Saturday, August 29, 2015

The root cause of our suffering by Atman Nityananda

The root cause of our suffering 
 by Atman Nityananda
The root cause of our suffering is the ignorance of our true Self, which has as a result the development of the egoic mind. The centre of the egoic mind is ´Iness (identification with body, separation from truth and life), lust and desire and pride. These main egoistic qualities are the root cause of all other egoic tendencies and all kind of suffering we experience which takes the form of anger, fear, depression, uneasiness, agony, frustration, anxiety, jealousy, hatred, discontentment etc.
The two major egoic tendencies which are the main causes of our suffering are:
1. The compulsive need to be accepted recognized and approved by others.
2. The desires; the desires for sensory pleasures and the desire to be superior or special (pride).
Both are based on the illusory identification with the physical body (which makes us believe that we are a body-me) due to the ignorance of our true nature -our divine Self or Atman which nature is Existence-Consciousness-Bliss absolute.
The desire to be superior and compulsive need to be approved
The desire to be superior and the compulsive need for acceptance and approval are very much related between each other but they have some differentiations.
The compulsive need to be approved and accepted
 Due to ignorance of our true Self and the identification with the body we create a self-image based on the false and illusory characteristics of the body, the mental abilities, our possessions and achievements.
The behaviour of our parents, relatives and teachers contributed greatly to the creation of this false self-image and the need for approval from others. Their words, affirmations, suggestions and actions played a great role in the creation our self-image and self-esteem because the child's mind is empty and open to absorb everything without resistance. Our parents and our teachers showed love and affection to us and accepted us when we behaved in the way they considered acceptable or reasonable according to their concepts and beliefs (their conditioning) about the good and the bad of the life. This behaviour of our parents and relatives had as a result the creation in our subconscious mind mental, emotional and behaviour patterns relative to the conditioning of the minds of our family and our teachers. Today, a factor that greatly influences the creation of the false self-image and mental conditioning is the media.
Thus from childhood we have been programmed to seek acceptance and approval of the others. This need for acceptance happens unconsciously and compulsively and causes in us emotional contraction that takes the form of anxiety, insecurity, anxiety, inferiority, agony, shame, fear etc. In order to overcome these emotional states and feel "well", subconsciously we ask the acceptance or approval of others in many different ways and behaviours.
We need the others to accept and approve us in all aspects that we believe are important to us, that is, the things that are related to our self-image. These may be the physical body (hair, face, power Muscles, eyes, voice, height etc.), or our ideas, preferences, physical and mental abilities, the clothes we wear, our possessions, our origin, the studies and the knowledge, etc.
In order to be accepted we can also do things (especially the adolescents) that are not appropriate for our health, our wellbeing or that are against our ethical sense of good; but we do them only to be approved by others or we think that we are accepted or approved by them. It is very hard (emotionally) for our ego, its self-image to be damaged and be rejected it. Our ego wants the others to have good opinion about us; that´s why ego worries about what the others think about us. That΄s why insecurity is almost always present in the background of the mind and especially in new situations where the ego does not know what the others consider appropriate behaviour or which are their likes about the way of talking, dressing etc.
Due to this programming we are almost always in doubt about our worthiness. As I said earlier, to feel sure that we are ok, sufficient and feel self-worthy we do many things to get recognition, acceptance and approval. If we get them in some way, then our doubts dissolve for a while as well as the feelings of insufficiency and we confirm our worthiness. But the subconscious pattern (the need of acceptance and approval) is still there in the mind, working like a machine which never stops. Again and again (depending on the strength of this pattern, the associations we keep and the personal past experiences) this pattern comes forth generating the same emotions of anxiety, insecurity, anxiety, inferiority, insufficiency etc. asking approval and acceptance again and again. This pattern function in the same way function in our psych the addictions for food, drink, etc., and has its own recurring time of expression. This pattern wants to be fed with the same type of energy and experience.
The pattern of approval and the desire for sex pleasure are the most difficult ones to dissolve and free ourselves from the suffering that create to us. It is necessary to work systematically for many years with these tendencies in order to get rid of them. Of course if we work seriously and systematically they will gradually lose their power and the dominion on us and they will not cause as much suffering as they did when they were fully expressed in us.
The desire to be superior or special (pride)
Our ego in order to satisfy its desire to be superior, important and special as well as to overcome the emotional contraction and feel adequate, sufficient, secure, worthy, very often compares itself with others, judges negatively or criticize the others. And above all compares and judges the things that are related to our self-image and our experiences.
When the ego compares, tries to find things that affirm that has right, that it is better, superior or more special than others. When the ego is convinced that it is superior or better, feels a relief of the contracted emotions and feels special or important. This self-affirmation that we are superior compared to others gives us also (actually gives to our ego) a sense of satisfaction.
Negative criticism also has the same goal. The ego through criticism feels better or superior. Why? Because when we criticize the others automatically we are in a higher position than them –considering them lower because we have the authority to judge them.
The ego feels great satisfaction and pleasure when he thinks he is superior or more special than the others. That´s why the ego tries to demonstrate in any way its sovereignty and that is something very special. Whenever the ego manages to be recognized by others feels great euphoria and satisfaction. So the ego drives us to do things that make us famous and recognized in the wider scale. This is very obvious in football, tennis and sports in general and in the actors, mannequins and politicians.
