Who am I? Identity, Reality and Transformation. | Christian Paaske | Skillshare

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Who am I? Identity, Reality and Transformation.

teacher avatar Christian Paaske, Writer, astrologer, yogi

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

14 Lessons (2h 21m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Western and Eastern approach

    • 3. Materialism vs. Idealism

    • 4. Plato's Allergory of the Cave

    • 5. The Snake and the rope story

    • 6. Subject and object - The Bread Test

    • 7. Ignorance

    • 8. Suffering

    • 9. Liberation

    • 10. Spiritual Practise

    • 11. Qualification

    • 12. Meditation

    • 13. Self-realization

    • 14. Conclusion

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About This Class

«Know Thyself», as inscribed on the entrance to the Academy in Athens in the days of Antiquity is as valid today as then. Philosophers, thinkers and scientists have been challenged by this fundamental question of all time. This is for you ready to take on this challenge.

This is about you. Not the person you think you are, but who you really are. This is not theory, because you are not a theory. You know you exist and are conscious. This undeniable truth is our starting point in an inward journey of self discovery and a practical process of inquiry into the nature of your own existence and reality itself.

Understand consciousness, creation and the inner unchangeable essence in an ever changing world. An introductions to the knowledge aspect of yoga, meditation and Self-Inquiry through Advaita Vedanta.

You will learn:

  • Western and Eastern approaches to reality
  • Materialism vs. Idealism
  • Plato's Allergory of the Cave
  • Subject and object
  • Ignorance
  • Suffering
  • Liberation
  • Spiritual practice
  • Qualifications
  • Meditation
  • Freedom

Meet Your Teacher

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Christian Paaske

Writer, astrologer, yogi


I am a student in the school of life. As long as I can remember not a day goes by without marveling at the amazing gift of being alive. Early on I became a seeker in search of meaning, purpose and how to find happiness and fulfillment. We all do, one way or another. For me, it led to studies in western philosophy, astrology and soon onto eastern paths like yoga and meditation. From 1985-2005 I taught yoga and meditation at my own yoga center in Norway. My home country, by the way.

Since 2000 astrology has been an active interest. I published my own astrological magazine and have for the past 20 years been an active free-lance astrological writer. Becoming of age, the knowledge aspect of yoga is my main focus. I am writer with active contributions in newspapers, periodicals and se... See full profile

