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Introvert v extrovert / end of suffering

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  • Tony Osime
    By a round about route, my original post led me to this post in another group. There is a tenuous but interesting link to my original post, so I thought it
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 18, 2005
      By a round about route, my original post led me to this post in another
      group. There is a tenuous but interesting link to my original post, so I
      thought it might make interesting reading here. I have edited it to make
      it more readable. My apologies for it being a very long post!

      From: "adithya_comming" <adithya_comming@...>
      Subject: Enlightenment : end of suffering?

      Suffering is a 'potential' in the body-mind. Pain is a 'possibility',
      just like mental conflict is, depression is, fear is, hatred is,
      jealousy is, and greed is. But, just because it is 'possible' to suffer,
      doesn't mean you have to! Just because you have a match box or a gun in
      your house, doesn't mean you have to burn your house or kill someone. To
      "Not" burn and kill, it is often "Not" necessary to get rid of fire and
      killing 'potential'. Simple understanding and consciousness might be

      We already know that not everybody suffers from same amount of jealousy,
      greed, depression or ...mental pain. We also know that not everybody
      shows the same fear, anger, jealousy, 'unconsciousness', 'mental pain',
      'mental suffering', 'hatred', in response to same or similar events. In
      fact, many people have demonstrated to be quite efficient, effective and
      productive in dealing with same situations without going trough the same
      amount of mental trauma, suffering and pain of ...depression, jealousy,
      greed, fear, hatred, anger, conflict that many other people do.
      Many are in fact, even able to unlearn the old 'conditioning' and learn
      a new attitude to act (or just stay) in the same scenario without
      needing to create the same 'mental suffering' or 'mental pain' anymore.
      Incredibly, they are often able to do it without losing their ability to
      act and respond in any way. In fact, in many cases, their ability to
      respond and act increases!

      They unlearn the old resistance, conflict and pain producing
      conditioning and learn to "SEE" - observe the situation clearly without
      much mental labeling. They learn to act out of "Acceptance",
      "Consciousness", "Presence" and "Stillness". Not only that, they are
      now, able to remain poised, calm, joyous, happy and free of reactivity
      and 'mental conflict' but they do so without losing any ability to act!

      Even those who are not attentive, present or conscious see their
      suffering disappear completely in "DEEP SLEEP", every Night! Incredibly,
      the situation is still exactly the same as it was! ...just, they are
      not present to 'create' the suffering anymore. Their "suffering
      producing" facility has been put to rest.
      Some people even try to temporarily achieve it chemically by ingesting
      ...alcohols, drugs etc. Just few drops, a few glands dulled, few signal
      sending neuron temporarily dulled and ...phew, no more suffering! Even
      though, situation is exactly same.

      First peek in enlightenment is somewhat like going into Deep Sleep
      state, consciously. You See that all your suffering, pain, conflict
      simply doesn't exist! As you start to be more and more conscious and get
      more and more in tune with the body, mind and emotions, you literally
      see yourself 'producing' pain and suffering! You see a thought and
      immediately you feel a signal, twitch, a prick, a pinch, few drop of
      burning chemical (hormone) dropping in the blood and, hey, you have
      succeeded, you have been able to SUCCESSFULLY create Pain!
      Many others, who are not that Conscious know it too. They try not to
      think and talk about things that they 'think' causes them pain. They are
      busy totally absorbed playing a sport, listening to great music,
      surrounded by great beauty, talking to someone, watching some
      entertaining movie and there is NO suffering in those moments! Any time,
      they are not 'available' to 'create pain', there is No Pain! Difference
      is that in the place of getting into the "root" of the creation of
      suffering and understanding it, they merely try to 'escape' facing it.
      And, then, come back, and 'start' thinking about those seemingly
      'painful' things again and here comes the pain! and it is easy to see,
      "WHO" started it and how!
      A peek at enlightenment shows the falsity and non-existence of problems,
      pain and suffering (among the falsity and non-existence of other
      things). It shows the world merely as a play, a drama, a creation of
      outgoing energy. It shows that there is no bondage, slavery, or
      imprisonment. You create your world, even if, you create it so
      unconsciously, so 'automatically' that you don't even realize it. You
      create your 'world', bondage, suffering and many other things by going
      out. Sometimes through 'desires', sometimes through 'attachment' and
      sometimes just as an expression, a flow of radiant happy content energy.

