NEEDLESS WORK and COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE ACCEPTANCE and THE CURSE OF HABITS
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NEEDLESS WORK and COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE ACCEPTANCE and THE CURSE OF HABITS
Maharaj showed by example that the efficient transmission of the non-dual pointers which can lead to realization (that is, “to the state of being freed of belief in all learned ignorance”) requires two processes used in tandem:
One is a specific method; the other is a specific yoga. In his case, the specific method was the Direct Path Method and the specific yoga was the Nisargan / Natural Yoga. Here, with a willing and ready and capable seeker, the efficient transmission can happen in hours, not in the weeks or months or years which is so often the case with most seekers.
For the curious, here’s a brief “Overview of the Key Methods” from which seekers can choose. (Let it be noted that for seekers who claim that they have found a method that "works" for them, know that there will be no effort here to persuade anyone to abandon whatever course they are following).
This work is for those who do not know that there are many methods of teaching non-duality; that one method might "work" for one seeker but not for another; and that one's "journey" might be enhanced more by one method than another. The same applies to the various types of yoga.
Next, if one would complete a journey, a few pre-journey decisions are required. The first is, what mode of transportation is to be used? With the non-duality journey, there are five modes of travel:
1. A fictional, luxury cruiser that is a very expensive ride but takes you nowhere. You cannot reach any destination via that mode. [Pseudo-Advaita]
2. The next mode of travel to consider is a slow-moving train. Some have reached the destination on this very old mode of travel, but the trip is long and requires much study of works written in an ancient language that is not familiar to most, so travel by this mode requires learning a new language before you can ever begin the trip. [Traditional Method where the teacher requires a knowledge of Sanskrit]
3. The third possibility is to take the journey in a 1970's hippie van. In that van, there will be much flowery talk and the sharing of dreamy concepts and magical teachings, but the van will never really take you anywhere. You'll sit and listen to lofty talks and deeply philosophical discussions, but when you leave the van, you will find that you have completed none of the journey to Full Realization. [Neo-Vedanta]
4. The fourth mode of transportation is a flight simulator that seemingly flies you along at a supersonic rate. Everything in the simulator happens in an instant, and when you step out and find that you have not completed your journey at all, you are told you were already where you wanted to go anyway. [Neo-Advaita]
5. The fifth means of traveling the journey is by foot. That might seem inconvenient, but the "path" on this "journey" is only four steps long and follows the most direct route. The "journey" to full realization that seekers are seeking to complete should not be a long and arduous route, but there are certain steps that must be taken. [The Direct Path Method]
An Introduction to the Four Major Non-Duality Teaching Methods (and One Non-Method)
Pseudo Advaita will be discussed first in order to set it aside and to be done with it once and for all.
A NON-METHOD: Pseudo Advaita
Pseudo Advaita is the non-method used by many (especially by those Maharaj warned his seekers to avoid, namely, “the Big Name Teachers”).
Maharaj warned: "If you seek out the big name teachers, you'll get what you deserve” (or more to the point, you will not get what you “deserve” or seek).
Here, the message is, "If you seek via the big name teachers, you are not likely to get what you are seeking. In the end, the “teachings” here is actually about non-teaching, about un-learning, not learning more; they are about de-accumulation rather than getting more or gaining more. At least eight of the richest, most famous teachers nowadays studied the teachings of Maharaj, took a piece here and there, and then adapted his teachings to come up with a version that is popular among the cash-spending masses. Little about the purest version of non-duality will be popular among the masses.
TEACHING METHOD: Traditional Advaita
This is the method regarded as the one defined by Shankara in his discussion of the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Brahma Suttras around the 8th century AD. This approach is defined by those scriptures which some claim are the source of truth.
TEACHING METHOD: Neo-Vedanta
The term "Neo-Vedanta" refers primarily to the method used by Vivekananda and his followers. Some critics consider this method a “watered down” version of Traditional Advaita, a result of the fact that Vivekananda and his followers have tried to make the teachings more suitable to Western tastes where concepts and ego-states have dominated persons for millennia.
[NOTE: Neo-Vedanta teachers typically employ the types of seemingly sublime or exalted or emotion-inspiring statements that encourage followers to adopt more concepts and identities instead of encouraging seekers to forfeit all concepts and identities. The first part of this series offered an invitation for visitors to this site to turn away from those concepts. All of them are in direct opposition to the understanding offered via the Direct Path, Nisarga yoga approach.]
TEACHING METHOD: Neo-Advaita
The teachers who use this method see no need for study, questioning or inquiring into anything. Claiming that they recognize only reality, and knowing that there is no seeker, they conclude that there is nothing to seek. Often, the result is that even the most diligent seekers who try to attain the understanding with Neo-Advaita teachers can become very confused. Neo-Advaitins suggest that no path is required since there is no “one” to follow the “path.” [NOTE: That same understanding, which is attained by some who follow the “Direct Path Method” to its end, is assumed by Neo-Advaita teachers to be a given from the very beginning.] Some who adhere to this method reject the name “Neo-Advaita” outright.
That leaves the “Direct Path Method” and the Nisarga Yoga approach to be discussed. Based on the descriptions above, the reader might be seeing why so much searching has resulted in what some describe as "one contradiction after another." There are some very clear differences in message and methodology employed by different teachers.
TEACHING METHOD: The Direct Path
These are some of the basic principles of the Direct Path Method which distinguish it from the other methods:
1. Using this method, Maharaj early on provisionally acknowledged "the seeker" and "the guru" but would eventually make clear that one need not seek the “Supreme Self” or “The Infinite Self,” but need only understand what and who one is not.
2. The Direct Path provides a means by which untruth is removed.
3. Those that use this method properly understand that once realization happens, life carries on with itself, by itself, without our intervention.
