Duality Arises – Part II

This is Part II of the article ~  (Link to complete article)

“Duality Arises When Consciousness Arises”

Awakening leads to a review or a questioning of our former understanding of things. Upon awakening we ask ourselves if we still agree with our former views on most everything. Here we see how Nisargadatta views things after his awakening. We can see that his views put things in a radically different light than our conventional thinking – in the Light of Awakening.

Knowledge As Used By Nisargadatta

When Nisargadatta uses the term “knowledge” he gives it a specific meaning that is not identical to the conventional use of that term. In his recorded talks he speaks of the Absolute, which he is and we all are, although he is aware of being the Absolute and we, generally, are not. Further, out of nowhere a sense of beingness arose which he terms “knowledge” and also “I Amness”. Describing this state of knowledge, he adds that it is a sense of “I” or “I Am” without further attributes, such as “I am this” or “I am that”. Therefore this state of knowledge is pure consciousness.


The very base is that you don’t know you are, and suddenly the feeling of “I Am”-ness appears. The moment it appears you see space, mental space; that subtle, sky-like space, stabilize yourself there.
You are that.
When you are able to stabilize in that state, you are space only.
When this space-like identity “I Am” goes into oblivion, that is the eternal state, nirguna, no form, no beingness.”

“Let us say that someone has become a jnani (a knower), but what was it to begin with? It was that sour, bitter principle, that secretion because of which the consciousness has taken place. That very principle, the knowledge “I Am,” has developed, grown, and become sweet; it matures and becomes the manifest jnani state; but what is that? It is the product of the five elemental food essence. When it goes, what remains? The Absolute which does not know Itself.”

“As Absolute, I am timeless, infinite, and I am awareness, without being aware of awareness. As infinity I express myself as space, as timeless I express myself as time. Unless there is space and duration I cannot be conscious of myself. When space and time are present there is consciousness, in that the total manifestation takes place and various phenomena come into being.

I, by Myself, Awareness, descend into this consciousness, and in this consciousness I express Myself in manifold ways, in innumerable forms.” 

“In your original state there is no awareness of awareness, therefore no question of knowledge. The knowledge comes only with the appearance of the body and consciousness. The knowledge is really ignorance, and whatever knowledge is based on that is also ignorance.”

You must maintain this knowledge “I Am” in proper order. I quarrel with my people if they don’t keep these utensils in proper and clean order. Suppose this towel is left unwashed—than I will play hell with whoever is responsible. All the dirt which is not the towel should be removed. Similarly, “I Am” is the tool through which you get all the knowledge. You worship that “I Am,” remove all adulterations, the dirt.

Q: How to worship the I Amness”?

M: That knowingness alone points out all the dirt which is imposed on it. Even the space is not as pure as the knowledge “I Am.” Innately, the world is very pure; it is rendered dirty because you identify with the body. Since you do not recognize your “I Amness” in its purity, you refer to various books and Sages to get an identity.

Q: I am afraid of losing my beingness, my existence.

M: Where is the question of worry? Even the Parabrahman does not know Itself. When we come to the conclusion that you are not, I am not, what is left is said to be Parabrahman, but what is Parabrahman? You can’t describe it, so you are silent. I am also silent. Parabrahman cannot be compared with anything.

“It is a pity that you depend so much on hearsay and you don’t try to investigate for yourself. Your knowledge is confined to your body and borrowed knowledge.

All the activities of the world are going on because of this “I Amness.” It is the source which creates the world. Understand that “I Amness” first—only then can you transcend it. First of all, be that “I Amness.”” 

My comment:

In other talks Nisargadatta says that we actually remember the beingness, and that our sense of “I Am” is a function of memory. If there were no memory principle at work, the flow of manifest consciousness would just keep flowing with no perceivable forms. It has to make an impression on something that is not flowing, in order for there to be a reference to it as an object. I see it like a bundt cake form which gives the flow (dough) a distinct form, otherwise it would just flow out into a formless mass. So our concepts (thought forms), which we are able to hold in our minds (memory) over time, allow us to give form to the flow of universal energy (consciousness).

