Robert Adams

Satsang Recording

The Four Principles of Self Realization of Noble Wisdom

Advaita Satsang with Robert Adams
The Four Principles of Self Realization of Noble Wisdom

Robert: I want to let you in on a little secret. There are no problems. There are no problems. There never were any problems, there are no problems today, and there will never be any problems. Problems just mean that the world isn’t turning the way you want it to. But in truth, there are no problems. Everything is unfolding as it should. Everything is right. You have to forget about yourself and expand your consciousness until you become the whole universe. The reality in back of the universe is pure awareness. It has no problems. And you are that. If you identify with your body, then there’s a problem, because your body always gets into trouble of some kind. But if you learn to forget about your body and your mind, where is there a problem? In other words, leave your body alone. Take just enough care of it. Exercise it a little, feed it right foods, but don’t think about it too much. Keep your mind on reality. Merge your mind with reality, and you will experience reality. You will live in a world without problems. The world may appear to have problems to others, but not to you. You will see things differently, from a higher point of view. I had an interesting phone call this week. Someone asked me, “Do self-realized people dream, or have visions?” Now, in order to have a dream or a vision, there has to be somebody left to have it, and yet if you’re self-realized, there’s nobody home. There’s nobody left. So it’s a contradiction, as truth is. All truth is a contradiction, it’s a paradox. The answer is, Sages do dream sometimes, and have visions. But they’re aware of the dreamer. In other words they realize that they are not the person dreaming or having the vision. But as long as there’s a body there someplace, there will be dreams and visions. Even though there’s no one home, there will still, once in a while, be a dream or a vision. As an example, Ramana Maharshi often dreamt and had visions. Nisargadatta dreamt and had visions. And they were both self-realized. But again, the question is, who dreams, who has the vision? There’s no ego left, as long as the dreamer is separate from the I. I can only speak from my own experience. There’s no difference, to me, in the waking state, the dreaming state, the sleeping state, or the vision state. They’re all the same. I’m aware of all of them, but I am not them. I observe them. I see them happening. As a matter of fact, sometimes I don’t know the difference. Sometimes I don’t know whether I’m dreaming, or awake, or having a vision, or I’m asleep. It’s all the same, because I take a step backward, and I watch myself going through all these things. So, for some reason, lately, I’ve been dreaming about the Queen of England. She was coming to Satsang. I don’t know why… for about three nights in a row. But I did have an interesting vision this morning at about four o’clock, and we’ll spend the rest of the time discussing them because I found it very interesting. As many of you know, I have had a constant vision, periodically, of myself going to Arunachala, the sacred mountain where Ramana Maharshi lived. And the mountain is hollow, in the vision. And I go through the mountain, to the center, where there’s a bright light, a thousand times more brighter than the sun, but yet it’s pleasing and calm, and there’s no heat. And then I meet Ramana, Jesus, Rama Krishna, Nisargadatta, Lao Tse, and others. And we smile at each other, we walk toward each other, and melt into one light, and become one. Then there’s a blinding light and an explosion, sort of. And then I open my eyes. I’ve shared that with you before. But this morning, for the first time, I had a very interesting vision, which I’ll share with you again. I dreamt I was somewhere in an open field, beautiful field. There was a lake nearby, trees, a forest. And I was sitting under a tree, in this open field. And I had on the orange garb of a renunciate. I must have been Buddhist. All of a sudden hundreds of bodhisattvas and mahasattvas come from the forest and start walking toward me. And they all sit down in a semi-circle around me, in meditation and I wondered what I was doing. Then I realized that I had become the Buddha. And we all sat in silence for about three hours. Then one of the bodhisattvas got up and asked a question. He said, “Master, what is your teaching?” It was not in English. I don’t know what language he spoke. But I understood quite clearly. And without hesitation I said, “I teach Self Realization of Noble Wisdom.” And he sat down. We sat for about another three hours in silence, and then another bodhisattva got up and asked a question. “Master, how can you tell when one is close to selfrealization? How can you tell when one is about to become self-realized? How does one tell?” And this is what I’d like to discuss today. How can we tell if we’re on the path correctly? I gave four principles, which I really never do in the waking state. I never have a teaching. But I was giving a teaching, so I’ll share it with you. I explained four principles, where you know that you’re close to self-realization. Of course, we’re all self-realized already. Principle number one: You have a feeling, complete understanding that everything you see, everything in the universe, in the world, emanates from your mind. In other words, you feel this. You do not have to think about it, or try to bring it on. It comes by itself. It becomes a part of you. The realization that everything that you see, the universe, people, worms, insects, the mineral kingdom, the vegetable kingdom, your body, your mind, everything that appears, is a manifestation of your mind. You have to have that feeling, that deep understanding, without trying to. So you ask yourself, “What do I think about all day long?” Of course, if you fear something, if you worry, if you believe something is wrong somewhere, if you think you’re suffering from lack, or limitation, or sickness or anything, then you’re out of it completely, because you’re not understanding that all these things are simply a manifestation of your own mind. And if you worry about these things you become attached to false imagination. It’s called false imagination. You’ve been attached to habit energy for many years, and all these attachments and beliefs come from habit energy. It’s like watching a TV show and becoming one of the characters, when you know that you’re not even in the TV. But you believe you’re one of the characters in the TV show. So it is with the world. Do not get involved. I don’t mean you become passive. I mean your body does what it’s supposed to do. Remember, your body came to this earth to do something. It will do something without your knowledge. It’ll take care of itself, don’t worry. But do not identify your body with your Self. They’re different. Your body is not your Self. And I’ll prove this. When you refer to your body what do you say? Don’t you say, “My body?” Who is this “my” you’re referring to? You say, “My finger,” “my eye.” Who are you referring to? You couldn’t