you are seeking truth, reality, God or whatever you like to call it, I suggest
that you start with the only reality you are absolutely certain ofthat is
the fact of your own being. There is no one sitting here who can say 'I am not'.
Each one of us knows 'I am'. But that thought 'I am' is not the reality. It is
the closest you will ever get to it with the mind. That 'I am' is just a translation
by the mind of that sense of presence, the awareness of presence or the presence
of that awareness. That is the only reality we are absolutely certain of. Nobody
under any circumstances can say 'I am not'. That knowing is constantly and ever
with us. And that is why we say that what you are seeking you already are.
base what we talk about here on what the ancient traditions tell us. In Advaita,
for instance, they call it non-dualone-without-a-second. The one-without-a-second
part means that even one could imply that there is something other than one. In
the Dzogchen scriptures they call it non-conceptual, ever-fresh, self-shining,
presence awareness, just this and nothing else. And if you look at that, that
is describing you, me and everything else. That presence of awareness is non-conceptual.
You don't have to hold a concept about it. It's ever fresh because it has no beginning
and no end. It is self-shining like the sun. It shines of itself. It doesn't need
a light to say 'I am shining'. And that is what it is, just that which you cannot
escape from, which you cannot get away from-presence-awareness.
the traditions will tell you that it is omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence.
That is all presence, all power and all knowing. It is constantly being pointed
out down through the ages. It is nothing new, and it is obvious and evident and
simplicity itself. There can be nothing simpler than one. And yet we miss it.
We miss it, purely and simply, because we look for an answer in the mind. If you
question the mind, you will see that mind is time, and time can never be omnipresence.
Even the concept 'presence' is not what the isness or the actuality is because
presence (as a concept) is a part of time: past, present and future.
very idea there is something to seek and someone to seek implies time, and time
is mind. That is why you will never find the answer in the mind. To the mind,
presence-awareness is no-thing. It hasn't got any shape, it hasn't got any form,
hasn't got any time, hasn't got any space, hasn't got any beginning or any end.
So it is no-thing. They call it 'emptiness'. The mind can't grasp no-thing. It
doesn't like no-thing. The mind, being a thing itself, is dualistic. It is always
dividing into the pairs of opposites, into things. It cannot know or grasp or
understand no-thing. All this points to the fact that you may have been looking
in the wrong direction. You are all intelligent people. Some of you may have been
seeking for years. You have worked out so many things in the mind, but yet you
can't find this because you believe it's some sensation or concept or idea in
the mind that we have read about in books or people have talked about. We look
for something similar, and so we miss the 'no-thingness' of it.
have got to look at these things. They need to be looked at and understood. Am
I this body, for instance? What is this body made up of? We investigate it, have
a look and we see it is nothing but the elements. It is 80% water. Then there
is air, space, matter, fire. It is only the elements. The elements can be broken
down into subatomic particles, into no-thing. Look at that again and also see
that you can't be separate from the elements. This body is the elements. It is
not separate from the elements. See how far you can go without air! See where
you get to without water, space, bodily heat (the fire) or matter.
don't like to use the word 'God' or 'the Supreme' purely and simply for the reason
that each of us will probably have a different concept of what we have come to
believe God to be or not be. If we are agnostic or atheist, we will have a concept
about that also. I use the term 'intelligence-energy'. But I'm not speaking about
your intellects because there are many different degrees of intellects.
I'm talking about is that same intelligence that functions the universe. The very
fact that the stars can orbit or the planets can orbit around the earth and form
out of the gases into the particular shape and form and hold that form implies
an intelligence. That which keeps the seasons coming and going implies an intelligence.
The tides coming in and out implies an intelligence. Look at it closely. It is
beating your heart right now. It is growing your hair and your fingernails. It
is digesting your food. It is replacing the cells in your body. The patterning
and functioning of this body implies that there is a wonderful intelligence expressing
through it, as it. And that is actually what you arethat intelligence-energy.
It formed you, grew you and is continuing to grow you. It is replacing the cells
in your body and doing other things naturally, the same as it is in the universe.
But that natural state has seemingly been clouded over by the reasoning or the
functioning of the mind. Look at the body and break it down. There is no center
here in this body that I can say 'This is what I am'. It started with the sperm
and the ovum coming together. If the body had any center it would be that original
cell. But that is long since gone. There are many cells dying in this body right
now and being replaced.
question is 'Am I this mind?', 'Am I this primary thought "I am"?' That
sense of presence expresses through the mind as that thought 'I am'. Look at thought.
