Daily Readings

Spiritual Diary - October

compiled by Yogeshwari Muhl - Cape Province - SA

Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Venkatesaya

October 1


I know that my state of confusion is impossible.
I am sitting on a bed of nails, and I want to remove it.
Maybe, as I go on digging, I will find the same thing again and again.
But I will go on digging, if I do not want this confusion to continue.
One goes on peeling off layer after layer.
Again and again one finds the same thing.
This present state is impossible; one cannot live with this confusion.
We are on the right track as long as we go on persistently removing all confusions and obstacles in our life - obstacles to this development, to this unfoldment.
Then, one day or the other, sometime, the goal is reached.
It may be now, it may be in a couple of million years - that is not serious.
If you read anthropology or biology, you find that all these "ologies" talk in terms of billions of years.
If, for example, a man has a long nose and he goes on rubbing it until it becomes the desired length, it may take six million years!
The doctor could have done it in a few minutes!
That is the beauty of natural evolution, unfoldment.
It may happen now, or centuries later, but it has to happen eventually.

October 2


We have been discussing a number of aspects of spiritual development.
There is a problem here, a basic problem: what we have been discussing so far cannot be understood at all, unless we see the thing happening, unless we come face to face with an exemplar, somebody who exemplifies these truths.
Thus we go in search of some great Guru, Who is a living example of all this.
Without the living example I cannot understand what non-volitional activity is.
Even with the living example of someone, I still need an inner understanding.
The two must come together.
Then it is possible to progress.
Even then, it is not automatic, like pressing a button on the tape recorder.
In Vedanta we have a beautiful illustration.
If you light a match, there will be a small fire.
If you bring that tiny fire anywhere near a big ball of cotton soaked in petrol, it will immediately burst into flames.
You do not even have to touch it with that tiny match.
The cotton is ready to burst into flame because it is soaked in petrol.
But it needs that spark, that contact.
Otherwise, even if the bundle were there for a hundred years, it would not catch fire.

October 3


A further example is charcoal or firewood.
Probably a small match is not enough to get it to catch fire.
You stick it under the firewood.
It does not burn.
So you fan it, and eventually it starts burning.
Finally there is a stack of banana stems.
Matches are useless here.
A couple of well-lit candles are probably inadequate.
But a bundle of rags soaked in kerosene, set afire, then put underneath, may set it alight.
But you must be careful here that the mountain of banana skins does not put out the fire!
So, on the one hand, I must come into contact with the spark of fire, the Guru.
On the other hand, I must be at least like charcoal, if not like the petrol soaked ball of cotton!
If I am like the banana tree, it is better for me not to go near the Guru.
I will put Him out!
Both these things seem to be necessary.
First, I must prepare myself; I must be ready to burst into flame.
Then I must go to a Guru.
By merely looking at Him, I may attain enlightenment.

October 4

His Inner Spirit

The Guru may have to instruct me once, twice, thrice.
Usually the Holy Men restrict themselves to three attempts.
My Guru would go up to ten - He had infinite patience.
If you still would not listen, He would not throw you out, but offer you some tea or coffee, hoping that one of these days, even this banana stem might get dried.
Just hoping.
This part of the responsibility is the student's, the disciple's.
It cannot be done by any Guru.
The Guru will never prepare me for this burning.
I have to be naturally ready, and by a certain amount of self-exertion, I must at least have graduated to the second stage, the charcoal stage, before I can approach the Guru.
It is only when I am able to see how this Man functions, that I begin to have a glimpse of what this non-volitional activity is, that I may understand the concept that "I" is a cell in the body of God.
Even then, in my understanding, there is bound to be some deficiency.
The Guru will put it right, if you let Him.
I go to the Guru, but can I understand the Guru?
I can see what He does.
But do I understand the spirit in which He does it?
I can imitate His gestures, His external actions, but do I know what His inner spirit is?

