We are always an expression of big existence. Why do we feel so small, insignificant and fragmented sometimes? Simply because we believe that we must do something special in order to be significant. According to this belief, which seems to be the basic belief of humanity as a whole on our planet, just breathing and being conscious is not enough. As the Zen master Shunryu Suzuki says, “Before we open our mouth, we are already expressing big existence.” Before we open our eyes, we are already the big mind.
I feel often like I live in the world from an ‘upside-down’ perspective. All around me seem to be enthralled by the appearances of the phenomenal world and I stand alone in my ‘inverted’ view that the ‘unseen’ is the actual living reality, of which phenomena are but the shadow. It is like the virtual reality tests in the movie “Divergent” in which Tris must recognize the ‘fake’ reality and pull herself out of it. Similarly, we find ourselves in a world made of our thoughts and conditioned reactions to sensory input and we believe this world to be reality. When we recognize its ‘falseness’ we can then pull ourselves out of it by becoming present to Reality with a large ‘R”, which is the Noumenon, not the phenomenon.
Nisargadatta: “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. This knowledge is really ignorance, and whatever knowledge is based on that is also ignorance.
“Go back to your state before this consciousness came upon you.
“First you identify with the body, then you identify with the consciousness, after a while you continue to be the consciousness, but the trap is that you will think you have become a jnani. Even being in consciousness is time bound. The original state is before the consciousness came upon you.
“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 – then 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 the adulterations, the dirt.
Visitor: “How to worship the ‘I Amness’ ?”
Nisargadatta: “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.”
Source: Nisargadatta, Prior to Consciousness, November 29, 1980