Seer = Seeing = Seen

erez's picture

Average: 4.8 (11 votes)

An interesting excerpt from "I Am That" by Nisargadatta Maharaj:

Q: You say that the seer, seeing and the seen are one single thing, not three. To me the three are separate, I do not understand.

M: Look closely and you will see that the seer and the seen appear only when there is seeing. They are attributes of seeing. When you say ‘I am seeing this’. ‘I am’ and ‘this’ come with seeing, not before. You cannot have an unseen ‘this’ nor an unseeing ‘I’ am’.

Q: I can say: ‘I do not see’.

M: The ‘I am seeing this’ has become ‘I am seeing my not seeing’, or ‘I am seeing darkness’. The seeing remains. In the triplicity: the known, knowing and the knower, only the knowing is a fact. The ‘I am’ and ‘this’ are doubtful. Who knows? What is known? There is no certainty, except that there is knowing.

Q: Why am I sure of knowing, but not of the knower?

M: You can be aware of the knowing but not of a knower. Knowing is a reflection of your true nature along with being and loving. The knower and the known are added by the mind. It is in the nature of the mind to create a subject-object duality, where there is none.

sonti's picture

only the seeing exists

Having so many past conditionings about reality and the way it works, it is so difficult to grasp this in the beginning.

But at some point, you suddenly realize how true this statement is and how clear it has been ever since.

sonti | Sun, 03/30/2008 - 21:25
pathmaster swan's picture

If i may say~

that the way i see this,is that-Everything is One,so there cannot be me seeing AND a Thing to be seen.Am i correct?

pathmaster swan | Tue, 04/29/2008 - 01:19
santthosh kumaar's picture


Hi erez,

A mind of perfection is one which has gained the experience of viewing and judging the world view on the base of the true self.
It is very unfortunate the great master like Nisargadutt Maharaj and Maharshi Ramana are not there to guide the modern mindset.
It becomes difficult for seeker to assimilate what the great masters teaching all about. but all their preaching were based on non-duality and practice is based on duality. There is no certainty in their spiritual teaching about what the seeker has to do.
The only way to understand about the seer and seen is to adopt FORMLESS SPIRITUALITY.[F.S].
F.S is the only spiritual teaching in the world from which the mind will be able to view and the judge the world view on the standpoint of the true self which is the seer. The seer and the seen are one in their essence. It means the whole experience of diversity is created and sustained and finally dissolves in one and only substance which is spirit or Atman.

santthosh kumaar | Mon, 06/30/2008 - 09:50
Phroggy's picture

"Failure is the means to success"

Please lets not be so ignorant as to declare one way the only way. How absurd that infinite potential should leave but one door open, much less prescribe it as a method. A mother may lose herself in the eyes of newborn babe, a drunkard may Awaken in the gutter in more ways than one, a child may realize his true nature in his innocence and never even hear of enlightenment and gurus and FS.

It is far less likey that one will Awaken in the midst of pursuing any goal through any method, since it is most assured that there is an ego lurking about who knows the method with which to cause said realization to occur. This is part of the ignorance that must end.

We have been seeking since the notion of 'me' first arose, and all that has changed is what we imagine to be seeking, and how we believe we can find it. It seems pretty clear to me that the entire process of seeking is to learn the futility of seeking, to know it in our core, to become so clear of our ignorance and so weary of the search that we cannot move another inch from where we stand.

Is there any doubt that you have already arrived? Is there still more to know about the Nothingness that you are? Is there something needed to cause that which was never absent to present? To cause that which was never present to be absent? If so, look to your fear, arrogance, unwillingness. Forget about methods; they are the carrot that keeps you merrily rowing your boat through your own dreamscape.


Phroggy | Thu, 07/31/2008 - 23:57
santthosh kumaar's picture

The turning point

Hi Phil,
When one tries all the way which are existing, and finds them, inadequate and useless to quench his thirst,when the uncertainty haunts the seeking mind, and mind becomes more restless, then that is turning point in the quest of truth.

Then only the seeker starts investigating; why with all these years of his spiritual practice, with all his sincere efforts, by following gurus and practice, he is unable to move forward.

When he starts doubting about his own spiritual practice and his gurus guidance, in which, he emotionally and sentimentally involved, and he feels something is wrong somewhere. And that is the time, he senses that, there must be some obstacles and fatter in his spiritual practice, which is holding his realization.

When he starts investigating on his own through inquiry he then realizes, the fact that, only inquiry is not enough, he has to reason, to get uncontradicted truth.

Since one is seeking on the base 'me' as the physical entity and limiting the 'I' to the physical entity, and thinking one is an individual, apart from the world, he remains permanently in confusion.

I, you, the ego and the world are with in the mind, which appears and disappears as dream and waking. Therefore it is necessary to investigate "what is 'I' or mind?" in order to overcome all the confusion in the pursuit of truth.

The purpose of self inquiry is for seeker to go and search on his own and realize, what is truth and what is not truth?, to have a firm conviction.Whoever goes deeper in to self inquiry on his own by removing all the fatter and obstacles on the way will definitely reach the core, from where the mind or 'I' is erupted. But who remains without reasoning will wait for some mystic experince to happen.

All the doubts and confusion will be cleared, if the inquiry and reasoning is base on the true base. The nothingness, is not limited to the physical entity alone. But to the whole experince, which includes you,me and the world. The nothingness is the natural state of the mind or the formless non dual nature of the self, which is spirit.

The whole experince together is mind. When the focus of the self is on the experince, it is called mind or 'I'. When the mind is in its natural state, it is self which is non dual spirit.

All the fear and other human attributes are with in the mind. All these attributes were present in the dream also, but you never takes the dream as real, when the Waking takes place. Similarly whatever you experince in the Waking, the Waking becomes unreal, when the wisdom dawns.

The notion of 'me' arise along with the experince. Without the experince there is no notion of me. Therefore leave the notion of me alone, do not bother about it. See the witness of the experince which is present as mind or 'I', which appears and disappears as Waking and dream. find the invisible witness of this appearance and disappearance. If you are able to grasp this, which is the true self and eternal identity. Then all the confusion and doubts will end at once.

erez has done the wonderful research on self inquiry and helping the fellow seekers by providing tips. he will move ahead provide more on it. The time is very near he will shine as great master in this field of inquiry.

With respect and regards

santthosh kumaar | Fri, 08/01/2008 - 08:18


see = seeing = seen

NIDHI PARKASH | Tue, 09/01/2009 - 16:09
Nathyogi's picture

re: Seer = Seeing = Seen

Please visit this page to understand your query.

Nathyogi | Fri, 07/25/2014 - 06:57
alon's picture

What Nisargadatta Maharaj

What Nisargadatta Maharaj meant is not what you wrote in your link - it's much more profound (and simple): only the seeing exists, the seer and the seen arise when there is seeing.

alon | Fri, 07/25/2014 - 12:26
Nathyogi's picture

Re: What Nisargadatta Maharaj

There was no Nisargadatta Maharaj without his Guru.
May I know who is your Guru?

Nathyogi | Sat, 07/26/2014 - 04:23