“Throw away every thought, every experience, everything that happens after this consciousness has come.”
This is a dialog between Nisargadatta and a visitor. In it Nisargadatta’s emphasis on deconstructing all that we think we know and destruction of our cherished beliefs is very clear.
July 26, 1980
Questioner: I have come to Maharaj in the hope that he may help me put an end to this search.
Nisargadatta Maharaj: Can you communicate to me what you have understood?
Q It is all concepts, all illusion.
Q. I don’t believe in processes that take time and disciplines, I’ve done all that. I want it to end.
M. 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 really happening is this: the life force, when it comes out in thoughts and words, is the mind, so it is this pram 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 are working.
Q. I realize that anything I say is a concept arising out of my consciousness.
M: That you are, and the world is, are both concepts. You must know that.
Q. 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?
M: The mind understands because of the consciousness.
Q Then it is all an automatic happening?
M. That is true. The mind interprets whatever the concept is, the base is consciousness on which the concept arises at the moment.
Q. 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?
M. All this conceptualizing, all this articulation, has been taking place only after the original concept arose that you are . What was the position before this concept arose? At that time did you have any concepts, any needs?
Q. Like deep sleep?
M. This concept that it is like deep sleep is not incorrect, but it is still a concept, and the original state is beyond concepts.
Q. What is the fact now?
M. That you are awake is itself a concept at this moment. Let this sink in.
Q. It’s a movie.
M. Go back to the source: before this concept of beingness, “I Am,” arose, what was your state?
Q, I don’t know.
M. 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.
Q. So the search, all aspects of it, belongs to the same?
M. 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.
(source: Nisargadatta, Prior to Consciousness, July 26th, 1980)