PB Class: the Ego -- July 18, 1984

TAPE ONE, SIDE ONE

PB: ``It is easy to recognize some of the attachments from which he must loose himself--the greeds, the lusts, and the gluttonies--but it is not so easy to recognize the subtler ones. These start with attachment to his own ideas, his own beliefs; they end with attachment to his own ego.'' (8e-k.3 (11v/16/38) 8.4.380)

 

(about 20 minutes of student discussion)

 

PB: ``This whittling away of the ego may occupy the entire lifetime and not seem very successful even then, yet it is of the highest value as a preparatory process for the full renunciation of the ego when--by Grace--it suddenly rises up in the heart.'' (8z-grce.a (11v/37/31) 8.4.422)

 

S: Would you read it again?

 

AD: It won't help. No matter how many times you read it. You have to learn to concentrate on it.

 

(para reread anyway)

 

CdA: When what rises up in the heart?

 

AD: Never mind. When the time comes, it'll arise. Learn to see what he's saying. One more time, sure. Just one more time. Here I am, 60, still with the same habits, ``Just one more time, one more year,'' and they're still there, then 80, ``Just one more time,'' and they're still there. (Q: laughter--class is glad to see Anthony!)

 

(para reread)

 

LG: Is it the ``full renunciation'' that rises up in the heart?

 

JfL: It sounds like, it would have to be renunciation. . .

 

AD: Isn't he saying simply, ``Keep at it, boy. Keep at it. Don't stop.''

 

(3 min. student discussion, para reread)

 

AS: I thought he was talking about catch-22: you HAVE to do all this work to try and try and whittle away the ego, but THAT work will never actually finish the job. Yet if you don't do all this work, that which CAN finish the job won't become activated.  So you're in a double bind. The work you're doing, the work itself, whittling away, the Long Path, whatever, will never get you there, BUT it's a necessary preparatory without which that will get the egoism finally subdued wouldn't arise.

 

LG: . . . arises. . .?

 

AD: That's something else. When the time comes, if you haven't done that work you won't know it, but if you have done that work, and there comes the moment where the situation arises where you have to surrender the ego, you will have done the work, that makes it possible for you to give up the ego, or at least recognize that this is what's being called for. But you have to do that first. You have to do the work.

 

LG: That seems apparent.

 

AD: You're not going to give up the ego, you know, just a shot in the dark, I mean, all of a sudden you're presented with a situation where you can give up the ego and for the Void Mind to know itself. I mean, these things don't happen like that--except in San Francisco. (laughter)

 

LG: What's the quote saying? I thought there was something more in there. . .

 

AD: I don't think about that. I don't know that through thinking. I'm just trying to explain to you, here I am, 62, and I've still got the same habits. I can't get rid of them. But that should be no excuse for me to stop. Because I know what I'm dealing with. And this ego will never say, ``Well, all right, I'll let you win this round.'' Like hell. So I just have to keep trying. But an occasion may arise, when the possibility of surrendering the ego will take place: in meditation, some crisis, or something. And if you haven't struggled all the time with it, you certainly will not at that time attempt to surrender it.

 

LG: What is the renunciation that rises up in the heart?

 

AD: That's the only place it can come. It can't come in your head. If you're thinking about it it's not there.

 

AH: How could the ego wish for its own annihilation? Only grace could provide that.

 

(2 minutes student discussion)

 

AD: There is a point also where I think PB makes the remark that certain egos reach a point of complete satiation, they will surrender. In regard to your remark, ``Is it possible for the ego to wish for its total annihilation?'' And he makes a remark, that there are egos that are so rich in experience that they reach the point of satiation and they just naturally surrender. So if you take, like an example would be Ramana Maharshi. I don't know; how old was he? Ten years old? ``Say, let me see. What's this all about?'' Laid down. ``Let me see what it is to die.'' Don't you try it. It won't work. You know, that's an old, ripe soul. Ten years old, he's had enough. (laughter)

 

EM: He was actually 16, and at 16 it's totally impossible to imagine, if you know any 16-year-olds.

 

AD: . . . and they run home. And here's someone saying, ``Hey, let's see what's it all about?'' So you know it depends. . . Anyone else?

 

Oh, by the way, in regard to the previous quote, that's one of the reasons I spent a lot of time on astrology. The only way you're going to see what your attachments and your beliefs are, is when you get to know your degrees. And until then you don't know what your attachments and beliefs are. But when you could isolate these things, you could take, let's say the functioning of a planet in your chart, on a certain degree, and you could see THIS IS THE WAY YOU ARE. I don't care what you tell me. This is the way you are. This is the way you're going to be. This is the way you're going to act. PB's not saying ``Get rid of it.'' You can't. Because as long as you have to express yourself in the world--and there's nothing wrong with expressing youself in the world, all right--this is the way you're going to express yourself. The stupidity is not to understand that this idea that you're working through to express yourself is an IDEA. It's not YOU. Don't get attached to it. Look at it impersonally. Try to understand the way you operate--functionally, impersonally. And after awhile you'll see, this is that next step--until you understand this, to talk about renouncing the ego is absurd. Because you're going to see, the way these things work IN you, the way they're going to trick you and say, ``Oh, sure, now we'll move on and renounce the ego.'' (laughter). You see? They're very quick.

