Robert Adams

Satsang Recording

Everything is Satsang

Advaita Satsang with Robert Adams
Everything is Satsang

Robert: Okay welcome to the Thursday night icebox. It’s good to see you again. What are we really here for? SH: Good question. (laughter as Robert continues) What are we really here for? Nobody knows, nobody cares. If you think about that, you will notice that you are here for a purpose. And as long as you think there is a purpose to your life you’ll get nowhere. As far as self-realization goes. Self-realization has no purpose whatsoever. Any purpose, any concept spoils it. Any preconceived idea, anything that is known spoils it. There is nothing to be gained in coming here. What I mean is this: As long as you are looking for gain of some kind the reverse will happen. When you realize that everything that you want you already have, then something begins to shine inside of you. But as long as you believe you need something or you have to gain something then there is always a battle going on between yourself. People have asked me they tell me that self-inquiry is too hard. I can’t understand this because it’s the easiest thing I can think of. But yet for some people it’s too hard, so they say. It is written in all the books that self-inquiry is for the mature soul. Which means a person who has gone through all the teachings in past lives, pranayama, yoga all these other things, they have already experienced these things before. And now self-inquiry comes easy to them. But some people say, “I can’t really seem to get anything out of self-inquiry.” So my question to them is, then why were you attracted to this path. If you are attracted to this path, it means that you are ready for this. But the question I’m still getting is, “Sometimes I’m not in the mood to practice. Sometimes I don’t feel right when I practice. Is there anything I can do before to get me in the mood to practice?” And the answer is yes. If you like, before you practice self-inquiry, you can pray to your favorite God. Whoever he or she may be. Then when you become devotional you will want to practice self-inquiry also. So what is something you can do before self-inquiry? Well, let’s see. You can take a statement such as: “There is one life. That life is consciousness and that life is all there is and that life is my life now.” Think about that. There is one life. That life is consciousness. That life is all there is and that life is my life now. And you ask yourself, “What does this mean?” You see you don’t have to practice self-inquiry by asking, “Who am I?” all the time. You do not have to start that way at all. You can take something like we just said and inquire to yourself of its meaning. You understand that there is one life and that life is consciousness. And you talk to yourself this way, you say, “Well this means there is nothing else that exists but consciousness. If only consciousness exists where does love come from or harmony or peace or joy or bliss?” You think about that. And then the answer comes, “Why these verities must be synonymous with consciousness. In other words, consciousness is another term for bliss or love or joy or peace. So if you have consciousness you have the rest. And if that is all there is that must be me now. Not tomorrow, or the next day or next week but right now! I must be that consciousness and consciousness must be omnipresence. Everywhere present at the same time. There is nothing else. This means that I’ve got no problems. There is nothing wrong anywhere. All is well. Because there is no other place for it to come from, can’t you see? There is no place for troubles to come from. There is no place for disharmony. There is no place for evil. But then something inside of you says, “Well it exists. Look at man’s inhumanity to man. Look at what is going on in the world, the homeless, the starving children of Ethiopia and so forth.” Disharmony does exist. But if you are inquiring in the right way in your Self, something will ask you and come to you and say, “Yes, but to whom does it exist?” This means that it is not like you’re trying to ignore these things but you are coming from a different space. You see the world differently. You begin to realize that you are the Self of all. The word Self with a capital ‘S’ does not mean you as yourself as an individual. When you experience the Self you are the Self of all. You are the universe. You become all things. In other words, everything is taking place within you. Once you realize that you are the cause of everything in this world, something within you stops reacting. You stop reacting. You see what’s going on but you stop reacting because you’ve become the Self of all. In other words, you take the screen and its objects that are shown on the screen. You begin to understand that you are like the screen and all of the things in the world, the good, the bad and the in between are the objects on the screen. The screen is never affected by the objects. No matter what the objects do that are shown, the screen is never affected. There may be pictures of man’s inhumanity to man on the screen, murderers, rapists, lovers, hypochondriacs, all kinds of people are on the screen. (laughter) But the screen is never affected. You become somewhat like the screen. You have a great compassion, a great love but you are no longer affected by person, place or thing. This does not mean you do not care. If you see somebody starving, it’s you that’s starving. Because it’s all