“Rarely will one understand this and,
transcend the domain of consciousness.”
My Comment: What can this mean – to transcend the domain of consciousness? Isn’t everything we know, our entire existence the “domain of consciousness”? Also the statement “The Absolute… does not know Itself” presents us with a seemingly insurmountable riddle. In Zen this is termed a ‘koan’. Here we can ask ourselves: is my entire perception limited to what comes through my organs of sensory perception? Is there a very, very subtle realm that is not of the ‘objective’ world? Can I negate the entire world that I see as ‘objects’ to be known, not to escape the world into some romantic ‘nirvana’ state, but to examine my potential and possible scope of perception?
When I bang my shin I will, for a while at least, forget my bank account, my disagreement with a friend, my food and my drink. The pain draws all my attention to it. It is similar with our sensory perception. The input from the objects and conditions around me suggests irrefutably that there is an objective world ‘out there’ that I am interfacing with. However, many have now been in a state where the subtle state of the seeing energy alone pervaded their experience. In that state there was no seer, the process of seeing and the object seen – there was only ‘seeing’ and that seeing is being. In that state there is no place for an individual.
Is it possible for me, therefore, to negate the individual, the “I” and “Mine” and thus remove the tenacious distraction of identification with limited forms from my experience? In Zen this is called “cleaning the dark mirror of the mind so that it can reflect without intent.” That is one way to make the world a better place, and therefore this total negation is the most positive action, as Krishnamurti points out.
The following is an excerpt from talks with Nisargadatta in Bombay (now Mumbai) in 1980.
Q. Why does consciousness stir? What is the cause?
Nisargadatta: Without any cause, spontaneously, it happens; there is no reason. That consciousness is universal – there is no individuality. But when the consciousness stirs in a particular form which has also arisen spontaneously, and starts functioning in that form, that form assumes that it is an individual and what is unlimited limits itself to a particular form and the trouble starts.
Let us say that someone has become a jnani (an awakened one), 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 that goes, what remains? The Absolute which does not know Itself.
Q:The desire for liberation is also a desire, isn’t it?
Nisargadatta: Don’t talk about liberation, talk about yourself, what you are. When you understand that, both knowledge and ignorance disappear, You only require knowledge so long as the ignorance is there.
A knowledgeable person can tell anything to an ignorant person to remove his ignorance. For that purpose he takes the aid of the so-called worldly knowledge, concepts, and both the worldly conceptual knowledge and the ignorance go simultaneously. A jnani will give you any concepts to remove your ignorance. This “I Amness” is the knowledge and you are embracing that. To remove that he gives you all these concepts; to understand that you are not this “I Amness” which is an outcome of the food essence product. Once you realize that, whatever concepts he has given you, together with this “I Amness,” are to be thrown out. What remains is the Absolute. This is the actual state of affairs. You can never say I am like this or that – you are without knowledge. Rarely will one understand this and, transcend the domain of consciousness.
After listening to my talks, you think it is all very simple, but it is not that easy.