The Endless Search for the MacGuffin

Even the simplest creatures move toward food. For example, the cuddly little organism in the picture above, Escherichia coli, a bacterium that lives in our intestines, swims toward sugar. I do pretty much the same thing every time I happen to see a container of ice cream. Not all living things can control their movements, […]

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The Hole

You live your life on the edge of a hole incomprehensibly wide and deep. The funny thing is that you think you’re not aware of the hole when everything you do, see, know, and feel including you itself is merely your effort not to fall in. You don’t have to find the hole. It’s what […]

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Ouspensky’s tragic mistake

P.D. Ouspensky and George Gurdjieff came very close to discovering Ramana’s method of Self-enquiry. They even gave their discovery a similar name: Self-remembering. But their method doesn’t work because they made a tragic mistake. I mentioned this the other day in passing, but it deserves to be emphasized in a post by itself. Their mistake […]

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Astonished by the vehemence with which he spoke

I recently posted a link to an article by David Godman that evaluates the accuracy of books that record Ramana’s teachings. One of David’s criteria for judging a book is whether Ramana reviewed and edited it. We can apply this criterion not only to whole books, but also to shorter pieces of text like the […]

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Neti neti

A friend of a friend studied French by reciting sentences like these: ‘Buenos días’ is not French. ‘அறிவே நான்’ is not French. ‘Ausgezeichnet’ is not French. ‘夫妻肺片’ is not French. And so on. He worked hard at it but his French was always awful. That’s neti neti. If you don’t know anything about neti neti, […]

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A hint concerning Self-enquiry

The main tool we use for Self-enquiry, at least in the early stages, is attention. In this context the word ‘attention’ means the deliberate, volitional choice of what is evident. When attention succeeds, we become or remain aware of the object of attention. The reason I’m analyzing this common word in microscopic detail is that […]

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Exit signs in the dream

People often say that the world is like a dream and that when we wake up from it, we become enlightened. The first half of this idea has probably occurred to people in all times and places. In the words of the children’s song, “Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.” The second […]

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Sadhana 5

Sadhana is an activity that people do in order to become enlightened. Examples: meditation, japa (chanting mantras), Self-enquiry. People sometimes think that sadhana is a step-by-step activity that we learn from a book or guru. They think there are right ways and wrong ways to do it. They think the guru is a sort of […]

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How to Stay Conscious 3

Alec wrote in a commment: I keep reading How to Stay Conscious 1 and some other articles of yours over and over as they have helped me to remain conscious. I am however not able abide in that state for more than a few minutes at a time. I thanked Alec for telling me that […]

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