The Guard and the Prison Breaker

‘The Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog’ (part) – Caspar David Friedrich, 1818 – WikiArt

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Without freedom there is no self-knowing 
and without self-knowing there is no meditation
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~ J. Krishnamurti 

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Few sensations are as boisterously exhilarating as freedom is. Freedom is something that we all love to feel. To be freed! Freed from all weights and limitations. Freed from everything that bullies us and pins us down. But most of the time, this feeling is experienced from the vantage point of the little thought in our head that thinks it runs the show. This entity thinks that its freedom comes from being separate, and from its capacity to do what it wants. This is what being free means to most people. But is this really what freedom is, where freedom lies? In expressing all that comes from the lack and desperation of a limited, vindicative little self? If that is so, then this freedom takes us nowhere but in the already known boundaries of our self. How could that account for the power and magnitude of this feeling? Freedom cannot be so small and contrived. What is it then? Where is true freedom to be found? 

Freedom can never be fully felt within the conglomerate of our thoughts, feelings and perceptions, between the four walls of our prison cell. We may feel some occasional bursts of pleasure but this is not the real deal. If you search for freedom through that portion of yourself that is fleeting, fragile, untrue, you will by definition prevent the advent of any meaningful freedom. You will have limited freedom, something to be achieved, something to be added that becomes just another object, another aim in view. And don’t forget that this limited freedom can never be achieved anyway, for we in truth can never do what we want. And of what advantage would it be to follow the clumsy, limited, fanciful ideas of a mind that stands on false premises. Because of this impossible claim, we feel bitter, sad, violent, jealous, regretful. Let’s move away from such dangerous idea. 

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An inquiry into the question of freedom… (READ MORE…)

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Taking the Bow

‘Bathing Buddha’ – Photo by ViaMoi on Foter.com

Here is a reminder inspired from the words of Rupert Spira. It is necessary and terribly efficient to look into these matters for ourselves. This is why I like to share here the parts of a spiritual teaching that sounds like ‘something to do’, something to experiment and verify for ourselves:

See that your experience is made of thoughts, feelings, sensations, and perceptions. Where is the ‘I’ that is orchestrating all of those? Where is this ‘I’ in the system? Take any thought that appears in you. Did you choose that thought? See if there was any entity, a chooser that decided to have that particular thought. Go slowly and observe carefully. See that there is no chooser in between each thought. The notion of a chooser is simply itself a thought appearing along many other thoughts. It’s only a thought that says ‘I was there in between each thought choosing it’. It’s the clown that wasn’t actually present but claims responsibility afterwards, and takes the bow. There is a choosing thought, but there is no chooser…’

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Further exploring on the subject:

There is no entity present who could either have or not have free will. Experience is too intimate and immediate to admit of one who may stand back and orchestrate it like a conductor, willing, choosing, deciding, and so on. There is no time present for such a one to exist in. The idea of free will is an inevitable side effect of the belief in a separate entity. If we believe there is a separate entity, we will by definition, whether we know it or not, believe there is free will. If, as this apparent entity, we then believe there is no free will, then that is simply a belief that we superimpose onto our much deeper conviction that we are a separate doer, chooser, decider, and so on. Once the separate entity is seen clearly to be non-existent, the idea of free will dissolves. All that is left is the freedom of consciousness.”
~ Rupert Spira (’Interview with Paula Marvelly: Contemplating the Nature of Experience’)

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Who is the entity that exercises will to do this or that? Please follow this carefully. If the observer is the observed what need is there for decision at all? … When there is any form of decision, depending on choice, it indicates a mind that is confused. A mind that sees very clearly has no choice, there is only action. And this lack of clarity comes into being when there is this division between the observer and the observed.”
~ J. Krishnamurti (‘Beyond Violence’ – Part IV, Chapter 1 – Brockwood Park, 3rd Public Talk)

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When the mind returns to the heart, when the separate self is divested of its separateness and stands revealed as the only self of pure awareness, then it becomes clear that there was never a separate self to begin with. And therefore the question as to whether that separate self has choice or not is mute.” 
~ Rupert Spira

