Samadhi Movie, 2017 – Part 1 – “Maya, the Illusion of the Self”

Samadhi is an ancient Sanskrit word, for which there
is no modern equivalent. There is a fundamental challenge with making
a film about Samadhi. Samadhi points to something that can’t be
conveyed on the level of mind. This film is simply the outer manifestation
of my own inner journey. The intention is not to teach you about Samadhi,
or provide information for your mind, but to inspire you to directly discover your true
nature. Samadhi is relevant now more than ever. We are at a time in history where we have
not only forgotten Samadhi, but we have forgotten what we forgot. This forgetting is Maya, the illusion of the
self. As humans most of us live immersed in our
daily lives, with little thought of who we are, why we are here, or where we’re going. Most of us have never realized the true self,
the soul or what the Buddha called annata – that which is beyond name and form, beyond
thinking. As a result we believe we are these limited
bodies. We live in fear, either conscious or unconscious,
that the limited self structure that we are identified with, will die. In today’s world the vast majority of people
who are engaged in religious or spiritual practices such as yoga, prayer, meditation,
chanting or any kind of ritual, are practicing techniques which are conditioned. Which means they are just part of the ego
construct. The seeking and the activity isn’t the problem-
thinking you have found the answer in some external form is the problem. Spirituality in its most common form is no
different than the pathological thinking that is going on everywhere. It is a further agitation of the mind. More human doing, as opposed to human being. The ego construct wants more money, more power,
more love, more of everything. Those on the so-called spiritual path desire
to be more spiritual, more awake, more equanimous, more peaceful, more enlightened. The danger for you watching this film is that
your mind will want to acquire Samadhi . Even more dangerous is that your mind might think
it has acquired Samadhi. Whenever there is a desire to attain something
you can be sure that it is the ego construct at work. Samadhi is not about attaining or adding anything
to yourself. To realize Samadhi is to learn to die before
you die. Life and death are like yin and yang- an inseparable
continuum. Endlessly unfolding, with no beginning and
no end. When we push away death, we also push away
life. When you experience the truth directly of
who you are, there is no longer fear of life or death. We are told who we are by our society and
our culture, and at the same – time we are slaves to the deeper unconscious biological
craving and aversion that governs our choices. The ego construct is nothing more than the
impulse to repeat. It is simply the path that energy once took
and the tendency for the energy to take that path again, whether it is positive or negative
for the organism. There are endless levels of memory or mind,
spirals within spirals. When your consciousness identifies with this
mind or ego construct, it ties you to social conditioning, which you could call the matrix. There are aspects of the ego that we can be
conscious of, but it is the unconscious, the archaic wiring, the primal existential fears,
that are actually driving the whole machine. Endless patterns of grasping towards pleasure
and avoidance of pain are sublimated into pathological behaviours …. our work….
our relationships…. our beliefs, our very thoughts, and our whole way of living. Like cattle, most humans live and die in passive
subjugation, feeding their lives to the matrix. We live lives locked into narrow patterns. Lives often filled with great suffering, and
it never occurs to us that we can actually become free. It is possible to let go of the life that
has been inherited from the past, to live the one that is waiting to come forth through
the inner world. We were all born into this world with biological
conditioned structures, but without self awareness. Often when you look into a young child’s eyes
there is no trace of self, only luminous emptiness. The person one grows into is a mask worn over
consciousness. Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage,
and all the men and women merely players”. In an awakened individual, consciousness shines
through the personality, through the mask. When you are awake, you don’t become identified
with your character. You don’t believe that you are the masks that
you are wearing. But nor do you give up playing a role. When we are identified with our character, our persona this is Maya, the illusion of the self. Samadhi is awakening from the dream of your character in the play of life. Twenty-four hundred years after Plato wrote
the Republic, humanity is still making its way out of Plato’s cave. In fact we may be more transfixed by illusions
than ever. Plato had Socrates describe a group of people
who lived chained in a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. All they could see were shadows projected
on the wall by the things passing in front of a fire which was behind them. This puppet show becomes their world. According to Socrates, the shadows were as
close as the prisoners would ever get to seeing reality. Even after being told about the outside world
they continued to believe that the shadows were all that is. Even if they suspected there was something
more they were unwilling to leave what was familiar. Humanity today is like the people who have
only seen the shadows on the cave wall. The shadows are analogous to our thoughts. The world of thinking is the only world that
we know. But there is another world that is beyond
