27 August 2016



Robert used to say, “Ponder this!”  and then recite some common argument or theorem of Advaita Vedanta.  Ramana did the same, speaking to students about the nature of consciousness, and Nisargadatta did also.

This is because Advaita Vedanta is not purely about self inquiry.  Although self inquiry is the most prominent method extolled by Ramana, Robert and Nisargadatta, in fact Advaita Vedanta has a philosophy of existence, or ontology, as well as a philosophy of knowing and the limits of knowing.

Pure self inquiry, without a foundation in a philosophical model may prove to be both endless and fruitless.  So the self inquiry proposed by all three teachers above, is really a guided self inquiry within the confines of a model.  In fact, all spiritual teachings and methods are like this, whether it is Kundalini Yoga, chucker yoga, Christian mysticism, or the philosophy of the Bhagavad-Gita.

Thus there is a wide gap between pure self inquiry without having any idea in mind, and self inquiry based on a model.  The origins of Nisargadatta’s model lay in the teachings of his guru, Siddharameshwar.  Siddharameshwar offered a model of the self of many layers, from the body of waking consciousness with an external world perceived by a body, the more subtle layer of internal energies found within one sense of presence, as well as the bliss found that there, deeper to the causal body where mind was absent and therefore perception was absent, to the lowest level, the deepest level, Turiya, with a sense of I resides.  Beyond that was the absolute, which was the absolute I that new the eye of existence.

However, unless one already believes the model, it is unlikely herself in query without a model in mind would reach the same understanding as self inquiry within the confines of a model of existence.  Nor would the attempts at logical argumentation by Robert, Nisargadatta or Ramana really make any sense.

For example, I present briefly a logical argument made by Nisargadatta in one of his books.  I will not tell you where I found it, because that will force you to actually read his books and look for the phrase if I do not tell you.  I make you do some homework.  Follow closely the brief argument he makes, and ponder whether his conclusion follows from his premises, and whether those premises can actually stand alone as obviously true.

“This is a subtle point, so try to understand it clearly.  When I say “I was not” prior to conception, then what I actually mean is that I was not like this present “I am.”  But that “I” which could discern this must be there to judge the absence of the present “I am.”

“Owing to the absence of a body, that “I” prior to conception had no sense of being or sense of “I am-ness.”  With the arrival of a body the sense of “I am this” is imposed on the prior “I.””

Now ponder this: as clearly as you can, restate Nisargadatta’s argument in your own words.  Does his argument prove to you, make any sense to you, convince you, that there is a pre-existing “I” to which a body appears, which then is able to witness a sense of I am-ness?

There are many other arguments like this.  Ramana says your body is not real, because it does not exist when you sleep.  But he says consciousness, awareness, of sleep is there, because when you awaken in the morning, you can say either I slept well, or I did not sleep well.  That is, he is saying that there is a subtle awareness that exists throughout sleep such that the morning after the mind awakens, it remembers that it was aware of the sleep state.

I just want you to be aware that all teachers, or most all teachers, have a model of existence or ontology, and of knowing or knowledge, called epistemology, and they have a set of methods to confirm the model they are passing on to their students.

Nisargadatta is a prime example of this.  His teacher, Siddharameshwar, told him from their first meeting, that he was not his body, that he must not identify with his body, that he was Brahman, and even beyond that, the knower of Brahman.  He was given a mantra to be repeated endlessly.  The mantra was “I am Brahman and Brahman is I.”  In addition, after realization, he developed the technique of fixating on the I am sensation and following it to its root in Turiya and beyond, to the absolute or para-Brahman.

Since almost all spiritual traditions rely on a model of existence, and a model of knowing her knowledge, which shape our student’s spiritual experiences, and which also provide a framework for his future teachings to his own students.  Because there are so many different spiritual traditions, there are so many different models of reality, such that there is a vast range of differing experiences and methods, such that the awakening of one tradition conceivably is completely different from the awakening or enlightenment aimed at in a different tradition.

So ponder these things in your own way and your own time when listening to various spiritual teachers are reading their books.  Tried to tease out the underlying model that that teacher has in mind when he or she speaks.  If you do this, you are well on your way to finding your own truth because you question the source of the spiritual teachings you hear with your ears or see with your eyes.

26 August 2016

In the West, the distinction between matter and consciousness was clearly made only a few hundred years ago. But, because of science and technology, the realm of matter has always been given more attention. There is no science of consciousness or spirit.  In the West we are still trying to reduce spirit to matter, to the brain and nervous system, with the external world being real, and our bodies and brains create a picture in consciousness of that real external world.

For Ramana, only consciousness is real, with the material world considere unreal because the objects and experiences within it are temporary, changeable, impermanent, without a self-sustaining existence outside of consciousness.  For him, consciousness has two aspects: the field of experience and the witnessing of that field which also was an aspect of consciousness.  For him, the material world and all experiences were illusory, a dream, because they did not last, and didn’t exist outside of our awareness of them.  Thus for the Advaita tradition, consciousness was primary existence and we needed to recognize that all experiences, including that of an apparent external world, only occur in our own consciousness.  So everything is consciousness, you, me, waking state, dream and deep sleep states. 

