NMT, No-Me Teaching 4

Note on true Happiness:

Happiness is felt, experienced, sourced & “contained” in the very heart of the conscious Mind. Happiness is in no way connected [affecting or deriving from] any external Object, but only in & from ourselves.  We, as Consciousness, are the One that experiences Happiness.  Though we seem to derive Happiness from external objects or experiences, the Happiness that we actually experience derives from Consciousness at the core of our Being.  Desire for Happiness, fear concerning its diminution or absence, such “thought–waves” or vrittis leave the Mind troubled & unhappy.  But “beneath” the superficial Mind, Consciousness ever remains peaceful & happy.

Agitation [rajas guna] in the Mind obscures [tamas guna] innate Happiness in the center of our Being.

Upon temporary satisfaction of obscuring desires, some temporary subsidence of such vrittis in the Mind is felt as “partial happiness” – all to the extent & for that interval consistent with the degree & continuance of subsidence.

That “partial happiness” is a “whiff” of the limitless innate Happiness that is Consciousness.  Sri Shankara, & before him the Buddha, among many sages from various traditions, delineated some details of this illusion of unhappiness.  Buddha’s 4 Noble Truths concerning the nature of Happiness could be roughly summarized as follows:

Life is of the nature of Suffering.

Suffering arises from Desire.

Desirelessness is Liberation.

Spiritual practice [as in his 8–fold Path ] is the way to Desirelessness & Liberation.

Further interpretive intuition implicit in the instructions of the Buddha could be extended thus:

Not getting what you want is Suffering.

Getting what you don’t want is Suffering.

Even getting what you want is Suffering, because deep down you know that the temporary enjoyment is fleeting & will slip away, so that future loss is already intuited & is already painful.

Sri Shankara contribute additional insights amid his thorough discussion of the nature of Happiness:

That an external object cannot produce Happiness is suggested by the fact that its enjoyment is less or even absent at certain other times & by certain other people.

Furthermore, increasing access to the supposed “happiness–producing” [such as having twice as much, etc.] does not increase the enjoyment proportionally, & sometime not at all.  Even reversal to aversion to excess of the imagined “happiness–source” can be the case.

Further, Happiness is not within the Mind.  Mental replay or memory of the supposed “happiness–producing” experience may be slightly enjoyable, but never to full extent of the immediate experience.  The Mind cannot fully [or at all] replicate a happy experience, thus possibly leading the former illusion of attributing the Happiness to an external Object.

In fact, it is removal of obscuring mental waves [vrittis], as mentioned above, that allows some glimmer, little or great portion of innate Happiness to shine through. Full & lasting Happiness, Liberation arises from transcendence of the Mind & naturally complete Renunciation regarding unreal external objects.

Generally, disturbance in the Mind obscures the calm Peace of the Self, which is Pure Consciousness.

To enjoy full & lasting Happiness, we need only return, consciously to the Mind-transcendence naturally but unconsciously experienced on a daily basis in Deep Dreamless Sleep.

more Container Space analogies:

Just as Ego is the Reference “Origin” for thought & Mind, so is Now such for Time, Here for Space, & the Body for the World.  Each is in fact another form of Ego [my self]: my Now time, my place Here, my Body.

Thoughts or pieces of an Image, a Sound, any Sensation or Thoughtform can be compared [within the analogy] to Coordinate Points within an appropriate Cartesian Container Coordinate Space, all defined with reference to their respective Origins.  So 2-D locations on the TV/Cinema/VisualScreen of the Mind are referenced to the Origin of Central Focus or mental “Here” of the TV/Cinema Image Screen .  More proper 3-D locations in “Physical” [perceived that way] Space are referenced to the Origin of Physical Here.

Thoughts, on the other hand, are referenced in Mind to the EgoI or Me Origin.  The 1-D Linear Thoughtflow & Soundsequence are referenced, just as is Time itself  to the Origin of the Now Moment.  The 3-D Tactile & Visually Scanned World of Objects in Physical Space could be said to have one’s Body as the “Origin” which in this case is not an infinitesimal 0-D Coordinate Point like the other Origins.

In each case the premiere Sense Modality for each Coordinate Space analogy could begin with Hearing for the sequence of Sound, & by extension to the Flow of Time & of Thought. That Sense-association is of course “tight” for Sound Sequence even though some 3-D echo-location occurs as well, especially for bats, dolphins, etc.  The extension of this same Acoustic  Sense Modality to Thought & Time is by analogy.

For the 2-D “Screen” & 3-D Space, Vision predominates.  Tactile Sense comes in as well for the 3-D Container Coordinate Space of the World of Objects.  Each “great empty space” is perceived primarily by 1 or 2 Senses.

1-D:  Time, thought-flow, sound sequence                                                         Hearing

2-D  “Window / Windshield” of the visualizing Mind                              Vision

3-D   World of Objects                                                                                    Tactile

In another vein, the various Coordinate Space analogies correspond to “classical elements” of phases of Matter.  Certainly Space is space & the World is space but also the solid earth.  “Airy” Time, Sound, & Thought-flow then “belong” to the gas phase.  To posit a 0-D thinking & imagining Mind with memory, etc. could by a stretch be connected to the Olfactory & Gustatory Senses where things may stink or taster sweet.

Mind of course includes Time, Space, & the World.  But specifically focusing on Mind itself as one of the Container-Spaces, ever with Thoughts as the Coordinate Points & the EgoI or Me as there reference Origin, models for Mind appear in 5 different dimensional aspects:

0-D for the core [false] Ego Identity, Me

1-D for the sequence of Thought

2-D for the visual screen of the Mind

3-D for the theater of the Mind

4-D for lifetime identity Personality, born, growing, dying in Waking State Time

The 1-D Space of Time overlaps somewhat with the Mind’s 1-D for the sequence of Thought, with Moments for the points on the Timeline with Now another Origin along with Ego.  Sound & other Sequences compare as well, with Auditory Sense most aligned with this 1-D as in the chart up above. Almost by default Olfactory & Gustatory Senses matched up with 0-D, in some vague way.  Olfactory especially aligns a bit with Ego, or at least the Limbic System in terms of fear & other Emotions.

Vision as been lined up internally with the 2-D Screen of the Mind & also 3-D via Perspective & internally in the Theater-Stage of the Mind.  But 3-D properly belongs to Tactile [somato-sensory Somesthetic, Proprioception,  Nociception, Haptic-touch including lateral motion, pressure, enclosure. contour following] & Vestibular-balance. Yet even Tactile Senses, like Vision creates 3-D one dimension at a time.  Using 1-D Time-sense we instinctively measure a visual scan or a feeling by how long it takes in context, all things considered. This gives us the 1-D of Length as a Perceptual Concept. In some orthogonal sense [generalized “perpendicular”], another Dimension is simultaneously “calculated” as Width & “multiplied so to speak ” by Length to yield 2-D “Area” or general “expanse”. Again in another orthogonal sense a 3rd Dimension is likewise “calculated” as Depth & “multiplied” again to fill 2-D “expanse” out into tangible “volume” or Mass.  In this way Tactile & Visual Sense , create a 3-D World or ant given Object, one Dimension at a time, quick enough to seem simultaneous.

