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Sat1176

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  1. Recorded teachings: Between 1998 and 2002, Salim regularly brought together a few pupils to spur them on in their practice. Some teachings were recorded on video. Below are a few extracts. (Salim would often say “I” instead of “you” when addressing his pupils, because he preferred to avoid, as much as possible, expressions that unconsciously created a barrier between the other and oneself) December 1998: Leaving a trace in oneself. Leaving a trace in oneself, so that, whatever a future existence may be, the trace that I have left in myself will be able to help me to move more quickly towards what is dearest to me, that is to say a spiritual practice. Leaving a trace... memory signifies evolution, forgetting signifies involution. You have to be so serious that this becomes the sole motivation of your existence. You have to succeed, when you apply yourselves to a spiritual practice, in being so exact and, above all, so whole. If you do not taste a moment when you are whole, at least once in your life, you will never know what it means to give yourself to the Infinite that inhabits you. (Salim is reading an extract from “S’éveiller un question de vie ou de mort” [Awakening: A Matter of Life or Death], chapter 13). “The most ardent desire of a seeker must be never to find himself in a future existence as he is in the present, with his habitual thoughts going around without control in his mind, his changing desires gnawing at him, his sensuality and his interests in the ordinary things of existence, which weigh him down and bar the route leading to his emancipation. If he wants to reach the end of his quest, the recurrence of the efforts he makes in the present – which can only leave a trace in him if they are sufficiently sustained and sincere – needs to become stronger than the recurrence of his not yet transmuted undesirable tendencies, otherwise the karmic predilection that he still feels regarding samsaric existence will continue to be wholly determining and will keep him shackled to it.” And Salim comments: “Thus the prodigious pianist (Evgeny Kissin), when he was eleven months old, could sing what his sister was playing on the piano. At a few months more than one year old, he sat at the piano and, with one finger he began to play. Then, later, when he came in from school, he didn’t even take off his coat; only one thing counted for him: the piano. A trace had been left in him of a previous life. He was seven years old when he gave his first concert. I tell you all these things so that you might understand how important what I leave as a trace in me is.” April 2001 – The last thought. In a future existence, whatever form it takes, I want at all costs to remember only this spiritual quest and nothing else. It is truly necessary that, when we die, our sole and unique desire is our spiritual accomplishment. I want to carry this desire with me so that, whatever my future, whatever form it takes and wherever it unfolds, I will already have something in me which will remind me of this desire: my spiritual accomplishment. People who are subjugated to the pleasures of the senses, they will be reborn to find such pleasures again. That is not what one wants, even for an artistic goal. I don’t want that; I don’t want to be reborn for music, it has served its purpose, I don’t want it to recontinue. That is why I stopped writing music so long ago. One single goal, I must have a single goal, my spiritual accomplishment and that before all. And for that, I need to understand my enslavement to my senses. Without me knowing it, my senses govern me, the habit of this, of that. One wants more, always more, I have to always want my spiritual accomplishment more, that before all else. Extract from S’éveiller, une question de vie ou de mort, chapter 2: “Every evening, after his meditation, the aspirant must sit on his bed and rest for a while preparing himself before sleeping, because of the importance of the last thought that he is going to carry with him into his sleep and which will inevitably determine what the next day will be for him spiritually. At the hour of his death, before entering into his last and longest sleep, how much more determining will be the last thought that he carries with him at this fateful moment, a last thought that, not only will determine the state he finds himself in when he quits this world, but also what his future destiny and future existence will be, whatever form this existence takes and wherever it unfolds. Every evening, he must ask himself what he really expects from life, what this spiritual work means for him and what importance he must accord it. He needs to renew the decision to give himself wholly to what calls to him within himself and to appreciate the opportunity that is offered him to be able to work on himself spiritually. He has to realize that the day will come when this possibility will no longer exist.” What I have written there, I do myself every night before sleeping. Because one cannot work on oneself without this form of existence; it is only this form of existence that provides us with the conditions that cause the tendencies one has within oneself to arise, the undesirable desires or even sometimes desires that are good and that one does not know one carries within oneself. One needs this existence to accomplish something that one ordinarily does not know, that is why existence must not be fled, but must be faced, always faced, and one must work on oneself to transform certain tendencies, to be truer in oneself. “Because, when this monumental moment comes, there will be no more tomorrows for him.” No, there will be no more tomorrows for him. Whatever the state in which one finds oneself or the conditions in which one is placed, it is essential to realize that, in any case, nothing is permanent. I must not stop this work... I cannot make, on a spiritual path, the same sorts of efforts as those that suffice for external life. Why? Because these efforts in external life are extracted from me, whereas the efforts that I must make on a spiritual path must be made because I want to make them, because I understand the importance and the necessity of them. I must continually stoke the fire that burns beneath a word called my interest. That is why all that I do in external life must now be in relation to my spiritual interest. Always remember these words: “I want never to forget these precious moments when my mind is turned towards something higher than ordinary existence. I want to carry within me the memory of these moments in my death.” May 2001 – Sense of mystery. What do I want? What am I trying to understand? All my life, I must continue to try to understand. One has never understood, never enough, there is always more to understand and yet more to understand. The moment that I stop trying to understand, by an ineluctable cosmic law, I will start to die psychically. You are missing the sense of mystery. It is truly necessary to realize that there are mysteries everywhere. This is the first time that I have gone out in a car since the last meeting. The leaves on the trees are very fresh, green. It is a miracle, how does the tree know the time has come, after the winter, for the sap to rise in all the branches and make each leaf? Within the boundaries of our building, there are wisteria; those are my favourite flowers, so beautiful. What a miracle! It is extraordinary how the vine knows what colour flowers to grow, at what moment, and what sort of perfume to emit, and I am intoxicated by all this beauty, but beauty that is fleeting, impermanent. Life has to become a miracle, because it is true that we are surrounded by miracles, but that we do not see them. Everything is mysterious to me. From my window, I see clouds moving, tree branches swaying in the wind, sometimes birds who fly past at such speed. The bird barely moves his wings, yet he flies so quickly; no human being could run so fast. T he other