Contemplation, Meditation, and Samadhi

This essay comes in response to feedback on my essay (13th December 2015) entitled “Sikhs and Meditation”. It was noted that I left elements unexplained, shrouded in ambiguity. Indeed, this was deliberate because field workers at my level are constrained in terms of what they are permitted to divulge.

Field workers with my level of responsibility are tasked with aiding the development of a seeker’s inner awakening, and we do by giving indications and pointers. Seldom do we impart precise instructions. The reason for this is that we may only operate within set parameters, and to overstep our boundaries is to invite demotion – no questions asked – by those charged with examining our conduct and the content of our guidance, who may do so under disguise as seekers themselves.

So if I was vague in “Sikh and Meditation” it was intentional.

Part of the reason why those at my level are policed arises from the discrepancy between what we see and what you see. We have, at times, unparalleled access to memories encased within creation which you would normally reference as past, present and future. That which you call the future, you perceive as unfathomable, unpredictable, unformed, shrouded in unknowability though hovering like a cloud on the horizon, subject to change and react to any given stimulus.

To speak of the future is, in your conception of things, to embody unreliability. But once the future has come to pass and shifts into the category of the real, whether of past or present, you can see that which we at my level already know. Namely, the future is a precipitate of all that has happened and is happening, and more so it is implicated in – and a co-determinant of – that which forms the past and the present.

The future is not awaiting expression or fulfillment, it has already expressed and fulfilled itself.

To put it simply, the future is not a state of becoming. It has become.

The interaction and the co-existence of past, present and future (to use the categories with which you are most acquainted) is a cornerstone of Sikhism and of Vedanta philosophy. We address the pool of interactive awareness of past, present and future – that which you imagine as distinct temporalities bound by a relationship of teleology and process – as the Akashi Records.

The Akashi Records posit that past, present and future are encompassed within the frame of creation and non-creation, which contrary to the way you understand them are not distinct but are a particular kind of singularity.

We might say the same about the concepts of beginning and end – these have to be seen as a process of movement from one to the other, yet like past, present and future, like creation and non-creation, they are in fact one and the same. Beginning and end are simultaneously themselves and each other.

If I apply this to Sikhism, as a good Sikh (which I am not – recall, I am the not so terribly good Sikh!) I ought to adhere to and believe in the concept of the Akaal – the formless. What Sikhs fail to grasp is that the formless is not form-less; rather, it has a presence. In fact, it comprises a multitude of layers, a set of strata beyond whatever formless designation we impute to it in our minds.

The Akaal is not itself formlessness, but encapsulates the formless, whereupon we cognize that both Akaal and the formlessness it references are entities. They are not nothing, they are clearly something. (Note to Sikhs – this point is stated categorically in the Sri Guru Granth Sahibji by none other than Guru Nanakdevji – please locate the actual stanza).

Reverting to creation and non-creation. These are governed by karma. By this I do not mean the action-reaction, cause-effect thing you call karma, these being more accurately definitions of samskar (a sub-stratum of karma). No. Karma is the qualitative, not the quantitative, it is how the flow from a portal is governed, it is not the outflow itself. Karma governs the outflow, which when it coagulates forms creation.

To the ordinarywallahs, fixed on the notion of the social contract and our obligations within it, and to poets, who parlay the often sad and painful consequences of chasing after one’s desires, karma serves a particular and much-needed function to keep us on the straight-and-narrow as well as to romanticise the fall-out when you fail to do so.

However, the outflow which karma governs is itself already embedded in samskar, that is, it is already endowed with action-reaction and cause-and-effect, whose quantities are relative to the dilation of the portal. Hence, creation and non-creation are one complete segment of an expression from a given portal, which in turn has various dimensions, which are enclosed in zones. The zones interrupt, mingle with and travel through one another, while maintaining their individual integrity and unique vibration.

When you look out into the night sky, you see blackness, while those at my level see light. You see emptiness, we see creation and systems.

But back to “Sikh and Meditation” and the charge of vagueness that was the response of some to the essay. I deliberately and overtly glossed over the stratum of what you call meditation – but which those at my level know as contemplation, meditation and samadhi. The detail I gave in the essay was prerequisite to embarking on and achieving a state of contemplation. A starter-for-ten, if you like, where the vexed (and vexatious) relationship between pessimism and internal patriotism are explored.

You will recall that I outlined the rungs of advancement as progressing from diet-based, through thought-based and emotion-based, to the realm of humility and servility. These rungs are the reality to which you must become attuned, become one with internally, and then live outwardly, before contemplation commences.

Contemplation is not, as you would have it, internal debate of ideas and the suchlike.

Contemplation is not the place for conjecture. Conjecture must already have been gotten out of the way, dealt with, in the course of the rungs of advancement mentioned above, and through the process of attunement practiced first internally and then externally.

Contemplation is total opinionlessness. Opinionlessness is in turn the canvas on to which the depths of realism are ready to be drawn with broad brushstrokes, but one awaits intervention from another for this to happen. This other is duty-bound to you; it is their responsibility to trigger your initial entry into and beyond contemplation. They could be a person who makes an observation in passing or they could be your formal educator, a teacher whose presence is less transitory and more enduring.

My indication is that the vast majority of secular beings are not ready for contemplation let alone meditation. Many applicants sit cross-legged and announce to onlookers that they are in fact assuming the hallowed lotus posture. Sorry to break it to you, but what you do doesn’t even come close to the lotus posture. Every image you have seen of it is wrong, a falsity.

So what hope have you of entering contemplation, forget meditation and samadhi, when your knowledge of the lotus position is wrong? Especially when you do not even know that correct posture and joga (yoga as you call it) come after, and never before, one has attained contemplation, and that it is the latter that leads you into deeper inner resonance and joga ability.

Oh, and by the way, what on earth is a downward-facing dog?!?!

Idiots, certified to teach idiots, re-label postures in accordance with their own (or borrowed) brand of stupidity; and they ensure and enable the development of nothing more than inner darkness in those they purport to teach.

I cannot indicate strongly enough that meditation is dangerous.

Meditation is the pathway to your introduction to your inner light.

Meditation is the pathway to your introduction to your inner darkness.

At a secular level, you will never be able to differentiate between light and darkness. From within your present level of comprehension both are godlike.

Be warned and tread carefully.