The Witness

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M: The difficulty lies in our differing points of view. You speak from the body-mind’s. Mine is of the witness. The difference is basic.

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M: One must also know that a rope exists and looks like a snake. Similarly, one must know that the real exists and is of the nature of witness-consciousness. Of course it is beyond the witness, but to enter it one must first realize the state of pure witnessing. The awareness of conditions brings one to the unconditioned.

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Q: Is the witness-consciousness the real Self?

M: It is the reflection of the real in the mind. The real is beyond. The witness is the door through which you pass beyond.

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Q: I am just trying to understand. You are telling us of the Person, the Self, and the Supreme. The light of Pure Awareness, focused as ‘I am’ in the Self, as consciousness, illumines the mind and as life vitalizes the body. All this is fine as far as the words go. But when it comes to distinguishing in myself the person from the Self and the Self from the Supreme, I get mixed up.

M: The person is never the subject. You can see a person, but you are not the person. You are always the Supreme which appears at a given point of time and space as the witness, a bridge between the pure awareness of the Supreme and the manifold consciousness of the person.

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M: When you believe yourself to be a person, you see persons everywhere. In reality there are no persons, only threads of memories and habits. At the moment of realization the person ceases. Identity remains, but identity is not a person, it is inherent in the reality itself. The person has no being in itself; it is a reflection in the mind of the witness, the ‘I am’, which again is a mode of being.

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Q: I can now understand that I am not the person, but that which, when reflected in the person, gives it a sense of being. Now, about the Supreme? In what way do I know myself as the Supreme?

M: The source of consciousness cannot be an object in consciousness. To know the source is to be the source. When you realize that you are not the person, but the pure and calm witness, and that fearless awareness is your very being, you are the being. It is the source, the Inexhaustible Possibility.

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M: For him the right procedure is to adhere to the thought that he is the ground of all knowledge, the immutable and perennial awareness of all that happens to the senses and the mind. If he keeps it in mind all the time, aware and alert, he is bound to break the bounds of non-awareness and emerge into pure life, light and love. The idea — ‘I am the witness only’ will purify the body and the mind and open the eye of wisdom. Then man goes beyond illusion and his heart is free of all desires. Just like ice turns to water, and water to vapor, and vapor dissolves in air and disappears in space, so does the body dissolve into pure awareness, then into pure being, which is beyond all existence and non-existence

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M: God is the All-Doer, the gnani is a non-doer. God himself does not say: ‘I am doing all.’ To Him things happen by their own nature. To the gnani all is done by God. He sees no difference between God and nature. Both God and the gnani know themselves to be the immovable center of the movable, the eternal witness of the transient. The center is a point of void and the witness a point of pure awareness; they know themselves to be as nothing, therefore nothing can resist them.

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M: By focusing the mind on ‘I am’, on the sense of being, ‘I am so-and-so’ dissolves; ‘I am a witness only’ remains and that too submerges in ‘I am all’. Then the all becomes the One and the One — yourself, not to be separate from me. Abandon the idea of a separate ‘I’ and the question of ‘whose experience?’ will not arise.

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M: Why do you fret at one man dying and care little for the millions dying every day? Entire universes are imploding and exploding every moment — am I to cry over them? One thing is quite clear to me: all that is, lives and moves and has its being in consciousness and I am in and beyond that consciousness. I am in it as the witness. I am beyond it as Being.

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M: When the mind is quiet, we come to know ourselves as the pure witness. We withdraw from the experience and its experiencer and stand apart in pure awareness, which is between and beyond the two. The personality, based on self-identification, on imagining oneself to be something: ‘I am this, I am that’, continues, but only as a part of the objective world. Its identification with the witness snaps.

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Q: There is the witnessed consciousness and there is the witnessing consciousness. Is the second the supreme?

M: There are the two — the person and the witness, the observer. When you see them as one, and go beyond, you are in the supreme state. It is not perceivable, because it is what makes perception possible. It is beyond being and not being. It is neither the mirror nor the image in the mirror. It is what is — the timeless reality, unbelievably hard and solid.

Q: The gnani — is he the witness or the Supreme?

M: He is the Supreme, of course, but he can also be viewed as the universal witness.

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M: The gnani is the supreme and also the witness. He is both being and awareness. In relation to consciousness he is awareness. In relation to the universe he is pure being.

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M: Being the source of both, the self is beyond both knowledge and power. The observable is in the mind. The nature of the self is pure awareness, pure witnessing, unaffected by the presence or absence of knowledge or liking.
Have your being outside this body of birth and death and all your problems will be solved. They exist because you believe yourself born to die.

Undeceive yourself and be free. You are not a person.