be talking about your body, because you’re saying it’s my body, like you own it. Who owns it? This proves to yourself that you’re not your body. So do not identify your Self with the body and the world. Therefore the first principle, to see how close you are to self-realization is: You are not feeling that you are identifying with the world. You’re separate and you’re feeling happiness, because your natural state is pure happiness. Once you identify with worldly things, you spoil it. The happiness disappears, it dissipates. But when you’re separate from worldly things happiness is automatic, beautiful, pure happiness. It comes by itself. So that’s the first principle. The second principle I explained to the bodhisattvas was this: You have to have a strong feeling, a deep realization, that you are unborn. You are not born, you do not experience a life, and you do not disappear, you do not die. You are not born, you have no life, and you do not die. You have to feel this, that you are of the unborn. Do you realize what this means? There is no cause for your existence. There is no cause for your suffering. There is no cause for your problems. Some of you still believe in cause and effect. This is true in the relative world, but in the world of reality there is no cause. Nothing has ever been made. Nothing has ever been created. There is no creation. I know it’s hard to comprehend. How do I exist if I was not born, I have no life and I do not disappear in old age? You exist as I-am. You have always existed and you will always exist. You exist as pure intelligence, as absolute reality. That is your true nature. You exist as sat-chit-ananda. You exist as bliss consciousness, but you do exist. You exist as emptiness, as nirvana, but you do exist. So don’t worry about being non- existent. But you do not exist as the body. You do not exist as person, place or thing. Do you feel that? If you have a strong feeling about that, then you’re close to selfrealization. Principle number three: You are aware and you have a deep understanding of the egoless-ness of all things, that everything has no ego. I’m not only speaking of sentient beings. I’m speaking of the mineral kingdom, the vegetable kingdom, the animal kingdom, the human kingdom. Nothing has an ego. There is no ego. And do you realize what this means? It means that everything is sacred. Everything is God. Only when the ego comes, does God disappear, what we call “God.” Everything becomes God. You have reverence for everything. When there is no ego, you have reverence for everybody and everything. So you have to be aware of the egoless-ness of all things. Animals have no ego, minerals have no ego, vegetables have no ego, and humans have no ego. There is no cause, so there cannot be an effect. There is only divine consciousness, and everything becomes divine consciousness. So if you look at your fellow man and animals and everything else as being egoless-ness, you will see them as your Self. Can’t you see that? It’s the ego that causes separation. When I am full of ego, I become strong within myself. I become totally separate. So the more you like yourself as a person, the bigger your ego is. You say, “Well, I’m not supposed to like myself?” You’re supposed to love yourself, but what self are we talking about? We’re not talking about your body-self, because that comes and goes. We’re talking about your permanent Self that has always been here. And your permanent Self is me, is you, is the world, is the universe, is everything, that’s your permanent Self, egoless-ness. That’s the only time that you can love your fellow human beings, when you have no ego. That’s how you can tell where you’re at, if you’re close to self-realization. That’s principle number three. Principle number four is simply this: You have a deep conviction, a deep understanding, a deep feeling of what self-realization of noble wisdom really is. What is Self Realization of Noble Wisdom to you? You can never know by trying to find out what it is, because it’s absolute reality. You can only know by finding out what it is not. So you say, “It is not my body, it is not my mind, it is not my organs, it is not my thoughts, it is not my world, it is not my universe, it is not the animals, or the trees, or the moon, or the sun, or the stars, it is not any of those things.” When you’ve gone through everything and there’s nothing left, that’s what it is, nothing, emptiness, nirvana, ultimate oneness. Anyway, I explained these four principles to all the bodhisattvas and all the mahasattvas. Then we sat three hours in meditation and they got up and walked back into the forest. Then there was a flash of light, and I opened my eyes. What do you think of that? Any questions? SD: Was it a dream or a vision, and how do you distinguish between the two? R: Well, I don’t really know, to tell you the truth. I’m usually aware of what’s going on, so all the time I was aware of the vision/dream taking place. (SD: Including this time?) Yes, I realized I was doing all these things. It was like I was watching everything taking place. But there was never a time when I actually became the dream or the vision. (SD: Or felt totally caught up in it? You always observed it.) Right, I was always observing. But it was like an omnipresent observer. So that’s the teaching, that’s how you tell when you’re getting close to self-realization. So, do you remember the four principles? Glen why don’t you repeat them for George because he came late? (SG: I don’t think I remember the four.) I think they’re very important to remember. Which ones do you remember? (SG: That the second principle is that all things are egoless.) No that’s the third one. (laughs) Sam how about you? What’s the first one? SM: Stop identifying… (R: See how easy we forget?) (More guessing) SD: Everything emanates from the mind? R: That’s right. That the whole universe is a manifestation of the mind, everything. You’ve got to feel that and know it’s true. SS: As long as we’re identified with the body or the mind, then we’re not very far off. R: Exactly. You’re part of the world. (SS: How do we say that in short sentencing?) The basic one? (SS: The first one?) The first one is that everything, and I mean everything, the mineral kingdom, the vegetable kingdom, the animal kingdom, the human kingdom, everything your senses show you, is an emanation of the mind. You’re projecting a picture, just like you project a moving picture, and everything you see right now, in this room, comes from your mind. You may say, “How can we collectively see the same thing?” That’s because of the habit energy that we’re brought up in. So collectively we seem to be seeing the same thing, the same picture. That’s number one. What’s number two? Who can tell me? Do you remember Ben? (Students try to remember.) SN: We’re not regarded, we’re just nothing? R: We’re just nothing? Doesn’t sound too good (laughs) (SN: We’re not born and no one dies?) That’s right, but there’s something in-between. We’re not born. We have no existence. In between the time we’re born and when we die we really have no existence. And we do not die. There’s no disappearance. SD: So how would you