The Hub of Being – Realization


Human behavior flows from 3 main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge. ~ Plato

2 instincts preponderate mental life. Foremost is the biologically based urge to satisfaction. This instinct dominates the lives of the Collective.

2nd is the desire for control. We begin our quest at birth. The fundamental means for obtaining control is comprehending the world in which we live, including our own evolving nature.

If trying to control the world is an exercise in frustration, it is small-time compared to what is inside. Self-control is most formidable obstacle we face.

The longest trip you’ll take is inside. ~ South African musician Trevor Rabin in the song “Endless Dream” (1994)

There are negative and positive vectors of motivation for spiritual seekers. Some are driven by emotional torment to find relief. Others seek understanding, finding conventional explanations, whether religious or scientific, insufficient. The two are not mutually exclusive – in combination they can be most compelling.

Something inside us subtlety senses that there is more to life than what is facilely felt and observed: a feeling only denied by those with a neurotic need for the delusion of certitude. It is within our nature to seek a deeper truth, beyond the empirical.

The mind of man is so constituted that it cannot remain content with the mere observation of facts, but always attempts to penetrate into the inner reason of things. ~ Georges Sorel


Mom and pop will fuck you up for sure. ~ Scottish musician David Byrne in the song “Sax and Violins” (1991)

One may be born enlightened or even realized. If not, for an infant, enlightenment is as a word on the tip of the tongue: pregnant with fruition. Alas, the parenting of the Collective quickly wipes it away. Socialization effectively scrubs the sheen off potential for enlightenment.

From the moment of birth, when the stone-age baby confronts the 20th-century mother, the baby is subject to these forces of violence, called love, as its mother and father have been, and their parents and their parents before them. These forces are mainly concerned with destroying most of its potentialities. This enterprise is on the whole successful. ~ Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing

Despite the difficulty many have in attaining enlightenment, it is a natural state: a homeostasis of consciousness.

Man is the only creature that refuses to be what he is. ~ French philosopher Albert Camus


The 1st written references to the concept of guru are found in the earliest Vedic texts (~1500 BCE) which became the basis of Hinduism. Sages scrivening wisdom doubtlessly date to the earliest writings; an echo of what had been orally passed down through generations in prehistory. Knowledge may be lost in social chaos, but the sagacity that comes from realization is individually received, and so transcends time and place.

It is not that you knew what you are and then you have forgotten. Once you know, you cannot forget. Ignorance has no beginning, but it can have an end.

The world is full of contradictions, hence your search for harmony and peace. These you cannot find in the world, for the world is the child of chaos. It is your restlessness that causes chaos. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

Paramahansa Yogananda

The power of unfulfilled desires is the root of all man’s slavery. ~ Paramahansa Yogananda

Indian yogi and guru Paramahansa Yogananda (1893–1952) was born into a devout Hindu family, and took to the spiritual path at an early age like a duck to water.

In 1920, Yogananda went to the United States to teach yoga and meditation. He stayed for the rest of his life, albeit with a visit back to India 1935–1936 to see his guru, Sri Yukteswar.

Yogananda was very influential among American seekers. His life story, Autobiography of a Yogi (1958) was popular.

In the days leading to his death, Yogananda hinted that his time had come. He spoke at a banquet on 7 March 1952. Yogananda’s talk ended with: “I am hallowed; my body touched that sod.” Upon uttering these words, his body slumped to the floor. His followers thought Yogananda committed mahasamādhi: intentionally shuffling off the mortal coil.

Mortician Harry Rowe received and interred Yogananda’s body. He wrote in a notarized letter:

The absence of any visual signs of decay in the dead body of Paramahansa Yogananda offers the most extraordinary case in our experience. No physical disintegration was visible in his body even 20 days after death. No indication of mold was visible on his skin, and no visible drying up took place in the bodily tissues. This state of perfect preservation of a body is, so far as we know from mortuary annals, an unparalleled one. No odor of decay emanated from his body at any time.

Meher Baba

The universe is the outcome of imagination. Then why try to acquire knowledge of the imaginative universe instead of plumbing the depths of your real Self? ~ Meher Baba

At 30 years of age, Indian guru Meher Baba (1894–1969) said all he was ever going to say. While he kept an active teaching schedule, Baba maintained silence the rest of his life, communicating using an alphabet board or by unique hand gestures.

Suffering is essential for the elimination of the ego, just as it was necessary for you to scrub and scrub in order to wash the stain from my coat. ~ Meher Baba

Anandamayi Maa

The supreme calling of every human being is to aspire to self-realization. ~ Anandamayi Maa

Nirmala Sundari (1896–1982) was born and lived her early life in poverty. She attended school for 2 years. Although Nirmala’s teachers were pleased with her scholastic ability, her family thought she was dimwitted because of her constant blissfulness. When her mother fell seriously ill, relatives remarked with puzzlement about Nirmala appearing unperturbed.

At age 13, in keeping with rural custom, Nirmala was married. She then spent 5 years at her brother-in-law’s home, mostly in a withdrawn, meditative state.

During this time, a devout neighbor, Harakumar, developed the habit of addressing her as “Maa,” prostrating before her morning and evening in reverence. Harakumar was considered insane.

Nirmala moved to Shahbag with her husband in 1924. She was in a silent state of ecstasy much of the time.

In 1926, Nirmala set up a temple and devoted herself to spiritual practices. While in a meditative state at the temple one day, she held difficult yogic positions for extended durations and spontaneously formed complex mudras (yogic hand positions and gestures).

More and more people became drawn to Nirmala as a living embodiment of the divine. She was given the name Anandamayi Maa, meaning “Bliss Permeated Mother,” by an early disciple. Though she called herself “a little unlettered child,” many were attracted to Maa’s spontaneous spiritual teachings.

This world is itself but an embodiment of want. To perceive duality means pain, conflict, struggle, and death. Suffering is sent to remind you to turn your thoughts toward that which is real. ~ Anandamayi Maa

Nisargadatta Maharaj

The real world is beyond the mind’s ken; we see it through the net of our desires, divided into pleasure and pain, right and wrong, inner and outer. To see the universe as it is, you must step beyond the net. It is not hard to do so, for the net is full of holes. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

In his early adulthood, Nisargadatta Maharaj (1897–1981) ran a string of small-goods stores, which mainly sold beedis (south Asian cigarettes). He smoked these spicy cigarettes his entire adult life. They took their toll.

Maharaj died of throat cancer at 81. The cancer was to him a painful inconvenience, which he stoically accepted. Maharaj made himself available to seekers until he was no longer able physically.

When you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance. ~ American singer Lee Ann Womack in the song “I Hope You Dance” (1999) (“I Hope You Dance” was written by American songwriters Tia Sillers & Mark Sanders.)

When he was still healthy, it struck many visitors odd that Maharaj would participate in the daily rituals – dancing and chanting – that took place in his ashram. They wondered why he felt the need to do that.

Maharaj needed nothing. He simply lived the life that was enjoyable to him.

Do not take the trouble to acquire or renounce anything. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

There is unified wholeness in transcendental consciousness. ~ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Once known as the “giggling guru” for his easy laughter, Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1918–2008) built an empire of wealth on his Transcendental Meditation program, which initiated millions into the practice of meditation.

