Pieces Of A Puzzle?

Just some unrelated quotes/thoughts which Ive come across at random points in time, but felt like they seemed to form part of a bigger picture, like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle :-) Trying to put them together here. Some may look a bit complex... the reader is adequately warned here; this page is not recommended for idle time pass!

You need not read them in sequence... if one entry does not hold your interest, try reading the next one, or maybe the last one...

"You discover who you really are by first understanding who you
are not. You are not your collected opinions, beliefs, habits,
experiences, defeats, pains. You are a timeless Spiritual Self,
which you will discover for yourself with lasting delight."

Feelings like fear, sadness, anger, are all interpretations of the mind. They are like dust on the mirror, which prevent us from seeing our true self. Clean them by  meditation, which is a much hyped up word having so many different variations given by different people, but in its purest form is actually nothing but practicing constant awareness, not just while sitting in one place but during all our normal day to day activities. This dust has the nature of continuosly dissipating automatically, manifesting as some kind of thoughts or behaviour. By not reacting and simply being aware and equanimous, new dust stops getting accumulated, and over time, the true Self will reveal itself. Not one sudden bright day but slowly and incrementally. And this is easily reversible... even when a person comes closer to his Self, it is only temporary, he always has the vulnerabilty to fall back into the games of the mind if his awareness reduces.

This is what the Gita says about the Self:

"Weapons cleave it not, fire burns it not, water drenches it not, and wind dries it not."

The full text... Lord Krishna says...

Why grieve for those for whom no grief is due, and yet profess wisdom? The wise grieve neither for the dead, nor the living.

There was never a time when I was not, nor thou;
There will never be a time when any of us shall cease to be

As the soul experiences in this body infancy, youth and old age, So finally it passes to another. The wise have no delusion about this.

That which is not, shall never be. That which is shall never cease to be. To the wise these truths are self evident.

The Spirit, which pervades all that we see, is imperishable. Nothing can destroy the Spirit.

As a man discards his threadbare clothes and puts on new,
So the Spirit throws off its worn-out bodies and takes fresh ones.

Weapons cleave it not, fire burns it not, water drenches it not, and wind dries it not.


It is eternal, all-pervading,unchanging, immovable and most ancient. It is named the unmanifest, the unthinkable, the immutable.


Wherefore knowing the Spirit as such thou hast no cause to grieve.

"Death is just another phase in life"  

 A zen story


Twin boys in the womb were involved in a spirited discussion.

"Are the walls getting smaller or are you getting bigger?" asked one twin.

"Can't tell, but it sure is getting crowded," said the other.

"Kind of a dull life."

"Oh, not bad. Don't have to breathe or eat. Just float around in this warm bath."

"But is this all there is to existence?"

"Don't worry yourself."

"I heard about something called birth."

"Rumors. Now move your leg and shut up so I can get some sleep."

In the early hours next morning a horrendous contraction awoke the twins.

"It's an earthquake!" shouted one.

"The house is collapsing," said the other.

"I'm slipping," shouted one.

"Where are you going?"

"Don't know. Help me."

"I can't"

"Goodbye brother. I am going ... going."

"Oh, this is horrible," moaned the remaining twin as he felt himself begining to slide. "This is surely the end of everything."


Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most."

- Buddha

The Fourth State Of Consciousness
By Glen Kezwer

Indian philosophy’s focus is to determine the nature of that spirit or self which is the centre of everything, the animating force which makes a person alive, alert and aware.

It is consciousness, variously called the Self, Knower, Seer, Experiencer or the Witness. It knows no distinction of gender, nationality, race or religion. It is the unchanging and all-pervading, transcending the limitations of time and space, birth and death. Ultimately it is the substratum or essence of the entire manifest universe.

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan wrote: "The philosophic attempt to determine the nature of reality may start with the thinking self or the objects of thought. In India the interest of philosophy is in the self of man. Where the vision is turned outward, the rush of fleeting events engages the mind... Within man is the spirit that is the centre of everything."

Atmanam viddhi or ‘Know the Self’ has become the rallying cry of sages who for millennia have represented the highest of Indian thought. The Self is beyond the reach of the senses. So while we perceive the world around us, we are unable to perceive the Self which is its source. If the Self is indescribable, how are we to know it?

Scriptures containing the message of realised ones can help us in this respect. In the Bhagavad Gita Arjuna earnestly seeks to know the Self in order to understand what action he should take on the battlefield at Kurukshetra. Responding to Arjuna’s queries, Krishna, the realised one, describes the Self: "The Self, the Spirit dwelling within this body, is always identical with the Supreme Being. It is free from identification with the body and mind. It is the Seer, the Witness, the true Guide, the Lord and supporter of all...

