July 27, 2006

Bad Habits Are Self-Damnation

A person with bad habits cannot experience Eternity. This same thing can be stated in many ways:

  • A person with bad habits cannot experience the Truth
  • A person with bad habits cannot know the Real Self
  • A person with bad habits cannot be them self
  • A person with bad habits is preventing them self from being happy

When we have a bad habit, we block the flow of energy. In effect, we are damming our own self. Bad habits are self-damnation.

When we have a bad habit we are not free, and if we are not free we are not real. If we are not real we cannot be really happy. Many people pretend to be happy, some people are temporarily happy, but few people are really happy. Happiness is a state of Being; it is not just a state of temporary mental or physical satisfaction.

A bad habit is formed in the mind, and may also have a physical component to it. A bad habit is the result of a mind-ego connection. When mind is in bed with ego it becomes impregnated by that ego, and the result is a bad habit.

Mind and ego are both born of this material nature (PRAKRITI). Ego is born first, and mind follows. Mind and ego are imbued with the qualities of both Nature and Consciousness. Ego is more subtle than the mind. The first instance of ego appears when we become conscious that we are conscious. Ego is actually formed from extremely subtle elements of Nature; thus, it would not be correct to say that ego is formed in our consciousness. Ego is the idea of separate identity, separate selfhood. From the perspective of the mind, ego covers the Self like a hood or mask. Hence, when perceiving ourselves through the mind, we incorrectly perceive ourselves as ego (personality–personality is a flavor of ego). Our Real Self is masked by the presence of ego.

Our True Self is eternal, ever full, complete, whole, perfectly happy and indescribably blissful. The idea that we are other than That, is called ego. If we think that our time is running out, that we are unfulfilled and incomplete, we will naturally feel compelled to do something. Our desire to act, to discover, to explore, to create, to transform–in short, our desire to live–is a natural expression of our being embodied as living beings. [This embodiment begins at the beginning of time, when Purush and Prakriti (Sprit and Matter) are joined. According to Hindu Shastras, our embodiment as human beings is the result of a lengthy process of evolution* through 8,400,000 different species of birth.]

Embodied as human beings, we all have both ego and mind, and we have had them for quite some time. We have accumulated innumerable impressions during our countless births, and all of these impressions influence our decision making process. The flow of our consciousness (as the Spirit Self) through our personality and mind is a dance of divine energy. Ultimately, our expression must become completely free flowing. When this happens, we have reached the pinnacle of Life. It is a matter of practice, deliberate practice, concentrated practice. The state of effortless effort is reached only after much effort.

Putting out good energy, making a tireless effort to rise above our small self, to go beyond our self-imposed limitations, to recognize our own weaknesses and overcome them — all of this is an expression of Consciousness, all of this is a statement and affirmation of who (and what) we really are.

When we ignore who (and what) we really are, we fail to mend our ways or improve ourselves, and instead we get stuck in a downward trend and repeat our mistakes. Our mistakes become our habits when we don’t correct them. A person with a bad habit is attached to their mistaken identity (ego) and refuses to change that habit.

At least we should recognize that we have a bad habit (whatever it may be). This is the first step. Next, we should see that the bad habit has been formed in the mind, and that it is the mind (which is basically an inert, subtle, material entity) that has the tendency to hold onto the habit. The conscious self (spirit self), through the power of self-awareness (ego) and intellect (Buddhi) sees the habit in the mind and may desire to remove it (realizing that this habit is a source of pain). The problem is, if the ego and mind are connected (in the sense that the mind is filled with ego), then it becomes very difficult to curb the habit because one identifies with it; in other words, the ego-infected mind becomes identified with the habit due to the presence of ego. Consequently, the flow of consciousness is hampered.