thinking. Beyond the dualistic mind. Are you willing to leave the cave, to leave
all that you have known to find out the truth of who you are? In order to experience Samadhi it is necessary
to turn attention away from the shadows, away from the thoughts towards the light. When a person is only used to darkness then
they must gradually become accustomed to the light. Like acclimatizing to any new paradigm it
takes time and effort, and a willingness to explore the new, as well as shed the old. The mind can be likened to a trap for consciousness,
a labyrinth or a prison. It is not that you are in prison, you are
the prison. The prison is an illusion. If you are identified with an illusory self,
then you are asleep. Once you are aware of the prison, if you fight
to get out of the illusion, then you are treating the illusion as if it is real and you still
remain asleep, except now the dream becomes a nightmare. You will be chasing and running from shadows
forever. Samadhi is awakening from the dream of the
separate self or the egoic construct. Samadhi is awakening from identification with
the prison that I call me. You can never actually be free, because wherever
you go your prison is there. Awakening is not about get rid of the mind
or the matrix, on the contrary; when you are not identified with it, then you can experience
the play of life more fully, enjoying the show as it is, without craving or fear. In the ancient teachings this was called the
divine game of Leila: the game of playing in duality. Human consciousness is a continuum. On one extreme, humans are identified with
the material self. On the other extreme is Samadhi, the cessation
of self. Every step we take on the continuum towards
Samadhi, brings less suffering. Less suffering does not mean life is free
from pain. Samadhi is beyond the duality of pain and
pleasure. What it means is that there is less mind,
less self creating resistance to whatever unfolds and that resistance is what creates
suffering. Realizing Samadhi even once allows you to
see what is at the other end of the continuum. To see that there is something other than
the material world and self interest. When there is an actual cessation of the self
structure in Samadhi there is no egoic thought, no self, no duality yet there is still the
I am, annata or no self. In that emptiness is the dawn of prajna or
wisdom- the understanding that the immanent self is far beyond the play of duality, beyond
the entire continuum. The immanent self is timeless, unchanging,
always now. Enlightenment is the merging of the primordial
spiral, the ever-changing manifested world or lotus in which time unfolds, with your
timeless being. Your inner wiring grows like an ever-unfolding
flower as you disidentify with the self, becoming a living bridge between the world of time
and the timeless. Merely realizing the immanent self is only
the beginning of one’s path. Most people will have to experience and lose
Samadhi countless times in meditation before they are able to integrate it into other facets
of life. It is not unusual to have profound insights
into the nature of your being during meditation or self inquiry, only to find yourself once
again falling back into old patterns, forgetting the truth of who you are. To realize that stillness or emptiness in
every facet of life, every facet of one’s self, is to become emptiness dancing as all
things. Stillness is not something separate from movement. It is not opposite to movement. In Samadhi stillness is recognized to be identical
with movement, form is identical to emptiness. This is nonsensical to the mind because mind
is the coming into being of duality. Rene Descartes, the father of western philosophy,
is famous for the saying “I think therefore I am”. No other phrase more clearly encapsulates
the fall of civilisation and the full scale identification with the shadows on the cave
wall. Descartes’ error, like the error of almost
all humans, was the equating of fundamental being with thinking. At the beginning of his most famous treatise,
Descartes wrote that almost everything can be called into doubt; he can doubt his senses,
and even his thoughts. Likewise in the Kalama Sutra the Buddha said
that in order to ascertain the truth, one must doubt all traditions, scriptures, teachings
and all of the content of one’s mind and senses. Both of these men started with great scepticism,
but the difference was that Descartes stopped inquiring at the level of thinking, while
the Buddha went deeper- he penetrated beyond the deepest levels of the mind. Maybe if Descartes had gone beyond his thinking
mind, he would have realized his true nature and Western consciousness would be very different
today. Instead, Descartes described the possibility
of an evil demon that could be keeping us under a veil of illusion. Descartes did not recognize this evil demon
for what it was. As in the movie the Matrix, we could all be
hooked up to some elaborate program feeding us an illusory dream world. In the movie, humans lived out their lives
in the matrix, while on another level they were merely batteries, feeding their life
force to the machines which used their energy for their own agenda. People always want to blame something outside
of themselves for the state of the world or for their own unhappiness. Whether it is a person, a particular group
or country, religion or some kind of controlling Illuminati like Descartes’ evil demon, or
the sentient machines in the Matrix. Ironically, the demon that Descartes envisioned
was the very thing that he defined himself by. When you realize Samadhi, it becomes clear
that there is a controller, there is a machine, and evil demon leaching your life day after