Our ego suffers when it is not recognized and in order to gain the recognition can lead us do not only 'acceptable' things but also harmful things for ourselves and others.
Of course, this is made by the ego, but due to our identification with the ego we believe that we take these actions voluntary and consciously. But this is the greatest illusion caused by the ego! That is to say, that the ego makes us believe that its thoughts, its emotions, its words and actions are all our own and we believe that we are the ego itself while in reality our true identity is the consciousness.
He who believes that these egoic subconscious patterns does not happen in his psychology, already he is very deceived by his ego and suffers from these patterns without even realizing it.
The pleasures and the pursuit of happiness
Since we ignore our true nature (which is bliss, freedom, peace and love absolute) we seek happiness and fulfilment outside ourselves in the sense objects, relationships, possessions and all worldly situations that we consider pleasant or favourable for our well being.
But the things of the world are finite and conditioned and can only be pleasant, unpleasant or painful; there is not even an iota of happiness in them nor pleasure (except sexual pleasure). They are also subject to birth and death, and one day we will lose everything-even our bodies.
It is very obvious that we cannot experience unconditioned love, freedom, peace and bliss that are unlimited, through things and experiences that are limited, finite and conditioned. What is finite cannot give us something infinite. Only what is infinite can give us the experience of infinity. Only what is bliss can give us the experience of bliss, only what is freedom can liberate us from the illusions created by the ego and vain desires.
We believe that the things of the world can make us happy due to our lack of discernment which is obscured by the ego and the innumerable desires and the veil that puts in our mind the quality of tamas (* tamas guna -Sanskrit word, it is the quality that obscures and covers the Truth, as well of inertia, resistance and darkness). The tamas quality has the ability to obscure our intellect and thus we fail to discern the true nature of our experiences and also recognise and be aware of our True Self.
The greatest illusion created from the egoic mind is the belief that the happiness we experience when a desired object or situation is fulfilled, it is derived from the object or the situation itself. But this is not true, it's just an illusion created by the ego and the tamas guna.
In reality when we get what we want  the mind temporarily becomes calm and rest in its centre (consciousness) due to the fact that there is no anymore distance between us and the object and we enjoy the desired object. The mind is fully concentrated and in this condition the mind partially enjoys the happiness and the fullness of consciousness. But, due to tamas guna and the illusion of ego, we think the happiness we experience is due to the object itself and thus we continue to look for happiness in the sensual objects, experiencing pleasant sensations, a little illusory pleasure and sometimes happiness mixed with much suffering.
This suffering is due to the transformation of desire as anger, fear, depression, impatience, greed, disappointment, frustration, uneasiness, irritability etc. When desire is obscured or not fulfilled the energy of desire takes the form of the well known to everybody negative emotions and sensations which we experience as a psychological suffering. Knowing that all negative psychological states which cause suffering are in only modifications of desire we can see that is impossible to avoid suffering if the energy of desire continues in our psych.
The things of the world can contribute to our well being only under certain conditions. Only if we use our mind, energy, body and senses in an appropriate manner in relation to the sensory objects, we can create at some degree harmony and mental and emotional balance. This balance will help us to do meditation and self-inquiry in order to realize our true Self and experience freedom, fullness and unlimited bliss. Only when we are in touch with our divine Self within is possible a higher state of harmony, peace, love and freedom from suffering.
How to live for freedom and joy of Being
To overcome these two main causes of suffering mentioned above, as well as all other causes (anger, fear, depression, hatred, et.) it is essential to develop self-awareness to disindetify from the mind and observe its contents. Through specific practices we must develop the higher capabilities of our buddhi (intellect-intelligence) such as discernment, reflection, detached observation, contemplation, pure reasoning and comprehension, control the senses and the mind.
It is important also to keep our body and mind healthy and save our energy. That´s why it is very important to feed our mind with sattvic impressions (sattva* a Sanskrit word, is the quality of light, clarity and harmony to help us develop the superior capabilities of the mind), in order to increase the sattva guna in the mind and reduce the tamas and rajas gunas. To increase the sattva quality in our mind is essential to have sattvic relationships, associations and connections in all aspects of life. A sattvic life is the foundation of a healthy body and mind and peaceful life, light, love, harmony and happiness.
It is also necessary to eliminate the psychological toxins (negative emotions, wrong beliefs and concepts) and develop virtues such as compassion, contentment, adaptability, concentration, dispassion which enable us to live in higher states of consciousness.
We must learn to observe ourselves in order to discover and eliminate all the egoic patterns that are hidden in the subconscious mind. There are several practices that we can use in order to purify our subconscious mind (Chitta). To succeed in this process the most important thing and the centre of spiritual life is to be moment to moment alert, observing our thoughts, emotions, moods, the vital impulses and at the same time be aware of our Self (self-awareness).
To recognize our true Self (not the egoic self or ego but the Atman or consciousness) is necessary to make the mind pure, dispassionate, sharp and one-pointed and develop the ability to discern between the true and the false, the real and the unreal, the permanent and the impermanent. With a well developed mind, we can do one-pointed discriminating investigation and self-inquiry that will allow us to discover and dissolve all the identification created by the ego and most important to realize our true nature -consciousness and establish our mind in Consciousness.
God bless you achieve freedom, peace and eternal bliss in this very life!

