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#2884 - Friday, July 27, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz 

The Nondual Highlights  

One: Essential Writings on Nonduality:    

    Today's issue is from a fine collection of writings found at There's a lot on Robert Adams there.    

Satsang with ROBERT ADAMS  

March 7,1993  


Transcript # 144

Robert: Om. Shanti, Shanti, Shanti, Om. Good Afternoon. I welcome you with all my heart. It is good being with you again. I love every one of you , unqualified, just the way you are.

People still inquire and they ask me, very often, "Robert, is the world really real or is it an illusion?" Now the answer I give is dependent on who is asking the question. It isn't an easy answer to give. Those of us who are well read in Advaita Vedanta can give these flip answers that the world is an illusion, only BRAHMAN IS REAL.

Everything else doesn't exist. This may be true in an Ultimate Reality, but as far as we're concerned in our every day experiences, the world is as real as you MAKE it. Always remember, YOU ARE THE CREATOR OF THE WORLD. The world that you see is a creation of YOURSELF. All that you're involved in, the circumstances in your life, the vicissitudes you go through every day are a result of what you are, nothing more, nothing less.

So, if you feel your attachments, if you feel the world pressing down on you, if you feel something is wrong some place, then the world is REAL!! It's real to YOU! So I would not say it's not real. This would be giving the wrong advice. The world is real as long as YOU feel it. But what I will tell you to do is to go within and ask, "Who sees the world the way it is? To whom does this world come to? Who is the seer? Who observes the world this way?" Of course you do. But who are YOU? who sees the world the way it is?

The world becomes illusory only to the person who has transcended the self, the personal self, the ego self. Then the world is only images, like the images on the screen. People are not involved in the screen, they're involved in the images. They know nothing about the screen They see the images on the screen. Without the screen, the images would be destroyed. The images would be bent out of shape. But with the screen you've got a perfect image. So it is with the world unconsciousness.


Your True SELF IS CONSCIOUSNESS but you don't KNOW it. The whole UNIVERSE IS CONSCIOUSNESS, but you don't KNOW it. You identify with the IMAGES. Your body appears to be an image also. But you think it's real. Your thoughts appear good and real to you. The thoughts appear very VALID. Your reasoning is very VALID. Therefore, the world is real to you. And you have to go through experiences in this world, good experiences, bad experiences, as long as you think it's real. Now I'm not speaking of belief. You can believe one thing and feel another thing. For instance, you can believe the world is real and you can believe the world is illusory. It doesn't make any difference what you believe. What matters is what you ARE.

This is an important point to ponder. WHAT YOU ARE DETERMINES WHAT THIS WORLD IS FOR YOU! Not what you believe. It doesn't make any difference what you believe. Belief has absolutely nothing to do with it. If you can feel in your experience that ALL IS WELL, that everything is unfolding as it should, then you will know that the WORLD IS BRAHMAN.

Not the world as the world, but the WORLD AS BRAHMAN. Everything will become HOLY to you, sacred. And nothing will ever annoy you or bother you or disturb you. For you will understand this world to be only of images and BRAHMAN is the Reality or Consciousness.

Therefore, it's up to you. It's always up to you. No one is to blame but you. No one can ever do anything for you except yourself. You have the freedom to see what you like. But what you see determines what HAPPENS to you.

Therefore, the WISE person does not judge by appearances, but OBSERVES the appearances without reacting and realizes that everything is for a time. This too shall pass Everything happens in time and space, in the worldly sense. But in REALITY there's no time and space. There's no world. There's no Universe. There's no God. There's no Self-Realization. There's no illusion. THERE'S ONLY BRAHMAN, CONSCIOUSNESS.

But you can't go around speaking this way if you're not EXPERIENCING it! This is a mistake many aspiring Jnanis make. They have ideas about what the world is through reading books. Reading sacred literature. And they go on exclaiming their beliefs. Remember, again, your belief system has nothing to do with this. It is only your experiences that determine what happens to you. What you're experiencing. Are you experiencing Peace and Harmony? Are you experiencing Compassion and Love? Joy and Happiness. If you're not experiencing any of these things, then the world is real.

I'm not speaking of fleeting happiness, temporary peace, being quiet for a time. I'm speaking of eternal Happiness, eternal Peace, eternal Joy, eternal Bliss. This is YOUR DIVINE BIRTHRIGHT. This is the only REALITY this Perfect Self that is Bliss that is REALLY You. At that time the world becomes null and void. When the whole world becomes YOU, your REALIZATION becomes the whole world.

Right now most of us are bound by the body. We only expand ourselves as far as our circumference. When you break the binds that have been holding you for so many years, you become All-Pervading Omnipresent. You see yourself as a whole Universe, as everything. And you FEEL it. You feel this place that passes all understanding. You're not hurtable any longer. Nothing can turn you on and off like a faucet. You see conditions happening, you watch and observe, and SMILE within. For you know deep inside that this is not the Truth. This is only changing images, like movies. It looks like the images on the screen in the movies and you try to grab them. You grab the screen not the images. Because the images don't really exist! Yet it appears to exist on the screen. It's a film. Yet it looks very real. But try to grab it and you can't.

And so it is with your life. Your life appears to be so real. Situations appear to be so true. Yet if you see it in the right light, you do not exist at all. They're a dream Nothing is the way it appears.

There should be a little longing in all of us for total Freedom. And a little longing for total Peace and Harmony. And a little longing to realize and experience Perfect Harmony in all conditions. But what you're really experiencing right now is your programming Time passes by, before you know it, you're gone.

What have you ACCOMPLISHED? Be HONEST with yourself. What have you accomplished in this life? I'm not speaking of material things, material possessions. You've got to leave those BEHIND. You cannot take those with you. I'm speaking of your SPIRITUAL life. Have you learned and practiced some kind of sadhana to release you from the bondage of humanhood? Or have you just been running along with the tide, waiting for something to happen to you? This is your LIFE!! And what you do with it determines where you go and what happens to you. Any real seeker of Truth is only interested in the Truth.

Not in situations, experiences, what happens to the world but only interested in the Truth. The Truth being the Self, the Pure Awareness. And if you're really interested in the Truth, you would not carry any burdens in your mind, of any kind. You learn to let go of them as fast as they come. For instance, you see an accident. Your job is to help as much as you can, but not to carry it. To let go of it and continue your life. Let us think what's right is wrong, what's good is bad. It goes through until you transcend that.

You do service to the world, but you do not act in the world. Again, this is your LIFE. Where are YOU on the Spiritual path? Only you yourself know. What are you interested in? What do you do with your life all day long. What do you think about all day? This tells you where you're AT.

Consider the progress you're making.

There's nothing in this world that's worth your becoming angry, upset or disillusioned. Remember ALL things in this world pass. Things are like this today, tomorrow they may change COMPLETELY!

Learn to go within. That's where ALL the answers are. Find out who you really are. See if you are this body and this mind! And the experiences that you're going through. It's up to EACH ONE of you to do this. There is no one who can REALLY help you. In the last analysis you've got to know the Truth yourself.

YOU are the ONE There are no others There is only YOU.

Yesterday morning I was in the park walking my dog and I usually let the dog pull me wherever he wants to go. So he pulled me over to the bench 'cause he wanted to sit down and he wanted me to sit down also. I sat down on the bench and there was a little girl playing nearby. She came over to me and she said, "Mister, can you make my wish come true?" And I said, "Maybe, what is your wish?" She was about four years old. And she said, "I want to be big like you. My brother's bigger than I am. My sister's bigger than I am. My mommy and daddy are bigger than I am. Will I ever become big?" So I laughed and explained to her that she'll be big one day also, to have patience. Then her mother called out.

The point I'm trying to make is the INNOCENCE that was in the child, the PURENESS Total Awareness Her only problem was to be big. This was the whole world to her, to become a big person. Then I said to myself, we grow up and look at us then. When we become big, what HAPPENS to us? We've been so programmed, so brainwashed The innocence of childhood is gone. The purity of childhood has vanished someplace and we've taken on the BURDENS of this world. This is Maya. This is the grand illusion that most of us are STUCK in. And we REFUSE to let go.

We get involved in everybody's business. We have a television we watch daily. The newspapers we read every day. We’re living for the soap operas. Metaphysical things mean NOTHING to us really. And yet we become INVOLVED in these things. The first step we have to take is to be totally honest with ourselves totally and completely honest with ourselves and see where we're really coming from.

The realization will come to YOU when you empty yourself out of all these burdens that you've carried so long. It will come by itself. But in the meantime, don't walk around saying the world is an illusion or the world doesn't exist, when you're feeling the world. You're talking NONSENSE. When you discover the world is an illusion, you will have nothing to say about it. There will be absolutely nothing to say!! For you will become THAT.

In the meantime, practice loving kindness, compassion. Help your fellow man all you can. Do good deeds. And work on yourself continuously, 24 hours a day. By working on yourself I mean, know the Truth about yourself. Say to yourself something like this, "The world I see seems real. My body appears to be real. My thoughts have hold of me. My body has a hold of me and tells me I'm this and that. But I know there's something else. Something more profound. Something more beautiful than I can ever imagine. There is something BEYOND my thoughts. BEYOND my feelings. BEYOND my body. Perhaps I have not discovered what it is as yet, but I KNOW it exists."

And you give yourself examples. Say to yourself something like this, "The water in the mirage seems real enough but upon close investigation you realize that it's a mirage. It's not real at all. The snake and the rope seems real enough but upon close investigation I find out it's only a rope. It's not a snake at all. That the sky is blue seems real enough. But upon investigation there is NO sky and it's not BLUE. These are all OPTICAL illusions. If these are optical illusions then my body must be an optical illusion also. The world I see and believe in must be an optical illusion because it keeps CHANGING all the time. It's never the SAME. What can I call real in this world? What is REAL? Everything changes. Nothing is real!!!"

Then you can ask yourself, "Then who am I? If nothing is real and everything is an optical illusion, am I also an optical illusion? I can think. I can reason Where do these thoughts come from? To whom do they come? Who thinks them? Where's their source?" As you keep prodding this way day after day, as you keep pondering these things day after day, the day is going to come when you finally RELEASE from all this. It will!!! You'll find total RELEASE, total FREEDOM.

