Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression



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Nonduality Presents


Excerpts from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj's I AM THAT

compiled and edited by Miguel-Angel Carrasco

Numbers after quotations refer to pages of the edition by Chetana (P) Ltd, Bombay, 1992.

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The World exists only as a dream in my Consciousness: Part One

As I only know the contents of my consciousness, and an outside world is unprovable, all perceivables are only in my mind.

You know only what is in your consciousness. What you claim exists outside conscious experience is inferred. (449)

Is there a world outside your knowledge? Can you go beyond what you know? You may postulate a world beyond the mind, but it will remain a concept, unproved and unprovable. Your experience is your proof, and it is valid for you only. Who else can have your experience, when the other person is only as real as he appears in your experience? (533)

Whatever happens, happens to you, by you, through you; you are the creator, enjoyer and destroyer of all you perceive. (468)

You are the maker of the world in which you live, you alone can change it, or unmake it. (380)

The world appears to you so overwhelmingly real because you think of it all the time; cease thinking of it and it will dissolve into thin mist. (505)

All perceivables are stains. The entire universe is a stain. (126)

That you hear is a fact. What you hear is not. The fact can be experienced, and in that sense the sound of the word and the mental ripples it causes are experienced. There is no other reality behind it. (450)

All happens in consciousness. The world is but a succession of experiences. (404)

Your conviction that you are conscious of a world is the world. The world you perceive is made of consciousness; what you call matter is consciousness itself. (286)

As all waves are in the ocean, so are all things physical and mental in awareness. Hence awareness itself is all-important, not the content of it. (261)

There is only one mistake you are making: you take the inner for the outer, and the outer for the inner. What is in you, you take to be outside you, and what is outside you take to be in you. The mind and feelings are external, but you take them to be intimate. You believe the world to be objective, while it is entirely a projection of your psyche. That is the basic confusion. (240)

You have projected onto yourself a world of your own imagination, based on memories, on desires and fears, and you have imprisoned yourself in it. Break the spell and be free. (200)

The idea of responsibility is in your mind. You think there must be something or somebody solely responsible for all that happens. There is a contradiction between a multiple universe and a single cause. Either one or the other must be false. Or both. As I see it, it is all day-dreaming. There is no reality in ideas. The fact is that without you, neither the universe nor its cause could have come into being. (502)

Before the world was, consciousness was. In consciousness it comes into being, in consciousness it lasts and into pure consciousness it dissolves. At the root of everything is the feeling "I am". The state of mind "there is a world" is secondary, for to be, I do not need the world, the world needs me. (98)

The world comes into being only when you are born in a body. No body - no world. (207)

All the universe of experience is born with the body and dies with the body; it has its beginning and end in awareness, but awareness knows no beginning, nor end. (262)

To be born means to create a world round yourself as the centre. (208)

Your own little body too is full of mysteries and dangers, yet you are not afraid of it, for you take it as your own. What you do not know is that the entire universe is your body, and you need not be afraid of it. You may say you have two bodies: the personal and the universal. The personal comes and goes, the universal is always with you. The entire creation is your universal body. You are so blinded by what is personal, that you do not see the universal. This blindness will not end by itself - it must be undone skilfully and deliberately. When all illusions are understood and abandoned, you reach the error-free and perfect state in which all distinctions between the personal and the universal are no more. (308)

Who was born first, you or the world? As long as you give first place to the world, you are bound by it; once you realize, beyond all trace of doubt, that the world is in you and not you in the world, you are out of it. Of course your body remains in the world and of the world, but you are not deluded by it. (207)

The pure mind sees things as they are - bubbles in consciousness. These bubbles are appearing, disappearing and reappearing - without having real being. Each bubble is a body and all these bodies are mine. (138)

You see yourself in the world, while I see the world in myself. To you, you get born and die, while to me the world appears and disappears. Our world is real, but your view of it is not. There is no wall between us, except the one built by you. There is nothing wrong with the senses, it is your imagination that misleads you. It covers up the world as it is with what you imagine it to be - something existing independently of you and yet closely following your inherited or acquired patterns. (264)

This must be well grasped: the world hangs on the thread of consciousness. No consciousness, no world. (92)

You are the infinite potentiality, the inexhaustible possibility. Because you are, all can be. The universe is but a partial manifestation of your limitless capacity to become. (121)

Once you realize that the world is your own projection, you are free of it. You need not free yourself of a world that does not exist, except in your own imagination! However is the picture, beautiful or ugly, you are painting it and you are not bound by it. Realize that there is nobody to force it on you, that it is due to the habit of taking the imaginary to be real. See the imaginary as imaginary and be free of fear. (200)

All scriptures say that before the world was, the Creator was. Who knows the Creator? He alone who was before the Creator, your own real being, the source of all the worlds with their creators. (207)

Transient things only appear and have no substance.

