Posted 8 March 2018 by Sal
Who AM I? - Excerpt from The Way of Freedom
Until you have come to know your essential being, you will be forever trying to change something about your mental and emotional experience and will never come to know the peace of freedom. Why? Because freedom is not an experience. Freedom is in, and as the result of, knowing. Knowing is both the way and the goal. It is the goal in that knowing is not separate from who you are—it is you, essentially. Therefore, you are already free, the goal is already attained. But for all doubt to be resolved, it is essential to continue valuing the truth of your essential being over experience. Worship truth! Come to this knowing more and more, until it is completely natural and doubtless. That is the way of freedom.
Could you say more about “all-inclusive?” Sometimes I just don’t know what you mean by that. It feels like I get a little intellectual with it.
Okay. We will take it from the beginning. Have a holiday.
Don’t focus on anything in particular.
Let attention be open.
In this work, we are not attempting to find any objects.
We are knowing the knowing itself.
You know that you are here, aware.
I am this knowing that is before, during and after
all thoughts and appearances.
Are you separate from this knowing?
This knowing is your source, your essential being.
It is you.
If you are a meditator, you may focus on the breath (an object). In that case, you never come to source. You may be stilling the mind, and becoming “aware of awareness,” but you never get the final little bit, which is, this knowing is who I am. Know thyself!
Have another holiday.
You know the knowing which is here, now?
All of the objects, which are appearing, are equal.
Whatever is in your room—sights,
sounds, smells, sensations, and thoughts—are equal
because the knowing knows them all.
That knowing is you.
You are the one who knows all the objects.
Know yourself as the knowing,
not as an object, like this body-mind.
You are the knowing of this body-mind.
In this knowing, everything is included equally.
Usually, when we are focused on an object such as a thought, attention is exclusive. You are knowing only one object. This is duality, subject/object, and is not all-inclusive. You, this knowing, are all-inclusive.
To go a step further, none of these things are separate from this knowing. These things are the manifested form of this knowing, just like a wave is a manifestation of ocean. You are ocean and all of the forms are waves on the surface of you. This knowing includes everything, which means the knowing knows everything and is everything. There is no separation.
This second part is not easy for me to realize. I know you say there is no witness, and it feels like there is a witnessing of everything.
A witness is a thing. It is an object. Someone separate is needed for a witness. Knowing is not a thing or an object. This is why I don’t call it awareness. I just use the words aware/knowing. These are not objects. You can’t find aware/knowing as a thing.
There is a sense of being stuck on this. I don’t feel separate from everything and yet, I don’t feel part of it all. That is not clear.
You are not part of it all. It is not like that. For something to be separate, there has to be a you here. Let’s be on holiday for a minute.
Go beyond the limited sense/feeling of “you” that is here.
See that knowing is not exclusive to this body-mind organism.
There is the sense here, “I am the body.”
This is the first touch of ego,
this notion, “I am here in the body.”
We all have this sense of “I am—I am here in this body-mind.”
That is fine.
notice that you know the sense of
“I am here in this body-mind.”
You know this, don’t you?
You know it.
The felt sense of “I am here” in this body is no different than anything else in the room—objects, sounds, and smells. It is very habitual and subtle to associate with this felt sense of being in a body. You have to see that you know this felt sense. Like Nisargadatta says, hold on to the feeling of “I am” and go beyond the feeling. Well, this is beyond the feeling because this is the knowing of the feeling “I am.” This knowing is not an object that you can find. It is just knowing. Don’t stop at the feeling of “I am.” Know that I know that I am.
Then everything is equally known and what is important is the knowing, not any of the particular objects. We have all been conditioned to think this sensation of a body-mind is the most important and special thing, and it is separate from everything else. Of course, it is only a thought. When we step a little bit beyond that, we see that we actually know the sense of “I am” as well as everything else. Then there is less self-focus happening. Less self-importance. It is a relief.
In having a holiday, we are being the knowing. Knowing equals being. So be the knowing itself. That is who you are—the knowing.
I recognize “be the knowing” a lot. It seems like I was attempting to make something more out of the idea of “all-inclusive.” Maybe I was looking for some experience or something.
The reason I talk about all-inclusive is to get people out of the limited attention to self. The sense of self is claustrophobic. So, I show people that actually everything is here. The term all-inclusive assists with opening people up to this realization.
To take it as far as we just did is the real point. To know you are the knowing of everything, and everything is equal and not separate from this knowing.