Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2008-07-03
Our intellectual mind can make the most simple thing complicated. In Shum we are trying to have a specific experience, trying to go to a specific area of the inner mind. Kaif and imkaif. Don't take a concept for the experience. A concept is a useful map to go somewhere. Be simple.
Today's Merging With Siva lesson: "Becoming Simple."
"When one begins to meditate, he should approach it dynamically, for it is becoming more alive. He is penetrating his awareness into the very source of life itself, for eventually he hopes to attain the ultimate goal, merger with Siva, the experience of the Self beyond all time, beyond all form, beyond all cause. The experience of Parasiva is attained only when one has become very simple, direct, uncomplicated. When a new nerve system has been built within this very body, strong enough to hold awareness within enough so that awareness itself can completely dissolve itself into its own essence, Satchidananda and Parasiva are experienced."
So, that's an interesting point, the idea of: "When one has become very simple, direct, uncomplicated. So of course, the part of us that is not simple direct or uncomplicated is our intellectual mind; it can make the most simple thing complicated; just give it a chance. So, I was recently e-mailing someone -- I think he's in the Caribbean somewhere -- got my, sent me an e-mail and started asking questions and so I said I'd answer a few of them. And so, one of them ended up on this point of being simple. So, I was trying to explain it. The idea is it's a very specific kind of meditation and it became obvious to me when I was trying to explain it to someone who had a background in Theosophy. You know, a mystical person, you know, lots of metaphysical teachings over the years but her approach to meditation was a Theosophical one so it was -- what would you say? -- it wasn't trying to experience something specific. It was just kind of going into a state of mind that was uplifting or peaceful, thinking about peaceful and uplifting things. That was what she considered meditation to be in her tradition. So, I was trying to explain: Well in Shum it's different. You're trying to have a specific experience; you're trying to go to a specific area of the inner mind and not just think about something peaceful or wonderful. So, it's a very, it's different than many approaches to meditation.
So, the idea of how the intellect fits in is what I'm trying to focus on. In other words, Gurudeva describes that in one of the quotes I use in the kaif lesson. He says: "Now that we've learned that kaif means awareness aware of itself," when we, the person leading the meditation says kaif and we're trying to experience kaif, there's a tendency just to go into the intellectual concept and repeat it. OK, let's see now, kaif, awareness aware of itself. I know what kaif means it means awareness aware of itself. I've got this memorized. You know kaif means awareness aware of itself. So we get stuck in the intellectual concept of kaif. So of course, the concept is there to give us an idea of what it is but we're supposed to transcend the concept. We're not supposed to just be happy that we learned it. So that, just like memorizing a map. You know, a map is useful which is what shum provides us to go somewhere, but we need to use the map, right? So, normally we don't study a map just for the joy of just studying a map, least a street map. You know we need to go somewhere. So we study the street map and we use it to get somewhere. It's a useful tool. We don't consider the map to be that exciting. So it doesn't stick in the mind; it's just a tool. OK, here's a map, we're here, we want to go there, do this. So, Shum is the same way; it's giving us a map. First we go here, then we go here, then we can go there. So, when we think of it in that way and utilize it in that way that's the spirit of being simple. We're not getting hung up in the concept of it. The concept is just a map that helps us find something specific.
So, there's a nice Yogaswami quote on that area, it's the end of the story I won't read the whole story. So this was a visitor in the hut and toward the end of the darshan session Yogaswami was talking about meditation and he said:
"You must be simple."
Sound familiar? Be simple is our lesson for the day.
"You must be simple. You must be utterly naked in your consciousness. When you have reduced yourself to nothing -- when your self has disappeared, when you have become nothing -- then you are yourself God. The man who is nothing knows God, for God is nothing. Nothing is everything. Because I am nothing, you see, because I am a beggar, I own everything. So nothing means everything. Understand?
"It means that you genuinely desire nothing. It means that you can honestly say that you know nothing. It also means that you are not interested in doing anything about this state of nothingness.
"You think you know but, in fact, you are ignorant. When you see that you know nothing about yourself, then you are yourself God."
So: "This narrative reveals a vital theme in Yogaswami's teachings: esoteric insights about nothingness and not knowing. In life, the normal emphasis is on acquiring knowledge, or replacing a lack of knowledge on a subject with knowledge. For example, we purchase a new computer. Knowing little about it, we read the manuals, talk to experts and end up acquiring enough information to use the computer. We have replaced a lack of knowledge with knowledge.
"Yogaswami's approach, because it deals with spiritual matters, is the opposite. We start with intellectual knowledge about God and strive to rid ourselves of that knowledge. When we succeed, we end up experiencing God. Why is this? Because the intellect cannot experience God. The experience of God in His personal form and His all-pervasive consciousness lies in the superconscious or intuitive mind. And, the experience of God as Absolute Reality is beyond even the superconscious mind.
"Acquiring clear intellectual concepts of the nature of God is good, but these concepts must be eventually transcended to actually experience God."
Then Gurudeva's aphorism Cognizantability says:
"The intellect strengthened with opinionated knowledge is the only barrier to the superconscious."
So that's, the general idea there is: Don't take the concept for the experience is the idea. You know, we have concepts to give us a general sense of what we're trying to do, where we're trying to go. But, the concept is only in the intellectual area of the mind, it's not the actual superconscious experience. So, you take the knowledge and we utilize it to move awareness to a specific place in the superconscious mind or to a specific sustaining of awareness, trying to sustain it so well that it dissolves which is the experience of imkaif.
So therefore, the concepts we have are a useful map to go somewhere, right. We need always remember that, just use them as a concept. We're trying to use these concepts as a map to go to a destination and concepts are not the goal in themselves. Or as Gurudeva says: "Be simple."
Aum Namah Sivaya
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