| Reality and the World
In as much as the view of the world is a mirror
image of the view of oneself, as the identity
of oneself determines the definition of the world,
as the seer himself appears as the seen, the
'I' as 'this,' for the purpose of knowing Reality
without veils, one should inquire to know oneself,
giving up the objective out- look as well as
the ego to whom it belongs. Those who are detached
from the world and the senses, who are not identified
with the body, who perceive the transient nature
of all in the world, and who yearn for the direct
experience of the Knowledge of Reality as it
is should so inquire. A wise yogi views the world
as transitory, as inert, and as a passing dream.
Such a one never expects the world to provide
him with what is his: happiness, identity, and
reality. To transcend it is to remain blissful,
at peace always, and free in the Knowledge of
the unreality of the world and the Self''s freedom
from that illusion. This is the perception
of Reality free of the forms of illusion. Abidance
in worldless Being, true perception, transcendence
of the world, limitless freedom unaffected by
anything of the world, direct experience of indivisible
Existence, and true experience beyond debate
or doubt are for those who inquire to know the
Self, which is the sole-existent Reality.
By the term 'world' is meant all that is perceived,
all objects, all activities, all events, the
forms of living beings, anything in space and
time, and anything seen, heard, touched, or sensed
in any manner. Transcendence of the world is
Liberation from bondage and suffering in relation
to all of this. Abandonment of the objective
outlook constituting the world yields the perception
of Reality as it is. Such cannot be by anything
of the world, but only by Knowledge of the Self,
the Reality that is. Where could one go in the
world that one would be beyond the world? Yet
one's real Being is ever beyond the world, and
Knowledge reveals its nature.
The Self is changeless and permanent. The world
is changeful and impermanent. Each object has
a creation, a changeful duration, and a destruction.
This is true for all objects and for the world
as a whole, without exception. The Self is permanent
with no creation or destruction. The perception
of the world depends on the changeful senses.
A change in the senses brings a change in the
object, the world, perceived. The Self does not
change as the senses do, for it is immutable
Being and the unchanging Witness of all the changing
senses. A change of mode, or state of mind yields
a corresponding change in the senses and the
perceived world. The Self is not changed, being
immutable Existence and Consciousness, and the
witness of the mind as well as the senses.
The Self is one, partless, and indivisible.
The world is composed of innumerable parts
and divisions. The Self has no form, and is purely
formless Being. The world is composed of forms,
without which there is no world. There is no
formless world. The Existence of the Self is
not sensorially perceived, but is known more
interiorly. The world is perceived only through
the senses. The Self is ever the subject, the
knower. The world is only the object, the known.
Therefore, the Self has no connection with the
world, as the Self shares none of its characteristics
or qualities. It is not defined by the world
or worldly things. It is not bound by the world
or anything of the world. It does not depend
on the world in any way in order to be. That
which is true of the Being and Consciousness
of the Self is also true of the Bliss of the
Self, these three not being actually three, but
one and the same thing. This discernment yields
freedom from the illusory bondage when the world
is apparently perceived as well as when it is
not so. By such Knowledge, one realizes that
the Self is not of the world and is not in the
world. The Self is not produced by anything
of the world, shares none of its limited qualities,
and is not an object within it, for the Self
is neither a body nor located in a body.
and debating various concepts or opinions regarding
the world can be only so long as there is no
clear discernment of the one who perceives
the world. Once there is deeper Knowledge regarding
the Self, the questions about the world's nature
no longer arise. The Realization of the Unborn
is the Realization of no-creation. In the absence
of this Knowledge, there may arise confusion
such as, 'If it is unreal, why does it appear;
if it is unreal, why does it not disappear?'
The confusion is rooted in the delusive supposition
that the mere senses are the determination of
reality, and the knower is conceived as a sensory
being engaged in an experience that is of the
same nature as himself. A deep inquiry into the
nature of the knower, himself, will result in
an absence of a defined, separate experiencer
and thus of the world, the supposedly experienced.
This yields the revelation of the one infinite
Existence of the Self. The meaning of 'All is
the Self,' or 'All is Brahman' is
comprehended in this nondual Knowledge without
a trace of anything other.