October 5

His Example

There is a funny story told of Shankaracharya, the famous philosopher.
He had some disciples, and they were touring the whole of India on foot.
In hot Central India, they were dying of thirst, and they appealed to the Guru for help.
There was no water available anywhere, but they passed a shop selling toddy, Indian native liquor.
The Guru walked in and so did the followers.
The Guru poured Himself a drink of toddy, the only liquid available.
The obedient disciples followed the Guru's example.
His thirst was quenched easily - He had only one glass, but they each required two!
The Guru was watching them out of the corner of His eye.
Then, intentionally He walked through hot areas until again they told Him they were thirsty.
He led them to the outskirts of a town where they entered a blacksmith's shop.
The only liquid available there was molten lead.
The Guru poured Himself a drink and asked his disciples if they wanted to follow His example once more.
Oh no, they were not thirsty now!

October 6

His Life

Do I know what spirit motivates the Guru?
If I am mature, ready to burst into flame, I will know.
The mature person's understanding is different.
He will know in what spirit the Guru functions, non-volitionally.
This is the problem.
I have to have an example, but I have to be extremely cautious in approaching this example, and not to imitate stupidly.
If I had not lived with my Guru Swami Sivananda for seventeen years, I would not have understood anything.
We read a passage from a holy book, but it makes no sense at all.
We are told that just as there are cells in our body, we are cells in the body of God.
But what about cyclones? There is no cyclone in my body. Is a cyclone also a cell in the body of God? We will have millions of unanswerable questions.
Only when you live with a Guru, and live with Him in the right spirit, the right attitude, is it possible for you to get a remote glimpse of what it means.

October 7


The concept of duty is very difficult to grasp, because it is not something that can be intellectualized or conceptualized.
It is not a formula that can be chewed up and applied to one's life.
If you are very careful, you will see that your present idea of duty is very different from what it was a few years ago.
Is duty something that keeps on changing?
If not, what is it? Who is going to tell me?
It is not something that my mind or my intellect can manufacture.
It is something that is.
Once you recognize that, what you call duty, or nature, or God's Will, or God's Grace, all become synonyms.
You cannot go against your duty, because that is your nature, and you cannot violate your nature.
It is natural for a bird to fly, but not for me.
If I jump off a balcony, nature asserts itself, not my imagined ability to fly.
Nature triumphs all the time.
Therefore, can I discover that nature?
It has to be discovered now, every day.
It is then that what my duty is, becomes clear.
Why is it that we always have to be told what our duty is?
It is because the attention is elsewhere.
I am not discovering my nature, but I am more interested in covering up my nature, and pretending that I am something else.
I am looking at someone else, and comparing myself with him.
This is another wretched pastime, because it always misleads me.

October 8

My Nature

I do not look into my own nature, but I am looking at somebody else.
Then, of this is born jealousy and greed, of this is born craving and desire, of this is born frustration, and of that ignorance is aggravated.
I am constantly looking outwards, thinking, "What shall I gain from all this?"
Duty is not something that I can learn from somebody else.
It can only be discovered by observing one's own nature.
The spontaneous expression of that nature is one's duty.
In that there is no "thou shalt" and "thou shalt not".
This does not arise at all.
Once I turn my attention within, to see what my fundamental nature is, what do I see first?
I don't see what my nature is, but I do see that I am greedy, that I am easily irritated, that I am proud and that I am interested in prestige.
These things come up when I look directly into myself.
So, can I say that this is my nature, that I am a bad-tempered person?
I can see quite clearly that I am easily upset, easily annoyed.
Can I take this to be my nature?
What is natural to me must also be constant.
As long as there is life, as long as there is consciousness, this quality must also be there.

October 9


I am a man, and as long as there is life, as long as there is consciousness, I know that I am a man, not a woman or a dog.
Can I also say, in the same way, that I am irritated all the time?
Few of us can say that.
I smile sometimes; I am not always angry - I hope not!
Therefore, that again is not natural to me.
It comes into being only in certain situations.
What is natural will be constant and invariable; so, this anger is not natural, but is perverse.
When I observe this perversity, I see that I am not living a natural life, and that I am therefore not doing my duty.
When life becomes more and more natural, there is duty and great beauty, both together, in one's life.
It is then that one goes on to the next inevitable step.
If this is natural to me, what is "me"?
If I say that this is my nature, then what is "me" in this "my nature"?
This again leads to self-realization.
Therefore, if you learn to do your duty in this way, your heart becomes pure, and in that pure heart there is self-realization.
This is the essence of Karma Yoga.
Karma Yoga is not doing one's duty as dictated by others; Karma Yoga is not doing something, thinking that it is an unselfish action.
Karma Yoga is to go right down into one's own inner nature to find what the self is.

