PROBLEMS OF SPIRITUAL LIFE | SRI SWAMI KRISHNANANDA
|| < : THE ABSOLUTE : > ||
SWAMIJI : What do you say ?
Larry : My mind , my mind and my ego , want to know the relationship they have ( or it has ) with the " I " of the Absolute .
SWAMIJI : The Absolute has no " I " .
Larry : The " I " . . .
SWAMIJI : There is no " I " .
Larry : All right , just the Absolute . What is the relationship between the mind and the Absolute ?
SWAMIJI : The mind is a spatio-temporal projection of the Absolute . A spatio-temporal projection — a refraction , if you want to call it by that name . There is no such thing as " mind " , actually , in the same way as the mirror does not shine . The mirror shines only when lights fall on it . The light that shines through the mirror is the mind , but the light that is independent of the mirror is the Absolute .
The relationship is simple . The Absolute Itself is shining as the mind through the mirror of space-time , and so there is no such thing as mind independently , even as there is no such thing as the light of the mirror . The mirror cannot shine ; in the same way , the mind cannot think . It appears to think on account of the light reflected upon it by the Absolute through the space-time complex . So space-time is like the mirror , the mind is like the light on the mirror , and the Absolute is the original light that falls on it .
Larry : So my mind is a reflection of the Absolute .
SWAMIJI : Certainly , yes . You are thinking because of the light reflected in your mind by the Absolute .
Larry : And likewise , everybody else’s mind is a reflection of the Absolute .
SWAMIJI : Everybody’s mind also is like that only . Everybody , yes . All , uniformly .
Larry : So why does — I dont know if this can be answered — but why does the Absolute choose to . . .
SWAMIJI : It never chose anything . And if you ask such a question , I will say It has done nothing , nor are you existing , finally . You are under an illusion that you are existing . That is the final stroke — to cut the Gordian knot . You should never ask the question " Why ? " , because questions arise on account of the relationship between " cause " and " effect " . You try to find a cause for an effect ; that is why questions arise . But who told you that there is a cause for every effect ?
That is an imagination of your mind ; concocted questions cannot be answered in any rational way . Questions are all projected by an erroneous perception of things . You cannot have a right answer to a wrong question . No question arises as to why it happened , because it never happened , finally . But you imagine that it happened ; therefore , some sort of answer commensurate with that process has to be given . What is required in a person is psychoanalytical treatment , as they call it . Something is wrong in the thinking itself . Something has happened to you , and you will know it when it is rectified .
Larry : So , if nothing is happening , then really my mind is not here . And I am not here and you are not there .
SWAMIJI : Nothing is anywhere . If you really believe that you also dont exist , you will have no problems ; but you cannot believe that you are not existing .
That is why these questions arise . You try to abolish the consciousness of your existence also , and let us see what happens . You will melt into the Absolute at that moment . Then you will never raise questions . But you are insisting that you are existing , so the problem is always there as a hurdle ; then you have questions .
Insistence that you are existing is another way of saying that you are insisting on independence from the Absolute . The whole problem is here . Let the Absolute think , and not person So-and-so . I told you in the morning about this technique of transferring your consciousness to the Universal Continuum rather than go on thinking through a personality or a body . Every thought of ours is an isolation from the Absolute . That is why no answer comes .
Larry : You have been able to transcend yourself and , therefore , you do not see . . .
SWAMIJI : I have no questions . I do not have doubts of any kind , and I never go and have darshan of anyone . I do not talk to anybody , and I am a fully satisfied person . I do not go and see people — great people or small people . I want nothing from anyone . By some mystery , I am satisfied . It is the blessing come from Swami Sivananda .
Larry : Do you exist ?
SWAMIJI : I exist as the Absolute , and to exist in any other fashion is a mistake ; and if that mistake has been committed , the earlier it is rectified the better . Constantly you must brood on this universality of your being . You do exist . Nobody says you dont exist , but you exist in a different way than what you are thinking . You do exist , but not as you are thinking that you are .
Larry : Do we all exist ?
SWAMIJI : Always .
Larry : All of us here exist ?
SWAMIJI : There is no " all of us " . It is like many drops in the one ocean . If you say the entire ocean is nothing but many drops , okay . I have no objection to your saying " all of us " , but actually there are no drops in the ocean . It is only a theoretical concept . The ocean itself is a big drop , but you can conceive independent drops for the purpose of argument . So there is no such thing as " all of us " . We are like drops in the ocean which is conceptual .
Larry : If there is only one Absolute , then how can there be different consciousness ?
