We must die in order to survive.
We love ourselves; even more so we love our selves; we love it that we are a self, an I, a person separate from other persons. We cherish our personality, feed it and take pride in it. Selfhood is our first and last commodity; it is our love for the sense of separateness. It is in and with this selfhood that we seek social life; we like social interaction but only insofar as we can still have and preserve our sense of selfhood and our personality. We take offense quickly when this sense of mine and myness is undermined.
This self which is defined as our separate identity, that which we love the most, of course dies when its physical medium is destroyed. As long as we are and we love to be a separate self, as long as I am either a this or a that, I am mortal. I am mortal, for this separate self is nothing but a bundle of perceptions. If I want to have this separate existence, then I must accept that it is revoked by necessity at the moment of death: My existence as self entails my mortality.
But once I cease to call me and mine that which is really never mine, that which is in perpetual flux before the glance of a disinterested onlooker, once I cease to be that separate self and instead become one with totality, that is with the Onlooker, in other words once I lose my separateness and die to the self, I wake up to my immortal nature, to the Eternal Onlooker, to the sole dweller of the void.
Division is the source of all evil.
Separate self is washed up by death but totality is never washed up because it is precisely that which does the washing up, that which contains all that happens but is itself unaffected by all things. I am that.
8 thoughts on “Mortality As The Price of Immortality”
onlooker is the one who washes and stains but when the stain is removed and washer-man is forgotten then this Samsara continues with all evils alongside goodness.
my love is with you always.
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“Die to the self and all that is therein…” Beautiful Tomajj!!
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Great post, but when you hear your inner voice, how do you know whether it is the self, or the Self?
Is there any test to distinguish truth from illusion, or the ego, from the Self?
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Thank you Tony for your comment. I try to give my perspective according to the order you asked the questions. The inner voice being the inner voice we can tell it by its very nature and source; now this usually isn’t audible voice of course; but appears to us more in form of symbols and images perhaps. Whenever these are motivated by “mineness” or “my” or “mine” they are egotistic but when they are not centered around my emotions or desires then it is the true inner voice. This is mostly obvious to ourselves, I mean when we are motivated by self interest or not; so the criterion of knowing whether we are acting according to ego or not is directly experienced. A very big challenge today which makes it difficult to tell the inner voice is the structure of society, our modern worldview, and our alienation from tradition which is grounded in truth. Our natural everyday worldview is one in which we are just psycho-chemical beings living in an accidental cosmos, etc. Now if you view yourself, the human person, in this way, then you are in a way facing away from that inner voice or spiritual center. To hear it or see it you must move toward it; you must perceive yourself, I mean as such, as a spiritual being. This was easier millenia ago when man was naturally religious.
To hear the inner voice in this uproar of modern life and worldview is more difficult; it is like detecting a very low sound; to hear it you must put yourself in quiet ambiance, including more spiritual worldview or lifestyle. The more we look for that inner voice and make everything else quiet, the more we hear it and differentiate it from the ego.
Regarding test of truth and illusion, yet there is an absolute test for that which is direct experience. Truth, if we believe it exists, is by it very definition that which is self-evident. Truth is what is known by its very face; we cannot see it and doubt whether it is truth or illusion. So the test is direct perception. This make it easier to tell whether something is illusion; anything in the face of which we are not absolutely sure whether it is truth or not, that thing cannot be truth, for if it were we would not wonder about it. Now since experience of truth is a transcendental experience and not a natural everyday experience I can only make this a little clearer through an analogy: The way truth is related to our natural human state and natural experience is like the way color is related to a person who is blind. Now, the blind persons can only speculate about color or at most believe in its existence; they can never be certain about it or even exactly know what it is; all these obstacles and doubts disappear suddenly when a blind person gains sight and sees color. Then he will no more have to explain it; he knows it and he will know color whenever he will see it; for he whom has seen color the question won’t arise as to whether he is seeing color or not. Experience of color is for us self-evident. I hope I could convey my idea through this analogy. Truth is something that is directly experienced; it is never in the form of theory or proposition, and we know it when we see it. Our seeing the truth is like a blind person gaining sight and seeing for the first time; then he knows what seeing is.
