In response to my Razors Edge blog, someone asked how you can recognize who is a real master and who is not. The one word answer is ‘discernment.’ You must cultivate discernment. Of course that leads to the question, “How do you cultivate discernment?”
That cultivation is a process. It can be compared to learning to play a musical instrument. It takes time, patience, humility, and a willingness to look beyond what you currently understand. You cannot just read a book about how to play the piano and then be able to play the piano. In the case of music, everyone knows that. In the case of spirituality, people generally do not know that. They think they can read a book and then ‘get’ spirituality. I call that the I Get-it Syndrome. The world is full of people practicing the I Get-it Syndrome of spirituality. It is a good beginning all too often mistaken for the goal.
It would be fair to say that all of my lectures, blogs, classes, etc. are all for the cultivation of discernment. Adi Sankara called the entire path of spiritual evolution the path of discernment. You see, discernment is not just done with the intellect. Absolutely not (pun intended). Discernment is done with the mind, the heart, and most importantly with the soul… the depth of the soul.
So what is the soul? Well, you know about the Absolute, i.e. the Transcendent… pure consciousness… that which lies beyond relativity. It is pure No-Thing-Ness. Cannot be grasped. It is pure consciousness … the Unified Field… that which birthed the entire creation… pure Is-ness… God. You can not touch it, but you can feel it radiating out through you. Just as you can feel the Sun, but you cannot touch it. The soul, then, is the glow of God welling up through and permeating your physiology. It is your life force. It is the source of all intelligence, wisdom, harmony, and love that flows through and feeds you and all that is. As you evolve, your perception of it becomes clearer. The clouds, veils, and cobwebs of life clear away.
Everyone feels his soul. Even an earthworm has some primitive sense of self, of the soul. But the nervous system of an earthworm is not developed nearly enough to perceive the full grandeur of the Absolute, even though the earthworm is (like everything else) the Absolute. In other words everything is God, but your degree of evolution is the degree to which you perceive and embody the full value of that.
Discernment is done with all levels of your being. As you evolve all those levels integrate with one another, and most importantly, with the Absolute. Discernment with the body is sometimes called a ‘gut feeling.’ However, if you are riddled with bias, then your gut feelings are not clear. They are not in clear harmony with the absolute… with God. They are confused.
The spiritual path is the path of clarification of your relationship with your True Nature, with God, with the Absolute. See?
If you evaluate from the perspective of your biases, you go astray. You need to look deeper. You need to ponder. By ponder I mean strive to find truth within. This means looking beyond mental, emotional, and psychological bias. It is a sort of double bind. You must use what discerning ability you have to cultivate more discernment. You must ‘pull yourself up with your own bootstraps’. That is no simplistic task, which is why so few are willing to do it. They would prefer to listen to someone pat them on the head and tell them what a great spiritual being they are. As a result, spirituality is often reduced down to an ‘opiate of the masses.’ The New Age is most certainly no exception.
Spiritual evolution is indeed the Razors Edge. That is why a true master is so important. The student keeps slipping to one side or the other. The master holds the beacon light that illuminates the way.
What a beautiful explanation of discernment and inner light! Our inner light is the GLOW of GOD – that, in itself, is profound! I have searched for years to find a way to express it. Je Guru Dev.
Two nights ago I was having yet another great conversation with one of my favorite clients. We talked about reincarnation, the manifestation of the universe:) and you Brahmarshi. I told her that I think about these topics and so many others on a daily basis. It seems as though I cannot stop discerning about our existence and my own personal evolution. Michele asked me,”How do you know your just not convincing yourself that any of “it” is true.
It was a great question really,because so many have and do just that.. including myself. I really did not have an answer for her..not because I did not know.. rather because I could not explain it. There has been only a very few times I felt a decision made,at the core of my being. I am living the result of those decisions . I am on my path to discovering my true nature.I am doing daily what supports that (at least for now) and I have found my Master to facilitate the process with the least amount of wrong turns..and I need to convince no one.
Thank you Brahmarshi
Define “True.” What does it mean for something to be true? If it is not refuted by anything… if it applies on all levels to all that is… is it then true?
Well, not necessarily. You could conceive of something like “The Evil Deceiver” that philosophers conceptualized… sort of like the movie, “The Matrix”.
Yet there is a principle that says the simplest solution is the correct one. Once you grasp what I am saying, then it is so simple… so clear… so full… so all encompassing.. so straightforward… so obviously true. Beyond that, it touches a place inside that knows… that has always known… that has no doubt it is true. That is not faith. It is not belief. It is called Knowledge with a capital “K”. All comes around full circle. You awaken to that one thing out of which all was born. It is not just a concept. Everything clicks into place… not a a philosophy, but as a self evident state of being.
