In this short passage Nisargadatta points us to a fundamental fact of our existence that is very hard to grasp from our present perspective. Generally we believe that we are our thoughts and that our life consists of following what our thoughts tell us about the world. To turn this perspective around and take the stance that I am not my mindflow and that this mindflow is not really mine at all, is difficult to take in.
(My recent article Pratiprasava – Procreation is useful in connection with this article.)
This is where the science of yoga leaves the realm of intellectual activity and asks of us to begin our own existential experimentation. The above text asks us to turn around, go to the source and depart from the track of that original thought-flow. Turning around points us in the opposite direction of where we have been headed up to now.
So the question arises: where have I been headed up to now? I have obviously been headed down the flow of creation: from the conception of this body to its birth and through my life’s path to where I am now. These stations of life refer to the path of the body. Am I identical with that body or am I something more? The body’s path is most probably a path that ends with the dissolution of this body. Is that my fate? Is the path the body takes – its suffering and pleasures – is all of this what I call My Life, or am I something much, much more vast?
The text says: Turn around and go to the source: turn away from the path that conditioned consciousness flows along and look for the beginning of this flow, where it originates. I am told here that it is possible to depart from the original thought-flow. What is the original thought-flow? “This ‘I Amness’ is the product of objective material, it is not me.” This statement asks me to consider that my consciousness of being “I”, the “I Amness”, is an expression of the material-physical realm, and that my true identity is beyond that.
From Nisargadatta’s perspective consciousness is an attribute of any physical vehicle for consciousness. Further, consciousness always needs a vehicle to sustain it, no matter how subtle that vehicle may be. Even a very subtle light body, or energy field is still a vehicle for consciousness. According to this view all of manifested creation is in fact imbued with consciousness. Consciousness expresses itself in each form according to the characteristics of the form itself.
In the human form thoughts are one very basic expression of consciousness. When the human form is activated by the so-called vital energy (prana or qi) the mindflow begins. This mindflow or thought-flow will, per default, be focused on the needs of the physical body; in other words, survival. All aspects of the world will be seen through the lens of this focus. If someone insults me, my thoughts will be colored by the basic focus of survival, and therefore, I may perceive the insult as a matter of life or death.
In order not to be carried away by the original thought-flow with the content “I am the body”, we are asked here to depart from that track and detach ourselves from it and not allow ourselves to be carried away by it. In the mind of a sage “the thought-flow is present but the thought has changed”. This tells me that it is not about leaving the world and having no thoughts and living in a state of eternal transcendence, in abeyance from the world. Rather, it is about a radically different quality of mindflow that is born of the experience of the source.
I have had some rare experiences of being directly in touch with the source of creation in a direct perception. These have always been deeply life-changing for me. I am able at any time to re-member such experiences and such quality of perception, when I take the time to let the conditioned physical-existence-mindflow of consciousness subside sufficiently. Then the greater inner quietude allows the much subtler frequency of source to come to my awareness. The content of the mindflow through my vehicle (felt as ‘my’ consciousness) is very much affected by contact with the frequency of source. I perceive all around me in a much more immediate way as being part of the Oneness, just as I am, and therefore, love flows between all things, all beings, all persons and me.
For me, the effect of contemplating the above Mindflow text of Nisargadatta is that I take in the fact that we can realize that the source of consciousness is in each of us. It tells me that when we experience It we gain a completely new perspective on all of life and all relationships. Compassion and understanding become natural, as do love and affection for all of life.
- Pratiprasava – Procreation (newearthpulse.wordpress.com)
- The Mystical is Most Practical – Nisargadatta (newearthpulse.wordpress.com)
- Science of the Heart and Heart Coherency – B4Peace (newearthpulse.wordpress.com)
- Austerity, Desire and Loving Yourself (newearthpulse.wordpress.com)
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