It’s a question that’s about intimate relationships…
How to live these relationships from this pure love, and not like…
In my personal experience, it’s always coming back to the identification
as soon as I… It doesn’t come from pure love. And in the end, of course,
I’m disappointed, because I have projections… and… I have… ah… yeah;
I need something from the person; and it seems like…
Since I’m disappointed, I go back to this Advaita;
I say to myself, “OK, I withdraw”; and that’s
where I really feel the peace of my true being.
It seems like there is something…
Like, as if I’m caught in some part of life…
I think the Church of England should rewrite their wedding vows.
[Audience] Yes. Yes. Yes. [Laughter]
And instead of…
vowing to obey…
and… and all that…
We should take a vow to…
to love each other unconditionally;
which is simply another way of stating
the prior nature of our shared being.
We don’t actually have to vow;
it’s an acknowledgment of what is already the case;
an acknowledgment of the fact that behind our differing thoughts and feelings and our sometimes conflictual activities and ways of relating are being shared.
That would be the first thing to acknowledge when getting married.
And then the second statement I would have couples make to each other
as they get married, is to look each other in the eye and to say to one another:
“I don’t need you”.
[Audience very sweetly agreeing] Mmm…
Those two recognitions.
The recognition that we share our being, irrespective of
the content of our thoughts and feelings and our behaviour.
That is the essence of a loving relationship.
And then at a more relative level…
If we had to have a single idea
that would give the relationship
the best possible chance of being
an expression of that shared being
in all realms of our experience,
it would be this understanding
that “I don’t need you”;
“I don’t need you for my happiness; my happiness is prior to this relationship and independent of it; I’m entering into this relationship because I want to celebrate this happiness and this love, intellectually, physically, emotionally, but I don’t enter into this relationship in order to get happiness or love.”
In other words, “I don’t need you.”
So many relationships, so much conflict in relationships would be cleared up, if just these two principles were remembered.
I see that the understanding is there, but you know, this whole pattern of behaviour is still present. So how to… That’s why, I think, that’s why it always brings me back to this Advaita path that you… kind of… you observe everything, you don’t touch the world, but…
But that’s only half the path, Anastasia.
It’s half the path.
Because, you see, if the peace of your true nature is only accessible to you when you are not interacting with others and the world, then your peace is… is fragile. It is susceptible to being disturbed by the slightest unkind word from a friend, or gesture, or action, or… That’s a fragile peace. It’s not… unshakable… peace.
So, you’re right, that the… this…
what you call “the Advaita path”,
the Vedantic path, the inward-facing path,
is the direct path to the truth of our own being.
You’re absolutely right about that.
But it is necessary at some stage to turn around again,
and to take that understanding out into the world,
and to… not only express it in the world,
but to have it tested,
by the world;
and in particular test it by relationship;
and in particular, for almost all of us,
test it in intimate relationship, because
these are the most testing relationships.
So, I would encourage you…
This… this pathway to yourself is very well established in you.
You have this pathway; you know where to go to find peace, and fulfillment.
I would encourage you to… to turn around again, and face the world, and go out.
You don’t have to… I’m not suggesting
you have to go right out into the world
and lose yourself in activities and relationships.
You may still choose to lead a quiet life
that is not fully deployed in the world.
There’s nothing wrong with that.
But I would encourage you
to allow activity and relationship to come to you.
Both to express your love and understanding,
but also to test it;
both to express your love, your peace and your understanding,
but also to test it.
you will find
that by testing it,
it will strengthen it.
But see what it’s like.
Experiment, in relationship.
See what it’s like…
–and I’m not just talking about intimate relationship, but friendship in general–
… entering into friendship, where you keep this feeling “I don’t need you; I don’t need anything from you.”
It’s so beautiful, to…
I’m sure you’ve felt it, when somebody approaches you in friendship, without wanting anything from you.
You know what it’s like to be approached when someone does want something from you.
But I’m sure you also know what it’s like when someone approaches you genuinely, with genuine friendship, but not wanting anything from you.
It’s such a relief.
And immediately the friendship…
There can be so much closeness…
So much intimacy… between you.
But it’s… it’s not sticky.
So I would encourage you to…
You can’t dictate how other people relate to you.
But if you relate to them in this way,
you will send them a very powerful message.
And they will pick the message up.
So you can come close to people,
in whatever form that takes,
but just hold in your heart
“I don’t need you for my bliss;
I don’t need you for my happiness;
I don’t need you for love.”
That will give the relationship, in whatever form it evolves,
the best possible chance of being a truly intimate relationship.
And it will send a powerful message to the other person.
It will, in a way, demand a certain integrity from them.
Rupert Spira transcribed by Leon Hieros
Because what is human, is not an established state.
It is a possibility. It is not a fixed state.
If this possibility has to be made use of,
there is a whole system of understanding
that needs to happen; understanding
the mechanics of how this life functions,
and what we can do with it.
we are referring to
I don’t know 🙏 what types of stuff you’re doing, but my experience in United States, particularly in California… A lot of people believe, yoga started in California. [Audience laugh] Yes? I met someone who seriously believed it was Madonna who started yoga! [Laughter] Yes?
So this mechanics of life, is as simple as this:
I’m sure almost all of you are carrying an instrument, some kind of electronic instrument… A phone at least. The more you know about this phone, the better you can use it. Is that so?
Last year , the cell phone companies in India made a survey.
India is the largest, you know, growing market for telecommunications right now. Every month we’re adding about five and a half million cell phones. Okay. In a year, about sixty million cell phones are being added to the service. Because everybody’s having three, four, five these days. [Laughter]
They made a survey…
[at this very moment, a ringtone goes off in the audience, making everybody burst into laughter]
That’s the second one; you haven’t heard the first one.
[Resuming] …They made a survey, and they found out that ninety-seven percent of the people are using only seven percent of the capabilities that are there in an ordinary phone. I’m not talking about the smart phone; I’m talking about the dumb phone. In the dumb phone, ninety-seven percent of the people are using only seven percent of its capabilities.
So they were contemplating:
If we remove ninety percent of the electronics, still most people will never know… And we can even give them a five-hundred-rupee discount! They will be happy, we will be happy…
You know? Maybe they’ve already taken it off; we don’t know… Only if you try to use all of them, all the functions, then you’ll realize, something is not working.
So, in a little gadget, you’re using only seven percent.
[Opens his arms]
is The gadget.
Every damn gadget
has come out of this.
How much percentage do you think are you employing this gadget? Just make a guess. [Looks around in the audience] Mm? How much percentage?
You’re being very generous to yourself. [All laugh]
It’s well below one percent. Because, for your survival process, to conduct your life in the material world, you do not even need one percent of what this is.