      Situations can't by themselves create miseries as can clearly be seen by
      deep sleep, no mind, no thought. Even meditating about them doesn't.
      But, labeling them as 'bad' gives a signal to the brain, and brain and
      body together do what they can do to 'represent' bad. You 'resist', you
      divide yourself into two one WHICH IS and the 'other' which is fighting
      Enlightenment doesn't terminate the 'suffering creating' abilities. It
      shows the un-necessity of them. You see that the "End of Suffering" is
      not only possible but that in fact, there is "NO" suffering unless you
      make an effort to create it!
      Consciously entering this "Land of No Problems" is a radical
      realization. For many, it seems like a death as there is NO problematic
      'me' that they have always had. For many, it is a great relief, a bliss
      beyond bliss and everything else seems very pale and insignificant. They
      have tasted freedom, and they are not going to bother to create stories,
      no matter what. Even if it meant leaving job, society, home, sitting on
      park benches or in caves. Examples include Ramana and Tolle and possibly
      many, many more who lived and died in complete oblivion.

      For many others, it is 'learning' to live, all over again! They have
      been through a constantly tormented existence. Now, thy have tasted the
      freedom, bliss, the uncaused happiness. They are still ready to engage
      in the world, but not at the cost of losing inherent peace and
      stillness! But that requires a whole new learning. For some it takes
      years and they call it settling down! Essentially, almost the entire
      conditioning of the mind, possibly even the circuitry of brain needs to
      be reworked, rewired to act, but, free of pain.

      But, there are also others who fall out. They get a peek and then come
      back, thinking, oh, now I am realized, enlightened, awakened, all done,
      all over nothing more... But, remember, bondage creating circuitry and
      conditioning is sill very much in place ...Some turn back thinking that
      the 'peek' has already destroyed it and it can't come back ...others
      come back thinking, ...there is no other possibility. Some of them even
      start blaming Buddha and Ramana and start calling them fake, misleading
      as in end of suffering, end of conditioning, ...or 're-conditioning' is
      Not Possible. However ...they have not been conscious, attentive and
      present enough to let body-mind learn to operate in peace and harmony.
      Further, they are not even thinking logically. You create suffering
      ...you do NOT [un?]create Suffering.

      What can be Simpler...? Initially, your mind might still work on the
      same patterns. You are conscious, so you catch it and bring it back.
      Mind learns, as the de-conditioning starts. It might take some time, it
      might require sacrifices. And, who can say that Ramana, Tolle, Buddha
      and many other 'unknowns' made no sacrifices. Sacrifices that was
      insignificant, trivial to them because of the bliss of unconditional
      freedom but still sacrifices from the external 'worldly' perspective.
    • medit8ionsociety
      ... another ... so I ... make ... snip What a small universe it is. Here s somthing I received today that deals with the same concepts, only as told by someone
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 18, 2005
        --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Tony Osime"
        <tony.osime@f...> wrote:
        > By a round about route, my original post led me to this post in
        > group. There is a tenuous but interesting link to my original post,
        so I
        > thought it might make interesting reading here. I have edited it to
        > it more readable. My apologies for it being a very long post!
        > From: "adithya_comming" <adithya_comming@y...>
        > Subject: Enlightenment : end of suffering?


        What a small universe it is. Here's somthing I received today that
        deals with the same concepts, only as told by someone widely
        acknowledged to be one of the most enlightened beings on the planet:

        Swami Chidananda on Self-Realisation
        Kind courtesy of "Tapovan Prasad." This is an interview with our Most
        Revered President Swamiji Maharaj, published in two parts in November
        and December, 2003.

        "Hey, I'm in Nirvana!" We all talk like this when we feel good. But
        what is it like to actually attain Nirvana, otherwise known as moksha
        or Self-realisation? How does the world appear to such an exalted
        human being? Does one acquire supernatural powers?

        There are few people in India more qualified to answer such questions
        than SWAMI CHIDANANDA, the President of the Divine Life Society and
        the successor of the illustrious Swami Sivananda. Swami Chidananda is
        a soft-spoken, kindly man with sparkling eyes. He is deeply revered
        by hundreds of thousands of people in India and around the world, who
        recognise his saintliness, selfless service and great humility.

        On March 25, 2000, Jujhar Singh met this great saint at `Guru Niwas'
        in Rishikesh for a two-hour interview on the theme of Self-
        realisation. Parts of the interview were published in The Times of
        India and in First City magazine earlier this year.

        This is the first part of the interview. The second part will be
        published next month.

        Q. Vedanta philosophy clearly states that the goal of life is to
        attain the state of Self-realisation. What is this state and why is
        this the goal of life?

        The Vedic rishis found that everything in the world that blooms is
        also subject to ultimate decay and dissolution. So they wondered—are
        we, human beings, endowed with intelligence just to live a brief life
        span and then pass away? They reasoned that life cannot be devoid of
        some higher purpose, especially when we are the only species of
        living beings who have the ability to think and reflect.

