Ramana Maharshi - from Be As You Are
Is there Enlightenment, Realization or Awakening?
Your own true nature is an "expression of the One Life" - the Aliveness - Consciousness - Awareness. It cannot be anything other than that - as this would be Dualistic.
Your own essential nature - Aliveness - Life itself - is not personal. There is not a separate entity there which is 'you'. It is pure Life itself. NonDual.
We have a sense of self when the conceptual self-image builds up - and it is just that - a mental image. It is not who or what we actually are.
That self image becomes a reference point. But it is a 'cherry picked', modified and edited version of your characteristics, your foibles, your personality, your attributes, your history, your good points, your faults, your tragic qualities, etc. Just a mental image - not 'you'.
It is insubstantial and has no existence other than the content of thought. The apparent 'me' actually does not exist and when looked for cannot be found.
The 'me' is an abstraction. The actuality of what you are is what exists in the immediacy of the moment - which is Presence - Awareness / Aliveness.
All the rest is a mental construct - an abstraction. What that means is that 'the one who you think you are' is a mental abstraction and is 'not it'
So then comes the 'desire' to become enlightened, or to awaken, or become self realized.
But your essential nature, which is present and aware right now as you read this, is an expression of the One Life. It is completely NonDual and completely untouched by the travails of life.
Your essential nature does not need to become enlightened, or to wake up, or to become self realized. It does not need to 'learn' how to become 'more Present', become more compassionate, be able to 'surrender' or 'go 'deeper'. It is already 100% Present and the concept of 'surrender' does not arise.
Who then 'wants' to be come 'Enlightened'? Who wants to 'Wake up'? It is the one who feels incomplete, unsatisfied, unhappy. Who is the one who suffers? It is the Self Image, the Reference Point, the Ego, the one who we think we are. The one who we believe is us.
It is entirely a case of mistaken identity. We are not who we think we are and we want to fix that one up.
Our real nature does not need 'fixing up'.
Our true nature does not need to become 'enlightened'.
Our true nature was never asleep and does not need to 'wake up'
Our true nature does not need to become 'realized' as it is already fully Real.
The reference point, the Ego, has no existence beyond the content of thoughts, has no aliveness of its own and has no awareness whatsoever in its own right. No wonder it feels incomplete and miserable! No wonder it suffers.
Who is the one that is the "I" in "When I awoke" or "I am enlightened", or "I am self-realized"? The only 'one' there that regards itself as a separate entity is the Ego itself - the reference point.
In fact there is no one there at all. The reference point, the so-called ego, does not exist beyond the content of thought. It has no substantial nature at all.
Our essential nature is Aliveness / Presence Awareness /Consciousness - but that is entirely non-personal - there is no separate entity at all. No Self, as the Buddha puts it.
So there are three good reasons to discard the old concepts of enlightenment, awakening and self realization.
Far better to look into the matter of mistaken identity - just that and only that.
There-in lies the end of suffering and the end of seeking.
Written by Mike Graham, 19 Jan 2008, last edited 29 Apr 2008
Wei Wu Wei
'Sailor' Bob Adamson