What begins and ends is mere appearance. The world can be said to appear, but not to be. The appearance may last very long on some scale of time, and very short on another, but ultimately it comes to the same. Whatever is time-bound is momentary and has no reality. (16)

What contradicts itself has no being. Or it has only momentary being, which comes to the same. For what has a beginning and an end has no middle. It is hollow. It has only name and shape given to it by the mind, but it has neither substance nor essence. (314)

However great and complete is your world, it is self-contradictory and transitory and altogether illusory. (533)

Transiency is the best proof of unreality. (334)

The final answer is this: nothing is. All is a momentary appearance in the field of the universal consciousness. Continuity as name and form is a mental formation only, easy to dispel. (415)

Trace the world to its source and you will find that before the world was, you were, and when the world is no longer, you remain. (493)

What changes has no reality. Time and space are imagined, ways of thinking, modes of perception. Only timeless reality is,
and it is here and now.

Once you accept time and space as real, you will consider yourself minute and short-lived. But are they real? Do they depend on you, or you on them? (252)

There can be no continuity in existence. Continuity implies identity in past, present and future. No such identity is possible, for the very means of identification fluctuate and change. Continuity, permanency, these are illusions created by memory, mere mental projections of a pattern where no pattern can be. (467)

Don't talk to me about past and future. They exist only in your mind. (259)

Time is in the mind, space is in the mind. The law of cause and effect is also a way of thinking. (115)

In reality time and space exist in you; you do not exist in them. They are modes of perception, but they are not the only ones. Time and space are like words written on paper; the paper is real, the words merely a convention. (205)

Your body is short of time, not you. Time and space are in the mind only. You are not bound. Just understand yourself - that itself is eternity. (260)

The whole of it is [imagination]. Even space and time are imagined. All existence is imaginary. (355)

Existence and non-existence relate to something in space and time, here and now, there and then, which again are in the mind. (460)

Time is endless, though limited, eternity is in the split moment of the now. We miss it because the mind is ever shuttling between the past and the future. It will not stop to focus the now. It can be done with comparative ease, if interest is aroused. (528)

In your world everything must have a beginning and an end. If it does not, you call it eternal. In my view, there is no such thing as beginning and end - these are all related to time. Timeless being is entirely in the now. Being and not-being alternate and their reality is momentary. The immutable Reality lies beyond space and time. (454)

In reality nothing happens, there is no past nor future; all appears and nothing is. (406)

All depends on you. It is by your consent that the world exists. Withdraw your belief in its reality and it will dissolve like a dream. Time can bring down mountains; much more you, who are the timeless source of time. For without memory and expectation there can be no time. (452)

You are the space (akash) in which it moves, the time in which it lasts, the love that gives it life. (286)

"I am" is an ever present fact, while "I am created" is an idea. Neither God nor the universe have come to tell you that they have created you. The mind, obsessed by the idea of causality, invents creation and then wonders "who is the creator?" The mind itself is the creator. Even this is not quite true, for the created and its creator are one. The mind and the world are not separate. Do understand that what you think to be the world is your own mind. All space and time are in the mind. (502)

There is only imagination. It has absorbed you so completely that you just cannot grasp how far from reality you have wandered. No doubt imagination is richly creative. Universe upon universe are built on it. Yet they are all in space and time, past and future, which just don't exist. (288)

It is you who are in movement and not time. Stop moving and time will cease. Past and future will merge in the eternal now. (405)

I am nowhere to be found. I am not a thing to be given a place among other things. All things are in me, but I am not among things. (327)

In reality all is here and now and all is one. Multiplicity and diversity are in the mind only. (115)

Truly, all is in me and by me. There is nothing else. The very idea of "else" is a disaster and a calamity. (205)

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