God and Guru are outdated

Following my recent post: ‘Do real gurus use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, have websites and advertise?’, I received a few comments stating that words like ‘God’ and ‘Guru’ are outdated. And in many ways I agree. Both these words conjure up images of a patriarchal authoritarian culture of religion that is based in blind faith and superstition. However, here was my response to some of those comments:

Tom: I’ve noticed that words are very individual in how one relates to them. Some people are positively allergic to words like God and Guru, others revel in them, and many are somewhere in between.

No matter what words we use or do not use, some people will resonate, some people will not. In my view, we give ourselves the best chance to awaken when we see past the superficiality of the words used and look instead to what they point to.

When I was seeking, I gobbled up all the teachings I could find: theistic, non-theist, new-age, faith-based, understanding-based, practices, no practices – you name it, I was there, looking beyond the words, attempting to discover the substance beneath it.

What do you think? How do you seek (if you seek)? What resonates with you?

Peace to you all

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Dare to question, and more…

Here are some recent quotes from my Facebook page:

 


It should be obvious that something is not necessarily true just because it is written in a sacred text or spoken by some great authority/teacher.

History and experience shows us that even highly intelligent people capable of great logical thinking can often have bizarre irrational beliefs


There is never a feeling of doership. What is called the feeling/sense of doership is just a cluster of sensations that is interpreted by the mind/thought as indicative of doership.


The concept of non-doership roots out the concept of doership. Then both concepts are let go of and neither concept exclusively operates in the mind.


Most seekers I work with are consciously or unconsciously seeking a subtle object and think lasting fulfillment will come through that. ie. They are seeking enlightenment as an experience. Much of my teaching is simply dispelling that notion in such a way that the seeker clearly sees.


Another way of putting it is that the feeling of doership can continue but that doesn’t mean you are a doer.


Oneness is also a story…a nice story, but a story nonetheless


What is, is. Accept it and move on. This doesn’t mean that you just passively accept things such as injustice…

Do you get what I’m saying?

There is no doer here, there never was one 😮


I don’t buy the whole ‘there is no time’ thing. When you look at it, time is just a way of describing movement.


The key is to see through the separate doer.

(Can you find a separate doer-entity? Where is this autonomous entity that supposedly authors thoughts and actions?)

When that is seen, what more can be done?

This is the whole purpose of atma vichara (self-inquiry)


The whole world is your guru, each and every experience, constantly emanating pure-teaching-essence beyond words.

Just be open and listen


Yes, that’s one of the reasons a genuine living teacher can be so useful – to indicate the total normality of this. Ramana himself said this many times…
Q: How can I attain Self-realisation?
Ramana Maharshi: Realisation is nothing to be gained afresh; it is already there. All that is necessary is to get rid of the thought ‘I have not realised’.

Silence of the mind (relative silence) allows us to notice the Silence that is ever-present, the Silence that is beyond both noise and (relative) silence.

It is the Silence of our very being, the Silence of where we are looking from.


There seem to be a lot of people on Facebook saying silence is the best way and that silence is the highest form of teaching


Ramana’s lineage? Ramana had no lineage. Ramana never gave authority for other’s to teach in his name, not even his closest disciples. Many teachers have been deeply affected by his teachings, myself included, but this is quite different to saying you are in Ramana’s lineage.

Debate, critical thinking and constructive criticism are important parts of spirituality and are to be encouraged. Who’s with me on this?


To say there is no one here is like saying there are no waves on the ocean. There is no separate self, just as there are no separate waves, but I am here, just as (I assume) you are.


The concept of a wave is a fiction, but also points to something true: the phenomenon of a wave.


Q: It’s all about ONENESS
Tom: For me that’s another belief. It can be a useful teaching, until it’s not.

Freedom, beyond all concepts and all stories, embracing all concepts and all stories.


How can we know something has no limitations?


Being ‘okay with that’ is freedom

If you think you are definitely not the body or that the world is definitely an illusion, you have probably stumbled into the world of beliefs.


This much I know: it happened the way it happened. All else is speculation (not that there is anything wrong with speculation).

The desire to improve can be very healthy


We think we chose to read or hear the teachings and apply them. When we understand the teachings more fully, we realised that the teachings came to us, they were a gift to us, that they chose us, and they work their magic on us.


