AHAM’s Glossary of Terms
by A. Ramana




Abiding in Now - Everything that occurs - including all that has ever happened and all that is yet to happen - takes place only now! It appears that all events are happening as moments in time, or taking place in time. But this is only an appearance. In fact, it is what keeps one insidiously identified with and trapped in time, or in the false Belief that Time is real, which it is not. Even to think about a thing, anything - something that occurred in the past, or is yet to occur in the future - you can only do so now; you can only think about it now. Now is the only Reality. The past and the future are no more than Concepts, held as memories or visions in the present moment, which is always only now. NOW has no beginning or ending, it is infinite and eternal, the very Essence of Being.

Abiding in Self - is remaining continually in the Awareness of pure Being, prior to identification with the body-mind and the mind's conditioning, and prior to Time and Space. It is abiding here and now, which is living free in the one and only Reality, or Truth.

Absolute, The - is the one ultimate Reality that does not depend on anything, and is not relative to anything. It is that which is greater than the Cosmos or Universe containing all the planets and worlds, including this one in which we all live. It is the Reality of that transcendent Being that we call God, That unknowable or indefinable Something without which all that we see, or are conscious of as existing, could not be, or could not even for a moment remain in existence.

In East Indian thought, it is called Brahman; in Western thought it is the Absolute, because it is the self-existent Whole, which is free of all limitation or influence by relativities. It is the indescribable and unknowable "x" factor that always overlays and underlies all that is, is immanent in and essential to all that we call Existence or non-existence.

Abstract; Abstraction - is not referring to concrete objects but expressing something that can only be appreciated experientially; it is based on general principles or direct insights rather than specific instances. Such ideas are not viewed with the aim of depicting specific objects but are composed from the mind's focus on an internal structure and/or form used to describe a thing that is intended to have no deliberate or emotional content; it is a state of being emotionally detached or distanced from a thing.

Abstraction is a generalized theory or idea developed from specific concrete examples or events and thus possibly containing them; it is the forming of general ideas or concepts from specific concrete examples. It is also a state in which somebody is deep in Thought and not concentrating on his or her surroundings; it is the philosophical process by which people develop concepts or ideas from experience or other concepts, these in turn usually arising out of pure mind, prior to concrete thoughts.

The more abstract an idea the more other ideas it controls, or that are contained within it. The most abstract idea in the universe is "I," or the "I"-thought, for it contains and is the very basis of all other thoughts; without it you would have no other thoughts. Prior to it is the sentient feeling of I AM, which itself is not a thought or idea occurring in the mind; it is one's pure being out of which the mind with all its ideas rises as "I," or the "I"-thought. I AM is one's true Self, which transcends time and space. I AM is not a thought in the mind. The mind rises as ego, or the "I"-thought, appearing in consciousness, or pure I AM.

Accept - To receive without resistance whatever is presently occurring in your world or your experience. It is to consciously "be with" the situation just as it is, not passively tolerating or putting up with what is, or is not.

Acknowledge, To - is recognition of one person by another, or recognition of a situation.

In AHAM, it is to recognize and admit or tell the truth about any situation that is really going on in you, and take responsibility for it actually being there, not projecting it onto others or someone else, but Accepting it, as it is or for what it is. [LMT]

"Act" - As in "putting on an act"; the personal front or façade you put on, or present to the world. The charade or pretense your life is when you are not living consciously or genuinely, or with integrity. [LMT]

Action - (See: Work and Action and Service)

Agree and ask questions - In AHAM's Conscious Communications and Relationships Training, it is a simple yet very effective procedure and process for achieving understanding and agreement. It is where you listen openly and without argument or rebuttal to a person as he or she freely expresses a Position or Point of View in disagreement with your own, about his or her particular idea or experience of the thing or situation under discussion.

You let the other person state his own idea or experience about the situation, etc., as you listen without judgment, criticism, justification or defense of your own ideas, beliefs or views on the matter, and without making him or her feel wrong. You fully accept what the person is saying, and ask questions in order to further understand his perspective or points of view, with the understanding that from where he or she is actually seeing the situation, this is how it appears to be to him. For, it would also be your own point of view if it were in fact where you were actually standing, or from where you were actually seeing it.

Agreement(s) - A mutual understanding or arrangement about which it's understood that you are going to do what you say you're going to do. AHAM places importance on choosing to be responsible for keeping agreements.

