Robert Adams

Satsang Recording

Two Ways to Self Realization

Advaita Satsang with Robert Adams
Two Ways to Self Realization

Robert: There are two ways that I think bring you closer to self-realization. Of course we’re already self-realized and we don’t have to come closer, we just have to remove the cloud that tells us we’re human. But there are two methods that I think through the years of understanding that brings you very close to self-realization. One is satsang which we’re doing now and the other one, is practicing all the things we learn, at home. Now, satsang is a very sacred teaching. If you come to satsang you pick up the power that goes with it. With us it’s a direct lineage to Ramana Maharshi. So what this means in satsang, we are all actually Ramana Maharshi, everyone of us. There’s no difference and we’re all each other. This means we all have the knowledge we need, and as we keep coming to satsang, it becomes clearer and clearer and clearer. In the beginning when you first hear this it sounds strange, but it’s not so strange. If you’re studying to become a doctor, you associate with doctors and it sort of rubs off and you feel the vibration. If you’re studying to be a lawyer. You associate with lawyers and the vibrations sort of rub off and you always feel ego. So when you come to satsang there’s a direct lineage with the founder, or the re-discoverer I should say, of Advaita Vedanta who is Ramana Maharshi. So in any event, we should all feel something, deep within our hearts and allow it to bloom by itself without forcing it. And this happens just by attending satsang. As you attend satsang you become a sweet person. By sweet I mean, you give up all of the anger, the tantrums, the doubts, suspicions. You stop worrying and you begin to unfold like a flower, with its calyx toward the sun. You just open up. You start feeling good for no reason. You notice that things stop bothering you. You’re no longer concerned, I don’t mean you don’t care, you’re very compassionate, I mean you understand the nature of the world, that it’s maya, it’s transitory. Nothing is ever the same in the world. So the world ceases to excite you, one way or the other. The world no longer makes you too happy, nor too sad. It becomes impersonal to an extent. But you still do your work. Your body does whatever it came here to do, yet you’re always in heaven, mentally. Now, if you can’t come to satsang or you don’t feel that kind of devotion. Then you practice diligently, the lessons, the teachings of Advaita Vedanta. And then you will find the same things happening to you in a little different way, but you will also unfold. It’s wonderful if you can do them both. But those are the two ways that’ll bring you closer to realization. You subsequently have to ask yourself, “What am I doing with my life? In what direction am I going?” And look at your life, analyze it. From the moment you get out of bed until you go back to bed again at night. What are you doing with the hours that you’re awake? Do you waste your time. What do you do? You have to remember you have only so many years to live in this world, and then you’ll just vanish if you don’t know who you are. You will repeat the lessons over and over again and you’ll have many opportunities to understand and discover your true nature. But the wise person begins the discovery immediately. It’s like digging for gold. You can talk about the gold. You can just make a couple of holes with a shovel and say, “I’ll come back next month” or you can really get into it. And get a pick axe and start chopping away. Until you discover the gold and dig it up, the same day. The choice is always yours. There’s a story about a beautiful tree, a large beautiful tree. And on the lower branch, there lived a little bird and the bird used to hop from branch to branch, tremendous tree. It would eat sweet berries and it would sing and whistle and was very happy. Then it would hop on another branch and there were sour berries and it would get upset, stop singing till it found sweet berries again. And this went on for years, sweet berries, sour berries. It was happy when it found the sweet berries, unhappy when it found the sour berries. Isn’t this like us? When we think we found something we like, we become very happy. But then when it changes like all things must change, we become miserable. And so the bird started to think about this and it flew around the tree. It happened to gaze way up to the top of the large tree and it saw a majestic big bird sitting there, a translucent shining bird. It looked so happy and so radiant. Doing nothing just sitting at the top of that tree, in bliss. And the little bird said, “Oh how I wish I could be like that big bird. Look how happy it is. It doesn’t have to hunt for sweet berries or look for anything. It just sits there by itself, so radiant. I think I will fly up to it and discover its secret.” So it started to fly up toward the big bird, but a quarter up the tree it saw some beautiful red berries and it stopped and started to eat the berries and they were delicious. So it forgot all about the big bird. It started to sing again, it was happy. Isn’t this like us? We find something we like and we forget about spiritual life. And we say, “This is what I want, a new Jaguar, a new house, a new companion, a new something, but then after a while we become disgusted, disillusioned. So after a while the sweet berries ran out and there were only sour berries left on the tree and the bird again became disillusioned. So it started to fly around the tree again and looked way up on the top and saw the translucent radiant bird sitting there once again, so majestic, so happy and blissful. And again it said to itself, “This time, I’m going right to the top.” But on the way up it went half way up the tree again, it saw some beautiful purple berries. It had not seen purple berries in years. It loved purple berries. So it stopped and started to eat up the purple berries and became very happy again, started to sing, eating berries. And again it’s like us. We find a new companion. We get a new toy. We move to a new state, whatever we do. We think that’s it, now I’m going to be real happy. But soon the berries were gone and again it was left with sour berries. So it flew around the tree and saw the big bird again. And it said, “This time I’m going straight to it and nothing is going to stop me, nothing,” it resolutely made up its mind. So it started to fly up, but again three quarters up the tree it saw some orange berries and it loved orange berries. So it stopped and started to partake of the orange berries and again forgot about the big bird. And went on for months and months eating the berries until they were gone and only the sour berries