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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  

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?

Q: No.

  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 within.

  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" to see.

  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 world appears.

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 "here?"

  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 the universe?

  Q: In Consciousness.

N: Yes, in Consciousness. Does Consciousness have parts in it? Is there a universe part, or world part, and a perceiver part?

  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 to?

  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 position.

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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