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Freedom, I say, does not mean getting to do whatever one wishes. Nor does freedom have anything to do with so-called ‘free will’, which is a fantasy. Freedom arises with the understanding that in each moment what is, is, and cannot be different, including whatever ’myself’ sees, feels, thinks, or does. In the light of that understanding, while acceding outwardly to social conventions which require playing the role of chooser and decider, inwardly — within one’s private understanding — one may come clean and admit that the ‘myself’ who chooses is a fiction, a story I have learned to tell myself. In that admission one may find freedom — not the freedom to ‘choose’, but the freedom to be.”
~ Robert Saltzman (‘The Ten Thousand Things’)

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In Hinduism the very idea of free will is non-existent, so there is no word for it. Will is commitment, fixation, bondage. … You must be free first. To be free in the world you must be free of the world. Otherwise your past decides for you and your future. Between what had happened and what must happen you are caught. Call it destiny or karma, but never — freedom. First return to your true being and then act from the heart of love.” 
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj (‘I Am That’)

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Doing happens, and then you appropriate the doer-ship, but there is no doer-ship. Things happen. When you breathe, you don’t need to think that you’re a breather. When your heart beats, you don’t need to think that you’re a beater. When you’re digesting, you don’t need to think that you’re a digester. These things happen by themselves. The same way, thinking happens by itself; there is no thinker, there is only thinking. The thinker is a thought of other thoughts. So, there’s nothing to do actually means that there is no appropriation in life. Thus, you must give yourself to the fact that life is happening through you, but there is no need to pretend to be the doer. It’s not that there is nothing to do, it’s just that things happen by themselves.”
~ Eric Baret (‘There is No Doer’ in Science & Nonduality)

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Bibliography:
– ‘Being Aware of Being Aware’, – by Rupert Spira – (Sahaja Publications)
– ‘I Am That‘ – by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj – (Non-Duality Press)
– ‘The Ten Thousand Things’ – by Robert Saltzman – (Non-Duality Press)
– ‘Krishnamurti’s Notebook’ – by J. Krishnamurti – (Krishnamurti Publications of America, US)
– ‘Let the Moon Be Free: Conversations on Kashmiri Tantra’ – by Eric Baret (translation by Jeanric Meller) – (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform)

Websites:
Rupert Spira
J. Krishnamurti
Robert Saltzman
Nisargadatta Maharaj (Wikipedia)

Suggestions:
Fleeing to God (other pointers from the blog)
A Day at Brockwood Park (Homage to J. Krishnamurti)
Khetwadi Lane (Homage to Nisargadatta Maharaj)

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I have Called You by My Name

‘Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs’ in Roma

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I – luminous, open, empty Awareness – 
am the truth of your Being and am 
eternally with you, in you, as you, 
shining quietly at the heart of all experience. 
Just turn towards Me, and acknowledge Me, 
and I will take you into Myself
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~ Rupert Spira

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In some of the religious texts of the world, the subtlest expressions of truth are so deeply buried in the text that they have become unintelligible. The limitations of translation, the analogies and metaphors borrowed, the time in which these texts appeared, the audience for which they were written, the veneer of poetry or story-telling, all these concur to add multiple layers of confusing elements to the original idea. And these texts have also served such inappropriate religious purposes in the course of history that they are, for all these many reasons, rejected or misunderstood by many. The Christian Bible is one such text. 