The metaphor of soap he brings in here is something I find especially appealing. The sense of “I Am”, as the first stirring of manifestation out of the unmanifest Absolute is likened to soap that is used to remove the dirt out of fabric. When we become one with the “I Am” – that formless quality of pure consciousness – then all “impurities” are removed. the impurities are all that we hang on to with our identifications that are all based on our sense of “I am the body”.

When we free our consciousness more and more from the limitation of seeing ourselves, and actually believing ourselves,  to be limited to the physical body, then we expand into Pure Consciousness progressively.


“…suddenly the feeling of “I Am”-ness appears.

Nisargadatta refers here to the moment of waking from deep sleep. This point of transition from deep sleep to the waking state is mentioned by many sages as an opening to realize our true nature.

“The moment it appears you see space, mental space; that subtle, sky-like space, stabilize yourself there.
You are that.
When you are able to stabilize in that state, you are space only.”

Now he continues to point out the dynamic that can follow this moment:

“When this space-like identity “I Am” goes into oblivion, that is the eternal state, nirguna, no form, no beingness.”

Enjoy your awakening!


(all Nisargadatta quotes: Prior to Consciousness, p. 75 ff)



27 thoughts on “Duality Arises – Part II

  1. Pingback: Austerity, Desire and Loving Yourself | heartflow2013

  2. This is amazing Tomas, and I will enjoy many a re-read of this as I continue to understand further and let the truth deeper in. I also really enjoyed your response to Kozo’s inquiry and it also deepens my understanding – especially the snake/rope metaphor repeated. On a level I know all is illusion, but your teaching here (and Nisargadatta of course) help me to understand how we need to think reality is all there is before we can move beyond it, and recognize it was only a ‘rope’.
    With gratitude for all you share here,

    • Dear Gina ~
      Reality is all there is, and we have viewed it in a limited way, as It being separate and outside of us – this is changing as more and more of “us” are opening up to the Universal Consciousness that then allows us to see the Total Interconnected-ness of All that Is – and each of us is like a work/play station of the Cosmic Mind. It’s like we are all plugged-in to the Super Server, but our previous hardware hasn’t allowed for the necessary software upgrade. Now, with all the immense solar flares just pouring down onto Earth since 1989 (the space people tell me about this, and I feel it as well) our hardware is in the process of being upgraded, and each of us can then upgrade to the newest software, which is “we are Light and Love”. This is the New Era for Humanity that is initiated this year 2013. Love, Tomas

  3. Yes Nisargadatta was indeed and enlightened soul. Good to read of his wisdom in your blog. The book “I am that” is my constant companion.
    Wish you a wonderful peaceful 2013

  4. If I read this correctly, then the I-amness is necessary to become pure or absolute. I once read that one must develop ego to become conscious of ego, so that one can become egoless. It seems to me that all spiritual leaders have to go through the same process. Maybe that is why they are spiritual leaders and not absolute.
    Let me know if I am misreading this powerful posting.

    • My take is that the Absolute (which we all are, says Nisargadatta) does not experience itself, it is, however, absolute Bliss, but in a mysterious “non-experiential” state. We, caught up in our ego-personalities (with an artificial separate center as “myself”), only acknowledge experience as something “real”. Our experiences are fraught with attachment and identification in connection with our sense of being “based” in this physical body – or even feeling that our existence is limited to this body: the “I am the body” idea. By putting my attention on the pure sense of “I Amness” or “Beingness” WITHOUT further attributes, I begin to purge myself of the “I am the body” sense and my sense of who or what “I” am becomes more unlimited progressively. The principle of the “I Am” being like the soap is that all attachments show up against this pure sense of “I Am” and can be let go of simply by understanding that they are all merely conditioned aspects of Consciousness and don’t really need to be kept alive. I no longer let my attention rest on them, or feed them, and they wither and disappear.
      It is also said that you need to first have mistaken the rope for a snake in order to then realize that it is merely a rope. And so we need to first have mistaken the world for the world (outside and apart from us) in order to then realize how silly we have been, and realize that seen by the “Light of Day” (Awakening) – of course there is no separation to be found anywhere, and we are the world. (Ramana)
      When this happens, Nisargadatta says that we can then let go of this realization of the Universality of the I Am without attributes just as we wash out the soap after it has removed the dirt. Then we no longer are attached to the world, or to the I Am and merging with the Absolute before and beyond manifestation can happen.
      Thanks for the question!
      With Love,