day, I saw a bird landing on a tree opposite my window; how did this bird, who arrived with lightning speed, succeed in beating its wings to glide between the branches without doing itself harm? For me, it was a miracle because there are many branches and many leaves on the branches of the tree. If we were blind and someone suddenly gave us eyes, then, to see the blue of the sky, with its enormous clouds that move, that transform themselves, what a miracle if one really saw them for the first time; that is how one must be all the time; one must achieve this, then one begins to really live, to understand the mystery of existence. If one really saw the blue of the sky as though for the first time in one’s life and, then, suddenly, a miracle, a bird flying so fast, seeing it as though for the first time in my life. Do you really know how to really live? We have lost this faculty of really seeing, of really hearing. If our practice is not approached with the sense of mystery at every moment, it becomes flat. All my life, I must remain alert, I want to understand, I still want to understand, I have never understood enough, for all of my life. March 2002 – The image one has of oneself. Without ever being conscious of it, everyone has an image of him/herself, which he or she does not wish to renounce and which closes the door of his/her evolution on another plane of being. What do I mean by image? (Salim points out two people in turn): If I had the power to transform you into so and so, would you accept? Vice versa, if I asked so and so, can I transform you into this person, would you accept? Don’t answer, just think about it. I have an image of myself, I am deeply in love with this image without knowing it. Everyone has this problem, without exception. This image that one has of oneself is closely linked to self-esteem. One does not see it, that’s the tragedy of it. If ever one says of someone something that injures this self-esteem, then the person spends his time like a dog, licking his wound, in other words ruminating on the injury that his ego has received, you understand? He or she cannot see, in his/her blindness, the self-consideration within him/herself and which is an obstacle to his/her spiritual practice. How can this image one has of oneself be recognized? One takes oneself, unconsciously – all of this is unconscious – one takes oneself for someone special. “I am special”, it is enough to look at photos of celebrities in magazines. “I am someone special”. Yes, one loves oneself, one has an image of oneself that one does not want to let go, one is special. There is no-one who does not have this problem. One takes oneself for someone unique and one must become simple, an absolutely simple being, to lose this image that one has of oneself. I have suffered with this image of myself in the past. Someone attacked my music, I had an image of myself, self-esteem, how could my contribution go unseen? When there were meetings of composers, the ultra-modern composers would say with contempt: “This music is still tonal”. So, I also, like all of you, have suffered from that. When I saw how it blocked the path, then I began, with invisible scissors, every time I saw this manifestation of self-esteem: snip (Salim mimes cutting something with scissors). When I was living in Rue Turgot, opposite the building, at street level, there was a hat shop. One day, a woman came past, dragging a little dog after her, when, suddenly, she saw a hat in the shop window. She doubled back on herself, pulling on the dog’s lead. She looked at the hat, then she went on, pulling the dog after her. Then, finally, she doubled back again, went into the shop, pulling the dog (who was not at all interested), and when she came out... the hat had bought the woman. She was walking and admiring herself in the shop windows: I am a hat... Another day, we were walking, a long time ago now, and there was a young man walking towards us, he had very long hair, he was proud of himself: I am hair... The image that one has of oneself, he was forgetting that he was going to age one day, his hair would become white, he would lack energy, like I do today... If one could see the life of a human being speeded up, from birth to death, the crying baby, he gets married, he has children, that’s it, it’s over. On another level, for the Infinite, our lives from our birth until our death, are nothing but a click of the fingers, a flash. At the level of the Universe, we are not even a virus. This image one has of oneself, this self-esteem, it is the cause of all the misfortune that afflicts humanity. When one is absent to oneself, there is only reaction and self-esteem. It is said, in Hinduism that the aspirant must become selfless for his emancipation, otherwise there can be no emancipation. What is liberation? One does not understand from what I must liberate myself, I must liberate myself from myself, from my mechanical reactions, then I attain the Absolute; what a paradox it is, to liberate myself from myself... September 2002 – Final teaching. Salim stopped teaching completely in September 2002 because of his state of health which had deteriorated too much. Nevertheless, he continued to work on his books until his last day. Below are some extracts from his final teaching: “Let each of you here ask himself: What have I been busy with since our last meeting... but ask yourself this with all your sincerity. What sort of thoughts have been turning in my head and monopolizing my attention since our last meeting. Were these thoughts really worthwhile spiritually? What sort of desires have I had? Can these desires help me spiritually? Have they been able to help me spiritually? Death awaits me, it is necessary to say this to oneself, death awaits me, inexorably. What provision have I made for this monumental hour? What am I going to take with me when this fateful hour arrives for me? One sees the branches of trees sway, but one does not see the cause. What is the cause that makes the branches of a tree sway? Has anyone ever seen the wind? One sees the effect and one gives credit to the effect, but the invisible cause? It is the same thing for my life and the whole of this Creation, the Universe, this incredible cosmic manifestation with billions and billions of galaxies, which contain billions and billions of stars and planets. And our planet too, with all the various animals it contains, the trees the flowers, the animals, the human beings, you, me, one sees the effect and one does not think of the cause, the enigmatic cause that is the creator of this effect. One gives credit to what is visible, to what one feels, to what one perceives with one’s senses, what monopolizes all one’s attention; the exterior fascinates our psyche and one forgets the cause. One must succeed, at least intellectually to begin with, in transferring this credit that one gives to what one perceives with one’s senses, to the invisible. I need absolutely to know the Source whence I issued and into which I am going to be reabsorbed after my death, now, in this life; after death, it will be too late. And, even if I come to recognize this Source, I will see how difficult it is to remain within this Source, how much the fascination of the exterior continues to have power over my psyche. I am going to read you a quotation from St Thomas: The disciples said to Jesus: "Tell us how our end will be." Jesus said: "Have you already discovered the beginning (that is to say, the Source from which you arose) that you are now asking about the end? For where the beginning is ( the Source from which you arose) there the end will be too. (it is into this that you will be reabsorbed) Blessed is he who will stand at the beginning. (will stand, that is to say, will stay, on condition of having found it) And he will know the end, (he will know what he is to be reabsorbed into when death takes him), and he says at the end: and he will not taste death. ” Christ attached such importance to this discovery of what he called the beginning, the Source, and after that, he