I’ve been re-reading Talks with Ramana Maharshi the last few days (strange how books suddenly demand to be taken from the shelf). It’s a book I’ve owned for more than 30 years; it is a verbatim account of his talks with visitors to his ashram during the mid-1930s.
His message is simple, yet frustratingly elusive for most of his questioners. You are consciousness – the seer behind sight, the hearer behind hearing, the observer that is with you when you are awake and when you sleep. The mistake we make is believing we are a body.
I can imagine his visitors being inspired by his message and his presence – but soon after, I reckon they quickly got back into their day-to-day struggles of making money and surviving.
So why don’t we ‘get’ it? Why don’t these messages – even from the greatest sages – ever quite stick?
These questions are at the heart of the Time-Light model – and the answer is because there are three ‘selves’ at play, and two of them have to reach a complete understanding of their own processes before they allow consciousness – or the Potential self, as I call it – to shine through.
That’s why spiritual enlightenment, joy, bliss – you name it – comes and goes. Consciousness, or the Potential self, is always there, of course, but it can be like the sun that is sometimes covered by clouds and is not always apparent.
All of life is a move towards understanding, and your Past and Present selves are no different in that. But they must be heard and acknowledged; they can’t be suppressed, subjugated, or even forced into silence by the use of mantras or trance states.
Only when the processes of time-movement are recognised and understood will they stop naturally.