You are conscious and aware right now and this fact is effortless and spontaneous. You don’t have to make any effort to know that you are, and there is no need to analyze, label, divide, separate or think anything at all in order to be fully conscious and aware. The young child prior to the age of two years is fully conscious and functioning quite naturally and spontaneously without having learned any words or language from the parents and others.
Awareness is non conceptual, ever fresh presence awareness, ever present whether one is conscious or not, as in deep sleep or under an anesthetic. Although this consciousness rises and sets quite spontaneously it is the key to the mystery of life. Life as it is in nature is free and unafraid, indomitable and ever increasing and in this sense it doesn’t know death, as out of life more life comes. This is what we refer to in Advaita Vedanta as the natural state. Remain as you are in the natural state of being.
There is no static or fixed point anywhere in the spontaneous natural functioning. That is why life is free and unafraid. The so-called ego or self-center only comes nto play when the capacity of reasoning develops in the young child around the age of two or three years. This thinking or reasoning capacity is useful and necessary for practical functioning in daily life. However if thinking is not understood it does become self destructive for the simple reason that it can only function dualistic ally, that is in the pairs of opposites – good bad, happy sad, loving hating etc. Thought is limited, it is a material process and can only function in these pairs of opposites. If this is understood then it does not become a major problem and thereby cause endless psychological suffering.
This has to be investigated and directly seen for oneself; no one else, no guru, priest or authority can possibly see this for you. So called others can point this out but only you yourself are the authority there where you truly and ever are at zero degrees from yourself so to speak. Consciousness is the thief as well as the sage, the philanthropist as well as the beggar, it has come upon you unknowingly and will depart the same way. You will not know when you have taken your last breath.
Consciousness is the very godliness of you, the animating life force itself, so it is imperative to investigate this consciousness, to hold on to this consciousness, to be one with it, to stay with it without moving away or being carried away with the conceptual thinking process. When you notice that you are being carried away by thought just gently bring the focus back to the I am, the conscious presence.
This consciousness that you already are expresses through the mind as the thought or concept ‘I am’. However this concept ‘I am’ is not what you are, it is only the indication of this conscious presence. See that consciousness is present whether you say I am or not. You could not lift a finger or say a single word if the consciousness were not present. Without the presence of the consciousness the body including all of its organs is a corpse, a lifeless empty shell. “The world you perceive is made up of consciousness: what you call matter is consciousness itself.” “There is only my-Self, consciousness.” (Nisargadatta Maharaj)
Nisargadatta pointed out that realization is not an attainment, but the recognition of our innate being grasped not intellectually but experientially. As his physical health was deteriorating in 1981, Maharaj said: “Forget me, forget my teaching. But I urge you to abide in your own Consciousness. And only then will the understanding you need intuitively arise from within you.” Therefore be warm towards this consciousness, have an affectionate awareness of being. Being is not becoming, it is not bound by time as the apparent person is. The person is not the real, this being, the Self, the non dual Absolute is the real, the changeless essence.
When the conviction in regard to this impersonal being is firm and unshakable then there is the realization, the knowing – I am That. I am That non dual Absolute. You don’t think ‘I am That’, there is a knowing, and this activity of knowing is the awakening of intelligence, an infinite intelligence that has nothing to do with your intellect. There is a naked non conceptual knowing awareness, an unborn awareness, the basic screen of pure Being-Awareness-Stillness devoid of all the moving shadow pictures of name and form of the universe which is the sole eternal Existence. This non dual essence ever prevails, yet it is generally being ignored. This is not a matter of belief or of taking any one’s word about this great matter of ‘know thyself’, it has to be looked into and investigated for oneself.
There is absolutely no duality in non duality, and if this is understood then everything falls into place, or rather has its place in the appearance of things. If this is not clearly seen and understood then one will go on endlessly in the thinking process, trying to work this out in the mind. The mind is time and time is only a mental concept. It is impossible to get to the timeless, the what is, the Absolute, through time. Time has a beginning and an end, but not THIS awake aware no thing which is a cognizing emptiness, an emptiness suffused with awareness-knowing. Things perish but not this no thing that every apparent thing is appearing in like reflections in a mirror.
“Man, proud man, dressed in a little brief authority and ignorant of what he is most assured, his Glassy Essence.” His transparency, his nothingness as naked spirit or essence transcending all things. “Like an angry ape plays such tricks before high heaven as would make the angles weep.” (Shakespeare) The unborn, the unbecoming, the unmade. This is where all so called seeing is taking place from, the ground of being which is no thing to the time-bound mind. Generally the mind does not want to know about or even acknowledge this no thing at the very core or heart of being. “The in – and – for – itself, the absolute, has not only gone out of life, but has become something ridiculous in the eyes of man.” (Kierkegaard)
Absolute means absolute, where nothing can be added to or taken away from. Keep coming back to this conscious presence the only no thing that has remained constant with you. Remaining, staying with this conscious presence and not being fully absorbed in the mental chatter, it will dawn on you that you have never truly left or been away from this consciousness except in imagination. You have imagined yourself to be somewhere other than where you always and ever are, here and now present and aware. You have dream ed a dream you call the world and are mistakenly looking for ways out. Once you have seen the dream as a dream, you have done all that needs to be done. You have imagined yourself to be in time which is mind – past, present and future. You will see that you are not in time at all, but rather time is in you as this non dual absolute essence.
Reality – non duality – is that which does not change, cannot possibly change, being the real, the constant, the changeless. If This that we are pointing to can change then what the ancients and sages are telling us is not true. “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” Truth or isness, this very fact of your own being simply can not be negated. You are and you know you are, you cannot say I am not, yet what you are you don’t know.