October 10


Why does religion promote what it condemns?
Why is there such a gulf between theory and actuality?
Is it because of hypocrisy or ignorance?
Every religion declares that God is one, that humanity is one, yet each one declares that it alone has the monopoly of this truth.
How can religion unite man by dividing it, by carving out a slice of its own, and then proclaiming the other slices to be untruths or half-truths?
Does such polemical and proselytizing activity promote peace and unity?
Can it be considered religious at all, when it only succeeds in creating greater antagonism and worse bitterness than already exist?
Yet, whatever substitute we offer man in place of religion, in order to awaken brotherly love, humanity, and an awareness of the divine essence in each person - that substitute would eventually organize itself into a religion, and mankind would soon find itself in the same position as today.
If such difficulties beset religion, which stands for peace, love and goodwill, how much more confusing will be the other fields of human activity - such as commerce, politics and society!

October 11


The crucial question is whether we can do without security at all?
Or, can we evolve a new way of life to find true security, without creating vested interests and institutions that will assume authority and exercise control?
To answer this, a deeply spiritual heart is necessary.
There is no real security in the world!
Death, disease, and destruction, in countless forms, are waiting at the door.
What shall we use as a lock against these?
When you "secure" something against someone else, you are alienating that someone, creating an enemy, without realizing that you and he are one in truth!
Is it difficult to see then that love is the only source of unfailing security?
Love is oneness.
Love is the total negation of the "me" (selfishness).
Love does not exercise control nor impose its authority.
Love is freedom, but this freedom is the freedom of the spirit, which asserts this freedom in humility, unselfishness and pure love - not in revolts, revolutions and violence.
This love is God.
When this love results, there will be perfect security without anyone imposing it.
This is the peace that passeth understanding.

October 12


Freedom is basically a spiritual quality.
Man demands freedom because his spirit is free - ever free - never bound.
Yet, in his daily life, he finds that he is never free!
But if the urge to freedom is born of reaction to previous repression or oppression, the spirit is lost and that loss is great.
Freedom is a quality of the spirit; it is not the result of a reaction.
A free man rejects from his mind and heart even the memory of bondage - he is not burdened by past bitterness and enmity, the strife and struggle of bygone days - for him, today is fresh, it has never been before.
The free man meets each day with a fresh heart, a fresh mind, a fresh spirit.
He clings to nothing; neither does he find anything that should be rejected.
He is unbiased, his mind is unconditioned by prestige or prejudice.
He is free from personal ambition, superiority or inferiority complexes, from selfishness and slave mentality.
He goes from freedom to greater freedom.
The spirit of freedom is born of the freedom of the spirit.
May this freedom manifest in the heart of every man, woman and child.

October 13


In one of the yoga camps, there was a girl who was born deaf and dumb.
She was given a hearing aid and discovered she could hear our words.
She wrote: "I hear what you are saying but I cannot understand the words."
This unveils truth.
To her everything is associated with a visible symbol - sign language or written word - but we are conditioned differently.
One day our mother pointed and said, "tree".
Later on the teacher confirmed this by writing the word "tree".
That is the ultimate extent of our "knowledge" - even today the tree remains an unknown something.
In fact, not a thing in this world in which we live is really known to us.
We discover the truth, only if we have the courage to say, "I can hear but I cannot understand."
We hear, but we do not understand the truth; we think, yet we do not understand the truth.
The moment we see or hear, the audiovisual association - the dreadful curtain that veils the truth - presents itself to us and we console ourselves that we "know".
If we can say, "I see the form, but I do not know what it is," then we shall see the truth "in all these names and forms", in the words of My Master Swami Sivananda.