Robert Adams held this to be true also, but emphasized that one needs not to identify with any situation within that play of consciousness, but only with the totality of consciousness, one’s entire manifest experience as an apparent human, and also the world of apparent objects.  They are one totality.

For Robert though, that which was absent any experience at all, nothingness, was the real source of consciousness, the no-place from which the whole field of consciousness sprung as its projection.

In the West, about 400 years ago, Immanuel Kant gave the name “Noumena” to that nothingness, which was only nothingness, because it could not be experienced, thus had no quality or characteristics such as time, space, extention or existential qualities of any sort.

Doug Harding called this place, “I,” and created what he called the science of the subject, wherein each of us became the source of our experiential world, and taught exercises to make this an existential reality.

For all, there was no death when the body dies, because only the existential aspect of our lives disappears, but the subject aspect never does because the subject is not within the field of existence. Our essence, as subject, as witness, as noumena, remained untouched because it did not exist within the realm of matter of experience.

For all the Advaitin traditions the path was the same: 1. Disidentify with the body; 2. Identify instead with our entire field of consciousness, our Manifest Self, which was universal and pervaded everywhere and was the same in everyone; 3. And then go beyond to discover and identify with the eternal subject, the Self, nothingness, which lies prior to or beyond any and all of existence, where there is no need, no want, only divine peace.

Other paths, such as Chakra yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Tantra, tended to emphasize one or more aspects of consciousness, such as Kundalini, the life force, Ma Kali, or Shiva, the observer, or the creator, Brahman.  Advaitins considered this playing on the surface of the field of consciousness.

23 August 2016


I talked to Marie last week and wanted to update her followers about her health and the 150 cats she cares for in Los Angeles.
Marie had been subjected to unending medical tests since I wrote about her months ago.  Her cancer staging has been upgraded from III rd to IVth stage uterine cancer.  The tumor spread to her kidneys and bladder, but apparently has only minimally invaded those organs.  She has had three chemo sessions each a month apart to be followed soon by a PET scan to see how far the tumor has retreated, and whether Marie can progress to radiation treatment to reduce the tumor further prior to surgery.  She said chemo has been very tolerable, which is unusual for this type of chemo.
But the stress of having cancer and worry about the welfare of her cats and keeping her surrogates supplied with cat food has left her feeling overwhelmed and vulnerable, and therefore unable to reach out to thos who so kindly provided financial support.  In the minimum, it will be six weeks before she can have surgery and another 8-12 weeks to recover after that.

But there is a dire financial need to support her efforts to supply her surrogates with cat food and other supplies, so I am once again asking my readers to help her financially.  I send Marie about $270 a month that I get from Internet donations and my own paychecks, which maxes me out.
So I am requesting donations for her to be mailed to:
Marie Schuckles
8860 Corbin Avenue
Northridge, CA  91324


19 August 2016

Every morning, immediately after waking, just the feeling “I am” is felt. After that, witnessing of the world happens.  First you witness the “I am” sensation, the feeling that you are, that you exist.  This primary witnessing is the prerequisite for all subsequent witnessing.  But to whom is witnessing occurring?  This is what Robert and Nisargadatta ask.

It occurs to one that ever is, even without waking, to the ever present substratum.  

The mystery of the worldly experience is at this point.  Now you have woken up, and the witnessing of waking happens.  The primary witnessing is of my own presence, my existence.  The waking state, or the sense of existence, is a temporary state, alternating with the deep sleep, waking and dream states which together constitute consciousness.

So, you need to become acquainted with that witnessing substratum, the invisible, formless, intangible self that is the listener, the seer, the feeler, who itself is not of this world, but prior to it.  This is That which ever is, who responds to his/her name being called when asleep, who hears the sounds of wind, rain, and thunder.

31 July 2016


I supported him from the beginning. I voted for him in the primaries.  I even started a blog to support him. I was outraged by Debbie Wasserman  Schultz’s actions and called for her firing. But Bernie lost whether it was rigged or not.

Bernie is the victim, yet he supports Clinton.  Why?  Because he has already begun a vast change in the system.  Hillary’s platform is Bernie’s socialist platform, and he is not a powerhouse in the Democratic party as opposed to being an isolated independent senator with little power.
AND, as he says over and over, Hillary is a thousand times better as president than Trump, and he is going to fight to keep her progressive along with all of the millions of people who voted for him in a progressive movement. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bill-maher-bernie-sanders-strop-trump_us_579c4522e4b0e2e15eb610bf?section=
Bernie is the victim yet wholeheartedly backs Clinton.  Why aren’t you?

Many of you are lost in rage against the system thinking only to deny Clinton the presidency because she is the embodiment of the system.  But so is Trump.  In addition, he is insane, a bigot, a hater, a divider, an unabashedly self-centered egomaniac who will unabashedly use the presidency to enhance Trump enterprises and to pump his grandiosity until it explodes in ways I do not want to see.
I do not want to fight this battle anymore. I have stated where I stand.

So, I make you an offer.  If you lack the discrimination to see through Trump and the danger he poses, and if you fail to see his lack of compassion and heart, and still want him to be president because you are deranged with anger at the system, or worse, you are a Republican, please let me know that you still back him.  I will remove you from my friends list and maybe take the time to block you because I can not be bothered any longer caring so much for my friends who want to destroy themselves because of their blind rage and lack of reality perspective.

