Robert said, “Of course you exist, you are speaking to me aren’t you?”
You can never know what you are objectively, descriptively, with attributes described by adjectives. You are the witness of everything, including the world, your own mind, your emotions, your wants and desires, even your sleep and dreams. Yes, you do know your own sleep. You know what is like. Dark, comfortable, relaxed, even though you do not constantly witness the state of sleep all night long as if you are awake. You do know what it is like when you are coming out of it and going into it, and it just keeps getting deeper and deeper.
In my awakening experience 22 years ago, I looked inside for the 10,000th time, looking for the ’I’ who is experiencing water flowing from a showerhead.
“Who is it that feels this water hitting my back,” I asked, and peered deeply into my inner emptiness in the area of my heart. And what I saw, I had seen 10,000 times before, just an unending internal emptiness, space, the Void, and entirely subjective thing in the sense that it was within my experience of self, rather than outside of my skin in the world.
For the first time, after asking that question 10,000 times before over the previous 25 years, I saw that there was no entity to which the word “I” referred. There was no ‘I’ to which the I thought and I concept referred. That is, the word “I” referred to an empty set. There was no ‘I’-entity inside of me anywhere, in mind, body, spirit. There Was Just the Void, just emptiness, and I realized for the first time I was that emptiness. That is, the I-sense was illusory. There was just emptiness and upon it a superimposed feeling of presence, along with the concept that there was some core that the word “I” pointed to.
I was just the Void. There was no Ed Muzika. Ed Muzika was a name associated with form, my body, but there was no Ed Muzika inside as an entity, a soul, a being. I no longer felt like I had a sense of presence. There is just crystal-clear emptiness everywhere and my mind was silent. I felt greatly afraid, because there was no me. It was just emptiness. This was disconcerting I felt no one was in control. I think this may have been the same fear that Ramana Maharshi felt before his death experience of his personal self.
I called Robert who had left for Sedona two weeks before. I said, “Robert, I do not exist, all that there is. is emptiness. I am scared!”
Robert said, “Of course you exist! You are talking to me, aren’t you?” That was it. That was the solution! I didn’t exist as the mythical idea of Ed Muzika, as a soul, as a psychic entity of any kind whatsoever. But I did exist as a physical entity speaking in real-time to another physical entity, using terms and words such that we perfectly understood each other.
Really, nothing had changed--much. I no longer believed in Ed Muzika as a discrete consciousness entity, a soul, so to speak, but instead of being a soul, I now used the word “emptiness,” or “nothingness” as a descriptor of who I was. Yet, mostly I was exactly the same person, but no longer thinking about myself as having a center, or a soul. I was emptiness, or emptiness was manifesting itself through this body/mind entity. I had exchanged my apparent soul, my sense of presence, for the experience of nothingness, which felt like a hard, clear, vacuum, devoid of a sense of presence. It felt like I did not exist, at least as I had felt myself to exist before.
But to call this nothingness “ParaBhraman” or the “Absolute” was out of the question. At that time, I just would not have thought of re-engaging mind playing with descriptive terms to describe my sense of existence, because I had none.
Many years later, I had quite a different experience, a flip-side type of existence, where I did regain a soul, or a very concrete sense of my own existence, in an explosion of inner energy, light, and bliss, feeling endless love and internal energies flowing in me upwards from my gut, explosively through my heart and into my head and beyond. I felt a recognition of the divine within me, and also as me, as a separate conscious process witnessing the birth of a God sensation within me, like we were two entities, side-by-side, holding hands working through this body mind apparatus. Such does time and experience change our ideas of self. I called this ltter experience the Realization of the Manifest Self.
So many experiences, so many final truths, so many descriptive words.
Then I read Nisargadatta and his teacher Siddharameshwar, who both spoke of the existence of four bodies that constituted our existence with the totality of our consciousness: the physical body; the subtle body of energies, bliss, mind, emotions, aspirations, discrimination, touch, sight, sound etc.; the causal body which was variously called forgetfulness, space, or the Void; and the supra-causal body, otherwise known as Turiya which underlaid the other three bodies, which all together constituted the totality of our consciousness.
Variously described, Turiya was the witness of the of the three bodies, the supporting body of the other three bodies, or as pure knowledge, which itself was described as just being oneself without knowledge of that self. There is just the knowing that I was the witness of my body, the external world, the internal energies, bliss, as well as the great void, or emptiness, and myself was unseen and unseeable because I was the Seer.
Thus, at the basis of Nisargadatta and Siddharameshwar’s philosophy of being, was a dualistic assumption, that the self cannot see or know itself. Ultimately, they used many analogies such as the eye cannot see the eye except by means of a reflection in a mirror. They called this reflective objective knowledge. But pure knowledge, consciousness without an object, was not knowable, because by knowing it becomes an object, and not part of the pure knowledge of self.
I thoroughly understand this point of view, but having myself experienced two very different realizations under two entirely different teachers and systems behind those teachers, it just became clear that there is nothing at all that one can say about the self, whether this is the emptiness I identified with the 1995, or the explosive, blissful, powerful, lighted energy that I experienced as myself, and as God, in 2009, or lastly, the Turiya state which was pure knowledge without an object, that pervaded all other objects in new all other objects and bodies such as the physical, subtle, and the Void.
I knew too, that that self that could not know itself, because it was the knower of all other attributes not associated with the self, had no attributes, and no existence in the world. Thus, anything that said about it would be wrong. You can call it ParaBhraman, but that would be wrong. It has none of the attributes associated with that concept ParaBhraman which are listed as infinite numbers in various Hindu scriptures. You cannot say it is infinite. You cannot say it is unborn. You cannot say it is eternal. You cannot say it is ephemeral. He cannot say it is without time or is timeless. You cannot say it is God or anything else because those terms belong to descriptions within the existing universe that you see, hear, feel, touch, taste, and think about.
