All Chapter Titles (#01 through #101), quotations and page numbers are cited from:

"I Am That, Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, " recorded and translated by Maurice Frydman, edited by Sudhakar S. Dikshit, The Acorn Press, Durham, N.C., 1999


#37 Beyond Pain and Pleasure there is Bliss



"You do not come from somewhere, you do not go anywhere. You are timeless being and awareness." Nisargadatta, p. 160

Ahmad Lahori was chief architect of the Taj.
Mumtaz died of her fourteenth child. "Stop fucking (with) me!"
she must have cried just before she died.
At consciousness's root lies the urge to experience. Again
and again unto death. We love each other
to death. "All consciousness is of conflict." "Pain is
the price of pleasure, pleasure is the reward
of pain." They are one. Build the Taj Mahal.
Inlay it with jewels, with bliss, with birth's
searing pain, death's peace -- providing scope for the builder's
craft. Live in the black Taj on
the opposite bank desiring Mumtaz's body alive -- to fuck.

#38 Spiritual Practice is Will Asserted and Re-asserted



"Who is willing to take what I am willing to give?" Nisargadatta, p. 170

"I ask nothing, refuse nothing, keep nothing."
What you do doesn't matter. Live in harmony and peace.
Harm no one. Enjoy uncaused happiness. Keep in
mind what you do not know until it reveals
its secrets. Repetition. Repetition. Repetition. Like the drum,
wild in the night, accelerating, growing louder, magnified until
the universe is filled with thundering, convicted silence.
Start again in the morning with tap tap tap.
Sunlight through the leaves dances on the walls.
Note the utter silence surrounding the dawn bird's song,
the stillness of the leaves unfolding grey
to green, nothing to something, hear the sap rising.

#39 By Itself Nothing has Existence



"There is nothing wrong in repeating the same truth again and again until it becomes reality." Nisargadatta, p. 174

"Those who make plans will be born
to carry them out. Those who make no plans
need not be born." There's..."nowhere to go,
nothing to do, nothing to become." I wait to
receive the mirror that will double memory's hall,
the dried-blood-red floor, ducted ceiling, golden walls. I wait
to purchase the mirror that'll read the sky,
bluer than mirage, the reflecting lake, the towered world,
as precisely defined as awareness, silver as moonlight.
You can't skip your sadhana. Become the world. Nothing
exists alone. The moon remains the moon
regardless of its rippling-reflected clone. Recognize it as you.

#40 Only the Self is Real



"[The world] is there as long as I want to see it and take part in it. When I cease caring, it dissolves." Nisargadatta, p. 178

We were so important then -- convinced what
we were doing mattered. Thinking the world would
alter its course if we shifted our weight,
if we completed this necessity or neglected that worthy.
Entertaining, it happened, it did, it wildly was
for awhile. The tangy drama, the stress added wonder
to life -- sweet problems, noble causes, needy worlds.
Now even the names of the worshipped are gone --
the movie stars, directors, producers, money-bags, executives, wunderkin.
We were executives. We executed. Executed people, stormed ideas,
circumambulated the galaxies, planned wakes. Now whirlwinds,
shapes, images having dissolved, I sleep at night wonderfully.

#41 Develop the Witness Attitude



"I am not indifferent. I am impartial. A basket of earth and a basket of jewels are both unwanted." Nisargadatta, p. 185

But I have always been detached, aloof,
apart! and afraid! "...desire nothing, for you lack
nothing." "Anything you do for the sake of
enlightenment takes you nearer." "...realize your mind is
a part of nature, the duality will cease."
Injunctions, all quite real, quite like the diamond in
the mine, coal black, needing to be cleaved
to release clarity, enhance the shimmer, the refractive factor,
the sparkle. Achieve contentment in the rubble of
your matrix. Cleave to what is. Never mind rain,
nor growth, nor withering, nor dissolution. All
will be what it was, is as it is.

