"Fallen" souls, spiritual world. My conversation with Hari

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"Fallen" souls, spiritual world. My conversation with Hari

Post by harsi » Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:24 am

Harshi: Dear Hari, I had recently a philosophical exchange on a Facebook site, where many persons put forward that understanding of us as being "fallen" souls. I wrote in regard to this something I'm convinced of also because I got inspired by you to view things in this way. Couldn't we view it also in this way?

"If you consider yourself "fallen" and not that what you really are in your true, your spiritual nature, than you "will always remain there" in that false, that unatural - from the point of view of that what you realy are - in that for you and your mind conditioning state. You will always consider yourself not good enough, not qualified enough, not this, not that. Thus you make the big mistake of never being able of getting out of this for you self perpetuating prophecy that you would be "fallen" and would always need the so called "mercy" of another one who would be more "advanced", more "pure", more this and that and so on. In your natural state you are already as pure, as divine, as good as one can get.

You'll just would have to be - become again - aware of it and live your life according to that true awareness and state you are already. That's all. Srila Prabhupada did that in an exemplary way therefore I like him as a person and try to follow his good example. Why you do not try to do the same if you have also such good feelings and respect for that great personality who IS one of Us. Us who are as good, as divine, as pure, as knowledgable, as blissful, as one can get already in our natural, our spiritual, our divine, state as spiritual entities, spirit souls. Live it and be happy!" >>>

Hari answered:
"Well, sure, what you said is ok, but the idea that we are an “us” and one in that sense is far too advanced for devotees to handle. I would reword what you wrote to say “we” instead of “you” and use words like our and so on to sound more accommodating and less judgmental since they will not like that!"

Harshi: Thank you Hari for the inspiring words. Although I feel the way I feel there remains a small amount of insecurity if I said it the right way.

"You can never say everything in the right way to any group of people, because everyone hears what they want to hear first, and only the more inquisitive seek out the meaning in the expressions of other people..."

Harshi: In all this discussion about us being fallen from the spiritual world, the way all this devotees argue, remains the big question how and why would one do so from a place of spiritual perfection. Devotees argue its due to our free will which we would have misused somehow. Okay but even than its our free will which is our "birth right" so called. Why call it something misused? It's a free choice which we make in order to grow and understand something. Isn't it so?

"I think this highlights the fundamental error in philosophy, namely, that there is a atomic particle of soul in an otherwise dead body. In this idea, we are all entrapped by maya and matter, so we must have gotten entrapped somehow, but why would we? And the discussion goes on and on around this point because any thinking person would naturally question all this.

If however, we are conscious spirit that permeates whatever vehicle we choose to inhabit, or feel we have to inhabit according to who we are and where we are at, because consciousness is living energy that is always moving, the question as to why becomes more like “not good enough,” which makes sense, and also explains how there is no static state that can never change and thus we avoid the entire issue.

Or else the entire thing is a fantasy and we should stop talking about it! Regardless, I have little interest in this subject beyond what I have spoken in previous lectures..."

Harshi: And regarding the us as being a category of us all who are in fact the energy of the Supreme, at least I view it that way, devotees indeed have a hard time to handle this and use it also in regard to Prabhupada.

"This is due to their being basically impersonal. He is not a person, he is an icon."

Harshi: Someone viewed my way of including Prabhupada to be one of us as a mistake, an offense.

"And in their impersonal understanding, the category of spirit has higher and lower, and there are those who could never be what they seem to be when they are amongst us. Why would it be bad for Prabhupada to be in an “us?” We include God in this us, so why not him? We do not need to include Prabhupada in our fallen category because the category does not exist. The concept is simply that we are all here. The word and idea of fallen is a human one expressing our opinions of ourselves. Fallen = Not good enough. However, not good enough ideas are easily seen as false, whereas “fallen” ideas condemn us to a location from which we can hardly rise out."

Harshi: You speak about there would be "no static state" for us.

"I meant that energy is always flowing and we are evolving and transforming whether we want to or not."

Harshi: Would you say that there is no such thing as a spiritual world where there is an end to samsara, this so called cycle of birth and death?

"Of course there is a spiritual world. My problem is the way people see the world we are now in. You already knew that..."

Harshi: I just try to understand where you are at with your explaining things in this way. As you know all this engagement in spiritual life has, at least that was or is the understanding in this circles who practice such things, to get a kind of liberation whatever that means in practice which differs also according to the tradition you are in, from the cycles of birth and death.

"I do not use the term liberation. I do not use the term cycle of birth and death because neither birth nor death is the significant factor in life. Life is, and our flow through it can be either conscious or unconscious. The more we tune to the spiritual energy, the more our consciousness flows towards the divine. I do not wish to repeat the same explanations over again."

Harshi: Now if there is no such thing as a "liberation" or a state of freedom from such things than what is the meaning or use of a spiritual life and practice. At least one can ask such things. You know what I mean. When there is just the question of making life a "better" and more peaceful place, in the sense of being sasitsfied with life as it is, no static place and always changing than at least somehow the question may arise what is the goal of life than in the so called spiritual sense, if we anyway would always go tondie and be reborn again.