So the chart op above loosely links the Senses with big-category concepts/mental-projections.  From there the ancient “elements” or phases are, by serendipity, loosely matched to both Senses & characteristic Dimensions, to some degree.  Even Fractal Dimensions can be worked into the Concept scheme.  For one example, a 2-D sketch could contain edges & outlines.  Some 2 ½  Dimension could indicate the shading & texture suggestive of 3-D.  Likewise, 4-D Space-Time has with Here & Now at (0,0,0,0) Origin.

So again, the World fills Space with Objects, etc. as points with an extended Macro-Origin reference as the Body. While Hearing naturally parallels Time in Sound & Music, all being mostly 1-D, Vision naturally scans 2-D Screens suggestive of 3-D Space. These Sense Perceptions along with Tactile, etc. Senses concretize a World. While the Body is an extended or Macro-Origin reference Origin for the coordinate space of the World, that same Body can be a Micro-Space in itself, with it own smaller Macro-Origin as perhaps the Brain. The Body-skin marks the insideoutside boundary in the World

All of this imaginative association serves only to reduce the “magical” function of the Mind to a repeated pattern of simple Ideas. To flesh out additional detail [among a number of imagined others] of these Container Coordinate Spaces, we can see the Body as a small Micro-Container-Space in itself.  The boundaries of a Micro-Container-Space constitute the line dividing Inner from Outer, in that latter case between the physically inner Me & the Outer World.  A Micro-Container-Space in 3-D Physical Space might be one’s Vicinity, in 1-D Time it might be one’s Lifetime.  A Micro-Container-Space around a 2-D map of Mind’s thought or a 3-D or 4-D Space-Time of such thoughts could be the Personality enclosing Ideas close around the EgoOrigin.

Back in the 3-D or 4-D World of Objects, where the Body, a Micro-Container-Space in itself, serves as the best practical Macro-Origin for Objects outside that Body. Similarly, the Lifetime Micro-Container-Space could be a Macro-Origin for a longer scale of Time, just as the Vicinity Micro-Container-Space could be a Macro-Origin for a larger scales of  Distance.  The infinitesimal Now & Here Origins still serve as Origins within the Time & Vicinity Micro-Container-Spaces. If pressed for a “more infinitesimal” Origin within the Body Micro-Container-Space, which alone best serves as a Macro-Origin for the World of objects, then such a more “inner” Origin might be the Brain within the Body, or the Cortex, neither completely infinitesimal, but still rather discrete. Each Macro-Origin/ Micro-Space is the same kind of “local neighborhood” in each case. Body Planet Star system Galaxy Galaxy Groups etc. are successively larger Macro-Origin/ Micro-Spaces or “local neighborhoods”.

Mathematical categories & curiosities aside, the point of these simplistic models is to suggest that Mind, Time, Space, & the World are not objective “givens” with fixed qualities.   Different people experience these differently, & each of us also does so differently at different times.  However modeled, or not, these big-category concepts are mental projections, not fixed realities. The Coordinate Space models suggest that the same old “space with a center” Idea is repeated over & over again for Mind, Time, Space, & the World.  More importantly, these represent the net of Illusion that distracts us from recognition of our core Identity, the Non-Dual Brahman, the Self of Absolute Existence, pure Non-Dual Consciousness, & complete Happiness, Love, Bliss, Peace, & Liberation.

Moreover, the establishment of a Reference-Origin is a coalescence of an Ego or pseudo–Ego like Now, Here, the Body.  Given the  Ego or pseudo–Ego, a “world” appears, a “world” of Mind, Time, Space, Lost in the Mis-identification of Ego & Superimposition of a “world” is one’s True Nature: including Happiness.  Mis-identifying Happiness, one fails to “do the right thing” due to chasing the wrong target. There results a World gone wrong where we need to “save the world”, starting by recognizing the various forms of Ego & the loss of Happiness.


NMT, No-Me Teaching 3

Master Nome quote regarding Happiness:

The Self is in truth, perfectly full of Bliss.  The imperturbable Peace, the ineffable & complete Happiness, quite beyond any sensation or mode of Mind, pervaded by a silent Knowledge of eternal, uncreated Perfection is known as “Bliss”, Ananda.  To realize this Bliss as it is, one should comprehend

the nature of Happiness, examining it in 3 ways; desire, experience, & the source.  By knowledge of desire one attains recognition of the basis underlying all desires, all hopes, & all seeking in all kinds of experience, be such physical, subtle, or mental. With this recognition, one uses that powerful current, in an undiffused manner, to abide as the Self.  This recognition causes one to become one pointed in the quest of the Self.  By Knowledge of experience, one attains Liberation the experience of Happiness from the delusion of limitation of it by form & the ability to experience Bliss directly without delay. One must merge with That which Bliss itself, free of duality, for if the experience of Happiness is to be full, it must endure, &, if it is to endure, one must become One with it.  By Knowledge of the source of  Happiness, one becomes, & remains, completely detached.  Detachment is itself, free & blissful.  By such knowledge, one is liberated from the external, the inconsequential, & the unreal, & one comprehends the reason to inquire into the Self.

The desire for Happiness comes from deep within.  It is an intuition that Bliss is one’s natural state. This Bliss includes Peace with no bondage, & perfection with nothing incomplete.  The source of the desire is not from external phenomena of any kind.  It is not from objects, circumstances, other beings, & such. There is, therefore nothing alluring.  The source of the desire, itself is not a bodily; sensation.  It is not particular thoughts, though particular thoughts constituting images in the Mind may appear by which the desire manifests.  The desire itself is simply the urge from within to be in the natural state of limitless Bliss.  The intensity of the desire is continually surging forth. It cannot be subdued, & the attempt to do so would merely be an unsuccessful one.  It can be fulfilled by Self-Realization, which is abidance as Bliss itself.  Bliss is of the very nature of the Self & the Self is truly without any desire.  When the Self is not known & by delusion, the first suffering becomes possible, & when with the appearance of an “I”, the natural seems lost, that very Bliss of the Self manifests as the intuition of one’s natural, true state, & this appears as the desire for Happiness.

The experience of Happiness should be comprehended in Wisdom so that one does not superimpose what is not actually the experience of Happiness upon it.  The joy felt anywhere, ever, is the shining of the Self.  Yet, in Ignorance, such is accompanied by superimposition of inert, unreal forms upon the experience.  When the experience is accompanied by the Delusion of imposition of forms, it appears as if momentary, limited, & dependent.  When the experience is without such delusion, the Self itself shines as vast, unlimited Bliss, which is self-existent.

Happiness is always a subjective experience in which the Ego diminishes along with its attendant notions.  Thus because it destroys the Ego & those notions by the revelation of their unreality, leaving, the ultimate subject unconcealed, Self-Inquiry to know the Self yields the most profound Happiness. To set the experience of Happiness, free of limitation, the experiencer must be free of limitation, that is, free of misidentification with form.  Then, one abides in infinite, unending, intense Bliss, which is so intense that even the memory of Suffering & sorrow is erased.  All the superimposed forms are of a sensory or mental character.  The experience of happiness is not a sensation. such as seeing, hearing, etc.  It is not a thought or a collection of thoughts. Happiness is of a formless nature, shining at the same depth from which the desire springs, at the very source of Happiness itself.

The source of the desire & the source of the experience of Happiness are one & the same.  That source is within.  Unrealized, the source manifests as the desire. Realized, that source shines as Bliss itself.   Realization means Knowledge.  Knowledge is direct experience of the Self.  Such is Abidance at as, the very Source of Happiness.  The Self is the Source of Happiness.  Nothing else is the Source.