SWAMIJI : I told you it is like waking becoming dream . Something has happened . While there are no mountains that you perceive in a dream ( they are inside the head only ) , they look like external things . The one Universal Consciousness has somehow entered into this body , which is its own spatio-temporal pressure point , as I mentioned to you , and it is dreaming , as it were ( everything is " as it were " — really it is not happening ) , just as mountains are not created by your brain in the dream state but somehow it looks as if the mountain is outside you . The world appears to be outside in the same way as a mountain looks outside in dream , while it is your mind only looking like a mountain .
Larry : So it is in my mind , or it is in the Absolute ?
SWAMIJI : Your mind and It — you cannot separate them . It is the Universal Mind , you may say . They are not separate .
Larry : So when I speak to you . . .
SWAMIJI : It is one drop talking to another drop in the ocean itself .
Larry : So it is not just my dream , then ?
SWAMIJI : When you think that you are a drop , and really isolated from the ocean , that is a dream ; the dream is nothing but the conviction that the drop is isolated from the ocean . But if the drop knows that there is no such thing as the drop , that it is the ocean itself looking like a drop , you are awake . Many drops make the ocean ; it is perfectly correct , yet there are no drops in the ocean . It is one mass . You can conceive it either way .
Sarah : The way you talk about the Absolute and us as an ocean appears to me as correct thinking . But this world as only a dream — there is so much going on in this world ! So many experiences and evolutions . . .
SWAMIJI : All experiences are within the dream only ; they are not outside it . You can be hungry , you can be thirsty , you can also die in dream — but nothing happens , really . People can feel that they are falling from a tree and break their legs , marry and have children , and become poor , and die , also . All these experiences one can have in dream . You wake up and see nothing has happened .
Sarah : But there is no substance ?
SWAMIJI : There is no substance in dream — yes .
Sarah : No substance ! Everything that is going on here in the world . . .
SWAMIJI : Nothing , nothing . It is substanceless , ultimately . It is a modification of consciousness that looks like this .
Larry : Is the Absolute choosing to dream ?
SWAMIJI : Again you are asking the same question . It is like asking whether It is doing something . You should never put such questions . It never chooses anything . It just is . You are asking again and again the same question , why it happens . This question you cannot answer . You have to go deep into it and realise it yourself . The finite cannot answer the question regarding the Infinite . You have to enter into the finite and from the finite you have to enter the Infinite ; then you will get the answer .
Larry : Is it possible in one’s lifetime to enter into the mind of the Infinite ?
SWAMIJI : Yes , it is possible , if you are really eager to have it . Actually , if you are so eager to have it , you will sink into It , and day in and day out you will be only in It .
Sarah : How does it work that you can use the tools ( instruments ) of the dream world — you use the mind , you use purification techniques , you use other techniques . . .
SWAMIJI : They are all part of the mind only . If you use these techniques in the dream world , do you think they are all different things ? Even if you use a vessel for carrying water in dream , that vessel is made of your mind only , even as the water in it . It has no substance . And the same thing will happen in the waking condition — all these vessels and instruments that you are seeing are made of the Cosmic Mind . They look like hard substances , but really they are not . The ruler and the beggar of the dream world are made of the same stuff .
Sarah : But how can they be used to get to the Absolute Consciousness ?
SWAMIJI : These are methods that you are adopting to strike a harmony between yourself and the environment outside . Environment means the world . An instrument is only a tool that you are employing to assist you in striking a harmony between you and the world . You use various instruments for that purpose . The world is impinging upon you so badly that you feel hungry every day ; then you use the instrument of food . And when the winter wind blows on you , you use the instrument of a blanket . You strike a balance between you and nature by using these techniques .
Likewise , you will strike a balance between you and everything in the world by various methods that you are adopting — psychologically , physically , socially , or any way you like . Actually , whatever you are doing in this world is only an attempt to have a balance between you and the world outside , because , if for one minute you are out of balance , you will not be happy . You have to be in a state of balance with society , with your body , with your mind , your emotions , with every blessed thing , and with nature itself .
The whole effort of life is nothing but a progressive movement towards harmony of personality with the environment outside in various degrees and stages . The whole thing that you are doing is a cosmic work . It is not some person doing , somewhere sitting in one corner . Every activity is a Cosmic Action taking place through every individuality , at all times .
Sarah : What is Cosmic Action ?
SWAMIJI : Cosmic Action is Total Action of the cosmos simultaneously ; also the movement of the individual , or the finite , towards the Infinite . The entire universe is moving towards the Absolute ; this is what we call evolution . The universe is restless and it cannot keep quiet until it coalesces into the Absolute .
Sarah : When you say the universe , you mean this dream universe is moving towards the Absolute ?
