Open and Empty
This is the 16th book of Ananta Satsang excerpts (not including the paperback/kindle on Amazon) taken from online Satsangs from the 5th of November to the 31st of December 2018. These simple yet powerful pointings, contemplations, guided inquiries and interactions between Ananta and sangha are full of Ananta’s direct insights, love and laughter, continuously opening us to direct realization of the ever-present Truth.
“Right Here and Now, the Truth is Apparent to You. Your own Presence is un-deniable, un-miss-able. But this Self has given Itself the power to consider Itself to be limited. In your openness, in your emptiness, all the Truth that needs to be discovered, the Self that you are looking for, is realized. There is no distinction between openness and realization.”
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. He offers Satsang in Bangalore which is also broadcast live online in an interactive format. See website and/or Facebook for the many YouTube videos of online Satsangs, the other Ananta books, Satsang transcripts, audio recordings and general information. The Satsang schedule is usually pinned to the top of the Facebook pages.
Satsang with Ananta YouTube channel is: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmc83jyrwpCNBT2xywXVoLg/feed
Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/satsangwithananta
Sangha Facebook site:https://www.facebook.com/groups/satsangwithananta
Audio recordings: https://soundcloud.com/satsangwithananta
This is the 16th book of Ananta Satsang excerpts (not including the paperback/kindle book on Amazon) taken from online Satsangs 5th November to 31st December 2018. These simple pointings, contemplations, guided inquiries and interactions with sangha are full of Ananta’s direct insights, love and laughter.
In deepest love and gratitude to Anantaji (affectionately called ‘Father’ by some, which seemed to just happen on its own) this book is an offering to all who are called to Truth, Self-Realization and freedom from suffering in the Presence of a True Master.
Much gratitude to those who made this book possible: the video team for the Satsang recordings (Dhristi and Mahesh); the transcripts team for the transcripts (Tejas, Dhruva, Jyotima, Pankaj, Prarthana, Drishti and Amaya). Book edited and compiled by Amaya. Posting onto website by Krishna. This book has been transcribed to keep Ananta’s words as they were delivered (with minimal edits) so that his voice is heard as we read.
Table of Contents
- 2About Ananta
- 3Table of Contents
- 6What Is Here Now Is Always More Than Enough
- 8Who Is Here Now When You Forget Your Labels?
- 10Who Are You When You Have No Labels?
- 12Openness Does Not Need Certainty
- 14 Even This Job of Dropping Is Not Yours
- 15 What Is Independent of Our Objective Experience?
- 17 What If the Term ‘I’ Is Divested of Reference?
- 18 The Term ‘Human’ Can Also Be a Guise for Individuality
- 19 Let All Thoughts Come and Go
- 22 For Just One Moment, Forget About Everything
- 24 I Know Only That I Know Nothing
- 26 Deepening of Trust
- 28Letting Go More and More, This Trust Deepens
- 30 The Notion ‘I Am Something’ Is the Root of All Suffering
- 31 What a Joy to Be Empty, Now God Can Live This Life
- 32Try to Live Empty of Any Labels
- 34 Are You Aware Now?
- 37There Is No Distinction Between Anything in Reality
- 38Don’t Conceptualize, Taste Yourself
- 40Life Is Much Broader Than Our Mind Can Capture
- 42 If You have No Image About Yourself You Can’t Suffer
- 43 Emptiness Can Also Lead to a Position
- 46 Is Duality Originally Inherent in This?
- 47 There Is No Real ‘Why’
- 48 Ideas of Seeking and Not-Seeking Apply to Whom?
- 52 Expansion and Contraction Are Just Terms
- 54 It’s Not About Waiting for an Experience
- 56 There Is No Distinction Between Openness and Realization
- 57 What Does ‘I’ Mean?
- 60 Fear of Forgetting Something Important
- 63 Right Now, There Is Nowhere More to Go
- 64 Discomfort of Exploring the Labels
- 66 The Best News Is That It Is Gone Now
- 68 Nothing in the World Has Inherent Meaning
- 70 I Know Nothing
- 71The Notion of It Is Not It
- 72Thought Is Just a Thought
- 74‘I Am Still Waiting’ Is Just a Thought
- 77You Are Not in Time, Time Is Just an Idea in You
- 79What Is Aware of the ‘I Don’t Know’?
- 80Beyond Clarity and Confusion Is Your Home
- 81What Makes You Exist?
- 83What Is Difference Between Any Opposites?
- 84What Is Everything Pointing To?
- 85Emptiness is Even Empty of Itself
- 86Leave It Unlabeled
- 88If Truth Is Missing Now, It’s a Mirage
- 89What Makes Something You or Not You?
- 90Is There Something Greater Than Being with Divine Presence?
- 92Is ‘Guru Kripa Kevalam’ Just a Thought?
- 93What Really Applies to You?
- 95Do You Have to Rest on a Conclusion?
- 96Even in the Highest Notion Is the ‘I’ Thought
- 98Don’t Rest on What You Already Know
- 99Feeling Lost Is Better Than Believing the Mind’s Version of Reality
- 100Have You Ever Met the Doer or the Doing?
- 101Don’t Be Scared to Not Understand
- 102What Is True Will Not Go Away
- 103What Is That No-thing And Yet Not Nothing?
- 105What Is Aware of Even This ‘I’?
- 106Can You Not Be Aware?
- 110You Are All There Is
- 112Is Thought Needed for Action?
- 115No Thought Comes and Stays
- 120No Mental Construct is a Valid Representative of ‘What Is’
- 123What Seems to Catch Us Is Feeling That We Get Caught
- 125Grace Is Not Confined to Our Ideas of Good and Bad
- 127Even to Know That ‘I Don’t Know’ Is to Know Too Much
- 128Everything That Comes and Goes Is Just a Thought
- 129Greater Than Everything, Yet Smaller Than Nothing
- 133Are You Now Fully Left Empty?
- 134These Labels Don’t Apply to You
- 135Why Can’t I Fully See What I Truly Am?
- 138Who Are You?
- 140Can the Perceiver Be Perceived?
- 142Who Is This ‘I’?
- 143Fear of Dissolution
- 145Who Is the Star of Your Movie?
- 146What Survives Death?
- 148You Can’t Fit Your Self into Your Mind
- 150Integrity Is Your Best Friend
- 151Nothing Here for the Mind
- 152In Reality, What Do You Know?
- 153Will Any of This Survive Death?
- 155What Is This Play of Satsang?
- 156Just Look at Everything as the Grace of the Master
- 157Nothing That Happens Can Touch the Reality of You
- 158Questioning Your Conclusions
- 159This Is the Inquiry
- 163The Words of Satsang Cannot to Define You
- 164Are We So Scared to Meet This Moment Empty?
- 165Your Thoughts Will Never Report Reality
- 166How Will I Run My Life?
- 167How Do You Suffer?
- 168Where Are You Looking From?
- 169Is the Source of Attention Affected by Its Content?
- 171What Is Your Experience of ‘I’ to Claim It Is You?
- 174Antibiotics for the ‘Me-Infection’
- 176Where Do You Go for An Answer?
- 178Does Witnessing Have Any Qualities?
- 179Who Is the Witness of Perception?
- 183Who Is Aware of This Awareness?
- 186There Is No Suffering Inherent in Perception
- 190Belief is the Power to Consider Yourself Something You’re Not
- 193Pain Can Arise but the Self Doesn’t Consider Itself Limited
- 195Is the Consideration That You’re Limited Naturally Present?
- 197Leave All of This and Let It Unfold on Its Own
- 199New Year’s Blessing
- 200Mooji and Ananta photo
What Is Here Now Is Always More Than Enough
What is Here Now is always more than enough. This is surrender. You can’t make a picture about it; you can’t make a concept about it. That which Is, this Is-ness; it’s more than enough … taking care of ‘What Is’. So, the company of the Truth, which is the definition of the Satsang (Sat ka Sang: company of the Truth) is to remain with That which Is: this is the Truth.
That Truth which cannot be visualized, which you cannot experience as a perception and cannot be conceptualized or intellectualized … That already is Here.
It is Here before you even try to experience it. Your trying comes later. [Chuckles] You are not even trying to Be; You are just Being. So, this is prior even to Being and not-Being … and yet not separate from Being. So, whether you are just trying or you are like this [Makes a posture of being tired] just giving up, whether ‘I want to experience it now; the Truth!’ or ‘I can’t do it, I give up’ … before any of these postures, It just Is. And this is very freeing, but to the mind can be very frustrating also.
Actually, this is your ultimate freedom that You just are It.
Suppose you spent your entire life trying to get into heaven or something and then you got to know that This is already It. [Laughs, looks around] That’s exactly the reaction … [Laughter] that ‘This can’t be it’. So, if we have an idea about it, then that is not It. No idea can represent It, no painting, no visual, no picture can represent It, no experience represents It … and yet all of them are also It. So, when we say ‘It does not represent It’ that means it cannot fully represent It or accurately represent It; just like a fingernail cannot represent the entire body or the reflection in the mirror is not the actuality of the object … and yet, it is It (in a way).
What other attempt can you make? You can’t visualize It, you can’t think It up, you can’t solve It, you can’t perceive It and yet, everything that you visualize, imagine, think, perceive is also It. Then what? [Chuckles]
It is You. You can say ‘It’ but even the saying of ‘It’ can seem like there is some separation there
…but It is You. What other type of effort can you make?
A:Seek … but seeking the experience of It or the perception of It; like seeking the what of It? Like It, when It comes, when the seeking is over, will It appear? Will It be solved? Will you have the ultimate concept of It? Like, what are we seeking of It? And besides these means, what are our means of seeking?
Q: I would like to experience peace of mind all the time.
A:Experience the peace of mind all the time. And what is the opposite of the peace of mind?
A:What is the usual route of restlessness?
A:Identity mixed with wanting, desire. [Chuckles] So, ‘I want peace of mind’ is also not peace of mind. I’m saying: peace of mind is naturally Here.
When you say ‘I want peace of mind’ it seems to be gone.
But now? [Laughs]
The idea that ‘It will go away, or it doesn’t stay’. And we were talking about this also: How can we know any of this, that it will go? ‘Because it has happened.’ [Chuckles]
How can we really confirm that any of that is True or valid? We can’t really say.
It is our certainties which really keep us trapped in a way.
The One that is Here, has something ever happened to it before?
A: [Chuckles] Then?
So, you want to solve it for the mythical one?
Who Is Here Now When You Forget Your Labels?
What is Here when you don’t know anything?
(I was going to say ‘What do you see?’ but ‘see’ has some perceptual meaning.)
What is Here when you don’t know anything?
What is apparent to us Now without any support of any concept?
Q:The feeling of ‘I’, ‘I-ness’, ‘Oneness’ … it’s not a feeling but what else to say?
A:Yes, feeling-less feeling.
Q: The awareness of ‘I’
A: What makes it ‘I’?
Q: There is nothing else to make it ‘I’.
A:There is nothing else, really. So, it is not the ‘I’ which is ‘I and you’ … it’s not this ‘I’. Then what about this One? Whatever you said is a very good answer; we are just pushing even more. At least you ventured to share an answer; everyone else has gone into turiya, meditation.
Q: I feel it’s just a perception.
A:What is perception? (Just be ready; whatever you’re going to say I am going to say ‘What is…?’ [Laugher] It is not a judgment of a right or wrong answer, I am just going to push the boundaries of that; that’s it.) So, what is perception? We said: What is apparent when you know nothing? Now, when we say it is perception, what do we know about perception?
Q:It is difficult to define perception. It feels like things are moving and there is something seeing them somehow. If I don’t of conceive myself as I know myself (who I am from the past) then there is no need to even name the perception as well. Then even perception is without naming and it’s almost like it has happened actually, but then it’s almost like meeting yourself.
A: So, ‘nothing’ and ‘perception’ is the same?
Q:Perception is happening but without specific judgment about whether perception is this or that; then it’s like nothing.
A:So, if we didn’t know what perception was (because we actually don’t) what I am saying is that if you drop the pretense of knowing what perception is, then what can we say?
I was saying: What is apparent or what is Here without knowing anything?
Okay, let’s look at it a different way:
What goes away if you knew nothing, Right Now, in this moment?
Q: This first thing to go is the idea of yourself, myself
A:The idea of yourself. So, this is just an idea, that it went away. What of value did you lose?
Q:The question is whether it is of value or not; the life story …
A:Yes. So, whether it is of value or not is determined by what it brings to us, in a way, isn’t it? What something is worth is usually defined in the world as what it brings to us. So, what is of value that it brings to us?
Q: Feels like a silly concept. [Laughter]
A:Don’t worry about that. We realize this over and over, that once something comes out of our mouth then we have to stand up for it and take a stand about it. And many times, we look back later and say ‘I don’t really believe that so much’. So, we’re just playing around but we are seeing that. Because all the Sages say ‘Be empty’ … ‘Empty yourself of all this pointless noise, leave aside this fruitless thinking’ (conceptualization, knowing; whatever you want to call it). They keep saying this. But somewhere, we end up picking and choosing. We still grasp onto some things and we want to let go of some other things.
Now, obviously we feel that that which we are grasping onto will bring something to us. ‘If I hold on to this then it will bring this to me.’ So, what is it that this can bring to us; the story of our life, our judgments, our interpretations, our idea of what is good, what is bad, even what is true, what is false? As we start exploring this, we will see that this is how all this conditioning was picked up. We felt that ‘If I knew this then I can do this, if I got this then I can be like this.’ To be a certain way, we felt like we had to know something. But just to be, what is needed?
Now, the thing is that if to be a certain way was the greater position (we feel like ‘me plus my knowledge would make me-plus, which is this Great One’) if just being without this constraint of what we present ourself to be or what we consider ourself to be, is that broader or more open? This is the thing. Your Being, empty of these concepts (empty of the concepts that you consider to be your story, of the concepts that you consider to be of value to you) is that greater with these concepts or without? Now, if you’re smart, you’ll say ‘It is the unchanging Being’. But I’m saying: How does it seem? How does it feel? How does it present itself?
You with a concept is never greater than You without [concepts] even if the concept is very scriptural. Because the You that is Here Now, what does it need actually? What is missing in it? Which brings us back to our original question, (let’s put it in another way):
Who is Here Now when you forget your labels?
Who Are You When You Have No Labels?
Let’s put it another way. Who is Here Now, when you forget your labels?
Q:It’s funny. Whenever there is this let go of all the constructs, there is immediately then a grabbing hold of something, but it’s not a grabbing hold of concepts, it’s grabbing hold onto body sensations; it’s like it’s to anchor…
A: Yes. If attention goes to this sort of anchor, then what happens? Who are you then?
Q: It’s like I’m anchored, but I am not there. It is like I am Space, but they are just parts of …
A:Yes, so now we don’t know whether it’s a concept of space or anchor actually, so we’re not trying to keep our attention this way or any way. We have no expectation about what should happen. Now, an inquiry is coming, saying ‘Who are you when you have no labels?’ (Suppose.) ‘Who are you when you have no labels?’ Then it seems like this attention (which you don’t have a label for anymore but I’m just defining) it is now getting through anything. It could be a sensation, it could be an object, it could be anything. So, what is the answer? Who are you then?
Q: Gratitude. [Laughs] What can you say? That is what is happening.
A:That’s nice. So, now if you didn’t have labels or any concepts of what should happen (like I should be spacious, more spacious or less spacious) if we didn’t have any spiritual baggage whatsoever, not even satsang terms, Now who are you? Or what is Here? (Same thing.)
A: Can it be this simple? [Chuckles]
Q:Exactly. That’s where the mind comes and says ‘Really? Is it?’
A:Can it be this simple? [Asking Sangha]: What’s your answer? Can it be this simple? Me, you’ve heard for a long time. [Chuckles] Okay, pros and cons? Why can it be and why can’t it be? How many are just lost, like you have no idea of what we are talking about? [Chuckles]
Q: You have to work hard for it.
Q2: I think when a difficult situation comes, then there is a test of whether I have been in that space and I know that space well enough, if I stay in that space (with respect of how much I have been there before) there’s enough trust in that; then in these weaknesses suddenly there is this belief that I must go back to whatever I know and try to deal with it from that space.
A:So, suppose everything that you just said was not true. [Chuckles] I know it’s a bit radical. Suppose it is just not true; worth throwing away. Would you?
A; So, anything that is future…, there is no future, so forget about this thing. Then?
Q2: Then I don’t know what’s going to happen.
A:This idea is very oppressive actually. And I might not say it tomorrow but it can be very oppressive actually, which is that ‘If I have been in this long enough, then my tomorrow should be like that or I should never be stuck or my life should change in this way’. It’s just like you found the magic apple but you are saying ‘But tomorrow this magic apple won’t be there, so what is point of eating it now?’ And many of us get stuck in that. How many times have you heard this in Satsang that ‘Right now it is fine, with you it is fine, but when I leave then what will happen? That will be my true test.’ This is the problem. This is the thing. ‘That will be my true test.’ This is what I was saying. ‘But when it comes to the ‘real’ stuff then what is going to happen?’ So, if you forget about ‘test’, if you forget about having to stay a certain way, if you forgot about all the benefits of enlightenment, if truth had no benefits (Truth for truth sake) if it will not keep you at peace, will not give you love, will not make others around you happy, you will not also necessarily want to help anyone … suppose nothing. Then?
Q2: Then also it is fine.
A:Good. Good. Because if it is Truth without conditions, then it can breathe as Truth. When we anchor Truth with so many conditions (it should be like this, it should lead to this, it should become like that, my life should then become this way or that way) it’s already too much burden. It’s like trying to see your original face but putting on masks: of future, of ‘should be’ or ‘should not be’ …suppose none of this true. Now, empty of everything that you think you are right about, that you think you know, who are you Now?
Q2: Nothing. Just space… or…
A:Nothing. Space. These are nice pointers but if you go beyond even this nothing? Because this nothing also has an opposite like ‘something’. I know, in this play, some words have to come out so you are using them in that way but many times you also get stuck in ideas of nothing or even the idea of space you can be stuck in. That which You Are is not even space; it is not nothing also. Nothing and space are also both notions. So Now, who are you?
Q2: Just like existence…
A:You have a sense of what is coming next? [Chuckles] Like ‘He is not going to say that existence is a notion.’ But I am. [Chuckles] Even existence and non-existence, being and not- being, these are notions (which I have used for many years as well). They also are just notions. There is no such thing as existence or not-existence.
Openness Does Not Need Certainty
Now my proposal to all of you is that nothing of value has been lost. In fact, value is just a made- up thing anyway. [Questioner laughs] (We’ll talk about value investing later.) [Chuckles] Now, time, space, value, significance … all of these are being divested of their strength. It is this which you call ‘totally lost’ that I call the innocence of a child. You can say child-like innocence, you can say loss of pride, you can say end of arrogance; whatever you want to say. Pride needs certainty. Openness doesn’t need certainty. Pride needs certainty, guilt needs certainty; they are both the same actually. So, to play in a limited way you have to be certain about something; at least one thing you need to be certain about. But to be fully open, to be innocent, needs no righteousness.
This is a strange sort of class were you completely pass when you completely fail; when you’re completely uncertain about everything you think you know. Your mind will protest once in a while (maybe a lot). ‘But then…, this…, that…’ And it will also have this kind of protest like ‘Now, how am I supposed to live?’ Like this one was saying earlier ‘I have this situation now and I can’t deal with this situation by saying that I’m not the doer.’ [Chuckles] It’s still that ‘ocean [contained in a] coconut’ thing that the mind will try and offer you.
Right Now, you cannot place yourself. You’re cannot say ‘I’m inside the body; I’m outside the body.’ You’re finding no time and space for yourself. But the mind will quickly try and give you an offer which will then form a boundary about you or attempt to form the boundary about you. That is all that is playing out, in a way.
Q:Well, I was seeing that when the mind suggests something, it’s always suggesting about the self-image I have or had. Without that stuff, it’s not possible to pick up anything actually.
A:Now, forget this also. Any conclusion that you make is not more worthy than when you were totally lost. I know it can feel a bit strange because we want to come to that. It’s like a conclusion machine is sitting there. It can also say ‘This is very good. To be empty of conclusions is the best. I’m not going to make any conclusions from now on.’ This kind of thing is also very conclusive. And then it will protest ‘But then what? as if without having a position, something valuable will stop. That’s why I was asking this question. If you didn’t have a position, if you didn’t say this or that, if you couldn’t say anything (this, that, other, inside, outside, up, down, yesterday, tomorrow; nothing) my proposal to you is nothing of value will be lost.
The mind’s offers are completely the opposite. ‘At least this, you need.’ Most of it will come down to this ‘How am I supposed to live my life?’ And this is because we were taught this in this way. I was saying (it doesn’t have to play out in these terms exactly but) this is what happens. I was speaking of child-like innocence. Now, as children all of us have protested having to learn stuff, like ‘Why do I have to learn this? Why do I have to learn that? Why do I have to learn that this is my head, this is my nose?’ I remember doing that with our kids and it feels so silly now, but it’s okay. We were saying ‘Where’s your nose, where’s your nose?’ and the child feels like ‘I just want to play with my toys, I don’t want to know where my nose is!’ It’s not necessarily fun for them. So later, when they were able to express their protests, they were able to say ‘What’s the point of all this?’ My son to this day protests when he’s learning something. ‘What’s the point
of learning all this?’ [Chuckles] And we say ‘You need this to run your life. You need this otherwise how will you live your life? You need this so that you will have a good life.’
So, now as our reliance on these concepts is being taken away (in fact, the substratum concepts like time and space itself are being taken away) then because this conditioning is so deep that ‘I needed this so I could run my life’ that is the same protest which is being used now but it’s the opposite now because we bought into the idea that ‘This is how I run my life’ but now were saying ‘If this goes away, how will I run my life?’ We were taught all this because we thought we’ll run our lives because of this. And now as these are being seen through …
I’m not forcing anything; just hoping that we can look together at some of these things and really check whether we know: What is past? What is future? Can we really say there is something like memory? Can really say there is an up, there is a down? I’m just exploring along with all of you. And I’m used to the fact that your mind will come and protest and say ‘But, but, but … this is too far, this is too much!’ This kind of thing. Or ‘How will I run my life?’ which is basically also somewhere built in, that ‘Did I really come to Satsang for this? I just came because I wanted a happy life, how to be at peace, how to be effective, to have a nice balance’ and these kinds of things. All of us came to Satsang because we wanted some benefit and here’s this guy sitting here and he’s not promising any balance, any peace, any joy any; not even Self [-realization] is being promised. He’s taking away time as if it’s candy. He’s saying to forget time, forget space. ‘Is this what I really came for!?’ This can be behind our protestations also.
That is why I keep saying: if it had no benefit except that it was true, it had no benefit except that just it’s true, then would it still be worthwhile? And it seems like, at this point, to most of humanity it may not be that appealing. If a sort of Satsang was being offered where there’s no offer of peace, no offer of better relationships, no offer of anything at all, not even enlightenment, then everyone would wonder ‘Then what is the point?’
Q: The point is, you can relax. [Laughter in the room]
A:In a way, that is peace. Okay, suppose you knew the Truth (you came to the Truth, you didn’t ‘know’ it) you came to the Truth and you just couldn’t relax after that. [Laughter in the room]
Q:Even that’s fine because then you don’t have to do anything to relax again. You’re relaxed in your not relaxing.
A:This is very deep actually. It’s only when you have the contrast that it feels like something is painful. You see? So, even that is gone.
Q:For me, I feel if I can just relax then it’s worthwhile because then there’s no need to make effort and get somewhere.
A: So, just relax.
Even This Job of Dropping Is Not Yours
[Reading from the chat]: “Father, not knowing anything seems like effort. To drop concepts, which seem so familiar, dropping of the learned meaning is required, which also requires vigilance and effort as it’s difficult to keep up, and labeling and interpretations seems more natural than the not-knowing.”
If this were true actually then every moment would be full-on with this conditioning. But it is not natural because in this moment, you don’t even know your name. You need a moment even for that concept to come. What is natural before that concept comes?
I know, in a sense, what you mean, which is that our habit has become so that this seems more natural now. But in spite of the strength of habit, it has not truly replaced our naturalness which is just Here every moment. So, while initially it might feel a bit strange not to go to these projections of the mind, you will find that it’s not as difficult a problem as the mind makes it out to be. Even this report that you made, for example, is no longer there now. Who does it belong to? You cannot find that one. And also, you don’t have to really come to this sort of physical dropping, like ‘I am just dropping all my concepts.’ You don’t have to do any of that. I see you in Satsang often enough that all you have to do, in a way, is to come with some openness (which you have been) and all these concepts will start to lose their strength on their own.
Even this job of dropping is not yours. Just follow along with as much openness as possible. The rest is all fine.
Have I ever gone to any of you and said ‘You are doing a terrible job of this; why haven’t you dropped it yet?’ [Chuckles] I never said that because that’s fine, I’m here for this. You don’t have to worry about any of these things. You don’t have to go from this position of ‘picking up, picking up’ to now new position of ‘dropping, dropping.’ [Smiles] That is also not your job.
Just don’t take any position as much as possible. Which means, in a simpler way, just remain as open as possible.
You say “Dropping of the learned meaning is required.” See, this is also learned meaning. You might have learned it from me. [Smiles] But the point is you can leave it to me to take care of that. Don’t give ‘dropping of learned meaning is required’ also too much meaning; because then what follows is what’s coming up after this [where you say]: “…which also requires vigilance and effort; is difficult to keep up. The labeling and interpretation seems more natural than the not-knowing.”
As you come to Satsang, you will feel naturally that these are not so original to you as you believe they were … (unless you make a new project out of learning or knowing what you hear in Satsang).
What Is Independent of Our Objective Experience?
A: No conclusion actually lives up to the Seeing itself …
Q:It’s not a substitute for the Seeing.
A:Exactly. … nor does it describe it in any true way.
Q:Not in any true way.
A:Yes, only in a …
Q: Provisional way.
A:Provisional way and also in a negation. Like a conclusion can be ‘I see that there can be no inside or outside’ but it doesn’t say anything about ‘What Is’ it only describes what it is not, like
‘there is no inside or outside’. But if you try to describe ‘What Is’ we see that words are not so eloquent.
Even when we say ‘Unchanging’ (for example) ‘it is not changing’ … but what is it doing? [Chuckles] ‘It’s not changing’ we can say. So, we can put a lot of un’s or non’s to describe what is not, but if you were to try to positively describe it, it is not that straight-forward because no description comes close to this what truly it is. But the thing is that now if we see this and we say ‘Okay’ then you would feel … if you felt that the mind is all that we have, if the mind is all that we have then it would feel like ‘Just give up; there is no chance’ because the mind cannot capture this in any true way.
But is the mind all that we have?
Q:At the moment all I can see is conclusions being made.
A:Yes, that which sees, that itself is that mind?
Q:No. But because I cannot see that in an objective way …
A:This is a very good point; let’s pause here for a moment. So, ‘I see the mind but the ‘I’ that sees the mind I cannot see that in an objective way.’ Then how do we claim that ‘I see the mind’? Is there a knowledge which is deeper than (or independent of) just our objective experience?
Q: I feel more comfortable in saying just that ‘the mind is seen’ but don’t feel like ‘I see’.
A:Yeah, so we can look at that. If you say ‘I see the mind’ are you making the report on Govind’s behalf? [the one sitting adjacent to him]
A:Then whose? [Chuckles] I know this sort of dilemma because you can’t really say ‘I’ because you have no perception of that. You can’t say ‘it’s a third party’ also.
So, this is a beautiful explorative territory. Like when we say (in Advaita it is very popular to say) ‘It is seen’ or ‘It is just perceived’ and the intent there is to try and remove any sort of personal sense of either doer-ship or personal perception from the picture, but it’s not in that sense that ‘Oh, it is seen but I am not seeing it’. That’s not what you are saying. Isn’t it? [Smiles] Because at this point, we can neither claim nor deny that ‘I Am’.
Q: We can neither claim nor deny that ‘I am seeing it’.
A:‘I am seeing it.’ So, this is already very good because when we go beyond claim and denial then we see that it’s not possible in that way; then we have left this dualistic thought (or at least this aspect behind). So, as we look at all aspects of time and space, of this appearance (as we call it) we see that you can’t actually claim or deny any of it. [Chuckles] Then dualistic thought doesn’t really have a way to grab a hold.
Q: I mean we cannot make conclusions about …
A:…anything. Anything in the appearance we can’t make a conclusion about and that which is not an appearance, which is neither (not coming and going, not perceived) that we can’t make a conclusion about anyway.
What If the Term ‘I’ Is Divested of Reference?
Q:It’s like I’m so used to making objective reference.
Q:So, making the reference of myself as something which is not seen is bit unusual.
A:Even that you do not have to do.
Q:Reference itself means limitations.
In a way, it is like habit-breaking when the Masters say ‘Look at that which is unchanging. You are That.’ It’s really to break this habit of making a reference to ourselves as limited, or just objective. But really, it’s not so that you can continue to make even this distinction; it is that once you break the habit of making the reference which is objective about yourself, you do not have to make any reference. And this is true openness. The openness that is spoken of in Satsang is this.
That ‘I’ (which it seems can point anywhere in entire spectrum of phenomenal to non- phenomenal, in a way; it can seem to point in this entire spectrum) this comedian ‘I’ can point. But what if it no longer pointed to anything?
The term ‘I’ …, if it was divested of its reference making, what would change?
Because when you are struck in notions, whether they are worldly or spiritual, then there is just this sense of a worldly individual or a worldly limitation or a spiritual limitation.
The spiritual ego is what? Just that which is fed with all of these spiritual concepts and then we make a boundary about the ‘I’ saying that only that which is spiritual applies to it. [Smiles]
Q: Spiritual conclusions.
A:Spiritual conclusions are what it is made up of; this spiritual belief system. So, any of this boundary-making is not real actually.
The Term ‘Human’ Can Also Be a Guise for Individuality
I have been making this point, but I feel like very few are actually assimilating what I’m saying
…where I’m saying that to face things openly, to look at everything in this empty way completely, is the best, most open way to meet it.
To label it is an avoidance.
And yet, day after day, almost every day, I get a complaint that we’re sort of in avoidance of some experience by meeting it in this way. Now, I wonder if the message will get through this time. What I was saying is that if you run away from what is being experienced (something is arising and I’m saying you run away from that experience) and you use some spiritual concept like ‘Nothing has ever happened’ then that would be like an avoidance. It’s like trying to force the attention away from it and not look at it.
But what I am saying is: Be with it completely, head on! It itself inherently does not have the label with it. You see? But when you define it, then you are not with it completely (when you are with all your ideas about it and all your past experiences). And I started using this term a long time ago: ‘Don’t Advaita it away’. It’s very strange that I’m hearing it now, that we just ‘Advaita it away’. But it is not like that. ‘Advaita it away’ means to use a concept like ‘Nothing has ever happened’ to come into a conceptual denial of what is being experienced.
Stay with this experience fully. Don’t run away from anything.
But that presumption that ‘I know what this is’ is only bringing past baggage into it, which is a way in which you avoid the experience by defining what you think it is.
And the idea that meeting life this way, completely open and naked, is somewhere contrary to our humanity or our humanness is just strange because the most human of expressions is to meet life in this way.
But if ‘human’ is another term for egoic or personal, and we are just trying to change terms and make excuses for egotism, then I cannot bless that, in a way … if it is a term that is used as a guise for specialness, for arrogance, for individuality.
True humanity must be to meet everything appearing in this manifest experience with openness, non-judgmental-ness.
But if the term ‘I’m only human after all’ actually is translating into ‘I’m an ego after all’ then I can’t let you rest there. (Or ‘I am a person after all’.)
So, as with every other term, it is this term which has to be clarified.
Let All Thoughts Come and Go
[Reading from chat]: “Father, you say be open to everything; thoughts, feeling, etc. But sometimes openness to thoughts allows them to drag me along with the stories. It seems like a lot of holding back is required. Am I misunderstanding something here?”
What is ‘Drag me along?’ So, when I’m saying ‘Remain open, let everything come and go naturally’ he says that thoughts come and then ‘If I am open to thought, it just takes me along with it’. But what is actually happening? What is the mechanics of this? A thought can come. What is the maximum a thought can stay? Count the seconds; the longest the thought can stay. I am not saying when it repeats. It is one thought. Somebody says, 2 seconds; maybe like that. So, that which is going to go (let’s presume this answer is right) in the maximum of 2 seconds, it really can’t drag you along. So, then ‘Drag me along’ can only mean that it can attract my belief, it can attract my assent or something like that. If I’m open to it, it can drag me along. If I’m closed to it, then it doesn’t have a chance to pull me in.
This is a very interesting discussion because if you look at most spiritual practices ever in this world, most of them have been so that your attention is not so attached to these thoughts when they come and go; whether it is chanting, whether it is be with your breath, whether it is yoga, whatever the method you might use. It is more to do with trying to control your attention so that your attention does not go to these thoughts and therefore, then the question of belief does not arise at all. The practice of staying with your sense of Being (staying with the sense ‘I Am’) then brings an anchor to your attention and then if your attention is anchored on something, then it doesn’t feel like these thoughts-systems arise (and even if they do arise, they don’t seem so strong).
Now the thing with this method is that, here, I’ve hardly seen anyone gain mastery over their attention. Many have tried. Many have tried for 50 years, tried to control their attention (I mean control and hold it so that it doesn’t go to the thoughts) but it hardly ever works and it seems like a lot of sadhana is needed to gain this kind of mastery.
So, besides this type of effort there is also a more natural, simpler way. You can call it, in a way, the path of surrender, which means that actually these thoughts don’t mean anything till belief goes to them.
So, this is a classic example of when I say ‘Try not to think of an orange’ or ‘Don’t bring your attention to an orange’. Very quickly the orange wants to come into attention. Then you say ‘No, no, chant Ram’. Then, with some practice, you can say ‘Okay, stay away from the orange, stay with Ram’. Beautiful; but mastery of that seems like it takes a lot of effort and time and the orange seems to sneak itself in the middle of Ram. Like ‘Ram, orange, Ram, orange, Ram…’ [Chuckles] So, it can feel like a bit of struggle is there. Don’t worry about whatever appears, whether it is an orange, an apple, whatever it is, don’t consider yourself to be an orange or an apple, don’t consider yourself to be that which the thought is saying that you are … because that is all that is happening. The thought is conveying an idea about you and you buy into that idea of what you are.
So, why do I call this the path of surrender? Because all these thought-forms are then just surrendered. They are let go of. So, in a way, to me, it seems like a more natural way; a sahaja way. In a way, all I’m saying is what the Zen Master said ‘Let all thoughts, as visitors, come and go. You just don’t serve them tea’ … including the thought that you could be dragged along by, or you could be taken away from your center by or something like that. Because when you check, you will see that this has no basis. The thought does not last long enough for you to be dragged anywhere. And what You really Are, That which perceives thought, has no change; there is no movement, there is no real dragging.
For some of you, if you find these attention-oriented techniques natural and helpful, then to stay with the sense ‘I Am’ is a very beautiful method. Or to chant the holy name of the god like Ram is a very beautiful method. If you find any of these more natural, this is very good as well. Here, in those times when I was looking for the Truth, it didn’t seem that natural. I experimented, I tried various things, various sadhanas for even long periods of time but something led me to this effortlessness, this simple openness, this simple allowing, which seemed be without self- judgment, without too much time to hold onto something.
Like I say sometimes, it is a key to get to identity. Your identity is stored in a bank locker. Have you heard this example from me? Your identity is stored in a bank locker. Now, at least in India, how does the bank locker work? You have one key, and the banker has another. And when you go to the bank, what you have to do is you have to put in both of the keys and only then the locker works. One key is not enough. So, to get to your identity, you need both the keys of attention as well as belief. You need the key: which is you perceive this thought construct, which is attention (perception is just attention) but also, you need to give your assent to this thought- construct, that ‘Yes, this is true or it has meaning’. When both are there, then the identity or separation seems real.
If, for some of you, it feels natural, that ‘I don’t have to put the first key at all. No attention’. Then, finished. It can be anything. There is every single technique. Some have a sense of imagining the face of your master; or anything. Whatever keeps your attention naturally present, it is good enough. But identity is formed when attention and belief function. And I find that to let go of even attention, for me, seems like a very natural way (if you can call it a way).
The good thing is that we have everything in our tool-kits. Some of you will say ‘But belief just goes automatically. When thoughts come, I just end up believing them’. But you don’t believe many of your thoughts. So many of them just come and go and you don’t end up giving them belief. So, it is not inherent; belief is not inherent in the thought itself otherwise we will not need the term ‘belief’ at all. We will not talk about belief if the arising of thought itself inherently means that it is believed, then what is the point of belief? There is no term like ‘belief’ then. Then thought will encapsulate it.
So, if a thought came that ‘I am a green mosquito’…? [Chuckles) All nonsense thoughts come; then it is not so easily believed. But it’s only that which we have identified with. We can use the term ‘interest’ there, in a way. The thoughts that we are identified with or which seem to hold some meaning for us, like ‘If I do this, then I will get freedom’ for example. Because speaking to an audience of spiritual seekers, in a way, then thoughts about freedom can get more belief.
Somebody who is interested in ice-skating only in their life, or wrestling, will not be interested in the Freedom. [They will say]: ‘What are you talking about?’ They will not get easily identified with those. So, the belief is not inherent in the thought itself.
Imagine how that would be; the thought would come ‘I am a green mosquito, flapping’. It could be anything. Who can say what the next thought is going to be? Nobody can guarantee to me that they know for certain that their next thought is not going to be that ‘I am a green mosquito’. [Chuckles] Nobody can guarantee. So, if it was just so inherent in the arising of the thought then really, it is like just the thought comes and you are caught. It doesn’t work like that. These thoughts come and there is a subtle power of giving them a truth value. ‘Yes, truth value.’ But to determine the truthfulness of it, the meaning in it, is a primal functioning of Consciousness; as primal as attention is. And this is called ‘belief’.
So then ‘Why does it seem like that some of them just get me? Why does it come like that?’ Because we have identified or nurtured those with our belief in the past. So, what to do about those? That depends upon your temperament. ‘Those which just seem to get me, what to do about those?’ depends upon your temperament.
If your temperament is more the inquiry type, like ‘What is going on?’ … if you are attracted to ‘Why is life like this?’ and ‘What is going on?’ (these kinds of questions) then you are very well suited to inquiry. Then you can take on this thought and say ‘Who does it belong to?’ If the oppressive thought is saying, for example, ‘Oh, you will never come to freedom’ or ‘You are so far from it’ then you pull it in and say ‘Who is it about? Who is this really about? Who will not come to their freedom?’ And you don’t leave this. Whenever life gives some space for it, you pull this into an inquiry and don’t leave till the venom is pulled out, till it becomes de-fanged. As long as its ability to cause you this sense of suffering has not been extracted out of it, then you keep asking and say ‘Who? Who is it about?’
For some of you, this seem like too much work. ‘Who wants to do this stuff?’ This kind of thing doesn’t appeal to you and you are more in your heart, in this way, just, devotional. Then you will say ‘Whatever this problem is, it is not mine, it is my Master’s or it is the Lord’s – Guru Kripa Kevalam’. And the beauty of this is that more you truly surrender in your heart, the more you see that it is just so apparent that everything is being taken care by the supreme intelligence (whether you call it the Satguru or whether you call it Consciousness, that doesn’t matter). The more you see it, the easier it becomes to surrender. It’s very virtuous way; a virtuous circle, in a way.
You come to this point where most of these thoughts then will just come and go and they will not seem so big, so strong, so powerful; their gravity, their magnetism, will not seem so strong.
For Just One Moment, Forget About Everything
To experience Your freedom, to experience Your Reality, to experience the Self, to experience Your Sage-like nature, all you have to do is: Experience one moment of notion-less-ness; one moment where you just forget about it … whatever it might be. That’s all that any Master is actually asking.
Now, if you refer to your memory then you say ‘But he is constantly asking for that one moment.’ [Chuckles] But the Truth is deeper than that, which your mind cannot fathom. It’s actually just about this one moment: This one moment. That’s all. Just this one moment.
You don’t even have to worry about even the concept of one moment. Just fully open, everything can flow as it likes; attention, perception. Nothing matters. Everything is just fine. No past, no future; just Now.
This is the simplest, for You. ‘The simplest for You’ means that it’s impossible for the mind but the simplest for You. If you try to put it in your conceptual box then it will become complex again. All I am saying is:
Give me one moment.
Forget about everything.
Don’t judge yourself.
Don’t rush to meaning.
[Reading from Chat]: “It appears that it requires some practice with holding belief. It works very well sometimes.”
A: Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] said two sets of things. He said:
Don’t believe your thoughts. ‘I am the body’ is a thought, ‘I am the mind’ is a thought, ‘I am in the world’ is a thought; all these are just thoughts.
But he also said that if it feels like it takes some effort to withdraw belief, then make that seeming-effort … till you see that even that is Grace.
If you feel that to give yourself one moment when you are free from interpretations, judgments, seems like it takes some effort, then make it.
Also, Bhagavan had said something very beautiful (along with this) he said ‘Even ‘I am God’ is also a thought’. That means don’t try to replace this ‘I am the person’ idea with another better idea. [Smiles]
And definitely don’t be concerned about your progress; in the sense of many times we are trying to let go but we are trying to let go with one eye open, like a surrender with one eye open.
[Chuckles] It’s like ‘I am going to be notion-less but what’s happening to me then? Am I making progress? Am I becoming more free?’ [Chuckles] This kind of thing.
Why do I say it like that; surrender with one eye open? It’s like ‘I am surrendering everything to you, Father, just please make sure that it goes fine.’ You see? [Chuckles] If we still have an eye on whether it is fine or not, or what ‘fine’ actually means, then it’s not surrender actually, it’s just deal-making.
So, when we let go of our notions, when you don’t keep yourself anchored to the notions of freedom or progress or getting it or not getting it, then we really see (what Bhagavan said) that ‘I am the body’ is a thought, ‘I am the mind’ is a thought, ‘I am God’ is a thought, ‘I am the world’ is a thought, ‘I am in time’ is a thought, ‘I am in space’ is a thought. All of these are just thoughts.
I Know Only That I Know Nothing
[Reading from chat]: “I think Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] said ‘Physical reality is an illusion. Although this could be seen as another idea, it helps in eliminate a lot of fears.”
‘Maya’ is everything that can be measured. Everything that can be measured means everything that can be fathomed, everything that has duration, everything that changes, that comes and goes. In India, we call it ‘Maya’ and this Maya is roughly translated into ‘illusion’. But actually, if you look at what Shankara said about Maya, he said that ‘It is indeterminable; neither can we say that it exists nor can we say that it doesn’t exist.’
