Saturday, December 31, 2016

We are neither the body nor the 'I or ego but Consciousness ~ Atman Nityananda


We are neither the body nor the 'I or ego but Consciousness

The 'I' or ego (which is energy field and not just a thought) is an illusion and by its unimaginable capacity to identify with everything, causes many illusory identifications.

The two fundamental identifications of the ego are: The identification of the ego with the physical body and the identification with consciousness. 

1. The ego identifying with the physical body makes us feel and believe that we are the physical body and live in the world as a 'body-me'. The ego-energy assumes the solid sense 'the body is me', by which we are deluded and think we are the body.

2. The ego identifies with the consciousness and creates the illusion that the consciousness is something that belongs to the ego, that we as ego we are self-conscious.  Βut due to the fact that the ego is identified with the body as well, creates the illusion that we are the body and as a body we are self-conscious; i.e. that the consciousness belongs to the body and that we as a ‘body-me’, we are self-conscious.

However the truth is that the body, the ‘I or ego and the mind are objects in consciousness. Consciousness pervades and permeates the mind (the ego is part of the mind) and lends its luminosity to the mind. Because of the mutual identification (between ego and consciousness) our ignorance and lack of discrimination, it seems to us that our mind is self-luminous, that the consciousness is something that belongs to the mind, our ego and the body as well. 

A similar to understand this is the moon-light. The moon seems that shines by its own light while in reality its light is only a reflection of the sunlight. Similarly our mind seems to be self-luminous or self-conscious, that has have its own light (consciousness), yet the luminosity of the mind, (the consciousness of the mind), is only a reflection of the universal consciousness or God in the mind.

In addition the ego prevents us from perceiving that the apparently personal consciousness that is expressed in us, is the same consciousness that exists in all humans and identical with the universal Consciousness (Brahman, God, Spirit). In reality there is only one homogeneous (sin parts, divisions or differentiations) universal Consciousness, which by reflecting into the individual mind of every human being appears as if it is divided and individual or personal.
Two similar to understand this is the sun and its reflections in various vessels and the space:
1. As the one sun which reflects in various vessels with water appears to be many different suns, similarly the one universal consciousness which reflects in all human minds appears as many different individual consciousness.
2. The space is also undivided and without parts, but due to the walls of a room the space-room appears as separate end as a part of the universal space which is only an illusion. So the millions of houses, rooms and boxes create the illusion that the space is divided in innumerable parts while in reality remains undivided. Similarly the one universal consciousness due to the individual minds appears as to be many different consciousness. 

W
hen a person (not awakened) says 'I am conscious', he believes that he is conscious as a 'body-me', meaning that to be conscious is a capacity of the body-mind entity (which is an illusion). When someone is aware or becomes aware that he is conscious, that doesn’t imply that he has been awakened, but it means that he is not lost in the mind, that is to say he is not identified with the thoughts, the emotions, the sensations or the sensory impressions. Undoubtedly, not being identified with the egoic patterns, from one point of view is an awaken state, but the awakening we speak in spirituality is something distinct, it is something more that the state of no identification and to be aware.
It certain that not identifying with the sensations, the emotions, the thoughts, the objects and the ego itself, is the fundamental base of all spiritual work. Not identifying with the egoic patterns is absolutely essential to discover, recognize, understand and dissolve the egoic tendencies as well as to practice self-inquiry and meditation in order to wake up and be established in our own true Self (awareness) as the Self.

Awakening happens when we intuitively realize that we are the consciousness beyond the body, the mind and the ego or ‘I. When we realize that we are the inner silent and luminous space of awareness, which is immovable, timeless, free from suffering (it does not affected by what happens to body and mind), full, peaceful and blissful. This realization also causes a change of our identity and perception. Before the awakening we believed that we were subjects (as body-mind entities) and the things of the world the objects. After awakening our identity becomes the silent space of awareness and the body and mind are seen also as objects in awareness, although remains the sense of Iness. 

Attention! We cannot cause awakening by our volition; awakening is something that happens by itself when we are prepared and by the grace of God. When our mind is quite pure and sattvic, when we have sufficiently developed the capacities of discernment, dispassion and detachment, and we practice deliberately self-inquiry then we create the right conditions in order awakening to happen. 

