There are many, many
teachers plying their goods, building Satsang’s, writing books, giving
retreats, wanting to change the world through the force of their personality
and teachings.They are like many little
Satans in sheep’s clothing, speaking sweetly, being warm, cuddling and smiling,
while calculating the size of their sangha, and the night’s receipts from
Satsang.They manipulate, cajole, and
sweettalk students into giving money and work, and they give them crap and
return, just the very basic teachings and a warm and friendly smile.But they are useless even to themselves.They have no advanced knowledge of
themselves.They can only teach the
useless knowledge that picked up from books or from other third-rate teachers
that they learned from.
But even more so, a good
or potentially great student is almost impossible to find now.Most are just interested in accumulating teachings
from books and from random Satsang’s or retreats.They may spend three months or four months at
an ashram and leave, because they were not paid what they considered the proper
respect to great students like they are.So much narcissism nowadays, students expect masters to bow to them for
paying attention to them.
Therefore I tend to be
hard on students.The pursuit of
enlightenment is the most arduous, dangerous, and perilous life.There is so many pitfalls, so many false
paths, so many false leads, so much bullshit in terms of methods, techniques, Shaktipat,
true and false, that leads their heads swimming trying to figure everything out
so they add their own speculation onto all the false knowledge being given to
them.So if you can see through the
false, and to survive and go on to real realization of any depth, they have to
develop discriminatory intelligence rather quickly, and see the fool for the fool,
and not be a fool following an immature teacher.
The best Zen teacher I studied
with this is Sasaki Roshi, because he would not tolerate fools, and his
teaching method was very strict.Fools
were not allowed to stay in his centers.Only those who really wanted to deeply studies in.There was an extraordinary amount of
discipline required of the student, many demands made on them as he deepened in
their understanding of Zen.
Robert was an entirely
different style teacher.On the outside
he was very silent but friendly, a kindly looking old man that everyone could
identify as a father that they wanted, whose long stairs and fumbling speaking
drought a kind of fondness is students.But students never stayed.They
could not understand Robert.They could not
understand it when he said, “you do not exist.You are not a human.You are not
your body.The world is an illusion it
does not exist.”And he meant it.
When people met him
privately for lunch or otherwise, he listened as a blabber about all their
problems, and he tried to give sage advice to their petty concerns.,But hardly a one grew up under his
tutelage.The novelty of hearing “you do
not exist.You are only
exists.Your body is unreal.”Goes away after a while because you do not
know what the hell he means, see you take it as a kind of joke pointing to
something deeper.But he was being
literal.He spoke from his point of view
which is of being beyond consciousness but that all that existed was in
consciousness, but he as outside of consciousness did not exist, and neither
did you, but you did not know it.How
many people really want to know they do not exist?How many want to transcend life and death
Not one in 10,000
students has the gumption or the drive to really progress and develop spiritual
discipline, and spiritual discrimination that allows them to eventually become
their own guru.And of those one and
10,000, literally only one in 10,000 will become enlightened—at most!Something will always hold them back.Lack of emotional maturity is one
reason?Clingings or Vasanas will hold
you back from even letting go of the body and identifying with consciousness or
as consciousness within the universal consciousness.You hang onto the body because it has a
permanence that your mind does not have.Mind flickers and flickers, and even consciousness disappears at night,
so there is the belief in the body as being more real and more permanent than
consciousness.So it is very hard to let
go of the body.Not one in 100,000 will
ever let go of their body, maybe not one in a million-really let go of their
It is even harder to let
go of consciousness, because once you attain identity with consciousness the
happiness and bliss is so powerful that it makes you swollen and fall at the
feet of the divine in total devotion and surrender.Who wants to give that up to find that
absolute one that stands behind all?The
only one that will do that is the one that sees that consciousness itself is an
illusion.One that sees that
consciousness flickers and is not sustained.When the body dies, the consciousness associated with that body dies
also, no matter how joyful or blissful that entity was one minute before
death.Therefore how many are willing to
let go of that ecstatic state of union with God?Not one in 10,000.Read what Bernadette Robert said about “the
catastrophe” of leaving unitary consciousness, Christ consciousness, and proceeding
into no self, nothingness.It was a
horrible experience for her, as it was for U.G. Krishnamurti, who also called it the calamity.Your entire world falls apart, your entire
consciousness becomes a stranger to you is the ultimate witness.Yet so few understand the complete and utter
peace and rest that comes with that state of having lost everything, given
everything up, becoming complete, having no pangs, having all loves, having no
desires.How many would give up God
realization for this state of completeness?One in 10,000?
