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’.



So, what happens when you die?

Branch lightQ. So, what happens when you die?

How can you know what happens when you die? No matter how you justify it, no matter how many psychic intuitions or spiritual experiences you have, the truth is that you don’t know for sure what happens after death. This question may perhaps be answered by science in the future, but we are not there yet.

Think of a time when you were utterly convinced something was true, but now you look back and realise how wrong you were. Knowledge also comes and goes. Perspectives change as we grow and mature and experience different things.

Enlightenment is beyond knowledge. Enlightenment does not depend on knowledge or the mind. Unlike knowledge and states of mind, Enlightenment cannot be attained – it is already here.

The above is an extract from the following post: Who cares about freedom?

Science does not lead to truth

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Science is a tool

Science is a tool, not a means of truth. And like all tools, they are neither good or bad in themselves, but can be used according to the will of he who wields it. A spanner can be used to help make a hospital bed or it can be used to hit you over the head and put you in hospital bed. Science is no different, but due to its potential power it can be used to vastly improve or destroy the quality of human life on large scales.

Science does not tell us what is true, it is a method of prediction

However one thing it is useful to be clear on is that science does not tell us what is true. Science is a way of predicting what will happen in a given set of circumstances. A scientific theory is a model that explains what we observe. A model is a conceptual construct that is created by the human mind – it says if you do action ‘x’, then result ‘y’ is seen to occur. We call this cause and effect, but even that is an assumption. Perhaps I am being pedantic here, but we don’t really know that ‘x’ causes ‘y’ in any solid way. All we know is that when you do ‘x’, then this leads to ‘y’. This is all cause and effect really means.

If the theory works, it doesn’t mean that it is true, it just means that we can use it as a provisional way of predicting what will happen. This model can be used to predict what will happen in various scenarios. As long as the theory works, we continue to use it. If we find that it doesn’t work in some situations, then we have to re-examine the theory and come up with a better one that will work in those situations.

This has some interesting implications. For example we cannot say that there is such as thing as an electron. We can only say that the conceptual model of an electron is a good way of predicting what will happen in certain circumstances (ie. circumstances involving ‘electrons’). It may be there are no such things as individual electrons, but if the theory works, we can use it nonetheless.

So strictly speaking, when someone says that a theory is true, what they really mean is that the theory works based on what we are currently able to observe and measure. Note that what we can observe/measure is always via our senses, and is limited by our senses and the machines we have constructed to feed into our senses (such as microscopes, rulers, speedometers, x-ray machines, etc).

Science can only disprove, not prove

Another way of saying this is that scientific truth is not really truth as most of us would accept it. It is simply a theory that works. Science can never actually prove something is true. It can only say that a theory is false by disproving it, or that a theory has so far not been proven false. The theories we have not been able to prove as being false are the ones we take to be ‘true’ (provisionally), until they are proven false later on.

Lets embrace science to improve the quality of human life

So, lets use science, and all other tools we have, to improve our lot and raise the quality of our life. And what is the quality of our life? Well this is determined by our experience of life. We can use material resources, science, technology (including medicine) and spirituality to improve our experience of life. Let’s make these tools instruments of love and peace. Therefore, let us become loving and peaceful so this may be done.

What are the health benefits of yoga really?

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As someone who has practiced yoga since being a young child, I would highly recommend it. There are so many benefits – even a relatively superficial physical practice can be transformative.

However I do get tired of reading about the endless benefits of yoga as a cure-all for everything from cancer to haemorrhoids.

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Spirituality is not physics

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Spirituality is not physics. Lots of people who are interested and immersed in spirituality get confused about this. Just because something feels/ is perceived/ is intuited a certain way, does not mean that it is actually like that. It’s obvious really. Spirituality deals with subjective experience. Science deals with learning how to predict what will occur in various different situations. Some examples:

eg. I have a feeling/perception that all is one and everything is interconnected. Therefore everything in the universe is actually one and interconnected.

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Spirituality and science have common aims

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It just so happens that in the so-called ‘West’ there has been a rapid development of science in the last few centuries. If we want to understand how things work, if we want to develop technologies and medicine, we turn to ‘Western’ science.

Also, it just so happens that when it comes to introspection and exploration of subjective inner states of consciousness, the so-called ‘East’ has had the historical monopoly. There have been a few thousand years of rigorous exploration of consciousness through meditative, contemplative, tantric and various other practices. This has allowed humans to discover and access mental states in which truths about our minds and subjective experience can be discovered and experienced first-hand without the need for belief. Continue reading