Friday, December 30, 2016

DESIRE & ANGER ~ Atman Nityananda


DESIRE & ANGER 

It is said that behind anger are some other emotions: for example, "...We feel hurt, frustrated, threatened, judged, wronged or disrespected....." which is true.

But these emotions aren't the original cause of anger. Behind these emotions there is some believe, need, desire, the self-image and pride. So behind the emotions of fear, shame, frustration, disappointment, etc. there is always a deeper cause. i.e. issues of low esteem, inferiority, insecurity, need to control things and persons, greed, some desire, attachment with certain forms, a tamasic or rajasic state of mind, etc.

Although many things can be related to anger the immediate cause of anger is desire. When a desire or what we want is not fulfilled desire transforms (like milk to yogurt) to anger. Desire and anger are the same energy. The desire mechanism function also in relation to all other psychological tendencies and needs as for example that of  pride, self-image, the need to be recognized or accepted etc.

Second. Anger is always expressed against someone or something, (even against our selves), that impede us to fulfill a desire, a wanting, a need (for example, the need to feel worthy, sufficient, special, recognized, safe, accepted, respected etc.).

Anger in reality is an attack to others in order to tell them forcefully that we don't like and we don't want them to obstruct our plans, our desires or to reduce our self-esteem, self-image etc., as well as that we will stop them (him /her) to do so, and according the circumstances we can also threaten them that we will create problem to them as they did to us and also that we will make them suffer like us.

Anger is a primitive emotion that affects negatively our health, vital energy, feelings, our mental clarity, discernment and reason, causes enmity and separation and make us act destructively and lose our capacity to do our best in the situation we are engaged.

Anger is one of the strongest psychological tendencies that destroys relations, harmony, peace, unity, happiness.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

DESIRES AND EMOTIONS II ~ Atman Nityananda


DESIRES AND EMOTIONS II

The immediate cause of anger is desire. Desire transforms to anger  (like milk to yogurt) when it is obstructed or not fulfilled. All other negative (painful) emotions are modifications of desire.

Desire is born of rajas guna. Desire is energy and a mechanism of which the function is based on memory, imagination, identification, projection, association, superimposition.

Desire is the impulse that compels us to action. Desire can by activated by lust, a need, an emotion. A thought and a sense input can also trigger the desire mechanism but behind is always lust, a need, or an emotion which is also based on lust or a need. Desire means, wanting something.

DESIRE AND GUNAS

According the constitution of our mind desire can be related to sattvic, rajasic, or tamasic: objects, persons, pleasures, entertainment, activities, environment, etc.
For example a sattvic mind seeks a peaceful environment (nature), while a rajasic mind an agitated one (down town). A sattvic likes peaceful music (classic music, sacred music, etc. ), and a rajasic loud music (pop, rock etc.).

The main objects of Desire are:
1. pleasure or pleasant sensations (sex, food, drink, and any kind of sense pleasure),
2. money,
3. possessions,
4. comfort,
5. power,
6. safety, security
7. fame, prestige, recognition, specialty (pride, self-image)

PLEASURE
Desire for pleasure is related with all other objects of desire. The other objects of desire like for example money, power, position and prestige can facilitate to get pleasure.
For example, with money we can get sex and food pleasure etc.

MONEY
Desire for money is the mean to get the objects of desires, viz. pleasures, possessions, comfort, power, position, and also can be a mean for the egoic self to feel secure, make its self-image, prestige, pride and feel self-worthy.
With money we can satisfy all others desires.  Our egoic self thinks that money  can help us feel  secure and self-worthy. In reality to feel secure and self-worthy doesn't depend on money, but the ego due to ignorance believes so.  Happiness as well, doesn't depend on money but ego doesn't understand this as well.
Thus, we desire money in order to satisfy our desire for sex, food, for power,  for fame, prestige, for comfort, to feel secure and self-worthy.

POSSESSIONS

Desire for possessions is also related with all other objects of desire.
For example we want possessions in order to feel secure, special, self-worthy, to have prestige,fame, to have sex.

SECURITY

To feel secure is a fundamental need of the egoic self. Security is of two kinds. Physical and psychological.
Money, power, prestige, position, possessions can be related to physical and psychological security (self-image and self-worthiness).
For example with money we can protect our body and feel safe and also we can overcome the psychological fear to feel insufficient, unworthy, rejected, not fulfilled.
Similarly a good job, the prestige, the power and the possessions can make us feel self-worthy, special etc.

