I am that I am, is a self evident fact that cannot be negated. Stay there and see the truth that makes you free. I am That by which I know I am, I am the absolute and not what I appear to be as the body-mind entity. This absolute is a neutral state free from pain and pleasure, silent, still, dynamic and Omnipresent, the silent watcher, non dual and independent of the acquired thought process that operates in the pairs of opposites – good bad, happy sad etc, that operates dualistically.
The non dual absolute is what I am. This needs to be investigated, acknowledged, and fully realized, not as a concept, thought or idea but the very actuality of what is infinitely and eternally. You never begin or end as That essence of naked non conceptual awareness or knowing as expressed and expounded by the maha vakya or great word of Hinduism – I am That. See also the Avadhuta Gita of Dattatreya the great treatise on Advaita or the truth of non duality [ 111. 7] “Know it for certain that the sense organs and the sense objects are like clouds in the sky. Realize the Shining One as neither bound nor free. I am Existence-Knowledge-Bliss and boundless as space.” This points to the truth, the actuality of the I am principal prior to consciousness and the manifestation which is Maya or illusion. You are pure awareness, the supreme principal beyond mind and body, abide as That. See right here and now in and as this Omnipresence that you are not unaware. Am I aware? Yes, I am aware. Notice that awareness. Remain as that awareness – I am That, and not what I am presently taking myself to be as the limited acquired persona or mask, the imaginary person or entity So and So.
This is what it means to be a light to oneself and not dependent on any external authority, person, object or thing; no guru, no spiritual authority whatsoever; having gone to no external refuge and so having the courage and fearless freedom to stand alone utterly free from any and all influence, from anyone or anything. That is what non duality truly is. Will you do it? Do it right now as it is being expounded fresh and new from moment to moment, timeless, free and unafraid as the natural state. Free from time and the influence of words and language; silence and stillness at the very core of being, solitary all One without a second as it is pointed to in Advaita Vedanta and also in the final verse of the Hsin Hsin Ming, Verses on the Faith Mind by Sengstan, 3rd Century AD. “Words! The Way is beyond language, for in it there is no yesterday no tomorrow no today.”
Acquired words and concepts which make up the language cannot grasp or express the inexpressible, the what is or what we call That, in I am That, for the want of a better word. Literally and actually everything is That absolute. The Great Perfection of Dzogchen. This great perfection is non conceptual awareness. Awareness is prior to consciousness and the manifestation, pre-senses, before you even say Om or I am it is ever-present unborn awareness that allows the concept ‘I am’ to arise or express. This expresses through the mind as the concept ‘I am’ but it is not the concept rather the deathless spirit or essence of all essences. Know for certain that I am That, don’t think about it. See the fallacy of the rational statement and first principle of the 17th Century French Philosopher Rene Descartes – “I think, therefore I am.”
The thought ‘I think’ can’t think at all, it is borrowing the power to do so from this Omnipotence. See that the thought ‘I think’ can’t think and that the thinker is the thought. The thinker is only another thought, when I say I think I then create a pseudo subject or separate entity “me” who then assumes the role of the thinker. The so-called thinker is only another thought. So if the thinker is the thought then they cancel each other out. No thinker and no thought then what is left over? Without a thinker or a thought aren’t you still present awake and aware? Aren’t you the naked non conceptual awareness whether there is thinking or no thinking? Have a good look at it for yourself. The only real knowledge is the knowledge I am, all other knowledge is a form of ignorance. How did I get to the truth that I prevail everlastingly? By meditating on the meditator, who is then spontaneously resolved in the unborn mind or absolute, by “I amness” merging into “I amness.” Only then did I grasp or understand what my true nature is.
Everything in the manifestation can be broken down into the basic elements, into subatomic particles and finally into empty space. This basic space of phenomena, this emptiness can’t be resolved into anything else as there are no boundaries or center to it at all. There can be nothing outside of space which is limitless, and without any center, circumference or boundaries. The contents of space can be nothing but space – “Listen Shariputra, form is emptiness, emptiness is form, form does not differ from emptiness, emptiness does not differ from form. The same is true with feelings, perceptions, mental formations and consciousness.” Everything including the manifestation is appearing in space, and the basic space is being ignored, principally because it is no thing to the time-bound or acquired mind of memory, yet it is – pure intelligence. It is this authentic awakening of intelligence that can be called enlightenment. This is not a personal achievement or a one off event, it is always so. This is what we call Nirvana the unborn Buddha mind, the fully awakened mind. Nirvana is the highest good, the highest happiness, complete and perfect Enlightenment and you are That. I am the way, the truth and the life, this is the life that does not know death, the everlasting life that lives on itself and so is ever-increasing. tat tvam asi — “Thou Art That,” a famous Vedantic mahavakya or great statement. One hundred years back I was not existing as this present shape and form, the one pointing this out must have been there. You did and do exist unto eternity.
