The Self Stands Beyond Mind
As a child fairly often I experienced states of complete
happiness, verging on ecstasy:
they ceased, but since I came to India they reappeared,
particularly after I met you. Yet these
however wonderful, are not lasting. They come and go and there
is no knowing when they
How can anything be steady in a mind which itself is not steady?
How can I make my mind steady?
How can an unsteady mind make itself steady? Of course it
cannot. It is the nature of the mind
roam about. All you can do is to shift the focus of
consciousness beyond the mind.
How is it done?
Refuse all thoughts except one: the thought 'I am'. The mind
will rebel in the beginning, but with
and perseverance it will yield and keep quiet. Once you are
quiet, things will begin to
spontaneously and quite naturally without any interference on
Can I avoid this protracted battle with my mind?
Yes, you can. Just live your life as it comes, but alertly,
watchfully, allowing everything to
as it happens, doing the natural things the natural way,
suffering, rejoicing -- as life brings.
also is a way.
Well, then I can as well marry, have children, run a business...
Sure. You may or may not be happy, take it in your stride.
Yet I want happiness.
True happiness cannot be found in things that change and pass
away. Pleasure and pain
inexorably. Happiness comes from the self and can be found in
the self only. Find your
self (swarupa) and all else will come with it.
If my real self is peace and love, why is it so restless?
It is not your real being that is restless, but its reflection
in the mind appears restless because
mind is restless. It is just like the reflection of the moon in
the water stirred by the wind. The
of desire stirs the mind and the 'me', which is but a reflection
of the Self in the mind, appears
But these ideas of movement, of restlessness, of pleasure and
pain are all in the mind.
Self stands beyond the mind, aware, but unconcerned.
How to reach it?
You are the Self, here and now Leave the mind alone, stand aware
and unconcerned and you
realise that to stand alert but detached, watching events come
and go, is an aspect of your real
What are the other aspects?
The aspects are infinite in number. Realise one, and you will
Tell me some thing that would help me.
You know best what you need!
I am restless. How can I gain peace?
For what do you need peace?
To be happy.
Are you not happy now?
No, I am not.
What makes you unhappy?
I have what I donít want, and want what I donít have.
Why donít you invert it: want what you have and care not for
what you donít have?
I want what is pleasant and donít want what is painful.
How do you know what is pleasant and what is not?
From past experience, of course.
Guided by memory you have been pursuing the pleasant and
shunning the unpleasant. Have
No, I have not. The pleasant does not last. Pain sets in again.
The desire for pleasure, the fear of pain, both are states of
distress. Is there a state of
Every pleasure, physical or mental, needs an instrument. Both
the physical and mental
are material, they get tired and worn out. The pleasure they
yield is necessarily limited
intensity and duration. Pain is the background of all your
pleasures. You want them because you
On the other hand, the very search for pleasure is the cause of
pain. It is a vicious circle.
I can see the mechanism of my confusion, but I do not see my way
out of it.
The very examination of the mechanism shows the way. After all,
your confusion is only in your
which never rebelled so far against confusion and never got to
grips with it. It rebelled only
So, all I can do is to stay confused?
Be alert. Question, observe, investigate, learn all you can
about confusion, how it operates,
it does to you and others. By being clear about confusion you
become clear of confusion.
When I look into myself, I find my strongest desire is to create
a monument, to build something
will outlast me. Even when I think of a home, wife and children,
it is because it is a lasting, solid,
Right, build yourself a monument. How do you propose to do it?
It matters little what I build, as long as it is permanent.
Surely, you can see for yourself that nothing is permanent. All
wears out, breaks down,
The very ground on which you build gives way. What can you build
that will outlast all?
Intellectually, verbally, I am aware that all is transient. Yet,
somehow my heart wants
I want to create something that lasts.
Then you must build it of something lasting. What have you that
is lasting? Neither your body
mind will last. You must look elsewhere.
I long for permanency, but I find it nowhere.
Are you, yourself, not permanent?
I was born, I shall die.
Can you truly say you were not before you were born and can you
possibly say when dead:
I am no moreí? You cannot say from your own experience that you
are not. You can only say
amí. Others too cannot tell you Ďyou are notí.
There is no ĎI amí in sleep.
Before you make such sweeping statements, examine carefully your
waking state. You will soon
that it is full of gaps, when the min blanks out. Notice how
little you remember even when
awake. You just donít remember. A gap in memory is not
necessarily a gap in consciousness.
Can I make myself remember my state of deep sleep?
Of course! By eliminating the intervals of inadvertence during
your waking hours you will
eliminate the long interval of absent-mindedness, which you call
sleep. You will be aware
you are asleep.
Yet, the problem of permanency, of continuity of being, is not
Permanency is a mere idea, born of the action of time. Time
again depends of memory. By
you mean unfailing memory through endless time. You want to
eternalise the mind,
is not possible.
Then what is eternal?
That which does not change with time. You cannot eternalise a
transient thing -- only the
I am familiar with the general sense of what you say. I do not
crave for more knowledge. All I
You can have for the asking all the peace you want.
I am asking.
You must ask with an undivided heart and live an integrated
Detach yourself from all that makes your mind restless. Renounce
all that disturbs its peace. If
want peace, deserve it.
Surely everybody deserves peace.
Those only deserve it, who don't disturb it.
In what way do I disturb peace?
By being a slave to your desires and fears.
Even when they are justified?
Emotional reactions, born of ignorance or inadvertence, are
never justified. Seek a clear mind
a clean heart. All you need is to keep quietly alert, enquiring
into the real nature of yourself.
is the only way to peace.