Sunday, February 19, 2012

Awareness - Mind - Matter

~Excerpt from I Am That: Dialogues of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Questioner: The Absolute or Life you talk about, is it real, or a mere theory to cover up our ignorance?

Maharaj: Both. To the mind, a theory; in itself -- a reality. It is reality in its spontaneous and total rejection of the false. Just as light destroys darkness by its very presence, so does the absolute destroy imagination. To see that all knowledge is a form of ignorance is itself a movement of reality. The witness is not a person. The person comes into being when there is a basis for it, an organism, a body. In it the absolute is reflected as awareness. Pure awareness becomes self-awareness. When there is a self, self-awareness is the witness. When there is no self to witness, there is no witnessing either. It is all very simple; it is the presence of the person that complicates. See that there is no such thing as a permanently separate person and all becomes clear. Awareness -- mind -- matter -- they are one reality in its two aspects

Q: What comes first: consciousness or awareness?

M: Awareness becomes consciousness when it has an object. The object changes all the time. In consciousness there is movement; awareness by itself is motionless and timeless, here and now.


Q: We were discussing one day the person -- the witness -- the absolute (vyakti-vyakta-avyakta). As far as I remember, you said that the absolute alone is real and the witness is absolute only at a given point of space and time. The person is the organism, gross and subtle, illumined by the presence of the witness. I do not seem to grasp the matter clearly; could we discuss it again? You also use the terms mahadakash, chidakash and paramakash. How are they related to person, witness, and the absolute?

M: Mahadakash is nature, the ocean of existences, the physical space with all that can be contacted through the senses. Chidakash is the expanse of awareness, the mental space of time, perception and cognition. Paramakash is the timeless and spaceless reality, mindless, undifferentiated, the infinite potentiality, the source and origin, the substance and the essence, both matter and consciousness -- yet beyond both. It cannot be perceived, but can be experienced as ever witnessing the witness, perceiving the perceiver, the origin and the end of all manifestation, the root of time and space, the prime cause in every chain of causation.


Q: What is the difference between vyakta and avyakta?

M: There is no difference. It is like light and daylight. The universe is full of light which you do not see; but the same light you see as daylight. And what the daylight reveals is the vyakti, The person is always the object, the witness is the subject and their relation of mutual dependence is the reflection of their absolute identity. You imagine that they are distinct and separate states. They are not. They are the same consciousness at rest and in movement, each state conscious of the other. In chit man knows God and God knows man. In chit the man shapes the world and the world shapes man. Chit is the link, the bridge between extremes, the balancing and uniting factor in every experience. The totality of the perceived is what you call matter. The totality of all perceivers is what you call the universal mind. The identity of the two, manifesting itself as perceptibility and perceiving, harmony and intelligence, loveliness and loving, reasserts itself eternally.


Q: If the reasons are imaginary, why should the suffering be inevitable?

M: It is always the false that makes you suffer, the false desires and fears, the false values and ideas, the false relationships between people. Abandon the false and you are free of pain; truth makes happy -- truth liberates.