One does not perceive an object as it really is in truth, but only as it appears through the screen of imagination.
Illusion is that, when one knows the unreality of a thing only when it disappears. When one knows these three states are continuously appearing and disappearing, he may perceive its unreality. As one goes deeper inquiry he becomes aware the consciousness is in process of changing every moment, to moment.
Death is but an idea within the waking or dream. It is connected with the body of the waking or dream. Waking or dream comes and goes. But that which sees the birth, life and death within the waking/dream is the Atman, the true self. The true self is immortal.
Knowledge does not destroy the world with in the waking; it only destroys its unreality—because everything is Atman.
Knowledge of the dream world, which does not destroy the dream world; it shows that everything is mental or unreal.
Because of one’s attachment to the body, and his identification with it, he does not feel this waking to be unreal. Not having inquired one is unaware of the fact that the body and the world are within the waking or dream and waking or dream are of constantly changing in their nature. One has to take the Witness-attitude to see the three states as fleeting appearance.
Waking experience is continuously presenting with changing conditions. Whatever is within the waking experience may appear to be real and existent. It is a mistake to think that mental creations are seen to be unreal and non-existent.
One knows most intimately and directly of his waking experience; whatever seen, known, believed, experienced of the world are within the waking experience. One is first aware of the existence of his body and the world in waking experience.
People mistake and have impression that how can external world be illusion, when they are experiencing it. They say they are born and living and they are going to die in it. Suppose one is born, living and going to die in dream world, which is as real as the waking world, he will find it as reality until waking takes place. Same way the waking world in which man exits is reality until wisdom dawns. One can call it illusion only when the non dual wisdom dawns. Until then he experiences the duality as reality.
The world does exist as reality, but it exits within the waking or dream. But the existence of waking or dream is mental. The waking is illusion on the standpoint of its formless witness or soul.
As nobody has ever seen the beginning of the three states, nobody can ever see its end, and hence it cannot be mortal. This does not refer to things in the waking or dream, those one does see have a beginning and an end; it refers to the waking or dream as a whole.
The idea of time is within the waking or dream; of seeing this at one time and that at another; time does not touch the perceiver. It is mirage.
It is impossible to get to the knower, the formless witness, before it is understood that the three states are mere mirage.
Non duality is of the nature of the essence of the self or soul. The ego or physical self dies daily in dream: because change identities there, as present, or billionaire and in deep sleep. The ego of childhood is dead too; thus ego changes constantly, and yet one mistake it for a reality, that which perceives the ego is the unborn, the unchanging reality.
The three states is what the self knows, what it perceive; perceiver is distinct: three states is an object; self is not an experience or state.
v “What is self?"
The self, the soul or Atman, is pure knowing.” When there is a duality, doubt comes. And so long as a man thinks there is a second thing to be obtained, he can never be happy because the duality is always there. The Gnani, on the other hand, regards nothing as different, i.e. as a second thing, and therefore escapes experiencing the duality as reality.
The experience of the pain and pleasure are within the waking or dream, but the witness of the three states does not disappear, for that which is called soul or Atman, uncuttable, indestructible. It is infinite because one cannot say where it begins or ends. It is immortal, because one has never seen it die.
The earliest ancients used the word ‘I’ to the witness of the three states not to the ego as moderns use it and think the ‘I’ without the body is self. The seeker has to understand the fact that the fact that ‘i’ is not the self but the witness of the ‘I’ is the true self, which is eternal.
People think that the ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’ is something different from the mind. They believe that the mind is really two. This is the confusion among religionists and intellectuals. If ‘Soul’ has any meaning, if ‘spirit’ has any meaning, so long as one thinks of them, they are merely ideas. No, Mind is the highest: it is consciousness, non dual wisdom.
The individual is a bundle of memories, desires within the waking or dream. The memories and desires are part of the duality. Therefore the individual self is entirely part and parcel of the mirage. Peoples ideas of that they will go to some world after death, some astral plane or religious heavens will disappear as nonsense with the disappearance of belief in the reality of the ‘I’.
WHAT IS ‘I’?
The ‘I’ disappears as deep sleep, so what is the use of being attached to it? It is illusory.
Atman is that which knows the appearance and disappearance of the three states, that which sees. Atman alone remains after one gets rid of the experience of duality. Atman is the formless witness or seer, until it is realized. It becomes non dual only after inquiry and reasoning on the true base.
That which becomes conscious of all the things contained in consciousness, is the seer, the Atman, the Knower. No one has ever seen the Atman, for it is never an object. Hence logic, inference, cannot be applied to it, because intellect, logic is for objective world and waking experience only, in the realm of truth effects from causes.
The greatest mistake is to think of the ego as soul , the innermost self, to confuse the object with the subject. There is no proof that the seer is confined to the individual and individual experiences, it is universal. People wrongly think that the ego is the Witness, even though the ego vanishing every minute.
What is meant by birth, appearance or arisal? It can only be applied to waking/dream. That to which such words cannot be applied is the Formless Witness. It is the only thing known that does not vanish. For this reason it is “the unborn.”
Everything that is seen, everything that is known, is only the soul, because the formless substance and witness of the seen and known is the formless soul. Therefore all things are really unborn, uncreated.
Once one understands the ego, he will have understood most of the non dual truth. One must learn that the ego is different from the soul, the innermost self. Homogeneity is the natural condition of the soul. Through ignorance one creates disassociation within it. The first dissociation is the ‘I’.
The true “self" or soul is different from “mind or ’I’, because when the mind or ’I’ is present then the experience of duality is there. Absent of ‘I’ is absent of experience of duality. Thus the duality is not the self, because the self is not an entity or identity within the experience of duality. The self is the formless substance and witness of the mind or ’I’.
Mind is in the form of the waking or dream. In waking or dream there is objective awareness; thus mind or ’I’ is objective awareness. One can say all the people are in each others waking or dream; the idea of is only in waking or dream. No idea is permanent, not even the God idea, because they are part of the impermanent state of waking or dream. There is no connection between the Witness and the Ego which appears and disappears, is pain and pleasure, which the Witness sees. The witnessing consciousness remains unconcerned.
The multiplicity of individuals and things; are possible within the waking/dream: It would be mad to deny that they do not exist. But their existence is unreal their nature. The illustration is the dream, the dream remains as reality until the waking takes place. Same waking remains as reality till one overcomes the ignorance of the true self.
What is meant by each existence? What has become of the vanished or changed individuality of each existence? What has become of the childhood and youth of an individual once was?" When one is superficial and fond of imagining, he can say what he likes, but when he goes deeper in inquiry, analysis and reasoning on the base of the soul as self, he sees that experience of diversity is not what it seems.
The path of religion, path of yoga and the path of wisdom were intended for different classes of people. The non dual wisdom is for the advanced seekers of truth. It deals with the nature of the ultimate Truth and Reality. It is meant for superior aspirants who have inner urge to know the truth, and it is not for those who are immersed in earthly desires.
There is nothing else but Atman.’ Atman is the Absolute Existence. Atman is the Absolute Knowledge. Atman alone is real. The three states are not real. The Brahman and Atman are one. The ultimate and the Absolute Truth is the Self or soul, which is one though appearing as many in different individuals. The individual has no reality. Only the Self or soul is real; the rest, mental and physical are but passing appearances.
No one knows where the waking or dream comes from. No creator who put them in people’s minds is indicated or provable. We can only infer that they must have come from the Formless Witness, the Atman, itself. No other explanation is rational. But this explanation is only a preliminary stop and is dropped ultimately with the dropping of the Formless Witness, three states relation, when one becomes aware of the fact that, there is no non-causality, the question itself falls to the ground.
It is not enough to know that the three states are mere mirage. They ought to also know that the ego also is part of the mirage; the physical body is also is a mirage. This is even more important which many have not been able to grasp. Thus the ‘ego’ is an idea within the waking or dream which is mere mirage.
Seeker of truth should not make the mistake of thinking that because the three states are mere mirage, and he is apart from the mirage. He is included in the mirage. There is no ‘I’ where this is seen. Whoever tried to escape from this mistake but fall into error of ascribing world to God's mind, by not realizing the fact that, that God also is part of the mirage. Hence the three states are not man’s experience, but it is of the soul, which is the true self.
Nobody has ever seen God imagining the world-idea, thus bringing it into existence in one’s mind. Then who must be the imaginer of man’s objective ideas, when ideas are possible only within the waking or dream. Man and his imagination are individual experiences within the waking or dream. Thus the author of the waking/dream is the formless witness, which is the true self, because waking or dream appears and disappears to the true self or soul. Atman or soul generates, sees the waking or dream.
The ego, physical body and the world arise at the same time but within the waking/dream one feel they are independent. Since the whole waking or dream experiences created out of single substance, they are not independent in reality. However one cannot see the objects within the waking or dream as apart from each other unless the ego is present. Hence one thinks that ego rises first. In any case the world, physical body and ego-all are not independent each other. But only on standpoint of ego as self, the diversity is felt and duality becomes reality. On the standpoint of Atman as self there is no diversity of any kind at all.
The seeker has to realize the fact that, it is impossible to get self-knowledge on the base of ‘I’, which is not the self. The ‘I’ which is mind, appears and disappears as waking or dream and becomes unreal on inquiry and reasoning on the true base.”
Yoga lulls the ego to sleep but it will reappear when the practice is ended. The only way to overcome the ego is to inquire into it. When one realizes that the go is part of the illusory waking or dream is only waking or dream is mere mirage it will then lose its power over him.
The knowledge of formless witness itself is non dual wisdom; it is quite erroneous to say it has wisdom. The distinction between objects and the knower is produced by the formless witness which is Atman or self.
Every thought and form is an object within the object(waking or dream). Atman the true self cannot be cognized by any thought, which is beyond all doubt, because it is the ultimate consciousness of the waking or dream experiences that is Atman.
Atman is the substratum of the three states: the waking or dream which one experiences in the Atman or soul has no real existence. It is only mirage. The next step is then only "What is the Atman ". It is also one’s imagination within the experience of duality. Duality is only a superimposition on the soul or self.
v Who knows the three states?
The soul/self knows the three states.
The duality can exist only in mind or ’I’. Unless the soul is there, there would not have been the three states.
What one can say is only that three states appear and disappear in the soul or self.
v What is appearance and disappearance?
These are mere mirage within the consciousness or soul.
v What is Mind?
It is objective awareness.
v Where do these three states stand? Can it stand in the void?
No. There should be a substratum for the three states to stand on and this is the soul or self. Atman or soul cannot be indicated by words for words indicate ideas and it is only that in which the three states comes and goes. One can grasp the three states in the soul or self.
v What is the relation between the three states and the Atman?
There is no relation. The three states are object and the soul/self is the subject.
Anything can be contradicted in waking/dream, but not that which knows the three states. Hence that Formless Witness is the truth. This non-contradictability characteristic exists because all the other things pass away, but Formless Witness, Atman/soul/true self does not change and it is eternal.
Three states come and go; now the state arises and disappears: the states change and vanish in succession:
v What has become of the states? What is state?
State is that which has no independent existence; it can't stand alone.
v Where does it go?
It goes back into soul or self. Hence the first stage is to see the three states as illusion or mirage; the higher stage is to see it as essence of Mind and realize it to be the Atman or consciousness or spirit.
One must not fallaciously say soul is immortal merely because he cannot see it die. This is bad logic. Because a thing cannot be disproved, this does not prove it to be true. To prove immortality one has to rise higher he has to go to the more advanced state of understanding.
What has become of the dream of last night? It was reality until waking took place it was only a passing experience. If dream was real where it is now, after it disappeared? If dream was a real and not mirage why one cannot locate it again? Hence the meaning of change is that it is only appearances.
Man unconsciously superimpose the permanence of the Atman or soul upon the flux of the visible world, and thus deceive himself. This is illusion. The sense of reality and permanence which one ascribes to the appearance arises from within soul or self. It is a genuine sense but it is misapplied.
The first stage is to regard all three states as an object, and separate them from the self or soul which is the subject. But this is tentative and is for those who still labour under the ego-complex. The next and higher stage is to see all the three states as Atman because their substance and witness is Atman, or consciousness then one no longer turn away from them; all is then ‘soul or Atman’.
If one analyzes the three states, he will find that ultimately there is only one substance, one thing which changes into all these different states. One then go further and say that this unitary substance can be traced to consciousness(soul).
Seeker of truth has to look for the formless substance of the three states. Formless Witness is the formless substance of the three states. The thinking faculty is present only in experience of diversity (waking or dream) and limited to the individuality, hence never towards the formless witness of the three states. Anything that one may say, any answer he may receive, it will be in the waking or dream: it will never approach their formless witness. Hence objectiveness implies duality. Ideation implies duality, and duality denies the real.
Unless one grasp that the three worlds are mere mirage, there is no other way of proceeding to the higher truth of non duality.
All the past history of the world is now only a series of accumulated ideas. Thus what one consider so real now is known a little later as idea. Everything in this waking is being converted into ideas constantly.
The first stage is to know the three states are an object to the formless witness which is the subject; the higher stage is to inquire what they are and to know all ideas are only mirage.
Death means conversion of the three states considered real into its true substance.
Death is the problem which faces every man; he cannot escape and therefore ought to study it. This study of what death means is pursuit of truth! But what is it that knows these things as dying, these three states as appearing and vanishing? That Witness is what we call the Atman or soul: that does not pass away and hence does not die. In this sense one can see all these three states which vanish, vanishes only back into Atman or soul and live perpetually therein.