taking place within you. If somebody is hurting, it’s you that’s hurting. Because it is taking place within yourself. You see everything as an outlet of your consciousness. But there is something within you that keeps you from reacting to things. So in that sense, when somebody else asks, “I can’t wait to become self-realized because the world sucks. The world is terrible. I want to become realized so I do not have to put up with the world.” Or there are people who say, “I wish I can die so I can become selfrealized and not have to deal with the world.” And there are people who actually think that if you die or if you awaken you will be finished with the world. But my friends, it’s just in reverse. You see, everything is happening now. What this means is: Whatever you think about the world now, you are going to think about the world after. It doesn’t change. It is just like when you go to sleep. The last thing you think about when you go to sleep you usually think about when you wake up. So if you’re thinking about things that are evil all over the world and then you happen to leave your body. You’re simply going to take on another body and continue where you left off. Or if you believe if you awaken that will be the end of it. You can’t awaken until you feel harmony first. The last step before awakening is when you no longer react to life and you begin to feel harmony, everywhere, under all conditions, under all circumstances. And then you awaken. But if you are feeling distraught and angry and upset and you are practicing to awaken you will never awaken. As long as you have those feelings. Those feelings have to go first. You have to harmonize yourself with the universe. You have to reconcile yourself to the whole universe, starting with the mineral kingdom, the vegetable kingdom, the animal kingdom and the human kingdom. You have to develop a feelings of love and compassion towards everything. In other words, devotion leads to Jnana. So the person who is not a devotee to life, a person who has no compassion and no love can never awaken, it’s impossible. It’s a prerequisite to awakening. And you have to develop these traits by yourself. Nobody can bring them to you. It’s the same with satsang. People tell me they love to come to satsang because they get rid of the world for a while. They find peace at satsang and the world’s terrible. But I say to you that wherever you go in the world that’s satsang too. The feelings you have with people is satsang. Your reaction to person, place or thing is satsang. Everything you do is satsang. The whole universe is satsang. Do not believe that only when you come here you have satsang. Everything is satsang. So to awaken you have to let go of all your prejudices, all your preconceived ideas, all your concepts and become totally free. Now when that happens, people come to me and they say, “Well I’ve done all that already and now I’m experiencing the void. I’m experiencing emptiness, so I must be selfrealized?” On the contrary, as long as there is somebody to experience the void they can never become self-realized. The experiencer has to go. Nobody is left to tell about it. You have to go beyond the void. And what happens when you get beyond the void? You become your Self. You become your Self just the way you are, your natural Self. Words cannot explain. People also believe that when you become the Self you become indifferent. You have a, “I don’t give a damn,” attitude about anything. Of course that’s erroneous. When you become yourself you become loving, kind, peaceful. You automatically become in love with everything. You no longer are disturbed by the world or anything else and you become radiantly happy. It seems strange how you can be happy when all of these dastardly things are going on in the world. But remember, they’re going on within yourself, not outside of yourself. And they are false images, just like the images on the screen. The images on the screen appear to be real, don’t they? But if you try to grab them what happens? You grab the screen. They’re like an optical illusion. So, the world is like that. It is like an optical illusion. It is not an optical illusion to the person who is not realized. In other words, as long as you believe that you are the body-mind phenomena, the world is real to you. And you have to take whatever action you have to take to make the world a better place in which to live. But when you have semblance of realization the world becomes an optical illusion. Just like the mirage in the desert. You see water in the desert and you think it is there. But upon close investigation it is not there at all. So the world appears to be real and everything in it appears to be real. But upon a close investigation you see it doesn’t exist at all. But remember what I said, it exists to the ajnani, to the non-enlightened person. The world is very very real. Therefore do not walk around saying the world is false. For as long as you believe you are real, your body that is, to that extent is the world also real. But once you can feel that you are not the body and that you are not the mind, then you’re also not the world. Do not fool yourself. Do good works in the world. Help all you can. Then when you do get self-realized, then you’ll know what you have to do at that time. So again, do not walk around telling people the world is not real it is only a dream. Because unless you can feel that your body is also a dream and you know that you know this, to that extent will the world be a dream. And when you wake up, again will you find that the whole universe is superimposed upon your Self. Like an optical illusion. Any questions about that? (Tape break, returns to student asking a question.) SH: Why would I want to superimpose the world on myself? R: You don’t, you have nothing to do with it. It’s just the way it appears. (SH: Well, superimpose the appearance in the seeming self?) It’s all an appearance, it appears that way. (SH: Yeah, why?) It’s just one of those things. (students laugh) (SH: I know it is one of those things, why bother? Yeah.) I can say that in reality, it doesn’t exist. (SH: Yeah, you can say that.) I know but you want to understand what I’m talking about and you say, “But you just said it does exist?” (SH: I don’t say that.) But in reality nothing exists. But for the sake of explaining things and talking, the universe is superimposed on consciousness. (SH: And you are that consciousness?) You are that consciousness. (SH: So it is superimposed on (quote) “You.”) Yes, but in reality it’s not. In real reality. (SH: …because there is nothing there in the first place.) Exactly, so in real reality we would keep silent. But since I have to sit here and talk like an idiot, (students laugh) we have to try to explain it somehow and that’s how we explain it. But as far as I’m concerned nothing exists. ST: If it doesn’t exist why do we need to help it? (R: Help it to what?) Why do we do good works? To correct what we see if we realize that it’s not there? R: Because you do not realize it’s not there. If you really realized it’s not there you wouldn’t ask the question. (ST: Is it so that suffering exists in the mind of the sufferer?) Suffering exists in the mind of the unenlightened person. So the one who is suffering believes they’re suffering. The one who watches believes they’re suffering. But when that feeling is taken away, and illumination comes everything is different. (ST: If the observer appears or imagines that he is at peace about someone else’s suffering, is it because he feels that the recovering person has made the choice to suffer.) No, as long as you imagine, you will always see suffering. And as long as you see suffering it’s your duty to help and to do good for people and help them get out of it, that’s your duty. As long as you believe that you’re a human being. But as soon as you realize that you are not a human being, that you are consciousness, the whole story changes completely. So it is completely different. (ST: Believing that one is consciousness or knowing one as consciousness?) Becoming, not believing, not knowing but becoming. When you become it’s something else completely. And when you use words to try to understand and try to explain you can’t. Because the finite can never comprehend the infinite. So you have to become that yourself in order to know what’s going on. But in the interim you have to help suffering humanity all you can until you rest apart from it. And to relieve the suffering of people. SD: So Robert are you saying then that the rules are different? (R: Of course they are.) When you are unenlightened versus when you’re enlightened? R: Very much so, in reality nobody suffers. But when you are not seeing reality there is terrible suffering going on. SK: It’s like the experience changes, no rules per se it’s all experience. R: You can say that, yes. You just see it differently. Everything becomes different. ST: When Jesus said, “I believe” I don’t know the bible verse when someone said something awful to him he said, “What is that to do with you?” R: Well that’s a very high statement. (ST: Excuse me?) That’s a very high statement he made, he’s right. But that’s in the higher sense. If the person is realized then what has that got to do with you? But if the person is not realized then it is his duty to help and to alleviate him. There are two ways to look at this, of course. If Jesus was working on his disciple, who knows what he was teaching them? So maybe he didn’t want that particular person to go out into the world and become worldly. He probably wanted him to stay close to Jesus. So he said, “Don’t worry about the world, your job is with me.” Get him on that path. There are different ways to look at these interpretations of Jesus. SR: Robert, in the earlier part of what you said, you mentioned what are our attitudes toward things etc, how we see the world as an example. In order to be free is it necessary to give up all your preferences? I can give some examples. I would much rather prefer to be in a different sort of environment where there are more trees and plants and things like that for several reasons… (R: Yes.) …is it necessary to give those feelings up, in a sense? R: You can change your environment but your reaction to them has to be given up. It doesn’t matter where you go to live. But as long as you see something wrong or something is bad in one place as compared to another place, it’s keeping you back from final realization. (SR: What about the example of say, of how pollution affects my body and things like that, that’s the kind of things I have to deal with.) Well that means that you believe you still have a body. And as long as you believe that you have got a body then you have to take of it. Then you’re right. But when you finally see that you don’t have a body and you are not the body or the mind, then it doesn’t matter where you live. SR: Would it be sort of like just giving up the feeling of providing