The Spiritual world is entirely governed





  The Spiritual world is entirely governed
by sound and speech.




  The Spiritual world is entirely governed
by sound and speech.
It begins in the word "Om"



Leon MacLaren

  The Spiritual world is entirely governed
by sound and speech.
It begins in the word "Om"



Leon MacLaren
1910-1994

  The Spiritual world is entirely governed
by sound and speech.
It begins in the word "Om"

 

1977

See how we are overborne by the senses, by the sound in the air, the practice of a brief lifetime in physical things. We dance to a tune, which we are not playing, but is played upon us, and we fall victim to it through the senses. Powerful though the senses be, the mind is more powerful than the senses, the inborn intelligence more potent than the mind, and beyond that intelligence the will of our own Self is greater than all. So we have recourse to that true Self to overcome the frailties of body, senses, mind and intelligence, so that the heart may become pure and our actions rational.

All of us at all times are aware of my Self. Anywhere, whatever one’s state, one can remember my Self and come to rest in it. One just has to sit up with one’s spine straight and head erect and bring the body into that fine balance in which it is rock-like, stable and easy. Seated like this, one is strongly aware of my Self and can easily come to rest in it. Resting in the awareness of my Self the whole scene changes.

Then it is quite obvious that that Self, of which we are presently aware, though very familiar, is yet unknown in mind and heart alike. All that is known is that it is there, and that it is watching. Quiet, unruffled and serene, it beholds everything and is yet untouched by anything. This obvious, yet we know not what it is.

What is obvious to us could be obvious to anyone, if they would only come to rest in that ever- present awareness of my Self. All creatures have that awareness, and in it we are united to them all.

This unity is all- important for it is a reflection of the truth. What thou art, I am. What he is, she is; they are, we are. It is all the same one. In love of that One we are all united as one.

1977

The whole world moves in a firm conviction of separate existences, and this is the cardinal error. Having forgotten the Self, the existence has to be identified with something other than the Self. This carries the being in an unreal world. In these theoretical discussions this unreality becomes painfully obvious. All the members of the group must feel this, even if it is difficult for them to step out of it. Having become identified with an entirely fictitious entity, the manas is then obliged to create a world for these entities to live in. It must be a dream world, constituted of the thoughts of the manas. The nature of man being such that he must think and contemplate, human beings fall to explaining this unreal world to each other; there can be as many explanations as people who care to think about it. Some ideas are taken up and become fashionable. There is nothing original about them of course, for they are found described in ancient writings, but fashions change from time to time and from place to place. With these changing explanations in the manas so the fictitious world itself changes, for it is made of nothing but the thoughts of the manas.

Supposing that in one of our nocturnal dreams, the phantom figures of the dream were to meet in solemn conference to explain the events of the dream and come to an understanding of them, and, moreover, were invited to give observations of their experiences, what kind of performance would this be? If anyone were to suggest that the whole thing was a dream, naturally they would object because on the cessation of the dream they would all disappear!

In the old legends in which the gods are supposed to seek out Narayana to gain some help, he is usually described as being asleep. The question is, what would happen if he woke up? Now this is exactly what we are asking the students to do. It is no mean request. It is said that on this awakening, the world disappears.

There are two steps to this awakening. First is to awaken to the private dream. All this supposed thinking, which fills the mind with a fog, is just imagining. It is the very fabric of a dream. Somehow or other, it has to be silenced, to be known for what it is. Free from it for a little while, ordinary sense perception belies it. By the light of ordinary sunshine, it is plainly dark. To dwell in this fog is indeed to be as good as dead. Until people awaken to this private dream and its astonishing power over the being, they will not awaken to the great dream, the universal dream of creation.

1977

Sooner or later the members of the School must stop ducking the truth about their own Self, and must be prepared to learn and come to understand the laws governing all actions, which are the laws of the universe and are fully expounded in Grammar. They are the Will of the Absolute and only that works.

What checks the acceptance of the teaching so plainly true, and what makes the simple appear complex is cherished ideas which rise in resistance to the teaching. These, remarkably, come down to very few. They are: I know; I do; and I must be something. There is such an enormous difference between ‘I know’ and ‘I am knowledge’. The first is always wrong; the second is always right. But this shift puts knowledge in a wholly different category. It is my Self. This is why Socrates would never allow “I know”. It varies between “I know – I know better – and: “I don’t know”. They are all wide of the mark.

“I do” is equally wild. The performance of any action is the work of the appropriate instrument or instruments. The oven bakes the bread, the plough digs the earth and so on. But these are only physical analogies. The action takes place in the mental realm, and only the appropriate tools can accomplish it and bring it to fulfillment. But of course to realize that all actions take place in the mental realm is to step out of the illusion created by the physical manifestation. One day they will realize that no action is possible in the physical world. All that is just an effect. What is more it is the effect of an action which was complete before the effect began, and may have been completed lives ago or generations ago.

People cling desperately to the notion ”I do” and it reduces them to pygmies. Nothing is done that way. But the worst of the three is “I must be something”. For this denies the Self itself. This is where all learning goes wrong. People are so busy cutting a figure that they do not notice how ludicrous they are.

It is cherished ideas such as these, or ideas generated by these, which cause all the confusion, complexity and difficulty. One must patiently dislodge and dissolve them. As they go confidence increases, devotion increases and the power to work increases.

1977

The whole world moves in a firm conviction of separate existences, and this is the cardinal error. Having forgotten the Self, the existence has to be identified with something other than the Self. This carries the being in an unreal world. In these theoretical discussions this unreality becomes painfully obvious. All the members of the group must feel this, even if it is difficult for them to step out of it. Having become identified with an entirely fictitious entity, the manas is then obliged to create a world for these entities to live in. It must be a dream world, constituted of the thoughts of the manas. The nature of man being such that he must think and contemplate, human beings fall to explaining this unreal world to each other; there can be as many explanations as people who care to think about it. Some ideas are taken up and become fashionable. There is nothing original about them of course, for they are found described in ancient writings, but fashions change from time to time and from place to place. With these changing explanations in the manas so the fictitious world itself changes, for it is made of nothing but the thoughts of the manas.Supposing that in one of our nocturnal dreams, the phantom figures of the dream were to meet in solemn conference to explain the events of the dream and come to an understanding of them, and, moreover, were invited to give observations of their experiences, what kind of performance would this be? If anyone were to suggest that the whole thing was a dream, naturally they would object because on the cessation of the dream they would all disappear!

In the old legends in which the gods are supposed to seek out Narayana to gain some help, he is usually described as being asleep. The question is, what would happen if he woke up? Now this is exactly what we are asking the students to do. It is no mean request. It is said that on this awakening, the world disappears.

There are two steps to this awakening. First is to awaken to the private dream. All this supposed thinking, which fills the mind with a fog, is just imagining. It is the very fabric of a dream. Somehow or other, it has to be silenced, to be known for what it is. Free from it for a little while, ordinary sense perception belies it. By the light of ordinary sunshine, it is plainly dark. To dwell in this fog is indeed to be as good as dead. Until people awaken to this private dream and its astonishing power over the being, they will not awaken to the great dream, the universal dream of creation.

1969

There are definite stages in this work. One way of considering this is as follows. The students first have to learn how to connect observation through mind and body to the sensory world. They really have to give attention to what they are doing and give it with some precision.Along with this lift in the level of attention in favourable circumstances comes the capacity for indifferent action. This steadily expands. This straight-line connection between the observer and the physical world through Buddhi, Manas and the senses has first to be firmly established in group work. Naturally it takes time to reach into everyday affairs where habit is strongly entrenched.

When this group condition is established (and, of course it has to be maintained by suitable practice), the next stage opens up. In this stage the attention is withdrawn from the world of the senses and given to the world of mind. The mind is not supposed to be ruled by the limitations of the senses. After three full years the sensory impressions, which they receive have a totally new significance, for they are related to the whole. The senses become the tools of the mind and organs of knowledge. Till then they are deceptive.

The degree of this deception is startling. As you know, students assert about themselves, other people and their little world, all kinds of facts. They say: “It is a fact”. What they say is utterly untrue. It seems to be so to their senses, but they are totally deceived. The only way to deal with this is to open the mind and consider what only it can consider under the light of reason. In this exercise they may be brought close to the essence of things and begin to see how things really work. Only in this way can they be freed of the deception caused by the limitation of the senses. This exercise of reason coupled with discrimination in practice, carries them through the second great stage of this work and begins to reveal the world as it really is in its beauty, majesty and order.

