I is the Obstacle

"I" is te Obstacle

What is the obstacle to discovering Ultimate Truth?

There is a beautiful Sufi poem in Hindi:
Ek Bastu, Ek Bimb Hai
Main Dono Ke Beech
Jab Main, Main Se Choot Gaya
Sahib Rahyo Samij

Translation :

Everything is one. All matter is the same. When we look behind all matter, still, existence is one.
Because I am here surrounded by all of the matter, when “I” look at it, every thing looks different.
But when I can come out from the grip of the “I” (ego)
Only God, pure existence, remains there in front of me.

What exactly is this poet talking about?

We can’t see the forest for the trees!

There is only one truth. Everything else in the world is just “matter”. Matter that quite frankly, doesn’t matter. Essentially, all matter is the same. Things may look, smell, taste, sound, or feel different, but that is just because our senses are limited. You see, when everything is distilled down to its pure essence, it’s exactly the same. Everything is energy to put it simply.

Because we are surrounded by matter and depend on our senses and our mind to experience our surroundings, everything we see around us seems to be unique. Even when we try to look more closely, dissect what we see, examine all of the components, everything looks different. Through our senses we cannot identify the Oneness that surrounds us. It is only when we can allow ourselves to separate from our mind and our senses, and experience the world through our TRUE self, the Atman self, that can we see that all is the same. And it is at that time that we can see and understand that this Oneness, this same existence, is God; Anand; Bliss; Truth.

The mind doesn’t even have the ability to register Oneness, because the mind can only see things in parts. The mind is just like a computer screen. It actually creates thoughts and images by putting together millions of pixels. So because of this, the mind is always dissecting everything that it gets from the senses into pieces, labeling those pieces, and filing them in our database for future reference. This is the job of the mind, and it serves a very useful purpose in our day-to-day existence!

What we all need to be constantly reminded of is that fact that “You are NOT your mind”. Every person is a unique soul; a pure soul that is temporarily occupying a particular body and mind. When you can learn to separate your true Atman self from your body and mind, you can begin to experience this Oneness.

This is what is meant by removing the “I”. This is referencing the “I” that we imagine ourselves to be; our ego. When we remove the ego, remove the mind, remove the body, then all that remains is the observer, the experiencer, the pure soul, the Atman self.

Essentially everything that you can say is yours is hence not you. So if you are holding “your pen” then you are not a pen, you are yourself and you possess a pen which is a separate entity. The same is true when you talk about your mind and body! So when you remove everything that can be declared as yours, and hence is not you, then you are left with the Atman self. This is your true I. It’s simple deductive reasoning!

So what the author is saying in his poem is that everything is one, but being entrenched in the worldly matter that surrounds him, he interprets everything as being different. But when he removes the ego and mind from his true existence, all that remains is the Oneness that is God or Ultimate Truth.

Swarupa

Swarupa - Your Inner Form

Your inner form is called Swarupa. Nothingness is the true form of our nature as a human being. Because it is nothingness, nothing is there. It is always in a very peaceful or paramashant state. Vices are all a result of thought. We need a tool that can help us manage the control of our thoughts. That is meditation. If we did not need to learn to control our thoughts we wouldn’t need meditation. Meditation is a system that helps you rediscover your true form; your true Swarupa. How can this be done? You unknowingly lost your Swarupa. This is because of ignorance. Let’s investigate this concept.

Because of ignorance, you live in a doing state rather than a state of being. And because of this, ego comes into play. Because of ego, attachment comes, because of attachment greed comes, because of greed anger comes. This is how we wrap ourselves in layers like a cocoon. These layers cover your true form. Paramaswarupa, your true form, gets covered in all of these layers. This is the root of suffering.

Because of ego there is duality. Nature and creator you see as different, while in actuality they are one. Nature is the body of the creator. Everything that you visualize you visualize as nature, or as matter. But you need to visualize the pure existence behind the matter! But you don’t know how to visualize nature as a pure existence, rather you see it as separate, confined by names and forms. Because of this approach of looking at things, all forms of the same true existence appear different. The question is how to go back and recognize our True form. Somehow we have become detached from our true form. How do you change your state of mind from a doer state to a viewer state?

