Saturday, December 31, 2005

Our one constant

Thus, there is actually objective proof that within our experience of life, which is tremendously varied and full of differences, there is an integrating element that is almost entirely being ignored. And that element is the sameness, or oneness, that is constantly present and makes all experience possible. It is called presence awareness (among many other names), and it is essentially the present moment—right here, right now. It is the “right here, right now” that has always been and will always be. It is the “right here, right now” that you experienced at age five and experience even as you read this page. And this sameness is what makes a sixty- or seventy-year-old feel no different inside than he or she did as  a child. Presence awareness. It was present at birth; it is present at death. Right here, right now. Our one constant.
James Braha

The heart of awareness

You are pure Awareness
The witness of all things
You are awareness itself
Never changing

The Self is in all beings
And all beings are in the Self
Know you are free

In you the world arises
Like waves in the sea

It is true!
You are awareness itself
You are the Self
You are God

The body is confined by its natural properties
It comes, it lingers awhile, it goes
But the Self never comes nor goes
You are pure awareness

You and the world are one
You cannot change or die
You are the clear space of awareness
You are one and the same

You are in whatever you see, you alone
Just as a bracelets and bangles
Are all of the same gold

Know, that everything is the Self
And be happy

You alone are real
There is no one,
not even God separate
from yourself.

The world is an illusion, nothing more
When you understand this fully
You find peace, for indeed there is nothing
In the ocean of being there is only One
There was and there will be only One

You are already fulfilled,
How can you be bound or free?
Once and for all give up meditation

You are the Self and you are free

Translation of the Ashtavakra Gita

All that needs to be done

"Just realise you are dreaming a dream you call the world and stop looking for ways out. 
The dream is not your problem. Your problem is that you like one part of your dream and not another. 
Love all or none of it, and stop complaining. When you have seen the dream as a dream, 
you have done all that needs to be done."
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

The real unchanging you

Q: when you use the ancient analogy of space like awareness, what are you really pointing to?

Jean-Pierre Gomez: The ancient Saints and Sages used the analogy of space like awareness for a few good reasons, first of all that everything that we perceive is contained in space, wherever you go, there is space and it is infinite. It is no-thing for the mind to grasp. It is always untouched and unchanging.

All objects need space to be present for them to appear, space is always the primary, the unchanging background where all objects appear in. With pure awareness or consciousness, it is the same principal, every objects and every things are contained in the ever present unchanging pure awareness, it is always untouched by time and things, like a mirror is always untouched by the objects being reflected on it.

Unless someone comes along and points out to us that space is the very first thing that we see, when we open our eyes, and that everything appears in this unchanging space. We may never notice that space is the primary or first thing that we see. To most people the focus is solely on the content of space, the objects and movements appearing in it.

With pure presence awareness it is the same, unless someone comes up to us and points out the obvious, we may spend our life time focusing on the objects and movements on the unchanging ever present awareness that we truly are. It is the primary, it is unchanging. All objects, forms, shapes, images, thoughts, feelings, emotions etc... they all appear and disappear on the unchanging presence of awareness. Just like all objects appear and disappear all day long on the unchanging space outside ourselves.

Simply notice what is always present as your true nature, the unchanging presence of awareness that is always the real unchanging you. That is what you really are. All so called good or bad thoughts and pleasant or painful feelings are always cognized and registered on the presence of awareness that you are. You are always aware of what arises on you, if it is so called pleasant or disturbing thoughts or feelings, you know.

Everything appears and disappears on that unchanging presence that is so familiar, the true you or your Natural State. Realize or notice that are conscious and alive, that is the obvious living presence or pure awareness I am pointing to. It is not a thing or an object to be grasp, simply the recognition of your familiar presence of beingness, or livingness, the presence of existence. The pure cognizing and registering presence, living intelligence or awareness.

Your true nature is always present like an ever shining sun, like the unchanging sky or untouched and ungraspable space. It is the ordinary everyday primary presence of existence, that lights up the world, that you see through you eyes right now.

Could you be aware of anything at all going on in you or outside of you without your beingness or awareness present first? You have to be conscious for anything to be registered by you. You are that ordinary consciousness or wakefulness. That is your true nature.

Just like space is the primary for objects to appear in and on, without that primary presence of livingness or pure awareness, you could not have anything arise on you and being cognized by you. You have to be present and conscious, alive and aware for anything to be registered and appear to you as this or that.

It is not difficult to notice the unchanging familiar presence that you truly are, your true nature or Natural State. It is always aware of everything, like a video camera is registering everything that appears and disappears without thinking about it. Your true nature is registering all the rising thoughts, feelings, sounds, images etc... It is simple, ordinary, so familiar that unless it is pointed out to you, it is easily missed or overlooked. Yet it is the real unchanging you, nothing more to it.

You are already that unchanging presence of existence or awareness, like space you cannot ever separate yourself from pure presence of awareness or your true self. Pause thoughts for an instant and notice that you remain as that obvious and yet ungraspable pure cognizing and registering awareness or existence.

Realize right this instant that you are already home and always were home. You cannot be anything other than pure presence awareness or pure consciousness. That is what you truly are, this obvious and familiar presence or space like unchanging awareness that is the primary you.

Don't fall into the trap of trying to become something special or extraordinary in time, that is the trap of the mind. It is what keeps you from recognizing the ordinariness of what you truly are. Drop all erroneous acquired ideas and beliefs that you have, all the years of false conditioning, just drop it all off right now and be mentally naked from the dead past, from dead memories and dead beliefs.

Realize that all beliefs and conditioning you accepted to be true over the years, is only acquired knowledge from others. It only appears to exist in your memories, in the past, in time, in thoughts. Be mentally naked to the ever new and ever fresh moment of existence, of now, that is the reality or your true moment of existence, there is no other moment of existence than right now. Drop the looking or seeking outside yourself in time for something to be different or something more to acquire than the ordinary presence that you are, and always have been.

Understand that only the false belief in this illusory, dualistic and continuously changing world is what keeps you missing the unchanging real you, like the eye cannot see itself, you cannot deny that there is a living presence of awareness seeing through your eyes. You are not blind! There is pure seeing or cognizing of the world going on effortlessly, all day long. You are that living presence or cognizing intelligent-awareness. That ordinary everyday presence of awareness, that is effortlessly and naturally registering everything and looking through your eyes right now, this very instant. That is your true nature Seeing.