What is being expounded does not relate to worldly knowledge. You do not want to give up either worldly knowledge or spiritual knowledge, and yet through these worldly concepts you want to understand the riddle of your existence and that is precisely why you are not able to understand. In truth your state is one of Absolute bliss, not this phenomenal state. In that state there is no trace of misery or unhappiness, only unalloyed bliss. That bliss is the thousand petal lotus, the highest peak of consciousness. When that opens all buds bloom.
“Self-realization is bliss. Bliss is not something to be acquired. You are always bliss……get rid of your ignorance which makes you think that you are other than bliss. Happiness is inherent and not due to external causes. One must realize oneself in order to open the store of unalloyed happiness.” — from ‘Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi.’
There is the fullness of bliss, the no mind state, not knowing, then for no reason that I am news , the consciousness arises spontaneously announcing the news I am. It was present in seed form for nine months in the womb of the mother and for some time afterwards until it matured into full consciousness of being. Once it is there one wants it to continue forever but it is time-bound an illusion or what we call Maya in Advaita. One must find out how this happened. How did this happen without my permission, how did I come to be in this limited state of I am So and So? What a trick Maya has played.
If you inquire and look deeply enough you will see for yourself that it never happened at all, it is an appearance, Maya, an illusion, an empty show without any substance or independent nature of its own apart from the unborn awareness-emptiness that it springs from. It is false and cannot stand up to investigation, but this non conceptual ever-fresh presence awareness can stand up to any investigation and does prevail everlastingly and you must come to see for yourself without any outside agency that you are That, you are the absolute.
Absolute means absolute and it ever prevails, nothing can be added to it and nothing can be taken away from it and this is the actuality of non duality, not two, never two, one without a second, so where does relationship come into this? It doesn’t come into This at all, there is no relationship in non duality, there never has been and there never could be, there is only That. Could anything be simpler than this? Relationship means relative to, something or other, relationship implies duality, two or more, and there is nothing to relate to with the absolute, so you as the imagined separate entity can’t be separate or apart from the absolute because That is everything there is. When this fully dawns then there is no fixed center from where the seeing is taking place, the seeing is from emptiness and the observer is the observed, you are the world and the world is yourself. That state is Nirvana, Nirguna, that which is Eternal and Ultimate Truth.
The false can’t stand up to investigation and once the inquiry begins along these lines even the learnings of a lifetime can’t stand up to any scrutiny, the acquired concepts, memories, and habits simply dissolve and fall away by themselves spontaneously without the need for any effort on the part of the imaginary person or entity So and So. If something is false there is no need for any effort to get rid of it, it is not there, it was never there like the non existent water in a mirage or like the child of a barren woman. Now a barren woman never had a child in the first place, so who are you? O ignorant man whose son are you?
All this time, which does not exist, you have simply been duped by illusion or what we call Maya, undecieve yourself and be free, you are not a person confined to a body-mind prison. My mind, my house, my car etc, there is no such thing as mind if you look for it, there is no separate entity or mind at all, all that remains is unborn presence awareness-emptiness, Nirvana, no mind, no thing, the highest good, the highest happiness which is being ignored by the time-bound mind, this “me” of memory which is a total fiction, a phantom when it is fully investigated. Watch the mind and see what it does, mindfulness etc. If the Self is realized there is no mind to watch or control, it can be left alone, left as it is unaltered. unmodified and uncorrected. When this is pointed out and the reaction to this pointing out is anger, where is that anger coming from? It is coming from ignorance of your true nature, which is the perfection of the natural state. See this and simply be as you are free of any and all becoming.
A quote from the book ‘CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE ABSOLUTE’ The final talks of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, edited by Jean Dunn, Chetana publishing Bombay:
October 5, 1980
Maharaj: I have no individuality. I have assumed no pose as a person. Whatever happens in the manifest consciousness happens.
People identify me with their concepts and they do what their concepts tell them. It is consciousness that is manifest, nothing else. Who is talking, who is walking, who is sitting? These are the experiences of that chemical “I am”. Are you that chemical? You talk about heaven and hell, this Mahatma or that one, but how about you?
In meditation, one sees a lot of visions. They are in the chemical, the realm of your consciousness, are they not? All these things are connected to that birth-chemical. You are not this chemical “I am”!
Spiritual knowledge should not be studied; it is knowledge derived from listening. When the listener hears it, and accepts it, something clicks in him.
This “I amness” is otherness; it is an expression of duality.
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