Do we have free will?

Questioner: Tom, I’ve been reading a book on free will last week and the more I read through it, I came to the understanding there is no free will at all…

This video was recorded live during a Satsang meeting with Tom Das and put together by volunteers.

See https://tomdas.com/events for further information.

Who is the thinker? Removing illusion and delusion

In silence thoughts lessen.

The attachment to thinking and to desire gradually weaken until they eventually fade and die.

If we relinquish the sense of limitation, that limiting belief “ I am the body” then the ego disappears consumed by silence, stillness, being.

Deeper silence and stillness where nothing is lacking.

This video was recorded live during a Satsang meeting with Tom Das and put together by volunteers.

See https://tomdas.com/events for further information.

Who is the thinker?

In silence thoughts lessen.

The attachment to thinking and to desire gradually weaken until they eventually fade and die.

If we relinquish the sense of limitation, that limiting belief “ I am the body” then the ego disappears consumed by silence, stillness, being.

There is a deeper silence and stillness where nothing is lacking.

This video was recorded live during a Satsang meeting with Tom Das and put together by volunteers.

See https://tomdas.com/events​ for further information.

If you just be…

If you just be, all of these teachings will be revealed to you. You won’t need to read any books, go to Satsangs, watch YouTube videos or plough through scriptures, if you just be.

Maybe one thing I could add is not ‘just be’ but to know that your identity is being. To just be and somehow trust that what you truly are is this beingness that transcends body, mind world, matter.

This video was recorded live during a Satsang meeting with Tom Das and put together by volunteers.

See https://tomdas.com/events for further information.

Does anything really change with liberation?

Tom: Some people say that with liberation there is no difference, no actual change that happens, that there is no difference between ‘someone’ who is liberated and ‘someone’ who isn’t. (I have put ‘someone’ in quotes as with liberation the very notion of a separate ‘someone’ who can attain liberation is itself dissolved, as we shall see below)

Here is an examples of something I recently saw on Facebook. It was a post from someone who I presume is a a non-duality teacher, followed by someone elses reflections on that post. I then gave my 2 cents on the end, which I hope provide some clarity. What do you think?

Question: So, there’s no difference between someone who’s heard about non-duality and someone who has not?

Response from the non-duality teacher: There’s no difference. Every human, every animal, every tree is the same aliveness. Not one is more than another. Not one knows something more than another. There’s an appearance of knowing something, like how computers work or science is. This, is the freedom from needing to know what freedom is. Sitting here saying that it’s all freedom is not knowledge; it’s not something in the brain that knows that it’s knowledge, it’s obvious. It’s what is happening. When you see water, you don’t have to know that its water, it’s obvious. It’s not coming out of a stream of time. Because you can’t find where it appears from.

Someone else then wrote their reflection on the above as follows:

The idea that people who speak about nonduality possess some rare understanding unknown to the average person is a great myth. This message is not about someone who gains some special insight, knowledge, or awareness. It is not about some heretofore hidden sense or perception that becomes switched on to reveal a penetrating understanding of reality that others seek their whole lives to find.Rather, this is simply, as X says, “the freedom from needing to know what freedom is.” This aliveness is no more alive in any appearance; nothing is higher or lower, more or less evolved, for nothing is separate. The wondrous impossibility of understanding replaces the quest for answers, and yet even seeking is simply this, only life happening just as it appears, any way at all.

I (Tom) then made some comments on the above as follows:

1) Isn’t the difference that in freedom there is a falling away of the ingrained belief that ‘I am a separate limited person’? So there is a change, and that change is the falling away/dissolving of a false-limited belief that causes suffering? If so, then there is a difference! It’s just that this difference is not new knowledge or something new to obtain, but the removal of false knowledge/false beliefs and illusions (ie. removal of ignorance).

2) Note, contrary to the above, many people already do not care to know what freedom is, so they are ‘free from needing to know what freedom is’ already! But that is not liberation per se. Because ‘they’ have the (false & suffering-causing) belief ‘I am a limited body-mind entity’, they suffer accordingly.

So, that’s my view. What do you think? Have I got it right, or is there more to it?

