Fraught with problems from many sides, millions of people are living with unhappiness. Books like “10 Steps to Happy Living” help a little but cannot bring about a radical change. Reflective people know that the robust solution lies elsewhere. It is a matter of shedding all the burden that the mind accumulates in its attempt to reach happiness.

The human mind is habituated to finding happiness through external means that harbour illusions. One of the major illusions is the feeling that working through the mind’s conventional ways one can find lasting peace. Though some Masters caution people about this deception, it is extremely difficult to free oneself from that illusion. Only through growing self-awareness and the inner freedom can one begin to dissolve the deception. It is a matter of unburdening the mind from its attempt to seek the change through externalization – that is, through attachment to religious systems, theologies, meditative techniques, philosophic intellectualism, or through their opposites such as atheism and agnosticism.

The Primary Factors
In the vast majority of human beings, the present tendency to solve psychological problems is by running thoughts, not realizing that that is the very region which functions as the breeding ground for problems. Even in the field of psychiatry the same unfortunate approach prevails. This is vindicated by the fact that the psychiatrists themselves fall prey to those problems that they are trying to solve in their patients! In contrast, the Enlightened Masters function from a quantum shift and are totally beyond that fallible region. The Masters act as catalysts to their listeners and help them take an inward journey to discover what lies behind the turbulent mind. Even from a mild touch of that holistic region, the earnest listener is able to move towards dissolving the problems rather than solving the problems. That state of ‘no problem’ is the very source of unqualified love. Only such love can help people live vibrantly and not waste their energy in endlessly battling with the problems. Merely following an injunction like “Love thy neighbor as thyself” cannot bring about that unconditional love. What is needed is a radical transformation of the mind so pure love can spring as a natural outpouring of that holistic state.

The fundamental cause of psychological problems is unawareness of one’s slavery to the thought process – the process in which self-importance, the ‘I’, is the dominant factor. That is how people allow the habitual thought to form the ego and be well grounded in it by the time they reach teenage. The strange fact is: unawareness produces the ego and the ego in turn strengthens the unawareness! This vicious circle is what keeps the sad state of affairs continuing in human beings century upon centuries. So, if unawareness is the fundamental malady, only self-awareness can cure it. The question then is “How does it come in?”

The Inward Perception
Once we see that self-awareness is the clearing agent, our attention begins to turn inward. There is an earnestness in removing the obstacles that lie in the way of such awareness. Recognizing the obstacles itself is part of that self-awareness. A confidence builds up and it opens the way to deeper awareness. Simultaneously, there is an outgoing affection – a love in which nothing is expected in return. The all-encompassing presence of Divinity is felt as a matter of first-hand experience and not through theological concepts. Simultaneously, we sense glorious life flowing through us. Religious attachment, sectarian beliefs and pet conclusions no longer interfere with one’s perception. Such things as atheism and agnosticism too drop off. There is a purity in that aloneness untouched by the ego's corrupt ways.

J Krishnamurti said, “In the space which thought creates around itself there is no love. This space divides man from man, and in it is all the becoming, the battle of life, the agony and fear. Meditation is the ending of this space, the ending of the ‘me’. Then relationship has quite a different meaning, for in that space which is not made up by thought, the other does not exist, for you do not exist. Meditation then is not the pursuit of some vision, however sanctified by tradition. Rather it is the endless space where thought cannot enter.”

The Near Death Experience
What can add momentum to the process of self-awareness is the exposure to the Enlightened Masters’ messages. As they do not insist on any Dos and Don’ts, the messages add no additional burden to the already heavy load that people carry. There is a deflation of the inward pressure leading to a stable base for lasting peace. The same can also happen listening to the accounts of those who go through a Near Death Experience. Anita Moorjani had such an experience and expressed her afterlife perception in a wonderful book entitled “Dying To Be Me”. Listening to her, people can understand how they collect a lot of unnecessary burden either through religious following or through wanting to enhance their image. She says, ”. . . . . . the greatest truths of the universe don't lie outside, in the study of the stars and the planets. They lie deep within us, in the magnificence of our heart, mind, and soul. Until we understand what is within, we can't understand what is without.”

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Author's Bio: 

Gopalakrishnan T. Chandrasekaran was born in Madras (now Chennai), India. He received his doctoral degree in Coastal Engineering from the North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA in 1978; served on the research and teaching faculty of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, the North Carolina State University and the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait.

Aside from his professional involvements, he was interested in the philosophic issues of life for the last forty years or so. This led him to the messages of Ramana Maharishi, Lao Tzu, J Krishnamurthy, UG Krishnamurthy, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Eckhart Tolle, Marcus Aurelius and similar Masters. His book entitled “In Quest of the Deeper Self” is the outcome of his reflections on those and his wish to share the outcome with others.

Gopalakrishnan is a member of the International Association for Near Death Studies, Durham, NC, USA. He lives in Kodaikanal, a hill town in the southern part of India, with his wife Banumathy. Blog: