A Bitter Pill

by Robert Wolfe on November 13th, 2010

One could say that there is not now, and has never been, a thinker/doer or ‘I’. Further, the I is an illusory entity. And, without the I, no thoughts arise that are of a selfish, separative, dualistic nature.

To a Buddha (a person with nondual awareness), there are no separate beings. There is, instead, a “nature of mind” that is common to all beings; it has always been the only mind. As such, there is no separate mind that could substantiate an independent entity who thinks thoughts, such as those of an “individual being.” The nature of mind has no will or intention that controls or directs individual beings ─ since the nature of mind is indivisible, undivided.

A person with nondual awareness, therefore, does not conceive in terms of separate beings, separate minds, or an individual’s thoughts ─ since there has never been a separate entity which could be a thinker, doer or I. Indeed, thoughts cannot arise outside of the Ground, just as the trees, plants and animals cannot arise outside of the Ground, and nothing can be without “that.” The Ground is the background within which everything arises, and has it being ─ including every thought, emotion, feeling and experience. We are not our bodies, the aware person realizes, we are this vast field of presence.

Consequently, a Buddha views every thought (including the I-thought), emotion or feeling (including love and hate) and experience (as action of every sort) as the expression of the Ground or nature of mind ─ our real nature, the essence of what we are.

A Buddha’s realization is not merely that the construct of I does not in reality apply to himself, but it does not legitimately apply to any human being as well. When the concept of I, as a separate individual disappears, the concept of you, or “others,” disappears concomitantly. All that remains is the pure, common ground of being and awareness, indivisibly. No “you” and “I”, just “that,” no independent thinkers, doers or individuals. No illusory entities capable of creating either selfish or selfless acts.

From that perspective an aware person makes no judgments about the behavior of “others” ─ whether murderers or ministers.

But for those who are inclined to focus on the aberrant thoughts or actions of “others,” this equanimity is a bitter pill to swallow.

Nisargadatta would express this perception this way:

Q: Maybe I can come to control myself, but shall I be able to deal with the chaos in the world?
N: There is no chaos in the world, except the chaos which your mind creates. It is self-created, in the sense that at its very Centre is the false idea of oneself as a thing different and separate from other things. In reality you are not a thing, nor separate.
Q: Nevertheless, you are aware of the immense suffering of the world?
N: Of course I am, much more than you are.
Q: Then what do you do?
N: I look at it through the eyes of God and find that all is well.

Ramana would say the same, using different terms: “When ‘I’ is given up, it is jnana (realization)…Hence it is said that a jnani’s mind is Brahman; Brahman is certainly no other than the jnani’s mind…In that state, there is Being alone. There is no you, nor I, nor he…The question does not arise when the Self is realized....

“After the rising up of the I-thought, all other thoughts arise. The I-thought is therefore the root-thought. If the root is pulled out, all ‘other’ thoughts are at the same time uprooted… Then the Beyond will take care of itself; you are helpless there…

“Is the Self concerned with [our] actions?...There is no karma (result of action) without a doer. On seeking for the doer, he disappears. Where is karma then?...

“Until realization, there will be karma ─ action, reaction. After realization, there will be no karma; no ‘world’…

“That ego…is the same as the Self. So long as false self-identification persists, questions will arise; there will be no end of them. Doubts will cease only when the non-self is put to an end. That will result in realization of the Self. There will remain no ‘other’ there to doubt or to ask.”

Nor to concern itself with the “individual” thoughts and actions of perceived miscreants, who in their very essence are expressions of the same nature of mind.

Posted in Living Nonduality, Monograph, Unpublished, Nondual Teachers    Tagged with Buddha, Nisargadatta, Ramana Maharshi, Karma, self


Joe Forsyth - November 5th, 2011 at 8:58 PM
Beautiful way of putting "That".
PRASAD KRISHNAJI KULKARNI - May 24th, 2018 at 4:08 AM

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