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16. A Ripple Merging in the Sea of Awareness
In the absence of consciousness there is no conceptualization; the concept of 'I am' is not there. The all-enveloping wholeness of the Absolute in its pure, pristine state, cannot have even a touch of the relative imperfection. But then this consciousness with its manifestation in matter, comes like a disease onto the Absolute. Consciousness will go through its allotted span and disappear. In the end all these conceptualizations dissolve into the no-knowing state of the Absolute... the temporary condition 'I know' merges into the eternal state 'I don't know'...which is your highest truth.
While this consciousness is here, it is your constant companion, and continuous attention to the stream of consciousness will take you on to the Awareness, the basic existence. This being conscious of consciousness is itself a movement towards Awareness. Let yourself see everything from the point of view of the animating consciousness, the Krishna consciousness, not from the point of view of the phenomenal apparatus to which it gives sentience. See yourself as the source of all manifestation, the universal 'I am'; then the consciousness which has mistakenly identified itself with the body-mind construct, will become aware of its true nature and merge with its source. To see yourself this way does not involve a thought process but happens only through an intuitive seeing from within, when the mind becomes introverted. The natural tendency of the mind is to look outwards and seek the source of things in the things themselves. But when the mind is turned inwards and is directed towards the source within, the flow of thoughts dries up, and finally, even the 'I am', the primary thought in consciousness ceases, and the pure Awareness which is the source of consciousness, remains.
Start by being within yourself, in the 'I amness', remaining as a dispassionate witness, quietly watching the flow of the mind, observing whatever comes to the surface. What we call thoughts are like ripples on the surface of water. Just as water is serene when free of ripples, so is the mind serene when free of thoughts, when it is passive and fully receptive. In the mirror of your mind all kinds of pictures will appear; they will stay for awhile and then disappear. Silently watch them come and go. Be alert but do not get involved; be neither attracted nor repelled, neither interfering nor judging. This attitude of silent witnessing will have the effect, gradually, of driving away all useless thoughts, like unwanted guests who are being ignored. Then the deep unknown will be encouraged to come to the surface of consciousness and release its unused energies to enable you to understand its mystery.
But, the Awareness will not reveal itself as long as you are still identified with this pseudo entity. You still seem to be convinced that you live a life of your own, according to your own wishes and hopes and ambitions, according to your own plans and design, and through your own individual efforts. But is it like that, or are you being dreamed and lived with out volition as a mere puppet, exactly as in a dream of the night? When you think about it you will realize that this psycho-physical apparatus is only an appearance and as such has no independent existence. Therefore, it cannot act on its own independently, despite all appearances to the contrary. When you understand that you are the conscious presence and not the outer casing of consciousness, when you apprehend the total manifestation, not with the dichotimized mind of the individual but with the whole mind of the universal, then you realize that whatever the appearance does and whatever happens to it is of no real importance. Its life is being lived; happenings are taking place. That is all.
The fundamental fact is that no phenomenal object can have any independent existence of its own, and without this autonomy it has no choice of action. As a sentient being you think that you act and react, but the real functioning all happens in consciousness without your consent or consultation. As an actor in this living drama you can only play your role, nothing more. Whatever you may think of yourself, you cannot but be an integral part of the total manifestation and the total functioning, without any separate choice. All phenomena are mere appearances in space-time, conceived and perceived in consciousness. You can comprehend this when from the waking state you look back into your dream of the night before.
What appeared as yourself in the dream, seemingly an independent entity, is later seen to be devoid of any independent substance, a mere puppet being manipulated. The waking dream is no different. Just as you dream when you are asleep, you also dream when you are awake, but you do not realize that you are dreaming because you are still in the dream... meanwhile, life is being lived, with everything that is happening being a product of the obfuscating, objectifying nature of the mind, spinning its imaginary play within consciousness. And that consciousness itself is but a temporary aberration that came like an eclipse onto the noumenon, remaining there for awhile, and then disappearing.
What you as body-mind are 'doing' all day is nothing but objectivizing, producing illusory images and interpretations. Manifestation itself is nothing but continuous objectivization, keeping the lie of separation and multiplicity alive. The interesting point about this process of objectivization is that in the created duality of subject and object, both of these are, in fact, objects phenomenalized in consciousness like dream figures. But the one who is cognizing the object assumes the role of the subject, as a separate entity, the individual self, identifying itself as 'I', and viewing the cognized object as the 'other' or 'not-I'. Thus is born the concept of the individual, through the illusion of a false subject playing the part of an object.
When objectivization ceases, as in deep sleep, then the objectified universe disappears. In deep sleep, there is no individual self, there is no world and there is no God. When the mind fasts or rests, when it stops its weaving of illusory objects and calms down, then the absolute Presence reveals itself. Then the manifested universe is not, but you are. When thinking abates and the true position is perceived directly, intuitively, then you know that within relativity, you are the conscious presence, the universal 'I amness' and not the phenomenal object, which you animate with sentience. But, in the realm of the Absolute, you are the noumenon, pure Awareness, that which is... devoid of all concepts and qualities.
You were that absolute Awareness before consciousness arose; you remain that absolute Awareness after consciousness has come, and after it goes. You are what you have always been and what you will always be. You are all that is. There can be no proof of your Reality other than being it, being what you are. Before all beginnings and after all endings, you are. Whatever happens anywhere, you are there to witness it. When you are already the totality, the all of it, then what else can possibly be left to be done or to be undone? Who is to do it and for what purpose? As long as consciousness and its manifestation as body are there, living continues; but how are you involved? You are and eternally remain the pure, unsullied witness. You were never born and you will never die. There is nothing to be done but to be yourself. Just be.
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