PRIDE, SELF-IMAGE, PRESTIGE & SELF-WORTHINESS

Desire for money, pleasure, power, position can be related with them.
In order to feel worthy, accepted, special, recognized we desire to acquire a lot of money, a good job, power, position etc.
We feel pride or special when we achieve fame, recognition, money, good job, we have sex with many men/women, etc.

DESIRE & EMOTIONS

All lower emotions are related with desire.
Anger, fear, impatience, depression, insatisfaction, discontentment, disappointment, like, dislike, aversion, resentment, hatred, uneasiness, anxiety, jealousy, etc. manifest in relation with some desire or a need. 

Impatience, anger and fear

Impatience, anger and fear usually go together. Together with the impatience can be manifested anger, first a very subtle state, anger can take the form of irritability, resentment, unrest etc. and then, depending on circumstances, it can become a big wave. Similarly fear can take first the form of anxiety, doubts, restlessness and agony and then can assume a strong manifestation.
Due to impatience, anger and fear as well as like and dislike, we are in a state of stress, agitation and excitement which is a form of suffering. When these emotions intensify suffering is increased.
Of course there are moments that anger and fear can manifest directly as a strong wave.

Which are the main modifications of desire? 

Gluttony, lasciviousness, jealousy, greed, avarice, Like-dislike, attachment, impatience, agony, uneasiness, anxiety, discontentment, something is missing, boredom, anger, fear, depression.

 Gluttony, is desiring food pleasure but also any substance we can taste in our palate.
Lasciviousness, is desiring sex pleasure.
Avarice, is desiring money.
Greed, is desiring more and more. It applies to all; more food-pleasure, more sex-pleasure, more money, possessions, success, etc.
Jealousy: Desire modifies as jealousy due to the fact that others have what we desire. If we desire money, we are jealous of those who have a lot of money, if we desire a partner, we are jealous of those who have a partner and especially who have a partner like the one we imagine that we want, if we desire fame or recognition, then we are jealous of famous people etc.... 
There is a special kind of jealousy, that among couples, which is mainly related with sexual pleasure. Passion for sexual pleasure makes the mind very egoistic and dominated. This mind wants intensively the object (partner) that gives it pleasure and even the idea to lose its object it makes it mad and jealous. He wants to secure by any mean (not to lose) the object that gives it pleasure. Insecurity and low esteem can also be related with this situation.
Attachment: Desire becomes attachment for the object of desire. The mind naturally is attached to what gives it pleasure and satisfaction as well as to what makes it feel secure, worthy, special, accepted. It is painful to us even the idea to lose the object that satisfies some of our desire or 'need'.
Impatience: Desire modifies as impatience because wants to experience the expected pleasure or get the desired object (money, success, win...) as soon as possible. The time between the arousal of desire until its fulfillment, it appears to us usually long.
Agony, uneasiness, anxiety (these 3 are mild expressions of fear) and fear. Desire modifies as uneasiness, anxiety and fear because of the possibility not to get what we desire or to lose the desired-object that we already possess.
Anger: Desire modifies as anger when something or someone impedes us to get what we want or when something or someone may cause lose what we already possessed.
DepressionDesire modifies as Depression, disappointment and similar emotions arise when we finally lose or not get the desired object.
Discontentment, boredom, uneasiness, something is missing: Desire most of the time,) especially when we are not engaged in some activity), modifies into a negative state of discontentment, boredom, uneasiness, something is missing, in order to compel us seek a pleasant or pleasurable experience. It is more easy for the desirous ego to drive us seek pleasure when we are in a negative (painful) emotional state because we don´t want to remain in a negative emotional state even though it assumes a mild form. Since we cannot forbear for a long time this emotional state our ego easily drive us  towards some pleasant or pleasurable experience in order to overcome (at least temporarily) these painful emotions.  Our vital ego of course doesn't like to make an effort to investigate this emotional state and work in order to free the subconscious mind from this programming since it is the vital ego that creates continuously this state in order to drive us towards pleasures. The most frequent objects are pleasure through mouth and genitals. As long as one lives identified with the vital ego  (named also rajasotamasic ego) will remain slave of all these desire mechanisms.
Like-dislike: Desire modifies also as like in relation with the objects that give us pleasure or we imagine will give us pleasure and dislike for those that give us unpleasant sensations or pain.
Like and dislike as well as all the above mentioned emotional modifications of desire (anger, fear, depression, disappointment etc.) are related also with our self-image and the desire for superiority, specialty and recognition (pride). We like those who enhance our self-image or make us feel special, important etc. and we dislike those who reject us, or our ideas, opinions, etc and makes us feel 'small'. We like those who help us meet our desires and we dislike those who are obstacles.
The desires as well as all the emotions and egoistic tendencies manifest in us with a particular intensity and frequency like the waves of the ocean.  Usually in each one there are some desires and emotions that are stronger and prevail in the everyday life. Some persons are occupied by one or two particular desires, some egoic tendency or emotion which becomes their leitmotiv of their daily life.
All compulsive mechanical thoughts that constantly occur in our mind are due to the impulse of desire and its emotional modifications which by nature is insatiable.
The desire, the thoughts and emotions function in a vicious circle and the one empowers the other. This desire-made emotional-thinking subsides for a while, only when we are enjoying the object of desire. When we are in contact with the object of desire we become one with it and the sense of separation with the object of desire, the agony, anxiety, fear, impatience etc. subside totally and thus we experience a great relief together with a pleasant and the illusory pleasure projected** on the object.