Peace, Love and Light

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

OUR ORDINARY STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS by Atman Nityananda


OUR ORDINARY STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS  
by Atman Nityananda
How the egoic mind of which the essential nature is desire for pleasure manipulates our body, senses, mind and intellect in order to drive us again and again in pleasurable sensual experiences.

What I call ordinary unconsciousness means being identified with your thought processes and emotions, your reactions, desires, and aversions. It is most people's normal state. In that state, you are run by the egoic mind, and you are unaware of Being (your true Self or Consciousness).     ~ Eckhart Tolle

Our ordinary state of consciousness is a state of identification with the body, thoughts, imaginations, impulses, emotions and external objects (likes-dislikes, attractions-aversions, desires, fear, anxiety, uneasiness, anger, impatient, discontent etc.).
In this hypnotic state the egoic patterns are fully expressed and because we are so identified with them we perceive ourselves as that patterns or we think that these patterns are choices of our free will. In reality what happens is exactly the opposite; we are moved like puppets by all these subconscious tendencies.
Only when we disindentify from the egoic mind and we observe attentively with dispassion all these subconscious mental and emotional processes we can stop being machines and live more consciously.
It is a state not of acute pain or unhappiness but of an almost continuous low level of unease, discontent, boredom, or nervousness - a kind of background static.
You may not realize this because it is so much a part of "normal" living, just as you are not aware of a continuous low background noise, such as the hum of an air conditioner, until it stops. When it suddenly does stop, there is a sense of relief. 
Many people use alcohol, drugs, sex, food, work, television, or even shopping, as anesthetics in an unconscious attempt to remove the basic unease. When this happens, an activity that might be very enjoyable if used in moderation becomes imbued with a compulsive or addictive quality, and all that is ever achieved through it is extremely short-lived symptom relief.     ~ Eckhart Tolle
If we are not fully engaged in an interested, pleasant or pleasurable activity usually we are in a state of mild unhappiness which takes the form of unease, discontent, boredom, something missing or nervousness. These emotional moods are almost always present in us as a background and when their intensity reaches a certain level become unbearable and we want to get rid of them by any mean.
As Tolle says above people mostly seek an easy pleasant activity (food, sex, television, Smoking cigarettes, shopping… ) to overcome at least temporally this painful emotional state. Another way is the use of substances like alcohol, drugs, sedative pills which create a kind of anesthesia affecting the nervous system and the brain. In both cases they use an external mean in an unconscious attempt to remove the basic unease.
 Keeping in mind the above, the question that arises is this: Why the egoic mind keeps us almost always in this state of unease, discontent, boredom and what is the nature of these unpleasant and very disturbing emotions? 
It took me many years of study, self-investigation and self-observation to discover this miraculous indeed play of the egoic mind. For many years I was investigating the nature of the various expressions of the ego like fear, anger, impatience, inferiority, insecurity, gluttony etc. which I tried to dissolve with various techniques. After 15 years of practice I didn’t achieved great results, neither in the dissolution of the egoic tendencies nor in meditation. I thought that if I continue like this it will take many-many years or more lives to achieve their destruction.
