AHAM’s Glossary of Terms
by A. Ramana

 

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Sacrifice - It is often said in Vedanta and/or other traditional spiritual teachings that one must fully surrender the ego or body-mind to the Higher Power, or the Self, in order to attain final completion, Self-realization or enlightenment. However, in AHAM's Conscious Teaching surrender is taken a step further. Ramana says, "Surrender is not enough. The ego loves to surrender, but in fact, it never does, it only pretends to surrender. Someone says, 'I have surrendered my ego in this situation,' but it is only a charade, a false pretense of the ego itself which has said this. What must happen is a full and radical change of mind, a complete transformation of the ego. The ego must ultimately be sacrificed - not just surrendered, but given over as a sacrificial offering to God - where it becomes sanctified and merged with the Divine, or enlisted in the service of the Divine or turned over to the Higher Power of the Self."

Sacrifice of the Ego to the Self, the Higher Power, means a spiritual conversion, it is a radical transformation of the ego with its formerly deceitful, shameful tendencies and qualities - its old intentions, weaknesses and ways of indulging in desire and the unbecoming lower worldly impulses, such as greed, avarice, pride, anger, selfishness, envy, jealousy, etc., - to the higher qualities of dispassion, love, compassion, kindness, helpfulness and generosity. This exemplifies the meaning of the word "sacrifice," in the true sense of the word, which is the forfeiture of something highly valued for the sake of something else that has even greater value.

Then, this sacrifice of one's former lifestyle does not so much indicate having to totally give up what is now believed and held as dear to oneself, but rather is truly offering or dedicating oneself - one's being, one's mind, heart, will, body, life, actions, etc., - to the Divine. Therefore, it conveys the true, original sense of the word "sacrifice," which is, "making sacred" all of one's actions and deeds, by consecrating and dedicating them to the service of God.

Sadhana - means spiritual practice. Traditionally it is the practice by which one strives to attain spiritual purification, then perfection, enlightenment or Self-realization. Usually, one directs his/her attention towards the Self, and sees it as being the highest goal to be one day or ultimately attained.

In AHAM, sadhana - in the very beginning - is brought under the Divine Influence of the Self, or Heart. One undergoes a reversal on the field and ground of being by first opening up in Sat Sanga to the Power of the Divine and its workings, which is always, already abiding in the Heart-core of every being, and thus rejects all that is foreign or not-That. This is using Self-Inquiry to stop, dissolve or destroy all Thoughts contrary to pure Self-abidance, as or when they arise. Thus, in AHAM, one's sadhana is conducted by the Self, or Heart, which is the Divine Power, rather than being directed toward the Self, or Heart, or Divine Power.

Sage - is one who directly knows the Self, i.e., has realized that the Self is the one and only Reality. It is one having no sense of separateness or "other."

Saint - is one who demonstrates a particularly holy life, always living in love and Conscious Relationship with God and all beings.

Samadhi - is mistakenly thought to mean "being in a trance," but it is actually the transcendent or natural state of pure Being. It means "going inside in consciousness," which is going into a deeper state of alert consciousness, or awareness, prior to all Thought and the thinking process.

From the Self, one "knows" everything is as it should be and is in its true state or nature. It is Bliss. The "rising sun" of samadhi is like that of a crystal clear, all-permeating and penetrating immaterial light, which is like the liquid pure Light in which one's individual consciousness is melted and merged in this illimitable ocean of blissful Light, which is the All in all. The physical world may not completely disappear, its nearest fragments being still perceptible like the reflection of far-off or transparent pictures in a mirror.

From this transcendental state of pure Being, after some time, one usually returns to ordinary consciousness and/or body-mind identification.

Sat Sanga - (Sanskrit) Sanga means, association with, or abiding in. Sat means, pure Existence. Sat Sanga means Keeping Company with pure Consciousness. Its main and more honored meaning is "being in the presence of one who has finally or ultimately realized the true Self, and lives naturally in that quality of pure Awareness."

