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Season 1 - Episode 4

Day 3: What Am I?

60 min - Talk


As long as I remain the way I am, I cannot come to the truth. In Day 3, our meditation helps us sense and link the mind to the central channel of the body through the breath. Ravi discusses the souls natural desire for transformation, the concept of spiritual rebirth, and the need for freedom from oneself rather than for oneself. We are given 2 related questions to consider on our own.
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We will begin with a little meditation and more or less to remind again the purpose of meditation or any other spiritual practice is not to assert myself but can I become receptive to subtle and conscious energies, whether we call them the Holy Spirit or God, which are pervading the whole universe according to all the sages. So for us to become receptive to these forces or energies, what is our contribution? And as I mentioned yesterday also, deeper and deeper relaxation and finding the right physical as well as intellectual postures, so to have a vertical posture but if my eyes are open I should be able to look horizontally, not looking up or down or sideways. Physical posture simply requires the obvious fact that I do not know and cannot know all there is to know. And then a very simple reminder, again a very obvious fact, nobody can deny, that I did not create myself and that life energy in my organism enters through breathing, so a little awareness of one's breath is very helpful to keep reminding oneself that I exist and I call periodically why do I exist. And then if we watch carefully we will realize it's a very universal and common property of the ordinary mind to be anywhere but here and at any other time but now.

And all the sages have suggested to bring the mind to a quiet condition that can be very much assisted if I connect the mobile mind with something much more stable, namely my own body. So try to sense the vertical axis in your body from the top of the head to the base of the spine. And even if you don't now quite sense it, imagine that such an axis exists. This is classically the axis that is said to be the axis mundi, the world axis along which subtle energies or spiritual energies can enter into our organism. So we try to connect the mind with that axis but not rigidly at one point because the mind is not accustomed to being completely still, it will revolt.

So we allow the movement of the mind up and down the axis but to exercise some will to not let it move away from the axis. Take a few moments to see if you can actually more and more deeply sense that vertical axis and the mind is connected with it, it can move up and down. And if it moves away from the axis not to be fighting against it, in fact almost with affection to bring it back. And gradually without forcing it you would discover that a sort of coordination takes place with our breathing. As I breathe out the mind can move down the vertical axis, as I breathe in it can move up the axis.

And again a reminder if it moves away from the axis not to be fighting about it, that actually leads to more agitation. It leads to affectionately to bring it back. And I become more and more aware of the life energy along that axis. And because we are paying attention to our breathing, this is following the very important law, whatever I become aware of or pay attention to changes in its quality. So the quality of my breathing will naturally change without my trying to impose a change.

It will naturally deepen, consequently the movement of the mind slows down. Now I can allow the mind to even connect with other parts of the body but remaining connected with something stable like the body. So I sense the movement of energy in my right leg. We know only by external knowledge that there is always blood is moving in the legs and if suddenly my toes were to touch a hot spot the whole of my body will react. So there are many connections but to actually feel or sense the movement of energy in the right leg and then the left leg.

Whole of the pelvic area, abdomen, right leg, right leg, right leg, right leg, right leg, right leg. More aware I can become of any of these parts, more energized they are almost automatically, chest and right arm, left arm, right down to the fingertips. Back. In back... Roberta, Renee, Khaled, Now, I sense the life energy in the whole of my body, from the top of the head to the toes.

very striking remark of a great sage in India, Sri Anirvana, that even the highest spiritual experience is a sensation in the body, so to become more and more sensitive to the body, and assist the mind to become quieter. Now for a few breaths, I return again to the vertical axis, from the top of the head to the base of the spine, breathing in and out three times. Thank you very much.


My own reading of various scriptures or the writings of the sages, they are not necessarily always scriptures. If there is one single lesson that I find is common to all of their teachings, and in a way I invite you to question this yourself, whatever common lesson you find, but the one common lesson that I have come across is that as long as I remain the way I am, I cannot come to the truth, or the real, or God, or the Holy Spirit.

