Here is another chapter from the book ‘The Most Direct Means to Eternal Bliss’. For my initial (and brief) opinion on this controversial but useful book click here. This chapter focuses on thought and how thought gets in the way of direct communion with that which lies beyond thought.
One point to make is that while thought can be very useful when it comes to relative things such as learning a language, scientific discovery or fixing a car, thought is severely limited when it comes to the Absolute (cf. verses 14 and 15).
This chapter makes the point that even people who think they know Absolute truth cannot be known by the mind are often using the mind to try to figure it all out (verses 6 & 7).
Lastly, after giving a couple of exercises aimed at logically demonstrating the limiting nature of thought, this chapter says that the true seeker of truth would insist on nothing less than direct first-hand perception of the Absolute and not settle for beliefs or opinions.
So, how does one gain direct experience of the Absolute? The author states that spiritual practice is the way. And how to practice? The author suggests a way in later chapters, which are also available free online (see link at end of this post).
Here is chapter 3 in its entirety:
Chapter 3 –
THE IMPOSTOR’S TOOLS:
- Thought is the primary tool the ego uses to preserve its imaginary self.
- Therefore, it is important to see how the ego uses thought to create ego preservation strategies.
- First one must understand the nature of thinking, thought, concepts and beliefs and the myths the ego has created about thinking, thought, concepts and beliefs.
- Thought is not a means to discover the absolute Truth.
- The ego has convinced almost all humans and almost all spiritual aspirants that thought is a means to know the absolute Truth.
- There are those people who think they already know that thought is not a means to know the absolute Truth.
- Almost all of those people are still trying to use thought as a means to know the absolute Truth.
- That means that they do not really know that thought is not a means to know the absolute Truth.
- They have confused knowing-insight-awareness with conceptual “knowing”.
- People tend to believe their own thinking.
- Thinking is controlled by the ego and the ego uses thought to preserve its imaginary self.
- Therefore, to believe one’s own thinking is an error that results in failure to end the ego.
- #11 and #12 above are very powerful keys.
- For those few individuals who are seriously intent on liberation, it is essential to stop using thought as a means to know the absolute Truth.
- It is also essential to stop believing your own thoughts.
- Understanding the nature of beliefs can help one to see that thought is not a means to know the absolute Truth.
- Seeing that thought is not a means to know the absolute Truth is the way to stop using thought as a means to know the absolute Truth.
- There is a method you can try that reveals that thought is not a means to know the absolute Truth.
- We can call it the “How Do You Know Method”.
- Here are the instructions for the How Do You Know Method:
- Look at any belief you have.
- Ask of that belief “How do I know absolutely for sure that is true?”.
- The mind will give an answer.
- To the answer the mind gives ask “How do I know absolutely for sure that is true?”.
- Every time the mind gives an answer, question the answer, by repeating the question “How do I know absolutely for sure that is true?”.
- You must be willing to question every answer the mind gives for the process to work.
- If you are willing to question every answer the mind gives to the question “How do I know absolutely for sure that is true?”, the inquiry will always end in “I don’t know absolutely for sure that is true”.
- The How Do You Know Method is an excellent way to see the difference between believing and knowing.
- The How Do You Know Method is also an excellent way to see that thought is not a means to know the absolute Truth.
- After questioning a few hundred beliefs, it should be quite clear that thought is not a means to know the absolute Truth.
- Thought is like a great pretense or house of cards.
- One idea is supported by another idea.
- The How Do You Know Method is a way to see that when you trace each idea back, you find that there is actually no real foundation at all.
- There is another way to see that thought is not a way to know the absolute Truth, understand the nature of belief and concepts, see how belief is formed and how the ego creates ideas that will serve to preserve its imaginary self.
- We can call this the “Arguing Both Sides Method”.
- The Arguing Both Sides Method is to look at some belief you have, maybe one of the current issues of the day.
- Write an argument for the side of the belief you are on.
- In other words, take a belief you have and write up all the proofs, arguments, evidence and reasons you have for that belief.
- Next, pretend that you have the opposite belief and write up all the proofs, arguments, evidence and reasons you have for that opposite belief.
- The purpose of the Arguing Both Sides Method is to demonstrate that thought can create reasons, evidence and support for any belief.
- Seeing that thought can create evidence and reasons to support any belief is a very powerful key.
- The Arguing Both Sides Method is another way of showing that thought is really baseless.
- The Arguing Both Sides Method also demonstrates that thought forms conclusions based on motive.
- Evidence is not the primary factor that determines what conclusions and beliefs will be formed.
- Motivation is the primary factor in the forming of beliefs.
- Evidence will be gathered to support the motive.
- Whatever the ego wants to believe, the ego will gather all the so-called evidence and reasons to support what the ego wants to believe.
- The ego’s primary motive is to preserve its imaginary self.
- Therefore, the ego directs thought to create concepts that will help to preserve the ego’s imaginary self.
- In almost all humans, including almost all spiritual aspirants and students, the desire of the ego to preserve its imaginary self is very strong.