In AHAM's Conscious Teaching, if you break an agreement you are expected to look at what is in the space between you and fulfilling your agreement. An AHAM maxim is, "Your life works to the degree or the extent to which you keep your agreements," or "When you don't keep your agreements, your life will not (or does not) work."

For example, agreement is that by which you know that it is dangerous to walk in front of a fast moving truck; it's the way you know and perceive the physical universe and how it operates. The universe, being itself a Concept, is composed of concepts. You conceive and perceive concepts, rather than experience them. The universe is held together by agreement. Agreements are concepts; you can't experience a concept, you can only Experience in Abstractions. So, without agreement maintaining things - keeping them operational and in working order - life would be at best difficult if not impossible, for everything would be in a state of chaos.

For example: time measured by the clock is itself only a concept, it is not an objective reality. Most human beings recognize, use and even depend on time. And yet, it is only by agreement that what we call "time" exists. Otherwise, to animals and other forms of life, time doesn't exist.

How someone keeps his or her agreements is in itself a very significant indicator, or way of measuring that person's integrity. Keeping your agreements is keeping your word. [LMT]

AHAM (Capitalized) - An acronym for the "Association of Happiness for All Mankind," founded in 1978 by Arunachala Ramana (Mr. Dee W. Trammell), its spiritual director, an enlightened devotee of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi.

aham (small letters) - A Sanskrit word meaning "I," "self," or the sense of "I" or self. It is the life principle, the feeling of "being alive" known and felt by all living beings.

AHAM Buddy - An advanced or graduate student of AHAM's teaching who serves newer students as they are taking AHAM's courses, helping them to better understand and apply in their daily lives the teaching, and the Conscious Processes they are now newly learning.

Aham sphurana - (See, Sphurana)

AHAM Sponsee - An AHAM participant who has agreed - and made a commitment with him/herself - to live AHAM's teaching as the very basis of his daily life; has asked another more advanced AHAM participant to be his/her AHAM SPONSOR in this ongoing endeavor, and to serve as his/her guide and associate in this firm commitment.

AHAM's Teaching - is a Conscious Process occurring in and from Awakened Consciousness or enlightenment. It is a process that if one stays with, diligently, will ultimately result in spiritual enlightenment; as it is grounded and based on Self-Inquiry, the one direct and most immediate way or method to true Self-realization introduced to the world by Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi.

"Am I right, or am-I-rilla"- A pun or vernacular expression referring to a town in Texas occasionally, humorously used by Ramana that basically means, "Do you see and agree with me, and what I am saying, or not?"

Ananda - (Sanskrit) a word closely meaning Bliss or Delight. It cannot be adequately defined, only indicated; and that too only in negative terms such as, "it is not mere joy but something much deeper and essential to one's nature, it being the essential nature of one's real and true Being"; the essential nature of the deep-seated bliss inherent in Christ or Cosmic Consciousness; it is the primal or original nature of the true Self, prior to all experience. It is the bliss aspect of the threefold nature of the Self (the other two aspects are existence-consciousness) that is not the result or effect of any outer or inner cause.

Ananda is the beatitude of the Self. In traditional religion it is "the perfect happiness and inner peace believed or supposed to be enjoyed by the soul in heaven." It is the bliss and delight of one's pure Conscious Existence, the life and energy of pure Being itself, being more than the desirable, positive sensations and emotions that occur in one's life. It is the very delight of pure Being itself, the "Peace of God that passes all understanding." (Philippians 4:7).

And - Used in AHAM to avoid inviting, stirring or causing conflict, confusion, contradiction or difference; it replaces the word "but," which is seldom used in AHAM. (See: "but"). [LMT].

"Ants on a log floating down the river, Just like" - This is an expression occasionally used by Ramana in regard to people who think they are in control of their own lives, minds or emotions. He says, most people who ordinarily believe and think they are controlling their own lives, or their minds and emotions, are really like thousands of ants on a log floating down the river, each one thinking it is directing the log's course and where it is headed or going.

Anticipation - is experiencing beforehand, or seeing the situation completed in consciousness, before the fact or the event actually physically happens. [LMT]

Aspire/Aspiration - to breathe towards; conventionally, aspire is to seek to attain a particular goal, to soar to a great height; while aspiration is a desire or ambition to achieve something. In AHAM, it is the urge to transcend time, or the breath, to merge with The Divine, the Source of being or breath. It is an urge in one's being to a higher realization of truth, to become one with the very source of life or breath, the essence of which is God, the Supreme Self.