summarize it? That we are non-existence, or that we have no beginning and no end? (R: Both are right. We have no cause.) SM: So you’re saying that existence implies a relative cause… (R: Yes.) …and existence only takes place in the relative world… (R: Yes.) …and we’re not really a part of it? (R: Exactly.) SN: And non-existence? (R: Non-existence also does not exist.) ST: But then couldn’t you say the mind doesn’t exist. I mean you say that everything that exists… (R: Nothing that you can explain exists.) But earlier you said that everything emanates from the mind. So how can you say it? (R: Yes, because you’re projecting the picture.) But then you have a mind. (R: You don’t have a mind.) SD: I think he means everything in the earth plane world. R: In the relative world. In reality there’s no mind. That’s how the picture appears. The mind projects the whole universe. So if you get rid of the mind, there’s no universe. We have to kill the mind and the whole universe is annihilated, because it’s the mind that projects the universe, and tells us all these stories. Think, for a moment, of all the problems that you believe you have. Think of what’s bothering you. You can tell me your story for four hours. This is wrong and that’s wrong. It’s all a projection of the mind. So by getting rid of the mind, everything stops, and beauty, and joy and bliss ensue. But you’re covering the beauty, and joy and bliss when you worry, when you fear, when you think something is wrong someplace. So that’s precept number two. What’s number three? Who can tell me? SN: Egoless. R: Right, everything is egoless. Not only human beings, but everything, mountains, trees, the sun, nothing has an ego. That means it has no existence. So where did it come from? When you have a dream, where does the dream come from? Same place, from nowhere, from false imagination. SD: I don’t understand the expression “false imagination,” because the word imagination implies a certain falsity. R: We’re imagining a false world and a false ego. (SD: That’s sort of a paradoxical saying.) Sure, it’s all paradox, because it doesn’t exist. But that’s how we imagine it. This is the reason I always go back to the sky is blue. Somebody takes me outside and says, “Look at the beautiful blue sky.” And I agree with them, but I know deep inside that that’s not true. There’s no sky and there’s no blue, it doesn’t exist. Or the oasis in the desert, the water, it doesn’t exist, it’s a mirage, the world’s the same thing. The universe only exists in the dreaming state. It’s like a dream. Now what’s the fourth precept? What’s number four? ST: It has something to do with we are nothing. R: (laughs) Well everything has to do with that. But it’s actually to have an understanding, and a deep realization, of what Self Realization of Noble Wisdom is. SD: And how is noble wisdom defined from regular wisdom? R: It’s not, it’s the same thing, just more wordy. It’s a Buddhist expression. ST: They have all these real long expressions. And then they always say what it is. They call it as it is rather than give a name to it. R: The eight-fold path and then they take years explaining it. But when you get into the highest teaching there’s nothing. (ST: So would you go through the fourth one again?) The fourth one, the only way to know what self-realization is, is by knowing what it is not. And whatever is left, that’s what it is. (SD: And that’s noble wisdom?) Same thing. So you say it’s not the body, it’s not the mind, it’s not my organs, it’s not my thoughts, it’s not the world, it’s not the sun, it’s not the universe, it’s not God, it’s not creation, and you go on, and on and on. When you get out of breath and out of words, that’s it. SD: Is that what the expression, “Neti-neti” means? (R: Not this, not this, yes.) SN: It’s sort of like nowhere, nowhere, if you spilt the two words there is no where. SS: Is it boring though? If all that goes away and there is nothing? R: (laughs) No! See, that’s what people think. That’s why I explained before, the mind will make you say that because it doesn’t want to be annihilated. It wants to rule you and control you completely, because that’s its nature. That’s the nature of the mind that doesn’t exist. SD: It sounds like the survival instinct. The ego wants to survive. (R: The ego wants to survive, of course.) Survival instinct. (R: Exactly.) ST: When you’re meditating, are you totally separate from this physical world and everything? R: When who’s meditating? When I’m meditating personally? (ST: Umm-hmm.) Well, I don’t usually meditate. I sit sometimes with my eyes closed but that is just to rest my eyelids. (laughter) SD: Because there’s no one there, right? There’s no one to meditate. R: There has to be someone to meditate. (SD: (Student talks to other student with question) He feels that he is no thing, nothing. So while you’re self-realized you need to know that what would they meditate about?) That doesn’t mean you should stop meditating. It means you should look at these four principles and compare them to where you are yourself, and work on yourself so that you can apply these principles to yourself everyday, until the day comes when you don’t have to talk about them any longer. You just become a total manifestation of those principles. SS: Work on them but you don’t make effort ever? That’s what I find… R: You just realize. You become aware of. (SS: You can do mind games with that too. There is a principle and say, “Okay I’m not going to look at things and identify with them.” I don’t know if that’s a way to start?) No, you don’t start like that. You start by mindfulness. (SS: By what?) By mindfulness, by being aware of all your actions from the moment you get out of bed in the morning. (SD: Or observing yourself.) Observing yourself. Like, what are the first thoughts you think about when you open your eyes? It doesn’t matter, but you just watch. Don’t try to change them, that’s when your mind will fight you. And that is when the games begin that you’re talking about. But if you make no effort to change anything and you just watch that will kill it. SD: So self-observation and mindfulness are the same thing? (R: Yes.) ST: Another thing this man also taught me about, when you talk about just watching everything? He also talked about accepting everything. R: The same thing, yes. You don’t fight, you don’t try to change. But I don’t like to use the word accepting because if some horrid thought comes to you, why should you accept it? You don’t accept it and you don’t reject it. You just watch it. (SS: So it’s like when you were having visions or whatever you just sat and watched them?) I just watched. It wasn’t good, it wasn’t bad. Just observe. SA: Can I make a comment about this? It leads into this. I’m caught in that area at the moment, of austerities. (R: Okay.) I’ve been thinking about a different approach to this. It seems to me that for example if we take advantage of a fan, and because we feel this cool air our attention is really…it comes because of our attention to the body. We all sit here and we all participate in this, and incidentally we can only participate in anything because of the positive efforts of the