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


#55 Give up All and You Gain All



"Within the immensity of space floats a tiny atom of consciousness.

Where the window is, the wall is absent.
Because it's empty, it gives light and air.
Sit silently with sorrow and suffering. Do nothing.
If you want to help others, keep away.
"Just understand yourself -- that itself is eternity."
This morning I read "jelly roll" in
a book. I see the yellow, eggy,
absorbent cake spiralling around bright crimson jelly.
I never liked jelly rolls when they
existed. The imagined presence creates remembrance, judgement.
Slip it back into its forty years'
absence. Forgetting forms the window of memory.

#56 Consciousness Arising, World Arises



" ...the self actualizes itself, without exhausting its infinite possibilities. Don't separate reality into mind and body and there will be no need of bridges." Nisargadatta, p. 262, 265

Last night the helicopter's light threw blue/white shadows
through the soughing, wind-driven, cottonwood leaves. They crossed
my polished floor flickering black/white negative patterns. They
searched for long-gone boys, who pranced on
the sloping, sheer-sided roof, enjoying, at midnight,
the liquid sounds, the glittering lights, the
mind-expanding universal view from hundreds of feet
above the city-scape's zenith, soaring in the
fresh, cool air -- their dare-deviltry emblazoning memories
on life's mundane, earth-bound background which did
not include, nor care about, the woken
old woman who, amused/envious/safety-conscious, roused the cops.

#57 Beyond Mind, there is no Suffering



" And above all, infinite affection, love, dark and quiet, radiating in all directions, embracing all, making all interesting and beautiful, significant and auspicious." Nisargadatta, p. 269

Yesterday, the chest came home. Too much furniture.
The white walls become obscured by things, too
many things, the blankness is gone, the being.
And the spiders have moved in. It
must be summer. Scuttling from my bed
on the floor to the dazzlingly buffed
ancient English chest, bronze pulls, trim complete.
Anchored. I now feel anchored by fondness
filaments for something I don't want to
own. But Nisargadatta says: "The essence of
saintliness is total acceptance of the present
moment, harmony with things as they happen."

#58 Perfection, Destiny of All



" The very fact of observation alters the observer and the observed." Nisargadatta, p. 271

Hearing Swapanji drum for the first time, I
noted: Perfection is attainable and There is
no such thing as a mistake.
in satsang with him for three years,
his being/drumming changed my soul's structure, substance.
Even his rejection -- my perception of rejection --
was grace. It was time for solitary
work to begin, to mirror his grace,
patience, disciplined perfection in my being. This
had nothing to do with Swapanji's person.
What I sought in spiritual enquiry, I
found through the infinity of his music.

#59 Desire and Fear: Self-centred States



" ...fear and desire are closely interwoven and the currents of life's energy oppose, obstruct and destroy each other." Nisargadatta, p. 278

Walk on uneven ground, barefoot, as often
as possible. I have walked unshod in
India, in the dust and heat. Now,
I walk here, with naked feet, around
Greenlake, in the grass, wet with dew.
Nisargadatta says: "The body knows its measure,
but the mind does not. Its appetites
are numberless and limitless." Do not pursue
pleasure. Do not avoid pain. Accept both.
The unobstructed Self will end in bliss.
But you don't have to believe me.
I am still here painfully suffering, rejoicing.

#60 Live Facts, not Fancies



"....the endless space, the infinite time, the inexhaustivle power." Nisargadatta, p. 281

If writing is not to record one's
thoughts and feelings for posterity*... Why
do it? To play the illusory game
of each entertaining the other? All weaving
spider's sheets to encircle the cricket-elusive explanation
of what is. What is? Nothing that
you think it is. Getting your own
karma in order concludes your work. "You
end where you start -- in the Absolute."
Why the rigmarole creating mysteries, solving them?
Do you kill the flower, the baby
to save it the bother of living?

*Death on Demand, C.G.Hart, p. 119

#61 Matter is Consciousness Itself



"Your conviction that you are conscious of a world is the world. ... You are the space (akash) is which it moves, the time in which it lasts..."" Nisargadatta, p. 286

This morning, my mind runs in circles.
like a Stonehenge, an eagle, hawk,
crow, an eddy spiraling me down into
the murk beyond, beneath the surface.
Intensely interested, the mind becomes the poem.
"Sadhana is effortless." Perfection is now.
Do not ask for love, give it.
Be the sun in overcast Seattle. Be
the wind. Be the ice cold summer.
Wisteria, rhododendron, valerian bloom extravagantly -- be one.
Be one, be the other, love weather.
The chilled heart will still. Breathe gently.

#62 In the Supreme the Witness Appears



"Turiyatita... " "Affectionate awareness is the crucial factor..." Nisargadatta, p. 296 & 292

Longing for the Theosophical Library off Broadway,
Longing for the Ashram in Emeryville,
Poignancy for the past pervades my morning.
The fog shrouds the city towers completely.
Times past. Time -- what does it mean?
As if memory were The Supreme
My heart expands into Pain/Bliss/Enlightenment.
My breath moves up, down, gently,
As if I were strolling the path,
Winding experience's double strand into awareness.
Will I reach the outer limit before
My time? -- disappear suddenly into clear air?