October 14


If we are sincere we shall discover that the teachings of the great Men of God are all the same.
Differences were invented because we wanted to build walls around their personalities and teachings.
We need to remind ourselves constantly that, though walls make the house, we do not live in the walls, we live in the space which was there even before the walls went up.
The spirit of man is like a river.
The waters of the ocean (God) rise and fall over the land, but their destination is always "back to the ocean".
Humanity is constantly moving towards that destination - and that is religious spirit.
Religion is constant, yet ever-changing like the river.
The same water and the same stream may be called different names at different places, and there may even be superficial differences in the appearance and behavior of the river.
But it is the same river, the same water, the same spirit of religion, and the same human aspiration to merge in the source, whatever we call that source.
When this is realized, we realize that we are all brothers and sisters.
Inner conflict and external hostility cease.
In harmony we discover a new dimension called love.

October 15


When I wake up in the morning, the mind also wakes up with all its myriad thoughts, feelings, desires and ambitions.
What is mind? What is thought? How does it arise? How does one thought yield to another?
There is a lump of dough in your hands, and you fashion it into Buddha.
Your child comes along, smashes it, and makes it into a film star.
The baby comes along, and smears this on the floor.
Here you have examples of the sattvic (pure, divine), of the rajasic (dynamic and passion-filled) and of the tamasic (or dull and stupid) states of mind and forms of dough.
Can you understand the mind itself?
Can you understand the dough itself, without any form or shape?
The states of mind are mental activities, but what is the dharma of the mind?
In other words, what is mind without moods, thoughts, feelings?
When this enquiry is pursued, meditation happens.
When this enquiry is pursued the seeker becomes truly humble and also truly virtuous.
Such a seeker is the most noble citizen in the world, an asset beyond value.
He is neither an escapist nor a selfish man.

October 16

Life and Death

Life has become a problem only because we have tried to isolate it from death, treating death itself as a problem.
When we see that death is not a problem, but an inevitable component of life, then life is not a problem either.
Life and death are inseparable.
This is pure and simple truth - it is universal.
Death has no partiality - it comes to saint and sinner alike.
If you meditate upon this both selfishness and injustice collapse, they lose their significance.
When that which you love the most - life - is seen as a vehicle that drives you to the grave, a profound change takes place.
You learn to live and to love all.
Injustice cannot be eradicated by any other means.
Evil cannot be "fought" by good.
The fighting and the destruction are themselves evil, and breed evil in those who were formerly oppressed by the former evil.
Evil cannot be cancelled by resistance.
It is resistance that infuses strength to the evil force.
If there is no resistance, the evil may, in all probability, blow itself out.
This does not mean, however, that injustice and oppression are desirable!
There is another way - to live as if the last hour were at hand.
Life and death are inseparable - that itself is total awakening to the truth.

October 17


Many people in this world are unaware of health, happiness or peace.
If you have not enjoyed them, you do not know what they are, and you will mistake their shadows for the substance.
But once you taste them, you know them unmistakably.
Yoga enables us to discover this.
The yoga postures enable us to remove the toxic substances that cover the pure cells of the body - and when practiced with inner awareness - to discover what a healthy body really means.
This awareness penetrates further, and enables you to discover the mind.
The student of yoga, with the light of inner awareness, sees that the mind is covered by thick layers of prejudice, ignorance, greed and hatred.
He discovers them to find the pure intelligence, in whose light the mind functions in an enlightened manner.
That intelligence or soul is pure and divine.
The soul is nothing but a cell in the cosmic body of God.
As cells in that body, we are all one.
Separation is the result of ignorance.
It is in the darkness of ignorance that prejudices thrive and cover the mind, thus creating the illusion that you are different from me.
Yoga removes this cover, this illusion, this ignorance, and reveals the truth that in God we are all one.

October 18

Spiritual Practices

Yoga practices are like doors to a house.
On one side of the threshold they are marked "Entrance" and on the other side, the same door becomes "Exit".
These doors can admit us into the hall of truth - or they may be an escape.
It all depends on the way we are facing.
Are we practicing yoga in all aspects so that we may enter the hall of truth, or are we endeavoring to escape, using the same door as an exit from reality?
This problem arises because all spiritual practices have, not only a spiritual value, but also a multi-purpose effectiveness.
We may not be spiritually motivated at all and still enjoy their physical, moral, social and psychic benefits.
Worse still, we may merely use these spiritual practices, paradoxically, to run away from truth.
They are then used as tranquillizers.
We may indulge in them and piously wish that our problems will go away.
They will not.
If you use these practices as escape-exits, the problem you are running away from usually runs ahead of you, and is waiting for you at the next corner.
When the right spirit prevails, rediscover the divine energy that flows through the body, sustaining it, towards self-knowledge.
With self-knowledge, the creator of all the problems is discovered, is unmasked, and is silenced.
It is then that these spiritual practices act as the door to admit us to the hall of wisdom.

