Essential Nisargadatta I: You Are Not the Body

Visitor: I have come to Maharaj in the hope that he may help me put an end to this search.

Nisargadatta: Can you communicate to me what it is you have understood?

V: It is all concepts, all illusion.

N: Yes.

V: I don’t believe in processes that take a lot of time and discipline. I’ve done all that. I want it to end.

N: The basic fact, that you are not the body – must be clear to you by now.

You are working in the world and you think that you are doing that work, but what is happening is this:

The life force, when it comes out in thoughts and words, is the mind, so it is this prana mind, life force mind, which is the acting principle.

The beingness, the consciousness, is the God which witnesses the life force and mind working.

It does not interfere; it merely witnesses.

The reason for your unhappiness is that you think it is you who are working.

V: I realize that anything I say is a concept arising out of my consciousness.

N: That you are, and the world is, are both concepts. You must know that.

V: How does this knowledge work? I mean: you tell me words and there comes a sense of understanding. Is it a mental process? Is there still a faculty witnessing all this?

N: The mind understands because of the consciousness.

V: Is it all an automatic happening?

N: That is true. The mind interprets whatever the concept is, the base is consciousness on which the concept arises at the moment.

V: So what is there actually to attain, if you cannot change this consciousness and you cannot touch, cannot reach by words? It is there all the time, right now. So for what are we here? Doing belongs to the mind – that is clear – it is going on like an automaton. I see clearly now. I want this mind to surrender to the consciousness. Do you understand?

N: All this conceptualizing, all this articulation, has been taking place only after the original concept arose that you are.

What was your position before this concept arose?

At that time did you have any concepts, and needs?

V: Like deep sleep?

N: This concept that it is like deep sleep is not incorrect, but it is still a concept, and the original state is beyond concepts.

V: What is the fact now?

N: That you are awake is itself a concept at this moment. Let that sink in.

V: It’s a movie.

N: Go back to the source: before this concept of beingness, “I Am,” arose, what was your state?

V: I don’t know.

N: That which you don’t know, that is the right state.

Everything that comes after this consciousness is attained, is like a dose of salts – it is useless, consciousness is useless.

V: So the search, all aspects of it, belongs to the same.

N: Throw away every thought, every experience, everything that happens after this consciousness has come.

Other than throwing it away as useless, there is nothing to be done

beyond this firm understanding

in which you become more and more absorbed.

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2 thoughts on “Essential Nisargadatta I: You Are Not the Body

  1. Pingback: only by firm conviction – Nisargadatta | New Earth Heartbeat

  2. MY COMMENT:
    After meditating on this text (and others of Nisargadatta), my understanding is as follows:
    The term “concept” refers actually to the energetic grid that supports the manifestation of the concept. Example: the concept “I Am” is actually the energetic structure that creates the sense of beingness, as Nisargadatta calls it. He emphasizes that this sense of beingness is an illusion – you feel that you are, but actually you are not, he says.

    This statement: “you are not” does not negate the experience of beingness, but rather points me more deeply to the place of “no place” and the space of “no space” that he calls the Absolute. The Absolute cannot be experienced, as it is the “no-state state”.

    So what’s the point? My present understanding is that he wants me to get a sense for a state completely free of all concepts as the pure state from which the “world”, which is based on concepts (energetic grid-work/structure), can be seen “as it really is” and not tainted by concepts about it.

    Said differently: if I am inside a structure, for example a hospital, I will be caught up in the workings of that structure and will not be able to see it in its entirety without distortion. Only by exiting completely and getting a vantage point entirely unattached on any level (physically, emotionally and mentally) will I be able to really see the structure for what it is.

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