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Archive for September 2010

Student Question: Could you please expand more on the concept of vampirism?

“I think the vampire is the dominant archetype today,” argues Shunyamurti, the founder of the Sat Yoga Institute in Costa Rica. “And that’s because the ego, in its most negative form, becomes a vampire: it sucks the life energy out of others, but it has nothing to give. And so, life has become vampiric: whole societies are vampiric on other societies. . . . And this same process is true at every level, including the most intimate relationships, which is why they don’t last very long, you know: you suck whatever blood you can get, and the other one doesn’t have any more—you leave and find your next victim. And so relationships have become that kind of pattern. . . . And just as we have an oil shortage, we now have a blood shortage, a love shortage, so that the vampires are dying. And you know the myth of the golden spike, and they hide from the Christ symbol. They die in the face of God-consciousness. So the more that people awaken and allow the vampiric archetype to die, and bring the God archetype back, the more that the whole vampirism of the world will be dissolved, and the New Dawn—you know the vampires have to run away in the dawn and go back into their coffins—the dawn of a new age will end the vampiric ego pattern.” Recorded on the evening of Thursday, September 30, 2010.

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Student Comment: So there are some very fragile egos today. Isn’t so logical to realize, “OK, I’m so fragile. The only way out of this is to connect with the Almighty,” because you're so lost anyway, there’s nothing else that’s gonna hold you up but that.

“Well a) they’re afraid to admit consciously that they need an Almighty, [and] b) they don’t believe there is an Almighty there,” explains Shunyamurti, the spiritual director of the Sat Yoga Institute in Costa Rica. “And it’s not easy for object constancy to develop in the ego today; even God as an object, as an other that you want to connect to, requires a capacity to maintain a persistence of intention. But there’s too much chaos in the mind. And so there’s a momentary desire for that, and then the other chaotic fragments take over and you're back to your next drug. . . . So, it’s a really nasty brew that makes it almost impossible to get out of—except through reaching bottom, that will sometimes help. But these days people take the death drive in such a dramatic way that they would rather suicide than face the need for help.” Recorded on the evening of Thursday, September 30, 2010.

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“We could say that the ego is a veneereal disease,” diagnoses Shunyamurti, the director of the Sat Yoga Institute in Costa Rica, “because it’s a veneer over this vast soul consciousness which, in turn, sits upon an even vaster transfinite Atman consciousness. But this little veneer, that is in a state of dis-ease, prevents us from realizing this infinitude of our being. . . . So another metaphor for our condition in egoic consciousness would be a kind of veterinary disease. . . . Think of an elephant, elephants often in India represent the Atman. . . . So, you're an elephant, but there’s a flea in your ear. And this flea is a talking flea, and it’s talking to itself about its problems. And fleas have a lot of problems. They’re always fleeing and biting, and they're always worried that they're gonna get crushed, and they have an inferiority complex and they try to compensate for it, etc. But, anyway, the flea is talking in the ear of the elephant, and the elephant mistakenly believes that it’s its own thoughts in its mind cause it’s happening inside its head, so it must be these flea thoughts. And instead of having proper elephant thoughts, it’s having these little flea thoughts.”

“And so, you’re out of touch with reality because you're listening to these flea thoughts. But they are not your own thoughts; they are not your mind. So the problem is you can’t trust what you think is your own mind because it’s the mind of a flea. It’s not the mind of the Atman. And once you realize that, then the flea’s game is over; you knock it out, and it’s gone, and you’re liberated. It’s a very simple process. But first you’ve gotta realize that it is the thoughts of a flea, and not your own, that are disturbing you. . . . That’s all we’re doing when we’re meditating, is getting rid of the flea. And then we realize we are already divine, supreme—filled with love, filled with bliss, filled with joy and wisdom and clarity. Without those disturbing flea thoughts, our original nature emerges. And we realize that we didn’t need to be on some spiritual quest at all, we just needed to realize that we had already completed that quest. We are already the Atman that we are searching for.” Recorded on the evening of Thursday, September 30, 2010.

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Student Comment: You spoke earlier of dissatisfaction, which reminded me of something that I’ve been thinking about a lot. I listened to a talk with a prominent spiritual figure, and he spoke about heaven and hell. He said that heaven is like being doomed to eternal famility, or familiarity. He went on to say that there’s no need to create in the absence of discontent, and that heaven is an upgrade of the illusion and hell is a downgrade. I’m just curious of what you have to say about that.

“God did not create out of discontent; this world doesn’t exist because of discontent,” clarifies Shunyamurti, the founder of the Sat Yoga Institute in Costa Rica. “But once egos are put into the world, the egos have discontent because an ego is not real and therefore it feels lacking inside. And that discontent causes it to do something, or find someone, to make it feel whole and real. But nothing it does can take away that discontent.” And, in actuality, heaven is not really the goal of any religion. “What the religions teach is liberation. And that liberation is the liberation from both heaven and hell. Both of them are illusions, and, ultimately, any heaven you create will become hell. . . . But as long as one is in the ego, one is constantly going to try to find one’s heaven . . . and flee from some hellish condition that is actually an internal definition, and so you can’t run away from yourself cause you're taking yourself with you wherever you go and the hellishness will be re-created. . . . So the whole fabric of society is decomposing because of this, and, at the same time, it creates the possibility of returning to the Real Self, that is transcendent of desire.” Recorded on the evening of Thursday, September 23, 2010.

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Meditation is paradoxical. All meditations is, is an attempt to stop trying to do anything. “How can you create a technique for not trying to do anything?” asks Shunyamurti, the spiritual director of the Sat Yoga Institute in Costa Rica. “If you do, then the very technique defeats the effort of not making any effort.” This is akin to the problem of self-reference which “has become a very big business, actually, since Bertrand Russell and Kurt Gödel. . . . Basically it comes down to the ‘liar’s paradox,’ you know, the guy from Crete who says ‘I’m lying.’ Is he telling the truth when he’s saying he’s lying? Well, if he’s telling the truth, he isn’t lying.” And, at the same time, if he’s lying then he’s telling the truth. “Anyway, you can go around and round forever in this, and this is basically all the ego is: it’s basically a voice in your head attacking you, and then you defend yourself against that voice. It’s two voices of self-reference, but they’re both delusional.”

“And the problem is that the ego doesn’t exist, except as the self-reference of one voice referring to another—both of which are in the same mind. And without the two voices attacking one another, of course, there is no mind, because the existence of the mind, as an illusion, is created by the fact that there are voices. And so if there were a modern-day Descartes, he would probably start out with: ‘I attack myself, therefore I am.’ . . . And, you’re either caught up in the drama, or you escape into the dharma. Those are the two options: dharma and drama. If your dharma is mellow, you won’t be in a melodrama. But to have a mellow dharma means you have to accept the fact that there’s nothing to gain. Not from anything: not from meditation, not from any other thing you would do to improve yourself. You can’t be improved on. Which in a way is a good thing isn’t it? You're already the Buddha-nature. You're already enlightened. You already have God inside of you. You are already That. This is what all the traditions teach. But ‘no no no. I’ve got to create a cloud in front of this realization and then try to blow away the cloud.’”

“But, the extraordinary thing is that when you have finally let go of this game of chasing your own tail, that’s when the bliss actually emerges from within. And that’s why this simple act of not doing anything, which drops all of these veils of illusion away, allows you to enter into the Source of your being, the Sat, which is already magical and miraculous and astonishing, without having to do anything, without having to become anything, without having to be anybody—by letting go of that desire to try to be somebody and do something and achieve something—that’s when you discover the reality, the Supreme Reality, of what you are.” Recorded on the evening of Thursday, September 23, 2010.

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