Sattva (See: Gunas) - In Vedanta, this is the quality of purity; one of the three primal qualities of Prakriti - described as white.

"Seeing, or looking at your hole card" - a humorous statement Ramana occasionally makes from his younger days when he was a shrewd poker player. "I am looking at your hole card," means that he knows what you are hiding, or trying to conceal and not disclose, and that it is not wise to try and bluff your way through the situation, or further try to conceal the issue at hand, but better to tell the truth about it and acknowledge what's really so with you, or in the matter.

Seeking - The truth is, in the spiritual sense, "Seeking is suffering."

It is means that by seeking, one is trying at some future time to reach a higher, freer or better state of consciousness, or set of events, than what he or she is now or presently experiencing or undergoing. It is with the hope of finding release or freedom from the current state or conditions now prevailing in his present state. But seeking only prolongs one's present state of suffering. It doesn't end it, it affirms it.

This is even so when the person is seeking God, or the Self, with the intention of gaining future enlightenment or liberation. Paradoxically, it is God's Grace present in the suffering itself that propels one to seek to know or find God. One is feeling separate or different from God, or the true Self, or one's Source, which gives him/her the desire or motivation to be reunited with God, or the Source, triggering him to seek spiritual return to Wholeness or Liberation. What is needed is not seeking, or looking for a future experience, but letting go fully into the Self, into the fullness of Now, by acceptance of and surrender to the situation at hand, just as it is, without any resistance to it. Or, "to let go and let God!"

Self - is the self-existent Being; it's absolute Pure Being, Itself - not a being. Self means the one essential Conscious Existence of Pure Being, the One Being abiding in all, the One Very Self expressing in and as all apparently separate selves. It is what remains when all we are not is removed, being who and what we really are - even now! [LMT]

Self and self - Self (capital "S") and self (small "s") have distinctively different meanings, even though they are occasionally used interchangeably - or apparently so - by Conscious Teachers, including Ramana (as in his talks, where it is not easy to indicate their distinctive meanings without elaborate inconvenient explanations).

Self (capital "S", already defined above) is not different from God, the Source, that is Infinite and Eternal, the unseen and usually unknown Truth of one's being, the nature of which is Bliss, Peace, Freedom and Joy.

The self (small "s") is the Ego, the Body-Mind that lives in time and space. It is that which is born, grows old and dies, being confined within the illusion of this world. It is ever seeking happiness and freedom from suffering. It is what is ordinarily though wrongly identified with as being one's actual self, which in truth is the Self (capital "S").

Self-current - is a subtle, though distinctively perceptible awareness of Heart-energy radiating from the core of one's being, present in one who has (if only momentarily) touched or experienced the awakened Self. It is much like the feeling of love, or being loved and loving. Or, it is like the feeling of inner peace, contentment and quietude, being usually sporadic in someone still new in Sadhana (spiritual practice).

Self-image - is how you regard yourself. It is how you think and see yourself to be, and how you believe others see you. It is your idea (positive or negative, rational or irrational) of how you present yourself to others and how you believe they subsequently judge you. It is a personal assessment of your character, personality, skills, abilities, and other attributes, being a powerful internal mechanism influencing how you feel about yourself. It is an accumulation of scripts that you have been given (consciously or otherwise) about yourself, throughout your life. You have learned them well, and usually know just how to play them.

It is identification with the body-mind and its collected and conditioned system of beliefs, including all the held ideas, concepts, notions and assumptions of what you are capable and incapable of - i.e., what you can or can not do - and what you will or will not do. [LMT]

Self-Inquiry - is AHAM's basic or foundation Teaching for all of AHAM's Conscious Curriculum. It is the most direct and immediate Method, Process or Way to the Realization and abidance in the Self, the true nature of Being, introduced to the world by Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. In Sanskrit, it is called "Atma Vichara."