#63 Notion of Doership is Bondage



"It is only when you fully accept your responsibility for the little world in which you live and watch the process of its creation, preservation and destruction, that you may be free from your imaginary bondage. Nisargadatta, p. 298

Does Nisargadatta contradict himself, saying "I am"
is the source of all trouble?
Before he said it was "the key
which can open the door out
of the world." Or does he just
not like the kids having visited
other gurus? "As long as you have
the idea of influencing events, liberation
is not for you..." Did I speak
from "full insight into the situation"
yesterday with my sister. Certainly not passion
or persuasion, certainly to define.

#64 Whatever Pleases you. Keeps you Back



"All effort leads to more effort; whatever was built up must be maintained, whatever was acquired must be protected against decay or loss. " Nisargadatta, p. 301

I've had my last bout
with desire for fame. And lost.
Now I can be free and live
and live my life simply -- as
Jan, the obscure, in my cave, working.
Nothing to maintain, no more effort.
What pleases me is the sun, rising
through the cottonwoods, birds, further off
now that summer has come. It's a
week and a day to midsummer.
At last the sun stays all day
and I sleep at night.

#65 A Quiet Mind is All You Need



" ... the entire universe is your body and you need not be afraid of it... Both anatomy and astronomy describe you... Cooperate with your destiny, don't go against it, don't thwart it.... Your every action will be beneficial, every movement will be a blessing. " Nisargadatta, p.. 308, 309, 311

I'm too quiet to write
this morning. I can only
quote. Blank mind, blank body, the poplar
reflected in my computer screen,
tall, noble, shimmering in the wind, sun
hiding in the cloud cover... Yesterday,
canoeing in the lagoon, it was ninety-six
degrees, hot enough to burn away
one's karma. Great blue heron as quiet
as we, poised at the edge
of black water and tall, yellow iris
slightly swaying to passing boats...

#66 All Search for Happiness is Misery



"Discard every self-seeking motive...and you need not search for truth; truth will find you. " Nisargadatta, p. 315

"Truth gives no advantage. It
gives you no higher status,
no power over others; all you get
is truth..." -- the booby prize.
Who needs it in this kool world
of "with it," high technology,
no reason not to lie your way
to the top, own everyone's genes,
own their food, own their eight hour
day at minimum wage, own each
other's love. Possess! So what's your interest
in this odd smelt: Truth?

#67 Experience is not the Real Thing



"You imagine you will increase your value by acquisition. It is like gold imagining that an addition of copper will improve it. " Nisargadatta, p. 321

"... you are the universal consciousness
itself -- and in full control..."
The world behaves as it does because
you have opened your eyes.
If you want to change it, change
yourself. The diamond is cleaved,
the stone is abraded -- do you mourn
for the splinters, the dust?
Well you might. It is you have
created the evil of beauty.
Let diamonds lie encrusted, let stones remain
patinated, polish your own soul.

#68 Seek the Source of Consciousness



"It is in the nature of consciousness to survive its vehicles. It is like fire. It burns up the fuel, but not itself " Nisargadatta, p. 327

The body lives on fuel.
A little more each day
is turned to flame, reason
and delight, consuming its substance
to create poem, unexpected sneeze, dread of
night, the shifting interference patterns
of the holographic past. Living to realize
that lila, in joy, created
pleasure universally balanced by sorrow, one feels
the need to die. Dormant
flame within twig, tree, consciousness, golden, searing,
licking, inevitably, spontaneously, combusts again.

#69 Transiency is Proof of Unreality



"Unless you are emotionally involved, you may argue with me, but there will be no real understanding between us. " "Give up all working for a future, concentrate totally on the now, be concerned only with your response to every movement of life as it happens." Nisargadatta, p. 329 & p. 333

I am neither the image
nor its mirror, I am
"infinite focused in a body."
I am all desire, all
fear. I am not what
I am. Change will happen.
I'll say: "Nothing is wrong with
me any longer." I'll be
myself, I'll watch myself express in action.
Being is in the gaps,
the forgotten. Encourage memory-less-ness. Be. Go within.
"In identity no thought survives."

#70 God is the End of All Desire and Knowledge



" desiring you take the shape of your desires. When no desires remain, you revert to your natural state." Nisargadatta, p. 336

I am inventing the world
and it is wearing me
out. Nisargadatta says: "You must
unlearn everything..." -- to become God
Do I want to be
God? "You create the world
and then worry about it."
Where I walk, the miraculous
happens -- but not to me, not miraculous
things I want most. Unconsciously
God or Gnani choose. "You are already
perfect..." -- cease believing it's otherwise.

#71 In Self-awareness you Learn about Yourself



" need no support and no confirmation..." Nisargadatta, p. 344

I always feel I am
starting -- afresh -- today -- from now
on. Resolutions surge up in
the morning sunshine. Today, will
I become, suddenly, the splendor
of the universe? I wonder.
Only a particle -- dissolved into
the universe -- part of every
particle of the universe? "
give reality instead of getting
it..." You are. Stop accepting things as
they are, they will dissolve.

#72 What is Pure, Unalloyed, Unattached is Real



"Immobility and silence are not inactive. The flower fills the space with perfume, the candle -- with light. They do nothing yet they change everything by their mere presence." Nisargadatta, p. 348

"...what is the use of
this endless anxiety of choice?"
"...there is nothing you need.
"...eliminate the poison and be
free of this burning thirst..."
"In Hinduism the very idea
of free will is non-existent..."
"...pecking...breaks the shell from
within and liberates the chick."
Less and less to say,
the mirror is down, reflection
is gone. Go canoeing, breathe.

Entr'acte IV

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





21st CENTURY ART, C.E. - B.C., A Context