02 October 2009

Hi Ed. Can you answer me a few more questions about the I - that doesn't exist. 
In my practice, when I am ,being conscious, of being - what is watching (being conscious) and what is the being?
You say that beingness is mistaken for a personal I, thus generating a belief in a personal I (this makes perfect sense to me). Is beingness what I am conscious of in my practice? Because thats all I am aware of. From what I see in my practice, there is beingness - thats it! But the witnessing of my beingness is a stumper.
The belief in a personal I - the belief being a thought? but where did it come from? if I am not the thinker, then who or what set it up?
I noticed also in my practice - that thoughts arise but I never think! I can identify with the thoughts, but Ed I don't see me creating them - which is a eye-opener, or is it my imagination!
Also I am perplexed by volition and decision making. If I am sitting in a chair, and a thought arises that I should get up, there is an intention to rise, an exercise of will and then the body is off to do what is needed. Who or what intended and willed the body to move?
If I am driving my car, and I come to a stop sign, and I decide to turn left or right - who is making the decision. 
I just re-read your first awakening, and it made perfect sense this time. I knew what you were talking about. I know this is all mental, but I believe , at least mentally, that I can understand the idea of no personal I. I think with these directed questions I can at least increase my understanding. 
Now if you say that everything, thoughts, volition, decision making and discrimination occur out of nothingness - enacted by a non-locatable, non-peronal doer. Then that means that I am not the thinker or the doer or the one writing this letter - EVERYTHING HAPPENS BY ITSELF, EVERYTHING!
Can't wait to get your response on this! 

My response:

These questions you ask are exactly the ones Robert asks you to ask.

They cause you to turn your attention towards the subject.

But then you find the subject is not a thing. It does not exist.

Without the subject, there is then no object. Without subject and
object there is no inner or outer.

There is only one consciousness.

This is step one.  Stay there for a while. Just rest in that undivided state.

This certainly is not the final understanding, but you do need to stay
in that place for a while.



Thanks Ed. Your telling me I need these questions to find my own answer? Whatever you tell me will not solve my problem, I must do that myself?
Always appreciate your help Ed. Thanks.

My Response:

Anything I tell you is only words which you will interpret according
to your present understanding and past experiences. My words cannot
take your mind beyond concepts to grasp what you really are. In
effect, your mind and its understanding are what is keeping you from
knowing your "realer" nature. You have to go to the place before
your mind arises, empty mind, silent mind.

That is, search for that awareness before thoughts and even the intent for directed attention arise.

Your mind is the problem. Get to where it has stopped or has not arisen.
Any "answers" posted about your question only makes the mind work
harder to integrate them into what you already know.

It is all about silence, not answers. This is difficult for the busy mind to accept, and difficult for a busy mind to do, but once you learn how it is the most blissful, peaceful practice you can have.


  1. what do you call that which created the appearance of all this... provided the opportunity to be without a sense of doership... what is the name you use to describe that which allows the appearance of the sun?

  2. I would never answer such a question. It presumes there is some THING, and object, that has existence, that which can be captured in thought and named.

    I tell everyone to get before that busy mindedness and find out who you are.

  3. I have a question, though perhaps it's an unnecessary one. I do realize that philosophical matters and contemplations are not really valid, but I must ask: When Robert (and you and everyone) say that the world is illusory - what does that mean exactly?
    I'm thinking of the words of the buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna: If there is only one, and nothing else - then samsara must be the same as nirvana - and equally real. But how does all of this add up? Also: the analogy of the rope and the snake seem to imply that they are identical - yet viewed from a different perspective.

    Perhaps my question boils down to the parinirvana; "post-mortem nirvana" if you will. Is it even possible to say what occurs after death to a jnana (I realize he does not even exist, but I assume you know what I'm getting at)? Considering that there is no reincarnation, yet samsara and nirvana are one and the same...
    Thanks, and sorry for the philosophical contemplations. :)

  4. To P.

    I left a long comment to your above question, but accidentally erased it. So I'll leave a briefer answer.

    The answer to your first question is gone into detail in the section on the itisnotreal.com website under my shower experience. More briefly, one discovers that the word 'I' does not point to any thing. There is no entity such as 'I'. One sees therefore that the entire concept of a separate I and separate I-sense is illusion.

    Now the mind constructs an apparent universe defined and populated by words and concepts that create forms, such as chairs, rooms and our bodies that the mind operates with.

    When you see the 'I' word does not point to anything, you see no noun points to anything either. All concepts and names are seen to be empty. With the duality I-world seen through, YOU identify no longer with a body in a world, but the totality of your personal, experiential consciousness, and there is no longer and inner and an outer world filled with objects.

    The totality of consciousness is grasped as an emptiness, self-illumined consciousness, and objects are merely transcient forms that come and go. There is only emptiness filled with consciousness.

    Later, even the consciousness is seen to be a concept, an understanding, and that melts away too as an illusion.

    One realizes that you exist even before the illusion of consciousness.

    About the other questions. It appears you are trying to articulate a meaningful question, but it will be answerable only when you can express it in your own terms and not use Buddhist very generalistic terms. Each of those terms you used has many meanings historically and philosophically, and unless you want to spend a great deal of tiem studying Buddhist philosophy and the nuances, the clearing out of your confusion is impossible.

    So try to state your question in your own experiential terms rather than general philosophical terms.

  5. Thank you, I appreciate it!

    Let's boil it down to this: what could one expect happens when a self-realized individual dies? Somehow that "individual" is free from the cycle of reincarnation, but what happens? If there is only one - then this (apparent) world must be that. That is what I mean with samsara and nirvana being one and the same. If one is not "reincarnated", then what is? Is it even worth speculating about?

    Also, one thing about atma vichara: when I try to trace the notion of self, back to the root - there's mainly focus on the body. I don't know if you know what I mean here, but it's almost as if my attention is drawn into my stomach-area, and then dissolves because it cannot find anything (though perhaps a sense of being). So my question is basically: What does searching within actually mean - in practice? If that is a question that can even be answered.
    Besides, there is (great?) fear that is stopping me from going further. Some type of dread of the unknown, so that it almost feels like I'm going to have a panic attack if I venture too deep. How should one relate to this fear? Is it ego trying to cling on, fearing dissolution? It is just the unknown, the feeling of venturing into areas where concepts dissolve that scares me.

    Sorry if it got a bit messy; there's been alot of questions in my head lately (unfortunately...).

    Thank you,