Nisargadatta - Advanced teaching

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A more advanced teaching of Nisargadatta, from "I Am That", chapter 37.

Maharaj: You must realise first of all that you are the proof of everything, including yourself. None can prove your existence, because his existence must be confirmed by you first. Your being and knowing you owe nobody. Remember, you are entirely on your own. You do not come from somewhere, you do not go anywhere. You are timeless being and awareness.

Questioner: There is a basic difference between us. You know the real while I know only the workings of my mind. Therefore what you say is one thing, what I hear is another. What you say is true; what I understand is false, though the words are the same. There is a gap between us. How to close the gap?

M: Give up the idea of being what you think yourself to be and there will be no gap. By imagining yourself as separate you have created the gap. You need not cross it. Just don't create it. All is you and yours. There is nobody else. This is a fact.

Q: How strange! The very same words which to you are true, to me are false. 'There is nobody else'. How obviously untrue!

M: Let them be true or untrue. Words don't matter. What matters is the idea you have of yourself, for it blocks you. Give it up.

Q: From early childhood I was taught to think that I am limited to my name and shape. A mere statement to the contrary will not erase the mental groove. A regular brain-washing is needed -- if at all it can be done.

M: You call it brain-washing, I call it Yoga -- levelling up all the mental ruts. You must not be compelled to think the same thoughts again and again. Move on!

Q: Easier said than done.

M: Don't be childish! Easier to change, than to suffer. Grow out of your childishness, that is all.

Q: Such things are not done. They happen.

M: Everything happens all the time, but you must be ready for it. Readiness is ripeness. You do not see the real because your mind is not ready for it.

Q: If reality is my real nature, how can I ever be unready?

M: Unready means afraid. You are afraid of what you are. Your destination is the whole. But you are afraid that you will lose your identity. This is childishness, clinging to the toys, to your desires and fears, opinions and ideas. Give it all up and be ready for the real to assert itself. This self-assertion is best expressed in words: 'I am'. Nothing else has being. Of this you are absolutely certain.

Q: 'I am', of course, but 'I know' also. And I know that I am so and so, the owner of the body, in manifold relations with other owners.

M: It is all memory carried over into the now.

* * *

Q: How inadequate are words for understanding!

M: Without words, what is there to understand? The need for understanding arises from mis-understanding. What I say is true, but to you it is only a theory. How will you come to know that it is true? Listen, remember, ponder, visualise, experience. Also apply it in your daily life.

Have patience with me and, above all have patience with yourself, for you are your only obstacle. The way leads through yourself beyond yourself. As long as you believe only the particular to be real, conscious and happy and reject the non-dual reality as something imagined, an abstract concept, you will find me doling out concepts and abstractions. But once you have touched the real within your own being, you will find me describing what for you is the nearest and the dearest.