 

You really can make a marvelous use of astrology and especially the degree symbolism to understand the particular beliefs and ideas that you really are attached to--I wouldn't use the word ``attached,'' I'd say you are ``MIS-IDENTIFIED with.'' Because if you took away one of those ways of working that you identify with, like let's say, you take one of those degrees and you understand the meaning, and any of them are open and available to you, and you can't objectively see that this is the way you operate, you haven't learned yet to be impersonal about your ego and to watch that happen. So it's really worthwhile. That was one of the great values of astrology as far as I was able to see.

 

HE: Would you say if you got to see it impersonally you would be able to operate with a more positive aspect of the degree?

 

AD: Yes, more efficiently. But don't expect it the first time.

 

AS: There's a para where he speaks about that as one of the major values that he sees in astrology, as being able to make objective to the person his own desires, his own. . .

 

AD: But nobody believes that that's important. And yet, in almost all the schools, especially the ancient schools, the ONE requirement, the one exercise that everybody was given was: at night when you go to sleep, reflect on what you did, try to understand what you did, try to understand the ideas or the values that you were implementing. If you don't, you wasted your day, your day is wasted. You got no benefit out of it. Try again tomorrow. And NOBODY believed this.

 

I didn't mean to back-track, but that's really such a marvelous value that astrology has for us. I suggested to someone here that they try to write that up (laughter). Let's hear another. Come on, I'm sorry, Louis.

 

PB: ``What or who is seeking enlightenment? It cannot be the higher Self, for that is itself or the nature of Light. There then only remains the ego! This ego, the object of so many denunciations and denigrations, is the being that, transformed, will win truth and find Reality even though it must surrender itself utterly in the end as the price to be paid.'' (8z-who.4 (rv/29/1) or 8z-who.i (11g/4/72)--Persp. p. 97 and 8.4.435)

 

AD: This is another one of those paradoxical statements you can't understand unless you understand the nature of paradox. If you haven't, you know, examined and tried to understand the nature of paradox, this is one of those that's too difficult.

 

LD: Is it all right to think of the ego as a conjoint or conjunction of this light of the soul with certain tendencies, desires, contents, so it's a conjunction of the consciousness and the content?

 

AD: That's the way I look at it, Louis. . I might not necessarily be right. I can't separate them. If I separate the tendencies or thoughts or the degrees that constitute and are constituted of my personality, if I separate them from the consciousness which illuminates them, I don't have an entity, I've got an abstraction. If I conjoin it with the illuminating light that illuminates and says, ``Ah, those are my tendencies,'' now I have an entity. So I have to think of it as this combination. I further think of the combination, you know, I think of the tendencies or thoughts or the degrees that in their totality constitute the psychological entity, I conceive of that as part of the World-Idea, part of the planetary system, all right, whereas the illuminating light, which has a proclivity towards those tendencies, as belonging to the soul. It's a complex thing I'm thinking of when I'm thinking of the ego. Let's read that again.

 

(para reread)

 

Go ahead, try to explain it.

 

LD: If I could look at the ego as a conjoint, then I want to think of the consciousness as disidentifying from the contents, from its own self--a part of the ego disidentifying with the other part of the ego. When this disidentification takes place then the ego is no more. When the consciousness abstracts itself from those contents, then it gives itself up in the end by pulling itself out from those very contents, but in the beginning, it's the content and that consciousness both trying to attain to that, from that separation, or from that misidentification.

 

CdA: Are you saying that the part of the soul that has the desire for earthly life has to sort of reclaim its true essence as soul and not desire? And that the returning, or the enlightenment, is of that aspect of the soul and that the contents that go to make up the ego, the psychosomatic organism, the conglomeration of ideas, are really secondary. They're left behind, and then the soul is confronted with its desire.

 

LD: I agree, but that part of the soul is the ego.

 

CdA: It sounded like you were saying that first the soul realizes that it's not the contents, it's not the psychosomatic organism. . .

 

AD: No, the first step, the first step is that the soul, the embodying soul thinks it IS the content. That's the first part. In other words, it first has to say, and think itself, as a body, ``I am this.''

 

CdA: But we're talking about. . .

 

AD: Yeah, I know what you're talking about. Then after that, the soul struggles with that notion that it IS the lower self. Now it starts identifying with the higher self. Now the struggle begins within the ego.

 

CdA: The struggle begins. . .

 

AD: I'm just trying to make this very straightforward and as clear as I can. The embodying soul, all right, is identified with a body, this is the first, so to speak, this is the beginning of the struggle of the ego. The soul, identified with this body, thinks it is this body, and therefore now identifies itself as the lower self. The struggle begins when it recognizes that it is not this body. Now, within the ego there is this struggle between the lower self, all right, and that which had a kind of recognition or a notion that it was not this body, the struggle is right within the . . .

 

CdA: This identification still remains, even though that part of the soul realizes that it's not. It doesn't seem to actually touch the. . .

