Hunting the I

Hunting the I
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HUNTING THE ‘I’ According to Sri Ramana Maharshi By Lucy Cornelssen Investigation: Are you happy? When you reply with the counter question ‘What is happiness?’ that means that you have already observed how brittle, how transient and short-lived your so-called happiness is. But maybe what we have in mind was not happiness at all, but only pleasure? ‘Pleasure’ means the fulfilment of some desire or the removal of something unpleasant. But experience teaches that, after one desire has been fulfilled, two other ones will emerge, and after something unpleasant has been removed, something else of a similar kind will present itself and obstruct our intention to enjoy ourselves. We try and try again to change circumstances and conditions; is it not our birthright to be happy? It is. Then why have we to struggle and to fight and still miss it? Because of a single error of ours: We do not know ourselves properly, and by that same error everything else is spoiled. Nor do we know what happiness is. Real happiness needs no struggle nor endeavor, no reason, nor cause; it is inherent in the real ‘I’. However you and I, we live on a wrong ‘I’, as it were. That is the mistake which has to be removed before we can claim our birthright on real happiness. So says Ramana, the Maharshi. And he advises us to drive deep into ourselves with the question: ‘Who am I?’ Don’t expect an answer to it; there is none, because every possible answer which might come to our mind is wrong. However, he promises us that one day, provided our perseverance and patience keep us on the path, there will emerge a real ‘I’ the identity of the Great Experience, and together with it the true happiness, which is Satchi-dananda, the Bliss of Conscious Be-ing. Someone asked Sri Ramana: “When we start this enquiry, who is doing it?” Sri Ramana’s answer: “The Self does no vichara. That which makes the enquiry is the ego. As the result of the enquiry the ego ceases to exist and only the Self is found to exist.” But there are people who feel unable to attack the wrong idea of themselves immediately. They want first to be shown an intellectual approach. There may also be some who do not even know how to ‘go within’. To those we recommend first that they take a closer look at their ‘person’, at that which they take as ‘I’. You say: ‘I sit, I walk’, obviously taking the body as ‘I’, because it is the bdy that sits and walks. But don’t you also say; ‘I think, I believe, I decide’, ect.? This ‘I’ seems rather to be of the nature of the thinking mind! And what about your being glad or sad, elated or depressed? Isn’t it an ‘I’ of some sort of feeling? And at another time there emerges an ‘I’ which is intending something, planning, designing, an ‘I’ which seems to be sheer willing? The conclusion seems to be: ‘I’ means all this together as body-mind-person.
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