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Life, the Great Experience - Dharma - Part 2

Merging with Siva

Gurudeva: "Liberation comes when dharma has been well-performed, all our karmas are resolved and God has been fully realized." The soul body is maturing through experience in the world. Every experience is a good experience when you have learned the lesson from it. If we go deep enough we find a part of us that never changes. "Then comes the dawn of the clear white light."

Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, 2:18. Master Course Trilogy, Merging with Siva, Lessons 93, 94.

Unedited Transcript:

Good morning everyone.

We are continuing our series of comments from "Merging with Siva," a lesson at a time taking the oldest one's first and supplementing it with some stories from "The Guru Chronicles" that relate to that time period. This morning we're continuing with "Life the Great Experience," Chapter 14. An inspired talk given in 1957 at the Sutter Street Temple.

So starting with a question. What is required to achieve moksha? in Gurudeva's teachings. What is required to achieve moksha? So Gurudeva gives three answers to that in the Trilogy. A one part, a two part and three part answer. So the one part answer of course is you have to realize the Self; Parasiva. The two part answer is you have to realize the Self and resolve all karma. And the tree part answer I will read:

"Liberation [moksha] comes when dharma has been well-performed, all our karmas are resolved and God has been fully realized."

So that's the part you may not have recalled, that dharma has been well-performed is the third item in the three part definition. In other words, part of the achievement of moksha is having a certain amount of experiences in the world. That's what dharma has been well-performed means. We've had a series of experiences in the world and we've handled them well according to dharma and that is part of what's needed. So experience of course, that ties in with Life the Great Experience, the title, that's where we're talking about experience.

"Patanjali's Yoga Sutras" has a verse that mentions the importance of experience.

Chapter Two, Verse 18.

"What is experienced has the character of brightness, activity, and inertia. It is embodied in the elements and the sense organs. Its purpose is to provide both experience and liberation."

So, he's saying we need experience. Patanjali's saying the same thing that... So brightness, activity and inertia are the three gunas. And we have experience and liberation.

So the question is: Why do we need experience? What does experience provide us? So I choose "Dancing with Siva" Sloka 27 to answer that.

"To understand the mysteries of the soul, we distinguish between the soul body and its essence. As a soul body, we are individual and unique, different from all others, a self-effulgent being of light which evolves and matures through an evolutionary process. This soul body is of the nature of God Siva, but is different from Siva in that it is less resplendent than the Primal Soul and still evolving, while God is un-evolutionary perfection. (That's a beautiful phrase, 'un-evolutionary perfection.') We may liken the soul body to an acorn, which contains the mighty oak tree but is a small seed yet to develop. (So the answer we're looking for is in the next sentence here.) The soul body matures through experience, evolving through many lives into the splendor of God Siva, ultimately realizing Siva totally in nirvikalpa samadhi. Even after Self Realization is attained, the soul body continues to evolve in this and other worlds until it merges with the Primal Soul, as a drop of water merges with its source, the ocean. Yea, this is the destiny of all souls without exception..."

So my commentary: The main point in the sloka is that the soul body is maturing through experience in the world. How does this happen? It happens through an individual gaining greater and greater control over his or her instinctive and intellectual natures. So, increasing our self control. Doing so, matures the soul.

So that's the end of the introduction. And we get the lesson. Lesson 93. "Seeking for Understanding." Text: "There is a state of mind in which the sifting-out process of action and reaction is not possible. This is when the subconscious mind is confused. Too many experiences have gone into the subconscious that have not been resolved through understanding. Balancing the subconscious mind is like keeping accounts or balancing books. "Suppose you have hurriedly put many figures on your ledger. Some of them are correct but a few are not, and others do not belong, so, the books don't balance. You may spend hours over these ledgers, but they won't balance because it is human nature that we do not see our own mistakes. It takes someone else to gently point them out to you. As you quietly sit in concentration over your books, trying to balance them with a deeper understanding, your guru, teacher or friend may walk in the door and in five minutes find the error. You correct it and, like magic, the darkness lifts, the books balance perfectly and you inwardly see your clear white light. The ledger is your subconscious mind, the figures are your experiences, and until you understand them you will remain in darkness, in a state of imbalance. You will not only feel this disharmony, you will be able to see it portrayed as darkness within your body..."