Born Mahesh Prasad Varma, Maharishi studied physics and mathematics at university before becoming a disciple of Brahmānanda Saraswatī for 13 years, whom he later called Guru Dev.

As Mahesh was not of the Brahmin cast, Saraswatī could not name him as his successor. Instead, Saraswatī charged Mahesh with traveling and teaching meditation to the masses.

These are ancient teachings, but now I have made them new. ~ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Mahesh began teaching meditation throughout India in 1955. Within a few years, Mahesh bestowed upon himself the title of Maharishi (“great seer”).

From 1959, Maharishi toured the world teaching meditation. Maharishi’s growing prominence brought criticism from other Indian sages and gurus, for his unorthodoxy in disseminating a simple technique without teaching other traditional Hindu concepts, particularly the need for internal discipline.

Maharishi’s fame peaked in 1968, when he was visited by The Beatles at his ashram in India. Maharishi’s meditation business continued to bloom in the early 1970s.

Maharishi introduced his sutra for levitation in 1978. Often called “yogic flying,” the technique launches the body into the air, defying known physics in the process.

In the last decade of his life, Maharishi increasingly limited his social contact, even as he retained interest in the potential for meditation to solve world problems.

Eckhart Tolle

Awareness is the greatest agent for change. ~ Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle (1948–) had an unhappy childhood in post-war Germany. He later remarked that pain “was in the energy field of the country.”

“Depression, anxiety and fear” plagued Tolle until one night in 1977, when, at age 29, he had an epiphany: that the mind-made self is false. (Tolle’s sudden realization may be explained by his profound desire for release from his mental torment; in other words, wanting nothing but enlightenment.) An abiding “state of deep bliss” ensued.

Being spiritual has nothing to do with what you believe, and everything to do with your state of consciousness. ~ Eckhart Tolle

Tolle abandoned his academic career and spent a few years in penury before beginning to teach. Thanks to an endorsement by American talk show host Oprah Winfrey, Tolle’s book – The Power of Now (1977) – became a bestseller.

All the things that truly matter – beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace – arise from beyond the mind. ~ Eckhart Tolle

Ishi Nobu

The most egregious illusion is belief. ~ Ishi Nobu

Ishi Nobu (1955–) learned how to meditate at age 19. At 21 he received an inner instruction to “explain everything.” After 42 years of research, Nobu published his magnum opus: Spokes of the Wheel. While having a Western scientific bent, Nobu’s teachings are spiritually classicist in emphasizing conceptual knowledge as guidance, along with the discipline of living in meditation by subduing the mind.

Your only choice is to stay a creature of your mind, or to gain the skill of silence and live fulfilled. ~ Ishi Nobu


Truth is singular. Its ‘versions’ are mistruths. ~ David Mitchell

All the mind can comprehend are concepts. Truth is beyond concepts.

Ĉonsciousness straddles the interface between the phenomenal and noumenal. As a witness in quietude, truth may seep into an individual’s consciousness.

The voluminous construals of Nature may have elements of veracity in them, like grains of sand taken from a beach. That is because all knowledge has a singular source.

Beyond the senses are the objects. Beyond the objects is the mind. Beyond the mind is the intellect. Beyond the intellect is the great Ātman (soul / true self). Beyond the Ātman is the Unmanifested. Beyond the Unmanifested is the Purusha (the cosmic soul / universal principle). Beyond the Purusha there is nothing. ~ Katha Upanishad 3.3.7

Knowledge of reality, and the path to realization, is archaic. The Upanishads (aka Vedānta) are ancient Vedic texts, the earliest of which date to the 7th century bce.

For those in ignorance, these texts are treated as allusions: mystical in import to those who cannot take them at face value. To one who is realized, they are instead merely florid statements of fact.

In essence there is and always has been only one spiritual teaching, although it comes in many forms. ~ Eckhart Tolle

In relating the wisdom of ancient spiritual texts, distortions arose from lack of clarity in the interpreter, along with cultural orientations. Many preach who are not realized, and so their contributions are scattershot. These pretenders disguise reality as much as illuminate it.

Even among those who are realized there are canonical differences. One of the most glaring examples is the expressed belief in a God. Some gurus believe in God. Many don’t, for the simple reason that it is a fantasy of consequence: beggaring a false comfort from a capricious foreign source (one can never know what God may do).

God works in mysterious ways. ~ common religious expression, emanating from a 1779 poem by English poet William Cowper

The God issue is more than semantics. Combine the potential omniscience of Ĉonsciousness and the seeming omnipotence of coherence and you have the power of God. What you don’t have is a Supreme Being, as Ĉonsciousness and coherence are labels of convenience for natural processes. As object orientation is the mind’s rote ruse, confusing a process with a being is facilely made.

God is only an idea in your mind. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

Is it that God-faring gurus have been careless philosophical analysts, and so off-base? Absolutely. Attaining a higher state of consciousness is not an injection of intellect. Most enlightened people are rather mundane outside their attained state of consciousness.

To err is human. ~ English poet Alexander Pope

Does this mean that the practicable teachings of certain gurus may be incomplete, ineffective for followers, or even incorrect? Yes. Misconception defines the human experience.

Individuals learn in their own way, taking in ideas which resonate at the time they are presented. Once satisfied, spiritual seeking stops, and acceptance sinks in, however perverse.

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As truth is ultimately beyond concepts, the only possible veracity check is through aporetic cross-validation of all that is known: a demanding intellectual task that takes decades of devotion, abetted by a sustained scientific skepticism that few possess the stamina for. By contrast, believing a smooth-talking authority figure, or buying into Collective convention, is a no-brainer.

(Spokes of the Wheel conveys salient information for all fields of knowledge. The intention behind Spokes is to allow the dedicated reader to connect the data dots into discernible patterns which validate, via inference, what empirical evidence can only suggest. Verifying the core of the ancient spiritual teachings requires the personal experience of unity consciousness. Whereas the force of coherence in Nature becomes obvious via cumulative scientific evidence, and the occasional feeling of “oneness” in Nature is somewhat common among those spiritually inclined who are not enlightened, Ĉonsciousness as a unified field can only be reliably felt when one is realized. That Ĉonsciousness localization corresponds with the quantum production of Nature via the Higgs mechanism, as theorized in physics, is strongly suggestive.)

Nisargadatta Maharaj is more extensively quoted in this book than Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who was wildly successful thanks to his brief association with The Beatles and his easy instruction that all one needed to do to become enlightened was to meditate. Though he planted pointers, Maharishi never laid out a map to reach the ethereal territory known as reality.

By contrast, in recorded sessions, Maharaj addressed seekers directly, in dialogues pertinent to their specific concerns. The cumulative effect, provided through edited books of transcripts, was to convey a comprehensive worldview from a savvy guru.

For realization, understanding is essential. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

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The purchase of matterism, for instance, is an instance of pseudoscience by the simple-minded, notably neurobiologists. Have these clowns never bothered to consider how organisms without brains manage to possess awareness and exhibit intelligence?! If they had, they would have disabused themselves of the nonsense which they tout.