This is capable of perceiving
the whole cosmos.
If you prepare it properly,
if you hold it,
just like an antenna
[slightly shifts his torso],
if you hold it in the right position,
it can just grasp everything in the existence.
It is just that we are doing all kinds of things with it,
because right now, our whole perception of life
is limited to the physical nature of the existence.
Physical, is like the peel of the fruit.
It has no purpose of its own.
In the sense… if you have a fruit, the moment you eat the fruit, the peel goes straight to the trash can. Isn’t it?
The peel is only a package.
Only because the fruit is valuable,
package is important.
Right now as you sit here, this body is very important. You have to feed this, you have to clothe this, you have to decorate this… You have to pamper this, in so many ways.
Tomorrow morning, that something inside, which you never experienced, if that goes away, nobody wants to have any business with this. Yes? Only because the fruit is inside, this peel has become very valuable.
Now, yoga means, not just about twisting your body, not about standing on your head, not about holding your breath… All these things, a circus artist can do better than most yogis. Really. Yes or no? Don’t you think so? A circus artist can do far better than most yogis in terms of twisting the body, doing this, doing that, holding different positions… That is not the purpose of yoga. Unfortunately, if you utter the word yoga, people think you have to be in some impossible posture. Yoga is not about postures. It is just a minuscule aspect of yoga.
in your experience,
everything has become one 🙏
The word yog means “union”.
What is the union? What can unite with what?
As you sit here, your idea, and your sense, and your experience of who you are is very strong. You’re here, as an individual!
But what the trees are exhaling right now, you’re inhaling. What you’re exhaling, the trees are inhaling. Or in other words, one half of your lung is hanging out there. [Laughter] Yes or no?
This is not just in terms of breath. Today modern physics is proving to you that as you sit here, every subatomic particle in your body is in constant transaction with everything else in the existence. If this transaction stops, you will cease to exist.
So yoga means
to know it by experience.
Modern science is proving to you,
the whole existence is just one energy.
The religions of the world have been screaming for a long time that God is everywhere. Whether you say “God is everywhere”, or you say “Everything is one energy”, are we talking about the same reality? Or a different reality?
“God is everywhere”, “Everything is same energy”;
are we talking about the same reality or different reality?
It is just that a scientist has never experienced this;
he has arrived at it through mathematical deductions.
A religious person has not experienced it; he believes it,
because it’s written somewhere, or it’s said by somebody.
If you are a hard case,
that you’re not willing
to settle for deductions
or belief systems, then
you become a yogi.
Yes, if you’re a very hard nut,
you want to know it yourself.
Then you become a yogi.
You want to know the union of the existence.
You want to know the oneness of what it is.
Not believing it.
Like you experience the five fingers of your hand,
if you can experience everything around you,
then we say
Sadhguru transcribed by Leon Hieros
What is the nature of my mind,
prior to the arising of a thought, sensation, or perception?
Don’t work this out rationally.
We are experiencing the continual arising and disappearing of thoughts, sensations and perceptions.
What is the nature of the medium, or field,
in which your thoughts, sensations and perceptions
are arising, existing; and vanishing…
In order for an e-mail to appear –relatively speaking– there must be some medium present, prior to the e-mail, upon which it can appear.
In order for a cloud to appear, there must be some medium, or field present, in which the cloud can form.
In order for a thought, or an image, or a feeling, a sensation or a perception to appear, there must be some medium, or field present, in which that object of experience can arise; exist, and vanish.
What is that?
Don’t answer this question with a word.
Just become aware of the medium or the field,
within which, your experience arises.
What is its nature?
Notice that we cannot find this field or medium as an object of experience.
Any object of experience could be something that arises within this field.
Whatever the medium or field,
within which our thoughts, sensations and perceptions arise,
it must be inherently empty
of thoughts, sensations and perceptions.
Just like the screen of our laptop is inherently empty of e-mails, images and videos. If the screen were not empty, there would be no room on it, for an e-mail or an image.
If the sky were not empty, there would be no room within it for the clouds.
If the medium within which our experience arises, were not itself empty of all objective experience, there would be no room for experience within it.
It is on account of the emptiness of this field –emptiness of objective content, that is– that the fullness of experience can arise within it.
Notice that all possible thoughts, images, feelings, sensations and perceptions are able to arise in this field.
Not just particular types of thought, or feeling, but all possible thoughts, feelings, sensations etc.
In other words, this medium or field is wide open, without preference, or discrimination, or resistance.
It is, as such, like empty space that does not have the ability to resist whatever appears within it. However good or bad, or pleasant or unpleasant, that appearance may seem to be.
Notice that this open, empty field or medium within which all experience arises is not an inert field;
it is a knowing field, or an aware field.
Whatever arises within it,
is simultaneously known by it.
Understand and feel that
you are this open, empty, aware field,
and into which,
To refer to a medium, or a field, or a space, in which our experience arises, is not quite right. It is a concession to the mind that wants to explore its experience.
Imagine a character in a dream who wants to explore the nature of the knowing, with which she knows her experience. The knowing with which the dreamed character knows the dreamed world, is of course the dreamer’s mind. And the dreamer’s mind doesn’t appear anywhere in the dreamed character’s world. It cannot be found anywhere in the time and space that the dreamed character seems to experience.
In other words, the dream takes up no time or space in the dreamer’s mind.
Likewise, the presence, the space-like presence, in which our experience arises –that is, our experience of time and space, and all the events and objects that appear within it– does not itself appear in time or space; it has no dimensions.
But as a concession to the mind that wants to think about the reality of its experience, we permit ourselves to visualize the medium within which all experience arises, as a kind of field, or space.
So, allow yourself to understand,
but more importantly, feel yourself
as the open,
or space-like presence,
within which all your experience arises.
See that your thoughts flow through this space,
like birds flying through the sky.
And just as the flight of a bird leaves no trace on the sky,
see that no thought leaves a trace in the space of awareness.
In other words, a thought doesn’t scar awareness; it doesn’t leave a trace of itself. However pleasant or unpleasant, however kind or unkind, however true or false the thought may be, makes no difference. It appears, it flows through the space of awareness, it vanishes. Leaving awareness in its original, pristine, open, empty, luminous, or knowing condition.
Remember, I’m not speaking of some abstract, metaphysical awareness.
I’m speaking of ourself. The very ordinary, familiar, intimate awareness that each of us, is.
If some thoughts stained or scarred awareness, we would have to get busy disciplining, or getting rid of, those particular types of thought. We would have to have an agenda with them. But no thought, irrespective of its content, stains or scars the open, empty, luminous field in which it appears, exists, and into which it vanishes. So there is no need to have any agenda whatsoever with the content of your thoughts.