It cannot be cut by weapons, burnt by fire, wet by water, or dried by the wind. The Self, being ancient and everlasting, never takes birth and never dies... He who has realised Oneness with the Supreme Being, who permeates all and in whom all exist, attains the vision of immortality and reaches the supreme state."

Since the Self is real and permanent, it is not within the purview of the ordinary mind or intellect of a human being. The mind of a human being experiences three states of consciousness: Waking, sleeping and dreaming. The dream state of consciousness is not considered to be real because, upon awakening, we realise that the world we experienced in the dream state does not fit in with the waking state world. Because there are discrepancies between these two worlds, we reject the dream state as unreal.

The same can also be said of the waking state world, which we only assume to be real because we have no other standard with which to compare it. And certainly the sleep state world cannot be considered real because no world whatsoever is being perceived at the time of sleep. Thus not one of the three states of mind is real. Furthermore, it is obvious that none of these states is permanent.

In seeking what is real and permanent, we must unfold a fourth state of consciousness which both goes beyond and at the same time includes these three.

The fourth state is that which manifests itself in meditation where the normal functioning of the mind is transcended. When we close our eyes in meditation, the forms and events of the outside world no longer impinge on our consciousness, and we are able to focus our attention on our inner Self which is immortal and inPisible. Through continued practice of meditation we come to realise that not only is this Self our own essential nature, but it also permeates all of manifest creation.

(The writer is a physicist from Canada. He lives in Himachal Pradesh and is author of the book Meditation, Oneness and Physics)  

"Picture yourself standing on the shores of a lake, watching your
reflection in the restless waters. If you take the reflection as
being you, anxiety arises, for the waters constantly change and
distort the image. You feel insecure, with neither identity nor
stability. But when you see the image as an image, when you no
longer identify yourself with the changing reflections, trouble
ceases forever."

"A woman wanted to know how to deal with anger. I asked when anger arose whose anger it was. She said it was hers. Well, if it really was her anger, then she should be able to tell it to go away, shouldnt she? But it really isn't hers to command. Holding on to anger as a personal possession will cause suffering. If anger really belonged to us, it would have to obey us. If it doesn't obey us, that means it's only a deception. Don't fall for it. Whenever the mind is happy or sad, don't fall for it. Its all a deception." - Ajahn Chah (http://www.bodhinyanarama.net.nz/acquote.htm )

When I was small... I loved butterflies... so brilliant and colorful... and wanted to catch them so that I could admire them closely. The more I chased after them, the more they flew away from me. Eventually I realised that I just had to stay still, and they would come flitting around me. Then I found that with this stillness, there was no need to catch them at all, they would themselves settle on a flower next to me and I could just watch them. As I grew older, I realised that many things in life are like that. Of course theres no point in being still just because you are hoping that they would come and settle down near you... its the stillness of the mind that matters.

Pitcher Plant

The mountain sweet pitcher plant is carnivorous. A sweet aroma permeates the air. Attracted to the alluring source, the insect discovers nectar drops clinging to the hooded margins of a boldly-patterned plant. The insect lands, drinks, and walks around and down inside the hood. The nectar meal is rich, nourishing and filling. The insect turns around to climb up and out but its path is blocked by a wall of downward-pointing hairs. The insect is now hopelessly trapped. Unaware of its fate, the insect turns around and walks farther into the plant, maybe drinking some more nector. Eventually, it reaches a smooth, waxy area where it can’t maintain a foothold, slips and falls into the water-filled abyss and drowns. The pitcher plant has snared another meal.

Often external objects act like the pitcher plant, and though we know it isnt good, we keep allowing our minds to trap us in it! Many times I experience this inner struggle and sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. By saying I lose, I mean I do something I dont really want to do - for eg I overeat something just because it is tasty though I know my body dosent need it. When I say I win, I dont just mean I stop or avoid eating, it also means I dont regret about what Im missing. And I have realised that these victories or defeats dont really matter over time, I cant say I won 99 times so its ok to lose this one time, the past is buried in the sands of time and all that matters is the present.

A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner.

"Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time."

When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, "The one I feed the most" 

"No action is more fascinating than the action of self-
transformation. Nothing on earth can compare with its
drama or its value. In Athens, one day, Diogenes was asked
whether he was going to attend the athletic contests at the
local arena. Diogenes replied that his favorite contest was
to wrestle with and to win over his own nature."

In the movie Beautiful Mind,  its fantastic the way he copes up with the creations of his mind.

He says  "you feed the past and it becomes your present"   

Fiinally he ignores the imaginary people no matter how much they convince him to get him to talk to them... esp that sweet little girl with a cute smile and her arms open ... or that military guy who shouts at him him to convince him.

