Manifest vs. Unmanifest Reality

 You can’t enhance or diminish what is present; you can only acknowledge and embrace it. But ego-mind will fight with, run from or attempt to modify what is present. The mind, conditioned by social norms and personal likes and dislikes, lives in dualistic conflicts in service of the self–image.

Presence is undivided; choosing for or against is what gives birth to the ego-mind. Choice separates us from the source of Oneness. Once your ego chooses for it or against, then you are required to do something. When you remain the choiceless witness, there remains nothing for you to do. Ego disappears.

In the practice of the Posture of Consciousness, the first part is integrative doing, where doing moves towards the non-doing integrative state of being. In the second part, you drop into non-doing presence; you merge into oneness and the yoga zone appears.

The felt presence is the shift from thinking to feeling. Feeling activates the undistorted wisdom of the body and the light of witness consciousness reveals the true meaning of what is right or wrong. The guidance that comes from felt presence is not pre-learned. When your movements are guided by the direct promptings of prana, you are moving on the pathless path, actionless action, egoless action, where all questions are taken from the promptings of the prana rather than the ego-mind.

 

In the body, we have primal sensations connected to the sustenance and survival, health and well being of the body. These sensations operate by complementary polarity. When the body’s wisdom is dominated by thoughts and emotions, the body operates in conflicting duality. In conflicting duality, positive is for and negative is against something or someone. In polarity, positive and negative are in complementary interplay. In polarity there is unity through balance.

Knowing yourself is not the same as knowing about yourself.

Your entire past, your age, profession, acquired and conditioned thoughts, feelings, self-image and karma body with all its content is not you. You are the changeless, timeless soul that was present before you were born in the body you currently inhabit and will continue to be present after your body dies. Whatever you know about yourself is a mental construct conditioned by your karmic, distorted perception from the past. All mental content is waiting to resurface in the present as reaction. You are the container, the “I AM”; everything you identify with is content. Content is accumulated through reactive perception of reality. You are non-reactive presence.

What is revealed in choiceless awareness is who you truly are. In that state of content-less consciousness, you know your Self. When you empty your mind of reactive thoughts and feelings about yourself, what remains is the essence of your being.

What disturbs you the most is when you believe whatever your mind tells you about you. What you believe you are, is about yourself, your exterior, that operates in time. Your center is the timeless container.

All problems that are perceived through reaction are seen as coming from others or outside of you. Therefore, everything you do to solve problems happens externally without letting go of the reaction that happens within. Efforts to solve problems by changing anything external change nothing but content.

In order to enter the presence that you are, you have to enter by withdrawing (pratyahara) from your first reaction. This way, choiceless awareness prevents you from habitually, mechanically, unconsciously getting caught into the second reaction, which is the reaction to your first reaction in the form of judgment, guilt, shame or blame. Absence of reaction to the first reaction becomes a portal to freedom from the time-bound ego-mind.

“I AM” is the container for consciousness, but the “I AM” that is identified with reactions, such as guilt, blame, shame, hatred, anger, jealousy, fear, and addiction turns the “I AM” container into a colander pierced with holes. Therefore, no matter how much content in the form of achievements of power, property, and skill you put into the leaky container; it the (ego-mind) remains empty, hungry and greedy for more and new. Ego mind as a container of possessions struggles to fill up the container so it may feel full. But being a leaky container, it lives with an insatiable hunger that can not be fulfilled. It is not the real hunger to begin with, but rather like the horizon; a false union of earth and sky.

Ego believing that I am not enough and am deficient is needy, demanding and greedy is the real problem. This is what fundamentally makes the ego-mind a leaky container. The content of your facetious self-image (that we also call ego) is colored by your distorted reactive perceptions of all that happened in the entire journey of “I AM”.

The biological prana body operates in the subconscious dimension of self-regulation, homeostatis, self-balancing, and healing. It also serves the whimsy of the ego-mind. This means the mind that operates in conflict creating, stress-producing polarity pulls life energy from its involuntary self-regulated, balancing processes to support the ego’s “fight or flight”, energy demands.

Energy follows attention. When you are attached to what you like, you have the fear of losing it. Any addiction to pleasure comes with the fear of losing it or not having enough. The stronger the addiction, the stronger the fear and the greater the attention it consumes. The energy that follows the attention gets applied in self-destructive ways.

Whatever is happening within you or outside of you; you are the “knower”, the “I AM”, that is the immortal, timeless, formless being, the container consciousness. The objects of knowing are the contents that you know about.

In the practice of Amrit Yoga, your focus is to remain the choiceless, formless witness of all the physical, mental and emotional reactions that come and go. They are the forms; but the container that you are remains a nonreactive, contentless, choiceless witness.

The reality that God is, that presence is, consists of form that is present in reality and formless in unmanifest reality. “Pinde so Brahmande” says the ancient scriptures; what is in the macrocosm is in the microcosm; what is without is within.

Within each one of us exist thoughts and thoughtlessness, form and formless presence, sound and silence, action and actionless stillness. Just as external reality consists of the presence of formless, eternal omnipresent, unmanifest space and all the multitudes of changing forms in space: the galaxies, stars, moon, sun and planet earth are all changing forms; so also our body, senses, feelings and thoughts are changing forms contained within the formless silence and stillness of the space within.

by Gurudev Amritji Desai

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