We started with a review of the exercise from our last meeting. (See report here.)
This week we watched the final part (Part 5) of the film “The Master of the Carriage”
Our paper focussed on the first of the two main themes - the ‘key to liberation’. Next week’s paper will cover the second theme of inner Unity.
Several members of the group agreed that the most powerful moment in this final section of film was when the armoured warrior, having killed the driver, removed his helmet to reveal himself as … the Driver. False I is killed and this allows Real I to be uncovered.
One person wrote this response to the questions in the paper on the subject of the death of the ego:
Dying to everything we know . . . What does that mean to each of us? Is it frightening. If not, why not?
“As a concept, ‘dying to everything we know’ isn’t frightening. In the heart and in the head I know it has to be for enlightenment. And that is why one meditates and reads and tries to put the teachings into practice. One does it through devotion and through the knowledge and faith of experience. This ‘dying’ is to be wished and worked for. After all, what do I really want?
Yet it’s a different story when something happens to shake one’s daily life! A sudden accident to one’s physical self can cause anxiety or fear, but it can be a ‘wake-up call’: have I really been believing that ‘I’ am this body?
And then there’s the emotional loss of a loved one . . . bereavement can bring an empty feeling and a sense of impermanence. Equally, fear can come hand-in-hand with the achievement of a worldly desire – it’s the anxiety that one doesn’t want to lose this ‘precious’ acquisition. But who’s doing the wanting, the fearing, etc.?
It’s all identification and attachment and when we realise the unreal fear or anxiety for what it is, it dissipates and a feeling of Love and Gratitude emerges.”
These observations echoed the quote from Mr Ouspensky in Part 3 of this series of papers:
Accidentally we get strivings through the mind, but can achieve nothing positive without body and feelings. We must recognise separate nature of body and mind … Once we have reposed truth in mind we must try to make other parts interested and acquainted with the desire and must begin to teach and help them.
Regarding the advice from Nisargadatta and this week’s exercise, one person found it hard to understand how one can just ‘be’. It was suggested that he tries to be still and just focus on the simple feeling of “I Am”, noticing where it resides in the body and trying to stay with it for as long as possible.
Although we did not have time to discuss this in the meeting, there was a further written response to the questions relating to the following quote from Wei Wu Wei: "A School is an efficient instrument for reinforcing the stranglehold of the so-called ego." How does this happen? How can we prevent it happening in our own School? Or, if that is too hard, in our own group? And how are Schools supposed to work in order to help us escape from the prison of attachment?
"A difficult one to answer because Schools are made up of individuals, though usually with a specific aim, as PDO expressed in the quote: ‘A group is usually a pact . . .’ But School members come with different experiences and glimpses/understanding of the Truth and so the teaching, etc. will be working in different ways on aspects of their psychology. It’s complex and we should respect that.
Wei Wu Wei makes a statement that is understandable. With an unenlightened approach to a teaching (whatever it may be), then the ego of the pupil can be reinforced and that, in turn, colours how the teaching is received and assimilated. But his is only a statement and it isn’t a blanket Truth – it is, though, a necessary warning.
When I worked as a lecturer, I had a specific syllabus to deliver, but my students were best served when I really listened to their individual questions/comments/experiences, etc. and observed them as human beings, so helping them to move forward in their practice and understanding. That was at my best; at my worst, I was too cosy in my approach.
Perhaps a School should ‘get to the roots’, asking its members what they need from, say, the material, activities, etc. Listen to them and prepare accordingly.
But every Group could do this, with each member contributing what he or she feels they need right now. It’s so beneficial that we, in the Cheltenham group, tend to organise our own material. I believe one can reap many rewards from that.
This past week has brought back to me how fortunate we Colet members are in having the teachings of PDO, Dr Roles and HH to guide us. If the Society could find a reconnection with a Realised Person this would be so beneficial."