Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Basics Of Gurubusting

File under: Gurubusting

[Ed.note: We posted this little missive in a discussion group about gurus that we belong to. One person said he really liked it so we've decided to republish it here.]

Our vehement opposition to most aspects of gurudom, as it has been projected into the culture of the West by various big-time gurus past and present, is that it presents a picture of self-realization that is false. Every picture is, but if you are going to make a picture of self-realization, wouldn't you want that picture to be as normal as possible, rather than so exalted and out of reach? Because the fact is that self-realization is never out of reach. Out of awareness for some, but even that is a delusion.

A big-time guru parades around in his/her ashrams all over the world, and many come to believe that self-realization will result in what they imagine that experience to be like. Worse yet are the myths and legends about big-time gurus using their miraculous powers. These are like thick, black smoke in the mind of one who seeks clarity.

Big-time satsangs spew this pollution into the world's headspace like a 1940s Pittsburgh steel mill. It's all about the pedestal. The higher they let it build underneath them, the more they are in need of busting. And we haven't even begun to talk about what they are teaching. The example they set alone can do most of the damage. For every one bhakta who gets blessed with self-realization by way of their bhakti for their guru, there are thousands that get nothing but screwed by all the ridiculous ideas they've adopted about their divine space daddy and how he's going to make it all ok.

That's why we mock and ridicule and basically make as much of a fool of ourselves as those who make themselves targets by the self-aggrandization circus they surround themselves with. The bottom line is that they have absolutely nothing on you in regards to you being who you really are.

Really... Nothing.

Anything you believe you receive from them you get from the root of your self, or God, if you will. Not the glorious glowing magic power of your master. That's just a thick, black haze that hangs in your mind, blocking the view rather than improving it. Real gurus all know this and make every effort to make sure their students do as well. The rest of them deserve to be busted for using myth, speculation and conjecture as tools to add allure and marketing appeal in their attempt to attract more revenue streams in the form of devotees.

32 Comments:

At 8/17/2006 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most "gurus" are not teaching a practice that works simply because to do such a thing would interrupt their revenue streams. Better to teach empty philosophy and other crap that obscure reality than deal with the problems of havin students who actually progress from a practice.

I went through "awakening" and then a permanent change in state of consciousness from a meditation practice many years ago. There was no warning from the "master" who taught this and my experiences were very very scary. It is only now, many years later, that I have some understanding of what happened and why. And I continue to live with "siddhis" (or "latent abilities" as they are known in my path) that make work, and life in general, rather distracting to say the least.

This has been the case with many others that I have talked and emailed with who went through the "awakening" stage and continued.

Many experiences are bad because bad practices but even those who go through such stages from "proper" practices have difficulty. The "kundalini" or change in consciousness process is not an easy one.

Should you have to quit your job due to such an experience? Abandon loved ones? Move to the hills and live like a hermit?

So, until there is proper study of what is happening we can expect that very few will experience it. That is, until there is understanding of the process and assistance for the practitioner, only a very few will be brave enough to teach what actually works.

Until then, it is probably safer to teach crap beacuse the reality of a lawsuit (and worse) for a student who progresses is a major turn-off. Non-duality is a permanent state, not a concept and it is very different from being "normal".

 
At 8/17/2006 2:20 PM, Blogger jody said...

Non-duality is a permanent state, not a concept and it is very different from being "normal".

Nonduality is the continuous, ongoing basis of all existence. What could be more normal than that?

 
At 8/17/2006 2:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Nonduality is the continuous, ongoing basis of all existence. What could be more normal than that?"

Wonderful words but the reality is not what you imagine.

You know what a "drunk" state of consciousness is - imagine if you woke up one morning with that as your permanent state of consciousness?

Non-duality is the state where you have no thoughts at all. It is like you cannot "think" a thought at all. Yes, you experience your existence in a pure state - imagine, just like you are meditating all the time - but it also has "side effects", particularly around other people. It takes many years of disciplined practice to stabilize the state and minimize the other effects.

This is no concept, it becomes your reality. You likely would not enjoy it in today's society. That is, it is pleasant when you can meditate whenever you want in a monastery but try telling that to your manager at work...

