Saturday, December 15, 2012

Question: What is the means for constantly holding on to the thought 'Who am I?'

When other thoughts arise, one should not pursue them, but should inquire: 'To whom do they arise?' It does not matter how many thoughts arise. As each thought arises, one should inquire with diligence, "To whom has this thought arisen?". The answer that would emerge would be "To me". Thereupon if one inquires "Who am I?", the mind will go back to its source; and the thought that arose will become quiescent. With repeated practice in this manner, the mind will develop the skill to stay in its source. When the mind that is subtle goes out through the brain and the sense organs, the gross names and forms appear; when it stays in the heart, the names and forms disappear. Not letting the mind go out, but retaining it in the Heart is what is called "inwardness (antar-mukha). Letting the mind go out of the Heart is known as "externalisation" (bahir-mukha). Thus, when the mind stays in the Heart, the 'I' which is the source of all thoughts will go, and the Self which ever exists will shine. Whatever one does, one should do without the egoity "I". If one acts in that way, all will appear as of the nature of Siva (God).

Friday, December 14, 2012

“When the mind is restrained from  its wandering  by means of breath-restraint, it is forced to give up attending to external objects.  When it thus gives up attending to external objects, which are second and third persons, will not the first person alone remain shining there?  Therefore by merely giving up attention to second and third persons, will not self-attention automatically result?”  

This is an important doubt to clarify.

Withdrawing the attention from second and third persons is called  antarmukham or introversion, whereas focusing the attention on ‘I’ is called  ahamukham or facing selfward. Though  ahamukham includes in itself  antarmukham,  antarmukham does not necessarily include ahamukham.  That is, though the attention is withdrawn from external objects, it is not necessarily focused keenly on the consciousness ‘I’.  The state in which the attention is thus withdrawn from external objects but not fixed keenly on self is called manolaya (temporary subsidence of the mind), and this state is experienced by everyone daily when they go to sleep.  If a person practicing  raja-yoga withdraws his attention from external objects by means of breath-restraint and if he does not make effort to fix his attention firmly upon the consciousness ‘I’, his mind will slip into the state of manolaya.  Though the manolaya which is thus achieved by the practice of  raja-yoga is glorified by the name  nirvikalpa samadhi (thought-free absorption of the mind), it is in fact no more helpful to spiritual progress than is the daily sleep experienced by all people.

Why is it that self-knowledge does not arise in the state of manolaya? 

The reason is that the power of  maya functions in two forms, namely  avarana sakti (the power of covering or concealing) and vikshepa sakti (the power of projection, diversification, tossing or confusion). Avarana sakti is the dullness of forgetfulness of one’s true nature whereas vikshepa sakti is the perception of multiplicity which arises when the body is taken to be ‘I’.  In the various states of  manolaya such as sleep and  kashtha nirvikalpa samadhi, though the mind is temporarily freed from the hold of  vikshepa sakti, it still remains enveloped by the veil of avarana sakti.  Due to this veil of avarana sakti, the clear knowledge of one’s true nature is not experienced in manolaya, and hence in due course the mind will rise again and come
under the tossing sway of vikshepa sakti. By withdrawing one’s attention from external objects, one frees oneself temporarily from the sway of  vikshepa sakti.  But in order to pierce though the dark veil of  avarana sakti, it is necessary for one to attend keenly to the consciousness ‘I’ and thereby know its true nature. That is, since self-forgetfulness is the root-cause for the rising of the veil of  avarana sakti, self-attention alone is the medicine which will remove it.  

This is why Sri Bhagavan says,

“Having given up external objects, the mind knowing its own form of light is alone true knowledge”.

-- Upadesa Undiyar (Verse 16)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

How is the ego to be destroyed?
This question is a sure way to cherish the ego and not kill it.

Can the ego ever agree to kill itself?
If you seek the ego you will find it does not exist. 
That is the way to destroy it.


Upadesa Saram (17),

When one scrutinizes the form of the mind without forgetfulness [that is, without pramada or slackness of attention], [it will be found that] there is no such thing as mind; this is the direct path for all. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Q.: You sometimes say that we should avoid company. That is not always possible. If one is working one has to mix with all kinds of people. One can't always avoid them.

