Search & Read
Knowledge Alone Is the Cause
“Surrender to ‘not-knowing.’ Understand that every time you have been happy in your life it came out of nowhere in an unpredictable way. We cannot secure happiness through knowledge or doing. Let go of this waste of energy. Things will still be accomplished but the agitation comes to an end. Then, whenever we do something we enjoy, it because there is no effort. We are not involved as a person, and life becomes a celebration.” ~ Francis Lucille
Arlindo: This is an imprecise statement with implied meanings that will possibly produce misleading erroneous conclusions. The author says that one should surrender to a vague notion he calls “not-knowing.” The first thing would be to ask what he means by that, but he may not find a meaningful answer to the question. In our tradition, “not-knowing” is synonymous with “ignorance,” which is a common-sense understanding.
He moves on to say that we cannot get happiness by knowledge or actions. He is wrong again, because only by knowledge and appropriate timely actions happiness can be achieved. Unless one educates and “conforms” one’s mind to the scriptures on self-knowledge and karma/dharma yoga to develop the ability to respond/act timely and appropriately to the continuous flow of stimulus presented by the dharma field, happiness will remain only a wish.
Governed by “ignorance,” he/she will either respond to life operated by rajasic ignorance-based “reactions” or paralyzed, therefore neglecting and accumulating karma due to his/her tamasic mental condition.
The statement above is, at the most, what we may call ignorance mixed up with some wisdom. This is only one among many vague, erroneous and misleading notions floating in the spiritual world!
Objector: I don’t agree with you, Arlindo. To me Mr. Lucille is only teaching karma yoga… the attitude of karma yoga which purifies the mind.
Arlindo: I don’t think he was referring to the attitude of a karma yogi, much less teaching karma yoga. Ideas such as “not-knowing,” “no-mind,” “flowing with life,” “enjoying life,” “saying yes,” etc. have been around forever and often refer to something which is but the effect of a certain cause. Self-knowledge and Isvara-knowledge (karma/dharma yoga) are the cause. The statements which these so-called teachers proclaim are only hints of the effects of a “clear and firm” self-knowledge.
They are only “descriptions” of the symptoms of moksa/liberation; it is talking about how it feels to be liberated, etc. Many “teachers” without a teaching talk in those terms, but without a complete means of knowledge the “teacher” will not be able to help others to realize and actualize self-knowledge – such descriptions serve only as “inspiration” – at the most they will motivate the seeker to strive to acquire those experiences.
The good news about these “descriptions” and the attainment of such experiences is that they will eventually take the seeker to Vedanta, a complete teaching methodology, and ultimately to a qualified teacher.
They often refer to it as the “Direct Path,” but without proper sattvic thoughts and actions to prepare the mind and the constant application of scriptural knowledge, these symptoms or effects of self-knowledge can only be tasted here and there but rarely actualized or “retained.” The conclusion is that one cannot skip karma yoga and that one needs a proper and extensive body of knowledge in order to remove the symptoms of self-ignorance.
Only knowledge will free the jiva from the effects of self-ignorance (psychological suffering). Most of the Neo-Advaita teachers (without a proper teaching) will criticize and look down on “knowledge.” They will praise “self-experience” and indirectly suggest that by faking or duplicating the effects of self-knowledge one can reach its cause (removal of self-ignorance). The effects of self-knowledge are experiences such as peace, love, contentment, satisfaction, security, etc.
The cause of such experiences is knowledge, and knowledge alone.