Yes, it is completely ordinary - after you get used to it over many years. Too bad that the journey and the contemporary experience (in today's society) make it very difficult...

 
At 8/17/2006 2:38 PM, Blogger jody said...

Wonderful words but the reality is not what you imagine.

Who said I was imagining anything?

Non-duality is the state where you have no thoughts at all.

Not according to the realizers I know. They would say that nonduality is a condition where one has "always-on" access to jnana, or the real-time experiential understanding that they are the Self.

What you are describing sounds like some kind of thought disorder or psychosis.

It is like you cannot "think" a thought at all. Yes, you experience your existence in a pure state - imagine, just like you are meditating all the time - but it also has "side effects", particularly around other people. It takes many years of disciplined practice to stabilize the state and minimize the other effects.

Again, this is your subjective experience, projected to be something universal. The experience of a good number of acquaintances refutes what you are claiming to be a state of "non-duality."

This is no concept, it becomes your reality. You likely would not enjoy it in today's society. That is, it is pleasant when you can meditate whenever you want in a monastery but try telling that to your manager at work...

I wouldn't enjoy being mentally ill, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy knowledge of my nondual nature.

Yes, it is completely ordinary - after you get used to it over many years. Too bad that the journey and the contemporary experience (in today's society) make it very difficult...

It's always hard for those who are different in our world.

 
At 8/17/2006 5:15 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

My brother is tall. My sister isn't tall.

As we're all rational beings here... we now know that I have a concept of what tallness is. We haven't yet established exactly what this concept is, but we know it's there. If I didn't have a concept of tallness, I'd have no basis for making this particular distinction between my brother and my sister.

Maybe my concept is "anyone over 6 feet is tall." Maybe it's 6.5 feet. Maybe it's something that I haven't clarified even for myself, but it's just, "When I look at certain people, I get this FEELING that this is a tall person, and from this feeling I get the inner knowledge that he's indeed tall, even though it's not something I can put into words for you."

Just so with "realization." Here at Guruphiliac, we've already established that any idea of realization is a bad idea. So whenever you think of this or that person as being "realized" (or of course NOT "realized"), it logically follows that you've made a concept of what realization is. No one else may know what this concept is; you yourself may not be clear on what your concept is. All that we can say for sure is that you've got a concept, and it's a bad one.

 
At 8/17/2006 5:30 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

Regarding "Non-duality is the state where you have no thoughts at all."

We can agree that there's a state where there are no thoughts; evidence indicates that many of us have experienced it for ourselves. Also, we know that various teachings hail such a state as important and desireable, even "divine" and all that.

And indeed, it's a fascinating thing to experience sometimes. It can be damn useful too. Like, when thoughts are causing suffering, it's medicinal to realize that thoughts come and go like clouds, and can in fact disappear completely.

The idea that no-thought or emptiness is a state worth holding on to (i.e., believing that's it's a "higher" state or whatever) is very much deserving of doubt.

For what it's worth, the Zen tradition distinguishes between 3 kinds of enlightenment.

When all thoughts disappear, that true emptiness is called "first enlightenment." It can't be described: open your mouth, already a mistake.

That emptiness is like a clear mirror, reflecting "just now" as it is. Perceiving this moment is called "original enlightenment." It's described by: "The sky is blue, the grass is green."

Functioning in this moment is called "final enlightenment." It's described by: "When you're hungry, eat; when you're tired, sleep; when someone is suffering, help."

Yeah, these are all ideas too, and it's no good to hold any of them. But sometimes ideas can be used to help people. When people are stuck in one idea, other ideas can be medicinal, though it's still nice to remain clear that an idea is an idea.

 
At 8/17/2006 6:40 PM, Blogger jody said...

So whenever you think of this or that person as being "realized" (or of course NOT "realized"), it logically follows that you've made a concept of what realization is.

The only concept I can find there is the idea that a human being can come to a certain kind of understanding regarding their true nature. I'm not delineating any characteristics of these people, other than the fact that they are human and probably exhibit all the characteristics of a human, realized or not.

