Soul Love: If we create our own reality, how do you explain suffering?
Mooji: This is a very well discussed subject with various views depending on what culture, particularly what spiritual culture, you’re coming from. If you want to bring in the notions of karma and things like that, it gets to be a much more complex subject and it depends on what way we wish to discuss this. If we look at it only in the framework of our life as we know it, it seems like our life, our situation, our position, the place we were born, all of these things can be perceived like it’s all just an accident, it just happened like that. One might have a very strong belief that to do well is to be materially well-off, but another may have a different outlook, believing that to do well means having very few material possessions, but inwardly being rich in spirit, compassion, understanding and wisdom. These are also considered to be forms of wealth.
SL: Papaji stressed that teaching through silence was more important than teaching through words. How do you bring this across in your own Satsangs?
Mooji: I feel that one has to be sufficiently mature to really learn through silence. It is very difficult to engage through silence and stillness, especially if we come from a culture where we think a lot and have a lot of trust in the more cerebral approach to life, where there is a lot of reasoning and a very strong emphasis on intellectual understanding.
In our Satsang gatherings we often sit together without immediately plunging into verbal interactions. It feels fine in the moment to just sit without talking, and we value and enjoy this. Like this, silence just introduces itself in a very natural way, people just fall into stillness—they don’t have a sense that they are learning anything, and maybe this is a feeling that they can’t quite explain, but it is a very powerful and auspicious experience for them. However, some people who have come to Satsang have felt very uncomfortable with silence initially. When you are in an atmosphere where there are many people, it can seem like being silent is a kind of strange game and even pretentious.
“Love is our essential being. The concept of connecting to love only comes because something feels disconnected from love.”
Sometimes we offer silent retreats. People who have never attended one want to know what it is all about. They ask, “Do you sit all day and not speak at all?” It is not like that. In order to create a supportive environment without the usual pressures of our social or worldly habits, we encourage people not to engage in any kind of communication, so that each participant can focus their attention fully on this inner self. Even body language and eye contact are discouraged but, though some find it difficult or unnatural at the start, nearly everyone is happy and grateful at the end. In our silent retreats, everyone moves in silence, even when we eat together.
During main Satsang, however, there’s a space where people can bring forward their questions, doubts, testimonies and observations. Initially it can feel very strange for some people. For others it can feel like a great novelty—being with people and not speaking. However, for most, such retreats are like a great gift. After two or three days, most enter into a state of silence very naturally. Some people can’t really sink into it, but most sink into a silence which is not a kept silence, but a true silence which is synonymous with our own natural existence and being. When they begin to experience this field of silence, they can find their answers much more easily and begin to radiate a soft and beautiful energy of pure presence. Many participants pass the state of emotional release through laughter and crying, and gradually find that there’s an effortless and natural joy underlying all changeful states. Following this, they move into a phase where there is just a state of pure neutrality and deep silence, free of egoic identity.
This is what Papaji was speaking about. In that state it is very easy to communicate, not merely verbally but energetically, and there’s a silent exchange, a communication which is very subtle and beautiful, and it is without conflict because it is a non-conceptual communion.
SL: What is the energy of love exactly, and how can we connect to this powerful energy?
Mooji: We are not connecting with love—we are love, just like we are not living life—we are life. Love is our essential being. The concept of connecting to love only comes because something feels disconnected from love. What feels disconnected from love is our self-image, the idea we have of who we are. This idea is not harmonious, it is not stable, and so from the standpoint of a person, there’s an urge to find something that is stable.
Because we have not questioned who we are sufficiently, the personal identity seems to prevail as a reality. We have an intuitive sense that we are stable and whole, and with this sense comes an urge to find that harmony or wholeness. But it cannot be found by the person, who is a psychological construct. Even if the person was able to find something that it could say is stable and whole, he would not be able to appreciate it continuously. The person is always changing, it is always unstable, and it is impossible for the changing to find and retain that which is unchanging.
We’re in a realm of constant movement, but in all of that, there’s a centre inside us that is unmoving—our true Self. The ultimate goal of any authentic spiritual seeking is to discover that stillness which is in the core of all movement. As soon as we recognize that in ourselves then we find that love Is. Love is not perfected, love is what we are. But while we are in the notion of ourselves as being only persons, autonomous individuals, then the game of struggling to find and to achieve seems very true.
SL: Have you ever felt the desire to start a Satsang for children?
Mooji: I have been invited to visit schools and to talk with children, and I just ended up telling them stories that are based on understanding fundamental things in life. Children, like adults, deeply enjoy stories, and it is through these simple tales that they come to some important seeing, and an appreciation of what is already okay in themselves. Storytelling is a wonderful way through which children can grasp essential truths. But this goes for adults too.
I am very open to children participating in Satsang. Some children have even come and presented their questions, which were felt to be very mature and wise questions.
SL: What do you feel is the most satisfying in the work that you do?
Mooji: [Mooji begins to smile, closes his eyes and slowly repeats my question.] The most satisfying is to listen to someone who is expressing through their own real seeing again. To see people being set free from their delusions and from concepts that we inherit or that we absorb in this dance called life, and coming back to something that is fundamental for every human being.
This is what I feel as the joy in my heart: that I can look at the human being, without any guilt or shame being experienced either way—a true meeting. I don’t need to know about their past or future projections, hopes and aspirations, or what their beliefs are, because I know what they cannot not be—the timeless and perfect Truth. And a joy floods my heart in knowing and witnessing this.
“Mooji, we are very grateful for the wisdom that you share with us and you are definitely our Loving Soul!”
For more information, please visit Mooji’s website: mooji.org
INTERVIEW BY: DIRK TERPSTRA – SOUL LOVE FOUNDER