Notes from Babaji's classes in Oregon, San Francisco, Hawaii, and various prisons.
At the yogic level, if you are disconnected from something, then you reconnect with it and then transcend it. "Freedom from the senses, not freedom to the senses," is the yogic way. (Swami Aseshananda)
People often attribute sentiency to things in Nature, such as fire, but where is sentient intelligence coming from? It is coming from you. "Fire illumines not, lightning illumines not, the sun illumines not -- Intelligence (you) illumines all those.
To reconnect with nature means to connect nature back within yourself. It all arises from you, after all. "The world is your very own." "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you." From the standpoint of nature, nature is an illusion, but from the standpoint of the Self, "All is Brahman." Neti-neti, appears in conflict with iti-iti. [Note: From the standpoint of Nature, there are many separate objects coming in and out of time, hence it is all illusory. From the standpoint of Nature, we practice neti-neti, discrimination between the Unchanging and the changing. However, from the standpoint of the Self, where only Brahman exists, one practices iti-iti, "all this, all this."]
It seems sometimes that the great ones speak in contradictions, but this is only because one moment they are speaking from the relative point of view and the next from the Absolute view. The aspirant must develop the ability to discern the difference.
Krishnamurti spoke about reconnecting with Nature. Connect how? Not via entertainment, enjoyment, pleasure, or leisure. Connect Nature to the senses, and senses to the mind, and thereby see that nature is not separate from you, but has come out of you. Then you will go beyond the creation theory and comprehend the principles of projection and superimposition - a much more valuable understanding.
The power of the eye to see, of the ear to hear, etc., point us inward to the mind and then to God. If I've lost touch with Nature, I have to reconnect to it first in order to get free of it. Knowledge of the world and nature is not for purposes of moneymaking, but for mastery and freedom. The idea is that if I don't know a thing, then it has power over me. Instead of taking objects as things for ownership or pleasure, I take them as objects of meditation. So I connect up earth to smell, water to taste, fire to sight, etc. -- this connects me from the physical body to the subtle body. Then I begin to find that I am not Nature at all, I am Spirit. And then I can make that final connection that Nature has come from me via my own innate knowledge. This is a mature form of neti-neti. How is it that we say "All is Brahman," but then we say I am not the body, prana, mind, etc.? So, this process of connecting up with Nature proves to us that all these gross and subtle principles have all come out of us. It is only then that we are able to enter the early stages of samadhi. Sasmita is not just samadhi with a trace of ego -- it is samadhi with a ripe ego. You finally see how God disports via ego. If we feel that Vedanta has left us with a feeling of aversion for the world and beings, then our understanding has not matured. We have to understand that we have three bodies: physical, subtle, and causal, and that as we encounter them in turn we move inward towards the Atman.
Krishnamurti, whose ashram we visited on our last pilgrimage to India, says that man needs to reconnect with nature. But when you reconnect to nature you don't want to make the mistake of thinking "I am nature." All your nightmares happen in dream and waking because you are trying to take on nature, to be nature. But nature is insentient, while you are the ever Conscious Self. Fire represents the power to see, and so is a symbol of intelligence; it's inside of you, but you are the Seer. The sun, therefore, is saying "wisdom" because it lights up the world. It is Wisdom in the physical realm.
The West was never taught that objects were for anything other than pleasure, ownership, and convenience. They were not taught that all objects are a symbol for the Divine, the Purusha, Atman. When we see an object we either have attachment or aversion. But these are two of the kleshas (obstacles). We think that to connect with an object we have to attach to it. The beauty of the Yogic Way is that you observe all things in waking, dream, and deep sleep without detachment. [note: Kleshas are: ignorance of the Self, egotism, attachment, aversion, clinging to life. All karma-producing thought are based on these five.]
Why do Buddhists say that objects are empty? Because, besides being nothing but swirling particles, they can't fulfill you; you can't really grasp them. Vedantists add another point: all these objects have come out of your mind. They are yours already. So why are you attached to them, and why do you lament their passing and apparent disappearance?
The Seers/Yogis made this inward journey for the purpose of freedom, and not for any other purpose (like using and enjoying).
[Commenting on his chart, "Yogic Connections," wherein the connections between each element are made to its associated active and cognitive senses, then to the subtle sense object (tanmatra), and then to the cosmic idea in the mind, Babaji made the following points, with regard to how we are to meditate on these principles:]