Belief v/s Experience
Ektaji, how can witnessing become my experience when I don’t know the very first step itself? I know the Upanishads are Rishi’s meditated and this knowledge came. So I believe in that and studied but if I don’t believe and doubt that how can I experience the truth? It’s not something that has a clear definition.. for a novice I think I need to believe and then experience.. please correct me if I am wrong. Ramana Maharshi says this (above) question is also asked by ‘I’ the ego but even that’s not my experience how can I believe that?
Witnessing is very experiential dear. The Rishi’s meditated and experienced it. So can you. It is not really magical, out-of-the-world, reserved for only certain VIP’s.
Are you aware that the eyes are reading these words and the mind is processing them? Who is this I that is witnessing the eyes & the mind? That is the quiet silence in the background that is always there. That is the witness [Sakshi]. You are that!
Why do I run into obstacles in being the witness?
External conditioning is the only obstacle.
What is the meaning of ‘External conditioning’?
External conditioning means ideas, concepts, beliefs imposed on oneself from external sources. It is like dust clouding your own window, therefore you cannot see the light of Truth.
Here are examples of conditioning on the spiritual path that are nothing but WRONG beliefs:
1] Only someone who meditates for years together and does hard penance can attain to the witness inside.
2] Only people who renounce everything can experience it. The worldly person cannot; if he does, it will take an entire lifetime, maybe many lifetimes.
3] The worldly person must only serve the renunciate, worship the ascetic, revere, and praise the sage who attained it; because the worldly person is not eligible for Enlightenment. He should satisfy himself with basic techniques only.
4] The basic techniques that a worldly person can do are some basic physical exercises, pranic techniques, and superficial mental relaxation, nothing more is important.
5] The highest knowledge of ‘Advaita – Non-Duality’ is not given to everyone. It is reserved for the elite.
6] You HAVE TO BELIEVE that it is existent, you cannot get there without believing it. One day if you are blessed, you will get there. So believe and worship the one who got there, so that he becomes happy with you and magically transports you to the land of Enlightenment.
7] Only the blessing of an Enlightened one can get you there. There is no other way. So even if you don’t feel like it, force yourself to be a devotee to someone.
The list of WRONG IDEAS & BELIEFS is inexhaustible dear. One must be wary of such potholes on the path.
How to find out if one is stuck in such wrong conditioning?
The truthful and revolutionary teachers like Saint Kabir, Guru Nanak Dev, Ramana Maharshi, Buddha, etc have provided many warnings for the spiritual seekers. They clearly saw that spirituality was becoming an industry and was merely used to create a divide among people as well as create a divide between the so-called people who can ‘attain’ it and those who ‘cannot attain’ it. This conditioning might be a product of selfish motives, therefore, one must be careful on the spiritual path to be wary of people who do not want you to reach the Truth.
Does ‘external conditioning’ impact the mind internally?
Yes, very much. It is a psychological way to influence you. If a ‘lie’ is repeated several 100 times, it starts seeming like the truth. Remember, jhooth ko bheed ki zarurat hoti hai. Sach akela hi khada reh sakta hai. A lie needs a crowd. Only the Truth can stand alone.
How to break out of conditioning:
1) Recognize that this belief is false conditioning – You cannot experience it and you need to ‘believe blindly’ first.
2) Drop this fake belief by becoming clear that it is your own experience that the witness is observing the mind+eyes reading this. It was always there. It is. It will be. There is nowhere to go, nothing to do to attain it.
3) Once you break your own past conditioning, your interest in yourself increases.
4) Once interest in knowing oneself increases, one starts making an effort to look within.
5) A shift happens when one recognizes that nobody external to me can gift me my enlightenment. I will have to make my own effort. I cannot just sleep & wait on the couch for it to land in my lap.
6) Finally, the conviction strengthens, conditioning drops & clarity dawns. The witness was always there, you were ignoring the witness because of a ‘false belief’ that it is available only to special sage-like people.
Wake up! The witness is always there! It is who YOU are! Wake up!
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