In the following dialog between a visitor and Ramana we read:
“You think that you see them (i.e. objects apart from the Self). The thought is projected out from your Self. Find out where-from it rises. Thoughts will cease to rise and the Self alone will remain.”
This is the way Ramana Maharshi saw the world. Is it possible for us to change our habitual way of perception so radically that we actually come to the realization: THE SELF ALONE IS. Viewing the world and our life in that way changes everything, and yet everything remains as it always was. We merely cease being caught in delusions that result in our violence toward ourselves and others. This year is a good year to wake up from our delusory state.
D.: Does my realization help others?
Ramana: Yes, certainly. It is the best help possible. But there are no
others to be helped. For a realized being sees the Self, just like
a goldsmith estimating the gold in various jewels. When you
identify yourself with the body then only the forms and shapes
are there. But when you transcend your body the others disappear
along with your body-consciousness.
D.: Is it so with plants, trees, etc.?
R.: Do they exist at all apart from the Self? Find it out. You think
that you see them. The thought is projected out from your Self.
Find out where-from it rises. Thoughts will cease to rise and the
Self alone will remain.
D.: I understand theoretically. But they are still there.
R.: Yes. It is like a cinema-show. There is the light on the screen and
the shadows flitting across impress the audience as the enactment of
some piece. Similarly also will it be, if in the same play an audience
also is shown (the audience = the seer). The seer, the seen, will then only be the screen. Apply
it to yourself. You are the screen, the Self has created the ego, the
ego has its accretions of thoughts which are displayed as the world,
the trees, plants, etc., of which you are asking. In reality, all these
are nothing but the Self. If you see the Self, the same will be found
to be all, everywhere and always. Nothing but the Self exists.
D.: Yes, I still understand only theoretically. Yet the answers are simple
and beautiful and convincing.
R.: Even the thought, “I do not realize” is a hindrance. In fact, the
Self alone is.