were left. And again that’s like us. We say we’re resolutely going to go after spiritual life and that’s where we’re going, that’s where we’re headed. But then something happens. We discover some good humanhood. Something we like and we say, “To heck with the spiritual life, and we’re going after this instead.” So we do that until we become disillusioned and we get tired of it. Again the bird saw sour berries and it got sad and upset. It flew around the tree again and this time it said, “Nothing is going to stop me. I’m going right to that big bird and find out who he really is. Nothing will stop me” And he flew right toward the big bird. It skipped all the berries, saw all kinds of berries on the way, it didn’t care anymore, but went right to the big bird. As it got closer and closer, the big bird shone brighter and brighter and brighter until the light was unbearable. And the little bird landed right where the big bird was and you know what it discovered? It was the big bird all the time. And that’s like us isn’t it? We talk about God as far away. But we have no time because we’ve got to do our work. We’ve got to do our material work, that is. And we talk about God being too far. But we’re going towards God, until we resolutely make up our mind to be on the spiritual path. And then we discover something interesting. We discover that we’ve been God all the time. That we are the only God there is. That we are the absolute reality. That we are pure intelligence, infinite wisdom. We discover that there’s only one life and that life is absolute reality, sat-chit-ananda, parabrahman and we’re at peace. Therefore the choice is always yours. In what direction do you want to go and I know sometimes it’s hard. Some people have been on the spiritual path for many many years, twenty years, thirty years, forty years and they believe they have not gotten anywhere. But that isn’t true, it appears that way. But remember, if you don’t make it in this life, you’ll make it after. But if you have been on a spiritual path you’re gaining credits, you’re accruing good merit to yourself. You can’t help it. The worst thing you could ever do is to judge yourself. Never judge yourself. Don’t even look at yourself too much. Realize your divine nature and do not allow your problems to get to you. Understand that you are not your problems. You are not the body. You’re not the thoughts or the mind. And begin by controlling your thoughts. Do not allow your thoughts to become greater than you. No matter what your thoughts tell you, don’t listen. Remember your thoughts are not your friend. Your thoughts try to confound you, confuse you. And they will tell you all kinds of things. Do not listen to your thoughts, even your good thoughts. Transcend everything, go beyond your thoughts to your bliss, to your joy and to your happiness. Your thoughts will take you away from this. It’ll make you think all sorts of things. But if you realize that your mind is a trickster, you will not allow your thoughts to convey any message to you at all. As soon as the thoughts start to come, you ask yourself the question, “To whom comes these thoughts?” and they’ll stop. “They come to me, well who is this me? Who is me? I am me. Well, who am I?” And you begin to search for the source of the I. And as you search, everything in your life begins to improve. As you search diligently, things improve because you’re no longer reacting the same way to situations. Your reaction has become different, the situations maybe the same. As an example, when you hear about the Iraq, United States confrontation, before you become disturbed, you’re thinking of a war, and you’re thinking of man’s inhumanity to man and you’re worried about inflation and recession in United States. And all these things used to worry you. But as you advance spiritually, you realize that this is the way of the world. The world has always been like this and you see it differently. You begin to see love, compassion. So the world hasn’t really changed, you’ve changed. You see the situation completely differently. You realize that all this is the Self and I am that. In other words what you realize is the first principle: “Everything Is A Projection Of Your Mind.” Whatever you see is a projection of your mind. Therefore if you see something that’s not right with another person, you’re seeing yourself, aren’t you? If you’re seeing another person who is troubled or another person who has problems or if you’re seeing anything wrong, doubts, apprehensions, suspicions. You have to remember that you have to have those qualities in order to be able to see them in another person. So as you grow, you start seeing through those things. And whatever anybody else does no longer disturbs you. And if it no longer disturbs you then that negative vibration cannot come near you and you’re at peace. Any questions about that? SD: When you say not to judge yourself is that because you would be judging the ego which isn’t real? R: Certainly, exactly, because you’re always judging your experience, your outer experience and you can’t judge that because that doesn’t even exist. SD: I think in the past you’ve said something like, “To judge yourself or condemn yourself is blasphemy.” (R: Yes.) Because you’re talking about, in that case the real Self, right? R: What you’re doing is you’re denying the real Self. It’s like saying, “That God is no good.” So you’re saying there’s something wrong with you and there is not. It’s only temporary, it only appears that way. It’s an appearance. (SD: So even though you’re judging the little self, as it were, that’s blasphemous too?) Yes because you are the real Self. It’s all an illusion like the snake and the rope. You think in the dark you’re stepping on the snake but it’s only a rope. It’s a mistake, it’s error. Therefore you do not judge yourself, you do not judge anyone else. You leave the world alone, but you’re happy and you’re blissful and you help others because that’s your nature to do so. SD: That reminds me of one of my favorite of Maharshi’s stories because he talks about realization being – he says it’s like watching a trick of what looks to be the snake but it’s really a rope. And he says once you’ve seen the rope you can never see the snake again. It’s like any magic trick once you’ve seen how it works, you can’t see it again, you know. (R: That’s right.) And I think at the time he was talking about once you’re realized it’s impossible to become unrealized, you know? R: You have to have patience with yourself. That’s another thing to remember. It doesn’t appear that most of us become perfect overnight. So don’t concern yourself if you make a mistake. SL: So another thing that you were saying too is that if we judge others, we will bring