Annamalai Swami: In such situations one should take the attitude of someone who is acting in a drama. Outwardly one should do whatever actions are necessary, but inwardly, one should be always aware of the center, the consciousness which makes itself known as the feeling 'I am'.

I say 'avoid bad company' but ultimately bad company is just a part of the mind. There is no bad company in the Self. While you are trying to disentangle yourself from the mind it will be helpful for you to avoid bad company. Whenever that is not possible, make an extra effort to withdraw into the Self. If you can establish yourself there, the currents from other peoples minds cannot affect you. If you do have to mix with unspiritual people, don't make any judgments about them. Don't think 'This a bad person', or 'I don't like this person.' The less you identify with the mind when you are near such people, the better. ...

Be like a big tree. When the wind comes the branches and leaves are shaken but the trunk remains stationary. If you live in the mind you are always being tossed around like the branches and the twigs in a strong wind. The less you identify with the mind, the less movement there is. When you are aware of yourself as consciousness alone, with no trace of the mind being present, there is no movement at all, only unbroken peace and absolute stillness.

Q.: Swami, you often say that we should avoid bad acts. 
What exactly do you mean by a 'bad act'?

AS: In a general sense, anything which causes harm to other beings is a bad act. But one could also say that any act that keeps your attention away from the Self is a bad act. Identifying with the body and mind is the primal bad act because it is the source of all other bad acts.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Two ways of God-realization

There are two ways. One is the path of discrimination, the other is that of love. Discrimination means to know the distinction between the Real and the unreal. God alone is the real and permanent Substance; all else is illusory and impermanent. The magician alone is real; his magic is illusory. This is discrimination. 

Discrimination and renunciation. Renunciation means to have dispassion for the things of the world. One cannot acquire them all of a sudden. They must be practised every day. One should renounce 'woman and gold' mentally at first. Then, by the will of God, one can renounce it both mentally and outwardly

The other path is that of bhakti, or zealous love of God. Weep for God in solitude, with a restless soul, and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Cry to your Mother Syama with a real cry, O mind! And how can She hold Herself from you? 

These, then, are the two means: practice and passionate attachment to God, that is to say, restlessness of the soul to see Him

The gist of the whole thing is that one must develop passionate yearning for God and practise discrimination and renunciation

-- Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

House Holder Devotees

For the householders Sri Ramakrishna did not prescribe the hard path of total renunciation. He wanted them to discharge their obligations to their families. Their renunciation was to be mental. Spiritual life could not he acquired by flying away from responsibilities. A married couple should live like brother and sister after the birth of one or two children, devoting their time to spiritual talk and contemplation. He encouraged the householders, saying that their life was, in a way, easier than that of the monk, since it was more advantageous to fight the enemy from inside a fortress than in an open field. He insisted, however, on their repairing into solitude every now and then to strengthen their devotion and faith in God through prayer, japa, and meditation. He prescribed for them the companionship of sādhus. He asked them to perform their worldly duties with one hand, while holding to God with the other, and to pray to God to make their duties fewer and fewer so that in the end they might cling to Him with both hands. He would discourage in both the householders and the celibate youths any lukewarmness in their spiritual struggles. He would not ask them to follow indiscriminately the ideal of non-resistance, which ultimately makes a coward of the unwary. 

-- Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

Prof Krishnamurti Aiyer, an enlightened professor of physics said about Bhagavan:

" I observed the personal habits of Bhagavan and tried to follow his example. One noticed in Bhagavan's daily life, personal cleanliness, tidiness of dress, habitual wearing of vibhuti and kumkum on the forehead; equal sharing of all enjoyments with those around one; strict adherence to a time schedule; doing useful work however 'low' it be; never leaving a work unfinished; the pursuit of perfection in every action; ... never considering oneself superior to others; speaking the truth always, or strict silence if the expression of a truth would hurt or lower the reputation of others; perfect self-help, never asking another to do a piece of work which can be done by oneself; taking full responsibility for failure, if any, without shifting the blame on others; accepting success and failure with equanimity; never disturbing the peace of another; leaving the leaf-plate or plate clean after eating; complete non-interference in the affairs of others..."

