I recently rediscovered an idea that I’d more or less swept under the rug before. The purpose of this newsletter segment is to explore some of the things we can do to heal the planet and welcome a new era of harmonious cooperation and progress, and a radical spiritual truth has just hit me that’s causing an inner clash of paradigms.
I’ve been focused on the things we can do here, now, in this reality to bring about real and solid change. I’ve conceptualized various ideas and developed an image in my head about how we can change this reality, and in doing so, I didn’t take the idea I’m about to convey to you all into consideration.
I’m learning that reaching a state of zero point beyond mental perception, identity and desire is the greatest way to individually achieve enlightenment and help change the world.
I’m starting to understand that at first, a progressive force is necessary; a real, determined and driven effort that eventually pays off. We’re intended to show our willingness to put some work in to achieve true enlightenment and help others do the same, but at a certain point, the “milk and honey” flows with little effort at all.
When it becomes clear that we’ve shown enough effort, we’re asked to do little more than flow into oneness and completeness. We’re asked to surrender our physical and spiritual identities and perceptions, and flow into a state of nothingness and subsequent allness. We’re intended to see beyond the mind and welcome zero point.
As focused as I’ve been on the action we can take in this reality to change it, suddenly I’m confronted with the startling truth that after so much effort, surrender and grace could be our biggest requirements. I should mention, of course, that we receive flowing and bountiful spiritual and expressive gifts when we’re in an egoless space.
I feel centered in the heart space as I write this.
If I was mentally driven to write or did it out of a self-constructed sense of obligation, the material wouldn’t be nearly as potent as it’s intended to be. It’s easy to fall into the habit of writing from an expectant or obligatory place, but writing from the heart space with little mentality involved becomes much easier after effort and practice.
This idea of initial effort followed by complete surrender of the self and the identity to achieve enlightenment and change this reality seems to flow against my recent desire to have us “step up” and start talking about what we can do to change things physically.
I think that transforming our current paradigm is important, but my perception of the ways we can do so has changed dramatically overnight, and I’m left to try to catch up with this powerful and almost evident understanding.
There’s a lot of material from sages, gurus, etc. of the past that suggests that surrendering into zero point is the ultimate key to enlightenment, and here, we’re going to examine some of that material as we explore an old idea that more seekers might pick up on in the future.
Paramahansa Ramakrishna tells us that we’ll initially have to put in effort to find enlightenment but that we eventually reap the flowing fruit of our labor.
“Always keep your mind on God. In the beginning you must struggle a little; later on you will enjoy your pension.” (1)
I think we’ve all experienced this struggle, and it seems that after we experience so much of it in the name of finding enlightenment, a greater perception and energy flows through us like a waterfall.
Ramakrishna then reinforces this idea.
“One must be up and doing in the beginning. After that one need not work hard.” (1)
We’re also told why our initial effort is necessary.
“He does not give one more power if the little that is given is not properly used. This is why individual effort and perseverance are necessary. Don’t you see, everyone has to make some effort, however small, before he gets God’s grace. When one does so, the experiences due to be undergone in ten lives will come to fruition in one, and man will attain to spiritual realization immediately. But one has to make some effort.” (2)
So we see that even a little bit of driven effort will display our willingness and help us reach personal enlightenment. My effort has been to serve by writing about spirituality and the things we can do to build a new paradigm, and perhaps we’ve all been led to the idea of initial service followed by surrender to zero point because it’s time for us to consider it.
Ramana Maharishi tells us about the importance (and the benefits) of initial effort and perseverance.
“None succeeds without effort and the successful few owe their victory to perseverance.”
“Effort is necessary. In fact effort is itself yoga.” (3)
Maharishi also tells us that the initial difficulty of being still and surrendering is one of the reasons effort is important.
“Everybody, every book says ‘Be quiet or still.’ But it is not easy. That is why all this effort is necessary. Even if you find one who has at once achieved the mouna (silence) or supreme state indicated, you may take it that the effort necessary has already been completed in a previous life. Such effortless and choiceless awareness is reached only after deliberate meditation.” (4)
I don’t know about you, but I certainly haven’t reached a state of “effortless and choiceless awareness”. I’ve been driven and focused on change, change, change, and even though I’ve mentioned the importance of cultivating inner peace and harmony if we want to change the world, I’ve never really embraced zero point or identity-less existence.
Somewhere deep down, I’ve always known that it’ll be necessary to experience a greater, more refined spiritual reality, but I’ve never really lent much thought to it.
Maharishi reminds us that repeated effort will sharpen our eventual ability to effortlessly put ourselves on a higher vibration.
“By repeated practice one can become accustomed to turning inwards and finding the Self. One must always and constantly make an effort, until one has permanently realized. Once the effort ceases, the state becomes natural and the Supreme takes possession of the person with an unbroken current.” (5)
I’m starting to understand how reaching zero point can require some effort. When I finish writing this, my mind isn’t likely to just stop going. I’ll probably focus on something else, then something else, etc. until the end of the day when I’m more satisfied with letting things rest.
Even in my meditative time, I see that it could be difficult to reach a state of complete nothingness, but based on my experience so far, doing so is indeed the key to unlocking a greater energy and perception.
I sat down to meditate last night and, taking the advice given here, I let everything float away. I let myself float away. And the result was a potent meditation that I didn’t perceive through any kind of mental filter, which made it much more powerful.
The human vehicle is so limited when it comes to perceiving and expressing greater things. Only by reaching a state of nothingness can we truly welcome a greater perception and change the planetary vibration, but it could be difficult at first.
I know that I certainly have a journey ahead of me, albeit an enjoyable one. It’ll be enjoyable because this truth, while potentially difficult to act on, is liberating to say the least.
Maharishi advises that gurus and teachers can’t show the way to a higher vibration for us. They can only help, and we’re intended to forge our own paths.
“God and the Guru will only show the way to release; they will not by themselves take the soul to the state of release. … Each one should by his own effort pursue the path shown by God or Guru and gain release. One can know oneself only with one’s own eye of knowledge, and not with somebody else’s. Does he who is Rama require the help of a mirror to know that he is Rama?” (6)
The teachers that are here right now only intend to guide us toward enlightenment with advice and assistance. It can be easy to look toward them to solve our problems and dilemmas because of the elevated place they seem to be in, but the “trick” is that we can reach that place in a much easier way than we thought.
Continued in Part 2
(1)- Swami Nikhilananda, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942.
(2)- Swami Saradananda. Sri Ramakrishna, the Great Master. Madras, Sri Ramakrishna Math, 2 vols, 1979-83.
(3)- S.S. Cohen, Guru Ramana. Memories and Notes. 6th edition. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1993.
(4)- Sri Ramana Maharshi, Gems from Bhagavan. Comp. A. Devaraja Mudaliar. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1985.
(5)- Paul Brunton and Munagala Venkataramaiah. Conscious Immortality. Conversations with Sri Ramana Maharshi. Rev. ed. 1996.
(6)- Anon., Who Am I? The Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. Sarasota, FL: Ramana Publications, 1990.
Reblogged with the kind permission of Wes Annac Conscious Oneness