Me

The ‘Born-Apparent’ Nisargadatta

Hello Friends,

Here is another small sequence of comments, should it be of some interest.

Comments in response to a YouTube audio with quotes from Nisargadatta:

Dietrich
The ‘born apparent’ cannot be led to its True Unborn Self. However, the recognition of the True Unborn Self reveals that the born is only apparent and therefore is not. Something that is not will never see what is.

daisilui
Dietrich, The ‘born apparent’, let’s call it the body-mind is the starting point that believes it can do something to arrive at the Self. Whether led by grace or by own persistence [or both], it must start from somewhere to get nowhere and to disappear at arrival in the realisation that it never actually moved. The mind is the only tool that leads one to the realisation that it doesn’t exist.

Dietrich
The term ‘mind’ is a broad term. The ‘born apparent’ is a specific application of mental activity that miraculously convinces awareness to believe that it is a separate entity. That believed-in, fake, separate entity is unable to see that it does not exist, that it is imagination only. The questioning of this belief is a mental act, guided by intuition. Thoughts can point in the right direction but the waking up from the illusion is a non-mental realisation. The same applies to creation as a whole. It does not exist; it only appears to exist. It only seems real to the believed-in ‘born apparent’. Both are unreal. They continue as Lila (light-hearted play) once Maya has been exposed as being an appearance only without any independent substance.

Two ways of experiencing

In response to a question in a video with Rupert Spira:

Dietrich
One way to deal with this question would be to distinguish between experiences that include the act of believing in a reference point (‘me’) and experiences without such a reference. Without such a thought-based, believed-in reference point, it would be clear that the knowing happens happily in a referenceless, centreless field of awareness. That’s why most ‘teachings’ question this reference point first. The recognised absurdity of such a believed-in separate entity naturally reveals the boundless nature of awareness in which all appearances come and go. The ocean is aware of itself – with and without waves. Thinking that we are a separate wave is obviously silly. In that case, God plays being silly.?

mrnibelheim
An insightul observation, thank you Dietrich! How would you distinguish between experiences which have and do not have a reference point? Could you maybe give me some examples to inquire into for myself??

Dietrich
Experiences with and without a reference point (me) are perceived by the same consciousness that everyone is. However, the (self-imposed) identification with the action figure ‘me’ distracts from this fact. Once the distraction has lost its attraction, this fact is clear. So the difference is clear seeing versus blindness. The experiences may be similar in both cases (say washing dishes). In the first instance, it is seen that boundlessness expresses itself in the act of washing dishes whereas in the second scenario an independent entity is believed to wash the dishes. In the first case, there is fulfilment, both regarding the sensing of boundlessness and regarding the perceiving of a playful expression as a fleeting flavour of boundlessness. In the first case, everything is fused with love, in the second case, experiences contain domineering elements of desire and resistance (I’d rather go to the movies) because of the inherent frustration of relating everything to a limited, seemingly disconnected me.?

mrnibelheim
Yes, thanks Dietrich, this makes very good sense, and I would say that in imagination I have been able to see this mind-body “me” as an expression washing the dishes – another expression – and those moments have felt “genuine” in the sense that I did not have to make too many concessions to conventional reality. But if pressed too far, the experience can become somewhat threatening to me because it becomes non-conceptual and “things,” including “me,” feel as if they are falling apart, which I suppose is not a bad thing, according to teachings such as Rupert’s, but I can’t say I find it rewarding just yet, though I can see how it could grow on me. Does this ring a bell for you? And if so, have you found that you were gradually more able and willing to go along with the apparent meaninglessness of events??

Dietrich
There may be an element of fear in the sense of ‘falling apart’. Falling apart is not rewarding for what falls apart. It knows that it’s doomed to expose itself as being non-existent. It just appears to exist. The activity of believing in it keeps its momentum. It’s not a question of ‘I should allow the falling apart’. It is more an issue of seeing what is truly the case. Allow resistance – to the sense of falling apart – to show up as much as it likes. Just see it when it shows its scary face (like a clown) without doing anything about it. It can’t stand the light of truthful exposure so it will go away by itself. Consequently, me’s absence reveals your authentic presence that is not scary at all. (Only the idea of ‘no me’ is scary to me – for obvious reasons.)?

mrnibelheim
A most helpful response, thank you very much! I find your sentence “It knows that it’s doomed to expose itself as being non-existent” comforting in a weird way, I suppose because in that view there is no “me doing or allowing” anything – a welcome relief from all the mental gymnastics which so many meditation teachers suggest.?