rest. Which says that there is a reality and that there is evolution and there is growth in that realm. So, wouldn’t it be better if we declined this attention to the physical self. Wouldn’t it be better if we just got rid of the fan? We wouldn’t have to think it’s hot, we have to cool the body. By using the fan…and of course this is only one side example, we acknowledge the reality of the body. We’re acknowledging the reality of the Self because we’re really concerned in this particular moment right here and now with the status of the self in the physical world. And we’re emphasizing it, we’re going on about it, we’re developing it. Why not go the other direction? Why not turn off the fan? R: Because while you’re on the path why not be comfortable? Simple as that. (SA: Okay why can’t I have a Rolls-Royce outside, it’d make me very comfortable.) Well go ahead, who said you can’t? See we’re not saying how to live. Living this in the world has nothing to do with it. You can be rich, you can be poor, you can be well, you can be sick. It has nothing to do with it at all, that’s the point. SS: So how will this happen? R: Because your karma. If you are karmically supposed to have a Rolls-Royce your body is going to have a Rolls-Royce whether you like it or not. But it has nothing to do with it. SD: My feeling also is that this comes from being very sensitive to heat but if we did not have the fan on I would be more focused on the body than I am in comfort. (SA: Yes but that’s a special situation.) Well doesn’t it apply to everyone that if you’re comfortable you’re not as distracted? (SA: I’m aware of the pleasure right now. I’m aware of…my attention has turned to my body because every time I feel the fan I feel the sensation.) SN: That’s good, every time the fan goes by, that’s good. SA: So the attention is toward to the transient and the physical rather than to the other… R: Then you have to work on that. If the fan were off you would be sweating, you would be thinking about that. SD: That is what I was saying. If we were uncomfortable wouldn’t we be more… SA: It would be worse is what you’re saying, yeah. But it’s a very important point. SS: You’re very hedonistic. R: They’re two sides of the same coin. ST: Maybe now while we’re on our way to self-actualization. Maybe later on in our progression we will be able to sit in the room without the fan and feel comfortable. Now while we’re… R: Self-actualization is Mazlow don’t talk about that. (laughter) ST: You know that is one thing I wanted to bring up. I have the hardest time with words. I wish that I could communicate without words. (R: That’s good. You can) Because of right definitions and… (R: I know.) …that was something I wanted to ask you whether you have a hard time giving us the definition of self-realization? R: Oh yes because I have to use words. That is why when you get to know me better we sit in the silence and don’t say too much. And then you get a direct teaching that’s silent. In the silence you get the highest teachings. But if we have to use words we have to do the best we can. So let’s play some music. (Music played.) (general talk continues during prashad on different topics) R: There are three methods we use to help us on the path, so we can realize what we were talking about before. Number one is self-surrender, where we surrender completely to God, or to the Self. But that’s hard to do for most people. It sounds easy, but it’s not. It means that you have no life of your own. You surrender completely and totally everything to God, totally. Every part of your life goes to God. “Not my will, but thine.” that’s devotion, bhakti. Again, it sounds easy to some people, but it’s not when you get into it, because it means every decision that you have to make is left up to God. You give your mind to God, totally, completely and absolutely. And that leads you to selfrealization. Number two is mindfulness, which we were talking about, becoming the witness. Watching yourself continuously. Watching your thoughts. Watching your actions. Sitting in meditation and watching what goes on in your mind. Not trying to change anything or correct anything. Just observing. Becoming the witness to your thoughts in meditation, and to your actions in the waking state. And number three is the one that I advocate, self-inquiry. Asking yourself, “To whom do these troubles come? To whom does this karma come? To whom does this suffering come? It comes to me? Well, what is me? I am me. Who am I? From where did the I come from?” And following the I to its source. You can use any of those three methods, the one that suits you best. But by all means do something. Don’t waste your life with frivolities. Work on yourself, if you want to become free. It doesn’t mean you have to give up going to the movies, or going to work, or anything. You give nothing up. You just become aware of what you’re doing. You become a conscious being. You become conscious of your actions. You become loving, compassionate, gentle to all people. You stop watching out for number one. Most of us say, “Number one. I’m number one.” Forget it. That’s how you suffer, that’s ego. It’s hard to understand, when you give up your ego, how you can have a better life? But you do. Try it and you’ll see. When you stop thinking of yourself, and you start thinking on yourself, but yourself becomes omnipresence, that means you’re thinking of everybody else as yourself. So if any human being suffers, you suffer too. But in a way we differ from Buddhism, not much, but a little. Because the bodhisattva says he will not be realized until everybody else is realized. But then they have a higher bodhisattva called the Arhat. It’s like the Avadhut in Hinduism, who becomes self-realized, by himself, because he understands that his Self is the Self of all. And that’s what we accept. In other words, if you want to help your fellow man, if you want to make this world a better world in which to live, find yourself first, and everything else will take care of itself. Any questions about that? SF: You mention about the, self-observing or observing your thoughts… (R: Yea.) Isn’t it the same thought just mixed into observer and observed or same…? R: Only when you give it power, only when you think you’re doing it. But when you just stop and watch, there is no action taking place, there’s nothing moving. (SD: Isn’t watching an action?) But you’re not watching just observing, watching, but you’re not. You’re not, but something is but it’s not you. Only when you think I’m watching the problem arises. SS: Isn’t that the voice that says, “To whom does the suffering come?” SD: Yeah it would be the same. (R: Yeah, same thing, yes.) SS: Because I’ve been watching that voice, because if you feel a calm after that, or something starts to dissolve, then you start doing that… R: Well actually what you’re doing is you’re using the mind to annihilate the mind. (SS: But you’re not identifying with it?) You don’t identify with it, but you’re using the mind when you say, “To whom does this come? (SS: That’s not the Self is it?) It’s the mind. (SS: It’s still the mind.) But you’re using it to get rid of the mind. (SS: It’s becoming