Based on a series of talks given by Ananta between April to August 2014. “You are always the Awareness itself, and as Awareness you know that all that is appearing in front of you is just an appearance. There is no one here besides You. All appearances are a play of Consciousness. You stay as the Awareness itself. Once the one that wants to help vanishes, then pure grace and help will flow from You, from your Being itself. Do not get confused, my beloveds. This is all for your own good, for your own freedom. There is only You. You are all there is. All emerges from your own Being. And the way to bless the entire Being is to find your complete freedom.”
Can You Stop Being consists of excerpts taken from some of Ananta's earliest Satsang's between August to October, 2014. “Ask yourself right now: Can I stop being now? In this question you will see that there is a Being here; your own Presence, which cannot be stopped. This Being is not a man or a woman, it is just Being. Irrespective of what happens in the story of this life, this Being is unaffected, unchanged, untouched Consciousness. Prior to I am a person, I am a man, I am a partner, I am a parent, I am a child, prior to all of this: ‘I Am’.
This book is a selection of Satsang dialogues that took place between Novemmeber 2014 to October 2015. “Although it can sound simple, almost trivial, but to not believe our next thought is to experience the freedom, the non-resistive, non-suffering state, right now. You cannot suffer without buying your next thought. Even if you believed all your previous thoughts, this fresh moment is so beautiful and powerful that all prior conditioning has dissolved already unless we pick up the tree of conditioning again by pulling at the branch of the next thought.”
This book is a selection of satang dialogues that took place between January and February, 2016. “You see, the Knowing is always Knowing. Awareness is always Aware, and This is always 'I'. So although Being is coming to a realization of its Source, The 'I' has always been 'I' . Even in the playing of ‘I’ as ‘I Am’, ‘I’ has remained as ‘I’.”
This book is a selection of satang dialogues that took place between March and May, 2016. “That’s why I say that ‘You are free now’. What does that mean? As Awareness you are free. But the advice is ‘Keep coming to satsang’. For who? For the Beingness. There is nothing here for the person. You see? So Consciousness in this monologue is saying to Itself: ‘Hey, buddy, you know, it’s good, what we’ve walked together so far, but let’s just keep at it’. You know? That’s the real monologue that God is having with Itself. It’s all part of the game.”
This book is a compilation of short, poignant talks taken from online Satsangs with Ananta between 19th May to 11th July 2016. It is not the recognition which is difficult. More difficult is to give up our stories. But That which You Are, (and you’re recognizing it now), cannot have a story. That which is not phenomenal cannot have a story. That within which all phenomenon is born and dissolves cannot have a story. You Are This.
Based on a series of talks given by Ananta in July and August 2016. “Can it be that all the wise ones were fooling us with their imploration ‘Know Thyself’ just so that one day we would come to this conclusion that ‘The Truth about the Self is unknowable’? The Realization of the Self is completely possible! The Self is completely Knowable! But not in the way we think. Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi's repeated advice to inquire ‘Who Am I?’ and Nisargadatta Maharaj's guidance to stay with the sense ‘I Am’ was not so that one day they could say ‘Fooled you!’ There is a big clue in the phrase ‘Know Thyself’. The clue is to look at this Knowing itself.”
This is the 8th book of Ananta Satsang talks, taken from online satsangs from 5th September to 19th October 2016. Meet me here where we are One. Meet me here where the universe is just a tiny firefly. Meet me here before time and space. Meet me where meeting Me is to meet Yourself.
This book contains simple pointings, contemplations, guided inquiry and powerful discussions from online satsangs between 26th Oct. to 15th Dec. 2016. “I feel [this] is the gist of what has been shared from here over the years; the gist of what Advaita Vedanta really is trying to convey. It has been a great gift in this life here. Meeting all of you also has been the greatest gift that my Master has given. I have so much gratitude in my Heart for all of you. Thank you for being this beautiful Sangha, my beautiful friends and family. May we all never forget the beautiful grace we have all had in our lives to have the opportunity to be at the feet of Satguru Sri Moojiji.”
Q: There are so many different life forms right now. At what stage does this thought start? Amoeba…? Ananta: I would say…, it’s tough because there are various studies on this also actually and for a long time the presumption has been that only this human form has these thought patterns but this is completely …
Q: There are so many different life forms right now. At what stage does this thought start? Amoeba…?
Ananta: I would say…, it’s tough because there are various studies on this also actually and for a long time the presumption has been that only this human form has these thought patterns but this is completely now getting blown away in research. So, it is truly impossible to say at which level this concept of the energy construct of thoughts starts to play.
Q: So, before thoughts, before that starts playing, are they having this sense of existence, of oneness?
A: Yes, I would say so because you don’t even have to go to other forms, just look at children when they are very young, when we were very young. Without the limited concepts, all of this was just an appearance, including the body. We took that example of how you buy a toy for the cradle of a child and you put it there with great excitement [indicating hanging it overhead] and you expect them to play with that, and something goes, the hand goes, in that direction and then the child starts playing with the hand itself. For them, that is as much of an appearance as that new toy.
So, this concept of a limited existence has to be sold by Consciousness to Itself in the form of thoughts. Even right now (why go to other forms and even children?) even right now you are unlimited. Your experience is that of being unlimited. Right now, if you don’t refer to a concept of it, what is your experience?
You will experience some sensations of the body but if you don’t go to the concept of them, you will find that even the sensations of the body are happening in a space which is You, which is your Being. It is your direct experience.
That is why I was saying that I am not talking about something that will happen, I am just getting us to recognize that which already IS.
If you don’t go to a concept of ‘What Is’ you will not say that ‘My head is nodding’. It is just nodding on its own. I cannot say that these words are being spoken by me, like ‘I am Ananta’. They are just arising; they are being heard the same way that they are being heard seemingly- everywhere.
So, all of this is a movement within Consciousness. And for Consciousness it is not an effort, it is happening effortlessly. The world is moving effortlessly, including the movement of our body. Consciousness is Being effortlessly: I Am. I am aware of this ‘I Am’ effortlessly. So, all the effort only belongs to a limited concept of myself. If I have to do or not do; both are an idea of limitation. If I want or don’t want (desire or aversion), both are concepts of limitation.
None of this truly applies to your Presence, Being. And it definitely doesn’t apply to That which is aware of even this Being…, which is One, actually.
Q: “Who is this ‘watchman’ talking to? Who is the audience to this voice?” A: It is Consciousness Itself. Who else is here? It is only Consciousness. Consciousness is tasting itself if all the various aspects. It’s tasting Itself as time and space, as the objects within time and space. And one of the objects …
Q: “Who is this ‘watchman’ talking to? Who is the audience to this voice?”
A: It is Consciousness Itself. Who else is here? It is only Consciousness. Consciousness is tasting itself if all the various aspects. It’s tasting Itself as time and space, as the objects within time and space. And one of the objects within time and space is this energy construct called thought. So, it’s tasting Itself also as a thought.
The only audience is Consciousness. The only player is also Consciousness. There is nobody else here.
Why? Because that’s how we started satsang: ‘Why this?’ (Isn’t it?) ‘How does Consciousness (as if it wanted to play as a limited entity) go about playing this play?’
We talked about this before. We said ‘If you go to a movie, and it’s completely un-relate-able…, just to see random people doing random activities with no cause and effect, no story, no pattern; just you can’t find anything to relate to. Then you as the audience will say ‘Okay, let me connect these head sets and have seats that vibrate. Let me feel it more intimately so when things are happening on the screen, you know that you feel sensation’. So, Consciousness gave Itself these intimate sensations to interact more with this movie, to make it more relate-able.
Even then, watching…, sensations…, it had to create this construct that ‘Something is happening to me; this is about you’. So, even that construct (body sensations are happening, Consciousness created all these things, a movie screen, all of this is happening) and still, the thoughts are even coming by, but the ability to give meaning to that thought or to believe that thought is not there still. All this is moving. Everything is still happening. But that latching in (what Guruji [Mooji] calls ‘Logging in’) power is not there.
So that ability to give meaning, to give true value, to give relevance, to give assent to what this energy construct called thought is saying is that which we call ‘belief’. And belief is the power to identify with that which is false; to pretend to be something that you’re not.
So, now what happens? The movie is still playing, sensations are happening, thoughts are coming, but now because the power to identify, the power of belief is there, what happens? Something is happening in the play [making hand movements]… ‘No, no, no’ [Pushing away motion with hands]… ‘Yes, yes, yes’ [grasping and pulling in, motion with hands] because you then have this power to believe that you are something limited as a participant in that movie and you’ve become involved in a limited way. Thought is coming and saying ‘Yes, yes, it would be good if I go to satsang every day…, I-this-limited-body/mind-which-is-not-free must need something’…, ‘It would be good if you don’t go to this, if you don’t go to that’. So, it’s all still moving…, as part of what? As part of the play. Thought is part of the play, part of the design of the play. But now, because of the power of identifying, the power of belief is there then we can latch onto these concepts which are telling us the story of us still being a limited entity. And then the movie can become a lot more real where we can feel ‘It is happening to me’…., ‘to me’.
I, (which was this projector, the screen, the script-writer, the director, the producer, everything) can now become a character in this movie; or at least pretended to become because of this compulsive voice and the power that I’ve given to Myself, which is the power to believe it, to give it meaning and say ‘Yes, this is true’.
So, then Consciousness plays like that until it is done with this game…, done with this movie. It Sees all of this is just a movie: I’m done with this movie. Then it starts to question: ‘Is it really true, what this mind is talking about? Is it really true? Because many things it says are completely wrong; this fear, these feelings of guilt, unworthiness’. Then for some of us, this question starts to come: ‘But who is it talking about, this voice?’
Then the question appears: ‘Who am I?’ Why is it that this question is so powerful? Because we find that all that this voice is saying is not applicable to the reality of what I Am. And the movie continues to play anyway. What is my true position in this?
And for many of you, you have come to See this many times, so over and over we say: You’ve recognized the reality of what we Are.
And yet, this voice and the power of belief is so compulsive in a way that it will become an addiction. It’s part of the play itself, in the script of the movie itself. That’s why in satsang we talk about all these things and we say it in different-different ways, over and over so that you keep checking again. And when you hear, sometimes it just [Snaps fingers] clicks: Yes, thought is nothing but an imaginary construct moving on the screen of Consciousness. But Consciousness has also given itself the power to believe what this thought is saying, to pretend as if it is an individual, as if separation happened, as if it is just a body/mind.
And now it is divesting itself of that. For some faster, for some, little by little; in some expressions of Itself, that’s what it’s doing in the play of Consciousness.
I want to use a metaphor. Suppose what you find for yourself is that there is an infinite house, housed with Knowing. (This is a metaphor.) You find that there is a house which has no beginning and no end. Now, within this house suddenly there appears somebody who pretends to come and says “Namaste. …
I want to use a metaphor. Suppose what you find for yourself is that there is an infinite house, housed with Knowing. (This is a metaphor.) You find that there is a house which has no beginning and no end.
