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Mind Architecture: Vrij naar “I Am That”, dialoog met Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Maharaj:

How do you go about finding anything? By keeping your mind and heart in it. Interest there must be and steady remembrance. To remember what needs to be remembered is the secret of success. You come to it through earnestness.

Question:

Do you mean to say that mere wanting to find out is enough? Surely, both qualifications and opportunities are needed.

Maharaj:

These will come with earnestness. What is supremely important is to be free from contradictions: the goal and the way must not be on different levels; life and light must not quarrel; behaviour must not betray belief. Call it honesty, integrity, wholeness; you must not go back, undo, uproot, abandon the conquered ground. Tenacity of purpose and honesty in pursuit will bring you to your goal.

Question:

Tenacity and honesty are endowments, surely! Not a trace of them I have.

Maharaj:

All will come as you go on. Take the first step first. All blessings come from within. Turn within. ‘l am’ you know. Be with it all the time you can spare, until you revert to it spontaneously. There is no simpler and easier way.We know the outer world of sensations and actions, but of our inner world of thoughts and feelings we know very little. The primary purpose of meditation is to become conscious of, and familiar with, our inner life. The ultimate purpose is to reach the source of life and consciousness. Incidentally practice of meditation affects deeply our character. We are slaves to what we do not know; of what we know we are masters. Whatever vice or weakness in ourselves we discover and understand its causes and its workings, we over-come it by the very knowing; the unconscious dissolves when brought into the conscious. The dissolution of the unconscious releases energy; the mind feels adequate and become quiet.

When the mind is quiet, we come to know ourselves as the pure witness. We withdraw from the experience and its experiencer and stand apart in pure awareness, which is between and beyond the two. The personality, based on self-identification, on imagining oneself to be something: ‘I am this, I am that’, continues, but only as a part of the objective world. Its identification with the witness snaps.

What is the use of truth, goodness, harmony, beauty? They are their own goal. They manifest spontaneously and effortlessly, when things are left to themselves, are not interfered with, not shunned, or wanted, or conceptualized, but just experienced in full awareness, such awareness itself is sattva. It does not make use of things and people — it fulfills them.

PS: Sattva is one of the three guṇas or “modes of existence” (tendencies, qualities, attributes), a philosophical and psychological concept developed by the Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy. The other two qualities are rajas (passion and activity) and tamas (destruction, chaos).