Friday, September 3, 2010

The Bugbear of Spiritual Progress

Those who consider themselves being in the spiritual path often tend to measure their progress or achievement. Sometimes they feel elated when they see themselves freed from some hang-ups or attachments and at other times they feel dejected at their failure to be so free. They can even set themselves a standard, say of total detachment, when the "soul can enter the dark night" and find themselves still stuck with some basic attachments like money, sex, achievement, food or what not.

But I think this is all bogus. As long as the measuring mechanism is operating, it is clear that it is active, looking forward to the future and measuring the past against the future. And all these are just ideas. If a person is truly detached, he wouldn't care about enlightenment or liberation. He would be "stuck" with whatever he is or has in the present. In some sense, he is psychologically dead. There is no other life. If it is pain, he is the pain. (Of course, he may not be able to help himself taking a pain pill.) Whatever he is doing, he is involved in it. If he is not, he may just be totally aware of everything. But there is no other life and there is no enlightenment either. He has no choice but to let everything else go. Even when he is occasionally involved in them, he doesn't have feel good or bad about them. That's what he is and there is no transcending them; because that presupposes there is some other life. If he is attached, he is aware that he is attached. On the other hand, when he is deeply involved in them, he may not be even aware of them. He may be stuck with them for the rest of his life. But that's life! As UG says, it's the goal that's the problem, even the goal of letting go of attachment.

The so-called "spiritual hunger" is part of the bogus affair. UG and others usually say that he has no "hunger", meaning that the person has no drive to break through. But trying to have enlightenment as a goal and strive for it, is just as much an involvement as any other. I realize that I don't have that kind of hunger. So I am stuck where I am. But so what?

P.S.: Is There a Thought that Results in no Thought
? The question arises because when there is a moment of mere awareness, it is often preceded by a thought. (But then what other state is not preceded by a thought?) The thought may be one of understanding, disillusionment and some such thing. If the thought results in such awareness, the question is whether the thought is motivated, in other words fraught with duality, or it is not. If you say that it is motivated, the question arises as to how a dualistic thought can generate a non-dual state of mind? On the other hand, if you say, that it is not so motivated, that it is one of mere understanding and so forth, then the problem is how can there be a thought without a motive? I think this paradox can only resolved by accepting the idea that the thought may very well be motivated, but saying so what? It doesn't matter if it is. If this awareness we are talking about is also dualistic, because it is generated by a dualistic thought, so be it. I don't care if you call it a pure awareness or dualistic awareness -- I just don't care about pure awareness or enlightenment. If it happens fine, if it doesn't, fine, too. I think we generate unnecessary duality by worrying about a problem like this.


Raj said...

I "THINK" I can help myself.
Why? Why do I have to think?
This thinking in anyway will not change anything about me.
This phrase does not mean anything and I am just a man full of fears repeating this.

raj said...

So I am man full of fears is also through some suggestion, throwing something out is also continuity of sorts. Breaking down is also buying time.
So if I ask what is left that too comes from the past against the future framework.
It was always that movement of knowledge that says "AHAA! is that it". I am still lost.

Narayana Moorty said...


So what if it is all the movement of knowledge? Let it be and be lost.

Narayana Moorty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
raj said...

That I am lost is an illusion.
That I could stay lost is also a state mind.
These thoughts blow right through me.

Raj said...

UG And Me.
The ego can never be denied, as the reality of world cannot be denied.

The EGO AS IT IS and the reality of the WORLD AS IT IS, is something that there is no need to understand and that there is nothing to understand.

Accepting both is not the word, its that you can't do anything with both of them.

The question is are they a problem so enormous for you to deal with that you have to search the truth behind it.

What if people who led you in to a belief that the primary need of a human is to deal with his ego and in doing so can get in to terms with the reality of the world, WERE OFF THE MARK BIG TIME.

What do you do, where do you go from there?

Isn't the sense of goodness directly proportional to the true view of life?

how simple.


Anonymous said...

Hello Moorthy gaaru,
Namaste.You say:" But trying to have enlightenment as a goal and strive for it, is just as much an involvement as any other. I realize that I don't have that kind of hunger. So I am stuck where I am. But so what?"

First let me state that I cannot believe the above statement problem from your side especially after I have seen some of your great insghts along with UG on youtube and please excuse if I sound patronizing in my reply below.