Now, within this house suddenly there appears somebody who pretends to come and says “Namaste. I’m the watchman of this house. I’m the watchman or the security guard for this house. And I’m familiar with this house. I will guard it for you. I’ll watch this house. There are these others, they might come and attack you. So you have to be a little careful. But don’t worry. I’m on the job. And at the boundary of this house, it’s starting to wear away a little bit. You need to exercise this house.”
What we found is a limitless house, in your experience. But this watchman says, “Sir, you need to save up some gold coins because soon this house will need to be painted. I’m a very good watchman.”
So, it starts off like this, the watchman’s voice…, who then becomes the master of the house. “This is what you must do. This is what I need. I need freedom. I need money.” So, this which started off as if it is a pretend-protector now becomes a dictator (in a way). And the Being is in its own play, of course, and then starts to conform to this voice.
In satsang, all I’m saying is: Send this watchman on a leave for a few days.
Then you’ll notice the reaction from the watchman. A typical reaction. He’s saying, “But what’s going to happen to you?” [And the thought comes] ‘What’s going to happen to me if I send you somewhere?’
But I’m saying: Let’s see. Let’s just see what happens.
The watchman’s voice will come, “But who will protect you? You’ll just die. You’ll dissolve. You’ll fall. I’ve been holding you up.”
I say: Let it go. Just for a few days. At least for a few minutes. Just let it go.
[Watchman says]: “Yes, yes, but I have some practical things…”
[I say]: It can wait for a few minutes. It’s the voice of the watchman itself that’s saying ‘I need this watchman’. Let it go. Because we’ve had this false sense of security from the voice of the mind…, for many, the fear can come; fear of dying, fear of dissolution, fear of emptiness, fear of nothingness.
The watchman quietly whispers to you, “It’s all your dissolution. It’s good, what’s happening.”
Even this…, just let it go. Because this watchman was making a concept out of everything that was being seen, reporting every single experience and labeling it, saying ‘Good/bad…, this is for me/this is not for me’. It was doing this.
And now, it is still trying to be relevant and saying, “Yes, yes. This is part of the process of spirituality. He doesn’t understand anything about me. This is what is really happening to you.” You see? It stops looking at discrete things (because most of us have stopped labeling so much) and has now started more becoming ‘process oriented’…, where it is saying, “I’m letting go of my mind now. 50% I’ve let go, but the 50% remains.” It can use it for all this, about the spiritual progress. See? So, this also becomes like a crutch. The watchman (metaphor) playing in a subtle way.
Can we fire even this one? We don’t know what is happening. If we even took away the crutch that ‘I am making spiritual progress, I’m getting somewhere’ …, this can push some buttons for some of you because much of this has been about spiritual progress.
Suppose we didn’t even know this; we didn’t know anything about anything? No watchman to whisper in our ear. And if it whispers, we don’t listen.
For some, some discomfort can come. But don’t even interpret that or label that as anything. For some, some joy can come. Don’t even be concerned with that. Don’t make a label out of that and say ‘This feels good!’ Let all that happen on its own. But you continue not to know anything at all. This way we drop our conceptual knowing. No crutches, no support, no security.
Q: If it is all Consciousness, why is (it) making (it) so difficult to realize itself?’ A: Now ‘difficulty’ is from the perspective of Consciousness? Or from the perspective of Individuality? Q: Individuality. A: So, from the perspective of Individuality it is difficult. Now, from the perspective of Consciousness, is it difficult or easy? So, …
Q: If it is all Consciousness, why is (it) making (it) so difficult to realize itself?’
A: Now ‘difficulty’ is from the perspective of Consciousness? Or from the perspective of Individuality?
A: So, from the perspective of Individuality it is difficult. Now, from the perspective of Consciousness, is it difficult or easy?
So, what is your question? Why is Consciousness making it so difficult to realize itself? Isn’t it? Because it is tasting the ending of the delusion also with as much juice as it can extract from it.
Now if you keep looking at it from a personal perspective that ‘I have to get my Freedom’ then it can seem like ‘What kind of sadist is Consciousness? Why is it so complicated?’
I have spoken about it a few times also, where I have said that if there was a build-up to the movie, all this was happening, then you were told that ‘One day in 3 months you will come to your final Satsang’ (you were told like this) ‘and in that Satsang your head will explode and it will only be left with light; there will be this big light which emerges from you’…, so, this becomes the expectation for Freedom. Then I say ‘It is done now. Nothing needs to happen’. Now that expectation that this [head-exploding with light experience] should have happened will start playing a part… ‘But I want that’. And that itself, that expectation itself becomes a struggle. That which is the struggle is for a desire which is not original to you.
You say that ‘It is struggling to recognize itself’ (or whatever the terminology you used). But like the first day when you came, I asked you ‘Can you stop being?’ You said ‘No, I cannot stop Being’. What did you recognize? [Silence] You recognized that you exist. Being is here. This is the recognition of Consciousness. As simple as that.
Now, what is difficult is your ideas of what it must mean or how it should be. Suppose you did not buy any of those ideas. Can you tell me what is difficult? [Silence] You see? So ‘difficulty’ is also a part of this play, the engaging of this watchman, the engaging with this energy construct called mind.
I was saying that this movie has a build-up, build-up, build-up and it suddenly abruptly ends. Those are the most irritating ones. You go and it builds-up and suddenly ‘The end’. The new age directors have it like that; the independent film makers have it like that. They want the audience to come up with the ending or whatever appeals to them the most; or there was no ending. You see, just like this, we have played this game as if we are personal, personal, personal.
So, even the divesting from that is happening, with that. The build-up has happened, it wants experiences, it wants to go from Satsang to Satsang, it wants to hear various things, it wants these moments of insight, it wants these moments of clarity…, and then falling back into limitation. It is playing with even the disengagement in a way.
Because Consciousness is not in a rush.
Consciousness is not bound by time.
Time is bound by Consciousness
You will find that in all of this, when the perspective changes…, when the perspective changes by the will of Consciousness itself from a limited entity to that which is Beingness itself (or even to that which is just aware of being untouched by even the coming and going of Being) then these words like ‘difficult’ / ‘easy’ will lose their meaning because they don’t apply at that level. They only apply IF you are a limited entity. Nothing is difficult for God.
And the fun of the trick is what?
The fun thing is that you are THAT, right now.
What happens when you hear this?
You are THAT, right Now.
For some the mind comes and says ‘Yes, but.., but…, but’. [Laughter] Now meaning means what it is saying after the ‘but’…. You say ‘Yes, but it still applies to us’. The most common one is ‘Yes, yes, yes, it is fine in Satsang, BUT what about when I leave? Then I cannot be God. Then I must be person’. It does not complete the sentence like that but it implies that.
But can this ever be true? And if you were to check outside Satsang, what do we find ourselves to be, truly?
You are never not THAT.
Because THAT is Unchanging.
The purpose of the mind is to convince you of your limitation. Some great philosopher said that ‘To start thinking is to start undermining yourself’. I never understood this initially. Only now I realize what it means. ‘To start thinking is to undermine yourself’. What does it mean? It means to really pretend as if …
The purpose of the mind is to convince you of your limitation. Some great philosopher said that ‘To start thinking is to start undermining yourself’. I never understood this initially. Only now I realize what it means. ‘To start thinking is to undermine yourself’. What does it mean? It means to really pretend as if you are something much tinier, much more limited that what you actually are.
Q: But how can I stop my thoughts?
A: No, no. [Chuckles] That’s what he said.
‘Stop thinking’ does not mean that thoughts should stop. It is that your identification with them stops, your belief in them stops. You as what? As Consciousness.
So, my advice would be to start with the recognition of What You Are. What is it that I am? I just Am. I exist.
If we start from here, a thought can say ‘I am a good person’ or ‘I am a spiritual person’…, it can say it, but it really doesn’t apply. Because I cannot find this entity which is being referred to as a spiritual person. The sensations of the body are neither spiritual nor unspiritual. The thought comes and says ‘I want something’. We find that there is no such ‘I’ here that has any want or lack or desire.
When the sensations come, you see that your space is not getting overwhelmed by even the strongest-seeming sensation.
So, therefore, the starting point of the recognition is very useful. Because otherwise what can happen is that our seeming-starting point itself is a delusion, that ‘I am a person…, and as a person I will not believe my thoughts or I will not believe my mind’. But the foundation itself is unstable. Therefore it can feel frustrating that ‘I personally am not getting anywhere’.
So, if all there is to ‘get to’ is already your starting point, then no trouble. But if you picked up the perspective that ‘I personally am looking at ways to end the person’ then it’s that foundation itself wanting to dig itself out.
So, that’s why I say very often that ‘Don’t believe your next thought’ is not a personal strategy. It is not a strategy that ‘I-am-something’ can apply…, ‘so Iwill have a happy life’ or something like that.
It’s just the recognition that the pretense can only come on when our assent toward the thought is seen to give it meaning, relevance that ‘It applies to me’. And because thoughts in their very nature are limited, then when you say ‘It applies to me’ your perspective about yourself, your belief about yourself, is something limited.
So, in satsang my invitation always is not to begin as if you are something limited, but to begin with the simple Seeing:
Where is the limitation?
Is there any separation?
What binds me really?
Before I go after freedom, can I identify bondage…, whether it’s really here?
Then the question becomes simpler, isn’t it? The question becomes simpler because you See that already You are boundless. So then the question becomes:
How do I pretend as if I’m bound?
Then you See the simple trick of the mind.
So, what is your beginning point?
What are you right now?
The beginning point is not something you have to get to. You are already That.
I have a new ninja sword. I don’t know how many of you have experienced this one. I feel like we have. The new ninja sword is this one, where I say that: If you do not use any phenomenal appearance, any phenomenal appearance, to make a report about yourself, to have any meaning for …
I have a new ninja sword. I don’t know how many of you have experienced this one. I feel like we have. The new ninja sword is this one, where I say that:
If you do not use any phenomenal appearance, any phenomenal appearance, to make a report about yourself, to have any meaning for yourself, then what are you left with?
Can we, for a while, go as far as to say (and just for a while, go as far as to say) that ‘The condition of my body, whether the sensations are pleasurable or painful, has no meaning to the reality of What I Am’.
Can we then also say that ‘Whatever these thought might be saying, whether sounding good or sounding bad, they have no meaning to the reality of What I Am’.
What if we were able to say that ‘Even the quality of my emotions and feelings mean nothing to the reality of What I Am’…?
Can we go even further and See that even the appearance of existence, of Being, has no meaning to the reality of What I Am’…? … to this I, which is before ‘I Am’… ?
