Let’s listen now to a meeting from 11th January, 1981.
Questioner (Q.): At times when he is in duality consciousness, you know, consciousness moving, and when he is being an actor in worldly affairs, in those times, does the unity consciousness still remain, or is that somehow . . .you know . . . . is there both unity consciousness and the moving duality consciousness, can he feel them both when he is being an active agent in the world?
Maharaj (M.): Whatever activities are happening they are of the unmanifest, activities of the unmanifest, unmanifested. It is not an activity of an individual. unmanifested though that question arises. It is only one. Unmanifested is the only reality. All activity is, happens because of that. There is no duality at all.
One who thinks he is a body and mind, he thinks he is being active, but one who has merged with the consciousness, there is no personality present. A jani is one who has transcended consciousness also. That is the unmanifest principle. Having the availability of consciousness.
So a Jani who is self-realized, is the unmanifest speaking or acting, or actions or talking happening, through the consciousness which is available. It is a spontaneous happening.
The self-realized is having the total consciousness. The total consciousness is there. The self-realized does not identify with the body and mind. The body also, your body, can you show yourself somewhere? This is you?
Q. No. I know the self-realized does not identify himself with the mind and body and their activities. But there are times when he is aware of the activities of the mind and body. He doesn’t identify with them but he is aware of them happening.
M. Nothing happens.
Q. But when the self-realized is witnessing something or other is the self-realized also aware of the unity consciousness as well as witnessing?
M. Everything is observed in that unity consciousness only. Consciousness is always unity. What you are calling this duality consciousness – I am the body, I am the mind, that is what you are referring to as duality consciousness?
M. Just as you cannot find a goat in a goat that is cut. You cannot find out a goat inside a goat.
Q. Yes, I understand that.
M. Similarly, can you find out myself in this? Can I locate you in that one? What are you? What is a sample? Produce a sample that you are?
Q. I understand that there is no knowing consciousness, is there also no knowing awareness because knowing is a duality thing. Is it true that there is also no intuitive awareness? Awareness is a higher thing than knowing so there is no knowing of consciousness because knowing is a duality thing?
M. When the consciousness is there, first you know you are. It is the beginning of knowing. First of all awareness does not know itself. Awareness by itself . .
Q. Is awareness aware of itself?
Q. It’s not.
M. No. Awareness by itself does not know itself. When consciousness appears then the witnessing of the consciousness happens through awareness. If our consciousness is not, our consciousness does not know awareness. So consciousness is knowing “I am”. It is like an advertisement, an announcement, I am. The word “I am” is not you. Suppose you are saying “I am”, I am the one who is discovering about you, you are something different. It is not you. You are boasting inside you. Before saying “I am” you have the feeling of “I am”. Before you say I am, you have the feeling I am. You know you are.
Q. That feeling, is that a form of knowledge or a form of awareness?
M. Yes, you see that feeling when it completely subsides into nothingness that I amness, that feeling of I amness, and then no feeling. That is over.
Q. May I ask: so consciousness comes into awareness.
M. Of course, everything is in awareness.
Q. Yeah, okay. First there was awareness, then consciousness.
Translator: He wants you to talk. At the same time he wants you to talk at a very high level.
Q. I do not know if that question is low level or high level.
M. Either way you have to face the music.
Knowingness is consciousness, that I amness. That I amness is a product of or objective to the body.
This is the instrument that says I am, an instrument of awareness. This is like an announcer and for an announcer you have to have this instrument, a psycho-somatic instrument. Awareness is the energy or that which provides the energy.
You see now presently you are starting from the body-mind level. You are a person deeply entrenched in body-mind. You think that you are a human being. Your identity is limited to the body and whatever concepts you are continuously collecting up to now. That is your present identity.
Now when you start the spiritual course, you reject, I am the body, you reject, I am the concepts and you come to this “I am” only. When you think that “I am” only without words also, just the feeling of I am. You have discarded the body and conscious. At that level you are everything. You are not confined into this body also. Because of that feeling “I am”, the moment that feeling “I am” is there, everything is. The world is. If the “I am” is not, the world is not. I am and the world, simultaneously they appear. Therefore your “I am” is totally that world. That is that unity or unicity. When you discard your identity that you are the body and mind but you are only being that is that unity consciousness.
Understand it thoroughly.