Stuck where you are; exactly that is what is going to happen.Sages have been a bit more clever and suggested ways to unwind; ways that restrict your mind so it can die towards God/Realization. It is said that in practice towards God/Self there will come a stage where no more effort is possible or things will have to happen by themselves.This no-action stage is temporary and prequel to Self realization.That is the context when the satement applies:any effort to God/Self will take you away from God.But untill that stage one has to keep trying to unwind by suitalble or presribed practises to increasingly slow the mind.The practises can be any combination of increasing sattvic practises or refraining from Tamo/rajasic activities.For eg: when our kids are addicted to watching too much TV insteading of cutting them off totally and immediately from TV we might resort to a combination of restricting timings or increasing knowledge value programs or decreasing trash programs.
Similarily the the practises prescribed by sages will indirectly help us to unwind.Once the Mind reaches to a certain purity then any more action will only prove anti.
It appears that you are not yet in that stage where no more action is required but are trying to follow the rules of the 'no-action' stage and hence you are stuck(sthabdhata).Advaita is not the means but the END.To get to 'No-action' stage action is required.

I was also similarily misled when I first heard this statements from UG.But UG is talking from Advaita point of view where he sees no action at all but from the Jiva perspective there is a Goal and action/path towards God/Self.

The above information is well dcoumented in Ramana Maharshi literature and I am only repeating that.

I have repeatedly seen UG videos and audios and rewound specific videos even upto fifty times especially those on Mind,thoughts,Cosciousness,Seeing,Thinking and Wanting,No-guru,Nothing to Advise and all that.I have heard his tapes for hours again and again.Some how I have the feeling he is simply throwing a few cut piece sentences and keeping us interested and creating a feeling of awe and mesmiration which he accused Jiddu of.He has the greatest intellect and diction that I have ever seen in my life.But something in me tells me that he is not THAT but somewhere close.

Surely you know the best.I would very much like to chat and talk to you and learn whatever I can from you.What do you say?Thanks.
I am Aandhrudu from Godavari living in London.Thanks very much.Please send me contact info to Once I receive an email I will send you my full contact info.Thanks very much.

raj said...

@ Aandhrudu (Anonymous)
Do you suspect that you are just a machine? Is there just an outdide chance of being one?
For the machine, can there be progress? Spiritual or otherwise?

Anonymous said...

That is the whole point of my previous post.Let me try again.As long as there is I/Ego/Mind (Jiva has an I) in me there is a purpose,a goal,the extremes like(sorrow-happiness,success-failure,heaven-hell,God-Devil etc),cause-effect and all such.Just because a Jnani or a Realized person is a machine and he has none of the things mentioned above does n't mean you try to ape him and sit idle in your room as if there is no world.Even if you try to site idle you can't.That is what I mean by Advaita is not the means but the End.
Just like UG other Jnanis have also said you are already Realized.'Tat Tvam Asi'.You just have to know it.But is this practical?After hearing to UG literature you may try to digest the 'Natural state' intellectually. But after some time the faith will fade away and the samskaras will be back all over again.One of the very beautiful answers in the book 'Ramana Gita' is understanding intellectually will bring only non-attachment and not Realization.

Samskaras will have to come to their natural end.I will give you here a most beautiful extract by Robert Adams(direct disciple of Ramana Maharshi) from the book 'Silence of the Heart':
[Extract starts...]
Q)You just have n't suffered enough. Is that true? People really
A)Because they read the books of certain saints, and they
think certain saints have gone through certain experiences, so
everybody has to go through those experiences. That's why I
don't talk about myself too much. The truth is, of course, if
you really want to know about this body and about the Self in
me, know your Self. Find out first who you are. Then you'll
know all about me. Otherwise, you'll see me as you see
yourself. Do you see what I'm saying?
If you meet a con-man, the con-man's going to look at you
and think you're a con-man too. A con-man believes every
body's a con-man. If you meet a person who's filled with love,
they will see you as love also. So that's why I say, whatever you
are, I am a mirror for you, and you're only seeing yourself.

Q)That's so for everything, though. Not just for you.
A)For everything, of course.

Q)So what you're saying is, you create your own reality.
A)Where you are right now, the world that you're seeing is the
world that you're creating.

Q)But how does that tie in with everything being predestined?
A)Everything is predestined.

Q)So you're predestined to create your reality as it is.
A)That's the way it goes.

Q)That seems paradoxical.
A)Of course it does. It wouldn't be a truth teaching if it weren't paradoxical.Everything is pre-ordained if you go to work on yourself to lift yourself up and become free.

Q)There's nothing you can do about it, and yet you have to try
to do something about it.