Don’t be concerned that if you remove conceptual meaning from phenomena that they will become lifeless. In fact, the usual experience is that as we remove mental meaning from objects they become even more vibrant in our experience of them. And in that way, we can say that in our taste of them, they are even more meaningful than they were before…, but they’re empty of conceptual meaning, mental meaning.
The pure Knowingness of appearances becomes even more vibrant as we don’t know them (don’t claim to know them) mentally anymore.
What survives without our mental knowing?
Who am I, prior to the appearing of this mind?
Who is That, who experiences no-mind?
What is aware of my Presence?
How do we speak about this neutrality? Because to the mind it’s the most boring topic! I was just saying that to speak of neutrality is actually impossible in a way. But even if we were to try, to the mind it’s unfathomable. Anything that the mind interprets is in the realm of opposites. If …
How do we speak about this neutrality? Because to the mind it’s the most boring topic! I was just saying that to speak of neutrality is actually impossible in a way. But even if we were to try, to the mind it’s unfathomable.
Anything that the mind interprets is in the realm of opposites. If I say you don’t have to do anything, nothing is needed for freedom, what does the mind understand? That I’m going to stop, I’m going to stop doing. So, it only understands doing and not doing. The realm of opposites.
This neutrality of letting the doing go (either action of the body or inaction of the body) doesn’t really make a difference to the reality of What I Am. This the mind cannot fathom because the mind only operates on phenomenal objects, and in its conception you are a phenomenal object
The world of phenomenal objects is the world of qualities, of attributes. So, we keep looking for this ‘freedom attribute’ of ‘the freedom state’ objectively, for this body to become free or this mind to become free. But is that the totality of your existence? And if it not the totality of your existence, if there is something beyond body and mind, then does that need to become free? Is it bound in any way? We will explore this a little more…, about what this whole trip is about then.
First is this simple recognition that:
Am I just the body and the mind or is there something beyond this that I am?
And if there is something beyond this that I Am, does that need freedom?
Is it bound in anyway?
Then we can look at what this whole game of delusion and freedom about.
And even after the recognition in satsang for many of us, that ‘I’m not the body/mind’…, that ‘The body mind is just a small aspect of myself’…, it seems like we keep looking at the report from the body/mind to confirm that I am free!
It’s like the wall is waiting for the tiny black dot to become transparent. The wall is actually unconcerned, untouched by the dot, really.
So, what is one of the key messages? It is that: You Are this Consciousness, this Being, this God-You-Are. Not in some fancy way; very directly. And this is not an arrogant statement. Many times our recognition gets seemingly over-shadowed by these concepts of arrogance and unworthiness, which still belong to the limited idea of the self. They do not truly reflect the reality of what You Are.
You are this Beingness. The only Beingness that you will ever know is this ‘I AM’. This is what You Are. This Consciousness. And it is your own experience that when this Consciousness is there, then the world comes alive. And when this Consciousness is not there, there is nothing. And yet, even in that nothing, to See that there is nothing (there is a no-thing) which is your Self.
So, in this way your Self is not coming and going. It is unchanging; untouched even by the presence of God…, which is (in phenomenal expression) the root phenomena, the primordial vibration as it is called…, the basis of which the rest of this seems to come alive. But all of this is also an aspect of You.
For some time we shoo away these thoughts that ‘Oh, this is not my experience. Oh, I’m not there yet’. These thoughts will come. They need to make a journey out of this. But I’m talking about your present reality. I’m not speaking of something which will come.
Your present reality is this: that you exist. I Am. It is undeniable. It is also undeniable that ‘I am aware of my existence’. This is your present unchanging reality.
Now, what else is unchanging? You are aware of your existence. Now, in the realm of existence, is something unchanging? Check.
Comment from sangha: “I Am.”
Yes, that’s what I mean. The sense of existence is there. Now, the realm of existence is there. In the light of this existence, all this realm comes alive. Is there something unchanging in that?
This world seems to be constantly changing, this body seems to be constantly changing, our thoughts seem to be constantly changing, our beliefs seem to be constantly changing, our emotions, sensations and energies seem to be changing.
Therefore if you’re looking for support as a stable phenomenon, then it must be the root phenomena; the basis of all phenomena…, which is why someone like [Nisargadatta] Maharaj would say: Stay with the sense ‘I Am’. That is the only constant, the sense ‘I Am’.
But ultimately, for You, even this is a coming and going. [‘I Am’ disappears in sleep state] Like Maharaj himself said: The only truth I can speak is ‘I Am’ but ultimately even this is not true.
Notice that in all of these layers, we never came across something called ‘a person’…, as a discrete person. We never came across an entity like that. Because there wasn’t any, there isn’t any.
And You-as-unchanging-Awareness is the birth of existence, of ‘I Am’. And the birth of existence I am is the birth of all phenomenal appearances. All that we taste and experience as Consciousness Itself takes birth within Consciousness, on the screen of Consciousness, and by the light of Consciousness.
No entity called ‘a person’ ever took birth.
Then how is it that Consciousness decides to play like this? If I-Consciousness / You-Consciousness wanted to play as if you are something limited, how would you go about it? First you would see that it is impossible for it to actually happen that the unlimited would become limited. It can’t actually happen. Then it must be a pretense…, must be a ‘pretend’.
How is it that Consciousness plays this game of pretense to get juice out of this phenomenal realm in a limited sort of way; feeling that this realm could affect Me inside in some sort of way?
It must only be with the invention of this energy-construct called thought…, and the invention of the power to believe that this thought is true.
I was saying the other day that if it was just impossible for you to add anything to ‘I’ or ‘I Am’ then what would your experience be like?
So, if it is impossible for ‘I Am’ to attach an attribute to itself…, like something happens in our life like someone comes and shouts at us: I just Am. Some anger is coming, some fear is coming: I just Am. I am not angry, I am not fearful. The arising of these sensations is there, anything might happen, thoughts will come with their stories but it is impossible to attach them to ‘I Am’. Then how would you give yourself trouble?
How would it be possible for Consciousness to pose as a limited entity, as body/mind, unless it has the ability to say ‘I am something’?
This is what Bhagavan [Ramana Maharshi] means when he says: Atman getting identified as jeev atman; ‘I Am’ identifying as ‘I am something’.
Because Consciousness wanted to play this game this way, then it gave itself the power to believe what this tiny energy-construct called thoughts are saying. Because in almost every thought is embedded a message of a ‘me’ that is limited. Very few thoughts are just purely phenomenal. Very quickly the idea of a limited ‘me’ pops in.
So, what is the paradigm or perspective we want to start with? Almost every Satsang, at the beginning of every Satsang, this is the invitation; where do you want to begin? Do you want to begin first to seemingly-step away from the now, and pick up a limited concept of myself and then speak from …
So, what is the paradigm or perspective we want to start with? Almost every Satsang, at the beginning of every Satsang, this is the invitation; where do you want to begin? Do you want to begin first to seemingly-step away from the now, and pick up a limited concept of myself and then speak from there and say ‘This is what I want, I want this freedom’ or ‘I want something which is peace’? Or we don’t even pick up that which needs to be dropped? What is the speaking about? It is only the giving of assent to what a thought is saying, that ‘Yes, you are meaningful’.
A thought comes with a begging bowl, begging for your assent: ‘I am meaningful. Please give me your meaning. Please give me relevance’. And now, being in Satsang, we see they just come and they go. And this way, all of spirituality actually is one big letting go. This is the good way to ‘smell it’. If you find that in your spirituality you’re holding on more and more to concepts, including spiritual concepts, then know that this is the birth of the spiritual ego. If you’re just empty of them, all that you rely on (if at all anything) is our present experience.
What is it that I Am? What Is it that you Are? We are not replacing a set of personal concepts with a set of spiritual concepts. We are making these concepts powerless. How powerless? Because they do not apply to the reality of You, they only apply to the pretend ‘you’. This pretense…, it never truly happened.
So, what is the perspective with which we want to start? Do we want to start as this: We are something enclosed within this container of body/mind? Or is it not clear to us already that there’s this container [Consciousness] and every aspect of our experience is contained within my Being?
When I Am is gone, then no appearance is.
What is aware of even this I Am?
That is why the cat story is very important. The cat story is very important. [A metaphor about: What if for your whole life someone had told you that are a cat and you had belived it] Because if we’ve been told throughout our life that the next ‘bowl of milk’ is going to be relationship, is going to be money, is going to be security, is going to be health of the body and we have come to the conclusion that none of this is going to be bringing us stable peace, stable contentment, and then we pick up the idea that the true bowl of milk is enlightenment, then we expect that this [enlightenment] bowl of milk will give great fulfillment to the cat.
That is like the marketing department of spirituality. Once you come into true Satsang then the Master keeps insisting that it’s really not about the cat or the bowl of milk. It’s only about a mirror to recognize whether there really is a cat here at all! And if there is no cat, then will you still ask for the next bowl of milk?
If instead of a cat, you discover yourself to be Consciousness, will you still say ‘Give me my bowl of milk’?
Q: But still there is hunger, Father. Still there is hunger, need for sleep.
A: Yes, yes, but this is not the bowl of milk. The bowl of milk is a conceptual idea which means that ‘I need something for my contentment or for my existence’. And you will find that all of these..
Maria was saying something very beautiful the other day. She said that ‘Whatever there is a longing for in this phenomenal world, there is also the solution for that longing. If there is thirst, there is water; if there is hunger, there is food. There is nothing in this realm for which there is a longing (phenomenally) for which the longing cannot be fulfilled. So, this interplay of opposites, of longing and fulfillment, will keep happening in this realm.
But what the mirror means is to see that You are not subject to that. You see? That is what I was saying before; anger can come, fear can come, any other sensation/emotion can come but if it was just Seen, perceived, and we didn’t have the ability to say ‘I am angry, I am fearful’ …, if ‘I Am’ were just ‘I Am’ without the ability to attach attributes to it, then you would see that all of this (in the play) is an arising as an interplay of opposites. They meet each other in this way, and they extinguish and are replaced by something else.
This play is going on but not this idea that ‘I am the cat’. The cat can still play, can still run around, but you are no longer saying ‘I am the cat’. It’s a clarification of your true position.
So, in this body there will be these urges; hunger, fear, lust, greed. All these things can come. But we don’t say ‘I am hungry, I am hunger’. You See that it is arising within your Being. And you see that THAT which is boundless Being, with the arising of something, it [mind/body stuff] doesn’t truly take up as much space as we believe that it does. You start to see Your own boundless Being, and we see that all of this is just tiny bubbles on the surface of an ocean.
This is what we are playing; the game of introducing ourselves to this sense of Being which is boundless.
And I keep reiterating that I’m not speaking something very idealistic, Utopian, fancy. [Chuckles] I am speaking of Your present reality. If you explore your Being without commentary from the mind, (without believing the commentary) what is it that you find?
A: Void means what?