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1. Introduction: who am I? That is the most essential question. I have actually been a seeker the most of my life in the sense that I always wondered about what is really going on. What is this amazing, amazing experience that we're having that we're calling life? All of a sudden, I find myself in this body. I'm here in this amazing existence, and it seems to me, you know, beyond the impossible. So what are we doing here? And what is this reality all these? What is called the eternal questions has been puzzling me all my life. And I'm absolutely sure that most people wonder about these things. What is this? Who am I? You know what we're doing. And this is there is a deep, basic frustration off living lives that we do not understand. Of course, there is all kinds of philosophies which sent me to to philosophy studies once upon a time and sent me into searching through yoga, meditation, spiritually paths and so on. And after many years of searching, kind of at least, ah, a little bit wiser than it was when I started. And I do have some ideas about who I am This is not my ideas. That's really important to point out, because I am just referring to wisdom traditions that has been long been around for a very long time. My reference point is basically it bites of Vedanta it whites a meats, non non dual, non dual Vedanta. And but, of course, I have reference to other spiritual paths like Christianity, Buddhism, yoga and so on. But basically the bottom line is the ancient wisdom going all the way back to the Vega's and which is expressed in this knowledge tradition. So this is not my ideas off who I am, but it's my interpretation of Vedanta and whatever I say, which is not accordance with the tradition and not in accordance with this understanding is his mother responsibility. So this is not my kind of person of philosophy, And it's not a discretion of a religion or a belief, because this method is called self inquiry, in the sense that we're we're taking investigating our own experience of reality. So there is actually nothing you you need to believe here, but you just take step by step logical steps from those points where we actually can know something for true on then the question is does Is there anything we can know for certain? That is true. And there is one that actually there is one thing which you can know absolutely for sure. That is truth and that is that you exist. Have you thought about that? You know, you you cannot deny that you exist. It is meaningless to say I don't exist and is also meaningless to say I'm not conscious. So that's the only truth about who I am or the only truth that I can no, uh is that I'm conscious and that I exist And then I can say, Well, how do I know that? Well, I just know it. I don't need any external confirmation. I can sit in a dark room with my eyes closed and I would know that I exist and I would know that I'm conscious. Okay, I'm sleeping at night, and then I would probably deny that I was conscious during sleep. But when I wake up the next morning, I know. I knew I slept well. So I have to be there in all that. You know that I slept well and I will also be annoyed and irritated if someone wakes me up during my nice sleep. Eso There is an awareness here. And so consciousness is not a a e c concept to really grasp because it goes way beyond your normal waking state consciousness or your dream state consciousness. But in fact, there is also consciousness in deep sleep. Okay, we're going little bit ahead of ourselves now, so But the point is that this is a method of self inquiry where you where we started from this point, we start from this point that I know what that exist. I know that unconscious. That's a good starting point. And the rest is more of this logical steps in order to get a broader picture and a broader perspective on who I am. So there is a short answer and there is a more deeper and complex answer to the question. And the short answer is because everybody knows who they are, they say, Okay, I am this body on this person. I have these relationships. I have his job. I have this age. I you live in a country, and I have a certain place at night where I place my body to go to sleep and so on. So this is the identity that we do have. This is the normal identity. I'm being this person. So and so. And if I am in a party and so much as who are you, I will always make reference to something that I'm not. I will make a reference to my body. I will make a reference to the people I know to the relationships and so on. But all of these things, if you investigate as well am I my body? Well, I'm experiencing my body, but and my my thoughts well, I'm experiencing my thoughts. So So, as I say, there is a deep There is a deep answer, and there is a short answer and the short answer. Everybody knows, and most people think it's really uncomplicated of who they are. But if you go into it as we're going to do and this thes talks, then we're going to get a grasp on this and finding out that actually asking who I am is the the question of asking what is existence and what is consciousness. So that's why no other myself was the inscription in the Academy in Athens in antiquity because the philosopher's at that time probably consider that as a the most essential question. So starting from this. So you could say that that who am I the the? The kind of the puzzling part of the question is who is asking the question? And it's a little bit about exhibit having two mirrors in front of each other and looking into these mirrors, and it goes on in into eternity. And that's actually a way where we end up with this question. We'll end up in eternity and eternity, and now is the same. Many people think that eternity. It's something that goes on forever. But it's not because there is no time in eternity. Likewise, in the moment there is no time in the moment. So the eternity and and and now is the same. So this is actually where we end up. We end up in the dimension outside of time and space, where existence and consciousness is is outside of time of space. Okay, so this is gonna be kind of heavy duty for some, and we're trying to take it step wise, step by step and get a deeper grasp on the most essential question. Who am I? So this is the first lecture. This is just the introduction, just some ideas to say that there is an easy answer, which is the person that I think I am. And there is a deeper dimension to it. When you start to investigating who is asking, asking the question, Who am I? 2. Western and Eastern approach: the question Who I is a purely scientific question where science means to investigate our experience and to investigate the world we live in. And here is the difference between there is two different approaches in the in the Western approach and the eastern approach to this question. And Western science has not really concerned itself too much with with consciousness or who I am. But Western science takes it for granted that there is a subject that can observe the world . So Western science starts out with saying, Oh, hey, here is an extremely fascinating world. What's going on here? There is. Here is planets and stars and mountains and flowers and animals and human beings and old amazing things is going on here. And so let's start investigating what is happening. What is how does this all work? And so then we have developed Western science with an amazing, amazing knowledge into the natural world. The natural world, different phenomenon. But it's still based on a model that the subject, the person is able to stand outside of this reality and observe it and what and then you paint yourself into a corner because you cannot exclude yourself from from from reality you cannot stand. There is no place to stand outside of reality and observe it because I am a part of the reality. So this question has been not kind of very not impressing Lee been been dealt with. Neither in Western philosophy or all in science has just been taken for granted. There is the subject that can observe the world. So in the East they have taken a completely different approach because they have said, OK, well, fair enough. There is this amazing world out there, and it would be really nice to find out how it works. But how can I know anything about the world if I don't know who I am? How can I know something, anything about the world if I don't know who I am, who is observing and experiencing the world? So they turned the question in words instead and said, Well, I better find out who I am first and then I'll then we can start talking about the world, all the external world or wherever the world is, because it looks like the world is outside there somewhere. But you know anything? Actually, the world is in May. If you take a hard look on it, you think that you're seeing this, these glasses that I hold in my hand, it kind of looks that there looks like there in my hand. But in fact, the glasses are in my mind and anything. You have a sensation, you have a smell. It's all happening in the mind. So the mind is like this computer screen or a TV screen or film screen where everything is happening. So we think that there is an external world out there, but in fact everything goes on. In my mind, life is a state of mind. So this is what happened in the East. And so therefore they they developed as much as you could say that we that the West has an external science, the East developed an internal signs and then going finding out that who and I is actually discovering Justus much the external world and and it's just actually the same question off finding out what is reality. But there is just too different approaches and going looking outside or looking inside. So the interesting thing today is that Western science and Eastern approaches is really merging because Western science doesn't really. If you go into physics, the theoretical physics and so on, they don't They don't actually believe in the materialistic model anymore. Because in your if you investigate molecules and atoms and pre atomic particles, you come to energy and you finally come to nothing. And so So the whole materialistic concept actually dissolves, theoretically that everything consists of energy, and everything is actually coming out of nothing coming out of oneness. And but science is not so far been able to take the consequence of this, that actually everything that what everything comes out of his existence and is the consciousness, but which is what the East has been saying all along. So you could say that that yoga yoga is the science of the East, and science is the yoga off the west, where yoga meaning to unite the individual consciousness with the universal consciousness or basically finding out who we are. So two different approaches the whist western approach and the eastern approach 3. Materialism vs. Idealism: in the continuation off the difference between the Western approach and the eastern approach to reality. There is also the main difference between two philosophical approaches, which is materialism versus idealism. And in the Western world, our worldview is basically materialistic. And that means that we think that the physical reality Israel and that this matter and physical stuff like atoms and molecules and stones and rocks and what we actually can take in touch and feel. We think that this is the basis of reality and that thoughts, feelings, consciousness is it is a result off matter which in principle means that that is stone. If it's stone can develop itself long enough through a process of evolution, you will end up being able to play chess with a stone where it will end up getting self conscious. That is a very difficult, logical step to take, and the materialistic model really breaks down into some logical catastrophes and complete breakdown, because if consciousness and I am a productive product of matter, then I'm basically a machine and and and when I cannot have free will I have to be completely predestined and I have to be programmed and then who did the programming and so forth. So this is called a hard body mind problem in science, in trying to explain consciousness and how consciousness can come out of matter. So the cart he tried to solve the riddle Once upon a time. Hey was one of the initiators to Teoh Western philosophy in the Middle Ages or the end of the Middle Ages on the time of enlightenment and so on. And he suggested this split between mind and matter between spirit and matter. And he split it up into two worlds and without being able to explain how how ideas and thoughts and consciousness was able to transfer into the physical material world. And he ended up with an explanation that that the human being basic it was a machine. So But this is not, you know, this is very different to our own experience ourselves. You don't you know, we don't. We treat human beings and machines completely differently. There is another quality to us that makes us human. So materialism is basically inhuman completely. But that is unfortunately, that is, unfortunately, the worldview that is present in in the world and a two least in the western world and is completely dominating the world. And this is what everybody just takes for Riel. So you can argue that that when you go into theoretical physics and so on, there is a different world view because because then matter doesn't really exist that that actually we live in space, and but still it's still it's still materialistic, you know, they're not able to to get this model right. And because you need to to have to take that, that you have to change to a completely different philosophical perspective, which is idealism and in materialism. The idea is that matter is the cause, that that everything started with a big bang and then you, no matter through matter, everything evolves on, of course, with some very logical problems of okay who delivered the materials for the big Bang and so on. So basically coming out of nothing, that this is actually impossible, that anything can come out of that out of nothing. And actually it is also requesting that we that within the doctor or idealistic philosophy , there is no answer to this question because consciousness doesn't have any beginning existence, doesn't have any beginning because non existence is not possible. You cannot say that that if you go into space somewhere and say, OK, here's here is the end of the world Here is on and there is no end to the world because what's outside of that exactly? Okay. And say OK, here is nothing. Well, I am here to say that there is nothing so non existence is not possible and so consciousness and existence doesn't have a beginning. Simple is that this is just something that we have to accept, although it is actually impossible to understand that it's just completely beyond the mind . And is this enigma enigma mystery that we simply have to live with it, just accept so but the so in contrast to the material materialistic point of view that says that matter is the cause off creation and all phenomenon. The idealistic point of view is the complete opposite, the complete opposite that consciousness consciousness is the main cause that life is a consciousness phenomenon. Life is basically a dream, and this was like philosophers like, Plato said. That and this is implied in all mythologies and religions, like in the Bible. In the first sentence of the Bible that says in the beginning, God created heaven and earth. So so But that means that before the beginning, God waas And so there was something before the beginning. So meaning that God has always been exactly so and out of this, wherever God is, we will come back to that. Whatever God is out of this, there's creates this polarity off heaven and earth. You