The subject that we are discussing here is non duality – One without a second, as it is pointed out in Advaita in Hinduism. This has also been expressed in all of the major world religions as well. If as the ancients and others have stated and pointed out, that Reality, God, Truth, or “what is” is non dual, non conceptual, pure awareness-consciousness, then obviously that does not leave any room for a you or a me, or any separate personal entity whatsoever. How can there be a “me” apart from consciousness? If there is one, then that is dualism or duality and what we are saying, expressing , or pointing out is that there is no duality in this ever present non dual essence of all knowing awareness-consciousness that you always and ever are; THIS ever present natural state that is neither yours nor mine, but simply “is”.
How can there be Omnipresence and “me”, Mr or Mrs So and So? That would mean that there is something added to, outside, or apart from Omnipresence, and in actuality there is only THAT. To have something outside of Omnipresence is an impossibility, so it is clear that the entity “me” is a total fiction, an imaginary entity, a phantom, or what we call in Advaita, the child of a barren woman. Now, a barren woman has never had a child in the first place, so who in fact are you who is seemingly reading this? Ask yourself these questions and find out directly for yourself, don’t wait for something or someone outside yourself to give you THIS or you will wait forever. No one is going to give you, teach you, or tell you anything. Work out your own salvation with diligence.
There is an “appearance” of duality and there could not be any manifestation at all if it did not appear in the so called pairs of opposites – day-night, sound-silence, hot-cold, man-woman etc; however, even though it may appear like that it has never changed its true nature as non dual awareness-consciousness. The sky still appears to be blue, and there still appears to be water in the mirage, however it is clearly seen and known that the sky is not blue, nor is there ant water in the mirage appearing in the distance, although there appears to be.
If through investigation and clear seeing it is directly seen and known that there is no me here separate or apart from awareness; then that being the case, if, right here and now presently I can’t find any me or separate entity whatsoever when I directly look, then might en it dawn on you that there isn’t one? If there is no me or mine apart from this awareness-consciousness right here and now on present evidence(not taking into account thought or memory) or direct investigation, then when was there ever one? Doesn’t that lead to the conclusion that there never was any separate person or entity there at any so called time, even though it was believed that there was one? There never was any separate person or entity there with any substance or independent nature of its own at any time, was there?
Rather shocking conclusion on the one hand, and yet extremely liberating on the other. If there is no self or reference point with any substance or independent nature of its own apart from this impersonal all-knowing awareness, then who can suffer, have endless problems, grow old and die etc? The answer is no one. No self, no me, no entity, no problem – isn’t that so? And this is exactly what the Buddha discovered in his moment of enlightenment under the Bod hi tree.
He directly saw or realized that all apparent forms and things were inherently empty of any any substantial self or entity as such, and that form is nothing but emptiness, and emptiness is nothing but form. Form does not differ from emptiness, emptiness does not differ from form. The same is true with feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness. This was a genuine insight into the truth of non duality, and that is that form and emptiness are not two different things but rather one non dual essence expressing and appearing as everything – a boundless emptiness suffused with awareness – an all-knowing awareness or empty cognizance.
This cognizing-emptiness is the true nature, the natural primordial stateless state of every apparent thing. The awakening or so called enlightenment of the Buddha(Buddha means fully awake, aware) was the direct seeing-knowing that every apparent thing animate or inanimate is nothing but Buddha-nature – all knowing awareness-consciousness – cognizing emptiness. So it is emptiness itself that is doing the cognizing and not any person or entity there who can do anything. THIS is the fundamental insight that when clearly seen and known can never be lost because it is simply known that there is no person or entity present there who could gain or loose anything as all is awareness-emptiness – THIS awake nothing or no thing – THIS very wakefulness, and there is nobody, not Buddha, Christ, Ramana Maharshi, or anyone else who has ever gone beyond nothing. So get a taste of this wakefulness, this aware no thing and you have gone as far as anyone has ever gone, so to speak. In this ever present wakefulness there is no one superior or inferior to you, there is only this boundless equanimity or suchness.
This awareness-consciousness is nothing to the time-bound mind and that is why it is being ignored by the apparent entity – “me”, Mr or Mrs So and So. Therefore in emptiness(awareness) there is neither form, nor feelings, nor perception, nor mental formations, nor consciousness; no eye, or ear, or nose, or tongue, or body, or mind; no form, no sound, no smell, no taste, no object of mind; no realms of elements(from eyes to mind-consciousness); no interdependent origins and no extinction of them(from ignorance to old age and death); no suffering, no origination of suffering, no extinction of suffering, no path, no understanding, no attainment.
Because there is no attainment but only “what is”, there are no obstacles to overcome, no fear, no enlightenment, just THIS – realizing perfect Nirvana – nothing else, nothing other in non duality. All Buddhas in the past, present , and future(simply a way of talking or expressing as there is no such thing as time), thanks to this Perfect Understanding, arrive at full, right, and universal Enlightenment. Full, right, and universal Enlightenment is realizing, knowing, directly and clearly that there is no enlightenment(who or what separate entity is there that could be enlightened?), there is only THAT Supreme non dual animating life essence – not two, no other, now or ever – just THIS, nothing else! You are THAT.