The Self is Bliss.  The experience of it is determined by Knowledge.  No other factors are involved. Seeing this is the dawn of Knowledge. To conceive otherwise is delusion.  Objects, circumstances & events, sensations, & time are not factors determining the desire, the source, & the experience of Happiness.  The Self, which is alone the Source, is always present.  Self-Knowledge is the sole factor determining Bliss.

Therefore, the search for Happiness is actually a search for the Self.  The Self is the source of Happiness, the “place” in which Happiness occurs, & the nature of the experience of Happiness.  The Self is always present.  Self-Knowledge is its revelation & not its creation.  The Knowledge of the Self is the blissful Knowledge of Reality.  Bliss is Being, which is ever-existent, as Existence itself can never cease to exist.  Bliss is, therefore, always present, & all that is required is to know its existence within Oneself.  All that is required for permanent, profound Happiness is to know the nature of Being.

More will be offered on the Container Coordinate Space analogies, but for the moment consider the following: [To play the “devil’s advocate” for a moment, one might ask [for lack of paying attention]: “what’s with all this ‘graph’ stuff, what does that have to do with the No-Me Teaching of Non-Duality ?”]

The point is to offer one of a number analogies to drive home the relationship between the Ego-Reference & all thoughts, including those of the World, etc.  Any thought & specifically any part of the World must seem to “be” for someone, must be “in relation to” someone, some Individual, some Ego. Subject & Object are connected, the relationship is “built in”.  If a “graph” or any other device can help anyone’s [& not necessarily everyone’s ] intuition regarding this vital understanding, then the effort is worthwhile.

NMT, No-Me Teaching 2

(some of) Master Nome’s Teaching about the Nature of Happiness –  [actual quotes are so indicated] True Knowledge is described in a number or ways. In one sense, True Knowledge is certainly regarding the real “place”, the real Nature of Happiness. Seeing  Suffering in Life, we naturally want to remove Suffering forever. Looking deeply, we see that the World does not, will not, & cannot deliver relief from Suffering & consequent Happiness.  Sense experiences do not suffice [for pleasure perhaps, but not for Happiness].  Mental emotions & moods likewise fail to secure Happiness.  Freedom from desire is more on track, as is freedom from the Ignorance out of which Suffering arises. Any accidental pause in Suffering is short-lived & insufficient so long as we fail to understand how such a reprieve came about, & how such can be repeated & continued.

Spiritual Bliss & Peace alone is lasting & anything less is only a lesser, short-lived, & accidental taste of real Happiness., True Knowledge alone is the permanent source of Happiness.

Noticing that Happiness is the one true motivation in Life leads to a life guided by that one motive, guided in one direction, That one direction lies “within”, seeking Self-Knowledge by Self-Inquiry. In one form, such is an Inquiry into Bliss, a determination about Happiness that becomes an inquiry into “Being-Consciousness-Bliss, because Being-Consciousness-Bliss is the nature of the one Reality, the one Self.” This connection between Happiness & Self-Knowledge constitutes the motivation for Self-Inquiry. Again, in terms of Happiness, this “one motivation behind all kinds of searching” entails becoming detached from worldly pursuits & desires with resulting “access to the inner source of Happiness.”

(some) informal summary notes about the Nature of Happiness –  Philosophers struggle to define Happiness in terms of “well-being”, “positive feeling tone”, achievement of one’s “well informed’ (relatively wise) desires, & so on. The “Oracle” in The Matrix did a better job if we could borrow her hint about “being the One.” She said it’s like falling in Love. No one has to tell you (no one could tell you, nor deny your claim). You just know it (directly) “through & through”.

In the context of Non-Duality, the Sages tell us that Happiness is our Real Nature, as one sense of Ananda in Sat–Chit–Ananda, Existence-Consciousness-Bliss.  For the same reason that we seek Self-Knowledge, seek to know our own Identity, we likewise seek Happiness, which is our Identity.  Cessation of Existence is inconceivable, so that those who identify with a Body will fear Death.  Enlightened or Ignorant, either way, such cessation of Existence is unacceptable because we intuit that this would bring an end to Happiness.

Self-Knowledge & thus true & lasting Happiness are gained by the removal of Ignorance as to our own Identity.  So to inquire: Who am I ? & to subjectively find the “Inquirer” to be the answer, to be that pure Existence & Happiness.  This alone is the final & lasting solution to our unending search for Happiness.

When I breathe, turn left or right, think this thought or another, all is done to increase Happiness or to decrease the loss of Happiness, for this is the only motive for anything.  Complete Self-Knowledge includes the recognition that as Happiness itself, we can never find it outside, & once realized, we can never lose it.

In the meantime, the very mean, mean, “meantime”, we chase external objects of desire in a Waking–DreamWorld.  When partial Happiness is apparently attained for the moment, that anxiety of the Mind relaxes, & a glimmer of true Happiness is experienced.  But as the Buddha advised, in telling us that the nature of Worldly Life is suffering:

1) to not get what you want is Suffering

2) to get what you don’t want is Suffering

3) to get what you want also includes Suffering because we sense that what appears in Time, with a beginning, will certainly have an end & be lost.

4) whatever the Happiness enjoyed when you get what you want, you still sense that you could have more or better, may have once had more or better, & that “others” already have more or better.

Real Happiness never ends & has never left us, even if only dimly appearing as the “reference background” by which we “measure” lesser Happiness. We always know just how happy we are, or are not.  We often know the same about others.  Ever we “measure” against that “reference background” of perfect Happiness which is our own True Nature, the unwavering Reality of Happiness which is our very Existence.


NMT, No-Me Teaching

No–Me Teaching

[in brief “No-Me Teaching” is primarily the Teaching of Nome, that is Master Nome. a no-physical-contact direct Disciple of Sri Ramana Maharshi in the Non-Duality no-physical-contact lineage Sri Dakshinamurti, Sri Ribhu, & Sri Shankara]

Preface – As just implied by “primarily”, lesser additions by the author include analogies, side-notes & a secondary “dream” mission of “saving the World.”  Advaita Vedanta, the Teaching of Non-Duality, posits a Dream–status for the “”World” so that “saving” it is to be understood within that stipulation.  So long as a “World” is experienced, then “doing the right thing”[1] is included among the better strategies for awakening from the Waking State Dream staged in that World.  “Saving” that World to what ever degree possible, taking however long, remains of way of “doing the right thing.”  Despite the “primarily” part, we start off with one of those author–analogies to explain some of the emphasis on the “no-me” part, & emphasis on the Waking State Dream character of the World, & then only after some explanation of “saving the World.”

Saving the World – After the immediately following Container Concept analogy (in partial explanation of the “no-me” part), there follows the briefest beginning of Master Nome’s “no-me” Teaching.  But first we notes some ground-breaking on his also–ongoing topic of the nature of Happiness. The short of it is that every breath we take, every turn, Right or Left, every thought & action has for its reason some incremental increase in Happiness (or move that way) or decrease / prevention of un-happiness. Because (as Nome’s Teaching continues to explain throughout) the nature of Happiness is misunderstood, “doing the right thing” (on many levels) often does not occur. The “good” that is done by “good people” is unconsciously on-target, a possibility because everyone is in essence, Divine.  Oversimplified, “saving the World” entails (as much as possible) inculcating. more widely, a better understanding of the nature of Happiness, along with encouragement & techniques for “doing the right thing” & more importantly complete Enlightenment, Awakening, Liberation, Self-Realization, or God-Realization (nirvana, moksha, etc.).