more one pointed so that you can dissolve.) Yes. Only when you think that it’s you, is there any Karma or action. SF: So in the mature phase of observing thoughts there will be a point in which there’s no awareness of observing? (R: There’s no awareness, no.) Observing, and things are being observed without somebody being aware of observing and that’s the mature phase of observing? (R: Exactly, yes.) SS: That’s difficult to do, when you first start observing, to say that, “To whom does this come?” and sometimes you feel a sense of it dissolving or whatever and at other times the body is real strong. (R: Of course it is. So you try something else.) Well, okay then we’ll fix this… (laughs) R: You just try to ask yourself, or you watch yourself or you surrender. You can tell yourself, “Okay God take this from me, I give it all to you”. That’s a total surrender to God, give it all to God, give it away. (SS: And if that’s the thing that I don’t want to go.) But that’s what you have to do. (SS: If you’re having pain or something and you’re say, “Take it away?”) Give it to God say, “Take it, take it God it’s yours, I’ve got nothing to do with it”. You have to do what you have to do, depending on where you’re at in consciousness, but by all means do something, or you could just sit down and do nothing, that helps too. SD: I think letting go is the same as just like taking control of yourself, just a little easier, with a little difference. SS: What about sleeping? (R: What about it?) If you’re feeling certain feelings and then you go, “I’m just going to lie down.” R: Then you have to do that, that’s what you do. (SS: Is that similar to letting go too?) In a way. (SS: I fight that, you know. I don’t like that.) Don’t fight anything. It gives you another chance to relax and when you wake up you can start again. ST: Sometimes though it seems that when they have problems and they seem to go to sleep and go to sleep and go to sleep. (SD: Yeah, it can be an actual depression.) R: Well, those are people who are not working on themselves, but those of us here realize… SS: You can be observing that in yourself that you’re fighting in your sleep, even though it’s really what I want to do, but maybe something’s telling me, maybe that’s what you need to do and let go and don’t fight the sleep. R: That’s why I say, don’t fight anything, just go to sleep and when you wake up start again where you left off. (SS: I have felt sometimes worse when I woke up. So that’s why I avoid sleep.) SD: Because you’re using it as an escape. SS: No, legitimately I felt very, like I just couldn’t… Like I’m just sitting here, “why don’t you just let yourself go to sleep, okay I’ll just let myself go to sleep,” and I go to sleep and I wake up and it’d take me about an hour or two to bring me back… R: Now from this moment on, how will you react when you wake up and you feel better? (SS: Detach from it?) Observe it, watch it, even if you’re feeling bad, no matter how bad you’re feeling. (SS: Don’t fear? I get fears, see that’s what happens like, “So what does this mean?” See I start questioning. See that what happens and I’ll question “Now why does happen?”) You may ask, “To whom does it come?” But observe it, watch it, let yourself be fearful don’t try to change it. SK: Watch yourself fearing? (R: Just be observant of what’s going on.) (students discuss different ways with other students) SA: I would say that today my mind is full of heresy. (laughter all round). Today it’s very difficult to let go of the idea in the Bible that, “I am the vine, ye are the branches”. That the great drama of realization is being lived out in each differently, in each human being and at that living out, that drama is important! (R: In the relative world.) I can’t accept that today. (R: Don’t!) (laughter) My feeling is, you could say that, the divine being, or God should I say so, that it thrills to the individual drama, the individual adventure. (R: In the relative world that’s true.) I was going to, Robert ask about this, my understanding, I don’t know if it comes to the same point? I was wondering, isn’t it self surrendering, self surrender isn’t it…for instance to decide to live of course always within the context of devotion to God, try to live as one lives with all your demons, all your evil deeds, everything, and take life as it comes and accept it. Of course knowing that consequences are coming from action and the action will come and accepting everything. I understand that if devotion is strong, things will start moving little by little, going to showing up as beautiful, or, better integrated being and maybe the beginnings of self-realized. In other words if there is devotion, self surrender, no matter what you do, things will take care of itself. R: Exactly, that’s very true. If you surrender to God, you don’t have to worry about your life again. SF: I mean you don’t have to be compulsively observing of the egoic drive or…? R: Not if you surrender to God correctly. (SF: Because you could be acting for instance, from another observer but you keep pursuing that devotion and surrendering even when you look for observers, outside observers…) It’s like when you, imagine you have a pail of dirty water, scummy water. It’s been standing for years and the water’s very dirty. But there’s a hole in the roof and every time it rains a drop comes in and it starts clearing the water. Maybe after twenty years the water will dissipate and will be clean. That’s what happens to us. The more we surrender as you say, the more pure we become, little by little, by little, by little and everything will take care of itself, if you surrender, properly. SD: Isn’t that bhakti, isn’t that what you were talking about the different methods that we use? (R: Yes.) More or less the same as devotional bhakti? As opposed to self observation. (R: Yes.) As opposed to self-inquiry? (R: Yes.) SN: Horat mentioned acceptance, and also Dana mentioned acceptance, and Robert said earlier, “Don’t accept, just watch,” because when you accept there’s someone to accept. Just watch, because when you accept, it sounds like you’re affirming your ego again, just watch. So acceptance is good but you can also just watch. (SD: Yeah, watch without judgment.) Maybe it’s just words again. And also Arnold’s comments on God and the vine and the tree and the branches, and Robert said, “Well that’s just the relative world,” and that’s kind of like subject/object again. And in the book Ramana said, “As long as you believe that you are the self then there is a God. So it’s kind of like going from non-duality into duality. So if you’re dealing on the level of duality, what you’re saying is true, but when you go into non-duality then there are different principles. So Arnold says, “This week I’m into non-duality, next week I’m into duality, I don’t know if that would help Arnold. Do you see what I’m saying? SA: I know what you’re saying. SN: As long as you believe that you’re the self then there is a God then those principles apply. But then if you go into non-duality then you are God. So there are different principles, you know, you don’t use the analogy of the tree and branches because you are the tree