The way you live, the work you do, and minor and major matters in your life can either make you an integrated person – fulfilled, content and complete – or do just the opposite, leaving you dissatisfied, disenchanted and frustrated. Experiencing ‘completeness’ or ‘wholeness’ of being has much to do with living in the present moment that you are experiencing NOW – a moment that will soon pass, never to return.
Integrated the Self teaches the reader ways to fully utilise and enjoy every moment of life by revealing the true meaning of existence. The book guides the reader on how to flow with one’s life and let all of life’s little changes happen as one coasts along, thereby discovering the true joy of living and the pure lightness of being.
In the year 1990, in his late twenties, and deeply drawn by his childhood inclination for spiritual elevation, Nitin Orayan left behind his established profession in Advertising and Publicity, and gradually flowed into intense spiritual practices. In the process, he discovered a whole new identity touched by grace and by intuitive awareness.
Around the middle of 2002, he took refuge in an abandoned Hindu monastery in an Indian village near Ganeshpuri, the land of saints, where he penned this book based on his inner reflections of the path to Self-refinement.
I came to the village to get a copy of “Integrate the Self” and meet the author Nitin Orayan and stayed on.
Nitin Orayan established and runs a supplementary school in a sacred tribal village in India.
His life has not been an easy one; from his arrival as a super-sensitive little being into a world that he never quite felt comfortable in. The compassionate boy often sought refuge in the shadows. He was educated and rose to success in the advertising world – expressing his creativity successfully and profoundly. He experienced a lack of satisfaction in the success and abundance of the material/ business world.
Nitin abandoned that world and took on a journey of wandering and searching.
He often found himself exposed to extreme experiences, including severe extended periods of hunger, and also to annihilation and rejection by his fellow men. It took him deeply into a journey of experiencing Self at ever-increasing depths. Often experiencing wide eyed wonder at his own capacity to endure and simply be in the most indescribable situations.
Finding deep within his existence the total acceptance that all of life is ultimately an expression of Divine Consciousness.
Nitin’s journey took him to the refuge of an unused ashram on the banks of a beautiful river, where he spent an extended period in solitary contemplation and expression, which lead to the writing of this and other books based on the insights gained on his journey into Self.
After a year, he left the ashram and went to a small village, making inroads into reintegration by communicating with children. He went to schools and spoke to children and often sat in a backyard surrounded by children who partook of his teaching and games in wide-eyed fascination, experiencing the author as one of them.
A friend from the village recognized his talent and gift of teaching. His complete acceptance of a new reality supplementary school which Nitin calls ‘Learning Space’.
They teach more than 500 tribal children by the mediums of English, music, drama, art and an ever-increasing number of tools of growth and self expression.
He lives a humble life of Seva, sharing and expressing his wise compassionate being with everyone he encounters.
“Ultimately, you are an expression of that One Consciousness, which lives through and seeks fulfillment through every moment of your life.
Knowing this, you will at some point in your life open with complete devotion and dedication to the will of this greater identity, this creative force that is bringing us into existence and guiding our lives”.
An extract from “Integrated the Self” Upon readings this – tears of sweet, sweet joy and understanding of the truth of existence wash away my illusions of needing or being in control of anything. The sheer joy of knowing that my life is an expression of Consciousness, brings about a feeling of sweet surrender. My very being bows in gratitude for this understanding that sweeps away my feelings of separateness and aloneness – gently leading me to an acceptance of and ability to embrace oneness, completeness, isness,
What is this? A homecoming, a realization as if my whole life existed to come to this moment. Everything always led to this. It seems nothing else existed or exists, just this! My tears flow, my body contracts – expands, throat contracts – kind of want to scream, but am so contained. So captivated by this.
“Integrate the Self” is a handbook for living a more integrated, balanced and wholesome life. It flows so exquisitely from the author’s life experiences as a gift. He has woven his ability to soar from the depths of pain, loneliness and despair into the teachings contained in this book.
I am truly deeply grateful to the author for being the precious channel for many precious moments and realizations while reading this amazing book. The profound wisdom and teachings that poured from the depths of his wise and beautiful being onto the pages of this book do lead to an integrated life!
Drift in and float off into these teachings of wisdom, being drawn from and towards divine existence.
