Our only concern here is to set oneself absolutely and unconditionally free from any and all beliefs, superstitions, dogmas, theories, and acquired concepts. In fact I am going to blast all of your concepts and leave you in the no concept natural state; the changeless, ever-existing stateless state prior to the arising of consciousness. This Absolute that is being pointed to here is non dual One without a second, as it is expressed in Advaita Vedanta of Hinduism, pure subjectivity without any object at all.
There are no experiences in This non dual Absolute, it is a no knowing state, timeless, eternal and unchanging and therefore not anything perceivable or conceivable. You cannot grasp THIS that is being pointed to with a concept, yet you cannot negate it and say you are not. This may sound like a paradox to the time-bound mind. A paradox to who? To “me” the imaginary person or entity So and So. The person, the “me” of memory never existed at any time and only comes into play around the age of two years or so introduced by the parents and society for practical purposes.
There is no such thing as the mind which is time. If you look for a thing called mind you will never find it, all you will find is an awake, aware, no thing, a naked non conceptual knowing that is ever-present and unchanging. This knowledge I am That I am is the only real knowledge, this First Person Present tense Singular knowledge is the knowledge of the Self. There is no other in the Self, not two, never two. Duality or manifestation is appearance only, Maya or illusion. The individual soul, the world and God are illusory appearances like silver in the mother of pearl in this non dual Absolute. There is nothing permanent or substantial in this appearance of the universe.
Consciousness comes and goes, appears and disappears but who or what is it that knows the consciousness? The Absolute alone can be the knower of the consciousness and not the egoic body-mind entity that I “appear” to others to be. Absolute means absolute, from which nothing can be taken away, and to which nothing can be added. There is no duality in the non dual Absolute and this is what needs to be apperceived, re-cognized and fully understood. In the Absolute I don’t know that I am, yet there is a constant stirring that is profound beyond words, a spontaneous throb or spanda, Aham spoorti, which is unbroken I – I. It is an incessant flash of ‘I’ – Consciousness. This is not the ego but the Self itself, the whole. This Absolute is the witness of everything yet is untouched by anything, and one must come to know and realize directly that you are that Absolute and not the limited human being that you appear to yourself and others to be.
What was my state or condition one hundred years ago and prior to conception in the womb of the mother? Where was I residing and what shape, form or color did I have at that point, which is really no point at all? Was I a male or a female or neither? Without a thought, word or concept, and dropping and removing any and all labels, names, words and concepts right here and now, what is it that remains? Isn’t there an awareness there, a changeless, formless, non conceptual awareness-emptiness the very presence of which constitutes a changeless screen or background that enables anything or everything to appear? One hundred years ago there was no knowledge of my so called existence or non existence, I did not know that I was or that I am, there is no consciousness there, however there were no problems either. It is only when the consciousness arises and one starts knowing that one exists around the age of two years or so, that all of the problems start occurring and increasing seemingly with no end or solution to them as well.
Prior to consciousness and conception is the state of perfection, limitless and unchanging. This Absolute state prevails even now while the time-bound consciousness is in the ascendant, however This is being ignored because of the obsession with the changing experiences, concepts, thoughts, forms and objects that are appearing in this consciousness which are ultimately no more real than the reflections appearing on the mirror surface. No one ever sees the empty mirror surface as it is constantly covered and obscured by the endless parade of reflections that are constantly appearing in and on it so to speak. Yet the mirror itself is never contaminated or touched by any of the reflections that may appear on it.
This analogy can be applied to the suchness here at zero degrees, this boundless empty space or edgeless window that I am seeing out of and where my human head was supposed to be. Here at zero degrees I am certainly not what I appear to others to be from three or four feet away. I am in fact the very opposite of what I look like to others. Here I am no thing. I am no object at all; there is no head or neck or eyes or ears whatsoever, as on present evidence the very first thing that I am seeing is boundless empty space. Can I find a center or a circumference to this space here at zero degrees that I am seeing out of? Well I don’t know about you but I can’t find any limitation or boundary at all in this space, this awake, aware no thing right here where I am.
