What we discuss and point to here is always the same subject; and that is non duality, this incontrovertible ‘fact’ of your own being right here and now, self-evident. Usually one simply takes it for granted that oh yes, I am, without investigating the nature of this I amness and how and why it has come about.
This consciousness of being an apparent separate, sentient human being is something new, in the sense that one hundred years or so back, it was not there; and this sense of being a person that is now present will, at some future time dissolve or disappear; at which point I won’t know that I am. This is what in common parlance we refer to as death. Death simply means that the confidence that I am So and So has disappeared. The physical body is then disposed of by burial or cremation.
What you have to ask yourself, if you are at all earnest or serious about this Great Matter of true and authentic identity(your true nature or natural state prior to the arising and setting of this consciousness) is – when the apparent body breaks down, is cremated etc and resolves itself back into the basic elements, am I dead? Was I born when the body was born? What is my true nature, and how was I prior to the so called conception in my mother’s womb? How was I six months prior to conception, and what was my original ‘face’ prior to the recent acquisition of this human face? How did I come to be, and how did this happen unknowingly without my permission?
This you ‘must’ know. This riddle or koan must be solved by you and you alone. This is not something anyone can give you, teach you, or tell you about, you must see-know this first hand directly for yourself, simply because relationship is dualism, “me” and the imagined ‘other ‘, and the real or actual is non dual, not two, only THAT, as it is pointed out in Advaita in Hinduism, as well as in all the other major religions of the world. I have solved this riddle and the light of knowledge has dawned here, and the same can be true for you if you SEE and ‘know’ for yourself what is being pointed to here.
This knowledge I am is not something anyone can give you, teach you, or tell you; it is every one’s birth right, so to speak. There is no one who is reading this who is not aware. Everyone ‘knows’ I am, even without having to say it. There is awareness present there even before it expresses through the mind as the thought or ‘concept’, I am So and So. This presence of awareness is the base that allows everything to happen, and without which nothing could happen at all. You could not move an inch, or even lift a finger, if that animating essence of non conceptual awareness were not present there. All the same, there is an ignoring or taking for granted of this ever-present life-force. Everyone is THAT non dual Absolute whether they know it or not. However each must see this for themselves in order for this truth to set you free. It has to be seen that this recently acquired entity “me” is false, and is a total fiction. What you are is the unceasing ‘knowing’ that is always and ever- present, ever-fresh, ever-new, not the “know er” or the “known”, which are only dead concepts.
This knowing is timeless and Omnipresent without any beginning or ending, whereas the acquired mind, “me” is time. This “me” that you are presently taking yourself to be, when thoroughly and directly looked into is seen to be a phantom and truly non-existent. In the light of this investigation, you don’t have to do anything to get rid of this ego or entity, as it is then seen to be false, and the false cannot stand up to investigation.
Only by the direct knowing-being of THIS ever-present immediacy, or what we call for the want of a better word THAT – the very actuality of non duality - I am THAT! That thou art! are you set free; otherwise not. Self-knowledge – knowledge of Self, is wisdom; all other knowledge is ignorance, Maya, or duality. Everything in the manifestation of the universe appears dualistic ally in the pairs of opposites, and you could not have a phenomenal universe or manifestation if it did not ‘appear’ in the opposites. You can’t have day without night, silence without sound, man without woman etc.
All this is so in the appearance but not in the actual. The Noumenon or the unmanifest is what we call the real or the actual, whereas the phenomenal universe is only what “appears” to be. Appearance is not reality as it is constantly changing, or as the Buddhists point out – there is impermanence in all appearance. Everything in the appearance, including that pattern of skin and bones you call ‘you’, is Maya or illusion as it is referred to in Advaita(non duality, not two) in Hinduism. Everything that appears also disappears, so there is no substance or independent nature in any of the appearances no matter how they may be appearing.