Whatever expression appeals to you, don't get stuck on the expressions, partly because whatever is the highest level of reality, even the greatest sages like the Buddha, or Christ, or Krishna, say they cannot really describe it, it is beyond description. So one word or the other gets used in any teaching or any tradition, so not to get attached to it. So let me repeat this common lesson, namely, as long as I remain the way I am, I cannot come to the truth, or the real. A very radical transformation of the whole of my being is suggested by all the sages. If you know any exception to this, I'll be very happy to learn.

And when they speak about the radical transformation, it is transformation of my body also, of my mind and my feelings. And sometimes it is expressed very strongly, such as a whole new birth is required, that's the kind of remark of the Christ. And sometimes it is expressed in slightly different words, that we are all born of flesh, that we need to be born of the spirit. So what is the reason for this requirement, for this transformation? So let me first of all show you that people who become aware of the difficulty of their own attitude in their life, here is a remark of St. Paul, hardly a small-minded person.

I have to remind people that more than a third of the whole New Testament are letters of St. Paul. So he can't be easily ignored. And this is what he said. This is in the Romans 7th chapter, I cannot even understand my own actions. I do not do what I wish to do, but what I hate.

All of us make New Year's resolutions, which make sense to us, then what happens after a little while? We find ourselves not doing them. After all, every human being wishes to do the good thing to the right thing. They wish to be wise, wish to be good, but look at the world. How many of them are actually doing the good things?

So it's not that they decide to be bad, but there are forces running them as they're running all of us, which compel them to do what they don't wish to do. And Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita asks a similar question, or with a similar attitude, what are the forces which force a person to do wrong against their own will, as if compelled by some force? This is in the 3rd chapter of the Bhagavad Gita. Similar understanding that a person is doing something wrong against their own will. It's not that they decide to do something wrong, none of us decide to do something wrong or bad, but why is it we can look at other people and find many things which are bad, but they can look at us and come to the same conclusion.

So this is the reason why a transformation is required. One of the basic ideas is that our own various different faculties, what my mind understands and knows, has to be carried out by my body, and they are not coordinated with each other. I can decide I should get up at 5 a.m. at sunrise and do some yoga, but next morning the body says, well, another hour of sleep would be rather nice. So that is actually one of the, if you like, general diagnosis that our different faculties are not integrated, they are not coordinated. Which is the reason I often say, in fact, it's good for all of us to have conscience about this, because conscience is actually the entry into higher consciousness.

If I see myself impartially what I know and what I am, there is a large gap between the two, and that naturally then creates a bit of a conscience. Conscience, by the way, literally the word comes from science, from knowledge. If I see myself impartially, I see clearly, then I see that I do not correspond to my own best wishes, my best understanding. After all, why would I not wish to follow what the Buddha taught or what Christ taught or what Krishna taught? My mind can understand what they are saying.

Those are not so complicated, but something in me does not actually correspond to this in practice. For example, the teaching of Christ, love your enemies. How easy is it for me or for anybody, really? So I realize that all of these teachings are, in a way, not so easy to follow, and partly because our various faculties are not internally integrated. So the suggestion that is made is that a whole new birth is required, a spiritual birth.

I think I mentioned this yesterday also about, here this is from John's Gospel, third chapter. In truth, in very truth, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again, born from above. No one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and spirit. Flesh begets flesh, spirit begets spirit. Do not be surprised that I tell you that you must be begotten from above.

How do I allow myself to be begotten from above? This idea is common to every teaching. In India, the Sanskrit word is dvij, which means twice born. First one being born by flesh, the other one is born by spirit. But as happens in every culture, in India also, it has simply now become a caste name, a caste label.

Every Brahman is dvij, twice born, just as somebody can claim oneself to be a born-again Christian. These just become labels. But what is being suggested is a completely radical transformation of the whole of my being. And whenever one really, in fact, understands it, then one realizes, here is the remark of Rumi, yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I'm wise, so I'm changing myself.

You look at absolutely any of the sages in any religion, this is their undertaking. How can they be different from what they usually have been? Translation here is changing myself, but it's really transformation, because change can be at the same level. Usually when we use the word transformation, there is always the implication that it is bringing one to a slightly subtler or a higher level. Here I should make one general remark.

