30 October 2015

All the published books of Nisargadatta taken together are probably less than 1,200 pages.  Three of them by Jean Dunn, are less than 500 pages.

If you notice, published talks are always less than 5 pages, often less than 3 pages.

This means his published talks are all heavily edited, and what you are reading is the editor's POV regarding the talks selected, and what portions of those talks the editor chose to make a point.

Robert's talks covered three years from 1990 to mid 1993, three years. He talked twice a week for maybe 30-45 minutes. The book of his entire talks is over 2,100 pages long.

Nisargadatta talked six or seven times as much, everyday, twice a day. Most of the talks published after I Am That occurred between 1979 and 1981.  This would mean a book of all his talks would be over 14,000 pages long excluding the earlier I Am That from his 1974 and 1975 talks.  So we are reading less than 10% of what Maharaj spoke of during those three years.

I had a long talk one time with William Powell who himself wrote three books of Maharaj's talks.  He asked me why the talks published in other's books, like those of Jean Dunn were so short.  Powell said Nisargadatta spoke at great length each day, and authors only captured a small part of what he said.

His two newest books, Beyond Freedom and Nothing is Everything are different.  These were random, previously unpublished talks that had not been cherry-picked by previous editors as among his best talks. They have not been carefully edited to reveal the diamonds mixed in with the dross, and you find a very different Nisargadatta here, one that seems terminologically challenged, inconsistent, and very confusing.

The Nisargadatta in Jean's books is polished, powerful, eloquent, in the last two books, almost like someone with not enough sleep and who was very, very careless with examples, stories going nowhere, and highly inconsistent, and, in fact, not much worth a bother.

Now if you want to try to reframe Maharaj's work between lower and higher teachings, we have a problem.  Some like the concept of that which lies prior to Consciousness, the Absolute that apprehends Consciousness, as opposed to the teachings found in the last two books in question that focus on the "truth" that everything is Consciousness, a unity of the totality of an undifferentiated oneness, or wholeness, within which the I-sense, one's body as a percept, one's breathing, the entirety of the external world, all merge in oneness without identification of any sort.

Those who try to shoehorn Maharaj into just those two positions almost never talk about where those teachings come from experientially out of Maharaj.  He says the teachings come out of him spontaneously, not by thinking or memory. with nary a word about the experiential states he talks about.  Without some sort of support, his words have only the power you give them, and I know many, many people, including Ramesh Balsekar who swears Maharaj did not talk about anything existing prior to Consciousness.

There are so many who think they have entirely grasped Nisargadatta, and are very insistent on their POV, and argue I am wrong or presenting a minority of Maharaj's teachings.

Actually, I have a different view.  I want to free people from a slavish dependence on what they think Maharaj said, which is solely their own POV based on their spiritual history, their education, their meditations, and their reading of Maharaj, and quit insisting that others don't understand him as deeply as they do.

Be open to all he is saying, not to just your beliefs about the totality of his teachings, and purported levels.  Yes, I find him intriguing still, but the primary authority with who I abide, is myself, my own experience, my own knowledge, not Nisargadatta.  I am telling you to cling only to your own experience, not to Ramana, Maharaj, or Robert.

1 comment:

  1. Then what Balsekar said is totally at odds with what the former devotee or disciple Stephen Wolinsky said since he stated that Maharaj did address the Absolute or Witness state PRIOR to Consciousness(which in fact is a subject addressed in one of his DVD's). Who's right and who's wrong?