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About Shanmugam

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  1. @Visionary I am not sure about these topics as I haven't read them (regarding moral superiority and views about the West).. But I remember somewhere reading that science can answer questions about morality. I have to read more about that before I can comment on it.. Do you have a link to any article of him where he talks about 'moral superiority'?
  2. I am not quite familiar with his political views.. I am not familiar with all of his articles and videos either... Have read his book 'waking up' and have watched some of the videos.. There has to be a balance between skepticism and open mindedness.. There are people who tend to lean more towards skepticism and reject everything; there are people who are way too open minded and end up believing in everything they hear..So, it is like walking on a rope. People may go off balance at times, but just from the overview of what Sam has spoken so far, I think he is going really good in keeping this balance. (but yeah, as any human being, he may lose his balance at times). Humbleness is totally different from open-mindedness.. I can't judge how humble he is in general. But when you take this particular example of Papaji, almost all the western people who were told that they were enlightened by Papaji started teaching.. But Sam Harris was mature enough to not to delude himself. Humility is probably not an accurate word here, but I know that for most people it is very difficult to not to get deluded when they are told that their search is over and they are qualified to teach others. Regarding God, he is very clear about what he criticizes.. He criticizes the belief of a personal God who is watching over us all the time, who will torture non-believers in hell for eternity and who will grant 72 virgins in heaven to people who choose to believe in him.And he is saying that this has led to a lot of violence in the world, which is true.. Just to give one example from millions available, one guy, Bakhtiyar Khilji destroyed the ancient Nalanda university, burnt thousands of Buddhist scriptures and killed people just because they didn't believe in the God he believed in... Just recently, I read about blasphemy laws of various countries and I was really shocked. Unfortunately, people in some countries are way too far away from spiritual awakening just because of things that they are forced to believe in.
  3. @Visionary Why do you think he is not open minded? May be you need to redefine your definition for open-mindedness .
  4. You said it well... People are too quick to form opinions about others... He is not there bragging about anything or making any extraordinary claims.. One thing proves his humbleness... There are many students of Papaji today who have started to teach and claiming that they are enlightened just because they believed in Papaji when he said 'you are enlightened'.. When Papaji said something like this to Sam Harris and asked him to teach, he was not deluded enough to believe that he was enlightened. Instead, he is humble enough to say that he is not qualified to teach. Just because he is rational, it doesn't mean he cannot meditate...(he has been doing that for years)... In fact, it is better to be rational than believing in all kinds of nonsense.. I think people have mistaken when Osho and others said 'you cannot understand the reality with logical mind'... Yes, it is true.. but that doesn't mean that people who are rational are not on the right path... it is actually the opposite. Logic should be used when it should be used and should be put away when it needs to be put away...
  5. Try this... when you observe a sensation, it cannot be you.. because you cannot be the same as what you observe.. If you see a dog, you cannot be the dog because you see the dog... The observer and the observed cannot be the same... So, whatever you observe, notice, sense or feel is not you.. Try discriminating this way.. Than you will understand that what observes never changes but what is observed changes all the time..
  6. Based on what I read in his book 'Waking up', I am pretty sure Sam Harris is on the right track.. The book is also helpful in introducing spirituality to skeptical minded people... And he doesn't claim to be enlightened... He says that Papaji asked him to start teaching but he doesn't feel like he is qualified to teach. @Leo Gura Did you read his book Waking Up'? For some reason, your opinion about Sam Harris doesn't seem to be good, and I wonder why... Thats a news to me.. Did he explicitly state anywhere that he has reached stream entry? He doesn't state that in his book 'Waking up'..
  7. @egoless You are just playing with words... Words are only pointers, and spiritual teaching is like a finger pointing to the moon. If someone is using his finger to point to the moon, you should not keep looking at the finger, instead you need to look at the moon.. But you are dissecting the finger and looking its cells under the microscope. You will not find the moon there. Don't take things too literally.. Just keep practicing what you are supposed to practice. It is only the practice that can clear your doubts.
  8. @egoless thats a poem written by me
  9. I really don't have a solid concept of who I am in my mind .....But when someone in daily life asks me who I am, I know what they want to know and I just answer them with my name, where I am from etc, just the usual reply. Here is a poem for you: Carrying the weight of past in my head And dragging the scenes which were old and dead, I ran to grab the bliss of the future; The more I ran, the more was the torture.. The torture of the hedonic treadmill Followed me as I continued uphill; I was caught in the prison of craving With tedious thoughts, my mind was raving. I met an ugly old man on the way who had a long thick beard with shades of grey. His face was shining with heavenly bliss; In his eyes I saw an endless abyss! “What makes you so happy in this rat race?”, I asked him as he slowly turned his face. He replied,”The answer is within you! The grand kingdom of God is within you!” “That’s a joke”, I said “Are you kidding me?”. “No!” He said, “Turn inward, you’ll become free! You’ve made your own boundaries inside your mind, You’ve closed your eyes and think you’ve become blind”. I said, “How can I get out of this trap? I want to find the way, give me the map” He said, “You’re the way, the truth and the life! Be still and know you’re that, and end this strife! You’re not your body and you’re not your mind; Not knowing the timeless truth makes you blind; You’re not your story and you’re not your thoughts; You’re not those age old, buried mental knots. You’re not that chattering voice in your head; You’re not anything that you did or said; You’re not anything that you have or know You’re the truth that is watching all this show! You’re not anything that can be perceived; You’re not an object that can be observed; You’re the screen where the world is being played; You’re the emptiness where the form is made. You’re the one witnessing the mind and breath; You’re one without two, beyond birth and death; Like the air trapped in a small round bubble, You feel separate which brings all the trouble. Inquire inside and wake up from this dream! Let truth alone shine like a bright white beam! By inquiry, your illusions will break; You’ll stop mistaking the rope for a snake” Hearing these words stopped my thoughts for a while. Looking in, I slowly began to smile. I watched my thoughts as they slowly passed by; I observed my mind like a secret spy. For years, I contemplated on his words; I watched my thoughts fly like a bunch of birds. One day, I woke up and realized the truth; Since then my life has been peaceful and smooth!
