What's To Do?

by Robert Wolfe on May 10th, 2011

Q: I'm trying to figure something out. I keep reading in the Advaita literature that there is no "doer", but then I also read suggestions as to what to do. Isn't that a contradication?

A: If (as the sutras say) there is no doer, then understanding those words would mean to answer the question, "Then what is doing the activity that appears to be done?"

So, the summary of all the "suggestions as to what to do" is this: discover "who" (really, what) is the ultimate source of whatever it is that's being done. Would what you're doing, right now, have any connection to what the galaxies are doing in the cosmos, or to what the subatomic particles are doing in that rock over there?

What is the primal source of the "individual" who asks questions about the primal source?

When the primary Doer has been recognized as the wellspring of all that's (ever) being done, you will know the source of "your" activities. And your question as to what the "individual" ought to do will be answered.

Posted in Living Nonduality, Questions    Tagged with Doer, advaita, doing, sutras


Diego - May 17th, 2011 at 8:00 AM
Then, who is "doing" the understanding and discovery? If there is someone understanding, discovering, or recognizing, doesn't it imply again a "doer"?
Natalie - May 18th, 2011 at 11:26 AM
Hi Diego,

The answer to your question is in the question Robert asks above: "What is the primal source of the "individual" who asks questions about the primal source?"

“You” appear to be the “individual” asking these questions. Consider—what is the source of “you”—the one asking who is the primal source (or the implied “Doer”)? The primal source of you IS the primal source, which is also the primal source of All That Is, including, what we call the Doer. Nothing is not that—there is nothing that has ever existed or been done that is not the primal source. The “doer” and the thing being done are nothing more than forms of the same source. What, then, is the relevance of a label such as “doer” when there is nothing but source?
Robert Wolfe - May 20th, 2011 at 11:39 AM
The Vedas instruct: "You are not the doer."

So, who THEN is the doer? The natural response is: "I (the individual" who perceives that he is doing something) am the doer."

Yes, of course; but who AM I? What do the nondual teachings tell us? "I am THAT" (as Nisargadatta's book is titled).

Who, then, is the doer? That.

In other words, from the perspective of nondual awareness: All that is being done, is That doing what it does.

Who is doing what "you" do? That. Who is doing what "others" do? That. What is the true nature of "you," your ultimate essence? That. What is the true nature, the ultimate essence, of any organism which is "doing"? That.

"That," of course, is another term for the Absolute, the ultimate reality.

From whence is your source? That. From whence, then, is your mind? That. And from whence the source of your thoughts? That. And the actions, which are a consequence of your thoughts? That.

YOU are not the doer. What you ARE, to the extent that you are more than a "you," that is the Doer.

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