Thoughts conceal or obstruct the recognition or realization of the true nature of one's being, so they must be stopped and the mind made to be still, in order to reveal, perceive and experience the Truth of the Self. Self-Inquiry is making a profound, unrelenting, incessant investigation into the true nature of one's inner being. In AHAM, however, one's spiritual practice is conducted by the Self, rather than toward the Self, it is the radical and unrelenting annihilation of each and every thought as and when they occur and obstruct or conceal the Self, or one's true nature.

The paradox is, that with Self-Inquiry, you begin or start out using the mind to make the inquiry; and ultimately you merge the mind with or into the true nature of the Self. The process culminates with the sacrifice of the mind into the fire of self-transformation, resulting in Self-Realization.

Regarding all other methods of spiritual practices, Sri Bhagavan said,
"Sooner or later the question of 'Who am I' will have to be faced. All [practice] that leads to this question is good. For, by itself, nothing else is fully effective since Self-knowledge comes only through Self-Inquiry. Other methods purify the mind and help it to see its own limits. When the mind comes to the end of its resources, and stands baffled before the unanswerable question, then a Higher Power takes charge of the mind and the Self stands revealed as the real, the wondeful."

Self-pity/self-conceit syndrome - these are two apparently different states of mind co-existing to some degree in those identified with the Body-Mind, or Ego, in which they often rise up expressing themselves like a teeter-totter, or the back and forth swinging of a pendulum. They are not separate states, neither exists without the other, but are dependent states in duality, much like different sides of the same coin, or opposite ends of the same stick. It is just that one may lie dormant longer than its counterpart. Invariably, someone who is caught in or going through a period of low self-esteem, depression and self-judgment has on the opposite end of the spectrum a suppressed sense of arrogance, intransigence, willfulness and the strong sense of "being right" that, before long, is very likely to exchange places in the mind, taking charge and fully dominating the mind.

Self Realization - is awakening to and abiding in the true Self, the One Self that we all always, already are. It is not different than spiritual Enlightenment.

Sri Ramana Maharshi says:
"Realization is already there. The state free from all thoughts is the only real state. There is no such action as Realization. Is there anyone who is not realizing the Self? Does anyone deny his own existence? Speaking of realization, it implies two selves - one to realize, the other to be realized. What is not already realized is sought to be realized. Once we admit our existence, how is it that we do not know our Self? … It is the mind that stands between and veils our happiness. When the mind or ego goes, Realization results by itself… There are neither good nor bad qualities in the Self. The Self is free from all qualities. Qualities pertain to the mind only… IT (the Self) simply is as it is."

Sense - The contact of mind with worldly or physical objects creates what we call sense; it is the contact of the Body-Mind with its surroundings by means of the five senses - the instruments of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.

Service (Giving Service) - is work or action performed for the benefit of helping others or another without any compensation, or the least motive of reciprocal return. It means pure giving, without any wish or intention to receive anything in return.

Sexual expression, nudity and freedom - In AHAM, you learn (or should come to realize) that sex is a very natural expression of life, although it is being excessively overstressed in this New Age era of man's evolution.

Obviously, heterosexuality, or at least the joining of a male sperm and the female ovum is necessary to maintain physical existence and the social order of life, or to make physical birth in this world possible, sustaining human life and the ongoing social order. To any informed person, or mature adult in an intelligent or even primitive society, this is quite obvious and goes without saying. In prehistoric times, it is believed to have been different. Some think that soul entities were then androgynous and sex was unnecessary and thus moot, as procreation occurred by a process of bifurcation within oneself.

But in this age sex is more than just the means of physical or human procreation, it is also an expression of physical love or affection between participating adults, as well as being an avenue of personal pleasure between consenting adults. The fact is that as adults, who have arrived at a physical age beyond puberty and at the level of psychological and sexual maturity, we all are in fact sexual beings. It is a normal expression of nature itself; therefore, the free, natural and pleasurable expression of one's sexuality is to be expected.