October 19


It will not do to ignore violence, to turn our face from it, and to pretend that we have eradicated it.
It is there, in each one of us, in as much as we take sides, approve or disapprove, judge and advise.
What is this violence?
Is it inherent in the personality, or is it a visitor?
If it is inherent, then why is it that, at certain times, it is completely absent?
If it is a visitor, then why is it that the personality is vulnerable.
The problem of violence is internal and not external, is potentially inherent and not existentially inherent.
As long as the human personality lasts, so long the possibility of violence exists.
It is the mind-stuff that becomes violence when you least expect it to.
The error therefore is foolish complacency.
If you anticipate violence, you create it, because you are afraid, and fear is another name for violence.
But if you are alert and aware of its potential existence, this awareness is free from violence.
When self-awareness is constant, it so vitally and radically changes one's personality, that the potentiality of violence is under heavy surveillance, and hence rendered inoperative.
Such self-awareness is yoga, is meditation.

October 20

I am

Truth cannot be transferred - each one has to discover it.
Each one has to seek and know the experiencer, the seer.
When one thus seeks to know the experiencer, there is meditation.
One should not be satisfied with formulated answers - like "I see" or "the mind sees" - but one should relentlessly pursue the source of those answers.
"Does such meditation lead to happiness?", one may question.
When does one want happiness?
When one realizes one is unhappy.
And what is the happiness one wants?
It is some preconceived idea - a notion - of happiness.
But surely, this notion is not happiness.
Even the striving to be happy is the surest proof of unhappiness.
In this striving, when one grabs moments of happiness, the grabbing destroys the happiness and the striving, which is unhappiness, alone remains.
When all these are dropped, then happiness is.
It can never be caught.
I can never seek happiness.
I can never be happy.
I am happiness.

October 21

Either Or

A psychologically inert person, one who is not alert, has fixed ideas, for they seem to afford him some comfort.
They destroy the ever-stirring spirit of enquiry in him.
Such a person is committed to the "either - or" choice.
We have the pervasive and pernicious influence of this spiritual suicide in our life.
Temples and rituals, science and technology, places of entertainment, political parties and religious denominations, certain forms of behavior - all these are either good or bad, according to most people.
They blindly apply these labels because they are blind - the "either - or" choice makes them blind.
The truth may be "neither - nor" and it will keep you forever awake, alert, questioning.
What is a question?
A question is really a quest, and the quest is for what is.
Hence, a serious questioner is not satisfied with an exchange of opinions.
What is, is naturally some factor that is, was and will be.
If you ask, "What is?", the answer is the same two words, pronounced as an affirmation!
The quest itself is, the questioning intelligence is, the questioner is, was and will be, till dissolved in self-knowledge - when the quest ceases.
What is, is eternal and unchanging.

October 22


It is good to know that our sorrow is our own making; no one else is responsible for it.
What the humble ant does in the anthill, what the busy bee does in the hive, mighty man is unable to do: to live in harmony, to live as an integral part of the infinite, which he is in reality (in the undivided and true state).
Disharmony is not the law of nature; and hence nature eliminates the elements that pretend to produce it.
If you look round you, you will see the proof of this everywhere.
The victor and the vanquished, the killer and the killed, the ruler and the ruled, the murderer and the victim have all been eliminated.
Life that is natural continues to live.
The sun shines. The ocean roars. Wind sweeps. Earth yields its riches. Flowers smile. Rivers flow.
All of them sing the song of harmony, oneness, love and a vision in which there is no division.