 

AD: Because now the real problem is now this constant attempt to identify with the higher and not with the lower. That means you're at the level where you refuse to accept any negative kind of thought, all right, and you're always identifying with the more positive kind of thought.(Q: or thoughts)

 

KD: The stuggle's within the ego? The struggle is between like two parts of the ego, like you've driven a wedge in between. . .

 

AD: Yes, you've driven a wedge in the ego. Where now it recognizes that there's a lower part and a higher part to it. That's the pain that the reflective man understands and knows. Like he would say something like, ``I have two souls in my breast.'' He would start recognizing that struggle within himself. And this is very fierce. It goes on for a long, long time.

 

LD: You're not dividing--I want to make a division more between consciousness and contents, but you seem to be making the division between consciousness identified with higher ideas and consciousness identified with lower ideas.

 

AD: Yeah, but that's not consciousness. We're speaking about the re-embodying soul. We're speaking about the re-embodying soul, whether it identifies with the lower or the higher. Isn't that what we're talking about? I'm not talking about consciousness right now.

 

LD: Then I'm really confused, because this ray, this embodied soul, if it's of the nature of soul it has to be of the nature of consciousness.

 

AD: Fine, but why just consciousness? To me, the embodied soul is of the nature of intelligence, not just. . .

 

(Q: tape turns while Anthony is talking)

 

TAPE ONE, SIDE TWO.

 

LG: . . . consciousness and intelligence, what are you. . .?

 

AD: Well, ``consciousness'' is too specific a definition. ``Intelligence'' is much broader. That you bring--all that you have to be brought to bear on what's going on and the psychological personality. I never liked the word ``consciousness'' because by definition, all right, it's undefinable, whereas ``intelligence'' everybody knows what we mean by it.

 

Students: umm, well.

 

AD: Even if you try to deny that, you reveal that you understand that. 

 

LD: I see what you're driving at, but in the same way we like to use the word ``life'' with different descriptions, and that's undefinable, also. And this life, or consciousness, which is undefinable identifies with these ideas which are more of the nature of intelligence.

 

AS: Maybe part of the point is that this embodying soul that's identifying is NOT absolutely undefinable and indeterminate. It's not pure consciousness. It, too, has a particular propensity, if you want to call it that, a continuing one, that goes from life to life. That's part of the reason the struggle arises. It's not a struggle between a determinate, fixed body of desires and some absolutely indeterminate pure consciousness. It must be a struggle between that bodily nature and this intelligence which has certain propensities. The developing soul. Otherwise we're going to say pure consciousness which isn't inimical to anything.

 

AD: Read on a little bit more. Read that quote again. (para reread) Go ahead, Jon.

 

(JB asks question; AD asks for clarification.)

 

JB: The end of this quote says that the ego is the entity that will win truth and find reality even though in the end it must completely surrender itself. I'm asking if that's two things, or isn't the truth and reality incorporated in the surrender. Is there an attainment of truth and reality that's other than the surrender, or are they not one thing?

 

AH: Is your question--the ego wins enlightenment, does it find OWN reality or does it find Reality?. . .

 

(AD asks AH to speak louder.)

 

JB: It sounds like you're saying that it's one thing: the reality the ego attains is its annihilation.

 

VM: That's a very negative view. It's got to be more than just annihilation.

 

AH: You'd have to conclude that the ego discovers some principle that is ITS reality. And that principle would be the principle of consciousness, or intelligence. Although I think it's appropriate to speak of the point of view of the conjoint, to talk from the point of view of the last phrase of this quote, the ego attains its aspiration or enlightenment only through this total renunciation.

 

AD: It's a paradox, huh?

 

AH: It is a paradox. But the way the paradox is articulated for me is: when the ego discovers reality, does it discover the principle of its OWN reality or an IMPERSONAL reality?

 

VM: Why do they have to be different?

 

AH: It's paradoxical to say that they're both.

 

RC: Why couldn't the latter, which is reality, include all the reality the ego has as well?

 

CdA: What do you mean by reality of the ego, Randy?

 

RC: PB kept talking in terms, of like, he'd experience nirvikalpa and certain things that weren't explicable as a result of that. It seems like, if a person is going to really win truth and be reality, if that means that in reaching that reality he's going to have to be able to explain everything that can be explained, and that it doesn't have to be an either/or situation.

 

AH: It is impersonal.

 

RC: Yes, but there's also a legitimacy to the personal point of view.

 

AH: But is that personal point of view reality?

 

RC: It participates reality; it's supported by reality.

 

LD: Its principle is.

 

AH: The principle of the personal point of view is reality. That was the conclusion I was trying to avoid.

 

RC: Not that it's exhaustive of, but it's included within.

 

AH: Then we're enlightened now, so why bother?

 

RC: We're not enlightened now, but we're real now.

 

AH: What do I lack?

 

CdA: That sounds like a dangerous position to me.

 

AD: Could we use a different terminology (inaudible) ...differently? What is he saying in the simplest way that we can conceive it? Isn't he saying something to the effect that the ego has to develop itself and reach a position of ultimate development before it can become enlightened. But once it does become enlightened, all right, in order for it to get enlightened, it, as such, ceases to be.