Asshole - what everyone is before he/she knows what is actually real and what isn't, but arrogantly acts like or pretends to be knowledgeable, or "well-informed"; living one's life solely in the mind, and "at Effect."

One is being "an asshole" when he/she is habitually putting on an Act. It's when you habitually rationalize and justify your actions, trying to "look good" in the eyes of others; it's when you project the cause of your actions or habits on others outside of yourself, rather than telling the truth about it and taking full responsibility in yourself for what's going on with you, in your life, since you are in fact the source and cause of all your own Attitudes, Actions and Experiences. [LMT]

"Assist" (as opposed to "help") - is to give aid to others while assuming they are actually capable, responsible and are at cause. (See, Being At Cause) In AHAM, this is contrasted to "help," which sees or places the recipient as incapable or incompetent, and as Being At Effect.

The difference denotes a distinction in conscious Attitude, Intention and/or implication. Help is more negative or debilitating, implying lack of initiative and resolve on the part of the recipient, e.g., portraying a dependency or a continuing sense of need. Assist is to supply a boost or a lift to someone who is fully capable and only behind and wanting to catch up. Help is more like one has fallen and is prone to stay down, looking for handouts from others to continue to provide for him, with a belief or attitude of "I can't manage for myself." Assist is more like lifting one to his feet who has momentarily stumbled. Help can or may tend to enable someone in the continuing sense of need. [LMT]

Assume; Assumption - Traditionally, it is accepting something as true without proof; taking something for granted. In AHAM, assumption is seen and understood as the working hypothesis and presumption of the mind that is the principal law of creation. Things are seen in the world a certain or particular way, i.e., the way they appear to us to be. We in turn believe them to be the way they are, because of the way we see and assume them to be to us. To someone else, even someone standing right next to us, they can and may be seen entirely differently, and therefore are then believed to be different.

Ideas held in the mind with strong feeling, which are assumed to be true, whether or not they are in fact true, will cause the mind to act upon them as being true; it will eventually produce them as realities in our life and affairs.

Assuming our enlightenment - is the Attitude or perspective of a Jnani (one who is enlightened) with regard to everyone he meets or encounters. He sees no "others." A Jnani sees everyone as always, already the Self. On all occasions, the Jnani sees the true nature behind or beyond the appearance of every seeming individual.

Atman - is the true Self, the spiritual being that ever exists prior to the Body-Mind. The Atman is the Self or Spirit that remains pure and stainless prior to or beyond the contamination of experience, unaffected by the conditioned patterns of life - i.e., by Desire, Ego and Ignorance. It is realized as the true BEING out of which the apparent individual seems to rise and exist. It is the very Self of all selves.

Attitude - is an unspoken opinion or feeling one holds about a thing such as a person, place or situation. It is an assumed stance or view that one takes about something, like a physical posture, either conscious or unconscious, especially while interacting with others. It may be an assumptive position taken as a challenge or to produce an effect.

Aum (Om) - is the vibrant universal formula that sums up the entire combined energy of sound and speech, which produces, contains, blends and releases all the spiritual power and all the potential of the spoken word, or the creative power in and of "the Word."

It is the creative Force in and vibrating throughout the Universe. In the Bible it says (John 1:1): "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and without the Word there was not (is not) anything made that is made." This is the esoteric meaning of "the Word," the Divine Sound of Aum, or OM.

Awakening, spiritually - is becoming Conscious that you are Conscious. It is Re-Cognizing (knowing again) the Truth, that Consciousness is all that is, that every thing is in fact only consciousness.

Awareness - Pure Being, unaware of Itself as the underlying basis of all that is; pure Existence before any movement in Consciousness or by Consciousness in the formation of matter. It is the absolute Self - That out of which pure Consciousness or simple I AMness arises.

Awareness versus Consciousness - Awareness, unaware of Itself, is the basis for the rising of Consciousness, or pure I AMness. Consciousness, as pure I AM, is the underlying basis of the mind as the mind arises as "I and other," or "I and not-I," or "I and the world."

Awareness is primordial; the original state - beginningless, endless, uncaused, unsupported, without parts, without change. Consciousness is a state of duality; it is always of something. There can be no consciousness without awareness, but there can be awareness without consciousness, as in deep sleep or swoon.

Awareness is absolute; consciousness is relative to its content. Awareness is total, changeless, calm and silent, the common matrix of every experience. Consciousness is partial and changeful.


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