Therefore, I tell you the
truth, but really so few are ready to hear the truth.So few are ready to hear that the path to
self-realization, and the further path to nothingness requires great
discipline, great dedication, great perseverance, and through that one develops
inner strength and also spiritual discrimination.But most of the people that come now are newbies,
they do not have a clue as to who they are or where they are going, and have no
idea of the life of spiritual seeking that lies before them and the
disappointments, headaches, and sufferings entailed in order to garner even a
small bit of discrimination.
You see, in a sense those
who succeed are great men and women.They
are spiritual heroes.They are not the
ordinary run of human being.They been
bitten deeply by a need to understand themselves or to know God, and they gained
and the ability to introspect into their own subjectivity and from that complex
experience of self to ferret out the various states and experiences found by
going within, and are able to do that fearlessly, tirelessly, with great
determination, and ability to struggle and struggle and struggle, until their
own self, their deep self, shows that the nature of consciousness and what lies
Strangely, sometimes that
bite of the snake of self-knowledge does not come until later in life, after a
long life of immersion in a normal human world in a normal human existence.Take for example, Leonard Cohen.I met him in 1970 at Mount Baldy’s and center
but we were both studying under Sasaki Roshi.He was probably about 40 at the time.He was fed up with life but eventually became a Zen monk.I do not think he ever made it.I do not think he ever found what he was looking
for, his self.I am not sure he even was
fully acquainted with emptiness.
But the famous Zen master
Joshu, historically did not get the bug to seek himself, to understand himself,
to attain great Satori until the age of 60.According to history he lived to be over 120, and when asked what his
experiences were, he stated I had 17 major Satoris, and thousands of little
This is what a teacher
looks for, not the newbies to teach kindergarten methods, and kindergarten
understanding about the nature consciousness, because most spiritual students
are looking for more than a better life, happier life, or sex, or ecstasies,
etc. they are not really looking to understand themselves, nor have they any
idea how difficult it is to escape from their mind and their concepts.
Are there any of you out
there that have that capacity to be a spiritual hero?It takes someone who has been bitten deeply
by the snake of self-knowledge, and easily throws away where they are in life
everything that they have, drops at all, and starts the long path to finding
All the others, I just
warn them, that the way of seeking is difficult, fraught with perilous
mistakes, suffering, emotional pain, feeling misused and abused, when in fact
only their desires are being thwarted.I
tell them the odds of successfully becoming enlightened.I warned him about people who say they are
already enlightened and there is nothing to do, or people who say there is no
separate self so all is good.But I
really cannot help them.They are not
strong enough, or they lack courage, they lack discrimination, or they are
filled with fear can only take baby steps.
I have been
accused of being a grudge, of having no compassion, because I speak of the
mathematical odds of ever becoming enlightened as 10 or hundred million to
one. This is what Robert told me. This is what Nisargadatta says.
is it really compassionate to lead people on with endless encouragement when I
know how few will ever come to any real understanding of who and what they are
and the nature of world and consciousness?
Or is it more compassionate to dissuade people from this onerous task,
and have them do something else with their life, something which will give some
satisfaction and meaning?
I am not
alone regarding this. People are all
screwed up with infinite numbers of concepts about themselves, the world,
consciousness, and the accumulated knowledge that they have read from 100
different sources. All of these ideas
lie side-by-side in a humongous mess all of which is contradictory to other
concepts within this mess. How can anyone
find truth in this maze of confusion?
truth, one’s elemental being, and prior to being-Ness, requires a very subtle
mind and a clear grasp that all concepts are misleading. As Huang Po said, “The only truth is that
there is no truth; beware even of this truth.”
If you follow the mind and where it leads after reading books, or even
after deep meditations, the mind will always lead you to untruth. Truth cannot be found in mind and mentation
or analysis. Truth is found by going to
the root of one’s own being, into that inner space existing prior to one’s own
being this, prior to the mind, prior to consciousness. And how easy is that?
