The need for action. (Was Re: Spiritual Erudition)

egodust egodust at DIGITAL.NET
Tue Sep 3 19:10:56 CDT 1996

> Apologies again for being 'behind' on these discussions - my excuse this
> time is that I have been on holiday!
> I was very pleased to see Chuck's post expressing concern about the lack of
> practical experience being reported on the list. The ego was very reassured
> by Ken's response and the quotation from Swami Lakshman Jee to the effect
> that intellectual knowledge is important. After all, 'I' enjoy it -
> otherwise why join such a group as this? However, Anand's and Sadananda's
> posts seemed to be construing this as deriving practical value from studying
> the scriptures *in and for themselves*, which I feel is missing the point.
> The scriptures are not intrinsically of any value. They are like the pole
> used to lift the jumper to the bar in pole vaulting. They may be of
> tremendous value to help 'lift' the individual to the 'bar' of
> self-realisation but, in order to actually leap over to the knowledge of
> unity, he must leave the 'pole' of the scriptures behind. (If he holds onto
> them the bar will be pulled down.)
> To pursue that analogy a little further however, we would be unlikely to be
> able to take the pole for the first time and break the vaulting record. We
> would have to undergo training and considerable practice. So it is, on my
> understanding, with the scriptures - especially the Bhagavad Gita. This is a
> supremely practical book and I am sure we are meant to use it as such, not
> as a text for academic study. Krishna's admonition to Arjuna is to drop all
> his mental prevarication and to get up and fight. Similarly, we (to whom,
> after all, Krishna is really addressing his comments) should get up and act.
> I disagree with Sadananda's belief that no value can be gained from
> discussing practical topics. (My wife incidentally would say that in the ten
> years that I have been studying Advaita, I have become more selfish, single
> minded and boring; disinterested in all of the usual thing that people do to
> 'enjoy' themselves'. As with Sadananda, I could easily choose to interpret
> this as a compliment!) Similarly, Vidyasankar seems to be missing the point.
> He expresses concern about his ability to describe his personal experience.
> This I cannot accept. Given his obvious ability to discuss Advaita concepts
> and theory, practical experience could be related standing on his head. (An
> expression to imply complete simplicity and ease, if you haven't come across
> it!) Gummuluru, too seems to despair of the group doing other than it is and
> implies that 'practical experience' only relates to one's own experience of
> the Self, gained through meditation or study.
> What about the rest of 'everyday life'? There is not just meditation and
> study. There is getting up, washing, eating, driving to work,
> working........... etc. Advaita is not just an academic presentation of the
> way things really are, which we appreciate intellectually - think and talk
> about for part of the time - and then, for the rest (majority) of our lives
> carry on 'as normal', in the hope that, at some time (life) in the future,
> we will suddenly actually 'realise' the truth in its entirety. Advaita is
> (should be) a way of living our lives *every moment*. It is about letting go
> of thoughts about likes and dislikes or about results. It is about
> dedicating our actions to the Paramaatman. It is about giving our attention
> to what is in front of us and responding to each situation as it occurs
> without thought of past or future. It is about seeing the person in front of
> us as the Self. It is going about our business from moment to moment in full
> knowledge that we are not the body or mind. AND SO ON!
> All of this is supremely practical and for one to relate a personal
> experience of how applying this knowledge to an actual situation enabled one
> to realise a truth not previously fully understood can be of direct benefit
> to others. This is of far more value in a satsanga than mere intellectual
> discussion over a dry academic point from the scriptures (assuming of course
> that our purpose is one of 'moving towards' self-realisation, rather than
> one of satisfying the ego's demand for the fillips derived from intellectual
> discussion).
> Apologies if this comes across as unduly critical but it did seem that these
> points needed to be made strongly since the thread has apparently died. My
> own experience is that I seem, for so much of the time, not to apply the
> knowledge I have acquired to my everyday life. It is as though I spend large
> parts of my time reading travel brochures and thinking about exotic places
> but never actually going anywhere. The path to enlightenment for the
> householder seems to require knowledge, meditation *and practice*. It does
> not seem likely that the first on its own, or even the first two alone
> (assuming that we all meditate for at least an hour each day of course!)
> will get us anywhere very quickly.

Merely obvious.  Beyond this, however, *who* the heck is it that needs to do
some specific action or not?!  (Can anyone BE boring, incidentally?)

shot out from "nowhere" discernable may strike the conscious retina:
                      ***Life without Judgements***

We are pure jnanis without exception, period.  Doubting this is a mind game.


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