Vedanta and you, the Magician

“Like the esoteric world of spirituality, quantum physics is an invisible world. It proves that matter is actually energy and there are no absolutes. At the atomic level, matter does not even exist in certainty. It only exists as a tendency to exist.” If you understand this, you are on your way to becoming the Magician that is your birthright.

Advaita Vedanta says, “We are not the body; we are not the mind; we are pure consciousness”. The moment we can accept this greatest paradigm shift ever, that we are not the body or the mind (that means all the stuff we tend to churn and believe), and that essentially, we are an audience of one watching ourselves and other players on the stage of life acting out our roles, that’s when we hold in our hands a most powerful magic wand.

You hold in your hands, or rather your mind, the greatest power you could ever wish for – pure potential energy. Wield that energy well and you can have just about anything you wish. You are the Magician and you can change your life, turn it inside out, upside down, whichever way you choose. Just like Aladdin, yes. You have the password to your private treasure cave and an awesome genie at your command. That’s right. Just so you know, it’s actually a very spiritual process. As helping professionals, this is exactly what we teach our clients. It’s a spiritual and not a get-rich-quick process.

Vedanta – “So what?”

As we delve deep into the Upanishads in our desire to really understand what it means by our ‘true nature’, what it means to be Brahman, sooner or later we will come to ask, “So what?” So what if we discover our true nature or get close enough to realise that our true nature is indeed pure consciousness? So what if we are the ‘joyless awareness’, a passionless, detached witness to all that goes on in and around us? So what? How will that make my life any easier, and my suffering any less?

Well, it actually will lessen your suffering just as the Upanishads and the Buddha promised. How so?

Let’s assume that you are already committed to the search for Self and you are slowly making some progress on this path so you’d know what we are talking about here. If pure consciousness is that which is always present, watching and witnessing all that goes on in your life, and if you are that, then as you grow more and more into the Witness, you become more and more detached from all your suffering? All your joy? Haven’t you already felt it? That either way, rain or shine, you ask, “So what?” You have become more objective and less and less subjective. You are able to see through the wisdom eyes of the Witness. Make a guess. Whose eyes are those on the Swayambhunath stupa in Kathmandu?

The Witness

As you progress on the path, and as the Witness becomes more apparent, you will increasingly find yourself pausing to ask, “What’s happening here? Why am I feeling this way?” Or, stopping to reflect back to yourself, “I am feeling angry. I wonder where this anger is really coming from?” This capacity to pause, ponder and reflect will grow as you become more of the Witness.

Sure enough, you realise that the real trigger for your anger lies in an experience way back when you were 5 years old and you were punished unjustly for something your brother did. You didn’t rat on him but what really hurt was he didn’t own up and he let you take the fall. The feelings of betrayal and injustice left a deep imprint on you which like a coiled spring will release itself every time the right triggers come along. And then it coils itself up again to await the next trigger. This is how 96 percent of our life is run by the stuff that’s out of sight in our subconscious.

But we also say the old paradigm will shift once you begin to be more and more of the Witness. You will become wise. You will learn to reduce, replace or remove the old imprints that continue to cause so much heartache. One very effective way is to always name your feelings. Then look them in the face. Embrace them. Send them healing energy. Heal your past. Forgive. Move on. More of this as you read on.

The old paradigm

The old paradigm is the one that likes to draw lines. The one that says I, me, mine. I suffer. I am happy. Woe is me. Don’t touch that, it’s mine. You belong to me. And if you loved me, you would do what I say and not make me angry.

Don’t you think this sort of paradigm is seriously limited because once things change, guess what, we are back to suffering the pain of loss. However, none of this would ever happen to the Witness who remains detached and will not be drawn into any drama. Aloof? Cold? Nope. That’s not what you should end up being. Something akin to the detachment that Zen tries to teach would be good. No this or that. No like or dislike.

Interestingly, you will also wise up to the fact that life’s a game and most of the time, you have peace and fewer instances of suffering if you learn the rules and play by them. Yes, the ancient rishis actually called this game the leela, or lila. In this game, they say, your body and mind are the instruments. Use them well to craft the life you want instead of them holding you to ransom. Once tamed, they will be like the genie in the bottle, granting your every wish.