Now would you like to feel that unicity consciousness without the body and mind or would you like to get yourself entrenched in the body and mind and become burdened?
This is the basic principle. So I am telling you again and again, understand only this. Don’t try and collect more concepts. Understand this, assimilate this and be this. Be that total unicity consciousness. Then all further things will spontaneously happen.
Give up your idea, that identity that you are the body and mind. Try to stabilize in a situation from where you can observe your body and mind.
Listen to this only, understand this. This is the basic of philosophy of spirituality. Master it, be that. Then you need not come again.
Normally nobody is open to this aspect of spirituality. This is the most important aspect. Whatever I am giving you hold on to that, be that and the rest will be taken care of spontaneously.
Does this talk make an impact, impression on you?
Q. Yes, I think it over and then I see immediately the difficulties that arise. I try to meditate this week and soon as you meditate it is more difficult than it used to be. It is very difficult to stay in “I am” only and disregard all the concepts.
M. Don’t try to struggle and try to be that. It is as simple as looking at the flowers and to say “I am not the flowers.” I see the flowers. I am not the flowers. I am here the flowers are there. Like that, be yourself and don’t be the body and mind. You are not the body and mind. I am not the body and mind.
Having received this knowledge, important knowledge, I will not allow you to sit or hang on for longer periods because this will be obliterated.
Having got this, either accept this as the truth, the royal process for spirituality, or throw it out and go to somebody else and collect further ideas and concepts about spirituality.
Enjoy the logic and tricks of this spiritual course. Here he said, “you know you’re not the flowers.” It is as simple as that. Later on, since you are involved with the body mind, apply the same logic. Try to observe the body and mind and understand that you are not the body and mind.
Next question is: identifying body and mind, you are not trying to push it out but by understanding you stabilize in a position prior to body. Physically you are not doing anything, just to understand and be at the higher position.
Now next, by doing this step you are the consciousness. Having rejected body and mind you are the consciousness, that total consciousness.
Now the next stage is, you have to understand that this consciousness is due to body. Because of this instrument of body that feeling of consciousness is there and “I” as absolute cannot be that consciousness.
So again try to observe the consciousness as you observe the flowers, in that state, still you have to feel as in the first lesson. Having become the total consciousness or having realized that I am the total consciousness, the next step is to observe the consciousness and all the play happening in the consciousness. Just to understand, it is a critical stage because at the advent of the body and to the consciousness the outcome to the body it is very strong. So to get rid of that or to understand that you are not the consciousness, the product of the body. But that is the next step.
Is it clear?
Q. Yes I understand it.
M. Have you thoroughly understood enough?
Q. Yes I understand and at times when I am living quietly it is relatively easy to witness what is happening in the mind and happening . . .
M. Have you understood it thoroughly? Just say yes or no.
Q. Yes. It is a difficult stage. It is difficult to remain a witness to everything that is happening in the mind, in the heart, in the memory, all those things. We know quite well we are not those things. Our identity isn’t with those formations.
M. What is more important is the witness not whatever is witnessed. You need not keep an inventory of all that you have witnessed. There is no question of noting down in your memory because that is a wrong step again. You employ the memory belonging to the mind to note down everything. That is not important. The focus of the attention must be on the witness that you are.
Q. The difficulty is keeping the attention on witnessing because involvement in other things is very strong like Maharaj just said.
M. The moment you are caught up in the current of mind, be again back into the witnessing, back into the witnessing.
Q. There are many times when it is difficult to return to the witness.
M. Yes it is not easy that is why there are very few self-realized persons. Had it been easy there would be any number of self-realized persons. It is difficult.
Q. I’m not complaining that it is difficult. I’m saying that even though we know . . .
M. The difficulty, he is not going to solve. Everybody knows.
Only this much and no further will be given or elucidated by Maharaj. That’s all. It is the limit of communication. Further, you have to fend for yourself.
I have no form. I have no identity and exactly I also see you as my self. You are my self only, without form and without identity.
So wrongly you strayed into this place by mistake, you stumbled into this place. Now you are compelled to listen to this talk. So collect all the talk and use it and don’t come again. If you think it is good, use it. Otherwise throw it out.
-From a talk given on January 11, 1981
This is the audio recording from which the above extract is taken: Nisargadatta Maharaj, Jan. 11, 1981