special states

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Am I in a “special state” after a particularly remarkable shift in perspective?

The question as to as “special state” is an interesting one – this shift that I am in shows me more clearly what all the sages mean, especially Ramana and the Zen masters when they say that there is no enlightenment and no liberation when one realizes that everything already is the Big Mind, or the Self, and only our little mind taking a limited perspective creates a world of separation from Self, Buddha Mind, or God, which are all the same thing.

To say “only the little mind” is, of course, an understatement, since it sounds like the “little mind” should not be a big hindrance to just remaining as “what is”, which is the one vast and mysterious Universal Being showing up as many.

As you can see from my yesterday’s post “The ego mind is a slug“, I am starting to look at the mind, to see if I can discover what it actually is, or if it even really exists. It is quite mysterious. One could say that all the world is an appearance in the Self, so of course this includes the mind. The statement that “All, including the mind, is an appearance in the Self” is first of all a concept. Do I get glimpses of this as a direct experience? Yes. Is there a certain focus that I can take to allow this to become a continuous realization? Yes, there does seem to be, but it is rather difficult. In my experience it means taking the stance “nothing plus nothing equals nothing” (all is but an appearance in Self with no lasting substance in and of itself) and at the same time being fully and passionately engaged in life, not falling into nihilism etc. Ramana addresses this here: “The investigation will resolve itself into a quest for the Self and it will cease only after the non-Self is sifted away and the Self realized in its purity and glory.” source p. 178 I could therefore say that the formula “nothing plus nothing equals nothing” reminds me to “sift away the non-Self” and to remember that everything I see and interact with is actually appearing in the Self, which means it is all “identical with the beingness of the Self.”

David Godman summarizes Ramana’s views on this subject here:

“Sri Ramana adopted three different standpoints when he spoke about the nature of the physical world. …

1 Ajata vada (the theory of non-causality). This is an ancient Hindu doctrine which states that the creation of the world never happened at all. It is a complete denial of all causality in the physical world. Sri Ramana endorsed this view by saying that it is the jnani’s experience that nothing ever comes into existence or ceases to be because the Self alone exists as the sole unchanging reality. It is a corollary of this theory that time, space, cause and effect, essential components of all creation theories, exist only in the minds of ajnanis and that the experience of the Self reveals their non-existence.

This theory is not a denial of the reality of the world, only of the creative process which brought it into existence. Speaking from his own experience Sri Ramana said that the jnani is aware that the world is real, not as an assemblage of interacting matter and energy, but as an uncaused appearance in the Self. He enlarged on this by saying that because the real nature or substratum of this appearance is identical with the beingness of the Self, it necessarily partakes of its reality. That is to say, the world is not real to the jnani simply because it appears, but only because the real nature of the appearance is inseparable from the Self.

The ajnani, on the other hand, is totally unaware of the unitary nature and source of the world and, as a consequence, his mind constructs an illusory world of separate interacting objects by persistently misinterpreting the sense impressions it receives. Sri Ramana pointed out that this view of the world has no more reality than a dream since it superimposes a creation of the mind on the reality of the Self. He summarized the difference between the jnani’s and the ajnani’s standpoint by saying that the world is unreal if it is perceived by the mind as a collection of discrete objects and real when it is directly experienced as an appearance in the Self.” source p. 175

The inquiry is on-going.

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