The male and female genitalia are organs of pleasure as well as organs of reproduction. Natural or spontaneous sexual expression between consenting adults should be an acceptable phenomenon in a sane society. However, for the intended purpose of childbirth, or reproduction, then marriage should be the standard, condition or basis for the sexual act.

Many, if not most people in world society, believe that sexual activity or participation should itself be confined or limited only to the institution of legal marriage . It is a fact that marriage is very important if pregnancy should result from sexual union, or if planned childbirth is intended. Marriage should always be the basis for having children and raising a family. Obviously, children are happier and psychologically much better adjusted and capable of dealing with others or life when they live in a good, happy home with both parents lovingly and mutually involved in their care and education.

If marriage is not desired or intended between heterosexual sex partners, then it is most important that they be sexually responsible and guard against the possibility of pregnancy. If not, they are inviting and possibly subjecting themselves to the responsibility of caring for an unplanned or unwanted child. And it could be even more serious if they choose abortion. which carries very serious karmic consequences, both in this lifetime and even in a future one. This is because abortion is the sin of destroying a potential life form. Violators could very likely have as their karma the blocked access to a badly needed or much desired human embryo in their own next rebirth and future incarnation. This could be for them the equivalent to being in Hell, and their attempts to get free thwarted. That is, their attempts to be hopefully conceived in a woman's womb, desiring to attain rebirth in this world as a means of escape from their suffering, could be blocked indefinitely. If this should happen, it would be a most dire consequence.

Also to be considered and discussed, without any connection or involvement with sex, is the subject of nudity. Nudity should be a normal, natural, healthy, acceptable practice with people in a sane society. It should be made easily available and socially amenable in certain outdoor settings and surroundings without care or fanfare, or the least concern about sexual innuendos, or any implication of indecency. Today, this is found only under certain very limited conditions and out of the way locales, that often undergo the maligned projections of many in society wrongly believing it to be some abnormality, instead of what it is - a healthy, happy and free expression and exposure of the human body to nature, shared with those having like minds and interests.

Unfortunately, countless fears, inhibitions and taboos have been projected on sex, and on nudity, by an amazingly ignorant, unenlightened society. This unmistakably dates back to Moses' time, and members of his society, by his depiction of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden; he being the believed recorder of the biblical books of Genesis and Exodus.

In most societies today, there is still fear, unease, embarrassment and even threat regarding the subject of sex, resulting in much sexual suppression. This is found even in America, where nonetheless there is still an exaggerated overemphasis of the subject, as well as the displaying of rampantly compulsive, overemphasized sexual behavior on today's American television. This includes allusions to sex on talk shows, sitcoms and even as entertainment on the news, plus explicit sex scenes in melodramas, not to mention TV advertising and the use of sex to sell everything from soap to automobiles.

From a spiritual perspective, or just as a consciously considered fact, one's sexuality and its normal inclination is really quite simple. Let's take away the mystery! It requires only being aware. It's perfectly OK to be sexually free and clear. One should understand, sexual expression is very natural to the body under the proper conditions and circumstances. In AHAM's view, for legally adult human beings, free sexual expression is fully permissible when performed with equally free, clear and consciously participating adult partners. It is a natural part of one's spiritual as well as physical growth and development.

AHAM affirms that under proper conditions, appropriate sexual expression is whatever is acceptable and agreeable between consenting lawfully adult participants, whether heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual. Sexual preferences should be a matter of personal choice, not society's requirements. Proper conditions means, while in the privacy of the bedroom, or where there is known privacy even out of doors in a suitable environment, but not exhibiting or showing signs of sexual intent openly in public. One is to not engage in sexual activity unlawfully, or forcefully, or with minors.

Sex between teenage partners is also not appropriate. They should wait until adulthood, and the maturity that normally occurs with developed emotional stability; as well as the needed understanding or wisdom required for adult decision-making such as safeguarding against pregnancy or socially transmitted diseases.