The magic wand

It’s not like a physical wand a la Harry Potter but close. In many ways, yes, once you understand how to use your body and mind as instruments through your free will, they become your magic wand. Especially the mind and for that you might want to locate 2 texts written by Paramahansa Yogananda, the great yogi. They are the “Law of Abundance” and “Law of Success” and they were written way before The Secret. Remember how we said earlier that success in this life is really a matter of understanding the rules of playing the lila game of life? Everything that is said about the lila in the Upanishads always points back to one thing. How to play by the universal spiritual laws. You’re going to find the same said in these two texts.

Of the so many, it’s the Law of Cause and Effect we consider the most supreme. The other is the Law of Potentiality. A third would be the Law of Giving and Receiving. And a fourth would be the Law of Positivity. There are others like the Law of Manifesting. Understand well their roles and how they shape the way we create, maintain and destroy our happiness/suffering. It all goes back to the energetic imprints we create through thought and deed. Will it result in an asset or liability? You see, the body and mind are just the instruments. What about the way you use the power of your free will? Is a short-lived gain worth it when you end up suffering the long-term repercussion of painful retribution?

No. This is exactly how the Buddha wants us to do, to think very carefully what we shape with our power. Through the 4 Noble Truths and the Eightfold Noble Path, he shows us the path to liberation. Through Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Mindfulness, etc, etc. The exact same teachings in the Upanishads as well.

The right seeds

Once you learn to detach yourself from the rigmaroles of life, you become the stage manager, the director, the set designer, the scriptwriter as well as the main lead. Are you getting it by now? You do this by carefully choosing the right seeds to plant in the fertile field of your mind. But like we said, you need to understand the universal law of cause and effect which is non-negotiable. Know that you will, let’s repeat that, you will reap what you sow. You will get what you do unto others. Are we clear on that?

So, first you choose the right seeds and then you plant. How do you plant? That is also an art to be learned. How? Through the power of visualising the image of what you want and making it as real as you can through the feelings of fulfilment.  When? The best state is when your brain is in the theta state. When you have managed to relax deep enough as in meditation, just before you fall asleep or just when you surface from sleep. Which brings us to the art of hypnosis and auto-suggestion. That’s right. The seeds amount to sublimal suggestions that you plant in your subconscious.

The law of cause and effect

“Oh, Arjuna, man is free to perform any kind of action, but there is no freedom in getting the fruits of one’s karma as one wants.” – Krishna, Bhagavad Gita

Which again brings us back to the law of cause and effect. Let us explain that in more detail. We quote from the rishis of the Vedas and Upanishads.

All thought forms are made of energy. Energy when intensified becomes light. Intensify it further and it becomes heat and eventually fire. This is the energy we see everywhere that animates you and me and make all things grow. Everything that becomes a reality came initially from a thought, an idea you had in your mind. A seed. Give it enough thought (that is, imbue it with more energy) and soon it will inspire you to acquire the necessary resources to make it a reality. This happens across the board. This is how you create your preferred reality anytime.

However, being energy in nature, these thought forms don’t just dissipate because you stopped thinking about it. From the get-go, it would have left an imprint which while weak can be easily replaced. For instance, you have an uncharitable thought about someone but you catch yourself quickly. Good. One less negative imprint. Say, you don’t catch yourself but find yourself adding to the initial imprint each time you think about that person in a negative light. Then the negative imprint would grow in energy. One day when the conditions are right, it will uncoil just like kinetic energy out of potential energy. Yes, it’s physics because duh, it’s energy.

It may be triggered when you encounter the person one day in the elevator and suddenly all those feelings you have surge through you. You throw the person a glare or something similar. The unfortunate thing is that you may actually be the only one on the stage. The other person may not even realise what’s happening or be involved at all. For all you know, he sees you as the rather odd neighbour a couple doors down and despite that, he’s always thought of you as a nice guy. Because, well, he’s the sort who would rather give others the benefit of the doubt. He understands that everyone has problems and problems can throw people out of whack. To him, it doesn’t matter whether you are nice or not nice. You are just you.