October 23


Man has to "fight the battle of life" and struggle to keep even the friendship of those who may not be hostile to him, for fear of losing that friendship.
All this is sorrow and unhappiness.
Scientists (biologists) have made wonderful discoveries.
They tell us that the ants in an anthill and the bees in a beehive are "one entity, the individual ants and bees being cells of the one body".
Maybe our soul is just a cell in a "larger" body.
Maybe, when the "lander on Mars" scans in the direction of the earth, he does not see it at all, and decides it does not exist or at best sees it as a particle of dust which, if magnified a million times, resembles a rounded anthill, with individual ants creeping over it.
Perhaps the (earth) anthill is itself one cell of a cosmic being, and "we" are merely infinitesimal parts of the cell, inseparably bound together.
And, perhaps it is our puerile attempt to create a separation from one another that causes the "space-of-sorrow" around us.
Daily and hourly we are filling the space with our cravings, hate, greed, aggression and violence, not realizing that we are the only victims of our own viciousness.

October 24


Whether individuality is fact or fiction, there is the idea of the individuality.
Perhaps the first pronoun "I" is nothing but the abbreviation of the full word "Idea".
The first person pronoun "I" may itself be nothing more than an idea.
However, as soon as this idea arises, it creates you, the other person, the second person, the he, she, and it, the third person ...
From this division flows an interminable stream of worry, anxiety, fear and hate.
How does one put an end to this?
By realizing that you are the stream.
The moment you realize that, the menace has ceased.
The "I am anxious" duality creates a distinction between "I" and the anxiety.
If I am the fire, I no longer feel the heat, as "I" and "fire" are no longer separate, but one.
If I am the iceberg, I do not shiver and freeze anymore, as when "I" feel the "cold".
Similarly, if I am anxiety, anxiety no longer haunts me.
I am it, and there is no more struggle.
The anxiety as anxiety falls away.

October 25


Man has set his boot on the moon.
Now he has landed a machine on Mars.
Exploration of outer space is progressing at great speed and greater expense.
Some yoga teachers got together for the annual fortnight-long seminar during which we tried to explore inner space.
Mars may or may not be a warlord; but man is.
Moon may or may not be responsible for the moods of the mind, but man himself is responsible for his emotions.
Who is responsible for man's sorrow but himself?
But, what is emotion? What is sorrow? Why is man unhappy?
The Sanskrit word for sorrow or unhappiness is dukham.
"Kham" means "space", and the prefix "du" indicates that space is bad, evil, polluted.
Dukham literally means that there is a space in and around man that is evil and polluted!
How did man create this space around himself in the first place?
Surely by thinking that he is independent of and separate from the rest of the universe.
This thought itself is space.
This thought (which is the "I"-thought) generates other thoughts in order to assume and to establish a relationship between the individual and the rest of the universe.
These thoughts pollute that inner space.

October 26

When 'I' ceases to be

Health, happiness, healing, holiness, peace, power, enlightenment and ecstasy, are all one, and that one is beyond the "me", or what My Gurudev Swami Sivananda called "the self-assertive, rajasic and arrogant ego-sense".
The ego asserts itself and assumes an importance it does not possess.
The ego thinks that it supports life and that it is indispensable, and that without it, life cannot go on in this world.
I am sure you have seen beautiful mansions in Europe, whose pillars are sturdy figures of strong men and women who seem to support the massive buildings on their hands; in most cases they are considered indispensable, and hence they do not have legs (to prevent them from running away, abandoning the buildings they are holding).
It is this foolish notion that we are supporting the world that creates problems.
It is this self-arrogating "I" that creates problems.
Hence, Gurudev sang: "When shall I be free? When 'I' ceases to be."
When the 'I' ceases to be, there is health, happiness, harmony, holiness and healing.
Such harmony is yoga.
Prana flows. Love flows. God is.

October 27


I am unhappy all the time because I am pursuing something.
I am pursuing a goal that is fleeting, impermanent.
What is permanent?
The pursuer of all these goals, the experiencer of all these experiences, the knowledge that forever knows remains as knowledge.
It doesn't pursue any goals thereafter, it is ever there, not static, not asleep, but awake, wide-awake, undivided, uncontaminated.
Hence it is not a goal; yoga has no goal at all.
The pursuit of the goal is the root cause of all our troubles and difficulties.
When the goal is dropped, life seems to know which way to flow, how to flow and in that flow there is no problem, there is no anxiety, there is no mental distress, there is no unhappiness.
But the avoidance of unhappiness is not necessarily the goal of yoga.
When the self remains the self, without pursuing a goal outside itself, without pursuing an object created by itself, there is bliss.
Bliss is not the goal.
Once the bliss is taken to be a goal outside the self, the division is made and trouble starts.
Can we practice yoga, can we assimilate yoga, can we live in the spirit of yoga without creating a goal, constantly enquiring, looking within?
That is the object, or rather the non-object of yoga.