A common misdiagnosis is thinking that known facts are sufficient to encompass the world. Mistaking a peephole of atomic evidence for the whole picture is an egregiously erroneous projection when trying to comprehend reality merely from matter transformations, especially when implications are ignored. The illness of wrongheadedness is terminal when the worldview “answer” is arrived at before even looking at what is known.

What we know is a drop; what we don’t know is an ocean. ~ English natural philosopher Isaac Newton

It seems incredible that naïve realism and matterism are accepted in light of the basic physics fact that matter is composed of energy, which is nothing but a concept. That immaterial forces teleologically propel Nature is abundantly apparent from evolution.

Ignoring fundamental facts to propose fictions is pseudoscience. Incompetence among theoretical scientists is rampant, as matterism is ubiquitously espoused by those with the highest academic credentials: a conceptual convention from a confederacy of dunces.

Nowadays people are full of intellectual conceit. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

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The teachings of Ishi Nobu generally align with those of Nisargadatta Maharaj, yet their incidental content strikingly differs. (Not an author, Maharaj is remembered by transcribed recordings of his conversations with spiritual seekers. Maharaj’s teachings are not altogether consistent nor scientific, unlike Nobu, who presents a comprehensive system of knowledge from scientific facts accumulated for over 4 decades.) Whereas Maharaj spoke of the guņas and other Hindu constructs, Nobu writes of physics field theories, genetics, and other Western idealizations. Genes are no more real than guņas. A guru expounds in the milieu of his culture, and to his audience. (When Maharaj was asked about why he conveyed Hindu concepts, he replied: “it is my way of talking, the language I was taught to use.”) Expressions necessarily reside within a societal setting, reflecting the time of production.


To be alive is to have one’s mind swim in an ocean of ideas, none of which are true. The best one may do is attain a level of understanding by gaining the constructs which enliven and enrich the enjoyment of life. Those theories which irrefutably outline Nature in all its intricacy are an invaluable aid. Their merit is not in the comfort they bring, but in their reliability as a guide. True spirituality is the epitome of practicality.

The essence of spirituality is to understand life properly, to find the truth and the untruth about who we are. All that can be found is the untruth. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

Praxis Toward Realization

Suffering is primarily a call for attention. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

The journey to enlightenment necessitates taming the raging beast inside your head: your mind. The difficulty of this domestication cannot be understated, as the mind is more than disinclined to keep its flap shut.

Self-conquest is the greatest of victories. ~ Plato

The mind’s overbearing nature means that the drive to clarity is an act of will. The conscious mind must be cleared and kept that way.

What is will but steadiness of heart and mind. Given such steadfastness all can be achieved. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

Starting on the path to realization is a lifestyle choice. As with all achievements, enlightening oneself takes attention.

The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live. ~ American author Flora Whittemore

That self-control is the key to success is obvious, whatever signification success carries. Keeping a firm grip on the key is the problem.

One must sincerely desire enlightenment above all else. Attaining quietude is not a hobby. It is instead a devotion: a dedication of unrelenting discipline.

In that power of self-control lies the seed of eternal freedom. ~ Paramahansa Yogananda

Longing for material satisfaction keeps one coupled to suffering. In contrast, the desire for enlightenment is for contentment in being. The choice is between endless desires that never deliver lasting satisfaction and a singular desire that is unending satisfaction in its attainment.

In the spiritual life one becomes just like a little child, without resentment, without attachment, full of life and joy. ~ Paramahansa Yogananda

Nothing is gained in becoming enlightened. Instead, one becomes lighter by losing unnecessary baggage. The greatest revelation is not that no baggage is needed, it is that all baggage is imagined.

Spiritual maturity lies in the readiness to let go everything. The giving up is the first step. But the real giving up is in realizing that there is nothing to give up, for nothing is your own. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

Realization cannot be attained by instruction nor mental acumen. It is instead attained by determination to realize one’s own true nature. ~ Mundaka Upanishad 3:2:3

Various instructive paths have been laid by spiritual teachers, who typically advocate the practices that helped them achieve clarity. A sole understanding is needed: what your own nature is. You are a quantized soul encased in a mind-body for an incarnation.

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. ~ French philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Mundane moments of involvement are the process of everyday life. Beyond that, remain an unattached witness, and thereby more clearly perceive the world before you.

Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality. ~ Nikos Kazantzakis

The will to realization begins by banishing all beliefs, rejecting emotions as valuable, shedding self as an admirable entity, and ends with leaving behind identification with all associations. Abandon all mental attachments.

The search for reality is the most dangerous of all undertakings, for it destroys the world in which you live. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

While the right precepts are helpful, concepts can be an obstacle to enlightenment, in that concepts clutter the mind, which naturally patterns them in relation to itself: into identification with, or alienation against. The mind as a natural concept magnet – of attraction and repulsion – is a problem.

All those concepts which are most dear to you, are images of yourself. Your image of yourself is that concept which is dearest to you. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

However passing the residence, being encased in a mind-body carries a compelling sense of belonging that cannot be completely surmounted. Enlightenment is accommodation with actuality, as contrasted to the ignorance of mistaking actuality for reality, or pretending to be above it all (mood-making).

It is extremely hard to get rid of that remnant of identification, being in the body. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj


The sections that follow cover the various aspects of mental life which affect the phase transition to realization: being present, belief, desire, emotions, mental discipline, and lifestyle. The gist is to disentangle yourself and enjoy the spectacle before you.

Being Present

The present moment is the only time there is. No matter what time it is, it is always now. ~ American spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson

Existence is instantaneously emergent from the quantum level to the cosmic. Coherence incessantly weaves the fabric of spacetime and all within it – making probabilistic wave patterns appear concrete, thereby creating a quantum now.

It is the illusion of time that makes you talk of causality. When the past and the future are seen in the timeless now, as parts of a common pattern, the idea of cause-effect loses its validity and creative freedom takes its place. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

The mind turns personal experiences into sketches, referring to these later for skill reference or reassurance. But all one ever knows is the present moment. Constant bracing freshness may be hard to face but living in the past can be terribly traumatic.


We cannot change our past. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. ~ American Christian pastor Charles Swindoll

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) arises when a traumatic memory rudely echoes in the mind in a disabling way. Negative memories are often covered over in time. PTSD shows how the mind will not bury an ordeal that still feels unresolved. PTSD is an extreme example of the past barging in on the present, but well illustrates how memories can impose a terrible burden: of fear and loss.

Personality comes into being simply because of memory: identifying the present with the past and projecting it into the future. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj


Be absorbed in the present moment as a fully attendant witness. After all, now is all there is. All else is memory, whose pursuit is nothing more than chasing shadows.

Memories are films about ghosts. ~ American songwriter and musician Adam Duritz in the song “Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby” (1999)

Being stuck in the past is a mental illness. ptsd is merely an extreme example. By contrast, mental health is characterized by spontaneity: acting within the moment.

The past is a construct of the mind. It blinds us and fools us into believing. ~ Mathias in the movie Total Recall (2012)

The benefit of memory is having relevant experience that affords skill and allows greater appreciation of what is. This does not require conscious reflection, as subconscious processing is all that is ever needed.