        After generations of investigations and after having raised their
        consciousness to a very subtle level, they came to the Truth through
        direct experience. They declared that beneath this mortal body seen
        by the world of man is an immortal spirit unseen by the world of man.
        And that Eternal in the non-eternal body, that Imperishable in the
        perishable body is actually part of a vast, infinite, eternal,
        beginningless, endless, cosmic Spirit. Timeless, beginningless and
        endless. It exists. It does not exist as an inert piece. It is
        Consciousness. Very much aware that it exists. It knows—I exist. So
        it is conscious existence. Existence is Sat, Consciousness is Chit.
        So it is Sat Chit.

        And in that state of pure Sat chit (Existence-Consciousness) many are
        the imperfect, negative experiences man is subject to once he is born
        in this mortal world—heat and cold, pleasure and pain, loss and gain,
        honour and dishonour. All these things assail man. But all these
        travails that man is subject to in this mortal world have no access
        to that lofty, sublime, transcendental realm, where abides only peace
        and bliss. There is Ananda in that Sat Chit. So it is Sat Chit
        Ananda. That is the nearest way you could define or describe that
        state of eternal Existence, which is also referred to as Brahman. And
        to realise and enter this state is called Self-realisation.

        Self-realisation is the goal of life because in that state there are
        no sorrows. Once you discover that you are the infinite,
        imperishable, eternal reality—you are liberated from all sorrow. In
        that state, there is only pure and permanent bliss and joy. Isn't
        that the goal of each and every one of us?

        Q. But there is joy in this mortal world, too?

        Yes, but it is neither pure nor permanent. If a thing is capable of
        giving you a pleasurable sensation, that same thing is capable of
        giving you a painful sensation also. A man marries—he's is in seventh
        heaven. Then if she runs off with someone else, or she dies, then he
        plunges into sorrow. This happens because the world is imperfect and
        man is imperfect. In one sloka in the Gita, the advice is that
        pleasure is the womb of pain. In seeking pleasure, you have already
        created your pain.

        Thus, pleasure in worldly objects and people is neither pure nor
        permanent. If you want real, continuous happiness that does not
        change or end—then rise above petty desires and seek the ultimate
        Reality. There is supreme Bliss, supreme satisfaction in it—an
        indescribable joy and peace.

        So make use of this life. It is a golden opportunity. While
        fulfilling your duties here, be a seeker of Truth, seeker of Brahman.
        Seek Self-realisation. In the word, `Self-realisation', `Self does
        not mean your little self. It means your supreme Self. This is why
        Self is written with a big `S'. Know your real Self.

        Your mortal body is only a vehicle given to you to function upon this
        earth. But you are distinct from it. You are an immortal part of
        divinity. And when that is realised, one realises that I am aware,
        one with that limitless ocean of Sat-chit-ananda. I'm a little wave,
        but I'm part of the ocean. There's no difference between the wave and
        the ocean. The wave may appear separate because it has a size and a
        form. But that is momentary and then it goes back into the ocean.
        From the ocean it arises, for a moment it exists, and then it goes
        back into the ocean.

        Q. How does the world appear to such a Self-realised person?

        The world appears just as it is. But he realises that the fabric of
        the world is not what he thought it was before. He realises that it
        is nothing but the Brahman principle.

        Q. And how does his own body and mind appear to him?

        Same thing. He sees it as part of Brahman. He is completely objective.

        Q. Is Self-realisation within the reach of every human being?

        It is birthright of every human being. Because he has been born as a
        human being. It is not within the reach of any other creature in
        creation. The moment you reach the status of a human being, the goal
        of Self-realisation becomes open.

        Q. At any given time, roughly how many Self-realised people do you
        think there are in the world?

        It's impossible to say.

        Q. Roughly?

        (Laughs) You may be a realised person, I do not know—because they
        don't grow horns and spread wings! Or they don't come down and
        say: "Oyee, I'm a realised person. .....!"

        Q. But what would you estimate? Would they be in three figures or
        four figures or five figures.....?

        You see, three figures could be 999! (Laughs) You see! Similarly. So
        they are between three and four figures in the world. And a great
        proportion are in India. Doubtless. Because that is the quest of

        Q. Would you say that more than half of them are from India?

        Yes, yes, yes. No doubt about it. I'll put it that 60% are from
        India. This is because people from other cultures don't have this as
        their supreme goal.