The Graph’s particular 2-D Space is also the TV or Cinema Screen, the Visual Screen of Image in the Mind (or on computer) [with 3-D suggested by perspective as in a drawing]. This one same empty expanse is the Container Space for all the big-category concepts & is repeated for each one.  Empty Space is like empty Time or empty Mind, all just thought, & essentially the same thought.  We’re just not used to recognizing that similarity because we project Space & Time to be more than the thought of them. We project them to be objective realities “on the outside”.

Container Concept –  “Empty graph paper” represents is the Cartesian Container–Coordinate–Space, the core constituent sub-concept of our analogy.  [Descartes’ Graph reflected that sense of a “Space” with the grid from fishnets & later Greek geodesy (latitude–longitude).]  The 2-D [2] school-days “graph”, generalized to a limitless 2-D Space, models the 2-D “Visual Screen” of Image in the Mind, our window or windshield through which we look out in Perception or Imagination. We essentially duplicate the same is as artwork, the Cinema Screen, or TV, & later the computer monitor.

Perspective allows suggestion of 3-D which itself can be actualized in solid for or hologram in Space (or in a computer program), but present issue is well illustrated for 2-D & can be generalized for 3-D, 4-D, 1-D, & 0-D. That “issue” is the relationship between (x,y) Coordinate Points throughout the Container Space & the Reference Origin (0,0) at the “center” of the graph, at the crossing of the measuring Axes.

Taking the 2-D “Visual Screen” of the Mind for one example, we note that each location on that Screen, each (x,y) Coordinate Point in that Container Space is referenced, measured, defined in relation to that Reference Origin (0,0).  In any given Container Coordinate Space of Mind (any dimension) with Thoughts represented as Coordinate Points, the defining Reference Origin (0,0) represents the Ego–”I” or “Me”. Thoughts include Concepts & Percepts, with Percepts being all we can “swear to” regarding a World.  We may presume that Percepts correspond to real Objects in a World, but we can never know that for sure, or not. In fact, those Enlightened Sages, with access to greater Knowledge, assure us that in fact no real objective World corresponds to those Percepts.  In either case, all we “know” about the World, via those thought Percepts, is “known” only in relation to the Ego–”I” or “Me” Reference Origin.  Something is left or right, big or small, near or far, good or bad, & so on, only in relation to “Me”.

Try to visualize a “chair” or any given object from “no perspective” whatsoever, in relation to no Reference Origin at all.  Impossible !  We might entertain some vague “aerial” – oblique view, but it must be some viewpoint or another.  Likewise, all seeming known Objects & Thoughts “contain” nested within the Concept or Percept, the Ego–”I” or “Me” Reference Origin.

Again, in brief, we must say that there is no “real” objective World corresponding to the Waking Dream impression of such.  This is so, as will be show throughout this No-Me work, that because there is no “Me” there is no “real” objective World corresponding to the Waking Dream impression of such.



Defining Non-Duality pt 1

Master Nome defining Non-Duality in Shankara’s system

The basic premise of Non-Duality is that the Absolute exists & that the Absolute is identical with oneself.  Therefore, Self-Knowledge is equated with the Realization of the Absolute.  The basic premise of spiritual practice is that one knows that the Absolute exists & that realizing it is of utmost importance. This realization is Self-Realization. What is needed for this Self-Knowledge, or Realization, is the relinquishment of the assumptions, or concepts, that yield the illusion of Bondage &, thus, Suffering.  Knowledge of one’s real Being as it is yields enduring Freedom & Peace.  The true Self transcends the limitations of any kind of individuality, time, birth & death.  It is impersonal & not confined to any Body or Individual.

One’s approach to one’s spirituality, Meditation, & this Knowledge is of paramount importance, for the approach very much determines the experience.  How one views anything determines how it appears to him.  Clarification of one’s understanding of oneself causes one to arrive at Self-Knowledge.  To know this as so is itself the dawning of knowledge.  Deep Meditation dissolves the Ego, Ignorance, & Bondage of the one who ardently meditates.  Self-Inquiry within oneself to know oneself reveals the true Self to be limitless Consciousness, Absolute Being, & unconditioned Bliss.  This is one’s very Existence.

One should continue meditating on the teachings of Self-Knowledge by the practice of Self-Inquiry until one conclusively realizes the Self & abides without the least trace of Ignorance or Bondage.  Listening, reflection, & deep meditation [shravana, manana nididhyasana] are said to constitute ways of practicing Knowledge.  Inquiring “Who am I ?”, knowing oneself free of  mis-identification, & steady abidance as the Self always are the inner experiences of these.

On the path of Self-Knowledge “Discrimination” signifies ability to discern what is true & also implies the ability to determine the false or unreal from the Real.  By so discerning, or discriminating one pursues Truth to realize it & destroys the dream of Illusion or Ignorance.   Ignorance creates suffering.  What destroys Ignorance reveals blissful Freedom, or Liberation.  Ignorance is destroyed when one discerns that it is, indeed, Ignorance & not the Truth. Ignorance exists & is binding only if one conjures it up & believes it.  If by Discrimination, one discerns the unreality of Ignorance, or its false nature, it no longer binds & simply ceases to exist. In its place is found real Knowledge, which is Knowledge of the Reality itself.  Just as one, wishing to arrive somewhere, needs to 1st know where it is that he wishes to go & how to proceed to there, so, too, one needs to recognize that the place of arrival, which is the highest Truth, the means to arrive, which is Knowledge, & the traveler, which is oneself are all in the same place, of the same nature, & are, indeed, the very same thing.

Regardless of what names are given to the Supreme, regardless of what symbols are used, & what practices are utilized, there are certain views that are assumed around which all these names, etc. revolve.  These understandings, views, or beliefs pertain to the Absolute, the Self, & what is regarded as Real, which in many cases will be the World or worlds.  The great sage, Adi Shankara, for simplicity, observed that one can hold consider 4 views.  One can adhere to an Un-Qualified Duality [UQD] view. This means the sheer God-World Duality of organized, exoteric religion.

On the other hand, one can possess a view of Qualified Duality [QD]. This is a belief in Duality with some exceptions.  Alternately, one may hold a view of Qualified Non-Duality [QND], that is, some Non-Duality while retaining some exceptions with “partial” Non-Duality.

At the highest, one can embrace pure, Un-Qualified Non-Duality [UQND].  The view to which one adheres will determine what kinds of spiritual practices are engaged in & how they are practiced.  These are not only basic views, forming one’s beliefs, determining the manner of practice & the resultant experiences, but also represent degrees of depth, or height, of spiritual experience.  Each succeeding one is more of the Truth, less of the Ego, more of Liberation, less of Bondage, more of Knowledge, & less of unexamined Ignorance.

In one’s spiritual aspiration, one necessarily has a view of what the Absolute is, be it a set of ideas or a result of inner experience.  The deeper the experience, the more the view is transcendent of notions & the more Non-Dual it is.  An Un-Qualified Duality [UQD] view asserts that the Absolute is one thing & oneself another. There is a God, by whatever name called, & there is a separate soul, by whatever name called, & these are regarded as different in every respect.  Though there may be similarities, such as both lasting forever, they are regarded as different as 2 distinct Objects are different (regardless of partial “made in the image” allusions). With such an approach, one practices to establish some relation to the Supreme, the Lord, but there is no union or merger. Even in a heavenly realm, the distinction still persists.