Consensual sex means that no one is to be coerced or forced, or required to participate in any sexual situation or activity against his/her wishes, desires or will, or when he/she is not at the time in an agreeable mood to express, participate or experience whatever is being asked or wanted by the other partner. It means the free expression of one's sexual energy in whatever way or manner one enjoys, providing his/her partner is equally willing.

However, sex should not be overindulged in, or be an excessive or predominant part of one's life. When living with someone in an established relationship, it is not to occur in violation of personal and/or mutual vows, such as a marriage covenant, or one's agreement or commitment to his/her mate or spouse. If living in an Open Marriage Or Relationship, then it is also not appropriate without the mate's consent or approval.

Consider this: ultimately or absolutely the Self of each apparent individual being is, in truth, the Supreme Self. All are the Supreme Being expressing as each apparent individual, which certainly has the authority and divine right to express playfully and enjoyably in, as and through sexual play while expressing in the world in an adult physical body. Of course, this is when it is with agreeable and suitable partners as already herein explained. If these guidelines are not honored and maintained, then there is the possibility, even probability, of karmic repercussions.

The commandment, "Thou shall not commit adultery" given by Moses was evidently for the people living at that time, and the level of consciousness to which they had evolved. Today it could just as well be construed, or taken to mean, "You should not adulterate the pure act of sex," or "make impure or inappropriate the absolutely natural, and fully acceptable act of sexual expression."

This, without doubt, applies to the obvious need today for balancing both the exaggeration and suppression of sexual freedom in American society. In many cases, there is the need for restraint, due to the fact that sex and sexuality have become grossly overemphasized, while in others there is the need for better understanding, compassion and the personal rights of others. Balance is a keyword in all things.

Jesus rebuked the Pharisees (the "religious right" of his day) for their narrow views and the coercive restrictions they placed on the people and on living by the letter of the Ten Commandments. Regarding the fourth commandment, "Honor the Sabbath and keep it holy," he responded or countered with, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." (Mark 2:27) Likewise, understand that sex was made for man's pleasure, as well as for procreation, not for restricting him or requiring him to abstain from its natural, pleasurable free expression. Of course, it is not to be taken to the extreme, such as being engaged in excessively, or made into a compulsive or addictive force in one's life.

Even though, physically speaking, we are all sexual beings and sex is a very natural, functional and pleasurable expression of the human body, ultimately, as one advances in age or in one's Sadhana (spiritual practice), the desire for sexual participation or expression may itself naturally decline, or fall away like ripe fruit dropping from the tree. The desire and/or inclination to have sex will possibly or probably subside on its own. If it does not, and the desire for sex remains strong, with perhaps no sexual partners available to fulfill the felt urge or "need," this could be a problem, requiring deeper and longer periods of meditation; or, Self-Inquiry into "Who is now having this thought, feeling or desire?" When this is maintained, one can transcend the sexual urge and abide in the Self, or thoughtless Awareness prior to all thought.

Shakti - In the Hindu religion or system of philosophy this is the self-existent, self-cognitive, self-effective Power of Being in nature. It is the power of nature (Prakriti), the active force in consciousness that brings about or sustains manifestation. (See: Prakriti).

Share - to communicate your insights, realizations and/or experiences. Sharing is very high on the scale among the levels of experience; it's next to participation in the conscious process or experience of life. [LMT]

Share the Truth - is to take active, deliberate responsibility to express or convey the pure spiritual Truth - especially the simplicity of AHAM's teaching as you have come to know or realize and experience it - to others you know or meet. To not keep it a secret, that "You don't have to suffer." Let it be known to those obviously in need of hearing or receiving this good news. Share it with those in need of solace, comfort, consolation, support, assistance or relief from upset - when it is recognized by your observation of their lives, seeing them continuing daily in patterns of repeated stress, pain, anger and upset. Make it known that suffering is really optional. Sharing is a genuine expression of love! Plus, it solidifies and makes real for you what it means to really live the truth in your own life, as your own experience. It spreads peace, freedom and joy in the world.