The sky has no opinion about the quality of the birds that fly through it, or the number of the birds. One of the birds may take issue with the other birds. But the sky itself never takes issue with any of the birds.
Likewise, one of our thoughts may take issue with the quality or number of our thoughts. But awareness itself, never takes issue with anything. That is why it is always at peace. A peace that is not dependent upon the quality or the number of thoughts we have. But a peace that is prior to, and independent of, the existence and the quality and the quantity of thoughts.
Ask yourself the question:
Can I find an edge, or a limit, to the field of awareness,
within which my experience appears?
Remember: awareness is the only one that is aware.
So we are asking awareness:
Can you, awareness,
can I, awareness,
ever find a limit to myself?
Awareness is the only one that is aware, so awareness is the only one that knows anything about awareness. What is awareness, is experience of itself.
If we ask thought: “What do you think about awareness?”, we all know what thought will say. Thought has been trained by our culture to believe that awareness resides in, and is limited to, the body.
But what is awareness, is experience of itself.
to find an edge
to the field of awareness
in which your experience arises.
Imagine empty space, empty physical space,
and then imagine adding the quality of being aware to empty space,
so empty space, empty physical space, is no longer an inert space;
it is an aware space.
Just imagine adding the quality of knowing, or being aware, to empty space.
And now we ask this aware, empty space:
Can you ever find the edge of yourself?
What would empty space say?
Empty space would explore its experience of itself, and if it could speak, it would say:
I find no edge, or limit, or border to myself. In my own experience of myself, I am without limits.
This is what it means in the tradition when it says that awareness is vast; vaster than anything that appears in experience, because all experience appears within it.
Awareness is not really vast.
Something that is vast, is something that is extended indefinitely in all directions of space.
The only reason it is said that awareness is vast, is as an antidote to the belief that awareness is tiny, or small, that is housed in the body.
In relation to the belief that awareness is tiny, that is located in the body, it is legitimate as a first step to consider it to be vast. But in fact awareness is neither tiny nor vast. It has no dimensions.
So having added the quality of being aware, or knowing,
to empty physical space,
so that we now have this aware empty physical space,
now remove this physical space.
That’s what awareness is.
Don’t try to think about that.
It’s not possible to think about something with no dimensions.
It’s not possible to visualize something with no dimensions.
So keep this understanding in the back of your mind,
and permit yourself again to visualize and feel
your self-awareness as a vast, open, empty, luminous space.
Within which all experience arises.
But which itself has no edge or border, or limit.
Be, knowingly, this openness without limits.
If our thoughts could be likened to birds that fly through the sky of awareness,
then our feelings could be likened to clouds that float in the space of awareness.
They are larger than the birds, less clearly defined, and they tend to hang around longer than the birds; they move more slowly.
If we are in love, then these clouds will be light and white and wispy;
if we are depressed, they will be dark and grey and ominous.
But in both cases, in all cases,
our feelings are like clouds that arise within this open, empty, luminous field.
They are suspended in this field. They flow slowly through this field, and vanish into it.
And just as no cloud leaves a trace on the sky, no feeling, however dark or difficult it may be, stains the space of awareness, in which it appears.
If the sky of awareness were harmed in some way, or stained in some way, by certain feelings, then we would have to have an agenda with those feelings; we would have to prevent them, transform them, dissolve them, etc.
But just as no cloud leaves a trace on the sky, so no feeling leaves a trace in awareness. Awareness is always in the same open, empty; pristine; luminous condition.
Remember, I’m not speaking about some
abstract, philosophical, metaphysical awareness.
I’m speaking about ourself.
Not the self that we might become,
if we meditate long enough or practice hard enough,
but the self that we are now.
The self that we have always been.
The self that is intimately one with all experience,
but is never harmed or stained by it.
See clearly that no experience that arises
in this open, empty, luminous field
adds anything to it.
And when the experience vanishes,
it removes nothing from the field.
In other words,
the open, empty, luminous space of awareness,
is never aggrandized or diminished by experience.
And thus it has no vested interest in experience.
No need to reject what is present.
No need to seek what is not present.
Be sensitive to any feelings of irritation, restlessness or boredom.
If we are irritated or restless, we are resisting what is present.
And if we are bored, we are seeking what is not present.
Who is the one that is irritated, restless or bored?
It is not I-awareness.
I-awareness knows nothing of such feelings.
What other self is there, apart from I-awareness?
Can you find another self in yourself?
Keep your attention to whatever sounds are present.
Ask yourself the question:
Are these sounds appearing in the same medium or field, within which my thoughts and feelings are appearing, or do they appear in a different field?
Go back and forth with your attention from a thought to a sound.
Is your attention always travelling in the same field?
Or as it moves from the thought to the sound,
does it leave one field and enter another?
Does our attention have to leave the field
in which our thoughts and feelings arise,
in order to encounter a sound?
Or is our attention always
travelling through the same medium,
the same open, empty, aware medium?
See, in this way, that
our thoughts, feelings and sounds
all arise and exist in the same field.
Now, ask yourself the question:
How much distance, if any,
is there between the field
in which my experience arises,
and any particular experience?
How much distance is there
between any experience
and the knowing of it?
Is the faint sound of the aeroplane
further away from the knowing of it
than our current thoughts or feelings?
And when the sound vanishes,
does it leave the field of awareness,
or does it merge into it?
And when a sound arises again,
is it initiated outside the field of awareness,
and then enter the field, like an actor appearing on stage,
or does it emerge from within the field of awareness?
Allow your eyes to open.
A new perception arises.
Does this perception arise
within the field of awareness,
or outside the field of awareness?
Don’t think about this.
Just refer to your simple, direct experience.
Go back and forth with you attention
from the current thought
to the sight of this room.
Is your attention always travelling through the same field?
Or when it leaves the thought and travels towards the sight,
does it leave one field called “The mind”
and enter another field called “The world”?
Or is our attention always travelling in the same, seamless, indivisible field?
What we think about has limitations.
What we feel has limitations.
What we hear has limitations.
What we see has limitations.
But what about the field in which all these arise?
Does that have any limitations?
In other words, do you have any limitations?
Do you start out as a limited self,
and have to work hard on yourself,
expanding yourself and disciplining yourself,
in order to finally become unlimited, one day?
Or are you always, already, innately unlimited?
Allow your eyes to close again…
Allow the experience of the body to come to your attention…
Not the memory of the body, not the idea of the body, not an image of the body;
but your current raw experience of the body.