This is the self we meet when we are just absolutely quiet, when we are resting in our chair, totally relaxed, sinking ever more deeply into our sense of self. All that we can say provisionally is that self appears to be boundless, it appears to be entirely peaceful, and entirely without attributes, because any spoken attributes belong to the world of perception, not to the dimension of the perceiver, the knower, the seer. As soon as Nisargadatta opened his mouth, he was telling lies. He even says so himself, over and over, because words do not fit the ultimate reality which is you, when you are totally withdrawn into you. There is no room there for words or attributes. You are too dense for any word to fit in. You are impervious to having any attribute whatsoever, whether it be eternality, mortality, or immortality, no terms whatsoever for you. Only shut the fuck up, and be you!
When you are being you, totally, sunk into yourself, there is no room for words. There is no room for attributes. There is no room for existence or nonexistence. These terms just do not compute in that state of being. Even the terms being and nonbeing do not apply here. The only terms that remotely touched the state, are “rest” and “peace” and these only fit when you are sinking into it. When completely in it, you become everything witnessed, the totality of the manifest consciousness.
All the words that Robert Adams spoke were there to make you feel rested, quiet, relaxed, and at peace. Robert would say, “You do not exist; the world is not real, it is an optical illusion; everything is predetermined; there is no free will; you are peace that surpasses understanding; everything is unfolding as it should; there is a power that knows the way, so just abide there; ignore the world, do not react to it; your mind is your enemy, ignore it!”
All these words were there to get you out of your mind and its preoccupation about planning, thinking, remembering, getting upset, saying basically, “It is out of your hands, just relax and go with the power that knows the way.” What happens when we practice this, when we progressively detach from the world and refuse to react to it? Theoretically, we get more and more peaceful. We discover how much more peaceful we feel we are not constantly distracted and bothered by thinking, reasoning, planning, observing with the intent to understand. Just observing without intent, without an end in mind, without a desire to understand, just be yourself. One gets ever more peaceful. This is what Robert’s messages were about, making you slow the mind down and ignoring the mind and ignoring the distractions of the world, and just more and more sink into yourself, even though you do not know what yourself is, you just sink into your background, into your source.
Of course, nothing is easy as it is presented by gurus and other spiritual teachers. Hardly anyone has the dedication, focus, and trust that would allow them to just progressively rest into oneself. The mind always wants to read books, go to workshops, listen to teachers, watch television, have sex, have new kinds of foods, go on vacations in strange places far away. Almost no one knows that perfect peace, that perfect rest, that comes with resting in one’s own self.
I do not mean the manifest self of explosive bliss, and feeling the divine within. Nor do I mean that no self of clear, cold, emptiness or Void that I experienced in 1995. But I do mean the self that realizes it is not the world, is not the body, it is not the mind, it is not the bliss, it is not the experience of God. Ultimately, the realization is that everything in consciousness is apart from the self that watches it. My experience was and is, that the various states of consciousness, to me, wash over me, and I get involved in them, but essentially I have nothing to do with them. They are a show that I watch. This is the experience that Robert called enlightenment. This is the experience that Nisargadatta would also acknowledge as enlightenment. This is the realization that whatever I am, I stand apart from everything that is experienced, seen, touched, felt.
But that does not mean we can say anything about that self, whether it is eternal, immortal, spacious, or compact. No attributes that belong as descriptors within consciousness can be attributed to that which witnesses consciousness. We cannot say it is unborn, by saying that birth is only relevant to something happening in consciousness, such as the birth of the body, but I am not that. Yes, you can say I am unborn, but as Robert said, “Of course you exist, you are talking to me are not you?”
That is, your body will die, and with that consciousness. One can say that the self does not die, because death is something that happens in consciousness, such as the death of the body or even the death of consciousness, but one cannot give that attribute to the self. See you cannot say you are unborn, that your self is unborn, because the term unborn would refer to consciousness, but when consciousness ends, we have no idea about the state of the self, just as we have no idea about the self in you that functions as you presently. Nothing can be said about it. You cannot call it God, eternal, purity, Parabrahman, etc.
And since nothing can be said about it, just about everybody does talk about it and it’s miraculous attributes, transcendence, spaciousness, sentience, omnipotence, omniscience, etc. But these are all word games.
For example, often they say consciousness is infinite, because it contains all the stars and galaxies which are vast distances away, yet we can see them, we can contemplate them, we can think about them, and therefore consciousness exists at that point of a distant galaxy. And since we are witnessing that distant galaxy, we (the self) extends everywhere that consciousness is, therefore we are as omniscient as consciousness, the self is as omniscient as the totality of consciousness is. But you see, this is only philosophical bull shit. We cannot speak about that which we do not know in any meaningful way. If we do we are doing so just out of entertainment because we cannot really describe the self at all, or name, or describe any of its attributes, because descriptions only apply to consciousness. We cannot meaningfully say or refer to self, as the One Self, or the One Self Of All. That is purely metaphysical thinking, creating a God so to speak. We cannot call the self God, because the concept God has many attributes, and the self I have been talking about has no attributes. We cannot say it is deathless, because even though the word death applies to something happening in consciousness, we cannot apply the attribute of deathlessness to that which has no attributes. In fact, it may have a beginning and end, and when our body and consciousness dies, that absolute no longer has our personal entity with which to perceive whatever’s to be perceived. We just make up a truth only say there is just One Self. This is a concept, wishful thinking. We cannot say anything about that which we do not know and cannot know.