I care for you so much it hurts that you cannot see clearly the danger Trump poses for the country and for you.

I don't hate Trump at all. I sort of like the persona he pretends to be. But I definitely see the danger he poses to all of us and the path he will take, whatever that is, because he has not outlined any path but one of bigotry and divisiveness.

30 July 2016


America has a two-party system.  It is a binary system.  It is one or the other.  Winner take all.  There really are no coalition politics in the American two-party system.

However, what we have seen with Clinton/Sanders is an attempt to form a two-party de facto coalition of a nascent social democratic party with a broader Democratic party.

Take a look at the Democratic platform for 2016.  Most of what Saunders was shooting for is in that platform.  However, few of us believe that Clinton will adhere to those party planks, and will shed them once president.

But some of us have watched Bernie throughout the election process.  Yes, the system was rigged against him from getting the nomination.  Perhaps if it had not been so rigged, he may have gotten another 200 pledged delegates, and cut Clinton’s lead to razor thinness.  But as Bernie has stated, “THIS IS REALITY,” thereby moving the universe of discourse from a socialist goal to the reality of creating a de facto coalition party, of a Social Democratic Party, and the Democratic Party.  This is the reality.  Bernie has forced Clinton to take on many of the precepts of his Democratic Socialism in order to get his endorsement, his delegates, and his followers to come along and support Hillary Clinton for president.

So many people are so angry at Clinton having witnessed the ring system against which Bernie fought, but this is reality.  It takes time to change.  Already Bernie has changed it by eliminating 500 superdelegate positions in future year elections.  In 2020, if Bernie or Sen. Warren want to run for president, not only will they be part of the Newer Establishment at that time, but the entire election process will better reflect what actual voters want as opposed to what the establish party wants.

Those of you who are still so angry at Clinton because of what the DNC did together with Clinton, have to take note of the disaster we will face a year after Donald Trump is elected.  Bernie sees the peril in electing Donald Trump.  As he states, he will do everything possible to eliminate that possibility, and to elect the coalition candidate Hillary Clinton.  Remember, Bernie is going to be a central heavyweight now in the Senate, impossible to ignore, constantly prompting Clinton towards a more socialist leaning.  Perhaps within the next four years we will see the founding of the Democratic Socialist party as a third-party, which could easily supplant the Green party was true and effective vote-power.

So drop your hatred of Clinton, and work with Bernie and her, to get her elected and to stop Trump.  Can you imagine what the world would be like two years after a Trump election?  Can you imagine the chaos?  Can you imagine the danger?  Can you imagine the disappointment in all of those who elected Trump and saw his presidency turn into the disaster he predicted would happen if Hillary were elected?  Can you imagine anyone who voted for Trump been having second thoughts that they are to blame?  No, they will blame Trump for having failed them, holding themselves faultless.

The American electorate appears to be stupid beyond belief.  Therefore it is for us who can better discriminate the reality of what faces us in the upcoming election to work to stabilize the Democratic Socialist/Democratic Party coalition that Bernie and Clinton have forged, and to make it the party of the future.

24 July 2016


     Many Advaitin teachers speak of transcending the body, individuality, and the self, and even teaching the transcendence the personality.
     But what are they talking about?
     One such teacher I talked to said he no longer had any sense f identity to anything, and that everything was Shakti. I don't known exactly what he means, except that maybe he "sees," "feels," "understands," that nothing is him, and everything perceived and experienced is "other," Shakti. Or maybe he means he too, his sense of existence is also Shakti.
     But has he lost his personality? If he has, what was his experience? Did he feel he no longer was a human, or did he feel he no longer had a "personality," that which has emotions, moods, makes decisions, and has habit patterns of reactions to the world?
     I don't know what he, or other teachers mean when they talk about their alleged transcendence.
     I for one, definitely feel my personality, my emotions, my individuality, my body, and say, "All this is part of me, one aspect of me."
     I also "understand" that all the apparent world and my body are objects within my own consciousness when I am awake. So I am aware that essentially I am consciousness which includes thinking and the mind as well as memories and intuitions. I carefully watch and also feel into the entirety of my consciousness as a living totality of awareness.
     This consciousness is continually changing, variable, and features one experience or one aspects in an unending flow of experiences and objects. One can say there is an experiencer and the flow of conscious experiences which are objects. Or one can say the experiences and the experiencer are one. Sometimes it appears one or the other is a true statement, sometimes that neither is.
     Then sometimes I can self experience as awareness without mind, without a sense of self or world, without the I Am sensation, and just stay there too, knowing and experiencing nothing.
     All these states of consciousness come and go, including the experiences of coming awake out of a dark and moist nothingness, which is totally relaxing and in total peace.
     I am also aware of my awareness of these various states. These states come and go on me, the witness.
     But my resting state is that of being me as awareness, aware of the life force inside and acting through this body/mind, indwelling my own sense of presence that permeates my body and mind and the space around my body and mind, and all permeated by an empty space, itself permeated by the light of consciousness. I feel the energies inside, not really inside the body, but inside of my energetic self, and feel "see" the life force and the intelligence of consciousness within me. I think Robert calls this the Brahman state. Certainly this is what Nisargadatta called Brahman: the totality of my manifest consciousness or self.
     I am certainly aware of nothingness as the dark void from which I as consciousness emerge each day, and to which I return each night, and which I experience from time to time by being totally merged into itself. But it is not my primary identification.
     Regarding personality, it is my position that personality does not reside in the body or mind, but in the totality of my consciousness. My individual expression of consciousness has its own unique fingerprint in terms of emotional reactions, opinions, lack of opinions, ways of expression, behaviors, directions and desires. I think the rush towards transcendence is often a rush to deny one's own humanity and leads to a poverty rather than transcendence.
     Nisargadatta says in his book the Experience of Nothingness, that once he heard the words that he had cancer, he lost all identification with his body and taught from that denial the last two or three years of his life.
     This is clear indication that he ran from body identification once he knew his body was dying. In fact, much of that book and others written around that time, was his obsession with death, and since he didn't identify with either his body or consciousness, he was not worried or bothered, except that he hoped death came quietly without too much pain.
     I have known hundreds of teachers up close.      From my point of view, all had prominent personalities and all were very human, even if a few claimed not to have a self or personality. What is actually going on in them, I don't know, and often, when describing their self-experience they use abstract or Sanskrit terms that hide rather than reveal who they are.
     Robert was the closest person I ever knew to be close to being totally empty and not there. He was uniquely empty. Others tend to be talking heads.