Thus I decided to go into the root of the problem, to investigate the ‘I or ego itself. All the egoic expressions anything that happens in us has as its center the ‘I or ‘ego. For example: ‘I am afraid of something, ‘I am angry, ‘I want or don’t want something, ‘I like or dislike something etc. The ‘I is always present. So I thought that instead of trying to eliminate one by one the egoic tendencies it would be better to kill the head of the ego the ‘Iness.  That time I had also read in the books of Swami Sivanada and Ramana Maharshi that if we kill the ego or ‘I then will die also all its branches; this information played a n important role in my decision to enquire in detail the nature of ‘I. Since then I started to observe and investigate carefully the nature of the ‘I itself although I continued also the practices for the dissolution of the various egoic tendencies. 
I was very surprised by the results of this enquiry. I managed to discover what is this phantom of ego and how hypnotizes and manipulate us. 
 The most surprising thing I found is that the ‘Iness (the sense the body is me) and the various psychological aspects such as desire, impulses, moods, emotions (anger, impatience, fear, dislike, hatred etc.) are not different things or energies which are connected between each other.  I found that the ego is one field of energy which as a chamelaion modifies constantly and assumes all the various egoic forms or expressions that appear as different between each other.   For example we may think that the ‘I sense and the desire for food which we call gluttony are two different things, two different energies, that the anger and depression are also two different energies, that like and dislike are different energies from ‘Iness and desire. But they aren´t different energies. All these psychological qualities are one energy field that modifies and assumes all these different forms (Iness, desire, like, dislike, greed, anger, discontent, depression etc.).
 Now lets go back to the question: Why the egoic mind keeps us almost always in a state of unease, discontent, boredom? 
 Let see again our data we have, keeping in mind what Tolle says  and this brief analysis I did about the nature of ‘I:
  1.  The ego keeps us in a state of unease, discontent and boredom. 
  2. Almost all and almost always we seek a pleasurable experience to overcome at least temporarily these unbearable emotions. Curiously we don’t seek a permanent solution for this situation.
  3. The essential nature of the ego is desire or lust for pleasure.
  4. The ‘I the desire for pleasure and the emotions of discontent, boredom, something is missing and unease are one and the same energy which assumes these three apparently different forms of expression. 
With this knowledge becomes clear that the ego firstly assumes these painful emotional forms (uneasy, discontent etc.) in order to drive us towards a pleasurable experience. When we get the desired object and we actually experience it, the same energy that had the form of a painful emotion (discontent, uneasy...) modifies immediately and assumes the form of pleasure. The pleasure we experience when we eat for example a cake is only a modification of the desire energy crystallized in our mind and is projected on the object. Thus while we experience pleasure we are free temporally from those unpleasant or painful emotions. But there are times that even this way (to have a pleasurable experience) to avoid the experience of these painful emotions of uneasiness, discontent etc. doesn’t work. This happen because all sensorial experiences have certain limits and it is not possible always to enjoy them fully and have great pleasure and satisfaction.
 In the objects does not exist even an iota of pleasure. Objects can give us a pleasant or unpleasant experience according their nature, the condition of our body, mind and senses, our temperament and the external conditions. The same object can be pleasant or unpleasant to us at two different times or at different conditions. The same object for some can be pleasant and for others unpleasant. This show us that even the pleasant or unpleasant sensations are not in the object itself. The pleasant and unpleasant sensations are the result of the interaction between the object and our mind under certain conditions.