Man has genius only in proportion as he acts without reflection. ~ Georges Sorel

Experiences are effectively incorporated to effect right action via subconscious mentation: acting spontaneously with the subtle assist of intuition.

We need not destroy the past. It is gone. ~ American composer John Milton Cage Jr.

You cannot live in the past. Don’t let it live in you.

Concentrate totally on the now, be concerned only with your response to every movement in life as it happens. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj


Belief is the central problem in the analysis of mind. The whole intellectual life consists of beliefs, and of the passage from one belief to another by what is called “reasoning.” Beliefs give knowledge and error; they are the vehicles of truth and falsehood. Psychology, theory of knowledge, and metaphysics revolve about belief, and on the view we take of belief, our philosophical outlook largely depends. ~ Bertrand Russell

The world each of us creates is a mental fabrication created through social intercourse. Most beliefs are based upon hearsay.

Belief is a trick of the mind that is not easily discarded, yet that is exactly what enlightenment requires: a disposal of belief and careful reexamination of actuality, away from how it is understood by the Collective.

Don’t try to think your way through anything. Assign the mind to do the work for you, quietly, and come back only when it has the answer sought.

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away. ~ American science fiction writer Philip K. Dick

There is a strong inclination to accept sensory perception as reality, but what is taken as objective fact is instead a symbolic representation that has been subconsciously categorized and cross-checked to previous experience for consistency. Perception is an act of abstraction with an infusion of assigned meaning. All that we ever experience are nothing more than symbols and concepts to which we give credence.

As perception construes objects, so cognition construes ideas. In both cases, the representation is believed – empowered as it were true – prior to analysis of the representation’s accuracy. ~ American social psychologist Daniel Gilbert

Belief comes easy. In contrast, doubt takes effort.

The way to truth lies through destruction of the false. To destroy the false, you must question your most inveterate beliefs. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

The mind is prone to tidy compartmentalization. Something that does not make sense must be reconciled: either fit within an existing framework, a new schema created, or the datum is discarded as anomalous nonsense. As we age, we increasingly resist new schemas, as they may disrupt the existing worldview which took decades to construct and refine, and which may have become a fortress of certitude; that, and the eagerness of learning has rubbed off.

Create a concept and reality leaves the room. ~ Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset

As mental processing is symbolic manipulation, there is scant difference between experiential perception and imagination. Both are constructs of the mind. Belief is nothing more than a mental fabrication oriented toward a concept, aimed at comfortable reconciliation with what is already considered known.

Indeed, the world is ruled by little else than ideas. ~ English economist John Maynard Keynes

Acceptance of a perception or an idea is gated by a sense of rightness. The mind’s calibration device derives from 3 sources: personal psychology, biological disposition, and inculcated culture.

Part of the process of making sense of life experiences is building a mental edifice which crystallizes character and outlook. The contribution to belief of personal psychology is inextricable from the influences of biology and culture, as the 3 entangle.

Men believe what they want to. ~ Roman playwright Terence

Much of one’s belief system has a biological bent. For instance, the inclination of political belief is principally innate, premised upon a disposed degree of desire for uncertainty avoidance. Liberalism is a somewhat relaxed state of tolerance. In contrast, conservatism is an outgrowth of fear, with a strong preference for the certitude of the status quo and tradition.

Disgust plays a significant role in shaping conservative responses. Whereas liberals often perceive social issues relatively pragmatically, conservatives see them as matters of morality, with especial revulsion toward out-groups.

What we believe is based on perceptions. What we perceive depends on what we look for. What we look for depends on what we think. What we think depends on what we perceive. So what we perceive determines what we take to be true. What we take to be true is our reality. ~ American spiritual teacher Gary Zukav

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Reality is socially constructed. ~ Austrian American sociologists Peter Berger & Thomas Luckmann

We are social beings. Most of our beliefs are imbibed from the people we are closest to and the culture in which we grew up. Our gregarious nature involves adopting beliefs as badges of tribal identity. All this is pursuit of ignorance, as it attaches importance to ideas.

To be free in the world you must be free of the world. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

Understanding existence as it really is, rather than how it appears, or how we wish it to appear, is contrary to what the biology of the mind inclines, what personal experience one has encountered, and counter-intuitive to the belief systems of the Collective. Hence, the path to enlightenment is a solitary one: an alienation from cognitive habits and cultural norms.

Clear your mind of dogmatic debris. Let in direct perception. ~ Indian yogi Lahiri Mahasaya

To understand your true nature, and so edge toward enlightenment, discard your mental baggage and make a fresh start. Do not accept the valuation your mind places upon anything. Concepts are merely a convenience for navigating through life. They are not real.

Truth only reveals itself when one gives up all preconceived ideas. ~ Japanese Zen Buddhist monk Gido Shoseki

Only by relinquishing your grip on thoughts as having any intrinsic value can you understand that the mind is the obstacle to inner peace.


Feelings or emotions are the universal language and are to be honored. They are the authentic expression of who you are at your deepest place. ~ American author Judith Wright

Judith Wright’s sentiment posits the Collective conclusion about the value of emotions and attachment to self-identification. Such conviction is a surefire formula for averting enlightenment.

From an evolutionary perspective, emotionally charged events provoke remembrance. This is a basic survival instinct, especially remembering hazards.

Memory is good only for remembering the potentials of risks and rewards. Sentiment is for saps.

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Desire relates to objects and feeling to states. Feeling and desiring are changeable conditions of concepts. ~ Johann Friedrich Herbart

The mind seeks stimulation. Emotions are the addictive drug of the mind.

Emotional complexes are built from and sustained by addiction to emotive patterns which a person savors. These complexes are strongest when alloyed.

Mixed emotions provoke fascination, which is especially mentally stimulating. This makes mixed emotions particularly powerful. In contrast, modest emotions engage the mind for such short duration that nattermind demands greater amplitude, or some admixture.

Any emotions may be satisfying in the moment. Though negative emotions extraordinarily invigorate, especially anger and hate, they leave a bitter mental aftertaste. Nonetheless, negative emotions are just addictive as the positive ones among the Collective.

What worries you, masters you. ~ English philosopher John Locke

Besides their addictive nature, emotions – especially negative ones – drive desires. Emotions fog rationality and dull awareness.

When a man is prey to his emotions, he is not his own master. ~ Baruch Spinoza

Emotions are adored by nattermind, as they provide a compelling diversion. Hence, indulging emotions is strongly contraindicated for quietude.

It is desires and fears that make the mind restless. Free from all negative emotions the mind is quiet. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

By entwining the physiological with the psychological, emotions act to glue consciousness to the mind-body. Emotions dissolve dissociation, and so engender acceptance of matterism and naïve realism.

The most striking, and, next to madness, the saddest spectacle in psychology is furnished by the passions. ~ Johann Friedrich Herbart


Desire is the essence of a man. ~ Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza

We live because we crave sensory experience. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

The body needs sustenance and sleep. The mind-body wants comfort. These are basic biological needs.

Desire is the memory of pleasure and fear is the memory of pain. Both make the mind restless. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

Wants arise from attachment to particular concepts with which one identifies as being conducive to satisfaction, however fleeting. The stream of wants never runs dry.