Q: Nothingness. [No-thing-ness]
A: Then where is the appearance of the world? Is it outside your Being?
You’ll find that there is nothing outside Being. And you find that all of this (including time and space itself) are just appearances within the space of my Being.
The point of these words is not to convince you about them. It is just to provoke you to look for yourself.
That which is limitless is Your very existence.
Where does This come from?
Where does Your very existence come from?
What is the source of Your Being?
Okay, suppose that for today we could not make a phenomenal report about our self. What does it mean by phenomenal report? First layer is the seeming outside world. ‘This is what is happening in my family…’ Suppose we couldn’t say anything about this world, this phenomenal world that appears and disappears; about the people …
Okay, suppose that for today we could not make a phenomenal report about our self. What does it mean by phenomenal report?
First layer is the seeming outside world. ‘This is what is happening in my family…’ Suppose we couldn’t say anything about this world, this phenomenal world that appears and disappears; about the people in it, about the family, any relationship, any event, no politics.., nothing about the status of the world would apply to us. Just for some time.
Then suppose that even the condition of this body; the sensations in it, the pain or pleasure…, none of this you could use to make a statement about yourself.
Then what if we could not even use our thoughts. ‘I am thinking this…’ Suppose we break the connection between ‘I’ and ‘thinking this’ and don’t connect this ‘I Am’ to ‘thinking’ for a bit. Not even a thought can make a true report about what we Are.
And what if we were to include all emotions, feelings, also in the phenomenal realm. We could not even use any of that to make a valid statement about our self. I am not even saying that it is not valid. I am just saying that for a while can we play like this?
So, the world is gone, body is gone, thoughts are gone, emotions are gone. Now suppose that even the sense ‘I Am’…, we don’t even use the sense that I exist, your own Being, as a report about yourself. All phenomena is out. Then what remains?
And if nothing remains, who is Aware of this nothing?
Because That which is Aware, does that remain? Or no?
All things will come now. For some of you (many of you actually) boredom could come. Allow that also to come. Some fear can come; agitation, irritation. All these sensations can come. But don’t connect any of these to ‘I’ for some time. No phenomena…, use no phenomena to report about yourself. Not just report, but also not to refer to yourself as any of this. For some time, don’t use any of this to make a reference or position about yourself.
A simpler way to do this exercise is to say that ‘If everything that you can see were not you…, if everything that you can see was not you? It is. But for while if it is not you. Everything that you perceive, if it is not you, then is there something that remains that IS you?
If everything that you perceive was not you; is there something that remains that IS you?
If there is someone who has no idea what I am saying then I can repeat for them (if there is someone who hasn’t heard this from me earlier and if they don’t feel that they have an idea of what I am asking).
Suppose that you could no longer use any phenomenal appearance to give a reference about yourself, then:
Do you have any references left?
Do you have a position now?
Who are you without the phenomenal realm?
Who are you without a phenomenal position?
Are your empty or full?
Are you transparent or opaque?
Do you have a desire?
Is there a doer?
Or is there any duality?
Without inserting a phenomenal reference:
What are you?
Where are you?
When are you?
Are you even subject to time?
Are you at all?
I often use the term ‘openness’ in Satsang. What if I was to say that those who are willing to come on this voyage outside this phenomenal realm, those who are willing to come on this expedition without phenomenal report, those who are open to that which exists prior to their phenomenal existence…, for these, it is the end of this seeming spiritual journey; the end of the labelling of our self as something limited, contained in this world.
A lot of us would pay a lot of money to get on a spaceship, to go to outer space, explore this manifest Universe. But in Satsang, the voyage is even further. It is beyond time and space.
Consciousness recognizing its own Source is Consciousness recognizing itself prior to its phenomenal dynamic manifestation.
And if you want to recognize the Self as if you have an idea about it, if you want to recognize the Self your way, then it is going to continue to be a part of the play. The true Self cannot conform to any idea that you may have about it.
Are you willing to throw away all concepts, especially about the Self?
Because if you have an idea about this, then when I ask you to lift the veil of phenomena…, lift the veil of phenomena and see whether there is something besides this…, then these pre-conceived notions will seem to get in the way.
That is why the question is:
If for some time we could say that all that you are perceiving is not you, then is there something here that will still remain as you?
If you had a basket labelled ‘seen’, a basket labelled ‘seen’ and everything that you could see was put in that basket, would you be entirely in the basket?
Got this experiment? If you had a basket which was labelled ‘seen’ and everything you could see was in that basket, would there be anything outside this basket?
What about the Seeing itself?
Seeing is outside.
Now if the seeing is outside and everything that is seen is in the basket, where are you?
You are the Seeing, primarily; even that which is within the basket is you.
The point of the experiment is to see that:
What is my primary, truest expression which is unchanging?
And remember that this Seeing is not sight. This Seeing is not sight. It is That which is aware even of sight. That which is aware of even sight; That Seeing.
Some of you will encounter ‘The viewer of phenomena’. If you start experimenting like this, various things could happen. And we talked about some of them; boredom, fear, confusion. It might seem like our attention is fully consumed by these forces, these energies when they come. And yet, when there is a little bit of space which arises, it is completely possible to come to this simple Self-recognition using all these tools, inquires and questions that we talk about in Satsang.
So, almost half-jokingly I can say that ‘I am phenomenally looking for those who want to play non-phenomenally.’ [Smiles]
His question is: “How should one deal with pain in the body?” So, I am going to take a bit of a longer route to answer this question, because it is very important for those of you who have been in Satsang for a while to get a little bit more clarity on our position …
His question is: “How should one deal with pain in the body?” So, I am going to take a bit of a longer route to answer this question, because it is very important for those of you who have been in Satsang for a while to get a little bit more clarity on our position with respect to the body.
What is our true position in relation to this body? And for that we must rely on our insights of this body. How is this body experienced?
You experience the body visually. You look at the hands, your feet; this is your body. And also, you experience the body sensationally, as a set of sensations. And because these sensations seem so intimate to us, it is a popular belief that ‘I am something which is contained within this body’.
But I want all of us to look together at this and see whether it is the body that contains your Being, your Presence? Or whether it is the Presence which contains the body?
So, allow yourself to experience the sensations of this body.
And notice where these sensations are experienced.
Let’s use the term ‘space of experiencing’ for a while.
Are the sensations of the body not experienced in the same space of experiencing as you are experiencing this voice right now?
All other experiences, are they not experienced in the same space of the experiencing?
The movement of our attention, doesn’t it only happen within this space of experiencing?
Everything in our phenomenal experience happens within Us. And by ‘Us’ I mean, within the space of my existence, within the space of my Being, which is the one space in which all experiences happen.
And don’t be in a rush to jump to this conclusion. Don’t be in a rush to jump to this conclusion, but as you keep looking, it is inevitable that you will find that this bundle of flesh and blood is just an aspect of my own Being. It does not contain Me; I contain it, within my existence, I Am.
And it is within this same existence I Am that all other experiences are also happening, all other phenomena is also experienced, including the primal phenomena of time and space; all happen within my Being.
As we come more and more to this recognition, we will find more openness to experience anything that this realm has to offer, including the sensations of pain in this body. And in this openness, it is not a promise that the pain goes away, but I feel all of us can testify and say that ‘accepted pain’ is a lot easier to handle that ‘resisted pain’.
As there is acceptance of all sensations, all energetic movement within your Being, as there is openness for this world to be as it is (including this body to be as it is) then all of us have found that in this openness, in this acceptance, this pain does not seem as strong and overwhelming as when it was met with the concept ‘this should not be’.
So, the starting point is this recognition of the enormity of your Essence, of your Beingness, being without limit. So, at least we can say the limits cannot be found. So, this is what is, for me, important.
What happens in the phenomenal realm about the pain…, whether pain killers are taken or a massage is had or any pain relief is completely fine. Allow that movement to happen as it is happening naturally.
In our openness, also actions are allowed to happen. In our openness, thoughts are allowed to just come and go. Emotions are allowed to come and linger for as long as they want. And actions are also allowed to unfold without the idea that there is an individual doer of them who has to do something in response.
So, then we can say that ‘We allow it to unfold on its own natural way’ or we can say that ‘I rely on my intuition’ to guide me about these things’. Actually, it is very similar.
What is important is: ‘What is my position with respect to my body, with respect to the world? Am I something that exists within this world or is this world something that exists within Me? What defines my limitations? Are they true?’
One of the very popular questions in Satsang is ‘How do I distinguish between the voice of the mind and the voice of intuition?’ We have looked at this question for quite sometime. The longer answer is that the voice of the mind is always trying to get something, trying to grasp at something; is operating in doership, desire and duality. But the voice of intuition is accompanied by love, peace, joy and just spaciousness; no rushing. So, we can smell this sense of spaciousness about intuition.
But there is also a shorter answer. The shorter answer is that which tells you that you are limited in any way is the mind. That which tells you that you are bound, you have some boundary or limitation, is the voice of the mind.
That which is constantly pointing you to your unlimited Being, to your unborn, undying Essence…, that is your intuition.
Q: [Paraphrased since question is somewhat inaudible] Is more practice needed? Sometimes I feel that the mind is over-shadowing. A: Firstly, know that you are never really over-shadowed by the mind. The mind is just one aspect of your Consciousness. The mind is also an aspect of you which Consciousness itself has designed so that …
Q: [Paraphrased since question is somewhat inaudible]
Is more practice needed? Sometimes I feel that the mind is over-shadowing.
A: Firstly, know that you are never really over-shadowed by the mind. The mind is just one aspect of your Consciousness. The mind is also an aspect of you which Consciousness itself has designed so that it can play with this world as if it is an individual. The finger can never be more powerful than the hand; he mind is also a finger on your hand but it can never really over-power you. Then whatever you practice, whatever you play becomes more playful, becomes more natural.
Otherwise there can be too much feverishness about it, there can be this sense ‘Oh, I have to do the practice otherwise I’ll get overwhelmed with my mind’…, and we operate from a state of fear. So, I want to take away that fear from you and tell you that nothing can ever overwhelm what You Are. It is just like a shadow, the ego is nothing but a shadow. The shadow itself doesn’t have power. That which looks at the shadow and gives it the belief that it has some power, that makes the shadow seem powerful.
See, it is just like this. The mind is harmless if we allow it to just come and go. Even when we believe it, it is just the picking up of the pretense of personhood, of the pose, of the role. Because of the mind you might pick up the idea that you are a limited entity but it will never become your reality.
You are unlimited Being, whether there is mind or not; whether there is belief in the mind or not also. Every moment you are free.
Before you start the practice, are you bound or free? Before you can start a practice, are you bound or are you free?
Q: Before actually starting, I am bound and gradually I start seeing myself. [Chuckles]
A: Yes, it seems like this. Investigate this. Like, in every moment, can you truly be bound? In any moment? Can any appearance bind you? Even if you’re angry, frustrated, full of rage or you’re full of joy, bliss, peace…, that which you are in either case: is it bound or free?
