What is the goal of Life?
To end suffering and know bliss. Everyone seeks happiness and pleasure. Even insects seek that. It is to attain this goal that you do everything; enter into relationships, work for money and power, attain possessions, express your creativity. But you seek it outside of ourselves; in others, in things and in circumstances. What is outside can only create a temporary shadows of joy that come from within. Only true, lasting and complete bliss and happiness can be found within. It is only in God that a permanent state of bliss can be experienced and God lies within you, as your Self. If this is the case, then realization of the Self, God, is the goal of life.
That desire to end suffering and be happy is the power of grace within you. Grace is God’s power of realization, God’s power to remember, and your desire for bliss is the pulsation of God’s grace actively moving within you. It is the attainment of permanent bliss, God’s nature, which is the goal of life. This is the realization that you and God are one. Every thought, word and action lead you to this goal. Realization is you destiny, your purpose and God’s will, and the desire to be happy is God’s grace moving you toward enlightenment.
How can I know God and become realized?
There are many paths but basically they can be broken down into four paths. The first is knowledge. Knowledge of the Self is when the individual gains immediate knowledge that they are universal, that the separate individual knows they are God. This type of realization is rare and is a result of past grace and past self-effort from many previous lifetimes. This usually is the case when someone simply pops into enlightenment.
The second path is yoga or concentration. This is not the kind of yoga you know in the west. This yoga is stopping the fluctuations of the mind – stopping thoughts. Through practices of moral disciplines, observances and practices you can calm the mind and eventually calm the mind to the point of having no thoughts. This is why you meditate, to find peace of mind. When thoughts end what remains is pure consciousness and that is the experience of the Self. This second path is the one most people follow.
The third path is devotion. This is a path of intense love for God. Devotion is a path of surrender and trust, a path of complete absorption in God. Love and bliss, prema and ananda, are inseparable because they are aspects of God. Devotion is immersion in those aspects. Through devotion the aspirant sees God in all things and that allows the devotee to lose individuality and become God.
The last path is through the grace of a master. This path combines the grace of a realized master and self-effort. The master awakens the spiritual energy within you – awakens the Kundalini Shakti – and you support its unfolding through self-effort by following the spiritual practices laid out by the master. The spiritual practices are to purify you to allow you to fully receive the grace of the master, which is fully responsible for your realization.
God will show you the way and God’s grace will send all you need. For now meditate with regularity.
What is God and God’s nature?
God is Brahmin, Consciousness, Awareness, Being, the Self. God is everything. God is all intelligence and power. God has two natures; absolute pure consciousness and the relative universe. You are both. Scripture says that God is Sat Chit Ananda. Sat is the truth that God is everywhere, as everything in all time and space and beyond all time and space. Chit is consciousness, pure awareness, pure intelligence. Ananda is bliss, the main aspect of God.
God is consciousness and intelligence and when God decided to create, consciousness became conscious and intelligence became intelligent. Pure consciousness became Self-aware and knew its intelligence and its power and then used that to create. Absolute Being became the relative universe even while remaining absolute. Consciousness created out of itself, within itself, powered by itself. God’s absolute nature as pure awareness and bliss permeates all relative life. Thus God is you, the Self, the pure “I” awareness. Your consciousness is God’s consciousness because God is always all that is, but it can be concealed by the ignorance of forgetting.
You say you are God but why do you forget and why don’t you experience that?
Separation. When you are small you are very pure. But, at times you experience pain of many types and that pain causes you to create a new person, a new created self. You create roles so you can be loved and accepted. You change how you look, talk, act and feel so your sense of worthlessness will abate and others will love you. You become attached and averse to what you think will increase your pain or lessen your pain. All this creates separation from what you truly are; the true Self. Attachment and aversion, which are forms of resistance, cause you to suffer. You get lost in the pairs of opposites and unity is overshadowed, even though oneness is always the reality.
On a subtle level all experiences are vibrationally recorded within your causal body. These energetic impressions are called samskaras. They can be resonant or dissonant vibrations. Those vibrations create the general vibrational atmosphere that you live in and create your state of consciousness; expanded or contracted. Negative samskaras need to be resolved so your true Self can be revealed. That happens, most easily, through meditation and grace.
I find it difficult to meditate because I have a monkey mind.
The mind is the instrument that supports your suffering or your liberation. When the mind is silent, what is experienced is unbounded awareness; God. That pure awareness is the pure “I”. What the mind does is add to that “I”. I am a teacher. I am thin. I am rich. I am kind. I am beautiful, I am worthless. Those additions become who you think you are and become your created self. They become your illusion. You lose the “I” and become the additions. Then the mind furiously seeks resolution, seeks happiness. It grasps at what it believes will create happiness and pushes away what causes unhappiness. The mind becomes attached to outcomes. It wages a war on life. That turns the silent mind into the monkey mind. The problem is that it is all happening on the surface, on the outside, in the waves. The ocean of the “I” is hidden.
Relax and be at ease. Peace is the resolution that allows the mind to settle and that is supported through acceptance. Peace is the atmosphere that allow realization to unfold. In meditation, when the mind is active, do not war with the thoughts. Allow the thoughts. Watch them, Witness them. When you want something different you set up more resistance. Accept what is. Thoughts are a part of meditation.
You have asked good questions.
What is the mind?
Everything is consciousness. The mind arises from consciousness. The mind is a pulsation of the intelligence and power of the Self. Also arising from consciousness is prana, life force. Mind, combined with prana, carry out all the functions of your senses and actions. The mind is moved by prana. When the prana stops its movements the mind becomes silent. You experience pain and pleasure when the mind and prana are united. You do not experience joy or sorrow, happiness or unhappiness because of outer experiences. They are experienced because of the mind, inside. If you pull the mind and prana from an experience there will be no happiness or unhappiness, pain or pleasure from that experience.
This form of consciousness, the mind, functions in different ways. It thinks, it contemplates, it decides, and it feels ego. When the Self pulsates in the mind, you think. It is the mind’s nature to carry out these functions. Allow it to do that but don’t become that. When you think you are your thoughts, you become that. When you witness your thoughts you remain God.
The mind resides first in the heart and then it rises to the head. The mind is what makes you see diversity, when all that exists in unity. When the mind mingles with the senses you think you are the experiencer. When the mind mingles with the organs of action you think you are the doer. It is the mind that makes you think you are limited and imperfect. When the mind becomes pure, you experience everything as perfect, as God. When the mind separates itself from outer objects and turns within, it again becomes pure consciousness. When the mind becomes silent you experience nirvikalpa samadhi. The mind no longer exists and only pure consciousness, the Self, exists. That is experienced as bliss.
Thank you for your questions. May you know peace.
A Question for James
As time permits, James will take many of the questions asked and share answers with our community.