Most do not go far enough and remain caught up in words, beliefs, teachings and spiritual-sounding slogans


Inquiry is only needed to remove ignorance (belief in the doer). When ignorance is seen to be non-existent, where is the need of inquiry?

Know your limits. Be honest. Be humble. Do not cling to beliefs. Admit and know what you don’t know.


Perhaps freedom itself is not conditional, but the realisation of the unconditional freedom is conditional.


What in ignorance is taken to be the subject,
in Understanding is seen to be an object.

 


No need to surrender.
Just ‘what is’.



Practice vs no practice

Many ‘practice orientated paths’ just keep one going round and round samsara. Why? Because the assumption is that the Freedom we seek is not already here and that it has to be obtained.

Many instant-enlightenment teachings also do not result in fruition. Why? Because they shun the need for practice.

For some, diligent practice is required. For others, sporadic practice is required. For some, no practice is required.

For more read here:

https://tomdas.com/2015/05/18/infinite-ways-to-an-infinite-god-even-if-you-dont-believe-in-god/

https://tomdas.com/2016/01/09/the-highest-spiritual-teachings-self-knowledge-and-generating-peace/

Poetry: no way to talk about this

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When this is seen,
It is seen there are so many ways to talk about this,
So many ways to guide others to this,
So many helpful ways,
– yet all of them false.

Ultimately,
All ways are false,
All descriptions are false.
The Truth cannot be contained in words:
The best teaching is whatever works.

No self, True self, or just Self?
Freedom, Enlightenment or Bliss?
Emptiness, Fullness, or Infinite?
Personal, impersonal, or no story at all?
Duality, non-duality? Both, neither?

All can be helpful concepts pointing the way,
None are THE SACRED TRUTH.

The proverbial finger points at the moon,
Don’t cling to the finger!

 

Reading Sri Ramakrishna in Calcutta: All Religions point in the same direction

I used to read the works of Sri Ramakrishna as a young teenager. I first came across his books in Calcutta whilst on holiday there visiting family. I think it was in the gargantuan Howrah railway station that I spied a pile of his books. His books, I learnt in later travels to India, can be found in railway stations all over India, often in makeshift stalls that line the train platforms. I remember having to pester my dad to give me the money (was it 5 Rupees?) to buy the small paperback that I still have to this day.

Ramakrishna could barely read and write and his teachings were written down by his friends and devotees. It fills me with a fond nostalgia to read this today (as it popped up on my Facebook timeline!)…

‘Jal’ and ‘Pani’ are 2 words for water in the Bengali language, Jal typically used by Hindus and Pani by Muslims.

 

A Christmas message: was Jesus ever Born?

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The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was [already] in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.
John 1:9-10

Christmas is meant to be about celebrating the birth of Jesus, and the above bible verse tells of his coming. But was Jesus ever born? I’m not asking whether or not he existed, I’m asking was Jesus an entity that was born into this world, or was Jesus something else?

In John’s gospel the opening chapter proclaims the coming birth of Jesus Christ. But in verse 10 (above) it clearly states that Jesus already existed prior to his birth, and prior to the existence of the world: he was already in the world, the world was made through him, but the world knew him not.

This is not referring to the human Jesus made of flesh and blood, but something else, something deeper, more subtle, more universal and more potent. This Christ is the True Light, as per verse 9 above, the deeper essence of Christ. A few chapters later in John’s Gospel Jesus himself testifies that he was never born:

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”
John 8:58

Note, Jesus doesn’t say ‘I was’, he says ‘I AM‘, again indicating he is and always has been beyond the notion of time. Anyone who has studied vedanta and other spiritual traditions would be familiar with similar sayings espoused by countless sages in ages gone past.

Jesus is not identifying himself as the body-mind entity, but as the Absolute, the Father, the unborn, that which always IS, that which is never not.

So here’s to wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, and when we come together to celebrate Jesus’s birth, let us remember the deeper import of Jesus’s teachings: to be with the Father, the Absolute, that to which we are all slaves whether we know it or not.

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he [Jesus] said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.This is the greatest and first commandment.”
Matthew 22:36-38

And it is in discovering this slavery that we actually ‘become’ free.

So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.”
John 5:19

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

❤ ❤ ❤

Join us! Regular Non-Duality & Spirituality Meetings Online and In Person

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Why not join us? We meet in person (London, UK) and online most weeks to discuss non-duality and spirituality. All are welcome, no prior knowledge is required.
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