4. Beliefs must be deconstructed and discarded for realization to happen.
5. Rather than seeking without (via god, gods, or “holy” writings) the Direct Path Method emphasizes seeing directly that truth which can be known from within, via the inner guru or the inner resource. (NOTE: The gurus / teachers that use this method always eventually invite the seeker to go within but only after the obstacles which block seeing with clarity - namely, obstacles such as concepts and beliefs - have been removed.]
6. After realization comes via an understanding of the pointers offered via the Direct Path Method, the natural freedom of one’s true nature prevails for the remainder of the manifestation (hence, the connection with the Nisarga Yoga, or natural yoga, approach).
7. The Direct Path Method is not goal-oriented or prescriptive (as is Neo-Vedanta, for example) and attempts to simply point out the way things are (or the way THINGS ARE NOT but are thought to be).
8. Often using present experiences as data or examples, the Direct Path Method deconstructs the existing body of presumptions, the belief systems, and the psychological structures—all of which make persons feel separate, vulnerable, and cut off from reality.
9. When the illogical, unreasonable, and irrational nature of psychological structures are held up to the light of awareness for a seeker that is capable of being logical and reasonable and rational, the psychological structures peacefully dissolve.
10. An awakening happens that is marked by sweetness, by an immediacy, and by a gapless clarity which is awareness itself. And quite often, laughter accompanies the peripetia - that seeing of the truth that others have seen but that the seeker only now sees.
11. Rather than practicing disciplines and adhering to esoteric paths and preachings, this method attempts instead to deconstruct persons’ everyday view of “the world” and “themselves” in order to guide protégés to an understanding of what they are not.
This method does not try to “give” seekers anything since Direct Path teachers know that, ultimately, there is no seeker and that there is no “one” to “gain” and that there is nothing to be gained; conversely, the capable users of the Direct Path Method know that too much has been given to seekers already (namely, all of the false dogma and concepts and ideas and beliefs which now block seekers from seeing reality and from realizing truth.)
Several distinct differences in the Direct Path Method of teaching non-duality as opposed to the other three methods have been shown. During "floyd's" years of seeking, truth was sought during various periods by use of the other three methods (along with a host of religions and philosophies and ideologies and yogas and cult-like spiritual programs) but realization did not happen.
[Note: Additionally, realization did not come even after multiple readings of the book "I AM THAT." During the early days of Maharaj’s teaching when those dialogues were recorded, he was moving toward use of the Direct Path Method but it can be seen that he was also blending in some use of the Traditional Method and other non-Nisarga yogas. Later, he began using the Direct Path Method more exclusively, occasionally tossing out pointers that had a straight-forwardness that some might now liken, incorrectly, to the “Neo-Advaita” Method;
therefore, it was his later sharings—along with a clarifying vision that came to this author one afternoon—that helped remove the final obstacles to Realization. Of the early sharings and the content of the book "I AM THAT," Maharaj would say in his later days: "That book and whatever was expounded at that time was only relevant for that period. I am speaking differently today," adding that in his later days he was "emphasizing different aspects."
Some of the other differences in the Direct Path Method and the other three methods include these:
Contrary to the Traditional Method, the Direct Path Method advises seekers to receive pointers from a guru / teacher, to take those into consideration, and then to find truth via the inner guru (as opposed to studying any texts considered “holy”).
Contrary to the Neo-Vedanta Method (which offers flowery pointers that have the effect of encouraging followers to adopt more concepts and pseudo-identities) the Direct Path invites seekers to forfeit concepts and identities. One method blows smoke; the other blows away the smoke.
Contrary to the Neo-Advaita Method that says, “Why don’t you just get it? Understand it’s all illusion. Now you can go,” the Direct Path Method offers other pointers and guides seekers through the steps that most require in order for realization to happen.
Why? Direct Path agrees with the Neo-Advaitins that (a) yes, it’s all illusion and that (b) once realized, there is no do-er and thus nothing more to do; however, the Direct Path understands the high levels of programming and conditioning and domestication and acculturation to which most persons have been subjected.
The Direct Path understands how such high levels of distortion remove the ability of persons to see clearly and that merely inviting persons to see clearly does not result in their seeing clearly. Such a suggestion would be tantamount to your ophthalmologist saying, "You won't need this prescription and new glasses if you'll just starting seeing clearly rather than seeing things all out-of-focus."
Direct Path users are occasionally trespassers - though invited trespassers - into their protégés’ pain. In such cases, some using one method might quote scriptures; those using another method might offer lofty or inspirational platitudes; teachers of a third method might suggest minimizing or ignoring the whole business; but the effective Direct Path user will understand the psychological structures that result from trauma and warped programming which can cause pain. That teacher can uncover the true source of that pain so that the source can dissolve. Then, the dissolution of the pain can follow.
The adept, using the Direct Path Method, is able to guide protégés through the deconstruction process that eliminates the “mind” which houses belief in lies and illusions and concepts and personas and that is the seat of mental and emotional pain. Eventually, it is possible that the effects of the psychological structures that result in personality disorders (and which also generate turmoil and pain) can be eliminated via the Direct Path Method to full realization. For some – if not for many - of course, professional treatment is required.
Finally, Maharaj would eventually advise visitors to forget the concepts they value and quote only because they were written in a so-called “holy book” and to find, instead, what they originally tapped to within but that is “hidden” from consciousness by the miasma of ideas and beliefs and concepts and other lies that are blocking their realization of truth.
Tomorrow: “The Basic Rationale for Offering the Nisarga Yoga in Addition to the Non-Duality Pointers”
To be continued.
Please enter into the silence of contemplation.
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"There is no hell."
teachings which become a part of the Papal Magisterium.