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#1980 - Thursday, November 18, 2004 - Editor: Jerry
The Wisdom of
Balsekar: The Essence of Enlightenment from the World's Leading
Teacher of Advaita.
Edited by Alan Jacobs. Foreward by Wayne Liquorman.
This issue continues with excerpts from the book's various themes. The source of each writing is given as well. From the back cover: "This anthology of the writings of Ramesh Balsekar gives thematic extracts from all of his written works to date and is approved by the sage himself, as well as by his leading disciple, Wayne Liquorman. It will serve to stimulate its readers to study more of his books an edited talks -- and perhaps indeed to meet him in Mumbai."
From the book's front papers: "Ramesh S. Balsekar is known and loved by seekers from around the world as an eloquent Master of Advaita, or non-duality. After retiring as President of the Bank of India, Ramesh translated many of the daily talks given in the Marathi language by his Guru, Nisargadatta Maharaj. Ramesh's teaching began in 1982 after Maharaj had twice directed him to talk, and since then has written over twenty books on Advaita."
You may read a couple reviews and purchase the book at Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/6fbus
You must always go to the root of the problem. When did the experience of suffering first start? Do you have any memory of any suffering, say, a hundred years ago? When did the experience start? Think about it deeply so that the answers to these questions would arise within yourself without any words. Is life -- living itself -- other than experiencing; experiencing in duration, moment to moment stretched horizontally? And what is experiencing? Is it not reacting to an outside stimulus which is interpreted through the senses as an experience -- pleasant and acceptable, or unpleasant and not acceptable. One does not experience suffering -- one suffers an experience, pleasant or unpleasant.
Now, the basic question you should be concerned with is: Who (or, more appropriately, what) is it that suffers an experience? Let me tell you straight away: 'I' do not (cannot) suffer any experience, pleasant or unpleasant; it is only a 'you' or a 'me' who suffers an experience. This is a very important pronouncement and you should ponder over it deeply.
Pointers from Nisargadatta Maharaj p. 155
Perhaps the most significant conclusion arrived at by the physicist in recent times is the statement that no object exists unless it is observed. The observation can only happen through an object which does not exist unless it is observed. And an object is a three-dimensional thing extended in space and observable through the serialized duration called time. And, 'space-time' is not an object! Therefore, the only conclusion is that an object does not exist -- that the 'observed' object is an illusion, and the observing can only be a noumenal functioning.
Sir Isaac Newton's physics assumed that the future of the world was precisely predictable from the state of the present. However, the new physics of quantum mechanics has come to the confident conclusion that the future is not determined totally by the past. In other words, quantum mechanics says that the Source, or Consciousness, has a causal influence on the future. At any point in time, we are told, out of the thousands of probabilities, one probability collapses into an actuality in the present moment. This scientific conclusion is precisely what the sages have been saying for ages.
In the functioning of the universe, the dualistic analysis of the physicists resembles that of the sages to an astonishing degree. But the fact of the matter is that it must necessarily be so, because the descriptions of the sages -- like those of the scientists -- being 'descriptions' must necessarily be dualistic. What the sages describe is what they see objectively -- mountains and rivers are still mountains and rivers -- but the important distinction is that, at the same time, they are fully aware that what they see, subjectively, is the Source from which the mountains and rivers have appeared. And, most important, when the seeing ceases, they are what has been described in the Hindu scriptures as Sat-Chit-Ananda.
In other words, what the sages apperceive -- intuitively know -- is that there is no subject see-ing an object but only a seeing, 'pure perception'; thinking but no thinker, doing but no doer, experiencing but no experiencer.
The Ultimate Understanding p. 135 & 128-9
True happiness (real quietude) consists not in volitional effort to achieve happiness but only in understanding what Self-abidance is, and Self-abidance is not something to be acquired but something which arises spontaneously when the mind is free of the concepts of right and wrong, the acceptable and the unacceptable, and all such pairs of opposites. The sage tells us that enlightenment or Self-abidance is our natural state. It does not need to be acquired. And personal, volitional effort means only strengthening the ego, the 'me', which is itself the obstruction which covers and hides our original state. What is more, the sage assures us that the true understanding of this very fact is all that is necessary for the seeker! When the understanding is true and deep, the question, 'I have understood what you are saying, but having understood your theory, what do I actually do in everyday life?', does not arise. It cannot arise. If it does arise, the understanding has not been either true or deep enough.
A Duet of One p. 118
What actually happens in life is that man attaches undue importance to past conventions, to conscious thinking, to communication by linear signs and mathematical symbols, and not nearly enough to the intuitive 'feel'; far more to the central spotlight vision and not enough to the peripheral vision; far more to the analytical data and not enough to the 'gut-feeling'. It is absolutely essential to understand that it is not at all a question of one against the other but really a matter of one complementing the other. What happens now most of the time is that the conditioning of conventionality is so powerful that it smothers spontaneity; and this unfortunately is clearly to be seen in the education of a child, where the stress on abstract, linear thinking combined with social conventions sometimes reaches such a degree of repression of the child's inherent spontaneity of expression that it could do positive harm to the child. What is necessary is certainly not a surrender to a mad urge of caprice, but a rational recognition of an intelligence that does not base itself on the too orderly working of reason and intellect, an intelligence the actual working of which can be clearly seen in our bodies by the way we are able to move our limbs and take our breaths. As someone has put it, 'men are afraid to forget their own minds, fearing to fall through the void with nothing on to which they can cling'. Man is afraid to rely on the spontaneous functioning with which he is naturally endowed, but which gets blocked when restrained in its natural working by any efforts to understand it in terms of conventional techniques.
Explorations into the Eternal
This concludes the excerpting of The Wisdom of Balsekar http://tinyurl.com/6fbus
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