In other words, I'm trying to bust open the idea that a guru or realized person will always behave this way or that way due to the fact that they are realized. What I'm saying is that if you look at folks who are realized, you'll see all the same faults and foibles you'll find in anyone else, including the criminal behavior of many big-time gurus.

All that we can say for sure is that you've got a concept, and it's a bad one

In your opinion, from the regard of Zen I imagine.

Coming from Vedanta, we eschew any and all concepts which attempt to describe the Self, but the idea of a knower of the Self, or jnani, is acceptable. That's where I'm coming from. You can't know anything about the Self except the Self, and when that recollection/recognition comes to your life, you can be called a jnani, and we can speak of you as a realized person.

That may not fly with the Zen crowd, but that's not where I'm coming from anyway, although I do feel a lot of affinity for Zen.

 
At 8/17/2006 8:06 PM, Blogger jody said...

That all said, I can see the wisdom and utility of not talking about self-realization at all, and I even agree with it. But when we are talking about gurus, we've got to bring their level of understanding into it. This is what makes a guru, a guru, by the by.

 
At 8/17/2006 11:22 PM, Blogger Antarananda said...

anonymous said:
Non-duality is the state where you have no thoughts at all. It is like you cannot "think" a thought at all.

Jody,

I believe this is true. Both Ramana and Nithyananda have made this very point, that Realization means death of the mind. Nithyananda has often spoken about no-mind as a continuous reality, not just a temporary samadhi state.

This has been a fundamental point where we disagree, and I felt like voicing my view for the first time regarding this matter. I don't know which so-called "realizers" you acknowledge as authorities in this matter, but I am more willing to accept what Ramana said. In fact, he commented about the destruction of the mind, in Guru Vachaka Kovai , the Tamil verses which he personally edited himself. The verses represent his purest teachings on the Self. A sampling:

The Dead Mind (Mrita Mana Tiran)

"I declare with certainty that even when the mind is extinguished and is no more functioning in the form of thoughts, there still exists a reality [‘I am’] as the abode of Jnanananda..."

"For those who shine as Self, which is Grace – since their mind, which is the form of ignorance, has died – everything and every place will be found to be supremely Blissful in their divine view, which emerged as Self-Existence."

"Merely being unaware of the differences [vikalpas] in the outside world is not the sign of the real nirvikalpa samadhi. The non-existence of differences [vikalpas] in the mind which is dead is the supreme nirvikalpa samadhi."

"The radiance of consciousness-bliss in the form of one awareness shining equally within and without is the supreme and blissful primal reality whose form is Silence and which is declared by Jnanis to be the final and unobstructable state of true knowledge."


Finally, the great avadhoota, Bhagavan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri, also said, "A jnani has no mind."

As Nisargadatta Maharaj once said, only one in about 10 million people ever awakens to pure jnana. That makes me wonder about all the self-proclaimed "jnanis" in this country, each teaching their own brand of diluted, garbled "Advaita".

 
At 8/17/2006 11:38 PM, Blogger jody said...

Finally, the great avadhoota, Bhagavan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri, also said, "A jnani has no mind."

The fact that he said that invalidates his statement.

Your quotes describe a person who would not be able to function in the world. A man's got to pay his bills. If there are no differences, there is no functioning.

So whether or not such a state exists, it's useless for anyone other than those who can afford to have their bills taken care of for them.

 
At 8/18/2006 12:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jody: "What I 'm saying is that if you look at the folks who are realised, you'll see all the faults and foibles that you see in anyone else, including the criminal behaviour of many big time gurus."

I don't agree with that!.......well, I suppose it all depends on who exactly you think is "realised". What "big-time criminal gurus" are you referring to? And maybe it depends on who you WANT to believe is "realised" rather than who IS realised? How can one really know anyway? I can imagine this notion of yours would bring a smile of approval to any seedy, crim, honcho guru -type on hearing it.

I believe differently. I believe that conjoined with the expansion and enhancement of one's perception of the interconnectness of everything - "interconnectness" being a slant on the idea of "nondual" - comes an emotional deepening in one's sense of humanity. Therefore, it would be impossible for a 'realised' person or guru to commit a criminal act simply because the causation of selfishness and harmful behaviour could not exist in the state of "realisation" - meaning that the state of "non-dual realisation" is at complete odds with criminal, harmful selfish, egocentric thinking and, therefore, behaviour. The two cannot co-exist.

