Talk 42. How to get flashes of pure consciousness
Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Mr. Duncan Greenlees, at Madanapalli, wrote as follows :-
At times, one has had vivid flashes of a consciousness whose centre is outside the normal self and which seems to be inclusive. Without concerning the mind with philosophical concepts, how would Bhagavan advise us to work towards getting, retaining and extending those flashes? Does abhyasa (practice) in such experiences involve retirement (withdraw from ordinary life into a solitary place) ?
Sri Bhagavan answered:
‘Outside’ – For whom is inside or outside? They can be only so long as there are the subject and object. For whom are these two again? They both will resolve into the subject only. See who is in the subject. The investigation leads you to pure consciousness beyond the subject.
Normal self is the mind. This mind is with limitations. But Pure consciousness is beyond limitations and reached by investigation as outlined above.
Getting – Self is always there. One seeks to destroy the obstacles to the revelation of the Self.
Retaining – Having once gained the Self it will be understood to be Here and Now. It is never lost.
Extending – There is no extending the Self, for it is always without contraction or expansion.
Retirement – Abiding in the Self is solitude. Because there is nothing alien to the Self. Retirement must be from one place to another. There is neither the one nor the other apart from the Self. All being the Self, retirement is impossible and inconsistent.
Abhyasa – Abhyasa (Practice) is investigation into the Self.
Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
24th September, 1936