Little Deaths of Self

Little Deaths of Self

The mystical and shamanic paths are sprinkled with what has been called ‘Little Deaths’.

We experience ‘Little Deaths’ each time we confront and move through a great learning experience.

These ‘Little Deaths’ are deliberate choices to get rid of negative (bad) parts of our self. The self or ego is not necessarily evil; it is the personal individual expression of consciousness “in the space where you are”. It is how you choose to develop the self or ego that makes all the difference; your intention.

Quote from Hamlet: There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. William Shakespeare

If you only think of yourself as separate and alone it can be very limiting in living your life.

If you think of yourself as connected to everything it can open you up to all possibilities.

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. Nelson Mandela

THIS IS COURAGE – My journey to the North Pole and beyond | Jade Hameister | TEDxMelbourne:

Now that you have built up your courage; time to get to work:

Deny Self

Mat 16:24  Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, he must deny [or, disown] himself and take up his cross and be following Me.

Deny:  from Greek – to deny utterly, that is, disown, abstain

Student:   Sir, if one gave up the I (self), nothing whatsoever would remain.

Ramakrishna:   I am not asking you to give up all of the I. you should give up only the “unripe I.”  The “unripe I” makes one feel: “I am the doer. These are my wife and children. I am a teacher.”

Renounce this “unripe I” and keep the “ripe I” which will make you feel that you are God’s servant, His devotee, and that God is the doer and you are His instrument.   Sri Ramakrishna


Things that are done just for the I (self) need to give way to things done for WE.


Fear Not

Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Fear:  from Greek phobos fearing, fear, flight. This is the root of the English word phobia.

Judge Not

Matthew 7:1-2  `Judge not, that ye may not be judged,  for in what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged, and in what measure ye measure, it shall be measured to you.

Luke 6:37 “And stop judging, and by no means shall you* be judged. Stop condemning, and by no means shall you* be condemned. Be forgiving, and you* will be forgiven.

Judge:  from Greek – Properly to distinguish, that is, decide (mentally or judicially); by implication to try, condemn, punish: – avenge, conclude, condemn, damn, decree, determine, esteem, judge, go to (sue at the) law, ordain, call in question, sentence to, think.


Matthew 6:14-15 “For, if you* forgive the people their transgressions, your Father, the [One] in the heavens, will also forgive you,* but if you* do not forgive the people their transgressions, neither will your* Father forgive your* transgressions.

Forgive:  from Greek – to send forth, in various applications: – cry, forgive, forsake, lay aside, leave, let (alone, be, go, have), omit, put (send) away, remit, suffer, yield up.

Matthew 5:3 “Happy [or, Blessed] [are] the poor in spirit, because theirs is the kingdom of the heavens.

heavens –  Greek(through the idea of elevation); the sky; by extension heaven (as the abode of God); by implication happiness, power, eternity; specifically the Gospel (Christianity): – air, heaven ([-ly]), sky.

Luke 17:20-21  Now having been questioned by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God is coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; neither will they say, ‘Look here!’ or ‘Look there!’ For listen! The kingdom of God is within [or, among] you*.”

The kingdom of the heavens or the kingdom of God is within [or, among] you*.

Your Father, the [One] in the heavens is within [or, among] you*. Your Father, the [One] is a presence that resides within you. This presence seeks to give you the inner desires of your heart. You were made as a creation machine; for good or bad, you choose.

Matthew 6:21  for where your* treasure is, there will your* heart [fig., inner desire] be also.


If the inner desire of your heart is:

Fearing; you will receive fear.
Judging; you will receive judgment.
Forgiving; you will receive forgiveness.

Peace is This Moment Without Judgment

Peace is This Moment Without Judgment

Do you think peace requires an end to war?
Or tigers eating only vegetables?
Does peace require an absence from
your boss, your spouse, yourself? …
Do you think peace will come some other place than here?
Some other time than Now?
In some other heart than yours?

Peace is this moment without judgment.
That is all. This moment in the Heart-space
where everything that is is welcome.
Peace is this moment without thinking
that it should be some other way,
that you should feel some other thing,
that your life should unfold according to your plans.

Peace is this moment without judgment,
this moment in the heart-space where
everything that is is welcome.

