The ugly duckling didn’t need to become a swan. It was already a swan.
Contemplate the following points:
Look, investigate, and see things as they are.
Various teachings can help you along the way, but in essence, what more needs to be done?
Note, it can take time for all this to be seen, and thankfully for the seeker, there are a set of teachings that can guide one through this process. I call these ‘the structured teachings’, and it forms the basis of the way I share this message. Please see tomdas.com/events for further information or the video below for an introduction.
Know well that even performing tapas (spiritual practice) and yoga with the intention ‘I should become an instrument in the hands of the Lord Siva’ is a blemish to complete self-surrender, which is the highest form of being in His service.
(Guru Vachaka Kovai, verse 471)
Sri Sadhu Om’s Comments:
Since even the thought ‘I am an instrument in the Lord’s hand’ is a means by which the ego retains its individuality, it is directly opposed to the spirit of complete self-surrender, the ‘I’-lessness. Are there not many good-natured people who engage themselves in prayers, worship, yoga and such virtuous acts with the aim of achieving power from God and doing good to the world as one divinely commissioned? It is exposed here that even such endeavours are egotistical and hence contrary to self-surrender.
Often enlightenment is taught as being some kind of experiential shift. But is this true? This post will attempt to explain and illustrate how it all works. So is enlightenment an experiential shift? Yes and no. The essential factor that changes occurs in the mind. Fundamentally the experience doesn’t change. What changes is the way experience is understood. Understanding is the key.
Let me illustrate this with an example:
eg. If you realise that Father Christmas doesn’t exist, and that he never existed, it will dramatically change the way you experience Christmas: the days before Christmas will feel different, it will feel different going to bed on Christmas eve, and it will be a different experience seeing your presents in the morning under the Christmas tree.
Now, is this an experiential shift?
Well it may seem that way, but actually what has happened is that a belief/thought that was once taken to be true is now seen to be false, and that understanding in turn has changed the way we experience the same set of events.
I italicise ‘same set of events’, as the raw sensory experience of life remains unchanged both before and after enlightenment. All that changes is understanding, and that change is at the level of the mind/thought. Understanding is the key.
To put it more simply perhaps, the experiential shift, if it occurs at all (it may not), is a symptom of right understanding, which is the essential underlying cause.
Now, if a teacher who is genuinely enlightened does not understand what has happened to them, then they may teach that enlightenment is some kind of experiential shift. Because that’s how it can feel. This may happen if if they have not come to this realisation through a teaching such as Buddhism or Vedanta, both of which explicitly emphasise understanding on the level of the mind as being central, or if the teacher has not sufficiently analysed their experience well enough in order to teach it effectively. When the latter happens, the results is often a very vague teaching which is imprecise and difficult to understand. This reduces the effectiveness of the teaching.
This brings me to another point: just because someone is enlightened, doesn’t mean they can teach effectively. A comparable example is just because you can speak English, doesn’t mean you understand the grammar, syntax and other rules and techniques that are often very useful in teaching someone else English. This understanding of grammar, for example, greatly increases the efficiency of the teaching.
The same goes for enlightenment, the end of suffering: there are many beautiful techniques and lovely teachings that mean that the teaching works much more effectively at sharing this wonderful Understanding.
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?
Not that which comes and goes,
But that which knows both comings and goings;
Not that which is confused or clear,
But that which sees both confusion and clarity;
Not that which is happy or depressed,
But that which knows both happiness and depression;
Not that which swells with pride, or is deflated by humiliation,
But that which sees both pride and humiliation, and their effects;
Not that which is damaged by disease or benefited by medicine,
But that which knows both disease and health;
Not that which has desires and fears,
But that which sees both attraction and aversion;
Not that which judges or is open-minded,
But that which knows judgement and open-mindedness.
Not that which thinks or acts,
But that to which both thoughts and actions appear;
Not the ear, tongue, skin, eyes or nose,
But that to which smell, taste, sensation, vision and sound appear;
That which, in our experience,
is always present,
and unblemished by experiences;
looks with constancy,
always seeing things as they are;
cannot be lost or removed,
is effortlessly present,
and is the innermost essence of your experience;
Know yourself to be that.
Turn away from thought.
Turn away from that web of chatter,
from that activity of apparent separation and all the existential pain it brings.
Turn away from all that self-imposed suffering.
Rest a while, my friend:
You deserve it, you deserve that much.
Take a rest…
…be that space in which all things appear but on which nothing leaves a mark.
…know yourself as that.
(you are already that)