Desire also assumes the form of boredom, uneasiness, discontentment, something is lacking, incompleteness, not feeling well in order to compel us to find some kind of pleasure or pleasant experience. Nobody likes to remain in the above mentioned unpleasant emotional states; so, in order to overcome these emotional states we seek something, interested, pleasurable or pleasant.

INSTINCTS AND DESIRE

The instinctive fear to protect our body and the instinctive desire to satisfy hunger, thirst and sex have nothing to do with the psychological desire which is a distortion in our psyche and is based on memory, fantasy, identification and projection.

The natural desires are the base that the psychological desires (the egoic self) have been developed.

Desire to live in a physical body is the most fundamental desire. The most fundamental fear, is fear of death. Fear of death depends on our desire to live an embodied life.

NOTE: 
Pressure or torture mechanism of desire*: The other three mechanisms of desire are the seduction, the replacement and the extension mechanisms.  (read: Inquiry into the nature of desire). 

The desire functions by memory, imagination, association, identification, projection, superimposition.
Projected**: I have explained in other essay that there is not an iota of pleasure in the objects. The pleasure we experience is projected by our ego on the object. This pleasure we experience is crystallized sexual pleasure in our subtle body. This crystallized sexual energy takes the form of lust, desire, passion and pleasure.

Happiness also has nothing to do with objects. When we are in contact with the desired-object, then the impulse of desire with all emotions that accompany the desire, (agony, anxiety, fear, impatience etc.) subside totally and the mind assumes its sattva mode and becomes calm and introverted. In this state, the mind reflects a part of the happiness of our essence or Soul. Happiness is the nature of our Soul, but this happiness can be experienced when the mind is tranquil, and introverted. This happens in two cases. Temporarily when we are in contact with the object of our desire and when consciously and voluntary by meditation or other practice we manage to still the mind and focus it in its source the Soul or consciousness.


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

THE IDENTIFICATION AS A HABIT ~ Atman Nityananda



THE IDENTIFICATION AS A HABIT

The central purpose of spiritual practice is to stop our identification with the body, the mind, (thoughts, feelings, impulses, desires, imaginations etc.) the external objects, and the ego itself and identify with our true Self (Consciousness).. As long as we continue to live identified with the egoic self it is impossible to avoid the pain and suffering. The identification strengthens the mechanical reactions (emotional, mental, desires) and the programming of the ego and obscures us to experience our true nature which is free from all suffering and limitations, and is the source of infinite peace and bliss.

The mechanism of identification is the same for both, the pleasure and the psychological pain (suffering). Both require identification to occur. Without identification there can be neither pleasure nor suffering. When we are focused deeply enough in our Self (Self-awareness) we don’t give space to our ego to react mechanically, but if we are not deeply focused within, then, although we remain alert and self-aware, our ego can react mechanically; however, since we are vigilant and self-aware we do not identify completely with the mental or emotional reaction and thus the egoic reaction cannot become a ‘huge wave’ and get lost in it.

