Thursday, October 16, 2008

Do spiritual experiences remove ego?

I have had several spiritual experiences in my life and I am grateful for having them as they given me moments of joy, however, they did not last and I am still back to square one. What gives?

Spiritual experiences can be wonderful and uplifting temporarily but the ego rises again to applaud itself for having them. It believes it has attained something and that's why we go back to square one.
Realizations that last are often facing our biggest fears and sufferings. Here are some examples...
I used to be a physiotherapist in Toronto and was unhappy with trying to please the clients according to my boss to keep them as members in our exclusive health club. Then one morning I had a vision of a beautiful old man before going to work. It was vivid and momentarily disorienting. Soon I began to believe that it was a form of hallucination triggered by my growing frustration. Six months later I saw his face in a book cover by the name of Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi and knew, then and there, that we are eternal beings. I quit my position and retired to a basement to reflect on this. I started teaching soon after and founded the Unitrust Foundation in Toronto. This spiritual vision, although life-changing, did not erase my ego. In fact after writing a book "Be Aware - Be Free" and appearing on TV plus giving numerous classes I, somehow, strenghtened my ego.
After this so-called success I got married to a student and travelled to Vancouver. I worked at UBC the first couple of months but she left me to go back to Toronto to her famly. I was left penniless and being devastated couldn't work. I felt all alone. In this gut-wrenching loneliness I turned to Bhagavan and this surrender turned out to be my very real first realization. I was leaning against a bookshelf when a book fell on my lap and opened on page four where I read, "When the teacher of God is ready the students will appear." This book was the manual for teachers in a "Course in Miracles." It was soon after that I was teaching A Course in Miracles.
A couple of years later I met Sivia and she moved in with me. These first few years were filled with emotional turmoil. It was meeting this emotional upheaval that my second realization happened. It was the year 2000 and suddenly I was faced with the knowing that I am a human being. A Being playing the human role of Burt. This recognition was so overwhelming that everything became crystal-clear -- How the human is a becoming process filled with necessary egoic pain while the real goal of human life was to discover the Being that was always eternally here-now.
At this point I gave satsangs at my place.
My third realization happened when I suffered blood poisoning and was dying. I faced the possibility of death while I didn't want to leave Sivia. Suddenly a cloud burst at the hospital where I was and it was filled with so much love and joy that Burt disappeared. Everything was seen as one Being -- warm, loving, euphoric Being. A few months later I quit giving satsangs and retired to giving Supersentience sessions one-on-one and answering email questions worldwide.
The reason I have told you all this is to show you that lasting realizations happen when we face our greatest fears and trust our true inner nature. Pleasant spiritual insights, although wonderful, do not last because the ego is still in control.
With love always, Burt




2 comments:

kcrist said...

thank you for your honesty

Eric Putkonen said...

Yes, the comings and goings of spiritual experiences do not remove the ego...but often boost the ego (I had this experience).

So, as Ramana says, turn inward. Who had this experience?
Who am I?

Realizing what does not come or go is the point...not the spiritual experiences.