said: blessed is he who will stand, that is to say, will stay, at the beginning and he will not taste death. The Tibetan Book of the Dead, I quote: “O nobly-born, the time hath now come for thee to seek the Path [in reality]. Thy breathing is about to cease. Thy guru hath set thee face to face with the Clear Light; and now thou art about to experience it in its Reality in the Bardo state, wherein all things are like the void and cloudless sky, and the naked, spotless intellect is like unto a transparent vacuum without circumference or centre. At this moment, know thou thyself; and abide in that state.” At this moment, know thou thyself; and abide in that state, The last sentence of Christ… Blessed is he who will stand at the beginning. When it is said: “All things are like the void and cloudless sky, and the naked, spotless intellect is like unto a transparent vacuum without circumference or centre.” This vacuity is not nothing and that is what you have to discover; it is the Source whence you issued; this vacuity is made up of an immense, immense Beingness-Consciousness, without beginning, without end, without shores, imbued with the breath of the Infinite... One calls it a vacuity in comparison with the tangible which you know, but it is not nothing. However, if one has not known this Beingness-Consciousness during one’s life, one will fear it after death. As the Tibetan Book of the Dead says, one will wish to flee this state and seek the tangible that one has known. Remember that your principal goal is to fight, to fight with the whole of yourself, with all your sincerity, when you meditate, when you undertake a spiritual exercise, whether in the street or at home, with all your being, in order to succeed in sufficiently tearing away from this secondary identity which is grafted onto you, onto all of us, and covers this essence, this Beingness-Consciousness imbued with the breath of the Infinite, call it what you will, one can call it Nirvana, one can call it my Buddha-nature, one can call it the Dharmakaya, but it is the same thing, this Enigmatic Source from which I arose and into which I will be reabsorbed after my death. Remember that it is before all the quality of the efforts made that counts and not only their quantity. One other thing that I want to say to you, which is so important, is on the devotional question. One needs Grace. We do our part, but one needs Grace, one cannot do it all alone. Something in me must be turned towards That which is higher, which one cannot name, with a deeply devotional feeling. You must always keep in your mind that everything is mysterious, take nothing for granted, everything is mysterious. We are mysterious. The Cosmos is so vertiginous, we cannot even imagine it with our small and extremely limited minds; although it is visible, it is mysterious because of the Invisible which is the cause of this fantastic Creation. It makes one dizzy if one really begins to try to understand; one feels dizzy and one needs to feel this dizziness before the Incommensurable, to encourage us. When you begin a spiritual exercise or meditation, you must set a timer, of course, and you say to yourself – as this Salim who is before you said to himself in the past – even if a hundred thousand scorpions walk over me, I will not move before the timer goes off and stops my meditation or, in the case of a spiritual exercise, in the street or at home, while I am cooking, washing myself, or whatever it may be, I will not interrupt the exercise before the time I have determined upon has passed; even if a hundred thousand scorpions walk over me, I told myself that in the past. You too, say what you want, but say something that moves you. All that I have said to you today comes down to this: I want to know the Source whence I issued and into which I will be reabsorbed, I want to know it during my life so that I shall be tranquil when death comes, so that I shall not resist. In meditation, one can come to a point where one feels: I am going to be plunged into an incomprehensible emptiness, I must accept this plunge. One will discover at that moment that the emptiness is not nothing. There is no more tangible, there is no more movement as one knows it, there is another sort of movement, so fine, it is said that the Divine Spirit never sleeps, so fine, so full of life, Beingness-Consciousness, without beginning, without end, incommensurable, without shores, dizzying, imbued with the breath of the Infinite. There is a reason for Creation; the Infinite wants its Holy Presence to be recognized, but the human being, such as he is ordinarily, with his limited intelligence and his limited level of being cannot recognize it. It could be said that if beings provided with an out of the ordinary form of intelligence and a level of consciousness that one does not habitually experience do not arise from its Creation, to recognize its Holy Presence, then it is as though the Infinite did not exist. Since our birth, so many things have happened around us, so many people that one has known, sad or pleasant events, people who have hurt us, those that we love and those that we do not; without realizing it, we carry all that in us and that takes up space in our being and leaves no space for other things. I must begin at certain moments to awaken myself sufficiently, to tear myself away from what I am habitually to see this immense crowd that I carry within me – I am talking for you now, aren’t I? – each of you must begin to awaken himself to see the immense crowd that he carries within himself, a crowd that squeals, that shouts, that laughs, that protests. I want to see them all, I want to begin to liberate myself from that, and I cannot if, during the day, I do not tear myself away from what I am and if I do not say to myself, in words: “Recollect yourself,” because thinking “Recollect yourself,” is not enough, one can think “Recollect yourself,” and one does it superficially or even not at all. It has to be said in words, I speak from personal experience in the past, I was obliged to say it to myself, I have seen that thinking of “recollecting myself” when I was lost in futile thoughts, in futile images, thinking “Recollect yourself, come back to yourself” was superficially done, or not at all, it is as though one believes that thought is enough, it is not enough. It is necessary to say to oneself: “Recollect yourself,” gently, say it to oneself, within oneself of course. “Recollect yourself,” then one will see that something becomes possible and when I repeat, “Recollect yourself,” it begins to work... When someone says something, thinks something, or does something, once it is said, thought, or done, he can no longer help wanting to re-say it, to rethink it, or to re-do it, so one will begin to say again “Recollect yourself, Recollect yourself,” and you will see that, when you are lost in thoughts that turn in your mind, when you are far from yourself, suddenly there will be a rapid movement of return towards yourself. What I am saying to you, it is vital, it is a question of life or death. I have to wake in the morning from my nocturnal sleep so that I may realize I have slept and have – I believe – awakened. Yes, I am awake in comparison with my nocturnal sleep, but I sleep in another way and I know not in what other way I sleep, and my life passes, uselessly, futilely, without having made provision for the hour of my death. When you succeed in staying with yourself for long enough in a state of inner silence, you will one day discover that this return towards myself is nothing less than the return towards the Infinite that I carry in myself, the return towards my Buddha Nature, towards Nirvana that I did not know I was already carrying in myself, this Enigmatic Source that is made up of Beingness-Consciousness imbued with the Breath of the Absolute. And Salim concludes with this Bodhisattva vow that he formulated in the following way: “Yes, I want to be a Buddha, I want to be a Christ, I want to be like him, he agreed to anything to help humanity.”