I have here attempted to find exquisite passages from the Bible, where the veneer is cracking and the hidden meanings shine more brightly. For a clearer understanding, I have selected two excerpts by Rupert Spira that will help focusing on one possible expression of truth and how it comes to be hidden behind the most innocent line in the Old Testament. They make for a necessary and beautiful introduction. They are borrowed from a video called ‘The Memory of Eternity’ in Buckland Hall, Dec. 2018. I hope you enjoy, for when we come to these texts with the right perspective or understanding, they come shining with a new glow of truth…

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Our mind is just a temporary limitation or localisation of the only mind there is, infinite consciousness or god’s infinite being. So our mind is permeated with the memory of eternity, permeated by the memory of its origin. Why? Because it is made of it, although it is a limited version of it. So in everybody’s mind, there lies this memory of its own eternity. And that memory is felt by a person as the longing for happiness, or the longing for love. When we long for happiness, or we long for love, we are desiring to be divested of everything that limits us. We are designed to go back to our wholeness, our fullness, our sense of fulfilment, or completion. That’s why everybody longs for happiness or love. What people do to find happiness or love varies. But the actual longing itself is because there lives in everybody’s heart a memory of our eternity, the knowledge of our origin, or in religious language, a trace of God’s mind.

There is this beautiful line in the Old Testament, in the Book of Isaiah, where Isaiah says (Isaiah speaking on behalf of God): “I have called you by my name. You are mine.” I have called you by my name. I have planted my name in your mind. The name your mind gives to itself — that is the name ‘I’ — is the name of ‘me’. So the ‘me’ (God is saying) the ‘me’ in ‘you’ is in fact the ‘me’ in ‘me’. I have called you by ‘my’ name. That makes the ‘you’ of ’you’, ‘mine’ — or ‘me’. […] Everybody’s experience is permeated by what they call ‘I’. Experience is limited and individual, but the ‘I’, the self that permeates all experience doesn’t share the limits of experience. So Isaiah is saying that ‘I’ is God’s mind in our mind. It’s not even God’s mind in our mind. All there is to our mind is God’s mind, with a limit attached to it. That’s what seems to make it ‘me-the person’. But the ‘me’ of ‘me-the person’ is infinite consciousness.”
– Rupert Spira (‘The Memory of Eternity’ – Buckland Hall, Dec. 2018)

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Read some beautiful expressions of truth from the Bible… (READ MORE…)

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Reality is a Verb

‘The Gray Tree’ – Piet Mondrian, 1911 – WikiArt

Here is a reminder inspired from the words of Rupert Spira. It is necessary and terribly efficient to look into these matters for ourselves. This is why I like to share here the parts of a spiritual teaching that sounds like ‘something to do’, something to experiment and verify for ourselves:

Instead of giving attention to the known object — thoughts, feelings, sensations and perceptions, give your attention to the knowing of your experience. Neither the knower, nor the known — just the knowing of your experience. Feel only in terms of verbs. Instead of thinking ‘I know such and such’, feel ‘There is only knowing and I am that’. Instead of thinking ‘I love you’, feel ‘There is only loving and I am that’. Instead of thinking ‘I see the tree’, feel ‘There is only seeing and I am that’…’

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Further exploring on the subject:

When there is the awareness of the tree there is no evaluation. But when there is a response to the tree, when the tree is judged with like and dislike, then a division takes place in this awareness as the “me” and the “non-me”, the “me” who is different from the thing observed. This “me” is the response, in relationship, of past memory, past experiences. Now can there be an awareness, an observation of the tree, without any judgement, and can there be an observation of the response, the reactions, without any judgement? In this way we eradicate the principle of division, the principle of “me” and “non-me”, both in looking at the tree and in looking at ourselves.” 
– J. Krishnamurti (‘Awareness’ – ‘The Urgency of Change’)

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We don’t really know or come in contact with an object, called a mind, a body, or a world. All we know is the knowing of our experience. And this knowing is not known by a separate object – the knower — this knowing knows itself. […] In the seeing of a tree for instance, there is no seer and there is no seen. There is no inside ‘I’ that sees and there is no outside ‘tree’ that is seen. The ‘I’ and the ‘tree’ are concepts superimposed by thinking onto the reality of the experience, which in this case could simply be called ‘seeing’.”
~ Rupert Spira (Presence, Vol.2)

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The natural effortlessness of knowing, and the fact that it is always present, clearly prove it to be really the nature of the self; because this knowingness does not come and go like the other functions and does not part with the ‘I’-principle, even for a moment. […] A function should necessarily have a beginning and an end. Knowledge has neither of these, and so it cannot be a function. It serves as the background of all functions, lighting and co-ordinating all of them and their experiences.”
~ Atmananda Krishna Menon (‘Notes on Spiritual Discourses’ – 82 & 175)