So my comment: This is another method to find our mistakes. If you have tried to find the mistake for some time and have been unable to do so, take a break from it. Go for a short walk, for example. When you return you may immediately understand the mistake from your superconscious.

Back to the text: "For just as it is your experience which makes up your subconscious state of mind, so it is your subconscious mind which creates the physical body and makes it look as it does. (Interesting point.) There are some people skilled enough to look at your face and your body and thereby read what is in your subconscious mind. My spiritual master, Jnanaguru Yogaswami, could look at another's mind, see and understand the nature and intensity of the darkness or light. It is a science only a few are trained in accurately. He knew that the physical body is really created by the sum total of the conflicts and tranquilities within the subconscious state of mind. As man becomes enlightened through cognition, the conflict lessens, giving birth to the dawn after the darker hours. Hence the statement about the third eye, 'When the eye becomes single, the whole body shall be filled with light.'" So my comment: The relationship is bi-directional. Gurudeva's text stated that it is the subconscious which creates the physical body and makes it look as it does. We can also refine the physical body through diet and hatha yoga and change the subconscious mind. So it works both directions.

Back to the text: [Lesson 94] "Each experience is a classroom. When the subconscious mind has been fully reconciled to everything that has happened, when you have fully realized that everything you have gone through is nothing more and nothing less than an experience, and that each experience is really a classroom, you will receive from yourself your innerversity personal evaluation report and it will be covered with the highest grades, denoting excellent cognition."

So my comment:

Each experience is a classroom is a useful image to have in mind to make sure you have gained the understanding that that experience holds for you. In other word every experience is a good experience when you have learned the lesson from it.


"Each of these higher grades is important, for when you put them together they will unfold a consciousness of understanding, making you eligible for your graduation certificate of visually seeing the clear white light within your head while sitting in a darkened room. Yet, if you have failed a class, or several classes, not only will the marks show, but it will also take you longer to graduate. If you haven't taken from each experience its sum of understanding, subconsciously you remain in the classroom reacting to the lesson you are learning, even though the experience may have occurred fifteen or twenty years ago."

So my comment is:

You identify the experiences you have yet to understand in full by the fact that you think about them regularly and when you do so they generate an emotional reaction within you. So that's one way of determining what you haven't understood.

And the text:

"So, we have to end each of these experiences in understanding. We have to be promoted to the next deeper grade of awareness so that, with the universal love born of understanding, we can close the classroom doors behind us and receive our diploma. When we receive this first diploma of the clear white light, we are given the greater knowledge and wisdom of what this great experience of life is all about. How do we realize what life is all about? By having lived it fully we fully realize that the past is nothing more and nothing less than a dream, and a dream is comprised of pleasant experiences and nightmares. Both are just experiences, neither good nor bad, right nor wrong."

So my comment:

The perspective that the past is a dream is bringing in the idea that your superconsciousness does not change. It is as it always has been. So that's an important point in Gurudeva's teachings that we can look at it, look at what is going on in two ways, normal consciousness things are changing and there's a past and the future. But we go in deep enough we find a part of us that never changes, it's always the same, so there's no past and future in that.

And the last bit of text here:

"But you must remember that even the greatest souls have had nightmares, confusions, heartbreaks, disappointments, losses, desires that have been unfulfilled and experiences that they have not been able to cognize. And then they have come to a point in their lives when their inner being started pushing toward to the conscious plane. In other words, they have had just about all the experience necessary to graduate out of the instinctive-intellectual world, or consciousness. The great, intuitive superconscious nature begins pushing toward the conscious plane, stirring up within the subconscious the remnants of the past. As those remnants come up, they have to be faced and cognized through meditation, thus creating the foundation for understanding the basic laws and principles of life. Then comes the dawn of the clear white light."

So my comment:

This verse is adding the idea that when the superconscious nature begins pushing forward to the conscious plane, it stirs up the subconscious, the remnants of the past that are unresolved. So if you find, if someone new to the spiritual path finds their subconscious stirred up, that's why. It's because the superconscious is pushing out, helping you see what you need to still understand.

Have a wonderful day.

Photo of  Gurudeva
It is the wise man who recognizes the importance of controlling the forces of his mind. His life is a struggle to make his philosophy real, to gain control of the cycles of experience which have tied him to the wheel of karma.