Loss of ego is not enlightenment

Hi Ram,

Thanks for the “unsolicited” satsang. I enjoyed it. Feel free to send one whenever you feel like, and I am for sure interested on how Candice will get along with your suggestions, as is very similar to what I have to do, though I never experienced total disappearance of the me.

Ram: Well, that’s not the kiss of death since there isn’t a ‘me’ to disappear anyway. I sent the Candice satsang to a friend of mine who is a jnani and this is what he said about the disappearance of the me.

Jack: This is an amazing satsang. It is a truly remarkable experience as well as your explanation of it. As you say, the purpose of experience is to gain knowledge and it is the understanding of what happened that she is missing. I would also add that not only did one never go away but that one was never there in the first place. In this apparent reality Ram, Jack and Candice exist but just as the sun appears to rise in the East and set in the West, the truth reveals itself when one is on the moon.

Ram: These experiences are quite wonderful when they happen but as you can see she was writing me because she was attached to that experience and it wasn’t happening anymore…as is the case with all experiences. It is really quite enough to carefully look into the meaning of the word ‘I’ because it doesn’t refer to anything substantial. It is just a symbol for a concept. And once you see that there really isn’t a ‘me’ you can drop all the fictitious notions that are associated with it.

Marilyn: I have just begun to give some counseling sessions, where I use mostly the sharing of Presence/awareness as a way of final healing, but also other techniques if needed. I just gave two sessions to a lady that had a strong experience of expansion and loss of borders. She got agitated because she got that experience during a satsang by the touch of an advaita teacher, a friend of mine. After that she felt a little agitated and for a week or two her mood was changing very swiftly up and down without any reason.

So I gave her few grounding exercises while reminding her often what her true nature is supposed to be. I feel that sometimes there is a delicate balance between what a ‘person’ can take or not, and it might be important to keep a certain balance between grounding and ungrounding or the breakthrough can turn in a breakdown.

Ram: I agree. If what one discovers during one’s epiphanies doesn’t get converted to something that is practically useful what good is it? Some people tend to think that spiritual experiences are valuable in themselves but they are no more valuable than any other experiences unless you learn something that makes your life more peaceful. I see so many so-called ‘spiritual’ people, women particularly, who are a burden to themselves and others because they are so ‘cosmic’ or ‘spacy’ or ‘not there.’

Marilyn: Susanne Seagal (collison with the infinite) is an example and I know also of a disciple of Poonjaji that got realized but she could not take it, she was terrified by the loss of the small self and died in spite of Poonjaji taking all the possible care of her. Osho was saying that most of the people that become enlightened die on the spot.

Ram: I don’t agree with Osho. I’ve met many enlightened people and count many as friends and not one of them had a problem living in this world. I think this is a romantic myth that comes from the belief that enlightenment is a particular kind of intense experience, one that comes with so much shakti that it fries the nervous system and causes tremendous problems. It’s a very bad idea because spiritual people are superstitious enough as it is and this kind of superstition only serves to frighten the ego and keep it from striving for enlightenment. It just doesn’t make sense that someone would be terrified by the loss of the small self because as you can see in Candice’s case she was very happy while it was happening and would give an arm and a leg to have it back. All you lose when you lose the ‘me’ is a lot of stupidity and suffering. I think it is possible to interpret the non-existence of ego in a negative way but it rarely leads to anything more than depression. A woman realized emptiness and the non-existence of ego during a satsang with me and she became depressed for a couple of years but it was the ego that became depressed because it had interpreted the experience as a loss and not as the gaining of freedom. She eventually saw what she was doing and now is quite happy. If Susanne really lost the small self then who was there to get terrified? I would suspect that she died for some other reason.

I think it is a mistake to equate loss of ego with enlightenment. Yes, loss of ego does happen experientially but this does not mean the person is enlightened. To whom does the loss occur if not the ego? So the ego didn’t really go. Enlightenment is the realization that I am the Self, that I am everything that is. And this realization transcends and includes the ego so you don’t lose ego, you ‘gain’ limitlessness. It’s a big difference.

Marilyn: I feel that today it’s a little bit different, we are in a moment of the evolution when realization can come very smoothly without big explosion of energy, just with clear understanding. But some fear has to be faced, it is a death in any case.

Ram: I agree. If a person is qualified for enlightenment it is no problem at all. I wouldn’t say it was because we are in a ‘moment of evolution’ that realization can come smoothly. It comes smoothly to sattvic people who are prepared by sadhana and it has always been the way. It will be difficult for people whose vasanas are very strong…but this is nothing that has to do with the chronology of the world. In fact you could argue that in the Kali Yuga…meaning a materialistic age…it would be more difficult since most people are tamasic and rajasic. In the Vedic texts both views are mentioned…that it is very easy and that it is very difficult… and the Vedas are very old. Chronocentrism…the belief that the times one is living in is unique and special…is probably responsible for this idea. Well, who really knows? It is just one of my opinions.

With love

~ Satsangs from James Swartz

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