 
At 8/18/2006 1:02 AM, Blogger Antarananda said...

The fact that he said that invalidates his statement [A jnani has no mind].

Why so? Verbalization occurs through the functioning of buddhi (pure intelligence) and chitta (consciousness) independent of manas (mind). Bhagavan might have been speaking without any thoughts arising in his consciousness (which is how Nithyananda has said he functions) since the mind has ceased to exist, just as in the case of the anonymous poster above.

Your quotes describe a person who would not be able to function in the world. A man's got to pay his bills. If there are no differences, there is no functioning.

So whether or not such a state exists, it's useless for anyone other than those who can afford to have their bills taken care of for them.


I don't think a jnani is ever concerned about having to function in the world - it doesn't matter either way. But it is true that he'd probably not be living a "normal" life with a job and bills to pay. In that sense, you're right that he would not be able to function in society. As it is said in the Heart Sutra of the Buddha, "Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi svaha!" (Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone far beyond, Oh the awakening!)

Still, in recent times UGK has said that the innate intelligence is quite capable of taking care of the body, which will survive as long as it has been programmed to do so. He lives out of a suitcase, and people around him have created a trust for him etc. despite him not actively promoting himself as a Guru. You could say the divine is taking care of his survival in the world, if we are to speak the language of Vishista-advaita. Of course, he is still a somewhat eccentric recluse who has warned, "you do not want this state!".

Also, Nisargadatta was able to run his cigarette shop and home affairs just fine after awakening (although there was the time post-realization when he dropped everything and left for the Himalayas as a wandering sadhu before something brought him back to Bombay.)

Each jnani seems to have a uniquely programmed destiny. We do too, but fear prevents us from relinquishing all security completely. I presume that is owing to a persistent notion of ahamkara. Only once that notion is wiped out for good are we free.

Oh, by the way, just to clarify (since I have a Guru and the post is about Gurubusting), I don't usually spend time mulling over these concepts and building up a fantasy of how "I" will be, at some future point in time, as an "awakened one" ! Grace works in strange ways, and it's not in my hands.

 
At 8/18/2006 5:54 AM, Blogger jacflash said...

Your quotes describe a person who would not be able to function in the world.

Indeed. If you can still think at all you're not enlightened? Talk about an occluding idea!

 
At 8/18/2006 6:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So whether or not such a state exists, it's useless for anyone other than those who can afford to have their bills taken care of for them. "

LOL! I function very well and go to work every day - but it did take a few years to get used to the state and I did leave work one year to meditate intensively before returning.. I am certainly not alone since I have met and talked to a number of practitioners who are also in the same state and share common experiences. But it is also my observation that few meditation practices lead to such a state so it is not a common experience even though there are apparently many paths that seem similar. This comes back to the question "what is meditation?"

Perhaps such a state is mental illness - certainly the experiences from the awakening experience to the complete "no-mind" state have many qualities that may be fouund in the DSM IV. But, if you ask many who have proceeded beyond awakening, such occurrences are the norm but are only whispered about in the practice halls.

This is why such practices used to be held in a highly controlled environment such as a monastery. The students were safe and, more importantly, the teachers could tightly monitor them. Again, this is why, in today's culture, it is a difficult path to have "advanced" students.

A long time ago, someone figured out that a combination of leg and arm movement allowed one to float and move around in the water. I'm sure the first gurus of swimming wrote many treatises about the spiritual qualities of swimming. I bet that the first students wjo drowned while trying to learn did so because they were "spritually unfit to swim"...

But after a while many people learned how to swim and many even surpassed the first gurus in ability. They extended the knowledge about the techniques of learning to swim and enabled incredible feats in the water.

So now, would you trust a swim instructor who gave you a book about the philosophy of swimming at your first class? How about an instructor who wore a spiffy white outfit and had learned about swimming from a weekend course spent watching some "guru" on a dvd?