Understand, you are totally whole and complete already, that is the truth about you. There never was a separate"me' or an individual entity running the show with any power to do anything of it's own. There is no entity called "me", mind or ego that can exist at all, even for a second apart from your true nature. Your true nature is the real and only power of existence, it is always with you right now. Living your life for you, functioning and growing your body every moment, effortlessly and subtlety.

Again it is so obvious to you, so effortless. Your true nature is seeing through your eyes right now, hearing through you ears, feeling through your body, all your thoughts and emotions are simply just another expression of your true nature. Realize that there is nothing to get rid of, nothing to attain, nothing to become or to hold on to. You are total oneness just as you are. You are that ungraspable presence of existence that is experiencing itself through you as you, right here and right now.

Pure presence of awareness or existence is the real unchanging you, the mind just labels or translates for your true nature. The mind is simply a tool of consciousness to express itself with itself. that is all the mind's function is. All that needs to be realized is that we took the mind to be the real power, we took a shadow to be the real, that is all.

The mind is not an enemy or something bad to overcome or destroy, for in essence it is also pure awareness, or you. You are the totality of everything that appears and disappears on awareness, like all objects appearing in space are also made of space or like all waves arising on the surface of the ocean are nothing other than the ocean.

With or without the labels or names from the mind, you still function perfectly, effortlessly, as pure awareness. Just like nature functions perfectly without a mind. Recognize your true nature, notice that familiar presence of existence that is so familiar to you and always present, always timeless, it is the you that never grows old. As far back as you can remember, It always as been present with you as you. No matter what size and age your body was, it never changed or grew older in time. Once you recognize that ever present sense of beingness, you will recognize the infinite oneness that you always have been and always will be.

Jean-Pierre Gomez

Pointing beyond concepts

Q. I enjoyed your say within it that Oneness is prior to the sense of beingness...I heard of that already from Karl Renz,a German this concept very helpful?? It is an interesting concept, but in my direct experience, I only hold into this sense of beingness prior to the thought I AM...isn't it just a story to say that there is a beyond to the beyond??...I AM this presence awareness, should be something more than that?? Thanks for your answer...

John Greven. The words that, the One is prior to the sense of beingness, - are like any other words, they are just pointers. Forget the words and see what is being pointed to. They are pointing to the non-conceptual nature of what you already are. They are an encouragement to drop the labels or concepts about what you are.

The idea that “I” am awareness or that “I” am beingness prior to thought - is too much, yet they are good pointers. See that all of that is just an appearance to a supreme - non-conceptual subject! The pointers alone are something that the mind can grab onto. This is why there is discussion about them. Even the sense that “I am” is too much, as the mind will cling to that.

Holding on to a sense of beingness, prior to the thought I Am - is still, someone seemingly holding on to something.

Is it a story to say there is a beyond to the beyond? It is all a story until the story ends. Then, the story goes on in what you are - just as it is now.

The sage and the non-sage

Resistance, frustration, anger, sadness, the sense of ego, the experience of duality all arise in the so called sage, or enlightened master, just like the so called non-sage.

The difference between the so called sage and the so called non-sage is that the sage knows he has no power. The sage knows he cannot change what is. The sage knows he doesn't exist as a separate, controlling entity who can or must exercise his will to avoid 'negative' experiences and grasp onto 'positive' experiences. The sage is powerless, and he knows it.

Therefore, the sage merely witnesses his experience without any attempt to change it because he knows he has no power, and trying to exercise control over his experience is the cause of suffering, not a means to overcoming it.

The so called 'non-sage' believes he has power to control his experience. The non-sage believes it's possible to exercise his will to avoid unpleasant experiences and grasp onto the pleasant ones. So the non-sage suffers by trying to exercise his non-existent will, generating the very suffering he's trying to avoid.

Stephen Wingate

Friday, December 30, 2005

Enlightenment is not a becoming

You don’t become enlightened. You’re not at one point ignorant and then, the next moment, enlightened. This is all mind. You already are That. It’s a simple realization that happens by dropping everything else you believe about yourself. Drop all your beliefs and see what happens. Drop your point of view and see what remains. Drop you proverbial pursuit of happiness. Stop chasing your desires, stop running from your fears; stop everything, right now, and see what is so, what does not come and go—what simply is, regardless of what you feel about it, or what you think about it. Your thoughts, your feelings, your physical sensations cannot touch this absolute Self that you are, so why give them so much credence? Why give them so much importance? They are phantoms; they are written on the wind.

"Dancing As the Infinite"

Desiring what is

The Buddha spoke about desire. He said that desire is the cause of all suffering—the root of all suffering. Desire is a very juicy word. It's got to be if has that much power that it can cause all of the suffering in the world. He didn't say most of the suffering or a lot of the suffering but all of it. Every single contraction of being is caused simply by desire. It's a very powerful force. So, it's worth looking into this thing that is responsible for all of the suffering you have ever experienced.

One very obvious thing about desire that gets overlooked is that every desire is a lie. Every desire is based on the idea that things can be different than they are, and that's just never been true. Things have never been different than they are in that moment. You can even see how this lie might come to be because things almost always are different than they were, but they just are never different than they are. They are always the way they are. So, in observing this, we start to think we can take this constantly changing "way things are" and decide how it's going to be next. That's also based on a lie. Just look in your own experience. How often has it worked? How often have things turned out exactly the way you wanted them to be? Unfortunately, every now and then it happens, so we get hooked—like with a slot machine. Every now and then we get what we desired. But it's a matter of random luck. If you desire enough things, every now and then you're going to get it right.

When people see this lie, they tend to accept the way things are. It's funny, though, acceptance often has the quality of defeat or resignation: I'll accept what is, but I don't have to like it! So, I invite you to consider another possibility. It's a strange possibility, but it's actually very wonderful in its results. And that is to actually desire what is: meet what is with that same passion that you may have had for what could be or what you think should be happening. Meet what is with that kind of passion, with that force that is able to generate all the suffering in the world. Bring that force to bear on what is—on the truth instead of on a lie.
There's another word for this: gratitude. It's different than acceptance. Acceptance is somehow lifeless; it lacks passion or juice. That's why even though people may get that things are the way they are, they often go back to the "juice" of wanting things to be different. At least in desiring there's drama, there's intensity, passion, and life—even if it does result in suffering. But there is this other possibility: actually desiring what is wholeheartedly, really truly saying yes to this moment, to what is, exactly the way it is right now, bringing that kind of passion and aliveness to the way things are. This brings instant unlimited happiness because every desire is fulfilled!