for yourself in circumstances and just kind of letting go and letting God? R: Again what happens is this: When we are no longer the body, the body knows what to do all by itself. Even better than when you can take care of it. So your body will do the right thing. Irrespective of what you believe. If you stop interfering with it, it knows how to take care of itself. But if you think you have got to interfere with it, then you will pick places to live. You will go here and you will go there and you will buy a certain things to take care of yourself. You will do all kinds of things to take care of the body. But when you realize, I am not the body, I am the Self, then the body will do what it came here to do. Karmically your body knows what it has to do and you can’t stop it no matter how you try. So the best thing to do is say, “Not my will but thine,” and stop trying to make something happen. Everything will happen all by itself. (SR: Will that be the doership?) Yes, becoming a non-doer, as long as you believe I am the doer you’ve got a problem. Because you will always be the doer and you will always try to improve or correct your life, to no avail. But as soon as you know that I am not the doer everything starts to happen like it is supposed to and you’re happy. SR: Does that include or is it exclusive of a feeling of apathy. In my case I find myself more apathetic towards things like making money and different things that I used to care about. And sometimes I care that I don’t care anymore. I have an apathy towards the world, in a certain sense like it seems more beautiful one way and then in the same sense things that were part of my life before like careers and jobs all that just seem to be – can’t even find the handle of where they’re at? R: it depends on your karma of the body. I’m sure you have read the story of King Janaka, the old Indian saint who was self-realized. And yet he ruled the kingdom and did a lot of work. Your body will do what it came here to do. It has no apathy, no resentment and no love for itself. But if your body is supposed to become a herb doctor it will. If it is supposed to become a nurse it will. If it is supposed to do no work it will do no work. But it has nothing to do with you. But you will be happy. You will always be blissful and happy. And yet your body will do whatever it came here to do. So if your body is suffering a little it will not affect you. You will not be affected. For instance: Say you became enlightened and then you were arrested for a crime you didn’t commit. You wind up in jail for ten years. That’s your body going through its karma. It has absolutely nothing to do with you. And you’ll be the happiest inmate that ever existed. (students laugh) Really. So it doesn’t mean when you become enlightened your body doesn’t go through anything. It just doesn’t disturb you for you’re not it. And that’s a hard one to comprehend. Because you say, “I’m looking at your body and I see it.” But who sees? You are seeing a misinterpretation, because the body doesn’t exist at all like you think it does. So we should stop worrying about it and get on with our life. (Robert sips tea then a student takes tea bag out of cup) R: See even that, it doesn’t belong to him, it was all preordained. (laughter) As strange as it may seem, it was all preordained. (SD: By what, Robert?) By what? (SD: Yes or by whom?) By the Self. (SD: Is the Self occupying itself with the tea bag?) (laughter) All these things are meant to happen before. (SH: Each blade of grass.) Everything is preordained. SK: Robert that was an interesting question of the self asked if consciousness itself is the tea bag. I had a few friends that I invited to meet you over the last month or two and one of the questions that seemed to be disturbing for them was the idea — it was an interesting question like, “Is there one important thing that the body is here to do, for example.” It was a real fascinating question for me to kind of throw around, that question reminded me of that. “Is there any big things or little things in the eyes of the Self?” R: No there is not and it has no purpose. But karmically these little things are all going on. In reality they do not exist. But karmically they appear to go on. Karmically everything is preordained. When realization comes the whole story changes. There is no coming there is no going. SH: It wipes out karma completely? (R: It wipes out everything.) SE: Well there is nothing there to have karma. (SH: Right.) R: So as long as we think we are the body-mind phenomena then preordination exists. And karma exists. And reincarnation exists. And God exists. And all the rest exists. SG: I was once listening to him one day, you were talking about how we pride ourselves in fact with freewill. When we think about it the body is going on, most of its functions are going on without our conscious control. And even the thought of moving my finger, where does that thought come from? Who made that decision to do that? (R: Umm.) We don’t know we can’t think it. R: Well it’s karmic. (SG: Right.) Everything is karmic. But see the difficult part is to comprehend this, that in reality it doesn’t exist. That’s the hard part to comprehend. Because it may appear like I’m moving my finger but I know I’m not. SH: Nothing so whatever is occurring?) R: Nothing is occurring. There is only consciousness and that is all there is. SK: Some people say that is a cop out. (laughter) R: Of course they do, but who says that? SH: He’s telling you, you’re copping out. (laughter) SE: Is the phenomena, my hand, is that different from consciousness or are they the same? R: Everything is consciousness, but in appearance it’s different. SF: The appearance then it’s not consciousness. R: Yes, as long as you believe that you are the body-mind then it’s real. But it’s still consciousness. Going back to the screen again. You draw a picture of a hand on the screen. It’s meaningless to the screen but it’s important to the hand. SE: This spoon, does that exist or doesn’t exist? (laughs) R: It exists as long as you believe you are the body. When you’re not the body that doesn’t exist. SE: What is the nature of its existence when you don’t believe it exists anymore, I mean it’s an appearance. (R: It’s consciousness.) No, that’s just a word. (R: Explain the question.) This is different from this. (touches two objects) Whether you are enlightened or not enlightened. The tea cup that you’re drinking out of is used to drink, this is for the tea bag and this is for – the functions of images have different… (For Christ sakes stop laughing I’m trying to make a fucking point!) I’m trying to get this – serious! Now how are they different or how are they the same. R: They appear to be different because… (tape break) …and if you try to grab these things on the screen you grab the screen. The same thing is happening to those who believes that they’re the body and the mind. But once they transcend that everything becomes different. But you can’t see it right now because you are in control of the body and the mind. You’re involved with the body and the mind. So everything appears separate. (SE: The screen and the images on the screen in your analogy are not different?) They are the same, it’s all the screen. The images don’t really exist. So as long as we believe we are alive as a body everything becomes real to us, the whole world, the whole universe. And I admit it’s a difficult subject to comprehend. This is why we have to do the work and experience it for ourselves. Otherwise like I always say, “You should not believe me.” Why should you accept what I say, you have to find out for yourself. SK: The person who experiences illumination, sometimes the experience is described as effulgence everywhere. They don’t see form identified, there’s no form anymore, it’s all consciousness, and they perceive it that way and can only perceive form. But that isn’t maintained all the time throughout their whole life, maybe this for some people, otherwise they couldn’t see a human being in front of them or not. R: No, it doesn’t work like that. Consciousness perceives the images. But it realizes they’re not real, that’s it. Whereas if you’re not consciousness, you perceive the images and you believe they’re real. SH: Does consciousness instigate the images? R: No. (SH: What brings them about?) They don’t exist at all. (SH: Well, what brings the non-existing images about?) Nothing, they don’t exist, they never existed and never will exist. They don’t really appear. SK: Robert, are you a Jnani? Have you attained realization? R: Who knows what I am, there is nobody left to tell. (SK: Then you perceive this to be a form here?) I perceive that as being an object. But then a material object. I perceive that as being consciousness but I see it as an object. SK: What is the difference between a state that others perceive as human beings wherein they don’t even observe forms, even. They observe consciousness as such a unity that they don’t even see a table or a person?) R: If they didn’t they wouldn’t be in their body. As long as you have your body left you see things. (SK: Well you’re not in your body?) But you think I am. (SK: I know but same with them.) But how do you know what they see? (SK: I don’t.) So why are you saying that? (SK: Because it seems that when people come down from such an experience that’s what they relate to other people.) You’re speaking of Nirvikalpa samadhi. (SK: Well I don’t know what I want to call it, I realize you have a certain view on what Nirvikalpa samadhi means and I don’t mean that.) When you close your eyes and you shut everything out then you see nothing. But as long as you are functioning in the world you have got to see images to function. Otherwise you wouldn’t be in your body. (SK: There are instances of people that I’ve heard personally where part of their eyes were open in such an experience.) How would they survive? (SK: I don’t know? But I know that when they come down supposedly, down from such an experience, that they perceive form.) No, realization doesn’t come down and it doesn’t go up. (SK: Then what is that?) I don’t know what you are talking about? I don’t know what you’re saying? If a person saw nothing, he would never get out of bed. He would be dead. ST: Just for a temporary experience allegedly people have this experience? R: Oh yes, temporarily people can go into samadhi and see consciousness, sure. ST: And then come back? (R: Sure.) Without dying? SK: With eyes open? R: Yes that can happen, but it’s not self-realization. (SK: What is it?) It’s a high state of consciousness. (SK: What if their so-called come down from only seeing effulgence everywhere and they come down supposedly, enough to see form, was the same as your outlook?) It doesn’t happen that way. (SK: Why wouldn’t it happen that way?) When somebody goes into samadhi they lose the world, they lose consciousness. (SK: I’m talking about with their eyes open?) With their