I arrived last night in Phoenix and saw my mom for the first time in two years. She was released from the hospital after an 8-day stay two days ago. She says she feels great. She has a condition that could recur at any time at which could kill her, namely diverticulitis with severe infection and bleeding. At age 92 the doctors refuse to provide survival odds if she had to undergo surgery if the bleeding became too severe.
I brought two books with me in case I had time to begin preparing lessons on Robert's teachings, Prior To Consciousness by Jean Dunn, and Consciousness in the Absolute, also by Jean.
Jean and I had grown to become friends over the years prior to her death. She had a friend in Los Angeles who she visited quite frequently, and whenever she was here, I would see her, usually at a hotel near the Los Angeles airport. We would talk for hours. Our last visit was about two years before she died. She had severe emphysema and the depressurization in the airplane’s cabin nearly killed her. The doctors told her that she could never fly again.
During this visit she gave me a photograph she had taken of Nisargadatta along with little book called "Self Knowledge and Self-Realization" by Maharaj. Both are posted on the http//itisnotreal.com website.
Last night I was glancing through her Consciousness and the Absolute book for the first time in several years. She very carefully explains the essence of Maharaj’s teachings, which is even more carefully elucidated by Nisargadatta himself in the following 4 pages of chapter One.
As a backdrop I wanted to explain that Robert once or twice a private told me that there was no Consciousness, that Consciousness itself was only apparent, it was illusion. This is precisely Maharaj’s teaching. Robert told me that he really couldn't say this public because people would not accept that message. He even joked that people would kill him for that message.
Isn’t this precisely true? Are not most of the spiritual teachers today saying only that your essence is Consciousness, Consciousness is all that there is, and calling that beingness? Their message is that the ego is not real, but Consciousness, beingness, is all that there is and is eternal.
In fact, both Robert and Nisargadatta equivocate in these precise teachings. In fact, in both Robert and in Nisargadatta, you can find a little bit of everything, including talks where Robert will say you are Consciousness itself, beyond the mind and ego. At other times, he would publicly say that you are beyond the Consciousness, you are beyond everything.
On introductory page vii, Jean Dunn states concerning Nisargadatta’s teachings, "Abiding in the "I-Amness" (or Consciousness, which is pure love), that Consciousness itself will give us all the answers. At the present time, Consciousness is what we are, not personal Consciousness, but impersonal universal Consciousness. In the course of time, the Consciousness will show us that we are not even this, but we are that Eternal, Absolute, unborn, undying."
This is very clear. He is saying your essential true nature is beyond Consciousness. You are beyond Consciousness, beyond the I am, beyond the ego, beyond the body. This is precisely Robert's teachings.
On page 4 of the book itself, Maharaj himself states:
"In deep sleep, Consciousness was in a dormant condition; there were no bodies, no concepts. Upon the arrival of this apparently wakeful state, with the arrival of the concept "I am", the love of "I am" woke up. That itself is Maya, illusion."
"Everything is beingness, but I, the Absolute, am not that."
"Consciousness depends on the body; the body depends on the essence of food. It is the Consciousness which is speaking now. If the food essence is not present, the body could not exist. Without the body, would I be able to talk?"
I will elucidate this understanding later as pointed out repeatedly by both Robert and Nisargadatta, but which is only implicit in Ramana's teachings as expressed by his students. Indeed, you can find confirmation of the same truth in Ramana's teachings if you look at the right books. Otherwise, most of his students identifying the absolute with Consciousness, and even more so, the waking Consciousness.
You might say there are three levels of I. There is the level of the I-word and I-concept, with the assumption and belief that there is an and entity that the concept describes, and that the I-word points to.
The second level of I identification, is at the level of identification with mind and Consciousness, which Nisargadatta calls "beingness," or "I-Amness."
Finally, there is the I as the absolute, completely beyond phenomonality, completely unknowable by the mind, without attribute and even without existence. This is what Western idealist philosophers--and Balsekar--calls the Noumenal, and which I might call the other-dimensional. This is the non-manifest, the unmanefest, unborn subject. Even saying that is to ruin it because you are giving names to that about which nothing can be said, because there are no attributes, entirely beyond existence.
On page 4 of Consciousness of the Absolute, Maharaj states regarding the absolute:
"In truth, your state is one of absolute bliss, not this phenomenal state. In that non-phenomenal state you are full of bliss but there is no experience of its presence. In that state there is no trace of misery or and happiness, only unalloyed bliss."
"Everything is beingness, but I, the absolute, am not that."
If you understand this, you will see this is completely beyond the current spiritual teachings that you are Consciousness and everything is Consciousness. Over the next few months and years I want to explain this ever more deeply and completely, as well as clearly outline what it takes to get there.