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


#73 Death of the Mind is Birth of Wisdom



"The silence after a life of talking and the silence after a life of silence is the same silence." Nisargadatta, p. 361

Siva-purna came to live with
me yesterday. Auspiciousness complete! Annapurna, Goddess
of food, "food + full":
the white cat and Siva-purna,
the image and the real
kitten dwell in the eyrie
now. Nisargadatta speaks of silence.
Silence cannot be heard without
sound, but when the words
have been spoken, the silence
before and the silence after
are not different. Annapurna. Shiva-purna.

#74 Truth is Here and Now



"Truth is in the discovery not in the discovered... Question the limits, go beyond, set yourself tasks apparently impossible. " Nisargadatta, p. 372

"To be, you must be
nobody. To think yourself to be something,
or somebody is death and
hell." "...mind has its limits;
to go beyond, you must
consent to silence." The morning
of sunshine and the playful
kitten Siva pass in laughter
and silence. Siva plays with
his shadow which runs ahead
of his bounding, pouncing chase
-- a shadow of Shiva's shadow.

#75 In Peace and Silence you Grow



"Things just happen to be as they are, but we want to build them into a pattern, laid down by the structure of our language. " Nisargadatta, p. 376

Once one needed a thorn
to removed a thorn buried in skin.
Now one needs a doctor,
an assistant, an office, a needle,
a bandage, a bill, payment,
debt, divorce from the land
where the thorns still grow,
but will be annihilated in
the course of "development," leaving
the once admired crimson roses
to decay unnoticed to soil.
Desire, roses, suffering, fear gone.

#76 To Know that You do not Know, is True Knowledge



"Yours is the desire that creates the universe. Know the world as your own creation and be free." Nisargadatta, p. 380

I see the sycamores in
Griffith Park, bare brown earth, the shade.
I see my own young
brown legs and desire, even then walking
for inspiration, walking, walking though
the warmth of a California
morning, knowing what is, longing
for god, meeting Siva, myself,
who says "Do nothing." Today,
the mirrored kitten arches itself,
fights it image. Shiva is.
Siva watches -- laughs with joy.

If you had it to
do over, what would you do? Take
more solitary walks, adopt more
kittens. Avoid people, reflections of my own
image, the creation of a sorrowing world.

#77 'I' and 'Mine' are False Ideas



"The problem arises only when the memory of past pains and pleasures -- which are essential to all organic life -- remains as a reflex, dominating behaviour.." Nisargadatta, p. 386

"Once you have nothing, you
have no problems." "There is only light."
Sharing my life with Shiva-Purna
the white-footed kitten, reading slowly the young
Emily Dickinson's letters. Her New England
girlhood has not flowered into
poetry quite yet, but, even
in the first* letter, perception
is there, in the second**,
punctuation begins, in the third***,
longing and love and loneliness,
a poet's fare: delicious, solitary.

#78 All Knowledge is Ignorance



For Lesley And Kirk On Their Wedding Day
"To be the point of light tracing the world is turiya.* To be the light itself is turuyatta.**" Nisargadatta, p. 393

Lesley, of charm, talent, warmth,
intelligence, eats Indian food today and marries.
The sky is gloomy, but
in India, when it rains on one's
wedding day, all rejoice -- including Shiva-Purna and
I -- for it is auspicious
to have gods' tears sprinkled
on Kirk, so bright and
gentle of heart and Lesley,
his bride. May Arreguin-Hilse days
be blessed as they help
the gods create the world.

*turiya: The fourth, the substratum of the waking, sleeping and deep sleep states, it is indivisible, ungraspable, unthinkable, and unnameable. It is Absolute.

**turiyatita: The state of the individual soul in which it is in a totally blissful condition, the awareness of the one Self in all.

ref: A Concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy, John Grimes, SUNY Press

#79 Person, Witness and the Supreme



"Be clear and quiet -- alert and detached, all else will happen by itself." Nisargadatta, p. 397

A garden filled with lilies,
trees up to the sky, lanterns strung
high, the bride in red
and orange flowers and silks, and later,
black on white to dance with Kahlo
beauty, Rivera sensuality -- shadows on
the grass. How Arreguin longs, for
musical bird-flight patterns, to stroke
each friend, each luminous masterwork
of joy, wild laughter onto
canvas, marry his daughter's moment,
flamboyantly alive, with eternity's colors.

#80 Awareness



"It is you who are in movement and not time. Stop moving and time will cease." "The light is there -- waiting." Nisargadatta, p. 405, p. 408

Lilies bloom on long stalks.
"What refuses to die cannot be reborn."
The dance of the river
is still-standing water. Light shimmers, never leaves.
Tall cedars and pines have cones, needles.
White and heavy-breasted, by lantern-light
the daughter whirls through time creating crossings
-- deep, mysterious -- of pleasurable flesh
promising the dark-bloodedness of lilies.
Her heart soft as velvet's
designs etched with sharp scissors
and crushed with fragrant desire.

#81 Root Cause of Fear



"The effort to understand yourself is Yoga." Nisargadatta, p. 412

Conversing with one friend, there
are hesitations, nervousness, mind gaps, courtesy, politeness,
equal-time consciousness, stoked-up interest, concealment
of certain urgent/trivial things. With another friend
words tumble out, grain from a silo,
rushing into careless golden, sinuous,
shifting, sliding, slippery, sun-reflecting, mounds casually consumed,
stored, eliminated. Curious phenomena. I
do not favor one friend over
the other, but I wonder
who has hired the guard,
posted notices, toxic warnings, fear.

