AHAM’s Glossary of Terms
by A. Ramana

 

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Pain - is the opposite of Pleasure. It is the result of false or wrong thinking, caused by identification with the not-self as being the self; and believing that the body-mind is the Self. [LMT]

P&E Forms - These are formal Participation and Evaluation questionnaires completed by everyone attending an AHAM program. Each program has its own P&E form. An attendee lists personal information about him/herself pertaining to attending the program, including his personal spiritual understanding, objectives and the specific reason he is taking the program, and what he/she chooses or wishes to receive from it. Following the program, the person gives his Evaluation of the program, his insights into himself and what at that point he/she feels was gotten from participating in the program, and his/her candid remarks or comments regarding the trainer and/or the training, the AHAM Center (or facility where it's held) and those assisting in the program.

Peace - A calm, quiet mind free from Thoughts; the natural state of the Self, Prior To all thoughts. It is the very basis, the underlying source of all the power in the universe.

Perfection, or Perfected Being (Siddha) - In Sanskrit, a Siddha is a perfected being, or someone who has attained perfection, who sees the perfection in all things as they are. In Truth, everything is perfect just as it is. It couldn't be otherwise, regardless of all appearances to the contrary. Everything occurs by the power and grace of the divine process that is always, already perfectly balancing or bringing about a continuous, harmonious equalization of all that is in the universe - meaning everything in relationship with itself and with everything else in its space, in every given moment of time, just as it is all now appearing. Even the apparent imperfection, seen by the unenlightened, is in fact expressing the perfect balance that is being maintained in and with all things. This is clearly "seen" with enlightenment. Each person who thinks, "God doesn't know what He is doing," doesn't know God, or the truth, or what's so about the universe. (See: Siddhis).

Person/person - The person (small "p") is the commonly held (although false) concept that we are separate individual beings existing as bodies, i.e., that we are born as a body, and live separate lives apart from one another and the world, apart from the All-encompassing Being of God, and will one day die. That is the apparent fact, but it is not the Truth. The real Person (capital "P") of the true Self (capital "S") was not born and does not and cannot die.

Observing from its spiritual side, the human birth in this world is a perceived complex of two elements, a spiritual Being or divine Person, and an apparent individual soul having personality. The former is man's actual infinite and eternal Existence, or Being. The latter is his perceived personal and mutable being. Personality is only a temporary configuration or form of the mental, vital, and physical forces that give manifested appearance to the One Being, or the real Person of the true Self. (See: Purusha).

Personal God - As long as there is the lived and felt sense of oneself being a separate Individual or Person living in this world, then it is important that one acknowledges the existence of a Personal God as the Creator and Sustainer of this world. It is not appropriate (or very wise) to otherwise consider oneself as being the creator, either of one's world or one's circumstances, but rather as the living entity that is subject to the higher Will of God.

Personality - A temporary configuration or form of mental, vital, and physical forces that give manifestation or individual expression and appearance to the One Being, the true Self. It is the limited Ego-Self superimposed on the Universal Self. It is the recorded conditioning of the Body-Mind and its history of experience in time and space.

Philosophy - Traditionally, this is the field of knowledge or academic study devoted to systematic examination of basic concepts, such as truth, existence, reality, causality, freedom, etc. It is also one's particular system of personal thought or belief, held or presented as a set of precepts, principles and aims that underlie one's actions.

A philosopher is literally a "lover of truth." In this sense, insofar as one prefers truth to non-truth, and fervently stands up for the truth, or for what is "good, true and beautiful," one is a philosopher.

Physical Being - This is the part or aspect of being of which we are at first conscious, or usually the most cognizant or aware; and, with the majority of people, it's the only aspect of their being with which they are ever aware or conscious, at least while still living in the body. In fact, with many people the sense of one having existence or consciousness beyond or apart from the physical is even doubtful, or at best a mere belief or religious philosophy.

Plane - A level or category of existence, being or life in (or on) which one is able to experience, express, function, accomplish and achieve.

Planes (Higher) - In most spiritual traditions or philosophies there are conceived to be higher levels or states of experience and expression above and beyond the physical-mental plane of worldly existence, experience and expression. These are similar to an ascending and/or descending stairway of consciousness that includes higher mental planes of one's spiritual being, existing above and/or below our present consciousness from which the higher consciousness descends or comes down into the body, or then ascends back to the true Self, which includes all planes and/or states.

