Brief Quotes from Transcript 1
You Must Have Your Own Experience
3rd August, 1990
Robert: I welcome you with all my heart.
This body does not presume that it has anything new to teach you. I will refer to this body as I, to make it short. I have nothing new to tell you. I am not a philosopher. I am not a preacher. I am not worthy. I simply have a confession. I confess to you, your own reality. It is not a teaching it's a confession. I am speaking to my Self confessing and you are my Self.
You are sat-chit-ananda — knowledge, existence and bliss. You are not the body or the mind. What you appear to be is not the truth, it may be a fact but it is not the truth. A fact is something that appears to be true but it changes.
You cannot be who you think you are for when you were a baby, you were quite different. And when you were a little boy or a little girl you were also different. And the way you are now is completely different than you were before. Consequently how can you be the body? What are you? Who are you? Sat-chit-ananda? What's that?
Even if I tell you this, it means absolutely nothing. You must have your own experience. You mustn't believe a word I say. Why should you believe me? What do I know? I am simply confessing to you that there is only para-Brahman, consciousness, bliss, being, awareness, pure intelligence. This has been my experience. There is nothing else.
Everything else is an experience of the mind, an appearance, like hypnosis. The world seems real, so does a dream.
What is this world? It's as if you just woke up from your dream and you still remember the dream. In the dream you were going places, getting married, having children, getting older then you wake up and you halfway remember the dream and halfway remember the world in which you wake up. So which one is real, the world or the dream? It has been my experience that they're both alike. There is no real difference. You attach yourself to this world, in the same way you attach yourself in your dream.
You have to let go mentally of all conditioning, of all objectivity. And you must still your mind. Make your mind placid, like a motionless lake.
Then reality comes of its own accord. Happiness comes of its own accord. Peace comes of it own accord. Love comes of its own accord. Freedom comes of its own accord. These things are synonymous. They happen without you ever thinking about them. But first you must get rid of the notion, that I am the body, or mind, or the doer and then everything will happen by itself.
Be still and know that I am God.
The point is this: It's not what you say. It's not what you proclaim. It's what's deep, deep, deep in your heart that determines what happens to you. It's not reading books, it's not studying, it's not going to classes. It's sitting by yourself, becoming quiet, going deeper and deeper within yourself. Transcending your mind and your body until something happens.
When thoughts come to you, you simply ask yourself, "To whom do these thoughts come? From whence cometh these thoughts," follow the thoughts to their source.
Find out the source of your thoughts. You will find that the source of your thoughts is I. Follow the I-thread to its source by asking, "Who am I?" or "What is the source of I? Where did this I come from?" You will realize that the pronoun I, is the first word that was ever
spoken and everything else is attached to I. Every other word. Every other thought, every other feeling, every other emotion, they're all attached to the I. I feel happy. I feel sad. I feel sick. I feel well. I feel poor, I feel rich. Everything is attached to I. If the I becomes dissolved, so does everything else and you become free.
Find out for whom there is an I and you will discover something amazing. You will discover that I never existed. There never was an I. You will discover that you never existed. There's no such thing as you. You will discover that you are the imperishable Self.
That you are never born and you can never die. You will discover that you're omnipresence, omniscient, omnipotent. That there are no others. There is no world. There is no universe. There is no God. There is only the Self. All this is the Self. All that you behold is the Self and "I-am" is that. This will give you a feeling of freedom, of bliss, of happiness.
You will not lose your awareness.
When I speak these things people believe that they become completely annihilated and there's nothing left. They melt into the great ocean of nirvana. This is not necessarily true. You will always be awareness. You will always be pure intelligence for that is your real nature. You will always be blissful. Except you will understand that you are not who you appear to be.
Your body will still appear to be doing things, going through its motions. You will appear to be an ordinary person but you will know. You have lifted yourself up above the gross world into the heavenly world of pure consciousness and you will be at peace.
As Robert expressed above, this too is exactly my experience. There are two aspects: the I-thought and the I sensation, or the sense of I-Am.
