If you really want to understand Robert, and to be in the state that Robert was all the time, and from which he spoke the truth about being a Jnani, you have to travel a very difficult path of becoming nothing. You have to become Nada, nothing, not knowing anything, being entirely stupid, uneducated, not understanding, and thus not living through the filter and activities of mind.
This is the most difficult path imaginable for highly educated people that have always depended on their minds for their careers, for making day-to-day decisions about what to buy or wear, to planning once future regarding directions and finances, or to satiate for many, and insatiable desire to know things, and to do things.
Many of us are driven to do things. Our minds are always fixated on hotly utilize resources present for any potential end or goal. Others, like me when I was young, have an undying thirst for knowledge, whether about science, economics, or self understanding, either of the garden-variety found in psychology, or the much deeper Self found in Advaita Vedanta, or Kashmir Shaivism. But that is searching itself is done by and through the mind, through directed attention, through analysis of phenomena or states of mind, and as such does not take us deeper into our more fundamental sense of Self that is deeper than mind.
Robert always talked about the mind as being your enemy. At other times he said, “your mind is not your friend.” Yet people always listen to this through the mind, and made this an understanding, rather than taking it as a direct invitation to stop thinking.
Robert over and over, repeated his advice to stop thinking. He proposed methods of meditation, mantra, self inquiry, chanting, the I am meditation, etc., all with the aim of getting the mind to stop.
Because when the mind stops, when thinking is no longer present directing attention, compartmentalizing our perceived world, dividing it into objects, subjects, seeing versus seeing, the witness versus the witnessed, something truly wonderful happens. All divisions disappear. The I am ceases to exist separate from everything else. Even the space that appears to separate us from the world disappears. There are no separate phenomena which we can call the world. There is no longer a separate self which exist within the world. And from this point of view, we see that what we formally considered the world is an illusion created by an active and projecting mind.
Our fundamental beingness, the so-called ‘gap’ between thoughts, or which exists the first thing in the morning before the sense of I ascends into the brain, is a state prior to I, prior to I am, prior to I am experiencing the world. There are no thoughts here, and there is no knowingness here. There is simply awareness, and not an awareness of what, because here there is neither an I, nor a world. Neither have come into existence, and will not come into existence, until the mind, the sense of I am, arises into the brain, and then, at that moment, the world appears, and I appear. Prior to this arising of the mind, which suddenly imposes a map of the world, a way of knowing, there is no thinking, no I know world.
One can call the state the original ignorance, the original not-knowing, or the original state prior to a consciousness of the world and self. This is the state prior to consciousness. This is the state of awareness prior to consciousness. About this state nothing can be said because it is prior to mind. Anything that the mind creates exists at an entirely different level from this pure awareness state.
All of Robert’s instructions, all of his methods, are directed to be able to rest in the snow mind state, prior to the world-consciousness, prior to the I am.
Both Robert and Nisargadatta, and Ramada, all agree that the gateway to this pure consciousness lies through focusing on and abiding in the I am consciousness, the sense that I exist, that I am alive. By so abiding, one enters into Christ consciousness, or Krishna consciousness, which is the deepest level of the Manifest Self of energy, bliss, knowingness, and existence. This is what Robert calls Satchitananda. This is the state of pure knowingness. However, even prior to that, is the pure state of not knowing, of simply being, and not being separate, not being a witness, not being the witnessed. Simply being aware, and not aware of anything or of anyone.
Ultimately the states are “seen” and also understood to be one and the same. The unknowing beingness, and the I am of Turiya, are ultimately recognized to be one.
But to reach this state of completion, we have to pass through the waking state, the dream state, both of which contain the I am sensation, and enter the causal state of not knowing anything, of being unaware of anything, and finally into the Turiya state of existence/knowledge/bliss, before piercing to the state of pure awareness prior to the mind superimposing a world an individual self onto this pure awareness.
Now, most importantly, Robert states why should you believe him that this indeed is the truth? He asks, “who am I that you should believe me?”
Thus Robert throws everything back on to you. He confesses his own direct experience, and says it is his experience. But he says, for this to be true for you, you have to have your own experience of the truth of his confession. Before that, if you hold on to what Robert is saying, it is purely a belief system for you, and just another level of ignorance added onto the ignorance that is the world superimposed by your mind onto your basic beingness state.
So when you repeat Robert’s words over and over, without experiencing the truth by your own direct seeing on to all four levels of Self, as well as that which rise prior to Self, which Robert calls True-Self, you are only adding ignorance onto the fundamental ignorance you already have that is the world and your personal self. To truly enter the gap, to enter the awareness-only state, you have to become dumb as a rock, you have to become unknowing, innocent, comfortable in being stupid, because intelligent, and educated, are your enemies, as they are vaunted attributes of mind.