Self Development Idea (23): Session 4: Letting Go of Ego (19th May 1966)

Session 4: Letting Go of Ego (19th May 1966)

I guess the best way to start is with an overall picture of our direction, in such a way that it embraces those who have been here for some time and those who are here for the first time.  I think all the questions that the philosophers ask and try to get the answer, to that the psychologists ask, but even the field of medicine asks, and the world of religion are really all asking the very same thing, approaching it from different angles. 

Everyone is seeking the answers, and if we sift out what is it that we're all seeking, we put different names to it.  Some people call it spiritual, some truth, some philosophy, wisdom, understanding.  But the basic thing that everyone is seeking, is very simple — it's Happiness.  But it's the ultimate happiness,  it's nothing mystical and nothing far, and nothing complex.  Every being is seeking pure and simple happiness, in a way that there is no more sorrow.

So, the word I like best for our so-called path is the ultimate happiness.  The ultimate happiness, of course, is the ultimate truth of our beingness, truth of the universe, and there is only one ultimate truth, this is the way it turns out to be. 

So, all of us are seeking this continuous happiness with never a taint of sorrow.  

Most people in the world, of course, are making the error of seeking it where it is not, and therefore not attaining it, and becoming extremely frustrated.  Because the more they try to get of it where they think it is, the more they discover that it isn't there; in place of the happiness, they're finding more and more discontent, more and more misery.  We never had so much material as we have now, and I don't think we've ever been so unhappy, at least in the past fifty years we haven't as we are today.  

So, when seeking this ultimate happiness, there's one most important thing necessary, and that is to have pointed out to us: “What this happiness is?  And how to get it?”

Now, as I said it is very simple — truth, happiness, God is simple.  If it's not simple — it's not godly; it's not truth; it's not happiness.  It's an artificial complexity set up by man's ignorance.  So again, I say this whole direction we're in is very simple.

Now the number one thing preventing us from seeing what this ultimate happiness is, is our sense of ego-ity — so opposed to this ultimate happiness which is really the goal.  And the only thing stopping us from having this constant happiness with no sorrow is the sense of separation, “I am an individual, separate from me all.”  

Once we take on this sense of separation, we seem to develop it more and more, and we keep pulling away from that ultimate happiness, the ultimate state which in the beginning, we were all in [Oneness].  And more and more, we began to believe that we are a limited mind, a limited body, so limited that we need a thing called oxygen to survive, or food and so forth and so on.

This ultimate happiness, that is the goal, is something that never ever really leave us, it's right within us all the time, but we covered it over with concepts of limitation, of being separate.  And the more we do it, the more concepts we've built up, until we get to the point where we are today — extremely overloaded with concepts of limitations.

Now, this ultimate joy that we're seeking is our natural state.  It's a natural state to all mankind.  To get this ultimate happiness which is our natural state, all we need to do is to let go of the obstructions that we have set in the way of seeing what this happiness is.  We have built up endless concepts of limitation over this unlimited Being that we are, naturally. 

So, the simplicity of the direction is this — we are that natural, unlimited Being, possessing right now that unlimited joy, but covering it over with a sense of limitation called the ego.  We need to rediscover what I just said, we need to rediscover it.  It's there, it's there all the time. 

Well, how do we rediscover it?  First, we need someone to tell us that the direction is this way, someone must point out the direction.  Secondly, we must look in that direction, and we must discover it for ourselves.  

No one can give it to us, we must see it — we must see it through our own minds-eye.  And when we do, we re-recognize that which we always were — an unlimited Being with unlimited joy. 

Now, the direction must be inwardly, it is not outwardly.  Everything out there we discover is something that we have dreamed up, and then put a tag on it as being real.  This world, this universe, we have dreamed and through accepting this dream for so long, we think it's real. 

So, what we need to do is to turn our attention inwardly to re-examine, rediscover, what is the truth of everything. 

And, as we do that, we begin to see the falsity or the illusion of the world, and by getting concentrated in the inward direction, we see this infinite Being that we are. 

So, the path resolves itself into two things: One, seeing this infinite Being that we are, and two, seeing the limitations that we have superimposed over it and letting go of them.

So, to repeat what I said, to obtain this unlimited happiness, the direction is pointed out to us — we must take it by going inwardly and rediscovering this wonderful, unlimited, ever joyful Being that we are.