In India, one would not use expression like higher and lower level. That is very common in the Abrahamic tradition. In the Indian tradition, one always uses the word inner and outer. And if you look at any of the religiously-oriented diagrams or paintings from India, they are always concentric circles or concentric right angles or triangles. It's a very deep-seated idea that subtlest reality, we may call it highest reality if you like, resides in our deepest, which is one of the reasons why there has been so much emphasis on meditation in the Indian tradition, whereas in the Abrahamic tradition, the word prayer is much more frequently used rather than meditation.

And this may seem like a small thing, but every major idea, spiritually-oriented or religiously-oriented idea, has very large implication on the whole culture. For example, if you look at any of the sculptures or works of art in the whole Abrahamic tradition for 2,000 years or more, you'll rarely find any sage in the posture of meditation. They're always in a posture. So the whole art world is influenced by this idea, because they are looking up, it's higher. Higher and lower is the expression.

So heaven is higher, God is higher. Then it has a one rather seemingly negative implication. It ends up as if heaven is up there, God is up there outside us. It becomes an implication for the ordinary masses, common masses. Whereas in India, you would, in general, find sages being represented, sculptures, I mentioned earlier the sculptures of the Buddha, for example, states of meditation.

Not looking up, but looking in. And so, in any case, the very strong suggestion, I'm simply repeating this, that every major idea in any religious tradition influences the whole culture, art, poetry, music, everything is influenced by that. So then the necessity of transforming oneself, and here one needs to understand what is the main impulse. Very strong suggestion that every level of reality is wishing to evolve, to come back to the source, because the manifested universe is obviously at different levels of consciousness. And therefore, corresponding to each level of consciousness, there is a different kind of material manifestation.

The bodies of a cockroach is different than our body. And similarly, angels, there is a tendency, for example, again, in the Western world, which is very much an Abrahamic tradition. As if the angels are up there, outside us. In India, the devas, of course, they're also outside, but they're also inside us. And just as the highest reality, God or Brahma, whatever, is, of course, not exclusively inside me, but also outside.

And I will show you later on a remark of Christ, in which he actually says exactly this, that they're both inside and outside. But that's already a non-canonical gospel. In any case, here the suggestion is that every level of reality wishes to evolve. Evolution there means something different, because in the scientific tradition, the basic assumption is that everything comes from the lowest level of consciousness, from dead matter. Gradually, somehow life begins by particles coming together, and then consciousness begins, et cetera.

Whereas in all spiritual teachings, it's the other way around, the whole manifested universe comes from the highest level of consciousness, which is what we call God or Brahma. So there the manifested universe comes about by involution rather than by evolution. And then the suggestion that every level of the universe or every level of reality wishes to evolve as it were to come home, to come to the source, to return to God, that this is a built-in tendency in every human being, in every creature, not only human beings, even in every creature, every level of reality. And here is a remark of Saint Augustine, our soul cannot be at rest until it is stayed in God. And the whole suggestion is, I think I had sort of mentioned this in passing yesterday as well.

Obviously, I did not create myself. Some spiritual force or energy has taken the trouble to create me. Here's a remark of Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 15. An eternal portion of myself, Krishna says, becomes the jiva. Jiva is the Sanskrit word for a creature in the world of jivas and works upon the five senses as well as the sixth one, the mind, manas, which are in nature.

I need to make a couple of comments here. At least twice in the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna includes manas, which is the lower mind. This will be the monkey mind, if you like, our usual mind. There is the higher mind, which has a different word in Sanskrit, called buddhi. So manas is actually almost completely driven by the senses.

So twice in the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna includes this among the senses. For example, here in this remark, that an eternal portion of myself becomes the jiva in the world of jivas and works upon the five senses as well as the sixth one, the mind, which are in nature. Because we can always justify whatever the body wants. The mind will, it's really like a horse, it will justify whatever the body wants. So the suggestion that it's a portion or a part of Krishna that is taken on this body mind and therefore the need or the wish of this to return back to the source.