And you will laugh at yourself so much....For you'll understand what this world is A DREAM. Nothing but a dream. But again, if you're feeling the world you cannot say it's a dream. It's not a dream to you if you're feeling it and it upsets you. Its real. How can anyone convince you it's not? I will not tell you it's an ILLUSION at all because you're FEELING it! I can only tell you to go within yourself and find out for yourself.

What is the truth about yourself? Find out. The answers are all WITHIN you. Yet the day will come when you realize there's no body But until it does practice your sadhana. We have our Spiritual games and Spiritual entertainment. This is your LIFE. Work on yourself. Do whatever is necessary to make your environment better so you can have more time to work on yourself. If something is disturbing you put an end to it once and for all. If you hold on to those disturbances that happened 50 years ago, 30 years ago, 20 years ago or even yesterday this keeps you BACK from Spiritual advancement. For your mind is full of playing with foolishness that you think is so important. Somebody hit your car and drove away and now you've got to pay for repairs. What happened? That's the way it is. Do not dwell on this. Do what has to be done and get it over with and continue. Go forward. Never DWELL on the problem! It expands the problem in your mind and builds up your ego! DWELL ONLY ON GOD. How do you dwell on God? By surrendering all your stuff to God. Giving up all of your misery. All the attitudes. All the anger, depression. Give it all up to God!!!

God'll chew it up and spit it out and be free of it. Try to remember that your life is MORE than the body that appears to you right now. We forget about who we were before we were born. We've had many experiences but have forgotten all these things. We're so wrapped up with our life right now that we think it's so important. We're forgetting there was a BEFORE and there will be an AFTER. It's up to YOU what happens. You have been around for millions of years.

You'll be around FOREVER! You've had many experiences as other people You've had many experiences. So why should this one worry you and bother you? This is only another EXPERIENCE, that's all it is. In Universal time you're here today and gone tomorrow. You're only here for a few seconds in Universal time.!! You did not come here to get involved in circumstances and predicaments. You came here to FIND yourself, discover your REAL nature. Now what are you doing to make this HAPPEN? It's up to you. I can lead you to the gold mine but I can't do the digging for you. You have to dig for yourself I share with you my experiences. I can assure you that this world does not exist. Not because I read it in a book some place or some body told me about it. It's been MY EXPERIENCE! There is NO WORLD. And yet it appears. The question, therefore, is: "To WHOM does it appear?" Not WHY does it appear, but to WHOM does it appear??? FIND OUT !!!!!

I can also assure you and tell you that no matter what experiences you're going through right now, what is worrying you or disturbing you, if anything, this too SHALL PASS. Therefore, cut through the jungle of Maya. Remove all the fears from yourself. There is absolutely nothing to fear. Nothing to change. Nothing to fix. Nothing to straighten out This whole world is preordained predestined. Everything that happens is supposed to happen. But you're not supposed to REACT to it.

It is true that you're Absolute Reality. It is true that you are Sat-Chit Ananda BRAHMAN. lt is true that you are Pure Awareness. But you have to have the experience. And again, you cannot have the experience if your mind is filled with all the garbage of this world. If you think about it, it makes sense. How can you entertain the soap operas of the world and expect to have REALIZATION! You can have one or the other! THE CHOICE IS YOURS!!

You've got to vehemently make up your mind that from this day on you're not going to judge by appearances with your life or somebody else's life. That you will watch, to be aware, look and let go. Or you can stay the way you are and keep worrying and keep fretting. THE CHOICE IS YOURS, AGAIN!! It's always Your choice. Yet if you will find out who you Are and let go of this world awhile, you will be surprised what happens. Find out who you ARE. Spend the time DOING that . Are you really this body that appears to be a man or a woman, a boy or a girl? Are you really this person? FIND OUT!!!

Who ARE you? You have been given all the tools to work with. The factory of intelligence is within you. All you have to do is dive down and check it OUT. And you will be amazed what you find.

So in conclusion, the world is both real and unreal, depending on where you're coming from. It makes no difference what I tell you or what anybody else tells you. You're the one who needs to have the experience for yourself. You can run all over the world, visit many gurus, sages, teachers, read many books, yet until you're ready to give all this up and do some serious work WITHIN YOURSELF, you will only build up your intelligence, that's all. So what do you want to do? You know about the different traditions, spiritual traditions. You know all about spiritual life and yet you have not experienced it or seen many people do that. They've read so much, seen so many teachers...... they went mad. The spiritual life is the easiest thing you could ever do. All you have to do is sit by yourself IN THE SILENCE keep still and watch your thoughts. That's all you have to do.

Observe your thoughts. What could be easier than THAT? As you continue to observe your thoughts, you will automatically go deeper and deeper and deeper within yourself until you begin to question, "WHO AM I? Where is this I? Who does this I belong to? Where is the source of it? It's not me. It never was me." And everything will take care of itself. Everything will happen by itself.


Robert Adams 1993

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