eyes open or closed. But once they get up they have to experience the world again. (SK: But what if they are standing up?) They’ll fall down, (laughter) because they’re not seeing anything, they are not feeling anything. They have to sit down or lie down. (SK: I don’t why that would occur?) Because they’re not seeing the world like you say, they’re just seeing consciousness. Because they can’t function. They can’t walk, they can’t do anything. The body becomes totally immobile. But sahaja samadhi is total realization all the time and being aware all the time of consciousness. SK: So I guess the implication, I guess, is that some of these people may attain that samadhi, when they come down they’re in non-realization any more. R: But there is no such a thing as being in realization and coming down out of realization. (SK: The samadhi I’m talking about is coming out of some space of seeing, instead of only seeing effulgence as consciousness but coming down to a state of also seeing form as consciousness.) You’re talking about a high state of realization, but not total realization. Total realization, you see forms as consciousness. (SK: So my question is, what if those people also saw that?) Then they would be self-realized. (SK: Right and yet at times before that occurring that all they saw was effulgence with forms, form even.) As long as you see effulgence and as long as you see form, somebody has to be the seer. And if somebody is left to be the seer you are not self-realized. (SK: So as long as I have ever heard a story from someone then they weren’t totally realized.) Exactly, because they can tell the story, they can relate it. (SK: Yet you have been able to relate stories about yours.) Sure, because I’m talking to you. (SK: So couldn’t that be their state as well?) But you’re speaking of a state that they’re experiencing, not what they’re talking about, that’s different. They can talk to you about things but they have got to be able to see forms to do so. Can they talk to you while they are seeing nothing? (SK: No.) Of course not. To be able to talk to a group of people you have got to see forms. (SK: The questions is, why is there a difference? How can they see just effulgence?) Because they have meditated for years. In your meditation you begin to see an effulgence all the time. While you’re in meditation. But then you’ve got to come out of it and you become an ordinary person. (SK: And yet can still perceive everything as consciousness and be totally self-realized.) If you’re totally self-realized you do not have to meditate to see effulgence because you’re in that state all the time. If you have to meditate you are not selfrealized. (SK: Yeah but I’m not talking about self-realization.) So the person that you’re talking about is not self-realized. SH: What is being self-realized? What is it anyway? (R: Being awake.) That’s just a synonym. (R: Exactly, it’s being awake. Awake to reality. Awake to your Self.) SG: It sort of seems like we’re all in this big 3D movie. And we all sort of believe it and you’re sort of saying this is just a movie we’re watching. (R: That’s right.) But we’re all part of the dream and you are saying we believe all these images that are floating around here. You can say we’re just caught up in that. R: Well put it this way. Take the analogy of the screen and the images. I’m aware of the screen twenty-four hours a day. While most people are aware of the images twentyfour hours a day. That’s the only difference. (SK: We’re taking the images as being real.) Yes. SR: Is that what Ramana said when he said the fundamentals you already know, you should notice that because, you know the I was always there like he said, “The fundamentals you surely know.” You could never lose that after the first experience. (R: Exactly that’s right.) So you’re always aware of the presence of the fundamental ‘I’ and no matter what appears in front of it… (R: Doesn’t matter.) …doesn’t obscure it or doesn’t take the attention away from it? (R: Indeed.) You know when you were talking Jay too, you mentioned something that I could think of in terms of whenever the scene appears, there’s a seer they come together. So if something is appearing it has to be appearing to someone. We sort of take it as two separate things but the reality of seeing is that if there is a seer then there is a seeing and vice versa. They appear as really the same thing. SK: I’ve noticed that someone tells a story that yes they have experiences like that. R: Well you can tell a story but they’re talking about their own personal experience. SR: If someone sees something they exist as a seer and so they identify with that. R: Yes. (SK: Robert sees form.) As consciousness. SK: My question is very subtle. It’s taken for granted that if someone is self-realized and as you say, you see form as consciousness. They also see form as consciousness but sometimes – Who knows how or why? — they don’t even see form as consciousness because it turns into effulgence as consciousness. R: Well, effulgence, the void, visions, all are projections of the mind. Consciousness is beyond the effulgence. See you’re speaking as if effulgence is the final state. (SK: Yeah right.) Effulgence is not the final state. (SK: So the final state is seeing these forms as consciousness?) R: Exactly. (SK: That’s the final state?) Yes. The final state is being consciousness itself. And realize that all this is the Self and I am that. SH: Is that the state you are in? (R: Who