Sunday, 11 August 2013

Not Who You Think You Are



I can never forget the first time I read a short sentence, in a book of transcriptions, from the talks of Nisargadatta Maharaj.

The sentence in question read;
"Undeceive yourself and be free. You are not a person."

At the time when I first stumbled across this, it just knocked all the wind out of my sails.

At one moment I had been riding the high seas, all sails aloft and bloated, full of the winds of living and full of 'myself,' doing the living. The next moment 'I' was a drift on a sea of glass, no wind, and no sails, no 'I'...

"Undeceive yourself and be free. You are not a person."

This is not a new idea by any means, I had already delved quite deeply, or so I thought, into the writings of Zen, Dzogchen and Advaita Masters and in such writings, one often comes across this teaching. But for me, this was one of those; 'when the penny drops' moments.

When I read this passage I was in the loft of my little 'tin palace' a retreat house in a patch of forest about an hour from the hill station of Darjeeling in the north-east of India.

I have no idea how long I sat gazing out into space. It was not that the words began a whole stream of thoughts that lead to a moment of 'reckoning.' It was rather that those few words cut the mind off completely at the root; at least for a while. They hold that kind of potential, they have that kind of power.

In truth, these are words of power. They were uttered by a Master who had gone completely beyond the 'little self' and was unshakably immersed in the 'absolute self,' despite living in the midst of a huge city.

These kinds of utterances are in fact, windows into the 'self.' They are not intended for consideration so much as for freeing us from all our usual pre-occupations and distractions.

Yes, we all know that we exist, it is the one and only thing that we can ever really be sure of, even if we never realized this before.

This is something that each of us should take the time to verify for ourselves.
But can we venture into what it is that knows, loaded with all our usual preconceptions?

No Way!

In order to do this, we must unburden our selves, free ourselves, forget ourselves completely. Even if it is only for a few brief moments...

Venture into the realm of who it is that knows...weighty words.

This is the power, the beauty and the value of such writings. They are not meant to provide sustenance to our minds, they are intended to dissolve them and in so doing, open doors into the simplicity of what we always are.

It is so utterly within the reach of each and every one of us to know that we are not the 'person' that we think we are, but in fact, every person and everything and so very much more besides...

"Undeceive yourself and be free. You are not a person."

*****