  10. @egoless I would really recommend Sam Harris book 'Waking up -spirituality without religion'.. I think it will suit you well for your mindset and create a trust in spiritual practices... And continue your mindfuless practice but don't worry too much about theories and concepts... Mindfulness is the best known cure for compulsive thinking..
  11. @egoless Probably you are asking if everything is happening just in the brain... I can tell you that everything can be explained in terms of brain activity. The only thing that scientists have no explanation for is the 'hard problem of conciousness'... Spirituality cannot give any verifiable proof for non-local conciousness either. But if you are trying to understand these things, there is no scope in spirituality. And Science doesn't have a definite answer either. I myself approach everything in scientific way. And I don't like believing in anything. But I can assure you that mindfulness works..
  12. I think your problem is with the word 'nothingness'... Not sure in what context you came across the statement 'Nothingness is self aware' and for me just this statement alone doesn't mean anything at all. But I can see what the author would have meant and I can elaborate on it. What is a 'thing'? It can be anything that can be witnessed by your senses or in the consciousness. By this definition, a thought is also a 'thing'. So, you, who witnesses any thing cannot be a thing. It is a no-thing . The word no-thingness is probably more clear than nothingness. You keep trying to conceptualize who you are... Anyway, if you think your inner voice is self-aware, thats ok for now. Just go ahead with what you are practicing, if it is working for you..
  13. Osho, How to sacrifice the ego? It is impossible. The ego cannot be sacrificed because the ego exists not. The ego is just all idea: it has no substance in it. It is not something – it is just pure nothing. You give it reality by believing in it. You can withdraw belief and the reality disappears, evaporates. The ego is a kind of absence. Because you don’t know yourself, hence the ego. The moment you know yourself, no ego is found. The ego is like darkness; darkness has no positive existence of its own; it is simply the absence of light. You cannot fight with darkness, or can you? You cannot throw darkness out of the room; you cannot take it out, you cannot take it in. You cannot do anything with darkness directly. If you want to do anything with darkness, you will have to do something with light. If you put the light on, there is no darkness; if you put the light off, there is darkness. Darkness is only the absence of light, so is ego: absence of self-knowledge. You cannot sacrifice it. It has been told to you again and again: “Sacrifice your ego” – and the statement is patently absurd, because something that does not exist cannot be sacrificed. And if you try to sacrifice it, something which is not there in the first place at all, you will be creating a new ego – the ego of the humble, the ego of the egoless, the ego of the person who thinks he has sacrificed his ego. It will be a new kind of darkness again. No, I don’t say to you sacrifice the ego. On the contrary, I say try to see where the ego is. Look deep into it; try to locate it, where it exists, whether it exists at all or not. Before one can sacrifice anything one must be certain about its existence. But don’t be against it from the very beginning. If you are against it, you cannot look deep into it. There is no need to be against anything. The ego is your experience – maybe it is just apparent, but it is still your experience. Your whole life moves around the phenomenon of the ego. It may be a dream, but to you it is so true. There is no need to be against it. Dive deep into it, go into it. Going into it means bringing awareness into your house, bringing light into darkness. Be alert, watchful. Watch the ways of the ego, how it functions, how it manages at all. And you will be surprised: the deeper you go into it, the less it is found. And when you have penetrated to the very core of your being, you will find something totally different which is not ego, which is egolessness. It is self, supreme self – it is godliness. You have disappeared as a separate entity; you are no more an island. Now you are part of the whole. - Osho, The Fish in the Sea is Not Thirsty, Talk #12
  14. @egoless How is it possible? If something can be observed by you, that cannot be you... But don't solidify this into a concept.. This logic is only used an as approach or an aid.. When you try to do mindfulness, you have to go ahead with the premise that whatever is observed by you is not you.. But you don't have to make it as a concept and wonder if you have to believe it or not.. You still can define 'you' as a collection of the aggregates such as your body, your thoughts etc for the sake of communication. But it is only for the sake of communication. The word 'you' can be still used as a point of reference. But a point of reference doesn't have any more reality to it than being just a point of reference. The problem arises only when this 'you' gets more importance than it deserves.. That is why people suffer.
  15. @egoless Don't try to look for pure awareness... You can never find it as an object because that is the subject itself.. Everything is happening in the field of consciousness, which is the subject.. The problem doesn't arise when you keep witnessing the thoughts... It only arises when try to do something, like contemplation of concepts such as nothingness and awareness... When it happens, witness the thought that contemplates.. Just observe those thoughts as they occur with full attention. Once you try to contemplate on such concepts, you are moving away from being a witness. Your consciousness is like the sky and thoughts are like clouds.. Witness the contents of your consciousness just like witnessing the moving clouds.. When a thought such as 'is this nothingness? how can I find nothingness' arises, it is also a thought, it is also like a cloud in the sky of consciousness. Recognize that thought for what it is, witness that thought passing by and be curious about what your next thought is going to be.