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Excerpts from I Am That by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj - Part 5

read by James Traverse

Dialogues of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

4. Real World is Beyond the Mind

On several occasions the question was raised as to whether the universe is subject to the law
of causation, or does it exist and function outside the law. You seem to hold the view that it
is uncaused, that everything, however small, is uncaused, arising and disappearing for no known
reason whatsoever.

Causation means succession in time of events in space, the space being physical or mental.
Time, space, causation are mental categories, arising and subsiding with the mind.

As long as the mind operates, causation is a valid law.

Like everything mental, the so-called law of causation contradicts itself. No thing in existence
has a particular cause; the entire universe contributes to the existence of even the smallest thing;
nothing could be as it is without the universe being what it is. When the source and ground of
everything is the only cause of everything, to speak of causality as a universal law is wrong. The
universe is not bound by its content, because its potentialities are infinite; besides it is a
manifestation, or expression of a principle fundamentally and totally free.

Yes, one can see that ultimately to speak of one thing being the only cause of another thing is
altogether wrong. Yet, in actual life we invariably initiate action with a view to a result.

Yes, there is a lot of such activity going on, because of ignorance. 'Would people know that
nothing can happen unless the entire universe makes it happen, they would achieve much more
with less expenditure of energy.

If everything is an expression of the totality of causes, how can we talk of a purposeful action
towards an achievement?

The very urge to achieve is also an expression of the total universe. It merely shows that the
energy potential has risen at a particular point. It is the illusion of time that makes you talk of
causality. When the past and the future are seen in the timeless now, as parts of a common
pattern, the idea of cause-effect loses its validity and creative freedom takes its place.

Yet, I cannot see how can anything come to be without a cause.

When I say a thing is without a cause, I mean it can be with-out a particular cause. Your own
mother was needed to give you birth; But you could not have been born without the sun and the
earth. Even these could not have caused your birth without your own desire to be born. It is desire
that gives birth, that gives name and form. The desirable is imagined and wanted and manifests
itself as something tangible or con-ceivable. Thus is created the world in which we live, our per-
sonal world. The real world is beyond the mind's ken; we see it through the net of our desires,
divided into pleasure and pain, right and wrong, inner and outer. To see the universe as it is, you
must step beyond the net. It is not hard to do so, for the net is full of holes.

What do you mean by holes? And how to find them?

Look at the net and its many contradictions. You do and undo at every step. You want peace, love,
happiness and work hard to create pain, hatred and war. You want longevity and overeat, you
want friendship and exploit. See your net as made of such contradictions and remove them -- your
very seeing them will make them go.

Since my seeing the contradiction makes it go, is there no causal link between my seeing and
its going?

Causality, even as a concept, does not apply to chaos.

To what extent is desire a causal factor?

One of the many. For everything there are innumerable causal factors. But the source of all that
is, is the Infinite Possibility, the Supreme Reality, which is in you and which throws its power and
light and love on every experience. But, this source is not a cause and no cause is a source.
Because of that, I say everything is uncaused. You may try to trace how a thing happens, but you
cannot find out why a thing is as it is. A thing is as it is, because the universe is as it is.

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