Listen to what
Nisargadatta Maharaj says about entering the spiritual path, or pursuing
think you are interested in spirituality, I am dissuading you. If you follow any other vocation except
spirituality, you will have some hope that you will succeed sometime. But if you enter spirituality, all your hopes
will ultimately be shattered. You will
be left with no hope nor expectations.
So I again advise you, do not jump into the spiritual thing. If you do that, you will be licking without a
tongue; you will be left with nothing.
You might even invite your own death; death will be there, death will
meet you, you will be shivering in your shoes.
students had come here. I told them:
forget spirituality, follow your normal inclinations, tendencies, do your
normal duties, just give up spirituality.
Why did I talk to them like this?
I got involved in spirituality, in the business of spirituality; and
finally I lost that love of the self also thereby. I have no more love for the self. That is the reason I told them to not follow
their spiritual inclinations.
anchor for anybody is the love for self, consciousness, the “I-love” state, the
main bonding. I started spirituality in
the name of self-knowing only, because I love myself, I love to be. And I wanted to know what is God. And to know that means spirituality. So in this bargain, I lost that; I am no
longer fascinated by that love to be.
Because that is the main bondage, the main condition, the “I-love.” So long as the vital breath operates, so long
as the pulse will be beating, until then there is this love to be, until then
there is the consciousness. When the
vital breath quits the body, the pulse will stop and “I-am-Ness” is no more. Since my love to be is now completely
finished, exhausted, I have no more fascination for that state of “I-love.” Therefore I have no more love for
anybody. We normally involve ourselves
in loving somebody else from the main standpoint that I love to be.
this, our skull, and earthen pot. So
long as this earthen pot is not properly baked, you have to collect knowledge
from elsewhere. When it is properly
baked then you will be in a position to understand of what I am talking. But what will happen to you after you listen
to my talks? The shell will burst; it
come here, you will be cremated yourself.
Whatever identity you will have, whatever idea you will have about your
own self will be cremated. Would you
like this type of knowledge, which I am exposing here? This love to be, this consciousness,
unsolicited, spontaneously, it has come—for no reason.
then it occupies itself with all activities.
These worldly activities are only due to that, self love, love to
be. But self-love is not real. It cannot be eternal; is a passing
phase. All this knowledge, in final
analysis, is of no use. Since you will
liquidate that very consciousness, finally whatever you have heard here is of
no use. Only within the realm of
consciousness is knowledge innocent. But
having heard whatever I have said, if you retain it in your memory and because
of your association with that knowledge, some new knowledge will also sprout in
you. All of this is no use really. But it has one use: you will be able to
parade your knowledge before the ignorant masses, you will have a chance to
become a guru.
knowledge you originally had plus the knowledge you have heard, and the
knowledge which is sprouted you, when you finally understand or realize all
that, you definitely will come to the conclusion that is all unreal, of no use.”
Nisargadatta is saying, is that coursing along a path of spirituality, of
self-knowledge, means your utter destruction as an individual, as a human
being, as a person in this world. And
not 1/10,000,000 people will attain even this.
Most get lost in concepts and words, and become knowledgeable and spout
that knowledge to other people which helps them not because they can not come
to any conclusion because of the morass of conflicting concepts. And at the end of that path, even a
successful path, you become nothingness itself and have lost all love for life
and existence. Are you sure you want
first reason “enlightenment” is so difficult, is sheer confusion. Almost no one that seeks it has an accurate
preconception of what it means or entails.
are so many spiritual teachers and teachings today, that reflect many different
models of spirituality, and levels of attainment in spirituality, all speaking
at the same time on the Internet, or in written books, with very little
commonality in terms of definition, goals, experiential states defined, or what
enlightenment really is.
are so many “spiritual” teachers now that identify “enlightenment” that define
enlightenment as the recognition of a “divinity” within, and that “within” is
not experientially defined.
spiritual teachers talk about internal energies, kundalini, Shakti, Chi,
life-force, prana, etc. that define “enlightenment” as having accessed these
energies in our awareness, and perhaps having obtained some mastery in the
guiding or use of such energies for whatever purpose, as enlightenment.