and you are the branches. (SF: What you mean to ask was just like saying that God is saying there is a good time, good play going on, why get rid of it?) (laughter) Yeah, yeah, yeah, he’s so wise. (laughter) SA: Not exactly, God is saying that because of his play, when the play is over, I am the play, it’s true, but when the play is over, I will know more about myself. I will be in a different spot from when the play began, because of the play and all the participants in the play. And through the participants, through the actors having lived in each of the actors, I will be in a different place afterwards. R: Yes but you’ll have to come back again and play another role, again and again and again. (SS: Because we’re still identified with an actor?) That’s what they mean in Buddhism, getting off the wheel. You want to get off the wheel. From turning around, keep turning around, again and again and again. We want to get off. SA: But what if God is standing and watching this and knows that he is in a sense, his projections are part of it but his essence is apart from the play? But even that essence which is a part will be in some way changed. I will not be on the wheel because it never was on the wheel. R: But as long as you believe in duality you are on the wheel. As long as you are approaching a God outside of yourself, you’re on the wheel. SS: I have a question, what you were referring to when we talked surrender to God, accepting a God outside of yourself and yet that’s where…with the devotion thing because I feel like I’m…I mean with all three of these, you can say, you can pick one of these, or you can use all three of these. (R: Sure.) Where actually they’re not in conflict? (R: No they’re not.) That to talk about God and if you surrender to God it sounds like outside yourself. (R: That’s how it sounds, yes.) How can we surrender to God and be full of light, because I have a certain part of me that has this devotional part, but I also have a part that is more of the knowledge part too, you know. (R: Umm.) But I like both, I like the combination, I want the combination play. So how do I…I do go to my knees with “Oh God your beautiful” you know. Now when I hear that I can feel it in my being, I don’t think of it as some man out there with a beard out there, I do feel it in here. In the matter of surrender how can we do that without making separation? R: Simply surrender to yourself. That’s all. (SS: We don’t, at this point, we don’t really know it, because we haven’t realized it.) So where’s the God you want to surrender to? Where does he live? (SS: He’s in here, well I don’t really know?) It all has to do with your own mind. You talk to yourself, you surrender to your Self. You have to reconcile yourself with your Self. (SS: So it’s passed the ego, it’s passed the mind, and surrender to that?) You can be very humble and have a lot of humility and talk to God, but realize you’re talking to your Self. SD: I don’t know about you but it seems like surrendering is dualistic. R: It seems that way. But you can keep it like that if you like. SS: It will go away after a while anyway, huh? R: If it doesn’t you’ll still feel great. If you surrender totally, like Rama Krishna. He never wanted to become one with God, he wanted to worship Kali. Which was an image of God and he did so all of his life, but in his own way he was self-realized. In his own way. But he never separated God from himself. (SS: He was after surrendering to Kali, but he never did.) He never did. He was unique. (SS: But did he go back on the wheel then or not?) Well he was totally free, because he became one with Kali, he merged with Kali, which is God. (SS: Because I have tapes at home and I like to listen to them and I like to go, “Well is that in conflict with…” or this is a different path and I say, “well this is in conflict with this, or this is separation, or this is duality?”) See you make it a conflict in your own mind. There is no conflict. (SS: Just love it and enjoy it?) Exactly, there is no conflict except what you imagine. That’s what is called false imagination. You imagine that there’s conflict so there’s conflict. But there isn’t any. It’s all one. SD: Like when you hear, “Oh God beautiful” you should have known that you are, because you’re the Self. It’s just a knowing, a way of just describing that, whatever that is. (SS: Yeah, you don’t have to say it and even though that’s some words or something about it.) But you know it’s you, even that is dualism. SF: Robert isn’t inquiry a tremendous surrender? (R: Tremendous what?) Surrendering. R: Oh yes. (SF: Utmost surrendering. In order to go through that it’s so…) Devotion turns into self-inquiry, pure devotion. (SF: Or even when you go to self-inquiry intensely you are really surrendering the ego?) You are yes. Exactly, they’re all the same. SS: It’s still devotional when you do that, I have a feeling of devotion or surrender when… R: There are different paths to the summit of the mountain, but they all lead to the same summit. (SS: They’re what?) There are many paths that go to the top of the mountain, but they all get to the top. So you can use any path that appeals to you. SA: Robert why is this teaching which is essentially eastern mysticism as I understand it. Why is it dying out through out Asia? it certainly appears to be? R: Truth never dies out. I don’t know what you mean by dying out. SA: Well you look at countries like India, Japan, where Buddhism and Hinduism had very strong holds and now you see that these teachings are practiced by, from what I understand, by very few, fewer and fewer people all the time. Then we hear of tremendous growth in Bombay, the land in Bombay costs more than New York. The Indians are good businessmen, so you tell me. It’s all becoming extremely Westernized. R: It’s the way of the world, it goes up and it goes down, goes up and it goes down. It’s been like that since the beginning of time. But you’re looking at the world. Look to your Self, don’t worry about the world. The world has been destroyed numerous times, and was built again. We have had many civilizations on this earth. (SA: That we don’t know about?) We don’t know about, throughout the billions of years of existence. We can’t think about those things because they’re passed our mind. We have to know who we are, then we’ll know everything else. So we shouldn’t concern ourselves with history too much, or get involved in the world situation too much, because it can pull you into it, but rather we should work on ourselves and then everything will take care of itself. SS: Don’t things change though as your consciousness is raised, do you become less interested in certain things? R: Well naturally, just like when you were a little girl, you dropped stuff and now you’re interested in other things. SS: Will I becoming antisocial or like you’re invited to a wedding and I look at it and I’m going, “okay, if I go to the wedding and I get home I’m glad that’s over…” R: You become selective, there’s nothing wrong with that. SS: But I don’t want them to think that I don’t care about going to their sisters wedding and now I’m going to their wedding. But it didn’t matter to