‘I am’: The Foundation of all Experience
I hear you making statements about yourself like: ‘I am timeless,
etc. How do you know these things? And what makes you say them?
I am only trying to describe the state before the ‘I am’ arose, but
the state itself, being
the mind and language, is indescribable.
The ‘I am’ is the foundation of all experience. What you are trying
to describe must also be an
limited and transitory. You speak of yourself as immutable. I hear
the sound of the
I remember its dictionary meaning, but the experience of being
immutable I do not have. How
I break through the barrier and know personally, intimately, what it
means to be immutable?
The word itself is the bridge. Remember it, think of it, explore it,
go round it, look at it from all
dive into it with earnest perseverance: endure all delays and
the mind turns round, away from the word, towards the reality beyond
the word. It is like
to find a person knowing his name only. A day comes when your
enquiries bring you to him
the name becomes reality. Words are valuable, for between the word
and its meaning there is a
and if one investigates the word assiduously, one crosses beyond the
concept into the
at the root of it. As a matter of fact, such repeated attempts to go
beyond the words is
is but a persistent attempt to cross over from the verbal to the
The task seems hopeless until suddenly all becomes clear and simple
and so wonderfully
But, as long as you are interested in your present way of living,
you will shirk from the final
into the unknown.
Why should the unknown interest me? Of what use is the unknown?
Of no use whatsoever. But it is worthwhile to know what keeps you
within the narrow confines of
known. It is the full and correct knowledge of the known that takes
you to the unknown. You
beyond the reach of all self-
all selfish consideration, is an inescapable condition of
liberation. You may call it death; to
it is living at its most meaningful and intense, for I am one with
life in its totality and fullness --
meaningfulness, harmony; what more do you want?
Nothing more is needed, of course. But you are talking of the
Of the unknowable only silence talks. The mind can talk only of what
it knows. If you diligently
the knowable, it dissolves and only the unknowable remains. But with
the first flicker of
and interest the unknowable is obscured and the known comes to the
the changeable, is what you live with -- the unchangeable is of no
use to you. It is only when
are satiated with the changeable and long for the unchangeable, that
you are ready for the
round and stepping into what can be described, when seen from the
level of the mind, as
and darkness. For the mind craves for content and variety, while
reality is, to the mind,
It looks like death to me.
It is. It is also all-pervading, all-conquering, intense beyond
words. No ordinary brain can stand
without being shattered; hence the absolute need for sadhana. Purity
of body and clarity of mind,
and selflessness in life are essential for survival as an
intelligent and spiritual entity.
Are there entities in reality?
Identity is Reality, Reality is identity. Reality is not shapeless
mass, a wordless chaos. It is
aware, blissful; compared to it your life is like a candle to the
By the grace of God and your teacher’s you lost all desire and fear
and reached the immovable
My question is simple -- how do you know that your state is
Only the changeable can be thought of and talked about. The
unchangeable can only be
in silence. Once realised, it will deeply affect the changeable,
itself remaining unaffected.
How do you know that you are the witness?
I do not know, I am. I am, because to be everything must be
Existence can also be accepted on hearsay.
Still, finally you come to the need of a direct witness. Witnessing,
if not personal and actual,
at least be possible and feasible. Direct experience is the final
Experience may be faulty and misleading.
Quite, but not the fact of an experience. Whatever may be the
experience, true or false, the fact
an experience taking place cannot be denied. It is its own proof.
Watch yourself closely and you
see that whatever be the content of consciousness, the witnessing of
it does not depend on the
Awareness is itself and does not change with the event. The event
may be pleasant or
minor or important, awareness is the same. Take note of the peculiar
nature of pure
its natural self-identity, without the least trace of
self-consciousness, and go to the root
it and you will soon realise that awareness is your true nature and
nothing you may be aware of,
can call your own.
Is not consciousness and its content one and the same?
Consciousness is like a cloud in the sky and the water drops are the
content. The cloud needs
sun to become visible, and consciousness needs being focussed in
Is not awareness a form of consciousness?
