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This book begins by discussing certain terms relevant to the subject matter of this book:
"Personal" means "concerning or affecting a particular person or her / his personality."
"Person" is defined as "a human being."
"Personality" refers to "the complex of all of the attributes - behavioral, temperamental, emotional and mental - that characterize a unique individual."
In the Advaita teachings, the "journey" to Realization begins with a casting aside of all false identities, including identification with the body-mind-personality triad.
To cast aside belief in personas / personalities is to move farther along the "path" to understanding the composite unity ... an understanding that can facilitate the casting aside of belief in anything being "personal" or in anyone or any One being "personal."
That is to say that the "journey" begins not with finding out who you are (or Who / What You Are) but with finding out all that you are not. The identity triad of body-mind-personality must be discarded during the early steps along the "path," well before any final clarity comes about a non-phenomenal identity (or even no identity).
Thus, in the interim along the way, answering the question about "the identity of the Am-ness" can lead to an early level of freedom if the body-mind-personality triad is replaced with the triad of elements-air-energy (a.k.a., "the composite unity").
This book invites the reader to consider this:
What is a tree but a collection of elements that have formed a space in which the consciousness has manifested temporarily and that circulate oxygen? As always, the pointer here is that there is no difference in any "things" on the planet except for the rate at which the energy vibrates.
Thus, a "human" is also a collection of elements with a temporary manifestation of a quantity of conscious-energy and with oxygen circulating into and out of the space. Is there any difference in what is called "a tree" and "a human" at the most basic level? No. Consider also:
A plant / tree uses carbon dioxide and water to make sugar. Oxygen is left over after that process. The plant or tree will use part of the supply of oxygen itself for respiration, but there is more than enough left over which is unwanted and unneeded by the plant.
The surplus, therefore, is released into the atmosphere and provides oxygen for humans and other forms as well. So the tree, as is the case with humans, is composed of a combination of elements; the tree, as is the case with humans, circulates oxygen; and the tree, as is the case with humans, provides a space in which conscious-energy can temporarily manifest.
Yet how many persons are totally free of the influence of ego-state assumption and its accompanying egotism and therefore able to admit that they are no more "special" or "different" or "unique" than the ugliest, most deformed tree on the planet?
How many persons on the planet can never be offended, as is the case with the one that can ask, "WHO - what part of this temporarily manifested unity - can be offended? The oxygen part? Of course not. The energy part? Of course not. The element part? Of course not. Among those three, there is no WHO. There is no part of those three that can be offended, so there is no part of the triad that can be robbed of total freedom and total peace."
The process of casting aside belief in the body and mind and personality as actual identities is a three-step procedure, followed in the teachings here by the other four steps that make up the entire seven-step "path" from identifying with false "I's" to Full Realization and abidance as the Absolute (or that which is beyond).
[The seven steps are not the subject of this book. The full explanation of all of the steps on the "path" can be found in the book "From the I to the Absolute."]
Few will ever seek Realization. Of those who do, most will consider the path to be a four-step process:
1. Discard identification with the body
2. Discard identifying with the content of the mind
3. Discard identifying with all former personas / identities, most especially those that deal with "the worldly"
4. Then, assume the identity of "A Religious Person," or "A Spiritual Person," or "A Spiritual Creature Having a Human Experience," or "One Now At One With God or Brahman or Whatever" or any of the other roles or identities that supposedly identity the "new person" that one has become as a result of all his / her spiritual or religious work and exercises and supposed enlightenment or realization.
Those who believe that the "journey" to Realization is a four-step process will fixate at the point where they assume a religious and / or spiritual identity (a.k.a, non-worldly or noumenal or supreme or Supreme identity).
Yet in that process, they have assumed another identity instead of being free of any and all false identities.
In adopting those new identities, any supposed "improvements" most assuredly "concern or affect a particular person or his / her personality" and they most assuredly refer to a newly-found "complex" with "new attributes" that characterize "a unique individual" who has "changed for the better" and is "different from the way he / she was in the past."
In the process of assuming the identity of "A Religious Person," or "A Spiritual Person," or "A Spiritual Creature Having a Human Experience," or "One Now At One With God or Brahman or Whatever," one has not - by definition - eliminated all personality, personas, and personal identification(s) but has ...
substituted a new identity or identities for one or more former identities
upgraded a former identity:
"I was a bad man, a bad person, but now I am a good man, a good person"
"I was a non-spiritual woman, but now I am a spiritual woman"
"I was some kind of being occupied with worldly, phenomenal things, but now I have transcended beyond this world and am occupied with noumenal things."
All roles are merely ego-states (that is, false identities, stage characters, personas, personalities, etc.) No matter what role is assumed - be it supposedly phenomenal or be it supposedly noumenal - that role is nothing more than an ego-state, a "personal identity" even as the claim is that the identity is a "non-personal identity."
Furthermore, persons who have assumed a spiritual identity will also assume that there are spiritual powers beyond this realm that also have personal traits. Human being(s) here; Supreme Being(s) there.
eBOOK SPECIFICATIONS: 88 pages; Publisher: Henderson Books; Language: English.
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