And why does it take on the body mind? Because it is wishing to evolve and therefore needs to undertake some action. And in order to undertake some action, it needs a body and a mind. So I'll return to this in a minute, but let me also quote to you here from the genesis. The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.

And man became a living being. Obviously as you realize, traditional literature ends up calling it man because obviously he created human beings, also the women, and that breathed his own breath into them to make them alive. And I mentioned this yesterday also. So really what is it that is making us alive is breath of God or a particle of Krishna or a particle of divinity, however we put it. And therefore a universal idea that it naturally wishes to evolve, that the world evolve, evolution is used in a slightly different meaning now here.

In the spiritual tradition, to say the evolution, it is to say to enhancement of the level of consciousness so that one can return to God, to the level of God. Why does this body is required? First of all, a reminder, what are these traditions saying? It's the particle of divinity or the spirit, we can call it soul, is trying to evolve. Therefore it needs a body and a mind.

Here is this remark of, as you know, there are six major schools of philosophy in India. One of them is Yoga, another is Sankhya. These are often brother-sister kind of schools very close to each other. And just as Patanjali is said to be the author of the Yoga Sutras, which is clearly not right, but in any case, he's usually the one recognized. Similarly, Ishwar Krishna is said to be the author of the Sankhya Karaka, the text of Sankhya.

And this is his remark, spirit without the body is lame and the body without the spirit is blind. So it needs the body. By the way, the word body here includes the mind. But as I mentioned this maybe quickly yesterday, when we say the word became flesh, it just didn't become a hunk of meat, obviously it became a whole living being. So sometimes the word body is used or flesh is used to convey our usual body-mind structure.

So spirit needs this body-mind structure for its evolution so that it can undertake some action. And a very strong suggestion which is implied here is that my body-mind is the instrument of this particle of divinity for its purposes. It's not that my body-mind has the soul, it's the soul that has the body-mind. One needs to be a little clear about this. Another remark I should make here, I hope it doesn't sound too academic, to try to understand that there is a distinction between soul and spirit.

For example, throughout the New Testament there are two different Greek words which are used for this purpose. Spirit is pneuma, p-n-e-u-m-a, soul is pronounced suke in Greek but it's spelled like psyche. And these are two completely different words and they mean something quite different. However, it was Descartes in the 16th and 17th century who created more confusion than anybody else by equating these two. In fact what he actually did was equating the spirit and the soul with the mind.

And also it is part of the mechanization of nature that nothing else other than human beings has mind and they can therefore be controlled or that became part of our medical system as well. Everything in the body can be replaced because these are just mechanical instruments. So it had a very strong implication and then it became the mind-body dualism in philosophy and in theology it became the spirit-body dualism whereas soul is personal. My soul is different from your soul but spirit is not personal, it is transpersonal. Therefore strictly speaking, this is a convention in the English language, words or realities referring to realities which are transpersonal should be put with a capital letter just as we do with God or spirit or the word in the beginning was the word or I am.

But soul should not be put with a capital letter. Maybe they are just conventions but nevertheless it is good to remember oneself that in fact soul is the very entity that is wishing to evolve to come to the level of the spirit. But here actually I have before that maybe I quickly, this is Plotinus in my judgment the greatest western philosopher, not everybody agrees with me because he himself regarded Plato to be greater than himself so one would have to agree with him maybe but personally from my understanding he is the greatest western philosopher, both a practitioner as well as a writer, thinker, great intellectual. This is what he said, our soul is amphibious in nature. It can sink completely into matter or it can soar into the one and often the word soul now because for most people soul has been just equated with the spirit and therefore it is eternal or everlasting etc etc.

This is not the case in the New Testament, for example this remark of Christ which is translated as unless you leave yourself behind you cannot be a follower of mind. The word which is used in Greek is suke unless you leave your soul behind you cannot be a follower of mind. Other places it is translated as soul but there that would confuse people now so they translate this as self. Self means whatever you want it to mean, it's very tricky, it's very difficult to say what exactly is referring to by self. For example a very great remark of Prophet Muhammad.

