Monday, March 10, 2008
Holes in the net
“ The final stage of meditation is reached when the sense of identity goes beyond the 'I-am-so-and-so', beyond 'so-l-am', beyond 'I-am-the-witness-only', beyond 'there-is', beyond all ideas into the impersonally personal pure being. But you must be energetic when you take to meditation. It is definitely not a part-time occupation. Limit your interests and activities to what is needed for you and your dependents' barest needs. Save all your energies and time for breaking the wall your mind had built around you. Believe me, you will not regret.”This is a quote from “I am that”, a series of talks between Nisargadatta Maharaj and seekers. The enquiry into “I” as the root of all experience, as the very seed of life is the method elucidated in these conversations as I understand them. The truth of being cannot be logically denied. Whatever my state of being may be, it derives from and presupposes my being. And while the state is transient, the being is transcendental. To be free of all existential discord, the root of individuated existence must be scrutinized. What the result of the inquiry would be depends on earnestness of effort. However before delving into ‘an experience of that which experiences’, it must be understood that every mystical trance or vision, however beautiful and blissful, necessarily ends as it is within time. The essence can never be known through its manifestations, however pleasing they may be per se.Individuated human existence is insipid and devoid of any lasting joy. Momentary joys are many but they appear only against a background of dullness, or worse suffering. The joy of deep sleep is against the background of the monotony of waking existence. The pleasure of sex lasts but a moment and usually causes much pain and perversion. Attachment to somebody from the opposite sex seldom leads to lasting love and is frequently corroded by jealousy and possessive instinct. And what is lasting in a life that lasts but a moment? Even relatively innocent human relations that enrich are transient episodes in the drama of life. Youth lives in fear of old age or in an ignorant shell which gives way to despair when broken. Being a health ‘freak’ is itself a symptom of psychological unrest and instability. Wealth is no surety for happiness and is a tyrant if its end is not clearly defined. Power is either severely restricted or if mighty for a time, soon ends in assassination or worse, disgrace or subsequent anonymity. Even if shorn of hyperbole and calamities, the garment of happiness woven by wealth and power as fabric is rent apart by time.