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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Why am I?

The persistent mind wants to know, among other things, why the universe with all its stars, planets and life on earth exist. The need to know is what the mind, with its attached ego, demands. The mind is forever seeking answers to questions to which it can never know. The mind wants to know not only who am I? but why am I? The first question was answered in the last two posts. This post will attempt to answer the second question.

Our senses relay information from the outside world to our brain which interprets the information as facts. The interpretations are filled with past experiences, beliefs, assumptions and generalizations. The interpretations the mind makes are no more factual than the moon is made of cheese, the earth is flat or the earth is the center of the universe. Our cognitive biases are formed from what we want and think to be true of "what is out there." The mind is wrong about 99% of the time. You cannot rely on the mind to give you answers to incontestable questions. It's impossible. There is no way to escape the illusions generated by the mind because the illusions are manifestations garnered over thousands of years - generations after generations.

One way, and maybe the only way, to find the answer to "why am I?" is to still the mind and go beyond the ego. I am not talking about your general run-of-the-mill meditation here. To still the mind and go beyond the ego you must go beyond the limitations of your own consciousness into a realm of clarity seldom sought by most human beings. The clear vision is like a conscious altered state in which you have an "aha" experience. In the vividness you are still awake but no thoughts are being processed or perceived. To go into this increased state of vivid awareness you have to learn to quell all senses and become one with the internal and external universe. The answer will come if you are patient enough and are willing to listen without letting thoughts muddle the view. You might want to go back a read my post, "Going beyond Thoughts," August 25, 2011, in order to get a better understanding of how to clear your mind of thoughts.

To start the process of going beyond the mind you must sit in a very comfortable position with pillows, bolsters or whatever it takes to be as comfortable as possible. This you can experiment with until you get what is just right for you. Close off all of your senses as much as possible. You may want to wear ear plugs to muffle sounds, a scarf or bandanna over your eyes to shut out light, and position you arms and hands in a way they don't feel heavy. You cannot try to clear your mind of thoughts because the more you try the more they will invade your mind. It becomes a useless task to try. Begin by relaxing into your breathing and focus on the breath. Thoughts will invariably come and go but pay no attention to them. Keep your concentration, attention and focus on the breath. The breath comes in and the breath goes out. Relax but don't fall asleep.

It may take thirty minutes, an hour or even more before thoughts begin to dissipate fully. With the senses dampened and no thoughts there will be quietness beyond your imagination. You will be floating in a sea of tranquility. If you happen to come out of the tranquil state at this time you will discover more time has passed than expected. But if you continue on with your journey you will become deeply engulfed in the present moment and your sense of reality will become more vivid. The longer you stay in the sea the clearer the answer will become.

While you are in the sea of tranquility you will experience ultimate reality but may not remember it immediately when you come back to normal reality. If you do remember the experience you will have your answer. If you don't remember, it may take you a few more attempts before you do. In either case it will be your experience of ultimate reality and the answer to why you and everything else is here.

I encourage you to take the plunge into the miraculous sea of tranquility. And please let those of us on this site know what you discovered. If enough of us describe our experiences we might come up with a consensus and have a universal answer to the "ultimate" question. I will describe my experience on the next post.

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