their vibrations to us. In other words, we’re judging others and we see ourselves in others and the weaknesses in others… (R: And you’re becoming weak also.) By judging them for that? (R: You become like them.) So it goes two ways then. (R: Yes.) Okay, and then you’ve said it’s not until you let go then you get rid of the vibration, so you don’t draw that vibration to yourself? R: Exactly. Your mind becomes calm. Your countenance becomes peaceful. You no longer feel those so-called negative things around you. (SL: So it’s just a matter of accepting?) No you don’t accept, you become your real Self. And the real Self is perfect bliss. There’s nothing to accept. To accept means that you’re yourself, your lower self and you’re accepting something higher. But you’re not to accept anything. You’re to be, become, I am that I am. (SL: So you just live and let live, sort of?) Yes, but again you have to qualify that. But live and let live, if you see somebody suffering on the road, you don’t allow that person to suffer, you get down and help the person, but you don’t have any thoughts about it. You just do it. It doesn’t mean again you become calculating and cold. It means you become loving and kind and you do what has to be done. But you’re not involved in it mentally or physically or spiritually. Your body just does the things it’s supposed to do. And the more spiritualized you become, the more you become of service to all of humanity. You become the servant to life. It’s egotistical to think that you’re superior to somebody else or you’re better or that you know and they don’t. As you become realized, you have more and more humility. You become humble and things no longer affect you and you no longer feel hurt. So you can help anybody and everybody without qualification. SF: Robert please, so the first principle in reality means, everything is a projection of the Self or is the Self itself? R: No the first principle is that everything is a projection of your mind. That begins to make you understand that you are not the mind, you are the Self. SD: Everything, you mean everything… (R: …in the world.) …material? R: Everything relative is a projection of your own mind. We’re not talking about the Self, we’re talking about the human mind. SF: Alright the Jiva or the egoic mind. (R: Yes.) But ultimately, yeah the mind also comes from the Self, of course. (R: Yes.) But I guess the point in the first principle I want to touch is that, you don’t get enthused with the mind creations. R: No you don’t, because you realize that everything is a result of your own mind, so why get enthused in them? (SF: No power there?) No ego. (SF: For the projections of the mind?) There’s no power, ’cause there’s no mind. (SF: Right.) That’s why you don’t get excited when you see something happening in front of you because you realize you’re that yourself. And you’re projectioning yourself. It’s like you’re a projector and you’re projecting a picture on the screen. So the mind is the projector and the screen is the effect, the picture is the effect. The screen is the Self. Nothing changes the screen, but the pictures change according to your mind. But the screen always remains the same. Therefore the screen is like your real Self. It never changes. The pictures are like the world and your mind is like the projector. The projector and the mind have to be destroyed. The pictures have to be destroyed and only the screen remains, that’s the truth. Only reality remains. (SF: And then again everything is Brahman?) Everything is Brahman, yes. (SF: Including also the play of the mind.) Of course. (SF: Ultimately?) Ultimately there’s only oneness. There’s only the Self and there’s no mind and there’s no play. There’s no projection. That’s the truth. (SF: There is no projector, no screen.) No. SD: Because the mind is part of illusion or maya. So his question was correct that ultimately everything is also the Self that’s what he was saying. R: Everything reverts back to the Self. Everything is the Self. SF: Everything ultimately goes back to the source. R: Yes, to the source, because what appears to be real does not really exist. (SF: Right.) Only I-am exists. Self exists that’s it. The Self exists just the way you are now. You are that. What I’m trying to say is, do not separate yourself with yourself. It’s really a mistake to say, “Well I am not the Self because the Self is in me.” The Self is not in you, the Self is you! You are that Self. But for the sake of talking, you want to place the Self some place so you say, “It’s in my heart.” When you look for it, it’s in your heart. In reality there’s only the Self and you don’t exist at all. But when you talk about it, you place it some place. SD: So you’re just led into the second principle… (R: Yes.) …that you’re unborn, and you don’t exist or disappear. (R: Yes.) That one leads to the other, doesn’t it? R: It does. That’s why you should practice the principles. SF: I was thinking if everything’s a projection of the mind and the mind comes out from the Self – I don’t know if that’s right but mind… (R: Comes out of the Self…) …comes out of the Self, and then again goes back to the Self, isn’t that the reason why these bhaktas talk about that everything is Shiva or everything is the Self? (R: Shiva, the Self, God are one.) So they’re in wonderment and devotion to almost everything. (R: Yes, exactly.) Even the thoughts are asking… R: Yes this is why I say often, “The ground upon you stand is sacred ground.” We should have reverence for everything. Because everything is the Self. SD: So you’re talking on two different levels, when you’re saying everything is a projection of the mind, you mean everything in the material world. (R: Yes.) When you say everything is the Self you’re talking on a higher level. R: Everything is the Self as it appears. So you should have reverence for everything. I know it sounds complicated. (SD: No it’s not, it’s really two different levels, you’re addressing to me.) It’s really one level but it appears like two levels. Everything is sacred, everything. SD: Well how do you, or do you react when you watch the situation in Kuwait and see it then, is it like a movie to you? (R: I just watch, but I realize that’s the Self.) Or do you realize that it’s illusion? (R: Same thing.) That’s what I meant about the two levels the real Self is not illusion. SK: As the absolute it’s not, it’s illusion right? From the absolute it’s the Self, as the relative it’s illusion. (R: Exactly.) SD: That’s good. Say that again? (SK: As the absolute it’s all the Self, on the absolute level, on the relative level it’s illusion.) Well that’s what I meant about the two levels. I know what you mean in there’s really only one level. The ultimate truth is one level. R: So when I look at something, when I look at you, I look at a chair, I look at a book, I see the Self. (SD: Do you see a portion of the Self or all of the Self?) It’s all the Self. Everything is all the Self. (SD: It’s individual.) It’s hard to explain in words, but take this chair for instance. When most people look at this chair, they see a chair, but I see the Self as the chair. Or to put it in simple language: This is God, this chair is God. (SD: No matter what you look at it’s God?) Yes. So you have no quarrel with anything. SK: The looking, the actual looking is also God? SD: That’s assuring. You have a good understanding of this. SN: And you keep thinking of two levels but it’s like when we’re saying, people say that well it’s an illusion therefore it’s not real. But the idea is that nirvana and samsarra are the same thing. So though you say there’s two, nirvana and samsarra, yet they’re the same thing, that’s where the one is, so really it’s one. So it’s not like the unreal is different from the real or that the Self is different from the manifestation, I guess. Nirvana and samsarra are the same thing so that’s why wherever you look at you see the Self. SL: So it seems like it’s different levels of consciousness for want of a better word? R: When you have to talk about it, it appears there’s multiple levels. But when you keep quiet then it all comes to you as one. You see the more we get into the conversation we get into all kinds of things and all kinds of levels. (SD: Because we’re trying to discuss the infinite with finite words.) And you can’t do it. (SM: It can’t be intellectualized can it?) No it cannot. That’s why the only way is to go within yourself and discover it for yourself. But as we keep talking about it we get involved in the world. SK: Is it true that it’s more like it’s the illusion that we’re separate from all this, more than that this is an illusion. (R: Exactly. We’re not this at all.) At the same time we’re not separate from it. (R: We’re not separate from it, it’s all one.) SF: Which comes also… If I say that I don’t exist in the sense of an egoic entity, everything is just as it is. Is that more or less a feeling? (R: Say that again.) Like if I…again it is imagination but as a helper I would say that I don’t exist, I don’t exist, but when I say that I am denying the egoic or the Jiva part. Then there is still there is something which subsists or is there… (R: The Self. The Self is always there.) …and there is nobody to distinguish anything. Things are as they are. R: Exactly, in the last analysis, you are the Self just the way you are. SK: But not as you think you are. (laughter) R: As long as you think your relative, then you’re not that. (Laughter) SL: Yeah you’re not supposed to think? R: But you are the Self just the way you are naturally and all is well and there’s nothing wrong. See you can look at it this way. The substratum of all existence is harmony and out of harmony comes harmony. So everything is really harmonious. Except we’ve sort of been hypnotized and we see a different picture. It’s all in the mind. The mind has betrayed us to make us believe that this is black and this is white. When in reality there’s no black and there’s no white. There just “is”. You can only come to that conclusion in your own consciousness, by deep self-analyzation, vichara, self-inquiry and you’ll come to that conclusion yourself. And then you will become omnipresent, and you will realize that everything is the Self. (SL: Why are we here on earth, in this physical form.) You’re not, you think you are. (SL: Okay I think I am, but why?) If you’re not, then there’s no answer to that. SD: But why does she think she is? Why the illusion? How could the Self be illusion? R: There is no Self and there’s no illusion. (SD: But I mean like the higher Self.) There is no illusion at all. You believe that there is an illusion but there is no illusion. (SD: But why do we believe there’s an illusion?) You don’t! None of this exists. (SD: I understand her question which is, then why is there even the appearance of illusion?) To whom is there an appearance? SL: Me. Okay, is it the ego? So that goes to the original question, okay. R: Of course, the ego does not exist. Do not give the ego power. Some people get hung up on the ego. And they say yes everything I feel is the ego, so it’s the ego. They’re inflating the ego by saying that. And the ego becomes stronger and stronger. (SL: Because the philosophy that I’m trying to wrestle with though I know what the answer is, in that philosophy is that the souls are the things that exist that’s the “not me,” but the Self that exists, you said Self. So I interpret Self as being the soul?) No. (SL: No?) The soul is another part of the body. It seems that when you give up your body there’s a soul. It’s just like an alter ego. SD: Oh so the idea of the soul and existing between lifetimes is also part of maya, illusion? R: It’s all maya. All the planes are maya, the causal planes, the mental planes, karma, none of that exist. SN: First principle: Everything is a projection of the mind, everything. R: And for somebody who doesn’t know that or doesn’t understand it, it appears that after they drop their body they go to a different plane, and they go through all kinds of experiences, but it’s still an illusion. SL: It must take a lot of patience for someone who has been realized to have to answer questions from people like me. From me that doesn’t exist. R: No, on the contrary, on the contrary. SN: Who has patience? There’s no one there. SL: Yeah, but from the projection of my mind, my philosophies was that there was a soul which you know, according to these philosophies, the soul doesn’t exist, just the Self. But from the earthly ignorant plane that I’m on – what the ultimate question is, it seems that some people are just denying everything of the Self, you can’t really enjoy food, you don’t enjoy anything else because the ultimate goal is just like the Catholics the ultimate goal is just to be with God. R: Well you can’t put it like that because the Self enjoys itself. SL: That’s why it seems like what little I know of certain philosophies, certain Buddhist philosophies, it’s kind of like for being on earth, in this form. (R: That’s right.) It’s a crime for even being here in this form. We’re being condemned for being here on this earthly plane in this form. So it’s kind of like, well if you’re here why not smell the flowers too? Why not let the me, the Self, use whatever vehicle it’s in, whatever it’s invited in, to just feel and help bring joy, at least for this physical body and once again my ignorance for not being enlightened. You know it’s like why are you wrong for being what you are? (R: You’re not!) Or projecting what