        Q. Since a Self-realised person is one with the Infinite and eternal,
        does he have supernatural powers?

        You see, from your relative point of view, these powers are something
        special, something very fascinating. But from the Self-realised
        person's point of view, they mean nothing. They are a natural part of
        him. I have got five fingers. I don't crow about it—"I've got five
        fingers! I've got five fingers!" These supernatural powers are as
        natural to the supreme being as having five fingers.

        Theoretically, of course, Self-realised people have all powers. There
        is nothing that they cannot do. But they are generally not interested
        in doing all these things because they know that the whole world is a
        myth, a dream. From myth, they have been awakened. So why would they
        be interested in doing anything in a dream world? You see, when a
        person has dreamt a number of dreams one night and woken up in the
        morning—what value has the dream got for him? Similarly, once the
        Self-realised person has woken up to the supreme Reality, this mortal
        world is a dream, a myth.

        Q. But looking at it from our point of view—if a Self-realised person
        has all powers, why can't he use those powers to solve all the
        problems in the world?

        Why should he solve all the problems in a world that does not exist
        in his state of Consciousness?

        Q. No, but from the human being's stand point?

        But he is in that standpoint. You are referring him to a world to
        which he would say where is this world where you want me to solve the

        Okay, if you oblige him to come to your state of consciousness and
        ask him this question, he will say that the world is God's creation.
        It has been here thousands of years before I came here and he has
        been looking after the world in His own way and the world has been
        going on. And if I leave the scene tomorrow and go away, the world
        will continue to go on. My being there or not being there will not
        even be noticed.

        See, if somebody gets diarrhoea the doctor says, "I `won't give you
        any medicine because some inedible things have gone into your
        intestines and so nature is flushing your system clean. So let us not
        come in the way of nature. Just eat light things and don't come back
        to a normal diet until your system has come back to its normal
        state." You see, the point is that you see things in a fragmentary,
        segmented way—but He sees the whole thing.

        Q. Can a Self-realised person change another person's destiny?

        He can mitigate another's destiny. But he will not change it because
        that destiny has been ordained by God and the Self-realised person
        has no interest in contradicting God. He would rather try to be in
        harmony with God.

        Q. How does he mitigate another person's destiny? What is this power
        to mitigate?

        Read the life of Shirdi Sai Baba. He had an ardent devotee who had
        completely surrendered at Shirdi Sai Baba's feet. But due to some
        past karma, the devotee was destined to be executed by impalement
        with a spear-like object. But this man had completely transformed
        himself. So one day when this man went into the fields, a very sharp
        thorn went very deeply into his foot. He suffered terrible, agonising
        pain and became unconscious. Half of the thorn in fact broke inside
        and other people had to put a sharp instrument inside to remove the
        thorn. The man underwent terrible agony. But by going through this,
        he was saved from the impalement that was due to him. His destiny had
        been mitigated.

        Q. How does one recognise a Self-realised person?

        When you are beside a Self-realised person—no matter how bothered,
        troubled or worried you are—you will, for the time being, experience
        peace. Your mind will be serene and it will be directed towards the
        person before whom you are sitting and not towards the other people
        who may also be sitting there.

        Q. So in general, how do Self-realised people benefit the world?

        A lot. They are fragrance where there is bad. Vibrations of goodwill
        emanate from them because Self-realised people have nothing in their
        heart except that all should be happy, all should be free from
        suffering. Day after day, they wish the well-being of all living
        creatures. That is the only thing they have in them—they have no
        other desire. This thought and this feeling goes out in waves from
        them all over the world. And thoughts have power. Evil thoughts sent
        to someone can disturb the mind of the person to whom they are sent.
        In the same way, thoughts of cosmic love and peace have the effect of
        mitigating the sorrow, suffering and negative thought currents in the

        Q. There is a stage referred to as the `dark night of the soul',
        which a Sadhaka (spiritual seeker) goes through during his inward
        journey towards Self-realisation. What is this?

        John Bunyan has written a book called "Pilgrim's Progress", where he
        traces the seeker's path until he attains God. Along the way, there
        is a stage where the seeker falls into the quagmire of despondency.
        At another place, he is caught by despair. So he goes through
        despondency, despair, doubt and confusion. He feels he won't attain
        it at all. He thinks his life has been a waste. St. John of the Cross
        has also talked about this stage.

        Q. Do most Sadhakas go through this?

        Yes. Most people go through this.

        Q. And is this despondency spiritually related or can it be to do
        with other things in life?

        Spiritually. All are connected with spiritual life.

        Q. How much before Self-realisation does this happen?

        Only when one is mature and advanced in one's Sadhana (spiritual
        practice), these things begin to happen. Otherwise a person is not
        worthy of going through all these various deep emotions. You don't
        know all these things.

