Image Worship is the Problem

Most people are image-worshipers. The image they worship is their own self-image. Our self-image is the idea we have of our self and project to others. This idea is a superimposition on the mind. It is formed as a result of our identification with the mind, and by extension, the body and its interrelationships.

So, images are created by ego (the “power of identification”). This identifying-power is manifested when the Energy of Consciousness is channeled through the Principle of Knowledge (Mahattatwa), which is manifested from the union of Spirit (Purush, Energy of Consciousness, Atman-Soul projecting its own inherent soul-force or PRANA) with Matter (Prakriti, which in essence is simply pure nothingness).

In reality (Ultimate Reality), our images are nothing, our ego is nothing, everything is nothing. Beyond all this is THAT which is Real. When this is THAT, we are Real. Until then, we remain caught up in unreality. When what was and what will be is dissolved into now, Eternity is experienced in the moment, which is now and forever.


The Self

The Self is not melancholy. The Self is not depressed. The Self is not excited or bored, frustrated or annoyed. The Self is not impatient or restless, impulsive, arrogant, pretentious, proud or vain.

The Self sees but does not superimpose. The Self is beyond thought but is not thoughtless. The Self is the same in everyone, but everyone is not the same Self. Every Self is unique, but the Self is not an “individual.” Individuality is born out of ego, whereas the Self is unborn, ever-changeless yet ever-new (dynamic).

You, I, and everyone is the Self, but the Self is not what we think the Self to be. The Self cannot be thought in the mind. When the mind is absolutely clear, the Self is clearly reflected there, and this reflection is the experience of absolute Freedom (Moksha).

Beyond the experience of the Self as reflected in the purified mind, is the Supreme Self. The Self knows the Self (Supreme Self) by the Self alone (without the medium of the mind). This is THAT which is beyond this and that. This is SATCHITANDAND: indivisible Existence (Being), Consciousness (Awareness), Bliss (Supreme Ecstasy).

Breaking Free

Staying focused means to stay centered on the Self. This makes the mind one-pointed, and when this happens the mind seems to disappear. On the other hand, the mind becomes a big problem when we are self-centered.

Being self-centered means the mind is preoccupied with ego, the small self. The small self, ego, is the identification of consciousness with the body and mind, and by extension, with other people, places, and things associated with the body and mind.

The identification of consciousness with the mind (and through the mind, with the body) occurs naturally. For example, when we are born we naturally begin to identify with our body and mind due to our association with them. However, it is unnatural to remain limited by our ego—in other words, it is unnatural to accept being bound by our ego (our identification with the mind, body and their various relationships and interrelationships). On the contrary, it is our true nature to be free and imageless, and if we are bound and caught up in our images it is our nature to break free.

Breaking free means breaking our images (including, especially, our self-image). When our images are broken our ego collapses—it cannot stand without the crutches of images. Hence, we need to remove our images and the only way to remove them is through the acquisition and application of Wisdom.

Don’t listen to your mind

We need to make up our mind not to listen to our mind. “Mind listening to the mind” means ego reflecting on itself. “Getting our self out of the way” means removing ego from the mind. When ego is removed, then there is no reflection of ego. Instead, the mind reflects the “Light of the Soul” which is the energy of Consciousness.

When the mind is energized with the light of Consciousness we become “light hearted’—we don’t take ourselves so seriously and don’t feel overburdened with anxiety, annoyance, and frustration.

True peace of mind can only be realized by getting out of our ego. As long as we remain in our ego we remain in bondage.

Imagination and Enlightenment

“The range of human experience is limited only by one’s imagination.”

This statement is true—but not in the way it is generally understood. So, I will reword it here: “Your ability to experience your Essence is limited by your images.” If you spend your time living in your imagination, you are not experiencing reality. The reality I am referring to is the Ultimate Reality—your Essence.