of these teachers fall into the feminist “goddess” meme, as realization of the
spirit within, and having an innate existence in every human being, but which
is often labeled as the “divine feminine” within, with so-called “wild”
energies of creation, sexuality, creativity, healing powers, and disruption.
are so, so many such energy oriented teachers who talk about incarnational
spirituality, that is of the energies that arise from and during the existence
of the body. They recognize that the
body is not consciousness, but consciousness is of the spiritual dimension, and
those are most closely identified with Shakti, kundalini, the life-force
for Robert Adams, Nisargadatta, Ramana, and the Advaita tradition as a whole,
this definition of enlightenment is not even a halfway measure of what
enlightenment means for them.
example, take Robert Adams, who began every Satsang with a statement such as:
you do not exist; you are not real; the world is not real; the world is like an
optical illusion having no independent existence of its own; the world is a
projection of one’s own self; your body does not exist; you have no body, no
mind, and are not a thing.
on the other hand emphasize that your identification of you as a body, is entirely
a mistake. You, the “I-am” is
experiential, and it is the experience of being alive, that you exist, that you
love to persist in existing, and enlightenment is attained by this identifying
with your body, to re-identifying with your sense of existence, which has three
elements: your body, which is in the form of a material-world host; the life
force that the other teachers mentioned above take as being a real nature; and
consciousness, the totality of which is the universe of experience within which
our attention wanders and becomes randomly aware of the totality of what we
find within consciousness, as consciousness illumines self and the world.
Robert’s point of view, from Nisargadatta’s point of view, your fundamental
identity lies completely outside the normal humans identification with their
body, or with their minds. For both
these teachers, one’s identity first should be with the IM sense itself, which
is a combination of consciousness and the life force, or Chit, or
consciousness, and Shiva/life force. The
two operate together, the life force, and the awareness of the Lifeforce,
result in the experience of the world, one’s own body, and all the activities
of that apparent body within the world.
for these two teachers, there is no individuality. Once you realize that the body comes into
being purely spontaneously as the interaction within and between the elements
of nature creating the physical body, its genome structure, its potentials, and
the Lifeforce, which is specific for that body in space and time, you recognize
that the identification with the body as an individual presents, itself is an
error, is illusion or Maya.
spiritual evolution from the Advaita point of view, one must disidentify with
the illusion, or Maya, identification with the body as being an insignificant
existence within a much larger external world, and take on a new identity as
the totality of the Lifeforce and consciousness, with the individual
instantiation as a local identity with the particular body mind.
analogy, it is a recognition that I am not a cup of water separated from all
other cups of water in the world, but my essential nature is not the form of a
cup holding the water, but with water itself, and water itself is the same
everywhere, whether in the ocean, in another cup of water, or as rain or
ice. Water is a universal concept so to speak,
and not just the water attached to one specific form such as a glass or
bottle. As such, water stands in here as
an analogy for a new understanding of consciousness, as being the same
individual consciousness is an instance of, or and instantiation of the
universal consciousness, which is the awareness of the manifest world including
one’s own sense of existence, everywhere at once. That is, I am no longer an individual soul
operating within a body within the world, but I give up that narrow identity to
realize that I, as consciousness, partake of the universal characteristics of a
universal consciousness, with the wandering awareness, working in conjunction
with the life force. You realize that
you are the totality of the manifest universe that you are aware of, and not a
limited awareness attached to a specific body, but that body itself that you
perceive, is only an appearance within your awareness, within your
consciousness, and is no longer your identity.
You become free to become identified with limitless consciousness. This is the first stage of enlightenment for
the invite and’s and for the two teachers I mentioned.
second stage of enlightenment, is to recognize even after this dis-identification
with the body, and a re-identification with the totality of consciousness
itself or universal consciousness, as well as with the life force operating
therein, that you as an individual do not exist, because the Lifeforce is
universal even though it is operational within your “so-called” body. As such you have transcended your human
identification. You have transcended
your status as a body’s incarnational status, of being a divine expression of
the universal consciousness. Instead,
because of the universal nature both of consciousness and of the Lifeforce,
you, as an individual does not exist.