 

CdA: I don't think that the attitude that the ego should take, in that process of development of itself, is that it is real. I think that it has to take the attitude that there would be a continual surrender or a continual attempt to identify with the higher, and in order to do that you have to see your own nothingness.

 

AD: I ask you this, I ask you to back up, and rephrase the thing in the sense that it could be very simple. 

 

To understand this quote, I'm saying that you have to take the position that the ego is what is seeking enlightenment, the ego is what has to develop itself to that point where it can be, let's say, the recipient of that enlightenment, okay? And it can be enlightened only after it has surrendered itself. No ego is going to surrender itself unless it has reached the profoundest level of understanding. By definition, we pointed out that comes either through the satiation of experience or this profundity of understanding, where the ego then realizes that it has to make that effort. And of course, Grace will have to come in to help it, but this is the point we're getting at, all right? So after that point is reached, when the ego does reach that point, and it's willing to surrender itself and Grace does intervene, then enlightenment occurs. Now, we've got to stop right here, because then if you say, ``Who is enlightened?'' it is NOT the ego, it is the Void Mind itself that has recognized itself through that ego. But I wanted to stop right there. You've got to stop right there and realize the terrible orders he's giving you. I mean, this is an ordeal. The ego has to refine itself. Nobody else is going to do it. No one else is going to teach you. Isn't that the point of the quote?

 

KD: Does the refinement allow for this self-knowledge to occur? You said you reach the point where the Void Mind recognizes itself.

 

AD: I'm sorry I brought that in. Because the Void Mind. . . in other words when you ask the question, ``WHO is enlightened?'' then you bring in the Void Mind. There is no who that gets enlightened, because you have to postulate the  entitativeness (Q: student laughter after this word) of an ego, and that we're not permitted to do once enlightenment takes place. But who is it that ultimately gets enlightened? It's the Void Mind itself. In other words, it's your own Overself. But how could that get enlightened?

 

But the point I really want to get to here is that you are going to work damn hard for this. That's the point we want to make sure we understand. So don't complain that you have to go and make french fries Saturday.

 

RC: An observation that Richard Platek made when he came back from seeing PB. When he went over he had an image of what impersonality was and that's what he expected to see in PB. But he realized that his image of personality was something that the personality did. It had an image of impersonality and it tried to play it out. He realized with PB, that personality was part of his IM-personality.

 

AD: Yes, that's because he did not take the trouble to understand the way those planets of his are functioning. Because if you understand them, they create this phenomena for you, and you believe in the truth of it, and you think they're even impersonal. And until you see those degrees and the way they're operating, the way they're creating the phenomena for you, you're not going to be able to understand what's on the other side of it. But I hope you see the point. In regard to this here, the ego's going to have to work for its enlightenment. There's no two ways about it. And then, the paradox is that when it reaches that enlightenment, it can only get enlightened by IT not being. And that's the paradox. Can't you accept the paradox?

 

LD: I can get the flavor of it.

 

AD: Didn't we talk about another paradox a couple of days ago? What was it? Remember?

 

EC: Last week?

 

AD: We spoke about paradox last week, that the ego was a paradox. And even when we spoke about the soul, that's a paradox, too. On the one hand, the soul is of such a nature that it has relationship with nothing, utterly Alone, the I AM principle. Then it also has the strange power to project itself forth and we call that the embodying soul and through getting embodied in the World-Idea it becomes, so to speak, aware of the nature of the World-Mind. Isn't this a paradox? Can the soul be understood in any other way? You can, of course, believe that the day that the body's created the soul came with it.

 

AS: A comment that's related to when he talks about that the reasoning that's needed is the essential reasoning of the soul, and the fact that the paradox is really a real kind of reasoning. Paradox is an essential kind of reasoning which is above Aristotelian logic. Where the Aristotelian logic posits that there are these two laws: non-contradiction and lack of excluded middle: something cannot be both A and not-A and there is no other choice besides those two. Whereas the reasoning of paradox throws that out altogether. For example, the soul must be both one and many, or it must be both divisible and indivisible. And I think this is what he means by a reasoning which is essential to the soul.

 

AD: You think people can accept that as essential reasoning?

 

AS: And that's a paradox, because people think of reasoning as Aristotelian logic.

 

AD: I think the point that Plotinus made was that reasoning is essential when it follows the soul. That means it's paradoxical. But if it follows the sensible world, then it's not paradoxical.

 

AS: Because if it follows the soul, it must be of the nature of the soul, which is to be both divisible and indivisible at the same time . . .

 

AD: So if we go back to this point now, if we go back to the notion of this ego as we understand it, is of this complex nature. On the one hand, it is constituted of all these tendencies, all right, all these ideas which we look upon as the ideas that belong to that network of intelligence which is the planetary mind, and it's part of the World-Idea. On the other hand we speak about the soul inhabiting, or working through, such a vehicle. So we've got these two things. This is a paradox. There's no way around it.

 

LH?: Would you say the ego has to cease, to be. The intelligence, the content, the vehicle, doesn't cease.

