Question: Does the true I feel personal? Or impersonal? Or is there any experience of it at all?
R: Contemplate what you mean by personal: how does that sense come about? What constitutes it? You will see that the ego believes to be the recipient of all input through all channels, senses, body, and mind. What it takes to be familiar is its comfort zone of habitual memories. Compared to the pure I AM this network seems narrow and mechanical. Check this in direct observation.
Friend: It seems what is “personal” is just a collection of feelings to which i feel attached to. It seems that all thoughts come from feelings and those from some energy source I have not yet found. However, it’s becoming more and more clear that this whole experience is being held by someone... something.. but it is too immersed in it. I’m starting to see all my desires for pleasure and for anything to be nothing more than some kind of feeling/ thought-form.
R: Yes that is so with most of us :-) Understand that this noble fight, as Ramana called it will make your experience of the Self strong.
By personal we mean a most intimate feeling, right? Actually, that pertains only to the Self. The person as such is a mechanical and rigid function.
F: Ahh, I see so the Self is an intimate experience? and I surrender by allowing the feeling of I to relax into itself.. and then through intention, offering that sense of I to God.
R: Of course is the Self the most intimate consciousness there is, far more than any indirect experience of senses, body, and mind. And IT is already ours while sensory experience involves a lot of desire, pain, and frustrations. The term SELF was used by Bhagavan to indicate this. He used many other words as well like adhistana, essence, hridayam, heart.
F: Yes I can feel a lot of forces wanting to rise up and it is scary even tho I know that they are not me I don’t know that they can not hurt me... If I allow all these feelings to arise... and I rest into Whom they arise.. a fear I have is that this body will go start doing things harmful or not according to what my mind wants it to or sees as “right”.
R: This is one of the weapons of the ego: to spread such fears of 'could ' and 'should'. We cannot calculate the path. Also, it is not an effort to fight desires. But rather the ever-new discovery that the I-sense is already aloof.
This difference of quality is most important- the Self is peaceful while all personal structures are restless and insecure.
F: It’s very interesting because I like it whatever it is. But if I gently ask who, and don’t try to immediately say I, the I presents itself. Should I allow the I sense to arise and present itself after I ask the question?
R: Yes, that arising is subtler than the repeated memory of the i thought.
The pure I is not mental. Muruganar, the court poet of Bhagavan once wrote, 'Blessed are you, o Ramana that you have said that that which IS is not a thought.'
Contemplate our dialogue if you like, it is often by repeated reading and musing over it that it gets deeper as it is not surface information. Will retire now. Good night!
F: Yes, thank you very much for our talks, they are helpful and I have found glimpses of clarity through them! Good night!