If our eyes are closed
(and I recommend we keep our eyes closed to begin with),
and we do not refer to memories, ideas or images,
our only experience of the body is the current sensation or flow of sensations.
In fact, without reference to memory,
we cannot even be sure that the current sensation or flow of sensations
is a sensation of a body.
It’s just a sensation.
So experience the current sensation
as if it were the first experience you had ever had.
Be like a newborn infant.
You have no memory to refer to,
and no means of conceptualizing your experience.
There is just your raw experience, raw sensation,
but this is not a sensation of something;
it’s just a sensation.
A continuously vibrating or pulsating sensation.
Ask yourself the question:
Does this pulsating sensation appear within the field of awareness, or outside of it?
Is it my experience, that the sensation appears in the field of awareness, or is it my experience that awareness appears in the sensation?
Travel around inside the sensation,
seeing if you can find a location for awareness,
a place at which the knowing of your experience takes place.
Are you located inside the sensation,
or is the sensation located inside you?
Are you a point of knowing, or awareness,
located inside this sensation?
Or is the sensation a pulsating vibration hovering
in the immensity of your openness; your emptiness.
What is your actual experience?
Ask yourself the question:
Does this sensation have a clearly defined border?
Don’t refer to an image of the body.
Just refer to your current, direct, intimate experience;
just the current sensation or flow of sensations.
Does this pulsating sensation have a clearly defined outline?
The purpose of these questions is not to come up with a rational answer for each question, but rather to take us with each question more and more deeply into the experience itself; tasting what is actually there. So don’t allow your mind to answer any of these questions with a word. Just ask the question, and allow the question to take you one step deeper into your experience. We are not trying to change our experience. We are trying to touch or taste the reality of our experience. Having touched or tasted the reality of our experience, we can decide for ourselves whether we think it needs changing or not.
Does the current sensation have an age?
Can you say, from your experience, the current sensation is old, or young, or …?
Without referring to thought or memory, is the current sensation either sick or healthy?
Unless you are in intense pain, is the current sensation either pleasant or unpleasant, if we don’t refer to thought or memory?
Ask yourself the question:
If I don’t refer to thought or memory, do I have any experience or suffering?
Notice that we are not trying to change or manipulate our experience in any way whatsoever. We are simply contemplating it. In a disinterested way. And in our disinterested contemplation, our experience is liberating itself from superimposed beliefs and feelings. Allowing its reality to shine as it is.
Can you find a self in the body?
See that the experience of the body is pervaded by the empty, open, luminous field of awareness, within which it appears, and with which it is known.
But that field is not limited to or by the body. It pervades the entirety of our experience, including the world.
So if we feel “my body”, we should really feel “my world”. Our experience of the world is no less pervaded by ourself, than is our experience of the body.
The appearance of a sensation in the open, empty, luminous space of awareness, doesn’t divide or compartmentalize awareness any more than a cloud divides or compartmentalizes the sky.
The body is a ripple of pulsating vibration appearing in the immensity of our openness.
Ask yourself the question,
without reference to thought or memory:
Does the current sensation weigh anything?
How much does a sensation weigh?
Certain areas of the sensation may have a certain intensity to it.
But without reference to thought or memory, this intensity is not evidence of weight.
How much does a thought weigh, or a sound weigh?
Sensations are made out of the same stuff that our thoughts and perceptions are made out of. They are made out of mind-stuff.
See that there are thoughts, images, feelings, sensations, perceptions…
All floating weightlessly in the immensity of your openness.
But can you find a self anywhere?
And if there is no limited, located self present in our experience, on whose behalf does our suffering arise?
Let’s remain silent till we’re in the dining room.
Thank you. 🙏
Rupert Spira transcribed by Leon Hieros
✨ Your body and your brain works at its best, only when your stomach is empty.
✨ Any correction and purification that needs to happen in the body, your stomach needs to be empty. It’s very very important. Otherwise, the purification at the cellular level will not happen.
✨ Health is not something you can do from outside. Health is something you have to do from within.
✨ Minimum eight hours gap is what is recommended in yoga; between one meal and the next meal, there must be an eight-hour space. If you do this, you will see half your problems of health –whatever you have, health problems– minimum fifty percent will go in six weeks time.
✨ If you do certain other things, which may right now seem a little extreme to you, if you have a little yogic practice, something meditative within you, then you will see, ninety percent of your problems will go away. Ten percent, if it still persists, can be treated.
What I feel from what you’ve described, is that you immediately judged this sensation, as being… or named the sensation, as being an expression of the separate self; and you want to get rid of it.
That’s the problem. That’s the only problem, actually. It’s that you’ve made an enemy of the sensation, and everything you do, from then on, is going to make it worse. So you find yourself in this kind of double bind, where you want to get rid of it, but everything you do to get rid of it, just makes it worse.
Yes, it’s exactly what’s happening.
It’s very simple.
Befriend the sensation.
Instead of the habitual response,
“This is uncomfortable”, “This is bad”, “This needs to be got rid of”,
take the opposite approach.
Be happy that this residue of the “separate me” has been flushed out of one of its favourite hiding places, the heart area; and has been exposed.
And totally allow it, invite it, to come even closer.
Instead of saying “You’re my enemy, I want to get rid of you”,
say to it: “You’ve been there, buried in my heart most of my life; I don’t even really know you. I’ve been so busy trying to get rid of you, or at least trying to suppress or avoid you, that I don’t really know what you are.”
So, totally open the door.
Let it come.
Be interested in it.
Yes. Thank you. And to maybe go along a little further is… is…
That’s what I’ve… I’ve been doing, and sometimes successfully…
When you say “successfully”…
[All burst in laughter]
… this little desire to get rid of it…
… has crept in again.
Yes; I was just gonna talk about that a little more. Because as… as… as much as I consciously can, what I’m trying to say is, I try to face it, I try to do that, but it’s like there’s a part that is not in my control…
Yeah; and then you try to welcome it and befriend it, in order to get rid of it.
So and then… and… this… and…
You know what I am talking about, obviously, so…
There’s a very simple test;
and that is, to test whether or not you’re really allowing the sensation;
or whether you’re allowing it with a secret agenda to kill it as soon as… to get rid of it.
And the test is this.
You ask yourself:
“Could I live with this sensation for the rest of my life?”
And the answer must be Yes.
The answer is No.
When somebody else… The same question…
Well that’s good, that you see the answer is No.
Because the question exposes your agenda with the sensation.
That’s good; you’re honest; you say,
“No, to be honest, I don’t want this sensation”.
So then, turn around and face the sensation again, and go on facing it; go on with this process of facing it, allowing it, asking yourself the question,
“Could I really… Am I totally at peace with it?”