23 July 2016

No matter how relaxed or inspired you feel when listening to Robert's words on audio, or read Nisargadatta's or Ramana's words, realize they are just words. They are concepts spinning in your mind, making you feel emotionally held, relaxed, etc.

Those words you listen to are about Robert's experiences beyond or prior to mind, that are being spoken to your mind, which interprets his beyond-mind words into your experience which is generally mind-bound.

The best way to benefit from those words is to ignore what they say you are beyond mind, but to "feel" into your sense of Self, into the I Am sensation, which at its root are all levels of being, from the I Am, to Nothingness.

Forget about all teachings about no self, no-mind, no separate self, the body is illusion, the world is unreal, and just focus on feeling your I Am. Merger with the I Am sense will reveal yourself as pure Consciousness, the life force, and the energy being that you are. You become the incarnated Krishna, the I Am descended into your body bringing life and sentience.

After this experience, your unfolding takes care of itself. No more work or focus is necessary unless your own self demands more work.

14 July 2016


I was astounded to find this quote today in the Ultimate Medicine, which are talks by Nisargadatta in the year before his death.  These are exactly words that describe my own experiences, but expressed in a different way. I will not quote the exact page because you need to read that book for yourself.  You can download it from wearesentience.com, but I highly recommend that you buy it.
Without the vital breath, Ishwara, or God, has no soul; and without God (consciousness), the vital breath has no existence.  Whenever man limits his consciousness to body and mind, he is called Jiva.  Otherwise he is absolutely independent of these two, which are acting and reacting (according to the world).  Consciousness, which expresses itself in various shapes and forms, is all one; whether be an insect, a big bore, or a big man, there is no difference whatsoever.

Without the vital force, nobody can worship God.  Actually, it is the vital breath, the life force which is worshiping God.  And without God, there is no existence of the vital breath.  And without the vital breath there is no expression to God.  Without this vital force can there even be a reference to God?

When this life force seeks the consciousness as God itself, only then dawns the light of consciousness with which the life force works and achieves what it wants to achieve—that is, oneness with God.  Even if you take the life force as God itself, the result will be the same, because the working principle is the life force.  The consciousness is merely the witnessing process.

Consciousness and life force are two components, inextricably woven together, of one principle.  But consciousness is only the witnessing principle or the static aspect; the dynamic aspect or the working principle is the life force.  Once you consider the life force as God itself, then you raise the life force to a status enabling it, together with consciousness, to give you an understanding of the working of the whole principal.  But if you demote that life principle to mere self identification with the body, then the life principle is not given the status which enables it to unfold itself.  It depends entirely on you.  If I identify this life principle with my body, then I make it work according to the body.  But if I raise it to a godly status, then that life principle will unfold itself and give me the necessary spiritual knowledge.

This physical body, this apparatus, is generally regarded very highly.  But can the body, however good, however pure, be as pure as the life force?  If you make a friend of this life force—that is, if you identify yourself not with the body but with this life force—then will one need help from any other source; that is, from any source other than the Life force?  Is there anything more essential than this Life force?  If you have a choice by which you could have the life force or anything else, is there anything else you would give preference to over the life force?

Would you like to ask some questions?  Who is so authorized to ask the deepest questions?

It is that one who has made deep friendship with the life force and this consciousness, who realizes the importance of the life force to the extent he loves the life force as himself and not his identification with the body.  Someone who has this love that has not identified himself with the body, he has conquered everything, and only such a person is eligible to ask (the deepest spiritual) questions.

Union with this life force is in no way different from the love for the life force, the companionship with the life force; that is, this unity is love.  Life force, love and consciousness are all one in essence.

