67. Experience is not the Real Thing
The seeker is he who is in search of himself. Soon he discovers that
his own body he
be. Once the conviction: 'I am not the body' becomes so well
grounded that he can no
feel, think and act for and on behalf of the body, he will easily
discover that he is the
being, knowing, acting, that in him and through him the entire
universe is real, conscious
active. This is the heart of the problem. Either you are
body-conscious and a slave of
or you are the universal consciousness itself -- and in full control
of every event.
consciousness, individual or universal, is not my true abode; I am
not in it, it is not mine, there is
'me' in it. I am beyond, though it is not easy to explain how one
can be neither conscious, nor
but just beyond. I cannot say that I am in God or I am God; God is
the universal light
love, the universal witness: I am beyond the universal even.
In that case you are without name and shape. What kind of being have
I am what I am, neither with form nor formless, neither conscious
nor unconscious. I am outside
You are taking the neti-neti (not this, not this) approach.
You cannot find me by mere denial. I am as well everything, as
nothing. Nor both, nor either.
definitions apply to the Lord of the Universe, not to me.
Do you intend to convey that you are just nothing.
Oh, no! I am complete and perfect. I am the beingness of being, the
knowingness of knowing,
fullness of happiness. You cannot reduce me to emptiness!
If you are beyond words, what shall we talk about? Metaphysically
speaking, what you say
together; there is no inner contradiction. But there is no food for
me in what you say. It is so
beyond my urgent needs. When I ask for bread, you are giving jewels.
no doubt, but I am hungry.
It is not so. I am offering you exactly what you need -- awakening.
You are not hungry and you
no bread. You need cessation, relinquishing, disentanglement. What
you believe you need is
what you need. Your real need I know, not you. You need to return to
the state in which I am --
natural state. Anything else you may think of is an illusion and an
obstacle. Believe me, you
nothing except to be what you are. You imagine you will increase
your value by acquisition. It
like gold imagining that an addition of copper will improve it.
Elimination and purification,
of all that is foreign to your nature is enough. All else is vanity.
It is easier said than done. A man comes to you with stomach-ache
and you advise him to
his stomach. Of course, without the mind there will be no problems.
But the mind is there
It is the mind that tells you that the mind is there. Don't be
deceived. All the endless arguments
the mind are produced by the mind itself, for its own protection,
continuation and expansion. It
the blank refusal to consider the convolutions and convulsions of
the mind that can take you
Sir, I am an humble seeker, while you are the Supreme Reality
itself. Now the seeker
the Supreme in order to be enlightened. What does the Supreme do?
Listen to what I keep on telling you and do not move away from it.
Think of it all the time and of
else. Having reached that far, abandon all thoughts, not only of the
world, but of yourself
Stay beyond all thoughts, in silent being-awareness. It is not
progress, for what you come to is
there in you, waiting for you.
So you say I should try to stop thinking and stay steady in the
idea: 'I am'.
Yes, and whatever thoughts come to you in connection with the 'I
am', empty them of all
pay them no attention.
I happen to meet many young people coming from the West and I find
that there is a basic
when I compare them to the Indians. It looks as if their psyche
(antahkarana) is different.
like Self, Reality, pure mind, universal consciousness the Indian
mind grasps easily. They
familiar, they taste sweet. The Western mind does not respond, or
just rejects them. It
and wants to utilise at once in the service of accepted values.
These values are often
health, well-being, prosperity; sometimes they are social -- a
better society, a happier life
all; all are connected with worldly problems, personal or
impersonal. Another difficulty one
across quite often in talking with the Westerners is that to them
everything is experience --
as they want to experience food, drink and women, art and travels,
so do they want to experience
realisation and liberation. To them it is just another experience,
to be had for a price. They
such experience can be purchased and they bargain about the cost.
When one Guru
too high, in terms of time and effort, they go to another, who
offers instalment terms,
very easy, but beset with unfulfillable conditions. It is the old
story of not thinking of the
monkey when taking the medicine! In this case it is not thinking of
the world, 'abandoning all
'extinguishing every desire', 'becoming perfect celibates' etc.
Naturally there is vast
going on all levels and the results are nil. Some Gurus in sheer
desperation abandon all
prescribe no conditions, advise effortlessness, naturalness, simply
living in passive
without any pattern of 'must' and 'must not' And there are many
disciples whose past
brought them to dislike themselves so badly that they just do not
want to look at
If they are not disgusted, they are bored. They have surfeit of
Let them not think of themselves, if they do not like it. Let them
stay with a Guru, watch him,
of him. Soon they will experience a kind of bliss, quite new, never
experienced before, except,
in childhood. The experience is so unmistakably new, that it will
attract their attention and
interest; once the interest is roused, orderly application will
These people are very critical and suspicious. They cannot be
otherwise, having passed
much learning and much disappointment. On one hand they want
experience, on the other
mistrust it. How to reach them, God alone knows!
True insight and love will reach them.
When they have some spiritual experience, another difficulty arises.
They complain that the
does not last, that it comes and goes in a haphazard way. Having got
hold of the
they want to suck it all the time.
Experience, however sublime, is not the real thing. By its very
nature it comes and goes. Self-
is not an acquisition. It is more of the nature of understanding.
Once arrived at, it cannot
lost. On the other hand, consciousness is changeful, flowing,
undergoing transformation from
to moment. Do not hold on to consciousness and its contents.
To try to perpetuate a flash of insight, or a burst of happiness is
destructive of what it wants
preserve. What comes must go. The permanent is beyond all comings
and goings. Go to the root
all experience, to the sense of being. Beyond being and not-being
lies the immensity of the real.
and try again.
To try one needs faith.
There must be the desire first. When the desire is strong, the
willingness to try will come. You
not need assurance of success, when the desire is strong. You are
ready to gamble.
Strong desire, strong faith -- it comes to the same. These people do
not trust either their
or the society, or even themselves. All they touched turned to
ashes. Give them one
absolutely genuine, indubitable, beyond the argumentations of the
mind and they will
you to the world's end.
But I am doing nothing else! Tirelessly I draw their attention to
the one incontrovertible factor --
of being. Being needs no proofs -- it proves all else. If only they
go deeply into the fact of being
discover the vastness and the glory to which the 'I am' is the door,
and cross the door and go
their life will be full of happiness and light. Believe me, the
effort needed is as nothing when
with the discoveries arrived at.
What you say is right. But these people have neither confidence nor
patience. Even a short
tires them. It is really pathetic to see them groping blindly and
yet unable to hold on to the
hand. They are such nice people fundamentally but totally
bewildered. I tell theNisargadatta: you
have truth on your own terms. You must accept the conditions. To
this they answer: Some
accept the conditions and some will not. Acceptance or
non-acceptance are superficial and
reality is in all; there must be a way for all to tread -- with no
There is such a way, open to all, on every level, in every walk of
life. Everybody is aware of
The deepening and broadening of self-awareness is the royal way.
Call it mindfulness, or
or just attention -- it is for all. None is unripe for it and none
of course, your must not be merely alert. Your mindfulness must
include the mind also.
is primarily awareness of consciousness and its movements.