The time it takes us to do this, is determined by one thing only — the intensity of our desire for it.  If we are convinced that our joys lie in the world, we will never ever attain this happiness, we will always be with much misery.  But, when we accept and then begin to prove that the joys are just our natural state, are not attached to anything out there, then our life begins to become more joyful, and we can, with more conviction, take the right direction. 

It seems, at first, the thing that drives us in this direction is the thing called misery.  We go so far in the wrong direction, we just can't stand it anymore and because of the misery, we are driven to seeking happiness elsewhere than in the world. 

When we begin to receive the fruits of our search, we begin to feel these joys that we never experienced before, then the mere joy of the path is what will give us the intensity of the drive in the right direction.

We also discover that this path ‘cannot be a part-time thing’, if we really want to make it.  We have spent so many centuries, so much time, going in the wrong direction, but it takes a superhuman effort now to redirect us into the right direction.
[Comment:  This term ‘cannot be a part-time thing’ refer to the Attitude and Consciousness aspects of us, — of applying the concepts that we’ve learnt, applying it in the background mode as a way of habit.  Just like the computer running that anti-virus program twenty-four hours a day and it does not affect the use of the computer.]

So again, the whole thing is simple.  We are that infinite, unlimited joy we are seeking; we are that God that we are seeking.  We must turn within and discover that.  When we do, we know it and we hold on to it.  Then we go through the process of continuing elimination of all the concepts of limitation, all the ego concepts, until we are fully established in that high exalted state of Beingness. 

Lester Levenson

I believe the only reason why I should be here is to help, that if I can't help, there's no reason for my being here.  I believe every one of us have been with the path quite some time.  I wouldn't like to be in the position where I'm talking about the subject, talking about the subject is an obstacle on the path. 

What should happen here is that each one moves forward and very definitely moves ahead.  If that doesn't happen, I see no reason for my being here.  Because we can all read almost everything, I'll say, you can read it in books down somewhere.  There's nothing new on the subject of truth — it's eternal; it always was; it always will be the same.

So, we think that's different, or I hope is different, is that there is something affected here, that something will happen to give us more realization than we had before we came here.  I believe the general approach to the subject that I have is called ‘Advaita’ or in English ‘non-duality’, which can also be translated as ‘Oneness’, and that there's only one thing — your method of growth — that that one method of growth is letting go of our ego.

Now, ego-ity is a sense of separation —  “I am an individual.”  Once I become an individual, I am separate from the whole, or the all.  This sense of ego-ity is what starts all our trouble, or our division.  So, we must get back to the place where we again see that we are the only ‘One’, with a capital ‘O’. 

In truth, there's no such thing as growing into full realization, and that is because we are now.  We always have been, we always will be that infinite being called God, or the Self —  that's one thing we cannot get away from.  We are that, “I AM THAT I AM.”  That the change was part of us, we cover that over with a sense of being a separate individual. 

So, growth consists only of letting go of our ego.  And I hope that through these meetings we do that more, more so than we have done before.  We are that infinite being here and now, we are blinding ourselves to it by saying “I, the infinite being, am a limited ego.  I, the infinite being, am separate from the infinity.”  We must change those concepts, let go of them. 

I hope to bring out ways and means of sensing the ego operating in us, ways and means that we can use to point out to ourselves when we are being ego motivated.  And each and every time that we are, if we let go of it, we are letting go of a bit of ego.  If we keep this going, from here until the end, we eventually get to the place where there's no more ego left.  And where the ego is not, there God is.  There the infinite Self is left, and it's pure pristine beingness.  

So, all we do is remove the cover.  If we lose our sense of ego-ity, in the state we're in now, — we save ourselves millions of years of growing on the higher planes. 

To be in a higher astral realm, or a causal realm, or the highest of ground, we still need a sense of separation, a sense of ego-ity, we need a sense of a higher body.  And one the greatest most wonderful things about the state we are in now is that it allows us to go all the way back home, right to the very top.  Even the gods with the small ‘g’, the angels, cannot do it, we can do.  We can go all the way by completely losing the sense of being an ego.

I try to bring out the very highest of teachings, I'd like to start in the top.  If we ever expect to know the truth, we must start with the truth, and reason from there.  We can't get to the truth from the falsity, the lie — “the reality of the world” as most people see it.  If we try to grow from this world up to the truth, it just won't work!  Because we're starting with the lie, and trying to reason from there.  We must start reasoning with the truth. 

Now, the truth is the absolute One, the changeless that which never changes is true.  If it changes, it wasn't true in the first place, it changed.  So, we define truth is that which never changes.  So, if we reason, we should start with the infinity, as being the all, and reason from there.

