Interview with Ernesto Ballesteros: "Samadhi is to experience the living death"

Professor Ballesteros is one of the great connoisseurs of the works of Ramana Maharsi, who dedicated several works very revealing. With him we talked about this authentic sabio and existence.

Ernesto Ballesteros is doctor in philosophy and Professor of the College of Cuenca. In the prolific work of this lover of philosophy and inquietisimo intellectual stand out numerous studies on Eastern philosophy, including: The yogasutras of Patanjali, Kant Shankara, Antah Karana, comments to the Sat Darshana of Sri Ramana Maharsi (all published by Bhisma) and above all The teachings of Ramana Maharsi (ed. Kairos), an approach to life and work of this authentic Sage of the India.

Professor Ballesteros, 70 years in the best of forms, it is one of the greatest scholars of the Ramana Maharsi work worldwide, but especially may be the best has reviewed and dissected their keys. His books are a real find, a treasure for all who they admire Maharsi.

Where his interest in Ramana Maharsi?
I was captivated by Ramana Maharsi for many years. With men like Maharsi, my interest does not decay, but neither decays with Kant, with Aristotle, with nisargadatta Maharaj. I know very well to Ramana and his life, and is five or six people - say a number-¬ to which I admire. It was a special being. He lived like a normal child until it becomes for the first time to the samadhi in a natural way. Then, already a young man, starts to reach it in a deliberate way. Buddha cost much more, studies, searches, and wanted students because he believed that his teachings were good for humanity. Ramana would not have students, and if you had them was because it was that people are grouped to your around.

Now he is writing a book about being, seen from the Western philosophy...
The work her title the ancient controversy of being and change. Indeed, philosophers only have been dedicated throughout history to talk about what is and what is changing and how they relate. Heraclitus of Ephesus ("we are and are not") says that the reality is changing. Shortly after Parmenides says the opposite: just be, everything is to be; being is, and not being is not, then the change is impossible. The two are right. And I take that as the source of my work. With these two apparently conflicting theories, Heraclitus and Parmenides open Western philosophy.

"The awareness that we are going to die
It makes us as we are"

And what is your opinion of a student of the great philosophers?
Bergson and Heidegger were half in being search and change. The latter, in his work being and time, has a key. Calls the man: be-relative-to-the-death. The being-there (dasein) is another key: reality man makes it, and then explain it. The human being is doing the reality. And Heidegger says so: man is not only existing, it is 'existenciador', which he does around what exists.

For me the key is what Heidegger - but does not explain it well-: the man is a being relative to a purpose or regarding the death. What differentiates us from animals is one thing much clearer than the size of the brain, and they cite him, but only cite it, Bergson and Heidegger: animals do not know will die, and the man Yes. And we are as we are because we know we're going to die. There is everything: the language, the writing, the printing press.

I believe that those episodes that happen you Ramana or the Buddha can be interpreted as "illuminations" or samadhis are a living death. Who live an experience of death in life, then understands what we have here, and is surprised, marvels. It includes his true nature. Nature is not only real, but what gives reality to everything else. Any object, up to the most humble, reveals its meaning, its there, when I watch it, named it and transformed it into a symbol.

Which of the two philosophies, the West or the East, has been more concerned by knowing who we are, what is being?
Eastern philosophy is a road, and the East is another. But they have to pretend to get the two to the same site, or not? Reality has to be the same for an Indian to a Spanish. But in the West we are not transforming, we are transforming. Do you feel that you can live without religion? The man has not never lived without religion and philosophy. You can not live without a religion or an ideology that will help to understand what the hell is this thing here. Now that respond to that is science. But science is their religion, which is materialism. Science believes that everything is matter; Science is based on relationships between measurable, and if something you can measure, there is no matter, then science can do.

Aristotle and Kant put the basis of science, because they are those who believe in the matter, as power/Act one and the other as a phenomenon. And when some as Hegel, they branded you crazy because you think say that reality is the absolute spirit, because it is a reality that is becoming so knowing same while. Bergson says that there is a vital impulse (élan vital) which is which creates life and which is developing and knowing himself.

And after writing this book, what would your conclusion?, what we are, what is the reality?
The reality is doing and getting to know itself, and the highest point in this process is the human being. Therefore we are doing and knowing much about ourselves, but still we have to much to know, and above all to ' us '. It is the absolute spirit, the élan vital or dasein is made and knows himself in time.
Therefore, man is a being that he realizes that had a beginning and above all that has an end. That is why we talk, why write and why we think. And that is why we suffer and enjoy.

Emilio J. Gómez and Pepa Castro

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By • 8 Oct, 2012 • section: Interview