The physical body is not nearly so limited as is commonly thought. When necessary it will work for three days and nights without sleep; several times have I seen it through such a vigil. The suffering is more of the mind than the body, which is a work of ignorance and contrary to nature. By the nature of creation , this physical body is wholly dependent on the subtle body, which is not at all dependent on the gross body. But people love to take the pleasures and pains of the senses up into the mind and magnify them there, causing the gross body no end of trouble by reason of the subtle dominion over it. Men rate gross comforts and discomforts beyond all reason, so that the girls may well laugh at them. It has ever been thought wise to let boys grow up in hardy conditions and teach them to count physical endurance as a minimum attribute of manhood in its prime. As ever the value of this is in principle: a man in himself does not experience pleasure, pain, or any feeling whatsoever: these are experienced in the subtle body giving it information of the gross world from which they come; they go no further. They are not supported to affect the mind’s condition at all, except to alert it to some exterior condition of the gross world, and alerting is ever good for the subtle body. The experience itself goes no further. The man himself witnesses the experience but does not participate in it.For example, consider any physical pain. What is plainly observed is that the pain is experienced in a specific part of the body. If asked a man will say ‘my foot aches’, ‘there is a pain in my stomach’ or as the case may be. As Shankara points out nobody ever ascribes a pain to the perceiver: there is never any pain in the perceiver. Likewise with all the senses, hearing and the rest, the man himself is untouched by them. Nothing spoken, be it pleasant or unpleasant, affects the man at all, because he is untouched by sound. Similarly with touch, sight, taste and smell. Whatever causes man to form a contrary opinion is a deception due to ignorance: watch and see that this is so.

To expel the false opinions from the mind requires diligent practice. Practice thus: find in the Ten Principle Upanishads the passages about the Self; read one every day: realize that it speaks of your own self. Let the mind rest on the reading and let its implications show themselves. Thus diligently cleanse the mind of obstacles to Truth.

 1968

Your rest in the mountains was timely, and what rest it is when desire stops! It is an earnest moment of that day when the absolute desire to create is withdrawn and man enters his Sabbath, his creation fulfilled, to live eternally in the joy of Truth. His Holiness says that on that day the succession of lives, which seemed so long before, appear as but a flash, for man is where he came from but a moment before, and in truth he never left it, but just forgot what he was for a little while.It is a kindly creation to provide a place in mountains where erring man may be put in mind of himself for a little while and rest from the exhausting clutches of ignorance. At once all difference disappears as the notion of separation which benights the senses, dissolves. This experience shows the source of the multitude of restless desires. Therefore there is but one desire to fulfill, the love of Truth. It is everywhere. It is that which, once awakened in the heart of man, takes his life in charge. It is the same in everybody for there is only one. It never changes; is undisturbed by its wanderings; will not let him rest in ignorance, but keeps him striving. It is the greatest strength available to him. It is the only thing that matters; all else acquires such importance as it has from this. This love is the reflection of the Self and is a first intimation of its Divine nature. For this and by this school comes into being.

 1968

Without the full fact, who can tell?One knows, if at all, at the time of writing or acting, not afterwards. The afterthought is almost always wrong and is usually the work of ideas about oneself. A notable omission from all these statements was any consideration of the other man: it was all inner considering. Do not accept these statements any more but insist on the full facts. Otherwise they are confirmed in error and not reproved in Truth. The senior group need to learn that, in speaking, writing, acting, what they feel like, whether they are pure or impure, true or false, having a good effect, getting a good result and so on, all this is inner considering and selfishness; what matters is the other man or the work being done, or as the case may be. It is a question of where their attention is being directed. If it is on themselves, however heaven-borne their desire may be, it produces Tamas; if it is directed to results expected from the action, it produces an excess of Rajas. When one creature falls in love with another, and as long as this lasts and attachment and greed do not take over, so long he does not count the labour, his state, his gain or loss, but considers only the good, the welfare and happiness of the other. His attention is directed with full intelligence to the immediate present wish of the other. Thus he serves with all his mind, heart and strength, and not at all his own wishes and inclinations which seem wholly absorbed in the desire of the other. This total service arises because he has fallen in love with Truth of which he has caught some reflection in the other, and this light of Truth connecting with the Truth within begets in his being this loving care for the beloved. So he is taught the nature and manner of true service. This produces Sattva, conducting the force of consciousness for the enrichment, life, prosperity and happiness of the other. But let his own desire enter and he starts to work for some result, some advantage, and Sattva turns to Rajas creating tensions; and this in turn sinks into Tamas, dreams and lethargy, ending in misery. The lovers of Truth are no less lovers than the lovers of men, but more so. Their service is total and universal and their happiness is in the true happiness of all. This is the direction of School work. What a man takes is his debt; what he gives is his release. The principle of the fourth way is, whatever benefit you receive, give it back immediately.

Another factor not to be at all neglected is group discipline. School work has three aspects, sattvic, rajasic and tamasic. The sattva gives memory of Truth; the rajas gives action under knowledge and tamas provides discipline, which ensures the man will not slip and sink and fall into evil ways. It is useful to remind oneself of the principles from time to time, and you will find the discussion of groups in In Search of the Miraculous (which happens in two or three places in the book) to be good. The index will lead you to them. Discipline can of course only be introduced gradually as strength increases so that strength may be conserved and not squandered in selfishness.