Now as we go on, I believe the various methods of seeing our ego will come out.  And the general method we have used has not been my talking as much as my answering questions.  And if I answer a question, I always try to answer by letting the answer come from within.  And if I do that, it will bring out the ego behind the questioner, or sometimes, we'll put the questioner right into the Self.  And very often the answer is put in such a way as to provoke thinking rather than answer the question.

Unfortunately, we all know that questions can't really be answered for us, that each one must answer the question himself or herself. 

So, my method of answering questions very often might seem kind of odd, that it's not direct, it's roundabout or it's provoking, but the purpose is to make obvious to the one asking, the ego motivation, or the ego, so that he may see it, and if he chooses, let go of it. 

When I come in, I sit down, I just know I have the conviction that “Thou art that.”  And to the degree that I have this conviction, to that degree I help you be in that mood, in that state. 

Now, when we are in that state, we should recognize it.  We should get to know that, that is a very high state and we shouldn’t try to relate that to our ego world, it just doesn't relate to it.   It's a calmness.  It's a peace.  It's a very delightful state.  And there's no sense of doingness, havingness.  When we are in that state, it's just beingness. 

But that is the experiencing that we need to establish more and more, until that is full and complete and only, and that's what's called full realization.

Another point about our teaching is we like to get all the mystery out of it, because it is basically so simple — “Thou art that.”  “Stop trying to be not that.” — is the basic teaching.  If we can recognize that state for what it is, we will get to the place where that remained.  And then, we automatically do, have, talk, and so forth.  And we no more associate ourselves with the doingness, havingness, and so forth. 

But the silent teachings are the most effective teachings, and this is a teaching that all the Guru's give.  This is one reason why that they're mostly not in body.  Because when they are in body, most of us attribute ego-ity to them, — because they have a body to us, and they eat they sleep and so forth.  When they don't have a body, we give them more credit, that is to them.  And they try to teach us via the silent method, and to the degree that we can accept it, to that degree we receive it from them. 

It's the stilling of the whirlpools of thought; it's quieting thought.  When there is no more thoughts, that is called realization. 

All thought is motivated by the ego.  When there's no more ego, there's no more thought.  It's the ego that being separate from the All, thinks it needs things.  When we are the All, there's nothing we need.  If there's a desire, there's something we don't have — that's the ego.  So, it's the ego we need to let go of.

Go to :  Home,   Previous Session,

Self Development Idea (22): Session 3: The Perfect Body - by Lester Levenson (31 October 1965)

Session 3: The Perfect Body (31 October 1965)

If we don't have a perfect body and we want a perfect body, that means we do not believe or have a conviction that we can make the body perfect.  That means we are holding in mind a consciousness of an imperfect body, because the body is an exact copy of the mind.  The body is our consciousness projected outwardly. 

Now, is it necessary to have a perfect body?  It's not.  It's necessary to have a perfect understanding.  Everything else being equal, if you can't have a perfect body, make your body perfect. 

However, you can go beyond the necessity of a perfect body by getting the spiritual understanding of “I am NOT the body.  Therefore the body does not affect me.”  And this is a much higher state.  In fact, I think this is one of the highest of states, — to be able to maintain your spiritual equanimity regardless of what happens to the body! 

Because we are not this body, this body is not infinite.  It's an extremely limited vehicle, very, very delicate.  Change the temperature hundred degrees, it dies.  Put tiny amounts of chemical [poisons] in it, it dies.  Cut out oxygen, it dies.  So, this body is an extremely limited vehicle.  And, it is much better to not be the body.

The spiritual discipline of having an imperfect body and not having it bother you is a very high spiritual discipline.  Many fully realized masters will go through life with a sick body, setting an example of non- emphasis on the body.  Because the body is our biggest trap into limitation, — “I am this body.”  Not only is the body of limitation but associated with it are thousands of other limitations.  So, Bob, for myself I preferred not to correct the body now, but to have it touch me not, not even in the slightest, regardless of what happens to it. 

[Student: How can the body be imperfect when you said before your body is a reflection of your mentality, and if you know that there’s only perfection, how can you have an imperfect body?]

Lester: A perfect body is not the highest state.  A body is a limitation even when it's perfect.  It's a perfect body.  It's still a body, but perfect.  A higher state is not being the body, you're shaking your head now.  Have I answered it?

[Student: I’m beginning to follow what you’re getting at.]