In Duality, the Absolute is viewed as if with all the qualities of a person, but on a grander scale, distinct from all others.  A Qualified Duality [QD] view supposes the Absolute to be one thing & oneself another, but there is some sameness due to relation. The Absolute may be regarded as one’s source, just as a spark has fire as its source, but it is not regarded as the same as the fire itself.  The Absolute may be regarded as something to which one will eventually return, but it is not regarded as the same as one’s own state now or as one’s nature. With such a view, spiritual practice maintains a relation to the Absolute with the knowledge that one was once part of that limitless Being & one may return to it. But, for now, one must seek to deepen one’s relation to that God. The Supreme is viewed as similar to a person, yet on a grander scale, but which has left its mark, spark, or a trace of itself in the individual. With Qualified Duality [QD] as one’s view, spiritual practice again aims at the strengthening of the relation with the Lord, the Supreme, with more or a merger in mind.

The view of Qualified Non-Duality [QND] is that the Absolute is of the same nature as oneself, one’s self being of the same nature as it, though there are distinctions, such as a difference in vastness, steadiness of experience, & such. It is said to be as a glass of water & the ocean. They both are water, the same thing, yet they are not the same in magnitude. One’s understanding can extend to the point of viewing the Absolute as a background of All, or as a substrate of all, as that from which everything arises & to which all will return, & even as that which pervades everyone & everything with a distinction between the pervader & the pervaded.  There can be experience of union, but this will be followed by separation again, though there can be a memory of the union while differentiation resumes. The individual experiencer remains, for whom all else arises, who thinks, who feels, who acts, & such. With the view of Qualified Non-Duality [QND], spiritual practice will be one of attempting merger or union. The Absolute is viewed more impersonally, as a greater intelligence or as some all-pervading presence.

In pure, or Un-Qualified Non-Duality [UQND], the Absolute is the Self, & the Self is the Absolute.  There is no other Absolute & no other self.  They are forever indivisible.  Union is ever the reality, or it may be said there is never a division at any time. All differentiation is regarded as the mis-perception of a Rope to be a Snake; it is purely Ignorance, or imagination, & never Real at anytime.  There is no individuality, & the Ego-death or destruction of that ignorant Ego-assumption, with its concomitant ideas of all else, is by Knowledge.  The practice is one of Knowledge, the prime method of which is Self-inquiry, the finding of the answer within oneself to the introspective Inquiry question, “Who am I ?”

Knowledge, itself is the path, or the means of spiritual practice, & the method of meditation is Self-Inquiry. In Non-Duality, the aim of the reception & absorption of spiritual instruction is the Knowledge of  “That thou art,” as the Upanishad declares.  In Non-Duality, the Absolute is known as Existence itself, or as Consciousness, itself Meditations on the substrate, the background, the all-pervading One, & such are understood as steps & not the final Reality.  Reality, itself, is immutable, forever indivisible, always present, & without–a–2nd or anything other.

The view of oneself may be a collection of mis-identifications, or it may be actual Knowledge of oneself.  The deeper, or higher, the view, the more Non-Dual it will be.  It is Duality when one’s identity, the “self” is regarded as an individual soul encased within a Body.  It will thus be always less than & different from God.  Even alter Death, there will be a soul with another kind of Body. even if it be more subtle.  Because of mis-identification, all the activities of the Mind & Body are regarded as one’s own, & the existence of the Ego is unquestioned.  Yet one dedicates these activities in service to God according to His will, thus attenuating the influence of Egotism.  So goes the progress from Duality to Non-Duality.  [Here we forgo grammatical correction to non-dualism & dualism in favor of the historically more familiar Non-Duality & Duality, favoring the greater impact of these sounds. ]

In Qualified Duality [QD], the self is regarded as an individual soul with a spark of the divine within it. The soul should be guided by that spark.  There is identity will all the activities of the Body & Mind & no real questioning of the existence of the Ego, but the inner divinity can guide these in addition to the will of God in an outer way.

In Qualified Non-Duality [QND], the “self” is regarded as the experiencer. This may be as a sensing entity or as a mental entity.  Even as a sensing entity, the emphasis will still be on the awareness incorporated in the sensory experience, because anything spiritual presumes one is not identifying as a mere Body seeking mere sensory things.  If there is merger, the experiencer remains or returns as the “ongoing reality”’ & the higher experience is regarded as that which comes & goes. The attributes of the Ego may be questioned or released, such as aspects of the Mind or tendencies of thought, but the Ego itself or Individuality, is not actually inquired into.  The Individual is the one who is attempting to combine the higher experiences with the retained belief of a manifest World, which is perceived, or conceived, by a process of mis-identification.

In Qualified pure Non-Duality [UQND], the Self is known to be pure, Formless Being-Consciousness-Bliss, with no Individuality at all, & not defined by a Mind or a Body.  It is not a “self” or a “soul”, but the Non-Dual Self, without limit, definition, or form.  It is the Reality, without coming or going, without Birth or Death.  It is utterly impersonal & attributeless.  The Non-Dual practice is that of singular Self-Inquiry to know the Self; not the Self in relation to anything else, but to know it as it is free of mis-identification.  The Self is free of Subject & Object, & the Knowledge of the Self is non-objective.  Hence, it is Self-Knowledge in which the Knower & the known are the same.  One practices Self-inquiry so as to abide in steady Knowledge of the Self.

In Un-Qualified Duality [UQD], Qualified Duality [QD], & Qualified Non-Duality [QND], Knowledge becomes increasingly important.  In Un-Qualified Non-Duality [UQND], Knowledge is of paramount importance for Knowledge alone destroys Ignorance, & what one seeks is to experience Reality as it is. To the degree that there is an increase of Knowledge of the Self, even accidentally, to that degree is spiritual advancement occurring in any spiritual practice undertaken with any view.

In Non-Duality, since the Absolute & one’s Self are identical, it is all-important to realize the Self.  Since the Self is the Reality, which ever is, & all differentiation is only imagined in Ignorance, the Realization comes by, & is identical with, the Knowledge of the Self, which alone destroys Ignorance. Since it is imperative to know oneself, the practice is that of Self-Inquiry to know the Self.  When one recognizes that Non-Duality must be what is true, one takes the path to realize it.

What one regards as real is, or becomes, one’s experience.  According to the degree of Duality or Non-Duality, what is regarded as real will be different.  In all cases, there must be the breaking of attachment to the things of the World, but the depth reached thereafter is different.  In Un-Qualified Duality [UQD] the World is regarded as real.  It is the creation of the Supreme, God, unless one is an Atheist, in which case it is an accident of matter, but such would not be any spiritual view at all.  The World is regarded as external, one seems to dwell in it, & the Supreme seems elsewhere.  The determination of Reality is the Senses & the mental cognition of the same.  In Duality, God is regarded as one part of Reality, & the Individuals, the World, & God seem as 3 distinct things.

In Qualified Duality [QD], the World is regarded as real & created, but it is the splendor, or manifestation, of the Supreme.  Some part of the Supreme manifests its presence in the World in various ways.  The World may be viewed its God’s “Eternal Play” [lila], or as something that is temporarily “arising”.  The determination of Reality is still the senses & the Mind. The Supreme is seen as one part of the Reality, but it has left its spark, or something of itself in the individuals & in the World.