By all means use your body to work in your world but understand what it is.  The body is only an instrument to be used: you are not the body.  You are the everlasting, timeless, spaceless, principle which gives sentience to the body.  This is the most secret but the simplest principle as far as spiritual knowledge is concerned.

I will give you a specific instance.  In one who has understood the principle and is one with the life force, when this life force is ready to leave the body, what will be his reaction?  Apparently, that will be the moment of highest ecstasy.  Why is this?  Because what is manifest is now going to be unmanifest (Thus going totally beyond the pale of life, to that which observes and from whom everything emerges).

Your constant companion is this life force, without which nothing can happen.  When the  life force comes into contact with the consciousness, this combination assumes the status of the highest God.  For anyone who is identified himself not with the body, but with this life force, can there be any need for anything else from any source?

12 July 2016

Enlightenment in 30 days--email dialogue with Rob

Dear Edji,

Thank you so much for the guidance and wisdom you have written and shared on your website. For 3 years I have been searching for answers and guidance all over the internet to no avail. I was seeking an explanation for an experience I did not understand. I did not know at the time, but I had accidentally stumbled upon this self inquiry process one night in bed. The experience altered my mind forever, and left me terribly confused. I have found no one but you that could explain what had happened to me and what I needed to do.

A week a ago, I began following your instructions detailed in Hunting the I. Since then, I have been able to understand that my body and the world I had always thought existed are an illusion. I am now focused on resting as the witness of consciousness---that which itself appears to not be consciousness---if that makes any sense. I watch the waking state, sleep state (which was very bizarre the first time), and dreaming. Though in the state of deep sleep I do not seem to be watching or at least I don't remember it.

I am not sure what else to do from here except continue to focus on resting as the witness. My understanding seems to grow constantly, but is still not complete.

I never tried meditation before 3 years ago, and I've never had a teacher. After I started self inquiry last week, I began having intense pain in the center of my head and I'm not sure what it is. I can push this point of pain and pressure around my body or completely out of it, but it quickly returns. I'm not sure what to do to make it stop. Any guidance on this would be greatly appreciated.

I am immensely grateful to you, Robert, and Ramana Maharshi for sharing such clear and simple guidance. Before finding you, all I could find were teachings about oneness that I knew were shallow and not the whole truth. I thought of giving up, but something kept driving me to continue my search. I am very glad I kept going.
Gratefully Yours,


Ed: You are doing very, very well.  Keep it up. No other advice at this time.

Don't pay any attention to the pain, just observe it.

Hello Edji,

Hope you are well. I've been observing like you instructed me to. Yesterday I thought of trying something else, but it dawned on me that anything else I try is useless. Anything I do is just seeking at the level of the mind, so I just gave up and surrendered.

This morning I was rereading your “Hunting the I” and it finally sunk in.

There is no I! No person, no witness...just AMness. Its all just some mental projection. Is this correct? Is there anything I should be doing or practicing now? Is there anything I should avoid that could be problematic at this stage? Thank you for your time.



This itself is a mental conclusion that you have accepted as true.

Find the I am sensation by feeling for it, not looking for it.

Dwell in that I Am sensation. Become intimate with it that leads to a direct experience of the life force. At the same time you become aware that you are witnessing the I Am sensation and later, consciousness.

Read Apte's Nisargadatta Gita and Nisargadatta's The Ultimate Medicine, which I find the clearest exposition of a class of advaita teachings, and the clearest explanation of the best form of self-inquiry.

Listen to sacred music, Kirtan and Bhajans.

These instructions are generic and fit all people.  Some advance quickly by staying in the I Am sensation.

Some find help or clarity of purpose by reading the Nisargadatta Gita that focuses on the one self-inquiry method that I have found to be the most effective method out of many.

Some feel the hammer blow of Nisargadatta’s clearest work, and that is enough to unfoled their spiritual destiny.

Lastly, for those with a devotional bent, and who already can observe within, I say change your direction and “feel” within, allowing many to experience the explosion of the life force, Shakti, from within

Sear Edji:

Yesterday after reading some passages from the Ultimate Medicine, I started to ponder how I had mentally come to the conclusion there was no I. As I was thinking I realized that I was trying to out-think my own thinking....by thinking. And that even this was still a thought.  Then the mind just froze...all thinking, beliefs, and concepts stopped. I didn't trust any of my perceptions and it was a bit terrifying for a moment. I immediately closed my eyes and tried to dwell in the I Am and find some stability, but it was gone! It had been there seconds before, but now it wasn't.

It seemed diffused throughout consciousness, and when I focused on it then it seemed to move...like trying to catch a cloud. Sometimes it will condense and I'll briefly have the I Am appear to be in the elbow, or nose, or in front of the body.  I also discovered I don't have a body. It's a bunch of sensations that appear random without the idea "body.” If I close my eyes, the body seems flat, almost 2 dimensional.  Sometimes it feels like my shoulder is above my ear, or that one leg is half a long as the other. It’s a lot of fun actually. I feel totally at peace, not the overwhelming bliss that I have been experiencing.

I know absolutely I'm not this body

I know I can't be consciousness because that comes and goes

I have read that I am something beyond this, 
but that's a thought and not something I am aware of having experienced.