#42 Reality can not be Expressed



"...what comes into being suddenly and in full glory, you may call 'god'. It is entirely unexpected...infinitely familiar yet surprising, beyond all hope but absolutely certain." Nisargadatta, p. 188

You can do nothing to bring it about.
Let life be, let it happen without you.
Make no effort, rest, be at peace, watch.
The tulips bloom and die, the sun shines
or does not shine, the sky is infinitely
blue, the rain is always wet, once in
reality, you stay. The child does not return
to the womb. The brain goes to sleep concentrating
on nothing, non-engagement, painlessness, pleasurelessness, we are not
a process. Reality is an explosion. Think of being
born. The world arrives, instantaneously, whole. It's
a dream. You are whole before you are born.

#43 Ignorance can be Recognized, not Gnana



"Why should gnana be the result of anything?" Nisargadatta, p. 194

"The purpose of your experience is to
know who you are." Linda (via Shirley via
Gurumayi) -- and worth repeating. Don't let others tell
you who you are. Yesterday: a white moon-crescented-at-the-top
gate against a green/black holly hedge, the lilacs
scenting the air, the impenetrable non-excitement of one's
teacher. Contain your bliss. It is for no
one but you. Filled with bliss, illumination will
fill the air. Be a garden for others
to walk through. Mystery/murder relaxes the mind. Illumination eliminates
the mind. A flower is a vision
of god. Steal lilacs if you must. Smell them.

#44 'I am' is True, all else is Inference



"...all the universe is in you and cannot be without you." Nisargadatta, p. 199

It's like drinking coffee: I need coffee
to wake my brain, activity, poems, energy. And,
having wakened, I realize that caffeine induced insight,
creation, joy, is caffeine induced. Without coffee I
am blank, energyless, with no ability to create.
I need, I desire, I cry out for
the power to create. I do not know
the purpose of living if I am unable
to create. So I drink coffee to multiply/divide
a caffeine-induced world into visions, poems, hopes,
desires, fears. For I fear to lie
toad-like on the pond's slippery edge croaking, croaking, croaking.

#45 What Comes and Goes has no Being



" ...the space within the pot appears to have the shape and volume and smell of the pot." Nisargadatta, p. 204

Restrictions and limitations define a person. Self
imposed, they come and go. Discard the idea
that one is nameable and describable. The sun
does not know darkness. "...everything is as it
is, because the entire universe is as it
is." The whole world is here because I
open my eyes and look at it. I
close my eyes and the sun does not
shine. I sit beside Yusef, making decisions, making
sure what is is. He is the scrapper
in my soul. The tulips fade to
pale translucence, maroon-scarf-red -- a dried blood color -- green-stemmed.

#46 Awareness of Being is Bliss



"Your very nature has the infinite capacity to enjoy. It is full of zest and affection." Nisargadatta, p. 212

The tulips partake of the same molecules
as my feet in a bath of salt
and oil, the tulips breathe in the same
air as the birds in the greened-from-grey cottonwoods
and the poplar. "Awareness of being is bliss."
Bliss is not a word of the West.
Bliss is not condoned in the Western world.
Stress is preferred -- anxiety, fame, power, the jazzed-upness
of coffee, drugs, the anesthesias of action, luxury,
possessions. We analyze the protein, the genome's structure
expecting to find what? Nothingness. For only nothingness,
the tabula rasa, can accommodate our dream's multiplicity.

#47 Watch your Mind



"...the silence of the mind will dissolve and absorb all else." Nisargadatta, p. 215

To walk in the cool damp air is
to stroll an illusion. We used to say:
"It's the rain!" the freshening rain pattering on
the spring-green trees. Today we attribute its intoxicating
effect to the generating of negative ions. We
have fancier names for everything. Musing quietly at
the bus stop in the refreshed afternoon, I
see a mirage of civilizations older than ours,
more stable, lasting thousands of years: Homo Sapiens in harmony
with the world, no more need to change
than the Bristlecone pine has changed in the
four-thousand-seven-hundred years it has been silent -- watching us.

#48 Awareness is Free



" There are opposites, but no opposition." Nisargadatta, p. 219

"Awareness is unattached and unshaken. It is lucid,
alert, silent, peaceful, unafraid, without desire and fear."
"When the ribbon is removed..." from the typewriter,
nothing appears on the page. You can't compute
without the "on" switch. Wait patiently. Do not
stress yourself. Let the glitches pass. "If you
want peace and harmony in the world, you
must have peace and harmony in your hearts
and minds." As long as I have my
eyes closed, I wake into darkness. All theories
for explaining things -- life -- are plausible, none are
true. "Let anything happen -- good or bad.

