AWARENESS ITSELF IS AWARE OF AWARENESS
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’.”
Satsang with Ananta
High above the noise and pollution of Bangalore traffic on Old Airport Road, Beings from all corners of the world gather on the top floor of a multi story building. Flowers are placed where Anantaji’s feet will be and on the altar with photos of His Master, Sri Moojiji. Incense is lit, water is poured, and the Sangha sit quietly waiting for Anantaji, or Father as most of the Sangha lovingly call Him, to enter the room. When Anantaji joins the room, the Sangha stand in reverence and respect until their Father is seated. Ananta opens His mac laptop, connects to google hangout where there are many more Sangha all around the world waiting to join in live. And Satsang begins with “Namaste everyone, a very warm welcome to satsang today, Satguru Moojiji ki Jai.”
Ananta gives satsang with the blessings of his Master, Sri Mooji. He lives in Bangalore, India with his wife, son and daughter. Usually he offers satsang with sangha in attendance via Youtube with Google Hangout on-line satsang. See Ananta Facebook page for Satsang schedules, contact, information and updates of satsang with Ananta.
Satsang with Ananta Youtube channel and satsang link is: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmc83jyrwpCNBT2xywXVoLg/feed
Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/satsangwithananta
This is the 4th book of Ananta satsang talks. This book is a compilation of short, poignant talks taken from online satsangs with Ananta, from January 2016 through February 2016. Where the paragraph begins with Q: means questioner. Transcribed and collected with love by the Sangha, edited by Amaya, in deepest love and gratitude to Anantaji (nicknamed ‘Father’ by some), as an offering to all who seek Truth and Freedom from suffering through these simple pointings.
Table of Contents
- 4Preface: Blessing
- 5The Core Pointings
- 8The I Prior to ‘I Am’
- 11Can We Find This One Who Needs to Become Free Now?
- 13The Realization Of What We Are Is A Facepalm Moment
- 15Yes, I Am…, But as What?
- 18Don’t Try To Come To This Point, This is Where You’re Starting From
- 22The True ‘I’ is Synonymous with Awareness
- 23Is This Urge for Freedom More Than Just a Personal Desire?
- 27Checking into What is Here Now
- 30Giving Freedom to the World to Be As It Is
- 33You Are Only the Awareness Right Now
- 36Bearing Our Own Emptiness
- 38What is Meant by ‘Your Non-phenomenal Nature’
- 40Prior to Awareness
- 42Either It’s Something Personal, or It’s About Awareness
- 50Accepting is Not a Passive State
- 51Freedom is Not a State Where Attention Completely Rests Only in Awareness
- 54You Are Free But Come To Satsang
- 56Attention Always Reports Back to You
- 62Awareness is Always Neutral
- 64What If We Did Not Have A Single Concept?
- 67What Am I Still Giving Meaning To?
- 70A Thought is Calling, Saying ‘Hello, This is You’
- 74Truth Means That Which is Not Coming and Going
- 78Is There Any Difference in Perception Between Us?
- 80This Openness is What I’m Pointing To
- 84Answering: Don’t I Need Thoughts Sometimes?
- 90This Sense ‘I Am Aware’ is Pointing You Directly to What You Are
- 96Satsang is an Introduction to Your Non-phenomenal Self
- 97I Am Always With You
- 98The Essential Pointers Being Spoken in Satsang
- 99If It Needs Belief, It Is Not True
- 101Attention is Not The Same as Awareness
- 108‘I Am’ is a Portal That Can Go Both Ways
- 112‘Getting It’ Is Not Dependent on Time: You Are It.
- 113De-mystifying the Non-phenomenal Reality That I Am
- 115Grace, Gratitude, Blessings
May the gift that was received here be received in all of our Hearts.
And may the truth of What We Are reveal itself for all those who are done playing, who want to let go of this personal game. May they come to the realization of the True Self…, in double- quick time…, [chuckles]…, even prior to time: Right Now.
May all that is personal be dissolved by the simplest solution of forgetting about it …, the fulfillment or the non-fulfillment of it. May you all be done with it. May even the desire for freedom dissolve in your Seeing of what the Truth is: the un-doubt-able, the undeniable that You Are.
It is super-obvious actually. It is so obvious that it is missed.
May you be blessed with the holy instant of looking, without confusion.
May you See that what you have been looking for is not that way, not that way; but is actually where you have been looking from…, what you have been looking As.
So, not an entity, not a thing; just the looking itself, the Awareness Itself.
May you find that which is most original to You, most primal; which never goes.
May the Satguru’s grace bless you with the power to look at What Is…, without interference from the mind, with no interpretation, with no judgment, with no grievance.
And may you be blessed with the vision that That which perceives ‘What Is’, and the ‘What Is’, are One, and there is no separation.
The Core Pointings
Clarity comes from direct seeing, direct experience. And we have tried over the years to demystify your true nature as much as possible. Therefore all it needs is a little bit of openness, a little bit of checking neutrally to see. Some of you are new here, so maybe we can revise some of the core pointings for you.
So the first one is: if you still have this sense that I am suffering, then all you have to do is not to believe your next thought. Because there is no suffering ‘Now’. Suffering is always dependent on some projection of past or future, and this interpretation of what the mind is saying about the past or future. So in our not believing the next thought, we are not picking up the false identity, we are not picking up any of these projections.
And then some resistances will come. You will say ‘I cannot not believe this’. So find out those two or three top buttons which the mind can push, which seem to automatically get your belief and pull them into your inquiry.
If it is about freedom…, for many of you now it is the spiritual seeker identity which is the strongest one where the buttons get pushed. So find out: Who is the seeker, can we find the seeker? Is the body seeking freedom? If there was a way actually to communicate with the body and you say ‘I’m going to get you some freedom’ the body will say ‘What, does it taste good?’ [Laughs] It has no idea about freedom, it already is free. It’s just an instrument; a beautiful instrument, but an instrument.
So find out who wants freedom? Where is this one sitting? What does it look like? When was it born? What is its relationship with you? Why does it need a voice to communicate with you? You see? So are there two of you? Like this, if you inquire, you will realize very quickly, it is just an idea. The seeker identity is nothing but an idea, with no tangibility at all. You see?
So those ideas which still seem to get your belief, pull them into your inquiry. And you will find the rest are nothing. There is no validity behind any identity. Then it might seem like for some of you ‘Everything is so fresh, I’m not suffering. Because all my identities which I was caring about have now been inquired into, and they have been dropped, and everything is fresh moment to moment. I’m just witnessing all of this moving’.
Then we could say ‘But is that it? What about God? Because the entire quest was to find God, so can you show me God?’ And I would say ‘Yes I can’. Not your idea of God, necessarily. But the God that I have experienced. That one I can show you. Just by asking you this simple question: Can you stop being now?
And when I say ‘Can you stop being?’ then actually try. Don’t just use it as an intellectual question and say ‘What kind of question is that?’ Actually try to stop being. Don’t be…, for an instant. And you will discover your own holy Presence. Instantly you will find that you can’t stop
being. Your Presence is here. I just Am. This I Am is Being, is Consciousness, is God. Because it is God who said ‘I Am That I Am’.
So don’t let the simplicity of the pointing confuse you and make it trivial. It is one of the most beautiful discoveries that you can come to. It is the realization of God as your own Presence, in just looking and seeing if I can stop being. And often I’ve said that this much is enough actually, this much is enough, because you’re beyond suffering and you’re living in the presence of God.
But for some of you, (like in my case here also), some of you will say that there’s something more. And by this time, the mind will probably be going crazy saying ‘Something more than God, what are you saying?’ But you might say ‘I am aware even of Being. There is something here which is prior even to Being, which knows that there is something called sleep state and then I woke up from sleep state. So what is this? So what is this? What is prior to I Am? What is before I Am?’
It is this Awareness, Knowingness, that knows even the presence and absence of Being, you see? So this is the highest. You say, can you show me the highest? And I say: Are you aware now?
And for some of you, this might sound like a magnificent pointing and for some, you will say ‘What? This was the highest? I didn’t see anything at all’. You see? But in those words themselves lays the Truth; where you’re able to confirm ‘Yes, I am aware. I am aware without actually phenomenally experiencing anything’. Even for Being, it was phenomenally experienced. But for Awareness…. am I aware now? This fact that I’m aware is known. It is not a phenomenal experience. It’s the only non-phenomenal experiencing that you can have. It’s not even an experience; but if you were to use the word non-phenomenal experiencing, it is the only one you can have.
And it is central to our existence. I am aware. And because it is so natural, so intimate, there is no space between us and this. And because our entire idea of freedom, of self-realization, was based on some sort of an explosion or some sort of awakening experience or something special like that, the mind refuses to accept that this seeing, I Am Aware Now, is the realization of the Self. You’re realizing your own Self as Awareness. Awareness itself, is realizing Itself.
This is the essence of Self-realization.
