Param Para: Answers to Questions on the Spiritual Path
Swamiji, I can search my conscious mind for desires and confront them, but what can I do about subconscious desires?
When you are not able to know your subconscious mind, you have to go to someone who knows, who will point you directly to that. But you have to be prepared to take it. If you cannot stand it, they will tell you indirectly. Actually, the way to know the subconscious mind is relaxation, provided you look at it and accept it. But if you suppress it or do not want to see it, then your relaxation will be disturbed. When you fail to see it because of your suppression or avoiding or escaping it, you need a Master who will tell you.
Does one have to become impersonal in order to lose ego?
Unfortunately, yes, though there is a consolation way. If you do not want to be impersonal, establish a relationship with God. Then you do not lose your personality. That is allowed and also workable. But that relationship should be mutual, acceptable to both of you, not only to you. If you say, “God, I’m your mother,” He has to accept you as a mother. Both ways are allowed: either personal or impersonal, but God will not choose—you have to choose—and you also have to deserve it.
The nearer you come to God, the more magnetic it will be until you simply dive in and lose your identity. In that longing, loving position, you will not regret losing yourself. You will be most blessed. At that moment, some seekers do regret losing their identity. Ego wants to save itself. Then we say, let ego remain and make it a servant of God, a mother or child of God, a friend of God. You have to justify and deserve whichever relationship you choose. Then God will put the mantle on your head and your ego will begin to lose its identity.
Are resurrection and rebirth the same?
Resurrection and rebirth are incessantly happening. Every day we are changing. Our karmas are deciding our fate and we are judged every day, every hour, every year, every five years, etcetera. Rebirth itself is a karma. Our happiness, unhappiness, rewards, punishments, sorrows, pleasures, miseries and comforts are all judgments. Therefore, we get rewards and punishments. What is judgment otherwise? Whenever you are feeling pleasure or pain, it is the judgment of some previous karmas. I do not believe in a fixed day of judgment. The kingdom of God is within you. God is within you and within everyone. Why should we wait for the day of judgment when all is God? There is a way to merge completely into your God, if you want. That is your decision—nobody else can decide for you. Resurrection would be to Godhood. That will be true ascension, Christ-consciousness.
Swamiji, do things actually happen in sequence? Is there a certain reality to time?
Time itself is a conception, not a fixed point. In this conception, we value four cardinal things: cause and effect, time and space. They intermingle so much that we can hardly distinguish them. Cause and effect work within conception. Within time, measurements are just conceptual. Everything is a conception. When you transcend conceptions, you are Realized. Then time, space and causation all lose their meaning, including reincarnation. The astral world, ego—everything is gone. Ego is simply a condensed conception. When you are free of all conceptions, you are the Totality. You merge into the ultimate Truth, God, the Light.
Can Spirit live when expressing itself materially?
When Spirit manifests into matter, it does not become matter; it remains Spirit. When water becomes waves, it remains water throughout. When God creates out of Himself, He remains throughout. We are the same God, water playing as wave. God has not become man. God is playing as man. Spirit has not become matter. Spirit is playing as matter. Therefore, I have said: Open your eyes and see that everything is He. Open your eyes to the essential thing. You will see that everything is there. It has never changed. Throughout the three stages of creation, preservation and destruction, God, Spirit, has never changed and, therefore, is beyond time and space.
You have mentioned witnessing thoughts and concepts. It’s confusing to me how I can separate my mind into an observer observing thoughts.
You have to practice how not to get involved. You as ego can separate yourself from thoughts. Whenever you get involved, try to detach yourself within and just observe. For example, you are standing on a road and traffic is moving and people are walking. You can watch this impersonally if you are not involved. If someone comes who you know, you become involved. But if you want to let them go, you can be an observer only. The traffic and people are symbolic of your thoughts. You can stand without being involved, but once you get involved, you cannot be a witness. You have to detach yourself to stand apart, just see the thoughts coming and going. Then you will be free from involvement.
Does it help to not judge our thoughts?
In witnessing, there is no judgment. As a witness be detached, dispassionate, disinterested, and just watch. You will only get involved where your interest and selfishness lie. There are three kinds of thoughts: something you are not interested in, something in which you have very little interest, something in which you are deeply interested. When you are detached in all three, you are truly witnessing. But witnessing itself is not the goal. It is simply a means to something beyond.
Once you have been successful in detaching yourself from all three kinds of thoughts, when you can successfully witness without involvement, then what happens? The question will arise, “Who am I?” Therefore, witnessing and observing is very important from the yogic point of view, in order to find your true Source.
You have said from time to time that we have an inherent right to happiness. Do we have to suffer or is suffering self-imposed? Is this just ego playing both sides?
Ego is playing both sides. You must have heard me say many times that ego wants to play. This means that if you want self-imposed suffering or unhappiness, who is going to prevent you from having it? What I meant is that you have a right to happiness if you want it. I am talking about relative happiness, but if you want true happiness, then it is easier. When your ego decides to have true happiness, it is guaranteed. No one can prevent it. But if you want to play games, consciously or subconsciously, who is going to prevent that either? Ego has free will. Both roads are open to you. It is up to you to choose which way you go.
Whenever you will to have true happiness, I assure you that you will get it. You do not choose to go there only because you fear that this whole game will stop, whatever drama you have chosen. That is inherent in the human mind somehow.
True happiness is dependent upon so many factors. First, a sincere decision is very important. Supposing someone comes and says, “Swamiji, I want to have true happiness.” I may tell him or her: “Okay, do this, this and this, and you will get true happiness.” At that point, some faces frown because they do not want to change those factors. This is the basic kind of fear that prevents you from having true happiness. Everyone wants true happiness but on their own terms or conditions. If you decide to have true happiness, walk the way.
I am now magnifying this point: you want to realize God, to see God, to have the grace of God, and also you want to maintain your ego. How can that work? When He says, “I am the way, the truth and the life,” your way has to stop. You cannot go your way and see God also. Apply this to any pattern of life and it will work.