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Archive for August 2009

The Third I - 08.27.09

“Meditation is often called the opening of the third ‘I.’” But believing that the third “I” is actually supposed to be an eye is a misunderstanding. It is not some vestigial organ in the forehead. It is not even the pineal gland. The first “I” is, to borrow a term from Jacques Lacan, the “I” of the statement, which is known in India as the “monkey mind.” The second “I,” the “little guy behind the curtain,” is known as the “I” of the annunciation; the “I” that you're not even aware of; the one who is sending the thoughts into your head that you identify with. “The first ‘I’ is an illusion. The second ‘I’ is a ghost. And so the salvation only comes when we surrender to the third ‘I.’ And the third ‘I,’ fortunately, is the ‘I’ of Shiva. The ‘I’ of God within.” So only when “God is allied with the conscious mind,” can we have true freedom. True bliss. True love. Recorded on the evening of Thursday, August 27, 2009.

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This podcast is a response to the following question: What is your view on the concept of free will vs. predetermination?

The question of free will has been a central issue since the beginning of philosophical discourse. Are we responsible for our actions or are they predetermined? But, as Shunyamurti, director of the Sat Yoga Institute, explains from the perspective of yoga, “A yogi is someone who desires to extricate themselves from the illusion of agency, of being a creature of will, whether free or unfree.” And that “The doing of the organism and the thinking of the mind have nothing to do with the Self. The very idea of predetermination implies time and linearity, but because that is also an illusion, you cannot speak of pre-determination.” The Eternal Presence is non-temporal and therefore cannot be thought of as either before or after. And, paradoxically, “the only freedom is through the surrender of the desire for an individual sense of power.” Recorded on the afternoon of Tuesday, August 25, 2009.

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“When you look in a mirror, you are what doesn’t show up in the mirror.” But, according to Shunyamurti, the founder of the Sat Yoga Institute, “the problem for the ego is that it wants to show up in the mirror” because if it doesn’t, then how can it define itself? How can it prove that it is real?

“In India, one of the metaphor’s for God is . . . ‘The Ocean of Consciousness.’” This metaphor is meant to convey that God is limitless. But the ego instead chooses to objectify itself, choosing a body floating in the ocean, rather than the ocean itself. And this limits us to becoming very powerless creatures who imagine themselves as individuals moving through time and space, rather than the infinite, eternal consciousness that we are. “But the consciousness, the oceanic consciousness, that even conceives of that, that is the very possibility of a world appearing to us, never appears in that world, just as when you’re in a dream the mind that’s dreaming up that dream doesn’t appear in the dream.” It is this unity that allows us to love, “because love is the realization we are all floating in this ocean of consciousness and that ultimately we are all waves of the same ocean.” Recorded on the evening of Thursday, August 20, 2009.

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Returning to Rama - 08.19.09

In Kali Yuga, humanity "has fallen to the level of monkeys. All most humans today are interested in is sex and food; and a little violence thrown in when they can get away with it." But, as in the story of Rama and Sita, only now does humanity have the potential to transform back into its godlike nature. Therefore, it is now imperative that humanity call upon Rama and return to God-consciousness in order to retrieve its beloved Sita, or soul, and restore order to the world. Recorded on the evening of Wednesday, August 19, 2009.

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Student Comment: From my parents and everyone I grew up with I used to get, “Sex is the most beautiful thing, and overeating is the most beautiful thing, and money and cars and beaches and vacations and drinking. It’s the best thing. And do it!”

While the superego used to manipulate mankind in a puritanical way, in recent generations there has been a shift from “You can’t do this and that. You have to save. Early to bed and early to rise,” to “No no enjoy. Spend it all. Watch pornography. There’s no limits.” To walk the spiritual path takes great courage to break away from the current ideology of the collective hedonistic lifestyle and to make a stand for what is right. Recorded on the afternoon of Tuesday, August 18, 2009.

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