October 28

The Self

We have accustomed ourselves to consider only that clear which shines as an object in front of us.
The self is not an object, it is the subject.
What is the self?
It isn't clear because of the constant endeavor to objectify it.
It can never be made an object.
That which threw up that question is the self.
The self is the self; the self is.
We should divest ourselves of this bad habit of considering only that as knowledge in which there is awareness of an object.
When this has dropped away, it is possible that what is called self-knowledge or the self that is knowledge, or knowledge that is the self becomes clear in its own way; not in the way in which I see you, not in the manner in which you see me, but in another completely different type of knowledge.
That knowledge enables you and me without verification to know that "I am alive".
This quest for an object that is the goal must be dropped at the very first step, at the door.
Not merely your hats and shoes, but that which is inside your skull also has to go.
That which you call your soul must be exposed like the soles are exposed if the shoes are taken off.

October 29


One good thing about the factor of time in our lives is that it seems to take everything away.
If there is a little happiness, time washes it away.
Unhappiness won't last as long as you don't hold it back, wishing it weren't there.
We have all done this; somebody insults you and you get angry and upset and you are miserable for a couple of days.
Even that is not necessary.
The whole incident lasted only ten minutes.
So, why did you have to hold onto it?
But the mind keeps chewing it over: "He should not have done that. This should not happen to me."
The trouble happened long ago, but chewing it again, you are perpetuating the unhappiness.
Time washed it away immediately.
One has to learn this art of dealing with sorrow or happiness, which is passing all the time.
Whatever unhappiness that has not yet reached me, I avoid.
If I do that, then I have enough strength and energy to deal with the sorrow that does reach me.
I don't invite it, I don't anticipate it, and I don't run into it.
The intelligence points clearly to the sorrow and avoids it.
The sorrow that has already reached me, I allow to blow over.

October 30


What does sorrow mean?
Who is it that suffers?
What do we mean by happiness and who experiences it?
Am I referring to physical happiness?
Physically, perhaps there is some pleasure and some pain.
The body has contact with the outside world; this body is matter and the world outside is matter.
When these two come together, they react upon each other, which is a pure and simple physical phenomenon.
The nerve-endings are excited and some excitement of these nerve-endings is called pleasure, and some other excitement of these nerve-endings is called pain.
Besides the common factor called excitement of the nerves, there is another interesting truth concerning pleasure and pain.
The human being can only appreciate a certain amount of pain and a certain amount of pleasure; beyond that, both of them are exactly the same experience.
We suffer a dreadful illusion that the more pleasure, the better.
It is not true.
One becomes unconscious with pain and swoons with pleasure - they are exactly the same.
In the same way, people cry out of pleasure and cry out of pain - the tears are the same.
So neither the body, nor the external object, determines the definition of pain or pleasure, happiness or unhappiness.

October 31


As long as we are unable to step out of the conventional attitude towards sorrow, it will continue.
We are taught, conditioned and brought up with the concept that if someone insults you, you must punish him.
We must try to get out of the group rut, and try to look at this whole phenomenon from a different angle.
Then it is possible for us to get a glimpse of the truth.
A holy Man came to a very simple and beautiful understanding - sorrow is 's-o-r-r-o-w', nothing more than the word.
If the word were not there, and if the mind that gave value to that word were not there, where would sorrow be?
This Holy Man discovered that "as you think, so you become".
This does not mean what it is generally regarded to mean.
It only means this: I am thinking of sorrow and at that moment I experience sorrow.
In exactly the same way, happiness is nothing but 'h-a-p-p-i-n-e-s-s', the word and the corresponding concept that seems to arise in the mind.
Once the concept has arisen in the mind, the mind itself experiences the same concept.
What is it that gives rise to that concept?
When you directly enquire into this, you come face to face, not with sorrow, not with happiness, but with the content of these, which is the same - the spirit of the mind.

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