People who are busy imagining things never experience what this life is really all about. Instead, they wile away their time in their images of unreality—in fact, many people live in virtual unreality (oftentimes mistakenly referred to as ‘virtual reality’).

If you think perception is reality, you are mistaken; you are living in misperception. Reality is perceived through the mechanism of the clarified mind, and the mind can only be clarified (purified) with the Wisdom of Consciousness.

Reality always remains reality irrespective of its perception by (through) the mind. The perception of Ultimate Reality is the ultimate aim of life. The perception of reality is a mental phenomenon manifested as a result of the refinement of the mind. The mind becomes more and more fine as ego is removed from it. Since ego is an element of Ignorance, it follows that ego can only be eliminated by way of the removal of Ignorance.

The elimination of ego simply means its removal from the mind. When this happens, the Universal Self is manifested in one’s life, and this manifestation is called Enlightenment. Enlightenment is the process of the removal of ego and ignorance.

Raising Consciousness

The lying ego is the only thing that dies when the Self is realized. The Self is realized when the mind is actually purified. The mind can only be purified through action, and not through imagination. When the mind is utilized to project the qualities of the Self through the process of living (acting), only then is ego eradicated from the mind.

As long as we are in our ego, we are lying to our Self. When ego is dropped, the mind is elevated, and this is called “raising consciousness.”

Positivity is Your Nature

Positivity is the expression of Consciousness. Being positive means being fully conscious. One is not fully conscious when engaged in negative thinking and bad habits.

In order to practice negativity one has to ignore ones real nature. The nature of Consciousness is to shine. The nature of awareness is to be aware. The nature of ignorance is to ignore.

Practicing negativity means practicing ignorance–it means to ignore our real nature. When the tendency to be negative arises in the mind it must be counteracted with inspiration. Inspiration is practiced. Eventually it becomes as natural as breathing.

This doesn’t mean we will always breathe easy. Sometimes due to illness, injury or pollution breathing is a challenge. Likewise, sometimes due to traumatic experiences, past memories, and unhealthy environments the mind can become clouded with negative emotions and thoughts. These dark clouds can be dispelled with the energy of Consciousness and transformed into refreshing insights.

Every challenge is a chance to bring out the best in ourselves. Our best is the Wisdom of Consciousness projected through our good thoughts and good deeds.

Be Completely Fulfilled

Banish the idea of separation. Dispel the notion of ignorance. You are full. You are complete. You are One with the Absolute. You are absolutely inseparable from the Supreme. You are permanently united with your Essence.

When we remove the idea of separateness (EGO) created by Avidya (Ignorance), the emptiness vanishes and we experience the fullness of Consciousness. This Absolute Fulfillment is all-satisfying and there is no false feeling of loneliness, insecurity, doubt, or other hallucination remaining in the mind. Even if such false feelings arise in the mind, the conscious Self is not disturbed or moved by them. Such a human being who is firmly grounded in the Wisdom of Consciousness becomes a source of inspiration to others, and helps them create balance in their lives.

Our work in this life is to create a “Masterpiece.” We are the artists of Life, and our own life is our masterpiece. We become the artists of life by mastering our own mind. When we remove our ignorance, doubt, selfishness, and egotistic habits and intentions, our mind becomes concentrated with the power of goodwill. This goodwill eradicates our ill-will, which in turn leads to our own well-being and promotes the well-being of all.

We need to shape our mind into a likeness of our True Self (Atman, Pure Consciousness). This is work, but it is not drudgery. On the contrary, it is an artistic work. The work of mental, physical, spiritual development involves the concentration (focus) and dedication (devotion) of all our energy (thought power, physical power, and spiritual power) in the expression of our Real Self.

All we need to do is to be our Self. To be our Self means to make our mind into a likeness of the Self. When the mind is filled with ego and ignorance, it presents a distorted picture of our self and the mind becomes confused. To remove the confusion the mind must be purified with the Wisdom of Consciousness. When the mind is purified with the Wisdom of Consciousness we can just be ourselves. But if we are unjust to ourselves by listening to our ego and remaining in ignorance, we cannot just be ourselves. Instead, we will be miserable.

