"The very first step in understanding what this is all about is giving up the concept of an active, volitional 'I' as a separate entity and accepting the passive role of perceiving and functioning as a process." - Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Consciousness: The Only Capital

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

I do not speak about the body-mind and what goes on in the world. I talk only about your true nature and your true nature is the sense of presence you have, this consciousness.

This sense of presence, this consciousness, is it not prior to anything else? Even thinking about anything for which you have to use your mind, if you are not conscious, can any thought come? Therefore, this sense of presence, this consciousness, is it not the primary thing without which nothing else can happen? Nothing -- no thoughts, no concepts -- can arise by themselves. No activity can arise if the sense of presence is not there. The sense of presence does not need any activity of the mind to know that you are present. You do not have to ask yourself, "Am I present, am I conscious?" There is that intuitive sense of presence, you know you are present.

This sense of presence, it is not the sense that I am present, you are present, or any individual is present. The sense of presence is the sense of presence, as such. Because one identifies oneself with his body, he thinks he is born and is going to die. What is born is the general sense of presence, as such. The sense of presence which has come spontaneously will leave spontaneously. There is no individual except through identification with the body. The sense of time, or duration, or the event happening in time, all that can come about only if there is consciousness. If there is no consciousness, do you have the sense of time?

The sense of presence, this consciousness, is everything. So find you how that arises and how long it is going to last.

So long as the body is there, anyone who considers himself an individual has as his only capital the sense of presence, this consciousness. Treat that as the highest God and worship nothing else other than the sense of presence, and when you are one with the sense of presence, then whatever is necessary by way of spiritual knowledge will sprout by itself.

If you have any problems or questions with which you are concerned, you will find these problems and questions, are based on your identity with the body and mind as an individual. If that identification is not there, then no questions can arise. You will come to this conclusion.

June 14, 1981.

No comments:

Post a Comment

सर्वभूताधिवासं यद्भूतेषु च वसत्यपि।
सर्वानुग्राहकत्वेन तद्स्म्यहं वासुदेवः॥

That in whom reside all beings and who resides in all beings,
who is the giver of grace to all, the Supreme Soul of the universe, the limitless being:
I AM THAT. -- Amritabindu Upanishad