  2. Overcoming the barriers of individuality. Salim had had many spiritual experiences through which his vision of the world had been fundamentally changed. It was a regular occurrence for him to overcome the barriers of individuality. He had thus acquired a special wealth, with no relation to the transient goods of this world. As a result of his efforts to remain intensely conscious and present to himself, he succeeded in really seeing what he was looking at. By maintaining for a sufficient amount of time this conscious manner of looking at, for example, a flower, he established between them a very subtle communion by way of which he grasped the kind of consciousness and particular feeling that this flower had of itself, the kinds of joys and fears that it felt, its kind of reaction in the face of the threat of imminent death, and so on. At these exceptional moments, he would notice that even an apparently inanimate stone had some form of consciousness. In reality Salim would say, there is nothing in the Universe that is not alive. New spiritual experiences helped him to go even further. He pursued this work with pugnacity, yet with delicacy, finding from moment to moment what part of his efforts he still had to make and what part belonged to the Superior Aspect of himself to which he abandoned himself. He had come to the point where he was so connected to this other state of being and of consciousness that he had, by tireless efforts, found within himself, that even if he wanted to forget it, he could no longer do so, because, he would say, this new feeling was now an integral part of his nature. “I no longer believe blindly in an exterior Divinity, because I see now the Ineffable in me with, so to speak, my mind’s eye and I feel It so keenly and so intensely that my whole being is shaken with it and filled with a feeling of limitless wonder and reverential awe.” When he looked back over his life, he remarked that the only moments that had engraved themselves indelibly on his memory where those where he had succeeded in giving himself wholly to his spiritual practices; the rest of his existence seemed to him, by contrast, like a dream devoid of meaning and of reality. He ceaselessly encouraged his pupils not to project themselves into the future or to nourish imaginings of what they might attain spiritually, because, as he wrote in his book: Inner Awakening and Practice of Nada Yoga: “Although, on a spiritual path, it may often be necessary to speak of a goal to be attained in order to try, inadequately, to explain the inexplicable, a serious seeker must, nevertheless, remember that in relation to his spiritual practices, the goal is always situated in the present. One can, in a way, say that once he has committed to the Path, it cannot be to attain, one day, a final goal and then for everything to stop there – as is the case with ordinary things or worldly activities – because that would mean that the goal would be an ‘end’ in a sort of eternal death and afterwards there would be nothing. In reality, the goal and the present are indissociable in spiritual work; every instant must become the goal for the seeker, otherwise he risks giving himself all sorts of excuses to dream of a goal situated in a distant future and, in the meantime, without being aware of it, to carry out only a lukewarm spiritual practice that will come to nothing.”
  3. The world is surprisingly perfect in its imperfection Even without taking into account natural disasters, illnesses, the implacability of nature, and the vicissitudes of existential life, being confronted with the terrible suffering brought about by incessant wars unleashed by men hungry for power, everyone is tempted, with good reason, to be appalled and to ask the eternal question: “If the All Powerful Creator is perfect in his Essence, why, then, is this tragic imperfection so rife throughout his Creation?” Salim would respond: “Through a most paradoxical phenomenon, a human being, cut off from his Divine Source, needs all these misfortunes in order to experience the sensation of existing ”. He would add: “When looked upon with the right mind and positive inner attitude, it is impossible not to be filled with wonder and reverential admiration at the profound wisdom behind all these problems and hazards in life. Because of the human being’s tendency to inertia, life in its seeming imperfections is indeed benignly perfect. In his present state, without these harsh conditions compassionately trying to awaken and urge him to look beyond himself and outer appearances to that which is concealed behind all these uncertainties, sorrows, and the impermanency of his physical existence, he would be lost, doomed to remain a wretched and forlorn creature.” “Suffering drives people to question the meaning of life, to feel for others, to go beyond themselves. Facility generates a tendency towards superficiality, lack of caring for the suffering of others, and weakness of character.” “The Creative Source cannot change the rules that It has established in the Universe. It leaves human beings with the choice to obey these laws, a choice that It cannot make in their place. If they had, from the outset, been made perfect, they would have no opportunity of recognizing their perfection which they must earn through their own practice.” “There is a reason for the existence of duality; without it, the human being would have no means of comparison; it is through duality that it is possible for him to recognize the Divine Aspect of his own double nature – just as he would not be able to appreciate and understand the day if there were no night, life if there were no death, happiness if there were no unhappiness. One cannot see and apprehend the light of the celestial bodies without the darkness that surrounds them. That is why the inferior aspect of the human being also has its place in Creation and cannot be blindly held in contempt or considered negatively as a useless obstacle in the path of the seeker; rather it should become the means of reminding him, every time he sinks into this aspect of his double nature, that he also carries within himself his Celestial Aspect which he needs to discover in order to finally immerse himself in It one day. ” “All that is created in time and space cannot avoid living in duality. Paradoxically, it is not possible to overcome duality unless it is accepted as a necessity in the Universe and Creation; it is inconceivable to be able to comprehend something without its comparison with its opposite. If there were no inhalation, one could not imagine exhalation, if birth did not exist, one could not conceive of the reality of death; without creation, it would be impossible to understand dissolution. ” “In order for the aspirant to succeed in overcoming duality, he has to begin by understanding it and recognizing its reason for being in the phenomenal world. As a method of comparison between two worlds, it proves indispensable in helping him to become conscious of himself in a completely different manner to the way he is habitually so that he may come one day, through assiduous efforts which he must agree to make, to find the place he is destined to occupy in the immensity of this mysterious Cosmos. ” “Duality represents only a stage that cannot really be understood and overcome until the aspirant has succeeded in recognizing in himself, through direct experience, the Divine Aspect of his double nature. ” “One day, he has to come to accept the complete loss of his customary individuality during meditation in order to be metamorphosed into his Divine Essence. After this supreme discovery, he will no longer argue with his fellow beings, whether he be man, woman, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, English, German, French, etc. He will realize in a manner that will shake him for eternity that he is really the Divine in the innermost depths of his being.” Blasphemy? “No,” Salim would insist, “It is a Holy Reality that forever erases in him the feeling of being separate and different from the other.” And he would add: “Has one really understood the enigmatic and troubling words pronounced by Christ to help the world when He said: ‘That they may all be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they may also be one in us’?”
