Exercise in Psychology

f. maiello egodust at DIGITAL.NET
Tue Aug 11 15:37:13 CDT 1998

nanda chandran wrote:
> Greetings Advaita Vedantins!
> If you care to remember a couple of months back, in the thread "link
> between Vyavaharika and Paramarthika", I'd raised the question about the
> validity of the definition of the Self as
> Absolute - Changeless - Eternal (ACE). I'd finally ended with the
> conclusion that if the Self is assosiated with the "I" in any remote way
> it will fail the ACE test. In response to the post
> Giri, Chuck and Frank asked me to put sadhana where my mouth (logic)
> was!
> I did!
> What I'm about to explain is quite complex and might be misleading if
> not understood properly. The problem is that even I'm not very clear
> about the whole thing as it seems beyond any intellectual conception
> (atleast at present!). In this post I use the word mind to refer to -
> the sense of perception, the intellect and the Ego.
> I tried meditating the way suggested by Ramana. I got a good hold of my
> "I" sense and held on to it without letting the mind wander. When the
> mind wanders, as it'll eventually, Ramana suggests that we should
> enquire as to whom the mind has wandered? A few sessions
> of this practice, it struck me that it was with the mind that
> I was trying to understand the "I". And if it's the mind which we're
> trying to control how much sense does it make to analyze the analyzer -
> which only increases the activity of the mind? So in response to a
> personal post Giri suggested that I reject all
> thoughts.
> It takes a while to go beyond the mind and stay in the base
> conciousness. This conciousess is devoid of thoughts and can be only
> expressed as existence. There's not even an "I" sense, for ultimately
> even the "I" is but a mental conception. I just
> am or even better, "It just is"! On an average with great effort I can
> remain in this state for 2-3 minutes, before thought waves engulf me.
> On one such occasion when I was in this state of just existence, I
> deliberately let my mind wander. The process can be best described as
> storm clouds gathering over a peaceful town. Here I was all peaceful and
> existing and suddenly I could mentally see
> a whole wave of thoughts coming up and just engulfing me. My state of
> existence was lost.
> On reflecting on it I felt that it was as if my individuality had been
> hijacked. From the peaceful state of existence to the individual "I"
> enjoying the empirical world. On further reflection it struck me that my
> individuality cannot be hijacked as there's * no
> individuality in this state of existence *. Individuality is only a
> mental conception. As Shankara and Nagarjuna explicitly state, "The end
> of the rise of the "I" ...".
> So now if we take up my question in my "link between the Vyavahara and
> the Paramartika" as to who is enjoying to fruits of this world - only
> the mind with it's sense of individuality - not the
> jiva of which the Self is a part. The mind is fully capable of being the
> I and also enjoying the fruits. There's no link between the "I" which is
> enjoying the fruits and the base state of existence (I'll not use the
> "I" for this state). This is also clearly illustrated in the Mundaka
> Upanishad with the two birds, one enjoying the fruits and the other
> looking on passively unaffected.
> But at this point in time, I'm not able to say what exactly the state of
> existence is up to when the mind is enjoying it's fruits. My only
> assertion that it cannot be part of the enjoying apparatus is based on
> the observaton that the state of existence lacks individuality, which is
> quite the strong factor in the process of enjoyment. I'm hoping more
> meditation will shed further light into this.

You raised some important questions.  Let's raise some more
and see if we can *really* baffle ourselves!  :-)  Actually,
I'm not kidding.  Fighting fire with fire is a sound technique
when dealing with such a formidable enemy as the mind!

The human mind is a giant monster relentlessly stealing from
our Heart its natural state of *simple Being*, through one
comparative judgment after another.  Our only recourse is
to de-fuse this ancient forged habit.  And it depends on how
effective we are in realizing that its fundamental tendency
is to engage the desire to behold sensation, resulting in an
inevitable contraction in consciousness.

What I'm about to say shouldn't be taken literally, because
it's just a way of looking at what may be regarded as the
primal condition of sat.  Taking our investigation thus to
the very pith and essence of what may be theorized to occur
in the mahapralaya: that the parabrahman somehow develops
the desire to phenomenally experience itself (viz. brahman's
archetypal paradigm is to create).  Of course this violates
the very postulate that brahman is unmanifest and ineffable,
and thus incapable of desire.  Nevertheless, it somehow
appears to happen, and we call it kriyashakthi or maya.
And so, in the process of acknowledging such an eventuation,
we unavoidably enter upon a disturbing existential quandary.

What to do?  Bhagavan Sri Ramana says, do atmavichara.


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