This is after a victory in a battle, some of his generals are celebrating it and then Prophet Muhammad says real battle is the battle against the soul which would seem very strange to people these days, it's largely because of Descartes just equating these two words so let me remind you that these are meant to be quite different thing. Soul is something very personal and it has naturally it's taken the birth in this body mind and therefore it can be occupied by the needs of the body mind. Therefore this remark of Plotinus our soul is amphibious in nature, it can sink completely into matter or it can soar into the one, one of course is referring to the highest reality God here. Let me, this suggestion why this spiritual energy takes on the body etc I think is very nicely expressed actually by my own teacher Marambjan the Saltzman so I read what she said. There is an energy which is trying to evolve.

It actually happens in modern many modern sages for example Krishnamurti or Gurdjieff, they don't like to use the word soul, God, spirit etc because the religions have completely occupied those words to mean something so they would much rather use slightly scientifically sounding expression like energy. So there is an energy which is trying to evolve that is why it comes into a body. If a person works by which he means spiritual work obviously and helps the evolution of this energy at death this energy goes to a higher level. If one does not work the energy returns to its own level but the human life is wasted. So now if you like the word you can say there is a soul or an element of the spirit which is trying to evolve but taking on a birth is obviously necessary but it is a dangerous enterprise because the flesh including our mind has its own desires and needs and all our society, all our education is furthering those desires and needs.

I see this even myself as a father. What does one say or encourage one's kids to do well in school so they can go to a nice school or a nice college, get a scholarship, do well, get a good job? You see this is what we all encourage and it is quite understandable there is no reason to be against any of this because if this is the instrument, body and mind, the instrument also needs to be taken care of, needs to be sharpened but is it the need of the instrument that is the main thing or the need of the person who has the instrument that is the main thing? So very strong suggestion almost everywhere that we have first of all naturally built in amnesia about our real nature and since you folks are interested in yoga Shiva who is the lord of yoga dances on the demon of forgetfulness, appasmara, that is in a way if you like the purpose of yoga not simply to increase your sex appeal but there is no harm about that either but it is important to realize what is the purpose of yoga. Yoga is really a spiritual teaching precisely so that one would be one with the divine ultimately and so Shiva, the lord of yoga is dancing on the appasmara is the Sanskrit word for this demon, appasmara meaning forgetfulness literally that is what it means, there is another label for it muhi alaka which means one that creates illusion, those are the literal meanings of those words and then first of all very strong suggestion that we have these two natures, one as it were corresponding to our spiritual nature, the other the word nature is now being two tendencies if you like, two attitudes, one is coming from the side of the flesh including the mind and St. Paul calls it spiritual nature and carnal nature and Plotinus really simply refers to this higher nature, lower nature, I think I mentioned this yesterday also, Krishna has a rather strong phrase, divine nature, devic in Sanskrit and demonic nature, Madam Prasadman called angelic nature and animal nature so one can and Gurdjieff had a way of saying it, calling it the lamb and the wolf, lamb by as you know especially in the Christian tradition, actually not only in the Jewish tradition as well, lamb is the one which is lamb of God, that's the reference to Christ periodically and which also means it actually comes from the Passover ceremonies or festivals in which the lamb is sacrificed, lamb of God is really undertaking the sacrifice as I tried to say yesterday, he's not coming here to have nice fruit to eat, he's coming here sacrificing himself, I will return to this, this is a very central idea of all spiritual teaching, particularly emphasized in the Jewish Christian tradition actually much more so than even in India but even in India, the Rig Veda, the oldest text in India says, yaj bhuvanasinabhi, sacrifices the navel of the cosmos around which everything turns and I'll return to this later but then the idea is that periodically we can be aware of if you like our own true nature and here I have actually a little, this is Michael Angelos, his great sculpture of David, he said, I saw an angel in the stone and I chiseled and chiseled until I released him, that's what is required, if we ever see the angel in the stone, a lot of chiseling is required, that is what any spiritual practice is about and what very strong suggestion again and again that I need to be free of what I usually call myself, here I have several different quotes from very different traditions, different texts, Christ said, this is from Matthew chapter 16, he who would follow me must leave self behind, then Theologia Germanica, I mentioned this book yesterday, highly regarded by Martin Luther, precisely because of that a Pope in 1632 put this book under what they call prohibition, in fact I should maybe here tell you my daughter who was only about 18 years old then when my book was published, she was very much hoping that it will be put on an index by the Vatican, she said this will make my inheritance, because if it is indexed by the Vatican then it sells, partly because one of the reviews, it was reviewed many many places, some of the reviews are in the back of the book you may have seen, but one of the reviewers actually said it is the compendium of all the heresies in Christendom, furthermore more dangerous because it is so well written, that was one of the reviews, so this is when my daughter said she hoped that it will be put on an index, so the Pope put that book Theologia Germanica because of Martin Luther's praise for it on the index until the middle of the 20th century actually it was on the index, now no longer, but then I also have a remark by from Theologia Germanica, maybe those can come to eternal life who do not bring themselves, who have died to themselves, no one who is anyone is fit to be one with God, nothing burns in hell except self-will, then a great Sufi sage from the 14th century Ansari of Herat, this is what he said, know that when you learn to lose yourself you will reach the beloved, this is very common expression in the Sufi tradition to refer to God as the beloved, there is no other secret to be learned and more than this is not known to me, it is a very great sage in the Sufi tradition, but then I decided also to quote to you one of our greatest scientists Albert Einstein very much subscribe to this, this is a quote from Albert Einstein, the true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained liberation from the self, and a very ancient Indian text called Shatapat Brahman, only those may enter the sun door who can truly respond to the question who are you with nobody, if the answer is nobody then one can enter the sun door.