This consciousness is purely impersonal as is the life force. It is activities have nothing to do with any
specific form with names such as Robin, Ed, Frank, Max, Janet, Deborah, or any
other human name. No individual form
exists except as appearance within the play of consciousness which itself is
entirely impersonal and not individuated in any way.
this expanded identification, you have no place as an owner, or as a door, as
it act door, but it is a play of the forms within consciousness within space
and time, within which your personal identity no longer exists. How many are willing to give up their
individual nature to attain misunderstanding?
happens at this level however, is the attaining of complete peace, and
rest. There are no individual needs at
this level. One does not feel that one
wants anything, even though the body continues to operate on its own as it
always has to feed itself and they take care of daily duties, but no longer
with a sense of ought, a sense of should, or a sense of I want. The individual is dead, and now there is
merely the play of an impersonal consciousness and impersonal life force.
itself, is a very difficult attainment in understanding, and usually requires a
whole series of events or experiences that allow for progressive or even a
sudden, total reorientation of one’s identification away from the body to that
of reidentification with the totality of consciousness or the manifest
universal consciousness. But this is
just the first stage of enlightenment from the invite point of view, from the
Robert Adams point of view, from the Nisargadatta point of view.
stage is to recognize either through multiple experiences of
dis-identification, or multiple deep recognitions and shifts in one’s
understanding of one’s identity away from identification with universal
consciousness in a recognition that what you are is in fact deeper than
consciousness, then one sense of presence even.
What you are is entirely beyond consciousness of the life force which is
the play of consciousness.
enters a new stage where one views oneself as a part from one’s body, from one’s
mind, as the witness, which itself has no identity, no characteristic, no
appearance, and no experience, but you do experience yourself, whatever you
are, as a part in separate from consciousness and the life force.
separate “witness” itself has no characteristic whatsoever, has no appearance
whatsoever, has no mind, no touch, no taste, no sound, no smell, and thus the
last resort because one has nothing one can say about it, can only call it
nothingness, but it is really beyond nothingness or something this altogether,
and as such no words can point to it, no thoughts can think about it, nor can
one have a vision of it. This “witness”
is the “true” you, but itself is beyond description, beyond words, beyond
experience. Your only experience at this
point is of utter peace, utter rest, utter lack of need, and being separate
entirely from existence and eternal rest, and this experience of utter peace
and utter rest is itself an experience that is not you, but sort of is the
final “perfume” residual of your past existence as the manifest universal
consciousness which are no longer identify with it which no longer exists for
you. You are entirely beyond that, even
though your body continues to operate within the my butt no longer with your awareness.
why Nisargadatta says the essence of the knowledge he is conveying be apprehended by more than 1/10,000,000. At other times he says not more out of 100
million. Robert says the true Jnani is
the rarest of things, the number in the entire world can be counted on the
fingers of the hands.
have tried to explain the difficulty of obtaining “enlightenment” from the Advaitic
point of view. From this point of view
you transcended your humanness, then transcended consciousness itself, to
become something which might be called a witness that lies entirely beyond
experience or understanding, and is sometimes described as Nothingness itself.
this enlightenment is not an obtaining.
It is really a progressive dis-identification with first the body and
mind, then with consciousness and the life force, to a reidentification with
that which is Nothing. The Jnani then
looks upon death as the final liberation with that apparent body and apparent
mind, allowing him to rest in nothingness.
How many “seekers” could possibly identify with this in without first
having tasted the perfume of Nothingness, the utter peace beyond understanding,
the state of having no need and no awareness of the world first? To the seeker who is not even dis-identified
with his own body, how can such a goal be taken as real or possible, let alone
as something to be desired, when in fact it is beyond all desire altogether?
why enlightenment is so difficult. It is
utterly beyond conception, beyond understanding, and even beyond attainment,
because there is no individual to obtain it.
The individual is long-lost after absorption into the universal
consciousness, and does not exist at all In Nothingness.
inquiry the beginners way versus a far more advanced method.
Self-inquiry, the beginners way, is the way both Ramana and Robert Adams
taught, which is to ask the question “who am I?” And silently wait for an answer. Or, if your mind gets distracted by thoughts
or anything else, the method requires that you ask who is it that got
distracted, or better, who is it that is witnessing these thoughts?