The connection we have to our minds makes us limited, because the mind by nature is limited because it is matter. Because it is matter it has no capacity to unite with a limitless state. Mind is the same as the ego. We understand our mind through thoughts; thoughts of our ego i. This is what creates confusion. You are considering your ego as your real i, real Self, True Self, Atman Self. That eternal peaceful divine Self that you want to experience is there, but you have to make an effort to come out from the i that is ego. One way to do this is through deductive reasoning. By removing everything that you are NOT, you can isolate what is the True you. I am not a body. I am not a mind. I am not thoughts. I am not breath. Whatever you can say is mine is not the True Self.

Just like a tree, the True form may be lost behind all of the branches and leaves. All of these little branches and leaves will shed and regrow and change, but they are not the Real tree. You have to look at what is behind everything.

It’s as if you are playing tintal (16 beat rhythm cycle) on the Indian drum, the tabla, many compositions. If you are just trying to learn the compositions, your focus will only be on the mechanics of the music, but you will not understand what is behind it. If you want to have a deeper experience, you will understand that there is one continuous and behind it. That is the True beauty of the tinta. The composition is the movie playing on the screen that is nad. We have a habit of focusing on the moving pictures projected on the screen rather than the actual screen. The screen is what is real. This is due to ignorance. If you learn to see the screen, all of the confusion lessens. The films may change; today’s tintal is tomorrow’s rupak tal (7 beat rhythm cycle).

The screen that remains the same is the same as the True Self. However we focus all of our attention on the thoughts that are the changing films. Often we are not even aware that there is a screen. The mind is a mass production factory of thoughts. These thoughts have you running here and there in search of worldly pleasures. And because of ignorance, you see thought in a sequence. But thoughts are not actually moving in sequence, rather they are still frames played in sequence. In between all of these thoughts, or all of these still frames, are small spaces of nothingness. That gap is where you need to focus. If you focus on these gaps you can see the screen. This is the place where your Self is sitting forever. As you learn to focus on the gaps rather than on the pictures, over time you no longer focus on the pictures. If there are no pictures, then you are in a paramashanta state.

It is only because of habit that we look at the pictures and fail to see the gap or the screen. Once you can train yourself to have a habit of focusing on the gap, you will no longer see the pictures. This is how you come out from the grip of the mind and reconnect with the True Self.

When you come out from the grip of your i state, you will immediately connect with the True I state that is a viewer state, not a doer state. The viewer state is there by default, but the cloud of your i is covering it with a dark shadow. This prevents you from seeing your True I. As you remove that cloud, you will be showered in the light of your True Existence, your True Self. And the nature of that True Self is Anand. This is where you find pure bliss.

When we do the experiment of Nati, which means the deductive reasoning of what you are not, what do we find? When we take away everything that is not I, it allows us to find the True I. But it can never take you farther than “I am not my breath.” Why will it never take it beyond your breath? Because our intellect cannot go further than the breath. The process of Nati is dependent on your intellect which is what is saying “I am not this, I am that.”

So with your intellect you can deny everything that is not I until you get to your breath. But when you state that you are not your breath, the i that makes that statement is the ego, and that ego will remain. The thought of your ego i is the first thing that corrupted you when you began in an absolutely true being form. That must be the first thought of your ego i. And from that ego i all other i’s come; all other thoughts. When you reach the last level of your ego i, what needs to be done? You have to understand from where that ego was born. So we know that only the ego i remains, so how do we get rid of that? In order to do that we need to understand from where it came; how it was created.

Was it created in the brain? No. It is born in your heart. The first thought always comes from the heart – not the physical heart, but the mind heart. Today’s science is beginning to speak a lot about the mind heart. So the first thought of your ego i was born in your mind heart. We get confused by words, semantics. Because of words we don’t know how to see things properly. You may think that Existence is Truth and that the world is Maya. At the same time, you say that whatever exists has existence and is Truth. The means that the whole concept of your Maya came from nothing. If you just see each and every creature as a being with Existence, then it is no longer Maya. If you see each creature as matter, then it remains as Maya. This duality comes from ignorance. Otherwise there is no point to have to have two names for the same things. Everything is pure existence. But because of ignorance you have made it into two.