It's Not About Me
"The truth may not always burst on its votary in a sudden brief and total flash. It may also come on so slowly that he will hardly know its movement. But in both cases this process will be measured by his abandonment of a purely personal and self-centered attitude."
"So long as the aspirant takes the attitude that he aspires to unite with the Overself, that he wants permanent spiritual illumination, he is only adding another desire to those which his ego already possesses. He is still turning round inside the closed circle of the little self."
- Paul Brunton, Notebooks
, Vol. 13, Part 1, 4.89; Vol. 15, Part One, 1.25,30
"The Long Path is taught to beginners and others in the earlier and middle stages of the quest. This is because they are ready for the idea of self-improvement but not for the higher one of the unreality of the self. So the latter is taught on the Short Path, where attention is turned away from the little self and from the idea of perfecting it, to the essence, the real being."
"The average spiritual aspirant is unduly self-centered. This is because he is so preoccupied with his own development, his own self-correcting, and his own spiritual needs that he tends to forget a vitally important truth. This is that the last battle to be fought on the Quest - the battle which brings the ego finally and fully under the Oversell's rule - is reflected to a lesser extent in the earlier battles of the Quest. This battle cannot possibly be won by the aspirant himself for the very good and sufficient reason that the ego is not willing to commit suicide, or to put it in another way, is unable to lift itself onto a plane of non-existence. Final victory can only come by the bestowal of Grace from the Overself, which alone can effect this seeming miracle. To attract this Grace the seeker needs to turn away from his self-centeredness to what is its utter opposite - preoccupation with the Overself. He is to think of the Divine alone, of the infinitude and eternity of the Higher Power, and to forget all about his personal growth for a while."
(Ibid, Vol. 15, Part One, 4.6.70)
"In fact, why should one be so engrossed in oneself? The true self is God, since He is more completely the life of the soul than the soul is the life of the body. God created us for Himself alone; let us think then of Him, and he will think of us, and provide for us much better than we can for ourselves. When we fall let us humble ourselves, and rise again, and go on our way in peace, and think always of our true self which is God, in whom we should lose ourselves and be engulfed, in the way in which we shall find ourselves absorbed and engulfed in Heaven during the infinite duration of the great day of eternity. Amen! Amen!"
"At length, when it no longer hesitates to lose all and forget self, it possesses all. It is true that it is not a conscious possession, so that the soul addressed itself as happy, for that would be to return to self after having quitted it forever; but it is an image of the condition of the blessed, who will be always ravished by the contemplation of God, without having a moment, during the whole of eternity, to think of themselves and their felicity. They are so satisfied in these transports, that they will be eternally rejoicing, without once saying to themselves that they are happy."
"We must not desire his glory on account of our own salvation, but on the other hand, we should see that our own happiness is a thing that he has been pleased to make a part of his glory. It is true that all holy souls are not capable of exercising this explicit preference for God over themselves, but there must be at least an implicit preference. We human beings have a great distaste for this truth, and consider it to be a very hard saying, because we are lovers of self. We understand, in a general and superficial way, that we must love God more than all his creatures, but we have no conception of loving God more than ourselves, and loving ourselves only for him....We may be sure, then, that it is only the love of God that can make us come out of self. If his powerful hand did not sustain us, we would not know how to take the first step in that direction."
- Fenelon, The Complete Fenelon
, p. 100, 103
"What is meditation? Meditation is not this body-mind meditating as an individual, but it is this knowledge "I am," this consciousness, meditating on itself....You will not be able to comprehend this so long as you try to understand things as an individual...It is not the person that is doing sadhana. The person is in unrest and resistance to the very end. It is the witness that works on the person, on the totality of its illusions, past, present and future."
- Nisargadatta Maharaj
- forthcoming -