Hopefully one day the simple logic that a practice, performed consitently, results in a predictable outcome will become more evident. Until then, the blame for the problems in these practices must rest on the so-called teachers - they are feeding students a line of crap. So it is good to see someone who is not scared to roast so-called "gurus".

 
At 8/18/2006 7:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said!

 
At 8/18/2006 9:34 AM, Blogger jody said...

What "big-time criminal gurus" are you referring to?

Kracki, Sai Baba, Sri Sri, Nirmala Devi.

"interconnectness" being a slant on the idea of "nondual"

There are no slants on "nondual". Your idea of "interconnnectness" is yet another concept that has as much to do with the nondual truth as my dog's ass.

Therefore, it would be impossible for a 'realised' person or guru to commit a criminal act simply because the causation of selfishness and harmful behaviour could not exist in the state of "realisation"

Your wildly speculative ideas about self-realization are noted, and not unusual, unfortunately. The reason this blog exists is to counter just this kind of nonsense.

 
At 8/18/2006 9:35 AM, Blogger jody said...

Why so? Verbalization occurs through the functioning of buddhi (pure intelligence) and chitta (consciousness) independent of manas (mind).

That's all Hindu myth as far as I'm concerned.

I'm going to define "mind" as the functioning of the human brain. Anyone who speaks is thinking verbally. There is no speech without verbal thought.

Thus, anyone who speaks has a mind.

 
At 8/18/2006 9:37 AM, Blogger jody said...

LOL! I function very well and go to work every day

Because you are thinking. If you talk to anyone, you are engaged in verbal thought, even if the feedback mechanism for that was damaged and/or disabled by your experience.

 
At 8/18/2006 9:39 AM, Blogger jody said...

Nisargadatta was able to run his cigarette shop and home affairs just fine after awakening

Right. Because he had a functioning human mind that was able to navigate the body though the various tasks of life.

 
At 8/18/2006 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although beyond the scope of your blog and the thread of inquiry...

For example, I cannot visualize nor do I have "stream of consciousness" that manifests as an inner voice. That is, I cannot close my eyes and "think" - not even to "think" my name. I can not count in my head yet the odd thing is I just seem to "know" 5 objects or that 7 x 5 = 35. It is impossible for me to "picture a purple elephant" just as you cannot imagine not having any thoughts...And this is the problem...

I work as an engineer designing complex products in this state. Certainly no one at work knows that I am any different and I actually have found that my design skills are much improved - a clear head seems to help. In fact, according to discussions I have had with others in this state, only through something such as brainwave recording, PET scans or fMRI can such a state be externally discerned.

Some useful references are Tart's "States of Consciousness", Sekida's "Zen Training" and Austin's lengthy but informative "Zen and the Brain".

As for the "spiritual" side, well, I have many friends who have had "spiritual" experiences while running. And now there is an explanation:

http://runtrails.blogspot.com/2005/01/understanding-runners-high.html

My view is that the effects of meditation practices will soon be understood as well.

http://www.news.wisc.edu/6205.html

 
At 8/18/2006 10:11 AM, Blogger jody said...

I cannot visualize nor do I have "stream of consciousness" that manifests as an inner voice. That is, I cannot close my eyes and "think" - not even to "think" my name.

But you can put together sentences by tapping keys. This belies the existence of a mind, regardless of whatever seeming pathology or hysteria that may have removed or is blocking the internal feedback mechanism.

 
At 8/18/2006 10:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lutz is doing the study on the Dalai Lama's monks. His essay is worth reading:

http://brainimaging.waisman.wisc.edu/~lutz/PDF.html

(link at top of page to pdf file)

"Nevertheless, it seems best not to begin with an assumption about any such innate similarity in disparate meditative traditions. One reason for avoiding such assumptions is the issue of particularity above, but another reason is that similarities between
traditions tend to appear primarily in claims about the ultimate meaning or nature of
the state attained (e.g., “pure consciousness”) or in metaphysically charged phenomenological descriptions (e.g., ineffability) that do not lend themselves to easy measurement or interpretation."