will find out in other mythologies like the doll is stick of gin and young that in beginning that was no. And then out of the doll, it polarised into two forces gain and young, the the active and the passive, the masculine and the feminine, the dark and the light, the cold and the warm so and so forth or in Hinduism like like Shiva and shocked the with the masculine force and the feminine force, and so on and within the cross. The Christian cross off off a vertical line and a horizontal line is an expression of this polarity. Or in the young sign is an expression of this polarity. So the idealistic point of view is that it's consciousness. It's out of existence itself, which is the cause of creation. But this is very difficult to understand and grasp because I'm seeing through materialistic glasses and what I studied philosophy. Once upon a time, I couldn't understand Plato at all because what is this guy talking about? Everything. The ideas is creating the world, you know. And I think that most people don't understand Plato it all where he's coming from. Unless you have a background in idealism and can understand that actually the idealistic perspective is possible. So So in order to to grasp how can the How is this really how is how can this world be a dream world when they this experience, when we're when it went, we experience it so riel. So how could this be a dream world? It's it seems very hard to grasp So But I tell you this, you know, this is not the reason. The world is not really simple is that this is not really what I mean by Riel is something that doesn't change that Israel. If something lasts for 10 years and then dissolves, it's not really if it lasts for 1000 years and it dissolves, it's still not really a mountain can look very riel. But within a 1,000,000 years it's dissolved and eventually this whole world will dissolve. But we don't need to go that far. We can just say What about yesterday? What happened to yesterday? Where is yesterday? Now it is gone. If if yesterday was really we should be able to bring it back and say, Hey, we that was a good day. We can have We want experience that one more time or where is your life up until this moment is also gone. So when we take a look at life, you know, life is it is a constant movement. There is something moving all the time. And so life is really like a piece of music like you can only enjoy the music as long as the music is playing. The moment you stop the music. There is no music anymore. And so So this is the so This is the the rial enigma here that that there is something that change can only happen has only meaning on the background. In reference to something that is not changing, that I should have a concept of that. I'm so and so old and if so, on so long can only be in reference to something that doesn't change. And what does not change is consciousness and existence. That is the permanent factor. It's a little bit like a movie. You could say that the movie screen doesn't change. It's the same movie scream all the time. But the film Jane keeps changing all the time, and the movie screen is completely unaffected by whatever film is being shown. So so when you investigate, our reality is not Israel as we think so. Reality is really this dream world that is a expression of energy. So as long as there is energy in motion, there is a world. This is. This is similar to two computers in the sense that if you what happens on the computer screen is the mathematical combinations of two figures zero and one, and through these mathematical combinations that the various digital signals is able to create this whole virtual reality that your experience on a computer screen and this virtual reality has become pretty big when now that we got Internet and Internet is growing every day because more and more websites is being created, more, more films is being uploaded. More more experienced is being expressed through the Internet, so it is infinite. But the foundation of Internet is energy. If you If you unplug the electricity in all computers of the world, there is no Internet anymore. It's gone simple. Is that and the same with this world? It's created in principally in the same way. So if you take out the energy and unplugged the energy from this world, there is no world. Simple is that gone? But existence and consciousness will be still be unaffected. So in a sense that God was was there before the beginning. And so if something has a beginning, it also has an end. So so there is two dimensions here, in the same way as there is one dimension of this person that I think I am and my consciousness. There is two dimensions to to reality one dimension that is outside of time and space, which where there is no time where there's no space, there is only existent. And that is the only reality that Israel, that is the only reality. And I am this reality because I know unconscious. I know I exist. That's maybe a leap to take right, But I cannot deny my existence. I cannot deny unconscious and that doesn't change. You could say OK, I became conscious when it was born. No, the body was born. But consciousness has been there all along. Consciousness all of a sudden just wakes up in this body and say, Here I am. This happens every morning. Here I am again. I'm awake again, Right? But being awake all the time consciousness is awake all the time. But anyway So So So the point being that that, um that life is is this energetic phenomenon and and what? Israel What Israel is consciousness and existence. That is the only thing that doesn't change. And because it doesn't change it Israel, you cannot get rid of it. Simples that it has no beginning and no end. It's just there. And you cannot denies its existence and life. Although it seems to be really, it is a dream. It is. It is. I'm not. I'm not saying that the world doesn't exist Likewise with a dream. At night, a dream at night exists, But the next morning where's the dream is gone, right? And the same thing with your life up until now. Where is it now? It's gone. And so life is just what happens in this constant movement and you cannot hold on to it. All you have is now all you have is this moment. That is like, that's all there is. That's a good as it gets, so we better enjoy it. So So let's say the So the thing is that how can this world come out of exists out of existence? So if we imagine, like, we can imagine that there is this swimming pool there is this, uh, in one raises an unlimited swimming pool. But just imagine it's on. This is before anything is created and so s so the water is just completely still. And so if you look into the water, there's absolutely no experience. This is before the world is created. So there is only consciousness in the sense that there is. Actually, there is. There's nothing. There is. Okay, there is awareness and consciousness on if there is no experience. If you look into the swimming pool, there is absolutely no waves or whatever. Everything is completely still no experience. So what happens is all of the sudden you get a world all of a sudden energy arises in this pool for complete unexplained reason. That's the big mystery. So there happens a polarization because of this. And so you get energy, you get two different forces, and then you get this spiral or a wave in the water. And then you say, Well, now there is something to experience, and then there is an all checked and an object that has a beginning and has an end. It lasts for a certain time, and there is an experience. And so what happens in the swimming pool that you get another world and you get another world and you get still another world, and eventually this becomes very, very complex. In the end of the day, you get a complete world, and it's actually just the same. That happens in a computer in the sense that you start out with two signals, one and zero, and then you make these mathematical combination that worlds and worlds and worlds worlds and then you. Finally, you get this big virtual reality on a computer screen everywhere around the world, and in principle, we can imagine that it's a similar thing that happens to this world. But the thing is that the graphics in this world is just so amazing. Amazing the rial that we think Israel and we were being actually fooled by it. So But this is basically the difference between materialism and idealism. And so idealism is a philosophical perspective which says that consciousness is the main cause of creation, that consciousness and existence is the main cause, and everything is. Life is a consciousness phenomenon, so this is as a purely logical foundation. But it's hard to understand because we're so hard wired into the materially materialistic point of view. And it's very difficult to grasp that that this world that is so solid and and so convincing, you know, if you get hit by a car, if you get a to think or if you get hungry, you know this reality, this is really I mean, you know who can doubt that. But when you you wish you analyze it and investigated logically, it doesn't hold up. It dissolves and it is a dream world, and you know, so I'm not saying that the world doesn't exist, like I don't say a dream doesn't exist. But it is a dream world, and what is the only reality is consciousness. The only reality is his existence. And I am conscious and I am existent. So I am really I am reality. I am this reality so but I don't experience that. So this has huge consequences. But this is a starting point just to get a grasp on this, to understand the difference between the materialistic point of view and the idealistic point of view. 4. Plato's Allergory of the Cave : the Greek philosopher Plato is considered a idealistic philosopher, and I am pretty convinced that he was schooled. He must have taken some trips to India and was influenced by Indian philosophy or the Vegas , because this is completely the same way the same view off the world that you find in Indian philosophy, or particularly in Santa invited Vedanta. But, um so but it's not completely fully expressed, but is particularly famous for his The Allergy of the Cave, where this view is being presented in pretty very clear way. And so the allergy of the cave is Thean illustration that that Plato gives that life is a dream, that we're living in a dream world. And so so the images that there is this ancient movie theater where people there are slaves who are sitting inside a cave and they're chained to the floor and also their heads are are fixed in a certain position so they can turn their heads. They can only look forward, and they can only look at onto the screen and onto the screen. There is all kinds of experiences, but what the slaves can't see is that there is someone standing behind them and holding up various forms on shapes and sticks, and chef longs and so on, and there is a light source behind them. And so this light source projects all these images onto the screen. And so the slaves, they think that what is happening on the screen is that is reality. And so this is This is our predicament. This is our situation because we're chained to the floor through our ignorance because we don't understand how this movie works, and I will be just the same. If you went Teoh to a movie theater and you didn't understand how it worked, you would thought that what was going on on the screen was reality. It would be a nightmare that happened to me when I was a child. My brother took me Teoh movie when I was six years old or something like that. I was too young to go to the movies and what all the kids were laughing and screaming and thought it was really funny. With cars crashing and people falling down from how the highest houses and so on, I thought it was a nightmare. It was terrible, you know. I was crying all the time, but and that's that's That's what happens if you think that this world Israel, it can become a nightmare when things doesn't go our way. And and so so the point. What playing I was trying to explain it is how that life is this projection and that it's consciousness being the light source, which is the cause off what is happening on the screen. And so Plato says it is only a rare slave who is able to break up the chains and see that he's actually free and can walk out and unite himself with with light source. So this is this is our situation, and and we we are ignorant about how the world works because we think Israel, we think what is happening, what we're experiencing our minds or the way we speaks experience the world we think it is . It is, um, it Israel. And so we're trapped in this world. So we're slaves. Simple is that and we're being limited because we don't understand we're living lives. We do not understand simple Is that so? So the allergy of the cave is, isn't It is where Plato is trying to explain that that life is a dream and the there is to die mentions here that there is the light source that doesn't change and is unaffected by what is ever going on on the screen. So our challenge is to to to understand how the movie works. And when we do, we can start enjoying the film. And that's why it is nice to to see a film, because we know what we know. It's an illusion. We know it's a dream world is we know it's a film, and therefore we can relax, need our popcorn in peace. Right? Uh and so? So what this work does is that when you realize how the world works, you can start enjoying life. You can completely relax. You can become completely fearless of life because you are, you're gonna be unaffected. Nothing can happen to you. Likewise, when you when you see a film your unaffected by the film, when when someone is shooting up on the screen, you know you're not going to get shot or if they travelled to the North Pole and is going to get freezing cold, you're not, you're not. You don't need to put on warm clothes because you know that you're in you unaffected and you can participate in these experiences from the outside. And that's very enjoyable because there is this freedom when you see a film. And so the invitation through this knowledge is that you can live your life in the same way you can live your life with the same freedom of being completely fearless towards life because you know that life can't do you any harm. You know that you are unaffected by by the world. But this does not mean that you shouldn't engage in the world. You should still participate. But you become an actor in the sense that you in the back of your mind, you know that this is just a game. This is this is this is a is a dream world that I'm participating in. So there is a a, um, a step, several steps to get to this, and and just to understand, this is a very small beginning, but it's unnecessary beginning because without the understanding of this, you're not gonna get anywhere so. But there is a difference between understanding this perspective and realizing this perspective. So because the programming of believing that this world is really is so deeply ingrained in my subconscious and my habits and the language and so on that to de program myself is not an easy task. And this is what we can to for a long, long time for the rest of our lives, really to become self realized when when we go from self knowledge to self realization, but we will come to that. 5. The Snake and the rope story: Plato had his take on on life being a dream. And, uh, we being slaves off the world if we don't know how the world works. And there is a similar allergy or a an ancient story from from India, which is similar and has some of the same points. And this is a story about a man who had been walking all day and he was getting tired, and it was beginning big starting to become dark. It was in the twilight, it was not quite dark, and it was not day anymore. So it was in the Twilight Zone and he's getting