One of the most pervasive conditioning of human beings is that there is an objective, really existent world out there that is perceived by a really existent subject. It is this duality that is the cause of all suffering. The journey of non-dual inquiry consists in closely examining this duality and seeing its falsity. Since the hold of such a conditioning is powerful beyond measure, a student of non-dual inquiry is moved through various stages of deconstruction in Advaita; each stage taking years of painstaking inquiry and sustained effort. In this article which is primarily a dialogue with a student, I am helping the student stabilize in Stage 2/Observer stage of my self-inquiry stages. Along with the dialogue, I have written an extended preface that helps a student understand the various stages of self-inquiry a student has to journey through in Advaita to reach final non-dual realization and end of suffering.… Read More Observing the Rainbow of Sensations/Samsara: A Dialogue
In my previous posts, I presented two dialogues on the difference between thinker and observer and the difficulties a seeker of self-inquiry has in coming to identify oneself as the mental observer. By now means this is an easy task. It requires great persistence, the subtlety of observation and the ability to take the risk of losing control. It’s almost an energetic transformation. As can be seen in this dialogue, it goes so deep to even raise questions of life and death. As I have written in my previous articles, coming to the observer stage is the most vital step before coming to any form of non-dual inquiry. Many people rush into non-dual inquiries before coming to this stage. In such cases, even non-dual inquiries become articles of faith, a ground for the mind to cling, rather than a real deconstructive inquiry. For anyone who wants to enter into a serious non-dual inquiry through any school, the deconstructive dialogue in this article shall certainly be of great help to move from thinker to controller to commentator to observer.… Read More The Thinker, Controller, Commentator vs the Observer: A Dialogue
In this article I am presenting a dialogue with a student of the NEEV Psycho-Philosophy Group, where he starts out examining the notion of success, failure and comparison in society, in his journal. The dialogue starts going deeper as it moves from the leaves, to the branches to the trunk of the mind. It reveals the overwhelming tendency of the mind to land on an answer, to arrive at a certainty, to land on a conclusion on which it can build its comfortable nest. It is the task of the teacher to keep demolishing the nest the student is trying to build by advancing answers, so that he/she find quick relief from suffering. In my last article, “The Difference Between Thinker and Observer in Advaita: A Dialogue” I had talked about how one needs to shift from being a thinker to an observer if one has to undergo the subtle level of inquiries in Advaita. The dialogue in this article shows how one can make this shift and the massive difficulties encountered by a student’s mind in making this shift. Without this step, none can hope to make any progress in any path of self inquiry or Jnana Yoga. It is the base on which all future self inquiry at the most advanced levels rests upon.… Read More The Network of Thought and the Mind’s Need for Answers: A Dialogue
The method of self-inquiry in Advaita is to examine gross objects to subtle objects and keep negating them as candidates for ultimate reality. One such inquiry is to distinguish between the mental observer and the thinker. In our technologically dominated society, the thinker is seen as the paramount tool of life, both in the technical and psychological realms. However, the seeker of the ultimate truth has to understand the limitations of the thinker and go past it to the observer. In Advaita, the observer is the more refined function of the intellect which has viveka/discriminatory power. It performs the act of discriminating between the ultimate reality of Awareness and the objects that appear to it. This dialogue discusses the confusions and difficulties that arise when a seeker is trying to make this shift. It also discusses how Advaita is different from all other yoga like paths in its handling of the thinking function. … Read More The Difference Between Thinker and Observer in Advaita: A Dialogue
In society we are often chided for doing mistakes psychologically, by various forms of authority. These voices of authority go very very deep, forming and erecting codes of ethics within us. Do we ever question these voices of authority? Can we be free to learn about ourselves if we judge and label our thoughts and acts as mistakes in accordance with these voices? In a response to a question I look into the whole notion of what we call mistakes, and if psychological learning and freedom has anything to do with correcting mistakes.… Read More Is psychological learning about correcting mistakes?
One usually thinks of work in the outer world as strengthening the ego. This article looks into fact whether it is the work which strenghthens the ego or the very act of choice and choosing, which is the act of ego.… Read More How to resolve the conflict between choosing opportunities in work vs choosing peace?