Until you get a genuine Yes,
– and it’s not just, as you’ve discovered, it’s not just
“Oh yes, OK; now I’m going to work on this sensation; OK, I can live with it for the rest of my life.”
It’s not like that.
It takes time. There are layers.
First of all, there will be a “No, I can’t.”
And then the No will get softer.
And you keep doing it. It… it’s a process. It takes time.
And it’s good that you… It’s good that you don’t too readily say “Oh yes, I can live with this for the rest of my life.”
Because it’s… It takes some time.
There is such a habit in us… such a deeply ingrained habit in us… of rejecting, suppressing, avoiding these uncomfortable sensations… That habit is not just got rid of through understanding “Oh yes, I just have to work on my experience.”
In practice it takes time.
Go there again and again and again
and the No,
the “No, I don’t want this”,
will get thinner and thinner;
it will… it will dissolve.
Thank you. Yeah.
Rupert Spira transcribed by Leon Hieros
You said that, in order to see for ourselves that Consciousness is universal – with these experiments that you suggested; and if we find that internally there’s more harmony, and externally there’s serendipity, that would go someway to suggesting that Consciousness is universal.
So my question is, why is that? Why would harmony and serendipity convince me that Consciousness were universal?
Because, the impact in the world
is not the result of what you do,
but is simply the result of the intention.
In other words, two people can do the same thing.
One with an impersonal intent,
and the other with an ignorant intent.
In the case of the impersonal intent there will be a serendipitous outcome,
in the case of the ignorant intent there will be a not so serendipitous outcome.
So, because it is not based upon what is done, but upon the intent, and the intent, of course, comes from Consciousness, then it shows that the universe… it shows the connection between Consciousness and the universe.
And it shows also that Consciousness rules the universe.
You see? So that’s why.
And in addition to that, the inner harmony that results, and the happiness, the peace that results, puts an end to the quest. You see? Gives a satisfaction. In other words, we… we… we feel, “Yeah, now I’ve got what I want”. You see? There is a sense of completion, on all levels, you know? And the love we sought, the beauty we sought, the understanding we sought… You know?
And again, we cannot formulate, we cannot…
But it is there, everywhere!
The intelligence is there everywhere,
the beauty is there everywhere,
and the love is there everywhere…
So, there is a… a satisfaction, which is so multidimensional…
And because it involves the universe, as one of the instruments, then the conclusion is that Consciousness is universal, or that Consciousness rules the universe.
I see. Thank you.
Francis Lucille transcribed by Leon Hieros
I find myself sometimes – and particularly when I go simply into a situation where I know I give my true self, or… My ego comes up, quite strongly, and then… It’s a situation with a certain character of person that is quite forceful and kind of… I would describe as a bully. And I immediately go into “There is something wrong with this person”, I immediately go into the person…
Something wrong with you…
… or something wrong with the other person?
Ahm, both! Haha
And in the moment, I completely respond from that ego. Ahm… And I completely believe the story that there is something wrong with me.
And this has been a pattern in my life because I had it similarly when I was a kid, with my brother who was quite older than me, and there was… I can see it coming back, and… So this particular situation that I’m in the middle of right now, I actually then invite it in, because I recognized, there is something in there for me to see that I’m not. It almost… It’s like shining the light into the creatures on the bottom of the well, and so I felt that it was time to deal with this creature, which now looks like a monster when it comes up.
And, so my question is… It’s kind of twofold; I would really like to know how to stay in that true self; and what is it that I’m not seeing here? There is something that’s escaping me… ahm… which I guess is the reason why the pattern keeps coming back. Ahm… And I keep dealing with it in the same way, which is not very productive at all.
When you say, “How can I stay in the true self”, you give the sense that staying in the true self is something that needs to be maintained, with effort, and you want to know what effort you need to make and how much effort you need to make in order to stay there. And it’s because you think like that by yourself, that you feel you have to make an effort, to stay there.
You can’t… It’s what you are; there’s no question of staying there, or not; it’s what you are. It’s what you are now, it’s what you always, are.
Yes, and I…
Yeah. I say that I lose sight of that.
As you walk around here during the day, or during your life, how much effort do you have to make, relatively speaking, to stay located in your body?
No effort. It doesn’t matter what clothes you dress up in, each morning; it doesn’t matter what activities you undertake; it doesn’t matter what you encounter, in the world; you never have to make an effort to be yourself, by yourself, in this… as “I am in…” relatively speaking, your body.
You may forget, from time to time, that you are yourself. So if you do forget that you are yourself, all you need to do is remember yourself.
But you don’t have to make any effort to stay there.
You just keep reminding yourself, and each time you remind yourself, each time you go back to yourself, you… you erode the old pattern of forgetting yourself, or allowing your experience to veil yourself.
And after a while, you just begin to feel yourself at peace, in your self.
Doesn’t mean to say you always have a broad smile on your face, or you always go around singing and dancing. Your life circumstances may be difficult, you may have to deal with them, they may be challenging, they…
But, behind that, or, in the heart of that, you feel your essential self, and its innate peace.
Although on the surface of your life, there may be disturbances, there may be difficult situations, there may be conflicting relationships, there may be grief, or loss… I’m not suggesting that all of that just goes away. But, but… All of that continues, more or less; it diminishes gradually, but it continues.
But underneath all of that, you feel just this, the quiet presence of your own being.
When I answered Steward’s question, “I feel this ninety-five percent of the time”, I don’t mean to imply that I live in a bed of roses and I go around singing and dancing all the time. No. I meant that this… just this quiet presence of my own being, is eclipsed by fewer and fewer experiences in my life. I still have challenging situations to deal with, as does anybody. But they, increasingly, situations increasingly lose their capacity to veil this innate peace. Sometimes this innate peace bubbles over, as laughter and dancing, and then it’s more expressed. As Yvan Amar once said, “Happiness is peace in motion. Peace is happiness at rest.” So, sometimes this peace bubbles over in the form of happiness and joy. But when it’s not bubbling, it’s just felt as peace in the background, or at the heart of experience.
Yes. So, ahm… So what I’m understanding is, ahm… It is like this, that I will forget… It will; it will very likely still happen, and, just this, as soon as I remember…
And do whatever you need to remind yourself, often. And each time you walk yourself back to yourself, you erode the old habit of forgetting. Until you begin to feel that you live in yourself, you don’t just visit yourself from time to time. You begin to feel you’ve moved in;
and then you begin to feel that fewer and fewer situations and circumstances have the capacity to pull you out, or pull you away, or take you away from yourself.