"Finally, at the highest level of practice, what we have described as a “de-emphasis” of both object and subject moves, at least theoretically, to a point where no elements of objectivity or subjectivity—whether in the form of conceptual structures, categories of time and space, or some other feature—remain in the experience. At this point, the
invariant feature of cognition is said to be fully realized by the meditator and this is the full-blown state of open presence. It appears that, since this state is extremely advanced, in each generation of practitioners the Chag-zôg traditions recognize only a small number of practitioners as having truly reached this level of practice."

It will be interesting to read the final report from his five year study of advanced monks. He intends to be able to discern the changes to their neural architure through their practice.

 
At 8/18/2006 1:50 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

CLASH OF THE TITANS OF PURE AWARENESS11

 
At 8/18/2006 9:19 PM, Blogger cjl871 said...

Anon wrote:
Therefore, it would be impossible for a 'realised' person or guru to commit a criminal act simply because the causation of selfishness and harmful behaviour could not exist in the state of "realisation"

------------------

Jody wrote:
Your wildly speculative ideas about self-realization are noted, and not unusual, unfortunately. The reason this blog exists is to counter just this kind of nonsense.

-----------------

That is, until you meet enough of those who are there, who the 'common' thread of Dharma is alive and well... it's that simple.

The 'claimed' follow-ons fall and stumble, no doubt. It's all part of the journey. The mistake is equating the end with the stages along the way. And yes, states of disassociation, mental illness and not recognizing more stages to come, all can equate to unfortunate outcomes.

Attachment, in any form; desire, in any form, can spell an unfortunate outcome -- at least for this run of incarnation.

 
At 8/19/2006 8:43 AM, Blogger Antarananda said...

To anonymous:

Neurologists at a hospital in Oklahoma had performed brain PET scan and QEEG studies on my Guru, Nithyananda. The findings were remarkable, and I shall try and get my hands on the full report someday, since I am curious as a physician to learn about the details.

 
At 8/19/2006 8:51 AM, Blogger Antarananda said...

Jody,

It is highly presumptious of you to dismiss wisdom from a respected Vedic treatise, Sankhya, which describes in elaborate detail the functioning of the human mind-intellect system, as "Hindu myth". I recall you once similarly dismissed Patanjali's Yoga Sutras as "superstitious" as well.

As long as you continue to accept the concepts of ahamkara and atman (which also originated in Sankhya), you ought to embrace the other principles, and how they function vis-a-vis one another, as truth, too. Just as the ahamkara can die, so can the mind. It's not such a stretch to conceive of it.

Anyway, I won't belabor the point much further. I leave you and your readers with this quote, again from Ramana Maharshi:

"In sahaja [samadhi], however, the mind has resolved itself into the Self and has been lost.

The activities of such a being are like the feeding of a somnolent boy, perceptible to the onlooker (but not to the subject).

The driver sleeping on his moving cart is not aware of the motion of the cart, because his mind is sunk in darkness. Similarly, the sahaja jnani (liberated sage) remains unaware of his bodily activities because his mind is dead, having been resolved in the ecstasy of Awareness (Self)."

 
At 8/19/2006 9:03 AM, Blogger jody said...

The activities of such a being are like the feeding of a somnolent boy, perceptible to the onlooker (but not to the subject).

Good luck paying the rent as a "somnolent boy," making any such state not much good for anybody trying to make their way in the world today.

 
At 8/19/2006 1:46 PM, Blogger jody said...

It is highly presumptious of you

Presumption is my middle name! ;)

to dismiss wisdom from a respected Vedic treatise, Sankhya, which describes in elaborate detail the functioning of the human mind-intellect system, as "Hindu myth". I recall you once similarly dismissed Patanjali's Yoga Sutras as "superstitious" as well.

I don't mean to say that I don't respect the shastras, but I do look at them in a historical and ideological context. I'm convinced that ideology forments the experience. What you choose to accept as your map to the universe becomes your universe. So, Samkhya is true for those who believe it. It's a great way to describe the metaphysics of the individual vis a vis the absolute, but ultimately it's just one more model, and as such must ultimately be discarded.

Another important consideration is the fact that the Vedic systems arose without the benefit of neuroscience. It was the subjective experience of the Rishis codified and then followed, becoming the reality template of those who accept it. When we really get in there with brain scanning, as has been done to your guru, on a wider scale with the questions posed by nondual ideas of identity at the forefront, who knows what we're going to find.

