"That faith of the embodied beings, born of their own nature, is threefold-born of sattva, rajas and tamas. Hear about it." Bhagavadgita 17.1.
To begin this chapter, let me remind you once again that we are still dealing with the subjective world. The last chapter established that the world, as experienced, is only an imagination produced thanks to the marvellous capacities of the mind. Then I attempted to explain, that the division of the imagination into "I" and the world around, is a mere construction of the mind, and that it is more logical to sense this "I" as the source of the mind, the observer who is aware of the entire imagination. The Third Mistake pointed out that the state of the mind is the only one responsible for a person's behaviours and life experience. Now, let us take a look at how the subjective world can be experienced.
The Ignorant Being
"Neither do the demoniacal persons under-stand what is to be done and what is not to be done; nor does purity, or even good conduct or truthfulness exist in them." Bhagavadgita 16.7.
An ignorant being lives in the unshakeable conviction that the experienced world is real and it itself is a material body living in a material world. That means that such a being does not perceive any difference between the objective world and the world experienced subjectively. This situation results in the being's following properties: Contentment and happiness result from meeting the needs of the body, therefore the ignorant being tries to gather possessions and endow its senses with pleasures. Unfortunately, in many cases, conditions do not allow one to fulfil their desire, leading to a life of non-fulfilment, disgust and sense of danger. This long-term burden on the mind causes various psychic difficulties and disorders. These new problems, in turn, load even more on the already damaged mind and may lead to various social and health problems. Subjectively, the states of an ignorant being can be described as living in a distorted imagination, cleft by the sense of the ego, i.e. "I am a body." This imagination is continuously changing, charged with many fettering relationships, and it seldom corresponds to one's desires and wishes. Moreover, the body is only temporary, and the ever-approaching death is a problem none of the ignorant can really cope with. That results in further distortion to the imagination, and the only question is how long this process can build up until it becomes unbearable, and what solution the being chooses eventually.
The Seeking Being
"Understanding the Self thus as superior to the intellect, and completely establishing the Self is spiritual absorption with the help of the mind, O mighty-armed one, vanquish the enemy in the form of desire, which is difficult to subdue." Bhagavadgita 3.43
A seeking being is one that tries to get to know itself and the nature of the world, and has turned its attention from the objective world to its subjective experience. With the help of numerous methods, this being can gradually rid itself of all the mistakes of its mind, resting in ever growing peace and contentment. All those who have turned to religious systems are seeking beings, since solutions to all difficult situations are coded in religious rules and rituals. After exerting sufficient effort, one comes to a break point, when the inhibitions coded in the mind are broken and one realises the real state of the world rid of the basic mistakes. That is how a seeking being shall achieve its goal and becomes a liberated being. It must be noted that this description is factual, but does not at all describe the states and changes that occur in the mind and the subjective experience of life. The spiritual path is a ceaseless battle between the ego and the endeavour to know the pure mind without the constructed ego. If this effort is efficiently focused on destroying all the manifestations of the ego and sufficient progress is made, the being gains the experience of an ego-free state. It is impossible to describe this feeling of absolute freedom and the autonomous happiness resulting from it. One who has not experienced this feeling can never imagine it, and if they think they know or sense it, they are still very wrong. This experience is temporary, true, but the being now knows the goal and can clearly see what separates it from this state. The completion of the liberation process is close at hand. Reaching the goal means permanently dwelling in absolute freedom from the passing imagination including the body. That means permanent and incessant happiness and contentment.
The Liberated Being
"With his heart unattached to external objects, he gets the bliss that is in the Self. With his heart absorbed in meditation on Brahman, he acquires undecaying Bliss." Bhagavadgita 5.21.
A liberated being is such one, that reaches the elimination of both the fundamental mistakes of perception and experiencing of the world through the spiritual training. Subsequently, this being realises the world as a changing imagination mediated through the capacities of the mind and perceives itself as an immaterial source of the mind, an observer monitoring what goes on in the mind and the imagination made up by the mind. This being perceives the entire imagination as a picture and treats it as such. It does not divide the picture into "I" and the world around, it does not distinguish any part of the picture as good or bad, it is not attached to possessions inside the picture, and has no desire to change the picture in any way. If it decides to take any action, it does not plan what the picture should look like afterwards, but waits to see the results of the action, calmly monitoring the process and accepting any result. Such a being is permanently happy and contented, regardless of what is going on in the imagination. The reason is its perfect realisation of the real subjective state of the mind, from its absolute command, and elimination of all that disturbs or dependencies.
Previous chapter Next chapter