Yes. I was also…
So, for instance –sorry to interrupt– just going back to this recurring theme in your life of being dominated or bullied by a forceful character which in the past has kind of overwhelmed you; it’s caused you to collapse. So, at some point, this… you may still encounter these experiences, you may still attract these kinds of experiences, but you begin to feel that there is something in your self that is no longer able to be manipulated; no longer able to be overwhelmed, or bullied. So even in the face of this behaviour, you feel that something in you remains intact; unscathed; undisturbed.
And that, if you feel that, you will be surprised what a powerful message it will send to the one who is treating you in this forceful way. Something of the peace of your being will communicate itself subliminally, to this person, and it will have an effect on their behaviour; to a degree; depending on the person.
Yes, I’m very glad you say that, because I had not realized or remembered that it’s starting to happen, in a very small scale. And… and it confirms for me that it’s… this is… even though it is something painful to invite it back, because I know… If I didn’t know, that there’s something in m… in here… that who I really am is… cannot be harmed, I would not invite it; I would not invite this person back in my life.
I see, yes. Well, you also have to be careful. Don’t… You shouldn’t feel that, “Because there is something in me that is unharmable, therefore I should be able to tolerate any kind of behaviour.”
Be careful that you don’t… ahm… use this understanding to allow yourself to remain in an abusive relationship. Even with this understanding, there is a case for saying to someone, “This behaviour is not acceptable. I am no longer willing to live in a relationship that is abusive, in this way.” And it’s reasonable to walk away from it.
Yeah. It is…
I’m sure many of you here, or some of you anyway, have heard that story I sometimes tell, Francis’s… the story of Francis, used to tell him of… ahm… It was a question he was asked, by a woman who was… an elderly woman who was sitting on a bench on Hampstead Heath, in North London; and there was some youths playing around her, being obnoxious and using foul language and… She was sitting there, thinking that there is… feeling that there was something in herself that is untouched by all this obnoxious behaviour and this foul language, and really that she should be able to sit there in perfect peace and unmoved or unconcerned with any of it. And eventually, after twenty minutes or so, she couldn’t bear it any longer and she got up and left. And she said to Francis, “What would have been the enlightened response?” And Francis said, “To have moved sooner.”
So, it’s good that your primary intention is to remain in touch with the imperturbable peace of your own being, but this does not mean that you cannot take appropriate actions in your life. And if you are in a… –I’m not suggesting you’re in an abusive relationship– but if you’re in a relationship that was in some ways abusive, and you do everything you can, to, to, to… ehm… to work with that, to bring your relationship more in line with love and understanding…
But at a certain point, there is the time for saying,
“I’m sorry, I’ve tried everything. And I’ve tried everything once, I’ve tried everything twice, I’ve tried everything three times… It’s not working. That’s it. I’m off. I’m not willing to… This is beneath the dignity of myself. Not myself a person, but it is beneath the dignity of my Self, the divine being that I know I am, and beneath the dignity of you, your Self, to behave in this way, and I’m no longer willing to tolerate it.”
Yes. And, it’s a business relationship, and the… Yeah. If that happens, that I need to say “This is it”, I would like to do it from a place of love,
[simultaneously; emphatically] Of course!
not to come from a reactive…
Yes. OK; still… Do it –you’re quite right– do it from a place of love, not from a place of reaction, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll do it with a sweet smile on your face. You may, depending on the person; you may have to say it firmly. A sweet smile may not be enough to get the message across: “Your behaviour is not in line with love, justice, integrity, honesty, truth… And I’m no longer willing to tolerate it.”
Ahm… And of course if it’s a business relationship, then it has implications. And it’s also absolutely legitimate to take into account the consequences of your actions, and so… you have to… I’m not suggesting you just go back to work and walk out the next day… You have to… to tailor this understanding to your situation. But yes, whether it’s an intimate relationship, a business relationship… whatever kind of relationship… Obviously you do your very best to bring love and understanding to bear on the situation. But when you’ve done your very best, and… if it’s a close relationship, we have to do our very best not just once, but twice, and three times…
But when we’ve really done our very best, there comes a time when we say,
[so beautifully] “I’ve done everything. It’s time to separate.”
[with sweet gratitude] Thank you.
Rupert Spira transcribed by Leon Hieros
I got a question about concentration… or attention… It seems to me that this is a function of the mind, and that the attention, or concentration, can’t be placed on awareness; on the subjective. Is that correct?
By the mind yes, that’s correct. Yes, yes. That which places the attention on awareness, or the intention, is love; is grace.
And then this love and grace…
So, it’s beyond the mind. You find yourself interested in the Truth, but it’s something that has happened, just as you got your flu, in a sense. In other words, the alleged “person” has nothing to do in this business with becoming a Truth lover.
And this concentration on our true nature, or the zooming in, onto our true nature, corresponds to a zooming out, of the body, the senses and the mind. So it corresponds to a decrease in interest for everything created; for every thing which is phenomenal.
So it’s a shift, of the desire, in fact; and the desire is the engine, so it could be said it’s a shift of energy, of the direction of our living force, or life force, away from the world, back to Presence.
But it is not something that we decided, we say, “Oh, right now for ten minutes I’m going to shift my attention away from the world back to Presence”, you see? No, that’s not how it works. As I said, it’s like the flu; at some point, you realize, “Well, for some reason, for some reason which is always in fact mysterious, I find myself less interested in the world and more interested in God / in Truth / Consciousness…”, whatever form this interest seems to take.
It is really the meaning of the word conversion. M? To convert? It means con-, “together”, and vert, “to shift”. So it’s a shift of the direction, and at the same time, a conversion of the energies. So that’s the meaning of conversion.
So conversion doesn’t mean [threatening look] “You are going to convert, otherwise…” [throat-cutting gesture; audience laugh]. No. That’s not what it means. That’s not… [Francis laughs too] Or… or to send people to do proselytism all over the world, you know, with white shirts. No. [All laugh]
When these moments of grace happen, and, I’ve noticed over the past couple of weeks, just… the attention pops… a thought pops up; “Ah, yes!” And the mind will then, mostly out of curiosity and out of interest in that, will turn towards “Where did that come from?” Eh… Is there value in that? Or just… enjoy as it comes?
It comes from the peace. So yes, you can discover it came from the peace.
There… There is an initiation, or an initial moment of this conversion, an initial moment of grace.
Which is, in fact, the true meaning of initiation. To initiate means “to start something”. So there is a starting point. That is in fact a glimpse of our true nature. That is… [sweet expression] And that’s the true meaning of initiation.
Again, it’s not the rite, and… and everything that is done in various religions or traditions. No. That’s exoteric initiation.