 

AD: But the content can cease... You have to speak louder. . The illumination doesn't cease.

 

LH?: The illumination of that content by the intelligence, that doesn't cease either.

 

AD: No.

 

LH?: And the content itself goes on.

 

AD: Do the contents go on when you go to sleep? When you understand yourself to be a person who functions in a certain way, you could actually sit down and itemize the different tendencies that constitute your personality. When you go to sleep are they still hanging around?

 

S: Yes.

 

AD: How would you know? Evidently,

 

S: . . .an alarm clock goes off in the morning. . .

 

AD: When you get up in the morning, they'll come into operation when you get up, but when you go to sleep you can't say that you're aware of these tendencies, or that you're functioning through these tendencies.

 

LH?: That's true but we're not saying that that enlightenment or that ceasing of the ego is a state of unconsciousness either, are we?

 

AD: We're not saying that enlightenment is a state of unconsciousness? No, it's not.

 

LH?: But why did you bring in sleep?

 

AD: I just wanted to prove the point that the tendencies are not identical and continuous. They're dis-continuous. That which constitutes your ego, as ego, does not have self-identity.

 

LH?: I don't understand what that means. They certainly go on. The world goes on.

 

AD: This is too elementary mentalism for me to go over. If you're not aware that tendencies aren't there for you and when you're asleep these tendencies aren't there for you.

 

AS: I had an idea about that, an analogy. When originally you were speaking with Louis, about the struggle that goes on between the tendencies by the ego and the soul. And he says near the end of the quote that in order for the enlightenment finally to come there must be this surrender. It seems like this is saying the embodying soul part finally realizes that the only way it's going to win the battle finally, is to surrender itself to its source, its intelligence. It comes from intelligence, from the soul. If it turns around and surrenders to its source, that which hangs onto it--when it dives back into the source, it surrenders to the source--that which has attached itself to it can't stand by itself in that light. It gets cut off.

 

LD: There's a whole thinning-down process of those things that cling to that part of the soul. There's a whole thinning-down process of the desires, and that's what's included in refinement of the ego. That's the first process, and after that reaches a certain culminating point, then the ego, after it's thinned down and refined then it's able to do what you say.

 

AD: Which is to surrender its attachment to the lower.

 

LD: He was saying, turn around and go back to the source.

 

AD: Which would be the same thing. That's the hard part, the surrendering  of the attachment to the lower, even if it has been attenuated.

 

AS: I thought you were suggesting that even the projecting or re-embodying soul itself doesn't have the power to finally accomplish that end. Only that void can finally accomplish that. And when he says the ego surrenders, if you imagine both sides--it's like the embodying soul finally realizes that the only way it can finally be rid of this attachment or false identification is to surrender itself to this void. And the other guy that's hanging on, he's in trouble now, because the embodying soul doesn't have the power to do that. Let's say that the Void Mind would. And that's the final battle where the other side is finally detached--only in that final surrender. The embodying soul even doesn't have the power to do it itself, except by surrendering to its own source.

 

AD: Go over it again, would you please? That's why you find the quote so perplexing.

 

S: Why?

 

AD: Because of this double nature of what's going on. On the one hand, the soul, the embodying soul, all right, recognizes its attachment to the lower and tries to surrender it. But it, of its own free will, can't surrender it. The higher power has to come in, and it surrenders. It's this paradoxical nature. When it surrenders it's no longer ego. It's returning to what it was. It's no longer ego.

 

AS: So the intelligence part doesn't get obliterated, because the source of the intelligence part is the higher, but the other part of that complex of ego that can't return because it's not of the nature of intelligence.

 

LD: So it sounds like there are three parts: the lower ego, higher ego, and the higher self.

 

AD: No, there's two parts.

 

AS: Two parts: the ego itself is of the dual nature, this paradoxical nature of this embodying soul and all these tendencies, the body habits, and accretions, and so on. And that embodying soul comes to a point where it tries to free itself from this identification with the body. It realizes it in theory, but now it has to actualize that separation. And the only way it can finally do so is through its own source, that embodying soul's own source, which is Soul per se, or Intelligence per se, the Higher Soul per se. And only that pure, only that Void Mind, or higher soul has the power to finally detach that embodying soul from those tendencies, desires, and so on. And when it finally, for some reason, either the Grace or whatever he says, only then can that embodying soul, the light of the soul, finally be fully detached and realize itself, or return to its source.

 

AD: And you call that enlightenment. But it's no longer the ego.

 

LD: Who's doing this? That's my problem.

 

AS: Right at the point where there's the surrender, it seems, where there's no longer a conjoint, at that instant there's no also longer the personal ego, the individual separate entity. In distinguishing from the embodiment, it's now recognized union, or its inherent nature as soul, as intelligence.

 

LR: You're saying the ego is twofold, it has both the tendencies and the embodying soul. Doesn't the soul gain intelligence by virtue of identifying with those tendencies?

 

AS: That's why we said this embodying soul is not pure consciousness. It gains something, from incarnation to incarnation. The essence of those experiences are held by that embodying soul, not by the tendencies. Remember ``the soul grows in power'' and so on? It's really that embodying soul that's growing in power.