SWAMIJI : Everything , every atom , is moving towards that Goal .
Larry : And the dream universe is the Absolute ?
SWAMIJI : Yes , you may say the whole process of evolution itself is a kind of dream . A cosmic dream it is , but it is done very systematically ; therefore , you call it evolution , systematic and symmetrical .
Sarah : But if its a dream , nothing really happens .
SWAMIJI : It does happen ! When you are actually dreaming , it does happen ; otherwise , you dont call it a dream at all . You are saying that nothing happens because you have woken up , but actually when you are dreaming , it is a very real thing . Similarly , you will not see this world when you enter the Absolute . But before that experience takes place , the world is there as an object of perception .
Sarah : But it seems that when you are in the consciousness of the Absolute , the dream world looks as if it is just spinning its wheels ; it is not doing anything .
SWAMIJI : When you enter the consciousness of the Absolute , you will not see the world , in the same way as when you wake up the dream world vanishes . It has entered your mind . All the phenomena of dream have entered your mind in waking . In the same way , all the phenomena of waking will enter the Absolute . Just as you dont see the world of dream in waking , you will not see the world of waking in the Absolute — not that it vanishes ; it has entered into the original source of it .
By not seeing people of the dream in waking , you have not lost anybody . You dont bother about bereavement ; you have seen a friend in dream and now you have woken up and the friend is not visible — " Oh I have lost " , you dont cry , because the person has entered your mind itself . So , you will lose nothing by entering the Absolute .
You will absorb the whole thing into It and you will be the all-inclusive completeness .
Sarah : So , with this absorption , I dont understand . . .
SWAMIJI : The absorption is just like the dream objects entering your waking mind . In a similar manner it happens .
Sarah : And what is this process of the universe ?
SWAMIJI : The process of the universe is the gross melting into the subtle , the subtle into the causal , the causal into the Absolute . The outer becomes the inner ; the inner becomes the Universal . Three or four stages are there . Thats the process .
Larry : Is the Absolute beyond this universe ? Is It this universe , or is It beyond this universe ?
SWAMIJI : Is the waking mind beyond the dreaming mind , or is it not beyond it ? The waking mind that is now thinking and dreamt yesterday — is it beyond the dreaming mind ? One mind dreamt yesterday ; one mind is thinking now in waking . Now , is this waking mind beyond that mind which dreamt yesterday , or is it the same mind ?
Larry : It is a different condition of the same mind .
SWAMIJI : Then it is the same answer to your question : a different condition of the same thing . They are not two different things .
Larry : Is that not a limitation , though , on the Infinite , that It can have a different condition ?
SWAMIJI : Is there a limitation between the dreaming mind and the waking mind ? There is no limitation because there are no two minds , as one mind only is looking like two . There is no limitation . Are you feeling a kind of loss because you have woken up from dream ? Then , where is the limitation ? You are complete and full even now , in spite of having seen things in dream and , apparently , lost them .
Larry : The limitation is that while I was dreaming , I was not awake and doing whatever I could do .
SWAMIJI : In that sense you are limited now because you are thinking you are person So-and-so , and you are not believing that you are the Universal . In that lack of belief in the universality of yours , you may say that you are limited , though really you are not like that . You are not really limited , but somehow you are affirming the limitation . That has to be overcome by a counterproductive activity of consciousness that is called " universal meditation " . You must think in the opposite way — not as a subject thinking , but as the Universal thinking .
Larry : So the Absolute has different conditions .
SWAMIJI : It has no conditions by Itself , but it looks as if It has conditions from your individual point of view . All these questions arise because you have isolated yourself from the Absolute and you are arguing as if the Absolute is in front of you , sitting as an object of inquiry . It is not an object of inquiry before you . You yourself are That . But you , somehow , have isolated yourself from It in a psychological fashion and so you are asking where It is , and so on . There is no " it " . The observed is not an it . It is you , just this person .
Larry : So I am going through an evolutionary process .
SWAMIJI : You are going through an evolutionary process in every way . You are trying to become yourself . You are to become yourself in larger and larger dimensions .
Larry : And yet I was myself to begin with .
SWAMIJI : You were always yourself only . You were like an acorn , you were like a seed , you were like an atom . You became a vegetable , you became a plant , you became an animal , you became a human being . You are becoming wider in your dimension , and the evolutionary process is going on even now .
Larry : And yet I began as the Absolute .
SWAMIJI : You began as the Absolute and you will end as the Absolute .
Larry : And I will end as the Absolute , too ?
SWAMIJI : Yes , yes , you have to .
Larry : And yet I am going through an evolutionary process to take me back to where I began .