Plasticity - is soft, pliable and capable of being easily molded. It is the quality that allows a substance to still retain its basic identity when changing shape, or be fashioned into a different form after being bent, stretched, squeezed, etc.

Ramana often asserts that the world, itself being Consciousness, is plastic, or has plasticity. It is subject to being easily reformed or refashioned according to the pattern of one's strongly held Assumptions, or one's sustained Desires; if you only maintain constant Faith, which is the strong feeling that "it can and will be done" as you wish or intend it to be.

Pleasure - is what is usually taken, or believed by most people to be happiness, but which is not real Happiness. As we mean the term in AHAM, the ASSOCIATION OF HAPPINESS FOR ALL MANKIND, pleasure is an Experience in and of the Mind, in Time-Space. It is what one feels when a desired object is attained, or an undesired or unwanted object is removed from one's world or experience. It is the opposite of Pain.

Point of view - The way you see things from the position you are presently taking and/or holding. It is the stuff that makes you, "you" - i.e., the self you think you are - being your Beliefs, Thoughts, Ideas, Concepts. [LMT]

Position - is the apparent place or location where somebody or something is, especially in relation to other people, places and things, or other positions; it is a view, conclusion, decision, or opinion someone is holding, especially one being strongly defending.

It is the stand you are taking, holding and usually defending on any issue, idea, notion, belief, etc. In order to be able to clearly and freely choose a right course of action, you must be willing to release or "get off your position" and/or "give up your presently held point of view." [LMT]

Power - is one's control and influence over situations, other people and/or their actions. It is the ability, skill, strength, resolve or capacity to do something, or to take control of things, i.e., circumstances, events, forces, etc. It is the strength that enables one to face all that happens or that might happen, and to stand firm in its face and overcome its influence. It is one's ability to carry out what he or she resolves or proposes. It can include many things, such as control over forces, other people, events, circumstances, and over ways and means, etc.

Power of Awareness - is the self-existent, self-cognitive, self-effective power of pure Being, which is reflected in the mind and that expresses itself in the manifestation of this world, and as the workings of nature. It operates directly in conjunction with the Law Of Assumption, either for good or for ill results, based on one's conscious or intentional understanding and use of it, whether one consciously realizes or understands it or not. By this self-existent power, whatever you assume to be so in consciousness is what is seen and/or manifested in your world. Simply stated, it's the power of creation itself, in which thoughts are things, what you think about grows, and you become what you think about. (See: AHAM's "Seven Basic Truths" in the book, Living Free, by A. Ramana.)

Prakriti - (Sanskrit) The primal substance out of which all things are created; it is Maya or causal matter, the elemental building block of nature, also called Shakti. It's the acting force of manifestation, or energy, apart from and free of individual consciousness, which itself belongs to the Self. Prakriti is the Doer of all manifestation, being the very energy of nature acted on by the individual, yet itself being apparently inert, mechanical and unconscious, or without conscious intention.

As we observe world-consciousness, or the force of consciousness in the world in relation to individual existence, there seems to be an energy that obeys an apparently undisclosed or secret will. It appears like a movement of force that is imposed on the individual by the very existence of the individual's consciousness that possesses or regards it. This is the play of Prakriti, or executive force of nature, that satisfies the Conscious-Being (Purusha) in its effortless manifestation as world-consciousness.

Prana (See: Life Force)

Prayer - is petitioning or beseeching God, or the Higher Divine Power, for what is wanted or strongly hoped or wished for. Its highest purpose and/or expression, when known and properly applied, is to bring one's personal will into alignment with the divine Will of God.

Said another way, "Prayer is talking to God, while meditation is listening to Him."

Presence - is the perception or Consciousness of pure Being, sensed here and now. Its highest perception is the Heart-felt Radiance of the very Self, or Real God, shining in and as one's very Existence or Conscious Awareness, now felt in relation to what is, without the need or necessity of any other influence.

Pretending - The way most people live their ordinary daily lives when they are putting on an Act or engaged in playing their acts, or "running their Rackets." ([LMT]

Prior to - Numerous spiritual philosophies as a rule refer to God as "being beyond time and space," which makes God feel less intimate and more distant. In Truth, God - being the Supreme Self of the Universe and the Very Self of all beings or selves - precedes everything in time and space, order and importance, value and significance. This means being "prior to" all and everything, as well as "beyond" all and everything. Seen in or from this perspective, God is therefore more intimate and less distant, or, "Nearer than breathing, closer than hands and feet."