See what we mean when we told you life is a stage and you are a theatre company of one? Are you getting it yet? This man is a step closer to being the Witness, if he isn’t enlightened already. You, on the other hand, have further strengthened the karmic imprint through your behaviour and thought. What to do now? Go within yourself and be gracious enough to admit your wrong. Do japa. Perform a random act of kindness the next time you step out of your house. Replace the original with a more charitable thought. And grow that new positive thought by constantly feeding it with positive emotions. Whenever you think of your neighbour, think of him as just your neighbour. In fact, best case scenario is not to hold a thought or opinion at all. Maintain a clean slate.

So now that you know how energetic imprints are created from the thought forms we think, the next thing you need to know is that all of them remain in place for the rest of this lifetime unless you do something to replace or reduce them or you do nothing but wait for the karma boomerang. For all we know that could come in the form of someone else doing something similar to you. We don’t know. It’s just a guess. When we say all the imprints remain, it means you need to be very careful what you allow to be imprinted in the first place. It’s a scary thought when the scriptures tell you it’s non-negotiable. It’s even scarier when they say some karma requires a non-human form to be worked out.

Have we got your full attention by now? Let’s start over again. Plant seeds that you have chosen carefully in accordance with the universal laws of good and kind. Gracious and generous. Loving and wise. Choose that which will help to elevate the consciousness of humanity. Even if you are a theatre of one, every little bit adds to the whole. Are we aiming for sainthood? No. You can still wish for a Lamborghini if that’s what you truly want. A gorgeous beautiful actress for a wife, etc, etc. If your wish is aligned with the universal laws, why not? But then here we go again: So what? So what if you had the Lamborghini or famous actress? Well, only you know the answer to that. We just want to remind you that it’s best to choose wisely. There are some things you are not meant to have no matter how much you wish for them.

The saboteur and champion 

Once again we are back to the law of cause and effect. Somewhere in one of your past lives, you may have created an energetic imprint that has grown in intensity and with the right conditions, it now releases its energy in the form of a saboteur instead of a champion. You know how sometimes you have the best of intentions to do something good like voluntary work and you sign up, etc, etc, but come to the last moment something crops up and prevents you from committing. You are beginning to see it’s a repeating pattern but you don’t understand why. Karma is why.

This energy is lodged in the etheric system of your body and mind. And it affects the way your chakra system operates. Your overall physical, mental, psychosocial and spiritual wellbeing is determined by this energy or to be more accurate all your energetic imprints. And they will place a limit on what you can do, can have or not have or do. Like we said, the law of cause and effect is non-negotiable. If something in your imprints says you need to end up paralysed from the neck down to spend the rest of your days with a tube in your throat and a wheelchair, then that’s how it will play out. We will never know and we don’t want to scare you. But thank goodness you don’t have to sit around and wait for karma to exact what it needs to.

What you can do 

You can mitigate what’s coming up so while you can, intensify your spiritual practice to refine how you think, speak and behave. If you recall, all behaviours flow from a thought form. And all thought forms are energy. Unwise behaviours will cause negative energetic imprints to strengthen. While wise behaviours help to mitigate the negative and at the same time create opportunities for you to reap good outcomes. Which is why character formation is the basis of all good spiritual teachings. They will always teach you to be a good person. Why? The law of cause and effect? The Golden Rule? Doesn’t Advaita Vedanta also teaches us we are one? We harm ourselves when we harm others.

Therefore, perform karma yoga with no expectations in return (very important point). Perform random acts of kindness whenever you can. This helps to open up your heart chakra and to develop compassion. Meditate to keep you connected to the divine. Do japa to reduce samskaras and clear karmic debts. Recite mantras to enlighten your spirit. Donate to charity. Listen to Vedanta talks. Help others. Marinate yourself in all these things, the scriptures advise.

And you will find yourself slowly changing, transcending your difficulties and suffering, transmuting them into something positive when you change the way you look at life, helping others and really evolving into a true magician in every sense of the word. You are in total charge of your inner and outer state. Best part of all, you are capable of being the Witness and by that you possess the wisdom to pause, consider and choose wisely. Think about it, if this doesn’t make you the Magician, then what are you? Yes, ask yourself now: Who am I. 

Finally, listen carefully and then try to go beyond what Swamiji is saying, and you will understand why we say you are the Magician in total control of your life.