thirsty and he's approaching this well and he becomes really happy because he was so thirsty and so tired. But when he comes to the well, he freezes because all of a sudden he sees a cobra and he doesn't know what to do. You know he can, either if he moved forwards, is going to attack him. If he moves backwards, is going to attack him. So he completely freezes and is completely paralyzed by fear. And s o he doesn't know what to do. And so these old man comes along and says, Hey, what's going on? And you look so anxious. Uh, having you having some troubles. Yeah, I can't You can't. You see the cobra snake, you know, and so watch out, it's about to attack. And so and so the old man says, No, no, no, no, no. Take it easy, man. It z not a cobra. This is the This is the well, rope. And around here, we pilot we we tied the well robo into a curl like this, so it might look like a cobra. And so then he saw it was the, well rope. And so he laughed and relaxed. And, um so that's that's the story. And, uh, So the point here is that, um we're not seeing the world as as it is. And we're being completely terrified, uh, by the world, because we interpret the world in the wrong way. And so we're being afraid of something that is, there is no cause of being afraid off. And when we analyze the situation, then we understand that there's nothing to be afraid of it. We can relax and we can enjoy the water from the well. Ah, wisdom And the man here, the old man. He he symbolizes knowledge because we cannot. If it wasn't for the old man things person, it wouldn't be able to find out what was going on. It would be completely paralyzed. And so we need knowledge. We need someone who can actually explain how the world works were actually explain what reality is. And so so this is the knowledge. This is the wisdom traditions, and this is the there several wisdoms traditions and and many pointing out actually the same thing in different languages. But I must admit that I find particularly vital Vedanta as a very, very clear source and where these truths are being expressed very, very clearly. It's also present in Christianity, and I also must think that Buddhism is a very clear expression, although it's a different language. But still they're actually saying the same things as do also Christianity, but much more hidden in Christianity. You need to to crack the symbolic codes in order to Teoh press the juice out of that spiritual tradition which, unfortunately and most people don't. But so that was the snake and the rope story, and another point in this story is that it's in the twilight zone and twilight, meaning that if this has happened during the day when there was complete light, he wouldn't make this mistake right? And And if there was complete darkness, if there was complete darkness, he was neither also be able to make the mistake because then he wouldn't be able to see anything right. And so So this is our predicament. This is our situation that we are we're having. We're having some knowledge, and we have There is knowledge and ignorance side by side. And this is the This is what creates confusion. So if we're completely enlightened, have the full understanding is as in the day of light, there is no problem. And if we have complete ignorance, there is also no problem in the sense that no brain, no trouble. If you don't ask these questions and you don't wonder about anything, then you're living in complete darkness and you're not gonna get this. Then you don't have any fear or what life whatsoever because you don't reflect upon anything. So there is no reason to be afraid of anything because for fear is your own thoughts. Fear is a is A is a result of your own imagination. So if you don't have imagination, you you gonna be free from thought. But also not gonna have any. You're not gonna have much of a life to Teoh worry about. So some most people prefer that, you know, being so dumbed down and so passive and so unreflective so that they're not even the twilight zone there into complete darkness. So So this is where the the search starts. And we need the knowledge. We need the old man to wake us up and point out how that the rope is not actually a cobra. So there is nothing to fear when she wants to really understand how the world works. 6. Subject and object - The Bread Test : in this reality. There are two categories. There is the subject, and there are the objects. And, um, ignorance is basically a confusion between the subject and the object. But we have to understand the difference between the subject and the object. What is what is the subject and what is an object? And we learned that in school when we said Peter goes to school, where were where Peter is? The subject and the school is the object on that is you know, we didn't The teacher probably didn't go arm or into depth about this very, very essential, uh, distinction between the subject and an object. What is the subject and what is an object? And, you know, in order to do this week, we have to do that. What is called the bread test and the bread test is to check out whether you know the difference between yourself and the bread and a piece of bread. So I'm not quite sure if you do and eso let's do the bread test. And the bread test consists of defining defining the subject and defining the object and see if you can see the difference. And if you can you have passed the bread test? So let's start with the object. What is an object? An object is a A thing like this little gizmo here than I used for my video. That's an object. And it has. It has location in time and space. It has a form and as a shape that has a weight. It had a beginning. Someone made this once upon a time and it also gonna have an end. Someone is going to destroy it or throw it away or burn it or whatever is gonna happen to it. So So this is an object is has location. And in many ways, you know, it's it's it's a dead thing. You cannot talk to it or, you know it doesn't have consciousness. Um, but it doesn't have that doesn't know anything about you cannot hold it responsible. If it doesn't work, I cannot start screaming to it. I cannot hold it responsible. And so at bread has the same qualities that has location. It has a beginning. Someone made it. And what you could do with a bread is that you can cut it in two, and you will have to half Brents, and you can even cut it in slices. And it will still maintain its essence as bread. And you could own the bread and you could do with the break what you want as long as you own it at. Or maybe you made it yourself and so on. And if it tastes bad, you cannot blame the bread. But you will have to to have a talk with Baker and say here what he has to say about to his defense. So this is an object, and as a beginning has an end, has a place in time and space and so on. So that's an object. And when it comes to the human being what what is, uh, what is a human? You know, the body. Am I the body? You know, uh, I can experience my body. And so I would say I'm not my body. I'm not my thoughts. I can I can experience my thoughts. I am the awareness. Uh, but it's obvious when you when you come to human beings say, Well, can you cut a human being in half? And then you will get to humans? No. You want you will Still be a complete human being even though if you lose your arms and your legs Ondas only your head left, you know, and someone looking out through your eyes, you will still be a fully human being. So it's not the physical body that makes us into human, and it is not our thoughts. Uh, it's not our thoughts that makes us into human or our feelings, but it's our presence, our consciousness, our awareness. And that's our subjective quality. And that's makes us into a soaked a subject that we're responsible for our actions. And there is someone there. When you look into someone's eyes, you see there is a living consciousness. There is a living presence. There is existence, and and those those are kind of very intangible because they're not objects. Existence is not an object. The subject is completely different from the object. And so and then the question comes, Well, where is the subject? Can you find the subject anywhere in the brain? There is no place you cannot detect that there is ah, chemical substance substance, or that you cannot reduce this subject into an object that's, you know, logically impossible. And so the thing is that subject my existence. My awareness does not have a beginning. It does not have a location in time and space, so I don't. So that's good news when it comes to death, right? Okay, well, the body is gonna die, that's for sure. Because the body exist in time is based. The body is an object. And but I as consciousness, I am a subject. I am awareness. So what about the thoughts? Are the thoughts subject an object? Well, the thoughts is electromagnetic waves in the same sense is in its a computer. What is happening on the computers objects, Its electricity is physical, it's objects. What about emotions? Is emotions is a subject open? No, it's it's objects. And this this This solves the whole the whole riddle off the body mind connection or the heart body mind problem because there is only two categories and and I am everything apart for me are objects. And so this is This is the the allergy off the swimming pool and the waves in the sense that I am the water in the swimming pool and everything else all the waves waves air coming and going. But the water is permanent. Or like the ocean, the ocean. I am the ocean. The ocean is the subject. And the ocean is the cause of the waves. Not the other way around is not the waves that's causing the ocean. So the ocean is independent of the waves. But the waves are not independent of the oil off of the ocean is dependent on the ocean. So this is the relationship between subject and object, and and the thing is that the object is only the subject in another form. Okay, so the so the subject being consciousness, being awareness can express itself through objects. That is what happened when we dream at night that sucked consciousness produces objects of experience. And so so So you could say that awareness awareness without an object that is consciousness and awareness with an object that's called an experience. So all experiences are objects and consciousness. I and the subject Did you get it? Okay, so if you think you are the body, if you think you are this person with the name a place to live identity, nationality, sex, age, so on. If you think that that is who you are you don't see the difference between you and a bread , then you then you confuse. Then you're confused and you think you are an object you think you are as a bread Not necessarily dumb, is it bread? But you get it confused. You confuse consciousness of who you really are with the object. But you're not alone of this. This confusion is called ignorance. It's a very technical term. And it doesn't mean that you you don't know about cities of the world or or that you could be very intelligent. You could be extremely intelligent. You'll be, but you will be still. You will be still be ignorant if you make this confusion and you don't understand who you are. Okay. And so so the So this is so The bread test is to Teoh determine whether you know the difference between the subject and the object. And when you do, you're not ignorant anymore. But as long as you get this this confused, you're ignorant 7. Ignorance : So now that we've discovered that we are ignorant and that basic problem is the confusion between subject and object and that we get as long as we think the world is real and as long as I think I'm this person, I am ignorant of who I am. And a basic premise here when you investigate the world is that the world is non dual. It's called Adv Item. Vedanta with Vita means non dual vitamin D being stool. Add vitamins. Not do so. So the thing is that there is only one reality. There is only one reality one existence, one consciousness. It's not like everybody has different consciousness. There is just one consciousness, like you can compare it to electricity in the sense that there is only one electricity. There is millions, millions and millions of light bulbs and electrical appliances and so on. But they all run off the same electricity. And so if if a light bulb stops working, it's no big deal. You just change. The light bulb is not the electricity is gonna be unaffected. And so so. The thing is that that reality is non dual. There is no separation in reality, and in case there is a separation, please tell me, you know, how does it this separation a cure? And that's the so so this. That's an underlying underlying premise off in this knowledge that the world is non dual, that there is a unity. There is no separation whatsoever. But that is what happens with ignorance. When you get the subject than the object confused, then you have dualism and you have separation. And that is how I experienced I. My view on the world is dualistic because I when I think I am an object, I'm separate from the world. I'm separate from the outside, and that's creates a huge problem, and it creates a deep feeling of alienation. And it's basically the cause of my suffering and cause them all my problems is this misunderstanding that I'm having a dualistic perspective on myself and the world, and so so this is so. This is what happens when, when, when that's the cause of that. That's the basic root off the ignorance that we live in a non dual reality, but through our ignorance, it looks like it's dualistic. This is how I perceive the world, you know, When I say see another person, I feel okay, there's another. I feel separate from the from this person. But another way of seeing this. If you say If you look at a film and you have the actors on the screen, you could say that it looks like Nicole Kidman is different from Tom Cruise. Okay, it looks like is to separate people on the screen. But when you investigated, you will see that they both consists of the same light source that is both our consisting off light being projected onto the screen. So there is no separation between Tom Cruise and Nicole because it's just, like light, the same light in different forms. And that's the same with this world. That is just one consciousness, one light source projecting this world. But because we are think the world is real, we experience the world as being separate way experience. Ourselves separate from other people is experience ourselves separate from objects, furniture, cars, mountains, flowers and so on. But if we investigated, we will see that I am the world on one with the world. I don't I can't dissolve this separation of ignorance. This is an old story it's expressed in many Miss and basically the story about Adam and Eve in the Bible is is an expression of this off. This separation of how dualism came into the world is called. They called it the Sing the Fall of Sin or something like that. And so in the beginning, that was the Garden of Eden, where everything was was, you know, harmony and peace and animals. And everybody was living in peace. And that is the kind of an image of the non dual state where where animals, animals in one in many ways are are still in a in a non dual state in the sense that haven't made this separation is much as we humans has. But, um But what happens is that went when Eve they blamed the women on this, you know? But anyway, the female is the female power, which is the shock t, which is the life force. So anyway, she eats the fruit of the tree of knowledge between good and evil, which was forbidden to eat from okay. And so what happened was that they they became conscious. They began self aware, And how did they become conscious Yeah, Well, how do you know? God, that How do you know? God, How do you God