The way you live, the work you do, small and big matters that surround your life can made you either ‘integrated’ with a sense of completeness and ‘wholeness’ or do just the opposite i.e. fragment your thinking and attitudes and lead you to degeneration and frustration.
It is for you to, at whatever stage of life that you may be passing through, take a strong and firm decision to choose a way of life that will make your life a happy and satisfying one; a way of life that allows you ample time for enjoying those little joys of life and enables you to fully participate in almost every single ‘act’ that is part of your living experience, to enhance your feeling of ‘wholeness’.
Experiencing ‘wholeness’ has much to do with living in the present i.e. giving your complete attention to the moment that you are ‘now’ experiencing, as it is soon going to pass; it is imperative for you to realize that your life exists only in this moment.
You can experience wholeness and find complete satisfaction.
It is not difficult as it seems to be, it is within your reach.
For example, after speed walking or running a long distance until exhausted, you drop to the ground, and experience wholeness – during eating or drinking, you become the taste of the food or drink and be ‘filled’ – when singing, seeing, tasting, be aware you are alive, and experience the wonderful moments of life – at the start of sneezing, during fright, in anxiety or in extreme curiosity, when hungry or thirsty, be uninterruptedly ‘aware’ of the universal power working inside you.
This book is written with the purpose of offering the reader a new and complete approach to life… to flow with your life and let all those little changes happen to you as you go along… and discover the lightness of being.
These writings as they emerged from the reservoir of intuitive knowledge, came together in the form of a book that was titled “How to Integrate the Self” in the first print. In the second edition, many valuable additions have been made to the previous one, and a new form emerges here with the name “Integrate the Self”, as suggested by so many readers and well-wishers of these writings, all over the world, the wisdom that flows in the pages of this book calls upon all humans, regardless of whether they are aware of the paradigm shift that is happening to human consciousness on this planet or not.
Spiritual awareness and significance is no longer the privilege of selected types of individuals or people, and every human who is spurred by the collective intelligence to value the gift of human birth, and to upgrade his or her quality of living, must share this knowledge.
You have a longing to learn the many aspects of developing and refining your person, which are so vital in bringing out your complete potential as an individual, the lingering question in your mind can be, ‘why should I concern my time and attention with terms like ‘Consciousness’ and ‘Perception’, when I am interested in developing a strong and effective personality’.
When confronted with the issue of developing and refining the person, you have to look deeper than the outer form of yourself, which you very closely relate to as your very own, but seldom value, as a gift from nature, and hardly know how to take care of it.
You could develop a sense of gratitude for this gift of nature… the body, mine and intellect that are necessary to carry out your day-to-day tasks, and to derive maximum efficiency from them.
The quality and efficacy of action that comes out of you is a result of so many factors coming together and combining; factors that go deep down into the many layers of mind and matter that orchestrate, like hundreds of varied musical instruments in a symphony. And like the harmonious notes and rhythms that emerge and intermingle and produce beautiful sounds from this orchestra; all the focets of your body, mind and intellect have to integrate to be channeled into one stream of disciplined system, and stems from and integrated body, mind and intellect produces the best results, providing a tremendous sense of satisfaction that gives a boost to further action. In this manner you start a chain of action and satisfaction leading to more action and satisfaction.
Refinement in its complete sense, in the context of growth, lies in constructively channeling and focusing all human energy in one long moment of life.
True refinement is in transforming one’s perception and attitude, rejecting any harmful or unwholesome thoughts and cultivating all round positivism, and gearing them to bring out the best of one’s abilities, so that one is filled with a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. True human sophistication is attuning one’s sensitivity and sensibility to the will of the power that is running our existence and becoming one with it. This total human refinement is for all of us to cleanse the unnecessary filth that settles upon us, in the process of living a misdirected life.
Refinement through spiritual discipline has become an imperative need of our lives, to protect ourselves from burning out like brief candles, in the raging flames of a self-centred consumerist ethos.
The purpose of inculcating spirituality in our life is only to enhance its richness and derive immense satisfaction from it.
The book ‘Integrate the Self’ looks at cultivating spirituality in this context of maximizing your potential as an individual, stepping into the realm of self- control for perfection… and not spirituality as wearing a loin cloth, abandoning everything around and living in deep forest or on a mountain.
The means of achieving self-control, mainly by truning one’s attention away from the demands of the false ego, and turnings it completely towards purposeful activity, is no big feat that must be recorded in a book of world records.
It is a need of the hour, in the growing demands of competitive life, placed on individuals to give winning performances in all fields of activity.
If you want to be good at everything you speak and do, and love to derive a sense of attainment from your life; to be appreciated by people around you and to be successful in your undertakings, you have to be an integrated person; mind, body, intellect and soul, all engaged in a team effort to express the purpose of your existence.
Human fault… Error of perception
There comes a time in your life, sometime or the other, especially in times of unbearable adversity and crisis, when questions such as these come up in your mind; ‘Am I the doer of my action?’ or ‘Do I really exist?’ or ‘Is there a God?’ or ‘Is there destiny?’ and so forth, you have very internally and unknowingly come upon the opportunity to find the truth that underlies your existence.
At this very point of your existence, you are standing on the threshold of a gateway that will transform your perception of existence. Nevertheless, it also matters at the same time, how poised you are to enter this realm of a higher perception; how spiritually disciplined is your body-mind-intellect mechanism to withstand the onslaughts of crossing over to this new realm; how strong is your conviction to be able to persist all the way, to reach out to that clarity and to the reality of your existence.
Conversely, a person with westernized education and living in this era of technological sophistication, finds it unacceptable that the higher power is completely driving his existence or that ‘He is not the real doer of his action’.
It is considered modern to believe that such ideas of pre-ordained reality and destiny are backward and bordering on blind faith and superstition. Modern thinking that is firmly backed by the rationale of the intellect, believes in each one of us being the master of one’s life.
Yes, every one of us can command our own life, only when we open up our divine potential by recognizing the infinite source within us.
For a modern person, it is rather obvious that he alone is the doer of his actions, which happen as a result of thoughts, and the nature of his habits.
But it is so obvious to a true seeker of truth that these thoughts and habits are a result of a person’s genes and the conditioning of his mind. And how much control does any person have on these two vital factors that shape the course of his life. It makes some sense for a modern person to believe in his or her ‘doership’, for the sake of holding a sane and logical world-view. And this world-view is the basis of the ordinary conditioned and fragmented perception that our modern education compels us to believe in.
This limited perception is the root of all ignorance that expresses itself in the foolish self-centred and self-destructive deeds of human beings, seen throughout the history of mankind. But humans will continue to see through the tinted frame of limited and fragmented perception, until the cosmic will ordains otherwise.
There is a more cohesive level of perception that exceptional people from all cultures around the world, over thousands of years, have attained and experienced. These virtuous men and women lived in an expanded state of being which they attained by grace, through self-study, rigorous spiritual discipline and total commitment to opening their full human potential.
Their discovery of a heightened perception, which they believed is a human privilege, negates the worldview established by our limited perception. Their findings, which have been revealed to us by means of scriptures, point to our limited perception as the root of all human fault; imposing a serious limitation of short-sightedness, concealing the truth at the bottom of our existence. The ‘limited perception’ which we believe to be the truth of our live, leads us to further believe in the restricted understanding of a much larger reality.
If you are among the ones ordained to experience a growing feeling of incompleteness with the limited self-centred perception imposed on you since childhood, you are meant to clear the misperception of life. Then you will begin with yourself, and discover in the process of your life this precisely. That shifting your attention towards ‘Self-Knowledge’ is the beginning of self-improvement.
The essential step obviously is to get to the root of the problem, i.e. the misperception that ‘I am a separate individual and so I must live for myself, and to satisfy my desires at any cost’. This misperception is largely responsible, for the strong identification with the ‘ego’ that is present in each one of us. As a reaction to this identification, we bind ourselves into the confines of a single unit, a body and a mind, which collectively are a functional mechanism only, and not the complete entity.
While the mechanism of the body and mind just carry out the process of thought leading to action, where does the thinker get his thought? Or who is the thinker? Wise and illumined seers probed into their Self to find out the truth at the bottom of our existence.
Their findings point to the presence of one ‘energy’ that is conscious and intelligent, behind all manifestation in the universe. And this conscious energy, at the core, which carries a power of intention, expresses itself in the form of manifested object consciousness or awareness, animate or inanimate. So, all that is present in the universe, visible and invisible, discovered or yet to be discovered, are all outer forms of the same inner consciousness.
Let us say there are two points of existence; the presence of a consciousness that is unmanifest and there is a consciousness that is manifested into a manifold revealed universe.
Imagine a great black sea of space that exists by itself, and is conscious of its presence, as point ‘A’. Then this black space of consciousness, which the Zen masters of Far East called ‘the great emptiness or nothingness’, bursts into a universe of diverse forms of existence, with the same consciousness at the core of everything. This universe with its unlimited and unimaginable diversity which you and I can see and experience is the point ‘B’.
For the need to understand this phenomenon, ancient seers referred to these two points of existence as the ‘non-dual’ and ‘dual’ states of existence. The non-dual state, point A is clear, because of its singular entity as One Consciousness. Now, from point A to point B, we can see that this single entity has divided itself into multiple entities of living forms, whether animate or inanimate. So, every single living form has that same undivided ‘non-dual’ consciousness of point A at its core.
What is even more interesting, is that the two points of existence are actually not two as we may believe for the sake of comprehending the subject; the two points of existence are merged into one, at the highest level of human realization; a state of realization which many humans have attained, and all of them have expressed this state as being one with God.
The realization that all of us are made of the same energy and are products of one inner intelligent consciousness transforms one’s outlook towards life. With this realization we learn to live with a new confidence, a renewed faith that our lives are an expression of consciousness, which speaks through joy and sorrow, happiness and adversity, and every other human condition. So every ‘white’ has a ‘black’ to compliment its existence. Like we know sunshine is because there is darkness. This is exactly the basic simple principle that lies at the core of existence; so very important for us to realize and follow, for leading a complete and fulfilling life.
In the Bhagavad Gita, a treatise on the philosophy of work, Krishna explains the virtues of detached action. Chapter II contains the essence of the Gita.
‘You have the right to action, never to the fruits thereof; let not the fruit of your action be your motive; nor let there be any attachment to inaction.’
When interpreted from a limited shortsighted perspective, this philosophy makes no sense in the “target driven” and “goal/result oriented” today’s competitive world.
To interpret the true meaning and essence of the “Yoga of Action” in its elemental significance, you have to understand the very purpose of human existence. Each one of us is alive, as a manifestation of one universal life force, playing out our roles to the best of our abilities, in our given situation, with the underlying purpose to grow and excel in every little action that we undertake.
The divine power of the cosmic will is working inceasingly in the human heart. When you open yourself to the divinity within you and everywhere around, you become aware of a spirit… a greater and higher identity, an incomparable force that is the universal Godhead.
To discover this, you need to first recognize that along with every little creation of the universe, you are a miracle of the same creative force that brought forth the whole universe into existence.
Ultimately, you are an expression of that One Consciousness, which lives through you and seeks fulfillment through every moment of your life.
Knowing this, you will at some point in your life open with complete devotion and dedication to the will of this greater identity, this creative force that is bringing us into existence and guiding our lives.
Our ancestors, the Aryans, who belonged to one of the oldest known civilizations, were ordained to dedicate their complete attention to ways of controlling the human mind, They realized that human intelligence does not penetrate into the infinite nature of life; They knew that every moment of one’s life counts in enhancing the quality of a life; they knew that indulgence with the world was futile, while the world was necessary to live understood that the human potential was capable of achieving the impossible.
They had the glorious vision and the insight to discriminate and distinguish the rights and wrongs of life. They had been able to, in those early hours of human civilization, master the faculties gifted to them by nature and the good sense to refrain from turning slaves to their desires. They taught that living with principles of discipline can build a society of great people whose doings can leave their impressions on time that stretches to infinity.
Every chapter of this book, and the pointers to truth contained in the words are new vibrations that are now meant to come in contact with your own and impact on them in a manner that would set you out on a refined path of existence, if so ordained by the cosmic power; by the core of all life, Consciousness.
To begin with, you need to cultivate a deep-seated understanding that each one of us is a unique creation… a miracle of the universe bursting into a infinite expression of life.
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