The shadows of this world are perceived by mortals, and they think they know Truth, but the Reality which casts the shadows is hidden from them, and they do not perceive the Light. I tell you the truth when I say that only when you perceive shadows as shadows, and search the Light, will you perceive the Reality which is God.
– Jesus Christ, Gospel of Thomas
Sri Ramana Maharshi is known to have compared it to the situation in a cinema. There is the light in the projector, which passes through a moving film that projects images on the screen. The light is God or the Self, the film is our mind, with it’s thoughts, memories, etc. The movie on the screen is what we call our life, our world.
In other words, the Self or the Light shines through our memories, casts shadows and we see those shadows and think it to be real. Now, of course, these “shadows” aren’t just visual, speaking in terms of the senses. Everything we perceive with our senses (taste, touch, smell, sight, sound), plus mind, thoughts, feelings, are all the projections of the Light.
We think the shadows we perceive are real. Now imagine a multiplicity of these movie reels playing by the same light. Now there are many worlds, all of which seem real.
Consider this: In the beginning, you were organized as one body, but when you became two, the illusion of separateness entered the physical plane. Now you are many, and this illusion abounds.
– Jesus Christ, Gospel of Thomas
Now, what happens when the movie reel is taken away? Light remains, no movie! What happens when there is no movie? You can’t tell that anything’s changing? When nothings changing, there is no time, there is no space. There is only Light! If there is only Light, what happens to the others? There are no others, there is only Light! That Light is what we call God, the Self. This is our natural state, our True nature. It is all there is.
Once you realize that the world is your own projection, you are free of it. You need not free yourself of a world that does not exist, except in your own imagination! However is the picture, beautiful or ugly, you are painting it and you are not bound by it. Realize that there is nobody to force it on you, that it is due to the habit of taking the imaginary to be real. See the imaginary as imaginary and be free of fear.
– Nisargadatta Maharaj
Now the object of the theological virtues is God Himself, Who is the last end of all, as surpassing the knowledge of our reason. On the other hand, the object of the intellectual and moral virtues is something comprehensible to human reason. Wherefore the theological virtues are specifically distinct from the moral and intellectual virtues.
- St. Thomas Aquinas
Yes, I tell you the truth when I say that even those who follow the prophets do not understand them, for they speak of the things of the Spirit, which cannot be apprehended by the physical mind. The prophet is alone with the Eloheim, for of all mortals, it is he who sees the reality which he cannot convey to his people.
- Jesus Christ, Gospel of Thomas
My voice proclaims
How exquisitely the individual Mind
(And the progressive powers perhaps no less
Of the whole species) to the external World
Is fitted:—and how exquisitely, too,
Theme this but little heard of among Men,
The external World is fitted to the Mind.
- William Wordsworth
Oh the pity, my mind wallows in it’s own ignorance, while I am. And even though I know nothing but that, and as much as my mind would like to believe, I am, that’s true and I am still unaware of it.
This earth and the planets surrounding it will pass away, and everything will become new. Consider this: In the beginning, you were organized as one body, but when you became two, the illusion of separateness entered the physical plane. Now you are many, and this illusion abounds. Listen to what I’m saying! You must become a solitary person before me, if you want to dwell on the new planets and the new earth which I will create. Those who are enlightened will understand what I’m saying.
- Jesus, Gospel of Thomas
The moment I have realized God sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him – that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free.
- Swami Vivekananda
Unity can only be manifested by the Binary. Unity itself and the idea of Unity are already two.
- Gautama Buddha
When the world which is what-is-seen has been removed, there will be realization of the Self which is the seer.
- Sri Ramana Maharshi
By forms is meant all manifestations on the physical plane including things, vibrations, names, concepts, thoughts, feelings et al.
The world we perceive ourselves to live in consists of a variety of forms. Forms, are created and sustained only due to other forms that validate their existence. Forms exist only as long as exists a gross manifestation of consciousness to perceive them. In order for experience to appear to be real, it is necessary for the experiencer to appear to be real and separate from the experience.