Is there such a thing, really, as mind, apart from thinking? I cannot grasp anything
that I can call mind. What is thinking? Thinking at the subtle level is a very,
very subtle vibration. At the spoken word level it is a sound. Sound is a vibration,
and a vibration is a movement of energy. So it's the same. You still have not
separated that intelligence-energy. If you look at your mind again, you will see
it is always vibrating in the interrelated opposites. If it is not past, which
is memory, it is anticipation and imagination, which is future. And within that
range, it is constantly vibrating as the interrelated pairs of opposites. It is
either good or bad, pleasant or painful, happy or sad, loving or hating or whatever.
a look at your mind. It is constantly vibrating in those patterns. See if it is
doing anything other than that. So you see, though it is a wonderful instrument
when utilized, it's activity is very mechanical. A little child, when he is born,
has not left that natural state. He is still functioning in that natural state.
If he is hungry he will cry. If he is happy he will gurgle. He defecates and urinates
without any sense of concern. It just happens, just the same as his food is digested.
He is doing activities, moving his hands, moving his arms, all sorts of activities
are going on. At that stage he is not attributing these things to a me ('I am
doing this' or 'I am doing that'). He doesn't know. Reasoning hasn't started.
As the body grows, that line of reasoning begins to function also. His parents
tell him, 'Your name is Johnny. You're a good little boy. You're a bad little
boy. You are this. You are that'. He hears this, and it starts to impinge on him.
He learns what this word means or what this thought is. He translates it into
labels which he is being taught. Then sooner or later he comes to realize that
this is me that they're talking about ('This is me. I am Johnny'.). Whereas before
it was just 'little Johnny'. When that idea of an 'I' or a 'me' comes upon him,
naturally the mind, functioning in the opposite, asks, 'What is the opposite of
I or me? Isn't it other than me or not-I?' Now he is seeing things which he previously
did not have any discrimination about at all. It was just the seeing. It was just
the hearing. Now that sense of 'me' or 'I' has come upon him. He is seeing these
things as 'not me' or 'not I' (or other than I), and feels separate from them.
a sense of separation there comes insecurity and vulnerability. That is when our
search actually starts because insecurity and vulnerability is not happiness.
It is not completeness. It is not wholeness. The search starts to try and make
ourselves whole or complete or more secure and less vulnerable. And naturally,
because our parents have not looked at it or understood it, our society and nations
have not looked at it or understood it, the search starts 'out there'. Nobody
ever says to him 'Look back' or 'Stay with that essence that you are, that natural
state that you were and still are, before those clouds of thought began to form'.
see that all our problems arise from that insecurity and vulnerability. The little
child, before he saw his separation or realized that he was separate or believed
that he was separate, didn't feel that insecurity or vulnerability. Now he senses
it and he likes a warm, loving family around him. He feels more secure and less
vulnerable if he has got a warm and loving family. And in the old days families
would form into tribes. The bigger and stronger my tribe is, the more secure,
less vulnerable I am. Today nations go to war with nations purely and simply because
of that insecurity, fearful that the nation next door will take me over, take
away my wealth or whatever. Or 'I'll get him first because I am insecure and vulnerable
and make myself stronger by taking them over'. This is all based on that self-centeredness.
there is no self center. The self center or the ego, which is the cause of all
our problems, is a fiction. The little child adds to that 'I' thought all the
events, experiences and conditioning, which are mental concepts, and forms a picture
about himself based on those concepts. He thinks 'I am little Johnny, and I have
been a good boy or a bad boy, or somebody said something to me and I feel ashamed
or guilty or fearful or whatever'. All of these concepts seem to be concretized.
They seem to become real and become a reference point (the 'me' or the ego, to
which everything is related). Something hits that reference point, that image
he has about himself, and it doesn't fit that image. He doesn't like it. If something
else hits that image and it does fit the image, and he likes it and wants more
of it. The thing he doesn't like he resists and wants to get away from. And so
he is in conflict. All of our problems arise from that belief in the self center.
Everything is relative to that fictitious image we have come to believe is real.
The energy of belief has gone into it and made it seemingly real and strong through
that habitual belief. But it's not real and it has no power, so it has no strength.
