THE SELF AS MYSTERY

THE SELF AS MYSTERY

 

Stone: Opal

The Mantra: Jay Tat Rahasya

 

The Key:

 

Ultimately everything is a mystery, but once we finally

solve the one of our own self

ALL is revealed.

 

a) The Bhagavad Ghita introduces the issue by saying that the ancient Rishis:

 

They see the Self in the Self

by the Self.

 

This isn’t very clear: which self sees another self?

There is only ONE real Self.

Wei Wu Wei completes the Ghita’s statement:

 

That which is the Self is other, that which is other is the Self,

and what we really are is neither the self

nor the other.

 

Are you the self, the other, or neither?

What makes you think so?

 

b) The Self is ever silent and still, does no action in the world

but the world temporarily appears in it.

 

A metaphor used by many Teachers is the one of the blank screen of a cinema: whatever is projected upon it, even the most terrible things,

 

the screen remains always pure, undefiled, unwounded by

whatever horrors may be projected upon it.

A famous passage of the Katha Upanishad affirms that

 

Most elusive is the Self, hard to find because is the subject

of perception itself: the eye cannot see itself directly.

This is the ultimate Mystery.

 

c) Most confuse the Self with the individual, the thinker,

the part of us acting and feeling, or with a mixture of their higher qualities,

 

what in us can have spiritual experiences, love and vision, but it goes far beyond all that into the Mystery of the Absolute where our human mind can no longer follow, for

 

only in the narrow limits of the Manifestation we can to a small extent

mentally known it and record the point in which

it goes beyond our mental horizon.

 

Beyond YOUR mental horizon, too.

What do you expect to be there beyond the mental horizon?

It is always best not to have any expectations.

They always limit our vision.

 

At first the Self is experienced as but an impersonal presence, an ocean

of intense deep silence far beyond all the superficialities

that our mind occupies itself with.

 

Is this how you experience it?

Or how?

 

d) The Katha Upanishad sums it up thus:

 

The self-Existent has pierced the doors of senses outwards, therefore

one sees things outwardly and not one’s inner being.

 

Rarely a sage desiring immortality, his sight turned inwards,

sees the Self face to face.

 

To which extent do you really desire Immortality?

That’s all?

 

The Kabuli:

About the Mystery of the Self, beside the passage mentioned in the Practice below there was also this disconnected sentence without beginning or end, probably because Vijay hadn’t understood the rest:

 

…so there is only One Mystery, the one of the Merciful as the Self –

all others are mere reflections of it, because….

 

What does your intuition tell you about the missing part at the end?

 

The Veil:

By lighting a candle in the night we can see all around us by its light, but to discover the light’s nature examining what we see won’t help us at all.

 

The Veil works in a similar way: it makes us miss out on the Mystery of the Self by inducing us to seek it where it is not, in our conditioned human mind and thoughts,

 

while it can only be found by going

far beyond them all.

 

The Dreamgame:

In the Dreamgame, the Self as Mystery is of course the ultimate RIDDLE.

The Devil’s Advocate:

Trying to solve the mystery of the self is like if a dog tried to understand what someone sitting at a computer keyboard writing poetry is doing: which are its chances of succeeding?

Light years below zero, of course!

 

The Khdir:

 

YOU are the ultimate mystery.

 

Words of Power:

 

May I always be filled with the ecstasy of the Divine’s Self

wonderful mystery to the brim!

 

“Your real self lies hid beneath

your outward self.” Rumi

 

Living it:

From “The Quest”:

 

Once I finally realized that I wasn’t my body, mind or self-image I conceived of myself as a “Higher Self”, and yet still kept thinking with the frames of reference in my mind based on duality, forgetting that

 

it is never possible to find the Divine through mere mental

knowledge alone because He is Himself

the subject who knows.

 

Therefore

 

the Self will always remain a mystery to our human mind because

it cannot be understood in the same way

as everything else.

 

The Way:

 

We can only to some extent define the mystery of the Self trapped in Time,

never the perennial, Eternal Self who is forever

one with the Divine.

 

You may feel it in your heart, but never say: “My own Self is this and that.”

Tell yourself instead:

 

The Self is the supreme Mystery.

 

Question/ko’han 1 to 3:

To which extent are you aware of the infinite mystery of your own self?

How?

How does it make you feel?

Question/ko’han 4:

But…as we are the Self how can we possibly forget it?

 

There aren’t two selves for one to forget the other.

 

How often do you forget the Self?

Question/ko’han 5:

Dogen said that

 

To study Zen means to study the self, but in order

to do that we must forget the self.

 

How will you deal with such conundrum?

Question/ko’han 6 and 7:

The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad affirms that

 

The dream-self passes beyond this world

and all forms of death.

 

What is the dream-self?

How does it pass beyond this world and all forms of death?

The last word points out that our Self isn’t given to us like a ready-made garment from a shop, but

 

It is created here on earth

in a succession of lives.

 

Now, this is yet another conundrum and a high mystery, because it implies that there was a time in which we were not yet a soul, not yet a Self as we conceive of it.

 

But then WHO or WHAT

were we then?

 

Please consider this a while longer before reading on.

 

Practice:

 

1) Consider that, as many Teachers pointed out,

the entity which can perceive the Self must of course be other than the self.

 

Discover the entity in you which can

perceive the Self.

Note: If you seem to be unable to perceive it,

 

don’t give up, keep looking.

 

2) Meditate on this passage of the Bhagavad Ghita:

 

The Self has neither birth nor death.

 

Nor does he cease to be, having been in existence before; unborn,

eternal permanent and primeval, he is never killed

when the body is killed.

 

O Arjuna! know this self to be eternal, undecaying, birth-less and indestructible. A person who knows him to be so – whom can he slay or cause another to slay. One should uplift one’s lower self by the higher self. One should not depress or downgrade one’s self.

 

In one who has conquered his mind, the Self remains steady

and unperturbed in the experience of the opposites

like heat and cold, pleasure and pain.

 

Haiku:

 

Who is hearing? The body just passes sounds on.

Who ever hopes or fears? As Lao Tzu pointed out,

such things only arise from a concern with the self,

never when we very simply, naturally ARE it!

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