know that they ate from the tree of knowledge? Well, okay. He should be only only science and know everything, but still become They became. They became shy after they've eaten of the tree of knowledge. And you become shy because you're all of a sudden have concepts. You animals are not shy because they don't care whether they're naked or not. But humans do because we have concept. So certain parts of the body are are kind of impure, or we kind of feel shy about certain parts of the body. But you that you need concepts and ideas in order to imagination in order to have that kind of ideas about yourself. And so this is how we create our whole world for ourselves through our minds. Through our concepts, we put names on everything and therefore then we cannot experience things the way they are anymore. You cannot. You know, the moment you put a name on a flower, you're not experiencing the flower you just experience in the the word of a rose, right? As Judge Goodstein tried to make up the same. The roses and rose is a rose like that. You know the closest you get two roses, the experience, the actual experience of it, not the concept of it. So anyway, so that was when the shit hits the fan. The fan in the Garden of Eden way ate of the tree of knowledge and we got kicked out of the paradise because we became dualistic with our view of the world became dualistic and that happens through our minds. But still, you know, it still was an improvement because because we're not driven by our instincts anymore. And and so I think, you know, it was a good thing. I don't consider the Adam and Eve as a historic event. I consider it a symbolic story for sure, you know, But it is an illustration off that that basically the world is non dual and that duality is a creation of the mind created. The the duality is just a perspective. It's a mental perspective and it's a mental construction of the world, which is basically wrong. That is, that the world is non dual. Reality is not duel, but through our minds, through our concepts. Will you create this imaginary world and we become victimized by it completely victimized by and therefore we are slaves. We are in prison, We are in prison of our own minds. And that's why K plate so used this illustration of the slaves and the cave. They were chained to the floor through their ignorance, and that is, unfortunately, our predicament. But the good thing is that that the old man is here, the Venus and the knowledge of spiritual dishes air here to clarify and remove our ignorance, which is the basic project. All spirituality is to remove ignorance and become free. And, uh, but we will come to that because it's not so easy to get free because it's so ridiculously easy. That's the hard part of it, but we will come to that. 8. Suffering: so life became suffering after Adam and Eve was expelled from the Garden of Eden. Andi the reason it became suffering was because the dualistic will view was installed through living through the minds and not living through the instincts. It gave us freedom, the freedom of choice. But at the same time as you get freedom of choice, it's also creates anxiety and fear. Because you can always do mistakes. You can always choose wrong, right? And so this this is with this dualistic approach. The main problem is that it creates a feeling of lack that I feel separated and I feel that I lack something all the time. I feel empty and therefore I chase experiences. I chase confirmation on myself all the time. I try try to have a good time because I'm alienated from my own being and I don't appreciate or I haven't investigated what true happiness and true satisfaction really is. So I seek contented satisfaction through enjoyment of objects, and I try to avoid pain to to have kind of negative experiences. So my life is driven by desires, and that was the Buddha was very concerned about the human suffering and he is. But that was his main quest. You know, saying what is the cause of suffering? And the short answer after Buddha's enlightenment was that the cause of suffering is desires. But you have to go deeper and ask What is the cause of desires and the cause of desires? Is dualism is the sense of separation. It's a sense of, ah, feeling unfulfilled, always something missing. I don't have contentment. I only can seek satisfaction. And so the problem with satisfaction. There's a big problem with satisfaction, while the thing is that satisfaction is nice and I become generally happy when I get satisfied. When I get what I want, I get happy. But the program would satisfaction is that it never lasts because satisfaction index extent , time in space. So it's like a piece of music. There is a nice part of the music, but then when the satisfaction wears off, then there becomes longing after experiencing it one more time and the stronger this longing becomes, its pain is painful and so you know, normal. It is that the stronger the satisfaction, these stronger the longing of this, the more pain will come like I had this amazingly love relationship that lasted for three months, right? And so it was a wonderful time. You know, this beautiful, gorgeous woman wanted to be with me, and we had such a good time, you know, everything was nice and drinking wine in the sunset and going for walks and really enjoying ourselves. And then all the sudden booms. Then she got tired of me, and I was ditch strike. And so after the street monster's been three through years of pain, right? Uh, you know, wanting this experience back. Okay, so then I have to ask myself, Was it worth it? You know, so that that's the big disappointment off off off desires that that that we actually just have one problem. Life. Just one problem. Well, excited, apart from apart from the dualistic view. But once that is installed, you end up with one problem, and that problem is you don't always get what you want. That's the reason everybody goes to a therapist or or even the dentist or astrologer or or anybody who consoled my problem. And my problem is always I don't have enough money. I don't have enough love. I don't have enough uh, experiences. I don't have enough satisfaction, you know, like the Rolling Stones saying I can't get no satisfaction. Okay, that's that. The basic problem. And when you do get satisfaction, it's another disappointment, because after there a short time, you want something else. And then it wasn't about what the satisfaction always wears off. And so, which is much better is to seek contentment, that contentment, that that that is always there, that which is actually attainable, which is the gold were really soak it so searching for we're not looking for satisfaction. We're looking for contentment. But so So this is this is the cause of suffering. And there is two more limitations to our freedom or a search for freedom because it's actually freedom we want. Freedom is our basic, you know, desire, Andi. Only desire that is worthwhile, you know, work. But because we don't want to be rich, that's not what we want. We want to get free from poverty. We want to be free from the limitation of not being able to buy what we want. And we don't want love because we just want to be limited. We don't want to be free from the limitation of not being loved are being lonely and being isolated and whatever you know. But our basic need is to to search for for security and freedom. And so okay, but anyway so, But apart from the main bought basic problem, I can't always get what I want. There's also a limitation that I'm going to die, that the body is going to die one day. You know, that's a limitation. And another limitation is ignorance in the sense that it's it's frustrating to live a life we do not understand. We're curious, you know? We're curious to something goes on. We run to the window to see what's happening. That's really, really the amazing thing about humans. You know that we're really were curious. Its's really fantastic asset, because otherwise we would just be lazy and just not gonna get anywhere. We were extremely curious decree, extremely creative because of our curiosity. But it is our curiosity is an attempt to overcome the limitation of not knowing and because also knowing applies to giving us security, which is our basic needs. So so these three things are limiting our our our freedom. The concept that I'm going to die, that the body is going to die and that although it cannot always get what I want and that I live on my life, I do not understand. So this is suffering, and the basic cause of suffering is my feeling of alienation, of my feeling, of emptiness because of the dualistic view of myself. And so the whole quest of solving the problem of solving the problem of suffering is the spiritual quest. That is what spirituality is all about. And so when, When Buddha, through his fourth four noble truths. The first noble truth is that the actuality of suffering and the next one is the cause of suffering, and the last one is that there is a way the 3rd 1 is. There is a way to end the suffering, and the 4th 1 is Here is the way folks and then he came up with was called The Eightfold Path and so on, which is a practical direction. How to end the suffering. Buddhism doesn't have a monopoly on this. There is several recipes, but basically it's It's the same recipe in different variations and the and the 1st 1 is to get rid of your ignorance. Ignorance is what is liberating. Ignorance is gonna see if you can. So the get rid of the ignorance, you're going to solve the problem. That's the method. 9. Liberation: there is a way to solve the problem of suffering, to solve the predicament of dualism, to realize the non dual reality. And there is there is several paths to do this, and there is too basically two paths and two. And this is described, for instance, in the Bhagavad Geeta that there is the path of knowledge called John Yoga. And there is the path of action called karma yoga. And so in the Bible McGee tie its If if you read the second chapter, it starts with Krishna giving this. You know, our una is this warrior and his standing in the middle of a battle field. And he's have this breakdown because he realizes that is always his family and and friends who is in the other side, and he's going to go to war and he doesn't want to kill, and he gets confused and and Christianize his guide and going to help him. And so they have this dialogue in front of this just before this battle going to start. This is, of course, a symbolic story because the battle is the battle in our own minds. And, uh, Krishna is this divine guidance here who was trying to straighten our unit out. So so are you now know what to do and how to act. And so but that what what Christians starts out doing is to give this this thunder earth talk on non dualism, and he just puts a straight to Teoh are una says that the wise grieves neither for the living or the dead, which you need to have this view implemented in order to understand. That's that there is no grief and dying in the same way as there is no grief in a light bulb that a lightbulb doesn't work anymore. You just change it to another. So if you identify with consciousness and who you really are life, life and death, it's not not that big deal is just two sides of the same coin and you're you are unaffected by life and death. Your doesn't you know consciousness is unaffected. But anyway, so so. But this is this is the start of the back of a key so that this this non dual worldview is being presented and and Krishna is giving the knowledge directly to our you know. But the problem is that so this is the knowledge path. This is if you can understand ignorance, you can understand who you are. You can become free. That's a direct knowledge path. Okay, but are you not? He doesn't get it, which most people don't. And and because we're still identify what, being a person still five being this this body that follows feelings and so on. And we're still, you know, deeply ignorance and deeply connected to the to the dualistic world. This is how you experience the world dualistic. And so therefore Krishna comes up with the second teaching. And the second teaching is karma, yoga, the yoga of action. And so, in the yoga of action, you accept that the world is dualistic. You accept that. Okay, this is the rules that we're gonna play by. We're gonna play by the dualistic rules. So how then, are you gonna you gonna act, you know? What would that then you're gonna Then you will have a different spiritual path. Simples that And, um And so So then there is these two paths you can either go dialect is straight to the path of knowledge and not very many people are qualified for that. And so therefore, as most people should do karma, yoga, the yoke of action you get divide karma yoga into two other paths, which is the path of of love and devotion, box to yoga and also the path of raw Joeckel, which is the yoga techniques. And so, But they are all actions to, you know, if you if you like candles and you pray and you're seeing for God and so on and and you, you, you, you, you live with devotion. It's also a form of action, which is also based on dualism, but which is also, you know, inherent In most religions. Most religions are completely dualistic, like Christianity. There is a fundamental separation between God and the human and me, you know. And that's dualism, that God is something outside of me. Or I am something outside of God. No. In a non dual perspective, there is no separation between me and God. I am God, you know. I'm an expression ago. There is nothing that is not God. Reality is gone. It's just another form, that's all you know. God has two forms as a manifested and manifested Andi and so but anyway, so that's That's the knowledge perspective. But we're in the dualistic world now, and therefore we are karma yogis. We should do the path of action. And then there is certain rules for how the karma yoga works. And basically, it is trying to do your actions as an offering, leaving no traces in what you do and trying to remove the ego out of the picture. That's very difficult, because whole dualistic approach is this identification and clinging to being an ego. So karma yoga is basically to to offer your actions to God. And but you can just saying Try to work without leaving traces. Just do what is necessary. Can you? Can you like like an animal, like animals are instinctive that just do what is necessary to do. They live out Dharma. They live out the life force, and so if we can live spontaneously and free, we will not do harm. But we do harm all the time because because all our actions is motivated through the ego and creates disturbance. So that's that's our predicament. So karma yoga is instructions for how to act in the world. Simple is that, and and as a way to reparations, but it's it. And also boxer yoga and Raja yoga, which is the techniques techniques like yoga, meditation and relaxation, concentration and so on, singing mantras and whatever. So this. So there is many, many paths that you can do in order to liberate yourself in order to find freedom. But as I say, basically two paths the Pathan yoga path we acknowledge, and the path of action and the path of action is a preparation for the understanding. And so when the mind becomes clear, the mind becomes calm. When the ego is kind of reduced and you can see things as they are, the mind will open to this understanding. And, uh, and that is the the foundation of all spiritual practice and, um, so find out. But most people, very few people can go in the direct path because there is so many subconscious patterns that needs to be worked out through meditation through practice, through self reflection, through self require, self inquiry and so on. So it's a longer process. And so where most we are karma yogis, because we live in the dualistic world and we have to play by the rules in this world. As long as we believe that this world Israel, we have to play by the rules of the world. 