In Qualified Non-Duality [QND], the World is regarded as real as a projection of the Supreme, as a Dream of God, as a Creation of the Mind, as the Mind’s play, as the energy of Consciousness, or as similar to these.  The determination of Reality is still with the Senses & the Mind, & the Objective aspect is regarded as existent yet, in nature, more subtle than matter. Therefore, the Absolute, or the Self, is regarded as only one part of Reality, & not the only reality. In Un-Qualified pure Non-Duality [QND], there is no embodied Individual &, so, no World perceived by the Individual or the Body.

[The above themes & 1600 pages more are freely available as perused or downloaded PDF’s, the sole occupants of a Public Microsoft Skydrive “Public Folder” accessible through  www.jpstiga.com ]


Non-Duality back 2

Satsang with Master Nome, disciple of Sri Ramana Maharshi

[Here follows a selection from a Discourse in one of the countless incredible Master Nome Satsangs. Beginning at a high level, as usual, this Discourse takes on a remarkable “momentum” at a point noted below.  Soon thereafter, the “momentum” up-ticks even higher.]

Difference, & change belong to the Senses & the Mind. The Self is undivided & without modifications.

Whatever is subject to change is limited.  The Self is limitless.  Knowledge through the Senses & the Mind changes & ceases.  Real Knowledge of the Self is ceaseless & never other than Being itself.  This Knowledge is as limitless & invariable as Being itself.  Just as all other thoughts are merely objective Perceptions, so is the Ego, which is not the Self & not a possession or attribute of the Self.  One should discriminate what is the Body, the Senses, the Mind, or “I” notion, or the aggregate of such, & inquire, “Who am I ?”.

One should give up the Identity that appears in the Waking State of Mind & also the belief of reality in the Waking State itself.  Likewise, one should not identify with what is of the Dream State, in which the Mind functions in a similar objective fashion.  One must know himself as beyond that which is of Deep Sleep, which is a state of Causal Merger.  The Self is the Witness of all states, is pure Consciousness, & is not an object of knowledge.  It is the unknown knower.  Though Consciousness cannot be known as an object, it, being formless & without duality, Consciousness can never be made distant from oneself.  Therefore, the Self, of the nature of Consciousness, is always known as one’s Own Nature. Consciousness is self-effulgent & does not require any other knowledge to know itself other than that which is its Own Nature, just as a light does not need another light in order to be seen, but is seen because of its own light.

The Self is the only Knower, & nothing else is so.  It never comes into existence, for it eternally exists, & is without cause & effect.  The Self & Self-Knowledge are not effects of anything.  Just as the manifested & the un-manifested are 2 states superimposed upon the Self so, too, are Bondage & Liberation.  As there is no day or night for the Sun itself so there is neither Knowledge nor Ignorance for the Self.  Realizing the Self as having no connection with anything ever, one is himself the Truth of the Unborn, the Truth of No-creation, & is never born again & is never in Illusion again.

If one is immersed in Samsara, the repetitive cycle of Illusion, Births & Deaths, filled with Suffering, then the way to liberate himself is by Knowledge. Liberation, which is the goal of spiritual practice, is one’s own if, inquiring to know the Self, he discards all notions of “me” & “mine,” attains complete certitude in the Space-like nature of Reality, & abides devoid of physical & mental forms & the assumption of an Ego-entity.

If the Self would change states, such as states of Ignorance & Knowledge, of Bondage & Liberation, it would be destructible, & Liberation, itself, would be artificial or unreal.  Liberation is not a change of state from one into another.  It is  not reasonable to imagine a separation & union in relation to the Self, for both would be transitory.  The transient cannot be attributed to the Eternal, just as the unreal cannot be attributed to the Real, or the dual to the Non-Dual.  As there truly can be neither union nor separation, Liberation cannot consist of the Individual entering into Brahman or Brahman coming to the Individual.

The true nature of the Self is never destroyed, is changeless, is uncaused, & cannot be obtained or lost.   The new appearance or coming into being of any state would be the effect of a precedent cause &, thus, changeful, transitory, & not self-existent; such cannot be permanent Liberation.  Self-Knowledge alone is Liberation. Knowing the Self to be oneself is the greatest attainment.  To wrongly assume the non-Self to be the Self is ignorance.  The removal of the superimposed mis-conceptions, of what the Self is alone, constitutes the path to Liberation.  No other view is reasonable, as such always involves some dualism, some belief in an existent Individual experiencer & a self-existent objective thing, & the conception that the Reality becomes other than what it is & the unreal actually comes to be.

Liberation cannot be a change of condition, because such involves mutability & thus destructibility, parts or divisions, & a change in nature.  Any belief that superimposition occurs on nonexistence, that Illusion can actually create itself or that there is no Absolute Self should be abandoned because the existence of Being, itself, is irrefutable, & it is not reasonable that something could come from nothing. Superimposition occurs on some real thing, & there is the one who knows this Ignorance. It is Ignorance of what, and for who is it  ?   If one so inquires, one finds that Being is, Consciousness is.


The supposedly knowing Mind & the Universe known are both imagined.  Existence-Knowledge, which is Being-Consciousness, alone is Real.  It exists without anything else.  It alone is both the Knower & the known, but the forms of such are imagined.  Difference, which manifests only in the Mind of the Waking & Dream States, is unreal.  Non-Dual Consciousness alone exists.

The ancient Sages gave their spiritual instruction in Silence & with the Teachings revealing how “That you are (Tat tvam asi).”  Inquiry into this instruction removes all the ideas of what is not the Self from the Self, like the proverbial negation of the Snake from the Rope.  This negation is never of a Reality, but of false assumptions, or superimposition.  lf real things were negated, Liberation would be transitory or not at all, for how would it be possible for something truly existent to go out of existence or for something to change its nature ?  The inquiry & negation eliminate Ignorance, Illusion, only.  All that is objective, as well as the Ego, are negated by the Inquiry summed up as “not this, not this” revealing Being, which is Consciousness, the one Self.

The Ego is ignorantly assumed to be the Self &, thus, the knower. The conceptions of the Mind determine if one is endowed with wrong knowledge, doubtful knowledge, or true Knowledge. With mis-identification, there is wrong knowledge.  That is, what is regarded as Knowledge is actually Ignorance.

Thus, there is self-caused delusion about Happiness, Identity, & Reality. With spiritual practice, there is doubtful knowledge.  That is, there is actual knowledge of Happiness, Identity, & Reality, but such is not steady.  It is either a conviction, but without direct experience, or it is a conviction fused with experience, but not steady because of the need to destroy the remaining tendency to misidentify.  True Knowledge is that state in which Knowledge is invariable & in which knowing & Being are one & the same.  At all times, the same Consciousness is the only Knower, but it appears as an Ego, a dissolving Ego, or as purely Ego–less, just as a clear crystal appears as if endowed with different colors or as transparent according to the proximity of different colored things or the absence of them.  In Truth, all such states & their content are known by the Self, have their apparent existence by the Self, which is free from them & depends on no thought whatsoever to know itself, & “all such states” do not exist apart from the Self, though the Self itself can never be other than the Knowledge, Being, itself.