[Someone says]: Unfathomable.
A:Yeah, unfathomable. As opposed to putting it in a straight box, which is ‘illusion, therefore, not real’ or something. It apparently exists as long as it is seen though … is what could be a tame definition of what was trying to be conveyed.
As you look at these ideas some more, you’ll see that. You said that ‘To say that the physical appearance is an illusion is very helpful to eliminate fears’ but what is the layer in which this elimination of fear is happening? Also, in physical appearance, which is still phenomenal. If it is an illusion, then how does it matter whether the fears are been eliminated or not? [Chuckles] It’s like saying ‘Once I believe that the world is an illusion, my life in the world becomes better.’ So, therefore, our allegiance is still towards how to make life better in the world.
This dichotomy will also lead to suffering, as all dichotomies do. Although they might seem to provide some initial relief, if our heart is still on ‘How to make my physical existence better’ then although to repeat to ourselves ‘This physical existence is just illusory’ might seem to provide some relief … the point is that our attachment is still to how we are doing in this physical existence. And this duality, any duality in the mind, leads to suffering. That’s why I say: Truth must be for Truth’s sake; not for any benefit of the Truth.
I feel like all of you are very tough on yourselves because, for me, it just feels like you ARE in this for truth’s sake, because why would you be here otherwise? At least in a Satsang like this, there is nothing else on offer actually. So, Truth for Truth’ sake, independent of what then happens in your phenomenal existence, is a very, very potent statement because it includes surrender, it includes true Knowingness; that which we’re calling Truth.
Therefore, it’s good to see: ‘What is that I really want? What do I really want?’
And not with the perspective of beating yourself up, not getting attached to these answers, but just to see that it is not true; it’s just some by-products that we heard about in some books. But I feel that all of you are really into this because you do not want to give assent to lies anymore. You’re tired of lying to yourself, you’re tired of all of this fake stuff. That’s why you allow
yourself to let go of these deeply-held belief systems … even though the letting go of them may involve, many times, some painful seeming-releasing happening.
Okay, let me say it simply: Our beliefs are what we hold onto as if they are true.
Isn’t it? That is what a belief is; concepts we hold onto as if they are true. Now, we hold onto them because we feel like they are of some value. Like holding on to this hand; it feels like it is of some value. [Someone is holding his hand while sitting there] But if it was to be snatched away, then you feel like ‘No, I don’t want to give that up.’
So, when you come to Satsang and your beliefs are questioned, it’s not always going to be a fun process because you’re holding onto them because you feel like they are of some value. So, when it is said ‘To know even one thing is to know even too much’ or some statement like that, you feel like ‘No. I feel like I need to know this stuff. I have given up all nonsense and now what is left is pristine.’ And then, it is looked into together, and you’re like ‘No, it’s not.’ [Chuckles] And you don’t necessarily like that. Because in the world you have been told that ‘If you know nothing, you are dumb.’ You don’t want that; nobody wants to be dumb. And what did they say? Who was the wisest man? They say (at least in the western philosophy) that the wisest man who ever lived was Socrates. Why was he the wisest man who ever lived or the wisest human ever lived? Because he said:
‘I know only one thing, which is that I know nothing.’
So, all these things that we think are so meaningful, so relevant, so important to our life, all the concepts that we have of reality don’t come close to Reality.
Deepening of Trust
Q:Father, there is no end to deepening of trust in life. With Guruji’s [Sri Mooji’s] Grace, there was an insight that everything is ‘Guru Kripa Kevalam’ here. Everything is so beautiful, everything is only a blessing, whether we realize it or not. Then slowly the head gets pushed into the play. To see that, in every situation, is this really the response or is this really that outcome. And this back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, again coming back to ‘Everything is Master’s Grace’ … then again ‘Why this?’ This never really stops.
A:Yes. Actually, ‘Guru Kripa Kevalam’ or ‘Everything is the will of Consciousness’ or ‘God’s will is All There Is’ is the best answer to every ‘Why?’ [Chuckles] Because mentally this might seem to you that this is like an escapism or something like that, but actually: Can you tell of one thing that you really know the reason why to? [Laughs] You can’t even confirm cause and effect. ‘Why?’ implies ‘What is the cause of this? Why does this happen?’ but we can’t even confirm that there is cause and effect. As it is said in the Yoga Vashishta: The bird flew and landed on the branch of the coconut tree and the coconut fell. The mind will say the coconut fell because the bird landed … but can you really say that? We don’t know for certain. So, ‘Why?’ is like this.
We don’t even know:
Why do you wake up in the morning?
And when you wake up, why does this world appear?
Why do you exist?
People have been trying to solve these questions for thousands of years.
What is the point of existence?
What is the meaning of life?
Isn’t it? But we are quick to determine reasoning for everything else that happens after you exist. The substratum we don’t know why, but the appearance on top of this substratum we are quick to presume and say ‘Oh, this is because of this, this one is like this because of that’ and ‘I am feeling like this because he did that or she did that.’ These kinds of things we are quick to conclude on but we don’t actually know. We don’t know why your next thought will appear as it appears. So, we don’t know any of these why’s. And without this ‘Why, why, why?’ most of this apparent suffering seems to become light.
The thing is that when we ask ‘Why?’ we are not even truly investigating; we are so quick to conclude ‘This is why!’ Even when you asked ‘Why?’ were you truly investigating and inquiring, instead of then just presuming and interpreting and judging? So, mostly, the responses or the conclusions we draw out of our ‘Why?’ are very insipid, they are very surface layer; they have no actual basis. So, it just gives us a very fertile ground to judge ourselves, to judge others and the world. ‘Why [am I/are they/is it] like this?’
I like that verse very much: [Quote by Kurt Vonnegut from Cat’s Cradle]:
‘Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly, man got to ask himself why, why, why.
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land, man got to tell himself he understands.’
This is a strangely human condition where we feel like we have to resolve our life mentally.
So ‘Guru Kripa Kevalam’ is the best antidote to this. Because it is very authoritative: ‘Master’s Grace is All There Is.’
‘Why this? Why is our Manager so bad?’
‘Master’s Grace is All There Is.’ [Chuckles]
Even if it starts out (for many it just starts out) as word play. [Chuckles] For many, it just starts out with some resistance, but they have tried everything else so they have no other [option]. ‘No harm trying this out.’ [Chuckles] This is like ‘We have tried every other self-help technique so we might as well try this out.’ So, it starts out as word play many times, just resisting-ly. ‘Oh, even this must be …’ Sometimes it starts out resentfully also. ‘God, You only are doing all of this to me!’ … not as a form of gratitude but as a blame. Like Amitabh Bachchan in that movie scene where he is throwing a big tantrum with God. ‘You must be very happy today!’ [Laughter] But life somehow has a way of squeezing everything out of us and bringing us to this sort of helplessness at some point or the other.
So, this ‘Why?’ … Consciousness. For a long time, if somebody asks ‘Why?’ I would just say ‘Consciousness’ [Chuckles] which means that it is the will of Consciousness, it is the will of this Projective light, the Supreme Intelligence, your very Reality, God.
And this is what you were speaking of: the deepening of trust. It can start off at a very surface level, trust, and say. ‘Okay, let’s see.’ But as you go you will find that ‘Ah …’
It’s not a cheat code to life. It doesn’t mean that ‘Guru Kripa Kevalam: all I really want is ten million dollars in my bank and now I have left it up to You.’ [Chuckles] Then every day, you just check your bank balance to see if the transfer happened or not. [Chuckles] It’s not that way.
It means that everything, whatever the state of this seeming-outer appearance might be, whatever the state of this body might be, whatever the state or quality of our emotions might be, whatever the state and quality of our thoughts might be, all of this moving light and sound show, we leave it up to the light of the Satguru.
Letting Go More and More, This Trust Deepens
You find that the peace that happens in this letting go is way more than the peace that you get through anything that you resolve mentally or achieve materialistically anyway. That peace that you’re looking for through the achievement of this, that and the other, is naturally present. And the best part is that in being naturally present, it is not opposed to achieving this, that and the other. It is not contradictory to that. All of that can still happen.
Like, suppose all your life you believed that you have to push this heavy cart along the road. You have to push this heavy cart along the road, and the minute you leave it, it starts pushing you back so you’re losing ground every moment if you stop pushing. But one day, somebody comes to you and says ‘Why do you push this cart?’ You say ‘Without that, it will run me over. I’ll go backwards.’ He says ‘Do you want to try? Do you want to try leaving it? I’m telling you that this cart is running with super Guru power.’ [Chuckles] ‘This cart is running with super Guru power. Are you willing to try it out?’ And very few, almost reluctantly, will say ‘Oh, that must be because the road was slanted this way; just for now.’ Or ‘Because of the situation I’m in right now (I’m in Satsang) I can leave it. But I can’t leave it at work. Guru power can’t work at work, it can only work in Satsang.’ This kind of thing. But as you start letting go of this, you see that the cart is running as well or as badly (at least as well or as badly) as it was running before. You see, this is just the idea that you have to push life. ‘I have to make life happen this way. I can turn it based on how I want it.’ It’s all fallacy.
I used to say often that trying to control the flow of life is trying to control the river with a twig. We don’t even have this twig. So, how to control life? How are we actually controlling it? Who has managed to control it? But this fear is there that ‘I’ve been pushing this cart so much! Look at this state. And suppose I didn’t push it at all, then what would I be?’ You see? The mind comes and says ‘Then what would you be? You’d just become like a beggar on the streets. I don’t know what would happen to you.’ This kind of thing.
As we start letting go more and more, this trust deepens. This heavy bag that I thought I had to carry on my head actually takes care of itself. No effort is needed. I can just let it go. And just like my heartbeat continues, the sun continues to rise, flowers continue to bloom, our life also keeps unfolding in its own beautiful way.
If you try to understand it with your mind, then it will only be strange scenarios for you. [Woman begins heavy breathing and soft sounds in the room] Like, for some of you, watching what is happening, you must be like ‘She is really suffering. If this is what happens when you come to Satsang, I don’t want this.’ But I can tell you, it’s very beautiful. It’s beyond any other phenomenal experience that you can have. So, our mind cannot understand these things. But our mind is quick to judge, it is quick to make conclusions.
The funny thing that the mind does is to convince you that the problem is something else. It will convince you that the problem is some sort of decision at a worldly level. How many of you have gone through this? Almost all of you. I’m looking around this room and I see that almost all of
you have gone through this, where you’ve been convinced that the problem is a decision at a worldly level. But the problem is never a decision at the worldly level. It is only about an inner opening. How open are we inwardly? And then most of you will testify that the world takes care of itself … including this body.
So, the only decision ever, as Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi said at one point ‘The only choice you have is whether to go along with the stream of your thoughts or to let them go’ … whether to remain inwardly open or to limit yourself through some conceptual limitation.
So, actually, the question is never really about ‘Should I quit my job?’ It is never about ‘Should I do this or do that?’ Of course, sometimes these things can seem very strong. In a way, the question always is about:
How open can I be?
Is my acceptance just lip service?
Is my surrender just lip service?
The Notion ‘I Am Something’ Is the Root of All Suffering
Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi said that ‘The notion ‘I am something’ is the root of all suffering.’ The idea ‘I am something’. And what is the shortened version of ‘I am something’? The idea of ‘me, me, me’ is the notion ‘I am something’. And in usual use, the even shorter version is ‘I’ (in usual use). So, if this notion (the ‘I’ or the ‘me’) became empty of meaning, did not point to any object, just became emptied of its referential nature, then what is left? The entire spectrum, right from the object to the Self, Awareness Itself … in that entire spectrum we’ve gone from referring to this ‘I’ as many of these things. Now, the Truth needs no such reference. You do not need to even fix the ‘I’ in its true position. If it is the true position, it must always be, and all positions that you can give to it, all references that you can make about it are fundamentally flawed because it is beyond any such reference that you can make. That is where the inquiry comes in. When you refer to yourself, the question is asked: ‘But who are you? Who am I?’ Empty of these references to yourself: What is it that is left?
All concepts in some way refer to you as if you are the limited self. As we go beyond this conceptual knowledge and even beyond intellectual reasoning, you no longer know yourself conceptually … but you are not empty of the true Knowing. Let us be empty of this blurriness that comes with false reference-making. That is why I have been asking: ‘What is that you know when you know nothing?’ I know on the face of it, it doesn’t sound like a very appealing question. It sounds like wordplay almost, but it isn’t. We only suffer from what we think we know. Have you ever suffered without thinking you know something? You have to at least make a conclusion that ‘I know what this is’ to suffer from it. That’s why Papaji [Sri Poonja] said ‘To be happy you do not need anything. But to be miserable, you definitely need something.’ I would add to that and say ‘You need to know something.’
Now, the mind will come and say ‘But that’s a dumb way to live. What kind of living is that? That is so dumb.’ This is just the momentum of prior conditioning. I was saying the other day … this bumblebee came into the room and was fluttering its wings and going from place to place. I was asking everyone whether they feel like she is thinking about it and then saying ‘Okay, I’m going to flap flap like this and flap flap like that.’ But it is the beautiful intelligence which animates it. The same supreme intelligence is animating our lives. A bird is newborn, but in the season of migration it knows which direction to fly. But it’s not a conceptual knowing (presumably; let us speak to the bird about that). [Chuckles] There is innate intelligence which is driving all of this. Like Guruji [Sri Mooji] says, the tree is not deciding where its next branch is going to be. (‘Ah, should it be left, right?’) [Chuckles] It is not deciding. And yet, it’s so beautiful that every one of them is unique and yet such supreme beauty is present.
So, this surrender, this letting go, is not dumb. It is Being with this Supreme Intelligence which is animating this entire perceived creation. But it doesn’t even make that distinction between the phenomenal and the nominal; the perceived and the perceiver. Even these distinctions are not needed there.
What A Joy to Be Empty, Now God Can Live This Life
Now, don’t exchange past concepts for new concepts. Don’t exchange the ideas for ‘Yes, I used to think I’m a person but now know that I am the Self or ‘I am the Self and the person’ or some newfangled notion like this. Allow yourself to let go. Allow the truth to breathe in this way, without again covering it up with conceptual dust.
And if you need a reassurance, Master Bankei has said that ‘All things are perfectly resolved in the Unborn.’ All things are perfectly resolved in the Unborn. So, can we not give it a chance, what he said? [Smiles] Let the Unborn deal with everything.
What is that Rumi quote? (Very beautiful, from that day…) ‘What a joy to be empty. Now God can live this life.’ Whether you call it Consciousness or you call it God or you call it the Unborn or you call it Self … various terms (they are not exactly synonymous but) are used synonymously many times.
And what is the other option anyway? I say ‘Let God lead this life.’ What you got? What option do you have? Who else is there, besides this one Consciousness, one Being? Show me that one. Then we will pick. [Smiles] Present as God, your very Being; undeniable. Now, present the other option. Then we will take an objective call, okay? Show the other one. Who is here? The lawyer in our head is representing which client? [Smiles] Who is the lawyer who is objecting vehemently and pleading a case for this ‘me’? Who is that?
You are here in Satsang; presumably you want freedom. But we cannot even find that one who wants freedom. Ah. [Smiles] Can you find? Find the one who wants freedom. What freedom can you give to this body? It is not in chains at this time. Who else did we find?
We are looking very simply, okay? Nothing special, very objectively asking: There seems to be a voice who is representing a ‘me’. Now, who is it actually representing? We just have to find that one … and present this one and say ‘See, this is the one that is representing. I need to take care of this one.’ Now, you are taking care of this one also in your quest to find liberation. So, let’s find that one and give liberation to it.
Who wants it?
And try to make this question fresh. Because otherwise the mind will keep saying ‘Yeah, I know; who am I? It doesn’t exist. I don’t exist…’ You see, these are all still just answers. So, see if you can meet the question fresh.
Who wants freedom?
What is here that wants freedom?
Try to Live Empty of Any Labels
Q:You were talking about the stage and the actor is coming in there. There comes a point when one of the actors starts taking the center stage and starts making so much noise that entire attention shifts to that actor. In the moment of anger or fear, frequently we are able to observe that this is taking over but sometimes it goes beyond our control and only later on we get to recognize it. How can we handle that situation?
A:So, this is what we are discussing: anger comes. Whenever fear, anger, all this comes, it seems like it is center stage. Actually, it never is. It is just that…
I have that very old example. If I drew a black dot on this wall and I ask all of you ‘What do you see?’ not even one of you will say ‘I see a big white wall.’ All of you will say ‘I see a black dot.’ This is our life … and dealing with these emotions is especially like that; that these things come. It’s like the dog’s tail is wagging. Everybody starts looking only at the tail. The rest of the dog is not seen. [Chuckles] So, when these emotions take center stage, the difference between energy- constructs which we call thoughts and energy-constructs that we call emotions is that one has this specific language-oriented meaning which is these thoughts. They just come and go but they throw language-oriented meaning actually. The emotions seem to have a quality of lingering.
So, when they are lingering, let them linger but don’t hold on to any concept about them. Let them come and go. See if you cannot even label it ‘anger’. Let attention be on it as much as it likes. Try to leave it empty of any labels. Because if I tell you one thing you might be a bit surprised: You have never experienced the exact same emotion twice. So, that which we call anger actually is a big spectrum, just given a convenient name. So, when this thing is there [flaps his hand in front of his chest] if you are not saying ‘I’m angry, I should not be angry, when will this anger go? I will be free only when …’ all these conclusions; none of them are true. Because if you look at our Sages, especially if you read stories of our Sages, many have been very angry at times. [Chuckles] There have been sages in India like Vishwamitra, Parashuram. They have destroyed big dynasties of kings and things like that in their anger.
So, don’t judge yourself, or don’t even say that ‘This has to go’ or ‘This has to stay’. Take no position about anything … because no matter how long something might seem to be at the center stage, for Infinity it is just a blink of an eyelid. And you don’t have to deal with it with your attention anyway. If your attention is fixated on it, then let it be fixated on it. You just become empty of any concept about it. As the Zen master said ‘These thoughts are visitors, they come and go. Allow them to come and go, just don’t serve them tea.’ What is this tea that we served to them? The tea of our belief, of our identification with them.
And one more tip I will give to you is that: Don’t try to solve it for some past version of you, or some future version of you; because that will keep you caught. You’re sitting here in Satsang and many of us are just trying to solve it for the one that was here yesterday feeling so much or something; or ‘How is it going to be when satsang is over and you are not here?’ You see? You are trying to solve it for this version or that version, instead of tasting ourselves in our reality Right Now.
The mind will keep saying ‘But in Satsang it is fine, Father, in Satsang it is fine, but…’ Like that. But even in Satsang, it is not fine because we are still buying into two notions of past and future.
Any moment when you are empty of this, when you allow this Unborn to be unborn, is Satsang. What is happening here is that you are allowing Yourself to taste Your own Presence.
So, what is Here Now?
What can you say about Now?
Can I add a supplement to that question?
What can you say about Now without thinking about it?
A:Even ‘nothing’ is saying too much, actually. You know what I mean? Neither something nor nothing, neither this or that, neither here or there, neither getting it nor missing it.
[Chuckles] Let it go.
It will come saying ‘This really means something!’ …but it really doesn’t.
You can just safely let it go.
And this silence, which initially can feel a bit uncomfortable, you’ll start enjoying the naturalness of that, uncluttered with false knowing.
Are You Aware Now?
Q:So, I had a related question. I have been following the pointings of Mooji Baba for a while now. Sometimes I get a doubt whether I’m really able to experience the Presence or whether it is a mask created in a very subtle way by the mind itself because it can be very clever. How can I?
A:Yes. I will help you with this. What you have to do is you have to be not Be. Don’t Be, for a moment. Did it? Don’t Be, now. Done? [Laughs]
Q:I get a sense of that but I don’t have that sense. The moment I get it, that means I have not been there.
A:No, it’s not complicated. Okay, just like … come here as if this is your first Satsang; you don’t know anything about anything. And I want you to stop Being for a moment. Like don’t
Exist. [Silence] Stopped Existing?
Q: There is sense of void.
A:Who is tasting this void? Is it the one sitting next to you tasting this void? Whose report are you making?
Q: Something within.
A:Something within. Stop this one. Let that one not Be, that which perceives even void. Did it?
A:Who senses ‘Yes’?
Q: Still something within.
A:That which perceives all of this is Your Presence. You can’t miss it; in fact, you can never experience it not Being there.
Okay, let me ask another question: Are you Aware now?
A:How did you confirm this? What did you see?
Q:I didn’t see anything but I felt …
A:Was it a feeling-felt?
Q:Just an Awareness.
A:Just Awareness. What is the color of it?
A:No color. How old did it feel?
A:No age. How big was it?
Q:No definition applies.
A:No definition applies. Now, isn’t it unique? This discovery itself so simple and yet so unique. Did you see a green apple on this couch?
A:Why did you say ‘No’? You didn’t see the shape, you didn’t see the size, you didn’t see the color green. For Awareness, you said ‘Yes’ … for green apple you said ‘No’. Why? You see what I’m getting at? For phenomenal objects, you have to get their attributes and then we confirm. For this Knowing-ness itself, for this Awareness itself, it is so primal that you cannot deny it and yet you do not perceive it objectively.
Can it be as simple as this? They say ‘The Self is without attributes. It does not come and go, does not have age.’ I asked you simply: Are you Aware? You said ‘Yes’. I asked you about the attributes, you say ‘No’. I said ‘Are you making this report conceptually?’ you say ‘No’. It is an experience but it is not phenomenal. [Smiles] Can we say such a thing? It is the only non- phenomenal experience you can have. Your unchanging aspect, the unmanifest aspect of You which is ever-present but prior to Presence.
Now get rid of it. Don’t try to hold on to it, don’t even abide in it, get rid of it! Don’t be aware, throw it away, push it out! [Silence] Can you do it?
A:Can’t do it. Then what is the struggle about? If we can’t leave it, then what are we trying to get?
Q: It just that the attention shifts to the person.
A:Yes, but where does attention report back to? No matter to what it goes to, where does it report back to?
A:So, this Self it cannot leave. It’s like a dog on a leash; it can go here, here, here and here but can it leave you? It can’t. So, we get so obsessed with checking on what is on this side of attention, with what is the content it is bringing back. But what is on that side of attention? Who is it bringing back to? Does that also change?
Q: How can I make that side of the attention permanent?
A:I said, no? You try to get rid of it. Try to make it impermanent. This is a strange Satsang you have come to. [Chuckles] Here we are not saying that we want to make it permanent. I am saying that: You take this Awareness and throw it away; make it impermanent. Can you do it? Like for one moment, don’t be Aware. You come fully on this side of your attention, the content side. Leave Awareness, can you do it?
Q: Can’t do it.
A:So, the Truth is always permanent, you see? It is not coming and going. It is just these ideas which have to go.
That’s good? Are you going to leave the idea or are you going to leave the conversation? [Chuckles]
Q: I’m going to leave the idea. [Laughter]
A:Because many times it can happen that we just leave the conversation and we feel like ‘I still have to do this! I still have to make sure it happens like this.’ These are just ideas. And who is the ‘I’ that you are referring to in all of these ideas? Who has to do this?
A:But this Awareness, is it doing it in the traditional way we think about doing; like objectively? It has never moved, it has no limbs. [Chuckles] All of this is its limbs, in a way. So, it is doing all of this.
Q: It’s just Observing.
A:It is just aware, yes. So, every time we make this notion that ‘I must do this or do that’ we are again picking up the limited version of ourselves and buying into that.
Now, ‘not-doing’ is another version of ‘doing’. See if you can follow this. When you make that intention that ‘I’m not going to do anything now because Ananta said I don’t have to do anything; I’m just not going to do’ then you are ‘doing’ the ‘not-doing’ … you are taking the position of the ‘not-doer’. But that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that ‘doing’ and ‘not- doing’ are not applicable to Your Truth. This the mind cannot fathom. It will try to make a concept around it, it will try something but it really cannot fathom the neutrality. It can either fathom ‘doing, doing’ or ‘not-doing, not-doing’. If I say ‘both’ or ‘neither’ … what is left?
There Is No Distinction Between Anything in Reality
[Reading from the chat]: “For me, subconscious means that which I repress; repress in the waking state, mostly desires and fears.”
It’s okay. However, you want to use the terms actually is fine; it’s no trouble. But just don’t make too many side projects, like ‘I must now work on my subconscious nature’ or something like that.
The beauty of this simple, straight-forward, natural sahaja way of remaining in our notionless existence is that all the clean-up that needs to happen apparently is also taken care of.
There is no actual thing like the world. There is no actual thing like the world, the body, the mind; even Consciousness, Awareness … there is no actual thing like that. It’s just that we take from our existence, we make certain boundaries and say ‘This is a world, this certain a set of sensations, this is a body.’ Visual perceptions and certain sensations we label them together in a basket and say ‘This is a body’.
Then for another set of energy-constructs which carry this language and meaning, we say ‘This is mind.’ Mind is a bundle of thoughts, like Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] said. And then, for the very Presence of Existence, we say ‘This is Being’. Different sensations we call emotions and say ‘This is anger, this is fear this is joy.’ But the terms are not inherent in the sensations or the perception of them. These are just terms we use for communication. There is no distinction ever between anything in Reality.
Don’t Conceptualize, Taste Yourself
In a way, a spiritual seeker is one who has got a thousand concepts about how to be notionless and how to be empty of ego, empty of the limited self, but hardly remains notionless. [Smiles] A library full of beautiful pointers. However, very little tasting.
So, to go from this seeker identity who is a collecting beautiful spiritual ideas to actually experiencing this freedom just takes one moment. It is just this moment … where all identity is naturally gone anyway.
So, you can hand back your library card now. You don’t need to borrow anymore concepts from anywhere. Does anyone still feel like they don’t have enough spiritual concepts; they need more? [Smiles] Need more?
Actually, one or two pointers are enough for anyone.
So, now is the easy part. But for the mind, it is the most difficult part. Use it, whatever pointer you have which appeals the most to you, use it. Don’t think more and more about it. You will not come to some perfect conclusion that way. You will not compute your way to the truth. If you mix pointer A plus pointer B minus pointer C divided by pointer D, you will not come to the final equation in that way. [Chuckles] There is enough beautiful pointings from the Sages that we have. You no longer need to employ your intellect too much. Just whatever the pointer asks you to; that much is enough.
‘All things are perfectly resolved in the Unborn’ is a beautiful pointer also because it takes care of it all. It is ‘Guru Kripa Kevalam’ [All is the will of Guru, God, Consciousness] and tells you what to do: remain in the Unborn.
Now what is born? Reality is unchaining, so it is not born and it is not subjected to birth and death. So, what is born is only the notional idea, the egoist idea of self, the idea of the ‘limited self.’ Now, if it was impossible to remain in the Unborn, why would Master Bankei trouble us in this way? He would say ‘All things are perfectly resolved in the Unborn, but you cannot remain in the unborn, so there is no point.’ It is not like that. Nobody is that pregnant that you have to give birth to this one.
Sometimes we play this game: Remain in your notion-less-ness … but if you have to buy some concept, expose it. And while you expose it, you see the ridiculous nature of these concepts. Sometimes when you just keep playing mentally with them, they just feel so strong and alive. Once they escape your mouth, you’re like ’What? This is what seems so strong inside?’
So, taste yourself. Don’t conceptualize so much. Don’t intellectualize so much.
If it was in the figuring out, if it was a mental process, somebody would have figured it by now. There would be treaties on it, saying ‘I started with step A and ended with step G and that is it. Just think this, then think that, then think this, then multiply everything, you got it.’ But what is beyond all this intellect?
People travel far to experience one moment of being empty of this. They go to a beautiful mountain. What happens in that moment? There is a perception of something which the mind cannot immediately interpret. It is just out of moves for a moment and you experience peace. ‘Ahh…’ But usually in the world, that peace lasts for what two seconds before you say ‘I have to take a selfie with this mountain [Chuckles] for when I get back. How can I capture it, how can I own it, how can I send it to my friends?’ You see, all of this stuff.
Now, when you encounter yourself without attributes, without qualities, the good thing is that you cannot take a selfie with it. It has no attributes, no qualities. But for the mind, that is very confusing. It’s like ‘But I’m finding nothing. I’m finding nothing.’ The ‘I’ that is finding this nothing (which is beyond even ‘nothing and something’) is without all qualities … and yet, all qualities emerge from It.
This has to be tasted and not just conceptualized. Because it [the mind] is very fancy. It will say ‘Oh, It Itself has no qualities. Yet, all qualities come from That. That’s nice! Let me add that to my list.’
But this is Your experience Now?
Or are these going to continue to be just borrowed words?
Life Is Much Broader Than Our Mind Can Capture
Even in Satsang sometimes, all that we are doing is waiting for confirmation of an existent belief system. Suppose you come to Satsang every day and all you heard was everything contradicting what you believed. You’d say ‘I don’t like this. This does not seem like a good Satsang. Today Ananta is contradicting everything he only told me.’ [Smiles] But truly, the attempt is to not to create a solid belief system, a framework of concepts which seems to be very Advaita, but to take you beyond this, beyond the idea that you can capture the truth in a mental way. And we’ve been talking about these things. We cannot even capture the phenomenal aspect in a phenomenal way … not one moment, in a mental way. You cannot capture one moment of even the appearance of phenomena. There is no concept which can describe this, even this meeting. And we use these broad strokes then. ‘There is Satsang with twenty people.’ Is that what this is? But we live in this way. ‘What did you do this morning?’ … ‘Oh, I went to Satsang and it was nice. There were twenty people.’ You see, this kind of thing. It’s okay, conversationally. But you know what I’m getting at, that it does not capture this.
Life is actually much broader than our mind can just capture.
In a way, it’s like, you know, in our time we used to have these phone directories. Some of the younger ones, my children, have never seen a phone directory. [Smiles] But is the city just a phone directory, a list of the people and their addresses? Our mind’s version is like that; just all the labels. But the truth is un-label-able. (I have some practice in saying that word; what do you say?) [Chuckles] The truth is un-label-able.
A:When you’re happy in front of that mountain, is it because you know the name of the mountain or because you know it is a mountain? When you see a newborn baby, is the joy because you know the name of the baby? [Smiles] Is the Presence that you experience in Satsang dependent on the words of Satsang, the language which is been spoken? It is independent.
For years, we’ve looked at the validity of our conclusions. We looked at the validity of all our conclusions, then we said ‘They just don’t create; they just don’t have any tangibility.’ If at the end of this life, you were told on your deathbed ‘Actually, you were right’ [Chuckles] is that all you want? … at the end, to have an affirmation that you were right? But we seem to live our life in this way. And all that remains for all of us in Satsang is usually followed by a ‘But…, but I’m right about this; but I’m right about this’ hoping that that concept somewhere represents truth … even after hearing over and over that it cannot and checking repeatedly (not just hearing, but checking for yourself).
What can’t you do … what can’t you do without being right about? (Is that sentence correct? ‘What can’t you do without being right about?’ Is it correct English? Sometimes I’m hearing the words coming out.) [Chuckles]
What do you HAVE to be right about? Simply… [Smiles] You just HAVE to be right about this.
If the ‘seeker’ is the predominant identity now, you will find that there will be these spiritual concepts, Satsang concepts. Those thorns, which were meant to remove other thorns and to be thrown away, themselves are the embedded thorns which are to be removed; for many of us.
It’s our version of the spiritual truth. And if you look at any of these versions, you feel like ‘These are so special, these are so cool’ but actually, when you go back in history you find that these are the same spiritual debates which have been happening for thousands of years. There is no big deal in any of them. Whether Maya is unreal or real. Whether this is the play of Consciousnesses or it never existed. Whether both ‘Self’ and ‘person’ are real or only ‘Self’ is real. Whether ‘person’ is real aspect of ‘Self’ or it has no existence of whatsoever. There is no big deal in any of these positions and none of these represent any Truth in Reality.
The idea is not to become a ‘pandit’ [Smiles] who know so much, but tastes very little. That’s why The Ribhu Gita is a beautiful scripture because it deconstructs all spiritual and non-spiritual ideas. It says ‘You are beyond the duality of even the statement ‘I am Brahman’ … beyond the duality of even the statement ‘I am Brahman’. [Smiles] Because even in that assertion there is duality; the possibility that you could not be and therefore, an affirmation is needed (as inherent in any assertion).
Like I was saying ‘Nobody goes around saying, asserting, that ‘I have a mouth.’ Is there a possibility that you couldn’t? [Smiles]
Reality is independent of your idea about it, your assertions or denials about it. Empty of labels you are empty of distinctions.
If You Have No Image About Yourself You Can’t Suffer
If this clinging is not there, if this conceptual grasping is not there, then actually, we do not need to add any more words.
Most of Satsang is just in response to what clinging, what idea, you are holding onto. It’s almost like you’re falling into God but sometimes along the way, you grasp onto some idea, which could even be a spiritual idea; even the idea ‘I am falling into God.’
That’s why I said that not much is needed to be said because these are also attractive-sounding notions, so you can hold onto that. Most of the words in Satsang are just to push you off these notions.
Allow you to fall into yourself … rather than get struck in any image you might be creating about yourself.
Suffering is nothing but an attack on this image that you make about yourself. If you have no image about yourself, you cannot suffer. If you have no notion, no boundary, no idea about yourself, then what could be attacked?
Even our ideas of how the world should be are based on the idea that ‘I am an object in this world.’
A:You are not well? Pain is still there? Are you doing physiotherapy now? No.
A:Only exercise; accha. [Okay, I see]
S:Acupuncture has started.
A:Acupuncture, I see.
Satsang is also a type of acupuncture; bursting the balloons of any idea you have about yourself. But acupuncture is less painful at times than Satsang.
Emptiness Can Also Lead to a Position
Q:Something’s coming up for me just in the drama of life. Now what’s shaking is this identification with being good. Because there was kind of a situation where I (the ‘me’) did something and it was misunderstood to be bad. It came from the heart, it came from compassion and it was misunderstood. And then tracing it back, it comes back to this huge identification with being good because if I didn’t believe I was good then that wouldn’t affect me in the slightest. I see that, but there is still something shaking; it’s not quite clear. I don’t feel like I’m quite in free flow because although I can see it’s a lie that ‘I’m good’ but there is something saying that ‘You are good. Don’t work on it.’ [Laughter] It’s like you were saying yesterday about don’t go to the other opposite like ‘Okay, I can be bad now.’
A: This is the thing.
Q:But there is a lot, and lot of energy behind it; that shaking. And although I am seeing partially, I’m not … Can you clear this a little for me?
A:The thing is that this is true for either position. I know more prevalent is identification with being good but sometimes …, have any of you seen these gangster movies? [Laughs] The young man comes and he is trying to become a main man, he is trying to become a gangster, he is trying to become part of the Mafia. So, his whole attempt is to show that he is bad. And any time the impression goes to the bosses that he is being good, it’s a bad thing. They don’t want to identify as being good. Good at being bad is good [Chuckles] for them. And that is the image. We were talking about images. This is the image they hold onto, that only after they are considered bad enough, they get part of the ranks of the Mafia.
So, it is not that it is only on one side of the equation. And that is why I was saying that once you see that one side is not true, don’t attach to the opposite. What does that mean? Nothing. In the sense that if you are not good does not mean that you are bad; you are bad doesn’t mean that you are good. These are just inferences from the mind. You are beyond bad and good. These don’t apply to Your Reality because (it might sound strange to say but) everything is inherently just an expression of Consciousness. But how we label it…
And you’ve seen culturally in some areas of the world how some thing is good but in other areas of the world (in some cultures) the exact same thing would be bad. And people are very clear: ‘No, it is bad’ or ‘It is good’. So, these are just attributes that we give, using the mind, that ‘If I am this way, then it is good. If I am that way, then it is bad’.
Now, why I keep saying ‘Don’t go to the opposite’ is because otherwise we rest in the opposite position saying ‘Now I can just be bad. I can just be rude to everyone who speaks to me’. And that becomes a new position. Most of us, as children, are conditioned with this sort of ‘You have to be good, you have to speak nicely, you have to be vigilant towards other’s feelings’(this kind of thing) … then go to the opposite saying ‘I just don’t care anymore’. And many times, this is also labeled under ‘I’m just going to be myself!’ [Chuckles] It has nothing to do with the Self; Self. It’s just switching one image, because some pain came with that image, and then we felt like it is worthwhile to drop that by trying to construct a new image which we feel will not be as
painful. But because all imagery is ultimately not true about You, it is going to be painful. In the design of this play it seems that it is designed in a way that no lie lasts forever and it starts to become painful. Like I was saying the other day: The potato keeps on getting hotter and hotter and hotter, till you drop it’ (the potato of this identity, no matter what the attributes of this identity are).
So, I’m very happy to hear you speak like this and say that there is an impulse to try and own the opposite of that, but you see that ‘Yes, this is what is being shared in Satsang; it’s neither this nor that’. And that can feel like limbo or wobbly for a bit. ‘What do I rest on? So, what is it? Am I good or bad?’
So, when I say it is not applicable, I’m not making a conclusion of what you must try to be. I’m not saying that you must try to be good or bad or even neutral. Just see that none of this applies to our Reality. None of this really applies. It only applies to identity.
Friedrich Nietzsche wrote this very interesting book called ‘Beyond Good and Evil’ and many, many misunderstood that again, in the same way as Satsang can be misunderstood. It felt like ‘Oh, we must then own our bad side’ or something like that. But that’s not what he was saying even in the book (the little bit of whatever I have read). He was saying something similar, that these labels are now extinct. These labels are extinct. He was kind of hoping that humanity has crossed that traditional idea of labeling ourselves like this or like that. But I don’t feel like we have, even now (although it must be about 100 years ago; 50-60 years ago).
So, if we never had this condition about good and bad, then the mind can give you this fear that ‘I can just be really bad’. When I used to visit Ramesh, one of the most common questions that used to come to him was … because he would just say that ‘You are not the doer. Everything happens through God’s will’. This was also often misunderstood because the question he would get is ‘Does that mean that I can just go around shooting everybody?’ or ‘Does that mean that I can just lay in bed all day?’ But what he was saying was not heard then. [Chuckles]
Everything that happens is God’s will and when you say ‘I can go around shooting people’ who are you referring to yourself as then?
So, it’s kind of (I was going to say ‘dangerous’ but not really dangerous) very unfathomable to the mind, what is being spoken. Like Guruji [Sri Mooji] says, this ‘mind-bypass’ is that something is still being heard without it being understood by the mind. [Chuckles] Because the mind is saying ‘What is this? Should I be good or bad?’ and when you hear ‘neither’ or ‘both’ or ‘not applicable’ the mind can’t do anything with that. Although it might try to own that concept ‘Yes, I am neither’ or ‘I am both’… it might try to own that, but it has nothing, I mean there are no legs to stand on, with this kind of thing. Because it will keep saying ‘Okay, fine, then now what should I do?’ Or ‘How should I be?’ as if it was still up to it; still trying to get ownership of that.
Now the funny thing is, if I say ‘Don’t be good, don’t be bad and don’t be empty’ [Laughter] … because I know the latest position now in Satsang must be ‘I just have to be empty; I must just be empty’. But ‘empty’ is not trying to be empty.
What is left to say now? [Laughs] It’s like Guruji talks about trying to be natural. The minute you try to be natural, the natural-ness is gone. ‘Just be natural now!’ [Makes a funny pose to trying to act natural. Laughs] It’s not a position. So, once you make it into a position…, like emptiness can also be made into a position.
Q:What I’m feeling now is just heat. It’s not a flip -lop thing. Now it’s just a sense of heat. [Laughter]
A:When this kitchen becomes too hot, you must stay in it. [Laughter] Usually in America, they say it the other way, no? ‘If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen’. But this kitchen, when it becomes too hot, you stay in it. [Laughter]
Q: Bake that potato.
A:The other day, we were reading a book (was it ‘Letters from the Swampland’?) where the Sage was saying: ‘Neither this nor that, no position; not even ‘empty’ as a position. Emptiness is emptiness itself. Empty is empty of even itself.’
This kind of thing seems very strange for the mind and we want to run. He said something very beautiful; he said ‘Because we are so used to resting in this nest of intellect, when you are being pushed beyond your intellect it can seem like ‘But this is too strange, too crazy’ or something, but this is the most auspicious’ … where you’re left without a conclusion, without a resisting place for your limited idea of yourself … all conclusions, even conclusions about emptiness, or silence … and especially also cause and effect. [Silence]
Why especially cause and effect? Because we still make a conclusion about our inner openness and attaching to how our ‘coconut’ [body, identity, idea of separateness] seems to operate in the world. ‘If I’m so empty, then this can’t happen…’ (the same thing) ‘…then I’ll just lay in bed all day’ or something like that. These kinds of ideas. [Silence]
The bad news is that if you were to try and be empty of even being empty, you would still not be empty. You would still be trying to be empty of being empty. So, that is the bad news.
But the BEST news is that naturally, all This is Here.
This is the best thing … that in this very moment, you’re empty of even trying to be empty.
Is Duality Originally Inherent in This?
Without any version of truth, without any should or should not, is there naturally a distinction present? Is duality originally inherent in this?
Whether eyes are open or eyes are closed, without the label ‘appearance’ and ‘reality’ is there such a dichotomy? Even in the labels ‘real’ and ‘unreal’?
Duality is suffering.
[Sri Nisargadatta] Maharaj said something very beautiful. He said ‘You are not experiencing suffering; you are suffering your experiencing.’
I would like to take further and say:
You are not experiencing duality; we are interpreting it as dual.
You are not experiencing distinction; we are judging it to be separate.
You are not even experiencing time and space.
It is just a judgment you are making.
It is a conclusion.
We are not experiencing a ‘me’ and ‘another.’
It is only a conclusion, a notion.
We are not experiencing a body and a world.
You are judging your experiences to be ‘body’ and ‘the world.’
You are experiencing, but you are labeling that as ‘body’ and ‘outside the body.’
But where is the space of experiencing?
Have you ever experienced anything outside of you?
See, but even these statements can be used to make distinctions.
There Is No Real ‘Why’
Yesterday we were talking about a chameleon and what changes the colors of a chameleon once it’s in a different environment. Is it thinking about it? ‘Okay, I’m on green grass. Let me turn green.’ [Chuckles] ‘I know this is the color green. Come on green. Not blue; green. Come on.’
The bird is flying in the winter towards the north. As it is flying away, is it saying ‘I hope I’m flying north, I hope I’m flying north. Hope this is not west. I said north, north, I tell you.’?
But somehow, we feel that unless we hold these ideas, that we decide that ‘This is it, this true, this is untrue, this is right, this is wrong, this is how I should be, this is how I should not be’ that we feel like this life cannot function. If your heart had to stop, what notion could you have that will keep it pumping? (Let’s say kidneys.) But something is functioning on its own, in a very beautiful way. And it continues, unsupported by and uninterrupted by our concepts of what should be and what should not be.
Someone was saying the other day that ‘Ananta, how many times do we have to go through this roller coaster? Because we see clearly; and then something seems to come back and that seems real; and then we see clearly that nothing has ever happened.’ You see, these kinds of things. ‘How many times up and down?’ So, I said ‘This complaint (‘How many times does this up and down have to happen?’) is also part of the same roller coaster. In a way, it is part of same unfolding.
Sometimes it looks like you are trying to solve it. And it’s okay to try and solve it because a tired intellect is very auspicious for Satsang; when you are tired of the how’s, the why’s, the when’s, what’s, the who’s.
‘Who am I?’ is very good, of course. [Chuckles] (It doesn’t need my endorsement.) Because your discovery, your recognition, … you will never be able to put that into an answer. You will never be able to capture it with your intellect; never be able to (in a way) understand it … because what we call understanding usually means that we feel like we have a valid concept about it … ‘That is my understanding of it’.
So, as this intellect gets tired of ‘why, why, why, why, why’ and you never find a valid answer for this ‘why’ … (We get some placebos from time to time. ‘You take this medicine; you will be fine. You feel like ‘Ahh…’ [relief] …) but there is no real ‘why’.
Just like there is no real ‘when’.
Just like there is no real ‘who’.
Ideas of Seeking and Not-Seeking Apply to Whom?
How would it be if there was nothing more to get … and nothing could be lost also?
[Looks around the room; everyone quiet] So far, okay. [Chuckling]
What if there was nothing even found or gotten? And no end of seeking also?
Sangha: No end of seeking? The seeking goes on?
A:[Chuckling] No. If there was nothing found and no end of seeking, and nothing gotten and nowhere to go, … then? [Silence] This is worth evaluating. [Chuckling] That’s why I said the first part is okay but the idea that ‘Now, it must come to this stage or phase where there is no seeking’ then we’re still in the intellect, isn’t it? If it’s either seeking or not seeking, and one of those is a truer position than the other, then this is true just for the intellect.
How to say it? If we’re still able to make these kinds of conclusions about ourselves … and it’s very fancy also, in Advaita especially, to make this statement: ‘When I used to seek in those days, but now I stopped seeking.’ This kind of thing. And what is the reference to the ‘I’ still?
So, the point is not to give better attributes to the non-existent one. It is to see that it is non- existent; that no reference actually can apply. So, either seeking or not seeking, who do they apply to? To the idea that we have, to the version that we hold mentally about who we are.
So, if this body, for the rest of its life, every day seeks the answer to ‘Who am I?’ … it’s okay. And if it doesn’t, it’s okay. Neither makes it about You. No position is really true about You; even the ‘no position’-position. Because we can hear all this also intellectually, with the intellect and say ‘Okay, now my true position is that I have no position’ or ‘I have the absolute position’. But the Absolute position which the Sages have spoken about is not a position. Got it?
[Silence, looking around] ‘No’ is the right answer. [Chuckling]
So, to seek or not to seek … that is not the question at all. [Laughter in the room] Also ‘To Be or not to Be’ is never a question. What can you do about it; to Be or not Be? Can you stop Being?
Can’t do it.
Can you come into Being? Can’t do it.
Who wakes you up when you’re fast asleep; what wakes up the Being?
So, anything that is (let’s say) an appearance, after You Are, after the Being wakes up and all that appears … who controls all that?
What Is the Highest Truth or the Biggest Lie?
What is the highest version of Truth; the highest version of Truth that you know?
Sangha: Peace and Joy.
A:The highest version of truth that you know is Peace and Joy. What about higher than that? … is what?
S: I have no idea.
A:No idea? What about the Self, the Absolute?
S:I do not know what that is.
A:That is impressive already. [Chuckles]
S:That which has no form.
A:That which has no form?
Now, is it not a way to give form …to that which has no form …by saying it has no form; by even saying ‘formless’ (for example)?
S: I cannot describe it. So, I would say ‘That which I can’t describe.’
A:That which you can’t describe … is also a description of what? [Chuckles] It makes the negative description. ‘I can’t describe ‘it’.’ But you described it: I can’t describe ‘it’.
S:Okay, I’ll shut my mouth. [Chuckles]
A:That is no answer also.
S:Cannot describe it, because you have to use the mind.
A:Yeah, so even the answer that ‘Okay, then I will just keep quiet or keep my mouth shut’ does not apply because everybody who has kept their mouth shut could also be holding onto many versions of truth. It is not a just a question of the spoken concept.
Okay, let us make it simpler. What is the biggest lie that you know? … The truth we saw; it cannot be described. Biggest lie?
S: To say ‘I’m right’? [Chuckles]
A: Are you right about that? [Laughter in the room]
S: No, it is a lie.
A:Ah, it is a lie. So then? [Chuckles] Are you wrong that it is a lie?
S:I have no idea. [Chuckles]
A:So, you don’t know.
S:I don’t know.
S:The biggest lie is for me is my self-image.
A:‘The biggest lie is my self-image.’ What could have been a bigger lie than that?
S:Everything that is known.
A:Everything that is known is a lie.
S:What I assumed I knew.
A:What you assumed you knew is a lie.
A:Knowledge itself. And all this now …you know all this? [Chuckles] So, to say that knowledge itself is a lie is knowledge? Or no?
A:So, if you manage to replace the concept that ‘It is true’ with a new concept ‘It is a lie’ it is still knowledge.
S: Still working on that paradigm.
A:In that paradigm… But beyond this paradigm? Beyond the paradigms … beyond these two intellectual boundaries of Absolute / greatest Truth and biggest lie, this is a very small compartment actually. You might feel like ‘Okay, the entirety of life is contained in It’. But You are not contained in this. You are not contained in any description about YourSelf in a word in the dictionary. We looked at it many times where we said ‘What is the dictionary actually telling us? It is more words for each word and each word has more words for each word and it is all only self-referential.
So, another way of saying this very simply is that old story with the Sufi Saint who visits the King. And he goes… (we will not repeat it. I cannot repeat it as well as Guruji [Sri. Mooji] does; it’s the same). They go through the entire spectrum of beggar to King to Emperor to God. [The
guard asks: ‘Are you a beggar? Are you a king? Are you God?’… The Sufi Saint says: ‘No, higher than that.’] And In the end, what does he say? ‘Higher than that.’ And the guard says ‘But higher than that … is nothing.’
Now, I would say ‘Higher than that nothing.’ [Smiles] Because otherwise, like the Sage said ‘That nothing I Am’ can still leave a reference for us, which is like some idea some dark empty space or something like that.
S: Even high is like…
A:Yeah, exactly. [Smiles] Yes, higher or lower, yes.
S:You know, it’s like a scale, higher, lower …
A: Exactly, exactly.
A:Now beyond these boundaries (I could say) is a very innocent life. But you would make a concept even out of that. [Chuckles] If you pick up lot of ideas of what it means to be innocent then that is not innocence. But I want to show you, I want to tell you and show you that it is not as important as we think; it is also not as impossible as we think to step back from this paradigm. In fact, it is naturally so, Right Now. Before you start to think about it, it is naturally so.
And our notions in a way are just an avoidance of this. So, to step back from this paradigm of the known is very natural. It is already Your existent condition. It’s a habit, in a way, to try and grasp it with our knowing, with a concept. It’s like almost like when you look at the sun directly, it is too much and you feel like ‘Okay, it’s better if I look at a painting.’ So, to go to our concept of what life is, is to step away from what life is. It is all within life itself; but the seeming- play within that.
There are very simple questions that we cannot answer, like: ‘What’s going on?’ And we have been taught that it is not a good place to be in; this ‘not knowing what is going on’. We have been thought that we must always know what is going on. But we have never known. And what happens? We attach ourselves to our versions of what we think is going on and when that version starts to fail, then we don’t like it and say ‘Oh, my life changed’ and ‘This happened’. But we have never understood life in that way anyway.
Like, what is going on now? [Chuckles] We don’t really know. Because if you were to describe this, you would find it impossible. Even at a metaphysical level or something like that, even phenomenally, what is going on? A seeming-body made up of trillions of atoms is sitting in front of twenty other trillion atom-seeming-objects. What is Here? And plus, there are seemingly- objects from all over the world sitting at various points of time, listening to some energy which we have given meaning to, as words with language. It is just a set of sounds. And what they mean to each of you is different. If I were to ask each of you ‘What did you hear in Satsang so far?’ … everybody will say very differently. What is really being shared? Where is the sound happening?
Expansion and Contraction Are Just Terms
A: Any questions?
Q: It’s not all that bad, Father.
A:It’s not all that bad. What is it? [Laughs]
Q:The mind doing this checking.
A:The mind can keep doing. In fact, it may.
Q:Also the good thing is, gratitude comes out of it. Some benefit is there.
Q:The things that were contracting before, they are no longer contracting. When that is recognized, gratitude naturally flows. So it’s not all that bad. [Smiles]
A:Suppose we didn’t have the term ‘contracting’?
Q:Yeah, no comparison?
A:No expanding, no contracting. Suppose it meant nothing. Would you survive without it? This is a term I hear quite often in reports ‘this contraction is happening’ implying that it should not be. Suppose our entire goal was to contract back completely. [Laughter] Just contract completely into nothingness.
You would buy it, okay? If I sold it for two hours. Suppose you completely misunderstood what is being shared and suppose the goal is just to contract more and more, till it contracts so much that it can’t be found. [Laughter] Already started [Laughs] how much can it contract, if it keeps contracting?
So we apply these benchmarks and in a way these benchmarks are just avoidance; a claim that ‘I know what’s going on with me’. And these are popular, even in spiritual circles, very popular in fact. Because even while we might be sitting in Satsang, we might have this sense ‘Ah, good expansion happening today’ [Laughs] But I never said anything about expansion. I never said anything about something needing to happen. So what is happening is the words are being shared in Satsang, inwardly the checker guy is saying ‘good expansion today’, some other days ‘What is
Ananta doing today? It’s full contraction only’. Suppose you were out of that merry go round of expansion and contraction, because You Are actually; You were never in the expansion or contraction, it never defined you anyway. It defines you as much as ‘how much traffic there is on this road’, how much it defines you? Nothing that appears and disappears has the power to define you in anyway. So are you checking now, upon hearing this is expansion happening? [Laughs]
If it is Guru Kripa Kevalam, then it is ‘Guru Kripa Kevalam’. So all judgments about ourselves (in fact all judgments) are just a, like a declaration of independence, individual independence or
something. [Laughs] Even a statement like ‘Oh, everything is interdependent’ but if you were to say interdependent means there are many; many things that are dependent on each other. So all judgments in a way are fraught with this kind of mischief.
Okay let’s try to make it a bit simpler. If you had a kitchen full of best food in the world, would you be running here and there because you are hungry? So your kitchen is completely full right now, but if you start checking is this Belgian chocolate or Swiss chocolate? Is this [Laughs] expiry date one month away or two years away, this kind of stuff, then it is in the mind’s nature to convince you that maybe you should run about a bit and get better stuff. If the God, if the Divinity would not be here now, full and complete, then that God, that Divinity would not be worth it; I would myself advise you to get off this spiritual bus. If yourself was not already full and complete (And apparent) you see? The mind’s trick is to say ‘When will I recognize this?’ perceptually, conceptually or truly?
How many of you are still waiting for some perception to happen to convince you?
[Laughs] No hands? Accha. [Okay]
Another way to say it is: Are you waiting for some experience?
It’s Not About Waiting for an Experience
A:You said an experience happened in which you could not find this ‘me’.
A: This ‘me’ … the individual ‘me.’ Everything seems like the same. I’m presuming that you could not tell difference between that and this and all of this?
A:Now, if I was to tell you that actually your natural state Right Now (in every Right Now) has only been this; and in some moments either the mind goes away or it is just not believable.
Q: Either the mind goes away…
A: Or it is just not believable; and those are those experiences.
Q:Yeah, so it is not that I have a constant thought ‘I am an individual entity’. Okay.
Q:It is just that the feeling, the overall sensation, is heavier, let’s say.
A:This is good. We spoke exactly about this today. So now, what is it? How heavy is it?
Q:Today it is different, I don’t know why. [Chuckles]
A:Today you’re completely free.
Q:No. [Laughs] It is strange to explain, because it’s very subtle. It may be that every time a thought of the supposed-individual entity is coming, I buy it.
A:Okay, so don’t. [Smiles] [Silence]
Q:The mind is fighting to to get his position empty.
A:Yes, yes. What does it have to do with you, when the mind is fighting?
Q:Ah … nothing.
A:Because if you remain convinced in this way that some feeling has to change, some thought has to change, some experience has to change or it has to be that … like often I say, the spiritual experiences sometimes becomes like chains that themselves bind us. And whatever might
happen now, the mind will say ‘I know it wasn’t that’ and it uses memory as some sort of evidence. I promise you that that which was there then is Here Now.
Q:Okay, I know. I know that what was there at that time is Here. But somehow, there are still those distractions, those ideas, those thoughts. I feel, for instance (this is my belief, you know this is how I project it) that you are not touched by the thoughts. They come and go; the feelings, the sensations. But even when you clearly know (for me) the attention goes a lot still to the thoughts.
A:Yeah. So, how about we start not giving so much belief to these ones?
Q:By putting my attention more on what I really am?
A:I’m saying how about if we don’t give belief to these ones to begin with. And then, if you feel like ‘This belief is just too much, too much’ then we can say: Okay, maybe we can rest attention on ‘I Am’ … or what feels more natural to you.
Q:Okay, can I just say something? [Smiles]
Q:Thank you. Because the following thought was ‘I want to stop believing in my thoughts’. But in these thoughts, there is an individual belief. You know?
A:Yeah, exactly. So, not even this. Just let them all come and go.
Okay, so I am going to invoke Bhagavan, [Sri Ramana Maharishi] okay?
As long as it feels like you have a choice, the only choice you have to make is to not go with what your thoughts are saying.
And then it will also be seen that even that was just grace itself.
There Is No Distinction Between Openness and Realization
A:We make a distinction between perception and creation, between imagination and this world.
Q:Anything which is not Now is imagination or creation?
A:Yes, but even the content of the Now is what? This world, which is appearing Now, what can we say about it? Is it not perception? How is perception different from imagination? How is memory different from this appearance Now?
If we go hunting for notions, you will see that all of this is notions. And the good part about this is, like Bhagavan said ‘True knowledge is only the dropping of false ignorance.’ So, it is not to go from one set of certainties to a new set of certainties. It is only the dropping of these ideas which are just ideas … or not even dropping, just seeing them as ideas. Because many times, we’re just like ‘I have to drop this now. I have to drop this now.’ But we don’t drop the ‘I have to drop that.’ So, noticing is the light way; to notice that these things are just ideas, to see that any conceptual representation I can make about any of this doesn’t stand up to any scrutiny.
What are your thoughts? They are just conceptual representations of ‘What Is’ … like trying to distill ‘What Is’ into a concept. But what is the need to do that? Why do you need to distill ‘What Is’ into a concept? In a way, it can be said: only to play in a limited way.
What about the ‘Is-ness’ itself? … un-distilled, un-conceptualized. So, we don’t need to distill ‘What Is’ into some idea, because it is never valid anyway. As Guruji [Sri Mooji] told me the first time: ‘If you begin to know, it messes up anyway. It is never true.’ And I still feel like … (it’s been what, 8 years, 9 years?) I still feel like I’m hearing it Now; I’m hearing it fresh Now. It was the first thing he told me. When we think we know what something is, that is the door to suffering. By the way, it includes everything that is being said in Satsang also. These are just the thorns. But use the thorns, then throw them away.
In your openness, in your emptiness, all the Truth that needs to be discovered, the Self that you are looking for, is realized. There is no distinction between openness and realization. There is no distinction between openness and realization. In that one moment of openness, you are no different from Bhagavan. This is what Dogen meant when he said ‘Truth, liberation and practice are one and the same.’ For those not in Satsang, it can feel a bit confusing. The practice part especially because it can feel like ‘I Am That; I don’t need a practice.’ But that’s what he is also saying, that remaining open, not holding on, not clinging, is the same as liberation.
Then what happens? Then the popular notion of permanency comes. ‘But isn’t liberation supposed to be permanent?’ And we cling to that notion and it feels like ‘It has gone.’ Our projections about the future … nobody has ever met this thing called future, and nobody has ever met this thing called the past. If there was such a thing, where is it? Another Sage said ‘All these objects, if there was a past, are they here to go into the past? Or they are going to be here to come into the future?’ So, this much anyone will readily admit, that there is no such tangible thing as past or future. These are just conceptual. Don’t let the idea of permanence keep you permanently stuck. [Chuckles]
What Does ‘I’ Mean?
How would you experience separation if you had no notion?
Q: As long as there is an ‘I’ to experience it….
A:Exactly. As long as we even have this (like we were just saying jokingly the other day about the ‘I’ thought; what the letter means) … once you see that the ‘I’ thought is just a thought… what does that mean? Okay, this we can deconstruct this a bit.
Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] said these beautiful words, that ‘The ‘I’ thought must leave you and then you will be free. The ‘I’ thought is the basis of all suffering, all ego.’
Now what would it mean to ‘leave you’? Like what would it mean ‘the ‘I’ thought must leave you’? If you look at that, we just have to see that if this idea of ‘I’ is no longer of reference to anything, then it has left you. If it is no longer a reference to anything, it has left you.
Don’t try to move the pointer from the ‘person’ to the Absolute, because if it could still be referenced in that way, it is still not the Absolute. If it is still being pointed to in that way, it is still not the Absolute. So, see that it doesn’t refer to anything.
Who does ‘I’ refer to?
This is very sweet because this is exactly what Bhagavan meant when he said ‘The dropping of the false knowledge, false ignorance, is the rising of true Knowledge’ … which means that if I no longer refer to anything, then in a way, it refers to Truth. (Forget about that second part.) [Chuckles] It is no longer a pointer (to use a software term) it is no longer a pointer. The ‘I’ thought is gone. And again, the best, best news always is: It is gone Now.
So, this idea of ‘journey and gradations’ … that path where [they say] ‘You do this and you do that and then you will do this and then the ‘I’ thought will go and that will be the ultimate’ is also notional. ‘I’ does not mean anything Right Now, in this very moment.
We were doing this for some time before you came. I was asking everyone to say ‘I’ … asking ‘What you are saying, are you saying it Advaita-ically?’ [Chuckles] So, you can try: Just say ‘I’
A:What does that point to?
S:It is body/mind.
A:Body/mind. See? Okay, that is the thing. Who is this ‘I’? That is the inquiry.
But as you empty of this notion, it doesn’t point to anything; it is just another sound. In a different language, to somebody who doesn’t know English, ‘I’ is ‘I’. In Marathi [regional Indian
language] it would be like calling the mother is ‘I’ [Chuckles] It references mother. It does not reference ‘me’. So, there is nothing special in ‘I’. Like you can hear the ‘I’ thought but it is not that the word, the alphabet letter ‘I’ itself contains some magical properties to make it like this thing. It is just the meaning that has been given to it. And when it is divested of this meaning …? Because when we check, every time we check ‘Who am I?’ we see that ‘What does it mean? I can not find any object, any tangible entity, to which it is pointing.’
S:But who is the one who is receiving this, investigating … and all these thoughts fighting again? There is still is this ‘I’. The thought is still there.
A:This is how it becomes circular, in a way. Once you see that there is no ‘I’ you will see who is that ‘I’.
S: So, there will be some ‘I’?
A:[Chuckles] No. Okay, let’s see if I can put in another way. If the answer can be asserted or negated, it is not it. If I can positively assert ‘Yes, there is an I’ (whatever version or way you want to put to it) or you can say ‘There is no I’ then it is not what we are talking about. It is just beyond these opposites because neither answer is true. Neither assertion nor denial of anything is true, actually. Because (that’s what I’ve been saying form the beginning of Satsang today is that) any conceptual representation does not actually accurately represent What Is.
That’s why ‘What do you know when you know nothing?’ is a useful way to put it. And this much openness is also good; to see that ‘I don’t know whether there is or there isn’t’. That much is more than enough.
Q:Yeah, Father, it feels like that when I ask ‘Who am I?’ There is no tangible entity which I experience in that. So, it’s basically saying, in a way, that ‘I don’t even know what it is.’
A: And yet you cannot say that it is nothing.
Q: Yet, we cannot say that because there is a sense of existence.
A:Yeah, and then what happens is I used to use the term ‘no-thing’ very often but I realized that that was becoming a thing. Like we can make a ‘no-thing’ thing.
Q: Yes, exactly.
A:That’s why I like inquiry in this way: ‘So, what is?’ … ‘Okay, I am not finding anything tangible.’ … ‘So, what are you finding?’
Q:What are you finding? I find myself … enough to really know who I am, to experience myself. Definitely, it’s not body/mind. Now I don’t experience it in that way but there is a sense of existence which I always feel when I ask this question myself.
A: Because you feel it, does that make it ‘you’?
Q: Hmm … I can’t say, Father.
A:You can’t even say that. Because I’m eating the ice cream doesn’t make me ice cream. [Chuckles] So, it depends how you want to use the term.
A:But truly, what is there? Even in the term ‘I’ there isn’t some inherent meaning. That’s why this idea of this ‘I- thought’ is just like any other thought. Of course, it is important to look at it sometimes like that because it’s like the central thought around which all these thoughts are constructed. So, it’s like that Jenga base block in Jenga; a big thing which is supporting a lot of other stuff so we can pull from there.
What does ‘I’ mean? It is another way of asking the same question: ‘Who am I?’ What does ‘I’ mean to you?
S: A temporary idea.
A:So, what is the permanent then? If ‘I’ itself is temporary, whose conclusion is this?
S:Seems like it would take another ‘I’ to explain this. Who knows it?
A:Yes, that was this question. But who is it to either know or not know, to do or not do, to pick up or to drop? It is a nice inquiry. But the answer is not in ‘there is’ or ‘there is not’. The answer is not in ‘There is such an I’ or ‘There is not’. But don’t take my word for it; investigate.
S:It seems like it shouldn’t begin. I mean, it seems like it forms ideas. But the investigation requires…
A:Only if there is an idea, do you need investigation. If you are empty of all notions, there is nothing to investigate.
That’s why I have said that: In our way of sharing Satsang, there are two things which are mainly talked about. One is self-inquiry and the other is surrender. Both of these are actually the same; there is actually no difference, but they can feel or seem a bit different initially. But both of these only apply when you have a notion about yourself. When you are open, completely open, completely empty, in this moment you are no different from Bhagavan.
Fear of Forgetting Something Important
[Reading from chat]: “How to deal with the fear/anxiety of forgetting something important, of forgetting some important work that has to be done? Mind uses this trick when I try to live in the present moment of Now. Although I know it is a trick of the mind, some part of this anxiety or fear seems real.”
Yes. So, we speak of this often, where, in a sense, our prayer then becomes ‘Dear Lord, I’m surrendering everything to you but just make sure you don’t forget the important stuff.’
Like, who is doing the most important thing right now? Okay, let’s break it down. Let’s not even talk about existence, let’s make it very ‘real’ … as the mind likes to call it; very ‘real’ according to the mind. It’s the most unreal, but let’s presume for a minute.
So, suppose that there is important work to be done by this body. What is the most important thing?
A:Breathing. Or the heart to beat. The body has to be alive for some important action to happen. Who is doing that? It must be supremely intelligent. You don’t even have to say ‘God’. Whatever is doing it must be supremely intelligent. It seems to be quite consistent with the heartbeat, with millions of processes in the body. Let’s stick to the body. All this is happening and there seems to be a Supreme Intelligence which is driving all of this, running all of this. Now, if there was some Intelligence to surrender to, would it be to this Intelligence? … or would it be to some localized version of a mental sort of conceptual intelligence?
Now, look around in the world, look around in nature, look around at the sun, the planets, this entire existence: are they all thinking about it? The sun is saying ‘Today, I should rise from the west’? Gravity is saying ‘Today I should exert a force of acceleration which is this strong’? Electricity is saying ‘Okay, my electrons are a bit tired so today I’m going to sleep’? The DNA, the plants in nature; everything is just unfolding beautifully. Now, it is this strangely human condition that we feel like we need to understand all of this, to get all of this and then make it run the way we want. And this is a short-lived fallacy usually. One of my favorite verses which I read recently was:
Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly
Man got to ask himself ‘why, why, why’.
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land
Man got to tell himself he understand.
So, it’s very, very strong in this world: I must know what I’m doing, I must do it in this way and that is what is right.
What happens when you allow things to unfold? When you allow things to unfold… when you’re empty of how to look at a beautiful mountain, you’re just looking at a beautiful mountain.
And supposedly, all this work has to be done so we can come to a secure place; some peace, some joy. But when do these moments actually happen? When you’re in this simple openness, this simple allowing.
In a way, it’s like the story of those two farmers. One was just sitting. The other one, who was very egoic, in a way, comes and says ‘What are you doing just sitting around? Why don’t you do something?’
‘So, what should I do?’
‘Go sow the seeds in your field!’ ‘What will happen then?’
‘When the time is right, you can harvest them.’ ‘Then what should I do?’
‘Then you can sell all your produce and make a lot of money.’ ‘Then?’
‘You can have a house.’ ‘Then?’
‘You can get married and have children.’ ‘Then, what will I do?’
‘Then you can come to a point where you’re done and you can just sit in peace.’ So, this man says ‘But I’m doing that now.’
So, what is important? What do we give importance to? Now, again, don’t make that classic mistake of saying ‘Okay, therefore, now my work is unimportant’ or something like that. You’re just divesting it of the label ‘important’ … we’re not giving it a new label ‘unimportant’. The same story could have been told about somebody who was working in the kitchen or chopping wood or staring at a spreadsheet. It’s not to do with the content of what is appearing. It is our idea of what is right, what is wrong, what is big, what is small, what we want, what we don’t want.
The most important work, even at the body level, is being done for you. Do we have enough gratitude for that, to start with? [Smiles] ‘Thank you, Lord, for beating my heart.’
If you don’t consider yourself the body, what is the work? It is just to exist, no? Just to Be.
So, who’s doing the Being? Who is existing right now? Who is holding up this Being? Because if this was not, the waking state would not be. Then how would we do the work? If Being Itself did not arise, if Consciousness did not come, then how to do the work? Empty of time and space, how to do the work? You see? What work can we take into the sleep state with us? Forget about death. Say, even tonight we go to sleep, and actually every time you go to sleep, there is no guarantee that you will wake up tomorrow as this. That is what will wake up tomorrow. But still we feel like something so important is there to do.
As sometimes the Sages will say that ‘Even more important is to figure out That One that does not go to sleep or wake up, that is not born and is not dying. What is That Eternal One?’
That seems too difficult to figure out. But the simplest way to come to that is not through figuring it out; it is by dropping all that we think is true but actually is just limited, is just conceptual.
[Re-reads part of chat]: “Mind uses this trick when I try to live in the present moment of Now.”
Mind uses this trick to convince you that some important email has to be sent. And in these kinds of ‘first world’ problems that we have, what is the important work for most of us? It is not a question of even survival of the body usually. It is more in terms of some idea of progress; some idea. And usually it is like you’re saying, that ‘Just when I feel like I can just be open, empty, effortless, the mind says ‘Oh! But that important email has to be sent right now! The world will stop spinning unless you send it right now.’ And you might leave this whole thing and decide to start your work and forget all about the email. [Chuckles] Then, that’s fine; then the mind is not saying this is so important.
It’s good to see (you say) that it’s a trick. This is already good. So, play with this. Don’t label anything as important or unimportant. Don’t swing around like the pendulum. (Let the mind do that; that’s fine). And see how life unfolds.
Now, the mind will play this trick on you and say ‘But I’m just going to become passive; I’ll just lay down like a vegetable all day’ or something like that. There is no guarantee like that. As sometimes I will say … the old Master said ‘Before enlightenment, chopping wood, fetching water. After enlightenment, chopping wood, fetching water.’ But I feel like we can add an ‘…or not.’ Because who is to say how it will be?
Right Now, There Is Nowhere More to Go
[Reading from chat]: “Father, exposing this, as it surfaces when you say ‘You are as liberated as a Sage.’ Ramana shared a story of the one who fell into samadhi by the Ganges [river] after asking his devotee for a glass of water, then came out of it years later asking: Where is my glass of water? So, [Ramana said] there were still vasanas. The thought comes ‘There must be lifetimes more still for this one [herself] who is nowhere near the state of even samadhi.’ Then I ask: Who is even here? Who does this pertain to? … and [surrender it to] ‘Guru Kripa Kevalam’. There’s no way the mind could claim awakening (even with Awareness/Presence Here Now unquestionable) … so that’s a good part of this. When Bhagavan says it, there’s a feeling that there must be more I should be doing. But at this point, there is no one here to do anything, so some anxiety comes. Surrendering it and wondering what you would say.”
A:Yes. Now, that’s why many times I say that: For some time, let me make the claims for you. So, even his claim that ‘When you’re open and empty, you’re as liberated as a Sage’ … let that be my claim on your behalf. You don’t hold onto this concept. Because this concept itself can be quite a strong notion; in fact, can be a super-solid notion which has some great trouble being shaken off. So, you remain as open, as empty, as possible. Let all the claims and disclaimers come from me for now.
What I mean to say when I’m saying that ‘You’re as liberated as a Sage’ is that there is nowhere more to go.
When you’re empty of notions: That’s it.
So, all these ideas of what should happen, what should not happen … [let them go].
Even the best way to deal with these vasanas (as you call them) is to meet them with full openness.
So, it’s all about just this Right Now, there is nowhere more to go.
The Truth is apparent … although wordless.
Full freedom is here, although empty of special experience.
Then you are free from this conceptual baggage.
That’s really it, actually.
Discomfort of Exploring the Labels
With the thought ‘I have to fulfill the role of a daughter’ … the question then comes ‘But what is a daughter?’
What is painful is the implication. The painful is not that it’s not healthy to just look at what the term means; the painful is that ‘If I see though it (that ‘daughter’ is just a concept) then I will feel like I will disown my parents or something, or I will not take good care of them.’ But these are all just presumptions. What I am speaking of has nothing to do with the actions of the body; it is just our attachment to this limited notion of ourself. Because what is the mind’s alternative to being a daughter? It’s like ‘I am nothing to them.’ But isn’t being them more intimate than being a daughter?
The mind will always sell us these horror stories. ‘Oh, if I am not a daughter, then I must be like nothing to them.’ But it’s still from this limited perspective of ‘I am the body and they are the body.’ I’m saying that if there is no distinction at all, is there a greater love than this: just this one Being?
S: Like ‘No Guru and disciple.’
A:Yeah, the same. When we say ‘No Guru and disciple’ … I was saying that even when I hear something like ‘No Guru’ or something like that, I still feel a pinch a bit. But it’s because the mind has this alternative: ‘That means…’ What does it mean anyway? Just This: Is-ness. ‘Okay, if I’m not that, then I must be just this.’ It takes it to mean like an emptiness of love or an emptiness of empathy or an emptiness of all of these things, which is not what is being spoken of. It is being empty of these notions that we carry that burden us and make this world seem so small and make ourselves seem so limited.
What are you without your boundaries? You have to taste that, then say. If you find that it will just become like ‘a nothing’ …, like smaller than an insect or something, then you tell me.
Who are you in the Unborn?
When you are in this sort of suffering, in this kind of thing, it’s a great opportunity to check. It’s a great opportunity to check: What conclusion you are making? And if we start scratching and seeing the validity of this conclusion, you find ‘What is it about?’
Just to further explore this particular question, because it is very primal in a way: There is fear or suffering which arises to explore ‘What is a daughter?’ … because the fear is that then that will go, and it will be replaced with … like you will become casual strangers or something. [Smiles] But nobody is saying that. That’s just the mind’s ‘Quasimodo’. I heard Guruji [Sri Mooji] talking about the mind saying ‘But I will become like Quasimodo.’ It’s just versions of that. It’s all different versions of that. ‘I will forget who my family is. I will not recognize them or I will treat them like they are strangers.’ This is all just ideas … because we fear the unknown so much.
‘What is going to happen if I truly explore: What is the truth? And what happens to all my support systems, all the ideas that I have built up over the years?’
There will come a time where, upon hearing stuff like this, you will not use any of this as a conclusion. You will just empty yourself from your conclusions. It doesn’t need to be replaced. It can be plucked out but doesn’t have to be replaced with a fresh thorn. [Smiles] Because the mind will say ‘If I’m not a daughter, then what am I?’ And something may not like hearing ‘But then you are them’ or something like that. ‘Okay, that is some comfort or something. Or there is full oneness or something.’ But throw that away also. That can seem a bit scary. That can seem a bit strong. [Smiles] It’s just the mind’s fear-mongering.
S:Yeah, it doesn’t seem like (for example) ‘I’m not their son, therefore, I’m not going to send them a birthday card or something.’ You know? There’s no ‘therefore’. There is no conflict in that space.
A: No cause and effect. No ‘Because this, therefore this.’
A:What is the term: ‘be-cause’? Like ‘This is the cause of that.’ That is why I said: The only cause (if you have to say it) is Consciousness or God.
The Best News Is That It Is Gone Now
Q:It has been constant that part of my attention goes towards a lot of thoughts and putting in a lot of doubts. You know they are passing because they do pass, but then I find myself always seemingly stuck there and I ‘m not sure how to ….
A:Attention is on the thoughts which are doubts. And doubts in spirituality can be doubts about the teaching, doubts about the Master, doubts about yourself. It doesn’t leave anything. So, what are you doubting most?
Q:Basically, I don’t know or rather … I should know things that I don’t know.
Q:Like maybe there is a next step or something that I must be feeling. I am not feeling it. Or I shouldn’t be paying attention. ‘No, you didn’t do that.’ But there is a constant barrage of these. But there are moments where I do see that these are …
A:These are not uncommon. To try and predict the next step in any journey, especially the spiritual one, is very common. But the funny part of the spiritual one is: what step you are currently on?
Q:It seems like I have to just let it go, let it be and just notice what is there.
A:So, you have to let go of everything except ‘Let it go’?
Q:I can’t let go of that. [Chuckles] Yeah.
A:Can’t let go of letting go? I see. Then we are stuck. [Chuckles]
A:Something likes to hear that now we found the problem. Now the problem is ‘This is where I’m stuck.’ Where is the letting go now? Gone.
This is not some wishy-washy word-play that it has gone Now.
This is the best part.
Q:There’s fear. It doesn’t really have a basis but it plays out like that’s the first reaction. Okay, yeah, this is old news. Like, I didn’t know. If I didn’t know what should I be afraid of. I don’t know. That’s the condition, yeah.
A:[Chuckles] This is why I feel like I have to stop speaking more and more because even I have said ‘The fear of the unknown’ and then the mind also latches onto that and says ‘Okay, now Ananta himself has said that you have the fear of the unknown. Oh, this is fear.’ Which one is it? Where is it?
Q:It’s just not knowing. It doesn’t seem so heavy anymore now. Just thoughts of ‘I must do; I must do something.’
A:Don’t try to know the not-knowing. For many of you, what is happening is that ‘Okay, I’m coming to this space of openness, of dropping; I’m just remaining empty of all of this. Now what is happening to me?’ So, we are still waiting for a conclusion of what is to happen when we don’t know or when we let go.
Whose progress are we tracking? What if you were just a guy sitting next to you? Would you be so concerned about what is happening with him?
Q: Not really.
A:[Chuckles] Did you find out? Say you’re sitting next to Chaitanya and asking him ‘Did you find out what has been happening? Is there fear of unknown?’ No.
So somehow, this idea that there is a ‘me’ here whose spiritual progress, especially now, is of some special relevance, this also becomes part of our belief system about the ‘me’ itself. That’s why every day I come and give you a guarantee. I guarantee you that God is full and complete Right Now … and there is nobody else. It is the same thing as saying ‘All things are perfectly resolved in the unborn.’
Now, everything we say after that is like saying ‘I don’t know this but I just want to claim it anyway.’ In fact, everything said is that way. All claims and denials are that way. Because the basis itself, the ‘I’ (therefore, we can say ‘I am doing this, I have this, I don’t have this’) … the ‘I’ itself cannot be known through this instrument which we have used for knowing.
If, at the end of the inquiry, all you were left with was a conclusion, like a mental/conceptual conclusion, then that would not be it.
Q: Yeah, it’s a position.
A:It’s a position and it’s a pretty heavy position. It’s a pretty heavy position to carry because then we try to live up to that position of what we conceptually think we are now. We try to live as Awareness. Live as the Self. Okay? Live as the Self and show me. [Chuckles] Who can do it? How would you live as the Self? [Pretends a very serious, vacant look and everyone laughs] There are also many oppressive things like trying to live as the Absolute or trying to live as a particular state. It may be even heavier than trying to live as a good person; trying to live as the Absolute. How to live it? [Laughs]
Nothing in the World Has Inherent Meaning
[Reading from chat]: “Father, a bit of a technical question. Is the world out there an extension of the inner mind? I find that whenever I’m on to something about my true Self, there is some trouble or distraction which originates from the external world, if not from the thoughts within. I think a better understanding might help me tackle this.”
The thing is, we have given all these definitions of inner mind, outer world. Nothing is inherently saying it is that. Nothing is inherently what we label it to be. It is just something that we use to make a box around it and say ‘Okay, this is what I understand of it.’ And that’s why it can be a bit confusing when I say there is no mind, there is no body, there is no world, there is not even Consciousness or the Self.
I’m not speaking of ‘What Is’ …what is Itself Isness. I’m speaking of these distinctions that we make. What is the body? It’s a collection of concepts that you have, isn’t it? Like when I see my hands, that is another concept; all of these. Therefore, then the sensations that we experience like ‘This is a body’ we could have easily said ‘The sensations are mind, and the body is an object.’ These are just labels that we use, but we have used one over-arching label ‘The body’ for these visual perceptions and these sensations.
Then what is the mind? Many people define it in many ways. Mostly in Advaita we talk about it from Bhagavan’s [Sri Ramana Maharshi’s] saying that ‘Mind is a bundle of thoughts.’ But sometimes he also uses the broader definition, which is that ‘Everything that is appearing is mind.’ The Buddhist sometimes just refer to the Being itself as Mind [with a capital ‘M’]. So, it’s just how terms are being used. There is no inherent mind. There is no such thing. If we have to use some label, we can say there are some perceptions. And the way for the mind to make sense of these perceptions is to label it as ‘outside’ … ‘inside’ … ‘body’ … ‘mind’ … ‘world’ … ‘Being’ … ‘Self’. But are any of these things saying ‘I am this’? Inherently, nothing has come with that certificate. That’s why Guruji [Sri Mooji] says ‘Nothing in the world has inherent meaning.’ It is just a meaning that we have given to it.
So, when we drop this distinction between even inner and outer … because I ask you this question often, what do you mean by inner, by inside? What is that inner? Inside what? When you say ‘I go inside’ or sometimes you say ‘My inner experience’ … but inner to what? Not inner to body. And sometimes we say outside; outside to what? Even this [Touches the top area of his head] is presumably outside, but outside to what?
Q: The concept of ‘me’.
A:Yeah, this concept of ‘me’ that seems to be the dividing line. But is this experience [Moves his hands and gestures to the body] inside or outside?
As we start to look at these distinctions … just to look at them; we don’t have to come to some new description that ‘This is how it is’ because it will not be definable in that way. It will not be definable in that way. So, if you did not have this distinction ‘The world out there’ and ‘My inner
mind’ then like some Sages, you would have said ‘All is the mind.’ Some say ‘All is just an appearance of the world; Maya.’
And why it is good to check this is because this is where we draw our boundary. Inside means inside me, outside means outside me. This is where our boundary is drawn. So, in these ways, we keep the idea of separation alive.
[Nisargadatta] Maharaj at one time said ‘Just stop making any distinctions.’ [Silence] And this is enormous, you see. Because if distinctions were inherent in experience, then you would never get this kind of advice.
I Know Nothing
[Reading from chat]: “I think a better understanding might help me tackle this.”
But I don’t want to help the ‘me’. [Smiles] If I give you an understanding then you are absolutely right that it will help the ‘me’. [Chuckles] I want you to explore these things and question these things, even those which you feel are the basis of your very existence like time and space. Allow some of this to be revealed to you. And this is why many times I say that ‘To put a label on it is to avoid it’ because I see this very commonly used in this way. We just say ‘time’ or we just say ‘space’ or we just say ‘inside’ … ‘outside’ … ‘yesterday’ … ‘tomorrow’.
What is it? What is the past? Is there an existent entity called the past? What is the future? You say ‘I come into the past; to now.’ So, what is that past?
We shy away from these questions because this conceptual mind has no scope. It’s not in the mind’s range. And in a way, we have been taught that in this way, we don’t want to feel stupid. If you don’t have an answer there [Points to head] we feel like that is stupidity. And Guruji [Sri Mooji] many times says that ‘I know nothing.’ And he told me that to know things only messes it up anyway. So, this idea that you have to have a representation of ‘What Is’ in a conceptual way, that you have to have some intellectual grasp of ‘What Is’ itself is suffering. And most of humanity is suffering in this way because they are not able to figure out what is going on. Like ‘What is going on?!’ And how does that manifest in the seeker identity? You want to know what percentage of enlightenment have you got. And most seekers … I feel like through most of their journey, they keep feeling like they are almost on the edge. [Laughs] ‘I’m just on the edge, I’m just almost there.’ You could have started seeking ten minutes ago [Laughter] or fifty years ago. This is a good trick from the mind, isn’t it? ‘You are doing well, you’re almost there, just the final thing has to happen. You are just almost there.’ Almost where? [Chuckles] That we don’t know: Where? What? What are these reports? Who are they about?
Sometimes when some new adventures start to happen for some of you, you have some experiences which are not so common in day-to-day life and then that can also become another adventure to figure out ‘What is going on?’ Many times, you are like ‘What is going on?’ And nobody knows what is going on; nobody knows any of that. Nobody knows conceptually anything about anything. But as you let go of this duality, as you let go of the opposites, the nature of what you think ‘to know something’ is itself changes. The nature of what you feel or think ‘to know something’ means itself changes. And this is indescribable, in a way. It’s like love. [Smiles]
What could I tell you that you would know about this Now nature of Knowingness? Because you will start to know that. [Points to head] You will start to try and capture that mentally and say ‘Yes, yes, this is good; no, no, this is bad’ or ‘This is what I am after’.