Process (or Conscious Process) - is what people often think is the magical secret ingredient of AHAM and its teaching, but which is actually only one of several conscious elements. Formally, an AHAM "process" is a method by which one experiences and looks at - in an expanded state of awareness, prior to the mind, and therefore without judgment - what is actually so with regard to specific areas in his/her body, mind, world or life, and in any fixed or unconscious Attitudes about those areas.

The intended result of doing an AHAM Training Process is a release into greater freedom, clarity and spontaneity. For example, you participate in "a process" by closing your eyes and moving into your own Conscious Awareness or "clear space", which is assisted by suggestions from the AHAM Trainer. AHAM graduates realize that "a process," which occurs in life, is meant to be treated as a clearing or learning experience. [LMT]

Processing, or "going through a process" - is what many people say they are doing, but is actually indulging in their reluctance and resistance to releasing their unconscious or fixed Attitudes about an area or some situation of their life. That is, they are stuck in "being right about it," or their fixed attitudes, positions or beliefs in those situations or areas that they say they are "processing." In these instances, they are clearing neither their mind nor their consciousness.

NOTE: If you see you are defending, or feel you are withdrawing and not relating during "a process," or not being responsible and On Purpose with others, or your world, or with what's so and occurring with you, but rather are defending "being right," or projecting the cause and source of your problem or upset as being someone else or something outside yourself, then you are not consciously processing it - in AHAM's use and meaning of the term. (See, Conscious Process).

Psychology - is the systematic study of the human mind and/or its conditioned mental states; it is also the study of human and animal behavior occurring here and now in time and space. It is about the characteristic temperament and associated behavior of an individual or group, or that which is exhibited by those engaged in a particular activity.

The human mind in today's ordinary society, as it is conditioned by and identified with time and space, is predominantly contaminated. It is for the most part influenced or controlled by selfishness, greed, anger, resentment and violence. These states, which are sustained and indulged in by most people as the predominant behavior of today's society, verified daily in the news and further encouraged and supported as "entertainment" on daily TV programs and the movies, candidly demonstrates that the majority of people in today's world are basically insane. And, today's systems of psychology, designed to align troubled humanity with the status quo, or to maintain society in its present and seemingly appropriate social order, is at best only bringing everyone back into the acceptable parameters of insanity; so is our current level of so-called mental health.

Punishment - is to intentionally cause, deliver or impose deliberate restriction, loss, pain and suffering on somebody for his or her actual or believed, accused, confessed, condemned and convicted acts of wrongdoing. It ultimately stems from the sense or belief of "wrong" projected toward or onto another, whether justified or not.

The notion of punishment is commonly based on the belief and intention that "someone else" (the offender) should be made to suffer for the known, believed or felt sense of loss, pain or unhappiness he or she is confirmed or believed to have caused the one who feels offended, meaning the victim of the offender's actions or deeds. It may be a clear-cut case of an intentional act to do harm. And yet, very often we do not recognize how the offended person may have contributed to the situation or incident, and thus played a part in bringing it about.

Today, there is a strong emphasis and apparently great deal of importance being placed on what is considered and called "victim's rights." The truth is, however, there are no absolutely innocent victims. Everything that happens to us is the result of our own actions or deeds of the past, either in this or a previous lifetime. We have set it all in motion ourselves by our own actions, past or present, that now bring loss and misfortune into our lives. It is a true saying, "What goes around, comes around." The Bible says, "God is not mocked; as a man sows, so shall he also reap." (Gal: 6:7)

We, either knowingly or not, have placed ourselves in alignment with the situation by our own actions or volition, or our refusal to act. We may our self have started (in the past) what continued unnoticed or unremembered as the situation progressed, or happened, which we even now may not likely see or believe, especially when we say that it was entirely caused by someone or something else. It is just that now we don't remember the beginning of it. Or, when in the past we did the same thing or something similar to someone else, and now our "chickens have come home to roost."

It is like small children or siblings arguing and hitting one another, both saying "he (or she) started it." In each instance when one or the other "started" the process against the other, it was very likely a continuation of a previous time the other one "started" it, or with someone else. It's an ever-cycling situation that never ends until all involved surrender and finally take full responsibility by being in total acceptance of the situation, both currently and in the past.

Punishment and the desire for punishment, or revenge and retribution, are really "no win" situations. Everything issues out of the Self and returns to the Self. In the one Consciousness of the Self, there are no "others." What we do to so-called others is really done to the Self; the same is also the case in all the ongoing wars in the world, such as between the Arabs and the Jews.