Thursday, September 20, 2012

You have to make an enormous effort to realize the Self. It is very easy to stop on the way and fall back into ignorance. At any moment you can fall back. You have to make a strong determined effort to remain on the peak when you first reach it, but eventually a time will come when you are fully established in the Self. When that happens, you cannot fall. You must have a lifelong commitment to establish yourself in the self. Your determination to succeed must be strong and firm, and it should manifest as continuous, not part-time, effort. For many lifetimes you have been immersed in ignorance. You are habituated to it. All your deeply rooted beliefs, all your patterns of behavior reinforce ignorance and strengthen the hold it has over you. This ignorance is so strong, so deeply enmeshed in all your psychological structures, it takes a massive effort over a long period of time to break free from it. The habits and beliefs that sustain it have to be challenged again and again.

Superimposition, Bhagavan tells us, is projection, the transformation of Brahman into the objects of the world or the remoulding of the light of the Self into the ego and I-am-the-body consciousness. Correct seeing (through atma-vichara and finally , jnana) removes false attribution and allows the real to be seen as it really is. Once appearances are exposed, no special effort is required. Bhagavan blames superimposition for the prevalent mistaken notion that the Self is bound, and thus in need of being liberated, like the woman he describes in T alks, who needs to find her ‘lost' necklace. When a friend points to the necklace round her neck, the woman shouts with joy at having ‘found it at last'. But, Bhagavan says emphatically , “In fact she never lost the necklace nor recovered it, [for it was there all along]. And yet she was once miserable and is now happy . So also with the realisation of the Self. The Self is always realised. Realisation is now obscured but when the veil is removed, the person feels happy at rediscovering the ever-realised Self.” 

(Talks §490) 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

"O Mother, I have taken refuge in Thee. Teach me what to do and what to say. Thy will is paramount everywhere and is for the good of Thy children. Merge my will in Thy will and make me Thy instrument."

- Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

Monday, September 3, 2012

M.: Of what degree of unreality is [the world]? ...The answer is that it is a superimposition on the one Reality, like the appearance of a snake on a coiled rope seen in dim light. But the wrong identity ceases as soon as a friend points out that it is a rope, whereas in the matter of the world, it persists even after it is known to be unreal. How is that? The appearance of water in a mirage persists even after the knowledge of the mirage is recognised. So it is with the world. Though knowing it to be unreal, it continues to manifest.... It is like a man satisfying his dream wants by dream creations. The realised sage finally declares that in the regenerate state the [waking] world is found to be as unreal as the dream world is found to be in the waking state. In fact, wakefulness and dream are equally unreal from the standpoint of the Absolute. —Talks §399

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Ulladhu Narpadhu - Verse 25

What a wonder! (This) ghostly ego, which is devoid of form (that is, which has no form of its own), comes into existence by grasping a form (that is, by identifying the form of a body as ‘I’); it endures by grasping a form (that is, by
continuing to cling to that body as ‘I’); it waxes more by grasping and feeding upon forms (that is, by attending to second and third person objects, which it cognizes through the five senses); having left a form, it grasps a form (that is, having given up one body, it grasps another body as ‘I’); (but) if one searches (for it by enquiring ‘Who am I, this formless ego?’), it will take to flight (being found to be nonexistent)! Know thus

Transcendental devotional service

Transcendental devotional service has five stages of reciprocation:

1. The self-realization stage just after liberation from material bondage is called the Sänta, or neutral stage.

2. After that, when there is development of transcendental knowledge of the Lord’s internal opulences, the devotee engages himself in the däsya stage.

3. By further development of the däsya stage, a respectful fraternity with the Lord develops, and above that a feeling of friendship on equal terms becomes manifest. Both these stages are called säkhya stage, or devotional service in friendship.

4. Above this is the stage of paternal affection toward the Lord, and this is called the vätsalya stage.

5. And above this is the stage of conjugal love, and this stage is called the highest stage of love of God, although there is no difference in quality in any of the above stages. The last stage of conjugal love of God is called the mädhurya stage.


As explained by Sri Ramakrishna

"Śānta, the serene attitude. The rishis of olden times had this attitude toward God. They did not desire any worldly enjoyment. It is like the single-minded devotion of a wife to her husband. She knows that her husband is the embodiment of beauty and love, a veritable Madan.