There are two hypotheses

On the one hand there is the astrologer who is sitting on the side of the road being asked about the nonessential.... Whether he is the astrologer of a poor man or of Morarji Desai, the finance minister, it does not make any difference -- all astrologers who deal with the non- essential, with questions like whether or not one will win the elections, are ordinary. How are the elections connected with the moon and the stars? The ordinary astrologer who replies: "Everything is predetermined and no changes, not even as much as one inch can be made" -- is making a false statement.

On the other hand there is the rationalist. He says that nothing is inevitably connected: whatsoever happens is coincidental, circumstantial and a matter of chance. There is no law, everything is anarchic. He is also making a false statement.

There is a law: A rationalist is never found to be as full of joy and bliss as a Buddha.

The rationalist denies God, the soul and religion with the help of logic, but he can never attain to the joy of Mahavir. Certainly Mahavir must have done something that earned him his joy, Buddha must have done something that liberated him, and Krishna must also have done something which made it possible for him to give out such distinctly unique and magical notes through his flute.

The real thing is the third, which is the quintessence of everything, which belongs to the innermost and which is absolutely predetermined. The more one moves toward one's center, the nearer one comes to the essential, predetermined part. As we move towards the periphery we move towards coincidence. The more we talk about external happenings, the more there is coincidence. When we talk about inner phenomena, things begin to appear scientific, as if based on a definite law; they become more and more decisive.

Between these two conditions -- the essential and the peripheral -- there is ample room to effect changes by exercising one's freedom of choice. Here, someone with awareness will make the correct choice; whereas a person who is in the darkness of ignorance will drift into his destiny, putting up with whatever comes his way.

So there are three areas of life. In the area which is the essential core, everything is predetermined. Knowing this is knowing the essence of astrology. In the area which is peripheral everything is uncertain. To know this is to know the everyday, unpredictable world. There is another area which is in the middle. By knowing this, a person can save himself from trying to do the impossible, and he can do what is possible. If a person lives in the peripheral and middle areas in such a way that he begins to move towards the center, he will become religious. But if he lives in such a way that he is never able to move towards the center, his life will remain irreligious.

For example: a person is preparing to steal. Stealing is not predetermined; it cannot be claimed that stealing is inevitable or unavoidable -- there is complete freedom whether to steal or not. But once the theft has been committed, it is as if one foot has been lifted and the other foot remains on the earth: after doing it, you cannot undo the act. And the total effect of the act of stealing will spread over the personality of the person who did it. But as long as stealing does not happen, the other alternative is present and available.

The mind swings between yes and no. If he says yes to stealing he will be thrown towards the periphery; if he says no to stealing he will move towards the center. Thus, in the middle, there is a choice. If he makes the wrong choice he is thrown towards the periphery; if he makes the right choice he moves towards the center, towards that part of astrology which is essential in life.


Can one do as one wants to or not?

Mohammed had a disciple named Ali. This Ali once asked Mohammed's opinion about whether a man is independent and free to do what he wants, or whether he is bound by his destiny in everything he does. Ali asked: "Can one do as one wants to or not?"

Man has been asking this question for a long, long time....

"If a man is not able to do as he desires," Ali said, "then it is useless and foolish to preach to him not to steal, not to tell lies, not to be dishonest. Or is it destiny that one man should always be there to preach to others not to steal or not to do this or that? -- while knowing full well that it is also destiny for a dishonest man to remain dishonest, for a thief to remain a thief, for a murderer to remain a murderer. All this appears to be absurd. If everything is predestined, all education is useless, then all prophets, all saints, all teachers are useless."

People have asked both Mahavir and Buddha such questions. If what is going to happen is predestined, why should Mahavir or Buddha have taken so much trouble to explain what is right and what is wrong? So Ali asked Mohammed what he thought about this controversial matter. If Mahavir or Buddha had been asked such a question, they would have given a very complicated and deep reply, but Mohammed gave a reply which Ali could understand. Many of Mohammed's replies were direct and straightforward.

Ordinarily, answers given by people who are uneducated or less educated, by people who are simple villagers, are direct and frank. People like Kabir, Nanak, Mohammed and Jesus were simple in that way. Answers by people like Buddha, Mahavir and Krishna were complex -- Buddha and Mahavir were the cream of a rich and highly developed civilization. The words of Jesus were direct, like a blow on the head. Kabir has actually sung: "Kabir is standing in the open market with a hammer in his hand to hit you!"

If anyone came near him he would, so to speak, break open his head to remove all the rubbish that was lying inside.

Mohammed did not give any metaphysical reply. He asked Ali to lift one leg and stand on it. Ali had just asked a question about whether a man is free to do what he wants -- why should he stand on one leg? Mohammed said: "First lift one leg."

Poor Ali lifted his left leg and stood there on one leg.

Mohammed then asked him: "Now lift the right leg also."

Ali was puzzled and asked how it was possible. Then Mohammed said: "If you had wanted to you could have lifted the right leg first but now you cannot. A man is always free to lift the first leg -- it can be whichever he wants -- but no sooner has the first one been lifted than the other becomes bound to the Earth."

With regard to the nonessential part of life, we are always free to lift the first leg. But once that is done it becomes a bondage for the essential part. We take steps that are non essential, become entangled, and then we are not able to do the essential. So Mohammed said to Ali that he had all the freedom to lift the right or the left leg first. But once he had exercised that freedom and lifted his left leg, he was incapable of lifting the other leg. So freedom is there within certain limits, but beyond those limits there is no freedom.

This is an old conflict for the human mind.

If man is a slave to his destiny -- as astrologers generally seem to assert -- if everything is predestined and inevitable, then all the religions are of no use. If a man is free to do everything, as all so-called rationalists say, and if nothing is predetermined or inevitable, then life will become just a chaos and an anarchy; then it is also possible that a man may steal and still attain to liberation, that he may murder people and still realize the divine. When nothing is related, when one step is not related to the other, then there are no laws and nothing is binding anywhere.



"The word 'reality' is derived from the roots 'thing' (res) and 'think' (revi). 'Reality' means 'everything you can think about.' This is not 'that-which-is'. No idea can capture 'truth' in the sense of that-which-is."

