Sunday, 27 November 2016

The Path of Books

If for some reason a student does not find a suitable teacher, he need not lose all hope. Most of the teachings are available in written form. These days the teachings are also available in audio or video form, which is as good as being with a teacher and is perhaps better than books in terms of sensory satisfaction. There is tons of material on the internet in various formats. Some teachers are also available via emails or other communication apps. The information is widespread, in fact, there is an excess of it. It all appears voluminous but most of it is repetition of the same few ideas, interpretations, and reinterpretations, commentaries and perspectives.

This was not the case in past, when such information was held secret. The world has changed and the teachings are no more hidden in secret places, meant for special people only. Most of them are freely available to anyone who is interested. So why don't people simply read those books etc. and get rid of their ignorance and suffering, why are the majority not free? Because just like a teacher, books only point towards the knowledge, they do not transmit knowledge, they transmit only information, written symbols. Knowledge requires a direct seeing, an experience. We have seen that merely gaining knowledge does not do much either, the clouds of habitual ignorance cover up any faint light of knowledge gained via reading very quickly.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Qualities of a Student

Alex Grey - Metamorphosis

After discussing the matter of teachers, its time to turn to the students. For an effective teacher-student interaction, student’s own abilities and qualities are of prime importance. If a student possesses the required qualities, he benefits from any teacher. We stand firmly on the formula of - fix yourself, do not try to fix the other. The other being a teacher in this case. It is of no use spending all your life trying to get an ideal teacher or running from one teacher to another, if you have not cultivated yourself as a good student.

So who is a "good" student? For our purposes, he is any seeker who has an immense desire for knowledge, happiness and freedom, firstly, and secondly, can learn from anything and anyone in as less time as possible. Thirdly, he also implements the learning practically, i.e. converts himself into a living example of the teachings.

Apart from these three essential qualities, there are many more such as high intelligence, open mindedness, curiosity, patience, attentiveness, logical and critical thinking etc. All these qualities were discussed in fine detail in previous blog articles, so please refer to past articles, if you haven't read them yet. There are ways to sharpen these tools, some of them, and some are innate. These qualities are desirable for anyone, not only for students in particular. But then everyone is a student anyway. Here, we are going to discuss these qualities and some more, especially as applicable to a student, a newbie student in particular. As a newbie student, I've already done most of the mistakes they do, so I will mostly share what not to do.

Sunday, 20 November 2016


It seems there is a natural evolution from the depths of ignorance towards knowing. This is often called Ripening. I do not really know why it happens, but I can sense it faintly. It also seems that the human experience is an important milestone on this path of evolution, at least that’s what is seen in this world. From time to time some humans realize their true nature and emerge out of this deep ocean of ignorance like a bubble. This happens irrespective of place, race, gender or time. It also appears that this process is speeding up, but it can be an illusion because human population is growing rapidly, there are more people and so more wise people. Some people out of these few come out in open and try to tell others what they have realized. We call such a person a teacher or a Guru.

The literal meaning of the word Guru is "remover of darkness", it also means great, mighty or giant. The former meaning is implied when its about teaching. Darkness implies ignorance. Note that it is not "bringer of light" or something like that because as we know, the light is always there. It is occluded by ignorance. So such a person does nothing but shows that you are in a dark pit and often suggests a way out. A teacher does not and cannot pull an ignorant out of the pit, he merely hints at it, maybe gives a helping hand. The student pulls himself out. The teacher acts as a trigger.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Acting without actions - Donation

Greed revisited

As long as one is in a body there are needs and it is wise to accumulate resources to meet those needs. The tendency to accumulate is an Egoic tendency and is necessary for survival. However this useful behaviour sometimes gets out of control and turns into the affliction of greed and hoarding. We have already studied that in depth in previous articles on Ego. Here we will discuss a corrective action that can be employed in case one falls into such behaviour. Donation is an action to obliterate greed and restore peace and detachment.

It seems most of humanity is afflicted with greed, especially in this materialistic and consumerist era. So much so that it is considered a good thing to be greedy and to hoard as much stuff as possible. Those who consume more are the high class and those who survive on crumbs, bare basic, are peasant class. Obviously , greed results in a mad pursuit of money and objects, and these are never enough. A greedy man attracts other greedy opportunists around him, who are actually after his money. Such a life soon turns into major suffering. Its an unfulfilled life, meaningless and full of fake people.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Acting without actions - Forgiveness


The world is beautiful. There is abundance. The body is well adapted to it. There is so much to do, learn and explore here. But then there are other people, with their huge Egos, they spoil all the fun. A lot of suffering is caused by retarded behaviour of others. In their ignorance and under the influence of wild Egoic tendencies, these people cause great harm and suffering. Sometimes a persons invites trouble by his own actions. Whatever is the cause, a majority of our suffering comes from others. Even seekers find themselves dealing with ignorant people who destroy their peace of mind routinely. Fortunately, one need not throw all those people out of the world, one can shield himself from their harmful effects. Realize that suffering is a state of mind, your own mind, and even if someone else is responsible for your messed up state of mind, you are fully capable of restoring it back to happiness. We all are free to do so, the choice is always there. This trick is called forgiving. It is useful when your suffering originates outside, usually from other people.