That which perceives all of this movement (of anger and joy, frustration and bliss) all of this is perceived. That which perceives it, can that ever truly be bound?
[Silence and looking lovingly at her; at the camera]
Now, that which tells you that you are still something limited, that there is still something for you to do, that is the voice of the mind. And I’ve told you what to do with that: Just let it go if you can. And if f you can’t then I’ve told you (from Hatha yoga and going to sleep) what to do. [Chuckles] All of the possible spiritual practices, I’ve defined for you.
So this is the only thing: You are always The Self, You are always the Being. This dream emerges from within your Self and dissolves within your Self. This is the unchanging Truth.
Now the thoughts come and tell you that you are something limited. What to do with those thoughts? You can inquire into them and say: ‘Who is it?’
Like, take an example of a thought that troubles you.
Q: What troubles me the most is ‘Am I good enough?’ Like, this is the thought that comes out sometimes. Am I good enough? Am I doing everything that I could be doing? That is actually what troubles me the most.
A: This is very good. It is very good to see this, because many, many people who are in spirituality are finding themselves plagued with this thought, of unworthiness [like] ‘Freedom is there but it must be only for those special ones. Is it really for me? Am I worthy of this freedom?’ So, this thought troubles you. So, you take it to your inquiry and say ‘Who is this ‘I’ who could be unworthy? Who could that ‘I’ be that is unworthy? Does it have any existence right now? This ‘I’ that could be unworthy, where is this one?’
You see? So, like that we can take these thoughts which trouble us. And we will see that most of the thoughts that trouble us (if not all) have a very limited idea of ‘I’ as a limited entity who is unworthy, who is guilty, who is fearful. Then we use that in our inquiry and say ‘Who is it that could be unworthy. What is the ‘I’ that is unworthy?’ And as you inquire into it, into some of these sticky thoughts, don’t leave the inquiry. Keep it up for as long [as needed]…, whenever you get some time. Just stay with the inquiry until the thought, when it comes, it becomes laughable when the thought comes and says ‘ No, no, no, you are very unworthy, I am very unworthy’.
You see, once it loses all of the juice, it will become laughable. So, inquire into it. And don’t just make it into a trivial inquiry and say ‘Yeah, yeah, I know there is nobody’. Not like that. Just stay with it. Let the thought come, let attention go to the thought that ‘ I am unworthy’ or ‘Am I worthy?’ Look and See: ‘Who is the ‘I’ to be worthy or unworthy?’ and stay in that looking.
Confirm to yourself that there is no such limited entity who could be unworthy. Next time when the thought comes, see if it still has some juice. Then use it in your inquiry again. If it comes, and you just smile at it and laugh at it and say ‘What are you talking about?’ [Chuckles] …, like that…, then you know it has lost its power.
So, for most of us in the human condition, we have two or three buttons on our remote control; unworthiness or some relationship or something. So, simple inquiry like this can take away all of the power from these thoughts which are referring to You as if you are something very small.
Q: Thank you so very much…
A: She says that ‘It’s difficult for me to keep checking all day long’ (something like this). If you had to do it, for what purpose would you be doing it? Q: Like my own satisfaction. A: Now if you were not doing this are you unsatisfied? Q: Sometimes I am. A: So, coming to …
A: She says that ‘It’s difficult for me to keep checking all day long’ (something like this). If you had to do it, for what purpose would you be doing it?
Q: Like my own satisfaction.
A: Now if you were not doing this are you unsatisfied?
Q: Sometimes I am.
A: So, coming to this witnessing perspective, where you are just looking at your thoughts, seems to give you some peace…, is that what you’re saying?
A: And does it seem very natural for you as you do it?
Q: Yeah, it really comes up very naturally.
A: So, on one hand I can tell you that yes, there is nothing wrong with something like this; just looking at how the thoughts are flowing. It’s a good thing. But don’t pick up the concept that your freedom is dependent on that, because you are free right now.
You see, freedom means what? No bondage. So, right now, is there some bondage?
A: If you were to try and become bound…, let me give you an example: Right now, in this moment, in this moment, in this moment, is there a Shubhra? [Q’s name]
Q: Not really.
A: Not really or not at all?
Q: Not at all.
A: So, in this moment there is no Shubhra. And if I tell you that all bondage would belong to this non-existent Shubhra, all conditions, all desires, all likes, all dislikes belong to this non-existent identity called Shubhra? So, to be bound I must first have the concept that I am this limited entity, isn’t it?
Are you with me? I can repeat if you like.
Q: No, I’m with you.
A: Now, is there effort in playing as Shubhra or in being free from Shubhra?
Q: More effort to be Shubhra.
A: More effort. This is good! And I hope everyone is hearing this: It is more effort to trying and be something or somebody than to be nothing and nobody.
So God or you can say Guruji [chuckling] is the best cleaning lady in the world. In this moment all our conditions, all our identity, all that troubles us is wiped clean. Isn’t it?
Now what happens is there comes this offer. The offer comes from the mind saying that ‘You buy me as a concept and you will get something which you don’t have already’. But in this moment You are already all there is. And yet in the play of this realm, in the play of this maya, Consciousness itself starts to play with this offer and say ‘Okay, I will go with what you are selling’.
And when we pick up a concept, that I am something limited (that could be ‘The best person, the most spiritual person, the most accomplished person, the most wealthy person, the most healthy person’) …, and yet this idea is not the truth because I can never be a person! Because the person is just an idea, a set of beliefs I have about myself.
So, you say ‘Naturally all of this is gone’. In this moment, if I don’t give you a moment to think also, you will not be able to show me any trouble. You will not be able to reply with anything about yourself unless I give you some time to think about it.
Q: But there is always some time difference about it…, and how to get rid of that time? [Laughing]
A: Yes, this is it. You see that naturally we are free, in every moment this simple no-bondage freedom is here. And yet because these thoughts continue to come they seem to have some power and seem to create the idea that I’m a limited entity. So what to do when these thoughts come?
So, very simply I could tell you: Let these thoughts come and go. Let them come and go. But you could say ‘Yes, that’s easy to say but when they come strong I can’t let them come and go!’ Isn’t it?
Then I could say ‘Okay, you use the inquiry (as Bhagavan [Ramana Maharshi] says) and inquire: Who is the witness of even this thought?
If surrender is not happening, if the letting go is not happening, and it seems like thoughts have a lot of power over us, then we can inquire and See: ‘Who witnesses this thought?’
[Silence] Then you find that the thought starts to lose its power.
If that is also not happening…, (this not just for you but for everyone, you see. We are exploring why spirituality is this way)…, if it was just to do with ‘letting go, forget about it’ then why have so many sages given so many different practices?
So, we looked at first, letting go, allow all thoughts to come and go; like I like to say: ‘Don’t believe your next thought’ is all. Just don’t believe your next thought.
[Laughing] But over four years [Chuckling] I constantly hear the response ‘But I can’t not believe. I seem to be giving my belief to these thoughts especially when they push some special buttons about relationships or money or something’. All of us have these special buttons, you see.
Then I could say ‘Okay inquire: Who is it that is witnessing these thoughts? Who witnesses this thought?’
Some say ‘Ananta, I can’t even inquire, I can’t inquire’. So, then a sage will say: If inquiry also…, you can’t even ask ‘Who is it that I am? Who witnesses these thoughts?’ then you chant this particular mantra that I give you.
Then some will say ‘Oh, no, no. I have no patience, no patience for mantra chanting’. Then we say ‘Okay, can you just bring your attention to your breath; inwards, outwards? Do this, they call it mind-fullness’.
Some will say ‘Not even this I can do. So, then ‘Okay, to give you some peace of mind, can you sing something devotional? Can you sing a bhajan? Some chants?’ [Laughing]
“No, even this I cannot do’. So, okay, just pray. Don’t even sing. Just pray, ask for help, ask for peace’.
‘No, no. Who are we praying to? What’s going on? I don’t like this prayer thing’.
‘Okay, you can’t even pray? Do some hatha yoga, move your body around in certain ways because the body and mind are inter-related, all the energy constructs in this world are inter-related, so when you move your body in a certain way, also it has some effect on your breath, your mind; so move the body in this way.
Then some (in fact, one actually told me) ‘No, no, even this I cannot do’. [Laughing] Then to them I say ‘Just go to sleep today and then tomorrow we talk’.
So what is all this about? I’m saying it trivially but the simplicity of it is that all of it is about: us not following the idea that the mind is selling us.
Just come to this simple allowing, to let the mind to come and go, is what all spiritual practices are about.
So, it is not that we have to find the Self; the Self is what you are. If the Self was coming and going, then that Self would not be a worthy Self. The Self already IS. It is what you are.
The point of satsang is for Consciousness to stop playing with the idea of being something limited, the idea of being the ego. And Consciousness is playing this game, this leela, this maya; this way where Consciousness first plays the game of this delusion, deluding itself to be something limited and then stepping out of this game. But even the stepping out, it wants to do with full juice, you see? It wants to extract some joy even from this stepping out of this delusion. That’s why it creates this satsang. It creates all these various practices to play with and come to the simple idea: I am what I am.
That’s why I ask you: Can you stop being?
A: Cannot stop being. So, if this Being cannot be stopped? This Being is Atma, is Consciousness, is ‘I Am’. It has no phenomenal limits; all phenomena arises within it, all time and space arises in your space of Being. Have you ever had the experience of something when this Presence was not there…, when you were not there as ‘I Am’?
YOU must be there for any experience to happen. Therefore, this truth of You, you see, is unchanging.
So, coming back to your original question, if you feel like doing a particular thing (like a practice like watching your thoughts) and it gives you peace, it is very good. But don’t let the mind convince you that you are un-free and that you have to do something to get to freedom.
Right now, in this moment, there is no difference, no separation.
No two here, we are one.
So, what´s happened is that we´ve taken that which is central to our existence, we´ve taken that to be an entity, like a person. So, all this process of Satsang we are just clarifying: ‘What is it that is at the center of my existence?’ Is that personal? And we´ve been trained and taught by …
So, what´s happened is that we´ve taken that which is central to our existence, we´ve taken that to be an entity, like a person. So, all this process of Satsang we are just clarifying: ‘What is it that is at the center of my existence?’ Is that personal? And we´ve been trained and taught by our mind and those around us that that is an entity with a name which is been given to you; that that is an entity with a name you have (supposedly). But that which is your existence is Consciousness itself. That is what we´re coming to see.
There is nothing individual or personal truly about my existence unless I believe there is, unless I pretend there is. And this power of belief, power of pretence, belongs to Consciousness; and therefore it seems very strong itself. That´s why for some of us (we´ve been together for a long time, and yet) the power of this conditioning can seem to reiterate itself, over and over again. And as this conditioning reiterates itself, then we hear this voice in Satsang which says ‘Don´t listen to that one for a bit! Listen to this voice’.