David Bohm

Direct perception of reality

Stop regretting the past,
stop worring about the future.

In the present moment stop conceptualizing, labelling, analysing and judging the sense perceptions, and
don't intentionally create any more thoughts in your mind.

Just relax in the Unlimited Consciousness which has two forms:
the Absolute-Unmanifested, a consciousness without form, unqualified,
the Relative-Manifested, a consciousness with form, which contains all forms.

From this Unlimited Consciousness all forms have arisen
and in this Unlimited Consciousness all forms shall return.

To realise this means to be awake to the reality of the nature of things.

Who searches has already found
because you already are Who you are looking for.

Dinu-Stefan Teodorescu

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Heading in the wrong direction

Your true nature, What Is, is pure Subjective Awareness. So become an observer to try to find it, try to look at it, try to turn it into an object, and you will not see it anywhere because as an object it is not. Pure Awareness in which everything arises is what you already are: how can it possibly be found? In stillness this is known.

The sheer enormity of the misperception, the misunderstanding, is staggering. That’s why the laughter when there finally is seeing: it’s not like we’re even close. Almost the entire human endeavor, from daily life, daily thought and actions, to philosophy and theology, psychology and sociology, biology, physics, history and politics, is all based on a completely erroneous premise and is headed wildly, blithely, obliviously off in the wrong direction.

David Carse

Seeing without looking

A metaphor. In the retina of your eye there are two kinds of cells: cone cells and rod cells. The cones are clustered toward the center of the retina; what is in the center of your field of view is focused on them, and they register shades of light and, especially, color. The rods are more numerous around the edge of the retina, and they pick up what is on the edge of your field of view, in your peripheral vision. They do not distinguish color, can discern only black and white, but pick out contrast better than the cones. This is why the rod cells are important for night vision, and explains an odd phenomenon; that night vision is better in your peripheral vision.

Walking in the Vermont woods at night, I learned at a young age that what you could make out in the darkness, what you could see, depended on how you looked. Repeatedly, you would see a movement in your peripheral vision and turn to look directly at it, to see only darkness. Eventually, one learns not to turn, not to look directly, but to keep it just in your peripheral vision, just at the point where you are almost not looking at it at all. That is when you can see it best.

Subtle. It is lost, overlooked if there is positive movement, direct searching, active thinking, anything but profound stillness. Focus on it, and it is gone. All of the talking, all of the asking questions, reading books, meditating, thinking, focusing, seeking, is all counterproductive because it is pushing in the wrong direction, creating activity and turbulence and noise. Just as there is wei wu wei, the action which is not action, action which is not willed, is not volitional but witnessed as spontaneously happening: so too there is a seeing which is not seeing, a seeing which happens without trying, without looking.

Asleep in the dream, the everyday activity is to look without truly seeing. What is called for is seeing without looking, the seeing happening without there being one who looks.

David Carse

There is no maya!

Once it is seen that the beyond-brilliance of Sat Chit Ananda is all that is, the dream continues as a kind of shadow. Yet, at the same moment that all of what appears in the dream is experienced as empty, it is also seen as more deeply beautiful and perfect than ever imagined, precisely because it is not other than Sat Chit Ananda, than all that is. Everything that does not matter, that is empty illusion, is at the same time itself the beyond-brilliance, the perfect beauty. Somehow there is a balance; these two apparently opposite aspects do not cancel each other out but complement each other. This makes no 'sense,' yet it is how it is.

There is one tradition within Advaita which says that maya, the manifestation of the physical universe, is over-laid or superimposed on Sat Chit Ananda. I'm no scholar of these things, and can only attempt to describe what is seen here; and the Understanding here is that there is no question of one thing superimposed on another. Maya, the manifestation, the physical universe, is precisely Sat Chit Ananda, is not other than it, does not exist on its own as something separate to be overlaid on top of something else. This is the whole point! There is no maya! The only reason it appears to have its own reality and is commonly taken to be real in itself is because of a misperceiving, a mistaken perception which sees the appearance and not What Is. This is the meaning of Huang Po's comment that "no distinction should be made between the Absolute and the sentient world." No distinction! There is only One. There is not ever in any sense two. All perception of distinction and separation, all perception of duality, and all perception of what is known as physical reality, is mind-created illusion. When a teacher points at the physical world and says, "All this is maya," what is being said is that what you are seeing is illusion; what all this is is All That Is, pure Being Consciousness Bliss Outpouring; it is your perception of it as a physical world that is maya, illusion.

David Carse

The meaning of all spirituality

Investigate what you think of as your 'self.' This is the purpose, the meaning of all spirituality, of all seeking, of your very being: to understand this amazing intricate play of Consciousness by seeing what is this illusion, this mistaken perception, and what is its source which makes it possible. What you are, you always already are. It is by seeing what you are not that there is a stepping away from it, stepping out of the misconceived role of a separate fearful individual.

When you step out of what you are not, what remains is not something you have to become, but what you always already are. That is why there is nothing you have to do, or become, or learn, or practice, or work at, or purify. It is completely effortless to be in your natural state. What is full of difficult, constant effort is maintaining this false and unnatural idea of being somebody, of being an individual, a separate something. You are a non-entity! Let it go! When it is let go of, you rest in the effortlessness of All That Is, of what could be called your natural state.

David Carse

Seeing what is

There appear to be separate bodies, so the assumption is that there are separate consciousness-es. The belief in this assumption blinds you to seeing What Is.

David Carse

Three levels of reality

[There are] three levels of reality (all simultaneously true, paradoxical though this might seem):

3) the conventional level of right and wrong, good and evil, justice and injustice;

2) the "Divine Comedy" level wherein "everything's perfect," everything's happening for the good of all souls in their "soul-ular" evolution and journey HOME; and

1) the Absolute Truth: no-thing is really happening, it's all a dream in the one, nondual Awareness; only God IS (no world, no souls).

The point here is that one can and must honor all three levels, or one's spirituality is quite imbalanced.

Timothy Conway

Suffering is perfect

Arnie Cooper: But what about the realization that it’s all perfect? Why do anything at all?

Timothy Conway: Ram Dass related a wonderful story about this. Coming from a good, progressive Jewish family, he was much interested in tzedek, or justice. One day he was kvetching to his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, about the suffering in God’s creation, and his guru finally cut him short, saying: “Look, Ram Dass, suffering is perfect.” And Ram Dass, shocked by this apparently callous statement, began to marshal his intellectual resources to argue with his guru. But Neem Karoli stopped him again and said: “And, Ram Dass, your attempt to end suffering is also perfect.”

