Mooji A Rendering
These words are rendered from the transcript of a dialogue with Mooji that occurred in the spring of 2011.
There are clearly some people whose intellect can readily grasp Advaita Vedanta teachings, and even though the grasping is merely at an intellectual level, behind that there will already have been a subconscious search for something deeper. When this search first opens up through the intellect so that there is a looking for oneself as a separate, private, autonomous entity, and then nothing is found, that seeing or discovery can be the first taste of a miracle. And, though it may be liberating at some level, it’s not enough, it’s not quite there.
It will maybe be the first perforation through the screen or personal façade, but it has to continue deepening and refining itself in the heart. It must do this. Otherwise, you find people who are quite content to push Advaita about with words – the ‘talk school’ folks. Conversation with them will not feel in harmony with what is actually present in your heart. You may even find such an interaction irritating, because it doesn’t feel like it is coming from authentic seeing; but rather it appears like a boasting or a kind of subtle superiority.
There are many banana skins on this way, you know, because it’s not like a snap of the fingers – one day I am like this and then suddenly, I am the Buddha, absolutely perfect! It’s not like that. It takes time for the mind to stabilize, to settle into this final understanding. There will continue to be a pushing up of ‘weeds’ because most often, after the impact of real seeing occurs, what are called vasanas come up to the surface of mind. Vasanas are deep rooted tendencies that have been dormant, or at least lay hidden from our conscious knowing. Through the power of enquiring into the Self, these tendencies are brought to the surface so they can by grace be expelled.
Very often there arises in the personalized consciousness, or ego, fierce resistance to feeling the force and presence of these vasanas, for they arise with much emotional charge and personal discomfort. Because of this, it is not uncommon for many seekers to suppress, create distractions from or cynically dismiss them as the mere play of consciousness/mind stuff, rather than bringing them fully into the light of enquiry. Subsequently, at a deeper level, identity often remains in the form of a personal self, and the chance to move beyond ego fixation is missed. In such cases, the ‘person’ will continue to seem more real than ‘Presence-Self’
Initially, if one steps fully into all of this, there is a breaking open, a liberation from the influence and grip of the mindset, the mind state or mind culture. Now, even the body-mind is felt as a phenomenon that is observable; it’s no longer the mind-self that is witnessing me, it is the ‘formless’, the ‘What Is’, that is witnessing the mind.
We are troubled mostly by thoughts that are personal. Many thought movements happen that don’t register, they don’t linger, because we don’t have any real interest in them. And if you don’t have any interest in a thing, you don’t need to transcend it. It’s only if something is ‘biting-in’ that a struggle ensues and the question ‘who am I and what is this?’ can come to life for a genuine seeker of truth. Only then will the process of transcendence begin and be experienced.
So mostly we are not troubled by thoughts we have no interest in; it is only when there is interest and desire that we become troubled. So therein lies the secret: finding the one to whom the thoughts are occurring, who has some relationship with those thoughts, a belief that there is some reality to them. Such cannot be said of the pure observer, who must be impersonal, beyond all content. So if and when that is seen, it will be a very important point of seeing because it releases one from the sense that there is a ‘me’ as an actual, tangible entity being attacked by life, memory, thought, or emotion.
That ‘me’, although it feels intimate, is now recognized to be a phenomenon because it is observable. When this is recognized profoundly, what remains as the observing is non-personal, a sort of impersonal beingness/state. And it’s that place of the impersonal observing that is called the state of liberation.
However, even after a state of awakening occurs, there often continues to linger the habit of identifying oneself as a person. If this delusion is not checked it will tend to sprout seeds that distract or hypnotize the beingness back into the state of mortality. The only way out of that is to abide as the witness-Self rather than the ‘I-me’. Like this, those seeds will reduce in power for lack of fuel and will wither and pass way.
So, after the first stage where one comes to an understanding that I am not this phenomenal body, the vasana energies are released with heightened power. Prior to that, it is almost as if the vasanas themselves don’t need to release their power, because we are already co-operating nicely under a spell, the sleep-waking state. It is as if the conditioning, the belief that I am a person, I am this body-mind, is sufficient to keep us unaware of the Self, and in a state of sludge-like delusion. It is only when you are waking up out of the sleep of the body-mind identity that you begin to feel the glue and contractions of the body-mind state in its play as vasanas.