you think you want. (R: You’re not.) Because it’s like denying food, denying enjoyment of this earthly plane. SK: Why is it terrifying? SL: No just talking to people about different philosophies of Buddhism and everything else. R: It becomes very confusing. That’s why the best thing you can do for yourself is to quiet your mind. (SL: Yes.) And when your mind becomes quiet you become more beautiful. And you will enjoy everything. We do not deny ourselves at all. SD: Yeah just because you’re not in the movie doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy the movie. SL: True. I believe in enjoying because that to me makes me happy. R: Yes, but you’ll enjoy it in a little different way. As an example: I love to take in fresh flowers at my breakfast table because they’re beautiful, right? (tape break tape restarts as student continues.) SL: …acceptance is just basically just letting be? R: Just being your Self. That’s all you have to do. SL: So it’s the two ways also with the denial… (SK: It’s beyond accepting and rejecting, beyond that.) Yeah. R: Just be your Self. (SL: Just that you used that word denial, so I’m taking your words of physical earthly interaction which is projected by the mind to try to understand what I was feeling.) So remember again that this is not a philosophy. A philosophy is usually dry words and this is not a wordy teaching at all. We are not a philosophy at all. It’s more the realization. It’s more of a quietness, an emptiness. It is not a denial of anything and it is not an acceptance of anything. It is a total emptiness, a quietness, a peace, a love, an ultimate oneness. That’s what we are, sat-chit-ananda. That’s our true nature. So when we look at something, we see joy and love and peace, we do not become ecstatic. We do not become overwhelmed. We do not become sad or angry. We just enjoy the Self at all times and it never changes. It’s always the same. SD: So you’re always in bliss, always? R: See I can’t tell, because I don’t know what the word is. (SD: But sat-chit-ananda includes bliss, so…) They’re words but the person who’s experiencing that does not know it. (SD: That’s true.) Because there has to be somebody to enjoy it and if there is no one there who can enjoy it? (SD: I didn’t say enjoying bliss, I said, always in bliss.) But it’s a word. (SD: That’s true, I guess I get hung up on words.) Well we’re discussing words so… SK: It implies two, there’s something to be in something. R: We have to talk so we have to use words. SD: That’s right, implies separation. R: Yeah, as long as we’re talking like this we have to use words. But the reality is, that is the ajnani’s, that attribute these words to the Jnanis. Ramana Maharshi never said, “I am in bliss,” or “I am happy,” or “I am filled with joy,” but his disciples said it about him. He didn’t know what he was. SL: I guess it goes back to who’s the I? (R: Who is the I? Yeah.) (students continue discussing point) SF: Robert, about this thing of ignorance actually we cannot fathom how the Jnani sees reality. We can just talk and talk about that. The Jnani tries to describe as much as he can to try to help us and to direct us, however what I was wondering is what about the ones in the relative level to feign ignorance and just be silent or advocate ignorance? R: A few months ago I was speaking of divine ignorance. It’s okay to say, “I am divinely ignorant.” Divinely ignorant means that we do not know what anything is. If you come to think of it, we know nothing. We don’t know what a dog is, or a cat, or a tiger, or a human being, or a tree, we have no idea what it is. It just appeared on this earth the same time we did. That’s called divine ignorance. When you admit to yourself I do not know what anything is. You see a rock, where did come from. Where did the first rock come from? What came first the seed or the tree, the chicken or the egg? We don’t know, it’s a mystery. So that the first thing we should know as spiritual beings, we should plead divine ignorance. It’s your ego that tries to say, I know this and I know that and I know everything, but we really know nothing. We have no idea why we’re here? Do we? We have no idea why anything exists. Just understanding that makes us relatively happy, because nothing is our fault, because we don’t know why it is. We have no idea why anything exists. It’s later on when you work on yourself that you discover, well nothing really exists, everything is emptiness. Only the Self exists. But until then, you give your ego a blow when you tell it, “I don’t know why anything exists,” because the ego wants you to know. It tells you, “You want to be smart? You want to be intelligent? You don’t want to be a dummy do you?” And has an answer for every question. But when you say, “No, I really do not know what anything is,” then you’re pleading divine ignorance and that’s good. SD: So who asks these questions that we come up with, the ego, our egos? R: You use your mind to destroy your mind. (SD: Oh that’s right, turning it on itself, by confusion or whatever.) Exactly. (SD: So it can’t be put into words what part of us inquires.) It’s your mind that inquires. It inquires about itself and the deeper it inquires the more it disappears. SF: She’s still. (SD: Yeah I’m trying I can’t seem to quite do it.) (laughter) R: This is why I always tell you, try to keep your life simple. Do not make your life complicated. Don’t have too many opinions about anything. Try to be still, quiet and realize you don’t know anything, because you don’t. Does anyone disagree with that. SD: Are you kidding, who would say yes at this point. (laughs) R: Well somebody can say, well I know why this chair is here. SN: He said we don’t know anything and in an earlier satsang you were saying, well the only thing we know or if there is anything we know, that we think we know, first principle keeping in mind, is that I exist and as long as I exist you can work on yourself because you can find out who exists through self-inquiry. But when you inquire who exists you find out that… (SD: …no one.) SD: And yet I remember telling you one time I had read that Krishnamurti said, “The ego would never annihilate itself,” and you said that that was true on the relative level. Do you remember what you meant by that? R: Well on the relative level it fights you very badly. It brings up all kinds of things from past lives, from this life to confound you. But if you do not react to it, if you do not fight it, but rather inquire, “To whom does it come?” it becomes weaker and weaker and weaker until it’s annihilated. SN: Is there a difference between the ego and the mind because the ego would not want to destroy itself, yet it’s the mind that is the tool. R: The mind comes first. The mind creates the