Now go to zero concepts.
Nisargadatta tells us here step by step how his inquiry began which lead to him seeing reality in a much different way than most of us:“This line of inquiry started when I noticed that from the moment one wakes up until one falls asleep, one is very busy doing something or other. What is it that compels us to do these things? Because of what does this go on? Then I came to the conclusion that it is my beingness, the fact that I am conscious of existing, which is working throughout the day. That was how my inquiry started.”
Nisargadatta: Understand what I say without concepts; you are adding new concepts. Now go to zero concepts. There are many spiritual seekers whose aim is to acquire sufficient merit to reach a certain place, such as Heaven or Vaikuntha. I have had no aims except to find out. I was not aware of my awareness, and suddenly I became conscious that I am. Where and how did this consciousness arise on me? That was my inquiry, going back to that state when the presence of phenomena was not there. That is, original knowledge of the original Self. So, I went back, tracing this original Self, and I reached a stage where I wanted to know what my state was before this consciousness arose. That is the destination which I have reached. Brahman, Iswara, God, all these are names given to the consciousness when it is conscious of itself. If you have properly understood this knowledge, what will be your position at the moment of so-called death? It will be watching what is happening. This consciousness gradually loses everything, and ultimately consciousness is no longer conscious of itself. That state cannot be described. It is called Parabrahman, the Supreme Absolute, but that is only a name for communication purposes.
This line of inquiry started when I noticed that from the moment one wakes up until one falls asleep, one is very busy doing something or other. What is it that compels us to do these things? Because of what does this go on? Then I came to the conclusion that it is my beingness, the fact that I am conscious of existing, which is working throughout the day. That was how my inquiry started.
In the body the indwelling principle is the consciousness. Abiding in the consciousness, it became all manifestation. Now transcendence of the consciousness has also occurred. With the appearance of consciousness, the Absolute knows it is, “I Am”. This is the experience. There are other experiences now, in this time factor, but experiences are gradually dropping off, including this primary experience “I Am”. It is only the consciousness that is going to disappear, the Absolute is always there. What a fall! The perfect state, caught up in these experiences, and trying to derive certain benefits out of the experiences.
Q: Is it spontaneous?
M: Yes. Whatever experiences were happening in this field of knowingness, the Ultimate principle got caught up in that. It accepted some experience as itself. Accepting experiences as the truth, it gets more and more involved.