 

LR: . . . It's through the identification with those degrees that we gain in self-knowledge.

 

AD: That's irrelevant now. The gaining of self-knowledge is irrelevant to the discussion that we're having. Because that is what is included in the notion of the refinement of the ego.

 

LR: OK

 

AD: The difficulty here is that the illuminating light which has entered into a vehicle and uses that vehicle could be poised in two ways: looking down and identifying with the body or the tendencies, or looking up and identifying with its source. When it looks down and identifies with the body we think of it as a refined ego still in the process of making distinctions between various strata, levels within it. But once that same entity is looking upward and starts identifying with the source, and then, let's say, momentarily experiences identification with the source. We're still talking about a certain person, so for the sake of clarity we say that the ego got enlightened. But by definition you could understand that it isn't the ego got enlightened, it was the very nature of mind itself that recognizes itself or understands itself.

 

LD: Now you would be bringing duality into enlightenment.

 

AD: Then that could be brought down INTO the ego. That could be brought down into the vehicle, the body.

 

RG: In that moment, what's added to the mind that is already self-existent?

 

AD: Nothing really, except you might say self-recognition or. . .

 

CdA: What does that mean?

 

AD: Self-recognition? It's like going home.

 

RG: I really don't understand that.

 

AD: Of course, because we feel that we belong here. But there are people who feel this is an alien place, that home is elsewhere.

 

RG: But that ``elsewhere,'' if it's true and real, know that it's true and real, regardless of the ego's relation to it.

 

AD: Yes, but you're using the term ``know'' here in an epistemological way.

 

RG: It's aware. I don't mean it to be epistemological.

 

AD: No, I'm not criticising, I'm just saying you're using the term it ``knows'' that it is the soul. The word ``knows'', has connotations, epistemological connotations which is not what I mean when I say the soul knows home. The knowing there is not an epistemological knowing.

 

RG: Right. It's self-gnostic, I mean self-identical.

 

AD: ``Self-identical'' would be better.

 

RG: So if it's self-identical, that still doesn't even elaborate the paradox for me because if it is self-identical, then it's always enlightened.

 

AD: Yeah, but that's so.

 

RG: It's always enlightened. What does it care? I mean. . .

 

LD: Want to bring in the point of the embodying part of the soul coming down?

 

AD: You say, ``What does it care?'' and we'll be back into trouble again. It's got to care. It's got to see that it has a role to fulfil in the world, and as part of the World-Idea.

 

RG: The soul itself, and that's through the ego.

 

AD: Because, we pointed out, how could it become acquainted or participate in the World-Idea except through the body that it must use. What's going to become part of the World-Idea, an infinite part of the World-Idea?

 

RG: So it is the ego that gets enlightened? Because what else needs to get enlightened?

 

AD: Okay, there's no harm in saying that. Because the ego that gets enlightened knows that it is, so to speak, being and not ego-being. So it's all right.

 

RG: Would you say that that being that gets enlightened has become a perfected vehicle for revelation of the soul?

 

AD: I don't think so. I think it's just starting.

 

RG: As much as it needs to encompass that illumination.

 

AD: And you know, what we've heard of people like the Buddha, it's a long, long development. It goes on for many many milleniums. Go ahead.

 

AH: How is it possible for the conceptual mind or the ego or the reasoning in the lower sense, to actually reason correctly about this issue that we're discussing? What principle, or what motivation, or what compulsion allows. . .

 

AD: That what we call an inspired state. When a person, let's say, a PB or. . . , when a person could properly or, let's say, correctly clothe the idea which is more than mental into words and pass it on to you. And we call that a happy thought or an inspired thought. That's what you mean, inspired. Isn't that right, Back?

 

JB: Yes. (laughter)

 

AH: Among us who are not inspired. . .

 

AD: Then don't try to communicate it.

 

AH: How is it even possible to reason about it?

 

AD: Well, generally we can't. That's why we have to go to those people who know, and they could communicate because they've been inspired. That's what PB means when he says the prophets are inspired, the sages are inspired. They're like the vehicle through which this communication could take place. Whereas in our case that can't happen. You already are predisposed, all right, if a mental current comes our way, you're already disposed to dress it in a white suit rather than a yellow suit, whereas it should have a purple suit. Inspiration means that this person is free, free from any predispositions. You state a thing one way rather than another because of personal preference. He's free from that tendency.

 

But people very often. . . it's not that impossible to conceive, people very often have felt in-spired, in-hyphen-spired. Doesn't it mean any...? I thought it did.

 

AH: I think I was trying to describe it psychologically. . .

 

AD: I'm trying to do MORE than psychological. The psychological is necessary because the entity, or the person, has to be THERE who's going to tell you something. But the source of what he's telling you is beyond his psychology. His psychology has to be sufficiently disposable that he could use whatever words he thinks are necessary to communicate that. So you have these two but in the case of most people it's strictly psychological what they're going to say.

 

AH: Or what they hear.

 

AD: Or what they hear, sure.

 

AH: To follow the non-psychological articulation of the doctrine, it's experienced by the ego as a kind of suicide. It's like a reasoning that leads to its own annihilation.