ego and the body. (SN: So it’s not the ego destroying itself, it’s more the mind destroying the ego?) It’s more than ego, it’s not the mind destroying the ego. They’re usually the same terms. We break them down so you understand what I mean. But there’s only the mind and everything is a projection of the mind. The ego is a projection of the mind, the body is a projection of the mind, the world is a projection of the mind. So when you go back to the mind and you quiet the mind, there’s no ego. SL: You mentioned an answer to Dana’s question you mentioned, past lives? With the word past lives, isn’t there karma and soul and all of that? R: Yes, but as long as you believe that, it exists, so you have to work with it. SN: That’s why you say that everything is an illusion because as long as you believe it. Not that everything is illusion, that you see you’re separate from everything is the illusion. R: See this is why when I make my personal confession to you, I say there’s no mind, there’s no Self, there’s no enlightenment, there’s noone trying to become enlightened, there’s no God, there are no others, there are no principles, there’s nothing. (SD: But you do say there is the Self and the Self is all that is.) That’s a word. (SD: Are you now saying there’s no Self?) Who is the Self? (SD: Everything.) Yes that’s how it appears. But in the end the Self doesn’t even exist it’s also a word. Because if we start thinking about the Self, we start thinking of an entity. How else can we imagine the Self? When I say there’s only the Self, what do you think the Self is? (SD: The oneness of all things.) And what is that? (SD: Everything.) So it has to be one. Who is the one? (SD: I never understood before that there was not one. I thought the Self was the one.) The appearance is the one. The first appearance is the one, I. That’s the one. And out of I springs everything else. (SD: And I is in delusion, I can see what you’re saying.) SM: It’s just the all, Robert? It’s just the all? R: Even the all is no good. (laughter) (SD: We’re all wrong.) (laughs) SN: Because who thinks that there’s an all who perceives that there’s an all? Who perceives that there’s a Self? When you’re at that state there’s no one to perceive it. There’s nothing to perceive. Just be. R: As long as we’re using words there’s ultimate oneness. But when the words stop – see this is why the practices I give you, are to quiet the mind. The only thing you really have to do is to quiet your mind. What do think self-inquiry is? It’s to quiet the mind, that’s all. It’s the fastest thing available to quiet the mind and when the I disappears the mind is quiet. Then you know. What do you know? Don’t ask me. (laughter) I don’t know. It just feels good. (laughter) SF: Yeah about feeling good Robert. When you are doing inquiry sometimes you have a absence of thought for a little bit. (R: Yes.) But then when I realize about this absence of thought I’m already thinking. (R: Yes.) And then there some other times in which there is no thought, I don’t know about the absence of thought neither but there is a little bit of good, I mean feeling good. Feeling like a little bit blissful. (R: That’s the true state.) Is that the true state? R: Where there are no thoughts in between thoughts. (SF: Right, however they are very fast and then you again go on thinking.) Yes, in the beginning they are very fast. SF: Yeah. One of the last satsangs you pointed that we should reject everything. And I was wondering about these questioning about these little periods of bliss. Should I go back ask, “Who do they come to?” R: If you can think about it reject it. (SF:When you are in that process of thinking it, it’s time to…) Reject it. (SF: …reject it. You don’t care about if it comes back or not?) Exactly. You do not look for experiences. You reject them. When it comes really, it comes by itself. (SF: So when it starts creating a body in your mind…) Reject it. (SF: So it’s time to kill it?) Yeah. When it comes by itself, it comes as no-thought. That’s incomprehensible for a human being to understand. But it’s just no-thought. When there’s no-thought you will know. SD: That’s what he was saying but his mind says, “Oh I just had a moment of nothought,” and that’s what you reject. The thought about the no-thought. R: No you reject everything. See when you’re really having that feeling. There will not be any body left over to reject. (SD: So can we taste Self bliss?) You can taste but it’s still illusory. So you should reject it. (SD: Why is it illusory?) Because he can think about it. See when the real thing comes there’s nobody left to think. The thought process has been annihilated. It’s like you live in the moment. SL: So the body knows what it’s supposed to do? R: The body will take care of itself. The body comes under a different program. (SL: Why is it some people just by the bodies program or the existence of that Self, some people might not be balanced, the spiritual and physical might not be balanced.) That’s not true. In reality when you discover who you are. The body is very balanced and it does better work and does whatever it’s supposed to do better than ever. And you’re always happy and blissful and feeling good physically, no matter how it looks to anybody else. (SL: Otherwise it goes back to what you said, this entity if it were me the I or whatever, I would let my body react to take care of whatever I see needs to be done and then move on.) Yes. (SL: Completely spontaneous, okay.) Exactly! SF: When I am sleeping the Self is taking care of my body, nurturing it? R: Yes and you have nothing to do with it. That’s how it takes care of your body when you awaken. Same way. SL: We just have to listen to it, our Self so it can take care of it. (R: Yes.) SD: Do you have to listen to something or it just happens? (R: It happens.) SN: Well Robert who breaths then, is it the Self? Is it the mind? R: The Self has nothing to do with the breath. The breath is part of your ego. (SN: So it’s the mind?) The mind is breathing and it keeps on breathing until it stops. SD: I thought it was the body who was breathing. R: The body, the mind are the same thing. But we have to have patience. That’s very important. SF: Robert do you know the fact or legend about Krishnamurti – He was a young 16 years old – I don’t know, was he a reincarnation of Shiva? He sat just in silence and he had disciples or listeners to hear him, older than himself and he sat in silence. And I think that the legend says that the people who were around him got enlightened or something… R: That’s true, he never spoke. (SF: Due to his presence, they don’t mention for how long or so.) That’s the story yes. (SF: What does that exactly refer. Does that refer to the concept of grace?) You can call