Literary Exploration Series: Sadhana, the Realisation of Life – Ch.4

Sadhana cover

CHAPTER 4: The Problem of Self

Link to chapter: click here
Length of chapter reading: 38:34 minutes

The Problem of Self is really about the relationship we have with ourselves. Every other relationship we have in any given life is but a reflection of our connection with our true Self. That which you enjoy in others is what you enjoy about yourself. The things that bother you and bring you discomfort are those aspects of yourself that you have not learned how to love unconditionally yet. Listening to this fourth chapter can help to remind us of what is real and what is maya (illusion). The confusion of relation – relating to ourselves, to the world around us, trying to find identity in our experiences – all of these are simply manifestations of the little ‘i’s’ that we pick up on the side of the road as we make our journey. What we must remember though, is that we started our journey with empty pockets, and this is also the way it must end. You are free to collect as many i’s along the path as you like, but remember, one day, you will be asked to shed your pockets, and return to the essence that is the true You.

I am that I AM. Not I am who I am, or what I am, or how I am. I am THAT I AM.

 

“…man is never literal in the expression of his ideas except in matters most trivial. Very often, man’s words are not a language at all but merely a vocal gesture of the dumb. They may indicate, but do not express his thoughts. The more vital his thoughts, the more have his words to be explained by the context of his life.”

To assume that what we hear is what is meant to be heard is to create within our own minds a reality disconnected from the rest. Even if the meanings of all the words in the dictionary were implanted in our minds, we would not be able to ensure clear communication because the interpretation of each sentiment is dependent upon the place from which it is experienced. This is why the eyes, the smile, the act of radiating light from within are all so important. The messages that come through us from our Higher Selves cannot be mistaken. They may perhaps not be consciously observed, but the soul knows, and that is more than enough.

 

“We can look at our Self in its two different aspects. The self which displays itself, and the Self which transcends itself and thereby reveals its own meaning. To display itself, it tries to be big, to stand upon the pedestal of its accumulations and to retain everything to itself. To reveal itself, it gives up everything it has, thus becoming perfect, like a flower is blossomed out from the bud pouring from its chalice of beauty all its sweetness.”

In a world that displays proof in its physicality and evidence, it is easy to loose site of the Self. Turning on the television, entering into a store or simply watching people on the street, we see ‘things’ – things we want, things we like and dislike, things we’ve had but now have better. The illusion of the material world is where the little ‘i’ dwells. It is where the ego likes to bask in its glory. To look past the material and to see the essence present in all things, we transcend identification with the little ‘i’ and move into the realisation of the Self. We can only know who we truly are, why we are here, and what gifts we have brought with us to share with the world if we take the journey within. The big ‘I’ is the actor on the stage. The little ‘i’s’ are the roles you play.

 

“…love is an end unto itself. Everything else raises the question ‘why?’ in our mind, and we require a reason for it. But when we say, ‘I love’, then there is no room for the ‘why?’. It is the final answer in itself.”

The moment you find yourself asking, ‘why?’ – why is this happening to me?, why does it have to be like this? – you miss the whole point of the experience. In these moments of questioning, step back – even though it will feel difficult and unnatural at first to separate yourself from something you’ve identified yourself with so closely – and say a prayer of thanks. Be thankful for the experience you have been given, express gratitude for the opportunity to grow your understanding. It is during the moments when we ask ‘why?’ that we have the most to learn. Gratitude for these moments enables transcendence into places of greater connection with the Self.

 

“Whenever the part, spurning the whole, tries to run a separate course of its own, the great pull of the All gives it a violent wrench, stops it suddenly, and brings it to the dust. Whenever the individual tries to damn the every-flowing current of the world force, and imprison it within the area of his particular use, it brings on disaster. However powerful a king may be, he cannot raise his standard or rebellion against the infinite source of strength, which is unity, and yet remain powerful.

“It has been said that by righteous men prosper, gain what they desire, and triumph over their enemies, but at the end, they are cut off at the root, and suffer extinction.”

Observing the state of the world today, is it not the perfect time to take inventory, dig into our pockets, and let go of some of the little ‘i’s’?

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