Don’t take my word for it, just reverse the arrow of your attention and SEE for yourself. There is no one else there, First Person, present tense singular — I am That I am. Not two, only That non dual Absolute. Hear O Israel, the lord your God is One. He is not divided from anything. Full stop right there, don’t go back into your non existing mind and try to work things out there, seeing that there is no answer in the mind and that the mind does not exist, where does that leave you? Doesn’t it leave you present and aware as you have always and ever been? Have a good look, don’t just agree or disagree.
Nirvana is nothing to the mind. Nirvana, the highest good, the highest happiness, your glassy essence is, when you the imaginary, dream-like entity So and So, are not. Your happiness pertains where you as the person or persona cease to be, and this is why Nisargadatta Maharaj told me that there are no customers for this knowledge because they do not want to be nothing or no thing, this impersonal space-like naked knowingness, as every seeker will be after something for him or herself in spite of what they may say or claim. The body-mind entity does not want to be given up or relinquished, and it is only a very rare one who is willing to see through this false identity that they have acquired, the “me” of memory as a man or a woman etc, and so go beyond it.
Here at zero degrees in this native suchness there is no acceptance no rejection, no attachment no detachment, just This is it, as it is. Here thought, feeling, knowledge and imagination are of no value. In this world of Suchness there is neither self nor other than self. This ever-present unqualified immediacy is uncontaminated ever-fresh and new, you can never limit it or reduce it to some fixed reference point. Life is free and unafraid, spontaneously and effortlessly unfolding and expressing and there is no death in it. There is only life and there is no person or separate entity who lives a life. You are life, you don’t live a life. Out of life more life comes so it is ever-increasing, this is the everlasting life that Christ proclaims in the New Testament. Life is the very livingness itself it is ever flowing and moving on like a river with no static or fixed point anywhere. Aren’t you that life and not just what you appear to be as that limited human being? Are you, even as you appear to be as a human being, separate or apart from life? See then the truth proclaimed here that I am the way, the truth and the life. It is not the man Jesus who is saying this but the very godliness of the life force itself that is speaking through him.
You can also say this. Who or what is it in you who says I am? Only God can say I am, so I am, is your true name. I am That I am. Your human name is what was given to you by the parents and society. Hold on to that I am presence, worship that life force, love that I am presence and abide in it and every mystery will be revealed to you. Stay in the silence and stillness right there at the very core or heart of your being. This is a no knowing state so don’t try to know this with your limited acquired time-bound mind. Your beingness should merge in itself, a non-dual state. Do not struggle to come out of the mud of your concepts, you will only go deeper. Remain still.
There is a silence and stillness there at zero degrees from yourself that everything is constantly arising from and returning to. Allow this mystery to spontaneously reveal itself to you. If the mind is constantly chattering and yapping without a break how can you hear or access the silence and stillness? The following is a quote from Nisargadatta Maharaj taken from the material edited by Jean Dunn of some of his later talks:
Q : Has any of those persons coming here become a jnani? M : A number of those coming here have acquired the knowledge, but only superficially. No one has really studied what the knowledge is; no one has really grasped the full meaning. What are they doing now? They are entangled in wanting, desiring, and this has made them forget the knowledge. Very few will get this knowledge correctly and absorb it deeply into their hearts. Once you have understood the origin of this movement, this activity, and the reason, the nature of this desire, only then can you return to what you are. Unless you are firm about it, you will not understand.
I will repeat his words here so that the odd pretender who was present there at that time and who have now become gurus and authorities and have taken it upon themselves to pass this knowledge or message that Nisargadatta was expounding on to others, will in the light of what was said by him in the above quote be shown to be quite mistaken and fraudulent in their assuming his mantle and falsely claiming to have succeeded in passing this profound knowledge on to so many, many others.
Here are his words from the Jean Dunn book again: “A number of those who have come here have acquired the knowledge, but only superficially. No one has really studied what the knowledge is; no one has really grasped the full meaning.” Now J. Krishnamurti said the very same thing about all those who had attended his meetings throughout his life. At the end of his life he also said this same thing that no one really got what he was saying, or genuinely took delivery of what he was expressing either.