Originally published in The Sun Magazine, April 2003

What is self-realization?

What does one mean by self-realization? A powerful experience which will settle our daily problems? Awakening to a state of nirvana, bliss, ecstasy? Is that what it is thought to be? I am asked about this all the time. We all have read so many accounts of enlightenment experiences and one wants that experience for oneself. One will give anything for it, practice any method, follow any teacher.

What is self-realization if not the immediate, moment-to-moment insight into the processes of the human mind? Can fear and wanting be instantly seen and directly understood- not just the present feeling of it, but seeing the root cause and the inevitable consequences that follow? Not thinking or speculating about it, but a penetrating awareness which dispels what is seen. This seeing, this undivided openness, has nothing to do with any experience. There is no experiencer in it - no realizer, no recipient of anything. It is something entirely new and unknowable.

Toni Packer

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Be as simple as a child

Unless one becomes as simple as a child, one cannot reach divine illumination. Give up your vanity about the worldly knowledge you have acquired, and know it to be futile in the realm of higher truth. Be as simple as a child, and then only you will reach the knowledge of the True.

Only two kinds of people can attain to Self-knowledge: those whose minds are not encumbered at all with learning, that is to say, not overcrowded with thoughts borrowed from others; and those who after studying all the Scriptures and sciences, have come to realize that they know nothing.

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa - Excerpts from Teachings of Sri Ramakrishna

Self without self

Self-realization is Self without self. As long as 'realizing' remains, self remains.

Sri Ranjit Maharaj - Excerpts from Talks in Brittany.

Best-kept secrets

The unreality of the ego is the ego’s best-kept secret. The unreality of the world is the world’s best-kept secret. To see the truth of these secrets is to render unnecessary and irrelevant all spiritual teachers and all spiritual teachings.

Stanley Sobottka
A Course in Consciousness

Monday, December 26, 2005

True forgiveness seeing that there is no victimiser and no victim, and there never has been.

Stanley Sobottka
A Course in Cousciousness

Friday, December 23, 2005

He who gets slapped

When I was a child I was taken to the circus. There I saw a long series of entrancing performances that caused men and animals to execute every kind of astonishing and unexpected manoeuvre. And throughout, but particularly when the scenario and its appurtenances were being changed, there appeared a grotesque personage, vaguely resembling a human being, who interfered with everything but effected nothing. He fell over the carpets, bumped himself against every object, was slapped and kicked, and then took all the applause as though he were responsible for everything. We thought him very funny and laughed at him like anything.

Now that I am no longer a child he seems to me to be a perfect image of the I-concept, whose function is apparently his, and whose performance corresponds in all respects with that of the clown, in the circus which is our life. In all respects but one: we laughed at the clown in the circus, but we take seriously the clown in the circus of life, although the one is as ineffectual as the other. We even believe that he is responsible for the performance, whereas as children we could see that he was responsible for nothing that happened, that his 'will' was totally ignored by the circumstances to which he was subjected, and that in every event he was an unnecessary nuisance.

In one respect, however, our attitude is unchanged: in both the circuses we love the clown dearly and consider him more important than anything else in the show.

Wei Wu Wei: Ask the Awakened

Aphorisms on human nature




The phenomenal Universe is the appearance in Consciousness
of a timeless dynamic Process
which is the manifest creative functioning
of "Ultimate Reality"


Each individual body / mind
is a point of activity within the universal Process
and each individual consciousness
is a point of awareness within the universal Mind


The essence of "Ultimate Reality" is unknown
and indeed unknowable
therefore it may as well be called the "X"




Human beings are distinguished from all other beings
by the power of conceptual thought
which is the source of all human achievement
but especially by the concept of "self"
which is the source of all human problems


With the emergence of self-consciousness
there inevitably arises the primary dualism
of "self" versus "non-self" or "other"


The "other" is projected as object
and the "self" is presupposed as subject




By identifying itself with the body / mind
the subject extends itself in "space"
thereby establishing itself as a separate
objective "entity"


Through its powers of memory and anticipation
the subject extends itself in "time"
thereby establishing itself as an
abiding "entity"


The process of identification
of the presupposed subject with the body / mind
projected as object in space and time
is the pseudo-self or "ego"




There is a deep-seated intuition
that the essential Reality is prior
to the psycho-physical entity
but the ego does not trust the intuition
and therefore does all it can to sustain itself


The ego clings to any phenomenon
(object, event, person, feeling or concept)
that it perceives as supportive
protective or pleasurable
and labels it "good"


The ego rejects any phenomenon
(object, event, person, feeling or concept)
that it perceives as non-supportive
threatening or painful
and labels it "bad"




All human suffering is essentially psychological
stemming from the ego's fundamental fear
of what it perceives as "other"


Practical hardships, difficulties and challenges
become problems
only when there is emotional involvement


Emotional demands take the form of either
attachment to what has been labeled "good"
or conversely
aversion toward what has been labeled "bad"




Attachment to physical or emotional security
is fear, worry and anxiety
for there is no abiding security in phenomena


Attachment to pleasurable sensations
is disappointment, frustration and boredom
for there is no abiding pleasure in phenomena


Attachment to power or status
is anger, hate and jealousy
for abiding Power resides only in the "X"


Attachment to beliefs and opinions
is conflict, violence and war
for abiding Truth resides only in the "X"




Human society is characterized by separation and violence
more than by integration and peace
for it is little more than the sum
of the interactions of self-images
whose responses are largely
self-assertive or self-defensive


Each self-assertive or self-defensive response
further conditions the ego to its manifold
attachments and aversions




To eliminate psychological suffering
one must first know one's "self"


To know one's self one must
without evaluation or judgment
be profoundly but effortlessly aware
of one's sensations, feelings, thoughts and actions


To know one's self one must
without evaluation or judgment
observe the onset of emotional reactions
and identify the attachment or aversion
which inevitably underlies
each emotional demand




When the conditioning of the ego is fully exposed
emotional demands are transmuted into preferences
and when preferences fully replace demands
psychological suffering is minimized


When the illusory nature of the ego is fully exposed
even preferences give way to an unconditioned Equanimity
in which Consciousness abides
as the impersonal Witness of the total Manifestation
which it apperceives as but a movement within Itself


