Sri Ramana’s Inquiry
[for a while, the following will preface all these blogs – so please skip over if seen before]
In order to hint at how serious this Blog is, let the author unequivocally state that the Knowledge here imparted, none of it original, none to be credited to the author, that Knowledge is THE MOST VALUABLE treasure that exists. If hypothetically offered 100 Billion dollars to forgo this Knowledge, that offer or any other would be disregarded in the blink of an eye. Even with all the good that might be accomplished with $100B, this Knowledge is beyond the World & comes from beyond the Mind. This is no hyperbole.
Striking the target though aiming at an illusory substitute:
Even the sense "I am" is not continuous, though it is a useful pointer.
The above is an edited statement of Nisargadatta Maharaj found in Maurice Frydman's Maharaj compilation I am That. Similar hints are found in the records of Ramana Maharshi. The meaning is both curious & useful. Self-Inquiry, "Who am I?" in Maharshi's teaching, or "resting in the 'I am' " for Maharaj both have essentially the same meaning, & in both that "I" or "I am" is initially believed, falsely, to be the Individual "self", the Ego.
If aware of the Reality of the Absolute Self, then Self-Inquiry can be a turning into & "abidance" in that solely existent Reality, Brahman, the Self. But most of the time, for most spiritual aspirants, the "I" that is more apparent is the Ego. In that case, the Self-Inquiry fails to find any such entity, leaving the true Absolute Self, self-revealed.
In that 2nd sense of Self-Inquiry, the inward "direction" toward the Ego is the seeking of an Illusion & not finding it. But, in addition, that inward "direction" is exactly the correct direction for the 1st meaning of Self-Inquiry, where "I" is the true Self from the onset. So "accidentally", the seeker finds the Self, though falsely looking for the Ego. Any number of silly analogies could bring home this distinction.
Some hypothetical Neolithic hunter is training his children to bring home food for the tribe (apology to all vegetarians). Knowing how difficult is their prey, quick, elusive small animals, & also knowing how reluctant the children are to throw spears at a living creature (non-violence is natural), the "hunter" advises a false strategy that will coincidentally achieve the result. He instructs the child hunters that their objective is to still any rustling of leaves & branches by casting a spear right into the middle of the disturbance. The " rustling of leaves & branches" has no significance at all in itself, but that "direction" represents the exactly correct direction for striking the true target, the prey hidden behind & within the disturbance of the bushes. Aiming for that disturbance, their spears continue through in that right "direction" to strike the true target.
So is the Ego an illusory disturbance, posing as a "self". But the inward, subjective "direction" of that Self-Inquiry (of the 2nd sort) achieves the true result, identical to that of Self-Inquiry of the 1st sort.
Hypothetical deleted scene from The Matrix:
Cypher: So Mouse, let me tell ya, this meeting I had with the Architect, like wow! He had more monitor screens than I knew even existed. He's on top of all of it.
Mouse: What were you doing, talking to the machines, Cypher ?
Cypher: Oh, ah nothin' special, just a little agreement I had to work out. Anyway, I got a peak at the core programs upon which The Matrix is coded, & man how robust & consistent! I see now for sure how that religious prophecy nonsense & all that is unnecessary & just wrong. Intelligent guys like the Architect have it all figured out, there's no need for any God in this Matrix, it's all Science!
Mouse: Yeah, but just how does Mathematical robustness & consistency prove anything about our Matrix Universe & whether it's purely Mechanistic, you know – Materialist of Physicalist Scientific Realism & all that ?
Cypher: 'Cause all that sophisticated Math would not be needed by some Divine Force or Consciousness that could just wave a magic wand & poof, make the whole show by some Creation, some Intelligent Design.
Mouse: I don't get it Cypher. Why couldn't some divine Consciousness weave all this Matrix from infinitely complex patterns, the merest reflection from which appears like all our most robust Mathematics. Why not Cypher ?
[Mouse now muttering to himself after turning away from Cypher in disgust:]
Man, that guy is as arrogant as those Machines. So proud of a little Mathematics that he concludes that we all are just Materialist machines ourselves. How does that explain Existence out of Nothing, Consciousness, self-awareness, happiness, & love, just for starters ?
[The above themes & 1600 pages more are freely available as perused or downloaded PDF’s, the sole occupants of a Public Microsoft Skydrive “Public Folder” accessible through www.jpstiga.com ]