The I-thought is the lynchpin that holds together your personal network of thought that creates the world you appear to live in. Once you "discover," or "awaken" to the fact that the I-thought does not pont to anything, that entire network shatters, disappears, and you are left in emptiness. The world disappears along with the I, and 'you' discover yourself as something entirely different from what you thought you were.
My own experience of the non-existence of either the I-thought or the I sensation occurred to me while taking a shower and is described along with other experiences on the website http://wearesentience.com/my-experiences.html.
Briefly I will describe here my own first experience of the truth of Robert's teachings.
One morning, I returned from my morning walk, which that day seemed especially invigorating, and took a shower. I felt unusually relaxed; the warm water was incredibly inviting. Feeling the water's delightful touch on my back, I looked within, into the inner emptiness of Consciousness, trying to see if I could find whom it was who experienced the water's touch. I had done this observation thousands of times before, in thousands of different circumstances, seeking the 'I' who was the experiencer and never finding it, yet clinging still to the notion I was an I, a person.
This time, like all the others, there was nothing there, only a vast inner emptiness that contained everything: the kinesthetic sensations of moving arms, back and neck muscles, the touch of the water, the sound of it's spray, and a few thoughts, but mostly there was a silent emptiness that felt inviting and full. I saw no one, no thing, no I, there at all for the ten thousandth time, but this time, God knows why, it was different. The reality of 'no-one' sank in! There was no person, no one experiencing the water's touch. There was no one home, so to speak. There was just the touch of water, the feeling of my feet against the bottom of the shower. My hands were touching my back and neck, putting on soap, but there was no one experiencing any of this. There was just experience happening in awareness.
Briefly, I felt intense fear. The fear was, "Who is watching the store?" I felt, or better, there was a feeling of insecurity, because no one was there to protect and control. All that there was, was experiencing, happening in Consciousness.
All the air left my lungs, almost as if it had been knocked out of me, and I relaxed. Years of tension drained out of me. I did not breathe for what seemed like minutes. There was no need to breathe. There was no me, no I to pump up anymore, so my body just relaxed and deflated.
My mind (actually, 'the' mind since there was no I) became utterly still. No thoughts, no special attention to any one thing, just the grand, silent, all-pervading emptiness, illuminated by the inner light of Consciousness, and which contained all experience. My mind was gone.
I felt too weak to stand up, so I dried myself off and laid down on a couch to explore the inner-ness from the viewpoint of the discovery that I had no I, no me, no personal self. With the utter mental silence, 'my' Consciousness expanded to fill up the emptiness which was everywhere, rather than remain affixed to the mental chatter that normally exists in the service of the I.
This is what I discovered: The I was not there. There was no central kernel that gave illusory life to me as a person. There never was an I. There had never even been an idea that there was an I, the doer and experiencer; even that was gone. What I had thought to be I, was really I-Am, the sense of presence, of being-ness. But that I-Amness, the presence, the Consciousness contained no point of I, and it never had. 'I' had only been a belief, an idea held tenaciously, that created an apparent experience of I as a person.
When the idea of I died, the whole realm of conceptualization changed and became clear. All other ideas depended on the belief in a separate I, set apart from the rest of the experienced world, and when this duality was exposed as fantasy, so were all other concepts that depended on the I-Other duality.
Looking within, the I-Am-ness, the presence I had called Consciousness, seemed to have a center or source near the heart (of my apparent body); it appeared that Consciousness arose and flowed from this center. Yet that heart center was only a happening in Consciousness and had nothing to do with the belief in an I as the doer and experiencer. The I-Am, the sense of presence that pervades all inner and outer emptiness and experience has no I as a central core. It really is an Am-ness, not an I-Am-ness. Without an I, there is no not-I within Consciousness. There is only Consciousness, only One. The One contains all experience. All experiences are only modifications of that one Consciousness.
I turned my attention to thoughts, and saw that thoughts just float through Am-ness, as if from outside the body. There is no mind as such, just thoughts passing through Am-ness, beingness. Without an I, the illusory personal center, there is no one to take possession of a thought or desire and to act on it or make it real. The Am-ness has no inclination to participate in the thoughts, and is free of their tyranny. The Am-ness is free to take delivery of a thought briefly, and make it real, such as an idea that I need to do some chore, which may be transformed into action, or it can let the thought or desire pass through, unaccepted.