me that I went to the wedding. I just didn’t have a whole lot of interest in it. R: But are you happy? SS: When I was there I was there. When I went to the wedding, I was mindful I was at the wedding. I didn’t sit there and go, “I can’t wait to get home.” I wasn’t complaining or anything. But I could have been just as happy being at home and I learnt more out of somewhat obligation or you know families going to be there so I ought to be there. Then there’s the persona that comes in and says that I might miss out on something…you know that sort of thing. R: There’s nothing wrong with that, that’s good, whether you miss out or don’t miss out. (SS: No it doesn’t matter.) I go to a lot of functions, but wherever I am is fine. (SS: But you’re still active about it? I mean you don’t have obligations?) I’m not normally selective about anything, everything just happens. (SS: But you don’t accept everything.) See I’m not worried, I don’t think about all these things. Whether I’m selective or non selective or whether I’m this or I’m that. I just am, and whatever happens – happens. SD: So you’re the same wherever you are? (R: Whatever I do.) SA: What if I called you at 2 o’clock Sunday afternoon and said, “There’s a good movie Bob, I’d like you to go, it’s going to last for hours,” and we all assemble here, so that means you are selective. (R: Why?) You made it a point to be here. (R: I made it a point to be here?) Yeah! (R: You mean I can’t come because you went to a movie.) No what I’m saying is if that option had come up. (R: Oh I see.) You would’ve had to say no. Apparently you do say no to other things because you are here every Sunday. (R: Oh of course, but it’s not being selective, it’s a way of life.) SD: You can’t be at two places at once. R: It’s a way of life. I don’t think about it, I just do it. SG: You don’t have to be selective or non-selective. It doesn’t matter, you can be selective or non-selective. (SN: There has to be a you to be selective.) Yeah, so you don’t have to say, “I’m non-selective.” R: I know it’s difficult to understand, but I don’t make a decision, I just do what has to be done. There’s no thought, there’s no thought process. If somebody says, “You want to go to a movie?” I’ll say, “No I’m going to a meeting,” and I forget about it. SA: It’s the best way to be. (SD: So there’s no moment of indecision or…?) R: There is no energy. SS: Should I go to the wedding now or care if I go to the wedding or should I not go to the wedding and you go back and forth. But if you still the mind… R: If you don’t try to decide at all, you’ll make the right decision. SA: For you it is. She’s a good example of the importance of being selective. It really takes a lot of process of selection and determination to be here in the first place otherwise you wouldn’t, or couldn’t be here. (SS: I had to do that a bit today yeah.) You would have to do it everyday to go through what you go through. R: If you’re here six months from now you won’t have to do it anymore. (laughter) SS: After today I don’t know. The body was hankering at me, you know, “Why don’t you take a shower,” that will zip me up sometimes, so I say, “okay I’ll go try that,” accept I just kept on going, I just tried not to think about anything. (SA: But you had a focus.) Took a shower, ate, got in the car and then got here. (SA: Then you got here.) But I don’t like the going back and forth part. R: That’s what you have to do now, but it will change. SG: A simple analogy is when you say, you need the fan and you don’t need the fan on or also when you’re turning the fan off and trying not to be the body. You’re also going on one side of the pole as well. So the fan could be on or could be off and it shouldn’t matter. Because you’re also making a conscious process not to be a body by choosing one particular pole, a lack of something, or having something or not having something. SA: Theoretically that makes sense, but that’s why I brought up the term austerity, but when you give solace and joy and comforts to the body, you encourage the body to want more. So you are feeding… (SG: Well that’s two sides of the same pole.) …because are you saying then… (SG: It’s the same as austerities.) It’s not the same. If we sat here without the fan and you’re sweating. Our bodies would not desire to sweat more and have more heat, but we do desire to be cooler and feel more pleasant. (SG: But you could also turn it the other way and say, “By feeling more pleasant I have to pay more attention not to feel pleasant.”) SS: Yeah, they’re two sides of the same coin. SA: But that was the entire reason for austerities all over the world whether Christianity, or Hinduism or Buddhism because of those reasons, because the fan is encouraging the body. It is encouraging all of us to want, to want pleasure and more joy for the body. SG: But that’s like saying that it’s better to be a monk. It’s quicker to be on a spiritual plane by being a monk then being a playboy, let’s say or being in a situation as a playboy. But on the other side, by being in the world with all those things around you, you can also, it’s the same pull… SA: Perhaps it’s true for some people. I know it is. The other point is a very important point to consider. SN: Even in austerity, “Who is austere?” It’s still the self, the self is gaining all these, it’s still the ego. So it’s the ego that runs after things and it’s the ego that runs away from things, but it’s still the ego, so there’s no difference. SA: To some extent while you’re in the body, attention must be paid to these things. It’s all a razors edge, but because we are here in a three dimensional world, to just constantly fall back on that idea, leads to problems because we must maintain the physical body. R: Who says you won’t? Who is to say you won’t? If you’re practicing spiritual sadhana your body will take care of itself, you will take care of it. That’s it. SS: I mean you will be aware of it but you’ll just walk over to there and you’re not going to go, oh this is making me feel better and it is giving me comfort, you won’t go through all those processes. R: That’s it, exactly! (Students talking between themselves over each other.) SS: Well there is nothing wrong to be in this musical and to enjoy it, did you say that? (R: Yes.) But what you’re saying by enjoying it we’re feeding it? But see that is another concept of mind. (R: Of course.) SD: Well I think the bottom line question would be, because Arnold brought up a good point that throughout history there have been austerities, are austerities necessary? R: They are necessary as long as they are there, but when you wake up they’re gone. SD: So it would more or less be a matter of karma whether you are austere or not? R: Your body is karmic. It came to this earth for a certain purpose and it’s going to accomplish that purpose whether you like it or not. It has nothing to do with you. SD: So that will be either you live in austerity or not that would be your karma or not… (R: Exactly.) …and it affects realization. R: If it was your karma you would have been born in Cambodia or Vietnam. SA: How about Paris? (laughter) Let’s talk about Paris. R: Paris? The French riviera. (laughter) If