"Dāsya, the attitude of a servant toward his master. Hanuman had this attitude toward Rama. He felt the strength of a lion when he worked for Rama. A wife feels this mood also. She serves her husband with all her heart and soul. A mother also has a little of this attitude, as Yaśoda had toward Krishna.

"Sakhya, the attitude of friendship. Friends say to one another, 'Come here and sit near me.' Sridāmā and other friends sometimes fed Krishna with fruit, part of which they had already eaten, and sometimes climbed on His shoulders.

"Vātsalya, the attitude of a mother toward her child. This was Yaśoda's attitude toward Krishna. The wife, too, has a little of this. She feeds her husband with her very life-blood, as it were. The mother feels happy only when the child has eaten to his heart's content. Yaśoda would roam about with butter in her hand, in order to feed Krishna.

"Madhur, the attitude of a woman toward her paramour. Radha had this attitude toward Krishna. The wife also feels it for her husband. This attitude includes all the other four."

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Slokas

1. Glory to the Sri Krsna sankirtana, which cleanses the heart of all the dust accumulated for years and extinguishes the fire of conditional life, of repeated birth and death. This Sankirtana movement is the prime benediction for humanity at large because it spreads the rays of the benediction moon. It is the life of all transcendental knowledge. It increases the ocean of transcendental bliss, and it enables us to fully taste the nectar for which we are always anxious.

2. O my Lord, Your holy name alone can render all benediction to living beings, and thus You have hundreds and millions of names like Krsna and Govinda. In these transcendental names You have invested all Your transcendental energies. There are not even hard and fast rules for chanting these names. O my Lord, out of kindness You enable us to easily approach You by chanting Your holy names, but I am so unfortunate that I have no attraction for them.

3. One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street; one should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige, and ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly.

4. O almighty Lord, I have no desire to accumulate wealth, nor do I desire beautiful women, nor do I want any number of followers. I only want Your causeless devotional service birth after birth.

5. O son of Mahäräja Nanda [Krsna], I am Your eternal servitor, yet somehow or other I have fallen into the ocean of birth and death. Please pick me up from this ocean of death and place me as one of the atoms of Your lotus feet.

6. O my Lord, when will my eyes be decorated with tears of love flowing constantly when I chant Your holy name? When will my voice choke up, and when will the hairs of my body stand on end at the recitation of Your name?

7. O Govinda! Feeling Your separation, I am considering a moment to be like twelve years or more. Tears are flowing from my eyes like torrents of rain, and I am feeling all vacant in the world in Your absence.

8. I know no one but Krsna as my Lord, and He shall remain so even if He handles me roughly in His embrace or makes me brokenhearted by not being present before me. He is completely free to do anything and everything, for He is always my worshipful Lord unconditionally.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

“Can you step back from your own mind and thus understand all things? Giving birth and nourishing, having without possessing, acting with no expectations, leading and not trying to control: this is the supreme virtue.” -- Carl G. Jung

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Ulladhu Narpadhu - Verse 15

The past and future stand (only by) depending upon the present, which remains always. While occurring they (the past and future) are both only the present. (Therefore) the present is the only one (time). [In other words, there are not three times, the past, present and future; there is only one time, the present.] (Hence) trying to know the past and future without knowing the truth of the present [that is, without knowing the truth that the present is non-existent as one of the three times, and that the sole reality underlying
the sense of present time is the ever-existing self] is (like) trying to count without (knowing the value of the unit) one.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ramana on Surrender

D: Does not total or complete surrender require that one should not have left even the desire for liberation or God?

Bhagavan: Complete surrender does require that you have no desire of your own. You must be satisfied with whatever God gives you and that means having no desires of one's own. 

D: Now that I am satisfied on that point, I want to know what the steps are by which I could achieve surrender. 

Bhagavan: There are two ways. One is looking into the source of 'I' and merging into that source. The other is the feeling 'I am helpless by myself; God alone is all powerful and except by throwing myself completely on him, there is no other means of safety for me.' By this method one gradually develops the conviction that God alone exists and that the ego does not count. Both methods lead to the same goal. Complete surrender is another name for jnana or liberation. 

