Manfred: Who/What are we and can we know that?
Who/What are we and can we know that? This morning I found a quote from Nisargadatta I wanted to share with you.
Questioner: If the consciousness in all the different forms is identical, then why do thoughts and actions differ from one human being to another?
Maharaj: The thoughts and actions belong to the body-mind and the body-mind is the essence of the five elements. The nature of the form depends on the various degrees of the five elements and the three gunas. The thoughts and deeds depend on the conditioning received right from the time
the consciousness is there. Without the consciousness, there would be only dead forms.
Consciousness and the body are kept in working condition by the food and medicine that we imbibe. In each form the thoughts, words, and deeds depend not only on the conditioning the form has received after it has been created; but they depend on even earlier conditioning at the time of conception.
The consciousness was latent in that birth chemical.
How amusing it is that one identifies with the body.
How long have you been following
Q: For forty years. I was following the “Who am I” of Ramana Maharshi, and I have read the bookof Maharaj’s teachings.
M: So far, so good. What do you understand about your own Self? What are you?
M: The Ultimate is prior to any experience.
“I Amness” is the beginning of experience. On the Ultimate there appeared this knowingness, and the question arose,
“Who or what am I?”
That feeling of being is not colored by form. It is just a feeling of being, of “I Amness”. That was the first experience.
Q: This is Maya.
M: Because you don’t get the answer to “Who am I,” you give the reply that this is Maya. You cannot catch it by a reply. With what do you identify?
Q: I am the Brahman.
M: This is not your direct experience. You are just repeating what you have read or heard. What do you think you are?
Q: I have experienced….
M: The experience can be there when the “I Amness” is there, but prior to this experience “I Am”, what was the state?
Q: I do not know.
M: I am talking to you because you have the wisdom to understand.
Q: Can I stop this “I Amness” and be before the “I Amness”?
M: What natural processes can you stop? Everything is spontaneous. Presently you are in the consciousness, which is stirring, vibrant. Don’t think you are something separate from this stirring, vibrant consciousness. You are part of the play of this consciousness. You, the consciousness, are the product of the food consumed.
At the level of active consciousness, which is Self, and which is in activity, there cannot be identity of a body.
Q: How can I be convinced of this?
M: When you remain still in your Self, then you receive the conviction. You stay in quietude.
FINAL TALKS with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.
CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE ABSOLUTE.