1963

Do not hesitate to speak of the highest things in simple terms. Truth, goodness and beauty are three ways in which the creator is made manifest in the world. These three are to be found everywhere and in everything, if one only awakens a little, and they lead back to their source step by step. There are definite steps, and none can be omitted. These are related to different levels of consciousness, different ways of experiencing and different ways of acting. These are found by effort under guidance, and they open out the hidden treasure in everyone and everything. Work in this direction begins with self-study, with study of one’s own machine, and this must be pursued in the right way. All the unreality in the world, all the falsehood, is the work of men’s own imaginings. To begin to be what we are, we have to come out of all we are not. The way of release from the bondage of imaginings is through knowledge, and very great knowledge is required. But this knowledge does not come from reading, talking or study, however arduous. It comes through experience as the result of right efforts made under right guidance. It comes when it is appropriate that it should come.

 1963

Why everyone who wants it cannot enter into the perfect life while still in the flesh, I cannot say. All teachers agree on this, so it must be so. It seems to have less to do with what a man wants, than the need of the case. The men who attain the perfect life while still in the flesh are the true teachers of mankind. I suppose a great number is not required. It would certainly seem that people may enter the perfect life upon death if they really want to, and if they have taken all the steps leading to it while yet alive.

 1962

Take courage! This work strengthens and does not weaken. You have the quality needed to help others and by using it you grow. The help, however, does not come from oneself; it comes from above, from consciousness itself, through school, through the tutor to the students. You know this is so for you have experienced it. The nature of any substance depends on the place it fills in the great order, by its usual function. On a cosmic scale, you and I are substances; in the great order one is given the knowledge, love and strength necessary to fill the needs of others. Keep the door open; refuse no man: and your strength grows. Moreover, there gathers around you able helpers who lift you up, just as by meeting the needs of others, they are lifted up themselves. There is a lovely Siamese legend which runs thus.A Thai warrior died and was carried to heaven. Before entering, he asked permission to see Hell first. This was granted and a messenger was sent with him. There, to his astonishment, he found a most beautiful place and he saw tables laden with every imaginable delicacy. He turned to his guide in perplexity. “ See”, said the angel “ They all have chopsticks five feet long and they are compelled to hold them by the ends. However hard they try, they cannot get any food in their mouths”. “This is hell indeed”, thought the warrior, and was carried back to heaven. Here his amazement grew, because exactly the same scene met his eyes, only the souls were not tormented, but in bliss. “No chopsticks, I suppose”, he said. “On the contrary”, said his guide, “they all have chopsticks five feet long, which they hold at the end. But in heaven the souls know that they can feed each other with chopsticks five feet long, and if one feeds another, he is fed.”

 1962

Taking Part I is indeed different from taking later courses. You will find it stimulating and refreshing. In tutoring you do not have to worry about yourself at all. In this free, open state, the teaching acts through one of itself, and one responds naturally to the feeling of the group and the speaker. It all looks after itself. You will very naturally feel the position of your own body and hear you own voice, and sometimes you will hear your own voice telling you something that you had not heard before, called out of you by the need of the group or the individual student. A fine definition of how this works is given in a definition of education in one of the Upanishads. “Teacher one side, pupil on the other, knowledge between, discourse joining them”.Let the students come on at their own pace, just meeting them at their own level. There is plenty of time to tell them what they will need to know. The important thing is that they should be persuaded to practice the exercise. This is the point from which their advance begins. They will not, of course, be able to stop thought. This is a useful discovery. What they can do, however, is be aware of their own bodies in a general way, and open out their attention to everything about them. When they do this, their minds will fall silent of themselves. Any battle to stop thoughts, only strengthens them.

The value of the exercise is that it brings them out of imaginings into the present time and place, and gives them a rest from themselves. Once they have got the feel of it, they will discover how refreshing it is and how it can pick them out of inner confusions.
They also begin to see the confused way in which their machines work, so that the teaching about the way the parts of man work becomes real for them. This is the beginning of observation.

I am not surprised that you are finding a little difficulty in getting to sleep after the meetings. This will pass. These classes engender a greater emotional strength than we ordinarily experience. This readily combines with the physical energy running in us, so as to turn to excitement, filling the head with ideas and imaginings. The best thing is to be very quiet after the meeting is over, quiet inside; and the best aid to this is to pay attention to whatever is in hand, the journey home, supper, what people have to say, and so on. Be content with the little things that go on around one. This is a great quietener. We cannot at present go on living at the higher level induced by the school in a meeting. By this quiet, we conserve energy. You may use devices to help yourself. Sometimes, listening to some very fine music for a little while brings one in a state of peace.

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