day. The machine is you. Your self structure is made up of many little
conditioned sub-programs or little bosses. One little boss that craves food, another
craves money, another status, position, power, sex, intimacy. Another wants consciousness or attention from
others. The desires are literally endless and can
never be satisfied. We spend a lot of our time and energy decorating
our prisons, succumbing to pressures to improve our masks, and feeding the little bosses,
making them more powerful. Like drug addicts, the more we try to satisfy
the little bosses, the more we end up craving. The path to freedom is not self improvement,
or somehow satisfying the self’s agenda, but it’s a dropping of the self’s agenda
altogether. Some people fear that awakening their true
nature will mean that they lose their individuality and enjoyment of life. Actually, the opposite is true; the unique
individuation of the soul can only be expressed when the conditioned self is overcome. Because we remain asleep in the matrix most
of us never find out what the soul actually wants to express. The path to Samadhi involves meditation, which
is both observing the conditioned self; that which changes, and realizing your true nature;
that which does not change. When you come to your still point, the source
of your being, then you await further instructions without any insistence on how your outer world
has to change. Not my will, but higher will be done. If the mind only tries to change the outer
world to conform with some idea of what you think the path should be, it is like trying
to change the image in a mirror by manipulating the reflection. To make the image in a mirror smile you obviously
can’t manipulate the reflection, you have to realize the you that is the authentic source
of the reflection. Once you realize the authentic self, it doesn’t
mean that anything on the outside necessarily needs to change. What changes is the conscious, intelligent,
inner energy or prana which is freed from conditioned patterns and becomes available
to be directed by the soul. You can only become aware of the soul’s
purpose when you are able to watch the conditioned self and its endless pursuits, and let them
go. In Greek mythology, it was said that the gods
condemned Sisyphus to repeat a meaningless task for all eternity. His task was to endlessly push a boulder up
a mountain, only to have it roll down again. The French existentialist and Nobel Prize winning
author, Albert Camus, saw the situation of Sisyphus as a metaphor for humanity. He asked the question, ‘How can we find
meaning in this absurd existence?’. As humans we are toiling endlessly, building
for a tomorrow that never arrives, and then we die. If we truly realize this truth then we will
either go mad if we are identified with our egoic personas, or we will awaken and become
free. We can never succeed in the outer struggle,
because it is just a reflection of our inner world. The cosmic joke, the absurdity of the situation
becomes clear when there is a complete and utter failure of the egoic self to awaken
through its futile pursuits. In Zen there is a saying, “Before enlightenment
chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment chop wood, carry water”. Before enlightenment one must roll the ball
up the hill, after enlightenment one must also roll the ball up the hill. What has changed? The inner resistance to what is. The struggle has been dropped, or rather the
one who struggles has been realized to be illusory. The individual will or individual mind and
divine will, or higher mind, are aligned. Samadhi is ultimately a dropping of all inner
resistance – to all changing phenomena, without exception. The one who is able to realize inner peace,
irrespective of circumstance has attained true Samadhi. You drop resistance not because you condone
one thing or another, but so that your inner freedom is not contingent on the outer. It’s important to note that when we accept
reality as it is, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we stop taking action in the world,
or we become meditating pacifists. Actually the opposite can be true; when we’re
free to act without being driven by unconscious motives, then it is possible to act in alignment
with the Tao, with the full force of our inner energy behind us. Many will argue that in order to change the
world and bring about peace we need to fight harder against our perceived enemies. Fighting for peace is like shouting for silence;
it just creates more of what you don’t want. These days there is a war against everything:
a war against terror, a war against disease, a war against hunger. Every war is actually a war against ourselves. The fight is part of a collective delusion. We say that we want peace, but we continue
to elect leaders who engage in war. We lie to ourselves saying that we are for
human rights, but continue to buy products made in sweatshops. We say we want clean air, but we continue
to pollute. We want science to cure us of cancer but won’t
change our self-destructive habitual behaviours that make us more likely to be sick. We delude ourselves that we are promoting
a better life. We don’t want to see our hidden parts that
are condoning suffering and death. The belief that we can win a war against cancer,
hunger, terror, or any enemy that was created by our own thinking and behaviour, actually
lets us continue to delude ourselves that we don’t have to change the way that we
operate on this planet. The inner world is where the revolution must
first take place. Only when we can directly feel the spiral
of life within will the outer world come into alignment with the Tao. Until then, anything we do will add to the