MOMENTUM further uptick

Regarding the great aphorism, “Thou art That (Tatvamasi)” wise Sages declare that the primary meaning of That is the Absolute, Brahman, & the primary meaning of Thou is the Knower, or “I”.  The essential meaning of That is the true Self.  The essential meaning of Thou is only pure Being, pure Consciousness.  The meaning of both is thus the same, & this is what “Art” expresses.  “Art” is an expression of complete Identity.  “Art” is realized by the relinquishment of other ideas regarding That &, most importantly, by Self-Inquiry into Thou. The deeper the inquiry into Thou, the more That is known as it is, for Thou Art That.  No repetition of the idea, “I am That” “l am the Self,” or “I am Brahman” is intended, for such implies difference between the instructed & the instruction, between the meditator, the meditation, & the meditated upon, between the one desiring Liberation & the Liberation itself, between the self who would know & that Self to be known, & between the realizer & the realized.  The Non-Dual Teaching of Identity with the Absolute Self, Brahman, is to be practiced by Self-Inquiry, full of clear Discrimination, that frees one of the false notion of Doer–ship, of being a sensing entity, of being an experiencer, of being a thinker, & such, & that Self-Inquiry discerns fully that the one Self is not the Body, Mind, or Ego, or anything connected with these.  Then, one knows one’s own true Self to truly be Brahman.

The Knowledge of the Self becomes possible only when the Ego vanishes.  What remains is the Self-evident, the Self-Knowable, the eternally existing, the forever liberated that has never been bound. The Freedom & Happiness of this Realization have no cause or reason.  They are self-existing, as Being itself is.  Only unhappiness & Bondage seem to have reasons, which, with Self-Inquiry, are found to be merely Ignorance.

When the Knowledge that one is the Self, Brahman, is not veiled by the false notions that Reality is something other than the Non-Dual Self, that oneself is other than the Formless, motionless,

immutable Self, that Happiness is other than the blissful Self, when not so veiled, the Knowledge is firm.  Then, the mis-identification of the Self with the Body or any other form becomes impossible.

The direct path of Knowledge is that in which one discriminates as described here, renounces the actions of the Body & Mind, frees himself from the ideas of being a Performer, experiencer, thinker, ete., abides free of outer sensing & inner conceiving activities, & thus knows the Self to be That. The practice of the Teaching of  “Thou art That” is the Self-Inquiry: “Who am I ?”  When the Knowledge of the Self which is the Absolute, is not contradicted by the false notions that one lacks Bliss & has desires, that one is not Consciousness & does [is the Performer of Action], & that one is not Being but is a bound entity, without such contradictions, the Knowledge is firm.

Though the Body is not the Self, the Self is not the Performer of Action, & Action is unrelated to Self-Knowledge & can in no way bring about the Liberation that this Knowledge alone yields, the holy sage who thus knows will always be manifesting what is True, Good, & Beautiful [“acting” as if in contradiction, but always rightly, if the real of appearance]. With Love for all beings, knowing all to be himself, endowed with equanimity & imperturbable peace, with no self-interest, he is ever engaged in the highest good, whether he appears active or still. His honesty derives from Truth itself, his Love from the indivisible Nature of Being, his Peace from the immovable Absolute, & his kindness & care from the perfect Fullness.  How would it be possible for one who knows about Liberation & the Non-Dual Teaching of Identity with the divine Absolute Self to engage in conduct that would be otherwise ?

Nonetheless, it is never possible to determine the state of a realized Sage from the outer appearances of the body with which he has no identity whatsoever.  The Sage has gone beyond the Illusions of Life & death, never to return to that which never really was.  He [or she] is serene in & as the Absolute, & abides as the Eternal.  Whatever is done, he does nothing.  Whatever is said, he remains Silent. Whatever is thought, he remains unmodified.  For he has known himself, & he himself is what he knows.  You Are That.  Realize the Truth of this by Self-Inquiry.

[continuing to echo the Mahavakyas]

Supreme Knowledge, Consciousness, is Brahman [prajnanam brahma].  Attain Liberation by Knowledge & realize that true Knowledge is the Eternal, Supreme Consciousness itself. This Self is Brahman [ayam atma brahma].  Inquire “Who am I ?” & realize pure Being as the One–without–a–2nd  [advaita].  I am Brahman. Abide in the natural state of the real Self, in the state of Identity with no other “I”.

[echoing Sri Shankara]

Abide as That, which, when known, leaves no other thing to be known.  Abide as That, the Happiness of which leaves nothing else to be desired.  Abide as That, which, when realized, leaves no other Reality but itself.  Abide as that which is the Self which alone exists Eternally, for it is That which alone is.

[The above themes & 1600 pages more are freely available as perused or downloaded PDF’s, the sole occupants of a Public Microsoft Skydrive “Public Folder” accessible through  www.jpstiga.com ] 


Non-Duality blog back again 1

Analogy of the 10th man (retelling of one told by Sri Ramana) :

Hiking the hills & needing to cross a raging snow-fed river in Spring, 10 traveling “Fools” made of themselves a human chain to safeguard their passage. Given the slippery stones underfoot & unexpected high water level & onrushing force, there was natural concern that they all had made it to the other shore. The first one to think of it began a head count, pointing at each, calling out as he wagged his finger: “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.” Suddenly upset the poor Fool cried out: “That’s it, only 9. Omigosh! Who did we lose ?”

In horrified disbelief, another Fool repeated the head count: “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9” & so did another, & another, until every Fool on shore gave it a try, all confirming the original tragic announcement. The confusing part for them, of course, was that no one could figure out who was the missing one. Easy for us, we aren’t shivering & wet with freezing river water, exhausted & frightened. But then again, it was kind of silly, given that they all followed the misguided example of the first, pointing only at other heads as they counted. If only one of them had kept track & counted the number of counts called, they would have be reassured when the only 9 counts were initially made.

Their luck soon changed when just then an eminent spiritual master & teacher, a Guru much revered in the region, came walking down their shore, having seen the pantomime of their plight from the distance as he approached, not needing to be within earshot get the picture. But upon listening patiently & trying in vain to explain the proper Arithmetic to them, he decided to quickly demonstrate after kindly letting them off the hook, saying that many people experience confusion like this, as when told that such & such will occur in 10 days. some will ask: “Does that 10 count today, or do we start counting tomorrow as 1?” “But practical experience is best, so here we go” he said, & continuing: “when I tap your head with my staff, you the first one call out 1 & next 2 & so on until I’ve tapped the last one.”

And so he did, & they called out, a bit nervous as they got to 9.  But sure enough, they distinctly heard one last hollow bonk of the staff on a head & the call 10.  There he was smiling & laughing with relief, the one the Guru had arranged to be last, the same first one the Guru saw start the counting, recognizing him now since he had seen him from a distance. Smiling with kindness the Guru concluded for him: “Yes: Thou Art the 10th.”

When equating the Non-Dual Self with Absolute Reality Brahman, the most authoritative Upanishads repeatedly intoned the Mahavakya or Great Proclamation “Thou Art That”, with Absolute Reality, Brahman understood to be “That.”

In “Thou Art the 10th !” the actual number 10 has no particular significance other than in helping recall of the Parable. What matters is that each essentially makes the same mistake when failing to count himself, or more to the point, take himself into account. The remedy is to Inquire “who am I” in order to know oneself. Self-Knowledge, the direct result of Self-Inquiry, is also known as Self-Realization, Enlightenment, Liberation, & in the original languages: Moksha, Nirvana, Mukti, & so on. This is the ineffable Reality itself, ever inexplicable & beyond words.

