Ego Returning... (was Re: Ramana's technique)

Greg Goode goode at DPW.COM
Fri Oct 24 17:02:10 CDT 1997

At 12:46 PM 10/24/97 -0800, Allan Curry wrote:
>    This reminds me that I've always considered claiming
>    to be enlightened to be boasting of being literally
>    indifferent between one of our own arms or legs being
>    cut off and the arm or limb of anyone else being cut
>    off. No way I could say anything of the kind. It just
>    wouldn't be true. Could any of us make such a claim
>    (ie. to be enlightened, to be Brahman, etc.) ???

This is a very tough criterion.  I've also wondered in the past whether it
boils down to this.  I've never heard a teacher who claims to be
enlightened speak on this exact question.  But from allied points I've
heard discussed by some modern teachers (albeit not orthodox Advaita
Vedantins), here's what I think they'd say:

"Who is indifferent?  There's no one here to prefer or to be indifferent.
The body/mind might scream in pain when this arm is cut off (less when the
neighbor's arm gets cut off).  As long as there is a body/mind in
phenomenality, the body/mind will react.  But this pain isn't important,
and doesn't have anything to do with my true nature."

Take the case of Ramana.  Was there the appearance of pain when his body
was partly consumed by vermin?  Was it that there was no pain or feeling,
or was it that there was no personal entity to identify or be localized
with the pain?

Reminds me of something very wise I heard in junior high school.  One of my
friends was taking karate lessons.  A kid of about 12.  He told me he was
chopping woodblocks with his hand.  "Doesn't it hurt?" I asked.  "Yes," he
said, "but the pain doesn't matter."


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