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Knowing Self,
mind empty and at peace,
the sage lives happily,
seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating
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– Ashtavakra Gita (Bart Marshall – 17.8)

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Do not see God as having ever created anything but rather as being in every moment a different configuration that sometimes seems to reveal Him and sometimes seems to conceal Him, without any conditions, because He is the first and the last, the apparent and the hidden and He IS knowledge of everything.”
– Balyani (‘Know Yourself’)

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In True Meditation all objects (thoughts, feelings, emotions, memories, etc.) are left to their natural functioning. This means that no effort should be made to focus on, manipulate, control, or suppress any object of awareness. In True Meditation the emphasis is on being awareness—not on being aware of objects, but on resting as conscious being itself. In meditation you are not trying to change your experience; you are changing your relationship to your experience.”
– Adyashanti (The Way of Liberation)

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Only if your knowledge of your own Self is correct, can you hope to know anything else correctly. It is our experience that our physical activities do not stand in the way of our thoughts and feelings. Similarly, it is possible for me as witness to be always knowing – even when the body, senses and mind are functioning. Merely note this fact and become deeply convinced of it. Don’t attempt to objectify the witness by thought.”
~ Atmananda Krishna Menon (’Notes on Spiritual Discourses’ – 288)

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In the beginning, 
The very first thing, 
The primary experience, 
Is pure knowing being. 
And that becomes 
— Or rather seems to become
Flesh.
This knowing takes the form 
Of seeing,
And seems to become 
The seen world, 
The object, 
The known.
In fact it never actually 
Becomes flesh. 
It always remains 
Pure knowing being
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– Rupert Spira (‘The Language of Non-Duality is only Verbs’)

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Bibliography:
– ‘Presence’, Vol. I & II – by Rupert Spira – (Non-Duality Press)
– ‘The First and Last Freedom’ – by J. krishnamurti – (Rider Book)
– ‘Notes on Spiritual Discourses of Shri Atmananda: Volumes 1-2-3’ – Shri Atmananda (Krishna Menon) (Taken by Nitya Tripta) – (Non-duality Press)
– ‘Know Yourself: An explanation of the oneness of being’ – by Balyani – (Beshara Publications) 

Websites:
Rupert Spira
J. Krishnamurti
Adyashanti (Wikipedia)
Atmananda Krishna Menon (Wikipedia)
Ashtavakra Gita (Wikipedia)
Piet Mondrian (Wikipedia)

Suggestions:
Fleeing to God (other pointers from the blog…)

A Day at Brockwood Park (Homage to J. Krishnamurti)
The Householder Sage (Homage to Atmananda Krishna Menon)
The Song of Ashtavakra (Homage to the Ashtavakra Gita)

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The Little Monsters

Here is a reminder inspired from the words of Rupert Spira. It is necessary and terribly efficient to look into these matters for ourselves. This is why I like to share here the parts of a spiritual teaching that sounds like ‘something to do’, something to experiment and verify for ourselves:

Just experience the raw sensation, for example of fear, without thought, without the labelling. Instead of covering it up, turn around and face it. Let the feeling come totally to you. Face it, keep living with it, keep opening yourself to it so fully, until there is not the slightest resistance to it. Ask yourself: Can I live with this feeling for ever? You have to be able to answer ‘yes’ to that question. Then see what remains of it. Be very careful not to turn this into a practice that you undertake in order to get rid of unpleasant feelings. Make it just a loving contemplation to discover the truth of your being, the dissolution of this feeling being a side-effect, a by-product…’

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Further exploring on the subject:

Observation is like a flame which is attention, 
and with that capacity of observation, 
the wound, the feeling of hurt, the hate, 
all that, is burnt away, gone
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~ J. Krishnamurti 

