Posted 22 June 2019 by Sal
Key to the Kingdom
I was reading your blog post, “Sensing vs. Knowing” (an excerpt from The Way of Freedom), and I realized I've been stuck on this idea of a felt sense of I am. I was wondering if you could talk about it further.
Sure, it's fine if we take a further look into it. This is the entire shift of knowing, and it has to be clear.
First of all, there is a feeling in the body. A feeling that you are here—I feel that I am here. It is not a specific feeling because you can say, “I feel am in my head...no, no, wait I feel am in my chest...no, no, I feel I am in my hands.” You don’t exactly know where, but there is a feeling of “I am here.”
It has something to do with feelings in this body. It is not actually a specific feeling, it is actually a bundle of many feelings and sensations. There are a few aspects to this, but that is the gross level physical, feeling sensation level.
Prior to that, there is the actual consciousness here in the body—consciousness of the body, which is the I Am. And that is almost like a feeling as well. You can say, “I am conscious, here,” right?
I, here, am conscious. Do you see what I mean? I, here, am conscious.
This is the “I Am” that Nisargadatta speaks about. This is the sense (or feeling) that he says you have to hold on to. This sense (or feeling) really has to do with consciousness—I am conscious, here. It is a localized sense, here.
This is as far as most people get. It is what we believe that we are, exclusively, limitedly. And then this goes out into my thoughts, my sights, my senses, my world, my experiences, etc. All of the outward moving things like the five senses, thoughts and feelings come subsequent to this “I am conscious, here.”
“I am conscious, here” is the first touch of I Am—the first touch of the manifested form, I Am. So, Nisargadatta says to hold on to that until that disappears. But, I say, why do that? Let’s have a holiday together, now.
Don’t attend to any of that at all.
Any of it.
Ignore all of it:
What if none of that was?
What is here?
At the gross level,
you know all of the things that your eyes see—
all of the objects in your field of vision (including the words on this page).
You also know every sound that is coming into your ears.
At a more subtle level,
you know the sensations in the body.
And you can say, “I know I am conscious, here.”
These are all objects you know.
Now, just leave those objects behind
and know that you know—know the knowing itself.
It does not matter what objects are here.
Forget all of them. They don’t matter as they are all changing.
But what is not changing is knowing.
Knowing is here, right?
You know the knowing. Be the knowing.
You can say, “I know the sense of I Am—I know I Am.” Now, just leave the word “am” off, and say, “I know I.”
It’s a bit tricky as it seems to throw me back into the sense of I am.
Well, it is because you are equating “I” with the body and the senses. It is natural, we all do it. And let me say one thing. There is only “I.” There is no “real I” and “fake I.” There is no “big I” and “small I.” There is only “I.” I includes everything, including the knowing of everything. That is why Ramana calls it “I” dash “I” (“I-I”). He is not saying, “I" dash "object” ("I-object"). He is saying, “I-I”—I know myself as knowing. It is not knowing yourself as a feeling or sense, but as knowing itself.
You see, it is very simple, but it is subtle. There is like a little “click.” It is not a real click, but there is a little, “ahhh...I-I.” Do you get that?
It is not “I-object,” it is “I-I.” It is subtle, and I would suggest listening/reading this a lot. I can’t stress this enough. This is the key to the kingdom!
I have felt some confusion about this in the past and that is why I asked the question. I felt I needed to hear it again.
Let’s forget all of that. We are here, now. Let’s just continue to know this “I-I.” I hear you and we all can think about the past, but let’s forget it and just be “I-I.” Let’s do it together, knowingly.
This is the key to the kingdom right here.
Just keep coming to this knowing.
Without this little “click” (shift of knowing), nothing is possible. This knowing is the beginning of the end. Actually, it is already the end.