Gita Notes

I was just rereading the Bhagavad Gita and these are some notes I took.

The most ancient and sacred ritual is life itself — thus we must play within this garden as our nature dictates, engaging with our particular path. We mustn’t chase prizes we don’t value just because others look as though they’re having fun or someone says we should. We find fulfillment by being ourself. “You do you”, as they say.

We mustn’t imprison ourself within self-imposed boundaries. “But the world tells me there’s consequences!?” Damn the torpedos, full speed ahead! There are far worse consequences, i.e. penalties for not following our inner nature. “But who am I?” The very thing you think you are.

Scared? Then the world is dark and dangerous. Lighthearted? Then it’s a wacky world full of laugh-inducing calamity. Just don’t lose yourself so far into the story that you’re swept away by its turbulence — maintain some awareness of being the audience.

“Should I use external clues in figuring out who I am?” Absolutely not. Fulfillment is an internal matter, but even beyond that, our perception paints the physical world. Our senses do not relay truth, our imagination projects an illusion — we see what we believe.

Think rather, who do I feel like, who do I want to be, how do I need to live in order to be me. If the external world defined reality, then there would be no innovation or invention, no inspiration or creativity, things would be as they always are.

The world regularly alters according to mere thought, our entire human history clearly depicts this phenomenon. I type this on a touch-based tablet once thought fictional, my transcribed thoughts are sent through the air, linking up to computers around the globe — these are all concepts once believed too fantastic to be real.

Do not logic your way through life, it can’t be done, the paths aren’t really there. And do not judge the world, just appreciate the spectacle and do as you’re inspired to do. There are no actual divisions, nothing truly pleasant or unpleasant — just a stage with props and actors performing upon it.

When we establish an awareness of the eternal underlying reality of our situation, no longer focused solely on the fleeting scenes and scenery, our essential nature is revealed and we find contentment. We mustn’t focus on what the flawed senses perceive, mere illusions, we must include into our considerations that-which-pervades-and-encompasses this illusionary realm — an eternal essence we can sense by looking within.

We must admire all of this, appreciating its grandeur, and remind ourself of the artist’s presence in everything. It is the picture as a whole we must contemplate, not just a tiny part. Our senses can only ever glimpse a fragment of what is, and so we readily find fault — but to step back and view through the mind’s eye, examining the entirety, we are awestruck.

Keep the underlying origin and unity-of-all in mind at all times. Love the artist that would create such an extraordinary piece of participatory art. And as we engage with this world, such action should serve as reminder of the eternal all-pervading essence that is the foundation.

We must train our thoughts to perceive all that we see as the artist — and only from this perspective should we act. When all is the artist, our actions are pure, there is nothing to fear — there is no separateness, only the source. This universal essence is the true perceiver residing within.

This essence is the true experiencer of the world — yet becomes confounded by the dazzling spectacle. Entangled and confused, the essence is lost until its origin is realized.

The essence is bound within a body by curiosity and delight, desires that evoke impulsive action, and a shortsighted stubbornness that produces much misunderstanding. We must overcome these bonds to know the underlying essence. We do so by broadening our perspective, infusing that-which-lies-beyond-the-senses into our thoughts.

Without fear or negativity, without anger or brutality, without jealousy or pride, detached, forgiving, gentle and kind, serene, sincere, steady, disciplined, ever watching the mind and studying the ways of this eternal essence — these are the qualities of those free from suffering.

Respecting wisdom and wholesomeness while restraining lusts and violent outbursts — this is discipline of the body. Speaking kindly and gently, with sincerity, and incorporating the ways of this eternal essence into our words — this is discipline of speech. Silencing thoughts, cultivating mental tranquility, and pruning polluted ideas — this is discipline of the mind.

It all begins with recognition of the eternal and all-pervading essence. Perceive this universal essence within all, the undivided within the divided.

We should perform our role as a form of devotion, doing as our inner-nature suggests — unconcerned about outcomes. We can select not to act, but we injure ourself when we deny action befitting our character. We must harmonize with who we are, doing what we must do.

Dedicated to our role, utilizing our innate characteristics, we become who we are. Although we are full of flaws and perform imperfectly, our devotion aligns us with the essence underlying all. And by being ourself, we transcend the consequence of action.

What the senses perceive, whatever entices by ease or fear, what people say — these aspects are not our guide. We must first broaden our perspective, realizing what and where we are — then act according to our nature. When we accept this all-pervading essence as our guide, maintaining its presence within our thoughts, we come to know tranquility.

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