Pure (Purity) - is uniform in composition; not changed or mixed with anything else. It is free from impurities, adulterations, modifications, variations, or alterations. It is utter, or complete. It is perfect; without fault; chaste; virgin.

Pertaining to one's spiritual life, purity means to accept no other influence than Truth, or the influence of The Divine. It means freedom from the taint of mental conditioning, or the ignorance of body-mind identification. In the language of traditional religion or spirituality, it is used to mean freedom from the impulse or passion of sex. (See: Sexual expression, nudity and freedom)

Purpose - in AHAM, purpose is ongoing, it being the aim or direction your life is intentionally taking by your own conscious choice. It is not because you "have to," or because of circumstances outside of yourself or beyond your control, with you being always at the effect of life and events.

When you are living from purpose, or with purpose, you are choosing each thing as it occurs, or even before it occurs. You are functioning at the level of Cause in your life. You are living at the level of Choice. You recognize that you alone determine the direction and primary nature of the events happening in your life, and you choose your own responses to life. You are not living in unconscious or uncontrolled reaction and upset from life's surprises or unplanned happenings.

Purpose is therefore the intentional direction your life is taking by your own choice. It is the aim that you set, as the course or track on which planned events and experiences can and may occur, as you yourself set them up to occur, such as your own personal goals to be achieved.

Purpose vs. Goals - When you have attained a specific or planned goal within the context of your purpose, you have not ended or completed your purpose. Purpose is an ongoing thing. It is the direction your life is intentionally taking, while Goals are milestones or achievement markers along the way, or within your purpose, that certify a standard of accomplishment and success attained. So purpose, when it is predetermined, is always present and indicating the direction of your life, and is not ended even when any or all of the goals you have set have been achieved or fulfilled, unless you yourself choose to withdraw from your chosen purpose. You just set new goals within the context of your ongoing purpose, and continue living, working and being in alignment with them.

As an example, from North Carolina (or anywhere on the east coast) we could take for a purpose the notion to "go west." So we would choose some method of conveyance, say, a car, truck or a travel-coach and engage in our purpose - that is, we start going west. Now, we may have as "goals" several cities that we choose to visit, or choose to intentionally pass through as we manifest or express our purpose of "going west," such as Memphis, and Dallas, and Denver, etc. As we do so, these are our "achieved goals." When we arrive, let's say at San Francisco, we have not run out of purpose. Our purpose ends only when we cease continuing to "go west." On arriving in San Francisco there is still "more west" that we can go. We have to now change our method of conveyance if we intend to continue our purpose, but we are not "out of purpose."

We may choose to withdraw from our purpose, or change it to some other or different one, but the attainment or achievement of any number of goals within the context of our purpose does not end or complete our purpose. Purpose is an ongoing thing. It only ends when we choose to end it.

So, purpose is the direction your life is going by your own choice, and goals are your achievements within the context of your chosen purpose. (Page 209, The Handbook to Perpetual Happiness, by A. Ramana)

Purpose and Will - These two words do not mean the same thing. As explained above, purpose is the intention, the course or direction that one is taking, or pursuing perhaps toward specific objectives and beyond.

In contrast, will is the very power to make decisions, for example the power to choose a definite purpose or strive to attain a goal. It is the force of one's being involved in conscious action, or the conscious force that acts with purpose, perception and decision.

Purusha - In Vedanta, the Purusha is the silent witness- consciousness that observes the actions of Prakriti (the force of nature) that one feels as doing all the actions of manifestation when one ultimately lets go of the sense of being an individual self or entity, and is finally free from the sense of the ego-self being the doer.

Qualities (See: Gunas)

Quality - The characteristic nature of a thing or situation.

Quiet - Absence of mental restlessness or disturbance. It occurs by Self-Inquiry and/or Self-abidance.

Quiet Mind - A mind that does not get disturbed or is not upset by rising Thoughts. It is at peace and free of worry or concern.

"Quiet on the Inside" - is the name of a program developed by two people in AHAM, a parent and a teacher, designed especially for children and presented in schools. It is taken from AHAM's basic teaching and is offered in some public and private schools. It is a way to bring children back into their true nature as pure Being, or the Self felt within them as I AM. It frees their minds from the commotion of thoughts and the usual daily upsets arising from peer pressure and the events going on around them in their lives, and from fear and worries about the past or future.

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