that was your karma, Las Vegas. SS: Through detachment again, you could say, if you’re sitting here and you’re saying, this is totally within my body comfort, this is just total duality and you could stop your mind at that point and observe that and stop and say, “To whom does this comfort come?” SD: Yeah, and “To whom does the thoughts about it come to?” R: That’s true it’s all the same. SS: Or “From whence do these thoughts come?” Either one would that work out? (R: Yes.) You pose both of those, “From whence do these come?” and “To whom do this come?” (R: Makes no difference.) However I found this week and I observed making a judgement and I’m going “To whom does this judgement come?” because I felt like maybe I was making a judgement about someone, of course there’s no one else out there, but I felt, “From whence does this judgement come?” instead of “To whom does this judgement come” because that’s like pointing a finger. (R: Whatever turns you on.) Yeah I guess, as long as the observation is there as a means. SA: You see the problem is theoretically everybody’s repeating this and it makes very good sense, I understand it as a teaching but, and I asked you about two weeks ago, I said, “It seems to me that the teaching is very dangerous,” and you said, “yes it is”. Your answer was, “Yes it is,” and now to carry on what you’re saying … Let’s take a look further, beyond the path. Let’s say we go to work tomorrow as bored as hell, “To whom does this happen?” It doesn’t happen to anybody, so the work…you start doing less and less at your work. To make a long story short, one thing leads to another, the first thing you find yourself out on the street… (R: But why are doing less and less?) …And so somebody asks you and you say, “It’s not happening to anybody,” (R: Why are you doing less and less?) …And you’re down and down and down… R: Okay, let’s go to the first premise. (SA: Yeah.) Why are you doing less and less? (SA: Why what?) Why are you doing less and less work? SD: Yeah why do you assume that you do less and less? SA: Because it’s no fun and who is it happening to? There’s nobody sitting at the desk anyway, so what difference does it make? (laughter) (SN: Do you know that, though?) That’s something I’m practicing. Self-Inquiry tells me that there’s nobody there. (SN: But that’s also your mind.) SG: If you were in that state, you’re not thinking that. (SS: It’s just words at this point.) SN: That’s like saying, “I have the same consciousness as Robert,” though you don’t. Theoretically that’s true but we don’t experience that, so it’s not a reality. SA: So then we must make choices, we must be selective and we must realize that the fan is giving us pleasure and it may lead to a desire for it. R: Because that’s what I said before Arnold, you’ve got to work on yourself. If you’re in that job, if you’re working on yourself correctly, you’ll do more and more work, not less and less. ST: Something came to my mind when we were talking about the fan. When I came into this room my first thought was, “It’s so hot,” and the thing is, everybody in this room is sitting here, is any body thinking, “I’ve got to get out of here?” (SN: I am) (laughter) No I was going to say that, if a lot of you are thinking that, then in a way you’re accepting something that even like, not wanting to work, it’s like all in the mind. I mean we don’t realize that it’s suffering because we’re just comfortable here. Yeah and at your job, if you have a job that you do and you still the mind, it’s like you just forget what it’s about and you do it… SA: Most people let things out and they’re just aware of it all the time, that’s not true, you don’t forget. (SS: Well maybe your job will change when you work on yourself?) SD: Well don’t forget what you just said about, “Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all these things will be added to you” and I think that includes the productivity of your job. It’s like what Robert said, “Focus on the Self and then see how you feel about that.” SA: All of this leads back into the Western idea that there is growth and evolution, but if we concentrate on those things then to some extent then we’re in a better state. If we accept the relative world and acknowledge it and really give it our attention and our energy, we’re in a much better place to move on eventually to other realms. R: But the relative world changes, it’s never the same. (SA: So we must change with it, that’s why flexibility is important.) But then you change with it until you die and you haven’t got anywhere. The whole idea is to change yourself, not the world. SD: This goes back to, “Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven.” Robert often says, “Do selfinquiry and then see how the world…” we’re still going, “Oh my God why is the world in such a mess, why would all…in Kuwait … yada-yada,” but if we concentrate more on self-inquiry the world may look different to you. You won’t know until you try. SA: It still seems very dangerous to me. SS: What do you mean when you said that Robert said that this teaching is dangerous. SA: Well he did say that, did you remember saying that? (to Robert) R: Yes, I said that. It’s dangerous to new people because it gives them license to go out and do anything they want. (SS: I thought well you’re preordained so…) Nothing matters. But it doesn’t work like that. SA: But also it seems to be in stages, in some way it draws off energy and attention from the relative world. So that there isn’t…and it’s so hard to survive in the world. So that when that energy and attention is drained off in the world, you are left in kind of a limbo, and it’s a bit more difficult to find yourself. (R: Who is me?) And before you know something has happened and you could be pulled under. R: Who is making that statement? Who says so? That’s how you feel about it, but that’s not like that at all. SA: But it reminds of a very simple cult based on “A glimpse of nothingness,” by a Dutch writer who went to the Orient and began to sell books. Anyway before he left Amsterdam he discusses his quest and his spiritual desire to his father and his father says, “Yes but be careful, I knew a man who felt the same way you did and one day the embassy in Iran reported that he was found in a ditch on a country road.” And that has always stayed in my mind because I mean those things are always happening to – or similar things… R: But you’re working in the relative world, all this is relative. SD: In a way that’s just a body that was in a ditch. SN: Well really, there are people that get involved in drugs and things like that, that end up in a ditch, not just people on a spiritual quest. There is a similar thing that happens in Hawaii, some people get into trouble there because they go into the jungle where they’re growing all the dope, it’s like they’re looking for trouble. SA: Now that isn’t true, history is full of stories of people, just the catholic tradition for example of nuns, monks, maybe a large number of them go crazy, they go psychotic. They go into the monasteries just because of their spiritual desires and yet the practices drive them out of their minds… (tape ends abruptly)