David Godman:
Sri Ramana occasionally encouraged his devotees to give him all their problems. That is to say, to tell him about them, and then forget about them. One of his persistent images or metaphors was of a passenger on a train who insists on carrying his luggage on his own head instead of putting it on the floor and relaxing. The idea behind this is that God is running the world and looking after all its activities and problems. If we take some of these problems on our own heads, we just inflict unnecessary suffering on ourselves. Sri Ramana is telling us that God is driving the train that constitutes our life on this earth. We can sit down and relax with the knowledge that he is taking us to our destination, and not interfere, or we can imagine that we are responsible for it all. We can pace up and down the aisles of the train with 100lbs on our head if we want to. It's our choice. 

When devotees surrendered their problems to Sri Ramana, it was the same as surrendering them to God. They were submitting to the same divine authority, surrendering to a living manifestation of that same power. Here are some statements that Sri Ramana made on this subject. Each sentence was originally recorded by Muruganar in Tamil verse:
  • My devotees have the qualifications to rejoice abundantly, like children of an emperor.
  • Abandon the drama [of the world] and seek the Self within. Remaining within, I will protect you, [ensuring] that no harm befalls you. 
  • If you inquire and know me, the indweller, in that state there will be no reason for you to worry about the world. 
  • For the cruel disease of burning samsara to end, the correct regimen is to entrust all your burdens on me. 
  • In order that your needless anxieties cease, make sure that all your burdens are placed on me through the brave act of depending totally on grace. 
  • If you completely surrender all your responsibilities to me, I will accept them as mine and manage them.
  • When bearing the entire burden remains my responsibility, why do you have any worries?
  • Long ago you offered your body, possessions and soul to me, making them mine, so why do you still regard these things as 'I' and 'mine' and associate yourself with them? 
  • Seek my grace within the Heart. I will drive away your darkness and show you the light. This is my responsibility. 

When people surrendered completely to him, he was more than happy to manage their lives for them. Just about everyone discovered that when she surrendered the burden of responsibility for her life to Sri Ramana, problems diminished or went away completely. 

(David Godman)

Ramana on necessity of humility

Sri Ramana Darsanam:

The power of humility, which bestows immortality, is the foremost among powers that are hard to attain. Since the only benefit of learning and other similar virtues is the attainment of humility, humility alone is the real ornament of the sages. It is the storehouse of all other virtues and is therefore extolled as the wealth of divine grace. Although it is a characteristic befitting wise people in general, it is especially indispensable for sadhus. 
Since attaining greatness is impossible for anyone except by humility, all the disciplines of conduct such as yama and niyama, which are prescribed specifically for aspirants on the spiritual path, have as their aim only the attainment of humility. Humility is indeed the hallmark of the destruction of the ego. Because of this, humility is especially extolled by sadhus themselves as the code of conduct befitting them. 
Moreover, for those who are residing at Arunachala, it is indispensable in every way. Arunachala is the sacred place where even the embodiments of God, Brahma, Vishnu and Sakti, humbly subsided. Since it has the power to humble even those who would not be humbled, those who do not humbly subside at Arunachala will surely not attain that redeeming virtue anywhere else. The Supreme Lord, who is the highest of the high, shines unrivalled and unsurpassed only because he remains the humblest of the humble. When the divine virtue of humility is necessary even for the Supreme Lord, who is totally independent, is it necessary to emphasize that it is absolutely indispensable for sadhus who do not have such independence? Therefore, just as in their inner life, in their outer life also sadhus should possess complete and perfect humility. It is not that humility is necessary only for devotees of the Lord; even for the Lord it is the characteristic virtue. 

One's greatness increases to the extent that one becomes humble. The reason why God is supreme to such an extent that the whole universe bows to Him is His sublime state of humility in which the deluded ego never rises unknowingly. 

Is it not on account of His behaving so humbly, as one ever in the service of every creature, that God stands worthy of all the glorious worships ever performed by all the worlds? By seeing Himself in all, by being humble even to devotees who bow to everyone, and by naturally remaining at such a pinnacle of humility that nothing can be humbler than Himself, the state of being supreme has come to the Lord.

David Godman:
All this may sound very eccentric unless one understands that humility equates with egolessness, rather than with a kind of 'nice' or socially acceptable behavior. God is God because he is utterly egoless, utterly humble, and not because He is omnipotent or omniscient.