This method turns your attention, your awareness, away from things in the
external world, and even away from things in your “external” mind, and focuses
it deeper toward your subjective witness, towards the watcher, feeler, and
listener, and takes you ever backwards into emptiness.
However, it is quite easy to get lost in that emptiness, into that empty
space of internal lighted consciousness, and dwell there for long periods of
time, into that blank emptiness.
Therefore, in the past I have urged people to instead of looking for who
I am inside, to instead “feel” inside for your own source, the ultimate
witness. But by feeling, something very
different happens than by looking. By
feeling, by being carefully attentive towards the “human” essence within, one's
“felt sense of being,, one begins to feel internal energies, which if pursued,
develops into a sense of presence. By
sense of presence, I mean within yourself you find your energy body, your
energy being, prana, Shakti within you, within and around your body. And at some point this explodes within you as
something miraculous, stupendous, totally remarkable, and seemingly as the
divine within you, as God. One might call
this the felt sense of your being as opposed to the witness, this Atman, the
incarnated, localized, God within you and it each of us.
I was very surprised yesterday while reading I am that by Nisargadatta Maharaj,
page 254 the following incredible speaking:
Maharaj: Coming back to the idea of having been born. You are stuck with what your parents told
you: all about conception, pregnancy and birth, infant, child, youngster, teenager,
and so on. Now, divest yourself of the
idea that you are the body with the help of the contrary idea that you are not
the body. This too is also an idea, no
doubt; treat it like something to be abandoned when it’s work is done. The idea that I am not the body gives reality
to the body, when in fact, there is no such thing as a body; it is but a state
of mind. You can have as many bodies and
as diverse as you like; just remember steadily what you want and reject the
If you have a body, you must have a soul.
But here now, through all of your bodies and souls shines awareness, the
pure light of chit. Hold onto it
unswervingly. Without awareness, the
body would not last a second. There is in the body a current of energy,
affection and intelligence, which guides, maintains and energizes the
body. Discover that current and stay
(Comment: is this not what Robert
Adams called “the power that knows the way?”)
Of course, all these are manners of speaking. Words are as much a barrier, as a
bridge. Find that spark of life that
weaves the tissues of your body and be with it.
It is the only reality the body hats.
Q: what happens to that spark of life after death?
Maharaj: it is beyond time. Birth
and death are but points in time. Life
weaves eternally its many webs. The
weaving is in time, but life itself is timeless. Whatever name and shape you give to its
expressions, it is like the ocean—never changing, ever changing.
(Comment: this is similar an idea
that he expresses later frequently in the books edited by Robert Powell about
Maharaj’s talks. In these books, he
refers to that unchanging/changing ocean of consciousness, of sentient-life, as
the universal consciousness, of which every individual sentient being is a
part, participates in universal consciousness.)
Q: what you say sounds beautifully convincing, yet my feeling of being
just a person in a world strange and alien, often amicable and dangerous, does
not cease. Being a person, limited in
space and time, how can I possibly realize myself as the opposite; a
depersonalized, universalized awareness of nothing in particular?
Maharaj: you assert yourself to be what you are not and deny yourself to
be what you are. You omit the elements
of pure cognition, of awareness free from all personal distortions. Unless you admit to the reality of chit, you
will never know yourself.
Q: what am I to do? I do not see
myself as you see me. Maybe you are
right and I am wrong, but how can I cease to be what I feel I am?
Maharaj: a prince who believes himself to be a beggar can be convinced
conclusively in one way only: he must behave as a prince and see what
happens. Behave as if what I say is true
and judge by what actually happens. All I ask is the little faith needed for
making the first step. With experience
will come confidence that you will not need me anymore. I know what you are and I am telling you. Trust me for a while.
The body and mind are only symptoms of ignorance, of
misapprehension. Behave as if you were
pure awareness, bodiless and mindless, spaceless and timeless, beyond where and
when and how. Dwell on, think of it,
learn to accept its reality. Do not
oppose it and deny it all the time. Keep
an open mind at least. Make your mind
and body express the real which is all and beyond all. By doing that you will succeed, not by