"I think the terminology and concepts used to discuss spirituality in ISKCON are limited by preconceptions and misunderstanding and I do not wish to discuss using these words and phrases. So when you take something I say and look at it in the light of ISKCON type ideas, it does not appeal to me. Therefore I avoid speaking with them. If I have to coach you how to speak to them, then I am speaking to them. I don’t want to do that. See?"

Harshi: Dear Hari, as you know you have in front of you or let us say the one who writes to you in this way, a person who was completely "indoctrinated" if one can use that word in this regard, with Iskcon ideas and concepts, although I was used to think that this would be the official Vashnava ideas from India way of explaining things in this connection.

Since the time I used to ask you questions after you changed your way of explaining things in the way you do now I was always struggling to find out what is in your understanding the end result of all your approach and spiritual practice. For the first time I read from you that you admit that there would be indeed a "spiritual world." That was not at all obvious from listening to your lectures or reading what you wrote until now after 1998.

The so called cycle of birth and death you avoid to mention by putting forward the understanding that as you say: "neither birth nor death is the significant factor in life." I agree fully to this but say that changing of the "vehicle" of us, the spirit, is nevertheless a significant factor while living in this realm, the so called material world. Isn't it so? So would you agree that in the so called spiritual world this would not be the case? Can the spiritual world be a significant goal for us to reach or should we be satisfied with the "situation" the physical world offers us where we would have to always change our vehicle and environment.

Please don't understand me wrong I'm not mainly into Iskcon preaching or anything of this kind, my main goal is to understand you and see if what you say and how you say it makes also sense to me or not. "we are evolving and transforming whether we want it or not" is something which makes sense to me completely and I can agree fully. With "energy is always flowing" I struggle a little bit with the definition of me, the spirit, as being an energy or just an energy. My concept of an energy is that it works always in the way it is "programmed" by its creator so called. Electricity as an energy works always in the same way if in the US or here in Germany. But spirit or the soul is more individual than that, at least I imagine it to be that way. I feel to be more than just an "energy", an aware consciousness or anything of this kind. Of course if you define energy as a kind of substance I, the spirit, the soul, would be "made of" so called to that concept I can agree fully, it makes sense to me. I imagine God to be "made" of the same substance or "energy" as you like to say.

"Of course I “believe” in the spiritual world. Why I do so and my experience of it is not something I share because of the personal and intimate nature of this.

I have spoken about the spiritual world as available to us right now by immersion in the spiritual energy of the deities. As all that really counts is our own experience, and because hardly anyone who speaks about the spiritual world actually has experience of it, I do not bother to discuss it. I try to share the experience by creating the energetic environment within which we can directly perceive it. I feel that is better than repeating some words that I read from a book that may or may not have relevance to me or to what I could experience. Because of this methodology, I can understand why you, and others, might think that I do not “believe” in the spiritual world and I am sorry for not clearing that up."

Harshi: Thanks Hari for your explanation in this regard. So it seems that your concept today of the spiritual world is not something which is located at another location in space rather it can be "experienced" also in the here and now. Do I understand you correctly in this regard?

"Yes, space is not relevant."

Harshi: In that sense it seems to me that the many descriptions and paintings one can see in Prabhupadas books about Krishna playing with his cowheard friends and so on in Vaikuntha are just an imagination.

"No. But that is another issue."

Harshi: In that sense I can read also from a letter I received today on Facebook where Eckhart Tolle writes: "The School of Awakening was designed to help you transcend the egoic state of mind that makes life seem like a series of frustrating or unsatisfying experiences. Awakening is a release of the dysfunctional state of mind that creates suffering so you can discover and live from your true essence—what I refer to as the "Deep I." The world will continually challenge and try to pull you out of living from this awakened state of consciousness. Your commitment is what keeps you rooted in the present moment. This can lead to the realization that your primary purpose in life is awakening—living consciously and being a bringer of consciousness in the world."

Now you as well as Eckhart Tolle and others do not seem to give you any hint on what happens to you, and where do you go, after your death. Is it because spiritual teachers of today consider just this world we live in as being "real”.

"The only reality is what we experience. To speak of a “reality” that is beyond our experience is to speak of something not relevant to us right now. And it is not possible to guarantee a future experience..."

Harshi: Now I am completely satisfied or rather my curiosity in this regard. Especially your last sentences: "The only reality is what we experience. To speak of a “reality” that is beyond our experience is to speak of something not relevant to us right now. And it is not possible to guarantee a future experience..." make much sense to me. And that is what really counts to me. Endeed to guarantee someone that one will go, "back to godhead" if one just does like this and follows this and that rules is hardly possible. Now I understood you and your spiritual approach much better. Thank you very much.

Hari: "Great."
Open up your mind and heart to new experiences of consciousness.

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