 

AD: No, you're making it too drastic.

 

AH: I think it is fairly drastic. I think there are ways of making it not drastic, but I think fundamentally it is drastic.

 

AD: That might be from the point of view of the ego.

 

AH: Of course.

 

AD: . . .Another point of view which says it's not drastic. As a matter of fact it's a great relief.

 

AH: . . . listen to the inspired word, and to take that into the ego correctly. . .

 

AD: I'm telling you, Andrew! It's not drastic. It's not terrorizing. It's very delightful. In-spired. Ask Back, what does ``enthusiasm'' mean?

 

JB: It means ``with God,'' and inspired means ``taking in the breath of God.''

 

AD: Don't make it sound like something horrible.

 

AH: I thought you described this conflict of two souls in one breast.

 

AD: There we're speaking about this developmental process of an ego at a germinal level going through all the levels of growth and refinement until it seeks its own Source. So it goes on the quest, and then there's the further development of this soul, so to speak, on the quest. And as I tried to point out, it's not the dummies that get enlightened in spite of what certain Californians think. (laughter)

 

There was one fellow, who in his book wrote, that he knows quite a few sages on the west coast, in San Francisco. I figured there was enough of them that you hit them with a flyswatter to just move one around. As a matter of fact this very person was reprimanded by a few Zen teachers because of his lack and his unwillingness to accept a certain amount of discipline. You know who I'm talking about, don't you? Watts, Alan Watts. So a few of the well-known Roshis told him, ``You got some serious delusions, boy.'' You can't go around eating eels and snails and all that kind of garbage and think you're going to get enlightened. (laughter & student comments)

 

S: I'm glad I'm pure.

 

AH: . . . What is that faculty within my conceptual mind that gives me that momentary access to that being?

 

AD: Isn't it true that the God within you is what understands, when all is said and done?

 

AH: There's always that possibility.

 

AD: Oh, yes.

 

AS: Anthony did that a few months ago, and the one he just did, about the sage knows how to organize these vasanas in just the right way, he knows how to organize the words in just the right way that they express this idea which is more than material. Then when you read it, you read the words and the idea that in the last step of the process is somehow those words then evoke in yourself the inspiration, or they evoke in you that mood, or they evoke from(Q: in?) you that intelligence.

 

AD: PB even says that he uses white magic. I forgot. . . one of the quotes.

 

RG: Yes.

 

AD: Got it?

 

JB: How'd you find it? (laughter)

 

PB: ``To attempt this book will be an adventure for the Warriors of Light, but the wanderers of night will put it down with much celerity. For these pages are enchanted with a white magic which can inflict no greater injury on adversaries than to permit them to resist the principles contained therein.'' (12z-a.4 (21v/7/189) Persp. p. 153 and 12.5.6.)

 

AD: Well, read that and see. I think there's more beauty in that quote than truth, but maybe they're not much different, you know. If it's beautiful, it's got to be true; if it's true, it's got to be beautiful; if it's neither one, you've got a problem. Read it again.

 

(para reread)

 

AD: Louis, read your quote now.

 

PB: ``What or who. . . '' (repeat)

 

AD: The only comment I could say, the only comment I would have after reading that would be ...(inaudible)

 

LD: It reminds me of the Buddha quote that's not on the pole anymore.

 

AD: Read the other one.

 

LD: I have many. . .

 

AD: I'd rather you'd read the ones you could explain.

 

LD: Well, this goes back to last week:

 

PB: ``What is the ego but the Overself surrounded with barriers, conditioned by its instruments--the body, the feelings, and the intellect--and forgetful of its own nature?'' (8a.g (11g/30/6) 8.1.6)

 

(para reread and a few minutes student discussion)

 

TAPE TWO, SIDE ONE

 

(35 minutes student discussion)

 

AS: The essence of soul is of this complementary, or paradoxical nature. And when you say the essence of soul is already enlightened then you can't . . .

 

HS: . . .But the ego, the unenlightened part gets enlightened.

 

VM: But when the ego gets distinguished fully from this emanent, it seems that's the annihilation that's spoken of.

 

AS: It's not the other part of the soul that's annihilated, its's not-soul. . . It's only the soul part of the ego that can get enlightenment..

 

HS: It's not the ego that gets enlightened. It's only the reality that's within the ego that gets enlightened.

 

AS: Remember the sequence, you start off with the ego as having two components. . .

 

HS: The unenlightened part which needs to get enlightened and the enlightened part which doesn't need to get enlightened.

 

AD: No, no. You have to state it more and more precisely. The nature of the soul's consciousness is unchanging, all right. What about the nature of the ego? It's changing from instant to instant. That's manifestation of the world. You've got to put these two together.

 

AH: The unembodied soul. . .

