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.
What is real and does not change is THIS knowledge I am. This activity of knowing( the very livingness that is ever occurring) is unceasing, it is the only constant. Notice that this naked knowing has been present there all along with you, so to speak. Even though the body-mind vehicle was all along changing from an infant, child, teenager, adult, old person etc; that knowing that is ever-present there has not changed or been affected in any way at all. It has not grown old or suffered any hurts, dramas, or traumas whatsoever. If this knowING is unceasing as is my contention, then it is without time, without any beginning or ending. THIS is self-knowing, self-existing, self-shining, infinite intelligence, which has nothing to do with your intellect which has been acquired or added after the age of 3 years.
The ING on the end of it – know-ing, implies that it is an activity that is taking place presently in this very immediacy. It is not I was (past) or I will be (future), but rather I am. ‘Am’ is part of the verb – to be. It is a verb – active, not a noun – a name, a label, a dead concept. You cannot negate your being, you cannot say – ‘I am not’! Even if you say, I am not, you, as this naked, non conceptual awareness have to be there first and foremost in order for you to be able to say or do anything, isn’t that so? Have a good look at it for yourself, don’t just agree or disagree. You will never get liberation in a million years without knowledge. When Self-knowledge dawns, you as the entity Mr or Mrs So and So are utterly annihilated. You, as you appear as So and So disappear, the imaginary entity “me”, So and So is out shined by the blinding light of the obvious.
This rediscovery of the obvious, the given, is the one essential. “Martha, Martha, thou art busy and troubled over many things, but Mary has found the one necessary and essential thing” – the Masters feet – the Nectar of the Lord’s Lotus feet – the Nectar of Immortality. The Master’s feet symbolizing understanding – understanding is all(Nisargadatta Maharaj) – I am THAT I am! Realize THAT, know THAT alone, and you will never again fear a foe, all your troubles will be at an end and will disappear like the night mist in the morning sunlight.
Know this light in oneself, this beginning less, endless activity of knowing and everything else will become clear to you. The only thing that you can be absolutely certain of ‘is’ this very ‘fact’ of your own being right here and now. See that there is no becoming whatsoever in being. Becoming is time, and this being is without time or origination. You cannot say with any certainty, this is where I began. You cannot locate any fixed point where you can say, this is where I began, and you cannot remember your so called birth. THIS has no origin, source, or location in time and space. THIS empty cognizance, THIS cognizing emptiness, THIS glassy essence, THIS awake, aware no thing, is what you truly and ever are. THIS aware emptiness is without any boundaries or limitations whatsoever, and is the very natural state that the Self-realized fully and effortlessly abide in.
This impersonal all-knowing presence-awareness holds infinite riches beyond your wildest dreams, and the place to look for THIS is in your own heart. By ‘heart’ we don’t mean the blood pumping organ on the left side of your chest, or the spiritual center on the right side of your chest, but rather the very core of your being. Usually this is the very last place that one cares to look, as the mind is generally outward going, or outward looking. Now and again the brave and fearless soul looks back, turns their attention around one hundred and eighty degrees, LOOKS and SEES what he or she is “looking out of”, and gains immortality.
It is rather a shock when enlightenment dawns and one directly realizes that all this time; and I should not be even using that word “time”, because time is only a mental concept, there is really no such thing. When this fact dawns there is the realization that all this so called time you have been in bondage to a phantom; the “me” that you had taken yourself to be is nothing but “the child of a barren woman”. Now a barren woman never had a child in the first place. As was pointed out previously, you can’t actually remember your birth? Perhaps that is because you were in actuality never born at all. What was born was this ‘concept’ I am So and So, engendered by the parents and society around the age of three years. That is what was born and that is what is going to die when the body disappears. However that concept can die or disappear right here and now if you see that it is false. A concept is not real, it is only a ‘construct’ – something made up for practical purposes and convenience. This has to be questioned, it has to be enquired into, if you are at all earnest or serious in regard to spiritual matters. Oh ignorant man, whose son are you?
Ask yourself this question and find out, no one else is going to do it for you. Perhaps you had very seriously underestimated yourself. After all, I am only human? Are you? Why have you put that limitation on yourself? Only you can answer this because only you are there in this space where the actual seeing is taking place from. There is no duality in this space of knowing – you alone exist there, non dual One without a second, as it is pointed out in Advaita.
Consider all that has been said so far, and directly SEE and go to where the pointers are pointing. THIS is not for talking, discussing, and pontificating about, but for actually doing-seeing-being THAT essence that you already are. To see HIM is to be HIM! I am THAT! and this is meant literally, totally, and fully, there is no second prize – not two! now or ever. If there is only THAT non dual Absolute; and I am telling you from direct knowing here that this is the actual case, does that leave any room then for a ‘you’ or a ‘me’ or anything else whatsoever that could be outside, separate and apart from THAT, when THAT is all there is?
The answer is, no it does not leave any scope for duality, otherness, or twoness. See this and know this for yourself. The person is not the real, never was and never will be. This means that you have never done a single thing as the person that you appear to be. You never have been that person that you are presently taking yourself to be, you never have been and you never will be a person. The mirror is not concerned with any of the reflections that are appearing in it. The reflections don’t have any substance or independent nature of their own, and are nothing but the reflecting surface of the mirror itself. You, as the reflection in this mirror-like knowledge or essence have never done a single thing of your own personal volition, you have never lived a separate personal life at all; you have been lived and functioned effortlessly by THIS mirror-like essence, this “glassy essence” that you truly and ever are.
If you think that you are going to die at some imagined future time, you only flatter yourself. You’re not going to die because in actuality you never lived as that person you are presently taking yourself to be. You are being lived and functioned quite effortlessly and spontaneously by this ever-present unborn awareness.
Stop ignoring your glassy essence of naked non conceptual awareness and be ‘as you are’ in the natural state. Give up becoming all together, and just simply ‘be’ – I am – without any shape, form, color, or limitation.