      • when the ego is powering anything doubt and anxiety arise as wings to it’s flight.
        That said bird had a very brief lift.

        That false self is ever present . This is what has become evident
        The line of Laughter which came from your hand is a perfect filter for that Ego. I take it to be a most fantastic Gift where by I may recognise the I AM . Thank You

        • I agree, the ego cannot deal with laughter which is free, just Joy coming out. It only likes laughter which is its own expression against someone or something. The false self which is “ever-present” is also only there when “I” am not present. I guess you could kind of see it as very much like a screen saver – always repeating the same thing over and over – waiting for the “I Am” to come online and have the NOW/NEW show up.

      • http://thehaphazardway.wordpress.com/

        I Put this up after seeing a wolf this morning , I have a 8 inch wolfs head burnt in to my arm the result of of a radiator exploding when I was in the Mojave Desert The road cut through an ancient Indian burial ground. So when Wolf appears so does Faith.
        Then I saw that a guy in Australia had linked the how we are going to do it 2013.and he had a b4p logo.

        • Perfect and exciting with the Wolf’s Head. Where do you see wolves around Madrid? Cool! I’m envious! 😉 Australia is next door now – isn’t that cool?

          “Non-linear, exponential connecting of what is novel and new” is a phrase spoken to me by Barbara Marx-Hubbard – a great visionary and “Mother of Conscious Evolution). Non-linear and exponential are given as qualities of this total interconnectedness that we see happening around the planet. This is taken on the background of the caterpillar’s metamorphosis into a butterfly. The “imaginal cells” in the caterpillar begin the connect in this way with each other. They hold the new gestalt withing their DNA already and just by connecting, they bring it forth. Here we are – be of good cheer!
          with Love,

          • Yes gratitude allows one to see the big picture ,as my wife just remided me,and then the caterpillar pulls its self together, when ever there are three or more gathered in the name of God Consciousness, a butterfly of transformation results.

          • I have a long connection with Wolf and Red wolf. Husky dogs.
            Believe it or not I stayed in a small hotel in London with a poltergeist, The name of the street was wolfington Ave.
            In My book Galicia I have a tale about a Roman legion who are turned in to wolves because they are insane , and just so they remember they are men they are given the eyes of men . from there it is a path to recognising there brother in every man .
            so they eventually become teachers and healers.
            So even though there are wolves in Andalucia, This morning on my run, I run 5 miles every day I saw a beautiful Husky with Blue eyes and then again when I saw Seth snaps picture of a snow dog on wordpress.

  5. Pingback: Identity | Russell Bradley

  6. I am dead to the world and dead to existence I want nothing from it, how wonderfully releasing that is, every product of the mind has been placed there just like a grocery store. trying to identify brands one wants to consume which leads to confusion.
    That awakened freedom is so vast , the I am is the creator and the Ego the Consumer.
    the consumer is tied to the check out store for life to sustain its shallow self
    the creator needs nothing..

    • Yes, i want nothing from it – and there is the Human Nature that is moving “as if on a great machine” (Bhagavad Gita) – very hungry for the experience “to be”. When the sticky part: to be “this” or “that” no longer sticks to “me” then I feel the freedom, yes, endless. “I” : what a mysterious principle!

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