  4. Specific spiritual understandings. “When someone ages,” Salim would say, “if he succeeds in distancing himself from his body, he has the opportunity of acquiring an understanding of the greatest importance for him, to which he cannot come while he is still young and fiercely identified with his corporeal sensations which exercise too great a force of attraction on his being and his mind.” He confided in me on this subject that he often found himself in a strange inner state from which, contemplating his old worn body, he keenly felt the conviction of being totally “apart” from it and to be only temporarily inhabiting it. “This body is not part of myself, I am something other than this physical medium,” and he would add: “In the most ordinarily inexplicable manner, I see with, so to speak, my mind’s eye, the invisible aspect of my being which, at these unutterable moments, reveals itself to be the only Reality that exists for me in the whole Universe.” He sometimes remained unmoving for a long time in this state that he was always reluctant to quit, because his consciousness found itself amplified to a degree impossible to describe. The Nada vibrated in his head with such intensity that it seemed to him that nothing existed any longer in the Cosmos except this Primordial Sound and this extremely keen Consciousness. In other circumstances, he reported being spontaneously seized by an impression so troubling that it aroused in him a strange reverential awe, because, he would tell me: “Just like a mysterious tree whose roots lose themselves in a vertiginous infinite, I experience the inexplicable feeling of being the last inheritor of a whole line of ancestors whose history stretches into the depths of a past so inconceivably distant that I am left profoundly disconcerted before the impossibility of imagining its beginnings!” “And, when I undertake my spiritual practices, I have the feeling that I am not accomplishing them only for my benefit and that of the visible world around me, but also for all those invisible characters that inhabit me and are, themselves, awaiting their redemption. At such times, I cannot help feeling the heavy responsibility that falls upon me. “Before this unfathomable mystery, does time not lose all reality? Does one not find oneself facing the strange phenomenon of an ‘eternal nowness’ in which the past and the future are forever converging?”
  5. Is the Universe within oneself? Thanks to the ever more subtle struggle that he pursued to remain permanently in a state of particular presence to himself, Salim succeeded in experiencing the strange feeling of being non implicated interiorly and, consequently of being "apart" from the manifestations unfolding before him. He finally discovered, through a direct insight – and in a way that filled him with wonder and with reverential awe – that all that presented itself to his gaze was not outside of him, but, in some way, ordinarily impossible to conceive, within him; moreover, this strange observation extended to the whole Universe. This extraordinary experience, so unexpected, left such a strong impression on his feelings and his being that he could no longer accept relying so passively as he had in the past on what his sensory organs communicated to him. Nevertheless, despite the privilege that had been accorded him to go through an experience as elevated as it was unusual, by way of which he had been able to access knowledge of an entirely different order than that which related to the world of the senses, he noted, with regret that, despite his efforts, because of the forces of habit and of gravity he could not keep himself in this state which was, as yet, unfamiliar to him, and that, before realizing what had happened to him, Creation was once again, as before, outside of him.
  6. Contact with the infinitely small and the infinitely big. Salim had always intuitively felt that it was of the greatest importance for him to continually carry a sense of mystery in order that his meditation should not, little by little, fall into a banal routine practice. Every time he sat down to meditate, he strove to be new, open, without seeking to rediscover experiences that he may have had before. Thus, during deep meditation, he could perceive, through an inner vision, the incessant flux and changes of the various cells, molecules, and atoms in his body. And he realized how this flux secretly influenced his thoughts, moods, and feelings, according to the special characteristics of these invisible entities in him. Equally, his tendencies, habits, and way of thinking affected and influenced the being and pattern of behavior of these corpuscles and atoms, rendering them what they were. By struggling with the outer leanings and habits he could see in himself, he was inevitably modifying the inclinations, way of thinking, and inner nature of the imperceptible cells and atoms in his body as well. He understood that every change that occurred in his level of consciousness must also affect the various constituents of his planetary body. Thus, the birth of another state of being and of consciousness in him had not failed to reverberate through the different cells and molecules composing his corporeal envelope, so that their way of consciousness mysteriously underwent a gradual modification which, in return, assisted him in his attempts to elevate himself further within himself and to access ever more luminous territories within his being. At other times, through meditation and his various concentration exercises, a new faculty awoke in him, allowing him an intuitive perception of the Universe and the objects that surrounded him, - an intuitive and direct perception of the fact that, just as the various cells constituting his planetary body were alive, in the same way, the Earth was also an immense living cell in the enigmatic body of the Cosmos. It possessed its own form of life, of intelligence and of consciousness, as well as its own sort of sensitivity to suffering, which it felt much more sharply than one could imagine. Salim later emphasized to his pupils that it must never be forgotten that we owe an immense debt to our planet - which provides us constantly with air, with water, with food and all other things necessary to our survival and for which we remain ever in its debt. Just as we are conscious of the fragility of our bodies and take great care to protect them, in the same way, it should be an integral part of a spiritual quest to become more and more conscious of the fragility of the Earth, to which we owe the very possibility of being able to pursue our spiritual practices and to protect it with extreme care, considering it as a true mother - as the Native Americans did.
  7. Experiences of mystic love. Through the maturation of his practice, Salim was now finding again, but in a much more tranquil manner, the state of ineffable ecstatic love which had moved him so deeply in Paris on the first occasion that it had flooded his being. Now, a profound cosmic calm flowed through him, he felt a very tranquil but sublime tenderness into which he would quietly merge, and, as always during such out-of-the-ordinary moments, this enigmatic Nada made its presence felt more than ever and, with its eternal jewel-like glitter, sang in his ears its supernal song at the same time as it helped him increase his inner absorption. This, as it deepened, always brought him the strange yet curiously familiar sensation of having returned to the mysterious Source whence he originated, and to which he belonged. The way this divine flame affected him the first time it illuminated his being with its ineffable love can be compared to that of a fierce fire consuming a log of wood, its flames leaping about wildly in all directions in the wind. And the way it affected him later, when he had acquired deeper spiritual comprehension, more control over his thoughts, and greater inner calm, can be compared to the immobile, soft, and beautiful flame of a candle on a perfectly windless evening Apart from the moments when he sat alone and meditated, something of this beatific state extended itself afterward of its own accord into his active life, silently stirring him with a melting feeling of quiescent and compassionate love.