You identify yourself with your desires and become their slave. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

Desires always involve consumption, which simply means engaging the senses for some duration. Anything that brings pleasure is eagerly consumed, whether it is food, a friend, music, or being in Nature.

Subdue your appetites, my dears, and you’ve conquered human nature. ~ Charles Dickens

Desires are products of the mind and fulfilled in the mind. Any associated intermediate activity is merely instrumental: whatever you do to gain the object of desire. The struggles of dealing with and satisfactions reaped from the physical world are nothing but mental gyrations.

It is of the nature of desire not to be satisfied, and most men live only for the gratification of it. ~ Aristotle

Just as beliefs are social derivations, so too desires. Much of what people want is an emulation.

Ignorant people define themselves and by their experiences and aspirations: affixing their imagined identity to concepts. These desirous symbols may take physical form or may be values that are associated with circumstance. Regardless of form, attachments have no more value than the possessions of pack rats.

Behaviour arises from the level of one’s consciousness. ~ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Some Americans prize their guns for the feelings of safety and power that these weapons provide. The right of ownership of guns is associated with “freedom” in the minds of those with ideals of violence. This is but one example of sick self-delusion via naïve belief.

Desire ought to obey reason. ~ Cicero

Attachments focus attention into narrow rivulets that exclude awareness outside the scope of the immediate desire. The vitality of life can drown in an endless river of wants.

Desire shapes destiny. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

Expectation is a formula for disappointment. This is the nature of trying to fulfill desires related to the world.

I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them. ~ English philosopher John Stuart Mill

Suffering comes from identifying with objects of perception. Desire leads to blind action: so focused as to be unmindful of the consequences. Ignorance creates its own suffering.

There is no beauty in sadness. No honor in suffering. No growth in fear. No relief in hate. It’s just a waste of perfectly good happiness. ~ Bulgarian writer Katerina Stoykova Klemer

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Great desire obtains little. ~ Burmese proverb

Spiritual advisors commonly teach giving up worldly desires as a means to enlightenment. This is canonical wisdom, but too much may be made of it.

By all means, use your body to work in the world. But understand what it is. The body is only an instrument to be used: you are not the body. You are the everlasting, timeless, spaceless principle which gives sentience to this body. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

Our biological being is built for many activities. Pleasure tops the list. The issue is passion in the pursuit of pleasure, rather than enjoying each moment of life as best as one can.

To try to deny desire is unproductively doctrinaire. Appreciate nuance. Life often involves fishing in a stream of potential satisfactions. Whereas attachment bodes ill, desire is part of life.

Shun not desire; see only that it flows into the right channels. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

The issue is not really desire per se. It is instead attachment: the neediness that arises from letting the mind run the show with its own obsessiveness.

Attachment is bondage. Detachment is freedom. To crave is to slave. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

Reject desires which arise from social influence. This is the shallow economic materialism which pervades the Collective.

Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants. ~ Epictetus

Practice skepticism about one’s wants – as contrasted to needs – until the motivation is understood. With this comprehension comes realization of stimulation superfluity: the mind’s hunger for excitement. As with all dangerous animals, do not feed the mind.

Ask yourself what you stand to gain by achieving a desire beyond the satisfaction itself. Let practicality guide your desires. Desires which lead to useful knowledge or convenience are typically worth pursuing; those which are mere moments of satisfaction are not.

Avoid impulse aimed at satisfaction. Abjure thrill seeking. Beyond what is necessary for health and comfort, take pleasure in entertainment that shares joy, positively creates, or entrains affirmation of the value of all life.

Be content with what you have, rejoice the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. ~ Lao Tzu


Whereas putting emotions in their proper place is easily stated, it is a vexing practice. Like unbidden thoughts, feelings and emotions are to be noted and then discarded in favor of creating a positive outcome for yourself.

As emotions feed upon themselves, quickly flush emotions by focusing back on the flow of the immediate moment. Negative and desirous emotions are valueless and should not reflexively be acted out.

The value to awareness of emotions is to their relevance to what is happening at the present time. An emotion may productively act as a signal: to pay closer attention to that aspect of the action which is emotionally provocative.

Desire is emotionally evocative. Tamping desires should lessen the emotions associated with them. Forego stimulating emotions.

Assign your mind to consider your patterns of emotive stimulation: what presses your buttons. While negativity always arises from frustration (feeling that the world is out of control), sussing the source of emotive streams can be instrumental to removing attitudinal blockages.

Conventional psychologists consider emotional repression a bad thing. These mind gamers mistakenly view emotions as valuable rather than obstructive.

The greatest obstacles to inner peace are disturbing emotions. ~ Tibetan Buddhist leader Dalai Lama

Then there is mood-making: covering over negative emotions with forced positive sentiment. This is a foolish waste of mental energy. Better to view negativity of every sort as a missed opportunity for a constructive approach.

Signaling device aside, emotions are worthless. Like every entry in mental ledger, emotions have only the value they are assigned by identification or condemnation. Without assignation, emotions have no meaning.

Positive emotions take care of themselves. Love, which is rightly nothing more than admiration, is its own reward.

The Mind

You have the answer. Just get quiet enough to hear it. ~ American leadership coach Pat Obuchowski

Once the conduit to Ĉonsciousness is obscured by nattermind, clearing it to reach quietude can be a daunting challenge; but this is precisely what must be done to attain enlightenment.

No particular thought can be mind’s natural state, only silence. Not the idea of silence but silence itself. When the mind is in its natural state, it reverts to silence spontaneously after every experience or, rather, every experience happens against the background of silence. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

The mind’s proper station is problem-solving. Otherwise, any conscious thoughts reveal that nattermind is running the show, and your soul is adrift in a ceaseless sea of meaningless mentation.

Nattermind must be put in its place. The gentle way to do so is through meditation. The more direct means is minding the mind: actively discarding thoughts and emotions to focus on the immediate environment.

Beware of the thoughts that linger, winding up inside your head. ~ English musician George Harrison in the song “Beware of Darkness” (1970)

Those who really seek the path to enlightenment dictate terms to their mind. Then they proceed with strong determination. ~ Buddha

It is not a simple thing to control the mind. It cannot be done in a day, or even in a year. Through constant effort thoughts can be controlled a little. In this way, the uncontrollable mind can finally be brought under control. ~ Sri Lankan guru Yogaswami

He who conquers the mind conquers the world. ~ Paramahansa Yogananda

Rather than being a tool of the mind, make the mind a tool by using it only for the task at hand. Submerge nattermind in the sea of the subconscious: a pet fish rather than a domineering dragon.

Life is simple. You just have to stop trying to figure it out. ~ American novelist Marty Rubin


Meditation is the soul’s perspective glass. ~ English writer Owen Feltham

Meditation facilitates slipping into transcendence. As it engenders a quiet mind, meditation is essential for attaining enlightenment.

When thoughts cease, the mind naturally turns to what is truly beyond the mind: the infinite Ĉonsciousness. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

There are many meditative techniques, differing in ease and efficaciousness. There is nothing mystical about this ancient and natural practice to transcend, which should be an effortless form of rest.

