Fear of stagnation

Omkaradatta's picture



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I've seen people here on Gurusfeet apparently afraid of some such thing like "intellectual stagnation", or of going off on their own and becoming at peace, without any seeking, completely still inside.

This state (it's really the absence of all states) is typically viewed by the ego as being stagnant, static or sterile, a state of empty nothingness. One is standing still, not doing anything, not moving, not changing, not "growing". Progress is ended. This is often seen as a "danger" on the spiritual path. But is it really?

Nisargadatta Maharaj: "Keeping away from all desires and contentment in what comes by itself is a very fruitful state -- a precondition to the state of fullness. Don't distrust its apparent sterility and emptiness. Believe me, it is the satisfaction of desires that breeds misery. Freedom from desires is bliss."

From here, it's obvious that ego fears and distrusts what it sees as sterility, emptiness, static-ness, nothingness. Yet, it is really the golden key to the door out of the world and into your Self -- into the state of awakening, enlightenment, joy, peace and freedom. The mind simply sees 'emptiness' wrongly, based on its attachments, not on reality.

Questioner: The person immersed in the world has a life of many flavours. He weeps, he laughs, loves and hates, desires and fears, suffers and rejoices. The desireless and fearless jnani, what life has he? Is he not left high and dry in his aloofness?

Nisargadatta Maharaj: "His state is not so desolate. It tastes of the pure, uncaused, undiluted bliss. He is happy and fully aware that happiness is his very nature and that he need not do anything, nor strive for anything to secure it. It follows him, more real than the body, nearer than the mind itself."

In order to awaken, the mind has to drop all restless search. This dropping is the end of both the mind and the 'me'. It is universally feared by ego... and for good reason. Ego cannot survive without restless search, without what it views as "personal growth" and progress.

But what's really happening? Thought is spinning endlessly on a hamster-wheel. Nothing really changes, only the mind moves.

Your "personal horizons" are ever unachievable, as all horizons are. The horizons simply stay where they are, in the distance, as you keep moving and trying to get to them, like a donkey chasing a carrot on a stick hanging from its nose. Whether your horizons are broad or narrow, they just are not there at all in reality.

Nisargadatta Maharaj: "You have to give up everything to know that you need nothing, not even your body. Your needs are unreal and your efforts are meaningless."

The search for the rainbow's end is fruitless, useless and futile, an utter waste of time. People are wasting their lives in an agitation motion toward the nonexistent. Given this fact, why move at all?

Questioner: You are giving a certain date to your realisation. It means something did happen to you at that date. What happened?

Nisargadatta Maharaj: The mind ceased producing events. The ancient and ceaseless search stopped -- l wanted nothing, expected nothing -- accepted nothing as my own. There was no 'me' left to strive for.

Let go the fear of stagnation, of remaining the same, of letting go of personal growth and advancement. The apparent progress and movement toward goals is really nothing but the continual maintenance of the ego, a fruitless and empty motion of the mind. Let go of the search, both worldly and spiritual -- allow it to wind down and stop. Rest now, be still, and be free for ever.

P.S. often when told this, people say "I wish I could". See how the mind fools you? Immediately a wish, a future goal, a new horizon is brought in. This mechanism has to be 'seen through' and let go of. Surrender is the only way to peace.