Q)Why is that?
A)That's the game. And if you try to figure it out, you can't. So
don't try.

Q)And that means that when one becomes realized, everything
that's preordained doesn't exist anymore, right?
A)Right. When one becomes realized, the whole game is over.
There's nobody to become realized. There's nobody that's not
realized. There's no universe, there's no God. There are no
others. All is well.
Or, nothing is well, as the case may be.
[Extract ends]

'There is nothing you can do about it' is from the Advaita/Jnaani point of view and 'yet you have to try do something about it' is from the Jiva point of view.That is the Game/paradox.

I also feel you are overanalyzing your thoughts.You can go mad.Another point is Jnanis never encouraged too much intellectualization of the process.That will become a great hurdle.

Narayana Moorty said...

Dear Anonymous:

I don't know what stage I am in. It doesn't concern me. Anyway,I wrote an e-mail to you (fame...)a few days ago giving my phone number and e-mail address. Feel free to contact me.

raj said...

@ Aandhrudu (Anonymous)
There are basically two ideas you can approach from to a very persistent question:
How does form and function observe form and function?
1) That there is an "I" inside of you other than the you that you know of.
2) That it is all a movement of knowledge and there is no "I" inside of you and whatever you know of you is all that is there. No mystery no mysticism there, just as it is.

So if there is an "I" inside of you other than the you, you know of everything you said in your post becomes relevant and true.

If we go by the second idea everything you said in your post becomes redundant and all interpretations of what UG says too becomes redundant.

So we have only two ideas, one promises intellectual stimulation, the other offers intellectual redundancy.

What idea would you choose?
Or would you reject both of them?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Narayana Moorty,

Thank you for such a 'virtual space' dedicated to these kinds of 'inquiries'. Very good, with very nice content, profound content, something not so easy to see on the web pages nowadays.

That happened to me, the same way UG described and emphasized so. All that you're explaining, clarifying here, everything, it's all very accurate. All that thing happened - and is happening - to me, and it's all exactly the way I read UG trying to explain and you're clarifying here.

I'd like to keep in touch, if possible. There are things which occurred that would be interesting to share with you, who knew UG in person. Some astounding facts, like some kind of connection, as if it were, with what happened to UG. For example, I didn't knew about UG till the end of last year, when a friend of mine, after meeting me and seeing the way I was functioning after 25 years of 'search', told me about him, telling me he knew about a man who was known for strangely functioning in a way so similar to this, then I began to read books on UG, watch loads of interviews etc, and it was as if I were watching myself... I can't explain it very well... And UG passed away in 2007, march 22, my birthday and the very same day it happened to me.

Anonymous said...

But, right after the 'event', when the body was back, I didn't had a glue about anything anymore. Only two things was then very clear to me: that all this 'reality' is like a hologram. The world, the body, the nature, neighbourhood, people, birds etc - all the only and same 'hologram'. And the other and life-changing thing was that there was no Samuel, no "I", no one here. But these things I came to realize later, because during that terrible thing and after that I knew nothing. Even till now... I had to rediscover that I had a mouth, for example, and then to rediscover the mechanism of speaking, then rediscover the word 'mother' - the first word I could remember then - and call her for some help, I couldn't even get up and walk. Absolute absence of knowing took place, as if I had been reborn, from zero, as a baby who knows nothing. Then she and my dad was helping me to enter the house (I was sitting in the backyard looking at the landscape - I live in a city in the countryside of São Paulo state in Brasil -, refreshing after a usual Kriya Hatha Yoga practice when it happened to me), and I had to ask about everything. A plant, an animal etc, no matter what it was, I had no glue about it, I had to ask "What is this? And this?". They thought I became mad.

Some powers really appear, but they're not the way HQ readers think, you know, they're not in a level capable of changing the world. They're not limited by anything, but they can't turn the world upside-down either. But all those things happen and are exactly the way UG used to try to explain and that you're clarifying here. And those materials on UG helped me a lot, in the sense that he helped me to deal with these things.

raj said...

Mr. Anonymous/ Samuel
Does one require intelligence to be itself or some exoerience to be itself? Both demand movements.

raj said...

The one particular line of UG that ticked me off was - -'Are you thinking the thoughts or are the thoughts thinking through you' ---
This one line is enough to make one stop in the tracks.

Raj said...

What I see or will ever SEE is the opposite of me, that is UG. To actually see will mean or is that UG has to GO. Till then I stay, UG stays and my problem of SEEING the opposites stays.