The primary purpose of meditation is to become conscious of, and familiar with, our inner life. The ultimate purpose is to reach the source of life and consciousness. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi had the good fortune to make Transcendental Meditation® (TM) the best-known meditation technique. A resonant mantra – mental vibration – is invoked as a calmative. (The mantras dispensed by TM teachers are derived from a list of Hindu deities and doled out according to the age of the initiate. The mantra self-selection method described in this book is better tailored to the individual.) The mind naturally quiets into transcendence.

TM is expensive. The organization’s business model is to offer superb service, and have you feel that you are investing in something important, which you are. If you want to invest in meditation without seriously lightening your pocketbook, here’s how. (The author is a TM siddha and meditation practitioner for over 4 decades who achieved realization through regular meditation and studying the teachings of Nisargadatta Maharaj (as well as other gurus).)

 How to Meditate

Find a comfy chair or prop yourself up in bed with cushions. The room should be quiet, and preferably dimly lit.

Spend a few moments quieting the mind-body by listening to one’s bodily rhythms, such as the breath, or heartbeat, if you can sense it. If possible, breathe through your nostrils, not your mouth.

Begin meditating with the intention of quietude. When thoughts arise, gently smother them by bringing your mantra to the conscious mind, making it the mental focus.

Repeat the mantra as if calmly breathing it. Do not concentrate on the mantra. The aim is to clear the mind, not hold it captive.

When in a comfortable repose, consciousness commingles with Ĉonsciousness. A mantra merely expedites the process by mesmerizing the mind, and so putting it to sleep.


Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. ~ Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk Thích Nhat Hanh

The rhythm of nasal breathing affects the mind-body more profoundly than is commonly appreciated. Breathing coordinates energetic and physical activity throughout the body, notably in the brain.

Prāņāyāma are breathing techniques practiced as a yogic discipline which originated in ancient India. The term prāņā is Sanskrit for life force or vital energy; yāma is to extend or draw out. Prāṇāyāma is mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita (verse 4.29), a cherished Hindu text written in the 2nd century bce.

Prāņāyāma may be used to settle the system before easing into meditation. Here is one technique.

Put a finger on the left nostril and breathe in the right nostril. Block the right nostril and breath out left nostril. Breathe in the left nostril. Again, block the left nostril and breathe out the right, then breath in (the right nostril).

Repeat breathing out-in through alternate nostrils for a minute or 2. Then begin meditating.

 Choosing a Mantra

Refuse attention. Let things come and go. Desires and thoughts are also things. Disregard them. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

The purpose of a mantra is to ease toward transcendence. A mantra is a mental breath that gently takes one’s attention away from the mind’s prattle, thereby acting as a vehicle to experience the echo of eternal Ĉonsciousness.

A mantra is of meaningless syllables, relating to nothing. It is solely a vehicle for silencing the mind through vibratory repetition. There should be no associative meaning for you in a chosen mantra.

Choose a mantra with 1 or 2 vowel-based sounds, perhaps with a consonant to assist in resonance.

Here are some vowels (using those peculiar pronunciation symbols you see in dictionaries, and thereby illustrating the inadequacy of the English alphabet as a phonetic representation): ә (as in abut), æ (at), ä (mop), ȯ (law), eɪ (fate), ε (let), ē (ease), ɪ (bit), ow (boat), ɔj (toy), ʊ (look), ü (coo), and ō (go).

Every vowel has its own feel, and may suffice for a mantra unto itself, though vibratory combinations provide a harmonic that simulates breathing.

For example, ē is especially vibrant. ē is a suggested possibility for energetic people as a lead vibration, with a lower frequency follow-on, such as ȯ or ü in the 2nd vowel spot. ēmȯ (ee-ma) is an exemplary mantra: a resonant flow from high to low energy, to guide the mind to empty itself.

Consonants in language exist for distinct audition. For a mantra, a vibration that naturally resonates toward quiet is ideal. m is such a consonant. The classic Hindu mantra is ōm, with good reason. (If you like it, use it.)

As with vowels, consonants have their own vibrational qualities. h is nicely breathy (consider: ah, perhaps leading to the mantra ah-mә).

n is shorter variant of the echoic m. änō (aw-no) is an exemplary mantra.

r is the long, rumbling version of l. lә–eɪ (lay-ah) is there for the taking as a mantra, as is eɪ–lә (ah-lay).

In contrast to r, s offers a breathy rumble. sü-ō (sue-oh) and ä-shō (ah-show) or ȯ-shә (aw-sha) are exemplary mantras using s.

Glottal (e.g., k, g) and popping (e.g., p, b) consonants should be employed only in a muted form which emphasizes flow, not abruptness.

There are innumerable possibilities for mantras. Select a mantra that resonates within you as affording focus, and which eventuates in peaceful resolution, as if the mind were taking a deep, relaxing breath (inhale, exhale).

You may at first try a few different mantras to evaluate their quality. You can’t choose a wrong mantra; if it resonates with you, it’s right for you. Once you find a pleasing mantra, claim it as your own and let it be a centerpiece for your meditation practice.

A mantra is merely a malleable device. My own mantra evolved upon becoming realized, to a subtle whisper.


Meditation is a form of relaxation, not concentration. Have no expectations about your meditations. Some might feel busy; others serene. Regardless of seeming quality, meditation is always helpful.

Meditate 20–30 minutes, time permitting. Even a short session of a few minutes is beneficial. Transcending or falling asleep for a longer period is perfectly natural. Your mind-body takes what it needs for rest when it can. Rest is as critically important to health as vigorous activity.

At the end of meditation, lay down, or slump in your chair. Spend 3 to 5 minutes relaxing with your eyes closed, allowing yourself to ease back to the waking state.

Do not abruptly end meditation. It may give you a dull headache.

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Meditation should be practised every day of one’s life. ~ Anandamayi Maa

Meditate twice a day if possible: preferably at the beginning of the day, and in the early evening (before dinner).

Practice meditation regularly. Meditation leads to eternal bliss. Therefore meditate, meditate. ~ Indian guru Sivananda Saraswatī

[ Do not speak your mantra aloud or use it outside of meditation. It is your vehicle to quiet the mind, and so should remain reserved, unspoken. ]

You may meditate 3 or 4 times a day if you have the time and inclination, and your daily activities are not demanding.

Begin every day with a meditation if you can. If the mind is restless when the body is ready to sleep, prāṇāyāma and a short meditation may sooth the system sufficiently to slumber.

Do not meditate on a full stomach. Meditation slows the system, and so can degrade digestion, as your gut microbes may meditate with you (who knows how the little ones spend their spare time).

Do not exercise shortly after meditating. Let the calm settle in. (Meditating a while after exercise is good.)

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Meditating with others is recommendable, as the field of calm is reinforced among participants. Multiple consciousnesses harmonizing with the unified field of Ĉonsciousness amplifies calmness in the environment.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was a proponent of mass meditation as a means to elevate the spiritual atmosphere of social environments. His plan to do so in impoverished districts of Washington, DC was not approved by officials there. In his frustration, Maharishi called the city “a pool of mud,” which is especially funny considering that Washington DC was built on swampland.

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After extensive practice as a meditator, the mantra may become superfluous. Having acclimated to transcending, the sheer desire to do so may suffice.