- In almost all humans and almost all spiritual aspirants and students, the ego is directing thought to create concepts that will preserve the ego’s imaginary self.
- One way the ego does this is to select spiritual paths that are not direct.
- Even if one manages to find the Direct Path, the ego will distort the Direct Path by interpreting what is written or said in a way that supports the ego or by focusing on that which is not essential.
- One of the tricks that the ego uses most commonly with spiritual aspirants is to confuse intellectual “spirituality” with authentic spirituality.
- Most people only have an intellectual interest in spiritual concepts and do not wish to end the ego.
- Most people are just enjoying learning about the concepts.
- There are some people who realize that their interest is only intellectual.
- There are other people who believe that they have an interest in ending the ego, who do not really have an interest in ending the ego.
- Almost all of the people who are on a spiritual path that claims to have as its aim the ending of the ego illusion, have very little desire to actually end the ego.
- The way to end all of the ego’s preservation strategies is to increase the desire for liberation.
- There are a few very condensed Direct Path teachings that can be a great help on the Direct Path.
- You will find those Direct Path teachings in the book you are now reading.
- However, to go on and on reading books and discussing spiritual teachings is an ego preservation strategy to keep you in the realm of thought instead of practice.
- All of the time you spend reading and discussing could be better spent in practice.
- Practice leads to liberation.
- Endless reading and discussing leads to illusion.
- The ego creates arguments against the Direct Path as a preservation strategy.
- The ego calls indirect paths direct paths as an ego preservation strategy.
- Instead of spending all one’s spare time in spiritual practice, the ego finds endless ways to spend one’s spare time such as television, entertainment, reading, discussing, thinking, etc. and that is one of the ego’s primary preservation strategies.
- If you were to drop all of your unnecessary activities, you would have much more time for spiritual practice.
- One ego preservation strategy (imposter trick) is creating arguments against what is written here instead of open mindedly considering the possibility that what is being revealed in this book is pointing towards the truth that the ego usually never allows people to see.
- Another ego preservation strategy (trick the imposter uses) is deciding in advance that one of the methods will not work, without ever giving the method a sincere try.
- See how the ego is directing every thought you think to create a way to preserve its imaginary self.
- In other words, ask of every thought, idea, concept, belief, etc. “Does this thought, idea, concept or belief help the ego illusion to continue?”.
- When you form a belief, you are no closer to discovering the absolute Truth than before you formed the belief.
- When you form a belief, you have created an obstacle to discovering the absolute Truth.
- If you were honest, your view would be “I don’t know”.
- If you really wanted Truth you would insist on Direct Experience.
- If you really wanted Truth, you would never accept a belief. A belief is only a group of symbols. All words are symbols.
- The extremely intense desire for liberation is the key to ending the ego’s tricks and the book you are now reading contains step-by-step instructions in how to awaken the extremely intense desire for liberation.
- This book is also for the purpose of exposing the strategies the ego uses to preserve its imaginary self.
- Reading this book is a good first step.
- Repeated reading, over and over, reflecting on each sentence is very important.
- The motivation while reading is very important also.
- The correct motivations are (86 – 89):
- Extremely intense Self-honesty.
- An extremely intense desire to know the Truth.
- A willingness to let go of all the ideas you have accumulated in the past.
- An extremely intense longing to be free of sorrow and to live in joy.
- If the extremely intense desire for liberation is awakened in you, the Clarity, Honesty, Insight, Integrity and Earnestness that the extremely intense desire for liberation brings, will not allow the desire for liberation to become weak again.
- If the desire for liberation becomes weak, it means that the extremely intense desire for liberation has not yet been awakened in you.
- When the extremely intense desire for Freedom is awakened, Clarity, Sincerity, Earnestness, Insight and Discernment are also awakened and then you can see what is essential and what is not essential.
- The end of the ego is the end of all suffering and all sorrow for all eternity.
- The end of the ego is infinite-eternal-awareness-love-bliss.
- Realize that ending the ego is the only truly worthwhile event that can happen in a human life.
- Take a look at your actions moment by moment to see if they conform to the realization that ending the ego is the only truly valuable thing that can happen in a human life.
- The ego projects thoughts and fantasies and the ego interprets.
- One way to stop this distortion is to ask “Is this thought I am having about what I am reading, really in the words I am reading, or have I added a thought that is not there in the words I am reading?”.
- Another way to stop the distortion is to ask “Have I added a concept or interpretation to what I am reading?”.
- Most people project much thinking unto the teachings that they read.
- Their thinking has very little to do with the teachings they have read.
- Most people are in a state of chaotic confusion.
- Most people do not realize they are in a state of chaotic confusion.
- Thinking about and interpreting what is written is an expression of that chaotic confusion.
- Actually practicing #98 and #99 above can help greatly to end that distortion.
- Awakening the extremely intense desire for liberation will stop the ego from creating preservation strategies.
- Chapter Four is about the importance of awakening the extremely intense desire for liberation.
The above chapter was directly taken from this website: http://www.albigen.com/uarelove/most_rapid/chapter03.htm