Most people, who are honest with themselves and tell the truth about it, are ready and willing to realize the simple Truth: stress is not at all necessary! Though they first express doubt or disbelief about it, they want to believe it, and will welcome learning the simple Truth, or the "I AM Process," which brings anyone properly practicing it into the Heart, or the Self; just as you have come to realize and experience for yourself. Or, that you have learned from those you know who are in AHAM longer than you. Again, sharing the truth makes it real, and more credible in your own life and experience. [LMT]

"Shovel sand up your ass" - is very much like the saying "Blowing smoke up your ass." It means trying to impress someone that what you are saying has substance, when in fact it is really deceptive, or just flattery used to try and make a big or lasting impression.

Siddhi (Power) - (Sanskrit) is perfection, attainment or accomplishment. Siddhis often refer to special powers such as telepathy or clairvoyance possessed by Siddhas (perfected Beings, such as Jesus). The highest Siddhi or power is abiding in the Self and holding others in the Truth, or SELF and causing them to awaken to the spiritual Heart.

Silence - In AHAM it is not only not speaking, it is keeping a quiet mind, a mind free from Thoughts. (See: Stillness).

Source - is That from which one and all comes, and into which one and all returns. This boils down to the very Consciousness that is you and I. Thus you, I, he, she are all God - by being the source of our own minds and thoughts, or gods of our own universes, which is really only One Universe. Sourcing = giving. [LMT]

The Source is that which is the origin, starting point, beginning, first cause, basis, foundation and support of everything else, and that which survives everything through its birth, life and death. The true Source and Cause of everything is Consciousness. Consciousness must be before anything else can be.

In the Bible, Jesus called the Source "Father." He also called it "the kingdom of God." Jesus said, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and everything else will be yours as well, or will be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33) Regarding the location of the kingdom of God, he said, "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, 'Lo, here it is!' or 'There!' for behold, the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:21)

Our own consciousness, or "I AM," is the Source. Jesus also said, "I and the Father are one." (John 10:30) This means that the Self and the Source are not different, are not two. The Self, which is Consciousness, must be before anything else can be, it being the Cause and Source of everything conceived with the mind, or perceived - seen, heard, felt, etc., - with the body's senses.

Space - According to Ramana and AHAM, "from 'here' to 'there' is not just space, it is distance, which also includes the concept of Time."

"In fact," Ramana says, "from 'here' to the very edge of the universe is not space, but it too is distance appearing in time." So, what the physicists call "space" is actually distance. Space is really the medium in which apparent distance seems to exist; or, it's where every "thing" exists. Space, like time, is a concept occurring in consciousness, which is more like becoming than being, all of which are occurring in the One Reality, or pure Awareness, and is not measurable; it is only capable of being experienced. [LMT]

Sphurana - (Sanskrit) (manifestation). Aham sphurana in Sanskrit is the pure light of "I," or "I AM" of pure Being. It is the one continuous light of awareness; it is "I-I-I" perpetually shining as the very Self, felt in the Heart (hridaya) on the right of center in the chest. Aham sphurana is the first manifestation of the one Supreme Being; it is the original name of the One Reality.

Sri Bhagavan Ramana says:
"Sphurana is felt on several occasions, such as fear, excitement, etc. Although it is always all over (the body), and is felt as such, yet it is also felt at a particular center (the hridaya) and on particular occasions. It is usually associated with antecedent causes and confounded with the body. However, it is all alone and pure; it is the Self. If the mind be fixed on the sphurana, and one senses it continuously and automatically, it is realization.