© Dorothy Hunt

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All Roads That Lead To God Are Good


Nachiketa’s Mirror and Yama –  the Lord of Death

This story is a conversation between Nachiketa a young boy and Yama – the Lord of Death. The teacher is Yama – The Death Himself and the student is a young Nachiketa in his teens.

In ancient India, there was Vajasrawas, a famous person .He was performing a sacrifice named Viswajet Yajna. In this Yajna, the performer had to give away all his wealth. It was a unique occasion. The place was beautifully decorated. Many rishis attended and they were chanting the mantras while offering to the holy fire. Cows were designated as valuable and special possessions in those very ancient days, and hence Vajashrava decided to donate all his cows to Brahmins.

Nachiketa was in his teens, and he was observing the sacrificial ritual with innocent interest. He was surprised to notice that his father was giving away only old and disabled cows. Those cows, who had given their milk for a long time and who were not capable of bearing calves.

This ‘worldly cleverness’ of his father brought a lot of change in the heart of the young boy.

Nachiketa, in order to dissuade his father from giving old cows, asked,” O father, to whom have you decided to give me away?”.

The purpose of the boy was to stop his father to do such things.

At first his father did not take any notice of this ‘childish’ question, but Nachiketa was insistent. He repeated the question thrice when the irritated father said,” Nachiketa, I give you to the God Death.”

Vajasrawas did not mean what he said. He had uttered these words in anger. No father would like to send their son away to the land of death. Nachiketa decided to obey the words of his father by going to the abode of Yama. Vajasrawas asked his little son to stay back. Nachiketa loved was very firm. Folding his hands he told his father that their ancestors never went back on their words and he would like to follow the same. He wanted his father to follow the same tradition. Nachiketa knew that all the things in this world are temporary and he was not afraid of death. He understood that following the path of truth is the gateway to heaven.

Vajasrawas was very sad but gave him permission as a follower of truth. Nachiketa left for the abode of Yama.

On reaching there he found that Yama was not at home. For three days and night the young boy waited without food, water and sleep at the doorstep of Yama’s abode. Yama on his return, was deeply grieved to see that there was no welcome to Nachiketa. Yama himself greeted him with due respect. For having kept Nachiketa waiting for three days, Yama granted him three boons.

The first boon, Nachiketa said, “I seek the welfare of my father as my first boon.” Yama granted him happily.

The second boon, “Sir I desire to know how one could reach heaven where there is no sorrow, old age or death”. Nachiketa did not ask this second boon for himself but for the sake of the people. He wanted everyone to learn this secret knowledge and free themselves from the sufferings.

Yama was pleased with the unselfishness of Nachiketa. Yama gave all the details of a particular sacrifice, the performance of which would take one to heaven.

As Nachiketa was an intelligent and a sincere boy with a spiritual knowledge, he could understand all that was taught. Yama was pleased with him and in appreciation, named that particular sacrifice after Nachiketa himself.

The third boon … Nachiketa asked to learn the mystery of what comes after death.

Yama was reluctant on this question. He said that this had been a mystery even to the gods. He asked Nachiketa to ask for some other boon, and offered many material gains.

But Nachiketa argues that all worldly treasures and heavenly pleasures come to an end sooner or later. If not the day after, after a hundred years. These are not permanent means of enjoyment. He insists to get the ultimate knowledge of Self, ” O Lord of Death, you have promised me the third boon”.

Yama was pleased with such a young truth-seeker who had rejected the path of enjoyment and chose the path of goodness. Then Yama taught him the knowledge of the Atman, realizing which man attains immortality. Know the Self as lord of the chariot, The body as the chariot itself, The discriminating intellect as charioteer, And the mind as reins.

The senses, say the wise, are the horses; Selfish desires are the roads they travel. When the Self is confused with the body, Mind, and senses, they point out, he seems to enjoy pleasure and suffer sorrow.

The all-knowing Self was never born, nor will it die. Beyond cause and effect, This Self is eternal.

When the body dies, the Self does not die.

One must discriminate the Soul from the body, which is the seat of desire. After death, it is the Soul that remains; the Soul is immortal.

Brahman can be seen, as in a mirror

In a pure heart; in the world of the ancestors

As in a dream; in the gandharva world

As the reflections in trembling waters;

And clear as light in the realm of Brahma.

Thus having learned from Yama that the way to find Brahman was within himself as in a mirror, Nachiketa searched in his own self to discover the highest Universal Principle.

One cannot be told with words what the highest Universal Principle is; but must discover it within himself(herself).


Nachiketa has been one of the most influential characters in Hinduism. Indian monk swamy vivekananda said: “If I get ten or twelve boys with the faith of Nachiketa, I can turn the thoughts and pursuits of this country in a new channel.”

This forms the subject matter of one of the Upanishads called Katha Upanishad.



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Impact of a drop of water in water, a common analogy for Brahman and the Ātman

In Hinduism, Brahman connotes the highest Universal Principle, the Ultimate Reality in the universe. In major schools of Hindu philosophy, it is the material, efficient, formal and final cause of all that exists. It is the pervasive, genderless, infinite, eternal truth and bliss which does not change, yet is the cause of all changes. Brahman as a metaphysical concept is the single binding unity behind diversity in all that exists in the universe.


Hebrew variation of Brahman

We start with the first two words in Genesis 1:1:

ראשׁית rê’shîyth ray-sheeth’ the first principal thing

אלהים ‘ĕlôhîym el-o-heem’ the Supreme One

Eloheem is a plural masculine noun used with singular masculine verbs. This is contrary to rules of Hebrew grammar, but done on purpose..

The plural is used to show majesty, honor, or fullness.

One not as a separate entity; but as Complete Collective Consciousness (BEING).

Gen 1:1-3 Created by the Elohim were the heavens and the earth. Yet the earth became a chaos and vacant, and darkness was on the surface of the submerged chaos. Yet the spirit of the Elohim is vibrating over the surface of the water. And saying is the Elohim, “Become light!” And it is becoming light.

Spirit  רוּח  rûach  roo’-akh  wind, breath, a region of the sky, mind

Light  אור ‘ôr ore illumination; to be or make luminous (be, give, or show light) enlightened, set on fire, shine.

Let enlightenment or illumination become; this is the first action of the Supreme One.

This is the same principal that Buddha called enlightenment or illumination.

I see now that all creatures have perfect enlightenment – but they do not know it.  Buddha


Jesus’ version of Nachiketa’s Mirror

Psalms 91:1  He who is dwelling In the secret place of the Most High, In the shade of the Mighty lodgeth habitually,

Matthew 6:6  “But when you* are praying, enter into your private room, and having shut your door, pray to your Father, the [One] in secret, and your Father, the [One] seeing in secret, will reward you in the open.

your private room

a dispensary or magazine, that is, a chamber on the ground floor or interior of an Oriental house (generally used for storage or privacy, a spot for retirement): – secret chamber, closet, storehouse.


concealed, that is, private: – hid (-den), inward [-ly], secret.

Luke 17:20-21  Now having been questioned by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God is coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; neither will they say, ‘Look here!’ or ‘Look there!’ For listen! [Strong imperative](what I am saying next is very important) The kingdom of God is within [or, among] you*.”


There are common threads through all religions.


All Roads That Lead To God Are Good

– Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox


All roads that lead to God are good.

What matters it, your faith, or mine?

Both centre at the goal divine

Of love’s eternal Brotherhood.


The kindly life in house or street –

The life of prayer and mystic rite –

The student’s search for truth and light –

These paths at one great Junction meet.


Before the oldest book was writ,

Full many a prehistoric soul

Arrived at this unchanging goal,

Through changeless Love, that leads to it.


What matters that one found his Christ

In rising sun, or burning fire?

In faith within him did not tire,

His longing for the Truth sufficed.


Before our modern hell was brought

To edify the modern world,

Full many a hate-filled soul was hurled

In lakes of fire by its own thought.


A thousand creeds have come and gone,

But what is that to you or me?

Creeds are but branches of a tree –

The root of love lives on and on.


Though branch by branch proved withered wood,

The root is warm with precious wine.

Then keep your faith, and leave me mine –

All roads that lead to God are good.


But; not all roads lead to God!