Forgiving is a mental action which is aimed at clearing negative programs. It is an action that results in non-action. Negative programs are mental structures that cause negative thoughts, desires and actions, which in turn lead to suffering and even more negative programs. This vicious circle continues. Negative or harmful programs are formed due to Egoic tendencies of anger, hate, envy, etc. The programs enforce these tendencies and cause more negative actions, and hence more suffering. Usually other people that are themselves under the influence of harmful programs are responsible for implanting those negative tendencies in their victims. In simple words, bad behaviour of bad people turns a person with otherwise healthy mind into a person full of mental afflictions and suffering. This happens because people are usually unconscious of their own tendencies and get easily influenced by other’s behaviour.

What is the cure? Forgive. The vicious circle needs to be broken at some point. One needs to do it by consciously terminating the programs or thoughts or actions. This needs to be done repeatedly because the mental structures are formed and strengthened via repetition and erasing them also requires repetition of corrective action. In simple words, not allowing and acting on the negative thoughts, which come up again and again, will slowly make the bad actions and suffering go away. This is the act of forgiving essentially.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Acting without actions - Service

We have discussed throughout this blog, some preventive measures one can take to remain in a state of happiness. These mostly involve preventing actions arising out of Egoic tendencies, mental afflictions and ignorance. Usually nothing else needs to be done in order to remain happy and free. However habits die hard. People continue to behave in old ways that cause bondage and suffering, sometimes even after made fully aware of various pitfalls. Many seekers also get entangled in the web of actions simply because of habit or partial knowledge.

It is almost impossible to not to act once you are in a body which lives in a world. Non-action would simply mean an end of human experience. In other words - death. One must act if one desires to continue in a body till its natural end. Great masters have recommended some tricks to achieve a smooth and happy ride in a body. These are - Service, Forgiveness and Donation .These can also be used as corrective measures, if one fails to choose correctly and unknowingly invites suffering. We will discuss those now.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Happiness and Freedom

Acting in the World 

Having checked what the world is about we are now in a position of asking an important question. Given this world, and a body made up of worldly stuff, what is the optimal way to act here?  In simpler terms, how should one live his life in the best possible way? The short version of the answer is - actions must be such that they lead to more and more happiness and freedom. The long version is the following article. As long as there is a Mind, there will be worlds and bodies, and actions will follow. Our actions determine the quality of our worldly experience. So it is imperative to learn how to act here. Needless to say that our actions must be aligned to our goals, namely - happiness and freedom.

Why happiness and freedom? 

I'm glad you asked. Never accept blindly whatever they feed you. Question the teachings and then question the questions. What else you'd want, if not happiness and freedom? If you dig a bit here, you'd find that every human being or the Self having human experiences wants nothing but happiness and freedom. This is a necessity, not a choice. In other words, whatever you do, you do it for happiness and freedom. You are incapable of doing anything else. Lets examine more.

Monday, 7 November 2016

The Illusion of World

A typical realistic virtual real time game environment

Lets explore the world more and dig into some crazy ideas. And also see how a seeker experiences a world, and of what use a world is for seekers.

Virtual world 

The advent of virtual worlds generated via computers has rekindled an interest in theories that propose non-existence of a material world [1]. These days the simulated worlds look as real as the real world, especially when high end hardware is employed. Total sensory immersion into a simulated world is not a fiction, it is inevitable. As we know, these extensive, rich and life like worlds on our screens are nothing but numbers. What makes us suspect that our everyday world is also nothing but numbers? There are many reasons. Quantum description of the matter immediately suggests that there are no actual entities, only values. In other words, the matter is just numbers.  Strangely, the physical universe satisfies many requirements of a simulated world. A short list of such requirements is as follows [2]:

Sunday, 6 November 2016

The Experience of the World

The story so far - the Presence acting as Self has a universal Mind which has instances of individual minds that are interfaced via structures known as brains to vehicles known as bodies. The bodies find themselves among other structures that are less connected to individual minds. These are far less complex compared to the body or the brain and are governed by algorithmic rule sets. When interpreted via senses these appear in various shapes, sizes, textures, smells etc. localized in space. We will call them Objects and a collection of objects is a World [1].

Objects are experienced and so is world. And like everything else these are subjected to Experiencing - the changing attribute of the Presence. The Experiencing results in a dynamic world that is impermanent. Everything in this world changes, appears and disappears. Some objects change faster than others and some change slowly. Some are complex and some are simple. But all objects are merely forms created out of fundamental structures, that are very simple and do not change much. We see only the forms and label them with names. This creates the familiar representation of a world of names and forms in the Mind.

The world appears on the screen of the Self. The change appears as experiences. The Mind neatly organizes the change into experiences of objects and their interactions. This is all there is as far as direct experience of the world is concerned. It exists and the Self witnesses it, and that’s the full story. Its a game, a play, nothing more.