Friday, December 19, 2008

Instant Karmic Enlightenment

I think Ram Dass (in 'Paths of God') has some important things to say concerning Jnana Yoga which are very translatable towards the Neo-advaita way or non-way, and what some call its fast food servicing of enlightenment.

The first thing is a general statement concerning intellectual spiritual practices in the west, that “we are coming out of a kind of sickness here... in the way in which we have overthought” so that “we have been intellectually way ahead of our hearts’ and bodies’ wisdom.”

I think this should serve great warning to any intellectual spiritual practice, and something that has made me stop and... think?

The second thing concerns Ramana’s practice of Self-Inquiry. He calls it a “beautiful method—if you can stand it!” Furthermore, he says, it’s a practice “that takes incredible intellectual discipline” and “the fiercest gyan method I know.”

Now, I see this as no critique of Self-Inquiry, but possibly a consideration concerning any method involving something like Instant Karmic Enlightenment.

I myself have benefited from both Sailor Bob’s method and Ramana’s practice. There have been times when I’ve known here and now what I am. But I have not yet experienced a carse-like disassociative new world order.

I’ve experienced moments. And I understand on an intellectual level. But this body-mind mechanism still feels separate most of the time, even though I know it isn’t.

So for me, these Ram Dass comments strike exactly to the heart of things.


Travis said...

Lovely post. I don't know if this will be helpful, but here it is; I am also a practitioner of Ramana's self-inquiry. I "got" it by way of John Sherman. In my experience the blockage you describe, the feeling of knowing who/what you really are while also sometimes feeling the separate self-sense is not a problem at all. That feeling is simply part of what having a human body means. It's part of how form is playing out. If it becomes a source of second guessing one's true self then that is a fallback into delusion, but I don't think it has to be.

greg perry said...

Travis, thanks for the comment, and the help! Maybe I think it should be some constant sense of unity-bliss. Maybe I should know better than to think though. Thankfully, it's really not a source of second-guessing, although it can lead to forgetfulness. Something like Ouspensky's detour into the tobacco shop. But then I self-remember.

Travis said...

Yeah, I think we all have to labor under a lot of garbage about what realization, or enlightenment "should" be. One thing that helps me is the personal adage, "If realization of what is already always ever-present changes anything, that's not it." Ken Wilber put it, "That which can be deviated from is not the Tao."