The trouble can come because the mind, the person-identity, can come and say ‘But this is not what I asked for’. But we are no longer to cater to this one who does not exist, because this one is forever unsatisfied.
How do you know that you are aware? First, do you know or not? Do you know you’re aware? Let’s say yes or no. [Looks around the room and participants all acknowledge ‘yes’.] So we know.
How? How do we know? We’re just aware, just aware. But for everything else we say ‘Is there a blue box on the table?’ You have to look; and we either see or we don’t see. And if we see, we have confirmation it was there.
You see, everything else is phenomenally checked, everything else, even Presence. Can you feel the Presence? It is phenomenally checked. But for this, we just know. It is always just here. Because what did you see? If I ask you what you saw that you were able to confirm your awareness, you would not have a good answer. Isn’t it?
Isn’t this so beautiful? I enjoy very much this contemplation. If I ask you what you saw to be able to confirm your awareness, you will not have a good answer. For everything else, to say it is there, you will say ‘Yes I saw it. This was the color. This was the taste. This was the phenomenal experience of it’. But for Yourself, you are not able to define a quality or an attribute, and yet you’re clear that You Are.
The I Prior to ‘I Am’
So many times we hear things like ‘Drop the search’. What do we mean? Basically it means ‘Drop the struggle’. There really is no need to struggle now. All the pointings which you need are here. All the Grace which you need is here. All the presence which you need is here. So this struggle has become a habit; this sense of something which is this frustrating sort of energy and we feel like we just carry it around.
This seeking by itself without the sense of struggle is a beautiful contemplation into the nature of the reality. So it is not the seeking in itself which is trouble, because here also there are various contemplations which continue still. That is very beautiful.
The sense that ‘I am incomplete, I need something and then I’ll be done’…, that is what is meant by drop the seeking. Not that we stop contemplating because now we’ve reached… (although that’s another example…). ‘Now that we’ve reached the top of the mountain there’s nothing else’. You see? That makes us very closed.
So one of my prayers always, as many of you know, is that if I’m wrong about something may I be corrected, even now. May life show it to me. And if I’m not listening, let it slap it into me. You see? Because this arrogance of the spiritual ego should never be let in. And that creates a lot of trouble.
So this struggle is really not needed now. Once you say that ‘I found my teacher, I found my master’, then it’s his struggle, his problem. How is it yours? This is how it is different from school. How is the guru/disciple relationship different from a typical teacher/student relationship? It is that the guru takes responsibility. All he asks of you is that you continue to come to Satsang. And come with a whatever reserves of attention you feel you have. Because many times it can be ‘He said come to Satsang’ (but you’re not actually ‘in’ Satsang).
So just whatever sense of little bit of control you feel you have, just bring that attention into Satsang. The rest is his (or her) problem. So this is the difference. Whereas in school, you could go and the teacher doesn’t say ‘I take complete responsibility’. We go to many PTA meetings, so I’ve heard this unfortunately. [Laughs] But here I’m saying ‘It’s my problem’. There is no need for any of you to struggle. It’s just a bad habit. And it comes with so much guilt and doership and regret, unworthiness; all these ideas that we have about ourself for no reason.
Because all of you are That. And I feel this when I’m speaking. I realize that more and more this is coming to me to remind you that you are The Eternal One. We even titled one Satsang ‘You are Eternal Whether You Like it or Not’. And if you were to really look at this, even imagine it, that you are eternal, then you would do exactly like this. You wouldn’t play these ‘person’ games because actually nothing really matters to you. To the immortal, to the eternal, this is just a play now.
With the recognition of What You Are, then this sense of struggle, this sense of trouble, this will start dissolving. And if it’s not dissolving then we must inquire into the beliefs which we still hold. There is an identity still then lurking if there is still some sense of struggle. It usually comes from some meaning which is still left to the appearance. We are giving some meaning which is not neutral to the appearance and saying ‘This one. Everything else okay, okay, okay, but this particular identity or role still has meaning for me. In fact, it’s central to me’. But it’s not. What is central to you is your true nature, that which cannot go. Everything else, all relationships, all other materialistic things all are coming and going, all our tendencies. Nothing will last. You will last, but not you personally.
And now you’re here; that means you are looking for this eternal Truth. Because if you were looking for some phenomenal truth, there are many better people to show you. Relationship counselors, psychotherapists, money advisors, counselors; all those are available by the millions in the world. You see?
So what brings you here? There must be a realization somewhere that ‘This phenomenal stuff is not satisfying to me. I’m looking for that which I truly am’. This must be here.
Just with a simple checking: Am I Aware Now? …, instantaneously, before the mind can come to any conclusion, you’ll know that you are aware. And this you cannot leave. This we cannot leave.
Of course, some friends are using different definitions, so you could say ‘I was not even aware; even Awareness was not there’. And who knows this? So the knowing that something is present or not is already Awareness. This Knowingness, Awareness, the I prior to I Am, I prior to Being, I, Knowing-ness, Seeing-ness, Witnessing, Perceiving; we’ve used many words for it. They’re all synonymous.
There is no way that This you cannot find. There is no way that You can lose yourself. In fact, it is more that since it has always been like this, our mind is in denial of it. It makes it another task to get to. It makes it ‘the next bowl of milk’. If our entire life we’ve pretended to be a cat, then we have constantly looked for the next bowl of milk. And this, the mind says, is the eternal bowl of milk. Find freedom and you will find the nectar of immortality, for the cat. But you never were a cat. You never were a person.
You are That which you have been looking for. So this I, before the birth of the I Am-ness even, is your true unshakable, immortal, eternal nature. And everything exists only in your awareness of it. Inside your awareness.
Then what happens? With the birth of Being actually, all confusion starts. [Laughs] Deep sleep, no confusion, isn’t it? Then [to wake up next day], the birth of Being. So in fact, the first time I heard Maharaj say something like ‘The only problem you have is the I Am infection’…, I was like, ‘I Am infection? I Am is God Himself. [Laughs] You know, how can you say ‘I Am
infection’? I read that in ‘I Am That’ or one of the books, Maharaj’s books. I was not able to process the enormity of what he was saying at that time.
So with the birth of I Am, then very quickly the world of duality appears. It’s always ‘Me in the world, me and another, my world, my life’. Before that, nothing, no phenomena. And even if this appearance was there, without the pesky interpreter, than it would not seem like it is separate. It is this interpretative mind, what we call ‘the ego, the wrong subtitles in the movie, the fake interpreter’.
This one makes trouble where there is none because it convinces you that you are this bundle of just flesh and blood. And you’re alone here. Then it seems scary. You’re just this body in this huge realm of billions of people and so many forces which are constantly attacking. And once you buy this story, then you’ve bought the cat idea. Then you’re running around like a cat, looking for your bowl of milk, trying to keep them safe and making sure you’re on the right track.
That’s why I say this is such a divine mystery, the great divine maya that convinces the Creator of the world that it is just a small speck in the world. Actually the universe is a small speck inside you. And all these insights are available to you once you come to clarity about Who You Are.
Clarity is different from mental understanding. Because it’s very easy to pick up the concept ‘I am Awareness’ or ‘I am the Infinite One’ But if it’s just another concept then it’s not going to help.
Can We Find This One Who Needs to Become Free Now?
Let’s do something radical today. [Laughs] Because I keep saying that ‘I am saying that you are free now; you are free now’. So what if we don’t close satsang today unless everyone who attends sees that they are free? It could be very short. [Laughs] And it doesn’t matter whether you have been in satsang for a long time, a short time, because you are free now.
So for this satsang to continue then, we have to presume that someone is not free. Who is here that is not free? Like I said, a very short satsang. [Laughs] Because when I say that we won’t end until everybody is free, then it might seem like ‘Oh it is gonna take a while’. But when I ask ‘Who is not free right now?’ then you have to start inventing reasons. Without inventing a reason, can you show me how you are not free? Without working, your mind coming up with a reason, some explanations for why you would be not free, then can you tell me how?
Just in your own most natural state. Without coming up with some mental reasoning, can we find this one who needs to become free now? Without going with any mental reasoning, can we find this one that needs to become free?
And the mental reasoning, I will tell you what the mind could be saying: ‘Yes, now I see, but it’s not stable’. But it is stable; only this mind saying it’s not stable. Or it could say ‘But I still become angry’. Everyone still becomes still angry, even the sages still become angry.
What are the mental reasonings. Who else has some?
So what is it that is convincing us to still remain as the seeker? And mostly it is the sense that ‘I am not stable in the abidance of the truth’. Like we were saying the other day; the sense that ‘I am not stable in the abidance of the truth’. But actually you are stable in the abidance of the truth. The only thing is that ‘pretending’ sometimes still remains as a habit.
The stability of the truth. The truth would be valueless if it was unstable. Would someone be interested in a truth which is not stable? Why would you want it? If it is coming and going, why would I want such a truth? Therefore by definition, truth must be that which is not coming and going. It is stable. So it is not that we need to stabilize in the truth. The truth is ever-stable.
And it is not about attention also. It is not that we have to come to this place where my attention is always only in Awareness. That is not the function of attention. Attention is already on the leash, it cannot leave Awareness. One end is already tied to Awareness; it cannot leave it. Can it leave Awareness and go somewhere? It cannot. It Is, always. Who is it reporting it to? It is reporting back to Awareness through your Beingness, so it is not leaving Awareness.
So how long will we continue to believe the story that we are not free? Can we find some evidence of this bondage right now?
What can happen? A thought can come, but that is seen. An emotion can come and that is seen. How is the Seeing touched by that which comes and goes?
Because our habit is to go with the content of what is appearing. We don’t pay enough attention or we don’t just simply witness: ‘Who is it appearing to?’
Right now we can check this: Who is any of this content appearing to?
What do I mean by content? I mean the appearance; that which is coming and going.
Is the witnessing of the content also coming and going? The witnessing is stable. Even when there is no content, you are able to say that there is no content; in sleep state or ‘I fell unconscious and there was nothing there, it was just black’. Even that, You have to remain to witness.
So you are completely steady in this. This is your natural state.
So what else is it that we want?
The Realization Of What We Are Is A Facepalm Moment
[So, the question is]: ‘Who is the one which is aware? Is it not Being?’
What is the distance between the sleep state and the waking state?
Who had the experience of sleep?
Nobody has to tell you that you slept, and you had the direct experience of waking up. So [what is] the change between sleep and waking up? In sleep there was no sense of Being; in waking there is the sense of Being. So there must be an awareness which is aware that Being was not there, and now Being is there. This Awareness remains unmoved through all of the states which might come and go. Isn’t it?
So I don’t have to tell you that you went to sleep last night.
You know you went to sleep, isn’t it?
Q: Yes. It’s so simple.
Yes. It’s too simple. For the mind, it’s too simple. [Laughs]
Q: In any case, I’m always aware.
Q: Who wakes me …[Inaudible]… I am aware of that sense of Being.
Most will report that there was nothing in sleep.
Q: [Inaudible]..so that’s retrospectively?
It must be. It has to be reported retrospectively, but you can’t sleep retrospectively. The reporting is retrospective because the Presence of Being is required for this phenomenal reporting. But the sleep is not retrospective. That’s what first I asked you if somebody else has to tell you that you went to sleep or not? Or you know directly?
Q: That’s a direct experience.
Of whose direct experience is it? Of this Awareness alone? Who knows your sleep, and waking? It’s Knowingness alone, Awareness alone.
Q: Maybe I am looking for a location in Awareness, or maybe I am trying to find out…, some quality that ‘This is Awareness’.
Let me tell you something about this, which is that it will not happen exactly, because time and space are toys which belong to Being. They are born after the world of Being; time and space. So then, if time and space are not there, how can you find a quality or a location for Awareness?
Q: [Inaudible]… If there is no Being, there is no question of time or location.
Q: But, is it my intellectual understanding?
No, it’s a direct experience.
Q: [Inaudible].. I am using mind, let’s say for example, it’s a concept…
Which part is a concept?
What is your direct experience?
Don’t let the mind come in. It is your direct experience.
Q: [Inaudible] [Laughing]
The realization of what we are is a ‘facepalm’ moment.
Q: This is so simple, guys. This is so simple! [Laughing] And the mind…. [Inaudible]
It cannot take anything.
Q: [Inaudible].. when we believe a thought….
Yes, it becomes a pretense. But in reality, nothing changed; but we are pretending to be a person checking on whether it was intellectual or real. That pretense is completely your power. Whether you want to play or not is your power.
Q: That means that I have to drop those concepts that I am my name, I am my body. [Inaudible] … I need to have a good laugh. [Laughs] I’m going to go home and laugh.
Oh, this is great. [Laughs] ‘I’m having an awakening experience in the office. Where do I go?’
Q: What more can I say? Thank you. What more can I say?
You’re welcome, my dear. Always welcome.
Yes, I Am…, But as What?
Q: Namaste, Anantaji. You ask: Can you stop being now? But I do not know what it is to be in Being.
It’s simpler than that. It’s simpler than that. It’s just Right Now You Are. Can you not be? Can you say ‘I am not’? You are.
‘You are what?’ is a different question, so we are not concerned with that for now.
Q: Yes, I am.
Yes, this ‘I am’, this sense ‘I am. I exist’, this Being is Consciousness.
Q: I understand what you say, that I am. I cannot deny that fact. I do exist. We can take that only, that I am, simply I am, nothing more than that. And then the question comes: Then, who is angry? Who is doing all of these things? I am doing my job, family, … [Inaudible]… And then I don’t have any reference. Who is doing this life?
So, already we say, ‘Yes, I Am’. So this ‘I Am’ this Being, ‘Am-ness’ this is the only one, isn’t it? This is the only one here. Is there another ‘I Am-ness’…, and Questioner? And, if there is a Questioner, then where is he?
Q: [Inaudible]…only a belief?
Yes, only a belief, only an idea. An idea cannot do anything. Only that which is here must be the do-er. Isn’t it? A mental construct, can it just do something? No. It’s just an idea. So if Questioner is just an idea, a concept which caught your belief, then can it actually do something? It’s like imagining that there is someone sitting next to me and when we say to that one ‘Can you give me a glass of water?’ can it give it to you? No, it was just an idea. That which IS must be the do-er, isn’t it?
Exactly, exactly. This ‘I Am’ is the do-er. This ‘I Am-ness’. There is no Questioner, so it cannot be the do-er. And this ‘I Am-ness’ is doing everything. When this ‘I Am’ is not, like in deep sleep state, there is nothing. This ‘I Am’ appears, and this whole phenomenal play appears.
You know? And it’s not only this phenomenal play. It’s other phenomenal plays, like dreams. Or that which we call dreams. In that waking state; this might be a dream for this waking state. Because in the Presence of this ‘I Am-ness’ all this phenomenal play happens. Therefore we can say that there is only one do-er and one experiencer, which is Being Itself. And there is no Questioner.
Q: And then the thoughts that come that I have to do my job and …[Inaudible]…
See, these thoughts have no meaning, because they are all referring to you as Questioner. Consciousness is doing all of this on Its own, naturally. Consciousness is not dependent on anybody to run this Universe. Which thought is making gravity function? Which thought is making your heart beat? Which thought is making your breathing happen? It’s the mind which takes credit, saying ‘I am doing this. I am doing, I am sitting here’. But this is referring to ‘I’ which is a Questioner which doesn’t exist. Now the mind is saying ‘Without me, nothing will happen’ but that is not your experience. Activity still happens.
Q: It looks like if I don’t decide that I have to do something, [Inaudible] then it will not happen.
It only appears like that. Mind experiences us. Right now, your hand is moving. Have you decided to move it?
No, it is moving. Who is moving that?
Q: [Inaudible]…that I cannot say.
Yes, it must be the do-er of it, because that is the only ‘I Am-ness’ that is here. Consciousness, Being, I Am, God…, whatever word you want to use, it’s fine. But nobody else is here.
Q: That creates trouble, that concept. It creates trouble..,. [Inaudible]…that commentary.
Commentary will always create trouble. The mind is only a trouble-maker.
The root point of reference for the mind is that you are a person. Everything is dependent on this lie, you see? And this lie is so prevalent that [only] a rare one looks at it, and asks ‘Who are you talking about?’ And it says ‘You are a fantastic person’. Who? We cannot find. So, it’s still a lie, whether it’s good or bad.
Q: The one that troubles me the most…[Inaudible, life story]…but why did I believe these things? I don’t understand that. [Laughs]
It’s a habit which has been inculcated ever since we were little. When we were 2, 2-1/2 years old then these thoughts started coming. You see? And they were coming authoritatively, so our parents were also saying the same thing, ‘You must be a good boy. You must go to school. You are like this. You are like that’. All of this is filled with identity. This realm is full of that.
A few of us come to this point where we see ‘Yes, but this one that they are referring to, I can’t seem to find this one. Who are we talking about? Because the body is not a good boy, it’s just an instrument; with nothing good or bad about it inherently. So, who are they talking about?’
And once this kind of inquiry starts, then this whole delusion of personhood starts to dissolve.
And there are just 3 or 4 of these key areas. So one was about relationships; special relationships, close relationships. Second one is about this work, abilities, security; all of this money-related thing. Third is about the health of the body and how good the body is. And fourth is about this search for freedom itself. So around these 3-4 key identities, we keep moving.
But when you ask ‘Who is this bothering? Who is suffering from this? Who wants any of this?’ then very quickly you see that there is nobody like that which is here. The body doesn’t even want a good body; the body is just here. So, the one who wants or doesn’t want, who is that one? It is the non-existent, not-even-imagined-properly one. [Laughs] And freedom from delusion is freedom from this idea.
So, then you will see that ‘Oh, thoughts are appearing and disappearing, in the same way reactions are appearing and disappearing’. There is nobody to take credit or blame. Everything is moving on its own.
Q: So, I don’t have to be. I Am.
Exactly, exactly. You already Are.
Q: But, as what?
As ‘I Am-ness’ itself. As ‘I Am-ness’ itself. As Being, itself.
Don’t Try To Come To This Point, This is Where You’re Starting From
So now it’s so simple…, that we cannot suffer without listening to or believing this thought, this mind. You see? As simple as that.
But why do we continue to sometimes? Because there might still be a sense that something meaningful might come from here. When we check right now, we say ‘Yes, it’s all rubbish’. Like Guruji says ‘99% rubbish and the other 1% also rubbish’. So when we check about the past we are able to say ‘Yes, it’s clear. I’m not going to pick it up’.
But somewhere, there some sense that maybe one day it will have something meaningful to tell me, this mind. But it has nothing ever meaningful to tell about the real You. Because it cannot fathom the reality that You are. And That which it cannot fathom, how can it say anything about That? How can it help That, which is prior to all of this? That which is before time and space. Before Being also. How can the mind, (which is just another ‘object’ in the Beingness), how can that have any conclusions to say about You?
So as long as there is a sense that ‘I might still be a person. You know, this might all be some sort of brainwashing or something’ then it can seem like ‘I better hedge my bets. A little bit of satsang, a little bit of mind; just in case either is wrong’. [Laughs]
But there comes a point where we completely we run out of moves, as far as the person is concerned or as far as the mind is concerned. There is nothing for us to really give meaning to from the mind. ‘I’m just done with this game, done with this playing. I cannot find the One that the mind is referring to anyway. So let me now let go and see what happens’. And initially the mind can again give you some fears: ‘What about your life? Why can’t you do both?’ These kind of things it will tell you. ‘What’s going to happen? You’re going to make a mess out of your life’.
But no one who has realized the Self has gone and said ‘Oh I made such a mistake, I messed up my life’. No one. That’s great encouragement, isn’t it? [Laughter] Even if there was one who said ‘I want to give this realization of what I am back, and I’d rather go with the mind and pursue my worldly endeavors’ then we could say ‘Okay, statistically at least there is one’. But not one we have found. Because no one has truly discovered what they are has said ‘Okay, I want to go back to handing power back to the mind’.
So in this is a lot of encouragement for us. Because I know a lot of the mind’s fears can come. ‘Just what if? What if he’s wrong?’ [Laughs] ‘What if he’s wrong’’ So more and more as we are in Satsang then, there is a development of trust. Because we try out what’s been said and see that it works. We find more peace, more space in our lives. And then more and more, this trust is there.
For the ego, for the person, satsang is the most destructive process ever. So you know, it can be that it has these accompaniments of love, peace and joy; but for the person, it is the most
destructive process. That’s why we have so many tantrums, we have so many things that happen, this back and forth.
Because it is destroying everything that we’ve held onto. Nothing we can rely on. All these thoughts we invested in, all these identities, all of this; it doesn’t have any value. And this valuelessness of our prior investments starts to bother this mind. And it says ‘What is this? Why can’t I be a person and be free? Why can’t I be a free person?’
Not possible. Because you can never become a person in the first place. And by definition it is an unstable construct, just made up of a bundle of thoughts, a set of beliefs that we have carried. ‘I am like this, I am an honest person, I’m a great person, I’m a happy person’. All of these are just ideas. Who is it at the core of them? Nothing.
So as long as there is some reliance…, ‘I’m a spiritual person’ for example is a very popular construct. And then those who are spiritual then have these other points of suffering. ‘I’m such a God loving person, God fearing person, why do I suffer? Why does God do bad things to good people?’ All of these things I have heard.
So, then eventually we come to this understanding that no matter what kind of person I believe myself to be, it is not the end of suffering. The end of suffering is only the realization that there is no person. And This that is prior to all phenomena, this Awareness, is what I Am.
And this is not changing. Stable, more than the word stable can convey. This is that stable. It’s not changing. Anything might be happening in the waking state, any phenomena might be coming and going, but this witnessing of it is untouched, unmoved, unchanged. And you cannot step away from it. This is What You Are (I’ve been saying this often): Whether you like it or not, this is What You Are.
[The idea of a being a person] is in the power of our pretense, in the power of our belief, you see? What a magnificent power this must be, actually. The power of belief, which can convince that which is no-thing, that which is eternal, immortal, unchanging; can convince that, (or actually the dynamic aspect of that, the Being aspect of that); which tries to convince that, that you are just this (pointing to body). Just this, and a set of ideas. The body-mind complex, as it is called.
So the Being which is pure, unassociated Being, which is as pure Awareness itself, somehow has created this power for itself to get deluded. Who else could have done such a thing? Only God could create this maya also, isn’t it? There is no other.
There comes a point where we are done with the play. And that’s why I have started asking this question, which is: Are you done with the play or not? Because otherwise we can have the same conversation over and over and over again. But actually what you are saying then is ‘I want to play also and I want to be free also’. I would rather you just say ‘Be done with the play. Be clear that I’m done with the play’.
And then there are some aspects which are still held onto, some strong identities. Those we can look at. But if you still feel that ‘I still want to be a person, I enjoy it’ and this is just like some sort of comfort blanket or safety net or something, then we go over and over the same thing. But those who say ‘No, I’m not interested in anything that might come in the play. Any content might appear. I might be a beggar on the streets or a king in the palace. This body might be the fittest one or it might be just going into the dust’. You see?
So with this sense, if you come to satsang and are not worried about phenomenal appearances at all, then what happens? All that is personal, all that is domestic, all that is kept aside. And we are clearly just Seeing what is prior to all of this.
Who was I before I woke up this morning? Did I have an identity in my sleep state? So, to me, these are very beautifulcontemplations to look at. And everybody enjoys their sleep, at least they report after they wake up. Because at some point, we get tired of this phenomenal experiencing. Like Papaji used to say, you could be in the arms of your beloved on your wedding night. But when sleep comes, when you’re done with the experience, you just say ‘Yes, done. Done for today. Let’s go to sleep’.
So there comes a point that the most blissful experiences could be in front of us, but there is a limit to how much we can enjoy them. And very quickly the mind will come with this fear. The fear that ‘Will the play stop? I don’t want the play to stop. I like my family and I like my worldly attachments’.
And it is usually seen that very naturally the play continues. Without it becoming an expectation of it going a certain way, the play very naturally continues. Because that which is playing all these roles can continue to play the roles if it likes to.
Only the sense of control, that ‘I must control the way this life is going’ dissolves. You see? And that is a very freeing sense. Because every moment is then experienced so beautifully, because we are not projecting where we want this life to be.
It is just like we are watching a move and saying ‘I hope the next scene is like this, I hope the next scene is like this’. Such a troublesome way of watching a movie. Just watch; we’re just watching. It’s so beautiful. The script writer, the director, the projector, the screen; all is one Consciousness. The entire movie is playing, in your own screen of Being, on your own screen of Consciousness. Everything is appearing and disappearing and You are the eternal witness of this.
And when this is said, something knows that this is true, isn’t it? It knows that these words are resonating with what is here.
Because otherwise for the mind it’s completely radical. But when these words are said that ‘You are the Eternal One’ then I don’t feel there is anyone here where something will not ring true when this is heard.
Something knows this very clearly, that this One is a prior-intuitive sense, which knows the reality of what I Am. Because the mind cannot grasp eternity.
So this One: What is here prior to mind? What is here prior to Being? You are aware of your Presence. What is here that is aware of Presence?
This is the Self. Unmoved, untouched through any state.
So once it is kept aside, this mind, just allowing Being to be, without any sense of grasping or control, just Being, then this simple truth of who we are is so apparent, isn’t it? It’s only when we try to label it, only when you try to make a conclusion about it, like ‘What have I found, what have I found?’ If you quickly go to that, then again it is giving it to the mind.
There is nothing you have found, You have always been This. So the discovery is that I have always been This. It is not a discovery of a new one. So we have unraveled this in some way. And we have seen the core of this delusion of personhood is only…, firstly, the Presence of this voice which tries to convince us that ‘I am a person’. And more importantly, the belief in this voice that we give. Then we will find that all of this…., this voice is allowed to continue, this world is allowed to continue and Being is allowed to just be.
I Am That which is the eternal, pure, innocent Witnessing of all of this. And this is our experience right now.
Don’t try to grasp at it. Don’t try to come to this point. This is where you’re starting from. This is your starting point. If the mind is still painting a picture saying that ‘You have to get to where he’s pointing’ then it is again tricking. This is the starting point.
So the movement, if you want to look at it as a movement, is an inward one, not a forward one. And the grace of satsang, the Presence of satsang has given us the spiritual muscles now (when we say ‘just keep the mind aside’) even to follow [what is said here]. If you were to speak to anyone who has not been in satsang and say ‘Keep the mind aside’ [then they would say] ‘But no, how can I? It’s so strong. The mind is so strong’.
But now, having been in satsang more and more, don’t feel as much that the mind is so strong. We have unraveled that also. What do we find so strong? That which is our strongest identity. And in spiritual circles, the seeker identity can be the strongest one. The ‘I’ve made it, you have not made it’. All of this. So this can be. Then when we explore ‘Who is this one who made it?’ …, there is nobody here in that way.
The True I is Synonymous with Awareness
So let’s read the question. She says “When you say ‘I-as-Awareness’…, ‘I Am’ has the non- phenomenal Beingness, empty save [except] itself…, But ‘I am Awareness’…, is there an ‘I’ here at all?…, as in our only identity, as One before all?”
As you know, usually what I say is ‘I-as-Awareness’ is the non-phenomenal. ‘I Am’ is the root phenomenon of Beingness.
And why do we say the root phenomenon? Because although no identity is here yet, but all the forces of this phenomenal manifestation, including the forces of belief, relating to identity, are present now. Okay? So that’s why we call this ‘I Am-ness’ or ‘Om’ the primordial vibration or the root phenomenon.
Then you say: “…empty save [except] itself.”
Yes, I-as-Awareness is empty, save itself. Perfect, perfect.
“But I-Am-Awareness…, is there an ‘I’ here at all?…, as in our only identity, as One before all?”
This Awareness is undeniably ‘I’. But not in the way that we’ve used ‘I’ in the past. Why is it undeniably ‘I’? Because there is the existence of this ‘I’, the existence of this Awareness, which is not separate from What I Am.
Prior to…, (I know you have the ears to hear this, so we’ll say like this), prior even to the birth of Being, …, even prior to the sense ‘I Am’… Awareness is What I Am. You see? Prior even to the sense of ‘I Am’…, Awareness is What I Am.
Because sleep is my experience. So we can say this is what I am, impersonally. But it is ‘I’ that is ‘This’. So as Bhagavan said, this ‘I’ when we say ‘I’ it is Awareness itself. And when it becomes the ‘I-I’ that means the dynamic aspect of it; or the ‘I-I’ and the ‘I Am’ are the same.
So it is not ‘I’ in the sense of ‘nothing to do with identity’. No attribute, no quality at all. And yet undeniably ‘I’.
[She had also asked]: “Or …, just Awareness aware?” ………… Yes, just Awareness aware. But this Awareness is What I Am. We might as well say ‘I’ instead of ‘Awareness’.
[She said]: “No location obviously, but sense of I Am Aware.” ………. Yes. With the ‘I’ here, we can say this. The ‘I’ that I Am is Awareness. So as Bhagavan said, ‘Awareness is another name for You’. This ‘You’, what does he mean? This ‘I’.
[Laughs] I’m just laughing because if I’d heard words like this 15 years ago, I would have said ‘What is he talking about?!’ [Laughs]
The true ‘I’ is synonymous with Awareness.
So when we say ‘Awareness’ we are talking about the true ‘I’.
Is This Urge for Freedom More Than Just a Personal Desire?
Over the years I have heard many resistances. Also I have had many resistances before I met Guruji, to the simple truth, the simple pointing. One of the biggest resistances has been ‘It can’t be just this, it must be something else’. You hear this very often. When we say ‘This simple awareness is what you are’ then something inside wants to fight that, because this is too just simple, easy. There is no story we can paint around that.
The mind says ‘There must be something because all throughout our spiritual journey we have heard about the glory of this Self-realization. The glorious divinity of the liberation of one’. And here, to find ‘But I have always been this. It’s always been at the root of what is here, prior to all appearances. I have only been this’. And then when we discover This.., when we discover That…, especially when I speak, I say you don’t even have to try to ‘Be That’ because you cannot leave That. At least this pointing was there, where someone says ‘Be That’ or ‘Abide in the Self’. Even Bhagavan said ‘Abide in Self’.
But this is a simpler time maybe. [Laughs] It’s been made even simpler. A simpler time maybe. We say ‘Okay, leave That and show me…’ So that’s why I said that abidance, at best, must have meant ‘Don’t pretend to be something you are not’. What else is there to abide in? Because the truth is the truth. It’s not leaving. By definition the truth is not leaving, it is not coming and going. So what else is there to abide in, except that we keep our power of belief in our pocket, you don’t pretend to be this or that?
And what can we pretend to be? We can only pretend to be something that is appearing, only pretend to be something that is appearing. And if something is appearing, it is disappearing. This is the root of all suffering. Because we pretend to be something that is appearing, then when it is disappearing we want to make this…, (which appears and disappears, this which comes and goes)…, we wanted it to be permanent. But this can never be. But in wanting to make the appearance permanent, we pretend as if we have forgotten what we truly are, which is the permanence itself.
So when it is seen that ‘I cannot be that which comes and goes, I have always been here through all my delusions’ then something says ‘But what’s so great about this?’ Initially the mind can say like that: ‘So what’s so great about this? There must be a level forward, a level next’. And it can be like that. ‘So, maybe Ananta has not found it, because he is a regular guy, he wears regular clothes, he does not have swami or something like this in front of his name. So maybe there is something… He’s a well-meaning guy. Maybe he has not discovered it’.
And in contemplating this, we say ‘What could be another experience which has been missed?’ But for that experience to happen, doesn’t there first need to be the awareness of it? To discover the level next, wouldn’t first awareness need to be there of that level? So this is at the root, and we have seen that no matter what the state is, this Awareness remains untouched.
So, even intellectually, if we were to look into this and ask: ‘So what should be the nature of the true self?’
It must be Invincible.
It must be Immortal.
It must not be coming and going.
It must not be attacked or hurt.
It cannot suffer.
This must be the nature of the true Self.
Even intellectually, if we were to contemplate…, and this Awareness fits in perfectly with all of this definition. It is not coming and going through any state, through anything time and space is bringing. There is no way that this pure Witnessing can be attacked by anything phenomenal. It cannot be made full by anything phenomenal. There’s always infiniteness within it. It is the immortal One. Through all the appearance, it remains.
So when we hear like this, we say ‘Ah, okay. I like those attributes, immortal, invincible, so maybe this is the truth, the Supreme’. Like that. We have to use these words sometimes, just so that you can accept the truth of Who You Are. But actually no labels suffices, because we can say ‘supremely magnificient’ and also say ‘supremely nothing’.
There is nothing phenomenally, and nothing definitely in language, that can be used to describe the truth of What We Are.
Something beautiful I was reading on the weekend by Kahlil Gibran. He says that ‘One morning I woke up and I forgot to put on any of my seven masks’. Very beautiful, you know? He says ‘I have seven masks that I put on, and one morning I woke up and I forgot to put on any of my seven masks’. (I am paraphrasing anyway). ‘And this was the first time I experienced the truth’.
So the identity, the personhood; this is what he would mean by masks. So if, when the waking happens, the Presence of I Am is there but we don’t put on any masks after that, what is missing in this? Nothing is missing in this. So this mask is of identity, this mask of ideas about who we are. And as Consciousness, it is completely in our power to not put them on. Just like it is in our power to put them on, to give them our belief…, or not. Because sometimes, many of us I see falling into this Adviata trap: ‘You say there is no identity, therefore who should not believe?’ But this ‘Don’t believe your thoughts. Don’t believe your next thought’ are not a pointer for the identity.
Why would I waste my time by telling the identity to do something when it doesn’t exist? This pointing is just a monologue that Consciousness is having with Itself. So here It is recognizing that there is this power of belief, the power to pretend to be a person. Therefore It is speaking to Itself saying ‘This is only leading to identity, to a person’. And then immediately we have got to the ‘right now’.
There is nothing ever wrong with the right now. It is neither right nor wrong, it is just what It Is. Maybe it was Shakespeare who said something like this: ‘Nothing is ever right or wrong except when we think about it’.
So all these tools have been around forever. ‘Just now: Who am I? Without my stories, without my ideas, who am I?’ If the truth is true then it must be present here, right now.
Stop all waiting, stop all waiting for mental confirmation and just report from the right now. It cannot escape you. Don’t believe any ideas that ‘I am still not there yet’ or something like this.
The truth cannot escape you because You are It. Don’t try to become the truth. [Silence]
Before you can even decide what to do to get freedom, You are free. Before you can take one step toward freedom, You are free.
But the identity can never be free. And if you’re going to be frustrated about the fact that the identity is not free, then it’s going to be a long, long frustration. The infinite frustration will be this one. This is maya, you see. This is delusion that we even have to say this. That we even have to say that ‘The identity cannot be free’ gives us a clue as to why this is such a big delusion. Why? Because identity does not exist. Identity is just a set of ideas, it does not exist. Therefore so simply it is seen that it cannot be free. It does not exist. And yet, this is the power of our belief. Because we have believed and believed in the existence of this non-existent one, that’s why we want to make it free. Such is the power of this play.
And it’s completely possible that in 5 years, we could be at another level in the play. I don’t know if you track the technology news but Facebook has this device called ‘Occulus Rift’ (which we have spoken about in the past as well). Now it’s available for sale; the first models of ‘Occulus Rift’. You put on this headset and you’re transported into a different world. I haven’t experienced it yet; this is what I’ve heard. You’re transported into this different reality and it seems very real. You see? So it could be [Laughs] that five years later there’s an Ananta inside the ‘Occulus Rift’ sharing satsang over there trying to convince you that this world that you’re in, the ‘Occulus Rift’, is just a virtual world. That’s all that’s going on.
And what would I say? Just discover who you are. What were you prior to this appearance, before all of this starts coming? The trouble is that you are attaching to something that is appearing here. Just go beyond that.
Inside this virtual reality system also, this would be exactly the same. Because actually it is exactly the same. So we don’t know at what level of this play, what iteration of this play, we are in right now.
Okay, so let’s take this example a little bit further. We put on this headset. What part of you do you carry into this game? Really contemplate.
What part of the originality of you do you carry into this game?
Has the Being changed? The Being is the same.
The identity could be different. The body is obviously different because you’re in this virtual reality and you have this computer body. But the Being is the same; is constant. Isn’t it?
And the Awareness? The content is changing but the Awareness remains the same.
So this remains unchanging; Consciousness and Awareness; Awareness Itself.
And even in this realm, we have seen that this content here is coming and going. We cannot attach to it; emotions, external objects, people, relationships, money.
That is why, in this game, I feel the questions: ‘Can you stop being now?’ and ‘Am I aware now?’ are very right. Because these two questions take you beyond the world of appearances.
So do we want help for this character that is coming and going? Or it is something more primal than that.
Is this urge for freedom more than the quest which is personal?
This is what I mean when I ask, (because I know this question can cause some confusion); when I ask: ‘Are you done playing now?’ This is what I mean.
Is this urge for freedom more than just a personal desire?
Because if it is just a personal desire, then it will not be fulfilled.
How to check this? That’s an interesting question. [Laughs] That’s a very interesting contemplation. But in a sense we’ve checked that in every satsang. Because nothing personal is offered here, in what we continue to be. And every day, more or less, I repeat that I have nothing here to offer for the identity. There’s nothing I can do for you personally.
Checking into What is Here Now
All we’re doing is just checking into what is here now. That’s all we’re doing, just checking into what is here now. Because why would we be interested in something which is not here? If something is not here, then by definition it would mean that it is coming and going. It’s only an appearance. So if there is a task to do, it is only to check: What is present here?
Simple. So in this simple simplicity, the truth can be found. If there is waiting, and there is a sense that ‘I will find out the Now if I go to the next retreat’ [Laughs] …, how can that be? There can be the sense of allowing ourself to just be here now. And what is experienced by us, undeniably experienced, is the Presence of God, of Consciousness (whatever terminology we want to use). It cannot be denied. If we check what is here now, it cannot be denied that God is found, undeniably.
So what is it that we want beyond God? If we’re saying that ‘This is not satisfactory for me’ then either there must be a sense that ‘This cannot be God’ or ‘I want something more than God’. When we check into what is here now, we find that there’s a sense of existence, the sense of Presence, that I exist. And this is the only Presence that you’re truly experiencing; Your own Presence.
Of course, it can feel like, when you come into the energy field of satsang in the human embodiment of Masters, it can seem like something gets amplified. But what is really happening is that all the other mental, emotional energies are settling, and you come face to face with your own Presence more clearly.
So then you can say ‘Oh, I feel the Master’s Presence very strong’. But this Master is your inner Satguru. It’s not that you’re experiencing the physical body called Ananta, that Presence. It’s just that in the energy field of one who has realized the truth, you will find that your own Presence gets amplified.
When we say Satguru or Atma or Consciousness or Being or ‘I Am’ or God, it’s all being used inter-changeably here. I have no trouble with the definition. If you want to call it something else, that’s also fine. But what’s unmistakable is that I exist. In fact, it is so natural that we miss it. It is so natural that we miss it.
So instead of asking ‘How do I find God?’ you tell me how you are not God right now? Which God is missing from the right now?
So, we can check like this: In the right now, can I deny the Presence of my own Being? Can I say I am not here?
The mind will say ‘Yes, yes, I am here, but I’m looking for God!’
This ‘I Am’ Itself is the only God you will find. This sense of the Presence of Being is the only God there is. This is Consciousness. This is the only Consciousness I know, and you will know.
All other glorious stories which the mind is painting are just distractions.
Who can say ‘I am not’ …, right now…, ‘I don’t exist’…?
I sense something is saying ‘I exist, but it doesn’t fully make sense yet’. This can be a trick of the mind. That’s why I ask: ‘Can you stop being?’ And the simplicity of the question sometimes camouflages what is revealed in this question.
So if you were to ask ‘Can I stop being now? How can I stop being?’…, this Being is what?
Whose Being is it, whose Presence is it? It is a personal Presence?
Does it have personal preferences?
If inherently it had some personal preferences, then you would not need thought to have desires and aversions. You would not need thought to have likes and dislikes. But can you have a like and dislike without first believing a thought? Or interpreting an emotion?
Q: The body has likes and dislikes, likes some foods and not others.
Yes, but good and bad taste is also based on interpretation. Because when it is tasted, it is just what it is. You see, it is the mind that comes and says ‘Never again, I will never eat karela again’ because it is an interpretation of the mind. What is, just Is.
It can be that biologically there are two different categories of food, but what I’m talking about are these inferred concepts which are personality oriented; that ‘I’m like this, I like this, I don’t like this, I like being around happy people, I don’t like being around people who are sad’. All these inferences can come.
Q: The body has its own emotions and its own… [Inaudible].
Yes, so the natural functioning is happening the way the natural functioning is happening, but you cannot say that this aversion or this desire exists here, (besides these very spontaneous arisings and callings); you cannot have this personal sense of liking or disliking something without buying a thought about it. So you can say ‘Ananta doesn’t agree with me, so I won’t come’. For example, this thought can come. Unless you buy that that, then that aversion is not created. Those are the kind of things I’m talking about; the personality based ones.
So, see ‘What exists here? What is present here?’ without employing any labels, without employing any interpretation. And you might come to the conclusion that the ‘I’ that I believed
myself to be, this one I cannot find. I can only find the Presence of this Consciousness, this ‘I Am-ness’.
So the question is: Is there any tangibility to this person that I believe myself to be? Is there any evidence of this person? …, (which is not circumstantial, which is direct?)
So, if we can’t find the person, is there something to do to get rid of the person?
Although in satsang, I many times might say [‘person’]. But in the truest looking, do we find the ego?
And if we don’t find the ego, then what must we ‘kill’? ‘Kill the ego’. What must we kill? Just the idea that there could be an ego here.
To kill an idea is to just not give it belief. That’s the only way to kill an idea.
There is one more way, but it’s more difficult; which is not to give it our attention. And most of the world sadhana is based on not giving attention to thoughts.
But I find it much simpler just to withdraw belief. And very naturally, our existence is here. Very spontaneously, very naturally, everything can come and go.
Giving Freedom to the World to Be As It Is
To live in resistance to the world, or to live in resistance to anything in the world, is a terrible way to live actually. What do I mean by living in resistance to the world? It could mean a judgmental attitude, or something like this coming. Or it could be life full of grievances. When we examine things like grievances, we see that there is so much ‘specialness’ there. There is so much arrogance there. ‘I’m right, he’s wrong. I’m a good person. Why is the world so bad?’ The victim mindset also, full of arrogance. The victim is full of arrogance. So much specialness in this victimhood.
The most beautiful way to experience this game, this realm, is to leave it completely free, including what comes from our own (seemingly our own) bodies. Because actually this is our true position anyway. We’re only pretending to take on the doership position, and pretending to make another the doer also. So can we allow the world to be exactly as it is?
And with this, there must be the sense that the One who is running this world must have a more Supreme Intelligence than our personal mind. Because to say that ‘This should not be’ is to question the will of God.
Very quickly the mind takes on this approach that I’m saying ‘You be passive’. I’m not saying that. I’m saying that whatever is appearing spontaneously, let that also appear. Just be the witness of that.
So, if you sense that something is wrong, if you see somebody’s being mugged on the street, I’m not saying acceptance means ‘Yes, yes, yes’. Not like that, no. It is that somebody is being mugged on the street. Accept both of our reactions which are happening on their own. The one reaction could be that we run and we go help the situation. Second reaction could be that we feel scared of this situation and we run the other way. Both are completely possible. To have either pride or guilt about what just appeared in that moment, that would be the folly.
So there is no black and white in terms of how this game should be played. I also earlier used the example of in India, when you come to a street light, usually you will find some people who will come beg for money. Sometimes there will be so much compassion, and I will feel actually to give them some bananas or a biscuit, (not give them money because they might spend it on alcohol or something). So like this, sometimes this compassion can come. Sometimes there is just this feeling ‘No, stay away. Something doesn’t feel right’. So I’ve seen people guilty about ‘Why didn’t I give something to them?’
What happened, just happened. It was just witnessed. Because there is no individual doer of any of those actions. So, either we can say there is no doer; like this. Or we can say that all happens through God’s will. Both are the same.
So this, what happens, is great freedom. Great freedom. Then everything is full of wonder and joy. ‘Oh, this is how it’s unfolding’. Then you enjoy the movie in this way.
So one authority figure of the ego is the lawyer ‘Rajan’. And the other authority is the judge ‘Rajan’ sitting and judging everything. ‘This is right, this is not’. Everything; judging, judging, judging.
Can we just be open? This giving freedom to the world is closely interlinked with the openness which I speak about. We cannot be open and attached to a certain outcome in this way. And right now, we must be able to check: What grievances am I still holding? Isn’t there doership at the core of that? Because either we are believing ourself to be the doer, or another to be the doer. What was it? Just another appearance.
And we can hold grievances against God. ‘Why did you create a world like this?’ That is the ultimate grievance, isn’t it? Because there is some knowledge there, that everything is done by God. At least that much is there. But then that becomes like a victim / specialness: ‘The world is there and the world is happening to me’. If God created the world, then it must be God who is experiencing all of it. So, where is the victim? Because this openness then becomes so natural.
If we go with the judge or the one who finds grievances, then everywhere we look we find something to build a grievance about. See?
It was very revealing to me when I heard this phrase: ‘Love holds no grievances’ the first time in the Course in Miracles so many years ago.
And then I said ‘No grievances. Okay, let me check’. And every single one that I knew, I had a grievance against. Some small, some big; but everyone I had some grievance against. It was a very business transaction relationship. ‘I like this about them, I don’t like this about them, I wish they would change this way, that way’. See, where is the love in that? Love must be acceptance of what is.
So with this, I found it was very useful. I found this pointing very useful, because it was quite revealing to me. Because before that, the idea still here was ‘I’m such a nice guy, I don’t hold a grudge or anything’. And I started looking: ‘This one? Yeah. I have this grievance, and this grievance’. So many grievances. It was very beautiful to see. But it’s all centered around individual specialness, individual doership; this idea that ‘I know what is right and what is wrong. I know how the world should behave’.
And when we let go of this, we give the world the freedom that we want for ourselves. Give the world the freedom that we want for ourselves. Then what am I in this simple openness? Not resisting, not judging.
So we could be sitting here, something like this, and somebody says ‘I’m really …’ [inaudible]…, which is completely contrary to satsang. But that is also accepted that this is being said. The reaction from here, which could be strong or light or whatever, has also been accepted. But there’s no grudge of ‘How could they be like this? How could this one be doing this?’
In today’s interconnected world anyway, because of social media and things like this, every day we’re exposed to even more that people are doing. Because they post it on Facebook, post it somewhere. So if we sit with that attitude of judging everything then we’ll become completely lost in it. So just to allow it, just to allow …, this is how it happened, this is how this is unfolding, this is how [inaudible] …
The beauty, one of the most beautiful aspects of this world is that it rarely ever goes to plan; rarely ever goes to plan. Because it would be so boring if it always just went [according] to plan. ‘I thought this should happen, this is how it should be’. Where is the fun in that? See, it rarely happens according to plan. That is the fun, too.
But if you attach duality of how it should be, then we are in this constant state of resistance, which is very egoic. So allow. Allow everything to be exactly where it is, including the reactions that come from here. It is not a state of passivity. It is not an aggressive state. It is just neutrality.
And I know that this pointing of openness also is experienced at different levels, because that’s how it happened here. Because when I first heard ‘Be open, accepting’ it felt like a personal strategy, a good way to lead a life or something. Then one day, it just appeared to me, this openness. This resistance had just fallen off. This judge had just taken a break, or something like this. Which was open. This is open. Just flowing, everything is just flowing. However we are experiencing it, it’s beautiful, this openness.
All our grievances can be allowed, too. Because very often what happens is that we hear about non-doership in satsang and we say ‘Yes, yes, I am not the doer’. But also remember that no one is the doer. Then there can be no individual one that exists. If I don’t exist personally then no other one exists; therefore nobody is personally the doer.
All is being done in this play of maya by God. When this is seen, when this is realized, then can we hold a grievance? Can we hold a grievance? We can’t, you see? Because we have seen that God is all there is. Then who is holding a grievance against whom?
And just now there may be something coming. ‘Yes, everything I can drop, but not that one! That guy, he did this to me’ or ‘she did this to me! That one!’ Then that one you must bring into inquiry. If something is resisting, then that one [who is resisting], you must bring to inquiry and find out: ‘Who did what to whom?’ Isn’t there duality in that? Isn’t there some sense of individual personhood?
Specialness means that I have the sense that there is something which is only individually present here. Why that is a fallacy is because there is no individual present here. Therefore nothing can be individually present.
You Are Only the Awareness Right Now
So, very simply speaking, we are speaking about that which is just here, always present; always just here. Right now it is what You Are. For This, to become This, is impossible. To become the Self is impossible. To not be the Self is also impossible. You are just That, already. The most natural state.
That’s all we are saying if you take out all the jargon, all the terminology which can become a new set of concepts and a new conceptual framework. Just very simply, what is here right now is what We Are. And we don’t need any idea about it, we don’t need any concept to reinforce it, we don’t need any thoughts to understand it. Prior to all of these, We Are.
When I’m saying this, I’m talking about Your experience. It’s not a special experience. It is the most natural experience for a child, and for a grown up. Nothing to get. No experience. Originally, this is our natural state, and it continues to be.
Q: [Inaudible, about the awakening experience]
The awakening experience is only a sudden burst of what I am saying. So, if there is a lot of pretense which is carried, and that suddenly drops, and you see ‘There’s no separation actually’ then in the body a lot of things can come up, a lot of bliss can come, a lot of grief can also come; it’s like a dam which can explode. But that is not the point, really. It is just a by-product.
So the mistake could be, for some, that if you feel that the awakening experience is the goal; no. It is just a by-product. It’s like when the drop falls into the ocean, it could be a lot of ripples or it could be very gently falling. That doesn’t matter. The point is this. And it’s not even falling actually; it’s just the realization that ‘I have always been the ocean’.
Q: [Inaudible, about an awakening experience which went away]
See, so this is what I’ve been saying; that if we rely on the content of what is appearing, it could be the most beautiful content, but it will not last, even an awakening experience. So, even that which was so beautiful, (and thoughts just seem to be these tiny ripples), is just an appearance. The Witnessing of that is the same as the Witnessing of this. What witnessed that is the same Witnessing. You see?
Because you say ‘I saw that and now I’m only seeing this. I want to only see that’. This is the voice of the mind which wants only a particular experience to confirm that I’m free.
Q: [Inaudible, about Masters]
No, no. ‘What is’ for a Master is always ‘what is’ for you. It’s just that we’ve given up pretending. What do I mean by that? Right now, you are only the ocean. You are only the Awareness right now.
Effortlessly, what are you? Forget the space, it’s not important. Just effortlessly right now, what are you?
You say ‘It still seems like effort to become the Self’ so let’s find out: Without effort, who are you?
Before you can make the effort to be free, You are free. It’s only about now. It’s not an experience. How do You get mixed up with the content?
Because emotions by themselves also are just experience. When there’s no interpretation about them, it’s okay.
There is absolutely no need for the idea of freedom.
Q: It’s a good idea.
Let’s say it was. [Laughs] It’s not bad as far as ideas go. But now we’ve gone beyond ideas.
How are you bound? Don’t talk about any experience, because that is not bondage. That you don’t have an experience right now is not bondage. Show me how you are bound? Because we must only offer freedom to those who are bound, isn’t it? So show me the jail cell, then I’ll tell you how to break it open.
Q: Mostly, you know, it’s only the story.
Mostly, you know, only the story, [Laughs] about how it should be a certain way. That’s a resistance to ‘what is’.
So, once it is seen, can it be dropped? Or not? ‘It’s only a story’ means we can drop the story or not. Please do. No more time is needed to drop.
That is a story…, whatever is after the ‘but’ is only a story. ‘But, but, but the story will come back’.
Then what happens? How do you get bound?
So, these are the pretend ways to get bound.
The Awareness that is here, is it ever bound by any identity? What You Are, very naturally here, how would we bind that, even if there is a story that is being believed?
It is impossible to bind You. Therefore freedom must only mean the dropping of the story; including the story that ‘I’ve found freedom’ or ‘I’m not finding freedom’.
Bearing Our Own Emptiness
So, when we first come to This, the attention moves to the depth of what we are, the unlimitedness of what we are, the eternity of what we are. Then a lot of this [strong feelings] can come. So when it is said: ‘Can you bear your own emptiness?’ it is that when we are coming to terms with the Awareness that we are, which is unlimited, beyond time and space, the mind will immediately come saying ‘Oh, this is too scary’ or ‘This is too empty. I don’t know what to do now. I’m confused’. All of this is resistance will come.
And this very emptiness is a pointing which says ‘It’s okay. Let it be wobbly for some time. I’m with you. Let the fear come. Nothing will happen, you’re in a secure place’. And actually then the perspective starts to shift. And then we go from something that feels like ‘Oh, it will drown in that’ to ‘It IS That, I Am That’. The fear of drowning then dissolves, and you realize ‘There’s nothing for me to drown in. This entire manifest universe is drowning inside Me’.
And then, once you see that all of this is just a play happening inside Me, then how can you not love it? But even if we don’t have to go that far and say ‘How can you not love it?’… how can you have a grievance against it? How can you oppose it? And then all is seen as just what it is, and I Am That un-label-able One. Un-label-able. And we see that all labels, all this play of name and form is happening inside of Me.
And then, as we come to this, then there will be many times where there’s too much joy, too much love. Sometimes I’ve said that it seems so tangible, I wish I could just cut it into pieces and give it you as Prasad. But there’s no dependence on even this, the joy, the love; it’s not a dependent relationship. They come for their joy. Inside Me, they play. But I am not attached.
Because otherwise what can happen is very quickly the mind can come and say ‘Now, because this peace and joy and love are here, therefore now I must be free’. It may also go. It’s not a constant state. They go, they come; they go, they come. They play like children, they get tired and go to sleep, then wake up and play. But if we were to attach to that, then again it can be this sense of finding it and losing it, finding it and losing it.
So if we stay with our emptiness… What does it mean: Emptiness? It’s not a negative thing. Because the words…, we have to use these words. But emptiness is not a negative emptiness. This no-thing-ness is not the negative nothingness. It is that we are coming to our realization of the non-phenomenality that we are; the understanding that ‘I am not phenomenal, predominately. Although the phenomenal arises within me, I am not phenomenal’.
So, as that which is non-phenomenal, I can have no story, I can have no attachments. In this realization, this settling into What We Are can be accompanied by such strong experiences that you don’t know whether to laugh or cry, or are laughing and crying at the same time, or it could be very peaceful: ‘This is what it always was’. And sometimes it can feel like the biggest joke that has ever been played. The idea ‘I was lost, and confused myself to be a phenomenal entity’ then sounds completely silly. How could I ever…? (you know, many report this after an
awakening experience)…, how did I ever get confused to be just in this? And you can go anywhere from there. It could be that it settles like this and it stays. ‘I can never believe myself to be a person again’. Or very quickly, in 3 days you could come back and say ‘I’m suffering so much in my relationships’.
But my feeling, and my blessing actually, is that you cannot go all the way back to the delusion of believing yourself to be a person. And this sense of personhood dissolving is what is happening in satsang over and over, more and more as we go along. And I see that it’s happening for all of us.
Because if there is not this common path then satsang will become very tiring after two or three times. ‘This one is not for me. It’s too difficult. I’m not getting it.’ …, whatever the resistance might be. If it is still something personal that we want, then we’ll not resonate with satsang for long.
Then we’ll see that when you start to get glimpses of what you truly are, somewhere in there is an urge that ‘I don’t want to fool myself anymore. I am done with this game’. Then satsang will resonate more and more. And it is happening for many of you, when you come and say, after a long time of being in satsang you will come and say ‘Today I feel like for the first time I’m hearing you’. And yet the words have always been similar. But it can feel like ‘Today is the first time I’m here’. Why? Because something just settles into the Seeing. The person is getting dropped.
Initially, even in satsang, we take the personal perspective. ‘Yes, this is making sense to me, this is not making sense to me, I agree with this’. We have this personal sense that ‘I am not seeing this’. Then as we come more and more into our true nature, it’s so obvious what is being spoken.
Then the question can come, and you can maybe even question me and say ‘Why do you keep saying this every day? It’s so simple!’ [Laughs] And I would typically say ‘NOW you are saying simple’. [Laughs] Isn’t it?
So in this realization of what is just here, it is seen that ‘It’s always been here! And I’ve always known this! I don’t know why I was pretending’. It will always come like this. ‘I don’t know why I was pretending. Must be some divine maya, some divine hypnosis’. So, the personal pretense then is laughed at.
When we learn to live our lives without dependence on these thoughts, such immeasurable beauty is there, without even the need for sensations. Just in the space of Beingness, in the Now.
So, let’s come back to this simple question: Can we bear our own emptiness?
All the energy, all the grace in satsang is there to support; [about] this irrational fear that we have of our own Self, of our own true magnificence, of our own true enormity.
What is Meant by ‘Your Non-Phenomenal Nature’
Some of you might be new to satsang so I will share a little bit about what I mean by ‘Your true non-phenomenal nature’.
What do I mean? And at any point in this that I am sharing.., don’t let your mind convince you that it’s something difficult or abstract or you don’t see it. Actually if you feel that, then you come up and say ‘I don’t see. Can you walk through with me?’ Like this.
So when I ask you this question: ‘Are you aware now?’…, very naturally for all you it is seen ‘Yes, I am aware’.
Don’t add anything to it. Don’t say ‘I am aware of content, I am aware mentally’ or ‘It’s just an intellectual concept’. No. It’s a simple question: ‘Are you aware now? Are you witnessing now?’
And it is seen that ‘Yes, I am’.
What is this ‘aware’? When did we learn about this awareness?
Hasn’t it been primal to us, primary even before any concept was learned?
Am I aware?
And this I that is aware, is it different from awareness itself?
Therefore the question ‘Am I aware?’ leads us to the Seeing that I am Awareness.
And yet if you give this to your mind, the mind will say ‘Nothing was seen’. And yet you are AWARE that nothing was seen.
Am I aware?
Is this ‘aware’…, is it a phenomenal experience for you?
And if it’s not tasted phenomenally, then how do you know that you are aware?
There must be something here which is prior to phenomena or non-phenomena; completely empty of all concepts, all qualities, all attributes. It just IS.
Then when I ask you: ‘What is the distance between you and this awareness?’ what must you try and do?
Try and separate yourself from this awareness, keep it aside. [Silence]
Who can do it?
Who can keep awareness aside even for an instant? Don’t be aware.
Even if you are aware of nothing, you are still aware that there is no-thing.
You find that ‘I cannot separate because It IS Me, it is another name for Me, for this I.
So, if ‘I’ is a label which is pointing, then the truest place for this ‘I’ to point is Awareness.
And this awareness is not going anywhere.
It is not born, it doesn’t die.
There is nothing God can even do about it.
It is the only constant.
And whether you like it or not, You are That.
As much as you would like to be a person, You are Awareness.
Prior to Awareness
Q: I know I am aware, but something else… There is the just the sense that there is something else. I don’t know.
Yes, so presume that there is something else. Then it would still need this ‘I’ to be aware of it. Okay, so this is not necessarily for you, but, it is very easy to say that something is prior to Awareness. We can say. I can say that ‘There is a special pot of gold, which exists prior to Awareness and only the truest seeker will find it’. Is there any way that that can be disputed? No.
Q: It’s not conceptual…it’s just …
No, I am just saying that to talk about that which is prior to Awareness, I can say anything. I can say like ‘You have heard of a mythical pot at the end of a rainbow, which is full of gold. That is there. It is prior to Awareness. And truest one, find it’.
You can say ‘Yes, I see it’s there’. And once you get to this place then you will also see that ‘Now there is no way anyone can dispute that’. I am not saying this just for you; because it’s popular sometimes to say that prior to Awareness something is, or something like this. But let’s just look and see.
Whatever that something might be, is there any way to know of the existence of this something without the awareness of it? So, there can be the most sublime sense, the most beautiful…, but unless there is awareness of it, it is still nothing.
And there is much beauty that emerges from this simple thread of Being. Much beauty can emerge. And it can seem like it is the most primal thing. In fact, the ‘I Am-ness’ or the ‘Om’ is called the primordial vibration from which everything arises, isn’t it? So there is great beauty, great sanctity, great innocence, great purity in this.
But it has to be said that even for this to exist, there has to be awareness of it. So that something, whatever it might be, for it to exist there must be an awareness of it.
Like we said, we will keep contemplating this. And I’m not ever coming to you with the perspective that ‘I know, and I want you to refer to what I know’. You see? I want you to keep this open contemplation and dive into this together. I am completely open if you say ‘Ananta, this is the way you must look, to find this something which is prior to Awareness’.
Q: I don’t know. That’s why I said the last few times…, at best I can say, it’s a conviction, I don’t know whether it is a …
One thing that can also happen is that when we find the Truth of ourselves, then Awareness doesn’t seem like a good enough way to describe it, you see. Because it’s not ‘just aware’. There is something indescribable about it. That’s why I call it ‘the un-label-able’. Maybe that’s what the