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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Consciousness


Consciousness 
"Know Thyself" - Inscription in the Temple of Delphi - Greece
The inscription "Know Thyself" in the ancient Temple of Delphi of Greece is a precept applicable to all spiritual aspirants to whichever religion they belong. 
See what Kathopanishad says about this :-
          "The openings of the mind viz. the sense organs are directed outwards. Therefore do men's thoughts ever tend outwards. But the few who have true understanding turn their mind inwards and realize the Self within."
Kathopanishad also says :-
          "The Atman cannot be studied in classes or by intellect or by hearing hundreds of lectures."
Here is what a modern spiritual teacher, J.Krishnamurti, says:-
          "The control of the mind is not important. What is important is to find out the interests of the mind."
So, once we turn inwards, what 'interests of the mind' do we usually find?
       
      Beware! Your clinging to ego is
          greater than yourself.
      Pay heed! Your emotions are
          stronger than yourself.
      Your vicious will is far wickeder
           than yourself.
      Your habitual thought is
           more characteristic than yourself.
      Your ceaseless mental activity
           is more frantic than yourself.
                                       - Milarepa

Thus the Tibetan yogi, Milarepa sums up what 'Know Thyself' stands for. However, this self-observation is to be done only as a witness without using will power to suppress unpleasant thoughts. In other words, it is awareness that is important. According to J. Krishnamurti awareness is the critical point of transformation. Such conscious uncritical observation is very important in sadhana. It destroys our self complacency and our picture about ourself.

Besides J. Krishnamurti, both Sri Aurobindo, and Gurdjieff have also emphasized on such awareness as a key point in one's spiritual development. Here is what they say :-
          "Evolution does not lie in becoming more and more saintly or more and more intelligent but more and more conscious. For everything, always is a question of consciousness, for our mental, vital and physical life as for our sleep and our death and our immortality. Consciousness is the means, consciousness is the key, consciousness is the end."
                                       - Sri Aurobindo

              "The evolution of man is the evolution of his consciousness, and consciousness cannot evolve unconsciously."
                                       - Gurdjieff




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