Muzika on watching the waking state come to us

Reminder: When I write about spiritual teachers I’m not necessarily recommending them or endorsing claims about their states.

A couple of weeks ago I happened to listen to one of Ed Muzika’s satsang talks in which he gives a first-hand description of something that Ramana often recommended: noticing the process of waking from deep sleep.

I think Muzika’s description is independent of anything that Ramana said. Their vocabularies are different, and Ramana describes the I-thought rising from the Heart while Muzika says a light rises from his gut. I think these sorts of “alternative descriptions” are valuable and I recommend this one to you. It begins at 21:53 in the following video.

I’ll point out particularly that Muzika says at 25:12:

Once it got into my head the totality of the world appeared.

Compare to Ramana in Who Am I?:

Just as a spider spins out thread from within itself and again draws it back into itself, so the mind makes the world appear [or projects the world] from within itself and again dissolves it back into itself. When the mind comes out from ātma-svarūpa, the world appears. Therefore when the world appears, svarūpa [one’s own form or real nature] does not appear; when svarūpa appears (shines), the world does not appear.

If you’re accustomed to Ramana’s vocabulary, or more exactly the one used by Ramana’s English translators, Muzika’s vocabulary may be confusing. Muzika’s terminology is like the one used by Nisargadatta’s translators.

When Muzika says “consciousness” he means what Ramana (really, his translators) calls “I-thought” or “mind” or “ego”.

When Ramana (really, his translators) says “consciousness” he means what Muzika calls “awareness”.

Also of interest: Deep Sleep and Self-Realisation | Falling asleep during Self-Enquiry by Tom Das.

The general idea of the waking state coming to that-which-is-really-aware goes back at least as far as Mandukya Upanishad and the notion of turiya.

7 thoughts to “Muzika on watching the waking state come to us”

  1. For the unrealised (that is, those who are under the delusion that they are not realised) sleep is a state of nescience, which causes them to doubt even their own existence when they are in it. This is not so according to Ramana, who tells us that sleep is our true state, which only seems like nescience because we believe in the relative realities of waking and dream, which are in fact delusion. If Ramana talks about the process of ‘waking up’ – and this is where I get to the point of this – it is not to entangle us in endless arguments about the nature of waking consciousness. It is simply to point out that during waking there is a brief moment of pure awareness when we are awake but no (illusion of a) world has yet arisen. Thus we may get a feeling for, and be encouraged to seek, that blissful state of waking sleep (jagrat sushupti) which is the goal of self-investigation. If we learn to hold onto svarupa, there is never any world to bother us.

  2. Sorry, I meant discussions, arguments in the philosophical sense. Attempts to deduce meaning from a priori assumptions or subjective impressions, which are ultimately destined all to be false. As for the ‘who’, it is all of us when we try to deploy the mind to defeat the mind. I did not wish to cause offence or invite an ‘argument’.

    1. There was no offense. I wanted to make sure that what I wrote didn’t seem argumentative. I always understood the point to be pretty much as you described it — it’s an opportunity to get a glimpse or sense of that which we’re trying to recognize in the waking state — that which is present before the I-thought rises.

      Do you think this is possible when we wake from a dream or only when we wake from deep sleep?

      By the way I didn’t realize who you were until your second comment. Hi. 🙂 I had forgotten the name you use here.

      1. Hi. I emailed a couple of times but I didn’t get a reply, so left it at that. Thought maybe you needed your space at that time.

        I don’t know about you, but when I ‘wake’ direclty from dream (delusion) into waking (delusion), there is just confusion, as of the clash of two unreal states, so, no chance.

        Incidentally, Bhagavan says that we should keep up our practice till we attain self-awareness in dream also. That has not happened here.

        ‘My’ state is just as it was three years ago. The ego, and the accompanying sense of inhabiting a discreet physical body, is gone for good, but the thoughts that used to belong to it, though now powerless (the skeleton of the burned rope) still buzz around like a swarm of bees who can’t find their hive. I guess this is what is called prarabdha, the tool I chose to get me to this place and therefore the necessary concomitant of this incarnation, even after it’s function (of waking ‘me’ up) has been fulfilled.

        1. Sorry about the emails. I just checked and see that the last batch was about the translation project we discussed. I did answer but my reply was terse, and that thread starts with you saying you hadn’t heard from me in a while. That was a few days before I moved from New York to New Mexico so I was probably very busy.

          I’m very glad to hear that ‘your’ state is the same.

          When I wake from dream my experience is almost the opposite of what you describe — there seems to be little change.

          I’m extremely interested in what you said about Bhagavan’s comments about self-awareness in dream. I didn’t know he said that. I won’t explain here why I’m so interested — it has to do with something peculiar that happened to me years ago. Can you remember a specific text or tell me more details?

          1. It was quite recently. I’m sure I can track down the reference, though it eludes me at the moment. What is more interesting to me is that it is stated that the jnani’s awareness remains in deep sleep also. It clearly does, but this is not subject to any kind of verification. Is that fact that I experience myself as eternal being in the waking state a de facto realisation that, when the dualistic phases of being end (i.e. waking and dream), I am continuing in that same of eternal being? That can only be known inferentially from the dualistic state of knowing transitively. However it is patently true. It is not possible to doubt it. What do I care about the illusory individual who ponders over such matters? I am simple being. Just being.

            What was the peculiar thing that happened?

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