"It is a fore-state of Realization. It is quite pure. The subject and object proceed from it. If the person mistakes himself for the subject, objects must necessarily appear different from him. They are periodically withdrawn and projected, creating the world and the subject's enjoyment of the same. If, on the other hand, the person feels himself to be the screen on which the subject and object are projected, there will be no confusion, and he will remain watching their appearance and disappearance without any perturbation to the Self."

As a way of fine-tuning one's Self-Inquiry, or spiritual practice (Sadhana), one should focus full attention on one's very awareness of being, or the prior subject; not on any object, not on what one is aware of. Emphasis must be placed in the pure conscious awareness itself, instead of on any objects of consciousness, including one's own body. Stay conscious that you are conscious, realizing yourself (the Self) to be pure Consciousness alone, or pure Awareness itself.

An analogy: consider the negative photographic plate from which positive prints or photographs are made. The negative plate represents the "I-I-I" felt in and as the Heart (hridaya), while the positive print represents mind-forms or objects appearing in and as the world, including one's own body. All require the negative plate, they being made or copied from it.

From a world-oriented or "body-mind-feeling" point of view, the "I-I-I" may at first feel a bit uncomfortable, and even frightening, as though you are being "pulled apart," or like the body is dying, as consciousness is being withdrawn into the Heart, or Self, and remains there prior to the "I-am-the-body" thought or feeling. (See, "I-I-I")

Spiritual being - By and large the majority of people in the world think that they are human beings, that they are (were) born, they grow old (or older), and eventually must one day die. But, even though this is a fact, it is not the Truth. This is only the body that one is thinking and talking about. This is not the real or true Self. The true Self is Spirit. We are in truth not human beings but Spiritual beings, we are actually divine. Spirit is the Consciousness above or Prior To mind. It is the true Self, which is always in oneness with The Divine. What is meant by Spirit is self-existent Being, with infinite and eternal power of consciousness and unconditional Delight in itself as pure Being - timeless and spaceless.

Spirit - the consciousness above or beyond MIND, or prior to the "I" thought. It is the Self, the Absolute, the One Reality. What is meant by Spirit is self-existent Being, which is infinite and eternal. It is pure Awareness.

Spirituality - is the conscious quest for Truth, or the search for Reality. Initially it's the pursuit, and ultimately it is abidance in That which is endless, supreme, unchangeable, spotless - beyond all relativity, absolute, The Absolute Being Itself. Under the term "spiritual" is recognized That which never ceases to exist, that which is formless - for all forms are perishable - and therefore is indestructible and independent of everything. [LMT]

Spiritual Paradoxes - Just about everything we take for granted, or as "being the way it is," is virtually upside down and/or backwards from how it appears to be. For example, it looks and feels like the world is a solid objective reality, totally independent of us, or our consciousness of it. But in fact, it is entirely a projection in (or "out of") our own consciousness. It is a product of our own mind.

It appears that we are all born into this pre-existing world, grow old (or older) and then die, and the world continues on without us. But the fact is we were not born into this world, and were never born; the Self we are lives happily, eternally and infinitely prior to the world, prior to time and space. The World appearance is born in us, with the birth of the "I" thought, which is falsely identified with the Body-Mind as being our self.

It appears that our parents chose us as their child or offspring (meaning in the sense that they are or were responsible for our birth, our existence); but in fact, we are responsible for the parents we have (or had) by our own karma, our own pattern of Tendencies and/or past actions in our previous lifetimes.

There are many more such paradoxes that we take for granted, and which are not the way they appear to be.

Stillness - is freedom from all vital movements of mind and body. It includes quietness of breath and silence of mind.

Subconscious Mind - The subconscious mind is the impersonal aspect of mind, or man's consciousness. Unlike the conscious mind, which is more personal and reasons deductively, the subconscious mind reasons inductively. It does not have the ability to question, compare or analyze data. It has to take whatever idea the conscious mind gives it. It accepts a thing as being true whether in fact it is true or not. Once the subconscious does accept a thing as true, even though it may be untrue, it begins to act immediately to rearrange itself, as well as the events of life over which it has total control, so that the newly accepted idea comes about, occurs in manifestation, or appears in Consciousness to be true. (See: Deductive and Inductive Reasoning).