  8. Mysterious incursion into another dimension One morning Salim woke earlier than usual, beset by a curious feeling of unease that he could not explain. No sooner had he washed and dressed than he incomprehensibly felt a pressing and indefinable need to go out for a walk. However, it was a dark December morning, very cold, still immersed in night, with a thick fog which created a ghostly atmosphere and made it difficult to get one’s bearings. He arrived at the gates of the Buttes Chaumont park, which happened to be open. He went in. The darkness and the fog persisted. Deceived by the unfavorable conditions, he inadvertently strayed into an area that was closed to the public, because, apparently, excavations were being undertaken there. Displeased with himself for not having paid enough attention to the direction he had taken, he had decided to retrace his steps, when he stumbled and fell into a deep hole that he had been unable to see in the dark. Despite all his efforts, he could not manage to get out. He then entered into contact, without having sought it, with beings from another world, no longer obeying the laws that govern this material universe. Finding himself at the exit of the Buttes Chaumont park, he was asking himself anxiously if he had not dreamed it all, when, because of the cold, he plunged his hands into his pockets and he felt in one of them an object that surprised him by its unusual feel. Withdrawing his hand, he discovered, to his astonishment, that it was the mauve flower that had been given to him as a farewell gift by one of these luminous beings. Amazed, he let out a cry and fell to his knees so abruptly that passersby, alarmed, wished to help him. A young woman, who was among them, noticed the flower in his hand and was intrigued by its beauty and dazzling color. She asked him where he had found it, because, she said, she had never seen one like it. He regarded her absently, then, with tears in his eyes, repeated in a voice trembling with emotion: “It wasn’t a dream, I know that I wasn’t dreaming, I know it, I know it…” Salim had not in any way sought out this astonishing experience. He later recounted this fantastic experience in the form of a spiritual tale, to make it understood that there may come, in the life of a seeker, moments when he needs to take an important decision in order to progress with his spiritual practice, a decision that implies certain renunciations on his part which he may not be ready to make; he thereby risks letting an opportunity pass which may never represent itself.
  9. Already posted this chapter else where. Inspiring read...
  10. Meditation: is consciousness condensed in matter? Salim knew that meditation, in the most authentic meaning of the word, demanded his complete vigilance and the greatest sincerity. But he had also understood that he would have to take care never to force it. The effort of remaining present to himself, although firm, must, at the same time, be quiet and full of gentleness. The intensity of this effort had to be just right, neither too much nor too little. He learned, little by little, the subtle art of recognizing when he was approaching the right and delicate moment to begin cautiously relinquishing his effort, to abandon himself to that which was superior within himself, and to what extent he could do this without risking falling back into his habitual state. As he deepened his meditation and prolonged its duration, he felt the liberation and the expansion of his consciousness more and more. His consciousness seemed to grow infinitely and to become more and more luminous, fine, and ethereal. Furthermore, instead of the dense and weighty matter of his bodily form that he was used to feeling, he felt the indescribable sensation of a very subtle and ineffable ethereal transparency of being. An intense longing arose from deep within him, encouraging him to want to give himself over forever to this unaccustomed state of being, but, at the same time, he realized the impossibility for him of such an accomplishment at this stage of his spiritual evolution. Every time that he came out of his meditation, he felt the disconcerting sense of his consciousness retracting and becoming matter once more, thus returning to his dense and habitual bodily form. While he was reaching ever higher levels of being, he experienced, when coming out of his meditation, the feeling that there occurred effectively an expansion of his consciousness, every time that it was no longer condensed in a material form, and a retraction when it condensed itself once more and returned to its dense material form. A mysterious thought then began to grow and to take form in his being: perhaps the final liberation of consciousness for a human being consisted in permanently losing the need (ingrained by force of habit) to descend once more into matter and to take some kind of form – which was ordinarily necessary to him in order to experience the feeling and the knowledge of his existence. Furthermore, and on a much wider scale, a dizzying question arose in his mind and would not stop troubling him: was it possible that these myriads and myriads of celestial bodies inhabiting this immense Universe were, themselves, only consciousness condensed in matter and that the whole Cosmos had, itself, a secret need to liberate itself from its imprisonment in its material manifestation?
  11. There is one other category of dreams. 4. Where one has recollections of past lives. This one is more difficult to understand and you need help from more advanced souls to decipher what that dream was all about.
  12. Apologies for the double post in another thread but thought people might find the following insight useful. Spiritual dreams. The different categories of dreams. It was at this time that Salim had several distinctive dreams which were, for him, incontestably spiritual in nature, and which brought him precious guidance at moments in his life when he was in the greatest need of help. These dreams would normally come to him very early in the morning, when he was on the point of waking. Those related below are given by way of example only, as he had many others. In the first dream, he found himself in a vast room, illuminated on his left by high windows. In a corner, in front of him, was a bed. A fairly old spiritual master was lying on this bed. The master was the size of a child. He was crucified like Christ, and was agonizing on his cross. An atmosphere of intense suffering reigned in this place. It was Salim’s duty to take care of this dying man and he felt deep sorrow for him. Through the large door that opened behind him he could hear a sizeable crowd which, unconcerned by the pain of the man being crucified, chattered incessantly. Little by little, this crowd entered into the room until, finally, it entirely filled it. Salim tried in vain to interrupt this futile and pointless prattling. He was saddened by his powerlessness to make this mass of people understand the gravity of the drama that was unfolding. The dream ended there; distraught by the impression that it left within him, Salim remained preoccupied by its meaning for a long time. He realized that, in fact, the man being crucified was him, or, rather, the superior aspect of his nature, and that the noisy crowd was composed of the different characters who, within him as within every human being, invaded his mind and represented a source of continual distraction. All this inner chatter and all these futile thoughts were preventing him from remaining centered on his goal, in other words, preventing him from connecting with the Divine Aspect of his nature which would