Something can not come from nothing, this no thing that you ever are. It may appear that something does come from nothing, but a little investigation into this appearance of things and they will be seen to be utterly false. The false, the “me” of memory So and So, can not stand up to investigation. If you look into this “me”, this ‘I’ that I am calling myself who was supposedly born at some time in the past etc, you will not be able to find any substantial separate entity, thing or object there at all that you are calling ‘I’, So and So. Who is this I? Who am I? You will not find any I there at all but only an impersonal presence of awareness.
Who am I is a question. Who am I? is a thought. Now if you don’t ask any question, there is then no questioner and no question, what is still present there even without any question? Isn’t there awareness still present? Are you unaware when there is no question or inquiry happening? Of course not, awareness is ever-present and you cannot not be aware. So you are the awareness, that is what you are, and not the body, mind, thoughts and various other things and objects that are appearing in or on this awareness.
See then, if you will, that awareness is not your personal possession. Awareness is perfect, non conceptual, non dual, not divided or split up into a subject and an object. The Great Perfection of Dzogchen in Buddhism is put simply as non conceptual awareness, this quite ordinary everyday awareness that you already are. Perfection is perfect; it cannot be improved. “This is perfect, that is perfect, if from the perfect the perfect were to be taken, only the perfect remains.” This has to be re-cognized, realized or made real in your own case and not just taken on board as a theory or a bunch of meaningless words and concepts.
My awareness, my consciousness, who is the owner in this statement? Isn’t it “me”, So and So. See the ignorance and self deception in taking these statements at face value. The subject we are discussing here is the truth, the actuality of non duality. Non duality is a word or concept and the word is never the thing , but what it is referring to is not any word or concept. Isn’t the language and the way it is being used – my consciousness etc dualistic? There is me and there is consciousness. Consciousness is whole and complete, it is first and foremost, whereas me or my is only inferred for practical purposes and has no authentic existence of its own without consciousness being present. If this is clearly seen then you can say me or mine without incurring any distress or psychological suffering.
Choice less effortless awareness is Self-realization. Action is insentient. Karma is cause and effect, without a cause what effect could there be? None at all. You are not the doer of your actions so where can so called karma come in? When everything is happening spontaneously who in fact is the doer? Everything is happening quiet spontaneously without any cause at all. The seeing, hearing, tasting, the general functioning is one spontaneous non dual essence, an undivided infinite intelligence, not two, only THAT as it is pointed to in Advaita.
The seeing is happening, the hearing etc and after the fact the thought I see, or I hear arises. Now the thought I see, or I did this is not the seer or doer at all, it is simply a translation by the acquired mind of memory or language. The thought I see, cannot see, it is only a thought and the actual seeing is undivided and continuous whether there is thinking or not. A thought can’t see or do anything at all as it is only a vibration or movement of energy. Thoughts arise spontaneously and there is no thinker of a thought, there is only the thinking, the activity of knowing. The thinker is the thought, so the thinker and the thought are only conceptual, they cancel each other out and are not actual, real, or substantial, only the thinking, this activity of knowing itself is the actual. You can’t have a thinker without thinking, and you can’t have a thought without thinking, so thinking is the actual.
If the cause “me”, Mr or Mrs So and So is seen to be false, then the effects, my anger, my fear, my depression and so on must also be false. If the cause is false, then what must happen to the effects, they drop away by themselves, you don’t have to do anything about them at all. There can’t be an effect without a cause so that just leaves you here and now present and aware as you have always and ever been.
“To the awakened sage, no one lives or dies. From the point of view of the sage nothing has ever happened. One who has realized the Truth is not required to do anything special for the benefit of the world. It is impossible to establish order in the world.” (Nisargadatta Maharaj)
‘When the deep meaning of things is not understood the mind’s essential peace is disturbed to no avail.’ If you understand there will be peace. If you don’t understand there will be disturbance, tension and anguish. Whenever somebody is in anguish it shows that he has not understood the thing, the deeper meaning of things. And you go on accusing others , because of them you are in anguish. Whenever somebody is in anguish it shows he has not understood the thing, the deeper meaning of things.
The deeper meaning of things is I am That, non dual absolute and not what I ‘appear’ to others or myself to be. If this is not seen as a fact or actuality but only as a concept or idea then this psychological suffering must continue. What is liberation? Inquiring into one’s self that is in bondage, and realizing one’s true nature is liberation. Who feels that they are in bondage? Isn’t it “me”, So and So? If you investigate this “me” and see that it is non existent then there is no bondage or liberation there is only That. It follows then that everything in fact is That non dual essence or absolute.
“When you understand that names and shapes are hollow shells without any content whatever and what is real is nameless and formless, pure energy of life and light of consciousness, you will be in peace, immersed in the deep silence of reality” (Nisargadatta Maharaj)
‘I am a man’ is not natural. You are neither this nor that.
What is the use of knowing about everything else when you don’t know who you are…..Self inquiry is the one infallible means, the only direct one, to realize the unconditioned, absolute Being that you really are. Silence is the most potent form of work. However vast and emphatic the sastras may be, they fail in their effect. The guru is quiet and peace prevails in all. His silence is more vast and more emphatic than all of the sastras put together. (Talks with Ramana Maharshi)
22. Therefore one should practice the habit of regarding everything as Brahman-Self only; until all thought of things other than the Self is lost. This condition once achieved, one should not give room to any thought and should ever abide in Maha-Mounam(peace of total stillness). (Ch.14, v.38) Rhibu Gita