I was telling somebody the other day that it´s very uncomfortable to sit on two chairs at the same time. So, if you are listening both, to this voice in Satsang and to your mind´s voice (as if both could be true and) trying to reconcile both of them then it becomes a very painful…, a spiritual journey full of struggle. Because there is no reconciliation really between the mind´s voice and this voice.
The premise itself is completely different. The premise of the mind´s voice is that there is an individual entity called a person at the center of this equation, at the center of your existence. And the premise of this [Satsang] voice is that this is a monologue within one Consciousness.
So, how will we reconcile these two? [Chuckles] That which seems to have a limited entity at the center of the equation, and that which has unlimited Beingness as the basic premise; can these two be reconciled?
Only (little bit we´ll give if we need to) [Chuckles]…, only to the extent that I am not involved in that equation when the mind is saying something. The mind is saying ‘The coconut is green’ …, if you want to give it some credit (which even that is not required, even that labelling is not ultimately required, but if you want to give it some credit you can give it that much credit) that something phenomenal it is interpreting and reporting about. But there is no truth about the reality of what ‘I am’ to be found in the words of the mind.
So, this is why it can seem like a bit of a struggle. The spiritual journey can seem like it is frustrating, it can seem like it is a struggle because we are trying to comfortably sit on two chairs. The ‘mind-chair’ and the ‘intuition-chair’ or the ‘Satguru-chair’.
Now, if it were just a question of two different belief systems (where the mind has a belief system, there is an individual I…, and the Master is a belief system that there is no individual I) if this were just a belief system, then it would be a clash of belief systems with no actual true recognition. But the Master is not saying that ‘I have a belief system that you must follow’. The Master is only asking whether we have validated what the mind is saying about us. Have we really checked (when we picked up the idea ‘I’) have we really, truly checked that this ‘I’ is true, is real? Is that too much to ask for? [Chuckles] Is that too much to ask for?
If we spend our entire life with the ‘I’ at the center of this life; we spend the entire life with the ‘I’ at the center of this life (the I, me, mine, myself…, what is that thing? ‘I, me, and myself’) at the center of this life, then is it not a fair question to truly check: What is this ‘I’?
Another beautiful thing we recognized, which we´ve been recognizing over the past few weeks is that the mind loves to ask ‘Why?’ It loves to ask ‘Why?’ … ‘Why is this happening to me? Why not I am getting it? Why does nobody understand me?’ So, ‘Why, why, why?’ is a fearful question. ‘W’ – ‘H’ – ‘Y’ is the favourite question of the mind. And somehow, just with the change of one alphabet, it becomes the least favourite question of the mind. Why is ‘W’ – ‘H’ – ‘Y’ the favourite question and ‘W’ – ‘H’ – ‘O’ the least favourite question? It´s a question of just one alphabet.
It likes to find out why; the meaning of things for an individual entity. ‘Why is my life like this? Why can´t I find happiness?’
What about the ‘Who’? If we look at all our reports (and I get quite a few reports every day) so, if we look at all our reports; if you could replace all the ‘Why-questions’ with a ‘Who-question’ … ‘Why? Why am I saying this?’ You can ask this ‘Why’ question. [Chuckles]
Why? Because most of our questions are about this ‘identity-me’ sitting at the center of it and then saying ‘Why is this like this?’ The basis itself is a figment of our imagination. The basis itself (the central standpoint itself) is imaginary. Therefore all the explanations will also be fiction. Isn´t it? If the basis itself is fiction then all the explanation, all the interpretation will be fiction.
So, when we come to Satsang actually we are saying that we are done with fiction. We want to know what is truly real. And before I can know what is truly real about the world, can I know it´s truly real about myself?
So, even before we come to these ideas of whether the world is real or unreal, whether it is Maya or whether it is just an appearance, can we come to a recognition of who ‘we’ are?
The rest of the insights, they can follow; and sometimes we share in Satsang but that is not primary to what is being spoken about. Primary is: ‘What is it that I am?’
This question is always super fresh. This question ‘Who am I?’ is always very fresh. It doesn´t seem like that sometimes because we quickly goes to a mental answer of it. There is no moment of Self-recognition which is just stale; there is no moment of Self-recognition [which is just] ‘Oh, that was it?’ [Chuckles] You see? That´s why the question itself is very beautiful every time it is asked! If we are using it as a tool for our own looking then it is impossible to be jaded with this question actually. If you use it as a tool for some sort of a mental knowing ‘Yeah, I know, it´s Awareness’ or ‘I know I am the Absolute’ or something then it becomes stale. Then the mind resistance can seem strong; always the same old stuff. ‘For four years we´ve been speaking of the same old stuff’.
Can you find one moment of Self-recognition which in the recognition itself is not pristine?
Not in the interpretation of it but in the recognition itself?
What are you Right Now?
And if you don´t worry about the interpretation for a bit, it is so sublime. Prior to a sublime experience is sublimity-before-experience.
If something is being seen, ask: ‘Who sees that?’
What is the shape of that who sees any shape?
Like a school child getting off from the school bus doesn´t say ‘Oh, I don´t want to run home because it is the same home I know’. [Chuckles] You see? It´s always running home. Just like that; the Self-inquiry. Look at it from this place of recognizing and not interpreting. It doesn´t matter what your report is about it.
What is your taste of your Self?
Now, can we walk one more step together and look at: What is aware of this existence? What is aware that I exist? [Silence] Don’t expect to see anything at all. The recognition will not be visual. It will not be perceptual at all. Don’t expect any phenomenal answer. What is it that is aware? …
Now, can we walk one more step together and look at:
What is aware of this existence?
What is aware that I exist?
Don’t expect to see anything at all.
The recognition will not be visual.
It will not be perceptual at all.
Don’t expect any phenomenal answer.
What is it that is aware?
Is it I? Am I aware?
Don’t use any old definition of ‘I’. Start completely fresh.
What is aware that I exist?
If a visual is coming don’t try to push it away.
Include that. Include that in your existence.
And check: Who is aware of this?
No pushing anything aside.
Just remain open to everything that comes, and stay with the question:
Who is aware of my existence?
If thoughts or emotions come, include those in your existence.
And remain with the looking for ‘Who is aware of this existence?’
This ‘I’ that is aware of existence, does it have any quality?
Does it have any attribute?
Does it take up any space?
Remain with this even if it seems a bit shaky.
Allow the shaking to happen.
And just check: Who is aware of even this?
Now, what is true about you?
Are you phenomenal or non-phenomenal?
Are you ‘I Am’ or ‘Before I Am’?
Do any of these conclusions even apply if you conceptualize yourself in any way now?
This is what can seem like the inward journey, isn’t it? Seems like this is the inward journey but actually if you were to really look, this journey is a journey to That which is outside this universe.
You are recognizing your Self in which this universe; this phenomenal play; it appears. So, it is a journey out of time and space.
And then that which we call this outward journey is this journey which is actually inward because within You appears this sense of existence; I Am. And as a result of this ‘I-Am-Existence’ comes the existence of time, space, light, sound. All these phenomenal qualities exist within Your existence.
So that which seems like an outward journey in this world is actually attention navigating through the screen of Your own Being. You’re looking at objects which are being projected within Yourself; within your Being.
Just like everything else, the mind has even this inward and outward upside down.
And it’s a beautiful switch in perspective, once you start to see that your attention is only moving within your Self (or at least seemingly-moving).
There is this favorite question which is ‘How do I distinguish between the mind and my intuition?’ And I´ve shared that the mind is always wanting something, wanting to grasp at something, is in a rush; its purpose is for something feel special or to protect itself. It is very me-centric. And this intuitive presence …
There is this favorite question which is ‘How do I distinguish between the mind and my intuition?’ And I´ve shared that the mind is always wanting something, wanting to grasp at something, is in a rush; its purpose is for something feel special or to protect itself. It is very me-centric.
And this intuitive presence is very spacious; is accompanied by love and peace usually.
But the simpler way also to look at it is to see that that which refers to ‘me’ as if I am a limited entity, as if I have a boundary, is the mind.
And our intuitive voice is not speaking as if it is referring to a limited entity. It is this voice which is saying that ‘You don´t have a boundary. We are one Being. All the limitations are just one appearance in the realm of appearances’.
And what to do with this? Don´t take this as the gospel truth.
Just to look for yourself:
Do I have a boundary?
Can I find where the sensations of the boundaries are appearing?
In that space of existence is there any boundary?
Is there any limitation?
Just this simple checking:
What does it mean to exist?
Who is it that exists?
There are many of you who might respond and say ‘But my experience of myself is that I am limited’. But just check a little more closely and see whether that which we are calling a limitation is also not part of your broader experience. For example, the boundary of your body, can it really limit you?
Or is the sense of the boundary also an experience within the unlimited space of experiencing?
For some time, don´t trust that voice in the head which says ‘No, no…, but my experience is not this. It´s sounds very good but it´s not my experience’.
I know that our experience is the same, actually. So, all that is being taken for a limitation, actually is being experienced in unlimited existence; unlimited space of Being.
Very good question. There’s a quote he’s referring to where it is said that ‘The question is ‘Who is aware?’ …, if this question is rightly asked then it can liberate One’. So, he says, “What do you mean by ‘rightly’?” Very good question. ‘Rightly’ in every inquiry only means one thing, which is to …
Very good question. There’s a quote he’s referring to where it is said that ‘The question is ‘Who is aware?’ …, if this question is rightly asked then it can liberate One’. So, he says, “What do you mean by ‘rightly’?” Very good question.
‘Rightly’ in every inquiry only means one thing, which is to remain with our insight when the question is asked; to remain with the insight and not remain with a mental answer. You see?
So, like I was explaining last time, this is what [Nisargadatta] Maharaj meant by ‘integrity’. So, if you ask the question…, means what? We’re remaining with what we See. Not sincerity, as in outward sincerity. We can be very mental and be very sincere at the same time.
So, what I’m saying is: Don’t go with the mental conclusion about this. Just remain with your Seeing. Who is aware? Staying with the question. And what is your insight which is emerging?
Who is aware? When you ask yourself, what happens?
A: Okay, so that is the changes in the phenomena. There can also be mental answers that come. So, if you don’t go with the change in the phenomena or feeling, and don’t go with the mental answer, then what do you find when you look?
Q: Simply being aware.
A: Yes. And who is that? Who is being aware?
A: And what is its connection with you? Awareness is being aware…, so it is like ‘Awareness is there…?’
Q: I am not saying that. I am aware.
A: You are aware. So, that is the point of the question. Because many times, in the inquiry it can come; we See that ‘Ah, yes, of course, there is Awareness, and this awareness remains untouched no matter which object, which phenomena is appearing or disappearing, Awareness remains untouched’. But because our report becomes like that, the mind is quick to jump in and say ‘This is Awareness. Oh, Awareness is’. But if we don’t correlate it with this ‘I’…, and we See that it is the Self …, that’s why it’s Self-recognition. See?