Thoughts, forms, and imaginations are infinitely changing and moving. They have no permanent existence. They are just modifications within the overflowing process of I-Am. The only reality was Am-ness, which contained all experience, and which was being witnessed. So, I then asked myself, "Who witnesses all this?" The answer came as an inner voice: "No one at all!" I realized there is only witnessing, but with no witness! Just like there was no I to take possession of a desire or thought, there is no witness to take possession of any experience. The idea of the witness, and the apparent experience of the witness, arises from the apparent duality the I-idea creates. When this fundamental duality disappears, so do all the others, including the imagined duality of the witness and the witnessed, the observer and the observed.
However, if there is no witness, then there are no objects to be witnessed. If the I is unreal, everything observed by the I is unreal. You can't have only one half of a duality. If half is unreal, so is its opposite, or else the duality was only apparent. The objects, the body, the mind, the world, are all unreal, only mindstuff, dreams in Consciousness. With no I, and no observed world, there are only happenings within Consciousness, and Consciousness is all that there is― Oneness.
A few moments later came the feeling that even this Consciousness, the sense of presence, of Am-ness is unreal, a kind of visual-auditory-tactile illusion added onto pure silence, pure emptiness. About this time, all the forms, sounds, sights and feelings began to flow together, and I could see their temporary and evanescent nature. There was no I, no world, no body; there was only presence, and even that, I am not. Even the I-Amness, Consciousness, was only mindstuff ― a construct. I am that I-Am only as long as I live in the illusion of Consciousness. Imagination, ideas, and all phenomenal experience were all just mind. The mind does not create the world, the mind is the world; mind is everything. With that I began laughing. What my teacher had said was true, it is all a joke, a tale told by an idiot, implying nothing. Anything said here too is only a conceptualization, mindstuff, therefore a mistake!
The whole experience lasted a few hours, and I eventually returned to a place where a chair was a chair and potato salad was a food. I was different though. I could not find an ‘I’ or even the belief there was an I. That core was gone.
Over the days following the shower experience, other understandings of what the experience of no-I meant became clear. First, all understanding, whatever can be said in words is untrue or misleading. Everything is mindstuff ― everything! Anything said, is said in illusion about illusion. Anything said is a mistake. Mind cannot grasp anything other than itself. It cannot go beyond itself. Conceptions, phenomenality, and what we call dreams, are all made of the same illusory substance.
Second, there was no one to take delivery of 'my' life. It was just being lived. There was no one to take possession of any thought or responsibility. There was no decision maker who willed an intended end. Intentionality, the idea we can conceive of and then create an outcome, was a fraud.
Over the following months the experience widened and deepened. Sometimes the world appeared real, sometimes unreal, sometimes both; but, I understood that these appearances of real or unreal were just judgments added onto the basic illusion of phenomenality and of Consciousness itself. When there is only One, all judgments or knowledge about qualities or parts of the One, such as 'the world was unreal,' or 'that is a car,' are themselves illusory because they are divisive, and there is only One.
Days and weeks would pass where I felt I was living in a hologram. I felt as if I could see through objects in the world and my own body because my focus was on the emptiness which permeated all things, inside and out. Everything was 'hollow,' insubstantial images and sensations projected onto an underlying empty space of still silence. Sometimes too, I would see an object out of the corner of my eye, an automobile for example, and it would only be half there, like a movie set where only the front existed. Days passed into nights and then into days again with barely the feeling of the passage of time.
The whole process was great fun ― sometimes, seeing the world as empty and insubstantial images changing rapidly through time, without the personal involvement that had formerly made the world seem so real. When I told Robert about the phenomena of half disappearing objects bereft of substantiality, I jokingly asked whether this was part of the awakening process, or an entering into insanity. With wry humor he replied, "They go hand in hand."
A week later, I asked Robert again whether seeing the world as an empty and hollow dream was a temporary state, or something one leaves behind as a passing phase. "It's always like this," he said, waving his hand around the room to include everything. Then he said, "In the end, fundamentally nothing has ever existed, nothing has ever happened."