So when we are coming out of that sleep state (ignorance), through the grace and power of satsang, we start to feel, discern and recognize the dormant, egoic energies and impressions that were hidden while we remained identified as persons. As they come into the light of recognition, they will create the sense of a tsunami inside the body mind.
But even then, there is the power within you to keep observing them, to know that they too are phenomenal. It will not be easy, initially, because here is where the stored power of identity has fermented and they will arise with much force.
It will take some effort In the beginning to observe them with detachment, without being pulled into the spell of identity with them. But that season also passes.
At a certain point everything comes and goes in the field of perception. Their apparent presence is dependent on your being able to witness them. All of them are reporting to you at some level and are only in accordance with what your consciousness accepts.
There is a sense of the seeing or perceiving of the phenomenal world – both the personal and the outer world – which is being reported to some intelligence that is right here, which is synonymous with the feeling ‘I am’. So the information can keep on appearing, from one to ten thousand sensations a day, but the perceiver is still only one.
If I am the perceiver of all this, then ask another question: can this perceiver itself be perceived? This is really the question we want to arrive at, genuinely: Who I am? Who is perceiving this sense ‘I am,’ this storyteller of the world that is ‘having’ experiences and reporting them. With this question, ‘Who is perceiving even this?’, something may occur.
This question when it is put merely in a verbal or mental way will be seen immediately to be insufficient, that it is just having the effect of another concept. So if the question cannot be answered by a mental or intellectual answer to any satisfaction, what is the purpose of the question? The question must be to trigger a genuine introspection that brings you to seeing/being, if you actually clarify, verify and grasp its intention. You must become fully inside your seeing and trust your observing and discerning power.
So that is the question. In fact, this is putting Self-Enquiry in a nutshell. To find out if the seer is seeable – is it only another phenomenon and if it is another phenomenon, what is witnessing that phenomenon? This is not an endless riddle or an infinite regress, which is one way the mind may present it in order to avoid the impact of real finding, real discovery.
When you know who you are, you are no longer full of desires; you begin to see that without personal intention, there is an order, there is a spontaneous and benevolent power behind the unfolding play of the world. There is a recognition of the Supreme power that cares for life and is life.
You will see that whatever you were pushing against flows in an effortless harmony, a harmony unrecognized by most, who, out of fear and ignorance pull their ‘parachute’ cords too soon. You begin to see: ‘My God, look at that!’ It’s still the same Earth – the sky, the flowers, the trees, the cars, the people – and that the perceiver who was reacting from a personal standpoint was getting in the way of a deeper seeing, which is full of grace, full of beauty, and full of harmony and peace.
The very nature of the person/personal is full of angst, impatience, desire, and a compulsion to acquire things to suit their projections. But it just doesn’t work. It never really worked.
Having a teacher is vital. It’s only arrogance to feel one is not needed. Make use of a teacher until you go beyond the need for help, until you are helpfulness itself. A true teacher doesn’t want anything from you, even your devotion. They are just satisfied that you come with an authentic attitude or approach and are searching only for what is true.
In that way, they have power and are fully available because there is sheer joy in imparting true guidance to an authentic seeker. To believe a teacher is not necessary is a mistake a lot of people in the West make, because they have so many ill-conceived ideas about teachers and gurus. But this is often the posing of arrogance.
There is a lot of ‘non-genuineness’ on the part of some teachers just as there is a lot of ‘non-genuineness’ on the part of some students. If you want to have a great answer you need to have a great question. People have a lot of hidden agendas. They come very sheepishly, appear very humbly, but in many there is a wolf behind such appearances. So life will take them to that guru who reflects a little bit of ‘who’ they are, until they eventually step onto the true path of recognition.
It’s perfect, actually. One gets the exact guru you need in that moment. If there’s a lot of funny business going on in your ego mind, you’re going to find a guru with at least little funny business going on in them too.
Papaji was so great, his presence and dharma, so unsparing. Many Westerners would come with full-on egos and somehow, in his presence, they got crushed, vaporized. I don’t think he saw egos. Beings with the clean, clear eyes do not see impurity, they just see that you are the Self. But in their light, because there is a sense of impurity in your own mind, that impurity is pulled out into view, and this exposure can make you feel very vulnerable.
In the presence of a true teacher the process of healing is enabled by the sheer power and presence of their clarity, which will allow what is hidden to be brought into the light and burnt. A true teacher has real love for you; not a personal love, but an impersonal intimacy because he knows you are the Self.