Nothing seems real anymore...objects, people, this body, or consciousness itself. I'm typing this inside a dream. I don't know if there is a real ME beyond consciousness or not. If there is a real ME then how do I experience it not simply think it? 

Thank You,


Rob Again:

I answered my own question from yesterday.
I realized it last night, Edji. While going between, waking, sleep, dream, back to waking...I clearly noticed that which is always there. It’s very difficult to describe, but that "me" was always there I was just too distracted by the appearances of consciousness I guess. Now while awake it feels like consciousness is being "pulled" into this real me and identification with it is becoming more powerful. It feels peaceful almost like being half awake and half asleep.



This is difficult to hold onto.  Expect it to come and go for a while.  But essentially you have got it.  It has to deepen and stabilize.

Also, you say,  you had been in bliss. Tell me how that happened.  Are you directly aware of the life force within as a separate entity, as Shakti?

Where you are now, I was 20 years ago.  But seven years ago I totally awakened to Shakti, the life force that lives and acts through our bodies and our deeper Subtle Body.  Until you have had that love affair with Shakti, if you have not already experienced it, I don’t know how stable your realization will be.  Your direct and continuous awareness of the life force is a mark of the spiritual depth necessary for full realization.

From Rob:

The first time it happened was 3 years ago. Without knowing what I did one night I sank back into the witness. It felt like I had energy running through my body, and new sensations everywhere. It felt better than anything I had ever felt before. The next morning it seemed like I could read what people were thinking, so I thought I had gone insane. I didn't like the mind reading and it disappeared a few days later. The bliss feeling slowly went away after a few weeks, and didn't return until a few weeks ago. 

This is all new to me. I have been singlemindedly focused on finding what I truely am and to know what is real and unreal. So, I tried not to focus on the bliss/energy. I thought if I did I would get distracted and lost. Currently, I'll have this sensation that I can only describe at bliss circulate throughout different areas of the body. Sometimes I'll feel very hot like I have a fever, or euphoria 100 times stronger than being intoxicated. 

I know nothing about Shakti. Not intellectually(for whatever good that's worth) nor how to control it or even if that's possible. I would love to know more!

Thank you for your guidance!


30 June 2016

A Path to Awakening Without the Physical Presence of a Guru

I awakened to who I was in 1995 because I was with Robert.

It was not due to his teachings, which appeared to me as disorganized and filled with Hindu folklore, along with his talk of a pervading consciousness and nothingness that did the trick.

It was due to his presence.

People love to read Robert's teachings or listen to his voice because they find it comforting. His teachings comport with other new age teachings and the Vedas and therefore "resonates" with people who read a lot, and they provide the hope of salvation from suffering and pain.

Personally, I don't like the way Robert taught. He spoke of his own experience of the world often, his essential teachings, but he gave far more emphasis to stories and Hindu folklore about karma,reincarnation, the need to destroy the mind and to be  quiet, non-reactive to the world.  That is, he seemed to say, act like him being quiet and non-reactive and awakening will come.

But he never laid out a clear map of passing from body/mind identification, and reaching the understanding that everything was consciousness, and that you are the totality of your experience of consciousness, which he and Ramana called Brahman.

Too many people got lost in a depressive preoccupation with emptiness and quietness which Robert never clearly distinguished from nothingness. Emptiness--space--itself is an observable, part of the nature of consciousness, as is time, while nothingness lacks even these qualities and is beyond consciousness. Preoccupation with emptiness will get you nowhere, while preoccupation with nothingness is an essential quality of sadhana.

People did not awaken around Robert because of his teachings, but because of his presence, his physical presence. In his presence, you "felt" or intuited his experiential state beyond space and time.  The nothingness of which he spoke had a living presence which you could feel.

HOWEVER, there are actual verbal teachings that can help you awaken, other than the most important advice to focus on your own experience. Why Robert did not teach this way, nor Ramana for that matter, I have no idea.  

There is a way of teaching about Robert's world other than his request to imitate him, his silence and nom-reactivity, a way that convinces the mind that its ideas of who and what a human is, and what is real and what is not real, causes a total overthrow of that person's spiritual ignorance and reorients them in consciousness-centeredness as opposed to body-centeredness.

The first step is to realize you are not your body, and the first step here is just to hear that you are not your body. If you are not your body, then what are you? Ponder this question over and over.

Take a close look at your life, your experiences, and you will understand that "you," whatever that is, experience and witness "your" body by means of "your"consciousness. Consciousness is your instrument to observe both your body and the world. This is far different from using your mind to philosophically explore a world of concepts about self, consciousness, and the world.

If you look and feel closely at your experience of your body and the world, you will find somewhere within that totality a sense, or a truth that you exist, that you are.  Sometimes this appears to be an obvious truth not worth stating, but you would be surprised how few people actually feel a sense of existence and a sense of I or I Am. This I Am sense is what gives you a feeling of individuality and the sense that you are alive.

At some point through the practice of attending to your sense of I Am, and through accepting and loving that I Am, expands it into a sense of presence, and at some moment you may explosively experience that I Am as revealing her nature to you in her full glory as the divine Shakti. Shakti arises in you as pure light and spirit, as an explosion of inner energy, bliss, love and a cleansing, purifying grace, and you witness your own essence as Shakti, both divine and human at the same time.