chaos already created by the mind. War and peace arise together in an endless
dance; they are one continuum. One half cannot exist without the other. Just as light cannot exist without dark, and
up cannot exist without down. The world seems to want light without darkness,
fullness without emptiness, happiness without sadness. The more the mind gets involved, the more
fragmented the world becomes. Every solution that comes from the egoic mind
is driven by the idea that there is a problem, and the solution becomes an even greater problem
than what it was trying to solve. What you resist persists. Human ingenuity creates new antibiotics only
to find nature getting more cunning as bacteria gets stronger. Despite our best efforts in the ongoing fight,
the prevalence of cancer is actually increasing, the number of hungry people in the world steadily
grows, the number of terrorist attacks worldwide continues to rise. What’s wrong with our approach? Like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice from Goethe’s
poem, we have taken hold of a great power, but do not have the wisdom to wield it. The problem is that we do not understand the
tool that we are using. We do not understand the human mind and its
proper role and purpose. The crisis is born of the limited conditioned
way in which we think, the way we feel and experience life. Our rationalism has robbed us of our ability
to recognize and experience the wisdom of many ancient cultures. Our egoic thinking has robbed us of the ability
to feel the depth and profound sacredness of life, the numinosity of life, and to realize
entirely different levels of consciousness, which are now almost lost to humanity. In the ancient Egyptian tradition, Neters
were archetypal forms whose characteristics could be embodied by those who purified their
physical and spiritual bodies in such a way that they were fit to house higher consciousnesses. The original Neter, or the divine principle
of this wisdom was known as Thoth or Tehuti. Often depicted as a scribe with the head of
a bird or Ibis, and represented the origin of all knowledge and wisdom. Thoth could be described as the cosmic principle
of thinking or thought. Thoth gave us language, concepts, writing,
mathematics, and all the arts and manifestations of the mind. Only those who had gone through special training
were allowed to access Thoth’s sacred knowledge. The book of Thoth is not a physical book,
but is the wisdom of the akashic or etheric realm. Legend tells that Thoth’s knowledge was
deeply hidden in a secret place within every human being, and was protected by a golden
serpent. The archetypal or perennial myth of the serpent
or dragon guarding a treasure is one that permeates many cultures and has been called
by names such as kundalini shakti, chi, holy spirit, and inner energy. The golden serpent is the egoic construct
which is bound in the inner energies and until it is mastered and overcome, the soul will
never be able to attain true wisdom. It was said that the book of Thoth brought
nothing but suffering to any individual who read it, even though they would find the secrets
of the gods themselves and all that is hidden within the stars. What must be understood is that the book brought
suffering to any individual who read it, any ego that tried to control it. In the Egyptian tradition awakened consciousness
was represented by Osiris. Without this awakened consciousness, any knowledge
or understanding obtained by the limited self would be dangerous, disconnected from higher
wisdom. The eye of Horus had to be open. The esoteric meaning that we find here is
similar to the more familiar story of “the fall” in the garden of Eden. The book of Thoth parallels the book of knowledge
of good and evil whose fruit Adam and Eve were tempted to eat. Humanity of course has already eaten the forbidden
fruit, already opened the book of Thoth, and has been cast out of the garden. The serpent is a metaphor for the primordial
spiral that extends from the microcosm to the macrocosm. Today the serpent is living as you. It is the egoic mind expressed as the manifested
world. We have never before had access to so much
knowledge. We have gone deep into the material world,
even finding the so-called God particle, but we have never been more limited, more ignorant
of who we are, how to live, and we do not understand the mechanism by which we create
suffering. Our thinking has created the world as it is
now. Whenever we label something as good or bad,
or create preference in our mind it is due to the coming into being of egoic structures
or self interests. The solution is not to fight for peace or
conquer nature, but to simply recognize the truth; that the very existence of the ego
structure creates duality, a split between self and other, mine and yours, man and nature,
inner and outer. The ego is violence; it requires a barrier,
a boundary from the other in order to be. Without ego there is no war against anything. There is no hubris, there is no overreaching
nature to create profit. These external crises in our world reflect
a serious inner crises; we don’t know who we are. We are completely identified with our egoic
identities, consumed by fears and are cut off from our true nature. Races, religions, countries, political affiliations,
any group that we belong to, all reinforce our egoic identities. Almost every group that exists on the planet
today wants to claim its perspective as true and correct, as we do on an individual level. By claiming the truth as its own, the group
perpetuates its own existence in the same way that an ego or self structure defines
itself against other. Now more than ever different realities and