remain crucified within him until he discovered the means to silence these interferences. At another time, he had a dream that made a strong impression on him. He found himself in a deep well, dark and frightening. Far above him, he could see a bright light while all around him there was nothing but mud and darkness. He felt lost and terrified. He called for help in order to be able to get out of this well. Instantly two arms, without a body, descended; one was holding a large hammer and the other enormous nails. The two hands quickly set to work, hammering a nail into the wall of the well around every fifty centimeters until they reached top, then the arms vanished. Salim awoke very troubled, anxious to decipher the meaning of this dream. It took a little time for him to understand the message: help would be given him, but only up to a certain point. It would then be up to him to accomplish his share of the effort required to climb the ladder and reach the inner Light he aspired so ardently to reach. In the third dream that came to him at this time, he found himself in a cathedral. A faint bluish glimmer fell from the stained glass windows; a strange atmosphere reigned. Many tombs lay side by side in the nave and a tall priest dressed in a long dark robe addressed him with solemnity; he was speaking to him directly in his mind, without the medium of words. As Salim was not able to grasp what the priest was trying to communicate to him in a severe manner, the priest then raised his arm to order him to look to his right. Salim turned apprehensively and saw, just behind him, a naked figure, neither man nor woman, standing on a tombstone. What struck him was that in the place of its head, was a white marble cross. While the asexual being descended slowly into the burial vault until it had completely disappeared, the marble cross was confirming, with an uninterrupted affirmative nod, that in fact, what the priest was trying to communicate was right and just, and that he must accept it. It was only later that Salim understood the meaning of this mysterious dream. At an unexpected moment, he abruptly realized that, if he wanted to progress in his spiritual approach, he would have to die to himself. The marble cross in the place of the head symbolized that which must be continually sacrificed, in other words the mind and the idea that one has of oneself. Following the various experiences he had in this domain, Salim classified the dreams in three categories. The first included all the ordinary dreams that one might have, which result from the influence of events experienced during the day, during the preceding days, or even in a more distant past. These dreams can reveal certain aspects of oneself, and it may prove interesting to study them. It is principally this category of dream that is the object of interpretation in contemporary psychology. The dreams described above belong to a second category and are extremely important for an aspirant engaged upon a spiritual path. Their purpose is to help the aspirant overcome certain difficulties encountered in his quest or to understand which direction he should take, which he is unable to fathom in his diurnal state due to his identification with the demands of the external world. These dreams come from the superior aspect of his nature and always leave him with an impression of profound mystery which insistently incites him to question their meaning. Finally, there is a third category of dream which Salim subdivided into two. It includes, on one hand, telepathic dreams. This type of dream results from receiving thoughts or intentions that another person has just emitted about the author of the dream. It testifies to a particularly receptive state that can occur during nocturnal sleep. For example, a person receives a letter whose content has already been revealed during a dream; or an acquaintance or even a stranger may come to visit, and the dreamer had encountered this very same person recently in a dream. And there are, on the other hand, premonitory dreams, whereby one is forewarned several days before a person dies, or of a danger to be avoided. One can even dream, as is the case in the example that will be mentioned below, of an event that will only happen many years later. One finds oneself then, with amazement, in the same places, making the same gestures, and feeling the same feelings that one experienced in a dream a long time before. While Salim was still living in Paris, he had a very curious dream which unfolded in three sequences and which left him, subsequently, feeling very troubled. Initially he was walking beside a young blond woman on a high mountain plateau and, on arriving at a clump of three trees that stood out against the sky, he raised his hand to wave goodbye as she moved away from him to his right. He then found himself walking alone along a cliff top beside the ocean; he looked down towards the foot of this cliff where three huge smooth rocks rose up and were being battered by the waves. A strange atmosphere permeated the scene. He lifted his head quickly but the sun was so dazzling that he had to raise his arm to protect his eyes. The scenery changed once more, and he was now walking in a western street which was becoming ever foggier, colder, and more sinister; he felt so frozen that he cried out vehemently: “But, I don’t want to go this way, I want to go where there is some sun!” The years passed and, when he found himself in India, in Darjeeling, he was walking on a high mountain plateau, alongside a young woman who had become his wife, when he suddenly realized that she was the very same woman who had appeared in the dream he had had in Paris three months before even meeting her for the first time, more than nine years previously. Then, the same three huge trees that he had seen in his dream came into view on the horizon. Three weeks later, when he was in Pondicherry, tormented by a decision he was facing concerning his marriage, he was walking along a cliff top, in deep thought, letting his gaze drop down to the shore where there were three huge blocks of smooth stone; surprised to recognize the scenery from the second part of his dream, he raised his eyes suddenly, but the sun was so strong he had to protect his eyes with his arm, and the whole scene came flooding back to his memory with astonishing clarity. Lastly, several months later, he had gone back to his family in London for a few weeks; he had been heartbroken at having left India. He decided one day to go out and walk a little. It was a glacial month of December; he found himself plunged into the thick London fog when, suddenly, he remembered, with his amazement, the final part of his dream, while saying to himself in despair: “But I don’t want to stay here, I want to go back to India, where there is some sun!” It was as if, mysteriously, he had been warned, nine years earlier, of the ordeal that he was currently going through. Salim often spoke in his books of the state into which a human being is plunged during his nocturnal sleep, and which is an indication, both of the state one will experience after death (although that will be on an entirely different scale), as well as of another dimension in which time no longer exists for the sleeper. When one dreams, the psychic world in which one is immersed no longer obeys the rules of time and space of the familiar universe that one experiences in the diurnal state. Premonitory and telepathic dreams illustrate the unsuspected possibilities of the mind and its mysterious capacity to transcend, on occasions, the spatio-temporal dimensions in which one is ordinarily imprisoned.