To stop this self-damnation, we must break the mind-ego connection. First this means we need to objectify our mind and ego both. Now, how can an ego-infected mind function properly so long as one’s behavior is dysfunctional? It cannot. In other words, the mind cannot be free of ego so long as one’s thoughts and actions are ego-centered. So, the only way to drop a bad habit is to just drop it! That is, we need to turn the self-will against the bad habit. Self-will is really ego-will; that’s why when we turn the self-will against the bad habit we are actually employing our ego to remove the habit from the mind, and in the process of doing so ego will begin to fight with itself (because it is also the ego which is holding onto the habit). Remember: mind and ego have the qualities of BOTH spirit and matter. We, the conscious human being, must invoke that higher force (Satoguna) to overpower our lower tendencies (rooted in Rajoguna and Tamoguna qualities of Nature.)

When we rise to the occasion and confront our own ego and shape our own mind, we become the artists of Life, and the more we go on refining our nature we will eventually see the majesty, incomparable beauty, and Light of Consciousness everywhere, all the time.

OM

*Not to be confused with the Darwinian Theory of Evolution.

We Need to Keep Refining Our Nature

Life is simple. We complicate it with our complicated thinking. Sure, there are problems and challenges in life, but our life becomes problmatic only when we see things from the point of view of ego. Instead, we need to see everything from the point of view of Eternity.

What does this mean? It means we need to realize that our real self is immortal; that we are beginningless, endless conscious beings. The energy that emanates from this consciousness (our consciousness) is also eternal, indestructable. It is the energy of consciousness (in the form of PRANA, Life Force, Chi, Spirit) that has created the universe and everything in it, including us (embodied beings).

When we think from this level of consciousness, our thinking will not disturb us, because our thoughts will express our eternal nature, and not just our gross, material, mental, intellectual nature.

You see, we have a higher nature and a lower nature. Our Higher Nature is that we are Eternal, unchangeable, ever-new (ever fresh, imageless) consciousness. Our lower nature is that we have an ever changing physical body, mind, and personality (ego). Our lower nature is comprised of natural elements: earth, air, water, fire, and space, as well as the elementary particles from which these 5 general classes of elements are formed. Scientists are now discovering subtler and subtler subatomic particles and are now advancing the String Theroy, which postulates the existence of other dimensions and other universes. Ultimately scientists will come to the realization that beyond all of this is the Pure Consciousness, from which all of this originated, and into which all of this will ultimately be dissolved. This Pure Consciousness is our Higher Nature, our Supreme Nature.

So, who or what is this being, this living entity, which has both a higher and lower nature? This is you, and I, and everyone. Each of us is the embodiment of PURUSH and PRAKRITI, of Spirit and Matter, of Consciousness and Nature. Just as a child will have the characteristics of both its parents, similarly each of us has the qualities of both Spirit and Matter.

The Spirit-Self is the consciousness embodied in Prana, Life Force. More correctly, it is consciousness manifested as Energy. When this conscious energy is joined with Matter, the Matter becomes infused with this Energy and thus begins the cycle of Creation, that is, the orderly manifestation of the Multiverse (universes after universes after universes). Included in this infinitely varied Multiverse is the manifestation of human life. As human beings, we perceive through the agency of the mind (including, memory, intellect, and ego — this is known as the inner organ, or Antahkarana). Our mind, being a part and parcel of Nature (Prakriti) is influenced by the qualities of Nature, or GUNAS (Sataguna, Rajaguna, and Tamoguna — Protonic, Electronic, and Neutronic forces). These qualities of Nature, or Cosmic Forces, influence the way we think and feel. But the mind is also influenced by the ever-abiding presence of Supreme Consciousness. All conscious beings (embodied Spirit selves) are constantly living in a state of decision making. We are constantly making choices and our decisions are influenced by many different factors. Ultimately, after many, many years and lifetimes of experience, we come to the firm conclusion that we are totally responsible for our state of mind, because we realize that we are totally distinct from the mind–we realize that we are the Spirit Self. This realization draws us deeper and deeper into the unfathomable Ocean of Consciousness until we ultimately come face to face (so to speak) with the Supreme Self (or you may call it God, or Allah, or whatever).

It is all a matter of refining our nature to the finest point, until the mind becomes atomic (absolutely one-pointed), at which point the mind disappears and all that is left is Pure Consciousness.

OM