How do you know that 2+2=4? It is obvious. i offer a level of life where the very nature of all [that is} is obvious. It is not faith. It is not assumption. It is not just an intellectual model. It is glimpsed by all beings to varying degrees. Once it is directly [fully] experienced everything clicks into place. It is then quite simply irrefutable. That is call enlightenment.
I am fortunate and grateful to have moved a step closer to the Master and the light of your beacon in my life.
I try to follow, but of course I keep slipping. I can feel the truth in what you say (in your advice to me), but I still don’t really get for myself what it would look like in practice, and thus how to apply it in my life.
It is difficult to follow when it goes against the grain of what is comfortable or seems “natural” on the surface of me. I call it the surface, because I can feel the depth at which I am free and don’t need to act out any particular patterns. But my conditioned patterns are still engrained deep enough that it is difficult to act, think, or sometimes even feel any other way than is my pattern.
So I try, I improve, I fail, I struggle. Sometimes I am too hard on myself, sometimes I am too lenient. Most of the time, I am just not sure. I long to have clarity from within myself!
I liked what you said this morning about tilling the soil of the self: if we till it regularly, it keeps the ground soft. If we don’t, the ground can become so hard that it is difficult to break through it. I then thought of how the ground being soft allows new life that nourishes and heals to grow through.
I till, but get impatient if I don’t perceive progress. (Or is it perfection I am waiting for?)
As I typed my comment and used the word true..I paused because it did not feel right however I had no other word to use it its place. I would have answered yes to your first question and still somewhere inside I feel like I have no clue of anything! I am conscious..I feel good about that. I will not stop..I feel pretty good about that too.
When you teach..it is touching that place inside that you speak of. Some have told me that I must have faith in you to believe what you are teaching (to which I reply)I have little use for faith. You touched that place deep inside me on day one..nothing has changed and yet everything has changed.
Thank you again
As you are in the ashram program, I have been for a while now, witnessing your process that you are referring to here. I have felt your inner struggle with the things you mentioned in your comment. It is very good. It is the process. Every individual must sort things out for themselves. As it is said, the Self is revealed to the Self, by the Self, and through the Self. The teacher does not force feed Truth. That is not possible [though many erroniously try to do so]. The Teacher merely holds up the beacon light. It is natural to question. It is good to do so. It is the process. Though a razors edge at times, It is certainly a facet of discernment. Again, I have been witnessing your process. I do understand it is challenging. But you are strong… stronger than you sometimes give yourself credit. You are doing well. Just continue.
I recall my teacher saying, “Yes, yes, just continue.” I remember the feeling it elicited within me. And now, suddenly, I find myself saying the same to you. It is beautiful.
Every individual is on their own unique program. For some time now, you have been on what we could call the Being Program. It has been very good and you should and I am sure will stay with it. Simply do your program as you know and stay with the Self. We do not talk a lot. There is really no need. You will always be in my heart. You are doing well.
Thank you, Brahmarshi. I thank you deeply.
Jai Guru Dev.
Although I just wrote above how afraid I am coming into the ashram, I really am excited to be getting there and feel so blessed and so amazed how the Universe got me to this place. Jai Guru Dev
What do you think about prayer as a practice that helps to lead one towards discernment?
thank you bramarishi for ansers but its all so confusing sometimes, evry master have such diffrent teachings its get confusing sometimes.,
It is very simple really. Just stick with basic common sense. From the little I know of you, it seems you are too easily influenced by anyone who claims to be a master. Your heart is open. That is good, however, it must be tempered with a little discernment. Take a look at their teachings and evaluate that based upon common sense. Frankly, I shake my head in disbelief over what people listen to and do not see through. Then there are those that were mislead, become jaded, and reject all spirituality, thusely throwing out the baby with the bathwater. I do not want to see that happen to you. As Orin said, you know a teacher by his teachings. Look to the teachings. Make your decisions based upon that. Do not allow yourself to be mislead by showmanship or grandiosity. The fundamentals of life are really very simple. Yet the web people weave with it can be a-maze-ingly complex.
Prayer can be good. In fact, proper meditation can be thought of as the highest form of prayer. As with meditation, the form or type of prayer one does makes all the difference. Some do use prayer as a communion with God. Others use it as an escape, an abandonment of personal responsibility, or a form of denial.
In one form or another, prayer is practiced by everyone… even the atheist though they would never think of it as prayer.