Esoteric initiation is this first recognition.
Then, this transfer of desire from the world to Presence, is something that takes place incrementally; over, often, a period of years.
And we can, somehow, facilitate the process, we can, of course, yes, accelerate it.
But the way we notice it… In the beginning, we don’t notice the peace. We have just a few moments, when we are reminded, and then at a certain point, we realize that the Presence becomes more tangible, in a sense, because… becomes more…
In my case, I was feeling it very intensely when I was with my teacher; in his presence; and less intensely when I was on my own. But then, over the years, that changed.
So ideally, we… we want to be in this peace, all the time.
But there is not a sudden shift.
A sudden shift is with the initiation.
And sometimes this initiation is even hardly noticed by the mind.
And sometimes it can be a big event that then demands notice, that you see it.
Or, the initiation may have taken place, and then down the road at some point, a big event takes place also that gets noticed, by the mind, and that is believed to be the initiation, whereas the initiation had taken place earlier on.
This… To try to analyze this process, is kind of useless, because the only thing that matters… is the end game. Right? That is to be happy and at peace.
So that’s that which we have to recognize in hindsight and ask ourselves, you know, “Am I better off now than I was four years ago?”
The question comes out of a very real desire to employ the mind, in service of this…
The use of the mind is about belief systems. If by mind we mean what I call “the intellect”, which is the rational aspect, the use of reason, and the use of reason enables us to liberate ourselves from all kinds of belief systems we are attached to, of all kinds, and to become… kind of indifferent to those, and see that these have only very relative value, that they don’t have absolute value.
And then, the investigation of the body and of the resistances there, is important.
That’s the way to facilitate the process,
to live the Truth in our lives.
That’s by far the most important.
We have to think the Truth,
we have to feel the Truth,
we have to live the Truth.
To think the Truth is important… And to think the Truth, what it means is not that much… although in the beginning, it corresponds to thinking about the Truth, but later on, To think the Truth means “Not to think the untruth”. It means not to hold the notion of being a separate person; not to be attached to it; not to keep it; just, whenever it arises, to drop it right away. And then it stops arising. So that’s what it means. Therefore, in the beginning, the investigation is necessary, because it is our understanding that fundamentally eradicates this belief to be a separate consciousness. But once we are very open to this possibility, then all that it takes is to stop thinking along the old lines of thought, to stop thinking along the line of being a separate person. And then we become more aware of the feelings in the background, in the closet, so to speak, that were triggering this personal type of thought. And, again, we allow for these feelings, we don’t want to kill those feelings, but we want to look straight at them. So we see them for what they are: bodily sensations. And then they are not telling us any longer, “You are separate”. They are simply sensations that appear in something that is limitless.
That’s what I could call, To feel according to the Truth. It means “Not to feel the untruth”, the untruth being, to be separate. And what it means; it means every time I feel that I am separate, to look at these feelings, straight. Then we realize it’s just a bodily sensation that doesn’t tell me anything –regarding the question whether I am limited or not, separate or not– as Consciousness.
And finally, To act according to the Truth means –same thing– “To stop acting according to the untruth”. Just to stop the actions that are rooted in the belief to be a separate person. To pause before you take such an action. To become acutely aware… to become… to discriminate between the actions that are natural, normal, like having a good time, or putting… filling up the tank of your car… paying your taxes… whatever. All these actions are part of life, they are natural, you see what I mean? [Lowering his voice] Taxes I’m not sure, but…
So that’s how you can… support, if you will, the peace.
And the more you… you think, you feel and you act according to the Truth, the more vibrant the peace becomes; in your life.
And the peace is telling you:
And the peace takes care of many things in your life, as a result; of many issues. You see? If you leave it to the peace to… Not that you don’t act; you do your best, but you act always in this… according to the Truth. And then what seems impossible for you to achieve, with your feeble… with your very reduced power, the peace will finish the job for you.
The third part of that, putting into life as action, I’ve noticed that there are actions that have both an impersonal motive as well as a personal. Do you have any advice on… how to… I don’t know… purify those, or…
[to himself] How can I say that?
What… what matters… is not… what a rationale for an action seems to be. But what it is.
Now. There are only two possibilities. Either consciousness is personal, or it isn’t. Therefore, if the rationale for one action is that consciousness is personal, the rationale cannot be that consciousness is impersonal. And conversely. Are you following me?
I understand… I don’t see how… Eh… That doesn’t seem to be how to experience… the… the motives. I can’t give you anything…
Let me take another example.
I, out of love, you know, and desire to celebrate, and my friend is visiting, I buy a bottle of champagne, because I know that my friend loves champagne, and I love champagne too. And… OK, then you could say, well, this action is both impersonal, because it’s celebration, it’s love for the friend, but it’s also personal, because I love champagne.
Right? So that would be an example of an action that seems to be both personal and impersonal.
But to see it as both impersonal and personal, is mistaken.
Why? Because when I say, “I like champagne”, it’s not me. In fact, it’s this body that likes champagne. Right?
So by… The real reason for that, I mean if my friend wasn’t visiting, I wouldn’t have a bottle of champagne. Right? So, the determining reason was the visit of my friend. Right? So ultimately it was celebration. Right? Celebration of friendship, which is celebration of love. And the fact that the body of my friend, and my body, both like champagne, is just the reason in the first place why, you know, impersonally I chose to buy champagne; and not garlic!
So I think, if you… So, that which was confusing in the example I just gave, between personal and impersonal, that… There are two levels; there is the level of the body – and it’s perfect; if the body is happy, why not? In other words, an action which is impersonal, ah, can bring about pleasure for the body! Why not? It’s not a crime, you see what I mean?
But that which matters is the…
that the ultimate motivation for it,
be love, truth, beauty.
And in this regard, even if you eliminate the friend, if you are on your own, and you are going to cook dinner, and you are going to the grocery store to choose what you are going to eat… Well, it’s not a personal action that you want to feed this body well, with the proper type of food and the food that the body enjoys; you see what I mean? It’s not personal! Because you are the manager of your body, and you are the good manager of it. And you want to; your body is like your child, in a sense; you want the body to be happy. You are the only one who is involved in this decision, so why not? You see what I mean? It doesn’t qualify necessarily as a personal decision.
However, if you go to a restaurant, and if you feel that your happiness is dependent on that, of going to that specific restaurant, and if that one is closed on that evening and you are desperate because of that, then you’ve got a problem.
In religious terms, they have a beautiful saying; they say, “It is intention that sanctifies the action”. For it is… –in my… using my vocabulary– it is the impersonality of the decision that qualifies the deed.
