25 January 2014

Focusing Chapter 18

Q: Where do we begin?

M: All I know is that whatever depends, is not real. The real is truly independent. Since the existence of the person depends on the existence of the world and it is circumscribed and defined by the world, it cannot be real.

Q: It cannot be a dream, surely.

M: Even a dream has existence, when it is cognized and enjoyed, or endured. Whatever you think and feel has being. But it may not be what you take it to be. What you think to be a person may be something quite different.

Q: I am what I know myself to be.

M: You cannot possibly say that you are what you think yourself to be! Your ideas about yourself change from day to day and from moment to moment. Your self-image is the most changeful thing you have. It is utterly vulnerable, at the mercy of a passer by. A bereavement, the loss of a job, an insult, and your image of yourself, which you call your person, changes deeply. To know what you are you must first investigate and know what you are not. And to know what you are not you must watch yourself carefully, rejecting all that does not necessarily go with the basic fact: 'I am'. The ideas: I am born at a given place, at a given time, from my parents and now I am so-and-so, living at, married to, father of, employed by, and so on, are not inherent in the sense 'I am'. Our usual attitude is of 'I am this'. Separate consistently and perseveringly the 'I am' from 'this' or 'that', and try to feel what it means to be, just to be, without being 'this' or 'that'. All our habits go against it and the task of fighting them is long and hard sometimes, but clear understanding helps a lot. The clearer you understand that on the level of the mind you can be described in negative terms only, the quicker you will come to the end of your search and realize your limitless being.

21 January 2014

Focusing Chapter 17

Questioner: I need a response to life, not only intelligent, but also very quick. It cannot be quick unless it is perfectly spontaneous. How can I achieve such spontaneity?

Maharaj: The mirror can do nothing to attract the sun. It can only keep bright. As soon as the mind is ready, the sun shines in it.

Q: The light is of the Self, or of the mind?

M: Both. It is uncaused and unvarying by itself and colored by the mind, as it moves and changes. It is very much like a cinema. The light is not in the film, but the film colors the light and makes it appear to move by intercepting it.

Q: Are you now in the perfect state?

M: Perfection is a state of the mind, when it is pure. I am beyond the mind, whatever its state, pure or impure. Awareness is my nature; ultimately I am beyond being and non-being.

Q: Will meditation help me to reach your state?

M: Meditation will help you to find your bonds, loosen them, untie them and cast your moorings. When you are no longer attached to anything, you have done your share. The rest will be done for you.

Q: By whom?

M: By the same power that brought you so far, that prompted your heart to desire truth and your mind to seek it. It is the same power that keeps you alive. You may call it Life or the Supreme.

Q: The same power kills me in due course.

M: Were you not present at your birth? Will you not be present at your death? Find him who is always present and your problem of spontaneous and perfect response will be solved.

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08 January 2014

Focusing Chapter 16

Q: I am studying Sanskrit under a professor, but really I am only reading scriptures. I am in search of self-realisation and I came to get the needed guidance. Kindly tell me what am I to do?

M: Since you have read the scriptures, why do you ask me?

Q: The scriptures show the general directions but the individual needs personal instructions.

M: Your own self is your ultimate teacher (sadguru). The outer teacher (Guru) is merely a milestone. It is only your inner teacher, that will walk with you to the goal, for he is the goal.

Q: The inner teacher is not easily reached.

M: Since he is in you and with you, the difficulty cannot be serious. Look within, and you will find him.

Q: When I look within, I find sensations and perceptions, thoughts and feelings, desires and fears, memories and expectations. I am immersed in this cloud and see nothing else.

M: That which sees all this, and the nothing too, is the inner teacher. He alone is, all else only appears to be. He is your own self (swarupa), your hope and assurance of freedom; find him and cling to him and you will be saved and safe.

Q: I do believe you, but when it comes to the actual finding of this inner self, I find it escapes me.

M: The idea 'it escapes me', where does it arise?

Q: In the mind.

M: And who knows the mind.

Q: The witness of the mind knows the mind.

M: Did anybody come to you and say: 'I am the witness of your mind'?