Do not just meditate; live in meditation. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj


A quiet mind is essential for right perception, which again is required for self-realization. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

The mind’s proper use is for cognitive tasks while the task is being accomplished, in its preparation, or evaluation; and all this can be done subconsciously, with full attention on the present instant. The mind’s prattle deserves no credence. To gain full awareness, keep the conscious mind clear.

Rise above the deceptions and temptations of the mind. ~ Sivananda Saraswatī

If the mind idly brings up a thought, dismiss it by focusing on the immediate environment, including one’s own body, such as the breath or heartbeat.

Whatever you may have to do, watch your mind. Whenever a thought or emotion or desire or fear comes to your mind, just turn away from it. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

Practice being fully aware of everything within conscious scope when not attentive to some detail. Diligence will reward you with greater awareness.

A steady, persevering, and concentrated effort alone can lead to realization. ~ Indian guru Samarth Ramdas

Never rush. Pay full attention to the task of the moment.

Quieting the conscious mind does not silence the thinking machine. The mind is constantly working subconsciously and will bring to awareness whatever needs attention.

To expect truth to come from thinking signifies that we mistake the need to think with the urge to know. ~ Hannah Arendt

To understand something which puzzles you, simply desire comprehension, then let the subconscious mind do its work. The desired epiphany will arise in due time.

Assign tasks to your mind, including putting timers on reminders. You’ll find your mind’s internal clock is quite good.

With disciplined practice, you may be pleasantly surprised how well the mind serves you. This is how the mind should operate.

For a seeker for reality there is only meditation: the rigorous refusal to harbor thoughts. To be free from thoughts is itself meditation. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj


Trying to focus your awareness on what you are feeling and thinking can be a demanding cognitive exercise. ~ Portuguese psychologist Miguel Farias & English psychologist Catherine Wikholm

So-called mindfulness meditation is a supposed awareness technique, recently touted by psychologists, that involves monitoring one’s thoughts and emotions as they arise. The practice is based upon gross misunderstandings about the mind and meditation.

The meditation label is a ruse. Those who claim that mindfulness has ancient roots are only expressing their ignorance. Mindfulness is not meditation. The mind is full enough of itself without watching it run wild.

While being in the present moment is essential to mental health, watching one’s thoughts does not quiet the mind, nor settle the system into transcendence. Instead, mindfulness stressfully indulges the mind. For those with psychological issues, being consumed by an errant mind can be traumatic.

It is the mind that tells you that the mind is there. Don’t be deceived. All the endless arguments about the mind are produced by the mind itself, for its own protection, continuation, and expansion. It is the blank refusal to consider the convolutions and convulsions of the mind that can take you beyond it. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj


It is the movement of thought that appears as this world. ~ Vasistha

Perception is a subconscious thought process: interpreting sensations and making them meaningful, by comparing current input with past experiences, categorizing, and conceptualizing. That last bit – conceptualization – is the part that imparts meaning, for it assigns value. Perceptions which curry no favor are instantly discarded. Only perceptions laden with esteemed concepts are brought to attention.

The world does not passively impose itself on our mind; rather, it has to be actively interpreted. ~ English developmental psychologist Bruce Hood

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Perception is a simulation, not reality itself. ~ American psychologist Charles Tart

What we take to be the world is instead a collage of symbolic expressions to which we assign value. Love is a conceptual experience that, at its most rewarding, is dipped in feel-good emotion. We may physically touch an object, but its impression is entirely within the mind. All we ever have are concepts, and concepts are not real.

Reality is not a concept, nor the manifestation of a concept. It has nothing to do with concepts. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Ignorance is attachment to concepts.

Ideas and thoughts are bondage; and their coming to an end is liberation. Because you are not fully enlightened, your mind clings to the illusion of object perception, of concepts. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

The trouble began when others started telling you about the world, and you believed them.

Nullius in Verba (take nobody’s word for it). ~ British Royal Society motto (The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge was granted a charter by King Charles II as The Royal Society in 1660. The Royal Society is the eldest scientific society in existence; a seedling in the Scientific Revolution.)

The trouble continues as long as you continue to cherish concepts. Thoughts rightly offer only utility or enjoyment: necessary for navigating life’s travails or for sheer amusement. To appreciate life as a cavalcade of concepts eases their uptake (learning), facilitates their exploitation (skill), and, most tellingly, liberates oneself from the world, which is nothing more than a big ball of notions.

Belief in this world is built up of unreality. ~ Indian guru Sankara

All before you is merely conceptual. Living is an exercise in symbolic manipulation.

The mind likes to believe what it comes up with. This self-validation provides a sense of security which the mind nestles in.

Face value has is valueless. Do not subscribe to the mind’s self-assurance. Do not let a specious axiom be an unseen signpost to error. Adopt the practice of having the mind question the premises upon which conclusions are drawn.

Abandon false ideas. There is no need of true ideas. There aren’t any. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

Being lulled by the mind into accepting its facile version of events defines ignorance. To believe nothing is to question everything, and absolutely necessary to be open to every experience as potential revelation.

Whereas actuality is pliable to some degree, wishes are unalloyed fantasies, rigid to the hilt. Frustration is nothing more than slamming into a wall built of wish.

Ignorance arises with embracing ideas as if they were reality: naïve realism. Suffering stems from failures of conceptualization coupled to attachments. The root of the trouble comes in axiomatic form: assuming what is not for what is. Behind every misconception lurks an apriorism.

For instance, belief in the matterism arises with the premise that physicality is reality: mistaking subjective experience for objective uptake. The presumption is reinforced by social consensus, as it is with all ‘conventional wisdom’.

In contrast, accepting energyism is not a belief; more an acceptance that Nature is putting on a show beyond ken, only the outlines of which may be discerned; in which case, the task is to enjoy the show, and make your way with as much grace as you can muster.

All this is the play of concepts. It is all mental entertainment. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj


Purify yourself by a well-ordered and useful life. Watch over your thoughts, feelings, words, and actions. This will clear you vision. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

The intensity of everything is within the mind. Lessen the intensity by paying the mind no mind. Lacking distraction, quietude enlarges the scope of awareness.

Do not engage in activities which feed the mind. The worst indulgence is competition, which directly engages attachment to outcome. Competition is a formula for frustration and stress. Do not compete.

Treat the experience of living as entertainment. Relax and enjoy everything as best you can, including the work you must perform.

Whatever happens between appearance and disappearance of the body is only a bundle of memories; whatever you have accumulated is merely entertainment. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

Seek no stimulation for that value alone. Instead, enjoy activities which provide knowledge or insight, calms you, or enlivens joy.

Be as simple as you can be; you will be astonished to see how uncomplicated and happy your life can become. ~ Paramahansa Yogananda

Self-esteem is a strong illusion which can only bring misery. Instead of thinking of yourself as a personality, consider yourself an ecological gyre, without attribute beyond the intention to do good.

Do nothing unnecessary. Do everything necessary. Let the undone necessary slip into the unnecessary if it may make the transition without consequence.

It is a popular fiction that life as adventure is a key to happiness. Instead, people who do pretty much the same things every day find life more meaningful. Savor routine.