If we want to develop the ability of non-identification with the lower or egoic self we must practice non identification in all cases; i.e. we must avoid or stop identification with the mental and emotional reactions related to pleasure, to those (mental and emotional reactions) that are related to suffering as well as not to identify with all little things, objects and situations of the everyday life. If we permit ourselves to identify with the pleasurable experiences (because we like to experience pleasure) or the little things of the daily life (because we consider it as no so important) then we cannot avoid identification with reactions of suffering due to habit.

The mind (and especially the manas or external mind) works by habit, and habit (exis) becomes our second nature; so, if we do not try to avoid identification in the pleasures as well as to everyday trifles, then the habit to identify it is strengthened at the level of the mind, prana and brain. Then, when manifests a feeling that hurts it is very difficult if not impossible to avoid identification with it, since all time we feed the habit of identification.

So it is a matter of choice. Do you want to continue identifying with the passionate desirous ego, in order to enjoy pleasure through the sensory experiences (accepting the pain and suffering that this entails), or you want to live free from fear, anger, attachment and desires, and enjoy the plenitude, peace, freedom and bliss of your true nature?

If you honestly want to be free from the illusion of I’ and ‘mine and the identification with the body which is the source of all identifications, pleasures and miseries then you should renounce and stop any kind of identification; you must do your best to control your mind and senses and live in Self-awareness, dispassion and detachment from the contents of the mind and senses.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

THE ELIMINATION OF TAMAS ~ Atman Nityananda

THE ELIMINATION OF TAMAS 

As long as the tamas guna prevails in our mind, no real spiritual progress (in our way towards freedom and unity) is possible in spite of our good intentions.

Tamas is the dark side of the mind and is what causes the greatest obstacles*. It resists and reacts by various ways to impede us achieve a radical transformation in our psychology.

The elimination of the tamas guna from our mind, by tapas, discipline and rigorous sadhana, is the first and most important goal in our spiritual journey. We cannot have a rich inner life and progress in meditation without this requisite -no question about self-realization or liberation.

The elimination of tamas and the gradual increase of sattva is the most important and difficult task in the beginning of our spiritual journey, but it is the necessary foundation of our spiritual transformation and Self-realization. 
 
NOTE
obstacles*: If we don't eliminate the tamas guna from the mind and increase the sattva guna, it is impossible any real progress in spirituality. When tamas is predominant in the mind there is laziness, incoherence, stupor, resistance to change and to practice, lack of discernment, strong identification with the body, mind and sense objects, irresponsibility, doubts, imaginations, our perception is clouded and we may see things upside-down (how much clouded, depends on the quantity of the tamas). We may think that we are advanced, that we have made great progress, that we possess capacities or that we have dissolved some egoic tendencies while we haven't. Intense criticism to the preceptor and other aspirants, gossiping and quarreling are also caused by the tamas guna and are great obstacles for our transformation and the realization of our true nature. That's why the first goal of sadhana is the elimination of tamas and the increase of sattva .

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Saturday, December 24, 2016

THE PRACTICE AS A DAILY ROUTINE ~ Atman Nityananda



THE PRACTICE AS A DAILY ROUTINE

If we want to have quick progress in our sadhana (spiritual practices) we must kkeep steady a daily routine, morning and evening and during the day.

Ego doesn't like routine and repetition but there is no other mean to overcome and dissolve the ego except a very well organized daily program .

When we repeat our practices in the same time in the same place then our body, energy and mind perform better and more efficiently. We can enter in meditation mode more easily if we do meditation in the same time same place and with the same routine.

Time is fleeting, life span is very short, use your time industriously. Use every moment of your life for self-realization.

Have the attitude, that today is your last day in order to overcome laziness and procrastination and do your best effort here and now, and at the same time, that you have infinite time to accomplish your goal (Self realization) in order to avoid, stress, anxiety and frustration.

Be practical, be flexible, be open, use your common sense.

Have steady determination and tenacity; Be sincere and patient; preserve, forbear and accept pain as a part of life and sadhana, face difficulties as an opportunity for growing.

Offer everything you do (your sadhana also, every practice) to God. Have faith in your self and God. Everything depends on faith!