We see many complicated reverberations within our minds. They deplete our mental energy and bring down our trust in life. To get over this, people turn to religion or meditative methods. Those approaches do give them the trust and some grip on life. However, the dependence on a system that incorporates an external entity retains the mind in a state of low awareness that is characteristic of many unhealthy outputs such as fanaticism and conflicts, emotional attachments, the associated fear etc.
So, the question is, “Is there any other way to approach the problem of mental agitations, fear and uncertainty?” Once we understand the limitations of the dependence on religious or other methods, we transcend that stage and the door opens for us to explore the region of total inward resignation. This needs the boldness to stand alone and approach life with simplicity. As long as we are a member of a group, it cannot be done. This is so because it would lead to a kind of slavery and our perceptions will be clouded by the conclusions of the group and its system. The purity of aloneness is needed to understand life in its pristine movement.
Once we understand that non-dependence is the right base for spiritual exploration, our awareness gets down to the bottom of the mental collections – accretions of many centuries handed down to us by heredity and our own accretions. As we move to the bottom, confusion begins to give way to clarity. It is like cleaning a shelf that has gone into disarray over the years and into which clouds of dust have taken residence. We remove all the things, get to the very corners and start from there. One gets a feeling of intrinsic goodness in that approach. Very soon we see how, in the realm of the mind, much of the burden is self-collected. We see that external dependence sustains fear subterraneously and it appears in the form of dreams. It cannot dissolve fear because the source of fear- the ‘I’- would be sustained by the dependence. A concomitant factor is that such a situation creates mental blocks to entering free spiritual explorations.
Moving into oneself in the above manner, one sees the value of passivity and resignation from self-centered activity due to habitual neurology that is driven by desire and fear. There is a deep sense of release from the robotic nature into which the mind falls unknowingly. The total inward resignation is a consequence to understanding how our moving away from ourselves through the habit of thought is the primary cause for being unhappy and making others unhappy. That helps us reside in our deeper self in a quiet and peaceful way. Such a mind becomes a receptacle to receiving the sacred – that which is untouched and uninfluenced by society and its corruptive ways. The other salutary thing is that unconditional compassion flows out from such a mind, like a primordial fountain towards all.
The mind functioning from that inward integration and peace is capable of fulfilling the mundane responsibilities to the best of its abilities. There would be joy in every application and relationship. Concomitantly, the mind’s conventional fears drop off.
This matter of total resignation takes place naturally in those who delve into themselves through gentle self-awareness that keeps them company during the waking hours. No separate time need be set for any practice as those practices would fundamentally deny the matter of total resignation! Surrendering in order to get something that would satisfy the ego is no surrender at all. It is a kind of bargain and would, obviously, lead to rank 1 self-deception.
The Near Death Experience
People who return from a near death experience usually find their life being transformed to the point of taking life easy while applying themselves passionately to all aspects of life. The expansive consciousness that they are exposed to on the other side helps them understand the value of inward resignation [Ref. 1]. It shows that this resignation has nothing to do with apathy. On the contrary, it relieves the mind of its habitual neurology; the consequent lightened state of mind brings in a passion to live.
The following lines are from the narration by Sammy published by the Near Death Experience Research Foundation (nderf.org):
“I now lead a more laid-back life style and spend more time with my family. I have made my peace with the powers that run this life. There is a master plan and each and every one of us has a part in it. I am certain that each part of that plan is just as important as the next. Belief that position and status make your role more important than the lady who takes your money at the convenience store is nothing but egotistical nonsense.”
The ‘Neti, Neti’ of Vedanta
In Sanatana Dharma, the ancient spiritual philosophy of India, we find a parallel to the ‘Resignation’ mentioned above. It is the ‘Neti, Neti’ approach. That phrase means “Not this, Not this”. It is a matter of negation through inwardly turned, non-verbal awareness. With that approach, one rejects identification with all things of this world which is not the True Self – the Atman. It is a gradual process by which one releases oneself from the mind and transcends all worldly experiences till nothing remains but the Self. One attains union with the Absolute by denying the body, name, form, intellect, senses and all limiting adjuncts until, in the ripened stage, the merger takes place of its own accord.
“Neti, Neti’ also appears in the Avadhuta Gita, a scripture less known compared to the Bhagawad Gita. It was rendered by the sage Dattatreya [Ref. 2].
Once people move into this region of total resignation, their life would be enriched in many ways that are not endorsed by the ego. There would be a vibrancy and freshness which would otherwise be destroyed by slavery to conditioning. Clarity would begin to dawn on the Divine order of things. With that disposition, one experiences the fullness of life, beyond the drive for ego satisfaction and security. Related matters are covered in the website http://spirituality.yolasite.com
Reference 1. Victor Solow. I Died at 10.52 AM. Article in Reader’s Digest, October 1974
Reference 2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avadhuta_Gita