Monday, April 9, 2012

David Godman explains Self enquiry

Sri Ramana taught that the individual self is an unreal, imaginary entity that persists because we never properly investigate its true nature. The sense of 'I', the feeling of being a particular person who inhabits a particular body, only persists because we continuously identify ourselves with thoughts, beliefs, emotions, objects, and so on. The 'I' never stands alone by itself; it always exists in association: 'I am John,' 'I am angry,' 'I am a lawyer,' 'I am a woman,' etc. These identifications are automatic and unconscious. We don't make them through volition on a moment-to-moment basis. They are just the unchallenged assumptions that lie behind all our experiences and habits. Sri Ramana asks us to disentangle ourselves from all these associations by putting full attention on the subject 'I', and in doing so, prevent it from attaching itself to any ideas, beliefs, thoughts and emotions that come its way. 

     The classic way of doing this is to start with some experienced feeling or thought. I may be thinking about what I am going to eat for dinner, for example. So, I ask myself, 'Who is anticipating dinner?' and the answer, whether you express it or not, is 'I am'. Then you ask yourself, 'Who am I? Who or what is this ''I'' that is waiting for its next meal?' This is not an invitation to undertake an intellectual analysis of what is going on in the mind; it is instead a device for transferring attention from the object of thought - the forthcoming dinner - to the subject, the person who is having that particular thought. In that moment simply abide as the 'I' itself and try to experience subjectively what it is when it is shorn of all identifications and associations with things and thoughts. It will be a fleeting moment for most people because it is the nature of the mind to keep itself busy. You will soon find yourself in a new train of thought, a new series of associations. Each time this happens, ask yourself, 'Who is daydreaming?' 'Who is worried about her doctor's bill?' 'Who is thinking about the weather?' and so on. The answer in each case will be 'I'. Hold onto that experience of the unassociated 'I' for as long as you can. Watch how it arises, and, more importantly, watch where it subsides to when there are no thoughts to engage with. 
This is the next stage of the inquiry. If you can isolate the feeling of 'I' from all the things that it habitually attaches itself to, you will discover that it starts to disappear. As it subsides and becomes more and more attenuated, one begins to experience the emanations of peace and joy that are, in reality, your own natural state. You don't normally experience these because your busy mind keeps them covered up, but they are there all the time, and when you begin to switch the mind off, that's what you experience. 
It's a kind of mental archaeology. The gold, the treasure, the inherent happiness of your own true state, is in there, waiting for you, but you don't look for it. You are not even aware of it, because all you see, all you know, are the layers that have accumulated on top of it. Your digging tool is this continuous awareness of 'I'. It takes you away from the thoughts, and back to your real Self, which is peace and happiness. Sri Ramana once compared this process to a dog that holds onto the scent of its master in order to track him down. Following the unattached 'I' will take you home, back to the place where no individual 'I' has ever existed.

    This is self-inquiry, and this is the method by which it should be practiced. Hold on to the sense of 'I', and whenever you get distracted by other things revert to it again. I should mention that this was not something that Sri Ramana said should be done as a meditation practice. It is something that should be going on inside you all the time, irrespective of what the body is doing. 

     Though Sri Ramana said that this was the most effective tool for realizing the Self, it must be said that very few people actually achieved this goal. For most of us the mind is just too stubborn to be overcome by this or any other technique. However, the effort put into self-inquiry is never wasted. In fact, it's a win-win situation for most people; either you get enlightened, or you just get peaceful and happy.

Friday, April 6, 2012

David Godman: I asked, 'I have been doing self-enquiry, trying to keep attention on the inner feeling of "I", for several years, but no matter how intensively I try to do it, I don't find that my attention stays on the "I" for more than a few seconds. There doesn't seem to be an improvement in my ability to keep my attention on this inner feeling of "I". Do the periods of being aware of the "I" have to get longer and longer until they become more or less continuous?'

Nisargadatta: No, just having the strong urge to seek this "I" and investigate it is enough. Don't worry about how well or how long you are holding onto it. The strong desire to know the "I" will keep taking you back to it when your attention strays. If something is important to you, it keeps coming up in your mind. If knowing the "I" is important to you, you will find yourself going back to it again and again.'