Look at that and see that there is no spot in this body that I can say, 'This
is me'. See that this image that I have got about myself has no substance. It
is nothing solid, though it is seemingly concretized. You can never grasp hold
of it. Try and grasp hold of a thought! And above all, and this is very important,
it has no independent nature.
thought or image could not even be there if it were not for that intelligence-energy
or presence of awareness. We call it intelligence-energy, awareness, consciousness
or spirit. That is the label we put on it. But the label is not it. We have many
different names or labels for it but none of them really fit. You cannot have
a single thought without that functioning intelligence. So the thought is not
independent and has no power of itself. This is the thing we have been in bondage
to (that erroneous belief in a substantial, independent center or ego). It is
a phantom, something that does not exist. All it takes is an investigation into
what is being pointed out. See it for yourself by questioning and having a look.
Have a look into it and see if anything can be found there that has any substance
or independent nature. And it is realized that it is not going to take 20 years,
10 years or 5 years. It's not going to take any time at all. Seeing is right now.
It is immediate. It always has been immediate and always will be. Purely and simply
because it is timeless.
that the search itself is a trap, because the search implies that there is an
entity needing to become something. And becoming implies some future time. It
is not being. Becoming can never be being. What we are talking about is being.
We call ourselves 'human beings' and we call God the 'Supreme Being'. Take those
two labels off (human and Supreme) and try to separate the beingness. I might
call this being here Bob, and that being there I might call Joan. The chair we
are sitting on we call a chair. But take away all those labels and what's left?
The substratum or the base, the beingness, the pattern and form they are taking
the shape of or appearing as. But the pattern and form are appearance only. Their
essence is still that energy (pure being) vibrating into those patterns. So there
is really nowhere to go and there is no one to go there. And there is nothing
to get and no one to get it.
you look at that, the first question that will come up is 'Well, how do I live
my life?' You live your life the same way you have always lived it. If you see
that there is no 'me' here with any substance or independent nature now, when
could there ever have been one? You see it has got no substance or independent
nature now. The thing we believed in for so long, could that ever have had any
substance or independent nature?
you can go back again to the sperm and the ovum. You can go back before that to
the essence of the food of your father and the essence of the food of your mother.
You can go back to the thing that that essence of food lived on before that. You
can see that it has no beginning. That sperm and ovum came together. The cell
doubled and redoubled and grew this little embryo and little fetus and little
child. There was no entity doing any of that. There was no entity when it was
born and took its first breath. There was no entity as such before the reasoning
came on. And when the reasoning came on, there could still be no entity. If you
look at it and see it is a fiction now, it must have been a fiction then.
see, life has been lived. It is that presence-awareness expressing through these
patterns of energy. They are that presence-awareness, in essence, in all its diversity.
In each and every one of our lives, there has been no one who has ever lived a
life. Life is living and expressing itself as itself. It might seemingly take
us away in expression into that erroneous belief. But just as easily as it got
us into it, again it can take us out of it by seeing it was a false belief. We
are mistaking the shadow for the substance or the essence, whatever you like to
call it. And that is basically what it is all about.
of that erroneous belief (in a 'me') there is this so-called human suffering.
It is only a 'me' that can be fearful. It is only a 'me' that can be anxious.
It is only this 'me' that can be angry or full of self-pity or anxiety or stressed
out. The constant belief in that builds it up and snowballs it until it seemingly
becomes overwhelming. But it is not necessary for that suffering to be there.
See that the 'me' is the cause of all my problems. The effects are the stress,
the anxiety, the fear, the self-pity, the remorse, the guilt, the shame. And we
try for years to overcome them, to do something about them, to get rid of them
some way or another. But if you just realize that the cause is a fictionand
there cannot be an effect without a causethen the energy of belief can no
longer go into it as being real or having any substance or any independent nature.
If all of this manifestation is energy and the energy is no longer going into
some pattern, what must happen to the pattern? Must not the pattern drop off by
experience here is that this is so. I
was in those self-centered, emotional, psychological fears, anxieties and stresses.
But today, and for quite some time now, quite a few years, they haven't been there.
That doesn't mean to say that I am an emotionless, thoughtless zombie. It means
to say that all the activity, the functioning still goes onthe seeing, the
hearing, the tasting, the touching, the smelling, the thinking, the feeling, the
positive and negative thoughts functioning in all their opposites. Emotions and
things are there, but they are not fixated on. They don't hang around. They come
up, play their part and disappear, just like the cloud is not attached to the
sky. The cloud comes into the sky, plays its part and disappears. The cloud not
attached to the sky, the sun can never fall out of the sky. It is always and ever
self-shining. And you realize that the sun itself causes the cloud, and the sun
itself blows the cloud away. So you see that these thoughts coming up are nothing
but the activity of that intelligence-energy. They are not attached anywhere.
Knowing the truth about them, they'll move on. Life continues to function without
that self-centered activity.