So as a summary now I am saying here the aim of any spiritual practice is not freedom for myself but freedom from myself, this is regarded as the real freedom, one often there is a tendency to say it actually used to be almost a slogan about 20 or 25 years ago, I can do what I like, it's my body, this would be considered very strange from a spiritual point of view, a remark of the Buddha actually in the Buddhist tradition that he never did anything that he liked, I don't believe that means that he disliked everything he did, basically that like or dislike was not relevant to it, he did what he needed to do, we see this in the yoga sutras for example among the clashers of the hindrances are rag dvesh meaning like dislike, and in the Bhagavad Gita also this is among the first thing that Krishna recommends, we need to do what we need to do, whether we like it or we don't like to do, similarly just to remind you this is actually the very last remark of Christ, this is in the garden of Gethsemane on the eve of his crucifixion, he said if it is possible let this cup pass me by, but not my will but thine be done, obviously he is hardly eager to be crucified, it will be silly, but still that is not the relevant thing, thy will be done, it's really submitting oneself to the command of from on high or from God, in his case he refers to this as the father, not my will but thine be done, similarly everywhere the suggestion that we need to do what needs to be done rather than whether we like it or we don't like it, freedom from like and dislike, but here it's also very helpful to keep in mind to be free of something doesn't mean to be against something, actually whatever I am against I can never be free of it, this I am quite sure, because then I come down to the same level and one can occasionally win for a little while, but to be free of something in me really what is required is a deep understanding of what role does it play in my life and why am I agreeing to this role being played, so to actually understand this with a kind of a great affection, it's almost as if I discovered a completely new monkey and as a good scientist I wish to understand this monkey, not that it is like that monkey or this monkey previously, so really to discover oneself as the new monkey and one then discovers why am I either afraid of something or whether I like this something or not, not to be against this, similarly even the mind when it wanders away, don't try to be against this, I try to say that even in the meditation, if it wanders away affectionately bring it back, but to try to understand what is this real nature and if there is one advice I can give really from a spiritual point of view, always ask yourself not what I am against but what am I for, because no energy can be without relationship, I mentioned this in the very first meditation yesterday morning if my emotional energy is not connected with something higher it will be naturally connected with something lower, similarly here, if I am not interested in or connected with what am I for, then that energy would naturally get connected with what I am against or what I don't like, what I find reprehensible, so really always come back to what am I for, this is where my energy needs to go rather than what I am against and so we have a fairly helpful remark from the gospel of Philip, do not fear the flesh nor be enamored of it, if you fear it, it will rule you, if you love it, it will paralyze you and devour you, so you see this suggestion, to just look at it carefully, the gospel doesn't go into any great detail here but I am actually inviting you to study it affectionately what role does it play in your life, because what we forget that even if it is completely devilish, after all the devil was also created by God, in fact I would very much suggest to you if you seriously see something that stands in your way, even that has a very sacred origin, but somewhere often out of laziness or out of some misunderstanding it twists, very simple example I have made a lot of study of this, strong tendency to be wondering am I admired, am I approved, what is the origin of this, I try to study this very carefully in me, it actually comes from a wish for excellence, but somewhere out of laziness it is easier to look excellent than to be excellent, and then fear enters that it will be soon seen that I am not excellent, but