Stay focused in the moment. Do not let the mind babble. Dismiss daydreams. Do not reminisce.

Do not entertain ideas. ~ Vasistha

Do not worry or fear. The past is gone, and the future is a mirage.

Abandon all thoughts. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

Do not think about anything that does not need thinking about in the moment. When the moment arrives that a task needs to be accomplished, the mental instrument is naturally put to work, properly focused.

Of course, plan appropriately, so that the right resources are available to you. Do this by assigning tasks to the mind.

Spend as much time not thinking as possible.

To remain without thought in the waking state is the greatest worship. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj


Realization is but the opposite of ignorance. To take the world as real and one’s self as unreal is ignorance, the cause of sorrow. To know the self as the only reality and all else as temporal and transient is freedom, peace, and joy. It is all very simple. Instead of seeing things as imagined, learn to see them as they are. When you can see everything as it is, you will also see yourself as you are. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

The map is not the territory, but the legend of the map indicates the nature of the territory.

The mentally ill all have the same symptoms: the mind is in a riot of noise. A common symptom of a disturbed man is a furious conversation with himself.

Conversely, psychological health is characterized by a quiet mind which is untroubled, unhurried, and able to focus on the task at hand. There is a natural sense of contentment.

Keep quiet. Do your work in the world, but inwardly keep quiet. Then all will come to you. Do not rely on your work for realization. It may profit others, but not you. Your hope lies in keeping silent in your mind and quiet in your heart. Realized people are very quiet. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

The physical habits that engender enlightenment are all healthy. Calm prevails systemically. Stress is naturally rejected rather than absorbed.

Conversely, the path to dissolution is gained by pursuing indulgences and addictions of all sorts: the most benign being overeating food, whereas the most destructive addictions are over-stimulations or deadening by artificial means, such as alcohol or drugs. Life in ignorance is lived in thrall of thrill, or in numbing the mind out of its incessant restlessness.

You are what you seek. ~ Indian guru Anandmurti Gurumaa

The Collective often desire goods and services, not for what they do, but to boost the spirits. Material wealth is pursued as an end unto itself, as a means of feeling powerful. What is more than enough is felt to be not enough.

The point is, you can never be too greedy. ~ American con artist Donald Trump

In contrast, an enlightened person enjoys the comfort of sufficiency. Work is productive entertainment, not merely a means of monetary enrichment.

Violence is so ubiquitous among the Collective as to be largely unremarkable. The stronger the sense of self and entitlement, the more violent the person. Only effective threat of retribution may momentarily temper a violent spirit.

Enlightenment holds no ideal of violence. Compassion is a habitual practice. In contrast, the Collective simmer in ignorance, senselessly bringing forth the sour fruits of civilization, which amount to nothing more than a world rent by violence to self, to others, and to Nature.

Fools dwelling in ignorance, yet imagining themselves wise and learned, go round and round in crooked ways, like the blind led by the blind. ~ Katha Upanishad 2.5

The parsimonious practices of the enlightened are those necessary for a sustainable environment. In contrast, the acquisitive materialist practices of the Collective have created the ecological decimation of the Earth. It is a dismal legend.

Nothing outside you can ever give you what you’re looking for. ~ American guru Byron Katie

A penchant for solitude is normal for someone enlightened. The noise of the Collective can be off-putting. From the vantage of enlightenment, there is nothing to be gained from the noise of the ignorant.

Live to enjoy the simplest pleasures: retain a perspective that allows contentment to be the common state of affairs. Realization is really nothing more than appreciating Nature to its fullest, which is the same for your consciousness as Ĉonsciousness.

Even in realization, one is still in a human shell, still subject to vexations. The difference is in how the static of living is received and dispatched.

Enlightened people typically live simple, quiet lifestyles. Everything encountered is an entertainment opportunity. Then again, one can abide only so much entertainment.

The desire to put an end to all desires is a most peculiar desire. The man who seeks realization is not addicted to desires; he is a seeker who goes against desire, not with it. The seeker has only one goal in view: to find his own true being. Of all desires, it is the most ambitious, for nothing and nobody can satisfy it; the seeker and the sought are one, and the search alone matters. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj


To give yourself a new life, you have to give the other one away. ~ American singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles in the song “December” (2013)

▫ Enlightenment is as natural as ignorance; achieving it is not a matter of intelligence, nor material circumstance.

Freedom is a heavy load, a great and strange burden for the spirit to undertake. It is not easy. It is not a gift given, but a choice made, and the choice may be a hard one. ~ American author Ursula Le Guin

▫ There is only the instant of now. That is the only certainty. All else is the illusion of memory or the prattle of a scheming mind about what the future may hold.

▫ Quieting the mind and transcending to commune with universal Ĉonsciousness is the intent of meditation.

▫ Psychological health is characterized by contentment, happiness, and spontaneity. These are the attributes of enlightenment.

Pain is physical. Suffering is mental. Beyond the mind there is no suffering. Pain is merely a signal that the body is in danger and requires attention. Similarly, suffering warns us that the structure of memories and habits, which we call the person, is threatened by loss or change. Pain is essential for the survival of the body, but none compels you to suffer. Suffering is due entirely to clinging or resisting. It is a sign of our unwillingness to move on, to flow with life. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

▫ Abandon beliefs and esteem of ideas, emotions, and of oneself as a person. Concepts are the cage your mind keeps your consciousness imprisoned in.

Give up all this trash, whatever you are studying in the name of religion, in the name of spirituality. Understand only one thing: that consciousness at present is your nature – you are that only. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

▫ Ideas have no intrinsic value. Praxis is everything. That withstanding, only through concepts can one appreciate the necessity of resolutely being in the moment, and instantly discarding all that the mind delivers which is not relevant to the task at hand.

▫ Treat your body as if it is an instrument for clarity, with healthy food, exercise, and sufficient sleep. Take time to meditate daily.

▫ Discipline the mind by paying nattermind no mind. Dismiss idle thoughts and emotions when they arise. Keep the conscious mind clear.

In time, the mind will quiet. Live fully in the moment: without assumption, expectation, fear, or grand desire.

The greatest wealth is a poverty of desires. ~ Roman philosopher and statesman Seneca

▫ Do only what is necessary or brings unadulterated joy. Leave behind competition or social concerns.

Discard all traditional standards. Leave them to the hypocrites. Only what liberates you from desire and fear and wrong ideas is good. As long as you worry about sin and virtue, you have no peace. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

▫ Within reason, practice kindness. Shun those who willfully inflict misery, pain, or inequity.

Truth is the cry of all, but the game of few. ~ George Berkeley

▫ With discipline and patience, you will come to see for yourself what is of value and what is artifice, and you will know abiding contentment.

You seem to want instant insight, forgetting that the instant is always proceeded by a long preparation. The fruit falls suddenly, but the ripening takes time. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

▫ While getting to enlightenment may be challenging, the transition from enlightenment to realization is a matter of abiding in mental silence. Being in a conducive environment helps, as does sustained periods of solitude. Most essential is living in quietude: shunting emotions, desires, and meandering thoughts to be fully in the present moment.

Self-realization cannot be foretold. Some get it spontaneously. Others do not get it even with much effort. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj