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#1695 - Sunday, February 1, 2004 - Editor: Jerry
The following was typed from Self-Knowledge, by Nome
for more information about this book, please visit http://www.satramana.org/html/self_knowledge.htm
This is a dialogue between a Questioner and Master Nome (pp 167 - 171)
Q: Earlier you said, "It is not that we are
unaware of the world. We are aware that there is no world."
It is a state in which one is aware of that one Existence that is
ever free of these passing states. It is not that we are not
aware of these states; it is that we see that they are unreal and
have o existence at all apart from that ever-present Awareness.
N: That is half way.
Q. This is the area of delusion for me, which I
cannot go beyond. I am clear that my nature is Consciousness. I
am really clear about that because I can see all that comes
and goes, but it has to come and go for something that is always
stable and present and does not come and go. From the stand of
Consciousness, I can see it has no existence apart from
Consciousness. Therefore, I say it is Consciousness. However, I
am still missing the point.
N. That is right. It is half way there. Your
present stand is of qualified nonduality, meaning nonduality with
qualifications, or limitations, set upon it. You say that your
identity is known as Consciousness, but that there is still all
this. Who perceives all this? Can the formless Consciousness
perceive formed appearances?
N: So, what happens? What is real?
Q: There has to be an experiencer present
to experience all this.
N: So, the experiencer, or the
"I," is still intact.
Q: It will always be intact unless I go
N: I agree.
Q: I am here having this conversation with
the form that appears. Each of us appear to others as a form.
What I am looking at is a form. What I am looking out of is
formless. The same would apply from the perspective over there.
N: The Formless cannot look out.
Q: That is half step, again?
N: The Formless cannot look out. The
Formless is without boundaries. If it is boundaryless, how does
it look out?
Q: That is true!
N: What would it see?
Q: Nothing. There would be no "other"
N: Reasoning easily supports Nonduality.
What you need to do is the actual inquiry. You may feel that your
nature is Consciousness, all this arising or appearing, that the
abiding Reality is Consciousness, but this other thing comes and
goes. That may be a wonderful place to start, but it is a
miserable state to declare as the final Reality. It is a splendid
place to stat meditation. It points you in the subjective
direction, but how much objective definition is still being
superimposed on the subject? There is an "I." There is
some instrument taken to be the "I" that is perceiving
"this." If "this" means the world, that means
there must be the mind, a particular state of mind -- waking --
thought activity, sense organs, sense perception, and thus the
It is true that it is all Consciousness. However,
if we want to see the truth of such statements as, "All this
is Brahman," "All this is Consciousness," as
declared in the Ribhu Gita, we must see what it follows. First,
there is a total negation of "all this." Then it is
said, "All this is only Brahman," meaning that what was
there actually the entire time was only Brahman, the vast
Absolute. The instruction does not mean that we should be
repeating to ourselves, "Oh! This clock is not a clock. The
clock is Consciousness." In one sense, such would be true,
yet, deeply inquiring, the question is: how did Consciousness
become a clock? If this is so, Consciousness has become a mutable
thing in the eyes of the seeker. The idea is that it splits
itself into two and becomes things, even though such would be two
parts of the same nature. Such a theory is not Reality as it is.
It might be helpful on the way in, but it is not the inner Truth.
To know the inner Truth, thoroughly inquire. If
you see Consciousness split as subject and object, set aside the
notion of Consciousness and find out who it is that actually
holds this idea. The Reality of pure Consciousness is uncreated,
unborn, with nothing arising and nothing disappearing, and with
nothing within it and nothing outside it. It is not a vacuity. It
is what is, but there is no differentiation. It is not that we
see many things and call them the "One." So, I said
earlier, it is not that you become unaware of the world, but that
you are aware that there is no world. It is not that you still
think that there is a world, but also know that there is a
superceding Consciousness, which is somehow all these things as
well. Is what is being revealed becoming clearer for you?
Q: Yes. As long as there is an observer,
an experiencer, one has to go within. I must turn within and look
for that experiencer, and always the experience is the
irrefutable discovery of its absence. I cannot find it no matter
how hard I look for it, but in this moment in time,
"this" is going on.
N: Going on for whom?
Q: It is going on for ... well, the one
thing that is present is the Consciousness that is going on
within, but all this (pointing to the satsang hall) is here. I
mean, it is certainly appearing.
N: Appearing for whom, and where is the
Q: Oh! Oh!
N: Do you now see how the inquiry should be? This
is the kind of inquiry you should make for yourself. This is what
I am encouraging you to do. You say, "All this is
here." by what power do you know "here?" Where is
the "the here?" In what space is the entire space of
Q: In Consciousness.
N: Yes, in Consciousness. Does Consciousness have
parts in it? Is there a universe part, or world part, and a
Q: Nothing is apart from it. Nothing is
apart from it.
N: Does Consciousness give rise to anything? Is
that its nature? Is it something from which things spring out? Do
you view the Supreme as a source? (silence) Does the rope give
rise to the snake?
Q: No, the snake is an illusion.
N: In the rope, is there any illusion?
Q: No, there is no illusion in the rope.
N. Look from the position of the rope. That is
Self-Knowledge. Otherwise, you think, "It is happening
here." "Here" is a combination of what? If your
mind suddenly falls asleep while you are perceiving
"here," what happens to you 'here?"
Q: It disappears.
N: Then it is not real. If merely changing your
state of mind, or redirecting your though, can alter it, how
could that be real? How could that be the Truth, or the
enlightened experience? Are you understanding what I am pointing
Q: Yes, I am. It is like the fellow
carrying the palanquin in the introduction to the Ribhu Gita.
(laughter) It is the same kind of question. (Reference is to a
dialogue between a king and a sage recounted in Nome's
introduction page ... to the English translation of the Tamil
version of the Ribhu Gita.)
N: Yes. It is the same kind of question. Like the
King, you are eagerly seeking instruction, but you do not realize
that you are being pointed to a more upstream position.
Q: It is certainly a much more intangible
N: If you think, "here," we should find
out where actually is the "here?" If you think,
"It is all this physical space," in what space is the
physical space contained? If it is in your mind space, in what
space is the mind space? Inquire. If it is for the experiencer,
what is the nature of the experiencer? Whatever the stand,
however subtly taken, that determines the experience. If he is
individualized, there is "this." Three things appear,
as is described in The Forty Verses on Reality. The
Absolute, or God, the individual, and the world appear. It
appears as if there is Consciousness, which is said to be all;
there is also yourself in it, and there is also this other thing.
Are these not the same three?
Q: Yes. Yes.
N: Though nondual terms may be given to this
triad, and there may be some coloring with nondual perspectives,
which is better than taking these things to be three distinct
concrete things, they are still regarded as three. What does the
Maharshi say in that verse? "The three are taken to be three
only so long as there is the ego, or 'I.'" When there is no
"I," there are not three. Gain that experience for
yourself by looking again and again into the "I."
Q: Yes, I understand.
N: As you inquire more, what seems very subtle now will be seen to be not so subtle. It will seem silly how people take what is merely assumed in the mind to be true.
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