Even consciously playing the role of the unjudging Observer
can effect a spontaneous awakening of the Witness-Consciousness




The Witness-Consciousness transcends the fundamental fear
through the apperception that there is no "other"
and there are no "others"
thus eliminating psychological suffering
and engendering infinite Love and Compassion
toward those "others" who remain in bondage
to the illusion of separation


Even the Witness-Consciousness is transcended
in the ultimate Awakening
in which all dualisms dissolve into the "X"
from Which all phenomena seem to emerge
but only as which they truly have their being


Non-objective Awareness may be called the absolute Self
the impersonal Witness may be called the relative Self
the personal ego may be called the pseudo-self
but in Reality there is no Self
and there are no selves
for there is only the "X"


Although the "X" cannot be known
as the object of awareness, perception or cognition
it can be Realized
as changeless Being-without-attributes
infinite Consciousness-without-an-object
and the absolute, unmanifest Source of All


Robert A. Bays, Sr.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The hypnotic dream of separation

There is no me or you, no seeker, no enlightenment, no disciple and no guru. There is no better or worse, no path or purpose, and nothing that has to be achieved.

All appearance is source. All that apparently manifests in the hypnotic dream of separation – the world, the life story, the search for home, is one appearing as two, the nothing appearing as everything, the absolute appearing as the particular.

There is no separate intelligence weaving a destiny and no choice functioning at any level. Nothing is happening but this, as it is, invites the apparent seeker to rediscover that which is . . . the abiding, uncaused, unchanging, impersonal silence from which unconditional love overflows and celebrates. It is the wonderful mystery.

Seeing or Not Seeing

The nature of oneness is incomprehensible and so any communication about it can only be an interpretation of the ideas that surround it. Those ideas can either be generated from confusion or clarity. However, to suggest that one idea is better than the other and that the telling or the hearing of those ideas are a personal choice, would be a contradiction of the very essence of the Advaita perception.

The communication of confusion is just as much an expression of oneness as the clarity which exposes it.

It seems that there is an idea that the apparent separate individual can choose to make an effort to approach something called non-dualism through the application of practice, process, purification, the cultivation of understanding or whatever else can be taught or learnt.

The concept of reaching a level of understanding wherein the so-called sage can accept the dualism of life and live in peace with himself and others, seems to be the perceived aim. And yet this kind of perception could not be less relevant to the liberation which brings with it the realisation that there is nothing and no-one that becomes liberated.

The kind of teaching that is based on personal endeavour is a teaching of imprisonment simply because it reinforces the idea of the sage, the seeker and the sought. The very idea of there being “various approaches” to Advaita comes out of a basic ignorance of its essence.

So what is the fundamental difference between the personal and the impersonal perception?

The word Advaita means not two and expresses as nearly as possible in words the perception that all and everything is already only oneness, and that there is nothing else but that.

When this is clearly seen by no-one, it completely exposes the idea of subject and object merely as an illusory concept held within the hypnotic dream of separation. Consequently, the idea that an apparent separate individual (subject) can choose to attain enlightenment (object) becomes completely irrelevant. It also becomes clear that all practices or effort to follow a path leading to a future goal continuously reinforces the sense of personal seeking and is a direct denial of abiding unicity.

The idea that presumes the possibility that dualistic practices can lead the apparent seeker to the non-dualistic perception, is similar to the idea that with sufficient effort and determination you can teach a blind man to see. To quote:
“Doctrines, processes and progressive paths which seek enlightenment only exacerbate the problem they address by reinforcing the idea that the apparent self can find something it presumes it has lost. It is that very effort, that investment in self-identity, that continuously recreates the illusion of separation from oneness. This is the veil which we believe exists. It is the dream of individuality.” (The Open Secret)

Out of all the many awakenings that have been described to me, it is continuously confirmed that one of the first realisations that arises is the seeing that no-one awakens. And yet we see that the majority of teachings, both traditional and contemporary, are constantly speaking to an apparent separate seeker (subject) and recommending that in order to attain enlightenment (object) they should choose to meditate, self-enquire, purify, cultivate understanding, still the mind and the ego, surrender, be honest, seek earnestly, give up seeking, do therapy, do nothing, be here now, and so on . . . the ideas are as endless and as complicated as the mind from where they are generated.

These recommendations arise from the belief that the “enlightenment” of the “teacher” has been attained or earned through the application of choice, effort, acceptance or surrender, and that other seekers can be taught to do the same.

Of course there can be nothing right or wrong with earnest seeking, meditation, self-enquiry, understanding and so on. They are simply what they appear to be. But who is it that is going to choose to make the effort? Where is the effort going to take the apparent chooser to? – where is there to go if there is only oneness? If there is no separate individual there is no volition, and so how can an illusion dispel itself?

The concept of personal enlightenment arises within the mind which sets up a false structure consisting of a “spiritual ego” or so-called “higher self” which has adopted or been attracted to a set of taught ideals about the need for self-purification, for instance, which it believes will eventually bring about the prize of enlightenment. It then attempts to discipline the so-called “lower self” to carry out tasks which appear to the “lower self” to be contrary to its nature. Here is the source of the struggle, confusion and sense of inadequacy and disillusionment that abounds in the search. It is also the main reason that, until recently, apparent liberation has seemed to be a rare occurrence. But when liberation apparently arises it is seen that there is no difference between being asleep and being awake.

As far as can be seen, the radical, clear and uncompromising expression of absolute non-dualism is very rarely communicated. However, to imply that one kind of message is truer than another would be as dualistic as thinking that there is a divide between the absolute and the relative. There is no such thing as the truth, there is only what is, as it is.

Nevertheless, should the apparent seeker request “guidance”, then there would be a direct response out of impersonal clarity which will constantly and uncompromisingly destroy illusion and leave nothing but the possibility of liberation. This response arises without the slightest regard for tradition, belief, understanding, personal consideration, aesthetics or anything else that arises out of the dreaming mind.

What is longed for and feared most is absence . . . the absence of the “me” that feels separate. In that absence another possibility arises which is absolutely beyond the idea of understanding, teaching, becoming, destiny, karma and personal attainment. It appears that there is a considerable readiness to listen to this rare, simple and incredible message. It will either be heard or not heard, and that is all there is.

To quote again from The Open Secret . . .