  13. Spiritual dreams The different categories of dreams. It was at this time that Salim had several distinctive dreams which were, for him, incontestably spiritual in nature, and which brought him precious guidance at moments in his life when he was in the greatest need of help. These dreams would normally come to him very early in the morning, when he was on the point of waking. Those related below are given by way of example only, as he had many others. In the first dream, he found himself in a vast room, illuminated on his left by high windows. In a corner, in front of him, was a bed. A fairly old spiritual master was lying on this bed. The master was the size of a child. He was crucified like Christ, and was agonizing on his cross. An atmosphere of intense suffering reigned in this place. It was Salim’s duty to take care of this dying man and he felt deep sorrow for him. Through the large door that opened behind him he could hear a sizeable crowd which, unconcerned by the pain of the man being crucified, chattered incessantly. Little by little, this crowd entered into the room until, finally, it entirely filled it. Salim tried in vain to interrupt this futile and pointless prattling. He was saddened by his powerlessness to make this mass of people understand the gravity of the drama that was unfolding. The dream ended there; distraught by the impression that it left within him, Salim remained preoccupied by its meaning for a long time. He realized that, in fact, the man being crucified was him, or, rather, the superior aspect of his nature, and that the noisy crowd was composed of the different characters who, within him as within every human being, invaded his mind and represented a source of continual distraction. All this inner chatter and all these futile thoughts were preventing him from remaining centered on his goal, in other words, preventing him from connecting with the Divine Aspect of his nature which would remain crucified within him until he discovered the means to silence these interferences. At another time, he had a dream that made a strong impression on him. He found himself in a deep well, dark and frightening. Far above him, he could see a bright light while all around him there was nothing but mud and darkness. He felt lost and terrified. He called for help in order to be able to get out of this well. Instantly two arms, without a body, descended; one was holding a large hammer and the other enormous nails. The two hands quickly set to work, hammering a nail into the wall of the well around every fifty centimeters until they reached top, then the arms vanished. Salim awoke very troubled, anxious to decipher the meaning of this dream. It took a little time for him to understand the message: help would be given him, but only up to a certain point. It would then be up to him to accomplish his share of the effort required to climb the ladder and reach the inner Light he aspired so ardently to reach. In the third dream that came to him at this time, he found himself in a cathedral. A faint bluish glimmer fell from the stained glass windows; a strange atmosphere reigned. Many tombs lay side by side in the nave and a tall priest dressed in a long dark robe addressed him with solemnity; he was speaking to him directly in his mind, without the medium of words. As Salim was not able to grasp what the priest was trying to communicate to him in a severe manner, the priest then raised his arm to order him to look to his right. Salim turned apprehensively and saw, just behind him, a naked figure, neither man nor woman, standing on a tombstone. What struck him was that in the place of its head, was a white marble cross. While the asexual being descended slowly into the burial vault until it had completely disappeared, the marble cross was confirming, with an uninterrupted affirmative nod, that in fact, what the priest was trying to communicate was right and just, and that he must accept it. It was only later that Salim understood the meaning of this mysterious dream. At an unexpected moment, he abruptly realized that, if he wanted to progress in his spiritual approach, he would have to die to himself. The marble cross in the place of the head symbolized that which must be continually sacrificed, in other words the mind and the idea that one has of oneself. Following the various experiences he had in this domain, Salim classified the dreams in three categories. The first included all the ordinary dreams that one might have, which result from the influence of events experienced during the day, during the preceding days, or even in a more distant past. These dreams can reveal certain aspects of oneself, and it may prove interesting to study them. It is principally this category of dream that is the object of interpretation in contemporary psychology. The dreams described above belong to a second category and are extremely important for an aspirant engaged upon a spiritual path. Their purpose is to help the aspirant overcome certain difficulties encountered in his quest or to understand which direction he should take, which he is unable to fathom in his diurnal state due to his identification with the demands of the external world. These dreams come from the superior aspect of his nature and always leave him with an impression of profound mystery which insistently incites him to question their meaning. Finally, there is a third category of dream which Salim subdivided into two. It includes, on one hand, telepathic dreams. This type of dream results from receiving thoughts or intentions that another person has just emitted about the author of the dream. It testifies to a particularly receptive state that can occur during nocturnal sleep. For example, a person receives a letter whose content has already been revealed during a dream; or an acquaintance or even a stranger may come to visit, and the dreamer had encountered this very same person recently in a dream. And there are, on the other hand, premonitory dreams, whereby one is forewarned several days before a person dies, or of a danger to be avoided. One can even dream, as is the case in the example that will be mentioned below, of an event that will only happen many years later. One finds oneself then, with amazement, in the same places, making the same gestures, and feeling the same feelings that one experienced in a dream a long time before. While Salim was still living in Paris, he had a very curious dream which unfolded in three sequences and which left him, subsequently, feeling very troubled. Initially he was walking beside a young blond woman on a high mountain plateau and, on arriving at a clump of three trees that stood out against the sky, he raised his hand to wave goodbye as she moved away from him to his right. He then found himself walking alone along a cliff top beside the ocean; he looked down towards the foot of this cliff where three huge smooth rocks rose up and were being battered by the waves. A strange atmosphere permeated the scene. He lifted his head quickly but the sun was so dazzling that he had to raise his arm to protect his eyes. The scenery changed once more, and he was now walking in a western street which was becoming ever foggier, colder, and more sinister; he felt so frozen that he cried out vehemently: “But, I don’t want to go this way, I want to go where there is some sun!” The years passed and, when he found himself in India, in Darjeeling, he was walking on a high mountain plateau, alongside a young woman who had become his wife, when he suddenly realized that she was the very same woman who had appeared in the dream he had had in Paris three months before even meeting her for the first time, more than nine years previously. Then, the same three huge trees that he had seen in his dream came into view on the horizon. Three weeks later, when he was in Pondicherry, tormented by a decision he was facing concerning his marriage, he was walking along a cliff top, in deep thought, letting his gaze drop down to the shore where there were three huge blocks of smooth stone; surprised to recognize the scenery from the second part of his dream, he raised his eyes suddenly, but the sun was so strong he had to protect his eyes with his arm, and the whole scene came flooding back to his memory with astonishing clarity. Lastly, several months later, he had gone back to his family in London for a few weeks; he had been heartbroken at having left India. He decided one day to go out and walk a little. It was a glacial month of December; he found himself plunged into the thick London fog when, suddenly, he remembered, with his amazement, the final part of his dream, while saying to himself in despair: “But I don’t want to stay here, I want to go back to India, where there is some sun!” It was as if, mysteriously, he had been warned, nine years earlier, of the ordeal that he was currently going through. Salim often spoke in his books of the state into which a human being is plunged during his nocturnal sleep, and which is an indication, both of the state one will experience after death (although that will be on an entirely different scale), as well as of another dimension in which time no longer exists for the sleeper. When one dreams, the psychic world in which one is immersed no longer obeys the rules of time and space of the familiar universe that one experiences in the diurnal state. Premonitory and telepathic dreams illustrate the unsuspected possibilities of the mind and its mysterious capacity to transcend, on occasions, the spatio-temporal dimensions in which one is ordinarily imprisoned.
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