November 28, 2022
Question: I don’t have a question, but would like to check my understanding. I’ve come to the conclusion that surrender is the core of the philosophy, rather than witnessing. And it struck me that this surrender is really just an attitude that we pick, like whether you believe in God or not. We know there is ego. So if you take this attitude that is directly opposite of ego, in fact you’re denying ego. And when this struck me, it became a very subtle feeling of bliss. So I guess it must be correct. And I think that the Teaching results in more than peace of mind, it’s also bliss. As the Chinese say, “everything is attitude”.
Answer: Surrender leads to more and more witnessing in daily living. That’s why I keep saying that witnessing is not doing something, but witnessing happens. As a very simple example, let’s say there is someone in front of you who you don’t like very much. If you surrender to what is, there is total acceptance that this person is the way they have been made according to their genetics and conditioning. What does this understanding mean? It means that one is surrendered to what is, to how that person is, and you no longer think that they are deliberately doing something that you don’t like. This surrender leads to witnessing.
Question: I previously concluded that the distance between Consciousness and thoughts is the space where all virtue arises. But how to gain this distance? So I tried self inquiry, but actually I find surrender is much easier. It felt like you taught me how to tie my shoelaces, something so simple and at the same time so powerful.
Answer: This gap between thoughts can become very conceptual. Let’s say the gap between two thoughts is where Peace or Consciousness resides. The difficulty with this is that it can become an endless practice. Now, let’s consider a similar practice. Siddharameshwar Maharaj says that if you look at a lamp in your bedroom, or if you can see a tree outside your window, or a building outside your window, your eye naturally focuses on the object. But now, just keep your vision between the object and eye, the space in between, which is ‘no object’. In other words, it is the formless Consciousness. What is he pointing at with this? He means that one starts realizing that all of manifestation arises within one’s own consciousness, and all objects fleetingly come and go. By contrast, the field of Consciousness within which all of manifestation arises is eternal. So when one is surrendered, one is already in that field, and witnessing what happens naturally arises. The internal dialogue that observes what happens as ‘happening to me as an individual’ begins to decline, and it is replaced by observing only ‘what is happening’. There is a crucial distinction here: the me (the contracted me, me and my story, and seeing myself as the center of my universe), which was previously so strong, begins to open up to what is, and with that comes surrender. ‘What is happening to me’ becomes ‘what is happening’. That is the surrender.
Let us look at something objectively: money. I made a short podcast on this (https://www.patreon.com/posts/38040895). Many people have lost money in the lockdown. In India, we had two years of a declining economy before the lockdown, and many people have lost money in the stock market. Now I will tell you about my own experience with money. Quite against my nature, I put some money in the stock market. I don’t really understand numbers, and I’m the kind of person who is happy with a bank deposit. Others have a nature and mind that becomes consumed with their stock investments, continuously watching the values increasing and decreasing. I have an app on my laptop that displays the amount I invested and its current value, which as you can imagine is substantially lower than the amount invested. But then it struck me that what I am looking at are just numbers, and these numbers don’t have any story to tell. When there is a ‘me’ who feels that ‘I’ have lost money, then I project meaning onto the numbers. But when I am surrendered to what is, I see an investment of a certain value that is now at a different value (in this case lower). I objectively look at the situation, and decide whether to stay or exit. This very clear level of seeing removes the drama of the ‘me’ who thinks “Oh my God! My investment is down! How did this happen? Why was I so stupid? Didn’t I see this coming? I can’t believe this has happened to me! Whose advice did I take? Why did I take that advice?” All of that dialogue is finished, and the numbers displayed on the screen remain as numbers. It is the ‘me’ who tells a story about the numbers, the same way it tells a story about everything in your life.Look at everything in your life and see how it is distorted by the thinking mind into ‘me and my story’. Then, everything that passes through your life is transformed from ‘this happened to me’ to ‘this happened’. This will gradually become your life’s experience, and this surrendered state of being becomes more permanent because you are surrendered to what is, not what should be.