 

AD: Don't go away from what I said, because that's the crux of the whole argument that's going on. Soul in its nature or essence if of an unchanging consciousness, unchanging consciousness. The ego which is part of the World-Idea is constantly changing from moment to moment. You've to the two of them together. You've got to explain that. You've got to explain the Buddhist position and the Vedantic position. One is a psychological one and the other one is more like metaphysical. You understand the nature of the consciousness that the ego represents, that is from moment to moment would be the Buddhist position. Understand the nature of the consciousness which is always abiding, never changing, would be the Vedantic position. Now the two of them are together in every and any situation that you care to think about. We know of only the one that's always changing. We don't know about the unchanging. Now if you want to get to this matter you have to understand this interrelationship of these two. . . (pause) With that, I'll make my escape.

 

RG: Will you point us in the right direction?

 

AD: I think that's the fundamental argument that's going on.

 

AH: Is embodied soul equatable to ego?. . .

 

AD: I think by embodied soul they're speaking about one part of the soul, or something which is given off by the soul which permeates or pervades or takes possession of some part of the World-Idea which we say is a body which it then identifies with that body and that combination is what they're calling the conjoint, if I follow what they've been saying. On the one hand, the body and everything that we recognize to be a vehicle, is something which is produced by ideation, the World-Mind's ideation, and that's going on instant to instant. And the Buddhists will explain everything from that principle. Okay? And then there's the other point of view that speaks about the soul whose essence or whose consciousness is always abiding, never changing. And that is, so to speak, the point of view that the Vedantists are coming from. So that seems to be like more psychological. Whereas the Buddhist's position--I'm just talking about the way it seems--and the Buddhist position would be talk about the World-Idea being manifested from instant to instant, that seems to be very metaphysical. And it's these two, combination of the metaphysical and the psychological, which is the underlie of our discussion, I think, the underlie of the discussion that's been wandering around. Bring it out in the open. See if we can see what we're talking about. It's tremendously fascinating.

 

KD: . . .

 

AD: You've got me confused. You want to start again?

 

KD: You said the soul provides what's permanent. And then it's the ego that is changing moment to moment. I don't see that. I see where it could be the light of the soul that would be the permanent part and it's the World-Idea that would be the changing part. The ego. . .

 

AD: Same thing. That's what I said. The body is part of the world, right? And the world is changing from instant to instant. So my body's changing along with it, from instant to instant. So the ego, or the body, and the light that's illuminating it, that's changing from instant to instant. But the illuminating light that comes in from the soul, that's not changing. That's not part of the World-Idea. It's illuminating the body which is part of the World-Idea. So that's self-abiding. That's unchanging.

 

KD: But we said before that the ego is this combination, this conjoint. . .

 

AD: Yeah, yeah. We're saying the ego, the body is what's constantly changing from moment to moment. That doesn't have a consciousness which doesn't change. If we say that the World-Idea, the world and all the bodies in it, is the product of this Mind which, from instant to instant, is manifesting the world. Then body and the world have to be changing from moment to moment. And we're speaking about consciousness. I'm speaking about this body which is manifesting from instant to instant. I'm speaking about consciousness manifesting from instant to instant. It's consciousness. It's the consciousness of this greater mind that is projecting the world from instant to instant. That means that my body is this consciousness manifesting instant to instant. Inside that, and this is a colloquialism, inside that is this light of the soul which doesn't change. This is the light, so to speak, that becomes aware of change. It itself is unchanging. And I've got these two things together.

 

KD: You just made a difference. You said the consciousness manifesting the world moment by moment is different from the awareness of that light that's lighting that up.

 

AD: Exactly! The unchanging consciousness within the changing consciousness. Or if you want to put it the other way around I don't care. But you have these two together.

 

KD: And that's what has to be. . .

 

AD: That's what you have to understand.

 

KD: The soul's nature is constituted of this dual nature, the consciousness that brings the world moment by moment. . .

 

AD: No, no, no. The nature of the soul's consciousness is abiding. It doesn't change. The continuity and identity of the subjective factor has to remain all the time. You don't get rid of that.

 

KD: But I thought the Nous is in the Soul, the highest we ever get in the I AM principle is the Intellectual Principle within the Soul and that is what we're calling the World-Idea and that constitutes the nature or the essence of Soul.

 

AD: No. That doesn't constitute the essence of soul. That's what takes place within the soul. That's what's manifested within the soul, is the Nous or the World-Mind and the World-Idea. But the soul isn't of that nature.

 

VM: Let him go.

 

AD: Go ahead.

 

RG: Given that background, the question is still there. This soul is twofold: the unchanging light which is eternal and is always what it is, and this emanent which is associated with the World-Idea and is in. . .

 

AD: There you're not speaking about the twofold-ness of its essence.

 

RG: You're not?

 

AD: No. Is the essence twofold?

 

RG: I don't think so.

 

AD: No, the essence is identical. This embodying soul that we speak about as embodying soul, its essence must be that of the nature of the transcendant.

 

AS: One essence of soul.

 

AD: Yes, one essence. The essence is one.

 

AS: And therefore when we speak about enlightenment we can't say that either the transcendant soul or the embodying soul is enlightened. . .

 

AD: Exactly.

 

AS: It's the soul that's enlightened.

 

AD: That's why Atmananda told this man who had. . . (tape turns while he speaks.)

 

TAPE TWO, SIDE TWO

 

(this is blank, unfortunately!)