Who Lives Really? – Atmananda

9th January 1951

We generally say that every man lives. If the term ‘man’ refers to the changeless ‘I’- principle (and it cannot refer to anything else), we are guilty of a contradiction in terms. The changeless ‘I’-principle can never undergo such changes as birth and death.

Don’t we speak of ‘my past life’ and ‘my future life’? It is clear from these that the ‘I’-principle is beyond birth and death. For in these statements, we imply that the ‘I’- principle is present before birth and after death. How then can birth and death pertain to the ‘I’-principle?

Therefore, the real ‘I’-principle alone lives. The ignorant man believes that either the body or the mind lives, while in fact each of them dies at the end of every perception or thought. But the ‘I’-principle continues unchanged through all thoughts and perceptions, lighting them up as well.

Therefore, the ignorant man who identifies himself with body and mind is dying every moment, along with every perception or thought. And the Jnyanin, who identifies himself with the changeless ‘I’-principle, alone really lives and knows no death.

The body idea or the ego has to die, in order that you may really live. In this sense, it is the Jnyanin alone that really lives, and knows he lives. His advice to every man is: ‘Die, in order to live.’ In other words, annihilate the personal element, or ego, in order that the impersonal element may not appear shrouded. This is realization – establishing oneself in the Reality.

-Shri Atmananda (Krishna Menon)

From Notes on Spiritual Discourses of Shri Atmananda, Taken by Nitya Tripta

The book can be purchased from Stillness Speaks.

For more posts on Atmananda see the Atmananda Category.

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