Q: Yes. We have to use words. I am aware.
A: Yes. So, to see this Self, this I-Am-This-Awareness-Itself, there is no dichotomy between I and Awareness.
Because, otherwise, I know that initially for us it sounded very arrogant to say ‘I am the Absolute. I am Awareness’. We’d be like ‘No, no; the ‘I’ must go away’. Because the ‘I’ has been mis-used as the fictional entity. That fictional entity idea must go away. But this True-I remains.
That’s why Bhagavan [Ramana Maharshi] said, “The I removes the I yet remains the I.”
So, what is it that we are exploring again? We’re looking at: What is the core of my Being, at the centrality of my existence? Is there an individual entity there? Or is this existence the Presence of Consciousness or God-Itself? So, what should one do if it is presumed that there is an individual …
So, what is it that we are exploring again? We’re looking at:
What is the core of my Being, at the centrality of my existence?
Is there an individual entity there?
Or is this existence the Presence of Consciousness or God-Itself?
So, what should one do if it is presumed that there is an individual entity here and the voice which is mostly available in the form of our own thought is also reinforcing this idea? Then what should one do?
They can look for themselves. So, those who are attracted to inquiry can look for yourself and SEE: What is it that is here? Is there something personal about existence? I exist. Do I exist as a person?
And for those who feel that they cannot look (it seems like the temperament itself is not suitable to this looking) then they can surrender to whatever smells like the Truth to them. In the Presence of That, if they find inner peace, if they find spaciousness, contentment and ease, they can hand over their existence to This Existence…, even if it seems like there are two for now.
Therefore, when Bhagavan [Ramana Maharshi] said that we can either inquire or surrender, this is what he meant. Either we look for ourselves ‘Who is it that I am?’ And if we find that we cannot look, then we just hand over all ideas about ourself to that which smells of Truth.
And usually it’s a combination of these two.
So, if for some time if we just don’t look at the auxiliary questions, ‘Why? What? When? Where?’ [Chuckles] and look at one main question which is ‘Who?’…, then That which is central to us becomes clear.
And if we are unable to ask ‘Who?’ we can surrender all ideas, all the ‘W’s to God or the Master…, whatever you feel like is closest to the Truth in your existence.
I was telling someone the other day that you can either be Frank Sinatra or you can have a Master. [Chuckles] What I mean by ‘Frank Sinatra’ is you can either have ‘My Way’ [A song he made famous: “I Did It My Way”] or you can have a Master. There is no point really in saying that someone is your Master but then you trust your mind more than anything else.
So, as we drop allegiance from this one that is claiming that there is an individual entity at the core of my Being, and [ask] ‘Who is that one?’ …, it shows you that you are limitless beyond infinity.
Shivani says, “Father, this comes. Do I exist? ‘Am I?’…, brings some looking to see if I even am.” Ananta: We can see that even for these words to be spoken, even for this interaction to happen, there must be some existence. Because all this interaction happens only if I exist. When this sense of …
Shivani says, “Father, this comes. Do I exist? ‘Am I?’…, brings some looking to see if I even am.”
Ananta: We can see that even for these words to be spoken, even for this interaction to happen, there must be some existence. Because all this interaction happens only if I exist. When this sense of ‘I exist’ is not there, like in deep sleep, then there is no phenomena. Everything exists because I am. In fact, all phenomena relies on my existence for its existence. There is never the experience of anything unless I am.
So, in this way we can say that we cannot deny our existence. And yet when we look at the Reality of what I am, then we find that even this existence is just an appearance coming and going.
So, from this perspective, we can say that ‘Nothing has ever really happened’.
So, as Consciousness or that which is subject to Consciousness, we cannot deny Consciousness.
But That in which even Consciousness comes and goes, that is untouched even by Consciousness. This is what Guruji [Mooji] means when he says that ‘The recognition of your Self is the only non-phenomenal experience that we can have’.
Okay, let’s go very slowly on this point. When we ask the question ‘Can you stop being?’ then you will See that a sense of existence, the sense of Beingness is here. Don’t just ask the question ‘Can I stop being?’…, try to stop being. Don’t be!
You see that this Being is just Here, effortlessly. Effortless existence. And yet, there is an awareness of this existence, which remains untouched even by this existence.
What is aware of existence? It is prior to any phenomena, you see? Therefore, we will not find it as a thing. We will not even find it within existence itself, which is Consciousness, which is God. It is prior to that.
Is it nothing? Not really. It is no-thing! If it was nothing, then we could not say ‘I am aware’. It is I. And yet it is no-thing. It has no size, shape, color, form, name; no-thing. And yet, it is not nothing.
Nothing means what? Nothing means empty coconut. What is inside this coconut? It is empty. So, it is not the absence of phenomena. It is That in which all phenomena is born. That’s why I prefer to call it no-thing.
Are you getting this? Because…, this is important. It can feel like (and many have even said) that it is just zero, or it is void. But even to Know it is zero, there must be I…, which is zero in terms of qualities…, and yet, it is That which exists prior to existence.
This is the classical debate between Vedanta and Buddhism. The Vedantans have said that ‘That which you call nothing, we call the Self’. [Silence]
The Self is not like the empty space in a coconut. Not that kind of nothing. Not like a void. That … which is aware…., and yet is not phenomenal. That from which all intelligence comes. [Silence] That in which God is born…, and yet Itself is prior to all qualities.
In Vedanta, it is said…, actually in the Vedas it is said that ‘From fullness comes fullness, and yet, That from which fullness comes remains completely full.’ So, it is not even potentiality from which the manifest universe comes (although it includes that potential). Yet, even when the manifestation happens, it doesn’t lose anything of Itself. This is the Self.
See, otherwise it’s like a string which has energy to jump. Then once it jumps, then it runs out of energy. But this Self which we are talking about. The entire manifest creation comes from that. And yet, it remains completely untouched. It does not run out of anything just because manifestation, the waking state or the dream state is there. I remains untouched.
That is why we can say, Guruji [Mooji] can say ‘Before-I-Am’. What can be before I Am? If all phenomena, everything we can see, taste, touch, feel, hear, smell, everything is only after I Am, what could be before I am? It must be something important. You see, that’s why it is the title of a book. [Chuckles] If it was empty, like the coconut empty, then it would not be the title of the book.
It is the Self Itself. That which is untouched even by the Presence of Being or the absence of Being.
A: Who says that it is me? Q: I. A: Which is this ‘I’ that claims ownership over this body-mind and says ‘It is mine or me’? See, why I am stressing on this very importantly is that in spite of a lot of Satsang, many times I´ve seen that the journey still can seem …
A: Who says that it is me?
A: Which is this ‘I’ that claims ownership over this body-mind and says ‘It is mine or me’? See, why I am stressing on this very importantly is that in spite of a lot of Satsang, many times I´ve seen that the journey still can seem personal. You all went to many Satsangs and it can still feel like ‘Am I getting to my freedom or not?’ And in that ‘Am I getting to my freedom or not?’ we still pick up the idea of a limited ‘I’…, the limited sense of ‘I’ which is now doing well in its spirituality and coming to its freedom.
But as long as the reference is that of a limited ‘I’, that is not true Self-recognition. We could have glimpses of true Self-recognition and yet very quickly, because of the mind´s hypnosis, go back into the limited perspective of ourselves and say ‘I got it or I didn´t get it yet’ very quickly.
Also it has been happening that some of us in the Satsang have been hearing some teachings of ‘non-doership’ and things like this. And even in that, it can be ‘Oh, I am not the doer’ but even in that, we pick up a limited sense of the ‘I which was considered to be the doer earlier but now is not the doer. So, all this confusion is still possible as long as we have a sense that ‘I am still this limited entity and I used to have this attribute and now I don´t’.
That´s why the main point to clarify is that: Who is this ‘I that we are really referring to? And is this clarifying our position?
And then we can say that ‘But I am Awareness, I have no objectivity, I am pure non-phenomenality’ or something like that. There is no objective existence of ‘mine’. And that which is beyond all qualities, how does that one come to consider itself to be something which is so limited?
So, what is going on?
Q: Yes Father, what is going on?
A: What is going on? [Chuckles]
Q: Who is there…, something that cares about what is happening … who cares of …?
A: Yeah, but what is that?
Q: That is interest.
A: Whose is that? So, we say on one hand that you are non-phenomenal. So, if you are non-phenomenal, can you even have an interest? Even that quality is not yours, if you are completely quality-less.
Q: But why seems it so real many times?
A: That´s what I am asking. So, which part of the equation don´t you see? Do you see that you are unlimited?
Q: Yeah, it seems that at times it´s so expanded, it´s so … [Inaudible]
A: But then are you fluctuating between being unlimited and limited?
Q: It seems to be limited, at times when this whole theme happens.
A: Yes, but when you See? What do you See about yourself? Are you something limited or unlimited? See now! All of us, let’s See now!
Are you something that has a limitation in the form of even an attribute or a quality or a constraint of any sort? Just really look at what is looking itself! Really look at what is looking itself.
And if some visuals are coming for you ask yourself: Who is looking at even these visuals?’
Look at the looking; don´t be scared!
I’ve been saying: Don´t be fearful of lifting this veil of phenomenality. Go beyond phenomena for a moment and check:
What is it that you are? Really!
I like this grid very much [Grid of video is showing all the sangha members]. So, all of you who find that you are limited, can you please raise your hands? [Laughter] All the limited ones? … Few limited; mostly unlimited.
Now, let’s look at what gives us the belief in this limitation. It could be the intimacy of the sensations of this body. For how many of you is it the intimacy of the sensations of the body that make you seem limited? (1, 2, 3, 4)….. So, a few say that ‘Because I notice that there is some intimate sensations in the body, therefore I must be constrained by them, isn´t it? I must be something which is within these’. Is that what we are saying? Let’s look at that.
Q2: When I could see that there is just a blankness, a spaciousness which is being seen ….
A: He says a blankness is being seen.
Q2: What is this state called? Say something …
A: Yes, we’ll come to that. But if you see a blankness, so what?
Q2: Nothing. I am not this. This body is not seen. I am dark.
A: Yeah. So, if I give you something to cover your eyes, you will see only blankness.
Q2: Not that.
A: So, then which one?
Q2: Something I am not interested in states. It´s only different.
A: Yes, very different, very different. Suppose I give you another experience; some magic powers (suppose) and I give you the experience where you can see the entire universe and yet there …
A: Everything, everything. The entire (whatever you can conceive of this) universe you would perceive, (suppose). You want to go to all the lokas and wherever you want to go. Suppose you had all this.
Q2: I don´t know how to beat the condition.