Francis Lucille transcribed by Leon Hieros
The question on the… You said something that the feeling –which is something that I think leaded into… looking into the question– feeling when you’re doing the first half, the Neti-Neti –usually, not always; but usually– when I’m abiding in the Self, there is some kind of feeling; even though that clearly is not the Self, there is some… That’s…
Yes. That’s fine. That’s not important. Ahm… Like the sound of the traffic now, for instance. It is not important. Why is it not important? Because you’re not giving it your attention. You don’t have to get rid of the sound of the traffic. The sound of the traffic doesn’t… doesn’t harm the space of awareness in which it appears; so there’s no need to get rid of it.
I guess the mind is still giving it some importance as a verification that I’m done with the Neti-Neti as a practice.
Say that again.
The mind is giving it –the mind “small I am”– is giving it importance, to the feeling Let’s have peace; or some kind of vibration, as a verification that… You know, I’ve sort of completed the Neti-Neti process.
Well, you know when you’ve completed the Neti-Neti process, the “I am not this, I am not that” process, when you have first of all recognized, that “What I essentially am, is the unchanging presence of awareness”, and then… So, that’s the first step, the recognition of the presence of awareness. But, the next step is to recognize the nature of that awareness; to recognize its innate peace, and fulfillment, because that puts an end to the sense of lack and the desire to seek happiness in objects, and it puts an end to the fear of death or disappearance.
So, it’s fine. The Neti-Neti process can bring us as far as “I am the presence of awareness”.
But it is then this abidance, as Awareness –what Ramana Maharshi called self-abidance, or… it was misleadingly translated as self-enquiry; it really means self-abidance– it is this abidance that the mind is gradually… that the nature of Awareness becomes evident; its inherently peaceful and unconditionally fulfilled nature is felt.
So when you ask, “Are you aware now?” the answer is self-evident immediately; there is no thinking involved…
Yes. That’s a shortcut; that bypasses the Neti-Neti process.
The Neti-Neti process;
you have to say,
I am not my thoughts; I am aware of my thoughts.
I am not my feelings; I am aware of my feelings.
I am not my sensations, or perceptions; I am aware of my sensations and perceptions.
That’s a long way round.
The question “Are you aware?” is a shortcut. It takes you directly to the experience of being aware, which is where you arrived at, through going through the Neti-Neti process. So the question “Are you aware?” is just a shortcut; extremely done right.
Which works great for me, but I feel there’s still this habit – because you were pointing out to the abidance and… removing, you know, the fear of death, and… ahm… the seeking for happiness and other objects…
Yeah, but that’s… that’s not a removal of it, it’s a dissolution of it, and that dissolves when the innate peace of Awareness is felt. If… if there is this recognition that Awareness is nature, is at peace and fulfilled, then there’s no longer any need to seek happiness in objects, substances, activities or relationships. So, the recognition of the nature of Awareness puts an end to the sense of lack which impels most people to seek happiness in objects or relationships.
It doesn’t mean to say that we no longer have relationships…
Right, right, right…
… or engage with objects and activities. We just no longer engage with them, or have relationships, for the sake of finding happiness. They can still be used to express, and share and communicate happiness, but they no longer become a means of finding happiness.
So that is the real, sort of, or the full Neti-Neti approach.
That’s the culmination. The Neti-Neti process is really only… only establishes the presence of Awareness; it doesn’t establish the nature of Awareness. What is traditionally called “Enlightenment”, or “Illumination”, is not just the recognition “I am Awareness”. It is the recognition of the nature of the Awareness that I am. It is that recognition that puts an end to the search for peace and happiness in objects, substances, activities or relationships.
And the recognition would come just by continuously abiding, or…?
Yes… It’s a… Occasionally, it comes [snaps his fingers] suddenly, and we all know stories of… such stories; but in most cases, it comes gradually. It’s like the peace of Awareness begins to make itself felt in the background of experience. And it’s …
So it’s not like an effort that…
It’s not an effort, and it can be… It doesn’t have to be an extraordinary experience. You just notice over time, that there is less and less impulse in you, to seek happiness in objective experience, and there’s less and less fear of disappearance, or death. It sometimes happens in a sudden… in a particular moment, and then you can say on… at 3 pm on the 24th of June 1979, this happened to me.
But it often doesn’t happen like that. It can happen so quietly, that the mind doesn’t even notice it, to begin with, that it’s only in retrospect that the mind notices, “Oh, I used to be so agitated, and fearful… and lonely… and all of that just left me; I find myself at peace, nearly all the time.” Let’s not say “all the time”, let’s not be too perfectionist about it, but “nearly all the time”. Very few situations can disturb this background of peace, and if they do disturb it, the disturbance doesn’t go in deep, like it used to, and it doesn’t last long. The peace of our true nature is… is… asserts itself relatively quickly.
And again, for those that don’t have that… sport, let’s call it, of quick enlightenment or whatever we wanna call it; ahm… that recognition after you’ve done, you know, self-enquiry… Neti-Neti… whatever, would just gradually happen, without your involvement in it per se.
Yes… In a way it’s much better if this recognition of our true nature doesn’t come as an extraordinary experience, because then we can never lay claim to enlightenment.
We never say “I am enlightened”.
We… we can never… We never make that claim.
There is… there’s such a misconception, in… in a whole kind of spiritual world, that enlightenment is an extraordinary experience. It very occasionally has extraordinary side effects. But the side effects aren’t, even in those cases, the extraordinary side effects that we hear about, are not enlightenment itself.
Enlightenment is a non-experience; it is a recognition; a simple recognition. It’s not something extraordinary; it’s not, in fact it’s not an experience. It is just a simple recognition that what we essentially are… that the nature of what we essentially are, is inherently peaceful and fulfilled. That puts an end to the sense of lack, and the fear of death. And it… Most people’s lives revolved around trying to fulfill the sense of lack, and trying to avoid the fear of death. Seeking and resistance; these are the two guiding feelings that the separate self revolves around.
It doesn’t mean to say we stop engaging fully in life; we can engage fully in life; we can have relationships, or have a family, or do whatever work we please. It doesn’t mean that we become… we retire from life.
This means that we… we engage with life, but no longer from the point of view of lack, and fear.
For instance. Relationships.
When we… If we… When we seek relationships;
either ordinary friendship, or intimate relationship…
We don’t do so, in order to put an end to our fear.
In other words, we don’t use the other person as a means of fulfilling our self.
That is a recipe for disaster in a relationship; as we all well know.
But it doesn’t mean to say we stop having relationships.
We keep having friendships or relationships.
But no longer as a means of finding happiness, or love.
Yeah. That was very clear.
Rupert Spira transcribed by Leon Hieros