Lester: So again, it's a matter of level, but because we're in to a level that is high, have got to stay up there.  Be not the body!  Be what you really are!  Be infinite!  Perfection is not a perfect body.  Perfection is absolute perfection. 

Well, you have a tendency to bring it down to perfect things, perfection does not relate to things.  No thing is perfect.  Everything is a thing of limitation.  So, the top state, the absolute, is a state of no thing.  It's just beingness, or pure consciousness, pure awareness — the top state.  That's not being a thing, a body — it's just being.

So, to sum it up, of course, we should have perfect bodies!  If we have bodies that pull on our attention all the time, it's difficult to meditate.  So rid yourself of body demands.  Make the body as perfect as you can; however, it is a higher state when the body does not affect us because of not identifying with the body. 

But the top state is just beingness, only beingness, or consciousness, only consciousness.  It's consciousness conscious of all consciousness.  It’s beingness being all beingness.  And, consciousness and beingness means the same thing at the top.  Being anything is being a limitation.  

See, happiness is our natural inherent state.  We are the All.  We artificially create a lack and then a desire to undo that lack, which when that desire is fulfilled, we feel better.  It's like sticking a pin into you and it hurts, and you take out and say, “Gee, that feels good.”  This is exactly what enjoying things and people is.  We hurt ourselves, remove the pain and say that feels good, that makes me happy. 

Every time you feel happiness, you feel only your real Self, more or less.  The happier you are, the more you feel your real Self.  And, you [wrongly] attribute it to things and people out there. 

The mechanism of it is that, when we create the ‘lack’, we start off thoughts, “I need this person, this thing to make me happy.”That causes a bit of pain, that need, that lack, which when we are relieved of that thought, we return back to being ourselves, which is what we call happiness. 

This is something great to be achieved in life when you see that your happiness is inherent.  And that what you have been calling happiness is doing away with it and then restoring it, and [wrongly] attributing it to people and things.

So, if you want to enjoy a body that's your privilege.  If you want more joy, don't enjoy the body, just be joy, which you naturally are.  That's the natural state.  It's not necessary to need things.  When you see that you are the All, there's nothing lacking.  So, take your joy directly — be your Self.  That's being infinite joy. 

[Student: Would you discuss your experiences of changing your body because really, many of us are in a stage of development where we don’t quite understand this. Or maybe I should talk about myself — not about “us.”]

Lester: I saw that there's as much life in this body as there is in a piece of wood.  It’s carbohydrates, the same chemicals as a piece of wood.  That the only life in this body is ‘Me’, I put the life in the body.  I saw that the body is my consciousness, and my consciousness puts life in the body. 

When you see that you make the body, you can change it.  You can mentally change it.  Now, the body we have right now is the education, body-wise, that we have accumulated up to date.  This is my concept of a body, that's your concept of your body.  It's deeply subconscious right now — this is why it's difficult. 

This picture of the perfect body must be with more powerful than the sum total of all the pictures in the past of an imperfect body.  Right now you have to get that picture of a perfect body with a thought that's Stronger Than the sum total of all the thoughts of them perfect body of the past.  When you're able to do that, your body will immediately change to this new thought of perfect body, which is more powerful than all the thoughts.  Does that make sense?  This is the mechanics of it.

All right, now what's a powerful thought?  A powerful thought is a concentrated thought.  The more concentrated the more powerful the thought.  A concentrated thought is a thought without other extraneous thoughts present at the time.  The very best way to get a most powerful thought is to let go of yourself, your little self; let go of your feeling, I am Bob, I have this, I have that.  And say, “Yes there is only perfection, including this body.” — If you can let go of the world.

So, I say your thinking mind is your biggest obstacle.  Your mind is going on faster than the speed of light all the time, whether you're aware of it or not.  Maybe if you're not conscious of it, it's going on subconsciously.  You've trained yourself to think, think, think, think, think.  And you've got it spinning all these thoughts.  You've put a lot of importance upon this thinking in the past.  The importance of it is also subconscious. 

So, it's not easy to let go of the importance of thinking.  And these are obstacles to your letting go of thinking, which if you could let go of thinking, and just one easy thought with no other thoughts around, “I am perfect.” - Instantly you'd be perfect.  I'm talking about the body.

So, it'll take a continuous trying until you achieve it.  And someday, through an almost effortless thought, is the way it feels, because your mind is so quiet at the time, it'll happen.  And you might not even be aware of it when it happens.  You might become aware of it later on.