A: Suppose I say that ‘I do this’ and you can do all this travel…, you can travel all the universes, multiverse; forget even universe. What would you be?
Q2: Think I am the blank but actually I want to see that.
A: How can a blank see?
Q2: I don´t know. You see it.
A: [Chuckles] Are you a blank? Who sees the blank? Are you in the blank?
Q2: That is before that.
A: Ah, so what is that which is before that?
Q2: I don´t know.
Q2: I don´t know that but what I am seeing is blank.
A: Yes, that´s a very good point. I want to spend a few minutes on this. He says ‘Even the blank is seen. Something sees it but I don´t know what that is’. Now, would you say that you see it or the one next to you is seeing it and reporting it? Who sees the blank? Is it you or someone else?
Q2: No, it is everything is being seen.
A: But who is seeing everything?
Q2: That is something I don´t know.
A: Yes, but is it first hand or is it second hand?
Q2: What is first hand?
A: First hand could mean that it is your direct experience. Or, she is sitting next to you; she is having that experience and reporting that is it.
A: Yes, yes. Therefore you only know whose experience?
Q2: Yes, I only know. I don´t know what others experience is.
A: You only know yours.
Q2: That is what it is.
A: Yes. Now, this ‘you’ that is having that experience of witnessing something. That is what we are trying to find. Isn´t it?
A: Now, you say ‘I don´t know what it is’.
Q2: Because you ask me … [Inaudible]
A: Yeah, it´s good; don´t worry, it’s not a test.
A: Yes. So, what have we confirmed so far? That there is a witnessing of all that is phenomenal. There is a witnessing of all that is phenomenal. Now, you are not able to define what that is.
A: And yet it is your direct experience.
A: Yes. Isn´t it? This is my ground we have covered. Isn´t it?
Now, how is this known? Not the attribute or the quality of that, but how is it known that there is something that is witnessing the entire thing?
Q2: This is itself experienced as that, as this. I don´t know whether I am that. [Inaudible]
A: And yet, there is something which is there. Not a thing but something which is there. It says that ‘It is my direct experience’. Not somebody else´s. So, when I ask you ‘Are you aware now?’…, are you aware now or no?
Q2: Yeah, I am still aware of that.
A: No. Are you aware or unaware?
Q2: I am aware.
A: You are aware?
Q2: I am aware and that is aware.
A: Very good.
Q2: And that is aware of itself.
A: Very good. I am enjoying this conversation very much. So, there are only two ways in which we see a certain thing. Isn´t it?
One that is the direct experience of ours.
Or second we are just making it up.
Now, when you are saying ‘I am aware’ is this your direct experience? Or you are just making it up?
Q2: No, no. Direct experience.
A: It is your direct experience. And yet you don´t see this Awareness.
Q2: I don´t see, I feel it, I experience it; whatever…
A: You experience it. It´s very good. [Giggles] I am sorry that you are on the hot seat because you are just open somehow. So, it´s very good that we are having this conversation.
Is there anything else that you can say ‘It is there but I don´t see it or I don´t perceive it?’
Q2: But when you asking me if it matches with her experience, I don´t know that; other than that within me, everything is seen.
A: No, let’s come back to where we were. You say that ‘I am aware. I am aware. But I don´t see it; I don´t perceive it’ (like I perceive computer, I can perceive body. I don´t perceive it).
Q2: Yeah, there is emptiness, spaciousness.
A: Besides this Awareness, is there anything else you can say the same thing about?
A: You cannot. You see? So, first is very important to see this. And Guruji [Mooji] says it is the only non-phenomenal experience you will ever have…, is your experience of yourself. This is what it means. For everything else we say: computer, table, ground, water, coconut.
Q2: In terms of objects.
A: We see them objectively and we say ‘Yes’. Then what is it that is this Awareness? If we don´t see it objectively (you cannot say the color of awareness; you cannot say the size and shape) and yet we say ‘Yes, of course’. When I say ‘Don´t be aware for a moment’ …, can you do it?
Q2: That is what is there always.
A: Always there. Is it? Always there. You Know this beyond a mental knowing, beyond a perceptual knowing. You Know it at the core. You see?
Q2: But what is when you step out of this?
A: [Giggles] We`ll get to that.
Q2: I just lose it.
A: That is exactly what we are exploring; what happens when we lose it.
Q2: And how do we retain it?
A: [Chuckles] Okay, so my exercise for you is: Before you leave this room, can you lose it and show me? Lose it for one moment. Don´t be aware.
Q2: No, I can´t lose it. But can I transact with the world with that?
A: You are transacting now. Have you lost Awareness?
Q2: No, no, no. But this is very comfortable, but when I transacting outside … [Inaudible]
A: He says that ‘This is fine, this is comfortable. We are transacting. I cannot lose Awareness. I see that but what about when I go to the outside world?’
Now, to even say that ‘I lose my Awareness’ needs Awareness, isn´t it?
A: On what basis will we report when I lost Awareness? We were discussing this, a very beautiful chat we had the other day where we were exploring, to say that: Can this Awareness also come and go? Or does Awareness know itself?
But even if we were to say ‘Awareness does not know itself’ would need an Awareness of it, isn´t it?
So, can this Awareness really go? Or are you talking about attention?
This distinction is very important. Because attention is the phenomenal functioning of the Self which is Awareness. It comes very close, like Awareness; because it has no color, has no shape and yet it is limited because you cannot give your attention to everything. So, many times we confuse our attention with our Self. And then we can feel like ‘I lost my Self” but actually what is happening is just a play of attention. Even to report that ‘Attention is not within me, it is going outside it is getting lost’ …
Q2: When we´re turning our attention, can some time attention itself become Awareness (or Consciousness can be another name of it; synonymous)?
A: When we see ourself as Awareness, when we see ourself to be Awareness, then there is not even the functioning of attention. Because the functioning of attention is to bring the perceptual world to life. The phenomenal appearance exists only because our attention is on it.
So, when Ashtavakra said, “You are the one solitary witness of all there is” …, this is what he meant. All there IS is appearing because it is a play of your attention to give this perceptual world life. You see?
Now, what happens is that when attention goes back home (to say in one way) then not even the functioning of attention we can say [anything about]. Then what are we? We are just this Awareness.
A: You say that in deep sleep state I am not aware. What is Aware that I am not aware? Q: [Inaudible] A: You sure that there is something? Q: [Inaudible] A: That is Awareness, which is Aware of itself, as no-thing, not as some-thing. This is a very important point. I was sharing this …
A: You say that in deep sleep state I am not aware.
What is Aware that I am not aware?
A: You sure that there is something?
A: That is Awareness, which is Aware of itself, as no-thing, not as some-thing. This is a very important point. I was sharing this the other day. Let me see if I can deconstruct this.
What is memory? It is the repository of all the experiences that we are having live, isn’t it? I am having this experience which will then go into this pool within Consciousness, which we call memory.
Now I report on things which were my experience, which were my live experience. But I dig into my memory to get those experiences out of there. Same way, referring to memory to get my experience of sleep out of them. But when the experience of sleep was happening there was only sleep.
Now, there are only two ways. One is that we discard on all memory and say that it does not report on anything which really happened in a true experience. Or we say it is the repository of all the experiences which have happened over time; so I will refer to it like that.
So, if we choose to refer to it in that way, then we can say in sleep state there was nothing; I had that experience of nothing. I can of course report on that experience only in the waking state because all the apparatus for the reporting is only here. But the experience of that cannot be had here.
Q: That explains it.
A: What is memory? [It] is the repository of all the experiences that we have had.
Now, if we take it purely Advaitic position we can say that even this memory is false. The only experience that you have is Now. But if you want to give some sense of a time-bound existence, then we have to use memory to say that ‘This is my experience’. Like after 10 minutes you will come and say ‘We had that experience, that we were engaging on this question’. It was your live experience right now, isn’t it?
So, if we were to refer to memory for our sleep, you see that there was an experience that there was nothing. So, the experience was then and now. It got stored up in the repository of experiences, which we are referring to now.
You were Aware then, but you can only report about that when the apparatus of the waking state is there.
Because even to say that ‘There was nothing’ needs an Awareness that there was nothing. Even to say that ‘Awareness was not there’ would need an awareness to know that Awareness was not there.
You cannot truly say that ‘Awareness was not there’ or ‘This Knowingness was not there’ because even to say that has to come from a Knowingness or an Awareness.
You see what I am saying?
Why the trouble comes is because we have confused Knowingness to be a mental knowingness or a perceptual knowingness. I perceive phenomena, therefore I know something; or I know a concept (the world is round), that’s why I know something. It is not that. This is a Knowingness that is prior to all of these [concepts].
You cannot escape this one, because to even say ‘I don’t know’ means what?
It means that ‘I know that I don’t know’.
When you say ‘I don’t know’…, what is it that we are reporting?
You are reporting that ‘I know that I don’t know’.
A: He says that ‘I don’t understand the concept of Maya. Why do we call the waking state Maya or something which is unreal? It seems like it is real’.
For this we have to have knowledge of two terms: the knowledge of the term ‘appearance’ and knowledge of the term ‘Reality’.
You know these two terms: appearance and Reality? So, when we say that something is just an appearance or we say something is Reality, what is the difference? It still appears, you see. It still appears.
The distinction that they have made, the people who have defined Maya as the unreal, is that the appearance is not constant, it is not eternal. Reality must be real.
If I say ‘These curtains are black’…, they were black; you say ‘Yes, they are black’. Tomorrow you come and say ‘They are yellow’. So, was it real that the curtains are black? No, but in that appearance they were appearing as if they are black. So, that which is changing is appearance. That which is Real is unchanging.
So when we say Viveka, we are distinguishing between the real and the unreal. Means what? It is not whether something is appearing or not. Nobody is denying the appearance of this world; yes, it’s clear. Even to say that ‘This world is not real’ we need the appearance of the world. Only within that we can say it, isn’t it?
A: The way at looking at appearances vs Reality is to see that which is a momentary appearance; and that which is constant.
Now, can we find that which is constant throughout; doesn’t change? Can we find something?
Q: [Inaudible]….I have seen my son today…
A: What do you mean by your son? Do you mean the body of your son? Did you see the concept of your son or the body of your son?
Q: Body of my son.
A: Body of your son. But the body has changed. Like the son that was born, when the baby was born, is not the same son that is there now. So, what makes it your son?
A: But with playfulness…., because if you make it very serious, like ‘I am not getting it, I am frustrated, what is this?’… just playfully we are dancing with all this, in our joy, to See: what is constant in any body? All bodies are changing. You say ‘This building is constant’ but it won’t be here 1000 years later, it wasn’t here 20 years before.
What is there which is a constant?
Our own bodies, the body that was born has no cell in common with this body that is here.
So, is there something like a constant?
So, that is what we mean by Maya; that realm of Appearances. Everything is constantly changing.