polarized belief systems are co-existing on earth. It is possible for different people to experience
completely different thoughts and emotional reactions to the very same external phenomena. In the same way, samsara and nirvana, heaven
and hell, are two different dimensions occupying the very same world. An event that may appear apocalyptic to one
person, could be seen as a blessing to another. So what is becoming obvious is that your external
circumstances don’t have to affect your inner world in any particular way. To realize Samadhi is to become a self-propelled
wheel, to become autonomous, a universe unto oneself. Your experience of life is not contingent
on changing phenomena. An analogy can be made with Metatron’s cube. Metatron is mentioned in various ancient Christian,
Islamic and Jewish texts, and is archetypally related to the Egyptian Neter Thoth, as well
as Hermes Trismegistus of Greece. Metatron is intimately connected with the
tetragrammaton. The tetragrammaton is the fundamental geometric
pattern, the template or primordial emanation of physical reality, which has been called
the word of God or Logos. Here we see a two dimensional representation
of the figure, but if you look a certain way, you see a three D cube. When you see the cube, nothing has changed
in the figure, but your mind has added a new dimension to your seeing. Dimensionality or one’s perspective is simply
a matter of becoming habituated to a new way of perceiving the world. Upon realizing Samadhi we become free of perspective,
or free to create new perspectives, because there is no self invested in or attached to
a particular viewpoint. The greatest minds in human history have often
pointed to levels of thought beyond the limited self structure. Einstein said “The true measure of a human
being is determined primarily by the measure and sense in which he has attained liberation
from the self.” So it’s not that thinking and the existence
of the self is bad, thinking is a wonderful tool when the mind is in service to the heart. In Vedanta it is said that the mind makes
a good servant but a poor master. The ego perpetually filters reality through
language and labels, and is constantly judging. Preferring one thing over another. When the mind and senses are your master,
they will create endless suffering, endless craving and aversion, locking us into the
matrix of thinking. If you want to realize Samadhi, do not judge
your thoughts as good or bad, but find out who you are prior to thought, prior to the
senses. When all labels are dropped then it is possible
to see things as they are. The moment a child is told what a bird is,
if they believe what they’re told then they never see a bird again. They only see their thoughts. Most people think that they are free, conscious
and awake. If you believe you are already awake, then
why would you do the difficult work to attain what you believe you already have? Before it becomes possible to awaken, it is
necessary to accept that you are asleep, living in the matrix. Examine your life honestly, without lying
to yourself. Are you able to stop your robotic, repetitive
life patterns if you want to? Can you stop seeking pleasure and avoiding
pain, are you addicted to certain foods, activities, pastimes? Are you constantly judging, blaming, criticizing
yourself and others? Does your mind incessantly seek out stimulus,
or are you completely fulfilled just being in silence? Do you react to how people think about you? Are you seeking approval, positive reinforcement? Do you somehow sabotage situations in your
life? Most people will experience their lives the
same way today as they will tomorrow and a year from now, and ten years from now. When you begin to observe your robot-like
nature you become more awake. You begin to recognize the depth of the problem. You are completely and utterly asleep, lost
in a dream. Like the inhabitants of Plato’s cave, most
who hear this truth will not be willing or capable of changing their lives because they
are attached to their familiar patterns. We go to great lengths justifying our patterns,
burying our heads in the sand rather than facing the truth. We want our saviours, but we are not willing
to get up on the cross ourselves. What are you willing to pay to be free? Realize that if you change your inner world,
you must be prepared to change the outer life. Your old structure and your old identity must
become the dead soil out of which new growth comes. The first step to awakening is to realize
that we are identified with the matrix of the human mind, with the mask. Something within us must hear this truth and
be roused from its slumber. There is a part of you, something timeless,
that has always known the truth. The matrix of the mind distracts us, entertains
us, keeps us endlessly doing, consuming, grasping, in a cycle of craving and aversion with constantly
changing forms, keeping us from the flowering of our consciousness, from our evolutionary
birthright which is Samadhi. Pathological thinking is what passes for normal
life. Your divine essence has become enslaved, identified
with the limited self structure. The great wisdom, the truth of who you are
is buried deep within your being. J. Krishnamurti said, “It is no measure
of one’s health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” Identification with the egoic mind is the
sickness and Samadhi is the cure. The saints, sages and awakened beings throughout
history have all learned the wisdom of self-surrender. How is it possible to realize the true self? When you peer through the veil of Maya, and
let go of the illusory self, what is left?

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