“And from wherever and whenever this insight is communicated, it has no connection with end-gaining, belief, path or process. It cannot be taught but is continuously shared. Because it is our inheritance, no-one can lay claim to it. It needs not to be argued, proven or embellished, for it stands alone simply as it is, and can only remain unrecognised and rejected, or realised and lived.”

Monday, December 19, 2005

life has no meaning

"As soon as you look at the world through an ideology you are finished.  No reality fits an ideology.  Life is beyond that.  That is why people are always searching for a meaning to life.  But life has no meaning; it cannot have meaning because meaning is a formula; meaning is something that makes sense to the mind. Every time you make sense out of reality, you bump into something that destroys the sense you made. Meaning is only found when you go beyond meaning.  Life only makes sense when you perceive it as mystery and it makes no sense to the conceptualizing mind."
~ Father Anthony de Mello, S.J. (1931-1987)

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The battle of ego

Student: The desire of ego to be fulfilled -- how does one liberate those desires of fulfillment that ego presents?

Chogyam Trungpa: It seems that trying to fulfill is another escape -- equally the same as trying to suppress. Generally there is a conflict between you and your experiences, your desires. It is a kind of game between ego and its extensions. Sometimes ego tries to overpower the projections, and sometimes the projections try to overpower ego -- that kind of battle goes on all the time. So the point is to see that battle as it is, rather than fulfill the desires or try to suppress them.


Saturday, December 17, 2005

Life is a play

You are it

Life is a Play, an amazing Play!
Just know who you are, really.
Don’t be deluded by forms.
There is no-separation.
Be playful like a child.
Not childish, childlike.
Innocent, Freedom itself!
There is nobody!
Enjoy the Joke!
You are it!
Love too!

Ready to put aside all you think,
all ideas and beliefs you carry about anything?
Just in the instant, know who you are,
beyond identification, memories, expectations,
realize this Silence Aware you are!
Only now. Already Free!

Awakening is your very nature.
It’s not a goal, something to achieve.
Your only job is to let you see,
to realize « This » you already are.
In stillness it reveals itself naturally.
It needs no time, it’s always now!
Beyond identification, what do you want?
Do you want to support the stories?
Or, are you willing to value truth?
That’s freedom itself, « This » you are.

Do you really want to know truth?
Do you really want to know that,
what you call yourself is not.
Do you really want to be who you are?
To be who you are is free.
And much more, Freedom itself!
and the joke is...You are it!"

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The direct experience of awakening

The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences.
When love and hate are both absent everything becomes clear and undisguised.
Make the smallest distinction, however, and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.

If you wish to see the truth then hold no opinions for or against anything.
To set up what you like against what you dislike is the disease of the mind.
When the deep meaning of things is not understood, the mind's essential peace is disturbed to no avail.

The Way is perfect like vast space where nothing is lacking and nothing in excess.
Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject that we do not see the true nature of things.

Live neither in the entanglements of outer things, nor in inner feelings of emptiness.
Be serene in the oneness of things and such erroneous views will disappear by themselves.

When you try to stop activity by passivity your very effort fills you with activity.
As long as you remain in one extreme or the other you will never know Oneness.

Those who do not live in the single Way fail in both activity and passivity, assertion and denial.
To deny the reality of things is to miss their reality;
To assert the emptiness of things is to miss their reality.

The more you talk and think about it, the further astray you wander from the truth.
Stop talking and thinking, and there is nothing you will not be able to know.

To return to the root is to find meaning, but to pursue appearances is to miss the source.
At the moment of inner enlightenment there is a going beyond appearance and emptiness.
The changes that appear to occur in the empty world we call real only because of our ignorance.

Do not search for the truth; only cease to cherish opinions.
do not remain in the dualistic state.
Avoid such pursuits carefully.
If there is even a trace of this and that, of right and wrong,
the mind-essence will be lost in confusion.

Although all dualities come from the One, do not be attached even to this One.
When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way, nothing in the world can offend.
And when a thing can no longer offend, it ceases to exist in the old way.

When no discriminating thoughts arise, the old mind ceases to exist.
When thought objects vanish, the thinking-subject vanishes:
As when the mind vanishes, objects vanish.

Things are objects because of the subject (mind):
the mind (subject) is such because of things (object).
Understand the relativity of these two and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness.
In this Emptiness the two are indistinguishable and each contains in itself the whole world.
If you do not discriminate between coarse and fine you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.

To live in the Great Way is neither easy nor difficult.
But those with limited views are fearful and irresolute:
the faster they hurry, the slower they go.
And clinging (attachment) cannot be limited:
Even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment
is to go astray.
Just let things be in their own way and there will be neither coming not going.
Obey the nature of things (your own nature) and you will walk freely and undisturbed.

When the thought is in bondage the truth is hidden for everything is murky and unclear.
And the burdensome practice of judging brings annoyance and weariness.
What benefit can be derived from distinctions and separations?

If you wish to move in the One Way do not dislike even the world of senses and ideas.
Indeed, to accept them fully is identical with enlightenment.

The wise man strives to no goals but the foolish man fetters himself.

There is one Dharma, not many.
Distinctions arise from the clinging needs of the ignorant.
To seek Mind with the (discriminating) mind is the greatest of all mistakes.

Rest and unrest derive from illusion;
with enlightenment there is no liking and disliking.
All dualities come from ignorant inference.
They are like dreams or flowers in air - foolish to try to grasp them.
Gain and loss, right and wrong, such thoughts must
finally be abolished at once.

If the eye never sleeps, all dreams will naturally cease.
If the mind makes no discriminations, the ten thousand things are as they are, of single essence.
To understand the mystery of this One-essence is to be released from all entanglements.
When all things are seen equally the timeless Self-essence is reached,
No comparisons or analogies are possible in this causeless, relation-less state.
Consider movement stationary and the stationary in motion,
both movement and rest disappear.
When such dualities cease to exist Oneness itself cannot exist.
To this ultimate finality no law or description applies.

For the unified mind in accord with the way all self-centered striving ceases.
Doubts and irresolutions vanish and life in true faith is possible.
With a single stroke we are freed from bondage:
Nothing clings to us and we hold to nothing.

All is empty, clear, self-illuminating, with no exertion of the mind's power.
Here thought, feeling, knowledge and imagination are of no value.

In this world of such-ness there is neither self nor other-than-self.
To come directly into harmony with this reality just say when doubt rises "not two".
In this "not two" nothing is separate, nothing is excluded.

