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Two Birds On A Tree

Submitted by blogmeister on Mon, 19/10/2009 - 13:06

This is one statement Jill Bolte Taylor made at the TED conference that struck a note with me.

And it was as though my consciousness had shifted away from my normal perception of reality, where I'm the person on the machine having the experience, to some esoteric space where I am witnessing myself having this experience

It brings to mind some verses in the Upanishads and the Gita, where the observer appears to become dualized with the person looking at herself, not as in an OOBE, but as an observer of the observed's observing experience.

Here are some of the verses.

Katha Upanishad III 1 -2

 In the secret cave of the heart, two are
 Seated by life's fountain. The separate ego
 Drinks of the sweet and bitter stuff,
 Liking the sweet, disliking the bitter,
 While the supreme Self drinks sweet and bitter
 Neither liking this nor disliking that.
 The ego gropes in darkness, while the Self
 Lives in light. So declare the illumined sages
 And the householders who worship
 The sacred fire in the name of the Lord.

 May we light the fire of Nachiketa
 That burns out the ego and enables us
 To pass from from fearful fragmentation
 To fearless fullness in the changeless whole.

Mundaka Upanishad III I 1 - 3

 Like two golden birds perched on the selfsame tree,
 Intimate friends, the ego and the Self
 Dwell in the same body. The former eats
 The sweet and sour fruits of the tree of life
 While the latter looks on detachment

 As long as we think we are the ego,
 We feel attached and fall into sorrow.
 But realize that you are the Self, the Lord
 Of life, and you will be freed from sorrow.

 When you realize that you are the Self,
 Supreme source of light, supreme source of love,
 You transcend the duality of life
 And enter into the unitive state.

Shvetashvatara Upanishad IV 6 - 3

 Two birds of beautiful plumage, comrades,
 Inseparable, live on the selfsame tree.
 One bird eats the fruit of pleasure and pain;
 The other looks on without eating.

 Forgetting our divine origin,
 We become ensnared in the world of change
 And bewail our helplessness. But when
 We see the Lord of Love in all his glory,
 Adored by all, we go beyond sorrow.

 What use are the scriptures to anyone
 Who knows not the one source from whom they come,
 In whom all gods and worlds abide?
 Only those who realize him as ever present
 Within the heart attain abiding joy.

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