Conclusion: The Egoic mind creates the painful emotions of unease, discontent, boredom in order to drive us compulsively to seek pleasurable experiences because the ego wants almost always to experience some kind of pleasure. The ego creates in us firstly a painful emotional state in order to make it easier to force us seek a pleasurable experience. Nobody wants to remain for a long time in a state of suffering even if it is of a mild type. Thus when the ego creates in us these unpleasant emotions easily we are moved by the ego to find some kind of pleasure. There is no reason to seek compulsively any pleasant or pleasurable experience if we feel complete and we are content happy.



 A summary of the nature of ego or ‘I
 Identification, projection, association, imagination are the functions through which the ego operates in us and unfolds all its expressions.
 The main expressions of ‘I or ego are:

1. Identification with the body; this identification creates the false identity ‘I am the body, or the body is me –‘Iness.

Ego also identifies with name, concepts, emotions etc., and objects which extends the ‘Iness as ‘Mineness.

2. Desire: desire for pleasure, power, position, money, possessions, fame, name, superiority. Each one according its temperament (doshic constitution according Ayurveda, Sanguine, choleric, melancholic and phlegmatic according western medicine and the astrological chart), the past experiences and past lives may have a stronger tendency to some of the main desires mentioned above.
The extension of desire is greed, which means a wanting for more pleasure, more possessions, more power, more money etc.
Attachment is the third aspect of desire. Attachment means that I will suffer if I lose the object of my desire or I suffer by mere thinking that I can lose the desired object.
The main emotions that desire is associated are fear and anger. Fear not to get or to lose the desire object and anger against anyone that prevents us to get or to lose the desired object. As I said before anger and fear are only modifications of desire itself. That’s why if we dissolve desire will dissolve all negative emotion and the ‘Iness because all these are one energy that modifies in innumerable forms.
Desire or lust for sexual pleasure* is the fundamental desire (and most difficult together with pride to eradicate), and has as its main substitute the food and the drinks and multiplies to all other objects and forms. 

3. Pride, which takes the form ‘I am special, ‘I am superior, ‘I am the best, ‘I am better than others, etc

4. All the negative emotional expressions like fear, anger, depression, discontent, insecurity, inferiority, etc.

5. All pair of opposites: like-dislike, attraction-repulsion, pleasure-pain, exhilaration-depression, optimist-pessimist, inferior-superior, etc.

6. The defense mechanisms which became known widely by Dr.freud.

NOTE
Desire or lust for sexual pleasure*: The most fundamental pleasure and the only real pleasure is the sexual one and it is the mother of all desires. The ego itself is a creation of modified sexual energy.That's why it is the most difficult one to spiritual aspirants to ged rid of.  But due to the fact that our body, the vital energy and the mind have limits, it is impossible to experience continuously the sexual pleasure. That’s why the ego finds substitutes (other kind of pleasure) to satisfy itself. The ego seeks pleasant experiences and projects on them its own imaginary pleasure which is crystallized in the mind and vital body.  When we experience a desired object the mind activates the crystalized in our psych pleasure and makes us believe that the pleasure we experience comes from the object. Due to this delusion we seek pleasure in the external objects while in reality there is no pleasure at all in them.

Some good substitutes of sexual pleasure for the mind are the food, drinks and in general substances that we consume mainly from the mouth which has an inner connection with the genitals. That’s why the mouth plays a great role in the sexual interaction as a mean of pleasure. The thirst of ego for pleasure is insatiable, that’s why the ego tries its best to imagine, seek or create always new, better and more intensive ways to experience pleasure through all senses. In the world nowadays most of the million human inventions have to do with the entertainment of the senses and the sensual mind. But due to the fact that sexual desire is the most powerful one, sexual entertainment is at the top of the spectator preferences. All movies present a relationship and include some sexual scenes. Videos with sexual content are first in popularity in the internet.

May God bless you be free from the egoic energies in this very life!

 Peace, Love, Harmony