The ego, or the fundamental sense of identity that gives rise to all separation, itself causes forms to take form, as it were. These forms are experienced through many channels of vibration that we call the senses. The destruction of the ego leads to the experience of the infinite. From the point of view of a visual metaphor, the word destruction is not the best way to describe this, for destruction usually evokes a splintering or explosive type of effect. The experience is akin to a merging, or dissolution.
The truth or the word of god, whatever name is chosen to describe it, is found not just in books, scriptures or words of the wise. It is all around, even in forms. It is obvious that this would be such, for it follows that if all is one, then all is the word and the word is everywhere and everything at once.
The nature of reality, life etc can be described in terms of a vast ocean – a beautiful, direct and obvious manifestation of the word in form. Forms are waves on the surface of the ocean. Everything, including living things, including us, is a wave. Waves take shape, move, crash, tumble and ultimately dissolve back into the ocean from where they arise. Under the waves as well as part of the wave is the ocean, unaffected by the manifestation, activities, transitions and dissolution of the waves.
Is it meaningful to name each wave? Is it meaningful to ascribe to each wave, characteristics such as benevolence, violence, faith? Is it meaningful to say that each wave has free-will, dreams, desires? Is it meaningful to give each wave credit for what it does? Is it meaningful to give each wave a purpose? Is it meaningful to attempt to control the destiny of each wave?
So it is with life, with forms. If all things, including us are just waves on the cosmic substrate, how does one begin to describe each wave, ascribe to them characteristics and attempt to control them? In essence, this is what we attempt to do in life.
The nature of reality (or consciousness, or existence, or god, or the infinite, whatever name you give it), is like an unending ocean. It never wasn’t, it never isn’t and it never won’t be. What we think of as ‘I’, when we associate ourselves with the body, or the mind, or emotions or anything that Jesus called the Physical Plane and the Vedas called Samsara, is just a wave, transient but at the same time completely one with the eternal, at all times.
Time, space, cause, effect, all names and forms are but waves. It is as if a wave decided to ‘take control’ and establish it’s “importance” over other waves.
There is nothing one needs to “do” in order to be one with that ocean. We are that, already and always have been.
Slow down everyone you’re moving too fast
Frames can’t catch you when you’re moving like that
– Jack Johnson, Inaudible Melodies
I used to think and write about technology. Software, hardware, the things that make bits travel from one little container to another. An exciting world, filled with terms like agile development, continuous integration. A world, like any established profession nowadays with it’s associated literature and conferences, prescriptions and practices, gurus and disciples, culture and philosophy.
This is no longer very interesting to me.
Looking back, I could argue that the specifics of information technology weren’t interesting to me in the first place, because it was really just a medium by which I sought to discover the unity, beauty and infinity of everything that is. The sum-total of the rituals, actions, thought, expression and product, which I will refer to collectively as “work” was, primarily for me, meditation. A way to focus on one thing so intensely so as to allow consciousness to just be in itself, a point where boundaries, including ones that define one’s ego, dissolve and merge into the infinite that is.
Meditation has been a part of my life since I was 17, when I started questioning the nature of reality.
Who am I?
I remember learning to meditate as clearly as I remember learning to walk, eat or sleep, which is to say, I don’t remember it at all. It has just always been a part of my life.
Perhaps as result of years of meditation, life isn’t a mystery. It does not appear to be an unfathomable maze, with pitfalls, traps, highs and lows. It wasn’t always like this, but whenever I think back about times when life was confusing, I also see clearly that they were times when I living on the surface, reacting to waves on an ocean instead of being in the calm underneath.
The breakthrough came when I started slowing down, making every action deliberate. Intentional. Exclusive. And immediately the last ripples started to subside and eventually went away, leaving nothing but an immense stillness that is impossible to describe and also impossible to leave once you experience it. I am sure I will write much more about this.
It was at this time, when I was most deeply living in that state of calm that I met my now fiancé. A deeply spiritual woman who brings out the best in me, just being and conversing with her convinced me to start writing this blog. So I erased everything that was there on this space before and started this one.
I write this blog not because I want to be read by anyone in particular, or anyone at all. I write not because I feel I have something to say to the world, nor because I want to engage in discussion about interesting things (that’s why comments are turned off).
I write because I am inspired. I write because I must.
It is, as some would say, my karma.