it grace, that’s what we were talking about in another satsang. What we’re doing here is we are abiding in the Self as Ramana Maharshi did. So we can say we have Ramana Maharshi’s grace upon us. SD: Isn’t that the meaning of Darshan, silent teaching? R: No not silent teaching. Darshan is a vision of light. There is a visual transmutation. (SD: Oh I thought Darshan was like what you got from being in the presence of a Master being in silence.) It’s a grace in the form of light, a vision of light. SK: A foreseen reality said simply. (R: Yes.) SL: What is grace, what do you mean by grace? R: Grace is always available, you just have to wake up to it. (SD: But define grace.) Grace is goodness, mercy. SK: Helps you on the relative level. SD: What he was talking about a story that grace was bestowed in silence and Maharshi has said that the guru can bestow grace by thought, by look and by touch and all of those are silent. (SF: Excuse me I was referring to transmission.) Transmission of grace? R: There is such a thing too, yes. (SD: Could you further explain that though?) Well an enlightened person is something like a current in a voltage, of a high voltage and when you’re with that person you pick up on that voltage. So there are some physical teachers like Ramana Maharshi who can give you a look, or a touch, or by silence and if you’re receptive you pick up a lot of grace and knowledge. (SD: I think you’re that way?) Who knows. But all those things are possible. What you have to do is make yourself a good receiver and you make yourself a good receiver when you stop worrying and you stop getting involved too much in the world and you start loving yourself. SD: Quieting the mind would make you a good receiver, right? R: Yes, same thing, when you do those things your mind quiets. (SD: We’re talking about like a radio receiver in a way, wouldn’t we?) Yes. When you love your Self, you become quiet you stop condemning, you stop condoning, you stop making decisions too much. You become quiet. But that doesn’t mean that you sit home and do nothing. It means your body will do what it’s supposed to do. But your mind will be quiet. (SD: So even what we refer to as decisions will be spontaneous reactions, right?) Yes. Like a tree, the tree does not have to think about growing fruit, by it’s very nature fruit grows. The sun shines, the grass grows. The same power that takes care of that takes care of the body all by itself. (SD: The lilies of the field that Christ taught us.) Yes. Let’s play a little music. (music played) SM: Robert, I saw on the top on one of the sheets you had I think it said Jnana-Marga. Could you elaborate a little bit on that. R: Jnana-Marga means the path of Jnana. That’s the name of our group. (SD: And Jnana means knowledge.) (SM: That I know but I was wondering about the Marga.) It means, the path. (SD: So there would be lots of margas right. I mean there’s…) Lots of margas, too many. (SD: What are some of the others? Like Jnana-Marga, Bhakti-Marga, would there be bhakti- Marga?) Anything you want to say with Marga you just put it in. (SM: Oh I see.) SD: Path of knowledge. Marga means path, Jnana means knowledge. SL: What about healing? I know that it’s within the Self. R: We talked about that a couple of weeks ago actually. You have to ask yourself, who needs healing. Who actually needs healing. Find out who has to be healed. Healing is a funny thing. It has a lot to do with karma and the body. I find from experience if you leave your body alone it has the power to heal itself. The more you fool with it, the worse it gets. (laughs) There’s a self healing mechanism in the body. Isn’t that right, Horat? (SF: I believe so.) There’s a self healing in the body that knows how to take care of itself. SF: Every seven years they said the body and all its organs and tissues tend to renew itself. R: Of course you can help it by eating the proper foods, I guess. SD: But what about healers and what they call spiritual healers? R: I think that’s all karmic. (SD: If you’re supposed to be healed you will, if you’re not you won’t?) Yeah, before you came into your body you knew exactly what was going to transpire and you know when you’re going to leave the body and when you’re going to die and when you’re going to be sick and whatever. Everything has already been planned. So if you’re supposed to be healed, that’s already been planned also. (SD: Might have been planned that you would meet a healer and…) Yes, sure. (SD: …it would be karmic or not? If it didn’t work that would be karmic.) Yes. SK: Either way you don’t know. (R: That’s right.) There is no way to know. SD: True. Well Jesus’ healings always seemed to relate to a lesson, they always seem to make a point. (SK: I think a healing without a lesson being given is useless, it doesn’t help the person they’ve got to learn their lesson. I don’t even know if it could be done actually.) I just know that the woman who touched his robe and he said your faith has made you whole – he did not deny anything for lack of a better word – denying that he’d done anything, but her faith had done it and that was the lesson. But the lesson was that her faith had made her whole, you know? R: People want to live forever and we can’t. SD: Can I read what Nisargadatta says, just the cover of his book. Rather interesting, right if I brought my glasses? “The real does not die, the unreal never lived. Imagine a big building collapsing, some rooms are in ruins and some are intact. But can you speak of the space as ruined or intact? It is only the structure that suffered and the people who happened to live in it. Nothing happened to the space itself. Similarly nothing happens to life when forms break down and names are wiped out. The goldsmith melts down old jewelry to make new. Once you know that death happens to the body and not to you, you just watch your body falling off like a discarded garment. The real you is timeless and beyond birth and death. The body will survive as long as it is needed. It is not important that it should live long.” R: That’s good. SD: I just love that, you know. I keep bringing it for Arnold hoping that he’d be here because he asked me to borrow it. I hope he’s not still ill, but he must be. I better call him and see. R: But that’s very true. Most people especially Westerners will try to preserve our bodies for as long as possible, why? There’s nothing wrong with dying. It’s not bad, just another experience. (SD: I think because they fear annihilation, they think that they’ve lost something it’s the fear of non-existing.) Yes of course while you’re alive it’s good to be in radiant health. So you don’t have to suffer while you are living. (SD: That’s what Yogananda said, he said, “You can reach enlightenment in an ill