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Fall in love with this secret humanity. Know that darkness is NOT darkness, only scared fragments longing to come into the light, beings who want love, and attention, and breath, and inclusion in the larger picture of Self. […] Illuminate. Radiate. Make it safe for the little monsters to come out of hiding. Let them know they are beautiful. And worthy. And not monsters at all.”
~ Jeff Foster

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In simple openness which is welcoming you will come to accept and get to know your negative feelings, desires and fears. Once welcomed in non-directed attention these feelings will burn themselves up, leaving only silence.”
~ Jean Klein (‘I Am’)

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You never remain with any feeling, pure and simple, but always surround it with the paraphernalia of words. The word distorts it; thought, whirling round it, throws it into shadow, overpower it with mountainous fears and longings. You never remain with a feeling, and with nothing else: with hate, or with that strange feeling of beauty.” […] Try to remain with a feeling, and see what happens. You will find it amazingly difficult. Your mind will not leave the feeling alone; it comes rushing in with its remembrances, its associations, its do’s and don’ts, its everlasting chatter. […] Can you look without the movement of the mind? Can you live with the feeling behind the word, without the feeling that the word builds up? If you can, then you will discover an extraordinary thing, a movement beyond the measure of time, a spring that knows no summer.” 
~ J. Krishnamurti (Commentaries on Living, Series III – Chapter 37 – ‘Aloneness Beyond Loneliness’)

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The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes, because each 
has been sent as a guide from the beyond
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~ Rumi

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The photo is by Alain Joly

Bibliography:
– ‘Presence’, Vol. I & II – by Rupert Spira (Non-Duality Press)
– ‘Commentaries on Living, I, II & III’ – by J. Krishnamurti – (Quest Books,U.S.)
– ‘The Way of Rest: Finding the Courage to Hold Everything in Love’ – by Jeff Foster – (Sounds True)
– ‘I Am’ – by Jean Klein – (Non-Duality Press)
– ‘The Essential Rumi’ – Translated by Coleman Barks – (HarperOne)

Websites:
Rupert Spira
J. Krishnamurti
Jean Klein (Wikipedia)
Jeff Foster
Rumi (Wikipedia)

Suggestions:
Fleeing to God (other pointers from the blog)
A Day at Brockwood Park (Homage to J. Krishnamurti)
Rumi (Homage to Rumi)
A Secret Love Affair with Life (text by Jeff Foster)

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The Philosopher’s Stone

Here is a reminder inspired from the words of Rupert Spira. It is necessary and terribly efficient to look into these matters for ourselves. This is why I like to share here the parts of a spiritual teaching that sounds like ‘something to do’, something to experiment and verify for ourselves:

See that all objects in your life are made out of gold, of this most precious thing, which is your self. That is the fabric of the world. The way to make real in your life this scratching and the discovery of the gold underneath, is to treat – relate to – everything, animals, people, objects, in that loving way. Then, the world responds, it says ‘thank you’…

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Further exploring on the subject:

We discover that the stuff the world is made out of is more precious than gold. It’s made out of our self. The most precious thing. When you touch an object, you feel that it’s made out only of your self. As soon as we start treating the world like that, the world says thank you. The world responds. People, animal, and even so called dead stuff, it turns round and the first thing it says to us is thank you for treating me as I am. It has an infinite ways of saying thank you, and each way is uniquely tailored to each body-mind. But in one way or another, the world returns the gift. You treat me as I am, I will behave with you as I am. If someone truly loves and respect what we are, it commands us to behave as we truly are. It’s the ultimate generosity. The reciprocation that we get from people, from the world, from objects, that’s the real confirmation. The real confirmation really comes in our lives, in ordinary ways.”
~ Rupert Spira (From YouTube video clip ‘A Fairy Story’)

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There was a deep widening intensity, an imminent clarity of that otherness, with its impenetrable strength and purity. What was beautiful was now glorified in splendour; everything was clothed in it; there was ecstasy and laughter not only deeply within but among the palms and the rice fields. Love is not a common thing but it was there in the hut with an oil lamp; it was with that old woman, carrying something heavy on her head; with that naked boy, swinging on a piece of string a piece of wood which gave out many sparks for it was his fireworks. It was everywhere, so common that you could pick it up under a dead leaf or in that jasmine by the old crumbling house.”
~ J. Krishnamurti (‘Krishnamurti’s Notebook’, Part 7 – Madras 20th November to 17th December 1961)

