"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, July 19, 2017

The Culprits - Space and Time

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Bondage of Space and Time - 2

M: Exactly. Let us proceed further. In the morning, the very first moment when you wake up and your consciousness just takes over, do you not feel your conscious presence, your existence,  IAM, not as an individual person, but presence as such?

V: Yes, that is right. I would say that my individual personality comes into existence when I see my body and other objects around.

M: When you say that you see an object, what really happens is that your senses have reacted to a stimulus from an outside source, which is external to your body apparatus. And what your senses have perceived and your mind has interpreted is nothing but an appearance in your consciousness. This appearance in consciousness is construed as an event, extended in space and duration. All manifestation depends on a combination of two closely knit media called space and time. In other words, in the absence of the space-time combination, no manifestation could possibly arise in consciousness. Are you following me?

V: Yes, I understand what you said. But where do I come in, as an individual, in this process?

M: This is exactly where the rub lies. All existence is a continuous process of objectifying. We only exist as one another's objects and as such, only in the consciousness that cognizes us. When objectivization ceases, as in deep sleep, the objective universe disappears.

So long as one imagines oneself as a separate entity, a person, one cannot see the total picture of the impersonal entity. And the idea of a separate personality is due to the illusion of space and time, which by themselves have no independent existence for they are only instruments, mere media to make manifestation cognizable.

At any time, only one thought or feeling or perception can be reflected in consciousness, but thoughts, feelings and perceptions move on in succession giving the illusion of duration. And personality comes into being simply because of memory - identifying the present with the past and projecting it into the future.

Think of yourself as momentary, without a past or a future, then where is the personality? Try this and find out for yourself. In memory and anticipation, that is in the past and the future, there is a clear feeling that there is a mental state under observation, whereas in the actual  the feeling is primarily of being awake and present - here and now.

V: I think I understand. I must sit quietly and  try to absorb this wholly new way of thinking.

M: Now do you see how space and time, which come alone with consciousness and make manifestation perceivable, are the culprits? All you can truly say is I AM. The moment there is a thought of 'me' as a separate personality, there is what is termed bondage. To realize this is the end of all seeking. When you apperceive that whatever you think yourself to be is only based on memory and anticipation, your search ends and you stand aloof in full awareness of the false as false.

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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