To experience a world is to conceive it. The
world is not actually a perception, but a conception.
To conceive, or experience, a world, one must
first consider oneself as some kind of body or
as in the body, the body as existent, and the
body as being somewhere. It is not the truth,
for such is only imagined in the mind. For this
illusion of the world, one must also regard the
sensations not as sensations or modes of mind,
but as endowed with the duality of inner and
outer, with the apparent object portion of the
sensation considered as separate from the knowing
aspect. Since the body is not oneself, and the
Self is not in a body, the world is not around
oneself. 'Around' is imagined within the
mind and is not all around.
The world is constituted solely of sense perceptions,
usually from a supposed bodily location. There
is no world apart from these. So, the world is
not external. The external is merely a conceptual
interpretation of the sensations. The senses
are known only by and in Consciousness. So, what
is thought of as external is entirely in Consciousness,
which is free from the senses. The 'external
world' is a mere notion in Consciousness.
Within the notion appears the whole external
world. It is one notion fragmented into the imagining
of endless objects that are assumed to exist.
The one notion depends on the false 'I am the
body' belief. The world is a mere notion,
an illusory appearance in one's own mind. Therefore,
it is called maya, illusion. Illusion is that
which is not.
Since the world is unreal, it can offer no bondage.
Being unreal, it does not actually come to be.
It is for this reason that maya is said to be
beginningless. The Reality does not bring forth
the unreal. Being nondual, the Reality does not
bring forth anything real. Ever-existent Being,
itself unborn, creates not at all. The unreal
is also not born, for it does not exist. Being
unreal, it does not disappear, anymore than
the dream world disappears for the dream character
when one awakens from both.
The world appears in Consciousness alone. It
is known by the knower. It is known in the knower.
It has no existence apart from the knower, which
is pure Consciousness. The world appears in Consciousness,
by the power of Consciousness, is composed of
Consciousness, and is known or experienced by
Consciousness. All of it is just Consciousness.
It has not the least degree of any other existence.
One Being-Consciousness exists everywhere always.
The one Self experiences itself everywhere always.
It, itself, is just thought of as a 'world,'
though there is really no such differentiated
thing. Consciousness is the world, space, time,
matter, motion and events, the moments and the
eons, things and people, the animate and the
inanimate, the moving and the still, the large
and the small, the living and the dead, the far
and the near, the atoms and the galaxies, the
root and the flower, the cause and the effect,
and all else. The one Self is all. The one Self
appears as all this universe. The universe appears
in the Self. The Self, being formless and infinite,
does not appear in it. The Self appears as the
universe, but really undergoes no modifications.
It always abides as the perfectly full Void of
Being. If the world appears, it and its knower
are only the Self. If there is no appearance,
there is only the Self. In the Knowledge of the
unalterable, ever-same Reality, the Self alone
is. Thus, in Reality, there is no question of
a world ever being created or ever appearing.
For whom would it appear, as there is no second
self but only the One Self ever?
The Self is the seer of the world. The world
does not see the Self. Existence is Consciousness,
and the Self is That. There is no existence apart
from Consciousness, the Self. Realizing the Truth
of the Self, one sees that there is no world.
It is not that the seer of Truth does not see
the world, as if this Knowledge were a sensory
state, but rather the seer of Truth sees that
there is no world. The seer of Truth is the Self,
and the Self is indivisible, nonobjective,
without exterior, undifferentiated, and One without
a second. Consciousness, infinite and undivided,
sees none but itself. That which is not Consciousness
does not see at all. Lacking being, it also lacks
knowing. As the Self, one does not see the world,
and the world does not see oneself.
In nonduality, Being alone is real. The world
has never come to be, so it is said to be completely
unreal. The world never was, is not, and never
will be. The uncreated, unmodified, worldless
Absolute alone is. That alone is, and That you
are. The Real ever is, and the unreal has never
come to be. The conclusion about this is known
by the knowers of Truth. May this indestructible
Knowledge abide always. May this nonobjective,
formless Knowledge be. May that Knowledge, in
which Reality comprehends itself, be.
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