I felt that all of us are schezophrenics in some way or the other (of course in a much milder way)... only thing is the objects are not always people but something else... for eg in my case its my aversion to fruits... a notion Ive fed for the past 27 years  (atleast) ... and in some other cases, its a cigarrette.

In the 17th century, the French philosopher René Descartes came up with the "explanation for it all": "I think, therefore I am".


From http://www.innerself.com/Reflections/i_think.htm :

I feel that his statement really is a fill-in-the-blanks statement. "I think _________, therefore I am _____________." In other words, "I think I am angry, therefore I am angry." "I think I am tired, therefore I am tired." "I think I am busy, therefore I am busy."


Buddha said, "All we are is a result of what we have thought"

Pavlovs experiment with a dog: When presented food (the unconditioned stimulus), the dog salivates (an unconditioned response). Initially, a loud bell evokes no similar response. However, after the bell is paired with the food on several trials, the bell alone will generate salivation. The bell is now a conditioned stimulus, and salivation to it is a conditioned response.

Think about the implications of this. The dog is a simple creature... compared to us humans. We have built a much more complex system of conditioned responses *throughout* our lives. Some of this conditioning is part of our DNA, some of it is from inputs we get from people around us / society, TV, etc and some of it we are continuosly adding from own experiences.

I used to love sweets. Jamoons, rasmalai... esp ice creams used to make my mouth water. I knew its bad for me since I am overweight... I tried hard to resist when Im at a party surrounded by sweets, but at one point, I used to give up and starts gulping them down.

Try an expt... take a sweet and touch it at the center of your tongue. You will surprised to see that you will not be able to make out that its sweet. Actually there are only 3 points on your tongue that can actually taste sweet. At the tip, and at the sides. The taste of sweetness is just a series of biochemical reactions produced by the neurons on your tongue. The mind creates the illusion that the *** whole tongue ***, in fact the whole mouth is savouring the sweetness.

Add to this fact, the fact about the way the mind is conditioned, and what do you get? The pleasure is associated with the sweetness, and I reinforce it everytime I eat more sweets. Whenever I finish eating a sweet, behind the scenes, the mind is craving for these biochemical reactions... and it translates to the reaction that I feel like eating just "one more sweet".

Now with this knowledge, I havent stopped eating sweets. I have merely reduced my attachment, and eat only how much my 'conscience' allows me to.

"Q. What is wrong with my life?

A. There is too much of you in it."

"A student once asked me, 'I find it hard to believe that I live in
a state of psychic hypnosis, as you teach. I think I am a perfectly
conscious inPidual.'

My answer was as follows: 'A simple experiment will prove two facts
to you-that hypnosis is a fact for mankind-that you can awaken from
it. The next time you are alone, become alertly aware of yourself.
Be conscious of your body, surroundings, thoughts, and feelings. As
Gurdjieff would say, 'remember yourself.' An hour later, be aware of
yourself again. Once more, be conscious of everything outside and
inside you. You will make a startling discovery. During the interval
between your two periods of awareness, you were in a state of psychic
sleep; you did not know that you existed. The interval passed without
you being consciously within it.'

The reader can experiment for himself right now. Pause in your reading
of this book to be aware of yourself as outlined in the previous
paragraphs. An hour later, awaken to yourself again. Do this until you
get it. Nothing will surprise you more or be more beneficial."


Asked Joyce, 'Please give us something we need.'

'When told you dwell in a state of psychic hypnosis, do not
take it as mere words which seem somewhat critical. Take it
as the actual condition which controls every minute of your
day. You do not as yet know what it means to be hypnotized,
for you dwell in imagination, not reality, but do not realize
this. You do not know what it means to be hypnotized, for you
have not as yet caught a glimpse of the awakened state. Try to
snap yourself out of the spell, after which comparison will
clearly reveal the fact of psychic hypnosis.'

'How can we see and snap this unconscious spell?'

‘By regularly standing outside of yourself and looking back
at your daily behavior. With tremendous honesty, see your need
to feel superior to others, see how you fear disturbance of your
favorite ways, see how little you really know about yourself.
Each sincere effort at this changes the kind of human being you

"Q. How can we tell when we are unaware of ourselves?

A. Nothing is simpler. Whenever you feel worried, nervous,
pressured, you are living from imagination, not from aware-
ness. These negativities do not control a conscious man."

"Living in harmony with universal principles can be compared with
playing the piano. We know when we are following the music and we
know when we strike a wrong note. We can hear the difference
immediately. Likewise, when feeling discord in our lives, we know
we have failed to play the cosmic composition correctly. But the
disharmony need not continue. We were not made for failure. We can
look again and practice some more. We can learn to play it rightly."

Knowledge is a process of piling up facts;
wisdom lies in their simplification.
- Martin Fischer