We are miserable when we are misers and horde our good energies. On the other hand, when we utilize our energies in raising consciousness (by removing ego and ignorance), we recharge ourselves and encourage others. Eventually, our mind becomes an instrument of Light (the Wisdom of Consciousness), and when that happens we are completely fulfilled.

Wanting and Wantonness

“Wanting” is a distortion of our real nature (higher nature) and leads to greed (whether monetary or emotional greed). When the greed sets in we lose our power of discernment, and once that is lost our failure is certain. We fail even when we get what we want, because getting what we want is not the definition of success—the real definition of success is to do what we need to do because it is the right thing to do. In this case, the result is inconsequential because “good work is its own reward.”

Wanting makes us wanton. It deprives the mind of peace. The mind deprived of peace can easily become depraved, because when the mind lacks peace it seeks solace in excitement. Seeking excitement is a degrading way to live. Just as excitement and boredom go hand in hand, in the same way, wanting and wantonness go hand in hand.

Measuring Up

Every soul has the eternal desire to be ABSOLUTELY free. No one can ever be content with being partly free, because our intrinsic nature is to be completely free.

What is Bound?

The mind is bound by ignorance of our Absolute Nature. In other words, when the mind is unenlightened it is in a state of bondage. From the standpoint of this human existence, man is the mind and the mind is the man. (“Man” of course means “human being.”) The man that is a prisoner of his mind is a prisoner of himself. Another way to say this is: a person who is self-involved is NOT free. A self-involved person will suffer from “bad feelings” which are vibrations produced by the mind in a darkened state. The “darkened” state of mind is Ignorance, and the “enlightened state of mind” is Enlightenment.

What is Free?

The mind is free when it is Enlightened. True freedom is only found in Enlightenment. If we are ignorant of our real nature, we are not free. Our real nature is that we ARE free, but this is only evident when we think and act with freedom. If our thinking is reactionary and our actions habitual, then we are creatures of habit.

It is necessary to form good habits to break bad ones, but it never helpful to form the habit of ego. Ego is a habit of false identification which originates out of association. Due to the natural association of the mind with the body and senses, our ego takes shape in the mind. Prior to this association, our ego is simply the principle of pure self-consciousness (somewhat like that of an infant child).

Little children are somewhat free but not completely free, not truly free. To be really free the mind must be inundated with the Wisdom of Consciousness so that the ego-infection can be warded off (in the case of children) or removed (in the case of adults).

Unless the mind-ego connection is broken (by dissolving our images with Wisdom), we will remain caught up in our mental reactions and physical attractions. This distracted state of the mind (caught up in its reactions and desires) is completely contrary to our true nature, which is to be free from all of this.

The first step to freedom is to go against our selfish whims and desires. In other words, it is necessary to revolt against the tyranny of our ego-mentality and assert our real nature. We have to deliberately practice doing good and thinking good. “Good” is simply that which is beneficial to our well-being (which is the same as the general and genuine well-being of everyone).

It doesn’t take much intelligence to know right from wrong. Mostly it is just a matter of being honest with ourselves and not making excuses for our shortcomings and weaknesses. If we misuse our intelligence to justify our false identification (ego) we will become very unhealthy and unhappy.

We cannot be healthy if we live an unnatural life or have unnatural habits. We cannot be happy if we are in our ego. We are so much more than just a “person” with memories, emotions, and desires. If our happiness is measured by the fulfillment of our images, then that happiness is imaginary. To be happy WE HAVE TO reach our full potential, and that potential is LIMITLESS HAPPINESS. The Sanskrit word for this is ANANDA, or BLISS, which is absolute freedom from unhappiness (a by-product of ego and ignorance).

Until we attain the ultimate BLISS (SatChitAnanda) we have NOT measured up to our full potential.