Dietrich
The sense of relief is a reliable indicator. It confirms a clear seeing that mental gymnastics are performed by ‘what you are not.’ Therefore, there is a natural letting go of interest in mental gymnastics. In that relaxation (relief) is the presence of what does not need to be acquired. It is already so. (It will never be acquired via gymnastics. Any attempted movement towards it is actually another misleading strategy of blindness to perpetuate itself.)?

mrnibelheim
Thanks for that confirmation, Dietrich. I have of late been able to see, as you say, that any movement towards relaxation pushes it into the future, and that turns it into an endless mission – the dangling carrot tied to a stick above the donkey’s head!?

Dietrich
The relief realises that the chase after the carrot keeps the donkey appear real.?

mrnibelheim
Yesss!!!

No Lack

..in response to a comment about J Krishnamurti and Schopenhauer:

Interestingly, the sense of ‘no lack’ does not cause inertia or phlematism. It’s more a truly ‘self’-less situation in which the already present ‘no-lackness’ expresses itself joyfully. Children play in a sand castle without a felt need to entertain any meaning.

JK would agree with St Francis of Assisi who said: “What we are looking for is what is looking.’

We can verify this by sensing that the ‘looking itself’ has no lack. It is the mental identification with a ‘me’ that

1. believes that it causes the seeing (how ridiculous to think this) and

2. interprets/defines/relates to the apparent objects (what is ‘seen’)

Those two mental activities result in a sense of lack and cause the striving toward no lack. Hence the yearning for meaning – in the hope that meaning will fill the sense of lack. It won’t. To realise the ever-fresh, timeless ‘looking’ (fundamental awareness) is what Krishnamurti is pointing to – and many others. Schopenhauer’s interpretations can lure the mind into dwelling on theory. Once done with it, the actual realisation of what JK is pointing to is more rewarding.

Substance

In response to a question


I can’t confirm that the non-dual has created a substance. I agree that it appears so. The mind tends to believe it. (I don’t.) Everything is really empty but appears to be not empty, particularly if the mind continuously refers to the believed-in past to confirm that there is substance in the presence. These assumptions are projected into a non-existing present as if that present was a section out of time. In reality, the present is timeless, non-dual awareness. If anything could be termed ‘substance’ I’d say it is the timeless that is ’empty substance’. The mind will think that this statement is based on fantasy whereas nondual seeing ‘says’ that believing in matter is based on fantasy.

Can the ‘me’ step outside ‘me’?

The ‘selfing’ can’t ‘unself’ itself, in the same way as it is impossible to get out of the mud by trying to pull one’s own leg. However, to honestly see the activity of selfing may relax that activity, and then attention may be freed from its hypnotic involvement with that activity, and it could more easily return to the realization that it is not confined by selfing. I don’t know of anyone explaining this as clearly as Paul Hedderman

 

Identification with a tool

To improve skills and to make homes look better is not in opposition to our subject of realizing freedom. Skills are tools, and we can enjoy these skills and improve them without compromising freedom. The identification with a ‘me’ that believes it is not good enough is the problem. You don’t identify with your hammer, and in the same way you don’t identify yourself with any skill, no matter how advanced they are. They are beautiful tools in the hands of the infinite. In fact your hammer will hit the nail more precisely if the identification with the ‘me’ has been dropped by just observing it when it pops up without judgement.

In response to a comment by Gavin.

One could call this a ‘method,’ the most shunned word in the world of advaita. Pausing, facing whatever is perceived could be called ‘the recipe.’ ‘Pausing’ is another word for ‘not doing anything.’ Therefore, the words ‘method’ and ‘recipe’ are inadequate as they usually imply some doing such as favoring, rejecting, changing, achieving, avoiding.