10. Spiritual Practise: So what is spiritually practice? So yes. Um, the problem or the challenge off enlightment or becoming free is that I am free already. I am looking for something that I already have. So in principle there is absolutely nothing I could do to become enlightened. What I should do is to remove my ignorance. That's that. That's the only recipe. So all I need to do is just sit down and quiet my mind and just be and then I'm there. But that's that's that's not gonna happen because I'm so programmed into my ignorance, the ignorance so hard wired that I have to do something else, that I will have to do something. But But how do you get rid of ignorance? You know, can I? It doesn't have to eat vegetarian food doesn't help. Stand on My head doesn't help to Teoh Teoh go for a walk every day or it doesn't help. To go on pilgrimage doesn't help to pray that, you know there's no actions that could remove ignorance. The only re movement of ignorance is knowledge. Um, but on dso that you end up with this this enormous misunderstanding in the spiritual world that that that's enlightenment is an experience, and it is not in one way in one sense, it is an experience. But the dualism has to go in the sense that if there is an experience and there is an experience, sir, it's dualism. But it is actually possible. Do you have and experience without an experience, sir? This can sound logically impossible because this is an experience beyond the mind. Beyond the intellect, is it? It's a form of transcendence that is not that alien, because we have experienced it all. We do experience that frequently We have small moments of ecstasy where where where were not present or the observer is not present anymore, like you can experience it in, in, in dancing like you're dancing and all of a sudden my me as a person is gone and there is only the dance. But then all of a sudden, the mind steps in and says, Wow, this list lips looks, looks amazing. Hope someone takes pictures of me an hour or something, or a whole Someone sees me, and then you rolled sudden out of the experience or you see something amazing. You and nature, all of a sudden, there's a short moment where there is just oneness, that you are just one with what is happening and and the person is kind of completely out of the picture. So this is the this is ah, taste off off the ecstatic state off awareness being self aware. So this is the person this is the process Off off off enlightment is to transcend the mind . And you cannot do it by will. In the same sense that you cannot fall asleep at night at will. You can only prepare yourself. You can make preparations for going to sleep. That's why we we you know, we normally have nice bedrooms. We have nice bed clothes, and we like to furnish the bedroom nice and clean, you know, because we appreciate that way. Like to sleep. We appreciate the sleep. Uh, but we cannot do. We cannot force the sleep to happen. We have to can only prepare ourselves. And the same goes with enlightment. You cannot. You cannot force yourself to do it. And the more action you do, the more you actually just increase the separation and your ignorance. So you'll just have to let go of your concept had let go of your beliefs. Let go of your identifications and just be That's the That's the challenge of it. So, So the whole the whole spiritual paths is, Is this preparation for enlightenment? And that's all you can do. You can only make you can. You can prepare for it and hope that it happens by God Grace. So whatever, Whatever it takes and you could say so spiritually practices no guarantee for enlightenment , but it's pretty much guaranteed. That is not gonna happen without, and so there is something to do theirs. It is important to have a spiritual practice if you have ambitions off becoming enlightened or if you want to be free. So but there is a There is a big trap, which I went into for a long time, and this trap is called spiritually mountain climbing, and I had that concept off. That spirituality is like climbing a steep mountain and on the top of his mountain. Buddha and Jesus and all the big shots in the spiritual world are sitting on the top of the mountain, and everyone else is climbing up that mountain and trying to get higher and higher up to the summit. And when you reach there, you hit the jackpot and you become this absolutely amazing person, you know, and you get all powerful and shining and people will love you and throw Manny on you and all the women will flock to you and so on. So it's it's up is really a goal worth striving for, right? So and which I did. You know, I lived in an Ashram and I did lots of yoga, and I got, you know, powers and whatnot. And and so I started teach yoga. And then I became what I would call a spiritual snob because I thought that I was better than my students. I had come higher up the mountain, so I was, you know, Okay, I was not kind of enlightened or anything like that. But I still I was still, you know, beyond base camp, you know, so I could look down on on others because they have not come that far as I had. And so I enter this spiritual hierarchy, you know, and you get the more kind of experiences you have and the brighter your aura. And so on the cooler you look, the more status it gives. So it's it's it's a complete same thing as a sin society in society. There is this status pyramid, you know, which is which is measured in money and how much possessions you haven't popularity you have but on. And this is six same thing in the spiritual world. But it's just another currency. And the currency is your, you know, experiences. So this is spiritually materialism, and it's a big mistake. And that's why there are so many scandals in the spiritual world. Because because the that because when when you're looking chasing experiences okay, you have these amazing spiritual experiences. But they wear off, as all experiences do, and then you get bored and then you won't try something else. Anyone have sex, you wanna have power, you want to have money and so on and fame. And so therefore, all these yogis. They fall by the wayside because they completely misunderstand the path. They think that that is all about experience and experiences are endless and eso and therefore you have all these scandals, and it's very few X. With few exceptions, who off of yogis on and masters and so on who is not being seduced by by this, you know. And now we're probably, you know, I'm absolutely sure I'm gonna fail for the same things. You know, if I get up there right and so So therefore, it's just so easy to keep your tongue and check here and and and have the right perspective on the on spirituality. So the thing is that that when you have this perspective that I I am already free, you know that there is no hierarchy. I'm not going anywhere because I am. I am already at my destination. So there is no yeah hierarchy whatsoever. All all I need to do is to remove my ignorance, and then I'm free. So but, of course, you could probably make another hierarchy out of that who has removed more ignorance than others. But but But actually it is. It is an awakening in the sense that either you you, uh, you remove the your ignorance or not. You know, it's it's a complete. It's like the rope and the snake story. Once you see the the rope, you cannot go back and seeing the snake anymore. So that that is that the complete awakening and there is it becomes a complete reality for you that this is a dream. This is a real solution. I unconsciousness when that is, is your you know, you know, it's just clear as as anything like your Berries in your hand or whatever you know. Then you are awakened. So So it's a big trap to to fall for experience and, um, and not having a clear perspective on on what spiritual practice is. So so it is not. It is not I as a person who become free, it's the other way around I as consciousness, I become free of the person that I think I am. I realized that this person that I think I am is a mental construction. It's an illusion, and when I become free of that, then I'm free. Then I can see the world as it is, and I can live spontaneously unaffected by the world, and I can act out of pure love. I cannot act spontaneously in the world that is liberation, and there are exceptional people who have realized this, and they are lighthouses for others who who can draw inspiration and can learn from their knowledge from their experience. But but the spiritual world is is a jungle out there. There's it's there is a lot of confused teaching and a lot of confused teachers and is very few who has this straight, you know, doesn't fall for the for the for the various traps of money, sex and power and so on and is right few who is not kind of subscribing to the to the spiritual mounts and clamping. So when you remove yourself from that circus, you can start becoming riel and you can start getting onto authentic practice and find a meaning in the spiritual practice. So what happened to me was that I became disillusioned. You know, I've been meditating for 40 years and I said, Well, look, you know, I've been meditating for 40 years. I'm the same jerk us have been all the time. You know what? This is going over and I became so dissolution, you know, I was about to just throughout the whole things. I know this is, you know, this is going over and then, fortunately, fortunately, I was expecting exposed to to invite Vedanta to this teaching. And fortunately, find a found a very inspiring teacher who was James Swartz, which I think is very, very good for beginners. He's he explains Vedanta in a very, very clear way. So I was hanging out with him for a long time and and got kind of this perspective. So he was the old man who pointed out that that is not the snake. It's it's the rope, so I'm very thankful for him. But I have kind of moved on to other teachers, which I think has some some deeper aspects to the teaching. Then then I think that he presents. But But anyway, that's way, way, way down the line. So in the beginning, as here is only a matter of just getting the perspective rights and this is a place to start. So the thing is that the so this teaching will come when, when when you keep searching. But But there is a main difference here between spiritual materialism, where you chase experiences and you changed objects apart from realizing that you are ordered to free and you remain. Project is to remove ignorance 11. Qualification: we dealt with spiritual practice and and it's important to have a spiritual practice because it cleanses the mind and it prepares. Is the preparation that liberation can happen? It's not a guarantee that it can happen, but is probably a guarantee that it won't happen without so spiritually practice of having the right view and having a meditation practice. And all your actions is being aware of all your actions and how you live. Your life is a spiritual practice and is the foundation for solving the basic problem of suffering. But you need to be qualified. I mean, some teacher says that and I can can happen anywhere to anyone on. There is no logic to There is a logic to it and you need to be qualified. And and some people, we are to a certain extent qualified through our karma. And if you have been hanging out with this video so far, you definitely have qualifications, because otherwise you would have put been bored long time ago. And so you are have a strong qualification. Just be to be motivated or just to be interested in this question of who you are, just to be interested in this topic and and reflecting on these issues is a qualification in itself. That means that you are you are prepared. Your your soul is longing for this. You know, you we want this knowledge. And, um so traditionally, there is there is 10 qualifications or okay, there could be more or less, but let's do 10 of the more kind of traditional famous qualification that the first qualifications, discrimination and discrimination means. Distinguishing between the subject and the object is to to analyze, self reflect, do self inquiry and do the logical steps that we have been going through so far. That's called discrimination and to to separate the real from the unreal to two separate subject and the object. And to understand how the movie house off reality works, Second qualification is to control the mind. And once you realize that I am consciousness, I am not the content of my mind. Most people's are completely slaves to their minds. Uh, and, uh, because if you think that my thoughts are really you say these things like I am hungry, it's a complete mistake. I am not hungry. I am experiencing hunger, So thoughts, thoughts and whatever happens in the mind of sense impressions, thoughts, sounds, smells touch and so on. And your thoughts, memories, uh, plans, desires. Whatever. Uh, anything that goes on in the mind is objects, and I am not the objects. So when you can make that discrimination that distinction, it's impossible to control the mind in the sense that if you feel hunger, okay, you don't need to rush the fridge. You can wait, or you can skip a meal or you can fast, you know, you're you're stronger than your mind. You could control your mind. That's an enormous freedom. No. And most people are slaves to their minds, thinks that they have to abort, obey any any desire that comes along, you know? And then, you know, you know, you you destroy your mind, you know, you destroy your life if you're being chased by your mind, you know, And in the end, you know, we could be completely addicted. Teoh all kinds of stuff, you know, the lose power arms over ourselves. So controlling the mind complete the essential, and the third is to control the census. That's, uh, I already mentioned in the sense that desires for sense pleasures and so on is controlling the senses. And there's a beautiful saying in the Bhagavad Geeta saying that those who does not feed the census the census returns to the self, leaving the longing behind. I love that quote. Those who don't know don't feed the census. The census returns to the self meaning consciousness, leaving the longing behind. All right, so non attachment not We get attached to our ego, to our bodies, to our desires, to our family to to to ideas, political ideas, concept. We get attached to anything you know, because we build this mental world around ourselves to our identity of the person I think I am, and so on. That's attachment. And so So that's why you know, like, if you want to become a swami, Orson Yasin, you take these rigorous, you know, wows off. Like if you're gonna be a son, Jassen in the engine tradition. You, You You take it while that you go into You can only ask for food once a day. You're not allowed to touch money. You're not allowed to live in a place more than three days. Okay, Can you imagine off having absolutely no nets of security. You don't have money, and you only can. You can only have your clothes and you walk, and you can only trust other people that that will give you food if you ask for it twice a day. So that's that's That's to test yourself if you could be live completely non attached. So you know, in our extreme comfortable lives that that's really, really, really tough. So that's probably not what we should start. We should start by kind of letting go. Our desires letting go are fixed ideas and so on. So there's many ways we could practice non attachment. So an important qualification is to follow your dharma. That's very means. Diamond Diamond means what is natural. What is what is what is the way. What is the order of the universe That's Dharma