No matter when or where, enlightenment means entering this truth.
And this truth is beyond extension or diminution in time and space:
In it a single thought is ten thousand years.

Emptiness here, emptiness there, but the infinite universe
stands always before your eyes.
Infinitely large and infinitely small;
no difference, for definitions have vanished and no boundaries are seen.

So too with Being and non-Being.
Don't waste time in doubts and arguments that have nothing to do with this.

One thing, all things, move among and intermingle without distinction.
To live in this realization is to be without anxiety about non-perfection.
To live in this faith is the road to non-duality, because the non-dual is one with the trusting mind.

The Way is beyond language,
for in it there is
no yesterday
no tomorrow
no today.

Hsin Hsin Ming
Seng-t'san, the third Zen Patriarch

The wings of a butterfly

If, one day, you suffer just to the very depths of yourself, beyond tears and desperation, just until you howl in horror, until you claw the black earth with your bare fingers, and even beyond that, just until you don't know if your own life is still possible in this nightmare, that day you will know that there is neither God nor human to get you out of this, and you will be drowned in the maelstrom of pain, crushed, flattened. Maybe you will survive, and maybe not. And that has no importance. Suffering is neither an atonement, nor a purification. Even less a redemption. But larger is the heart that has been broken, and stronger is love for having been wounded. And at the heart of the greatest suffering lies the greatest love.

We are not what we have experienced, nor what we believe to possess. Our richness could only be woven from threads of life in all the colors of its palette. And when we are all dressed in white, it's because we have integrated all the colors of the rainbow.

Throughout all our lives, we have discovered one at a time, or all at once, happiness and joy, sorrow and tears. Heedless butterfly, who only knows laughter and flowers. Gloomy caterpillar, who gets stuck in mud and tears. But the one, like the other, are only two aspects of the same being, the one would not exist without the other, who wouldn't know how to survive without engendering once more the first.

The day that you will be a caterpillar, even if you don't believe in butterflies anymore, know only how to remain conscious that you are in a cocoon. The metamorphosis will take care of itself. All your efforts won't do a thing. Only time will come, here or elsewhere, to dry your tears.

And it takes a lot of colors to paint the wings of a butterfly...

Marie-Françoise Céré

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Summary of the teaching

Dear Friend,

I prefer to say "summary of the teaching," rather than "summary of Maharaj's teaching, " because, for me, the essence of what Maharaj taught is not different from what his Master, Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj, taught, or what his co-disciple, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, taught. Of course, each of them used his own terms and emphasised certain aspects over others, according to his own personality and experience. In this way, each Master's teaching is both unique and, at the same time, universal, because it is essentially a restatement of the same ancient wisdom.

Here is a first attempt at a summary of a suitable length for a letter, using the terms that Maharaj used as far as possible. For more detail on the terms used here, see the glossary.

1) Final reality is reflected in each individual being as knowledge. Pure awareness becomes self-awareness and the individual gets the knowledge “I am, I exist.” This reflection of the oneness of reality as knowledge creates duality, because when there is the sense of “I,” there is also the sense of “not-I.” This false sense of separation is the fundamental illusion, in which the whole world of separate names and forms appears. This is why it is said that knowledge is the greatest ignorance.

2) Although knowledge is a reflection of final reality, it is time-bound. It depends on the food consumed by the gross physical body for its continuation, just as a fire depends on its fuel. The objects of the world appear as movement in knowledge just as flames appear in fire or waves appear on the ocean. Objects exist as the perceiving of them and the perceiving of them is what the objects are. So-called birth and death are only the beginning and end of this movement of knowledge in a particular form. However, human beings fear death because they believe that they are the individualized forms of knowledge that have appeared. This is impossible. How can the ocean be the wave?

3) There are no individual “persons” anywhere, no “you” and no “me.” This illusion is created in knowledge, by knowledge, through a process of objectifying. “I” take myself to be an object and so "I" see other objects everywhere. Individuals exist only as one anothers’ concepts. The “I” or “ego” that makes the individual feel real is just a thought. In reality, “I" don’t exist.

4) Whenever there is the thought of “me” as a separate personality, there is what is called “bondage.” “Liberation” is the disappearance of this false concept of individual “I.” When there is no objectifying, as in deep sleep, there is no knowledge, no “I,” and no world. However, we remain as pure awareness. When we realize this, we never worry about anything.

5) There can never be any knowledge or experience of the pure awareness that we are, because all experience is objectifying and there is never any objectifying in the final reality, which is pure subjectivity. The world is nothing but experiencing and so we say that the world is not true.

6) In sleep, when there is the smallest movement of knowledge, that is, when a thought arises, a dream begins and the dream includes an “I” to experience the dream events. In the morning, when the waking state comes, the dream state disappears. Another “I,” or series of "I's," appears to experience the events of the waking state. This state appears to be real, in comparison to the dream state, but it is essentially no different from it, being also just a state that appears and disappears. For this reason, we say that life is a long dream.

7) The "problem" of spiritual seeking is that as long as there is the false concept of “I,” then that which is seeking is an object and an object cannot know reality, any more than a shadow can know its substance. The seeker and the search are therefore both illusory. The seeker is already what is being sought. The only problem is the belief in the illusory “I.” Ultimately, the seeker and the search have to be given up so that He, the reality, can realize Himself. In this teaching, it is said that "when you are not, He is there."

8) The world appears but has no reality of its own. However, it is a mirroring of reality and so is not separate from it. The underlying substance, the “being,” of the world is reality itself. The limited known appears in the unlimited unknown. Reality is unmanifest, unknown, and the objectifying of the world (which means the perceiving or experiencing of it), is the manifest, known, aspect of that reality. Therefore everything we see or perceive is in fact He, the reality.

This summary of course leaves out a lot of important ideas, but hopefully it touches on the really essential ones,

Andrew Vernon


This Paramatman in the form of Brahman will likewise remain happy whatever the situation.

Paramatman is the final reality. It exists in itself but does not know itself. To know itself, it must manifest. Reality manifests itself as the power of Brahman, or pure consciousness, taking innumerable forms through age after age. None of the forms, however, result in any diminution or change in the reality itself. It is the creating and veiling power of Brahman, called Maya, that causes that pure consciousness to identify itself with the form. In this way, reality gets itself involved with the life of the forms, the world of manifestation, and forgets itself as reality.

Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj