In the spring of 2019, I was drawn to purchase “I Am That,” which is considered a spiritual classic. At the time, I was consciously unaware that its content would play such an important role in liberating “me” from “my” life. The book, which relates the wisdom that Sri Nisargatta Maharaj shared with seekers of Truth, has a bold and highly recognizable design–a bright yellow border that surrounds a black inlay, with the title “I AM THAT” in the center. After I finished the book, I immediately began successive readings in which I highlighted quotations that resonated with deep meaning, such as the following:
“Both sleep and waking are misnomers. We are only dreaming. True waking and true sleeping only the gnani [sanskrit, “wise” or “sage”] knows. We dream that we are awake, we dream that we are asleep. The three states are only varieties of dream state. Treating everything as a dream liberates.”
From the materialist paradigm (example or pattern) of reality, the quote will seem ludicrous. After all, this world is real, and we know it—or do we? What could Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj possibly have meant? That we would be perplexed by, or totally discredit, his message is understandable; for we have little or no way to process it. Since our apparent birth, we’ve been conditioned to believe that the “world” in which we rise and shine is comprised of solid matter. However much that we assume this, science has been unable to discover “matter” that exists independent of mind. Perhaps the following quotes will help shine more light on the nature of the world and our essential Being:
“The mind is the creator of everything.”
The Law of Success, by Paramhansa Yogananda
“Phenomena only ‘exist’ in the mind that perceives them.”
The Tibetan Book of The Dead, by Sogyal Rinpoche
“All your body sensations, all your visual and audio input, the body itself, all the objects in the room, all the objects in the sky, everything–it all exists in aware [Consciousness].”
Liberation Is, by Salvadore Poe
“It is not the body that contains Awareness and separates it from the world, but rather our true body, Awareness, that contains the body, mind, and the world.”
The Intimacy of All Experience, by Rupert Spira
“If you understand that this is all illusion, the body, mind, and all that you see and perceive, then I can say you are on the right path, and you’ve understood yourself.”
Illusion vs Reality, by Shri Ranjit Maharaj
“This world is a play of the mind.”
Thought Power, by Sri Swami Sivananda
“The Absolute [Consciousness] is the only reality, all else is unreal.”
Teachings of Ramakrishna, by Sri Ramakrishna
“The world which is described from observation is a manifestation of the mental activity of the observer.”
Neville Goddard’s Interpretation of Scripture, by Neville Goddard
Humankind’s understanding of the nature of reality has been erroneous for hundreds of years. Do not the occurrences in nighttime dreams seem very real–until you awaken? Such is the case with the continuing drama of “our” life in the waking state. So-called “matter,” our body-minds, and all apparent objects only exist in Consciousness. The brain does not give rise to consciousness (the hard problem of consciousness) ; consciousness gives rise to the apparent brain. Yes, dear readers, this means that YOU are dreaming the reading of this article right now. We are Spirit, eternal, having an apparent human experience within the Divine Matrix. Have you been told stories to the contrary?
Dare to Dream (and care for one another).
With heartfelt regards,
Copyright © – 2022 – R. Arthur Russell
If you enjoyed this article (originally published at my personal blog), you can find more of my writing at https://think2wice.me/. My YouTube videos may be found through this link. May the content of either or both help you along your spiritual journey. 🙏🧡
16 thoughts on “Notes From Beyond”
I certainly agree with the idea that there is a total interconnectedness to the universe and that life, to quote George Harrison,”flows on within you and without you.”
But I draw a distinction between not understanding many of our experiences, or only perceiving them on a physical, perhaps one could argue, superficial level, and the belief that everything is merely a dream.
It may very well be true. Conversely, it may very well not be true. That one could proclaim all is illusion or merely a product of the mind strikes me as a sweeping generalization. Might the assertion all is a dream and one cannot truly perceive things wholly until we accept this also be an illusion?
Surely Shakespeare can be given a little poetic license for asserting that, “There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so.” I understand his point and believe to be true as a guideline, but it falls short in my view (I get the irony of referring to my view of things) of being utterly literally true. I find the proposition, “There is nothing” more problematic still.
We are corporeal beings. We may also be far, far more than that, or bodies may be a drop in the comprehensive ocean of who and what we are, but surely they exist, if only to the extent that they are the engines which literally propel us through this experience of the world.
Just as we know there are a wide spectrum of colors we cannot see but nonetheless exist, I believe we can’t truly know deeper truths because there is likely a panoply of cosmic truths beyond our ken. I’m just wondering if your assertions that all is an illusion makes any such assertion ipso facto innately an illusion in and of itself?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this! Thanks!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the deep subject of enlightenment, or awakening to the Truth of our Being. Please know that I’m not trying to convince anyone to adopt what is now actually my experience and knowing–not just a belief. I shared a Youtube video about “my” enlightenment experience (no person actually becomes awakened, because when you awaken, you realize you are “not” the person) that describes what I experienced.
I understand why you wrote that we are “corporeal” beings; but in my case I would add that we “appear” to be corporeal. This is totally understandable position because from day one we have been conditioned to believe that we are the body-mind object. We even give them names, such as Jack or Art. In my book, I also share information about the hard problem of consciousness–that science, as much as it has revealed so much, still does not know how neuronal processes give rise to consciousness. I whole heartedly agree with Rupert Spira, who states that “only Consciousness is conscious.” This is a total 180 on the paradigm of “reality,” and this is why it is informally called “the shift.” It is an experience that can only be known–not actually shared.
This information is also at the heart of the law of attraction, which many people believe is bunk, especially from the materialist paradigm of the universe. They strongly believe that they are the doers, so they believe that they must align with their success by doing. This switches with the consciousness only paradigm. From this vantage point, we realize that mind is the creator of everything. During nighttime dreams, we certainly may feel as though we are the doers–flying in a plane, riding a camel over the desert–but in the morning, we realize that we couldn’t possibly have been the doers. Such is the case…here, in the waking state; which the majority believe to be foundational reality.
Andrew Carnegie, who was quite a success “man” and commisioned the writing of “Think and Grow Rich,” certainly knew the powers of the mind; and he also knew who “he” was. It’s the reason why he is quoted as stated the following: “Any idea that is held in the mind, that is emphasized, that is either feared or revered, will begin at once to clothe itself in the most convenient and appropriate form.”
Again, I’m not trying to convince anyone. Truth is not a belief known by the mind. It is prior to the mind.
It was interesting reading the exchange between you and Jack. It’s food for thought. I only would like to add something about being corporeal. I can feel pain, I can see people’s suffering, and also being happy, eating, buying things, etc. I know, this is materialism. But how do you tackle life’s facts? They are there in front of you. Maybe there is something that I am missing here. I read a lot about the law of attraction but I think only the authors could attract a lot of money by selling their books 😀 you have a different experience, it’s nice reading it. Thank you for sharing, maybe one day I will understand.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and opinions about this subject. Please know that I am not trying to persuade anyone to believe anything–such would be a waste of time for everyone.
Life “facts” occur within the dream of life–just as the eating, driving a car, walking, reading a book occur within the nighttime dream. They are apparently “real” during the dream, but in the morning (when most beings assume they are standing upon foundational “reality”), they have actually just entered another level of mind in which more happenings occur, only in higher definition 3-D.
Your view about the law of attraction is totally understandable–I strongly questioned it, too; but I do not now. Things are made “real” via the mind.
In my book, I relate one of the important pointers to truth, which is related to the function of eyesight. We assume that there is a “person,” either behind the forehead, or near the heart, that is looking out at an objective world that stands independent of an observer; but the “things” that we see are all representational–they have no independent “existence.” They are appearances only. I’m attaching the link to a presentation about Schopenhauer, who had incredible understanding about the nature of the world. Even the first five minutes may give you more info for your investigation, if that feels right for you.
This link to a presentation by Rupert Spira, a highly respected and knowledgeable teacher of the non dual understanding, might be of interest.
Thank you, I’ll have a look, even though I didn’t like Schopenhauer when I was at school 😟
You’re welcome. Even the first few minutes might be of interest.
I let you know
Sounds great. It’s the part about our world being “mediated” not “immediate” that is important.
I started with the wrong one,the video on Schopenhauer, but I was happy about it because I changed my mind on him. It is true that teachers make the difference. The video was very interesting and I learned a lot. On the other hand, the recommended video on materialism did not convince me. But I liked the conclusion. Trust your experience! Thank you for your advise!
My mistake–I apologize. Here’s the second link:
What an interesting and thought provoking post- thanks Art!
What can I say, Pragyanam Brahman, Tat Twam Asi, Ayam Atman Brahman, Aham Brahmasmi 🙂 Good to see your post.
Thank you, Jenetta. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post! Thank you for sharing! 🙏🧡🙏
But again, not to go down this rabbit hole, I’m just quite curious about it. The very notion of all we we appear to perceive being an illusion strikes me as problematic. Perhaps we should focus on the meaning of the word “illusion.” I define it as something which has no basis in reality.
So, if all we perceive is not reality, how can a belief that we have seen BEYOND that illusion also not be illusory? If one begins from a place of illusion, it is hard to get to a place of certainty, because all of one’s thinking is predicated on ideas and experiences, all of which, by definition, have sprung from that very existence which you assert in quite concrete and unambiguous terms is emphatically an illusion. It becomes an existential ouroboros.
Your links are interesting but neither seems to pinpoint specifically at which moment all of our worldly perceptions fall away and the “Truth” is revealed. Which, not to put too fine a point on it, is another worldly perception.
I happen to think logic only gets one so far, especially as our understanding of the universe is childlike at best.
What physicists and philosophers term, “The Hard Problem” is hard, it seems to me, in part for that very reason.
Here we start down the slippery slope of the limitations of language. But I don’t think it’s merely a question of things.
I’m sure there is a wise answer to these fairly basic questions, I simply haven’t been able to make them. It seems to me that one at some point make what Kierkargard (Sp?) famously called the “Leap of Faith.” And certainty denies faith, renders it obsolete, like a bridge over gap that’s been filled in.
You speak with utter certainty (very jealous, btw :)). How were you able to build concrete step out of nothing but the ephemera of illusion?
Thanks for sharing more related to your curiousity about our essential nature.
I’d really like you to know that my journey into the subject of enlightenment was not something that I consciously chose. It happened. This may be related to a period of suffering related to a sudden divorce many years ago now, but I also believe that I appeared on the scene with a deep curiousity about our essential nature. I didn’t have to foster it–it was just “there.”
Your point related to the limitations of language are bang on; in fact, various sages have expressed the fact that silence speaks the loudest. As our true nature is beyond the mind, we must quiet the mind (meditate) to know it. No amount of study and gaining endless amount of knowledge can bring realization, for that will only collect knowledge “about” our essential nature, not “knowing” It. Perhaps the following quote from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj will help: “Before the mind–I Am. ‘I Am’ is not a thought in the mind. The mind happens to me, I do not happen to the mind.”
Part of my history involved many years of meditating for at least twenty minutes to help relieve stress related to my apparent work as a paramedic. For me, it’s quite easy to “see” that Awareness/Consciousness witnesses sensations, images, feelings, and thoughts–as easily as objects perceived in the apparent outer world. What is it that knows? Consciousness. Can we have an experience without Consciousness? No.
My journey was also helped by coming across information related to the famous Double-Slit Experiment, which revealed that light functions as a wave of probability–sometimes as a wave, but sometimes as an apparent particle. Every “thing” is made up of those particles–flashing into and out of apparent existence. There is also one interpretation of that experiment that says that the observer plays an important role in collapsing the wave function.
I did not have to plan concrete steps to experience the paradigm shift related to awakening; as I mentioned, it just happened. Of great importance, no “person” ever becomes awakened. Identification with the perspective of the person falls away when we realize that we are actually true Self, Consciousness. We know this as certainly as you realize you weren’t the bank robber or pilot, etc, in the a nighttime dream–when you awaken. The assumption for the majority of persons, however, is that they awaken to a foundational “reality” made of matter–despite the fact that science cannot find indestructible bits that can be made no smaller. It’s all a play of energy.
I’m going to attach the link to my Youtube presentation in which I relate my enlightenment experience, and you might also like the following articles on my blog: “Baker’s Dozen: Power Quotes;” “Eric VonBlissville’s Notes;” and “Are You Tired, Yet?” I hope they offer some useful information, Jack. I also hope that you’ll dive deeper into the subject. You’re curious for a reason.