like It's the charm of the sun to shine and be warm. It's the It's the the dime a off a chess player to pay to play chess. Its the dime off, um, ally into to hunt for it to survive and so on. And Dharma is not fixed in the sense that it's it's, uh, it's what what is right to do at any moment. So sometimes it's its rights to to fight to, to show aggression. To defend yourself can be your diamond. And other times it's not your dharma to do violence. And so So Dharma is this inherent knowledge off direction in each our own lives. And there is a There is a collective diamond of the whole world, and there is a individual dharma to our own eyes. And so follow your diamond means that you should live your own life. As it says in the Bhagavad Geeta, ITT's better to live your own life bad than to live other people's lives. Good. So, um and so the thing is that you have to tune into your own truths and folio dreams and do what you came here to do, and this is okay, concept that that we do. I believe that we do have a soul in the sense that there is a deeper karmic purpose to our lives, and we come into this world with a sense of purpose, and there is tasks and challenges that were supposed to do, and we can we can meet those challenges or we can avoid them And when we do, we're not true to ourselves. So finding this truth is okay, it's not kind of written anywhere but you. You will find it in your heart by by opening on. But you know, your your subconscious and your soul will tell you because when you're on the right wrong path, you know bad things start happening to you. You get accidents. People are nasty to you. Things doesn't go your way. You start getting, you know, obnoxious dreams and so on. So there is all possible ways that or particularly feel, you know, you don't feel right and so so so when you are on the right track in your life, you feel that you are where you should be in your life. So finding your diamond follow your dharma is a quantification. Earnestness means that you should do this with intensity. This is just not a hobby. You know, when you when you really discover this and you really get a desire for being free, you do this wholeheartedly. You know that there's nothing more important in this, So that's earnestness. You really you really do it fully. Four. Barron's means certain tolerance that you should accept, you should accept what happens in life. That's the If you really want to have peace, console all your problems. If you could just accept life for parents if you can accept whatever happens and not, you know, not being driven by ego that the ego wants to have reality on his own terms, it's bound to be a big, big, big disappointment. So if you can flow it, go with the flow and accept life that's key to the highway, for sure. Just, um, justice is very important in the sense that you could also call it faith. This is not a religion, so you there is nothing to believe. But you need to have trust. You need to have trust in this tradition. You need to have trust in the knowledge because you're not able to do every day the logical steps you need. Thio Thio to rely on this knowledge, and in the beginning you need to trust it when, when eventually you become realized, you don't need any traditions. You don't need teaching anymore, Um, but because you will, you will realize these strings through your own experience. So it's not a belief anymore Um and it's not a religion. It's a purely purely logical infestation investigation of reality on how you of your own experience, another qualifications, devotion and, uh, you have to do it from your heart. It's not enough just to be intellectual. Two. Although it's good to the Internet, the intellect is still the strongest power of the mind in the sense that all your actions is being determined by your intellect. And when people say, Well, you gotta follow your heart Well, that's well, good. Yeah, it's true. You gotta follow your heart, but it's still it's still an intellectual saying It's still the intellect that says, Oh, I'm gonna follow my heart So But anyway, of course, you know the heart is beyond the words. The emotions is beyond the words so but isn't It's really important to try to connect emotionally and that it goes through our love through our devotion to the practice, in devotion to knowledge and, uh, and devotion and love is essentially my own nature that that consciousness is love. My being is love. So what is meant by love, though, is not a feeling. Love his presence and whatever I gave my presence to. That's what I love. If I see in front of the computer all day, that's what I love. If I walk in nature all day or often, that's what I love. If I am with my Children, that's who I love. If I am with my partner, that's what I love that. Isn't that what the partner says? Oh, you don't love me anymore because you just watching TV all day. So it means that if you don't give attention to your partner, the partner will explain why that I don't love you anymore. So love is this very, um, issued word that people connect through all kinds of sentimental Rosie feelings and so on. But it's not really a fueling at soup presence, which is love and so consciousness is love, and in the sense that that it's good to be alive, it's good to exist. There is if it If my nature was to be depressed, you know I would be happy when I got depressed. But in fact my own being is is dress is a blissful nature, and that's where I want to be. So if if if I could just get rid of all my thoughts. Then I will be happy. And that's what happens when I get what I want. I remember. I remember once I fell in low with with a gorgeous woman on. We dated each other on the Internet on Did She sent these pictures and so on, and we became madly in love with each other. And I became extremely happy because before that I have these periods of loneliness. I felt lonely. I needed a woman in my life. And so when she said, Well, I want to be with you I became extremely happy, but the point was that she was traveling a lot. So actually I had to wait for three weeks before we would need each other. But for those three weeks, I was extremely happy. And then the question is, what? Where? What is it that happiness come from? Because I have met the woman yet, okay? And so obviously the happiness has to come from myself. And so what is happening is that I have this desire. I have his lack. I'm telling myself I'm lacking something. I feel lonely. I lack a partner. And so when the partner comes, or when She just says that I'm gonna step into your life. Then the they're feeling of lack disappears, the desire disappears. And what happens is that my true nature shines forth just like the sun when you remove the clouds. So my nature is bliss and happiness, but it's being disturbed by my desires and my concepts on my dualistic concepts off that I lack something because I don't I am holding complete. That's my nature and that is love. So that's the heart of devotion. So which is important to include in the practice and is an important qualification? The lost quantification is a desire burning desire for the oppression, a burning desire for liberation. There is a story of Rama Krishna who, who there is there is a student to ask. Well, why? How, how important, how much desire for liberation should want have. And Rama Krishna. You didn't answer the question, but later they went down to the gun G's and had a morning bath, and when the disciple had his one head under the water, Rama Krishna pushed his head down, and so he began completely desperate and thought it was going to drown. And then, after some time, but I'm a Christian. Let go his head. And so he came when it came to their surface. And Rama Krishna said, Well, this is the answer to your question as much as you wanted to survive and to have air when I held you under under the water. That is how much you wanted. It has to do. You have to desire liberation. So you know we're not there. Most people are not there, but but we do have a desire for liberation. And what I have experienced in my life is that that it started out kind of slow like a fire in the sense that it fire starts out slow, slow would like a burning candle and then it starts to expand. And so once you get this knowledge, the desire for liberation really cash his own. And because more more burning so that that can happen. And, uh, And when you get true knowledge, I don't think this flame is going to die, you know, Z there is. It's a one way road. You know, when you started this there is no going back, you know, so burning desire for liberation. But that is very individual for each person. And but you can cultivate it and the more knowledge you get and that the deeper you go into the path and the more you you realize because what is happening, what is happening is that you you become aware that suffering you become aware of the limitations and the dissatisfaction off dualism. You become aware of this emptiness and this feeling, alienation and the inherent suffering of just identifying by being this person kind and so these you know it. It gives you a sense of meaning to your life that you have to solve this, this suffering right. And there is there is peace to be attained. There's there is permanent contentment to be attained in the process of off spiritually practice and in the process of finding true peace and freedom and depression. So burning desire for the operation. Once you have a burning desire for liberation, the teaching or the teacher were with appear. It's called When the disciple is ready, the guru appears and the problem is not the gurus. The problem is the disciple in the sense that there are grooves. There are teachers out there and they are they're longing to have disciplined disciples. And so a disciple is a person who was able to discipline himself and to have a practice. And so So this is this is the quantification that we can work on ourselves in the sense that we become We can become disciples in the sense that they were disciplined in our lives and that we will attract the knowledge we will attract the right students A with the right teacher for us. Uh, but Guru doesn't necessarily need to be a man with a beard or swami or or Samuelson or whatever. But life itself is a guru. You know, Life's teaches us all the time. And, um but our responsibility is to do our part of the work and are part of the world is to be a good disciple in where we're good disciple We would track the right teacher 12. Meditation: There are many meditation techniques, and when people ask what is the best meditation technique, I'll tell you right away, the best meditation technique you can ever have is the one that you do every day. That's the best meditation taking. So meditation is in principle, very easy. It's like running or jogging or even going for a walk in nature. Everybody could do it, and it's It's a complete natural process, and it's not really a matter of what kind of jogging shoes you have or what kind of trainer you have to jog. So what gives the effect is to actually to do it and to have a regular practice. And, uh so so there are many different meditation techniques, and the techniques are not the most important thing. And also often the most simple thing can be used. Like the Buddha. He had just a very simple practice. He just he just watched his breath. That was all what, all what he did. But But he saw himself down under the tree Vody tree in Bodh Gaya and with that with a firm resolution that it was going to sit here until he died, unless he got the answer to to what the meaning of life is. And so after the seven days or something I can't go about. Maybe it was three days. I don't know what the story says, but he was meditating night and day and finally, is his mind opened to the fully realization. But anyway, we don't have that determination where we sit down to meditate. But But we do have the determination that I'm going to sit for a certain period of time. So when you start to meditate, you decide. I'm going to sit here and out for the next 20 minutes. So the next half hour, or the next hour or wherever, how long you want to do it? Don't do it of more than one hour if you're in the beginner. So, uh, you can do, like, just saw then the Zen Buddhist IQ practice, which is very, very simple. Just sit. You know nothing else. Just sit. It's a very powerful practice, and you just watch whatever happens off thoughts, feelings, restlessness and and you you get completely not attached, and you don't have any expectations of anything special to happen or anything. You just sit. That's all just since. Okay, so it's still straight. You can watch your breath, but just sit Andi. Eventually that the person will disappear in the sense that there is no person anymore. There's just sitting. Okay, so you become one with the trees, the mountains, and it's very nice, very nice to do this practice outside if you consider nature and just sit okay, just like a stone in nature. So that's that's a very simple meditation practice, so But I would I would. I would divide and meditation practice into 33 stages, and the first stage is relax ation. The second stage is concentration, and the third stage is meditation. And so what passes for meditation these days is basically relax ation. So mindfulness, for instance, which has become more less synonymous with meditation, is is basically relax ation. You sit down, you close your eyes and you just watch the mind. You just watch whatever passes of thoughts, feelings, memories that you talk to yourself and so on. And that's the first stage of just calming your body and calm in your mind. And that's a good practice, very powerful practice. And what happens in the first stage is that you cannot avoid to become aware that I am the witness you cannot avoid, too. Notice that there are the sounds and I am aware of here in the sounds. There are thoughts, and I'm aware of having thoughts, their feelings, I'm aware, having feelings. I'm talking to myself. I'm aware, talking to myself. So that is to practice. And it's very good to establish the witness in the sense that I am awareness. I'm conscious. I'm sitting here, I'm doing my practice. So that's the first stage called mindfulness. And this gives you even though you stop here, it gives you, uh, over that over time it gives you Ah, a calmness and a piece has a whole lot of fizzy audio. Few Salah jiggle on psychological benefits, and it gives you a sense of off security and and self confidence. Confidence is just resting in yourself. So it's It's a great practice and highly recommended. So the next stage of meditation is called concentration, and then you, in a sense, you go deeper in order to that, you wanted to provoke your mind. You introduce an object of concentration. It could be a mantra. It could be a symbol. It could be a special thought. It could be, you know, chock rows of the body. Or it could be the breath. There's no limits to what kind of objects of concentration can be introduced to the mind of combinations of objects and so on. But the principle is to have an object to concentrate on. And then then the mind will protest because the mind is like a drunk monkey. It wants to to spontaneously jump from one thoughts and feeling to the next. But once you start disciplining in mind and say no hey, stop. You're going to just focus on this candle or just this mantra over the mushy by only Mushu I only much only much you keep repeating the mantra over and over, and then the the mind will show its content So it would represent a certain cleansing of the mind by using an object of concentration. So all kinds of Montrose you can use, um, simple mantra is like ohm Shanti. Oh, just all. Or you can have longer mantra is like the guy a tree mantra onboard move Also wanna touch servitude