Thursday, November 9, 2017

Ceasing to Exist in Existence

“When I meditate, I like to imagine I was never born and I’ve been given just 10 minutes to experience life, and then I will again cease to exist. Now I look out and survey the universe from that standpoint. The line of Sophocles about “never being born” is good to ponder for those who are sad, unhappy or have no zeal in life. What a miracle it is to be alive at all. I also repeat these 3 orienting thoughts :
1) The disciples asked Jesus, "When will the Kingdom of the Father come?" Jesus answered, "The Kingdom of the Father will not come by waiting for it. Men will not say, 'See here, see there.' The Kingdom of the Father is spread upon the earth, but men do not see it." It is here, it is here. Change the focus of the eye.
2) ‘Tat tvam asi.’ You are the mystery that you seek to know.
3) ‘Om mane padme hum.’ The jewel (the treasure) is in the lotus (the world right now).
“All your attempts to reach me are in reality my attempts to reach you." We are the universe looking at itself. It does no good to know "who" you are if you don’t know “what" you are.” ……………..Individuation – Carl Jung
We are so preoccupied with existence that to think of non-existence is a horrifying experience. This leads most of humanity to fear death. To be spiritually proactive in our existence, it is necessary that we meditate up on non-existence. The three basic tenets expressed through the teachings of Christ, Vedic Rishis and Tibetan Buddhist masters point to a fact that we exist as an integral part of reality that lies beyond our sensorial perceptions.
The arena of contemplation or meditation is the ideal ground wherein one can remove existence by incrementally reducing the period of existence by closing the mind to gross reality. When we stand in a desert or hill top with a clear night sky and see the millions of stars and the arching Milky Way, we are far removed from our own existence. As I had pointed out in my writings and talks, this experience is called “Yugan” which is the word used in Japanese aesthetic expression for mysterious joy.
When we talk of existence, the primary subjective experience gives us the perception of “I exist”. This “I” is the result of our physical and mental action which again is a conditioned response to our socio-cultural and environmental ambiance and evolution. This is not the real essence of our existence. But this has lead us, in Abrahamic religions, to look for an external and a totally inaccessible God’s kingdom during our earthly existence. This false perception is pointed out by Christ when he answers the disciples when he says: “………The Kingdom of the Father is spread upon the earth, but men do not see it." It is here, it is here. Change the focus of the eye.” …………..Gospel of Thomas Saying 113
And in another context Christ tells the disciples “……..“The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed,” ………. Luke 17:20.
If this ultimate reality is around us and in us, Christ gives two remedial actions.
The first is to change the focus of our eyes. This means that this perception cannot be concepts from our normal visual observation. This seeing requires a special spiritual eye. This will resonate with what we read in Bhagavad Gita chapter 11 on the cosmic form of Lord Krishna, when Arjuna is bestowed with special eyes to behold the cosmic reality.
The second action is to seek this higher reality beyond mere physical observation. This is reflected in Luke’s Gospel.
The saying from Vedanta “Tat tvam asi.” Is taken from Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7, in the dialogue between Uddālaka and his son Śvetaketu; it appears at the end of a section, and is repeated at the end of the subsequent sections as an exhortation. The meaning of this saying is that the Self - in its original, pure, primordial state - is wholly or partially identifiable or identical with the Ultimate Reality that is the ground and origin of all phenomena. The knowledge that this is so characterises the experience of liberation or salvation that accompanies the mystical union.
As Rumi from a mystical perspective wrote: “Your longing for me is my message to you. All your attempts to reach me, are in reality my attempts to reach You.” This is a seamless circular process wherein the observer and the observed are one and the same.
This dying to oneself as a spiritual preparation is a vital element in Tibetan Buddhism. In “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” there is a story told how a single reality could be perceived in many ways.
We perceive the world depending on our karmic vision.
Six different kinds of beings meet by the banks of a river. The human beings sees the river as water, a substance to wash and quench one’s thirst.; for an animal such as fish, the river is its home; the gods sees it as a nectar that brings bliss; the demigods as weapon; the hungry ghost as pus and putrid blood and the beings from hellish realm as molten lava. Six different perception of one single reality.
In this story, the six gradation of spiritual consciousness is given an allegoric personification from Gods  to beings of the hellish realm and depending on the level of consciousness one’s perception changes.
The invocation during meditation “Om mane padme hum”, according to the 14th Dalai Lama, means: “The six syllables, om mane padme hum, mean that in dependence on the practice of a path which is an indivisible union of method and wisdom, you can transform your impure body, speech, and mind into the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha”
Hence only through moving out of our temporal mental existence in our consciousness through deep meditation, we can reach a higher reality. It is an arduous exercise worth attempting.
Love to you all

4 comments :

  1. "In earth is the heaven and look for it there and nowhere else is a great saying." The responsible contribution by an individual socially environmentally and more importantly spiritually can have a pyramidal effect on the universe.
    Lucidly written!

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  2. It did bring back memories of our old days. As usual, I find your write-ups simply brilliant!
    Bhaskar

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    Replies
    1. Happy to hear from you, Bhaskar.
      I always loved your feedback.

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