Q. When I simply relax in your presence and close my eyes, something very deep opens up in me and peace and joy come back again. The same happens to me with Ramana Maharshi, with Papaji, when I think of them, a very deep joy comes. However, when I try to do the self inquiry, I get a headache. When I try to do what you encourage us to do – to think ‘who suffers?’ and ask ‘who is perceiving this?’ then right there everything gets blocked.
“First of all, you must be clear what you want to know or find out through inquiry. You say, “When I embrace Ramana or Papaji in silence, something naturally unfolds, opens up.” But is that the ultimate? What are you searching to find?
Use the inquiry as a light that somehow scans the beingness to find seeds of ego or the image projections of the mind. Don’t panic and don’t imagine: ‘Oh, inquiry is so mental.’ That imagining is also mental, it is also a thought. Gradually the inquiry becomes so clear for you that it will be like looking in a mirror and immediately seeing the undistorted reflection of your face. That is the power of inquiry. But in the beginning, because we tend to meet life so mentally, we use the inquiry mentally and then say that the inquiry itself is mental. Whether you use it successfully or unsuccessfully, it remains as it is – an instrument, a tool for recognising your own Self. The inquiry does not produce headaches, it does not produce confusion, but it does expose the confusion hiding in you.
If peace goes away, if joy goes away, let them go. Stay only as the awareness. Carry on with the inquiry. Blockage comes, headache comes – blockage and headache is also coming from the mind. Resistance arising through the mind can manifest many strange phenomenon. Headache is a popular one! ‘Oh, I have to stop, I can’t go on.’ Take this attitude: ‘Let the headache explode, but I will observe it.’ Even if it’s growing, know in your heart it’s not real. Hold only on to awareness. Now your efforts may feel very stretched, ‘I can’t go any further, it’s too much,’ but it is still only thought, feeling and pain.
Then take the attitude: ‘Let me die here, but I will not be blackmailed by my mind. Yes! Let the war finish here, or go on from here, but I will not bow to the mind.’ Be happy to be pushed so intensely. It means your victory will be swift and immediate. Stay as the awareness and something must change powerfully at this point.
The sense ‘I am’ is the first born, but awareness is the unborn. It is not an object, but objects manifest in it, in the realm of consciousness and mind. Nothing affects awareness and awareness is not a belief. You cannot ‘believe’ in awareness. You can only be awareness. Not to be as an action taken, but as Truth revealed. It’s the most obvious thing!
Let the actions, reactions and interactions happen, watch them happen. You will still have the sense of being present, even participating, but now there is a space, a distance, a detachment, a serenity. Even in the presence of dynamic activity, there is a natural stillness that doesn’t participate, that remains untouched.
Gradually the mind in the form of ‘me the person’ merges with the awareness. A melting is taking place like a piece of ice in a glass of warm water. Both are water, but still a melting is taking place. The awareness is like this warm water. Your Self is like this warm water. The mind is like this piece of ice, merging. The warm water is not fighting with the ice, yet the ice cannot resist the warm water, cannot resist the melting. It is simply taking place. This is in response to your yes-ness, the surrendering of yourself as person to your Self as Truth.
Where are you now in the light of this introspection?
Nothing… nothing is there…
Nothing is there… Is this a depressing discovery? Is this a terrible, fearful discovery? But don’t go to your mind looking for answers. Stay here as awareness.
I say this because very often we cannot imagine ourselves being nothing. Mind will not go there except as a very negative projection, when somebody tells you, “You are nothing!” Yet there are two kinds of nothing. There is also a nothing which is the realisation: ‘I am not merely the object of my body nor any other object in the universe – I am the witness of them.’
There is a joy here, a space… indescribable.
Yes. Is there a ‘you’ inside you? What does it look like? I heard that some of the earliest physicians opened up the bodies of dead people to try and find where the person lives. Where in the body is the location of the intelligent principle that arises as the self? Nobody can find it. Just like children look in the back of the radio to try and find the people singing or talking, you are looking in a much gentler way, a more graceful way inside your being to find the location of ‘I’. And you discover only a kind of space is there.
It has no relatives. It has no history. But an aspect of itself that we call ‘the mind’ holds impressions in what we call memory. Yet you are the witness of memory, to the extent that we can say ‘my memory is not as good as it used to be.’ What watches memory? Is that inside memory?
I am not reaching for answers, I am simply inviting you to allow space for these questions that will reveal through direct experience That which words alone cannot.
Turbulence may come. Resistance, doubt and fear from the mind. Fear of losing your fixed boundaries, the fear of transformation. But all these are also phenomenal and momentary. The mind has a dilemma. It is afraid of change, deeper change, yet the mind is attracted to life, which is change. Don’t be mixed up in all that business. You merely observe, casually, passively and keep your attention inside your Heart. This will naturally become easier and easier for you.”
“Stay as That.”
Very good, very good.