Friend: Hello Magdi; two considerations:
One with respect to the teacher. I do not think a teacher has to have an answer for all questions or have to pretend he knows everything,
and second, does not a teacher have to deal with a question according to the understanding or level of maturity of the one who asks it?
Reply: The teacher is the Self, IS the answer and is not a person with personal knowledge. There is nothing to pretend.
And, yes, the answer is tailored to the capacity/maturity of student. It is a mind to mind teaching. The teacher’s pointing is sort of below the radar. The dharma is ’embodied’ in/as the teacher. Being in the presence of a teacher is already the teaching.
Friend: When you say that the dharma is embodied as the teacher does it not show that the teacher is infallible? It is one thing to be open to the teaching and another to think that the teacher is infallible
Reply: The teacher is the Self and not as person. The Self is beyond fallibility. Failure and success do not apply to the Self. They are mind conversations.
As long as vasanas remain, the teacher is still on the path and can only teach from his/her relative understanding.
But it is best not to be too concerned about the teacher. Simply follow the guidance that resonates for you.
Friend: It is like saying consciousness is all there is which is true. And then saying since that whatever happens is OK because the teacher and the student are consciousness and there is no mistake not matter if the teacher fails to transmit or not.
This leads to a totall acceptance of the fact that whatever is happening now is what is and could not be otherwise.
Reply: Parrot words are empty and shallow and do not exude the perfume of love and happiness. Conceptual understanding is a trap.
A teacher cannot take you to the summit if he is not there. As long as the understanding is at the conceptual level, it is void of its essence.
Complete acceptance has nothing to do with a teacher. Acceptance goes hand on hand with discernment and intelligence.
Friend: Now if the teacher takes himself to be infallible that is also what happens now even if it is not true
Reply: A true teacher does not take himself to be infallible. That is personal arrogance and ignorance. A true guide is not selling any goods and has no personal aims.
Friend: That was my first question. A teacher does not necessarily know everything and does not have to pretend to know every answer
Reply: A true teacher listens to the question and listens to the answer. There is no pretense.
Friend: He is free to say I do not know
Reply: Yes. To say I don’t know when you don’t know is important.
But a true teacher can speak with certainty about the Self. The teacher knows the Self as she is knowingly the Self. Since he/she abides as the Self. The guru is the Self
Friend: Yes and here lies the confusion. People can perceive the teacher as a person and not the Self
Reply: Yes. The person perceives the teacher as a person. Me and him or me and her. But as one continues to meet the teacher, the perfume of stillness and peace permeates the student and touches him deeply. Sometimes unknowingly.
The experience of the Self reveals the Universality of consciousness. It is not a personal experience.
Friend: Since we all are consciousness, then what is the difference? Is it just consciousness talking to consciousness via
a body mind organism?
Reply: Yes, it is so. Yet, the difference is knowingness.
In ignorance there is a forgetfulness.
We forget that we are the Self when we believe I am a person. Then we feel like a person, and that is the unhappy dream.
While there is no actual difference and indeed, it is consciousness talking to consciousness, the jnani (sage) is in knowingness, effortless knowingness beyond time and space impressions.
On the other hand, the jiva goes back and forth between knowingness and forgetfulness.
Friend: This fundamental knowingness has nothing to do with a person
Reply: There is no person
Friend: Before the appearance of a form, knowingness is there. Is it not so?
Reply: For the sage, the appearance of form does not create a person nor does it induce forgetfulness.
To merely understand these words is not enough. A parrot does not understand the words it utters.
Friend: Yes, for the sage there is no world
Reply: For the sage, time is eternity and space is infinity. The world is my dream.
Friend: For the sage there are no others and for the sage there is no teaching and no one to teach to
Reply: Teaching is being with friends who love the truth and who are contemplating the truth. Its a sweet contemplation
Friend: Which friends? There are no others
In ignorance, a friend is an other.
In the interim understanding, there are no friends.
In wisdom, a friend is your very Self.
Friend: So Self talking to Self is like a song being sung by a river
Reply: Nice metaphor. I will use it. Sounds lovely
Friend: When a seeming person enjoys the hearing of truth, it is just as false as being happy because of a birthday. It has always been there
Reply: The recognition of love and beauty is not false.
The recognition of our inherent innate freedom is not false.
its a happy recognition
Like finding the keys in your pocket. You thought you lost them.
Friend: A happy person is false. There is no person. So who is happy?
when you say causeless happiness, It is what?
Happiness for whom?
Reply: Happiness belongs to happiness and the revelation that Happiness is my very Self goers beyond the mind.
Happiness is happy, like the sun is shining.
It is like meeting a friend that you have not seen in a long time. You are very happy to see them. The happiness that you have always felt for them,. comes to the surface.
The Self is Self knowing. Once you realize you are the Self, you become Self knowing (as long as you do not keep forgetting yourself).
Friend: Yes. But why happiness why not just peace or equanimity?
Reply: Peace, happiness, freedom are like the colors of the rainbow. They are one. Equanimity yes. Wisdom, Clarity, Intelligence, Compassion, Empathy, Love, Beauty
Friend: You are not moved by anything since the world is not
Reply: The world is recognized to be your dream
Friend: And then as a drean it does not give anything because it is false
Reply: Reality is recognized to belong beyond the dream. I AM.
Sat chit Ananda
Friend: Annamalai swami after being with ramana for ten years, it took him 30 years to realize the Self. People think that with a couple of satsangs they are going to get enlightened
Reply: If you are ripe, one word of truth is enough. Like a ripe mango falls off a tree with a light breeze
Friend: Annamalai Swami is an example of someone totally commited to truth and with absolute faith in his guru. Even so it took him 40 years to realize the Self. So he tells us something
that the only way is 100 percent interest. Less than that is not enough.
Some teacher do not seem to address this as important
maybe it was not their experience
maybe they were having a beer and suddenly it happened!
Maybe more than a beer