knows?) Who knows, that’s a cop out Bob. (R: What can I say?) Give me a straight answer. (R: I’ve got no idea.) SR: But you are aware that what you fundamentally are is always existing? (R: Yes.) SH: Are you unbrokenly aware of the screen only? (R: Twenty-four hours a day.) But also the images that appear? (R: I see the images, they are not reality but they are consciousness. I see you as the screen.) Oh great, you are seeing correctly, congratulations. (R: Thank you) I’m glad you are really seeing me. (laughter) SK: Robert if you saw all of us that way strong enough maybe all of us would gain enlightenment? (laughter) R: Well that’s what satsang is all about. That’s what’s supposed to happen but you are so immersed in nonsense that you keep yourself out. See as long as you have feelings of anger, feelings of indifference, feelings of I don’t care, feelings of being hurt, separation, it keeps you back. But if you come in here with an open heart then all these things will happen immediately. SM: Do you see individuals? (R: I see individuals but I see them all as one screen.) SF: So the illusion Robert is actually the perception? R: Yes, in the perception, that’s correct. (SF: There is no such perception there is no illusion, it’s all consciousness?) It’s all consciousness that’s right. SH: But isn’t the illusion also a product of consciousness? R: The illusion is a product of consciousness but is not consciousness itself. It appears as consciousness. (SH: Yeah.) It’s an appearance. (SH: Yeah, but it too is consciousness.) Everything is consciousness. The illusion never existed, never will exist but appears to exist. Only consciousness is reality. (SH: Umm this is the way consciousness appears to bamboozle itself.) It appears that way. (SH: Maya.) Yes, that’s what maya is. But consciousness is absolute reality. (SH: Yeah, well it likes to entertain itself.) No. (SH: What’s it up to?) Nothing, you are up to something? (students laugh) (SH: Oh go on. You were seeing clearly just a moment ago now you’re confused?) No. SD: Robert if someone is in the state that Jay is talking about, who slips in and out of samadhi. You said that was a high level of consciousness but not full realization. Is that a necessary step in the progress toward realization or does everyone go through that? (R: No.) So you can instantly awaken? (R: Yes.) Or you might go that path which you go in and out? (R: You don’t have to go that path at all.) But you did call it a high state? R: It’s a higher state than the normal state, of course. SH: Did you go that path? (R: No.) You went straight to the point. (R: Yes.) Good for you, I congratulate you. (laughs) (R: Thank you, I never asked for anything.) SE: Except when you wanted candy bar answers to questions on the test. (laughter) Look what trouble it got you into. (R: I know.) SH: That’s why you went to Ramana Maharshi? R: I went because I wanted to see what was going on, what he was up to.) (SH: What was he up to?) Nothing. (laughter) (SH: Was it worth going to find that out? You already knew it.) Of course, it was a pleasure to meet someone like him. (ST: And being up to nothing is good?) It’s wonderful. As long as you believe you are something then you suffer accordingly, because you are part of the world. But when you know you are no-thing there is nobody there to suffer. (general talk) R: Everything is preordained. That’s why you should never react. It’s your reaction that keeps you back. (SH: There are no exceptions to that, so it is. When you say everything is preordained?) No exceptions, everything, so stop complaining. ST: Is it preordained by our consciousness? R: It is preordained by your un-enlightenment. (ST: So it’s not preordained for you? Yet there’s no form.) For me there is nobody left to feel anything. (ST: But you notice it, the beginning of it.) Of course I do. I still notice it but what have I got to do with it? (laughter) SD: Robert, if everything is preordained then wouldn’t reactions be preordained? (R: Yes, they would.) So how can you tell us not to react, when we’re predestined to react? R: Remember the only freedom you’ve got? Can you remember what it is? (SD: To awaken?) What’s the only freedom you’ve got? Not to react. (SD: Not to react.) Not to react. (SH: Or be the witness of the tendency to react that shows the reaction?) Yes. That’s the only freedom you’ve got. Not to react to any situation and to go within and find the Self. SD: Well wouldn’t your reaction or non-reaction be a matter of predestination? R: Yes, but you still have the choice. ST: I can see your point of not reacting to anything, but what if you feel like dancing? R: Then go ahead. (ST: Is that not reacting?) It’s reacting to your body-mind yes, so you have to suffer the consequences. (ST: Of dancing?) You may meet somebody, get married, have children. (ST: And just feeling it’s a wonderful life.) Good, enjoy it. (ST: But that’s still reacting?) So don’t react, it’s up to you. You have the choice to do whatever you like, as far as it goes. React or don’t react that’s your choice. SH: Who is the chooser? (R: You are.) In other words consciousness is the chooser? R: Everything is consciousness. See we’re talking on different levels. We’re mixing all the levels up. Everything is consciousness and nobody chooses, that’s the ultimate. But when we talk about karma then it appears that you choose. (SH: Consciousness has identified with the body-mind and is appearing to choose?) No, consciousness does not identify