        Q. When one eventually does attain Self-realisation—can one slip out
        of it?

        Once you get full Self-realisation, there is no coming out of it. You
        will always be in that state. There is no coming in and out.

        Q. But isn't there a stage where one slips in and out of that state
        until one gets established in it?

        There comes a time when the Sadhaka, in a state of very deep,
        intense, continuous meditation, gets this Atma jnana (Self-
        knowledge). The deep, intense, continuous meditation suddenly stops
        and one goes into a stage where there is no more meditation, one just
        is in a certain state. He is in Samadhi. The Sadhaka has reached
        there by dint of great perseverance and effort, reached this height
        of being. But he may not be able to remain in it for a long time.
        After sometime, he may come back.

        Then starts again. Again he may go into Samadhi—and come back. Then,
        from that stage onwards, he is no longer practicing meditation—he's
        practising Samadhi. You get the difference? He's practising samadhi.
        He's practising to remain continuously abiding in that same state of
        Consciousness, into which he is currently going in and coming out.

        Eventually, he gets well established in that state. The state becomes
        natural to him both during meditation and in the time of normal
        activities. It becomes a spontaneous, natural state for him. This is
        called Sahaja-samadhi. `Sahaja' means it becomes part of his natural,
        effortless, spontaneous being. Until then, he has to keep on trying.
        But once this stage is attained, it is Self-realisation.

        Q. That is Self-realisation?

        That is Self-realisation. No more rebirths after that. No more
        slipping in and out of that state.

        Q. So that means Self-realisation doesn't happen in one specific

        It can, in some cases. Sometimes people get illumination. Ramana
        Maharshi never did any Sadhana. One day suddenly, when he was around
        16 or 17 years old, through no effort of his, suddenly he felt that
        he was not the body, that he was the deathless Self.

        Effort is necessary in the vast amount of cases. But there are a few
        such people to whom there has been this spontaneous Self-realisation.

        It has been explained that someone could have done all the effort in
        his previous life. He was almost ripe. But just before he could
        attain Self-realisation, his body's Prarabdha was finished and he
        passed away. So when this birth happens, he takes up from where he
        left off in the previous life and there you are.

        Q. So such a person, in his previous life, was already at a stage
        where he was perhaps practising Samadhi and was slipping in and out,
        but hadn't quite reached Sahaja-samadhi?

        He was almost there. Maybe he was slipping in and out or maybe he was
        just about to get into that state for the first time.

        Q. In one. of Swami Sivanandaji's books, there is a mention of a void
        before Self-realisation. What is this void?

        You see, until the point where you attain Self-realisation, there is
        still a trace of the human personality—human personality identity
        consciousness. One still feels that I am so and so. Even though he
        says God, God, God, God—there is also a little bit of I with God.
        There is 95% divinity and 5% this I. And this I is a myth. You are
        actually a part and parcel of God. You are 100% divine. So this "I"
        has to go. As long as it is there, that Consciousness is not complete
        and perfect.

        Let me give you an analogy. A river flows, flows, flows, flows. At
        last, it approaches the sea. And then it enters into the sea. But
        even after having entered into the sea, till quite some distance, the
        water still tastes sweet. Because the river has not left its river-
        ness completely. It still retains its river-ness, although its two
        banks are finished. Bank-less, it is already in the sea. But after it
        goes further into the sea, a time comes when the water is no longer
        sweet. It is the salt water of the sea alone. That stage when the
        river is gone, but the vastness of the sea has not yet been attained,
        that interim period when it is neither the river nor the sea—that is
        the void.

        Let me give you another example. You come to a point where there is
        nothing but the edge of a precipice and yawning chasm. And the actual
        experience is on the other side of the chasm. Unless you leave this
        precipice, you cannot go to the other side. So there is a point where
        ultimately he takes the leap. When he takes the leap, he is lifted up
        into the air. But he has not yet landed there. So there is a point
        where he has left this precipice, but not yet landed on the other
        side. In between, where is he? Nowhere. That nowhere is the spiritual
        void. At that time, neither is the human ego there nor has the divine
        Consciousness come. At that time, they say there is a void. But, of
        course, in the spiritual context, the duration of the void may be a
        little longer.

        Q. When he lands on the other side, is that Sahaja-samadhi or is he
        at a stage where he can still slip in and out?

        It is the ultimate state, the ultimate Samadhi. Until that stage
        there is still duality, a trace of duality. Once you are there, there
        is absolute non-duality. You are one with Brahman.
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