When the content is viewed without likes and dislikes, the
consciousness of it is awareness. But
there is a difference between awareness as reflected in
consciousness and pure awareness
consciousness. Reflected awareness, the sense ‘I am aware’ is the
witness, while pure
is the essence of reality. Reflection of the sun in a drop of water
is the reflection of the
no doubt, but not the sun itself. Between awareness reflected in
consciousness as the witness
pure awareness there is a gap, which the mind cannot cross.
Does it not depend on the way you look at it? The mind says there is
a difference. The heart
there is none.
Of course there is no difference. The real sees the real in the
unreal. It is the mind that creates
unreal and it is the mind that sees the false as false.
I understood that the experience of the real follows seeing the
false as false.
There is no such thing as the experience of the real. The real is
beyond experience. All
is in the mind. You know the real by being real.
If the real is beyond words and mind, why do we talk so much about
For the joy of it, of course. The real is bliss supreme. Even to
talk of it is happiness.
I hear you talking of the unshakable and blissful. What is in your
mind when you use these
There is nothing in my mind. As you hear the words, so do I hear
them. The power that makes
happen makes them also happen.
But you are speaking, not me.
That is how it appears to you. As I see it, two body-minds exchange
symbolic noises. In reality
Listen Sir. I am coming to you because I am in trouble. I am a poor
soul lost in a world I do not
I am afraid of Mother Nature who wants me to grow, procreate and
die. When I ask for
meaning and purpose of all this, she does not answer. I have come to
you because I was told
you are kind and wise. You talk about the changeable as false and
transient and this I can
But when you talk of the immutable, I feel lost. ‘Not this, not
that, beyond knowledge, of
use’ -- why talk of it all? Does it exist, or is it a concept only,
a verbal opposite to the changeable?
It is, it alone is. But in your present state it is of no use to
you. Just like the glass of water near
bed if of no use to you, when you dream that you are dying of thirst
in a desert. I am trying to
you up, whatever your dream.
Please don’t tell me that I am dreaming and that I will soon wake
up. I wish it were so. But I am
and in pain. You talk of a painless state, but you add that I cannot
have it in my present
I feel lost.
Don’t feel lost. I only say that to find the immutable and blissful
you must give up your hold on
mutable and painful. You are concerned with your own happiness and I
am telling you that there
no such thing. Happiness is never your own, it is where the ‘I’ is
not. I do not say it is beyond your
you have only to reach out beyond yourself, and you will find it.
If I have to go beyond myself, why did I get the ‘I am’ idea in the
The mind needs a centre to draw a circle. The circle may grow bigger
and with every increase
will be a change in the sense ‘I am’. A man who took himself in
hand, a Yogi, will draw a
yet the centre will remain, however vast the spiral. A day comes
when the entire enterprise is
as false and given up. The central point is no more and the universe
becomes the centre.
Yes, maybe. But what am I to do now?
Assiduously watch your ever-changing life, probe deeply into the
motives beyond your actions
you will soon prick the bubble in which you are enclosed. A chic
needs the shell to grow, but a
comes when the shell must be broken. If it is not, there will be
suffering and death.
Do you mean to say that if I do not take to Yoga, I am doomed to
There is the Guru who will come to your rescue. In the meantime be
satisfied with watching the
of your life; if your watchfulness is deep and steady, ever turned
towards the source, it will
move upstream till suddenly it becomes the source. Put your
awareness to work, not your
The mind is not the right instrument for this task. The timeless can
be reached only by the
Your body and your mind are both subject to time; Only awareness is
timeless, even in the
In awareness you are facing facts and reality is fond of facts.
You rely entirely on my awareness to take me over and not on the
Guru and God.
God gives the body and the mind and the Guru shows the way to use
them. But returning to the
is your own task.
God has created me, he will look after me.
There are innumerable gods, each in his own universe. They create
and re-create eternally. Are
going to wait for them to save you? What you need for salvation is
already within your reach.
it. Investigate what you know to its very end and you will reach the
unknown layers of your
Go further and the unexpected will explode in you and shatter all.
Does it mean death?
It means life -- at last.