the origin of it is very sacred, to wish to be excellent, and I am suggesting to you that all our negative tendencies, all our weaknesses actually have a very sacred origin, if you seriously watch its origin, what role it plays, but if you just become against it occasionally you succeed for a little while you can conquer it, but you come down to the same level, I will come back to this again because awareness of something means it is awareness comes from a level of consciousness higher than the functions, meaning how my mind works, how my body works etcetera, then there is a possibility that energy is coming from a higher level it can actually change it, but the moment I become against it I come down to the same level, then real change cannot take place, because in order to actually this was a remark initially made by Einstein in a very different context actually in physics that a problem cannot be solved at the same level from where it originates, I am actually making a more general remark here, whatever problem I see in myself it cannot be taken care of from the same level where the problem originates, it needs to be understood or seen from a higher level. And here is a remark of Madame Dr. Sosman reminding us, we have whatever we may understand by our usual self which Christ wishes us to be free of, every teacher wishes us to be free of and then a suggestion of a higher self, at least in the Latin script in which we write English we have the advantage of having an upper case world and a lower case world, so upper case self and a lower case self, in Sanskrit we don't have this possibility, there it has to be understood in the context, but in any case this is a remark of Madame Sadhana, you don't love yourself enough the self that wishes and needs to emerge, which is why it has taken on the body, the important thing is to be, if there is no real self then the ego takes over, energy cannot be without relationship, if it does not serve the self intentionally then it automatically serves the ego, but until there is the self let the ego be, it can be useful, what else are you going to do, ego is a good servant but a bad master, so there is no need to be against the body or the mind or the ego, but it is true on the other hand ordinary self naturally lead to selfishness, but even that is required for survival in the world, so even that one doesn't need to be against that, but to find its proper place, this is not the real self, this is by the way in the yoga sutra as the first klesha is asmita, which is often translated as the ego or the separate self, that by nature leads to selfishness, it's almost as long as a drop is separated from the ocean it is nothing, but if it can find its relationship with the ocean then it is connected with the whole, that is one meaning of the sense of unity with the divine, to recognize its place as a part of the whole ocean, so I have two little exercises here for you to try, first


one is do you feel the call of questions such as what am I and why am I here, if no there is no need for any inner transformation, if yes what practical effect does it have in your life, second exercise which is coming from what I have been speaking about today, do you see the two natures in you, do they pull in different directions, do you wish to take care of both natures or only the higher one, because from a practical point of view the lower nature also needs to be taken care of, it is meant to be the instrument and sometimes religions get very carried away, they just want to go to heaven and forget or forget about the body and the needs of the body, actually Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita one of the remarks in the 17th chapter rather interesting, those who undertake severe austerities torture not only themselves, they torture me who is seated in the body, after all Krishna or God is everywhere including in our body outside, inside and so this is the remark of Krishna, not at all promoting severe austerities or anything like this, so I think we need to stop, thank you very much.


Caroline S
I found the remark that conscience in the entry to higher consciousness really helpful - I have been battling with this question for a while in my Yoga Studies but this made sense.  The whole talk is full of insights - very grateful for that, thank you !

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