work unhurriedly, recollectedly, your work or service need not be a hindrance.
    Q: In the early stages would it not be a help to a man to seek solitude and give up his outer duties in life?
    A: Renunciation is always in the mind, not in going to forests or solitary places or giving up one’s duties. The main thing is to see that the mind does not turn outward but inward. It does not really rest with a man whether he goes to this place or that or whether he gives up his duties or not.
    All these events happen according to destiny. All the activities that the body is to go through are determined when it first comes into existence. It does not rest with you to accept or reject them. The only freedom you have is to turn your mind inward and renounce activities there.
    Q: But is it not possible for something to be a help, especially to a beginner, like a fence round a young tree? For instance, don’t our books say that it is helpful to go on pilgrimages to sacred shrines or to get sat-sanga?
    A: Who said they are not helpful? Only such things do not rest with you, whereas turning your mind inward does. Many people desire the pilgrimage or sat-sanga that you mention, but do they all get it?
    Q: Why is it that turning inward alone is left to us and not any outer things?
    A: If you want to go to fundamentals, you must enquire who you are and find out who it is who has freedom or
    destiny. Who are you and why did you get this body that has these limitations? Q: Is solitude necessary for vichara?
    A: There is solitude everywhere. The individual is solitary always. His business is to find it out within, not to seek it outside himself.
    Solitude is in the mind of man. One might be in the thick of the world and maintain serenity of mind. Such a one is in solitude. Another may stay in a forest, but still be unable to control his mind.
    Such a man cannot be said to be in solitude. Solitude is a function of the mind. A man attached to desires cannot get solitude wherever he may be, whereas a detached man is always in solitude.
    Q: So then, one might be engaged in work and be free from desire and keep up solitude. Is it so?
    A: Yes. Work performed with attachment is a shackle, whereas work performed with detachment does not affect the
    doer. One who works like this is, even while working, in solitude. Q: Our everyday life is not compatible with such efforts.
    A: Why do you think you are active? Take the gross example of your arrival here. You left home in a cart, took a train, alighted at the railway station here, got into a cart there and found yourself in this ashram. When asked, you say that you travelled here all the way from your town. Is it true? Is it not a fact that you remained as you were and there were movements of conveyances all along the way? Just as those movements are confounded with your own, so also are the other activities. They are not your own, they are God’s activities.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    " And I see that there is no such thing as 'soul', self or Self. So I do not believe in any literal 'soul plan' or 'higher Self'. "

    So u believe everyone simply being carried ( into next lives) helplessly by the forces of karma,without any say ?

    I expect u to be more flexible and open minded dan dat ....

  18. Soh Says:

    Read this to the end:

  19. Anonymous Says:

    Yr not willing to accept alternative pov :-( ...

    A being not being limited by this physical brain,will b able to have much better and vast perception than a human being in this body. Just as humans have more perceptual ability than animals,insects etc..., a 'soul' (being without physical body) will b able to see more than humans...including where and when to be reborn(time will appear so much fluid there than in physical realm) ....

  20. Soh Says:

    Go read

    During the 49 days after death, in the bardo's state one's state of clarity is heightened 7 times. It is easy to realize the nature of mind during that time provided you had previous training or a teacher is pointing out your nature of mind at that time. If you realize the nature of mind at that time, you attain liberation.

    But after that 49 days or before that, failing to realize the nature of mind, you will be reborn in other realms - the six realms of samsara. 99.9999% of the people will not be enlightened within the 49 days as they are not trained to realize the nature of mind, thus they will miss that opportunity to be liberated.