#82 Absolute Perfection is Here and Now



"Disregard whatever you think yourself to be and act as if you were absolutely perfect -- whatever your idea of perfection may be. "Nisargadatta, p. 419

I felt it for a
shimmering moment or two in the dark
candle-lit air -- a transfer of
power, embodied in the last ruling nun,
blessings flowing to us, the privileged six,
who continue the Good Shepherd's
history. She, Marilyn, habit-free, returns to her
Minnesota family, while we, honoring
rites of inspiration, settle into our sky-living
glory, amplifying the universe of
the gods in this titanic
power-grid while unfurling toward eternity.

#83 The True Guru



"Once you realize that the road is the goal and that you are always on the road, not to reach a goal, but to enjoy its beauty and its wisdom, life ceases to be a task and becomes natural and simple, in itself an ecstasy." Nisargadatta, p. 426

What does it matter? I
look at Karen's lake in the picture
on my desk and wonder
if I will ever move again. Will
I move to India? Will I ever
sit in a sacred cave
meditating? Will I ever get beyond this
body's desires, fears, fragrances, playfulness,
scourge, to see its beauty and its
wisdom, emptiness, awareness, its pure light
of consciousness, its ignorant knowledge?
Dwell with me, risible Shiva

#84 Your Goal is Your Guru



" what you are." Nisargadatta, p. 431

Steadily, progressively, the mind's bits
and pieces go dormant. Automatism! I thought.
I do things so quickly,
so automatically I don't remember -- but now
an even greater problem: chaos -- the breedings
of a scrambled brain. Things,
not what they seems, are not where
they were. My gyroscopic speed,
searching, grasping, increases exponentially. When I stop
the world stops with me. Blankness reveals
the Witness in a void.
Perhaps Nisargadatta speaks of aging.

#85 'I am': The Foundation of all Experience



"...whatever be the content of consciousness, the witnessing of it does not depend on the content. Awareness is itself and does not change with the event." Nisargadatta, p. 437

For the kitten, new in
the world, each perception surprises. Suddenly two
kittens! one warm, furry, prancing,
the other hard, impenetrable in the deceptively
identical space, all surface, no piercing claws.
Then, ignoring the unyielding mirror,
the Light of India, with only a
shadow-suggestion of a kitten feinting,
incites Shiva-Purna to leap into the picture,
onto the furniture, to catch the other
kitten. But the glassed-over photograph
is as impenetrable as the mirror.

#86 The Unknown is the Home of the Real



"Real surrender means doing nothing..." Nisargadatta, p. 445

Marking time, letting the days
go by in trivialities, like Emily -- driven
to poetry, by her idle,
self-chosen isolation, writing emergency letters begging others
to write to her, a form of
madness -- finally, writing Nada Brahma,
god's music, trimmed anguished, nothingness transmuted to
words lasting a century or
two. Sunshine, snow, wind, rain, thunder, lightning,
her's perception's power, not what she perceived:
lashed in human bondage, seeing
the miraculous. Beyond the unknown is liberation

#87 Keep the Mind Silent and You shall Discover



"...without memory and expectation there can be no time." Nisargadatta, p. 452

I am the pencil, the
cause of a picture, highly complex. Yet,
the graphic, the drawing point
is fine, sharp, simple. It can be
honed to invisibility, but still trace intricate
views of the gnome, cosmos,
god. Hold it unmoving, still against the
fabric of the moment. Do
not tap even a dot. Purge the
sky of your consciousness. Every point left
by the pencil is you,
not you. Lapse from time into

#88 Knowledge by the Mind, not True Knowledge



" your daily life relentlessly." Nisargadatta, p. 457

The dawn does have rosy
fingers that creep across my wall, down
my computer screen, creating vibrating
patterns of shimmer through the cottonwoods quaking,
even in the still cool, smog-obscured dawn.
With no interest in knowledge,
omniscience sets in. So agreed my father,
uneducated, who, laying a hand
upon its cover, knew a book's contents.
I, of course, did not believe him.
Facetious, silly, very smart, some
mistook him for a holy man, I
never did.

#89 Progress in Spiritual Life



"Freedon from all anxeity; a sense of ease and joy; deep peace within and abundant energy without." Nisargadatta, p. 462

No sign of progress in
spiritual life graces my awareness, I struggle
each day not to fall
asleep, not to succumb to insidious anxiety,
a lack of energy, ingratitude for momentary
pittances of joy. If I
eat I feel as if I have
loaded my body with shit.
If I don't eat I think of
nothing but food all day long. Age?
Hurting hand? Decayed teeth? Pessimism?
Shiva-Purna fills me with laughter, annoyance.
I live on.

#90 Surrender to Your Own Self



"What kind of peace is it? The peace of having what you want, or not wanting what you do not have?" Nisargadatta, p. 464

In a leisure mode, I
stride around the emptied room. The kitten
stalks me stiff-legged, head tilted.
When I sit to write, heavy, somnambulant,
the kitten curls its warmth and sleeps.

Less than a point in
space and time, I am too small
to be cut, too short-lived
to be killed. When I believe this,
I shall, stiff-legged, fearless, tilt my head,

look every other way, investigate,
experience, cease to repeat, in a leisure
mode give up suffering.

#91 Pleasure and Happiness



"...the world is full of living beings whose lives are squeezed between fear and craving." Nisargadatta, p. 473

"You are quite satisfied with
pleasures. There is no place for happiness."
Consider the dawn of each
day, and the disasters there of. Consider
six decades, almost seven, and the squeeze.

Will you tire enough to
change, to invent new worlds, dream new
problems? Early on, you learned
excessive carefulness. Now, perhaps, anger will yank
a modicum of cooperation from the Universe.

"Sooner or later your physical
and mental resources will will
be fit for conscious Yoga."

Entr'acte V

Copyright © 2002 Jan Haag
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21st CENTURY ART, C.E. - B.C., A Context