Then for months or years you feel her inside "you" as body, inside "you" as consciousness, as a divine presence, incredibly active and flowing from within and through you into the world. This is realizing yourself as the Manifest Self, as spirit, bliss, consciousness. This was Ramana's awakening and also Robert's.  For some, the experience conveys the truth that there is no me, there is only Shakti.  For others, it is like a partnership between the divine and you as a human, even though those who experience Shakti this way, the partnership is only apparent.  Shakti and you are not two.

This self-realization experience allows you to realize one day that you are not your body, you are consciousness that witnesses your body as one specific and localized "object" within the totality of your awareness, the totality of your manifest consciousness.

You are beginning to enter your freedom from identification with your physical body and move towards identifying with the totality of your consciousness.

But careful observation of that consciousness over the next months or years does something. Eventually even Consciousness no longer appears real. 

Consciousness comes and goes. It alternates between waking, dream, and sleep. Various energies pervade it, alcohol and drugs distort it, and it disappears along with the I Am sensation and your sense of presence in deep sleep.

Consciousness is even less stable and more mortal than your apparent body. It awakens and dies each day at least once. It is fickle, and after a while, even the endless bliss and perceived energies we call Shakti become much like brushing your teeth experiences. Something to be endured even if pleasurable.

And you begin to "see" through consciousness.  It is ever changing, temporal, fickle, and the venue not only for Shakti's play, but also the venue for your experience of discomfort, restlessness, unhappiness, your need to know, and your drive for peace.

All of these things are part of your consciousness, not part of your body, and not part of your mind either, because your mind is experienced and watched in consciousness.  The I Am sensation is in consciousness, mind, suffering, bliss Shakti, your body--all are in and are consciousness, and consciousness is experienced as less and less real.  It begins to appear as a light show, images projected onto a blank space or screen.

But something else is also happening while this is going on.

You have realized you are not your body, and that your body is just experienced in your consciousness, and in all likelihood, consciousness itself has its origin in and through the life of your body. Body creates consciousness, which witnesses and identifies with the body.

You realize that at one time you identified with your body as the entirety of your existence. Then you disidentified with your body, and identified with your consciousness, Shakti, light, energies, bliss and love as your "true" nature. You have had a love affair with the divine, your own consciousness with all of its characteristics and traits.

However, at this time you recognize that you are also the witness of this whole identification/disidentification process. In fact, you are more and more powerfully aware of yourself as the witness standing beyond (or before) both your body and your awareness of self, Shakti, and of the world.

This witness appears to be like a dark void from which the Manifest Consciousness arises each morning. You become aware of yourself as a dark void, a total nothingness that leaps into existence each morning and comes alive. The nothingness which is you comes alive each morning in a new birth when consciousness arises along with the sensation of I Am.

So, you begin to relax into this nothingness, you disappear as body/mind/consciousness into this total nothingness. And, for the first time you recognize that you have come home at last. In this nothingness, no consciousness, no mind, no body, you are in complete peace and happiness being nothing, not thinking, knowing nothing.

At this time you can completely disappear even to yourself in samadhi or into sleep, until once again the world and consciousness emerges from within you as witness for a new birth day. But even when it does emerge, you are aware of the temporality and fickleness of consciousness and realize it is just an appearance, which comes to you who lies entirely and existentially prior to consciousness, untouched by consciousness, and are Unborn.

Body and consciousness--neither are you. You are beyond both. Unborn, not understanding, not knowing, you are entirely beyond existence.

Finally, after long rest in nothingness, you recognize that the reflected consciousness and body are also you, but there is no longer any identification with any of it. Let it do what it wants, what the show wants. While consciousness flickers you still live as a human, nut when it goes, you are untouched.

29 June 2016

You think you exist as a body/mind, relatively stably through time. Yet every night your body, mind and consciousness disappear for a few hours, until the waking state returns the next day. In that waking state you remember that you slept, and that you existed the day before. So your "stability" in existence is purely memory in the waking state, which comes and goes, comes and goes.

Identification with your body seems to make sense because then you have an apparently stable existence as a body that lasts 40, 60, 90 years, even though "you" exist for only a few hours each day as the waking state, within which is memory that ties all the waking state experiences together.

This waking state is not even the body, but an appearance that comes to you, and which disappears each evening.

In other words, as an analogy--Nisargadatta's analogy--you are like the flame of a cigarette lighter, that goes on and off all day, all week and month long. The flame, feeling its temporality, identifies with the lighter to gain some endurance and weight, but the lighter does not exist for the flame when the flame is not there. The flame just assumes the lighter was existent when it , itself, was not.

Is this not how we are, a flame during the waking moments that identifies with the body, and both of which disappear with sleep and death?

Just be aware of the flame or consciousness. Immerse in it. Be it. This is true self-inquiry.

28 June 2016

Our bodies are merely vehicles for consciousness, which we are.

The body provides the five senses, mind, the inner senses of emptiness, light, space, emotions, hunger, pain, pleasure which consciousness experiences. Pure consciousness, purified by meditation, is just and only love of being, of existence, of ourselves and of others.

Consciousness arises out of the body brought alive by the life force, which you can directly experience by immersing yourself in the experience of the I Am sensation, one's own sense of presence, w3hich grows and expands with meditation on one's self.