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This day is dear to me above all other days, 
for today the Beloved Lord is a guest in my house; 
My chamber and my courtyard are beautiful with His presence. 
My longings sing His Name, and they are become lost in His great beauty
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~ Kabir

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You are what you are, timelessly, but of what use is it to you unless you know it and act on it? Your begging bowl may be of pure gold, but as long as you do not know it, you are a pauper. You must know your inner worth and trust it and express it in the daily sacrifice of desire and fear. (…) Your only proof is in yourself. If you find that you turn to gold, it will be a sign that you have touched the philosopher’s stone.”
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj (‘I Am That’)

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The Self is the centre of beauty and changeless. The symbols are numerous, but the centre is only one, the inmost core of one’s being. Beauty is the real nature of the Self and is unlimited. Beauty anoints with its own gild everything with which it comes into contact. (…) Beauty is something by which you are attracted without a cause. You are most attracted to your own self. Or in other words, your own nature is the only thing that can attract you. So beauty is only an experience of one’s own nature. (…) When the object is removed, the beauty stands alone and permanent.”
~ Atmananda Krishna Menon (‘Notes on Spiritual Discourses of Shri Atmananda’ by Nitya Tripta’)

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The state of bliss that arises when you are freed of the accumulated experiences of separation, is like the relief you experience by putting aside a heavy load. The appearance of this light is like the discovery of a treasure once lost, the realm of universal non-duality.”
~ Abhinavagupta (from Anuttarāṣṭikā)

 

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The photo is by Rüstü Bozkus / Pixabay

Read this fairy tale ‘Ishani’s Quest’ based on this very topic…

Bibliography:
– ‘Presence’, Vol. I & II – by Rupert Spira (Non-Duality Press)
– ‘Krishnamurti’s Notebook’ – by J. Krishnamurti – (Krishnamurti Publications of America,US)
– ‘I Am That’, by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj (Chetana Pvt.Ltd)

Websites:
Rupert Spira
J. Krishnamurti
Atmananda Krishna Menon (Wikipedia)
Nisargadatta Maharaj (Wikipedia)
Abhinavagupta (Wikipedia)
Kabir (Wikipedia)

Suggestions:
Fleeing to God (other pointers from the blog)
Khetwadi Lane (Homage to Nisargadatta Maharaj)
Kabir Says: (Homage to Kabir)
A Day at Brockwood Park (Homage to J. Krishnamurti)

 

Ishani’s Quest

‘Girl Streched out on the Grass’ – Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1890 – WikiArt

C13B4E22-B500-482A-B5FA-8105E1A2E541here was once a young girl of about ten years old, called Ishani. She lived on a mountain farm with her father. Her mother died a few years ago, and since then her father has grown bitter, hard, a gruff man. He started drinking, stopped seeing anybody, and forced his daughter to the same isolation. He wasn’t a bad man, but was saddened by the loss of his wife, and exasperated at not being able to communicate with his daughter.

Ishani had long black hair, and large greenish eyes. Martyred by her father who expected her to replace her mother with the chores of the house, she had become fearful and shy. She spoke faintly and her demeanour was hesitant. Yet, despite her misfortune, she has kept an angelic face and her innocence was intact.

Although still a little girl, Ishani was ahead of her age, because of the work and responsibility that fell on her, the suffering that went with it. As for her father, he was exasperated by Ishani’s silence and withdrawn attitude, by her lack of courage at work, her mistakes and forgetfulness. He could easily get angry, which further frightened Ishani. She no longer knew if she should hate him, submit, run away, feel guilty, or take pity on him. These two beings were caught in a spiral where each fed the other with his or her inability to break this burden. […]

A fairy story, about the inner quest of a little girl… (READ MORE…)