“The meaning of your existence is primarily to realize your true nature, that you are not just an ‘individual,’ so that your life may stand in service of the world as a whole and make it a little less miserable. All else is mere entertainment, without ultimate meaning, as Nisrgadatta put it so poignantly.
“But once you have realized your true nature, when individuality has been seen for the illusion it is and so has been transcended once and for all, there is only one Totality. Now where could the Totality go? It is at once everything, completely fulfilled–it is fulfillment itself. Therefore, the question of meaning cannot apply for one, or more accurately, for That which has realized Itself. We can only talk of ‘meaning’ when there is intentionality, direction, a movement from here to there, from incomplete to complete, applying to a fragment, the false image of an ‘entity.’ It could not possibly apply to that which by definition is Everything, Complete and Perfect in Itself.”
- Robert Powell
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Dr. Robert Powell is widely respected throughout the world as one of the leading authors on the subject of Advaita, the teaching of non-duality. In this, his most recent book, Discovering the Realm Beyond Appearance, he continues his explorations into this realm beyond illusion.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
From Chapter Eight\227"Taking One\222s Stand in the Eternal"
As a youngster—I must have been about thirteen—I did have some spontaneous experiences by which there was a kind of experience of nothingness; that is, I had disappeared as the "me" which I had provisionally known, and it and everything else had merged into one field, one background, it might be said. These experiences gave me some foretaste of the state of the Ultimate or the Totality, but without as yet much understanding as to what was going on. Later, when I seriously began to face the question "Who Am I?," I obtained a somewhat deeper understanding of a more rational kind of the nature of that "me" and the source from which it had arisen.
I subsequently became increasingly clear about the incontrovertible truth of what I had read in spiritual writings as "non-duality" or advaita. First of all, I became convinced, by direct insight, into the spurious reality of what I had carried with me since my earliest conscious days, the idea of being a "me." It is really quite simple. What proof is there that the "I" exists in a separate entity? That is the key question here. Everything else depends on that affirmation. With the "I" affirmed, there is inevitably "you," "he," and "it," or the entire world of objects — more succinctly, the world.
Now what makes us talk about "I" and think there is an independent "person" as the referent? That is where body, mind and senses some in; through their combined action we come up with the statement and conceptualization of "I am." In other words, there is sensation, then thought and finally naming. In more detail, the body is perceived through the sense organs, conceptualized and pronounced to be a "body," where the latter concept already implies boundaries and so separation. Indeed, the whole of this process may be said to be an act of thought, which we have accepted as being the final arbiter in determining our reality. The weakness in the argument is that there is no independent authority to affirm it. For who is accepting, confirming if you will, the finding that this body-mind entity, that very same empirical reality, of course! It is the only reference system at my disposal, in which everything is being measured. Therefore, one is begging the question or! making a circular argument when stating "I am." In actual fact, there is only sensation and thought, but even that cannot be confirmed independently! Any certainty one can have is only mental. And what really is "mental"? All that is, all that was and all that will ever be is of the nature of mental construct or "appearance." It is just as in looking at a hologram, one observes certain shapes and forms that we can designate as recognizable "objects," but that have no real grounding. The true Ground of our being lies beyond all that and is nameless and totally outside the world of experience. I am reminded of a remark once made by Krishna Menon when asked about the significance of reincarnation. He replied that one dies with every thought or feeling, and so one lives many lives even within a short period of time! In other words, one is only aware of being "someone," of "having a life," during an act of thinking! Otherwise, there is no change in us, no living or dying! as opposite states. From the body-mind point of view, there are discontinuities, different bodies and different lives. But from the point of view of Consciousness, beyond identification with a particular body, there is an entirely different state. There is no longer my thought and your thought, this present life and my next life or past life, but a state of timeless and spaceless Eternity. Upon my death, I am not really affected; there is no exit, nor was there ever any entry point or so-called "birth," only a particular body appears, lingers for some time and drops away. The Consciousness does not leave me, because I ever am that Consciousness. When we talk about "he lost consciousness," it is rather the other way around: "Consciousness lost him." True death is not even a theoretical possibility, because my being as Consciousness does not permit its opposite, Unconsciousness, to exist: the Self or Consciousness, by definition, is that which lies totally beyond all pai! rs of opposites. Part of our difficulty is that we are so easily led astray by the limitations of words, their everyday meanings, and our inability to transcend them.
When one truly sees and accepts this vision of our real nature completely and unreservedly, one takes one’s stand in the Eternal. Then one can only fall silent; the whole of our ordinary so-called life experience is seen to be nothing but a series of mind-games—a juggling with projected images, with the "juggler" himself being only a mere image among images. All our certainties are seen to be like footprints in the sky! The only reality that emerges from all this is the Consciousness or the Self, upon which all sensation and thought is projected. This is how I came to my first basic recognition of the truth of advaita.
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Book Description Blue Dove Press. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New, unread, and unused. Bookseller Inventory # ABS-1546-1046
Book Description Blue Dove Press, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M1884997171
Book Description Blue Dove Press, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P111884997171