with anything. (SH: There appears to be awareness.) Appears yes, appears to be aware. Consciousness is self-contained pure awareness. (SH: Well that’s the ultimate.) Yes, so it does nothing. (SH: Can you speak of absolute consciousness and relative consciousness to clarify?) No we can’t do that either because relative consciousness doesn’t exist. (SH: Just a term, just a word to try to think what can’t be thought.) (laughter) So why think at all? (SH: Well that’s a good point.) That’s the whole object, to quiet your mind. The quieter your mind becomes the more selfrealized you become. SG: That’s the greatest stuff we can do. (R: Yes.) SM: Robert does a Jnani have karma for the body? R: Yes, that’s like an electric fan. When you shut off the power to the fan the blades still keep turning until it wears out. So with Jnanis they may have a body to go through some experience until it stops and wears out and you drop it. SG: Is that all subtle bodies? Ramana and Robert are still existing as…? (R: Ramana appeared to have cancer.) He appeared to disappear and gone? R: But to whom did he appear to have cancer to? (SG: Right.) To the ajnani. So that example Mary is for the person who is not enlightened. Who sees? SH: Prarabdhic karma will have to run its course, enlightened or not enlightened. R: That’s how it appears to the ajnani, you are right. (SH: But for the Jnani it’s finished.) It’s finished. Nothing exists. But for the sake of explanation, you use examples like the electric fan. You pull out the plug and it still goes around until it stops. SK: Robert if anything is appearing, then first I can make the assumption that the seer is also appearing, or the ego is appearing and I can inquire into, “Who is that?” Is that correct? (R: Yes.) As long as the world appears, the seer is also appearing to see that. R: Yes, but first you have to inquire, “Who sees the world?” (SK: Right. That was my question. If the world appears, someone is seeing it. Then I can ask, “Who sees it?”) “To whom does this appearance come?” (SK: Right.) Sure. (SK: And to remember that is really the freedom, right, and to forget it is to fall back into being the character that’s hypnotized by the world.) Indeed. But I always want to remind you to make it all very simple. It is not really complicated. Just turn within and ask the question, “To whom does this come?” the world in other words. “To whom does it appear? It appears to me.” Hold on to the me. The me is an appearance. And follow the me to its culmination, to the source, to its substratum. And then you will realize that the me never existed. There is no me. No pun intended. SH: The me is sort of slipping, it’s not easy to hold onto. You can hold onto it briefly but hold on all the way to its disappearance, isn’t so easy. R: Yes. You hold onto it mentally, to the me. You watch it in other words. You watch the me and watch it going deeper and deeper within yourself, deeper and deeper in yourself. Until the day comes when you get to the bottom of it and you get to the source of me and the source of me means that there never was a me. (SH: It gets burnt up in consciousness.) And you become I-am. I-am is consciousness. SK: So you can start anywhere really. As soon as there is an appearance? (R: Exactly.) SH: Those can all be reminders then? Everything can be a reminder? R: Yes, so you don’t have to start and ask, “Who am I?” Whenever you feel pain of any kind, mental anguish, anger, catch yourself immediately and ask, “To whom does it come? Who feels this? I do. Who am I? Where does the I come from who feels this pain?” And don’t answer just wait. Hold onto the I but focus on the answer, focus on the source. Then one day the I will disappear and the I-am will takes its place and you’ll be free. (SH: That’s the whole bowl of wax.) That’s it. There is nothing else. Now just being in the silence makes things happen. Being in the silence is not meditation. We’re not meditating on anything. We just watch, we observe. We’re alert. Watch what is going on in your mind when you’re quiet. (short silence) Meditation is when you have something to meditate on, like Krishna or Rama or God or Buddha. But self-inquiry is when you watch, when you observe. When you’re alert and you watch what your mind is doing. Whatever it brings up you find it and you grab a hold of it and you say, “To whom does this come?” and follow it all the way through. (short silence) Om shanti, shanti shanti, om, peace. Remember what you perceive in each other is determined by your samskaras, by your past tendencies or your past make up. In other words what I mean, when you all look at me everyone has a different opinion, a different perception. Now the perception is not good or not bad. It is all determined by where you are coming from, it is all mental in other words. It’s really not real, it’s a projection of your own mind. And this is always true whether you see something wrong or something right. They are just mental impressions. That’s why you should not react to anything because it is all coming out of you. In other words, whatever you see is your Self. So if you become angry or if you don’t like somebody or something is wrong someplace in your life. You’re simply seeing a projection of your Self because there is only the Self. It behooves you therefore to develop a consciousness of love and peace and then you’ll have the right projection then good things can happen. Then you will be able to say anything, anything at all… (tape ends)