The Notion of It Is Not It
Something very beautiful … we were just taking about (somebody pointed it out, saying that) in such a sacred scripture which is sacred to us, the Ribhu Gita, which is the heart of what is called ‘The Mystery of Shiva; Shiva Rahasya’ … and among which, Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] himself said Chapter 26 is the best for all spiritual seekers … if you look at it, is it just ‘Not this, not this, not this, not this, not this, not this, not this, not this, not this.’ [Chuckles]
It is nothing but an invitation to empty yourself.
Whatever you think it is, whatever you claim this to be, it is not that. He even said ‘No Satsang or no no-Satsang.’ You see? No Satsang or no lack of Satsang. No Guru, no disciple.
No Shiva …
In ‘The Mystery of Shiva’ [it says] ‘No Shiva’ … because we’ve made the mistake … mistaken the notion to be IT. We mistake the notion ‘Shiva’ to be Shiva.
We mistake the notion ‘Absolute’ to be Absolute; the notion ‘Knowingness’ to be Knowingness.
So, these are invitations to be done with duality. I like it very much that he says ‘Not this … not the opposite of that also.’
Now, if your life is free from these (everything that has an opposite) … if your life was free from everything that had an opposite, what would it be like?
Would you wake up in the morning?
Waking has an opposite; sleep.
Morning has an opposite; night.
Okay, [Chuckles] let me not take it too far. You do it. You check:
If you are not bound by your intellect or its representations …?
Thought Is Just a Thought
Q:Father, most of the things that come, like most of the thoughts (I’m just measuring it) like ninety out of hundred thoughts just come and go. I don’t pay attention to it. Ninety out of hundred, okay? But there are these ten thoughts; like for example, if I have a headache, how can it be a thought? I have a headache, you see. That is so much…
A:Yes, what I’m saying is ‘It’s just a thought.’ It’s a thought? Or no?
Q:It is a thought. But… ahh… [Smiles]
Q:The ten of them are really … like they attack you. I know that attacking is also a thought, but it seems like a pain actually.
A:So, if it is a painting, then to call it a painting is no trouble. If it is a song, to call it a song is no trouble. But how come something takes it as an attack when something is pointed out that ‘A thought is just a thought’? Or that ‘It is the thought’? (It might take offense at the term ‘just’ … like ‘It’s just a painting’.) So, it’s enough to say that it is just a thought.
Is it more than a thought? ‘I … have … a … headache.’ It’s a thought.
Q: But still, it is there. It is a kind of physical suffering; something, some sort of experience.
A:I know, you are saying that there is pain; some sensation is being experienced. But ‘I’ have a headache?
Q: This body has headache. [They both chuckle]
A:We aren’t trying to get to the best version. But you will try to change it around like this. ‘This body has a headache.’ Then are you certain about that? Maybe it is a phantom limb type thing or about a love type thing? Is it a dream body? It is a waking state body? So, as you keep playing with the versions of whatever you could use to represent what perception is happening, you will find that no version actually works. So, I’m not saying to become strange in day-to-day life; that you don’t tell people that ‘I have a headache, give me a crosine.’ I’m not talking about that. But I’m just saying that even this version, which is a notion (if you were open at that time; not when you have a headache) you can check and see: ‘What is it? Can I find the one who has the headache? Do I really know what a head is or what a headache is?’ I know, it may be too much for some. So, it’s fine. [Smiles]
So, which part of that do you know? You know ‘I’?
Q: I don’t know anything. [Chuckles]
A:We started with saying okay, we will go that way then. ‘I … have … a … headache.’ So, the ‘I’ part … the starting itself is starting trouble. So, from this side, we can start.
What is headache? You looked at various sensations and we said ‘Presumably it comes from here, presumably it is there.’ But when we start really looking at these sensations, these perceptions, can you really locate where they are?
You might be trained to say that ‘Okay, this is a hand sensation.’ Where is it being experienced? You check like this and you will find that location-less-ness is more prevalent that you realize. These concepts of space are fitted on top of just natural experience. This concept of spatial existence is an overlay on top of just ‘What Is’. Like we were saying ‘up and down, left and right’ … and the mind will say ‘Of course, up is up.’ Okay, but up for who?
I don’t know why I have to insist so much on this ‘up and down’ thing [Chuckles] but I felt like something opened here when I saw that even this is just notional.
Q: It means for the body.
A:It is just to make that reference again to the body. And again, I’m not suggesting or saying ‘Okay, change the way you talk in life’ or something like that. I’m not saying it like that. I’m just suggesting that all these things we feel we are so certain about, bring them into your inquiry.
If [Sri Nisargadatta] Maharaj can encourage you with his statement saying ‘I just began to lose all my certainties; that’s what really changed.’ The certainties that you think are strong, like ‘This is the way it is.’
‘Is’ is not definable in any way. It Is.
‘I Am Still Waiting’ Is Just a Thought
Q:I found myself waiting and I know that I probably shouldn’t. I try not to, but I still find myself waiting on something to happen. I try the best I can to follow your instruction, to not to put any interpretation or follow a thought. I struggle with that a lot. That’s that. I have a question that I want to ask you but it is such an open question and I don’t know if there is identity behind it but the question is ‘Why are you in my life?’ You know, I sit and I think sometimes that I am truly blessed to have discovered Mooji and discovered the teachings and the pointings and to have a personal relationship with you. What else could I want? To have you personally point to me, I feel that should be enough to have what I probably shouldn’t even be desiring. But I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m trying to make a story out of something; but that’s that. I don’t know what else to say. I’ll just probably go around and around…
A:Yes. The first part was just this idea of waiting. ‘I’m just waiting for something to happen.’ But the truth is really not in time.
Right Now: What is here? What is apparent to you?
Don’t judge it. Don’t give me a conclusion, actually. Just taste it for yourself.
Maybe speaking emotionally for a minute, I would say that if all of humanity could just have few moments of this un-judged moment, every day, every week, maybe every month, it would be enough.
In fact, this seems to be the theme most times when we speak. I’m saying give yourself this gift. Give yourself this gift of leaving one moment un-judged.
Just this one moment un-judged.
So, waiting is just an idea of the future … or just a projection. Nobody has met this future.
Q:I remember that Papaji [Sri Poojaji] said ‘He who has done it would know he has done it.’ I guess I’m waiting for that. I guess that’s what I’m waiting for; that he who has done it would know he has done it and to know I have done it. Like, I know you did it. I look at you and I know you did it. I look at Mooji, I know he did it. You know? And I notice beyond a belief or a thought, I know that I want that. I want it the right way; I don’t want no identity, I don’t want nothing. Smash me; whatever. Sometimes I think the only way to get that is suicide, Father. I’m not thinking about doing it or nothing but I have considered that, you know? … not suicide itself but that idea, like maybe that’s the only way to have freedom is just to totally be done with this. Because I want it so bad. I’ve been wanting it ever since I could remember what liberation was or freedom was or forgiveness of sins was. I just wanted to be in alignment and I never could do it. I’m always doing some kind of sin, some kind of perversion, some kind of something. I just want it to be done. I’ve been wanting it to be done; to the point where I am like ‘God, somebody, you got to do something because I want it so bad!’ And the fact that I want it so bad and nothing’s being done and I’m seeing all of us in the Sangha as well wanting something so bad … and just being told that ‘It is already Here’ … but it not being here. I don’t know. And then I
don’t want to get off the computer with you today. I feel okay for the moment, then I’m just tired of going back and forth. [Silence] And then I don’t want to actually have this in front of the Sangha. I don’t know what else to do, though.
A:This longing, this ‘I want it so bad’…. I have experienced it and experienced it here. [Puts hand on his heart] Sometimes full of frustration, the same way; anger even at the Masters. I never actually had the courage to shout at any of the Masters but I certainly felt like it at times. I certainly felt like it at times. And I know that mostly it happened … (this anger, this frustration, this ‘Really, I want it! Why am I not getting it?!’) … it was coming the most with Nisargadatta Maharaj. I was just feeling like ‘Why does he make it sound so simple?’ … like he [the questioner] is saying … just to hear that ‘It’s just Here’ … this kind of thing, that: You just Are. But I couldn’t even find this ‘I Am’ and it was so frustrating.
So, I don’t want to say that it’s a bad thing or that this longing is detrimental or anything like that. That’s why, how it seems to unfold here, is just every day to remind you of what is deeper that what you think is true; what you think, even your judgments about yourself. Because in the freedom that I recognize, in the truth that I recognize, it was not about the one that wanted the freedom. It is really not about that one. But I know it maybe doesn’t even sound helpful for the short term to hear this.
If this one is burning through this, the one who wants (not just this, but the one who can want anything) it is burning right now. It is auspicious. But if that one is looking for a statement or a guarantee or something like that, saying that ‘Okay, this, this, and this’ or ‘Now, after you hear what I say, you will get it’ … it is not that, it doesn’t work like that.
So, how to have what Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] had, how to have what Papaji [Sri. Poonjaji] and Guruji [Sri Mooji] have? There is no template; there’s no way to define that. And to recognize that, to accept that you cannot really say. You cannot say whether or when or how
…our way through. None of these you can really say. To accept that is very good. To accept that is very important. And that frustration that comes upon hearing it, let it burn. Let it burn this idea of the individual ‘I’.
So, it is not a good answer. I don’t have like a good answer. But I do have my full, full blessings, my love. I am the daily reminding, the daily reminding of what You Are.
Q:Even the burning itself, isn’t that illusory? See, while we were talking, the only thing I was thinking was that I was happy to hear you, to see you. I felt satisfied in hearing your words. And I was asking myself ‘What is satisfied?’ You know? ‘What needs to be burned?’ You know, I’m there; I’m there. With all due respect, I know everything that you’re saying to be true. We talked about the ‘lights on’ thing, and I told you about the experience of nothing-ness and everything like that. So, with all of this and hearing what you’re saying now and all of that satisfaction, whatever … that waiting is still there. And the waiting for what I know is nothing to be waited for. So, I’ll wait. [Chuckles and puts his hands on his head and his head on the table]
A:I got in trouble a bit on Saturday when I said to my wife that ‘It’s just a thought’. So, if I can get in trouble with my wife, I can risk getting in trouble with you also. Because this is just a
condition you are placing on yourself that ‘I’m just waiting.’ It is also just a thought. Like when you say ‘The waiting is still there’ … where is it? I know the mind will say ‘Yes, but I know that.’ It is like waiting big time, but ‘I know there is no waiting’ kind of a thing. But actually, there is just… [opens his hands] We can play this ‘It’s just a thought’ game for a bit. It is a nice one. It is not an enjoyable one necessarily, though. Because especially thoughts like this, which we feel are SO valid, you know: ‘Ananta hear me, I am just like waiting!’ And then there was some fire along with that report also. So, then it can feel like ‘Oh, but this is not just a thought. It is a valid representation of my reality.’ But as you look, even as you are looking now, you will see that it is not. It is not a valid representation of You in any way Right Now; or at any point of time. Of course, you can swear your allegiance to it. You can say ‘Of course, I’m waiting!’] You can claim that. But you will never be able to convince me that there is such a one who is actually waiting. So, then it is just notional. So, that is what I mean when I say ‘It’s just a thought.’
The good part of all of this is that your lack of freedom or your lack of not being exactly the same as Ananta is also just a thought. And you might say that ‘It is apparent when I look at you that there is a difference’ but I want to say that ‘It is apparent when I look at you that there is no difference.’ If I say: Right Now [Snaps his fingers] Right Now, what is the difference between both of us? (if there is such a thing as both of us) … I would say ‘None.’ Truly from my heart, not encouraging you or something like that, I am speaking something which is directly pointing. What is apparent to you Now? … if you don’t rush to nationalize it, if you don’t rush to deduce or infer? I’m just talking about that for years. For five years I’ve been speaking about this stuff, which is the same: It is completely apparent to you Right Now. Now, without conceptualizing it, can you point me to the difference between us?
Q: Of course not. What can I say? Whenever you point to the Now, what can anyone ever say?
A:Yeah, and this which you just said is used both as a beautiful statement of the truth and sometimes as a complaint. I don’t know which way you are saying that. [Sangha laughter] Because also as a complaint, you are saying ‘Now, Father, it is fine, but when I leave Satsang, when I meet my other work colleagues or a friend, then it seems very different’ or something like that. But I hope you are saying it as a form of (which is to say that) ‘Every Now, we just see it. This, you see; what It Is.’ There is no duality here, no distinction, no difference. And it is completely, completely apparent, completely apparent to You … not to your mind, to You.
Q:I will tell you that when you were just sitting there with our eyes closed, that’s pretty much when I get caught up in the mind. Can I sit on your lap? I actually visualize you sitting like that and I shrink down and jump in your lap and just sit. [Laughs] And that’s where I have to stay, Father. That’s where I have to stay. And when I say that, that is how I stay now, is on your lap. And the mind comes up ‘Is that enough?’ I just sit. I don’t know what else to do. Thank you.
A:Thank you, my dear. If, as you say so beautifully, that you are Here in the lap of the Divine, the Divine Presence, then let the mind say whatever it wants. When it says ‘I’m still waiting’ [see that] ‘But I’m on my Father’s lap.’ [If it says]: ‘But you’re not like Bhagavan was’ [see that] ‘I am on my Father’s lap.’ And see that then Father’s lap cannot be secondary to any other position. That is the simplest, simplest. Then it doesn’t matter whether you heard anything else in Satsang ever or not.
You Are Not in Time, Time Is Just an Idea in You
Q:I’m reading [Nisargadatta] Maharaj’s book and someone asks him about time and he said that ‘You think the clock strikes several times but really it only strikes once.’ This really touched me, it really touched me. Could you elaborate?
[Laughter in the room]
A: Elaborate; in time … to elaborate.
Q: About time; about that it only strikes once.
A:So, let’s not say I’m elaborating. Suppose you were to pose it fresh? Because I don’t feel like I should say I’m elaborating on Maharaj. Because it might sound a bit different. That’s why, especially. [Chuckles]
The sense that something changes … because time is just a measure of change, and the idea of change is not fundamental to ‘What Is’. It is dependent on an interpretation of ‘What Is’. So, if change itself is not fundamental to our Reality then the notion of time itself falls apart. Because if nothing was changing, there is no concept of time.
There’s a joke: Time was invented so everything wouldn’t just happen at once. [Laughter] Same with space. I don’t know whether it was Woody Allen or who it was who said that time was just an invention so that everything wouldn’t happen at once. I’m paraphrasing.
It is dependent on something happening, or some change, some movement. One way to look at this is to check what we are and to see whether that is in the realm of change. And if that is not, then time is for whom? For what? So, in a way, it is a measure of this play of light and sound.
You are not in time. Time is just an idea in You.
Nobody has ever met this ‘time’. And we give too much value to past and future, but they are not objects; they are not even tangible objects, you see. It’s like the Sage was saying: ‘These things that are Here Now, are they going to die into the past or are they going to go into the future?’ It shows it is meaningless; the whole construct.
So, if You are not in time … (like the other day we were saying ‘You cannot even place a location to where You are’) then this apparent appearance of time and space does not apply to You in Reality. Then what happens to all our stories? All the things that we think are so true about us are all out the window.
Even the notion of ‘once’ is actually, in a way, in time because it is open to the possibility of more or less; like none or two, both are possible. But to get to the essence of what was being spoken is beyond this quantification, beyond even duration and timelessness. Otherwise, what can happen many times is … like, it’s a popular notion that God (or the Self) is a really old guy sitting somewhere. He’s timeless; he’s just been around forever. Maybe that’s why in some
representations they show God as this guy with a flowing white beard, really old. ‘How old are You? I’ve been here forever.’ So old. But all these are just objective ways to look at this. To age, to have a duration, even to be really, really old (our idea of objective timelessness, in a way) you have to be an object. You would have to be an object. But That which is not an object, That which is not subject to these seeming-principles of time and space, that is Your Reality.
Q:Something happened in that experience, a kind of recognition of something. I don’t know what it was. It may sound kind of strange but it was kind of like an eternal sense of prayer and then a sense of expansion. Then the mind came in and said ‘Okay, now you’re in space.’ I don’t know; I can’t really put it into words. Then there was just a sense of eternal prayer or something.
A:You get to these points where words are not able to capture it … and that is very good. We’re moving from this idea that we have been able to encapsulate ‘What Is’. Even what is appearing in these kinds of notions, in these kinds of ideas, you come into this place of the wordless Truth, where you struggle. Guruji [Sri Mooji] sometimes says ‘It’s your inarticulation that I love.’ Because you come to this point of like ‘What to say, how to say it?’ No words are really matching up to ‘What Is’. So, this ineloquence is actually very much symptomatic of going beyond this objective idea of ourself.
What Is Aware of the ‘I Don’t Know’?
Q:When you said ‘beyond the opposites’ …the only instrument we have is the mind. It can’t answer this. So, the only thing that comes out is ‘I don’t know’.
A:So, let’s put it in another context. Suppose you say that ‘The only instrument I have is the mind.’ So, now we figured out that this device (let’s look at it as an actual physical device) this device, the mind, we have referred to it for all the answers … and now you see that ‘Okay, it doesn’t know’ and it is also coming to the point of admitting ‘I don’t know, leave me alone!’ [Chuckles] Like ‘I don’t know!’
What is aware of that ‘I don’t know’?
So, if the mind came and said that ‘There is nothing which is aware of the I don’t know’ or that ‘There is something which is aware of the I don’t know’ … can you put that which is aware into any of this description?
The one that is looking at the ‘device’ … is that something? Or nothing?
Q:[Shakes head to indicate ‘I don’t know’] This is the only answer I have.
A:‘I don’t know.’
You don’t know that there is an awareness of this? Or what don’t you know?
Do we really know that we don’t know? Because this ‘I don’t know’ also can be a very good resting place for the mind. Just like [Makes a gesture of taking a position] ‘I don’t know’.
But do you know that you don’t know? Who are you talking about? Who doesn’t know?
In one way, that is called the All-knowing Self. … ‘And we dug and we dug and we saw that actually this Self is a big Dumbo. It doesn’t know anything.’ [Laughter] Is it like that?
Q: I think the way of knowing, what we say as ‘know’ … our reference point is that only.
A:Yes, either conceptually or perceptually. And then, if it is beyond these two, it seems to be that we label that as ‘not known’.
Beyond Clarity and Confusion Is Your Home
Q: Mystery is a good label.
A:[Chuckles] Yeah, reasonably. Provisionally, it’s decent. It’s a good metaphor. We start like Sherlock Holmes looking for the ‘Self’ and then we keep getting these clues:
It is not in thought.
It is not in time.
It is not a perception.
These are the clues you are getting as Sherlock … and you are looking for the ‘Self.’
It does not come and go.
It is the unchanging.
It remains untouched, no matter what appears and disappears.
One time, we made a list of clues that were present in the Ashtavakra Gita after reading the Ashtavakra Gita. So, now you are Sherlock Holmes.
Q: Why do they say ‘It is all-knowing itself?’
A: Why did they say…? [Chuckles]
Q:Because you should not have any doubts. At least, I should not have any doubts.
A:‘I should not have at least any doubts…’
Q:Any doubts about anything. Everything should be clear.
A:Everything. But what if I say ‘Nothing is clear’?
Beyond this clarity and confusion is your home.
Beyond clarity and confusion is your home.
It is where You are, actually.
You’re just dreaming that you are between these, in this duality.
What Makes You Exist?
You know what they say about intermittent fasting? The first couple of days … and I’ve had this experience, that the first couple of days there is a bit of tiredness and sometimes a headache. What happens in the first days? Intermittent fasting is when you don’t eat for a number of hours every day. So, sixteen hours you don’t eat and eight hours you can eat. So, what happens in that is that for the first two-three days, the body struggles. Why does it struggle? Because it has forgotten about the generator. It has gotten used to burning the fresh fuel supply which is in the stomach and getting the energy from there. But it has not gotten used to (because of our modern life style) burning the fat; whatever is stored up. So, it struggles.
This is a bit like Satsang. You feel like you struggle without this device called the mind or the intellect but it is only because you are not used to just this greater Supreme Intelligence which is running this entire play. So, what happens mostly is that you complain that ‘Without the mind, I am lost. How can I live like this?’ That is just the withdrawal symptoms from the constant nourishment of ego, of individuality, of the idea that ‘I can know this life; I can figure out what it is about’. But beyond this sort of mental knowing, beyond your intellectual figuring, there is something which Knows in a greater way. It is not a thing, but you have to use some language.
Just like this; as you withdraw from this need to conclude, from this need to say that ‘This is what it is’ … the mind feels that this sort of state is a dumb state, that it has become dumb or something. Just like the fear will come when your body is struggling in the first two-three days of fasting; things like ‘You’re just going to die, you can’t live like this’. [Chuckles] And you look at this beautiful imagery of all the Sages … Yogi Ramsuratkumar also you saw, and he is sitting just like an innocent child. And he taught us one of the most beautiful lessons which there is to learn: ‘Don’t give credence to the possibility of anything but God. If God is what you want, then why do you accept the possibility of anything else?’ From this childlike intelligence, from this childlike innocence, this Supreme Intelligence can arise as the words of the Sages.
Our mind lives in the opposites of right and wrong, true and false. If feels like in some judgment you will get a true representation of ‘What Is’. But that is not the boundary of your existence. That is just the boundary of your intellect. To conclude that this is ‘this’ and this is ‘not this’ … these are just the boundaries of our intellect. But your life, your existence, is much vaster than that. True knowingness which gives light to these minor ways of knowing or perceiving is much vaster than we can imagine, we can perceive, we can fathom. Much vaster.
So, you don’t have to fit this ocean into a glass. You don’t have to ‘get it’. What would it mean to ‘get it’? That you captured some valid representation in this instrument called the mind? Would that be it? Or into your perceptual vision? Would it that be it, to ‘get it’? Into your experiential capabilities? That’s how we define ‘get it’ … ‘I figured it out or I saw something or I had the experience of something’. But it is never just in that. It is not in opposition to that, but it is not just in that.
What are you beyond these?
What is holding your existence up?
What Intelligence is that?
What makes you exist?
Are these just going to be like fantastical concepts for the mind to play with? ‘Brahman, Atma, Self, Absolute, No-thing-ness?’ We can play for many, many hundreds of life times with these. But is there a way to not get caught up in the concepts and to get a taste for yourself in Reality, to taste your Truth?
As long as you are happy to say ‘Yes, yes, no, no, this is right, this is wrong, this is the way I think about it, this is what I feel is true’ then this will not be so appealing for you. This way or that way. If still the duality has juice, enjoy it. No trouble at all. But I’m going to be honest and say that if that juice is still there, then maybe what is being said here may not be so important, may not seem so exciting because there is no promise here of any taste which is perceptual.
But if you’re done with this roller coaster, if you’re done with your own judgments about things, if you’re tired of your conclusions (you look at your conclusions and you say ‘What is this about? Is it really like this? Do I actually know any of this?’) … if this is what your own mind is feeling like to you, then join me here … as there is no attachment to this roller coaster. It can play. There is no aversion to it either. But see yourself with a different set of eyes. Meet yourself in a fresh way; beyond concept, beyond perception.
What Is Difference Between Any Opposites?
What is the distance between any opposites? Big and small, true and false, right and wrong, inside and outside, up and down. The distinction is just a thought; it is just a notion. There is nothing inherently big or small, nothing inherently inside or outside, nothing right or wrong. And inside and outside is very easy to check. Because I don’t feel like there will be anyone in this room who has not said ‘Ah, when I go inside, I find peace or I find some emotion or sensation.’ But nobody has been able to tell me where this inside is. Inside of what is it? The inside where you go to find peace, it is inside of what? And these are the simplest things which we don’t question because we take them to be for granted. The whole egoic notion is built around these notions which seem stupid to question; it feels like ‘But of course. inside is inside and outside is outside.’ But I say ‘Inside what?’
Even this we do not know … and we claim how the world should be. We don’t know how to speak a word, move a finger. You might have a theory about it. You might say ‘Oh, our brain fires some neurons and these actions happen’ but nobody here knows how to fire a neuron. So, what is this Intelligence that is running all of this? And if there is a will, it must belong to just this One, this Intelligence. Because this mythical individual has been looked for (and except for some blurry ‘evidence’) we have not found any real one.
So, don’t be fearful of that which we don’t know. We hate it actually; in our heart, we hate not knowing, so we are quick to replace that fear with a judgment. Remain in the not-knowing. It can feel a bit like some tough medicine … because nobody is holding onto a belief knowing that it is false. Whatever you believe, you think it is true, no? So, when someone comes and says ‘But what do you actually know?’ it can seem like an attack almost.
Now what has happened for most of you is that you are advanced spiritual seekers. [Laughter] As advanced spiritual seekers, you know a lot of spirituality and because you know a lot of spirituality, you may think that you’re right about it. And you will be quick about it. In your encyclopedic spiritual knowledge, you will have all the most credible source. ‘But all I know is what Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] said’ or ‘What [Nisargadatta] Maharaj said’ or ‘Papaji [Sri Poonja] said’ or ‘Guruji [Sri Mooji] said.’
Someone in Sangha says: ‘What Ananta said.’
But what are they saying? They are saying that ‘All of what we are saying is just thorns used to remove any embedded thorns you might have, and then to be thrown away.’ They are not saying that ‘I can capture Reality in some concept of Truth.’ They are saying ‘All I can do, at best, is point’.
What Is Everything Pointing To?
If we feel that this is a representative of Truth, rather than just a pointer, then we are making a mistake even with that. And if this is a beautiful pointer, which it is, then what is the taste of that now? What can be spoken about the experience of this? So, this is the beauty: that it is completely apparent. The complete, full Truth of what You Are is fully apparent to You. It only seems to get clouded up a bit when you’re thinking about it. Not the appearance and disappearance of thoughts but the belief that these tiny concepts have an ability to represent Reality. If you wrote an entire book, you would still not be able to describe this room. So, if words are not even enough to describe your phenomenal existence, what words will describe your non-phenomenal; the un-manifest?
S: I will just say unconditional love. But it seems like …it’s a …
A:It is a condition. [Chuckles] When you say un-conditional love, immediately it’s a condition. It is somewhat like Ribhu saying ‘Step away from the duality of even ‘I am Brahman.’ And you hear that and you’re like ‘Ah! What? Aham Brahmasmi.’ [‘I am Brahman’] [Smiles] That is held close to our hearts. A duality of ‘I am Brahman’? (She is Vedanti, so she might be getting a prick on hearing that.) But it is straight-forward that if it is just naturally true that ‘You are Brahman’ then of what use is the assertion? The assertion only gives credence to the possibility of it not being true. Nobody is saying ‘I have a nose.’ [Smiles]
S: There is not anything which can be said by words …is not it. You’re just aware.
A:Is ‘You’re just aware’ also a thought? Or no? [Silence] You’re saying, in a way, it points to that. So, that is why Guruji [Sri Mooji] says ‘Don’t make tattoos out of my words.’ And Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharishi] said ‘These are sticks that you are using to light the funeral fire, but the stick also has to be thrown.’ Because otherwise what ends up happening many times is that you end up making idols of these sticks. It’s like taking the road signs and considering them to be the destination. If the sign says ‘This way’ you pick up that sign and put it in your house and say ‘I got it.’ [Laughter] And what is everything pointing to? In spirituality (at least in Vedanta) there is ‘The Truth is unchanging.’ So, apparently all of this is pointing to one Truth, which is unchanging. If it is unchanging, where must it be Now? It must be unchangingly Here. Before the duality of here and there, it must be; because it is unchanging. Here and there keeps changing.
So, who wants to test that? In a way, I feel to say that my only interest in speaking is in speaking to those who want to test the validity of this: that Here and Now, the Truth is complete and full.
I’m happily dealing with your objections about that. [Chuckles] I’m okay with that. But not so much this and that and this and the other. There are enough places for that. But here I want to point you to this unchanging Reality (to use some terms). And the trick is for you to not judge it immediately. Stay with the taste of it for a bit and then give your report.
Emptiness is Even Empty of Itself
Q: Are not we certain that the unchanging reality is here? That seems to be a certainty.
A:Na, it is just a thought. [Chuckles] I’m saying it is just a thought. So, let me give an example of this. And upon hearing this commentary actually, I became a lot more open to the Buddhist pointings and teachings because traditionally the conditioning here was very Vedantin.
Nagarjuna was as at one point questioned because he said that ‘Even emptiness itself is empty of even emptiness.’ So, everything is just so empty. (Anyway, I will get to what I used to feel about that later.) Then he was attacked by other Buddhists, saying ‘Then are you saying that The Four Noble Truths are not true? That the Buddha is not true, is not the truth?’ Then Nagarjuna explained that ‘The truth is independent of any concept that we might hold about it, including the concept of Buddha itself; including the concept of emptiness itself also.’ Because that is why he said ‘Emptiness is even empty of itself.’ And then his student explained further and said that ‘Any clinging, any holding on, is suffering. And when we hold on to even the highest spiritual concepts, then that is just another way to invite suffering.’
In a way, if we had to share more about it, we can say that: If it is true then it cannot be dependent on us having that concept. And does any concept truly represent ‘What Is’ anyway?
That is why all these Sages are saying ‘thorns, sticks, pointers, road signs…’ Because what they are pointing to is beyond the opposites of change and un-change, beyond the opposites of false and reality also. So, at best, these are pointers.
All of this which cannot be fathomed by the mind, by the intellect, is in the range of limitation; from the smallest to the largest, from the false to the truth, from the inside to the outside. This is the range of these devices called the ‘mind-intellect’. But Your range is much greater than that. This is the range of our mental knowing. The True Knowingness is much broader than that. In actuality, change and not-change doesn’t mean anything for It. Even falsity and reality mean nothing for It. It has no distinctions. Even distinction and no-distinction means nothing for It. That is why we can just struggle with these words and try to point.
Like the Zen Master was saying the other day: ‘Our nest is the intellect.’ So, then when we are not nesting there, it can feel like we are falling. (I am paraphrasing a lot.) It can feel that you’re falling. But this is auspiciousness. This sense of being a bit ‘out of moves’ … of not being able to place ‘this and that’ is great auspiciousness. So, it has to be said that even the certainty of the unchanging Reality is just a thought. And even that ‘It’s just a thought’ … is just a thought.
Leave It Unlabeled
Q: Just like you said right now that this could just be a memory.
A:I’m not asserting, by the way, that it is.
Q:No, no. Even like your breath (this experience or whatever) then you can’t say one thing which is part of this memory. So, the whole thing is gone then. Anything (if I say pain, headache, this, that, up, down) will go away. It’s like that dream.
A:There is a simpler way to put it. It’s a classic conundrum where the teacher asks: Is it not possible that tonight when you sleep, we have repeat of this exact same conversation?
A:It is possible. Is there a way you can tell me that this is not that?
A:So, we cannot be certain.
Q:So, when I look at … when Papaji said that ‘Nothing ever happened’ how could he mean …
A:Sorry. I also want to say something very beautiful on top of that; that coming to the Truth is not to come to ‘The Truth’ as a certainty. It is to lose all our certainties. In a way, it’s like what Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] says: ‘True knowledge is just the dropping of the false.’ It is not that you come to know something, that you come to know now that ‘This is True Knowledge’. If you just get a sense of this, you will become much lighter. Because otherwise you are grasping for something which you feel like will be the ultimate Truth but it is the grasping itself which is false.
Q:So, when you said that Papaji [Sri Poonja] said that … how could he say that ‘Nothing ever happened’? So, actually, it felt like that was an answer: in the dream. Intellectually, I can see that; if I just took it as a pointer. Then I just wanted to say this and see if it’s just a thought: Never have I known myself not to be. I have no experience, in this experiencing, that I’m not there; that something is there when I’m not there.
A:So, you are saying that I have never had the experience that there was nothing, including the ‘I Am’. Is it like that?
Q:No. I have never had the experience that something exists but I’m not there while it exists, meaning that I never have the experience of not being, not knowing, my own existence.
A:‘Not knowing my existence’ is just a thought. That’s the exact definition of sleep state anyway … what you just said, ‘I know I am not there’.
Q:No, no, not that ‘I know I’m not there’. I didn’t mean that. I’m saying that I never have the experience that I’m not there … in the sense that ‘That’ was there but I was not there; like something else is there but I’m not there.
A: Just a thought.
Q:But even in the sleep state, the voice which says that ‘I’m this, I’m that and I like this’ is not there.’
A:Exactly. This is what I’m saying.
Q:But you still don’t have the feeling that you are not there. I mean, you don’t have some thought…
A: Then what wakes up?
Q: What wakes up is a thought, maybe then.
A:It is a thought. If we can just conclude that that is a thought, that’s fine. [Laughter]. The ‘I’ thought. Another way of saying what Bhagavan said about ‘True Knowledge is just the dropping of the false and it is naturally present.’ It is same as saying that when you let go of this ‘I’ thought, all there is that is ‘Self’ or the ‘Truth’.
The ‘I’ thought is central to all of our thoughts, to this thought system. Now, you might believe (and this is where the first statement comes from) that this ‘I’ thought has to move from the false ‘I’ to a true ‘I’ and that that is real enlightenment or freedom. But it is not that. It is that when you let go of all false references to ‘I’ then the Truth is just apparent.
So, the game is much simpler for You and much more difficult for the mind. Because the mind would much rather prefer ‘Okay, I’m going to drop the false position and come to the true position; from the false position of I’m just a person to the true position of I am Brahman. Aham Brahmasmi.’ But it is not that.
Now, make no reference to yourself … and what is apparent to you? Let everything be as it is. Don’t say this is I or you; me or mine; me or other. Leave the world unlabeled.
If Truth Is Missing Now, It’s a Mirage
A:Okay, you are Here Now. Suppose you got one thing mixed up, which is that everything that you feel was in the past is actually going to happen in the future, and everything you want in the future has actually happened in the past. Then how would it be?
Q: The same.
A:Exactly. Then what are You Now? [Silence]
A:This Now can only ever be like this, isn’t it? And if something is missing Here Right Now, it can never be gotten. If something is missing Here Right Now, it can never be gotten.
How is that? What is missing Here Now? Nothing is missing. And I could say this at any point of time. You have to make a presumption that time exists first … suppose.
Q: Presumption of what?
A:That time exists to be able to say this. And even if it does exist, you could always say this: If something is missing Here Now, that something will never come. [Silence] If the Truth is missing Here Now, that Truth will never come.
The only place to look for it (in a way) is just this Right Now.
If you keep searching for it in the ghosts of past and future then it’s just going to be a mirage. If it’s not Here Now, then it’s never going to come. That is a mirage, that so-called freedom, that so-called Self, that so-called Truth. So, don’t wander off into past and future. What is Here Now? Give yourself this gift. No storyfication, not even spiritual storyfication … just Now.
If it’s not Here Now then all this Satsang and all of it is a sham; all of this is a waste of time. If there is something to this, it must be apparent Now. If there is something to this, it must be apparent Now. Don’t go with what you think, don’t interpret even your feelings, just stay with what you see.
What is that song? Maybe you can sing it a little later or if you remember, you can sing it now. ‘Don’t go chasing waterfalls.’
Sangha: (Sings) ♪♫ Don’t go chasing waterfalls…♪♫
A: The ocean is here. Don’t go chasing waterfalls; some special experiences or something.
What Makes Something You or Not You?
Is there (just sensationally) inherently a set of sensations which are automatically you and another which is not-you?
Q: There is a doubt, a question that is arising, and then I can see that this could be believed in.
A:But that’s a just a layer of interpretation. As we were saying, just from the perceiving of it, what makes any set of sensations especially you… and another not-you? Just from the seeing of it, just from the perception of it.
Q: [Silence] So, this could be me?
A:I’m saying: What makes something you or not-you? Automatically, as something is perceived, does something become you and something become not-you without interpretation?
Q: [Silence] There’s not even me or you. [Silence] It’s not that clear.
A:This is worth checking. This is worth checking out: whether a set of sensations automatically have the claim that ‘It is me’ and another set of sensations automatically have the claim ‘not me’ or ‘outside’. Which sensation are you experiencing now which could have that claim … that it is you? [Silence] Can you single out some sensation of ‘This is me’ automatically?
Q: This hand moves.
A:Some movement feeling…, something like that? What is it?
Q:[Silence] The heart is pumping
A:The heart is pumping … and automatically, it is you? Without interpretation; just as it is experienced … is this sound of this [his] voice automatically not you, and the heart-pumping sensation is you automatically? [Silence] So, hear this sound now, and hear how this is not you. And another sensation, which you said earlier is in the same space; how does that become you? [Silence] This sound is here. I’m going on speaking so you can hear it, and then there are some other sensations. So, what divides this sensation and that sensation? They’re both experienced in the same ‘space’ (to use that term). So, what is the dividing line? (And any sound, for that matter; any taste; any visual.) [Silence] If something inherently deserves the claim ‘me’ then we can say ‘Finally, we found it. Finally, we found the person we were looking for.’
Q: It’s just one thought after another.
A:It’s just thoughts. That’s why we said ‘Okay, because thought keeps changing (thought sometimes says this, thought sometimes says that) that’s not really worth giving credibility to.
What do we actually See?
Is There Something Greater Than Being with Divine Presence?
Q:Okay, so basically, I just have this Presence … rather Omni-Presence is how I experience it. It is very much Here. The person, the ‘I’ is just something that flickers on and off and I’m giving increasingly less and less attention to that. And today, I just had this thought ‘I’m not going to do anything until this state moves me this (this ‘thing’ greater that the ‘I’) … until that moves this body, I’m not going to do anything. So, I was at home all day; nothing happened. I had dance class in the evening (I mentioned I’m a dancer) I didn’t go. I didn’t go to the gym; I normally work out a lot. I didn’t leave the house. I didn’t do anything. I didn’t even leave the sofa. I was just staring, just staring at the wall, staring outside. That’s all that happened. And there was a panic that ‘I have just become very lazy. I’m being lazy, I’m not utilizing myself. I’m not doing karma yoga, I’m not doing seva, I’m just being lazy and this is all just a sham’ … like that thought. Not that it’s a sham; it can’t be a sham because the Omni-Presence is very palpable and tangible; like I cannot deny that. But that … it’s like ‘Now what? What is there to do? I can’t keep living like this, doing nothing.’ You know? ‘When I am going to move and do something? Isn’t exercise good? Isn’t striving towards something good?’ These thoughts, the I’ thoughts, these thoughts that motivated the ‘I’ in the past, all this came back and it was scaring me. So, I just wanted some light on that, please.
A:It is good, good, good. Happy to hear this report. In fact, it’s very familiar with some of the experiments that happened here also. And it’s funny how the mind comes and labels it. You spent the whole day in Presence and presumably at peace and yet the mind came and said ‘But this is such a waste of time. You should be striving. You should be doing stuff.’ In fact, when you spoke, you talked about the things you did. You were sitting around, you were staring. You did all of that.
In the waking state there is no escape from activity. But what you said is that ‘I’m not going to be caught up in just this mind’s desire to do this, to try and work this out this way or achieve something.’ So, if you ask the mind, it will say: ‘Okay, so if I achieve, achieve, achieve and do all of this stuff which I’m supposed to do then what am I supposed to get out of that?’ And the mind will say ‘Then you can be at peace. You can be still, you can just enjoy yourself.’ It might even say ‘Just chill’ or something, which seems like that is what just happened naturally. But if [supposedly] the promised benefits are at the end of this dark tunnel of striving, striving, striving
…actually, you found that they are just here naturally. What could be better than that?
The other thing is that because we have this conditioning that sitting around is bad and working like a donkey on the treadmill or something like that is good, then it can be that you spent the whole day with God but that is like ‘the worst thing that you could have done’. If you were to ask me, there is no greater gift you could have given yourself. But to the mind, that is just a waste of time.
Now, in what it wants to achieve, is there a something greater than being with God? … being with Your own Divine Presence? There isn’t. There isn’t. Is there something that the mind wants to achieve which does not come and go, which will not go with the death of this body? What will you keep for yourself out of your achievements?
So, whatever; if you have to win some awards, if you have to make lots of money, if you create a big name for yourself, if they put statues of you all over the world, what is going to last after your death? After you’re gone, nobody is going to come back to you and say ‘I see that statue is yours.’ [Chuckles] Nobody will say this. But what you are finding in this simplicity of ‘Just Being’ is something which is unaffected by coming and going; by time, by space.
So, this is a very beautiful exercise. And by the way, there is no guarantee that the exercise always works out this way. It is very beautiful how it worked out … but some days, you might find that Presence is moving the body a lot. So, there is no saying that ‘Okay, because this how it happened today, this is how it just has to happen every day.’ And yet, it is very natural and very nice for it to happen this way. In fact, this ‘just sitting’ thing is very common. You hear a lot of the Sages reports. They say ‘after’ … they just came to this place of rest and for long, long periods of time, they were just sitting … with nothing to do, nowhere to go.
So, these mind judgments will not worry you so much. Because the mind will say ‘Go do something!’ But what could you do that is greater than being with God? [Smiles] What is a greater use of this life than not spending it on something which is ephemeral? … than being with That which is eternal? I can’t imagine a better use of life.
Is ‘Guru Kripa Kevalam’ Just a Thought?
The only seeming or apparent difference between a Master/Teacher and a disciple is that the Master is naturally remaining in the unborn, whereas for the disciple it seems like it’s an effort, a struggle. But this becomes more and more natural and then these apparent distinctions between Master and disciple also dissolve because ultimately these are also just notions, just concepts.
I got a report yesterday saying that ‘You are asking about the concept I really believe is true.’ (We were playing the game where I said: [Whatever concept you are believing] I will say ‘It is just a thought.’) So, they said that ‘I would say Guru Kripa Kevalam’ [is really believed to be true]. Is that just a thought?’
I said ‘Of course, it’s just a thought.’ [Chuckles] It’s just another concept. But seemingly, in this play, some concepts (and it all depends upon our existing conditioning) … some concepts can play the role of burning up other concepts … and some concepts just seem to lead to more and more conceptual picking up.
So, concepts like ‘Who am I?’ and ‘Guru Kripa Kevalam’ play the role of burning up the rest for many.
Many can also conceptualize a lot about even this. You can start working on a thesis on who I am; look at the history of man and start making conclusions that ‘This is what I must be’. But for many, it can work like this, that you question ‘Who am I?’ and it dissolves these other notions, these other concepts, which we may be holding.
So, these concepts, which I feel play the role of burning up everything else, is part of the point of coming to Satsang. Satsang is not that we can build a new spiritual dictionary for ourselves. Rather it is a great forgetting.
What Really Applies to You?
A:What really applies to you, that you know for certain ‘This really applies to me’?
Q:I believe it, yes.
A:[Chuckles] Yeah, if you believe, you can believe anything. So, that is how it doesn’t apply. When you check, what do you find? What truly applies to you upon checking?
A:‘I’ is which one? [Silence] That’s why I’m taking ‘I am having experiences’ and just looking at it word by word. So, ‘I’ is which one having experiences? [Silence]
Okay, let’s go to the next one. ‘Am’ means what? ‘Am’?
Q: It is only what I can fix here.
A:‘Here’ means…? ‘Here’ is the opposite of ‘there’? [Silence] You’re not there, you are just here. Is it like that? [Silence] Where are you? Where is your boundary? Tell me where you are and where you are not?
Q: Silence was coming … Something doesn’t want to believe that I am this space.
A:Doesn’t want to believe that ‘You are the space.’ It’s an idea? Don’t feel diffident. What is it? [Chuckles]
Q:I was combining two or three answers at the same time.
A:Yeah, every sentence does that. That’s okay.
No concept has ever lived on its own. It is combined.
So, you said that ‘The only thing that I can say with some certainty is that I’m here.’
A:Now we looked at ‘I’, we looked at ‘am’ … now we are looking at ‘here.’
What does ‘here’ mean? ‘Here’ is apparently the opposite of ‘there.’
Q: Yeah, I had to have a reference.
A:‘Here’ is a reference. What reference is that?
Q:I had to refer to ‘me’ but then when I looked for ‘me’ I can look for there and here. I also looked for ‘space’. I also looked for all that I can see with these eyes.
A: Yeh, yeah.
Q:And there was sounds coming on, going on.
A:Yeah. Did you find yourself there?
Q:No, I did not.
A:Or did you not find yourself there? Either way…
You looked at the sound. This is good. The sound coming out of your mouth. Are you there? Or you are not there?
Q:[Deep breath] Every sentence I’m constructing, of course, that I’m trying to put together, seems incomplete.
A: Yes. Is that complete? [They both chuckle]
In a way, you might say ‘He’s just trying to confuse us or confound us’ and in a way that is true. [Smiles] In a way, in this movement towards dropping your certainties, those things that you are so certain about that even the concept ‘I am here’ when investigated, does it hold any good? Can you inquire into it for even two minutes? You cannot find one element of truth in this ‘I am here.’ Just three words. ‘I’ … we cannot find in that way. The ‘I’ which could be here or there, spatially or locally in any way, that is definitely not found.
Q: It’s like trying to reconcile the concept of ‘you and me’.
A: Yeah. What is ‘you and me’? How is it different from A and B?
Do You Have to Rest on a Conclusion?
A:Do you have to rest on a conclusion?
Q:Feels good, comfortable.
A:[Smiles] To rest on a conclusion?
Q:To have conclusion.
A:Yes, I see what you mean there. Because you can feel a bit wobbly to not have one.
A:But, if I invite to there, to the wobbliness, will you come with me?
Q:Do I have a choice? [Laughter in the room]
A:[Chuckles] Suppose you did.
A:Come away from your certainties to this seeming wobbliness.
How big is the wobble?
Do not fear it.
Let all conclusions pass by, like somebody else’s bag in on the conveyor belt. Just like that. Somebody else’s bag in on the conveyer belt …, all going.
Q: It’s like boarding the train and putting the luggage on your head.
A: Yes, yes. That is what we have been doing. Carrying our burdens, carrying our conclusions.
Even in the Highest Notion Is the ‘I’ Thought
Even sitting in Satsang, some of us are listening a lot to what the mind is saying and a little bit to what this voice is saying. Others are listening half-and-half to what the mind is saying and this voice is saying. And some are listening more toward what this voice is saying and a little to what the mind is saying. If you’re in this kind of dual relationship, it can feel a bit painful because it’s like each hand being pulled from both sides, trying to manage, to juggle both. And both sides want you fully; just like ‘No, no, leave the other one. Come to this side, leave the other one. It’s no good for you.’ The mind is saying ‘Leave this one, he’s no good for you.’ This one is saying ‘Leave the mind, it’s not good for you.’ This is the only seeming-choice. It’s saying ‘I can do it. I can manage both of you.’ [Chuckles]
Q:What I’m feeling is that I can try this; be in a state of ‘I don’t know’ and allow whatever comes, and watch.
A:Yes. Yes, but don’t start the ‘I don’t know’ by knowing so much. You see what I’m saying? Because ‘I’m going to leave myself undefined’ … you’re defining that. Just like, as I was saying: the innocence of a child. A child is not saying ‘Now, I’m just going to be natural.’ So, it is not about taking a position. I know it’s a bit frustrating … ‘He’s like ‘Not this but not that also’. Just let go of any position-taking. Don’t take any position, including the one of not taking a position. It is not as weird as it sounds, or as impossible as it sounds. It’s how you are Now, before you start thinking about it.
Don’t conclude anything that you are going to say, you are going to do; you’re not going to say, not going to do. Don’t rest on any conclusion. Don’t take on any position to be the truth. Then what happens?
Q: Feels a bit strange.
A:It can be … it can seem a bit strange. It doesn’t have to. For some, it can immediately feel okay. For some, it can feel a bit strange, like ‘What’s going on? To see that I don’t know, is this freedom?’ This kind of thing. But let this get released out of you. You got so used to living with conditions that living openly seems a bit too much.
[Someone in sangha says]: It’s not allowed, like ‘You shouldn’t be like that.’
A:Yeah. ‘You shouldn’t be like that because that is just crazy or lazy or something.’ [Chuckles] But also, it makes that ‘this and that’. In that also (‘You shouldn’t be like that’) it’s trying to define how you are. But you’re not being any way.
Leave yourself undefined.
Even all the fancy stuff will not help you. They’re just words. Leave yourself undefined. Because even in the highest notion is the ‘I’ thought … and it’s just a thought, just a notion.
Don’t fear the fear.
Q:So, should you believe the mind? Or never believe it? The mind is saying ‘I’m your best friend.’
A:The mind is saying ‘I’m your best friend.’ Just let it go, like somebody else’s bags on the conveyor belt. Don’t fight it, don’t accept it. No acceptance or renunciation; neither way. Now, the mind will be offering you conclusions about what that means. It will say ‘But then you’ll just…’ But don’t rest on those. Let them also come and go.
It’s a simple switch. [Snaps fingers] But for the mind, it’s an impossible switch. The mind will keep saying ‘Is it on or off?’ Then it will say ‘Okay. What he’s saying is about the middle, neither this nor that.’ But I’m not saying any of that. It is not fathomable, compute-able.
All these ideas, you will see through them: I, you. I and you is just like A and B. What is the difference between A and B? [Chuckles] It’s the same difference between you and I.
Don’t Rest on What You Already Know
So, we have gathered. Now what?
Should something happen? [Smiles]
As far as exposing notions goes, that might be a good place to start. Something should happen or should not happen or nothing needs to happen …
So, if it was not about ‘getting it’ or even not about ‘nothing to get’….? Because many times in Satsang it is said ‘There is nothing to get’ but do you get that … in the sense that, do you then keep that?
How to point to this? How to point to this? [Looks around]
What can I say to you? What pointer can I use that you will not then hug the pointer itself? Which finger can point to the Truth, that the finger itself is not mistaken to be the Truth?
It may appear then that we are stuck. [Laughs] But would this being stuck without conclusions be a bad thing?
If you can’t locate what this mouth is speaking, don’t judge that. Don’t rest on what you already know.
Come to your infancy. In your infancy, this ‘Is-ness’ is completely apparent. Now, don’t imagine yourself to be a baby or something. [Laughs] An infant is not imagining themselves to be an infant. More innocent than that; more empty, more open than that. It is not in your imagination, in your conceptualization; not even in the realm of your experiences … and it is not not there also.
What if this mental lost-ness was actually to be found? … and when we can conclude that ‘We have found’ then you are really lost?
Feeling Lost Is Better Than Believing the Mind’s Version of Reality
A: What if the Truth was here so apparently and palpably before A of ABC? What is there?
If the Truth could go missing that would be a serious difficulty. If the Self went missing then all of us would have to come to special places to look for the Self. Sounds insane and yet, sounds familiar. So, what makes us refuse to meet Our Self? How can it be that such an intimate meeting could have an obstacle?
What stops you now? Are you not Your Self? … And if you’re not Your Self, how much will you flap around your limbs and get to It? What new thought will you think that will be the Self? What new experience needs to be experienced that you’ll hang your hat on it and say ‘This is my Self’? What are You waiting for? Get out of this habit of pretending as if there is something left. Stop buying into this notion of ‘almost there’ … ‘got it’ … ‘lost it’. That ‘there’ that you think it is, is not there. That ‘It’ which you got is not It. If It can be lost, it cannot be It. All this is stubborn refusal to look at what Is are all just ploys.
I ask you every day: What Is, just naturally? And you say ‘Yesterday, tomorrow, five minutes ago, ten minutes later, here, there. Is that ‘What Is’ naturally?
I ask you who you are and you say ‘I think this, I feel this, I see this’ but the ‘I’ is who?
How long will you keep wandering, keep hiding this ‘monkey me’ in your backpack, attempting to sneak in the gates of freedom, still wanting it for ‘me’? Who is this about? If that body/mind that we have identified with for so long apparently … if that one got nothing (and it will get nothing) there is only one destination for this body. (Maybe two.) [Chuckles] So, who is this about? What keeps you caught up is the same old stuff, storification, fantasification, specialness, giving no value to the Truth but giving lot of value to needless fantasy? The same old grooves of the mind; it doesn’t even have anything fresh. Same old ‘relationships, money, body, freedom.’ [The four problems] What else you got? At least play with some new type of trouble. These ones have been going on for thousands of years. All because of what? Because you think you know. Because you think you are right about something. This is the loss of innocence.
If you didn’t know anything, if you didn’t want to know anything, is your Knowingness lost? Have you become unaware? What is lost when you keep your concepts down? How long will we keep saying ‘But the mind says, but the mind says, but the mind says!’ We’ve heard every story that the mind can say. Is there something fresh that the mind can say? Still enamored by it?
It’s okay to feel lost. Don’t pick up the mind’s conclusion about what is true. It’s okay to feel lost but you’re more lost when you buy the minds version of your reality. This little bit; if you heard just this much, that is enough for today. It is alright to feel a little lost but it is still less lost than believing the mind’s version of what is real, of what is your reality … including the now super-smart, super-Advaita mind that many of us have.
Have You Ever Met the Doer or the Doing?
Just open up.
There is really nothing that you can do. In fact, further than that (because even this is misunderstood and then you will try to do the not-doing) further than that, there is no such thing as doing. There is actually no such thing as doing.
Our mind has made a concept out of some apparent movement or activity (we can call it). But there is no doing and not-doing. It just does not apply. And then, when we see that there is no individual doer, then we give it to the God and say ‘You…’ We are so unwilling to give up the concept of doer-ship that you say ‘Okay, there must be a doer. I am not it individually but You must be.’ And then a new variation of suffering starts, which is: ‘Why you are doing this to me? When will you do the good things?’ or ‘Why do you do bad things to good people?’ All of this fancy stuff. Because we have picked up a concept which is not natural.
Not only is there nobody doing anything, there is no actual thing called doing. Show me if you have met it. Show me.
Have you ever met this doing or doer?
Waves are moving. Is the wave doing it? Is the object called ocean doing it? All this is conceptual. We have never met the ocean, except the waves.
The waves are not the doer. Then the conceptual ocean is …
This movement of blame and pride will not help.
To see that this does not apply at all; to see that this is all nonsense….
Same for duality. Nobody has ever met this duality.
Yet, we have to have Satsang to talk about non-duality; Advaita. [Chuckles] Have you met duality? Where is she? Where is duality?
Only in our labels. Only in our notions. Only in our mind. Only a thought. None of you have ever experienced duality.
This is what [Nisargadatta] Maharaj was trying to say when he said that ‘You are not experiencing suffering … you are suffering your experiencing.’ And there is no suffering except duality. There are no lines inherently drawn defining you and I, me and other.
Don’t Be Scared to Not Understand
Don’t be scared to not understand. This is very fearful for most of humanity because of our education system, the way we have built this society, there’s a fear of feeling stupid by not understanding. I can tell you: I can’t tell you what’s going on. I have no idea what’s going on.
Q:So, is that okay, like when you said ‘What is natural and what was learned?’ to see who is it learned by?
A:Wait, wait, slowly. ‘What is natural and what was learned?’ was the question. Now, you see it was learned, then ‘learned’ is gone. Then you don’t have to pick up what else was learned, like to ask ‘To whom, by whom was it learned?’ That is also learned, no? Was that natural?
You said ‘When you pointed and said ‘What is natural and what was learned?’ then is it okay if I look at that and then say I saw that it was learned … but then I’m looking now at who is it learned by and then progressing in my investigation.’
But I’m talking about something which is instant; it is non-progressive. Because even to ask ‘Who was it learned by?’ then is something that you have learned. [Silence] What I’m saying is not even an instant; like if there was a word less than ‘instant’. If you give that to your learning again then we go on the same treadmill. And most of your minds now have very solid grooves for ‘Who am I?’ Very solid grooves: ‘Awareness, Self, Unchanging, Absolute’ … something.
S:Duality is the easiest concept. Everybody can take to it. That’s why every religion is dualist except ‘Advaita.’
A: [Chuckles] There is too much duality in that statement.
S: No, at once, it comes very easily to everybody. You don’t have to learn it.
A:It comes easily in the sense that every notion is imbibed in it. If I say ‘Drop it, drop it, drop it’ will you drop it or will you become the dropper? If I say ‘Empty, empty, empty’ will you be empty or will you become now being empty, trying to do emptiness? What is this? It is just a question: Will you continue to judge yourself; interpret yourself?
In this moment, you are the most enlightened that you will ever be.
Is that good news or disappointing? [Chuckles]
Again, the judgment will come. ‘Oh, is that it?’ or ‘Yes, yes, this is it!’ This is the thing. So then, the enlightened one is playing as if it is the limited one. In this moment: this, this, this, now, now, now, fresh, fresh, fresh … it is not the outcome of something.
What Is True Will Not Go Away
It’s like everything in this world is on conveyor belts. Objects of perception… sometimes they seem like they are coming closer but as they come close, then they seem to go off again. Our emotions, our sensations, pain and pleasure, everything is like on conveyor belts. But there is one conveyor belt which is especially troublesome, which is the conveyor belt of thoughts. Because what is this conveyor belt? This is the conveyor belt of labels. It is labeling everything. Everything has a label. And as we start picking up from this conveyor belt, we imagine ourselves to be something that we are not. We give ourself a label, which is ‘I’ or ‘me’.
But, without this reference, what are you really?
Without any reference, what are you really?
What is true will not go away.
But the label will.
So, in a way, we can say:
The only true reference to ‘I’ is to make no reference to ‘I’
Otherwise, can you tell me what you are referring to?
Now, what happens is the mind will take you on side-tracks and say ‘Every time I ask this question ‘Who am I?’ this is what happens to me.’
What happened there? You picked up a reference, which is ‘me’ … again, un-inquired. Whatever makes you pick up a reference to yourself, without your actual seeing of yourself, is just an inference, is just a presumption.
What Is That No-thing and Yet Not Nothing?
So, this ‘Who Am I?’ must be the pre-requisite before you can say ‘I want this, I don’t want this, I am like this, I am not like this.’ And somehow, we don’t ask ourselves this. We are convinced that we are this body/mind and we are willing to continue with that presumption and keep perpetuating this notion, even in our spirituality. So, how is it that you pick out one object from the entire world of perceptions and say ‘Just this is me and the rest isn’t’? Does this come naturally to you?
The funny thing is that we don’t even leave it at that. If it was about just this body, then every cell in this body is changing; five years back maybe none of the cells that are here now were there. Still you say ‘I was born on this particular day’ but you have nothing in common with that baby. So, it’s not even that (the body) that you identify with. It is just a notional ‘I’.
Very few in this world want to question themselves in this way. Because it attacks the very root of our identity. And suddenly things start to feel a bit like this room [electricity was off in Bangalore] … no light, no air; everything starts to get a bit stuffy.
‘What am I getting by asking myself: who am I?’ Because when we start looking for the true I then all the falsity becomes apparent. ‘I believed myself to be this, I believed myself to be that.’ You start to see that they are just thoughts; just ideas. Everything that you think is true about yourself was picked up at some time.
But what were you originally?
Where are you Right Now?
Where do we go to for these answers? Usually we go to the same ‘merchant’ who has sold us the previous stories. ‘What do you think about this?’ And what will this guy say? ‘Your job is just to live in the moment’ or ‘You job is just to …’ whatever; some strategy, some ploy. But who is it about? That it cannot fathom because the mind is an instrument which can tell you about things in time and space and at best make some conclusion about something that is not in time and space.
But what is That which is not in time and space?
What is That no-thing … and yet not nothing?
Many of us in spirituality are still waiting for a mental certificate. ‘When my mind says I am free, I will be free.’ The Master can come every day and say ‘You are free Right Now. Right Now, you are free!’ … ‘No, no, I will wait for the mind certificate.’ And then the game of ‘I am free but…’ starts. ‘I am free, but I lose it. I am free, but I can’t stay. I am free, but how come I am not like you?’ These are the usual ones. Are they really so strong, these objections, these doubts, that you have to buy them … Right Now? [Laughs]
Now where will we go? Back to what we think about that? Are you happy to be a slave to this mind, this made-up prison which is made up of mind/intellect? This or that, yes or no, true or
false, right or wrong, up or down’ … where is all of this stuff? Past or future, doing or not-doing, wanting and not wanting.
Who is all of this about?
Who are you Now?
And many times, the mind will say ‘But this is too intellectual’. But it’s opposite of intellectual (in a way) because what I am saying is: Don’t infer anything, don’t compute anything, don’t figure it out. Just look … and tell me who you are.
It’s specially irritating to many of you when I say that: The Truth is completely apparent to you Right Now. Because the mind will come and say ‘What do you mean? Nothing is apparent to me. It may be apparent to you.’
So, when it is said that ‘The Buddha nature is never concealed’ what could that mean then? We are still hoping to find it, in some way, isn’t it; then it must be concealed.
What is Here Now, just naturally?
What is apparent to You?
What Is Aware of Even This ‘I’?
He said that ‘I have to recognize it. It is here, the Self is here.’ Or he said ‘The soul is here…. and the soul is happy, it is free … but I have to recognize it.’
Now whose voice is this one?
If the soul is here, who else is here? Are there two of you: the soul and me?
And then the ‘me’ has to recognize the ‘soul’ … and then the ‘me’ becomes free?
S: So, who am I?
Can you locate the two?
The one that is looking at this world, which one is that?
The one that is hearing these words, which one is that?
S: It is the Self.
A:Is the Self. Who else is here?
A: No one else is here and only the Self is.
And if this is not just inferences but what you actually See, then this Self is Self-recognition.
‘I’ am looking at the world. This ‘I’ is which one?
What are its boundaries?
How old is it?
And what knows that ‘I’ is looking at the world?
What is aware of even of this ‘I’?
This is the crux of it. But for the mind, it’s the most pointless.
‘What will I get if I find this? [the mind says] What is the point of this?’
S: ‘How will it change the phenomenal?’
A:‘And how will it change the phenomenal?’ … that is, in a way, same as ‘What will I get?’ [Chuckles]
Can You Not Be Aware?
The truth is much simpler than anyone thinks. Is there a silver-colored object on this drum? Yes. Is there a hand on this couch? Yes. Simpler than that, what do you know? It’s not more difficult; realization is more difficult. What is simpler? Silver object on the drum, hand on the couch. What is simpler than that?
Sangha: I recognize it.
A:I recognize it. ‘I’ … I recognize it. So simply you just said ‘I recognize it.’ Were you making it up?
A: If you say ‘I recognize it’ how can you say ‘I is unknown to me?’
If you go with the mind, you will lose me completely and start hearing some ‘blah, blah’. [Chuckles] Because as you are being led to this simplicity, you are being asked to go beyond just what your mind is saying.
Let’s start again. Silver object on the drum, hand on the couch; simple. I said ‘What is simpler than that?’ She said ‘I see this’ or ‘I recognize this.’ I said ‘Are you just making this up?’ She said ‘No. Of course, I recognize it.’ So, if it is true ‘I recognize this’ then how do you say that ‘The ‘I’ is unknown to me?’
So, this ‘I’ that recognizes it, are you making it up?
A:No. What do you know about it? Sangha: It’s here.
A:It’s here. Here. But is it here spatially? Sangha: No.
A:No. So, not ‘here and there’ here, but Here in the sense that ‘It Is.’
What is its color? What is its size? How old is it?
Sangha: None. No age.
A:This ‘I’ which is color-less, size-less, ageless, empty of phenomena, how are you aware of it? Sangha: Because I am it.
A: Is this inference?
Sangha: No, I’m not inferring myself.
A:You are it? Sangha: Yeah.
A: Then what are you looking for?
Or: Can you lose this, that now you have to find it?
What is missing? … is just our idea of what Self-realization should mean. ‘Where are the fireworks? Where are the chakras? Where are my siddhis?’ And in the grasping after them, even if they were going to come, they don’t.
I’m not dangling any carrot, okay? [Chuckles] Nothing has to come. But in just grasping after these, rather than just staying with Sat [Truth] we start running after Ananda [Bliss] and Chit [Consciousness] is forgotten.
So, this ‘I’ which you say is so mysterious ‘I’m looking for who I am, I want to recognize who I am’ … I ask you: Are you aware now? Or no?
A: How do you confirm that?
Sangha: It’s the only thing I’m sure of.
A:Okay, so let’s start in a different way. Are you feeling hot in the moment? Sangha: Yes.
A:So, you saw that there was a feeling, some heat, so then ‘hot’. Is this room light or dark? Sangha: Dark.
A:Because there’s a perception of it. You see? Then: Is there a thought passing through your head right now?
Sangha: [Immediate] Yes.
A:[Chuckles] That was a quick thought. So, you had the perception of all of these so you said ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.
Are you aware now?
A:What did you see to confirm it. Sangha: Nothing.
A:You didn’t see anything because you say yourself ‘It is not size, shape, color, quality; any sort of attributes. Then how do you say ‘Yes’?
Is there a red mobile phone on this couch where the hand was? (I know, it’s too dark to see.)
Is there a bright source of light on this leg of the couch? [Covers battery-powered-computer ‘on’ light]
A: You didn’t see it, so you said ‘No.’
This Awareness you can’t see, and yet, you say ‘Yes.’
What magic is this?
And this is why the mind does not give you this certificate where it says ‘Until you have an experience that confirms yourself, you have not recognized yourself.’ But it is not an objective experience, as you yourself are saying. It is an experience without experience.
What is That which is aware?
A:You can’t even use the word ‘It’. Sangha: Awareness is…
A: Awareness is. Who is aware that Awareness is aware?
Is there a ‘someone’ there who can now make this claim that ‘Awareness is aware’?
Sangha: It’s not the mind.
A:Ah. It’s not the mind. It’s an inference. Now, because I know many of you will be making this conclusion, I just have to stay with this.
What I want you to do is throw it out. Instead of trying to stay with it, throw out Awareness. Throw it away for one moment.
Whoever succeeds gets a prize. [Jokingly] Whoever can throw out Awareness or become unaware for one moment, gets a special price. [Chuckling in the room]
Don’t be the witness.
Did it? It’s a trick question, as you know. But even to say that ‘Yes, I was unaware’ is actually saying that ‘Yes, I was aware that I was unaware.’ So, this is inescapable.
Now, this one which is color-less, shape-less, size-less, does not come and go, is neither a thing nor a no-thing, is not subject to time and space…did you want it to be something else; the Self?
Sangha: The idea was that it had to be a part of me.
A: It had to be a part of you. The Self had to be a part of you. And the ‘you’ would be…?
[Someone shines the light from the laptop onto Ananta, saying ‘The ones watching online don’t see you at all. It’s totally dark.’ Ananta says ‘Ghost Ananta.’ Laughter as he makes scary faces]
A:It had to be a part of which ‘you’? Sangha: The dream ‘me’.
A:The dream ‘you’. Reality has to be a part of that?
You see the absurdity of the mental offerings? Did you expect that you would look for the Self and find a super-natural ability or something like that? It is much beyond that. That which is without attributes, without shape, size, color, does not age, does not come and go, that is the very substratum, the basis of your very existence. It is so naturally Here.
So, it is not the realization or the recognition of this that is actually difficult, it’s the letting go of what we thought we are. Or the idea of letting go of ‘What this means to me’ … the ‘me’ that we can never find.
You Are All There Is
Sangha: There’s a deep-rooted belief in the existence of the individual.
A:Very good. He says ‘There’s a deep-rooted belief in the existence of the individual.’ But it’s good to see that it’s just a belief. And what actually can you believe? So, I’ve been asking some of them, like believe this: [Holds up a circular yellow object] [Silence] Believed it?
S: Nothing to believe.
A:Nothing to believe and yet it is apparent. You see? So, what could you believe? You could believe, for example, that yellow is a good color or that this is a coaster or a glass protector or something. That’s a notion about it which you could believe. So, all beliefs are just about notions. And this individual is just a notion. There’s a deep-rooted belief in the existence of this notion called ‘me’. And that’s why Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] called it ‘The I thought’. It is just a thought. Even a perception in itself cannot be believed or disbelieved; it is just an interpretation of it.
To interpret ‘What Is’ is the birth of the notional ‘I’. So, then it is not as deep-rooted as we think it is. Because on the conveyor belt of the mind came this idea that ‘It’s actually very deeply rooted.’ And we picked it up as our bag. But actually, let it go. It’s somebody else’s bag.
If it was deep-rooted, it would naturally be Here Now. I can promise you Right Now, Right Now, Now, you are empty of it: Now. [Chuckles] I know that if I give you a minute to think about it, you will say ‘But, but, it’s here.’ But it is so shallowly rooted that it cannot survive this Now. Before the ‘but’ comes, you are free. This belief is gone. So, every moment is your opportunity to see that you are free … just thinking that you are bound.
This individual is not even an object of perception like this: [Holding up the same yellow object] It’s just a belief. You have never found it. Some of you have been coming for four or five years and I’ve said from the beginning that there is a thousand-dollar cash prize, a thousand-dollar cash prize for the one who can show me the person, the individual. Then after a couple of years, Shivam got enough confidence and said, ‘Father I’ll come in on the bet with you, I’ll add a thousand.’ So, now two-thousand dollars is at stake for anyone who can show me this person!
S:If we turn it around and let’s say if I make the mistake, I have to give you two-thousand dollars. That would really put me into a serious seeing.
A:I’m okay with that. [Chuckles] If that works for you, I’m fine. Start now. [Laughter in the room; extends his hand] Two-thousand dollars, already done. Two-thousand dollars, madam. [Big laughter in the room] Even that proposition was it, that ‘This will work better for ‘me’ if it was like this.’ Gone, two-thousand dollars. [Chuckling]
The point is that I want to break you from this mental hold that tells you that you are this bound individual right now and you have to get to freedom. I’m telling you that you are this free Being
Right Now, just pretending as if you are this individual. In fact, to go greater and to say: You Are God, You are All There Is … just drawing boundaries around YourSelf using these notions.
So, our fight is this fight. I’m saying ‘You are so great, you are so great!’ You’re saying ‘No, no, I’m just this tiny object.’ It’s a very strange fight. [Chuckling] Usually in the world you are trying to fight and show how great you are. ‘Don’t you know who I am?! Tu janta nahin mein kaun hoon?’ I’m saying that ‘You are All-There-Is’ but you’re saying ‘No, no, I’m just this small guy.’
Just show me the person. Where is it? What does it look like? The one who has the money in the bank, the one that has a manager at work (or the one that doesn’t have the money in the bank? [Chuckling] More appropriate?) the one who has had relationships, has a relationship now, wants a relationship; even the one that wants freedom … show me that one. Where is it?
To the body sitting here, if it was ten rupees in the bank or ten crore rupees in the bank, that would be just the way it is here. So, the body that is sitting here is unconcerned about how good or bad your boss is.
Which one is this person?
S: I have to create him.
A:You have to create him. You have to create a version of him, a narrative of him, but you cannot actually create him. You create a belief. That’s what we were talking about. You can create a belief system about him, just like you can create a belief system about anything. You can invent a character right now in your head and say ‘There once was a man who lived in Nagpur’ (whatever). ‘He had this challenge and that challenge.’ And if you believe enough notions about him, you’ll start to get attached to this character. In a way, that’s what we’ve done. This character itself, tangibly, substantively, even phenomenally, is a second-level delusion. Like we said, the body is unconcerned about tomorrow, yesterday. So, the one who has this timeline, that one we cannot find … although we can believe ‘as if’ it is real, ‘as if’ he or she is real.
Are you willing to give up on this investment?
A:Because what holds us back is that ‘I’ve invested so long in this identity. Let me get it to its glorious end. Let me make it to Super-Sage and then I will give up on it.’ Because we’ve been told that this is the glorious end. But what if your Sage-like nature was more naturally present than that; it was not the product of some ‘becoming’? And if, in fact, it was the dropping of this idea of ‘becoming’ that would make your Sagely-ness more apparent?
What if you could meet yourself with unjudging eyes?
Is Thought Needed for Action?
A:In a way, what you’re saying is that if God doesn’t remember this thought (or Consciousness (because you were using ‘Consciousness’) doesn’t remember this thought, then Consciousness won’t know what to do.
A:But what is the source of this thought? And where does it appear? (You say):
A:So, is it like Consciousness’s reminder system for Itself? Or what is it?
A:So, that is why this exploration is important. Practical or impractical, spiritual or phenomenal, if we keep these aside, for whom would they apply? No matter what type of thought it might be. Is there a practical ‘you’ to whom the practical thought then applies? If there was some distinction like that (‘Okay, there is a Self but there is also a practical me and here it is, and that one has to do everything practically, it uses every practical thought, it’s just practical’) … but that one we can’t find.
Q:That’s the thing. Lately, I started to look at this thought because you say ‘I am going to give one-thousand dollars to the one who finds the ‘me’. But I was not really looking for it fresh. But now…
A:Now you’re looking. Good, good. So, irrespective of the quality of the thought and what it’s pointing to, whether it is spiritual or making lunch (something like that) who is it talking about? The one who ‘has to’ buy it … is which one? (And I’m not even saying that the ‘has to’ is wrong or something like that. You see? That can be also questioned, of course, but we can keep that for later.) But the I who ‘has to’ is which one?
Q:It’s the Consciousness.
A:So, if Consciousness has to, Consciousness will. [Laughter] And if it doesn’t have to, it won’t. So, what is the function of this aspect of it?
Q: It’s to make the body move … [Laughing] … towards the boutique.
A:Towards the flower shop or boutique. But this also is unexamined, that without these thoughts, the body action cannot happen. Because so many actions happen. Like right now, you are not saying ‘I better move. I should move my head left and right.’ It’s not saying that and yet,
it is moving. So, to go to the shop is nothing but a movement of feet; feet move, hands move. All of this activity, when we ascribe some doer-ship to it, then it makes some limitation about what you are. Because all this is happening, so much is just unfolding. It is not the belief or the notion. That ‘Consciousness has to pick up an idea or believe a construct for it to move this body’ is invalidated in a moment. Because so much movement is happening in the body and not all of it is accompanied by thought.
Many times, what happens that the action happens and later a thought comes and says ‘You shouldn’t have done that.’ This is called guilt. A thought can come later, saying ‘Very good, you did that. It’s a good thing.’ This is called pride. But the ‘you’ is still not found; this one is still not found. So, the one who should do or should not do … if you can’t find it, it’s almost like saying ‘Nobody is allowed into this room, okay? Now, for the ones who enter, they should sit down in this way.’ It’s absurd, isn’t it? [Chuckles] Because nobody is there, then who should and should not? And it’s a very strange part of our human conditioning (and especially Satsang conditioning) that for most of us now, we have seen over and over that there is no such person; over and over that there is no such one to whom these apply. And yet, it can seem like ‘It is not there but these thoughts might be valid for someone.’ If that one is not there (just like the imaginary friend) then to say that ‘Okay, it might still be valid, but for nobody’ … that’s kind of a strange conclusion, that the thought is still valid but for nobody.
Q:So, when a choice is made, it’s made by Consciousness.
A:Yes, we can say it like that. I’m happy to say: All is the will of Consciousness. Consciousness’s choice is made.’ But what I really what I want is to push you (in a way) beyond these notions of choice and doing.
Q: Push me, please. [Laughs]
A:That’s what I’m doing. Choice also implies doer-ship, non-doer-ship. And in our need to understand the functioning of this realm of activity, we then use these concepts of ‘Who is choosing this? Whose will is this? Who is doing this?’ If you saw that there is no such agent, no such agent with that kind of will or lack of will, there is no such agent at all, then what choice can that one make?
Q: Yes, because there is a feeling of doing this rather than that.
A:Yes, and that is just on the basis of just how we are interpreting it. It’s just like looking at the ocean and saying ‘See what that wave is doing?’ You might speak to children like that. ‘See how far it’s jumping? And the other wave is taking it easy, just chilling.’ We can say that to a child. ‘Look at that wave, how much it is jumping.’ But would you say it really; that this wave is doing that? No, because you see that it has no such agent or volition. That capability just doesn’t apply to it.
It’s the same way for this body; the same way for all actions. That’s why Guruji [Sri Mooji] said ‘You are neither the thinker of your thoughts nor the doer of your actions.’ It’s only because it is interpreted.
Okay, let’s rewind a bit. We saw that the non-existent one cannot have a choice of either ‘do’ or ‘not do’ because it doesn’t exist. Now, one way to say it from a broader level is to say ‘All is the will of Consciousness or the choice of Consciousness.’ But if All-Is-That, then there can be nothing else. I mean, there is no such thing as Consciousness not choosing because it doesn’t appear. So, even to ascribe choice or will to even Consciousness is nonsense actually, because It just Is what It Is. But because we have to make a conclusion as to whose will it has to be, it feels safer down to say ‘Oh, it must be the will of Consciousness.’ But what I’m questioning is the notion of will itself.
The one who could have it doesn’t exist; it can’t have it. That one we have checked over and over again; it doesn’t exist so it doesn’t have it. And everything else, Is just That. So, what is the point of saying ‘will’? It has no contrast, no choice or not-choice. [Smiles] You’re with me?
Q: Yeah, yeah, totally.
A:So, if this is clear, what I am saying about Consciousness, then even the need to say that ‘Ah, this is happening because it is the will of Consciousness’ or ‘This is happening because I must have chosen’ or ‘The person must have chosen’ or something like that, then we see that it is all just made up.
So, the limited one doesn’t exist so it can have nothing including will. And the one that Is the Being, the Is-ness itself, it Is; it just Is … so, where is the question of It using will or not? It’s only that when we need to have to have a conceptual explanation for some movement or lack of movement, then we say ‘Okay, why is this happening?’
Suppose this was not part of your paradigm at all, like you didn’t know what it meant: ‘choice, will, do’ … then?
I’m saying: Go beyond even this higher choice and lower choice; beyond choice itself. Because it doesn’t actually apply to anyone.
No Thought Comes and Stays
A:If we can’t find what something applies to, does it continue to have meaning?
Q:Sometimes there are thoughts appearing.
A:Whose choice are they; the appearing of thoughts?
Q:You said that it’s not a choice.
A:Exactly. So, it will just come and go, you see? But one way to say it is that ‘What thought appears is also the choice of Consciousness’ or something like that. But actually, when we are empty of that notion of choice-making, then you see everything is just … [Gestures with hands indicating ‘flowing’]
Q:So, in this unfolding, sometimes thoughts come and go; it’s fine. They’re not picked up. But sometimes they are.
A:What is that? [Gestures: grabbing and catching them]
Q:That’s the question.
A:Now, you look and tell me. Let the thoughts come and you tell me when you … [Gestures: grab for them and catch them] and when they … [Gestures: just float by]
(What are those things called? A smaller version of tongs? The bigger version would be tongs. They’re called … pinchers?)
What is that thing? What catches it?
Q: It says ‘I want to know.’
A:‘I want to know.’ This thought came. And something went … [Gestures: catching it] What is that?
Q:It seems it’s like an image or it’s something hiding what I already am.
A:Spell it out a little more; how is it an image?
Q:For instance, I want to know specifically what is the thing that is getting me away from what I am. It’s a limitation. It’s like…
A:So, what is that? [Gestures: catching something] What catches? You said that sometimes they just come and go, and sometimes you pick them up. So, I picked up on that [Chuckles] and said: What is it that picks up? Don’t use anything that you’ve heard in Satsang. Check fresh.
Q: It’s just a thought! [Big laugh]
A:A thought picks up another thought. [Chuckling]
Q:It’s something just appearing like this.
A:So, it’s appearing. You say there is distinction because some come (‘swoosh, swoosh’) and they go; it’s fine. But some come and … [Gestures: catching and contraction] So, what is this?
Q:It’s seems that there is more interest on this thought, on this image, on this idea.
A:What does it mean ‘interest’?
A:Attention … more staring at it?
A:No, it’s good that we unravel these things because otherwise we’ll keep hearing it. Okay, so you stared at the thought harder, is that it? [Laughs and laughter in the room]
Q:No. Because every time you say something (as you say, you cannot have two thoughts at the same time) I see that I don’t stay caught in a thought for 5 seconds. It’s not possible.
A:It just comes and goes, no matter how hard you stare at it. So, attention can be full, but it still comes and goes.
No thought comes and stays.
And yet, that feeling of … [Gesturing: catching something in mid-air like a fly with pinchers]: What is this one?
Q: I have to answer to that?
A:Look; just look. You don’t have to answer, but looking because looking is useful. You say that a thought comes ‘I’m a French girl’. So, is it just a question of how much attention was on this thought?
Q: It seems that the attention is very quick on it. But the intensity of the effect and the belief…
A:So, what is this intensity, effect, belief? What is it?
Q:What is it?
A:Yeah, what is belief?
Q: It seems like more of a vibration; something …
A:What positions can it take? Like, a thought is coming, attention is on it … What is the posture of this belief?
Q: What is the …?
A:So, let’s make it simpler. Just look at the thoughts as they come. Give your attention, let it play back and forth a little bit and then see if that pattern-grabbing which you were talking about happens with any of that. And then just share a little more about what that grabbing feels like. What is happening?
All of you can look. Let all thoughts come, let them go. Play with your attention on them. And if something grabs in this way, just look at: What is that? What is that …thing? What is the grabbing? What is the …? Which hand grabs it?
Q: If it feels real; if it feels true…
A:Real If it feels true. This is what I was saying, the posture is like this posture of ‘It’s the truth’ … the posture of giving assent: ‘Yes’. What is that? What has that sense? Where is that?
Q: Mind, ego.
A: What is that, this mind, ego?
Q:It feels like it’s more like it’s going and … it’s like something, just some sort of change, and it sort of gets my attention; like more attention is given.
A: Attention is given. A lot of attention. Suppose it has full attention. Then?
Q:It’s not even that attention on that thought. What happens here is that maybe there’s one thought it went to, and there is something that wants to approve it.
A:Yeah. So, what is that, which wants to approve or disprove? What is this, like she says… approve or not?
Q:Guruji talks about the self-image, that we have a limited image of ourself, limited perception. I don’t know exactly how it works…
A:Yeah. Is that the product of this? Is that the product of this or is it that itself which grasps?
Q:Sorry, I need to hear it again.
A:So, is that limitation or self-image the outcome of this grasping? Or is it already sitting over there …? [Gestures: catching. Clasps hands together]
Q: When you say ‘it’ …?
A:Yeah, the self-image, like the limited self or something like that. Is that a seeming-product of this process of grasping? Or is it just naturally here and waiting to grasp? Or is it neither? What is it?
Q: I feel it’s not here naturally; it is a construct … of this thought.
A:That’s what I’m saying. It’s an outcome or a product of this process. It is not just naturally here.
A:Can it … just notion-less-ly … be the limited one?
A:So, therefore, it has to be that this comes, attention goes, then the grasping happens and then it feels like [Gestures: weighted down or heaviness] … this one.
A: What you say yourself, … naturally, without notion, in the Unborn; nothing…
It’s clear, this much?
So, then, if that limited one, the self-image, is just a construct of these thoughts and the belief system, then what is naturally here?
Q: It is not the self-image.
A: It’s not the self-image. Then what is it?
Q: [Laughs] You know that I can’t say much about it. How can I even tell you this?
A:So, it’s easier to answer that which is constructed [Chuckles] and not easy to answer that which is just natural. What causes this difficulty?
Q: There are no words in the dictionary!
A:[Laughs] No words; there are no words to describe it. Is that in a bad way or in a good way?
Q:In a beautiful way.
A:So, it’s That which is indescribable, beyond even description … (correct me if you don’t see this) … beyond the greatest descriptions we can have … because it just can’t be limited in any box like that. You see? Not even in the box of, say, peace or joy or bliss or love. It cannot be put into this box. That is just Here naturally.
And is this all just words, just inferences, that we’re saying?
Q: Not at all.
A:So, naturally, this indescribable One is Here. And the limited or the sense of limitation, the suffering … all of that is a product of construct.
And we notice also how the construct works: It’s just a thought that comes, attention is on it, and this grasping happens. Intellect or belief (whatever you want to call it) grasps onto it saying ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’ or something. And then that adds to the construct.
So, now, the only question is: [Gestures: reaching out to catch something quickly] This is what bothers you often. Does this [Gesture of reaching out to catch something quickly] happen on its own? Or can I just stand back and not do it?
So, this would then be at the point of criticality. Isn’t it? Because otherwise your natural self is just so naturally Here. No limited construct, no ego; nothing.
So, therefore, more than anything else, it feels like this must be tested, experimented with: Is it possible to just stay back … and let go?
A: You say ‘Totally’. That’s all!
So, what we’ve discussed now is all I’m saying in Satsang. [Chuckles]
No Mental Construct is a Valid Representative of ‘What Is’
Q:Thank you for doing this exercise with us because if we really have the time and really look, you know, and not just give answers, like this and that, or get answers, like we really look, then like now … because my mind answered to this one question. You know, you have this concept which kind of gets your attention. ‘The limited one … is it the one who takes it? [grabs the idea] Is it like that?’ And my mind said ‘No, of course it’s the one who takes it. I’ve seen that before.’
A: Yeah, you have to check. Exactly.
Q:‘What it is?’ But then I look and then it was like ‘No.’ It sounds stupid, but it’s a new revelation, in a way also. Each time, I feel like it’s a new thing, again and again.
A:Yes, it’s very beautiful. Because we can have this presumption that the one that never exists is actually just sitting there waiting to grab, but it cannot. It’s just the product of an idea and not even a real product. It’s just like if you had the idea that you are sitting in Maui or something. It is just like this. It’s just not true and yet … So, what is that? This … [Gestures: grabbing]
Q:And it is quick to say or give an answer like ‘It is identity, it is the ego’.
A:Yeah, yeah, because it is all learned.
Q:Yeah, but it doesn’t reveal anything.
A:Yeah, it doesn’t answer anything; exactly, exactly.
Q:It actually imposes some entity. It’s like this identity, we take it for granted. Thank you.
A:It’s very good, because you have learned all this and you have heard all this and you know the terms now: ‘It is ego, it is identity.’ But have you met it? And who would meet who? Have you met it like that? So, that’s why this exercise is good, in a way, because then we’re going beyond the terms and saying ‘What are you actually tasting? What are you actually seeing? What are you actually finding for yourself?’
This is very good. Because you can say ‘Yes, it is identity, it is ego; limitation is what it is.’ But then, with all of these things, we are just going back to the level of mind and inference and saying ‘Okay, I know this is what it is.’ But when we are made to look, actually look, then: Who is that? What is it?
It’s very nice. And it’s very good also because you find sometimes that you will see how persistent this mind is. It keeps going ‘But … tweew-tweew-tooo.’ Like that day you were saying ‘We’re crossing these levels in a mall’ or something like that, and you cross this toy store or car store or whatever and then it keeps making these announcements of offers: ‘Now, twenty- five percent discount: happiness.’ And then you’re like ‘I could buy that. It might be true.’ All these millions of past offers have been fraud but this one could still be true.’ [Announcement]:
‘This is especially for you now, because you know you’re almost there.’ You see? ‘Especially for you now: thirty-five percent discount.’ Like: come, come.
And for many, it has become the ‘checker guy’ making spiritual interpretations: ‘Now, this is what always happens with you. You better take care of this problem.’ But in that moment, except for that thought, that offer, there is no problem.
So, when it is making these conclusions about us that ‘This is our spiritual problem’ … in that moment, there is nothing but that offer for sale … which is the problem. It’s saying ‘Now is the chance. You’d better sort this out because this is where you always get stuck.’ It is coming now with conclusions. That’s why I call this ‘checker guy’ my arch-nemesis because everything I could say, it could add to its checklist and say ‘This should not happen. Okay, now you are doing seventy percent.’ You see? Like that. It’s just feeding you these offers and then you feel like ‘Yes … because this is about my freedom, it’s about my spiritual journey, therefore, I must listen to it, it might be meaningful; maybe I’m missing out on truth’ or something like that. But it is not that.
The truth is more natural, simpler, than any conclusion. So, once you start to See like that, that it has so many offers for us, all these conclusions, with such confidence and authority …
Q: ‘Yes, I understand.’
A:‘Yeah, I understand.’ Or ‘This is where you always get stuck’ … said with so much authority because it has all this evidence that it seems to pull out. But we can’t say anything about that. We can’t say that any past has ever happened anyway. [Chuckles] But the mind will say ‘See now: this is what your current condition is and this is what causes your problem.’ But it’s just that. As you come into more and more openness, just letting go, not latching on so much to these …
That’s why I also asked you to check. Because many times the mind will also feed us this idea that ‘But you are just a hostage. You are just hostage to these thoughts now. You’re stuck.’ As you just check: ‘Is it possible that one thought can just come and go … just one thought can just come and go, without me taking it to be valid representation of ‘What Is’?
That’s all. To be empty only means that … to not take any construct, mental construct, to be a valid representation of ‘What Is’.
Like if somebody came and offered you a painting of ‘Is-ness’. This painting of ‘Is-ness’ is there. It costs a hundred dollars. Would you buy it? You may buy a painting of Krishna, Buddha, Christ, of the Masters and Prophets; you may buy paintings of all of them. But if someone comes and says ‘I have this beautiful painting of ‘Is-ness’ made three-thousand two-hundred years ago and ‘Is-ness’ is in full glory! This panting captures it fully. But you have to give me the money and then I’ll give it to you.’ … would you buy such an offer? But every time we buy our spiritual conclusion, that’s exactly what we’re doing. We are buying a representation to truly be representative of ‘Reality’ or ‘Is-ness’.
If someone came and said ‘I have a sentence. Now, this sentence captures ‘Is-ness’ completely! It is just seven words and I am going to reveal it to you’ … would you fall for such an offer?
A:You have that look, like ‘Only if it comes from you.’
Q: Yeah, exactly. [Sangha and Ananta Chuckle]
A:That is why it’s important to keep reminding everyone that it cannot be spoken. It cannot be represented. At best, it can be pointed. All the Masters keep reminding you. So, if it cannot be painted, if it cannot be represented in any concept, then…?
If it was not naturally Here, then there was just no chance. Because if it had to come … and only experiences come … (An experience means some attributes, some color, shape, size, whatever… Time; because ‘coming and going’ is time) but if there is such a thing as the Truth that we are looking for then it must be natural and available Right Here, Right Now, independent of any conclusion that the mind can make, of any visual representation that the mind is painting for you.
What Seems to Catch Us Is the Feeling That We Get Caught
Q:There is the feeling of a ‘me’ but … IT is here. There is no question about it. But there is this thought that comes regularly, that is ‘Okay, I’m aware of it. I’m here. It’s fine.’ But I still get caught very, very, very, regularly in this identity. And so, the thought comes that ‘Okay, but Ananta is aware of this; aware of his own nature all the time or almost all the time.’ Because sometimes, there is still this, you know, like …
A:Now, suppose the tables were turned. Okay? This is Satsang with Atma, and Ananta has come down. So, Ananta says to Atma ‘Of course, everything you say is very clear. It’s just naturally here. I’ll tell you something funny, though. The only thing that seems to catch me is that I still think, I still feel that I get caught sometimes.’
I did something to work with your report, just to make the irony clearer … which is that ‘The only thing which seems to catch me is the idea that I get caught more than you.’ What would you say?
Q:Does it change? Does it affect the nature you are?
A:No, it does not affect anything.
Q:And isn’t it just a thought right now, because effectively actually …
A:Ohh, but it comes every day! [Sangha and Ananta Chuckle]
Q:Come to Satsang. [Sangha and Ananta Chuckle]
A:I am coming. You take it, you take it. [Sangha laughs]
Q:Okay, my child. I’ll take it. [Sangha and Ananta laugh]
A:But you see what I was saying there? I was saying that ‘The only thing that catches me is that it keeps catching it.’ In that itself, in the so-called problem itself, that is the only seeming- obstacle, is that conclusion we make about ourselves that ‘I am this way, but he is not.’ So, from that clarity of ‘It’s just so clear; there is no he, me, all of this, other, all of that’ … to even this ‘mini-but’ (as you called it) this ‘mini-doubt’… all of this was sold [as ideas]. No? Suddenly now there is a him, there is a me, there is something that always happens for him; there is time, there is space. [Sangha laughter] All of this. ‘He has something that doesn’t happen here for me.’ This kind of thing. But again, going back to looking at [the coconut (body) floating on] the ocean, we’re still asking ‘So, what does this mean for this coconut? What does that mean for only this coconut? And why can’t this coconut be exactly like that other coconut?’
A:It’s in that one small thing. But what is it? Like your first question was good. You said ‘Does it affect anything in reality? Does is touch what is naturally here?’ No. In a way, it is still
reporting on something, like ‘But I still have this concern about ‘me’. When will this one will be like that one?’
But what is your discovery about yourself? You are neither this nor that … or you are everything there is. All these conclusions are also made up but in your Seeing of that, there definitely wasn’t a ‘me’ and a ‘him’.
So, sometimes, even though they might seem harmless (and this is just a small doubt) in that one sentence is all the separation, duality; all of that. And the minute we start presuming it to be still valid … then again, we are framing ourself back into the limited one.
And this is, in a way, the sort of pitfall of having this kind of dual sort of thing; that ‘Ah, yes, yes, what is true is just the truth. But still there is…’ You know, like that. Because then, you are again back to duality.
Now, in That which is that empty of having that notion … does this body not continue to play out, like it is playing out? It does. So, if you still put that sort of condition, that ‘Therefore, that makes the limited version still here’ (which is not my experience; which I have never experienced, which you have never experienced) then you are back to the realm of fantasy, back to the realm of imagination.
So, that’s what I’m saying, that either we produce that one and say ‘Here it is. There must be something flawed in your design …’
Q:‘We’ as what? We produce what?
A:‘We’ … whoever is reporting now.
Either we say ‘Here it is’ or we just say ‘I can’t find it’ … which is much more honest, because we can’t find it.
So, you have to get away from this fantasification about it. Because again, it can be [Makes a fist, a gesture of ‘I want to keep this’] like that. One tiny thing, like ‘Yes, yes, it is the Self but actually, there is also a person’ … or something like that.
It can then just be like ‘Then, what did we find? What did we look for? What did we see?’ We did not find any evidence.
Grace Is Not Confined to Our Ideas of Good and Bad
A:You define your boundary. I won’t push. There’s no feeling here actually to push beyond where you want to be pushed. But if you say ‘Take it all’ then I’m happy to point out to you that our whole representation of all of this is just notional, is just a thought.
Q: Wow. It’s crazy. The entire planet, you know?
A:… is just a thought. It’s fine. Sometimes this wonder comes, like ‘What is going on here really? What is really going on?’ This kind of thing can come and you see that everything that you try to define, it doesn’t add up, it doesn’t hold up.
Q:But can we give any quality to Presence, at least?
A:Except the quality of being present?
Q:No. Then how do we trust that truth wants the good of us?
A:[Smiles] What if it is beyond good and bad?
Q:No, my growth or my wanting.
A:So, there is a Presence and there is a ‘you’?
Q:No, the Presence is what we say; the Divine way or Guru Kripa. [Guru’s Grace] Like ‘Guru Kripa’ … all these positive things, they exist, right?
Q: Or there is really a difference? Presence is…
A:‘Kripa’ [Grace] is not in the bounds of our mental boundaries of what is good or what is bad. We might have this idea … (let’s leave the world out of it for a bit; like ‘What is good for the world? What is bad for it?’ because we don’t know anyway) … let’s say ‘Okay, I know what is good for me.’ But you’ve always had this notion. Even when we were children, we used to think that ‘Having twenty éclairs is good for me.’ The parent would come and say ‘No, this is not good for you.’ You might have gotten many patients who feel like ‘If I take this, this brand of medicine, it is good for me.’ But you have to correct them because you are the doctor saying ‘No, you don’t know what is good for you.’
So, if ‘Kripa’ [Grace] has to conform to our idea of what is good and bad then it would be like that: ‘Yeah, eat twenty more éclairs, or have that medicine which is actually poisoning the body’ or something like that.
So, to surrender to Guru Kripa [Guru’s Grace] means that ‘I’m letting go of my ideas of what is good and what is bad.’ If you try to do both, then it will seem very stretched. Because if you feel
like ‘I know what is good, so Kripa [Grace] should now just conform to that box of what I define as good’ … then if something seems to then step out of the box (like ‘Give me one éclair)’ then it can feel like’ I don’t know whether this ‘Kripa’ [Grace] thing is good for me.’ Because we made a definition which we feel is good for us but our bases of our definitions have always been changing and we cannot really say.
So, in your paradigm of how you are looking, it’s kind of like a risk. It is a big risk, in fact. It is not reassuring to our concept of ‘How my life should go’ or ‘How will I find if this is true? What will happen to me after that?’ It is not reassuring.
Some of these fears happen to everyone. Like Guruji [Sri Mooji] also said ‘I was scared of what this is going to do to me.’ (I’m paraphrasing.) ‘Am I going to become a beggar on the streets? Am I going to become a hunch-back like Quasimodo, a beggar on the street?’
So, for this fear to come is natural. Okay? Guruji may be more reassuring than me, so I can just give you his reassurance, which is that nobody who has come to this truth has then regretted it and said ‘Give me that back.’ So. that much reassurance is there.
Even to Know That ‘I Don’t Know’ Is to Know Too Much
Got it? Instant, no? Didn’t get it? Such a small box, such a small box: ‘Got it’ then ‘Didn’t get it.’ But where is the seeker roaming? The seeker just roams in this tiny box. One day like this, one day like that. Where are You? [Silence] If you keep identifying with this one, then like I was saying to him: ‘How was mid-week break?’ He said ‘A bit of a roller-coaster.’ But can you actually get on the roller-coaster? Can you actually get on? But if you identify, then you’re on. To identify… What is identity? In language also (funnily) there are lots of clues. Identity is like a separate entity, you know? Id-entity. So, if you separate, if you discriminate, if you make distinctions, then it can feel like you separated yourself from yourself and you then get onto this roller-coaster. And what is the spiritual roller-coaster? What are the boundaries of it? Just this: ‘Got it; didn’t get it. Got it; didn’t get it.’ That’s all. And the minute you indentify with that aspect, it can seem like that’s it. To ‘get it’ is my nirvana; to ‘not get it’ is hell. But You are not that. [Silence] I want to break you out of this groove, to push you beyond these boundaries.
So, all these positions are the ‘sicknesses’ the Master was talking about. [Ananta was reading aloud] ‘This way or that way.’ What’s outside this box? Are you inside or outside? It’s a trick question. It’s a trick question, because I said ‘Break out of all these framing of opposites’ yet I said ‘inside and outside.’ And you buy in to that framing, in a way. There is no meaning to inside and outside. There is no meaning in ‘Got it’ and ‘Didn’t get it’. But neither is it meaningless.
How to cure you from this ‘sickness’? What is the cure? The cure is just to be empty of conclusions, including this one. Allow this silly one to make these claims for now; you don’t bother with them. Allow this deluded one to make these claims for now; you don’t bother with them. The Sage spoke about something very beautiful which is pertinent also, because we can come into this sort of mental not-knowing. We said ‘To know even one thing is to know too much’ we can get too much into the ‘knowing’ of ‘I don’t know.’ Like ‘All I know is I don’t know.’ Like that. ‘But I don’t know.’ This kind of thing. So, this is also to know too much. Even ‘I don’t know’ is to know too much.
Here you are not lost. That is just an idea. The belief in the identity, even the seeker identity, is when you are lost. If the objective of the mind, in a way, is to make you lost, then when it comes and says ‘But I’m lost’ … if you were really lost then would it come complaining that ‘I’m lost?’ Because it’s fulfilling its objective. It would feel very comfortable, confident, and opinionated. [Smiles] Get it? [Chuckling] In its complaint: ‘I’m lost’ then how come it’s not celebrating? I’m asking you not to mind when you feel lost … because it is a misinterpreted feeling.
S: Just don’t believe what it is saying?
A:Yes, that is what it means ‘Don’t mind.’ Not to mind is the same thing. Stop grasping towards getting it. If it can be gotten, that is not it … and yet, if you haven’t got it, it’s not it. These are our boxes. I’m just exposing them at the risk of confounding you or confusing you, in a way. But I’m just exposing our intellectual boxes.
Everything That Comes and Goes Is Just a Thought
In an instant, the mind can make a move. (‘Swoosh’) ‘Ah, the ‘me’ is back. I’m back.’ [Chuckles] ‘But …’ [Silence] Notice your doubts. I notice they will follow a pattern like this maybe, like ‘Satsang is great, but…’ [Chuckles] ‘Yes, Right Now I am free, but…’
Nothing meaningful has ever come out after that ‘but…’ no matter how much you believe it. Nothing meaningful has ever been spoken after that. ‘Yes, yes, Right Now, no person, but…’ And we feel like something as relevant as what we said before the ‘but…’ is coming after it. It is just story. And the ridiculousness of the story is apparent to you because you could say this every Right Now. ‘Right Now, there is no person.’ It’s just like saying (if you were to expand on what we usually buy into, is) ‘Right Now, there is no person. But … what about that non-existent one in my projections? What to do with that?’ Because in every Right Now, you could say this.
Even in our manifest existence, there is never the experience of this person. So then, what are we asking? We’re coming to the doctor and saying ‘I have no illness right now, but in my mind, there is a possibility that there could be some cancer or something. What can I do to treat that or what can you do to treat that?’ The doctor says ‘But there’s no illness.’ [Chuckles]
And then you might say ‘Take away this power of projecting.’ … ‘But if it was taken away, how would we meet in this way?’ Like she made a request that day (I’m paraphrasing what she said) like ‘You take care of it. Done. I don’t want to have these projections anymore.’ Then, what is all this? This is also projection. [Chuckles] That is taking the content of the projection itself as the reality and then saying ‘Within the projection, the projection should not be there anymore; within the projection, within the dream, the dream should stop.’
That’s why I’ve been pushing you out of this paradigm that you are here in this way anyway, that any of this is tangible anyway. Because all of this movement only happens once we first give some reality to this.
It’s just a thought, just a thought. In that, we can go as far as to say that everything which comes and goes is just a thought. Everything that comes and goes is just a thought; broadening the definition of thought using the broader definition of mind. But it couldn’t hurt. Once you see that all these interpretations are just thoughts, you will also see that what we take to be the so-called ‘phenomenal reality’ is also just a thought.
So, this is the pretense which I want to break you out of; giving too much credence to this phenomenal appearance … and the request within the phenomenal appearance being ‘Rid me of this’. Like the dream-character within the dream should be freed from the delusion. But that one itself is the delusion; that itself is the delusion.
Greater Than Everything, Yet Smaller Than Nothing
The simple way is to say it is that whatever you can consider yourself to be, you cannot be. Whatever you consider yourself to be, you cannot be. Because even that will be stuck in the highest or the lowest. [Chuckles] It’s a very tiny box for You, in Reality. What is the highest you can consider yourself to be? You know, come on… [Laughs]
A:Everything, good, or the Absolute or the Self, or Awareness, something. What is the lowest?
A:No what? No quality is nothing? What is nothing?
A:Worthless, okay maybe that is something different. ‘Worthless’ that is another way of looking at it. But when we say ‘nothing’ we mean like no entity, no existence, no tangibility. That way of nothing?
So, between that ‘everything’ and ‘nothing’… now, besides that, on top of that everything, what is that? Beyond that everything? This is where mind will protest. Observe this; observe this moment, even if it is irritating the hell out of you! [Laughs] Observe it. Because I’m saying that if you have put everything in the definition of everything, I am still asking: What is beyond that everything?
S: That which knows it.
A:Okay, so now you put that which knows it also in that everything and I am still asking: What is beyond that?
S: It’s like that irritation in that. It’s like that saying: What was before being and not-being?
A:Yeah, but that is also practice now, because we’ve heard this from [Nisargadatta] Maharaj and we’ve heard Guruji [Sri Mooji] saying ‘Before I Am’ so that is not causing enough irritation. So, I have to change that to a new thing. [Laughs] (Of course ‘Before I Am’ …)
So, now I’m saying that everything is included in everything. Now, what is more than that? He said (we have learned this over the years) ‘That which knows it, that which sees it, that which is aware of that, all of that is also included.’ Now, what is more than that?
S: I Am.
A:‘I Am’ is also included in that; like this also is included in everything. Whatever we consider ‘I Am’ to be is included in that. And I’m still asking.
It’s the same on the other side, like this nothing has nothing, includes nothing; there is nothing in it. But what is smaller than that?
Watch what happens, just watch for yourself.
S: Still trying to compare.
A:Still trying to compare; still trying to understand. But we can also not take this position that ‘Ah, he is purposely doing this, because actually he is just showing that we can’t understand so I am not even playing with this stuff.’ Some of you are playing that way. So, when I am saying what is greater, it’s like: [Makes a gesture of indifference. Laughs] ‘What is smaller than nothing?’ [Again makes a gesture of indifference] ‘I’m not falling into his trap.’ Like that, you see?
But I want you to really check: What is smaller than that which already is nothing?
S:It’s an ill-logical question, Father. I mean, if there is nothing then how can something be smaller than nothing?
A:Yes. You have to observe this stuff because … (Okay, I don’t know whether I should say so much, okay, let me see). So, it is this stuff (like for example, logic) which defines your boundaries. What is logic? It defines what is right, what is wrong, what is true, what is not.
S: It defines within the parameters of language.
A:But did I say to check within the parameters of language? What is smaller than nothing?
S:No, but it was like a default. It goes that way.
A:So, you observed this; that the fight will come and say ‘But that doesn’t make any sense.’ Yet, I’m asking you to look. [Chuckles] The whole reason I’m asking you to look is because I know it makes no sense. If we were still to play in the boundaries of only that which makes sense, then these boundaries are well defined by intellect. We never need to come to Satsang actually.
What is greater than everything and yet smaller than nothing?
S: It doesn’t go in the box of ‘everything and nothing’.
A: What doesn’t?
S: What makes this whole thing; what Sees that.
A:Yeah, whatever we perceive or understand or know about what Sees all of this, put that also in the box of everything. [Looks around]
The goose has flown yet? [Referring to the Zen koan]
S:Whatever answer we give to this will also be in the conceptual framework. So, greater than everything and smaller than nothing, whatever the mind will come up with as the answer will also be in the conceptual framework.
A:Now, is the mind all that you have?
A:So, where else can the answer come from?
A:What is beyond mind?
We said: Everything included, including the one that Sees, that knows, that understands, even the one we think is always Here, which does not come and go, which is the unchanging Self, all of this; everything is included in everything. What is greater than that?
S: There is no word for that.
A: Even that one for which there is no word …
I’m going to make a scream room instead of the library, because nobody uses the library anyway, so we can sound-proof it like a studio cum screaming room. [Laughs] Yes? Possible? If some material is available, we’ll just block it off. After that we can … [Laughs]
What is getting attacked? Something very fundamental is gets poked in this kind of thing. Like if you were a one-year-old, it would not attack you. So, what grew up?
S:Father, for me it doesn’t really feel like an uncomfortable feeling to be looking actually. And now you are talking about our frustrations. What I rather see is that (you know; I don’t really know) … it’s just the limitations of the mind and that’s it. I can’t say what’s above and what’s beyond because it’s just the limitations. I think that’s what’s getting obvious. And even if we would try to see what is greater than the greatest, it always just points again to the limitations of the mind. There’s just nothing I can know beyond … or you, know, it’s just not possible. In a way it comforts me.
A:In a way, it is fine. [Chuckles] But That which cannot be known by the mind … That is also included in everything?
S: Can’t know.
A: Do you? I’m not saying it is good news or bad news. I’m just asking: Is this true?
S:I don’t know. With your question I just got into the box. I don’t want to be in the box.
A:Yeah, this one is included in the everything.
S:Just feel trapped.
A:This one that wants or doesn’t want is included in the everything?
S:There has to be some proof, you know? [Laughter]
A:Yes, yes. This ‘I’ … this ‘I’ is the one we have to [Gestures: removing the thorns from]
Are You Now Fully Left Empty?
A:This is like a quick expression of that roller coaster: ‘Got it’ and ‘Didn’t get it’. ‘I’m getting it, getting it, getting it’ and the Master comes and … [Gestures a sudden fall] ‘How dare he!?’ [Chuckles]
Q: It makes the seeking very visible.
A:The seeking? Yeah. Because what is our ailment right now? The number one ailment for all of us is the seeker identity. [Silence] But our ploys will not work. Our tactics will not work. So, if you say ‘I see that if my number one identity is the seeker identity so, actually, if I stop seeking, that is when I will get it.’ That is still the seeker. We can’t just say stop seeking or keep seeking, because that is also advice for you as to how to get it.
If we have a ploy like that which says ‘Yeah, I see that my seeker doesn’t actually find, so if I stop playing the seeker, then I will find. But that is still the seeker, still trying to find. Like ‘I can either get it by getting it or I can get it by giving up’ are both the same thing; The ploy of ‘Getting it’ is still in that roller coaster, is still in that box.
It’s the same way that we talk about the dissolution of the ego. Our ploys don’t work. If it was as simple as these ploys then it could just work. Our ploys are like ‘I can transcend the ego by killing it or by destroying it or I can be rid of the ego by loving it’. But the wanting to be rid of something is not really loving it. [Chuckles] Then it is just a ploy. It is just a pose.
So, the Truth is not to be found in these boxes. Our greatest tactics mean nothing.
What are you then left with? If your experiences and perceptions, if your perceptual experiences mean nothing, if your conceptual things, either position, mean nothing, are you now fully empty?
Where are you Now?
Where are you Now?
These Labels Don’t Apply to You
A:Last questions? [Said to one of the sangha who will be leaving Bangalore]
Q:Why did I still not get it?
A:Is that the last question? [Laughter]
A:‘Why did I still not get it?’ [Sangha Laughs] ‘Why?’ It is astounding how much the ‘why’ question is attractive … vs. the ‘who’ question. It’s just one sound: ‘y’ and ‘oo’. Just that is the change. The ‘wh’ part is the same. ‘Wh.’ So, how is it this mind is more attracted to asking ‘why’ rather than asking ‘who’? This itself is a big clue for us. To try and use the intellect to figure this stuff out seems to have become our conditioning, rather than just to check and See what actually IS?
I know that you were saying it in jest. [Chuckles] But sometimes it can be like this, that ‘We are going now for a short while. This is last Satsang for us.’ Some short time; how will we spend that? It’s like ‘I was here for a few months, why didn’t I get it?’ or ‘This Now; I can check Now. He is apparently saying that the truth is available just Here and Now. He is saying that the truth is available completely and fully just Here and Now.’
So, this point is very useful to bring us back to where it can truly be checked. Otherwise, we just keep wondering. We keep wondering in the past and in the future, in the logical explanations. But the truth that is pointed to in Satsang is not available there; not in the past, not in the future and not in any explanation.
Let use this opportunity Here and Now to See. And this presumption also that ‘I haven’t got it’
…it is not true. Because if you do not have it Now, you will never get it … not because you have been Satsang that long now (or something like that). It is just so naturally what You Are.
So, step out of this ‘Haven’t got it’ verses ‘Got it’ paradigm. Don’t apply these labels to you. Because they do not apply.
Why Can’t I Fully See What I Truly Am?
Her question is ‘Why is it that what I fully am … why can’t I see that fully?’
In your Seeing itself, there is nothing missing. In your Seeing itself, it cannot go missing. This is not sight-seeing. [Chuckles] It’s not the seeing of sight. You know, the Seeing I’m speaking of is not the same as sight. That which Sees sight is not even in this paradigm of fully, partly, shortly. All these don’t apply. It is only the concern for the non-existent one which seems to get in the way. So, the ‘I’ that we are talking about is mixed up with the ‘I’ that we think we are.
Okay, what is the ‘I’ that we think we are?
Q: A stupid entity.
A:The stupid entity that we think we are, we are not.
Q:A tired entity.
A:Tired, stupid, seeker, inquirer, getting it, not getting it, missing it, frustrated; that is what we think we are. Do we have to buy into that one? No? Yes?
Q Well, it seems that I don’t have to buy it, but it’s my reality. [Crying]
A:If it was your reality, then you would have to buy it. Because you’re here for Reality, apparently. You’re here for Reality. So, if it was our Reality, then I would say ‘Buy it’. But I can promise you that you cannot find this ‘me’ whose reality it is. This ‘my reality’ is which one? Which one is that? As long as we carry this monkey on our back, it will seem like we keep missing it.
Forget about this one! Forget about this one that’s not getting it! You cannot find it anyway. Because this position is also just an escape. Just like the ‘Get it’ position is an escape, the ‘Why am I not getting it?’ position can also be an escape.
Q: A lot of resistance is here.
A:A lot of resistance can be there. It will come; it is bound to. If there is resistance, does it mean that you’re onto something, or that you’re far from something?
Q: It doesn’t really apply.
A:It doesn’t apply. Resistance is usually found when the mind doesn’t want you to go further anymore. It’s just like ‘Come, come.’ And I know that some of you want to run. ‘What’s going on?!’ But that is why we should use this moment that is available. The question was very simple and is very simple. The resistance has nothing to do with the question itself. It is what we think about ourself that is getting poked.
What is the question? [From earlier] Who remembers? The question was ‘Do you perceive this hand?’ Who is that ‘you’ that perceives this hand? Who is the ‘I’ who perceives it? Something as basic as that; who needs to run from it?
Q:I tried to answer this question after Satsang, and after I stayed with this question, it kept on saying ‘I see, I see.’ I didn’t know exactly what was the content of ‘I’ but there was ‘I, I, I, me, I.’ And the day after, I woke up from a dream and really, there was no difference between what was seeing the dream and what was seeing the waking up of this body and whatever. I cannot really even explain in words, but there was no ‘I’ witnessing this. But of course, I was there, but not as the ‘I’ that I take myself to be.
Q:There was no personal feeling or anything, you know.
A:So, then what is the answer now?
Q:There is something that Sees. I don’t know what it is, Father. [Crying]
A:That something is known how?
Q:Because this (it’s like a space; I don’t know how to say it) this space is Here. I don’t know but it Sees. I don’t know how to say that. [Crying]
A: What is the message in this pain? Does it have anything to do with …?
Q:I’m tired. I don’t know. It’s a mix of physical tiredness and yeah, certainly, it’s tiring also because I’m looking a lot. You know? And it’s like, I don’t know, I get too much tired from it. But … yeah, the other day, I could see the ego okay-ing. He said something beautiful … (Rupert? Or somebody?) He was saying that actually, in growth, it’s not always like a straight line that goes up, up, up. And the ego and the poking also serves the growth, and it’s up and down and it’s more like a curve actually. Yeah, so I don’t know, but there’s a lot going on actually at the moment. Resistance; wanting to run. Whatever. And frustration. (Or ‘potato’ … however you want to say it.) [Laughter] [Referring to what Ananta said about the words themselves making the feeling seem more real: ‘What if we were to call frustration ‘potato’ … would it have the same impact?’]
A:Yes. [Big smile] The frustration means what? The frustration means the idea of either not being able to grasp it or of having grasped it, then lost it. Isn’t it?
Q:Yes, a little bit like that. [Crying] Because I know what it is to not feel like a person . . . and I know what it is like to feel like a person also, and I don’t like it. It’s just too tiring.
A: This ‘I’ … just forget about it.
Q: [Crying] You think it’s simple like this? [Snaps fingers] You think it’s simple like this?
[She and Ananta and everyone laughs a lot] If it was simple like this, it would be one Satsang. But we keep on coming back, banging the head on the wall ‘Why, who, when, what for’ and all those ‘W’-whatever’s.
A:So, this ‘I’ that knows it and feels like they lost it and they don’t want this anymore; they know what it feels like to be free, and they know what it feels like as a person. They want to be free but they don’t want the ‘person’ … this ‘I’ you have to leave.
And it IS simple, like this. [Snaps fingers] Gone.
It’s just that the voice of the temptress will come. ‘Come, come, it’s not actually gone. Come on, you have to stay like this. But you saw this five years ago.’ You see? Like that. And again, it will try to tempt you back.
Q: You don’t have ear plugs for this kind of talk?
A:These are, in a sense, ear plugs. If it became a limited state where I had to shut myself away from this voice, then that would not be freedom. We’re living on this busy street. All this sound can come and go. But you are not touched by any of it. In the same way, this mind [these thoughts] can also come and go but you’re not touched by any of it.
The only thing it can really tempt you with is your identity. It says ‘If you stay like this, then you will actually be free.’ Who is that story about?
Q: Obviously, there is a buying of those, in the listening to those voices.
A:Yes, but there’s a difference in the listening. The salesman can come and sell. You hear the offer. But the buying implies your assent.
Q: I have a lot of money for them. [Laughter in the room]
A:A lot of money for them. [Chuckles] They seem to have some good offers also. But at the center of all their offers is someone that you are not.
Even in this report, in which you said ‘I know what it feels like to be free; I know what it feels like to be a person, and I really don’t want to be the ‘person’ … locate that one.
Who Are You?
Q:Where does this come from … this ‘I’ at the beginning of almost all sentences? It has been formed at some point?
A:Yes, yes. It is not natural. That’s why I was asking: Who does this ‘I” represent? This ‘I’ who doesn’t want [this heavy idea of being a] ‘person’ … even that one, who does it represent? [Silence]
Why am I chasing down and shooting down everything that we claim to know? It is because it is our knowing which seems to get in the way; what we think we know.
I come and say every day: Actually, just check whether you actually know anything ever
happened or what should happen in the future. And you check and you See: ‘No, I cannot confirm any of this really.’ And yet our allegiance seems to remain with that, with what we think we know.
Q: But I cannot confirm even this ‘I’.
A: Yeeesss, yes. So, isn’t that such a beautiful ‘I don’t know’?
Q:But ‘I’ … don’t know. You know? (YOU know.) [Ananta chuckles] Where does this’ I’ come from?
A:That’s really not the question.
A:Who are you? Who is even the complainer of ‘Where does this ‘I’ come from?’
Q:It’s coming up as an energy…
A:Yes, but who are you?
Q:I don’t know!! I don’t know!!
A:Yeah, but who doesn’t know?
Q:I don’t know that either.
A:So, how do we make that claim?
Q:I don’t know… [Whispering and almost crying in frustration] I don’t know…
A:You cannot figure out the answer. You can’t find it in your intellect, your emotions; anywhere.
Q:For instance, last night and this morning I was listening to the ‘Satsang of the week’ from Guruji [Sri Mooji] and he was leading someone to ‘What is here when we don’t think of anything?’
This is here. [Silence]
This is the only thing that doesn’t change.
Q:I cannot say ‘Oh, yes, I am this or that.’ I don’t know. But ‘I’m aware of this or that’ … this I can say.
A:Yes, even this we can use. This, which is aware of this, is what?
Q:I cannot find.
A:Is there some distance between the One that is aware of this … and This itself?
A:Now, don’t use the term ‘I’ until you find the one it is representing.
Can the Perceiver Be Perceived?
Do you perceive this hand? [Raises hand]
A: Who is that one that perceives it?
Okay, just to give you a bit of context (not that it’s so important but just to share a bit more) somehow we got to Guruji’s [Sri Mooji’s] piranha question:
Can the perceiver be perceived?
And as it was being asked, I realized that really, we have not asked it. Because we get sidetracked by ‘Okay, so what does the mind start saying when I ask myself this question: Can the perceiver be perceived? Or what is the state that comes? This kind of thing, rather than answering the question: Can the perceiver be perceived?’
Then we made it even simpler and said: Okay, you perceive this hand. Who is the one that perceives it?
Is it you? Or no?
A:You perceive it. What is this ‘you’? Who is this I?
S:Can I share something?
S:There is no answer for it. You are the answer yourself. But to say something about it, you can’t say. It’s just a concept. Because just when I went and opened the Robert Adams book, then he answered this. He said that ‘You meet Robert Adams, okay, but when you meet Robert Adams, he is not Brahman, he is not Silence, because when you talk about it, you objectify. You are not the object. You cannot see.”
A:So, the talking or keeping silent about it, let’s keep it secondary. The recognition of this One is fundamental. What words emerge, even I am not so concerned about that actually. But just because it is unspoken doesn’t mean that it cannot be recognized. So, even to conclude whether you’re missing it or recognizing is not the intent of this inquiry. It is to push you beyond the …
(okay, let me not say).
It is not so complicated, actually. You perceive this hand?
A: Who is that one?
S:There is a seeing. There is just seeing.
A:There is a seeing. How is that seen?
S:The Seeing is just seeing.
A:The Seeing is seeing. What does it have to do with you? [Silence] Who is the owner of this seeing?
S:I think an entity is getting mixed up with the seeing.
A:Who sees that? ‘An entity is getting mixed up with the seeing.’ Who sees that?
S:There is no answer to that.
A:But the answer is not also that there is no answer.
S:Yeah, but I haven’t gone into that where Robert Adam says ‘Is there you, the Real You, which is me and everything in the universe or beyond it.’ But I have not gone there, no?
A:Yes, so who has not gone there? Who is this concern about?
S:That I’ve not experienced.
A:This one, I am asking; this one who has not experienced that. Who is this one?
Who is this one? The one who could experience that [Opens his arms in expansion and makes a blissful sound] or the one who experiences this [Folds his arms across his chest and lowers head in contraction posture] … this one is which one?
Who Is This ‘I’?
A:How will this ‘imagined one’ go? If it sticks around just waiting for the next belief, how will it go? [Silence] Is it Here Now?
Q:It can be. I mean, everything is Here Now. Everything can be Here Now.
Q:I mean, in the sense of all the sensations or all the…
A:Okay, what about the imagined one; the person? [She nods no] No. Then if it is not there then how can the person believe something that comes?
Q:The person is not the one.
A:Then, who believes?
Q:[Smiles] I’m believing it.
A:Ah. Who is this ‘I’?
Q:I am; I am. Father, I recognize that I’m not affected by anything that I may or may not be. But somehow, the thought (when I recognize that ‘I Am That’) just stills holds some belief in that. I mean, I’m still giving that some belief.
A: Which thought are you giving some belief?
Q:The belief that ‘I’m still not free’ or ‘I’m still not what I actually recognize.’ When you take us there, there is no desire. I never have, I mean, I…
A:When the thought comes ‘I’m still not free’ … that still gets believed.
Q:Yeah. It still gets believed.
A:Because you still feel it is true. Belief means it just feels true. But you cannot find the one that is not free.
Q: Yeah, I can’t. I can’t find any entity that …
A: That could be not free … or free…
A: You can’t find it and yet you believe it to be true? [Silence]
Fear of Dissolution
A:If somebody came to you and said ‘My best friend has a serious problem, but he doesn’t exist’ [Chuckles] … what would you tell them? [Chuckles]
Sangha: I’d tell them ‘You’re the one having the problem.’ [Sangha and Ananta Laugh]
Q:It’s exactly the same thing here, Father. There is a frustration, I break my head, I cry, I do anything, I do whatever; I cannot find this imaginary ‘I’ which is just…
A: But who can’t find it?
Q: It is again like ‘I don’t know who is this that is doing this.’
A:But it’s so natural for us to say that ‘I’ can’t find it. So, who are we representing?
Q:Yeah, I really … I feel so lost …
A: Who does?
Q:But this iteration of…
A:It’s not iteration. It’s one time, actually. Who feels lost? There is no recursive loop. The mind makes it a recursive loop, but it is straightforward. Who, who, who are you?
Sangha: It is a non-limited consciousness who thinks it’s limited, for a time.
Q:I cannot express in words anything like what I am. It’s just everything is just a thought. For me, everything is just a thought.
A:Okay, for who? For ‘me’ you say. Who is this one?
Q:I don’t know. [Chuckles]
A:That is also just a thought?
Q:I feel like everything is just a thought.
Q:Everything is just a thought. I can’t even believe that this world exists. It looks like a big dream for me. Like everything looks like a dream to me.
A: But real or dream is also just a thought. Doesn’t matter.
Q: Yeah, it’s just a thought. I am not sure of anything. This wobbliness is killing me. I can’t…
A: Kill who? Killing the thought of a ‘me’?
Q:Yeah, this thought is frustration. This thought which I picked up from…
A:The thought is getting frustrated?
Q:[Chuckles] Again, like, everything is like a dream.
A:So, on one hand you say ‘Everything is just a thought.’ And then you said something which was like ‘But it is killing me.’ So, am I supposed to take that as good news? If the ‘me’ is being killed then maybe that is auspicious.
Q:For me, I’m holding on to this for many years. I don’t want to die. This ‘me’ says like ‘I don’t want to get killed.’ There is fear of this ‘me’ being killed; murdered.
A:Okay, where is it now? We’ll keep it safe. Where is it? The one that doesn’t want to die, where is that one?
You see? So, even after seeing so many insights, there can be like a protection for … [who?]
In that fear of the dissolution of this one, there can be all sorts of defenses built in. So, it can play out sometimes even as sleep, sometimes as anger-defenses like ‘Don’t tell me anything. I don’t exist, but don’t tell me anything.’ These kinds of things. But it’s good to expose this, that ‘This is what’s been killing me for the past few years. This one doesn’t want to die or I don’t want to die.’
This one we must bring to the light; bring to your own light.
Who is this one?
Nothing actually has to be killed or kept alive. Just that everything has to be brought to the light.
Who Is the Star of Your Movie?
A:Who is the main star of your movie? Who is the central protagonist? Sangha: Me
A:‘Me!’ [Chuckles] For a gyani, there is no such identification. There are some persistent appearances, of course, but the notion that this one has the starring role fades away; mostly fades away. And for the devotee, the starring role is replaced by the Lord, by the Master, whatever they are devoted to. So, as long as it is about ‘me’ and ‘whether I am getting it’ or about ‘me’ and ‘my’ Master’ … investigate if there is actually somebody there. This is the inquiry, to investigate: Who is there playing this central role? And we have been taught to believe that it is ‘me’, that it is my individual identity. But you can check: Who is the star of your movie? Then you might find that this identified one is just a role, just a character, just a role that I’m playing.
What are the lines of this role? What is the character’s landscape? All that you identify with (mother, father, spiritual seeker, worker in an office) seems to define how your character should play out; our ideas of what is right, what is wrong, what is true, what is false, what is good, what is bad, even the idea of what should happen or what should not happen or what is happening.
How many of us are convinced that we know what is happening? … not just in Satsang, in any aspect of our life; we are certain that we know? And these certainties are the grooves. These are the lanes of the ego. It will say ‘You are like this’ and we fall into that groove because we bought into this notion.
So, the central question in the inquiry is: Who is this One? Who is playing this role also?
Look at these notions that grab you and investigate. Look at the miniature life that they claim for you. Tell me something about your life. Tell me something that you know about your life. Now, you’ll be a bit shy because you know you are in the spotlight. But you are constantly telling yourself that ‘This is what it is.’ Now, because I’ve set it up, because I’ve already said that it is going to be a very tiny box, the way you will define yourself … what are these definitions? ‘I was born on this day, this is what I do, this is what I want, this is what I don’t want, this is how things should be, this is where I want to live, this is how much money I should have, etc.’
Who are you painting yourself to be in all these portraits? Who are we painting ourselves to be? Just a tiny object stuck between birth and death; hopeless? Because no matter what he or she does, death is coming. That is why the Sages imploration is to find that which is the eternal One, that which is the Unborn, beyond birth and death. It is this sense of limitation itself which is suffering. It has never been and it will never be that you can continue to hold onto the idea that you are a limited entity and be free from suffering, no matter what tactics and ploys you use.
What Survives Death?
Freedom from suffering itself means freedom from this delusion of being the ego.
And it is bound to be a scary existence if you consider yourself to be just this small object, one among billions; billions and billions of other creatures. Then obviously you will run after security, trying to protect yourself and defend. But what will you use as a defense against death? When death is knocking at your doorstep, what are you going to say to it? ‘Give me 10 more minutes or 10 more years’? And that will also go like that. [Snaps fingers]
There’s a young boy in the Indian Upanishads. His name is Nachiketa. It’s a long story but to cut a long story short, what happens is that he has a meeting with Yamraj [Yama] who is the Lord of Death. And he asks Yamraj to tell him the secret. Yamraj says ‘But you’re a young boy. I’ll give you all the best things in life. You will never have a day of struggle. You’ll have palaces and princesses and all the best servants and everything that you could ever want.’ This young boy Nachiketa says ‘But will all of this survive You? Will this survive death?’ Yamraj says ‘No, of course not. None of this survives death.’ Nachiketa says ‘I don’t want any of that because it is coming and going. What is the point, if it is here today and gone tomorrow? Show me the path to the Eternal.’ This conversation that unfolds is called the Katha Upanishad.
And this is what has been shared in one way or the other by all Masters in all Satsangs. Not even just something which you can hold onto today but which will pass on just tonight. Forget death; even in sleep, what will you take with you? So many people are struggling like this. They’re trying to have lucid dreams and some are even trying to take things from one realm into the other; [Chuckles] at least memories, like ‘I should remember this, I should remember that’ or ‘I should be this way.’ But these realms, these states, are constantly coming and going. Even right now, you could go into a daydream. You could go into a daydream right now and you could feel like you’d spent years there.
It’s like that story of Krishna and Narada. What happened one time is that Krishna and Narada were having a walk together, a beautiful time, and then Narada asked this question. ‘Lord, please tell me what is maya.’ And Krishna says ‘Do you really want to know?’ Narada says ‘Yes, of course, I really want to know.’ So, Krishna says to him ‘Okay, I’ll tell you. But first, the throat is a bit parched. Can you get me a little bit of water from the river close by?’ So, Narada says ‘Of course’ and goes with a container to the river close by.
There he sees this beautiful, beautiful woman who knocked his socks off. Then he was like ‘This is what I want in life. This is what I really want.’ And then he goes and proposes to her. He puts his best foot forward, as they say, and this woman also falls in love with him. Then they’re happy (supposedly). They’re happy and they start having children together. They have two children.
So, then what happens is that one day, a huge flood comes. A huge flood comes in their town. Now he’s living like a house-holder; he doesn’t even remember that he’s Narada. A huge flood comes and he tries to rescue his family first. (Okay, it’s a bit strong, this story.) The floods take away his wife. And he’s, of course, full of grief but he holds onto both of his children. He grabs
one and keeps one on his shoulders. But the floods are so strong that, one by one, both of his children are also swept away, and he’s in great, great grief.
In great grief, of course, he remembers who? The Lord. So, the grief came and the Lord is remembered. ‘Krishna! Help me, help me! My whole life has been thrown to bits. I’ve lost everything.’ And Krishna says ‘I’m waiting for the water. It’s been a full 20 minutes. Where are you?’ Then the spell breaks. Narada’s spell breaks and he realizes that this is the way that the Lord gave him the answer.
We get caught up in this identity of being a man, being a husband, being a father. And nothing is inherently wrong in those roles being played out. Krishna is not saying that these must be renounced. What he’s saying is: ‘Remember that these are just part of the coming and going. They will not last forever.’ So, to not be attached to that which goes.
It’s like if you wanted a piece of bread as your best friend and you said ‘This is it. This is all I want.’ The parents will come and say ‘But this will become stale. It will have mold tomorrow.’ [And you say] ‘No, I’ll keep it safe. I’ll keep it alive. I’ll do the clean-up job.’ But how long will you keep it, a slice of bread? Whatever you may do, it is going to go.
So, this body is like that. To be attached to this and its objects: how long will you keep it?
You Can’t Fit Your Self into Your Mind
A:Then the question actually becomes like this: What is it that you actually want? [Silence]
What is it that you actually want?
Have you ever tried asking your mind this question? ‘What? What do you want?’
I remember here this question was asked. I was struggling with this spirituality and mind and all of this, and the mind just went full blast. ‘This, this, this!’ A moment of lucidity would come and it was like ‘But what do you want? What is it that you want?’ Then it will come up with some very noble sounding answer, like ‘I just want you to be happy’ or ‘I just want you to have this or that.’ It’s all made up.
What does the mind actually want … if you followed everything it said? How is it that if you follow the mind with everything it says, sooner or later you end up being either murderous or suicidal? It doesn’t sound like it wants your peace or happiness. But these are the claims. This is the extent of what the mind will understand: birth and death.
Q:Father, when you say ‘The extent of what the mind will understand’ what do you mean?
A:In the way that it is programmed.
Q:The Consciousness itself is in this delusion, in a sense. It’s not some other …
A:Not even that. In the design of this appearance, there are all these various energy constructs which are there. There’s an apparent outside world, there’s a body. Now all of these seem to follow some principles of the design. For example, I can’t say ‘I’m going to step out [Pointing to the window] and have a bit of a flight from here to the next building and come back.’ You will say ‘That is a bit strange.’ Because this body seems not to be designed with this particular capability. In the same way, the energy construct that we call the mind (just a bundle of thoughts) seems to be constricted by the limits of its opposites, which are purely phenomenal; the broadest phenomena it can imagine and the smallest phenomena it can imagine. So, it seems to only be able to decipher or interpret this: [Holds his hands wide apart]
So, in a way, birth and death. You can see phenomenally ‘Oh, a baby is coming’ … that is birth. And death is the death of this body. Beyond this (if you can go beyond this) what does the mind actually help you with? At best, it can hold onto this beautiful concept ‘I’m beyond birth and death’ … but does it have any taste of that? In its reports, is it ever really able to show you some true light on This which is beyond? It isn’t.
In the same way, our emotional spectrum seems to have a particular construct that we’ve labeled in these ways. So, if I say ‘ I’m feeling ‘blah’ today’ you’d say ‘What is that? I’ve never experienced that.’ So, in a way, when we say the mind will only understand to this extent, this is
what we mean. In our experience of the design of this particular construct, it only seems to traverse these opposites, these limited opposites.
Can it paint a picture for you? Like if you look at the visual aspect of the mind and try to paint a picture of something without any quality … can you do it?
(Come on; work with me here.) Have you painted it; a picture without any quality? You just can’t do it. You see? Then it will say ‘Yeah, it’s just a dark painting’ but dark is also a quality. You’ll say ‘It’s full white’ but white is also a quality. Paint a quality-less painting in your mind. You can’t do it. So, this defines the boundary of it.
That’s why you can’t fit Your Self into your mind because You are quality-less. Your greater reality, the Unchanging One, is empty of qualities. But the mind cannot fathom it.
Integrity Is Your Best Friend
Once you see that the mind does not apply to this which is really You, then this is the end of frustration or confusion. Confusion and frustration only means that we are a little bit ‘One foot here/ one foot there’. One foot in this which is so apparent to you and one foot in trying to get a conclusion from the mind that ‘This is it. This is the truth I always wanted’ or ‘This is the freedom’ or ‘Now, I am like him.’ Something like that.
Why is it called a habit? All the Masters call it a habit. Even now, you could be going to the mind, saying ‘What do you think about this? This is what I’m doing; my one foot is here, and one foot is there.’ This kind of thing. See, it’s a habit; that’s why it’s a habit. But the more you see that that is pointless, the more you see that it will not ever, ever give you a true conclusion about yourself, the lighter it will become. When you say that ‘I can’t not believe’ it seems so heavy because you’re still feeling that ‘It will one day show me a valid conclusion about something’. But it has not. If you just check and see, in every aspect of your life right now, you will have many conclusions. I don’t mind telling you that all of them are nonsense. You might feel like ‘Okay, for Satsang at least, he is telling the truth. But what is happening in my relationship, I’m hundred percent sure.’ It’s not true … what’s happening in your life in any aspect of it. Because our conclusions are based on very tiny reports, in all our spheres of existence. I was saying to all of you the other day ‘In all our spheres of our existence, in one sphere, if some tiny moment comes, we just zero in on that and say ‘This is what my life is right now.’ In your emotional body (to use this term; forget about it after this example) if something shakes about a bit, then mixed with your intellect-body which comes and says ‘But this is not good, this should go’ … these are just two tiny moments in Your boundless ocean. Two tiny moments and you’re just like ‘This is happening to me! Why this is happening to me? Satsang is not working. I have to do this. Why doesn’t Father help me?’ All this will start. Because all of this stuff is just tiny stuff. Have you really looked at where it is? How big is it compared to You?
So, this is the play of the mind, the play of this Maya, that ‘This is happening, that is happening.’ We are so sure. Then when we’re faced with something our mind can’t fathom like ‘Nothing has ever happened’ we try to become very metal even about that. ‘Actually, I got it. Actually, nothing has ever happened.’ Inwardly, we’re still like ‘This is happening, that is happening’ (conceptually) and that causes more confusion or more dichotomy, more suffering.
When [Sri Nisargadatta] Maharaj used to say ‘Integrity is your best friend’ this is what he meant. If you speak, if you believe something, then let that be coherent with your actual experience. Many times in spirituality, we get into this sort of big dishonesty as what we’re actually believing, that ‘This is happening to me, anger does not go, my lust is still strong and this thing is like that.’ But what we are repeating to ourselves is just like ‘Nothing has ever happened.’ This becomes the source of a lot of suffering.
So, step back from all of this mind conclusion and be honest about what you really are Right Now. And if you don’t know, then don’t know. It’s okay. But don’t make up stuff. ‘Don’t know’ is very beautiful. But don’t fall for just conceptual stuff. Stay with the question. All these tools are provided to you. The design of this question was to help you get beyond this conceptual knowing: What do you know when you know nothing?
Nothing Here for the Mind
In this openness, in this conceptual emptiness, you are completely apparent to yourself. But there is nothing here for the mind.
There is nothing here for the mind. And in your closed-ness, in your picking up of notions, we give birth to (not in actuality but we seem to give birth to) the limited self, the limited version of ourself. So, at least to the mind, it seems like ‘At least, that is something.’
You could be just sitting. Not it the sense of ‘I’m sitting’ but just sitting. But the mind finds that very uncomfortable. It will say ‘Okay, at least I’m meditating now. This is my time to meditate.’ It can’t leave it alone. Or it will label it as ‘Oh, it’s very good to be in silence.’ You see? It has to have a condition. And we buy in to that condition. And all it seems to do is blur or cloud up, or block … what we really are.
To be at peace with yourself would mean to accept this unconditionally; accept ‘What Is’ unconditionally. When you add a condition on top, that ‘It must be this way’ or ‘It must not be that way’ it might seem to provide some comfort to your mind. It might seem to provide some fertilizer to your ego. But in actuality, it is the play of limitation, of separation.
In Reality, What Do You Know?
It needs some honesty, some courage actually, to admit yourself that you don’t even know: Who perceives this world? Who woke up this morning? Who is here now? …before you can make plans or have regrets, or make plans that you will regret. So, you as the mind, when you pose as the mind, don’t know any of this. But You in Reality, what do You know?
You-as-mind don’t know anything really. You’re are just proposing propositions, offerings.
But You in Reality, what do You know?
S: I cannot even hear you, Father. What is happening?
A:‘Cannot hear you.’ Yeah, it can become all blurry. It can sound like it’s all nonsense. It can sound like it is not even English at all. [Sangha and Ananta Laugh] Why? Because we don’t know where to put this in our conceptual framework. ‘Where does that fit in? How is this helping?’ Or ‘How do I hold on to this? Does it fit in to my understanding of the ‘Isha Upanishad? Or ‘Shankara had said …’
What do you know when you know nothing?’ Because there is no compartment for this. It can just feel like ‘Blah, blah, blah…’ I’m just saying simply, very simply, that all your mind’s propositions about ‘Who is perceiving this hand, who is perceiving this world, who is sitting here now, who woke up today?’ … when you check, you find that the mind’s propositions are just made up. Like the fog; it’s just the fog. It’s just a fog. I’m familiar with this because many times I’m looking in the room and it is just like in the fog. [Chuckles]
S:So, in my case, I never gave myself the reward of just sitting. ‘Always just wasting time. You should become this, you have to achieve this’ throughout … it’s driven my life. So, this is such a great gift which I never gave it to myself.
A:Yes, yes. Very good.
A:You are so welcome, dear. Welcome.
We have also been on this treadmill; constantly, constantly this getting, getting, getting, collecting, collecting, collecting. She said it very beautifully: ‘I never gave myself this gift.’
Give yourself this gift.
Will Any of This Survive Death?
Basically, if there is a qualification for Satsang, it is just the Nachiketa qualification. Isn’t it? We shared the Nachiketa story the other day. And the mind (which in the story is Yamraj, the god of death) in this aspect of the story is saying ‘But I will give you this, I will give you that. I will give you pleasure. I will give you friends. I will give you a good life.’ And this young boy said ‘Will this any of these survive death? If it is coming and going, if it is going to go tomorrow, it might as well go now.’
So, in ‘The Matrix’ [movie] there is one man who says ‘It’s fine. I know it’s a sham, it’s the Matrix. It’s just Maya or Lela, whatever you say. But I taste this wine. I eat this steak’ (or whatever he was eating). ‘Leave me alone.’ And that’s fine. Those who are really enjoying Maya and are happy with whatever it is, I have no motivation here or intention to push them out of it or something like that. It is only for those who come and say ‘I’m done with this. Give me the truth or give me that which is beyond time. How do I find myself?’ Then we can really meet.
It’s not a judgment call. It’s just Consciousness playing as various aspects; and that is fine. But the struggle comes when you want to keep one foot in that door and one foot in this door. ‘I want something here, here also. I want something there, there also.’ [Chuckles] And the funniest thing is: Are you really, with the mind, enjoying this world? It makes the truth insipid, it makes the world insipid. Isn’t it?
Have you truly perceived anything with unadulterated perception? We constantly mix everything with the thought mantra: ‘What’s in it for me?’ and ‘How can I hold this?’ and ‘How can I not have that?’ You see, this kind of thing. But primarily ‘What’s in it for me?’
If you were to just perceive this silly thing [picks up a yellow coaster] without any notion, without any concept, un-judged, without interpretation…
I’m just so full of wonder of even this phenomenal play. Just the sensation of temperature (now I’m labeling just to illustrate) and the sensation of hardness or softness, the vibrancy of the shades and the shadows. In a simple object, just even to taste this Lela empty of ‘me, me, me, me, me…’ [Sangha laughs and Ananta Chuckles] ‘What can I get from this? Is this clean? This is just the mind’s version. But just like ‘oh, oh…’ [Simply observing, perceiving the coaster]
That’s why sometimes in India it is said that ‘It is the Sages who are the Maya bhogis.’ (Don’t get wrong ideas.) It is just the Sages who clearly taste even this Maya so fully, so beautifully, empty of ideas about how it should be, could be, could have been, must be. Sometimes we say ‘Why all of this? What is the cause of creation?’ To see this. [Holds up the coaster] [Laughter in the room] I’m saying it seriously; I know it sounds strange. [Chuckles] Just to experience this object, a simple coaster or whatever. But now, with the mind, we do not experience this, we do not experience that. Neither here nor there.
S:The Sages will be enjoying that; they use fiction. We don’t use fiction. It is unreal. They enjoy
A:Yes. Actually, know nothing at all. Because you’re not living dependent on even the pointers. You’re just making no distinctions, even between true and false, Maya and Brahman, Ishwara and Maya. These are just pointers to shake you out of your limited perceptions of yourself. Once you discover that ‘I am Brahman’ you’re not living on that mantra ‘I am Brahman. I know I am Brahman.’ You’re just empty of all these positions … you’re just so open.
There is no distinction between the coaster and me, between you and me. Where is the line, dividing line?
Where do you start and I stop? Where do I stop and you start?
When you pick up this dividing line, then you play this game in a limited way. So, when the Sages say ‘Don’t be selfish’ this is what they mean. Don’t pick up this maha-mantra of ‘What’s in it for me?’ It’s not getting you anything in reality.
And where to find all of this?
In your unborn existence.
In the just sitting, as we were saying.
What Is This Play of Satsang?
What is this play of Satsang? Of course, I have provided hundreds of different definitions. It’s just this game of providing some energetic support to be able to see that ‘Whatever truth I’m after is naturally present Here and Now.’
The rest of the words of Satsang are just to deal with the doubts. ‘But, but, but… still there, but (…) is there, ba, ba, but…’
[Chuckles] If there is no ‘But…’
S: But what?
A:Anything. ‘But …can I hold onto this?’ … ‘But what happened to me yesterday was making me feel like that.’ … ‘But I have leave in a week.’ You see? ‘But’ anything.
You are the Self Now. You are the Self Now. Everything. Your truth is apparent to You and all things are perfectly resolved in this unborn.
So, when I say ‘It’s your move now’ that’s what I mean. How do you meet this?
With ab objection which is ‘But, but…’?
With the claim which is ‘Yes, yes’?
Or just empty of all of this?
S:You are the only one who gives permission. You are the only one in my life who is giving me permission to be my Self.
A:Yes, yes. And that is why Satsang is this sort of safe environment where you can just be yourself. You don’t have to take any position here. You don’t have to be this way or that way. You come to a place where you can unburden yourself from all roles.
Just Look at Everything as the Grace of the Master
Q:Sorry, Father, it’s a very beautiful Satsang but I’m bringing this kind of energy that feels more like (at a phenomenal level) something is happening which all the time pulls attention. It’s a bit overwhelming and continuously, it’s a kind of environment that where it’s difficult to be. Otherwise, naturally most of the time, I’m without anything. But now, as you know, a few months before I was struggling with my office environment then I changed my job last month only to find out it’s much more horrible than what it was before. [Chuckling] So, I feel I was much better off there. It’s overwhelming. It’s the kind of environment. It’s not something personal but the quality of work is very elementary and the feeling that I don’t belong there. It’s kind of suffocating. I don’t know what. It’s a mismatch between what I’ve been doing and what is available. I don’t know; it’s kind of suffocating for most of the time in the office and that pulls a lot of attention. It’s like I have to come out of it and this is a very strong pull for that.
A:Actually, here also there are some very clear memories where I remember that there were job situations that felt were so suffocating. It would feel like I would go to work and at the end of the day all your life energy was sapped out of you because everything was just … like you were feeling, like you went from the frying pan into the fire, in a way. So, I have a sense of what you’re experiencing and I totally understand the kind of frustration that must be there for this. But I want to reassure you that it all works out fine. Know that the Satguru’s grace is taking care of you. And just like this Spiritual Father of yours went through all these situations and I somehow now come to this life of ease, may it also be the same for you. Just take it one day at a time.
And also, when I say ‘A life of ease’’ it doesn’t mean a life without work or something like that. It’s just a life where we are no longer differentiating between work and life. Whatever unfolds, unfolds. You’re aware that the Wednesday mid-week break here is also so that I can go and help Garima [his wife] with the office work during the week. So, the sense of ease does not go away, whatever the flapping of these hands might be, the movement of this mouth might be … that is allowed to unfold. Then we stop labeling.
I was just sharing with someone the other day, I was saying that when we make these terms, sometimes the terms themselves become oppressive, in a way. We say ‘work’ but we have another term for another type of work we call ‘seva’ and some of us that have this seva attitude can say ‘Whatever seva my Master asks me to do, I’m open to doing.’ But when it comes to work, then that becomes like ‘That is work.’ But actually, both are what? Just the movement of your hand (like you’re typing something on the computer or whatever else) and the movement of this mouth (to put it very crudely, in a way). You see?
So, we just look at everything in life as the Grace of the Master. I know it can seem very, very oppressive. Even here there is so much gratitude for Guruji [Sri Mooji] for having pulled me out of these kinds of mental, conceptual distinctions. So, just take it a day at a time. If a day seems too much, just take it 5 minutes at a time. And soon enough, you will be back to a place of ease and just simple well-being.
Nothing That Happens Can Touch the Reality of You
One of the greatest gifts I got from Guruji [Sri Mooji] is to see that nothing that can happen in this manifest world actually can touch the Reality of Me. Of course, there can still come moments from time to time (which are fairly rare) where it can feel like something can get a hold, but they don’t last. But here also there was a habit of dwelling on things and just holding onto something and being resentful about it for weeks sometimes. This is what Guruji would call a ‘Olympic sufferer.’ [Laughter] It was very much here.
Now what I can see is that anger can come (of course, it is quite rare but it can come) but resentment is hardly ever there. [Smiles] What is suffering except a broad term which is talking about all of these things: resentment, guilt, pride? [Smiles] You might feel like pride is not suffering but have you seen the faces of those who are caught up in pride? [Laughs] They may not realize it but that is suffering. Here also there was a big pride in action. The beauty of life is that it slaps it out of you.
There is only one source of suffering which is identification with your thought … (not even thoughts). We just identify with next available thought; that is the only source of suffering. That’s why you need only one pointer. Whatever pointer appeals the most in your heart, where it feels like there is an ease and letting go of whatever the mind is proposing to you now, whether it is the pointer of remaining in the Unborn, whether it is the pointer, the reminder, that even to know one thing is to know too much, whether it is the reminder to check who you are, whether it is the reminder ‘Guru Kripa Kevalam’ (which means that everything is only Guru’s Grace) … whatever resonates the most with you, that’s all you need. Because the problem is not that complicated as we might think it is. And the solution is much more apparent than you may realize.
Questioning Your Conclusions
There are two quotes from the Master which seem to signify the spiritual struggle. And if you can assimilate or you can transcend today it could be the end of the spiritual struggle. So, what are these quotes?
First is that: Until you know yourself, you will not come to the end of suffering. Till you know yourself, you will not come to the end of suffering.
And the second is that: You cannot know yourself. You cannot know yourself.
Now we are struck. Isn’t it? It can seem like this gap is too much. I cannot know myself … and yet, until I know myself, until I come to this Self-knowledge, Self-realization, I cannot be free; I will not be free from my bondage. Have you all contemplated this? And this is what we have been doing in one way or the other.
So, when you ask yourself: Who am I? … what happens? You either start looking at the state which is occurring as the result of starting the inquiry (‘I am feeling some peace; this is so quiet, this is very nice’ or ‘My mind is resisting so much. It is not letting me ask the question. It is keeping me confused’ … all of this) but rarely are you really saying who you are.
Who are you? And even if you were to draw that conclusion, I will ask you ‘How do you know that?’ If you were to say ‘I am the Self or I am Awareness’ it must be asked whether this is a mental conclusion or is it something that you See … or what is it?
So, if all of this seeming-journey is about Self-realization, then the question ‘Who am I?’ is in the center of it. You are here to realize YourSelf. Who are you? But you must question the conclusions that you may be settling for and question the source of those conclusions. Like the other day, we were doing this exercise where I was asking you ‘Who perceives this hand?’ Who perceives this hand? And even if a great, meditative state is coming over you (in a sort of avoidance of this question) for some time, my advice would be not to fall for it. Even if you’re saying ‘Ah, who perceives this hand? So peaceful…’ (like that) don’t wander off for some time.
It’s an actual question. Who perceives this hand?
A:You do. How do you know it is ‘I’? Is it a false claim you are making?
A:It’s true. So, what certifies this as true, that this is ‘I’? How do we conclude this ‘I’ so naturally? And this ‘one-two punch’ of this pair of questions is all that you need today:
What perceives this?
Who perceives this?
And your conclusion can be questioned with ‘How do you know that?’
This Is the Inquiry
Q:I don’t know anything else.
A:You don’t know anything else.
Q:Yeah, I don’t know anything else other than myself.
A:How do you know that?
Q:I don’t know …
A:How do you know yourself?
Q:I don’t know. [Laughter]
A:What is the basis of that claim?
Q:I am the basis of my claim.
A:‘I’ is claiming ‘I only know I’?
A:‘I’ is claiming …
Q: Yes, I claim I only know myself.
A:This ‘I’ which claims it is which one?
Q:You cannot say…
A:You say ‘Yes, it is I who claim it’ then how you confirm it is you?
Q:I know it’s myself … I know it’s me. I’m speaking on my behalf.
A:Whose behalf? Who is this ‘me’?
Q:Me … [Laughter]
A:Who is it?
Q:I cannot say.
A:But how can you say ‘I’? [Silence]
Q:I don’t know Father, it’s innate.
Q:The sense of ‘I’…
A:Is it a sense?
Q:I don’t know … [Laughing]
A: This is all we’ve learned in Satsang, that ‘There is a sense of me’ and we’ve learned it.
Is there a sense of me?
Is it like a Presence sense?
What is the sense?
And if it is a Presence, then who is aware of that?
Q:There is something. I feel that I’ doesn’t need to be here in order for what is here to be here.
A:I don’t need to be here in order for what is here to be here?
A:[Laughter] Have you ever had such an experience of something being there but you were not?
Q:Okay, I’m trying to get myself a little bit clearer. There is no claiming ‘I-I-I-I’
A: No claiming ‘I-I-I’
Q:There is something that cannot be left aside or that cannot not be.
A:How you saw this, this something which cannot be left aside?
Say you left the world aside, you left thought aside, you left the body aside, you left emotion aside, you even left Presence aside, … then what was left?
Q:You know, Father, I cannot speak about this…
A:Who is this ‘I’ who cannot speak about it?
Q:I don’t know. Do I have to call it ‘I’?
A:You have to say.
Q:I don’t know if it’s I–me, or not even this. It’s something.
A: Is it a thing?
Q: No, it’s not a thing.
A:How do you experience That which is not a thing? (Let me put the question in another way.)
Q:Okay, so I am That.
A:How do you claim? That is what I’m asking.
A:‘How’ is what I’m asking. On what basis, on what basis?
Q:It’s the experience.
A:But you say it is not a thing.
Q:Yes, I don’t know how to explain it, I don’t know. Can I explain it?
A:This ‘I’ … we use the term ‘I’ very often. Who are we talking about?
Q:Often when I say ‘I’ it’s the limited one.
A:Where is the limited one?
Q:Well … you know … [Laughter]
A:You see? But remember that we’re not playing with words. This confusion is central to the life of a spiritual seeker. And we try to dress it up with whatever spiritual conclusions we have and we say ‘Ah, Awareness; Ah, Self” but we cannot say how I claim this.
Q:Sometimes, yeah, there can be a sense of limitation but when I inquire now, when I say ‘I’ it’s not limited.
A:What is it then? Is it like space? [Opening his hands wide] Unlimited, no limits, like space, like that?
Q: It cannot be described.
A: Why can’t you describe it?
Q: I don’t want to speak about this.
A:But we speak about it; we do speak about it all the time under the label ‘I’. I’m just questioning: What does it represent?
Q:Father, there is a sense that it’s not the body. I don’t know what it is, I don’t know.
A:Then how do you know it is I? [Silence]
Q:There is no doubt about it.
A:There is no doubt about it also and yet, it is not a concept that ‘I am This’ and it is not a perception. Then what is it?
Q: It’s behind…
A:Behind. Good, good. No, behind is good. [Chuckling] How much behind?
Q:Right behind. [Laughter]
A:One centimeter behind?
Q:No, it’s behind in the…
A:It’s the elephant in the room. [Chuckles] So, this is the inquiry.
Anytime we are doing some other activity and feeling like that is the inquiry, like trying to put ourself in some state or trying to observe the mechanics of the mind or something like that, I won’t really call it the inquiry.
The inquiry is going to checkmate you like this. But don’t presume that ‘Okay, now I know I’m check-mated so this is it’ or something like that. If you still can make a claim like that, then you’ve not yet run out of moves, you’re not yet check-mated.
[Seeing someone new in Satsang hall] He’s not comfortable. Some of you are new and this kind of inquiry is not comfortable for everyone. Also, it can feel like a bit of an attack. If it’s feeling like that, don’t worry about it. Just hear it like music.
Only for those who are new.
For the rest of you, if it is burning, it is good. [Chuckles]
The Words of Satsang Cannot Define You
They say that ‘What you know defines you’ and in a way it is true. But what does it actually define? It defines a version of you, not the Reality of You. So, if you make the mistake of coming to Satsang imagining or thinking that you will get to know something more, then it is not that type of classroom. If you can leave yourself undefined for even a moment, if can you leave yourself undefined for just a moment, then I can work with you. Otherwise, I’m only going to become a party to your limitations; I’m going to become another aspect in how you are limiting yourself. Because there is a lot to ‘learn’ even in the words of Satsang, so you might use that to continue to define yourself. But I don’t want to play any part in that. If the words in Satsang can be used (in a way) to pluck out these definitions, these limitations, okay. But no matter how broad or grand they might seem, they do not compare to your Truth.
This realm (and all other realms) are nothing but Your playgrounds. They come and go for You; You do not come and go for them. But the moment you start to consider yourself to be this tiny, tiny object in this tiny, tiny realm that comes and goes, that dances for your joy, then this that you consider yourself to be, seems so far from Your Reality. That is bound to lead to some complications, like suffering.
The Truth is not to be found anywhere in time and space. Now you can use the term ‘go inside’ if that takes you beyond time and space. This is a very good window. You say ‘inside’ but it is not inside anything. So, go to that ‘inside’ and see what You are, in Reality.
Are you caught up there in the comings and goings of this life?
All that you give meaning to, what does it mean empty of time and space?
This power is completely Yours. This is the greatest super-power. But to the mind it feels like nothing. To step back from all limitations is greater than any siddhi that you could have; is greater than any spiritual experience that you might be chasing.
Step away from Your limited mind and taste Your Reality. If you attach yourself to this crazy donkey called the world, if you tie yourself to this, no lasting peace is going to come. That which you are attached to, how long is it going to last? For You that one blink of your eyelid is billions of centuries. (Even that is saying too much.) How long are these tiny things going to last?
This planet, this realm, arises in one of your states. This is your experience, I’m not saying anything esoteric or metaphysical. Plain and simple: You outlast all your states; no state outlasts You. But if you keep considering yourself just an object in this dream, suffering is the reward for this stupidity.
By Guruji’s [Sri Mooji’s] Grace, I saw here that I am not an object; it was just an idea I had. I saw that all ideas in some way or the other contribute to my considering myself to be an object.
Are We So Scared to Meet This Moment Empty?
Our habit is just like this, to fill ourselves up with that which we think we know. If I say to you ‘Just remain empty’ then you fill yourself up with [this concept] ‘Remain empty.’ As long as you can see this trick, there is hope. As long you can see that with everything that you pick up, you only contribute to your pride, your self-definition, you are actually limiting yourself even in the guise of freeing yourself.
Are we so scared to meet this moment empty?
You’ve experienced a life, had the experience where you’ve seen how it is when you’re caught up in your mind, when you’re caught up in the notion of ‘me’, caught up in the limitations of ego. I was saying the other day, many times you could be in Satsang for many years and you might still think that ‘It’s for me’ and it can come sometimes as a rude shock that really it is not about you, that which you think you are. It is about You in Reality.
If you have the sense of willingness to jump into this vastness, empty of all limitations [Silence] completely defenseless and open [Silence] then this meeting is worthwhile. [Silence] But I’m not in service to you if these words also become part of your ideas about yourself.
It’s time to taste the food that is being served here.
Your Thoughts Will Never Report Reality
The mind is like a weighing scale. It can deal only with limited qualities.
How will the weighing scale measure space?
What is the weight of space?
What is the weight of time?
It makes no sense, no?
So, how will it measure that which is beyond time and space?
You cannot use this tool for it.
Your thoughts will never report this Reality.
No one among you can show me your boundary.
You are never experiencing a boundary for yourself.
You might say that ‘This is my boundary.’
But where is this boundary experienced?
You might say ‘The extent of my perceptions define me.’
But where are these perceptions experienced?
What is the boundary where your perceptions are?
Your perception could be anything,
But it is still contained within You.
You may have a perception of God Itself, this Consciousness,
But even that would be contained within You.
This is Your experience Now.
Tell me if it is not.
There is only one voice which is fighting this. That voice is the lawyer for the non-existent ego who is saying ‘But … objection your honor, objection!’ constantly.
So, it is time now to forget about it.
All this ‘But, but, but, but….’ is only just your attachment to yourself as a seeker.
All the energetic support you need is here.
All the pointers you need are here.
How Will I Run My Life?
If you knew already that all the beliefs you have are false, you would not even hold them as beliefs. So, when I am asking for this Gurudakshina: ‘Give up everything that you think you know’ … it can feel a bit strong. Sometimes you make these promises from a ‘me’ position and you do not even realize what you are promising. [Chuckles] Like ‘Chop my head off and then I will be free.’ You are stilling eyeing the prize for yourself.
So, how should we deal with this stubborn insistence that ‘I am the ego’?
If I say to you that ‘It’s time to really, really, devote yourself to this truth which is naturally Here and let go of this nonsense insistence on egoist belief’ … is there a yes in your heart? [Smiles] Yes or no?
If there is fear coming, like ‘what will happen to my life?’ know that only grace is happening.
Trying to run your life is pretending to push a train or something. This object, this body, is what for life? It is nothing. This one pretends as if it is running this life. It is like the train is running and this guy is just about hanging from the end of the train, but the idea he has is that ‘I’m running this train.’ [Chuckles] Life is running. The one that pretends to be the doer, the choice maker, that one you can’t even find. This is the extent of our delusion.
So the train will keep running, you do not have to worry about it.
‘How will I run my life’ is one of the most ridiculous ideas which you will ever hear.
And yet, it is what? It keeps us bound in, a way. Not one heartbeat you know how to take and you feel like you are running your life. Not one finger we know how to move. Or who knows how to fire a neuron? Nobody. Ludicrous. But our ‘me, me, me’ is dependent on this idea.
How are you existing now?
What makes you exist?
Does anyone know?
We just got caught up in the misery after existence. After ‘I Am’ … all of this play of light and sound started and we feel like ‘This object I am.’
How Do You Suffer?
What is suffering? It is all of these things only.
How do you suffer?
Have you all just ever suffered without any of these?
It is just a term for this stuff.
The Sages must have felt like ‘It is too much to spell it out every time. So, let’s invent a nice word which defines all of this stuff. Pride is suffering, even false humility is suffering. ‘Look at how special I am because of how humble I am’ even that is suffering. Guilt, like ‘Why did I do this, I should not have done this. That is really bad, what I did.’ Regret is similar, remorse is similar. Indecision is buying into the false notion of individual doer-ship, individual existence.
All confusion is about who you are.
All confusion …, you might not feel it is so, but if you check, if you were looking at life from your true perspective, confusion is an impossibility. So, all of this suffering is just confusion about who you are; this so-called individualization of consciousness, which actually never happened.
So, me-less, me-less. Yes? Yes? (The least enthusiastic audience ever.) [Chuckles]
How to be empty of this ‘me’?
If it was sitting here, you would have to pluck it out. Isn’t it? But it is not.
So, just to remain in this openness, non-resistive, non-defensive; conceptually empty … empty of the narrative, the subtitles.
Let them come and go, but the subtitles have not been true for this movie. You have been watching “It’s A Wonderful Life’ but the subtitles have been ‘The Godfather’. Okay? [Chuckles] If you still think you are Michael Corleone or something, know that these are the subtitles. The ‘me’ is like that; just made-up.
So, let these subtitles come and go. Don’t attach to any of this.
Where Are You Looking From?
What are You, Here and Now? What are You? Where are You? Who are You? I’m happy to hear. I gave a simple exercise yesterday, which was to check: Where are You looking at this hand from? Anything, any object, where are you looking at it from? Don’t imagine, just See. Don’t paint any pictures, just check: Who is that One?
Your mind may say something valid actually, for a change. It might say ‘What does That One have to do with me?’ It doesn’t have anything to do with you. The ‘me’ that you think you are is a myth.
Just hear it, as if it’s not fancy words or even some pointer or something like that. Just hear it empty of trying to put it anywhere. The ‘me’ that you think you are is a myth. Whatever you think you are is a myth. Even if you ‘think’ you are Awareness, even that is just a thought. You cannot think of the Truth; just like you cannot use a weighing scale to measure space. It’s a different unit of measurement; the mind cannot fathom it. It’s like saying ‘What is the time between here and here?’ [Pointing to himself and to someone in Satsang sitting across the room] You see? It’s a different unit of measurement, isn’t it? In the same way, this mind, these thoughts, cannot encapsulate Your Reality. So, having the most glorious ideas about yourself or the most terrible ones is not going to help you; neither of them are.
So, first leave this one behind. Empty yourself from all these notions. Now just check, notice, observe: Who am I? [Silence]
It is not that the discovery is difficult. The discovery is the simplest. The recognition is the simplest. What can seem difficult is to let go of your ideas, to let go of any idea that you have about yourself, to let go of any conclusions that you may want to make. To not pick up the bag from this conveyor belt of identification can seem like the challenge.
So, for a while, if it feels like you have to [folds his arms across his chest so as to restrain] The conveyor belt is going. ‘That is my bag. That looks exactly like my bag. This is the Samsonite I bought from the shop. This is about me.’ [Keeps his hands folded across his chest] The Master has said ‘No’. [Chuckling] For a while it can feel this way; it can feel like effort. But if you look at it now, even rationally, you will see that the effort is what? The effort is to pick up the heavy bag, isn’t it? But I realize it can initially seem a bit like that [Grabbing at the imaginary conveyor belt] because the habit is to claim. To just let it come and go can seem like effort because the saying sounds very simple ‘Thoughts are visitors, let them come and go but don’t serve them tea’ (that’s the only instruction you need; it sounds very simple) but because you have been this server of tea, it can feel like ‘But that’s who I am. That’s my job.’
Now, if you look at what it is claiming (we’ve looked at it over the years; how many such claims we’ve looked at and demolished?) tell me a thought that truly is about you. [Silence] Tell me one thought that is truly about you; the you that you can find.
Is the Source of Attention Affected by Its Content?
A:This ‘I’ … what is the distance between this and that Awareness?
Q:There is no distance. There seems to be mind-chattering and running around and there seems to be a distance in that.
A:That’s fine. That is an object of perception and there seems to be a distance. But between you and this Awareness, is there somewhere where you are but this Awareness is not?
A: Or Awareness is and you are not?
Q:No. It’s just like the sky; it’s all encompassing. It is there.
A:Okay. And is there any other ‘you’?
Q:No, that is the final thing. That would be it.
A:So, is this an inference, or…?
Q:No. When I’m silent, I can see That is All-There-Is. But when I’m interacting with the world, then the mind starts taking over and talking.
A:Okay, when the mind starts, what happens?
Q:It listens to judgments and decisions and …
A:Yes, but what happens to that Awareness?
Q:That gets ignored.
Q:By the mind. Mind becomes the master; powerful, you know.
A:It becomes central to your attention.
Q: Yeah, it can’t be ignored.
A:Yes. But where is this attention still reporting back to? Even if the mind is very noisy (‘Blah- Blah-Blah, Blah-Blah-Blah, Blah-Blah-Blah, Blah-Blah-Blah’) … even if it is like that, who is holding the leash of this attention? The content might change. It might be silent attention, very peaceful, where there is no activity in the content of attention. Or it could be ‘Blah-Blah-Blah, Blah-Blah-Blah’ (loud, loud) but where is this attention reporting back to? Does that change?
Q:No, there is nothing. There is really nothing. Silence; if you can say something.
A:Yeah. Can that Silence be interrupted or touched?
Q:Yeah, if something catches the attention.
A:Yeah, that’s what I am asking. If attention is on something which is very loud … but it’s still reporting back to that Silent one? This is worth exploring a little bit. Independent of whatever content is coming, That to which it is coming, That which is aware of even perception, is it effected by the noise or silence? And if That One is You, then are You in reality affected?
A:So, if you are not in reality affected, then it is again the mind playing its own trick; setting you up for a failure, in a way, by convincing you that if that changes, only then you will be free or it will be done or something like that. But what you’re finding YourSelf to be is naturally just free. So, suppose that nothing has to change in terms of the content because the content can be whatever but the Self remains untouched.
Q: It is the Self.
A:Yes. And we start to see that ultimately there is no distinction even between Self and content. But it’s just that all of our attention, all of our focus (like we were saying earlier) has gone so much into the content of things. That’s why it is good sometimes to switch it up and see: Where is it actually going? Who is aware of all of these perceptions? Not to make a final distinction or something like that, but a provisional one … just to enable us to look, to focus; looking in a different way. That’s why that ‘nithya-anithya viveka’ [ability to discriminate between the real and the unreal] is not to actually make a distinction finally and say ‘This is maya and this is Self’ or something like that.
These are provisional things which help us to then look at what is beyond these perceptions … and then just drop all of these distinctions. Because as long as we consider ourself to be just an object within our perception, it is good to try and see what else is there. But once you see what else is there, that Self is untouched by what the content might be or may not be and it is not making a distinction between its unmanifest nature or its manifest nature of the noumenal and phenomenal, you see that it is not making a distinction.
What Is Your Experience of ‘I’ to Claim It Is You?
You say there is coaster in my hand because you have the experience of it. You say ‘I’m experiencing the coaster.’ What is your experience of the ‘I’ to be able to claim that you are the experiencer? To claim the coaster is in my hand, you have to have the experience of it; the yellowness or whatever, the roundness. But you say ‘I experience this coaster.’ So, what is your experience of ‘I’ to be able to claim that it is you?
S: Somehow, it’s hard …
A:No struggle, my dear. Just more open, more playfully.
A:There is no experience. Then how do you claim it? Now, if I tell you that ‘There is a coaster in my hand.’ [Holding nothing in hand] … what will you say? Be honest.
S: It is no.
A:No. Why you say no? I am saying ‘There is coaster in my hand.’ You say ‘I have no perception of it.’ But for this ‘I’ why do you use the opposite principle? You have no experience, yet still you claim it.
S: It sees both presence and absence.
A:It sees both. But how do you see it? What kind of knowing is this?
S:It is not experience.
A:It’s not experience.
S:It was always there.
S:It cannot be defined. It was always there. Before that word ‘I’, it was there.
A:‘It was there’ was what? And what was that? ‘It’ implies ‘I’. Now, what did you see of this ‘I’ to claim that?
S:This, in my experience, when I clearly check, there is nothing to perceive; like there is no perception or perceiver something like that.
A: Okay. Then what is there?
S: There is no perceiver but perception which happens.
A:No perceiver. So, you are not perceiving anything?
S:Because I am not claiming that perception to me….
A:Not the perception, but you are claiming that ‘You are the perceiver’ na? Are you not perceiving this yellow coaster?
S:Yeah, perception is happening in ‘me.’
A:So, this ‘you’ is which one? Even that claim that ‘It is happening in me’ is on what basis?
S:That I can perceive.
S:I perceive that…or I’m perceiving. [Smiles]
A:Yeah, but this ‘I’ … how is that perceived?
S:It is the English language. But I do not think that my perception is …
A:Jo mein dekh raha hai. [Hindi language, meaning ‘What me is seeing?’]
S:Mein to hai hi nahi. [‘I am not there’] Perception Is.
A:So, it has nothing to with you.
S:No, I cannot claim it as ‘me’ It’s just…
A:So, if I were to say that ‘You are not perceiving this’ would that be a valid statement?
S:See, ‘I’ as in ‘I think of myself think as an individual.’
A:Yeah, that one definitely is not. That one is out the window the minute the question is asked.
S:Yeah, it is not that ‘I’
A:Okay, then which one is it?
S:It is something…
A:But that one … I hope it’s out the window because that one is still sitting around and complaining a lot.
A:It still sits and complains, like ‘Why am I not getting this?’ or ‘What is Father doing?’ You know, this kind of thing. It would be very nice if we just said ‘Who is perceiving this?’ or ‘Where is the perceiver of this?’ … that one left and said ‘Okay, it is time for me to go. I will come back later.’ [Chuckles] But it doesn’t leave you alone even then. It is like ‘Zung, zung’ or something. It’s like that. It keeps saying things. It doesn’t mean that the question become less worthy to ask or that we should miss the opportunity to check. Because when the limited one seems to complain more, maybe it’s a better time to check.
So, you cannot deny that you are perceiving it and yet you cannot confirm that you are … because this ‘You’ is so apparent and yet so unfathomable.
Now I’m giving you all the clues possible. So, don’t tell me later ‘Father, you didn’t give an answer.’ [Chuckles]
It is completely apparent and yet completely unfathomable to the mind.
Antibiotics for the ‘Me-Infection’
Satsang is like antibiotics for the infection of ‘me’. For those of you who don’t like antibiotics, it’s Ayurveda, naturopathy. [Chuckles] There is only one thing that seems to afflict us, no matter what the circumstances are, no matter what is happening in the world, what is happening to our emotions, what is happening to the body; it is only this affliction which is the affliction of the ‘me’. And this affliction of the ‘me’ is only transmitted through thoughts. Whatever we might think, there is no other way to transmit this limited self except through thoughts.
It is funny the other day (I don’t know if you find it funny now; I hope you don’t mind me saying it) she came and she said that she was a bit upset, so I was asking her ‘What happened?’ She said ‘I must be by now at this point where I’ve stop believing my thoughts. This is bothering me.’ And it was just a thought. [Chuckles] So, this is as clear an example as possible, that even the idea of finally being free from the thoughts is only just a thought. And if you hold on to that idea, that itself can cause suffering because it attacks the seeker-identity who feels frustrated that ‘I’m still not free or not-found’.
That is why this nice seemingly-fun game arose in Satsang where we said ‘Just expose whatever thought seems to get your belief, and we’ll just remind you that it is just a thought.’ That’s all this game is about actually. Then whether it is thoughts about the state of the world, the state of our life, the state of our mind, the state of our body, the state of our enlightenment, it is all rubbish. Why rubbish? Because to look at it as if it represents something real, the claim that a set of words, a set of noises, can represent Reality (as big or as holy as those words may sound) is rubbish, is nonsense.
And all of this trouble is because we seem not to get over the idea that ‘You are not free’ that ‘You are not complete’ that ‘There is a step to take’ that ‘You have to get somewhere’ … or its opposite, which is the same. This is an important point. If you are still hanging onto its opposites that ‘I have it, I am it, I got it’ these are also just ideas. Two different brands of cigarettes. [Chuckles] Whether you smoke a rolled-up cigarette or you’re smoking this long filter, ultra – thin one, it doesn’t really matter. Neither is helpful to your lungs.
So, if at best you are using Satsang concepts to come out of this addiction, and then you will give up on even these, then that is fine. But pick one. Don’t go shopping around for too much. Whichever gives you the most peace, whichever brings you the most stillness, pick that and stay with that … (not something that activates your mental faculties more).
Also, another tip is that you must not get into any sort of spiritual fantasies because they are not in service to us. Sometimes a little bit is okay but usually it just becomes that we go on a different sort of ride. Just ‘What Is’ plain and simple is greater than any fantasy which you could have. So, neither spiritual despondency nor spiritual fantasification. Nothing. All of it is in avoidance to meeting ‘What Is’ as Is.
And this is the number one cause of frustration in Satsang. What is the number one cause of frustration in Satsang? Because I keep saying ‘What is Now?’ and you keep thinking that it is
nothing or thinking that it must mean something. You try to make it a part of your story but it cannot be.
What you find is not going to be a chapter in your story. It is not going to be an experience. It is not going to be a thought. It is not going to be a sensation.
So, if I say that the truth is always apparent and completely known, and you try to capture it in your mental grasp, then we can keep playing this game till (it’s 2019 staring tomorrow) till 2059, 3059, 4059 … [Chuckles]
But this is the only game in town. What is Here and How?
And I don’t want to know what happened last time when you checked or what the state was then. I don’t even want to know what your mind is saying now. 99% of the time, when I say ‘What is Here Now’ and you report ‘The mind is saying … mind is saying … mind is saying … because this has become our ‘go-to guy’ for every question. What is Here now? [You say] ‘Ananta, the mind is saying …’ But I said: What is Here Now? [You say] ‘The mind is saying’ or ‘I’m just feeling very still right now’.
What is Here Now?
These layers of our existence seem to be all-there-is so we keep referring back to these: either our mental layer or what our intellect is telling us or our emotions.
But what is it?
Where Do You Go for An Answer?
When you hear something like ‘The truth is just apparent to You, Right Now’ …what did you just hear? [Chuckles] What did I just say?
S: The truth is apparent to You, Right Now.
A:The truth is apparent to You, Right Now. Okay, so what do you do with that?
S:We think of it.
A:Then what happens? So, the truth is apparent Now. Where do you go looking?
A:Here. What do you find?
S:I have to suspend labeling.
A:[Chuckles] What do you find?
I say ‘The truth is apparent to You, Now.’
The Vedantian said ‘The Truth, Reality, does not come and go. It is your present Reality.’ The Buddhist says ‘The Buddha nature is never concealed. It is always here.’ All paths, everything, is saying ‘Now’.
S:I do not find anything, in the sense that I don’t find anything new. Not that I have to conceive of the Truth or something …
A:Okay, slowly, slowly. So good. ‘I don’t find anything.’ This is a very common response and this we must look at.
A: This much you found, that you don’t find anything?
Slowly I will go, before you all start to switch off and start crying and doing various things. [Sangha and Ananta Laugh]
S: Can we begin with just with the statement ‘The Truth is Here Now.’
A: Yeah, we started with that. You checked apparently and said ‘I don’t find anything.’
S:No. When I heard that ‘The truth is Here Now’ then there is something which says ‘Ah, but I do not know what the Truth is that I must look for it.’ You know? Really that was my first…
A:Yeah, so like I was saying ‘Where will you go to for the answer?’ If you didn’t have to go to your sensations or any perceptions, if I said to you that ‘The Truth is more intimate to you than any of that’ … where would you go to look?
S:Nowhere. If it’s so intimate I would not have to look at anything, I wouldn’t go anywhere.
A:Okay, so don’t go. [Smiles] Don’t go. What do you find?
S:Yeah. I find some sensations.
A:Okay, if I ask you now ‘What witnesses these sensations?’
S: I can say that ‘I witness them’ but I can’t find an ‘I’. I can’t find any object ‘I’.
A:So, let’s go very slowly. Say again what you are saying, very slowly. Mean every word that you say.
S:Yeah, I can say ‘I am witnessing.’ I mean, I am witnessing these sensations but I can’t find an ‘I’ as an object which is witnessing this; all these sensations.
A:Do you find ‘I’ as a non-object?
A:So, this is the crux of it, isn’t it? … that ‘I am witnessing’ and yet there is no seeming- evidence for this ‘I’ that is witnessing.
A: And yet how do I know this, that ‘I am witnessing’?
Does Witnessing Have Any Qualities?
I am witnessing and yet I find no evidence of this ‘I’. (We won’t even take that sometimes-useful diversion, which is: The one that cannot find, who is that one? We’ll keep that aside for a bit.) Yet, it is clear to you that You are witnessing. It is clear to You. Because if I said ‘Someone else is witnessing and just telling you about it’ that would seem absurd to you. Isn’t it? So, that’s not the case. Like this ‘I’ that is witnessing, does it fall into anything that you can think about it? Except, at best, in negative terms: ‘It is not this, it is not that.’ Like that, at best. But in terms of being able to tell me one quality or attribute of it, can you look and say?
Don’t get side-tracked at all by anything. Whether it’s working or not working, what is happening, how the mind is, what the state is … don’t worry about any of these.
I am witnessing these perceptions.
This ‘I’ …what can we say about it?
A:Space-like, is it? Space is what? Space, in a way, is three dimensions. Is that the space you’re talking about? Does it have length, breadth, and height?
S:There is no dimension.
A:There is no dimension.
S:There are no boundaries.
A:There are no boundaries. So, because it has no dimensions itself, the question of boundary does not arise. Actually, when we say ‘boundless ocean’ for example, you can imagine like a three-dimensional space which is in every direction everywhere. But this One doesn’t have any such attributes like length, breadth, height. Is it like that? Everyone is with me?
A:Don’t rely on learned knowledge. Don’t rely on what you’ve heard. Just look: The ‘I’ that witnesses all these perceptions, we are finding the qualities of that.
So, what we are doing here is inviting the elephant in the room. Giving some time to our un- manifest ‘nirguna-self.’ [Sanskrit language, meaning attribute-less self] If visualization is happening, don’t worry about it. Just ask yourself: ‘What witnesses that?’
Don’t worry about anything that comes. All is useful for your inquiry.
Who Is the Witness of Perception?
A:What was the question we were asking? Sangha: Who is the witness of perception?
A:Who is the witness of perception? [Looks around] [Long Silence]
You are? Or no?
Are you the witness of perception?
A:Are you doing it?
A:Are you not doing it?
A:Neither applies. This is very good. So, then that debate of ‘doer verses non-doer’ does not apply. It is only at the level of intellect and only about objective things; not about this. The One that witnesses perception, is it alive or dead?
A:‘Alive’ … but alive in the sense of breathing?
A:Alive in what way?
A:Just in its Is-ness it is alive. But does it have a heartbeat? Or does it breathe? Does it have even the sense of Existence (let’s say)? Or is even this something that is even more subjective to this Ultimate subject? (Okay, that is too complicated. Let’s leave that.)
We can come back to this: Who is the one that witnesses our perceptions?
No trouble so far. All is good?
S: It’s not like witnessing but it’s like perception itself; there is no separation between …
A:Yes, but if we were to say perception is a master-term for things like sight, smell, taste … now when I say ‘witnesses perception’ although it is aware of this sight, Itself you would not call it sight or you would not call it smell or taste and yet, it is perceiving perception itself, in a way.
S:Not individual perceptions like sight or smell … I can’t see this as a separate thing and then there is another thing called perception.
A:Yes, yes. So, eyes are open, there is some stimulus of light; this is called sight. There is a witnessing of this, opening and closing the eyes, the presence of sight or absence of sight. It is not separate from it and yet, there is an awareness of it.
S: I see.
A:Good so far? Ready to add some trouble to it? Little bit? [Chuckles] Happy to rest here? [Chuckles] Now, suppose I come and start to question your claim. You say that ‘I witness even my perceptions’ or ‘I am witnessing, I am aware of my perceptions’ and this ‘I’ is quality-less, attribute-less, space-less, time-less, all-less, less, less. Now I ask you: Are you certain about this? How do you know this? … What is your answer?
S: We can check.
A:You checked. And then, what happened?
S:Any qualities that we can give it …
A:… are discarded, you can’t claim them. It doesn’t seem to have any of these qualities. But without qualities, how do you see something? How do you see this ‘I’? Then you say ‘I don’t see it.’ Then, are you thinking it?
S: I Am It.
A:‘I Am It’ you feel like saying but even this claim ‘I Am It’ is made on what basis? Is it innate, apparently just innate, like ‘Yes, yes, yes, rescue me’? [Laughs] What does it mean?
S:It creates a space between perception and hearing and everything else. It seems to be like far off.
A: Beyond, in a way.
S: It’s directly perceiving but engaging indirectly.
A:Would it be accurate to say ‘far off’ or would it be more accurate to say that it is not just contained in either or any of these?
A: ‘… and yet it is not separate from them.’
A: Yeah. But for all of this, which eyes are we making these conclusions with?
S:It doesn’t seem like a witness.
A:[Smiles] Well, if you are saying ‘I am witnessing my perceptions’ it is heard as a claim or conclusion, isn’t it? You say ‘It is beyond sight, sound, hearing, taste; it remains untouched, unconcerned with the play of all of these qualities’ … all of this is a claim. And already, I know that for most of you, you’re not using learned knowledge from the past, you’re not imagining. So, if you are not using this conceptual knowledge, if you’re not imagining, visualizing, if you’re just checking … what is it that you are checking with?
S:The answer seems to be a sense, a sense of me.
A:Is it a ‘sense’ of me?
S:That ‘unconcerned’ is a matter of concern to me [Laughs] … that it’s unconcerned.
A:Okay, we will not be concerned about that for a few minutes; we will come back to that, because mind will throw all of these concerns. [Laughter] So, we are just looking at it very, very scientifically for the moment. Just getting a lay of the land, so to speak, then we’ll see if something is a problem or not; we will see. This is just a survey, an audit, okay?
So, we found that these perceptions are there and I seem to be witnessing them, but this ‘I’ that witnesses them doesn’t seem to have any quality, doesn’t seem to have any concern about what is being witnessed.
Now, what I was asking is: With which instrument are we checking on this ‘I’?
S: It’s not the eyes.
A:Not the eyes, very good.
S:Not any sense.
A:Not any senses, very good.
S: Maybe it’s the mind that is sneakily doing it (but I don’t think so).
A: The mind is just a bundle of thoughts, so if it’s not a thought, it’s not the mind.
S:It’s felt from inside.
A:Inside. Inside what? [Silence] What is it that we usually use to check on things? We use attention. So, this attention has gone to the world, it did not find the witness in the world; it went to the body, it did not find the witness in the body; it went to thoughts, it saw that thoughts are not witnessing; it went to even the sense of Being, which seems to have the power of witnessing all of this, but even this I am aware of or I witness. Now I Am Here; quality-less, timeless, space-less. Is this the functioning of attention now?
S: Attention has kind of gone back to …
A:Attention seems to have gone back to its Source. Now, we cannot even say that the attention is checking on Self or Awareness. It seems to have withdrawn. So, now attention, thought, imagination … all of that is not there.
So, now when you say that ‘I am quality-less’ how are you able to check?
S:Quality-less with the senses. Because if I close my eyes or ears, it seems to be a little more palpable; I mean experience-able.
A:Yes, and whatever is experience-able, find out what witnesses that. If it feels like a light vibration, even primordial, what witnesses that?
At least this much should be clear to all of you now (and tell me if it isn’t) that all the thoughts, no matter what they might be saying, they do not seem to capture this. This is clear?
A:So, to go to mind for this answer, what would you call it?
A:Silliness or stupidity or whatever you call it. So, don’t do that. To see that no colors, no shapes, no sizes can actually capture this … this part is clear?
Then, to go to phenomenal experiences and try to grasp this would be what?
A:Stupidity okay. So, it’s not in that. Then, what is left? Concepts are gone, phenomenal perceptions are gone.
Now what is left?
Who Is Aware of This Awareness?
A:That which is left [when all else is taken away or put aside] … if I said ‘That does not come and go’ … what would you say about that? True or false?
A:So, check then. And we have to speak just from our experience. Don’t infer anything. In terms of the nature of things, we find that all that changes quality, changes appearance, is that which comes and goes. Is there an attribute of this which you find here, and therefore, some change is possible?
S: It seems like it witnesses whatever changes.
A:‘It witnesses whatever changes.’ Okay, let’s put the question in another way. If this was not there, could you be aware of anything called change?
A:This much is clear? This question is useful then. Even for us to conclude that something is changing quality and quantity in any perceptible way, this witnessing principle has to be there.
Now, how is this Witness or Witnessing witnessing itself? [Silence] Is it witnessing itself?
S: Not as two things.
A:Not as two things. Then as…?
S:It seems to know, it just seems apparent.
A:What does apparent mean?
S:It’s just evident to itself.
A:Yes, but evident in what way? Phenomenally evident?
A:So, how does something become non-phenomenally evident? So far in our life, only that which has been phenomenally perceived, we have called that ‘evident’. Is there a sun in the sky? We saw it and we say ‘Yes.’ So, this is a unique thing.
S: It seems that Witness is witnessing Itself.
A:Yes, but not phenomenally.
A:Then, in what way?
S:It’s like a Knowing.
A:It’s like a Knowing … but it’s not a conceptual knowing. What is this ‘Knowing’? Like, I’ve known many things in the past and I’ve forgotten many things. Is it that kind of knowing?
S:This is not studied.
A:‘This is not studied.’
S:This knowing was there; it seems like it ever-existed. The rest was like made up.
A:‘Everything else is made up; this Knowing is ever-there.’
Who is the knower of this Knowing?
Who is aware of this Awareness?
Is it You? Or no? (That’s all I want to know; I don’t want anymore terms.)
A:Who is aware of this Awareness.
A:You. As what? Awareness; this Itself? Or … ?
S:As Awareness Itself.
A:‘As Awareness Itself.’ Okay. So far, no trouble with anything. As long as there’s just this unmanifest, no trouble ever arises about anything. Now, what happens when the sense of Being, I Am, seems to appear? ‘
Is it like this: that it comes? It seems to appear? Like that?
A:So, this is like a primal witnessing, primal perception. (Let’s call it that, just to be fancy for a moment.) This so-called primordial vibration arises (if you wanted to use poetic words, you could say) in the Heart of this Awareness.
Q:I’m not getting this; I mean in the sense that attention is going on but I’m not getting any idea of some arising or what it means.
A:Good. Okay. So, that you are aware of yourself is apparent. Now, what tells you that you exist?
Q: Nothing seems to be needed or to be told that I exist.
A:Yes, yes. So, let’s look at it another way then. When we look at this witnessing, the notion of Being or not-being, does it apply, as it is traditionally used?
A:It does not apply. So, if coming and going does not apply, Being and not-being does not apply, this sense that ‘I Am’ or ‘I exist’ or the ‘I’ that wakes up the morning … that one is which one? What sense is that? [Silence] I’ve used this question for many years to point to this; I’ve tried to get you all to ‘Try and stop being’.
Try and stop being.
You say that you See that this awake-ness is here, waking state is here. In this, to stop being is not possible in this because all of this is Being Itself.
So, this sense that gives you Presence, that gives you the sense of existence, is this clear?
It’s okay. Either way is okay. Because this can be a bit tricky. This can be a bit tricky because that which is non-phenomenal also, we cannot say that it is not present or doesn’t have a Presence, in a way. But there’s like a qualitative taste of existence which comes; that which we call ‘waking up’. It’s just primal existence: I Am.
There Is No Suffering Inherent in Perception
This witnessing … what must it witness or what can it witness so it can be affected by it, hurt by it, scratched by it, dented by it? Any sort of affect or effect; what perception can be there that This can shake?
A:Nothing. Anything can appear in your perception, no matter what sound, what visual, what taste, what smell; anything can appear and this Awareness remains untouched. Yes?
A:Now, if this is so, then how come you seem to be affected, hurt, by things that come and go, by these perceptions? [Silence] You say ‘I am the witnessing and I am untouched, unhurt, by all of this, whatever it might play out.’ And yet, in our life, it seems to be something different. We seem to be hurt, affected, concerned.
S:Empty…[and] S: But that’s when the ‘I’ comes up; the sense of ‘I’.
A:What is this sense of ‘I’?
S: It has a feeling.
A:Okay, (before we actually even go there) … this witnessing, does it find any sense of separateness between itself and what it witnesses?
A:Are there two there; the sense of two-ness like ‘I am the witness and this is not’? Is it like that?
A:Or it’s just that the witnessing is just naturally unchanging and yet, it doesn’t seem to have any opposition with whatever the content of whatever the witnessing might be. Is it like that?
A:So, if it is not claiming a sense of duality, a sense of separation, none of that, then what happens?
Now, your project is the opposite: Now you have to TRY and be affected about something. How do you go about doing it?
[Silence as looking happens]
S: Believe it with the mind. [Others chime in with ideas; inaudible]
A:Slowly… So, you are this Awareness, and you are manifesting as Being. Your manifest nature is just Being. Now what? Step by step. Very slowly.
S: It has to create some boundaries.
A: It has to create some boundaries. So, how does it do that?
S: ‘Me and Father.’
A:Slowly, very slowly. How does it do that?
S:It thinks it is the body.
A:It thinks it is the body. What does that mean? Break that down.
S:That there is an individual entity.
A:So, this is what? Just a thought? I’m saying, it just comes like a thought, that ‘Oh, I’m an individual entity’?
A:Okay. So, a thought is coming. A thought is what? What is a thought?
A:Just some sensation. Just some energy construct; let’s call it that. So, there’s like a construct of energy or perception, sensation (whatever we call it) that comes. But there so many other energy constructs also. Why are we picking on thoughts? Just sensations; light, air, all of this is also perceived as sensation. What’s so special about thought?
S: It seems to have a voice.
A:It seems to have a voice. It seems to give some message or meaning. The other energy constructs which are perceived, they are not screaming and saying ‘I am this, I am that.’ They are just perceived. So, the labels or the meaning of anything, as Guruji [Sri Mooji] says, is not inherent in anything by itself. It is how it is interpreted that makes that meaning come. That is why we identify one type of energy construct which seems to give this sort of meaning.
So what, then? If it’s saying ‘This is the mic, this is the couch, this is the hand’ …
Q: Can you go slowly? Because I’m not following this.
A: Okay, where did you lose us?
Q:I’m just trying to see this thought, but … where do I know this thought? I mean, there isn’t something called a thought.
A:Yeah, as I said, now the project is the opposite. You are the untouched Awareness. This is clear to you. You’re chilling out completely as just pure Being; nothing is happening to You. Now, You got bored with this just pure Being. ‘I’m so bored, I would like to get a taste of suffering so that I can enjoy my pure Being again.’ You see? It is not as absurd as it sounds. It is so ‘Being, Being, Being’ and then ‘Where’s the drama in this? Where’s the entertainment? Let’s make a leela [a play].’ Then you say ‘Okay, you have to now construct a leela around you so that you can play with some drama or something; some ups and downs; roller-coaster.’ How would you do that?
S: By paying attention to thoughts.
A:So, first Yourself, in a way … even these energy constructs, like everything else, comes within You. Let’s say that You have to project this on your own screen. First, these have to come. What would You say to Yourself to get You pretending to be affected? What has to be there?
S: I’m tasting them somehow.
A:How? You taste every perception, but these perceptions are not bothering you. There is no suffering inherent in perception itself. They are just tasted.
So, how to suffer from them? That is the project.
A:To interpret. Example?
S: It shouldn’t be like that.
A:‘It shouldn’t be like that.’ So, that one construct comes. So, now, are you just playing with this? How do you play with this perception of this hand? [Holds up one hand] You can seem to move your attention to it, or you can seem to move your attention away from it or you can really deepen your focus of attention on it. But this cannot cause you suffering, just the perception of it. So, in the same way, when the thoughts are being perceived … (whether they’re being heard as audio or seen as script; all these ways of perceiving thought. That in itself is a beautiful experiment to try. But we won’t get digressed with that.) … in whatever way they’re being perceived, just by the looking at them, it is possible? Just like you look at the thoughts like you look at the hand or hear thoughts like you hear the traffic or anything, is it like that?
S: You pick them up.
A: ‘Pick them up’ means?
S:You own this. You put your identity on it.
A:So, is that power (let’s call it belief for a moment) is that possible with just this perception that doesn’t seem to have this message? No. So, it needs this. And it is dependent on some language; as primitive as it might be. It needs to have some capability to convey something, which is beyond just the perception of itself. It has to have a message. And that message is what gets identified with or believed. So, we give it ‘truth value’ like I say. We give it ‘truth value’ or we deny ‘truth value’ to it. If I say ‘Give this perception truth value’ [Holds up his hand as the perception] it doesn’t give meaning to it.
So, this ability to give meaning, the ability to make this true or false, this mind/intellect sort of combination … is suffering possible without that?
A:Not possible. So, when it comes, then … what happens? So, the mind is coming and saying (like she says) ‘This should not be like this’ or it’s saying ‘I’m not getting this’ or whatever it is, then what happens?
Attention is on it. But if attention was on it but there was no meaning or relevant significance, it would just be ‘Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.’ You see? And you cannot identify with messages from another language that you don’t understand. So, if your mind suddenly started speaking Russian or French or German, whatever was a language that you could not understand, it could not poke any buttons. It could say the most wild things, it could say the strongest things, but because there is no meaning associated with those terms, it does not cause trouble.
So, a thought is coming: ‘I’m not getting any of this.’ Suppose that is what the thought is saying, ‘I’m not getting any of this.’ Now, what do you have to do with it to suffer?
S: To believe it.
A:To believe it. Now, when you believe that ‘I’m not getting it’ are you still referring to yourself as that boundless-ness, beyond space …? No.
What are you referring to yourself as?
Not as the Unlimited.
Belief is the Power to Consider Yourself Something You’re Not
S: I’m not aware anymore of my limit-less-ness.
A: Are you not aware? Look. It’s good.
S: Attention is not given to the subject.
A:Okay, so even if attention is not given to it, do you lose the Awareness of yourself?
A:So, you haven’t lost the Awareness. What have you done? You’re still Aware of what You
S: I’m focusing on…
A:You focused on that thought and then you said ‘I’m not getting it.’ So, in that belief system, or even in that belief statement, what are you considering yourself to be? This is belief; this grasping is the mechanics of giving meaning, of knowing, of grasping is this. So, nothing happened to You in Reality because even then if you check you are the same Self. And yet, belief is the power to consider Yourself to be something that You are not. This Divine Self has unlimited power so it also has this power to consider Itself to be something it is not. That’s why I call it the pretense. It is never real, it is just the mask. The mask can never take on the original face but You have, for Yourself, the ability to consider Yourself to be the mask or the limited Self.
So, although You always remain what You Are, in that, when You are caught up in that belief, You consider Yourself to be something that You’re not. And this belief is so ludicrous because when You go looking for this one that you now consider Yourself to be and even that You can’t find, you see. But since that would be too unbelievable and You would drop the false idea immediately, the mind has a trick up its sleeve. It says ‘I’m here’ and when you say ‘Where?’ it says ‘Here.’ [Touching the body] It uses this evidence of some set of perceptions [Touches his hands] and it says ‘This is what you are. This is your boundary.’
S: It makes a project to get out of the body.
A:No. First its main project is to convince You that You are in the body. And then it will say ‘If you want freedom then you have to find that you are not in the body.’ But actually, it’s your most natural finding. That’s what we did in the first part of Satsang was to see that it had nothing to do with the body. That which witnesses all perceptions sees that the body was just another set of perceptions.
So, this consideration that ‘I’m what my mind is telling me that I am’ is to believe, is to identify, is to be caught in Maya. Because Maya, in the appearance of this imagery itself, is not to be
caught up in it. As Guruji [Sri Mooji] would say ‘The log-in is only when we buy into this identification.’
So, is there another way? If I said there were three ways to get into suffering? Besides identifying with thought in this way, can you tell me one other way? [Silence]
S: ‘This belongs to me.’
A:Yeah, but that also is a thought. Anything which is not thought-based? [Silence] But you have to check.
S: Physical pain.
A:Pain comes. [Pause] Does That which is aware of this perception of pain get affected in Reality? No. So, are you saying that in the arising of physical pain, Awareness then automatically starts to consider Itself to be the sufferer of that?
These are worth exploring, these things, because we can end up believing them. So, it’s good to look
S: Attention goes…
A:Attention goes there, and it seems like there is no other attention; it seems like attention is fully immersed in that sensation. But does Awareness, without any thought, any identification, start to consider Itself to be the sufferer of that pain?
A:All of you can check.
S:What was the question?
A:In the arising of pain, it is that Awareness automatically take on the sufferer position? Or is it that pain is tasted like every other sensation that comes?
S:Because it is felt in this particular body, there is a tendency to immediately identify to this body.
A:Because it is felt supposedly in this particular body, to identify: How would you identify? Just in the arising of it? Just in the arising of the pain?
S: ‘My pain.’
A:‘My pain’ or ‘This should not be’ or ‘Why does it come? When will I be free of it? Why me? It’s not meant to be.’
S:There has to be identification with the body.
A:What would cause that identification?
S:If you want to play with identification in the body, then the pain would also be identified as
A:Yes, but at least you need the notion ‘body’, you need the idea ‘my’… at least some notion.
As small of a notion as it might be, that concept has to be there. And that is the concept that is taught to young children who are like an empty, blank slate (many times, not always) and then they have to be taught this notion of ‘body’.
S: Father, there is an experience that the body is the center of the scene.
A:Okay. The ‘centrality of visual perspective’ as I call it; that it seems to be around this object here. [Points to his head]
S:Yeah, and I don’t see my face.
A:And because that centrality is there, is that enough to convince You that You are an object in
A: Is that enough?
So, tomorrow if I buy you a computer game in which you wear this headset where it can seem like you are seeing this war zone, and that you’re James Bond or something like that, will it be enough to convince you that you’re just that?
In our dreams, in our day dreams, right now, you can imagine a world, any scene that you want and look at it from the perspective of anybody. All of us are aware of this projective power of Consciousness. But just because that centrality of perspective is there, is that much enough?
And is that centrality of perspective in itself saying ‘You the body’ … in just the witnessing of the world in this way, without a notion convincing You that ‘You are this’? In my experience it is neither saying ‘You are this’ nor is it saying ‘You are my instrument.’ It is not saying any of that. So, it is just that different perceptions are changing.
Pain Can Arise but the Self Doesn’t Consider Itself Limited
Q: [To experience limitation] You have to give some truth-value…
A:But truth value to what? To the perception itself? How? Give the truth-value to the appearance?
Q: No, no, truth value to … Yeah, exactly.
A:It has to be to a notion, isn’t it? Even the notion could be ‘I am this or I am not this’ or whatever.
Q: Or first, that I Am.
A:‘I am all of this’ or ‘I am just this’ … all of this then becomes the notions which can come. Then we keep playing with this or that, this or that. But inherently, what is there? This is good to see: Inherently, what is there? Inherently is perception claiming to be me or separate from me?
A:What I mean by ‘inherently’ is without notion, without thought. Just as you can also look around, does it automatically make a ‘me’ out of you?
A:Just in your perception. So, just in perception, it is not possible. This is called ‘Remaining in the Unborn.’ It would be meaningless to say even ‘Unborn’ if there was no such thing as the waking state or the sense ‘I Am’ that came. But in spite of the arising of the sense ‘I Am’ the
Self does not consider itself to be the limited-self because it is not giving birth to that idea or giving credence to the birth of the limited-self.
Q: I don’t understand this thing.
A:Yeah. So, the difference between ‘The Unborn’ and the idea that ‘I am the born’ is what? You need a notion to consider yourself something that was born; this body or something that will come and go. In just the perception of this world, it is not possible.
S:I have a question. A baby which does not identify with the body; he sees the hand of his Father (for example) and there is a movement to grab it. There is no sense in him that he desires to grab the hand. It is just a movement happening.
A:Yes, yes. There is no distinction between the movement of this and that. He is not saying ‘This I did and that you did.’
S:So, the fact that I’m speaking and asking this question is not coming out of a personal desire or something. It is just a happening.
A:Exactly, it is just a set of perceptions. Because we didn’t define any of these layers, did we? We looked back and we saw that whether we called it ‘Awareness, the Knowingness, That which is apparent’ (whatever term we call it) that somehow, This Knows Itself in some way. (Anyway, that is a different discussion that I will bother you with later.)
We saw that there is an arising of the play of all of this perception. The sense of Being and all of this perception is happening, but nowhere did we come across the birth of a person. Nowhere did we come across the birth of a person. We only saw how the Self considers itself personnel. It is only because It has given Itself the power to identify through what we call belief.
And we looked for ways in which it could consider Itself to be limited. Besides thought, is there any other way? And we looked at one specific thing called pain and we saw that even the perception, without the label ‘pain’ (because pain with the label itself becomes a notion) … but just the experience of it does not cause any consideration of the limited-self or the feeling that ‘I am the constricted one’ or something like that. It is also perceived just like all other perceptions.
In the realm of perceptions, when we are not distinguishing between good / bad, pleasant / unpleasant, should be / should not be, then everything is just perceived as perception.
I asked also first: What can come in the perception that can actually hurt This?
You say ‘I’m the one who witnesses all these perceptions.’
So, I asked ‘Who can hurt This ‘I’ or what can hurt This ‘I’?
It is clear to you at this point that whatever the perception might be (pain / pleasure, hot / cold) all of these don’t actually have any effect on this Witnessing. Isn’t it?
So, when these perceptions come and go, unless we mix it up with the consideration that ‘I am the limited one’ it can remain as pain but it cannot be considered as suffering.
The suffering only means that ‘I consider myself to be an object that is suffering.’
Pain is a perception; it is a label for the perception.
But suffering is when I consider myself to be the sufferer of that pain.
Is the Consideration That You’re Limited Naturally Present?
A:So, now you have to tell me, naturally Here and Now, is the consideration that ‘You are this limited-self’ naturally present?
A: You have to look and say. Naturally, in what way is it present?
S: Because of ‘Maya’ covering …
A:From your checking right now … suppose I was saying ‘It is not present and you have to convince me that it is there.’ What will you show me? What will you show me that ‘Yes, this limited nature is naturally present?’
S:It ingrained in me.
A:Show me where?
A:So, right Here and Now, there is no behavioral consideration.
S:Yeah. Consciously because I ‘m going back to visualize my Real Self. If I do it consciously each time, then it won’t be…
A:Yeah. So, suppose even this was needed. Suppose (humor me for a moment) suppose nothing was needed: How you naturally are is Yourself. Now you have to tell me how this is not true … (not from learned knowledge but from what you See).
I’m saying to you that ‘It is God now’ … which you have heard often. Now you have to convince me that naturally, actually, it is ‘me-oww.’ (For those who are new, ‘me-oww’ means there is a sense of ‘me’ and as long there is sense of me then ‘oww’ is bound to be there as suffering.)
Show me this one, the sense of me, which is naturally present Here and Now.
This is where we end up differing through most of the year. At the end of the year, let us clarify this one point. If we can clarify this one point, then I feel like there is not much juice left in the journey. This one point is what? I am saying: Naturally, Here and Now, You are free, You are the Unlimited Self.’
You might believe that ‘No, naturally, Here and Now, I am the conditioned ego and therefore, I have to work on removing it and there is a job to be done.’
Now we have to check on: What is true naturally, Here and Now?
Where is your limitation now?
What is your condition now?
Where is the ego?
So, let us just clarify this point: What are you naturally, Here and Now?
Okay, let me give you a challenge. You have to Right Now, in this very moment, consider YourSelf the limited one … but you have no time. Now. [Snaps fingers] Now: consider yourself the limited one, Right Now. Now. Right Now, you have to do it.
This that I see is the Self. This which is naturally Here is the Self. Because I don’t find the boundary.
You have to show me the boundary; where is it? Show me the limited one.
S. It would be a lie. You have to make it up.
A:‘You have to make it up.’ You see, this is what I’m saying: You have to make it up. So, that is why the pretense, the mask has to be worn. It is not that the mask naturally is here and you have to discard it.
Now, I can tell you that ninety-nine percent of spirituality is built around the idea that ‘The mask is there and you have to discard it.’ And that’s why if you have learned a lot of spirituality, you will find this to be unbelievable. But from my experience, I can tell you that it is not; it is not there. So, to discard it, first you have to put it on.
But You are free, Here and Now.
Right Here and Now, you are the most enlightened Being that you will ever meet.
I’m not saying these words loosely or not even as motivation or something like that. I’m saying it really.
Right Here and Now, the Being that You meet is the most enlightened Being that you will ever encounter … Your own Presence. It is un-deniable, un-miss-able.
But this Self has given Itself the power to consider Itself to be limited. And now you have seen today the entire mechanics of how all that can happen.
Leave All of This and Let It Unfold on Its Own
This is the beautiful thing about nothing having inherent meaning. It’s just what spectacles we chose to wear. If they are rose colored, then everything is rose colored; if they are blurry, then everything is going to blurry. So, if we don’t have that condition that ‘It should be this way’ or ‘It should not be this way’ then no trouble. That’s fundamentally what I’m saying, that somewhere we feel like we need some completion certificate, whereas, I am repeating every day that ‘You are free naturally.’ But you have an idea which you might consider stronger than what I’m saying, which is that ‘No, but it is not true for me yet.’ If you still consider that to be of greater value then what you’re hearing in Satsang every day, then the journey seems to perpetuate.
I am saying: Show me. (Let’s go on even empirical evidence.) Show me your boundary. Where do you end?’
S:(Scared to ask. … I’m too scared to ask only, but) … when I investigate ‘Okay, I am here; voice is coming out of this body’ and I am conscious of it.
A: But is this distinction ‘me’ and ‘you’ naturally there?
A:In our interpreting this ‘What Is’ as if it is that (that means that interpreting it as if a voice is coming from one body, a voice is coming from another body) we cannot even claim those things, even scientifically. Most of you have seen with me [the video on] the McGurk effect, where the sound coming out of the computer is one thing, apparently, but what we are hearing is completely different. So, we cannot even claim this thing, that ‘This sound is coming from here, this sound is coming from there; this sensation is from here, this is from there.’ All of this is just [conjecture]. But the minute we start getting into those, there is fertile territory for identification, because immediately that distinction is already made of space and time when we start to say
‘here, there, then, that’.
S: There’s a lot of questions; unanswered questions, which need to be reconciled …
A:So, that what? What will happen at the end of reconciliation? [Laughs] You see? Because we are so conditioned to live in this way, that this is like an exam, this is something where at the end that you will know in this way. Now, we have checked over and over that we cannot know it in this way, anyway. [Points to head] So, what will happen once you have answered all your questions? You will be left with a set of answers which are as pointless as any of these answers. You see?
S: It’s not satisfying.
A:It is just the momentum of this conditioning which makes us believe these things to be true. They are just thoughts. What you are saying is just thoughts. What you are hearing from this mouth is also just thoughts and hopefully, these are countering some of those so that you can be left empty. Like, what would an answer be? What will the answer enable you to do? Write a treatise on Advaita? [Chuckles] What would you do? You can be the next Valmiki or Yagnyavalka? [Refers to ancient Sages] If you had all the answers, what would you do with that?
S: The person would do something.
A:This is the thing. We are still in that trap; still in that thing that ‘It is undone.’ Because we went through such a beautiful inquiry where we saw all the layers of our existence and the mechanics of our belief and identification, all of this, and yet when this trickster comes and says
‘But there are still some unanswered questions’ you are like ‘Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.’ Because that is the more comfortable position and that is what we are more used to. Whereas, actually what I am saying is: Leave yourself, leave all of this. Forget it. Let it unfold on its own. Don’t make any conclusions.
But your mind is saying ‘But come to final conclusions’. I’m saying: Leave all conclusions.
So, this is the push and pull (in a way) of the spiritual journey. And as long as you keep having some belief in both voices, you will seem to be even more stuck. One is to have one voice: mind. Sometimes you see people in this world and you see that they are suffering much less than us. What are we doing in Satsang? [Laughter] They seem to be fine. They go to work, make some money, come back home, play with their kids, go out somewhere, have a drink, go to sleep. It’s fine; many of them seem to be fine. But once we start to find that as thermocol or something and we start coming to Satsang, with a bit of belief in this and a bit of belief in that, then it can feel like we are very stretched out. Neither here nor there; stuck between a rock and hard place. But you will find that because one voice is just pointing you to what is naturally Here and apparent
…and the other voice is constantly just giving you stories and ideas … you will end up seeing that one voice is just pointing to what is Here and True, and the other is asking me to consider myself to be something that I am not. Then the interest in that voice, in following that … all of that will not be so much when it comes with its offers.
This is the seeming paradox, isn’t it? You might say ‘Ananta, if you say I am free Here and Now; then why do you keep saying ‘Keep coming to Satsang?’ It is so that you keep hearing: ‘You are free, Here and Now.’ And when the offer comes and says ‘But you are the limited one; you have to find freedom’ or something like that, those offers will not have meaning for you.
I feel like this is a good sort of wrap-up Satsang for this year and that we captured most of the main points of what is shared.
New Year’s Blessing
Before closing, let’s give thanks to our beloved Master, Satguru Sri Mooji Baba.
Thank you, Father, for always keeping us at your lotus feet.
It is only through your Grace that the words of Satsang arise.
It is only through your Grace that they are heard.
It is only through your Grace that they are assimilated.
In your infinite Grace, may all Beings find peace, find Truth, find their eternal Self.
May you continue to bless this Sangha with whatever their Heart truly desires.
May there be peace in this world and in all realms.
May we forever be at your lotus feet.
Let there be peace, let there be peace, let there be peace.
Satguru Sri Mooji Baba ki Jai !
[Sangha]: Jai! Satguru Anantaji ki Jai !
Guru Kripa Kevalam.
Thank you very much to the entire Sangha, here and everywhere in the world,
for your beautiful Presence.
I’ve always considered each of you my Master’s gift in this life. May you continue to grow and become open,
continue to find our Master’s Presence in your Heart.
This year, this day, may it be the last for your selfishness, for anything that constricts you,
for any limited idea that you might harbor about yourself.
May your identity become as light as a feather.
May you feel completely at home in the Master’s abode, which is Your very Presence, Your Heart.
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
~ ~ ~
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Mooji Baba ki Jai !
Ananta ji ki Jai !