Q: Of course not. He would have been just another idea in the mind.

M: Then who is the witness?

Q: I am.

M: So, you know the witness because you are the witness. You need not see the witness in front of you. Here again, to be is to know.

Q: Yes, I see that I am the witness, the awareness itself. But in which way does it profit me?

M: What a question! What kind of profit do you expect? To know what you are, is it not good enough?

Q: What are the uses of self-knowledge?

M: It helps you to understand what you are not and keeps you free from false ideas, desires and actions.

Q: If I am the witness only, what do right and wrong matter?

M: What helps you to know yourself is right. What prevents, is wrong. To know one's real self is bliss, to forget—is sorrow.

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03 January 2014

Focusing Chapter 15

Questioner: Is there no God apart from you?

Maharaj: How can there be? 'I am' is the root, God is the tree. Whom am I to worship, and what for?

Q: Are you the devotee or the object of devotion?

M: I am neither, I am devotion itself.

Q: There is not enough devotion in the world.

M: You are always after the improvement of the world. Do you really believe that the world is waiting for you to be saved?

Q: I just do not know how much I can do for the world. All I can do, is to try. Is there anything else you would like me to do?

M: Without you is there a world? You know all about the world, but about yourself you know nothing. You yourself are the tools of your work, you have no other tools. Why don't you take care of the tools before you think of the work?

Q: I can wait, while the world cannot.

M: By not enquiring you keep the world waiting.

Q: Waiting for what?

M: For somebody who can save it.

Q: God runs the world, God will save it.

M: That's what you say! Did God come and tell you that the world is His creation and concern and not yours?

Q: Why should it be my sole concern?

M: Consider. The world in which you live, who else knows about it?

Q: You know. Everybody knows.

M: Did anybody come from outside of your world to tell you? Myself and everybody else appear and disappear in your world. We are all at your mercy.

Q: It cannot be so bad! I exist in your world as you exist in mine.

M: You have no evidence of my world. You are completely wrapped up in the world of your own making.

Q: I see. Completely, but—hopelessly?

M: Within the prison of your world appears a man who tells you that the world of painful contradictions, which you have created, is neither continuous nor permanent and is based on a misapprehension. He pleads with you to get out of it, by the same way by which you got into it. You got into it by forgetting what you are and you will get out of it by knowing yourself as you are.

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27 December 2013

Focusing Chapter 14

Questioner: Don't brush me off like this! You are so quick to speak for the totality, the universe and such imaginary things! They cannot come and forbid you to talk on their behalf. I hate those irresponsible generalizations! And you are so prone to personalize them. Without causality there will be no order; nor purposeful action will be possible.

Maharaj: Do you want to know all the causes of each event? Is it possible?

Q: I know it is not possible! All I want to know is if there are causes for everything and the causes can be influenced, thereby affecting the events?

M: To influence events, you need not know the causes. What a roundabout way of doing things! Are you not the source and the end of every event? Control it at the source itself.

Q: Every morning I pick up the newspaper and read with dismay that the world's sorrows—poverty, hatred and wars—continue unabated. My questions are concerning the fact of sorrow, the cause, the remedy. Don't brush me off saying that it is Buddhism! Don't label me. Your insistence on causelessness removes all hope of the world ever changing.

M: You are confused, because you believe that you are in the world, not the world in you. Who came first—you or your parents? You imagine that you were born at a certain time and place, that you have a father and a mother, a body and a name. This is your sin and your calamity! Surely you can change your world if you work at it. By all means, work. Who stops you? I have never discouraged you. Causes or no causes, you have made this world and you can change it.

Q: A causeless world is entirely beyond my control.

M: On the contrary, a world of which you are the only source and ground is fully within your power to change. What is created can be always dissolved and recreated. All will happen as you want it, provided you really want it.

Q: All I want to know is how to deal with the world's sorrows.

M: You have created them out of your own desires and fears, you deal with them. All is due to your having forgotten your own being. Having given reality to the picture on the screen, you love its people and suffer for them and seek to save them. It is just not so. You must begin with yourself. There is no other way.

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