Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj answers…
July 2, 2011, 9:59 am
Filed under: Quotes

November 8, 1980

Questioner: Why is it that we naturally seem to think of ourselves as separate individuals?

Maharaj: Your thoughts about individuality are really not you own thoughts; they are all collective thoughts; they are all collective thoughts. You think that you are the one who has the thoughts; in fact thoughts arise in consciousness.

As our spiritual knowledge grows, our identification with an individual body-mind diminishes, and our consciousness expands into universal consciousness. The life force continues to act, but its thought and actions are no longer limited to an individual. They become the total manifestation. It is like the action of the wind — the wind doesn’t blow for any particular individual, but for the total manifestation.

Q: As an individual can we go back to the source?

M: Not as an individual; the knowledge “I Am” must go back to its own source.

Now, consciousness has identified with a form. Later, it understands that it is not that form and goes further. In a few cases it may reach the space, and very often, there it stops. In a very few cases, it reaches its real source, beyond all conditioning.

It is difficult to give up that inclination of identifying the body as the self. I am not talking to an individual, I am talking to the consciousness. It is consciousness which must seek its source.

Out of that no-being state comes the beingness. It comes as quietly as twilight, with just a feel of “I Am” and then suddenly the space is there. In the space, movement starts with the air, the fire, the water, and the earth. All these five elements are you only. Out of your consciousness all this has happened. There is no individual. There is only you, the total functioning is you, the consciousness is you.

You are the consciousness, all the titles of the Gods are your names, but by clinging to the body you hand yourself over to time and death — you are imposing it on yourself.

I am the total universe. When I am the total universe I am in need of nothing because I am everything. But I cramped myself into a small thing, a body; I made myself a fragment and became needful. I need so many things as a body.

In the absence of a body, do you, and did you, exist? Are you, and were you, there or not? Attain that state which is and was prior to the body. Your true nature is open and free, but you cover it up, you give it various designs.

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