body, but it’s much less distracting if you’re well.”) Umm, yes. SM: You can reach enlightenment in an ill body? R: Oh yes. (SM: Is that preordained also Robert?) Everything is preordained. (SM: I mean your enlightenment?) Yes. SK: But it’s not limited, it’s not fixed? (R: It’s not fixed but it’s preordained.) SD: Preordained in what way? Preordained as in which lifetime you will wake up? R: No you know the lifetime before, if you had a lifetime before that you’re going to be enlightened in that lifetime. (SD: Do you know at what point between lifetimes?) Between lifetimes. (SD: And then do you remember it?) No you don’t remember it, but you find it. You do whatever you have to do. (SD: And didn’t you say that someone who reaches enlightenment usually has been approaching it for several lifetimes?) They have been practicing sadhanas before. (SD: So we do get credit?) Oh yes. (SD: Not like the slate is wiped clean.) (laughter) SL: That’s like the journey of the soul that goes from life to life, though Robert says there’s no soul. (SD: I know what you’re talking about, that entity or whatever. It’s all on a certain level he doesn’t deny it.) R: See, this is why we should get rid of all conceptions and just go and find ourselves and get rid of everything and be free once and for all. (SD: I sure don’t want to come back. I know people who act resistant to self-realization because they say they’re looking forward to their other reincarnations.) Well they don’t understand. (SD: They can’t relate to that.) SM: That’s sick, really sick. (laughter) SD: I guess they think that realization is the end of adventure or something. And they look on different reincarnations as adventure but… (SK: Either they’re sick or they’re realized.) Well if you were realized you wouldn’t look forward to future reincarnations. You wouldn’t look forward to anything. (SK: Unless you had the motivation to help others.) Right. That puts you into a different category. SN: The Buddhist say that, “I will not be liberated until the whole world awakens.” SD: Now that’s depressing, that. (laughter) SK: More accurately is, “I will not take the final liberation,” until everyone has brought back to whatever levels of enlightenment they can reach. R: That’s a certain sect of Buddhism. (SK: Yeah.) There are other Bhodhisatvas that don’t do that. (SK: Huh?) There another sect of Bhodhisatvas that don’t do that. (SK: What do they do?) What we’re doing. SD: But actually there is a certain truth to that because you are the whole world. R: Yes but they want to stay in the relative world. SK: They make a vow actually. But then they attain the state where they consciously know when they are going to be reborn into the next life and they write a letter or note and go and tell someone or not? So that’s an area of control that’s… R: But to get back to health again. It really makes no difference whether you’re sick or healthy in the long run. It has nothing to do with it. To remember that you are the Self is more important than whether you’re sick or healthy. SD: Because you’re only sick or healthy in the dream anyway? R: Of course. Like we were discussing the other time. We have no idea of the people who Jesus healed, how many stayed healed. They could have reverted back to sickness the next day. And I was talking about Lazarus remember? Being brought back from the dead. Well Lazarus was about fifty years old to begin with and at that time the life span was about fifty. (laughs) So even if he was being brought back from the dead, how long did he live after that? (SD: Yeah makes you wonder? But again, I don’t remember what the point was but all those miracles had a point.) To give people more faith. (SD: Yeah, it was less to raise him from the dead than to prove to the people that Christ was who he said he was, right?) Yes. SK: You know at the time of Christ there were a lot of people claiming to be Christ. R: But here we are. What are we going to do with our lives? That’s the question. SD: It’s okay to look for healers because if you look for healers that’s what you’re predestined to do. (R: Yes.) And whether they help you or not is also predestination? (R: Of course.) So it’s neither good nor bad. (R: It’s okay.) SL: What about healing others? And that’s also predestined too? To be able to heal others. R: That’s okay. Well look at it as a profession. If you’re a professional healer that’s what you do. It’s like being an accountant. (SD: (laughs) Only a lot more rare.) It’s a human profession. (SD: Horats a healer in a way. He’s a physician.) We do whatever we have to do. SL: There are other ways to healing aren’t there? R: Through food, through fasting, through prayer, through meditation, finding a healer, all kinds of ways. (SL: The unconventional ways such as some people who seem to be able to heal just with their hands.) Yes, all things are possible. SD: But wouldn’t the thing to remember be again that that is happening within the grand illusion. Even if it’s on the astral plane or whatever all those levels are a part of maya. R: Oh yes. (SN: What do you do once you’re healed? Then what?) Then you get sick again.) (SD: …Or not. It depends on your karma I guess.) SF: In the ultimate sense, it doesn’t matter what we do or don’t do. (R: That’s right.) We can do whatever we want to. Our reservations we may have about certain actions, I guess is also in the script. Our enthusiasm we have is also in the script, that Robert told us. R: True, I know certain people with some diseases, who go spend their life traveling the world trying to heal themselves. What they’re doing is wasting their time and using that time properly by trying to find themselves. SL: What about things like astral projection? What is that? Is that what you experience? R: That’s part of the psychic realms. SD: Which are also part of maya, just another level. Slightly different from the earth plane. R: In the Upanishads it states, that if you get caught up in the psychic levels you can be caught for thousands of incarnations, going around and around in psychic realms. SD: Isn’t that perhaps due to the fact that some people think that’s the end goal. (R: Alot of people do, yes.) Being psychically gifted or being able to astrally project something. They see that as an end, rather than just another level of illusion. SK: It’s like another body traveling the physical body, traveling the astral plane, it’s a subtler plane and it’s just as material in a sense, it’s hard to… SF: And probably without knowing we have shared a great deal of these other levels of experience. (R: Could be, yes.) We are just not aware now. R: True. As you advance spiritually alot of psychic levels open up for you, but you’re supposed to go beyond it and not get caught up there. (tape ends)