SWAMIJI : Yes , in a cycle — a kind of consciousness-cycle .
Larry : Why would that happen ?
SWAMIJI : Again you are asking the same question ! I told you , dont ask such questions . You are asking the same question again and again . The effect cannot know the cause as long as it stands outside the cause as an effect thereof .
Larry : If I already am the Absolute . . .
SWAMIJI : You do not believe it . The whole point is that . You are not the Absolute , as you dont believe it is so . You are not the Absolute to yourself because you dont feel that you are such on account of placing yourself outside It .
Larry : Why is it important that I feel that I am the Absolute ? If I am the Absolute , I am the Absolute . What is the difference if I know that I am the Absolute ?
SWAMIJI : No , no . The Absolute doesnt want to know that It has some kind of cocoon around Itself . You are asking why the cocoon is around It . You may ask It when you go there ! Now you should not ask . " Why did I dream that there is a mountain ? " You will never put such a question because it is a phantasm . You will never put such a question at all . You saw a mountain in a dream and you are asking everybody , you go all over the marketplace and ask people , " Why did I dream of a mountain yesterday ? "
You will never put such a question , as it is an utter stupidity to ask such questions , because it never happened . You will think , " It is some kind of phantasmagoria in my brain . " You will never put such questions to people . It is like a dreaming person asking , " What is waking ? " One can never answer that question . No person who is dreaming can know what waking is unless one wakes up . So , no " why " .
It is a question of direct practice and experience . If you eat the sugar , only then will you know what sweetness is . It is better to put the sugar into your mouth than to ask another person , " What is sweetness ? " By mere theoretical argument nobody can know what sweetness is .
Larry : All right . I cant ask the question but I can understand the condition . And the condition is that I began as the Absolute . . .
SWAMIJI : You neither began , nor did anything like that happen . Again , you are bringing the question of cause and effect .
Larry : All right , I was always the Absolute .
SWAMIJI : All these questions of yours imply that you are separate from the Absolute . You are insisting again and again on that wrong point of view , and will never get an answer . All your questions are rooted in the belief that you are outside the Absolute . Else , why is there any doubt ?
Larry : Right . But , that is because . . .
SWAMIJI : What then ? Where do you stand ? You have hypnotised yourself into the belief that you are outside the Absolute . You are under a spell of hypnotism created around yourself , and you are putting questions about the spell of hypnotism itself . The questions are also a part of the hypnotic effect ; they are not rational questions . There is no necessity to go on arguing the same point , as it is an erroneous standpoint that the consciousness is taking . And I request you to remember what I told you in the morning .
Transfer your consciousness from this body , which is putting the question , and let it sit on the carpet here , outside . Then you will never raise the question . Let this consciousness that is raising questions sit here , some ten feet away , and let it look at this person who is putting a question . Then you will see what happens . You will melt immediately . Yoga is a practice . It is not a theory . It is not a question ; it is a doing something . It is eating the pudding . Yoga is doing , not simply thinking .
Larry : But one step is recognising that there is a cocoon around oneself .
SWAMIJI : That cocoon is the consciousness of your being a questioner , an individual , and imagining that the Absolute is outside to be questioned about and known . The Absolute is not outside you and you cannot ask questions about It , because who is asking the question about whom , finally ?
Again you have created a gulf between the questioner and the object being questioned about . The whole point is a psychological gulf between the subject and the object . Wherever you go , however much you may ask , you get into the clutches of this duality between the questioner and the object being questioned about . It is a very difficult technique . Yoga is a difficult technique . However much you may try , you will slip out of it . It will go out , like this . Your mind will not concentrate on that element which is between you and that about which you are questioning . Your consciousness should root itself in that which is between yourself and that about which you are talking .
You must be impersonal in your questions . You are not doing the practice , so you are asking questions . I would like you to meditate the whole night . Meditate the whole night and see what happens . You should not be in yourself ; you must be outside yourself . Place yourself outside yourself . Be somebody other than you , and see what happens .
Larry : And I can do that just through a meditative process ?
SWAMIJI : In one second you can do that . In one second . This is what they do in ordinary telepathic communication , etc . You can affect a person in London by deeply thinking about that person . It means that your consciousness travels outside the body ; this is telepathic action . But if your consciousness is locked inside the body , no telepathic action can take place . Deep meditation is necessary .
You always try to be other than what you are — outside you , beyond you , larger than you , more than you , not just what you are . Why should you be what you are ? You have already been there for years together and suffered very much . Now let there be a little different thing . You become an object of your own consciousness ( you are outside yourself and you are an object ) and you will not worry about yourself as much as you are doing now .
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