Consciousness experiences our bodies and experiences through our bodies. The world is just another appearance within consciousness.

I feel a sense of personal, not of the my body, but my experience of I, which when experienced completely, is everywhere in consciousness.

Now the question arises, is consciousness self-contained, or is it dependent on something in you that is deeper? This you need to ponder.

20 June 2016

There are three countries in Europe who have a lot of people following me and also viewing my blog: The Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

If anyone wants to set up a retreat in any or all of these three countries, I am open to accept.
Not one out of a million can understand what I am saying now. The others, the 99.999% have not done the inner work necessary to have the experiences that unpack their experience of the world, their bodies, and consciousness enough to better aperceive the nature of consciousness.

However, last night I received feedback from Pradeep Apte who wrote the Nisargadatta Gita and other books confirming this stated understanding of the sequencing of spiritual experience.

"Dear Ed,

Thanks for this enlightening piece. You have summed it up all in a very precise and clear way. I would only add a small bit at the end:
Now you are entirely free without knowing.


19 June 2016


Walk with me for a moment.  Think of this as a thought experiment.

What if instead of being a human body where consciousness awakens each morning to reveal the world and also our bodies, and wherein the mind also comes awake creating your personal world and your identity with your body and mind, that you instead consider yourself to be consciousness itself and not the body/mind object it perceives?

Do you understand the significance of this revolutionary overturning of concepts?

You are consciousness itself.  The body, the world, and even your own sense of existence, of presence, becomes only an appearance in consciousness.  The world arises within you.  Out of the dark, moist emptiness of nothingness, you as consciousness arise, and the world and your associated body arise within you.

This is the POV that Robert wants you to take, and also Ramana.  Consciousness is first, the appearances within it are secondary.

When experienced in this way, one’s attention becomes fixed on consciousness itself and its vagaries, and with this change in orientation, consciousness begins to change too.

You begin to experience/perceive/understand that consciousness flows out of the dark nothingness that is you like light out of a lighthouse or projector.  You can “feel” it emitting from you.  You begin to experience the energies that seem to circulate within your body and your sense of presence.  Your sense of presence, your experience of your own existence, expands and becomes more powerful.  

The life force in you becomes more clearly manifest.  You experience bliss and great joy. Light and energy pour out of you into the apparent external world.  You feel totally alive and also totally vulnerable because your apparent body has become totally alive, and nothing within is repressed because nothing within or without frightens you anymore.  No need to hide feelings or vulnerabilities.  

That sense of vulnerability brings you alive as never before. Your love and compassion also expand and you perceive that life force within that has so many names, Shakti, Ma Kali, Kundalini, Chi, is experience as God, as the Other who is also you. The life force dwells within and lives through you.  God finds expression through you.

But then things begin to change again.  The waking and sleep processes slow down. The morning awakening which used to be instantaneous now seems to take minutes.  You see/perceive consciousness arising within the darkness that is you in the morning.  You perceive “you” as consciousness arising out of the “you” of dark nothingness, and you realize then that you as consciousness have been aware of the deep sleep state for many hours.  This discovery only happens after the mind awakens and makes that discovery as a memory.

Now you fully understand consciousness’s three states of waking, dream, and deep sleep.  And within the waking and dream states the sense of I, or I Am arises along with the mind.

Consciousness now begins to change again.  Now you are not so much interested in the bliss and energy of the life force, your manifest destiny so to speak, but now your interest is on consciousness itself.

What is it?  What is its origin?

And with this attitude change, your intensity of self-investigation and self-abidance increases.  

Now you swim in consciousness and your identification with your body and even your sense of I Am-ness weakens, and your attention turns to the question, “Who or what observes all this?”  Who is it that has moved from perceiving one’s own self as a body/mind, and then moved to identify with the life force, Shakti, then moved to identifying with the totality of your manifest consciousness as nothingness, dream, and the body/world?

Consciousness no longer seems so real.  It flickers and changes and with it the objects within consciousness flicker and change.  Your concern with your body is passing away because you no longer identify with it.  It has become just another appearance in you as consciousness which has arisen out of nothingness.  As such, everything takes on the character of nothingness, no longer of a hard and sometimes brutal external world. 

Consciousness itself becomes less bright, less solid, less “present,” and your POV shifts backwards more towards the witness of this show, this totality of the manifest consciousness, and with it, you begin to feel the warm embrace and utter peace of nothingness, and thereby you begin to transcend death, for you now know that the body and your identity as a human are just appearances within your as consciousness, and consciousness itself is just an appearance arising out of a dark void.

You no longer have any identity.  You no longer know who or what you are for you have entirely transcended the human condition and your identification with your body.  You know that when “your” body dies, you as consciousness do not die, for consciousness is everywhere and exists in all things.  Only its manifestation through you as a body ceases, but you no longer identify with either your body or with consciousness.  You are that from which both have arisen, and the peace is utter and complete.

It is this identity, or lack of it, that Robert and Ramana call Consciousness with a capital C, and Nisargadatta calls the Witness, Parabrahman (before or transcending the manifest consciousness), or the Absolute.  Now you are entirely free.