What is awareness? Is the ‘word’ awareness the actual awareness itself? No, the acquired word or language is never the thing that it is pointing to. The word awareness is not awareness. Any word that we use is only a label we apply to this nameless essence that is the very livingness that is life. Life in itself is timeless, the everlasting life referred to in the scriptures, and there is no death in it. Death is only for the “me”, the ego, the imagined separate entity. This life that is being pointed to lives on itself and so it is ever increasing.
If it is looked at closely, that is at zero degrees from where you are looking or seeing; right there at zero degrees is your “glassy essence” that Shakespeare referred to in his play, ‘Measure for Measure’ – “Man, proud man, dressed in a little brief authority(that short lived body-mind entity or persona) and ignorant of what he is most assured, his ‘glassy essence'(his transparency-emptiness), like an angry ape plays such tricks before the high heaven as would make the angels weep.”
This glassy essence, this Such-ness, or what we call That, in the maha vakya or great mantra of Advaita Vedanta in Hinduism – I am That! is life, the activity of knowing, the very livingness itself. Indicating that there is only life, there is no one who lives a life. There is not life – the animating life-force or life essence, the very godliness of you so to speak, and a separate or imagined entity or person Mr or Mrs So and So who is living a life. Life is what we call That, for the want of a better word; as no word, concept or symbol can possibly encompass this very actuality of what is, this non dual Absolute or “glassy essence”.
This being the case, then you must be life, you are life; you are That non dual Absolute, the everlasting life that is referred to in all of the major religions – I am That! Thou art That! All this is That! and possibly the greatest statement ever uttered or written – I am That I am! from the King James Bible. In spite of this one seems to loose sight of this truth of one’s inherent being or essence, as it gets obscured or covered up by acquired words, language, and mental concepts in the very process of everyday life or living.
The word is never the thing and this is what needs to be seen. If this is seen then we can use the word with impunity and not be affected, otherwise the word uses us and is the cause of much psychological suffering. It is the word that tells us that we are not good enough, that we are limited, we are only human, we had a bad childhood, we have low self-esteem and so on. All, and I mean all of these concepts, words, and labels have been added and acquired by the assumed personal entity only after or around the age of two years old or so. Just see that you are not born with any words at all, the little child or baby is functioning quite naturally and spontaneously from the natural state for the first two years of life without even a single word or concept. What does this tell you? Christ in the New Testament – Unless you become as little children, natural and innocent, you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven – “what is” prior to the world, prior to the the acquired and learn ed senses; and the world of phenomena or “appearance” is only imagination conjured up by learn ed words, concepts, and the different languages created by human beings for practical purposes only.
“The world even as it appears is only a concept, it is dream-like and unreal” – Nisargadatta Maharaj.
Thought is subtle word, and word is nothing but sound, vibration or energy. Thought being a vibration or movement of energy has to vibrate into the opposites. There is no other way that thought can function except dualistic ally in contrast or in the opposites. Good-bad, happy-sad, like-dislike, loving-hating etc. If this is understood then thought is not a problem and it can be useful and is not the enemy. However, if thought is not understood and is taken to be something substantial and tangible with an independent nature of its own, instead of just pure energy freely vibrating and expressing; and is then allowed to build up into a big unexamined story, like poor “me”, woe is me, or I am better or worse than others; this then becomes the cause of unnecessary psychological suffering.
And what we are saying here is that this psychological suffering is not necessary if the cause is ‘seen’ to be false. Obviously the cause of all problems and suffering is “me”, the ego, the imagined dead or static entity acquired after the age of two or three years, so that everything that occurs from that age and onwards is then referred back to. All of your problems then are problems of relationship and relationship is dualism , I, and other than I. Relationship means relative to. Relative to what? Relative to this dead image “me”, “I”, this phantom that comes into existence around the age of two years, the primal thought, the “I” thought, the ego, engendered by the parents, teachers, and society, which from then on becomes something solid, concrete and substantial, and it is never questioned from then on. No wonder then that there is conflict, separation, and confusion from then on when I am then pretending to be something or someone that I am not – this separate, limited, ‘person’ or thing. What we are saying is that there is no relationship in non duality! When this is seen that there is not two, never two at any point whatsoever, then all of your problems are solved.
You know, one asks, who is all this happening to? Well , its happening to “me” you say. Have you ever really examined or looked at that “me’? Does it have any substance or independent nature of its own, is it real, actual, and substantial? Have you ever asked yourself this? No, you dare not, because you might see how illusory it really is, you might see for yourself that the “me” that you have been taking yourself to be is unreal, a phantom, and you have too much investment in this mask or persona, this “me” of memory to really question it or see through it to the impersonal essence that is sustaining it and everything else as well. So your psychological suffering continues on unabated, and it will continue on until you question this “me” that you continue to take yourself to be in spite of anything that might be said or pointed to here in this present spontaneous expression. You may be still hoping and praying that someone from outside, some imagined god, guru, or savior will do this inquiry for you, but it is never going to happen like that, simply because there is no duality in non duality, there never has been and there never could be be, there is only THAT non dual Absolute.
Absolute means absolute, and there is nothing that can be added to it or taken away from it, so where exactly does that leave you? It leaves you here and now present and aware as you have always and ever been. This is the very ignorance that is being pointed out here again and again so to speak. You are ignorant of your true nature or natural state, you don’t know who and what you truly and ever are – THIS awake, aware, silence and stillness, THIS no thing at the very core or heart of your being is what you always and ever are.
However, this that is being pointed to is no thing to the mind, just an empty cognizance or naked non conceptual knowing and that is why it is being ignored, because the acquired dead entity, the “me” of memory, the person, does not want to be nothing or no thing; namely this space-like awareness-emptiness that is ever present silence and stillness. And that is the principal reason why, as Nisargadatta Maharaj pointed out to me, that “there are no customers for this knowledge.” The so called hearer naturally resists what is being pointed to here, as generally there is no one in the Maya or world appearance who wants to be nothing or no thing – unborn awareness-emptiness.
April 11, 1981
Maharaj: The core of this consciousness is knowingness, to know “I Am”. It is not a personality, not an individual. It is total manifestation. Being-ness is there, it fills everything.
Nevertheless, this quality “I Am” is the result of the material , objective body. In the seed the whole tree is latent; in the droplet “I Am” all three worlds are squeezed in.
The highest state is the state of a jnani. The first step is to be that droplet. In the process of knowing that droplet, you are out of it, and that is a jnani. A jnani is not obsessed by any calamities or any problems, because he had transcended the “I Am” principal. He watches the play as a witness.
Now, understand clearly. This “droplet” of knowingness is a result of the food essence body; in understanding it, you are out of it. If this last step is taken, knowing that I, the Absolute, am not that “droplet”, the consciousness, it has to happen only once. There is no more involvement with the play of the consciousness. You are in a state of no return, the eternal state.
Whatever you think of as spiritual knowledge was gained in the realm of consciousness; such knowledge is merely a burden on your head and it is going to add more misery. It’s nothing more than spiritual jargon. This “I Am—ness” is the very core of all misery.
Are you in such a position that you cannot employ any words to express your Self? When I answer your questions at great length, you should be reduced to a quietude out of which no words can come.
I expound this knowledge completely and thoroughly. Have you the courage to accept it?
If you have really understood what I have told you, you need not come again. Do not try to tell these things to all and sundry, just don’t speak of this elsewhere.