Enlightenment requires transcending both ego and ignorance
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi"My Dear Children,
What are you searching? Why are you aimlessly and listlessly running about? The Joy that you have searched in material gains, the Joy that you are looking for in power, the Joy that disappeared in the words of books, the so-called knowledge is all lost in yourself, and you are still searching and seeking! You can pay attention to everything outside yourself! You are lost in your thoughts, like babes in the wood. But there is great hope that you can rise into the Heaven of"thoughtless awareness," which we call Self-Realization. I invite you to this feast of Divine Bliss, which is pouring around you, even in this Kali Yuga, in these God-forsaken modern times. I hope you will come and enjoy the spiritual experience of the life eternal."
With all My love and blessings
Your Mother NIRMALA
(This letter was written by HH Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi in 1972 during Her first trip to America to give public programs.)
> I made many friends in Sy; sadly some of them I can't really
> communicate with. One very dear lady, wishes to remain my friend,
> however it is difficult to have a relationship with someone who is
> so indoctrinated that they believe that they must"not think"As
> thinking is"non sahaj." Trying to have a conversation with someone
> who has switched off their brain is a bit difficult. (Blase)
Some critics of Sahaja Yoga are against the"Do not think"Advise of Shri Mataji. In fact that label is a wrong assumption as Shri Mataji wants us to be"thoughtlessly aware"Which is the cornerstone of progressive enlightenment. As they say, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing (phrase first used by Alexander Pope 1688 - 1744 in An Essay on Criticism, 1709). It means that a small amount of knowledge can cause people to think they are more expert than they really are, as ignorant Blase obviously thinks so too.
i quote Elizabeth Debold:
"Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity."Voltaire was searching for direct contact with the eternal—for a spiritual, but not religious, enlightenment."
Humans do a wide variety of tasks without thinking. Shri Mataji is just encouraging us to do all of them in that thoughtlessly aware state, if possible. It is the only way for a direct contact with the eternal—for a spiritual, but not religious, enlightenment.
But Her emphasis is on being _aware_ despite being thoughtless i.e. knowing without thinking. It is very important to realize the meaning of"Aware."
Main Entry: aware
1: archaic : watchful, wary
2: having or showing realization, perception, or knowledge — awareness noun
synonyms aware, cognizant, conscious, sensible, alive, awake mean having knowledge of something. aware implies vigilance in observing or alertness in drawing inferences from what one experiences
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
Guru Nanak Dev Ji says in Jap Ji Sahib: "Man Jeeteh Jag Jeet" (If you conquer the mind, you conquer the material world). You can attain enlightenment if you are able to slow down and subsequently remove the ceaseless thoughts of the ego.
"The Role of Ego
In most spiritual traditions, the role of the ego-personality in the process of reaching Enlightenment is, to a great extent underestimated and misunderstood. Unless we see clearly that the ego in itself is something absolutely positive and, as such, the only tool for arriving at higher levels of awareness, we have no way to understand the process of awakening.
Many seekers are confused and not able to comprehend the apparent paradox of transcending the ego without actually annihilating it. In Buddhist psychology, there is a concept that ego is not real, for it is only a play of so called five skandhas. This concept is missing the elemental understanding that our body-mind operates as an alive and coherent organism of intelligence in a purposeful and meaningful way. The ego cannot be found anywhere as such, for the one looking for it - is the ego. It is too close to be found, but certainly it is always there.
It is difficult to define what the ego is, for it is not anything substantial. We would define ego as a self-conscious function of individualized consciousness capable of relating to its surroundings and itself in a centralized and intelligent manner. The ego is not an entity, but rather a unified field of identity - it is not fixated on a point, but operates within a spatial consciousness. It has many layers and many aspects.
In Buddhist tradition there's a concept of"no-mind," and so we tend to think that our being is simply divided into the mind and the no- mind. This is far too simplistic. Even when we go beyond the gross level of thinking, the mind is still functioning and the ability for self-relating is retained. This thing called ego is constantly accompanying the process of meditation and, allows us to create clarity and understanding. The art of resting within the stillness of our being, and the self-conscious movement of our intelligence are not separated from one another. Without the gentle checking of our state during meditation and cultivation in general, we would be unable to make any progress in the practice. This is the function of the ego."
Voltaire best describes the gist of Shri Mataji's request to be in the "thoughtless awareness"state during meditation, and at all times if possible. She has a very good reason, one that has been time-tested over the millennia:
"Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity."
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