#49 Mind Causes Insecurity



" It is in the unknown that we live and move. The known is the past." Nisargadatta, p. 228

Again, to my surprise, I find that I
am known beyond, that my actions live, breathe
in the minds of others. Last night an
Autism lecture -- surely that is me. And afterwards
X-- revealing to me that Y-- was really
pissed at me for knocking on her door
early Saturday morning in emergency. I had forgotten
my surprise at her sullenness. She has broadcast
my opening of her door as transgression tantamount
to revealing her inmost secrets. Life is full
of angers, fears, surprises, remembrances. Remember in
sharp-focus: "The known is [always] the past."

#50 Self-awareness is the Witness



"Nothing happens to life when forms break down and names are wiped out." Nisargadatta, p. 233

Sleep, sleep, sleep -- at last, I wake again.
Yesterday: enormous anxiety -- until I heard the police
siren, saw the car speeding along Pacific, then
fire engines, at least four, and four support
vehicles rushing on to campus. Curiosity rose. Anxiety
died. But I didn't jump from the bus
and no news came from the radio. Sick
with food and too much brain work, I
slept. Again today, I record the birds. I
cannot lock my windows. I am vulnerable.
Nobody knows -- and yet we spend our
lives telling each other what to do.

#51 Be Indifferent to Pain and Pleasure



"Only peace remained and unfathomable silence." Nisargadatta, p. 239

"Ecstasies come and go...everything pulsates..." Life's pattern:
don't prevent it. Return again and again to
silence. The blue sky does not chatter or
moan. Even behind the thunder, the stabs and
feints of lightening, the blue sky, nothingness, void
remains. Sunspots erupt, comets whiz by, nirvana remains.
Think, feel and act in harmony. Remain blissful.
Transported in the ecstasy of laughter, waking to the world, fed, watchful, a child is.
Is. Concentrate on is --> be --> being --> is.
The funny little words make the connections.
You needn't become. Just don't resist. Be.

#52 Being Happy, Making Happy is the Rhythm of Life



"...your complete ignorance of yourself covered up your love and happiness and made you seek for what you had never lost." Nisargadatta, p. 246

I am so tired of the whine of
the Western World's transactional concept of love. I
abhor using the word, for I find it
meaningless. Even the idea of love is comfortless.
What I called love as a young woman
was addiction, desire to have someone pay attention
to me, take care of me, do what
my parents had not done too well.
But soon I realized I was alone.
Whatever I was to do I would
do alone. I can love you all
I want. The world hungers for love.

#53 Desires Fulfilled, Breed More Desires



"If you could only keep quiet, clear of memories and expectations, you would be able to discern the beautiful pattern of events. It is your restlessness that causes chaos. ...the future will come to you on its own." Nisargadatta, p. 247, 249

"Walk, and if you cannot walk, don't travel."
So all my adventuring has come to this:
Stay home, keep your mouth shut, be silent.
Or walk around the world. Trust the sterility,
emptiness of your life. Let the soul cast
its moorings. "The unexpected is bound to happen..."
Tonight is full moon; give up your
last dream. Tie your silken thread to
the sphere, let it slip to either
side. Rest on the pink clouds lit
from the cityscape beneath. It could be
a volcano; it might be roses blooming.

#54 Body and Mind are Symptoms of Ignorance



"Behave as if what I say is true and judge by what actually happens." Nisargadatta, p. 255

I've struggled my way back from believing in
absolutely nothing to listening to, trying to understand
Nisargadatta. As I read, as I write, as
I breathe softly beneath covers in the warmth
after dawn, the sun, the leaf rustling shadows
of Populus albus, Populus nigra italica invade
my eyrie. But nothing is the goal!
Not a goal of refusing, but a
goal of accepting peace -- of lying in
morning's warmth, in the sun, in shadows,
in slowly breathing harmony, carrying only the
burden of nothingness to work each day.

Entr'acte III

Copyright © 2002 Jan Haag
Jan Haag may be reached via e-mail:





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