The subconscious mind is also the point of contact that the ego has with the Infinite, or Universal Mind. And, as such, it starts generating force or forming energy or matter to actually produce the form of the thing in manifestation, as actual events in the conscious realm - the world observed by our senses - which corresponds with the specific pattern, or the particular notion or ideas that it holds. The patterns of one's various habits are formed as tendencies in the "all powerful" subconsciousness, wherein they become creative, or formative, and manifest themselves accordingly. This is why it is not usually possible to change a long held habit merely by a decision to do so. Or by using only the force of one's will power. It requires the conscious, intentional use of Creative Imagination to change a long held habit pattern, or to create a new one.

The subconscious aspect is "female" and receptive. The "male" aspect, the conscious mind, impregnates the "female" and leaves the "seed-idea" in the "womb of consciousness" which grows and in time gives "birth" to the physical form of the seed-idea. Thus, the new or changed habit becomes expressed or manifested. It is born as an event, thing, object or experience.

Another example is, the subconscious is like fertile soil and the idea is like a seed planted in the fertile soil. The soil is impersonal, it doesn't care what kind of seeds you plant in it, whether poisonous, or medicinal, or for food. Even though it cares not what is planted in it, the soil returns abundantly what is planted in it. So also the subconscious is itself totally impersonal and it doesn't care about the nature or quality of the ideas that you plant in it. Like the earth will grow poison as abundantly as it will grow corn, the subconscious mind will likewise produce evil, ugly, untrue, unpleasant experiences and negative events in one's life just as abundantly as it will good, true, beautiful and positive experiences and events.

The subconscious being impersonal, doesn't even discriminate whose seed ideas or what seed impressions are formed in it, just as the farmer's soil will grow seed dropped in it by the birds or blown there by the wind or tossed there by the neighbor's children. And, due to the nature of the different functions of the two major aspects of mind, and the fact that the majority of the people - probably 99.9% - do not understand the way the mind works, is it any wonder as to the state of our personal affairs, or the growing negativity and violence seen in our world today? (Page 111, Handbook to Perpetual Happiness, by A. Ramana.)

Success - In AHAM, success is not determined or measured by material things, or worldly means. Rather it is the definiteness of purpose demonstrated in one's life and affairs. Success is the progressive realization of a worthy or worthwhile ideal. It is one's ability to function efficiently and effectively in bringing about whatever is necessary that you have chosen or want to manifest in life. It is doing what you want to do, having what you want to have, and being what you want to be for the primary reason that whatever that is, or may be, is exactly what you are choosing at any given time.

This means that being a good file clerk, or janitor, or night watchman, or secretary, or lathe operator, or businessman, or doctor, or CEO, or homemaker, etc., who is functioning happily in his or her chosen vocation, trade, occupation or profession - because that is what he or she wants to be or do or have - is an example of success. Setting worthwhile goals within the context or framework of a definite Purpose, and progressively working at attaining them in a reasonable or timely manner, and therein remaining steadfast in an inner sense or state of quiet contentment, joy and completion, is more important than having available a wide variety of worldly possessions or an impressive title to flaunt before others, or to satisfy one's ego. (See: Purpose vs. Goals).

Surrender - In one's spiritual practice, surrender means letting go of the ego-mind into the Self. It is relinquishing your Position or Point Of View to the Guru, God, the Truth, or to a higher, clearer more appropriate perspective. It is giving your ego-self over to the Higher Power, or God. It means giving up "being right."

One who is truly wise, sees that being happy is more important than Being Right, and that giving up being right often requires dropping your position or point of view, or surrendering your Ego. This is ultimately necessary anyway, in order to be spiritually complete, which means being truly free, happy, contented and at peace. (See, Sacrifice).

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