I just reminded of the case I heard of of a man [Brown Landone], who was in a wheelchair for so many years, which I forget how many years.  His house caught on fire and he packed two bags and ran out [of the house], and sat down on them.  It was after he sat down on the bags, he had realized what he had done.  He had forgotten that he couldn't walk.  See, when it does happen, you're accepting the positive so much that negative thing is forgotten for the time being.

So, to sum it up, the thing that will affect a perfect body is a very strong conviction, — “I am a perfect body.”  Or a concentrated thought, which is saying it in another waywhich is a thought undisturbed by other thoughts at the moment, that your mind is clear of other thoughts at the moment.  And the feeling is a thing of let go.  You just let go and let the perfection be, about the body.

Now, the best way to see this, I believe, is through the night dream.  This is like a dream.  Just like a night dream, while you're in the night dream you are there.  There are other characters.  There's a world.  There are things going on.  And while you're in it, it's real right? — While you're dreaming it.  It's only when you awaken from the dream that you say it never was.  That's what happens to this [waking day] dream — when you awaken from it, you'll see that it never was, that there never was anything but perfection all the time.

So, it's a process of awakening from this [waking day] dream.  To see this you're going to have to go through it.  I couldn't give it to you.  See, but if you will continue, you'll reach a point where you'll see that, “My gosh!  It's just a dream.”  And then you'll see that it's a dream that never was, that there have always been perfection. 

But again, you can't comprehend that until you experience it.  You might get it momentarily, many people do and get a momentary picture — the whole thing is being a dream that there never was anything but perfection.  And then, the next moment you trick yourself into the delusion again of thinking that it is real. 

There's really only one thing I want to do in the world — is to have everyone know what I know.  At the same time, it's not for me to push this on anyone.  But, if they really want it, I really want them to have it.  So, to get together.  So, I don't see it as boldness, I see it as doing the right thing. 

When you see the perfection, there's nothing to do.  And I actually, I really feel that - I am NOT a teacher.  I am never teaching.  I still can't get used to the concept of being called a teacher.  Now Francis has got me to accept it more now than ever before.  I can do it more readily, say “Oh yeah. I'm teaching.”  But in my consciousness, I'm not teaching.  How can I teach a perfected being who is omniscient?

In this top state, you perceive this world is nothing but you our very own Self, with the capital ‘S’.  There is nothing but the Self.  Or there's nothing but God.  God is all.  Everything you see is God.  And you are it.  That's the way you see the world.  Others look at it and say, “Oh, no!  It's just the opposite.”  You look at it as, “It's perfect, it's God.  It's me.  It's ‘I’.” 

So, there's no contradiction, when you're in a top state, and you to the eyes of others float through life the way they do.  But in your perception, it's not the way they see it.  And the very top state is being in that top state and in the world at the same time.  

Someday you'll laugh, and all this tremendous effort to be exactly what you are, and have always been.  That's such a joke — to go through a tremendous struggle, only to be what you are! — Always have been, always will be.  Creating all these devious means of assuming you don't have infinite joy, even giving up all joy, and then gone through a tremendous effort of trying to establish infinite joy again. — But, it's a joke.

In truth, there is no such thing as time.  Time is a variable.  Truth is that which never changes.  Perfection is always perfect — it doesn't change.  Anything that changes is imperfect, is unreal.  Time is nothing but a mental concept. 

You have a dream at night, and you cover maybe eighty years.  Now, while you're in that dream it was an eighty year period.  How much time was it to you after you awakened?  That eighty years becomes maybe minutes.  I'm just trying to bring out how time is nothing but a mental concept.  In the dream, it was eighty years, and in your waking state was just minutes.  You awakened out of this dream, you'll see there was no time.  It was always there, everything that was, or will be is here now. 

Time is like taking a movie reel and looking at one frame at a time.  And saying the frame ‘before it’ is yesterday and the frame ‘after it’ is tomorrow.  It's all there; you can look at it — “all now”.  But in ‘time’, we choose to look at one frame, and then say the one on this side is the past, and one on that side is the future.

If you look at the whole reel, you can see your entire life from beginning to end.  But mentally you choose to do it the way you’re doing. 

Time is only a mental concept, but in order to accept this you’ve got to see it yourself, you’ve got to perceive it, you’ve got to realize it.  Thinking on it deeply, you will get the realization someday — “Wow!  This is just a mental concept.”

Eternality is now.  It’s in ever present now.  There is no past, no future, is all here now. There is only a Now-ness in Truth.  But, like I said you have to perceive this yourself.