[Robert Heinlein’s hero in Stranger in a Strange Land drew from the same scriptures, without direct reference, when his planet-colony “visitor” was asked about the that colony’s understanding of “God”. Confused at first, that character, Michael Valentine, hesitated, pondered, & then realized what was being asked. Shaking his head in denial of the basic premise of the question, one about some separate super-being, the extra-terrestrial visitor responded: “Thou art God !” (Of course the “thou art” would not have been used unless the Mahavakya was being referenced. Written in the late 1950’s & then published in ’61, thus was pretty “far out” for an American scifi author.]

Naiskarmya Siddhi

[her follows a to–be–continuing series of selections from the seemingly impossible to “find online” classic by Shankara’s disciple Suresvara, on somewhat based on Shankara’s Upadesha Sahasri “1000 Teachings”, this one by the name Naiskarmya Siddhi (translated by A. J. Alston as “The Realization Of Absolute”)]

Here is a clear statement of the true nature of the inner Reality whose sole function is to exist as the Witness & support of All.  The existence & manifestation of all this World depends on its existence.  If It did not exist, nothing would.   [verse 4]

Failure to realize that one’s own Self (atman) is the sole Reality is called Ignorance (avidya). Its destruction constitutes the Liberation of the soul.  [verse 7]

The fire of right Knowledge arising from the Great Proclamations (mahavakyas) of the Upanishads burns up utterly the Delusion (moha) of the soul.  [verse 8]

Since Liberation arises only from the destruction of Ignorance, action is not the means to it.  Action cannot remove Ignorance any more than darkness arising from darkness (can remove darkness).   [verse 24]

The Veda (shastra) is like the Sun, illumining the means to acquiring & avoiding for the benefit of those who from sheer ignorance desire the pleasant & shun the unpleasant.  [verse 29]

Thus it has been shown on the authority of perception, inference & revelation that the Self is never separate from “the pleasant” in the form of supreme bliss, & that “the unpleasant” enters into no relation with it at all, & is like something non-existent. And from this it follows that all action whatever is prompted by false knowledge (mithya–jnana) of the form “may I have the pleasant, may I not have the unpleasant” arising from bare natural unawareness of the Self (svabhavya-atma anavabodha-matra), like the notion of Mirage & Silver which arise from unawareness of the Desert & of the Mother-of-pearl.

It is through Ignorance that one desires what one already has, such as a golden Necklace hanging (forgotten) on one’s neck; again, it is through ignorance that, afflicted with delusion, one fears & tries to remove a ghost which seems to be in one’s Shadow but which does not really exist.  [verse 31]

In regard to things that one already has (but, being unaware of the fact, also wants to have) or has not (but supposes oneself to have & wishes to be rid of) “getting” & “avoiding” do not come through Action. Since it is Ignorance alone that is the obstacle (to realizing that one already has or has not got them), the “getting” or “avoiding” of them is to be achieved by knowledge.  [verse 34]

Action itself arises from Ignorance, hence it can not destroy it.  But right Knowledge can destroy Ignorance for it is the opposite of it, as the Sun is the opposite of darkness.  [verse 35]

Self-knowledge is based on the self-revealed Reality alone, & its nature is to destroy Ignorance & the whole complex of factors of Action (karma) that arise from it as effects.  It depends on the Vedic texts, etc., only for its rise.  Once risen, it does not depend on them for destroying Ignorance. Knowledge of the Self guarantees the realization of the highest end of man through its mere rise, without needing to assume any new form or to depend on any external factor (e. g. Action).

Therefore right-knowledge (samyag-jnana) is the proper & sufficient means to get rid of Ignorance,

which is the cause of the whole Ocean of Sorrow. If you say, “Action is the right means”, we say, “No.”  [verse 37]

[Note that the Karma-producing Action here debated was a major doctrinal issue at the time, & can usefully more apply to our own practice when realizing that no “mental action” can yield Realization, but only deeper Knowledge, beyond the Mind, at the depth of one’s certainty that: “I exist.”  Note also that “India’s English” often prefers to say “I am” but “I exist” may better fit the Anglo-American usage of the verb “to be”. ]

Master Nome selections:

” … Consciousness is one and indivisible. It can neither separate from itself so as to become a plurality, nor undergo modification, nor bring forth out itself something other than itself. The perception of multiplicity is       the result of the activities of one’s senses. The great variety of sights, sounds, scents, tastes, and tactile sensations which constitute one’s perception of the world are all, without exception, the result of sensory           functions. So much is this so that the world cannot be said to be perceived apart from the senses. The  sensory impressions constitute ‘the world.'”  – Master Nome  (Commentary on Siva Samhita, Reflections, 3.3.9, SAT 1991)

Desire is the urge to be happy. When faced outwardly it is foolish; inwardly, it yields Wisdom. Happiness is within. The sense of happiness in any experience does not come from the thing experienced. All experience is of the nature of the experiencer. The sense of reality in every experience does not come from the things experienced. The Self is the source.

Ego, manifestation, form and ignorance: these are like an optical illusion, a mirage, a dream without substance, the life-history of a fictional character, a rabbit with horns, and a person with a tail. Regard all thought as an empty echo and the world as a dream. Regard all manifestation as an hallucination or as a daydream lasting but a moment. Know the world to be unreal and yourself as not a character in it, and the dream is over. Consider the world to be a dream, and discover the absence of the dreamer. To expect the perception of forms – the world, body, senses, and thought – to disappear at its own level to transcend them is like expecting the dream character in one’s dream to see the dream forms – dream world, dream body, dream senses, and dream thoughts – disappear within the dream, before waking up. When the forms – the world, body, senses, and thought – vanish, the Reality of pure, transcendent Being alone remains. Even when thought of as appearing, the Reality of pure, transcendent Being alone remains.

An unreal body performs unreal actions in an unreal world. Do not be afraid to let go of a world that does not really exist. Any object of experience has no more existence separate from the Self than printed letters from a page of paper, or waves from water. It is you who say that anything is real. The object does not declare its own reality. To known the Reality, know yourself.  It is better to say the world in you than you are in the world. There is no world or any objective thing, and there is no one to experience or know it. The world is unreal. There has never been a single objective thing. All that is objective is illusion. Illusion is that which is not.  All things change. That which is not a thing is unchanging.

The Self is neither the body nor thought. It is spaceless and timeless. As space is endless, clear, formless, embracing all, bound by none, all-pervading, ungraspable, and has no within or without, so it is with the Self. The conception of space requires mis-identification with the body. The conception of time requires misidentification with thought. Now is not a time. Here is not a location. Here and now is formless, real Being. The past and future have no reality. The fleeting present moment is also an illusion. Timeless Consciousness is conceived as time and all that time measures. When does time begin? When there was no time. But if there was no time, not then or now, did it begin at all? The cause is always seen in the effect, The effect is just the cause appearing as such. In Truth, there is only one cause. The ultimate cause of all, the Absolute is itself uncaused. The Absolute, the Self is neither caused by anything else nor does it cause anything else. Infinite, there is nothing beyond it produced by it. There is no cause for illusion; for illusion is unreal, and for an unreal effect there cannot be a real cause. Causality is itself illusory.

[The above themes & 1600 pages more are freely available as perused or downloaded PDF’s, the sole occupants of a Public Microsoft Skydrive “Public Folder” accessible through  www.jpstiga.com ]