Here is what could be a very useful video – it explains why some teachings work, meaning it explains why some teachings are more effective at bringing about a lasting realisation, and why some don’t:

You Have to Surrender the Mind | Self-Surrender

We have to surrender the mind. And then That what we are looking for is revealed naturally, spontaneously, effortlessly, but not to the mind.
If you start the practice, even if it is atrocious in the beginning, faith will come.
You will start to fall into the path and accelerate.
Every attempt at stilling the mind is a progress.
You are holding onto the branch of a tree (your mind is holding onto the illusion of body/mind/world – Maya) when your feet are on the ground (you are the Self already).
Only when you turn within and let go of the name and the form (the illusion/Maya) you will discover that you have always been standing on the ground (you have always been the Self).
Do not take this world to be real, or this body mind to be yourself.Do not take your thoughts to be your thoughts.
Abide as the Self.
Merge with the Knowledge that is within you.

These videos are recorded live during satsang meeting and put together by volunteers.

To attend satsang see tomdas.com/events

Online Satsang & post-satsang ‘social’ is now twice a week

We meet online every Thursday 8pm and every Sunday 3pm, UK time (currently BST, which is GMT+1)

After the meeting we have a post-satsang ‘social’ where attendees can informally chat and get to know each other better.

All are most welcome.

See tomdas.com/events for more information and how to join

Tom’s Recommended Films and Movies related to Spirituality, Non-Duality & Advaita

Here are some films that I have enjoyed that relate to Spirituality, Non-Duality and Advaita. The films may not be for everyone, but hopefully the themes will become fairly apparent as you watch them.

I haven’t made too much comment on them as you can always look them up for yourself should you wish to!

In no particular order:

  1. Revolver (directed by Guy Ritchie) – a treatise on the ego
  2. The Matrix – well it’s The Matrix! What more needs to be said?! So, do you want to take the blue pill or the red pill…
  3. The Truman Show – hmmm…wait a second…is THIS the Truman Show?
  4. V for Vendetta – go beyond your fears
  5. American Beauty – ‘look closer’…things are not as they seem
  6. Inception – Illusions, dreamscapes and creating reality
  7. Bliss (directed by Mike Cahil) – Illusion vs reality

Ok, a rather meagre post, but let me know your thoughts!

Jiddu Krishnamurti on Yoga and Yogic exercises

Question: Are yogic exercises helpful in any way to human beings?

Jiddu Krishnamurti: I think one must go into this question fairly deeply. Apparently in Europe, as well as in India, there is this idea that by doing yogic exercises, practising virtue, being good, participating in social work, reading sacred books, following a teacher – that by doing something of this kind, you are going to achieve salvation or enlightenment. I am afraid you are not. On the contrary, you are going to be caught in the things you are practising, and therefore you will always be held a prisoner and your vision will be everlastingly limited.

Yogic exercises are all right, probably, for the body. Any kind of exercise – walking, jumping, climbing mountains, swimming, or whatever you do – is on the same level. But to suppose that certain exercises will lead you to salvation, to understanding, to God, truth, wisdom – this I think is sheer nonsense, even though all the yogis in India say otherwise. If once you see that anything that you practise, that you accept, that you develop, always has behind it the element of greed – wanting to get something, wanting to reach something, wanting to break a record – , then you will leave it alone. A mind that is merely concerned with the `how’, with doing yogic exercises, this or that, will only develop a sense of achievement through time, and such a mind can never comprehend that which is timeless.

After all, you practise yogic exercises in the hope of reaching something, gaining something; you hope to achieve happiness, bliss, or whatever is offered. Do you think bliss is so easily realized? Do you think it is something to be gained by doing certain exercises, or developing concentration? Must not the mind be altogether free of this self-centred activity? Surely a man who practises yoga in order to reach enlightenment, is concerned about himself, about his own growth; he is full of his own importance. So it is a tremendous art – an art which can be approached only through self-knowledge, not through any practice – to understand this whole process of self-centred activity in the name of God, in the name of truth, in the name of peace, or whatever it be – to understand and be free of it.

Now, to be free does not demand time, and I think this is our difficulty. We say “I am envious, and to get rid of envy I must control, I must suppress, I must sacrifice, I must do penance, I must practise yoga”, and all the rest of it – all of which indicates the continuance of self-centred activity, only transferred to a different level. If one sees this, if one really understands it, then one no longer thinks in terms of getting rid of envy in a certain period of time. Then the problem is, can one get rid of envy immediately? It is like a hungry man – he does not want a promise of food tomorrow, he wants to be fed now, and in that sense he is free of time. But we are indolent, and what we want is a method to lead us to something which will ultimately give us pleasure.

Hamburg, Germany 4th Public Talk 14th September 1956