When does one begin self inquiry?

Friend : I don’t think ignorance should end. It is our reason to be. It makes life exciting

Anurag : I already stated in my last post (Rechristening : NEEV Centre for Self Inquiry and Integral Living) that Integral Living is for those who would like to see the end of ignorance. Can ignorance end is a question that I ask? Does this question interest you (by you here, I mean any reader)? If the question interests an individual sufficiently to give one’s life to it, then whatever I write about Integral Living makes sense for you.

Integral Living actually begins when self inquiry has gone very, very deep. It is not the kind of life that the earth has yet seen as an average level of human consciousness. A few individuals, very, very rare…..spread across time have come to Integral Living. But as a society we are still in the process of evolving.

You see there is a certain level of consciousness one has to reach before one starts putting this question “Whether ignorance can end?”. And even after one has put this question to oneself, the traps are so many; deceptions at every level and formidable challenges (you may end up with no family, no job and no money), that at some point barring very, very few, rest give up. Those who do not give up are co-opted by religions, spiritual gurus, philosophies, humanitarian works or social movements.

You are right friend ! Ignorance does make life very interesting. I already mentioned that in my previous post. We paint our lives with blood and sweat. Strife gives meaning to life. Were there no strife and struggle our lives would be boring and we would have to face an inner void or emptiness. We fill this void or emptiness with all the colour of ignorance.

But at some point, a point which no one knows when, the emptiness hits profoundly. A powerful emptiness that no matter what you do, it stares at your face. You try all your bag of tricks under the sun but you simply cannot find interest in the mechanical life of ignorance. And then either you hit profound existential depression or you start the long road to self inquiry. So you see, the question “Can Ignorance/conflict end?” is not an intellectual pass-time, an attempt to spin an academic theory. When the question hits you really, it comes without a single choice. You are doomed, literally doomed by the question. Your head enters the tiger’s mouth. It is not something in your volition. When you reach this stage, you will in fact periodically go through depression.

If one says that ignorance/conflict should not end and it makes life interesting then this stage has not been reached by the individual. In such a situation, it is natural for a person to find meaning and involvement in all that society has to offer, which includes the field of science you talk about. No amount of science can end existential meaninglessness or sadness. Now this is not something I am asserting. This is something which you will discover or perhaps not discover.

Until this stage is not reached, it is only right that you should explore your interest in science. You see I have never discouraged you from doing so. In fact I have said that I too started my self inquiry from science. S…..(another friend of mine), whom you are meeting here – believe me – was a science geek, much, much more than I am. We have not short circuited science. We have taken scientific inquiry to the hilt and discovered its limitations. This does not mean that you should accept whatever we are saying. As you rightly said, you should forge your own path. Don’t accept anyone including me.

But you know what, our brains are marvelous instruments. Our conscious mind is one thing. But we also have a largely unconscious, intuitive mind. If you are so interested in science, why would you bother going through these posts. There is a part of your consciousness that is still seeing something here. Otherwise you would not simply waste your time reading and responding to all that is happening here.

You see science is not wrong. It is just limited. As S….. has said, it functions within a particular level of consciousness which is mind-body. After all the developments in science, we are warring with each other, undergoing depression and tremendous sorrow. Science is just an explanation of what and why. I can give you explanations for sorrow and suffering but no explanation can cease man’s sorrow and suffering. If anything happens to your family, no explanation of atoms or mathematical calculations can take you beyond suffering.

You may say that we are meant to suffer. In that case there is no need to inquire because you already have the answer. When we are totally, deeply, fundamentally serious, one sees that it is not the answer but the question that is important. Not just an intellectual curiosity but when your whole being burns with the question, denying all the answers provided by mind, society and tradition then you shall go past all the known.

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