But these things should be actually experienced. The only way is to spiritualize every aspect of one’s life. Then we can hear the inner voice with more strength and if we long for truth we will come face to face with it; and we can come face to face with it. This far I am absolutely certain.
Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I have very much come to believe, if you desire truth, you will find it.
Every time I feel a little stuck, I quit trying, and some new insight comes along. Last time I got stuck, I stumbled across your book :). It’s kind of amazing really – I keep finding breadcrumbs (so-to-speak) like a trail, to get to another level of understanding.
I appreciate you sharing your thoughts.
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Thanks Tony; please feel free to ask any questions about the book, especially if I haven’t explained things clearly.
And regarding truth your idea is exactly correct. It is also mentioned in all religious and spiritual traditions that what takes us to truth is our intense longing for it. We may long for it in our own way, one intellectually and one sentimentally; there is path of love and devotion and there is path of knowledge which is more suited for a less sentimental and more contemplative nature. But longing, in whatever way we please, takes us there.
I have also realized that prayer helps a lot, prayer for a vision of truth. It took me a decade to get used to it since being a physicist it was impossible for me to believe in prayer. It had become a taboo for me, as it is within modern worldview. But then I said let me just try it, fake it, pretend there is a listener and pour your heart out; you will be surprised on the outcome; I have no clue how it goes but you can look at prayer as a reminding to our own depths that which we long for; it is an expression of our longing. It will be seen that truth dwells deep within our own selves; longing and prayer function like a rope that pulls up the truth, or rather pulls us up to truth. Prayer is the creative power of the seeker; it does magic if you do it with faith and sincerity.
I have been following for a long time, more from a sense that bits of the rope you speak of here would present itself, because to be frank, it is not at all easy to get one’s state of mind in the right place for The Truth, as you present it on this blog, in the rush of life – even though I spend a LOT of time in ‘free pondering’ of the subject for my own work. your ears may have been burning from time to time from the interviews I have been giving you in my mind! it has been frustrating for me and I have often thought I should just stop following since I cannot keep up. I need a couple weeks for *each* post! but that is similar to the prayerful mind state that you mention here, too, and i *expect* it to take its own time/process.
so I have come to just keep certain post headings in the inbox to get to as and when and not worry about all the other ones. this one I simply clicked on and proceeded to read and I am so glad I did. *this one* is one of the most user-friendly and brought a comfort that comes from not feeling so far behind in grasping the concept. 😉 (I guess that’s ego based but one must start somewhere)
thanks very much for your work!
– an aspiring student
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Thanks for your comment 1weaver. I am glad that there are posts in this blog that interest you. If I post too frequently it is usually because I like to keep the ideas that I find interesting or useful or else I would forget them. Go back to post whenever you like and please feel free to leave your comment, question or criticism; keep in mind that I am simply representing one perspective, and it has been my experience that all perspectives are equally genuine and authentic insofar as they are seeking the truth. I turned toward spirituality mostly due to an intense mystical experience; before that I was a hard headed agnostic, not even atheist. I considered atheists to be too religious! I ridiculed whoever spoke of truth. With my background in philosophy and physics how could I believe in a truth, let alone an absolute truth? One reason my writings may seem too philosophical or obscure is because of my background; I am trying to avoid the technical language and don’t add unnecessary complexity. My point here is that what made the radical shift in me was experience rather than my years of contemplation. Direct experience has this effect, in any area I guess. This too will be something that will make it all clear once you have certain experience which always depends on individual. And one can always have it if we seek it. You know, when I had that particular experience all of a sudden it was clear to me that I had to go through all those thoughts, contemplations, intellectual disappointment, etc which lasted over 20 years. Every step of the way, as long as you are after understanding, counts; on the path of truth there is no vain step. The intellect or what they call in Sufism the heart, is destined to go toward its home, the origin. Thus, it always appears as if we are lost in the path of truth but we are always moving toward the center as long as we are moving with the heart (or intellect).
Please leave your comment whenever you please, and if you prefer to email me for any question or criticism do so; my email is toomajjATyahooDOTcom