of our any embargo, Davis et mahi t o una graduate. I up just to use a longer mantra to keep your your mind focused. But anyway, the mantra is not that important. But finds some. Some of that work is like a tool you don't need need to use a hammer for everything. You can have different Montrose for different occasions, and you can have a personal mantra, which is like the one you you hang on to the most. But if you can experiment with it, it's you can investigate it anyway. So that's the second stage of meditation and the third state of much. That meditation is what is actually meditation in the sense that it's concentration without an object. So and that's kind of hard to do. But how? How can you concentrate on something without an object? There's no mantra anymore. There is nothing special to concentrate on, so that means that that awareness is ref. Resting on itself is an an appreciation of your own being is just presence. It's just awareness. So there is no technique. There is nothing you can do. There is just just being that's meditation. That's the final stage of meditation, and the longer you can stay in that presence that can transcend the mind and eventually become immigration. Samadi. Freedom. OK, so but that's the practice. And what our route would recommend is to go through. Either you can. You can do the stages separately if you want, but but I would recommend a the kind of gradual 10 minutes of realization or mindfulness, 10 minutes of concentration and 10 minutes off Rheal, meditation of just trying just being so That's that's a sound sound practice. And, uh, but you can just do mindfulness. Or you could just also just do mantra meditation itself. But But I would really recommend those three stages and that you have some certain perspective on what a meditation is. So it is actually act actually, this this simple. But the main thing about meditation is to do it on, uh, and you know, if you really want to have its simple just to do this, then practice. I love that. Okay, so But if you if you feel that you need MAWR knowledge in order to get it and meditation practice going, I mean, there are, um, books, and, uh, I'll probably make another serious just on meditation up. What would you do that so but so there is. There is a huge amount of information out that there is no excuse of not starting a meditation practice. You can also dio transcendental meditation if you can afford it, so that that's Ah, it's ridiculously expensive to get a mantra from the transcendental meditation organization . But but they should really be complimented on because there is no one who has learned more people. Meditation. As Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who founded the Transcendental meditation, he was really big in the sixties and seventies and learned the people's to meditate on his golden formula off mantra, personal mantra and meditation Twice a day. 20 minutes is it's a very, very powerful practice and transform the lives of literally millions. It's a very serious organization, and they do profound work on. Also, they have much more advanced techniques. They have the, you know, the mind blowing city program where they taught people to fly literally, and I've seen it myself due to levitate. I've seen people. They flew off half a meter off the ground. I was just totally mind blowing, and they did that by introducing that city techniques on Now they're into to world peace in the sense that they discovered the I think it's actually called the Maharishi Effect that that when enough people comes together, it reduces crime rate in society, and it's and it's being measured like they have done these amazing. I can't remember the details, but But it was in America and American American city away. A couple of 1000 people came together to meditate over a two week period of something like this, and they could really measure a dramatic drop in crime rates and suicide attempts and and less activity on the on the in the hospitals, their emergency awards and so on, and an enormous harmonization off society due to this collective effort off deep meditation of advanced meditators getting together. So so all cradle for that, you know. And so meditation has a very powerful effect, not not to only your individual life, but has also a collective life. So you do actually a service to the world if you have a meditation practice. So it's a huge topic, and, uh, but on so start meditating that that's the biggest asset you can do. If you want to have a spiritual practice 13. Self-realization: finding out who I am is is much mawr than an intellectual endeavour. It's It's a process off of realizing who you are. It's a process of going from from self knowledge to self realization on in this in this learning process that there are three stages and the third the first stage is listening. And that's what's of course is happening in this video that you need to get the knowledge you need to listen to the old man in the snake in the rope story. And this you can do through various teachers who was teaching this knowledge. So it says listening. And of course you can. You can read books, which is a form of listening, but in the tradition, it's important to have the the kind of the personal, the personal experience off, just taking in the knowledge through your ears and, uh, and just putting all of your concepts aside important because this is so radical, you know, it's so radical to say that the world is not really, you know, that that idealism since we're not taught idealism in school since we're so programmed into believing that the world Israel, that the physical world and we're so deeply programmed into materialism is very, very is. It is a hard process, and it's hard to grasp this knowledge because it's so contradictory to how we experience the world. Because I experienced the world as dualistic, and it is a big stretch to realize and integrate and understand that the world is not duel , and I'm basically ignorant of my nature, basically ignorant of who I am. It's a big stretch, and so the first stage is just listening just to try to take it in. And, um and so the next stage is called Reflecting means that you need to integrate this. I spent for my own part. I spent at least three years, you know, to just so many concept where it just I had to just write down the sentence and reflected for days before it kind of sank in. I remember particularly with this one, As I said previously, that that's, uh, awareness without an object is consciousness and awareness with an object is and experience , for instance, that sentence. You know, I spent days reflecting on that sentence and, uh, on here the other day, I was meditating, and this thought comes up that I am the same, whether I'm living or dead. Oh, that's also a kind of worth meditated. Reflecting on that consciousness is unaffected by life and death or a success in the back of a G. Each other's the wise grieves neither for the living know. The debt, you know, said stretch to to to radical radical concepts or like that God is, uh is like Ottoman and is like in the world is got in physical form. There is nothing other than the With God is God is the world in physical form, or God has two sides as a manifested and manifested so so the non dual world expresses itself. This is called Maya the illusion. And so how how the the consciousness, how that is able to to create dualism is called Maya. And it's called what makes the impossible possible because it is logical, impossible, and reality in itself. You know that we're here that we exist. It is completely, completely illogical. You know, this is not supposed to exist because eventually, you know, at some point you should imagine that there was nothing and how anything is can be created from nothing is ideological, completely impossible. So basically down the line, it is it isn't, is there is a mystery in the end of the road. And there are some questions that that even these heavy, weighty, heavy duty spiritual traditions still cannot answer because just how the tape granted there is a reality. There is existence, There is consciousness we can't be denied. That's our starting point. So so that that the last stage of off the teaching is the integration and the integration for in many traditions, is just synonymous with meditation that the meditation is the way to integrate the knowledge. So you got the listening part. You got the reflecting part where you you reflect on these teachings and you integrate it and you integrated through that. It goes from knowledge to realization. Okay? And that is you go from knowing to being so, so all this. So hold this. Teaching is ignorance because this is only this is the scaffolding which you throw away when you once you have reached the point of realization. So even this you know. So because this is just the finger pointing to the moon is not the moon. Okay, this is just the the menu card, but without the menu card, you're not going to get the food okay, so don't get too hung up in the intellectual understanding. But it's a complete necessity to have the understanding. It is a complete necessity to have the right perspective. All right, so but there are other pounds because basically, it's a bit it's about get going beyond the mind. And for those not it. That intellectually inclined, as this presentation is, the path of boxy the positive ocean can also trying to make you transcend the mind some people like, for instance, yoga Nonda, He said the devotion was the most important. Some many peoples on the spiritual path was a devotion is the most important that they they so actually, most of the spiritual world is very anti intellectual, really, you know, it's it's and and I think that's a big mistake because it opens the field for exploitation enormously with all these gurus who says don't think you know the mind is to problems and therefore stop thinking, just have devotion. Just trust me, you know, a big, big danger at all, and so you gotta have a critical mind you gotta use your intellect. But there are, you know, by every way, you know, because we are ordered to enlighten We are already free. So, uh, so there is no use to get it also through karma yoga through through, you know, getting out the mind of the eagle eyed all this work away and could also be liberated. So that is the process of self realization. And, uh and it also is way down the line to have that that ambition, because the beginning stage is here, is just to find out who you are, just to ask the question who are and I is the beginning. And in many ways it's a stupid question because everybody knows who they are. Uh, but when you analyze it, you realize that has enormous implications. Because it's basically about asking, What is this world? What is reality? Simple is that so simple question and is that it's the is the starting point off. The spiritual quest is to find out who I am discover because of suffering and discovering the path or methods to remove the suffering and become free 14. Conclusion: Now we come to the end of the road off this of these lectures here. And, um, this is may be just the beginning. You know that, uh, it has opened up the door that you can start practicing and you can start reflecting on on your own life and your own ideas about yourself and reflecting on your true nature. So from here on, you know there are books, there are teachers. You can you can follow. And but you will still have to work on this solving this enigma. You know how to be. I'm not changing in an ever changing world, you know, every day there is a new change from waking state to dream state too deep to sleep states. And these experiences continues over and over. And But I am unchanged. I'm unaffected. So it's an enigma outer to integrate the non dual world. The non dual you in living in a do the stick world is the big challenge. The big challenge is how to live our lives. So But this has hopefully given you some perspective on who you are and the enormous implications off off this knowledge. Hopefully you will have its perspective on the idealistic worldview in deep contrast to the materialistic Redick reductionist IQ, uh, scientific, modern day of religion. No, this is the, you know, it's not a belief. You know, I think this is, uh, you know, this is truth in the sense that it's based on. It's a scientific investigation of our reality. It's the It's the logical consequences off the most obvious thing that I exist. That and I'm aware. So hopefully this has has given you some perspective on the most essential question of who I am and from on what's here. You know you can You can get some more information. You get fined your teachers because there are lots of teaching out there. There is advice of a Donta several teachers who was presenting this, this teaching very loud and clear. And there is also the Buddhist tradition where all this with a lot of fine teachers and, uh, there is Sufi traditions. There's various traditions where this teaching is intact. I would still kind of be skeptical. Teoh are very skeptical to teachers who has invented this by themselves. As I said, this is not my teaching. There is nothing here that is my kind of personal philosophy. Um and I'm pretty skeptical to two teachers who has their own kind of package that that teach, which is some of what they're saying is true. But it's still mixed with ignorance because this teaching is so complex and is developed and cultivated through thousands of years, that is not possible for one single person to come up with this. And so therefore, you need this This, uh, this, uh, tradition to back you up and to have the foundation in an authentic tradition. So the result all reasons to be very critical to gurus and teachers. And in most people in the West, there are there is no traditions in training and how we should relate to to to wisdom, traditions or gurus and so so many people, they kind of fall by the wayside on get seduced into spiritual organisations and exploited and so not so what not when, when there is not the authentic teaching present. And not that that the authentic teaching is any guarantee for that, not exploitation. And bad things can happen because we're humans. You know, Andi, humans are fallible, even though you know the teaching can be there that can still be be be humans and teachers with their own limitations and doing their own mistakes and so on. So but basically, it's about taking responsibility for your own, for your own spiritual search on Duh. And the good thing about this knowledge is that you don't become a secret anymore. You're not a secret anymore. The dancer means also the end of off the Vegas Onda very kind of it. Optimistic interpretation is the meaning. That's also the end of knowledge, because one that there is nothing after this teaching simple is that because this is a complete teaching and there is no answer, There is no question on the spiritual path that cannot be answered within this within this teaching simple Is that so? So because, you know, I was a spiritual searcher for a long time. You know, I was reading Deepak Chopra and I was interesting and okay, we are told that he was interesting and and a little bit of this and a little bit of that. But I've always had this this sense of lack that that there was it was always always limited. You know that that it didn't give the complete answers. But when I came onto to advance the advice of a doctor, then then I find it is a complete teaching. And there is no, I mean, I don't need to kind of there's nothing after that, but you don't need to get to this way. All have our own way and our own process of learning. But the main thing is to ask the question, Who am I? And, uh, and all kinds of magic will will start from there. So thank you for listening.