That is generally what happened to the majority of folks who attended Nisargadatta’s talks at Khetwadi, 10th Lane, Bombay in the late 1970’s. They did not take delivery of this profound knowledge correctly and absorb it deeply into their hearts. The rare exception to this opened up shop and began to dole this so called knowledge out to anyone who might have been interested. What happened however is that a type of guru-student circus developed around the person or messenger who was pointing this knowledge out. The messenger or person who was pointing this out was then mistakenly elevated to a very high position by his listeners and this of course prevented any genuine insight from developing in those who were hearing the knowledge.
This type of guru or authority game where the one delivering the message is elevated above all and any others who are hearing it is always counterproductive and prevents the listeners from becoming a light unto themselves and from standing in their own insight free from any and all external influence. Also the person delivering the spiel gets enamoured and intoxicated by all the devotion he is receiving from those around him and gets seduced by all this false praise and then takes on the role or act of being a guru in spite of all his best intentions. If others around you continue to tell you how wonderful you are then you may start falling for this type of hype and nonsense and getting high on your own supply so to speak. This is what Nisargadatta warned us against, and that was to resist this temptation to get with other ignorant seekers and to deliver the goods on spirituality to these others who were generally still immature and not even ready or ripe enough to hear this profound spiritual knowledge.
The result of all this was that after 30 or 40 years of blurting this stuff out to others, there was no success at all in this endeavour, zero in fact, and it just added more confusion and uncertainty to people who were already confused and ignorant of their true nature. Collecting a group of gullible followers doesn’t help anyone to be a light to themselves, impeccable, and so free and independent of external influence, on the contrary it keeps them dependent.
There is no guru, no authority whatsoever in this matter of authentic spirituality. Give all this nonsense up if you want to realize your authentic true nature or essence. Do not depend on others, do not listen to them, and do not listen to your own mind either, to the endless thoughts and concepts that are arising in your time-bound mind. See for yourself just who and what you truly and ever are there at zero degrees from yourself. You are not what you look like, and you are not what you ‘appear’ to others to be. You are unlimited there in the empty space where you truly and ever are. You have no size, shape, form or color, you have no head, you have not been born nor is there any death right there where you already are in the boundless naked space of knowing at zero degrees where you ever are. However you must look back so to speak, to see that there where you are seeing from there is no head, eyes, neck or ears, no body-mind, world, or universe at all: All of that Maya or appearance is nothing but dream or imagination.
This Maya dream of manifestation seems incredibly real and convincing, but a little genuine questioning, looking and inquiring into it, and it can be seen-known that the false cannot stand up to investigation.
“Understand that it is not the individual who has consciousness, it is consciousness which assumes innumerable forms.
That something which is born or which will die is purely imaginary. It is the child of a barren woman.
In the absence of this basic concept “I am” there is no thought, there is no consciousness.”
Wakefulness is the way of life.
The fool sleeps as if he were already dead, but the master is awake and lives forever. He watches. He is clear. How happy he is! For he sees that wakefulness is life.
How happy he is, following the path of the awakened.
With great perseverance he meditates, seeking freedom and happiness. – from the Dhammapada of Gautama the Buddha
This quality of being awake and present to the moment is what we call awareness or wakefulness. This seemingly ordinary everyday awareness is the great enlightenment that all so called seekers are seeking. Awareness is the common factor, the base of life and livingness, yet generally it is being ignored or taken for granted. Awareness is prior to consciousness, unborn, self-shining, ever-fresh and new; re-cognize and realize this presence of awareness as your authentic natural state. Awareness is nothing, to the time-bound mind, the “me” of memory and so it remains invisible and unknowable as an object or thing, yet it is ever present. This awake, aware no thing right here at zero degrees is what you always and ever are, the Nirvana at the very heart and core of your being. This is the highest good, the highest happiness. Nirvana is where you the imagined person or entity cease to exist. You never existed as that person you appear to be, nothing ever happened to or affected this Absolute, this naked flame of non-conceptual, unborn awareness, here at the core of your being.
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