Sunday, March 16, 2008

Jed McKenna on Ramana Maharshi

One of the criteria to judge spiritual leaders for Jed McKenna is: How many people achieved it to "wake up", when following a spiritual leader. Much beloved Ramana failed here like almost all the others. Not many became free from illusions by reading the books or living with the master.

The question "Who I am?" is perfect per se. But what followes is often the opposite of self-inquiry. The masters play the following game: The students have questions, the teacher answers and so on. It's outward, not inward.

This alone helped me to understand, why I have never finished one of Ramana's books. I got bored. It had nothing to do with me and I expected to learn something about me.

Jed McKenna - Spiritual warfare p. 149:"Ask yourself, who I am? - If you do it, you will become enlightened. There is no possible alternative. The only way self-inquiry can fail to work is if you fail to do it. That's pretty important point so I'll say it again: The only way self-inquiry - Ask yourself, Who am I? - can fail to result in enlightenment is if you fail to do it. "

So mosts people don't do the work. They read books, gather knowledge, but self-inquiry does not take place.

To think about this question brings no results, it must be done in writing. All effective thinking must be done in writing. Isn't that all perfectly simple?

Jed McKenna, Spiritual warfare, pg 151:
"We pick our teachers. We get what we wish for. We want cozy, uninterrupted slumber and the dream of spiritual progress, and that's what we get. If all Ramana had ever said was, Ask yourself, Who am I?, if that had been his answer to every single question put to him, then he'd have been the perfect teacher with the perfect teaching, but no one would have ever heard of him and we wouldn't be discussing him now.
.........Self inquiry was not Ramana's core teaching."


Anonymous said...

The idea behind "Who am i" is simply to return to the source of the thought (which is what you yourself are)..if you keep thinking to answer it then you are creating more thoughts and thus straying away from yourself.

Ursula said...

Aha, interesting.

Do I understand this? I don't think so. It's not very practical advice for me.

Marie said...

Very interesting...hmm...

Who am I?

Here's a fun fact. I was watching an awesome program last night about the human body. Of the part of the brain that is devoted to controlling motion, fully half of that is involved with moving just our hands. Half! Isn't that amazing?

No wonder our hands are so sensitive and so important to us!!


Ursula said...

This is in fact amazing.

Marie, I wished I were in CA, then I would still have a few hours more. Bed is already waiting for me.

Hope your weekend was good.



Travis said...

Good post. I have been using the simple practice self-inquiry for about 10 years now, and am fully willing and able to attest to its efficacy. Thank you for spreading the word.

I do not care for Jed McKenna personally, and there is some good evidence that the name is a pen name and most of the stories in his books are fabrications, but his stuff can be entertaining.

I also am not sure that I agree that effective thinking must be written since that pre-supposes that there was no effective thinking prior to writing's invention.

Still, very good post. Clear and precise.

Thanks, again!