As long as you continue to accept the concepts of ahamkara and atman (which also originated in Sankhya), you ought to embrace the other principles, and how they function vis-a-vis one another, as truth, too. Just as the ahamkara can die, so can the mind. It's not such a stretch to conceive of it.

I can accept that the mind dies. I've walked in states where I've known this. However, it is very important to note that it's not necessary for the mind to die for self-realization to occur. One can know, in that direct and experiential way that such folks are aware of, one's true nature as Brahman. A mind can be present and chattering, and jnana can still shine (it's always shining) and be known despite it.

Similarly, the sahaja jnani (liberated sage) remains unaware of his bodily activities because his mind is dead, having been resolved in the ecstasy of Awareness (Self)."

Sure. But these guys don't hold a job, and I'm not convinced that Niz was in this class anyway. Ramana was, but the fact that he said what he said means that neurons were firing to move his mouth and supply the content, and that means there is a mind working as far as I'm defining the term. I believe it's much closer to what most folks in the West assume what the mind actually is.

 
At 8/19/2006 7:50 PM, Blogger Antarananda said...

Thanks for the last response, jody, and the opportunity for this dialogue. My input on this is definitely faith-based; the only time my mind ever dies is when it has sunk in Samadhi in deep meditation.

I too feel that Nisargadatta was not apparently functioning from this state of which Ramana speaks. I believe Ramakrishna and Ramana were in a different category altogether as far as these type of phenomena.

As far as neurons still firing, sure. Nithyananda's brain actually demonstrated increased frontal lobe activity (reasoning, judgement, intelligence). The parietal and occipital lobes were almost "silent".

I tend to view the brain and mind as two separate entities, with the mind being more of a holographic concept created only by thoughts and lacking in concrete physical substance. So, in my view, memory and its functioning still remain unimpaired (as it is stored as hard data in the hippocampus in the brain), but active, spontaneous thoughts cease flowing permanently. Again, this is my theory. It seems plausible.

About the mind, I believe that Sankhya recognizes all three, manas buddhi and chitta as being parts of "mind", with manas being called the "lower mind". So perhaps it is actually this "lower mind", whatever it is, which stops functioning entirely (as demonstrated by near-total cessation of electrical activity in the parietal or occipital lobes, if we have to corroborate with objective evidence) in these jnanis.

Perhaps it is true that
no-mind is not a sine qua non of realization. Perhaps there's many different varieties of "no-mind" and there is a subtle differentiation between being "Realized" and being a "Jivan Mukta". But I am now splitting invisible metaphysical hairs, so I will stop!

-- Antarananda.

 
At 12/22/2007 2:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is this non-duality oneness enlightenment no-thought experience different form one whose left-brain is damaged/diseased?

 
At 11/07/2008 5:53 PM, Blogger kris said...

what is self?the very concept i dont know about self is indicating duality.

A group of people says one thing another group contradicts it and so are the lots of other groups which may be indifferent or accept part of it.

So is this guruphiliac blog
it hates and throws mud at everyone and many here talks about self which itself denies their underlying unit or (self)

I think the religion of charvaka..which says enjoy to the most and which has many followers is the best

 
At 11/07/2008 7:52 PM, Blogger jody said...

what is self?the very concept i dont know about self is indicating duality.

Any time any word is uttered, it is done so from deep within "duality." Every concept of the nondual is wrong. But some of us like to talk about it, and the only way to talk is with words, so we go about throwing a bunch of, at best, half-truths at the screen. Atman is another terms that "fits" here. It's merely a word to denote a consciousness of the nondual, which is always existing in all, recognized or not.

it hates and throws mud at everyone

I don't hate anyone. But I seem to remain pissed off at the fact that many gurus are spreading lies about nondual truth, insofar as they allow stories of miracles and siddhis to fester at their satsangs.

many here talks about self which itself denies their underlying unit or (self)

There is no denial of the Atman, whether or not you actually "believe" in it.

I think the religion of charvaka..which says enjoy to the most and which has many followers is the best

Whatever floats your boat as long as nobody is getting hurt.

 

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