Chapter 23 - Reality lies in Objectivity
Questioner: I am a painter and I earn by painting pictures. Has it any value from the spiritual point of view?
Maharaj: When you paint what do you think about?
Q: When I paint, there is only the painting and myself.
M:What are you doing there?
Q: I paint.
M:No, you don't. You see the painting going on. You are watching only, all else happens.
Q: The picture is painting itself? Or, is there some deeper 'me', or some god who is painting?
M:Consciousness itself is the greatest painter. The entire world is a Picture.
Q: Who painted the picture of the world?
M:The painter is in the Picture.
Q: The picture is in the mind of the painter and the painter is in the picture, which is in the mind of the painter who is in the picture! Is not this infinity of states and dimensions absurd? The moment we talk of picture in the mind, which itself is in the picture, we come to an endless succession of witnesses, the higher witness witnessing the lower. It is like standing between two mirrors and wondering at the crowd!
M:Quite right, you alone and the double mirror are there. Between the two, your forms and names are numberless.
Q: How do you look at the world?
M:I see a painter painting a picture. The picture I call the world, the painter I call God. I am neither. I do not create, nor am I created. I contain all, nothing contains me.
Q: When I see a tree, a face, a sunset, the picture is perfect. When I close my eyes, the image in my mind is faint and hazy. If it is my mind that projects the picture, why need I open my eyes to see a lovely flower and with eyes closed I see it vaguely?
M:It is because your outer eyes are better than your inner eyes. Your mind is all turned outward. As you learn to watch your mental world, you will find it even more colourful and perfect than what the body can provide. Of course, you will need some training. But why argue? You imagine that the picture must come from the painter who actually painted it. All the time you look for origins and causes. Causality is in the mind, only; memory gives the illusion of continuity and repetitiveness creates the idea of causality. When things repeatedly happen together, we tend to see a causal link between them. It creates a mental habit, but a habit is not a necessity.
Q: You have just said that the world is made by God.
M:Remember that language is an instrument of the mind; It is made by the mind, for the mind. Once you admit a cause, then God is the ultimate cause and the world the effect. They are different, but not separate.
Q: People talk of seeing God.
M:When you see the world you see God. There is no seeing God, apart from the world. Beyond the world to see God is to be God. The light by which you see the world, which is God is the tiny little spark: 'I am', apparently so small, yet the first and the last in every act of knowing and loving.
Q: Must I see the world to see God?
M:How else? No world, no God.
Q: What remains?
M:You remain as pure being.
Q: And what becomes of the world and of God?
M:Pure being (avyakta).
Q: Is it the same as the Great Expanse (paramakash)?
M:You may call it so. Words do not matter, for they do not reach it. They turn back in utter negation.
Q: How can I see the world as God? What does it mean to see the world as God?
M:It is like entering a dark room. You see nothing-- you may touch, but you do not see -- no colours, no outlines. The window opens and the room is flooded with light. Colours and shapes come into being. The window is the giver of light, but not the source of it. The sun is the source. Similarly, matter is like the dark room; consciousness -- the window -- flooding matter with sensations and perceptions, and the Supreme is the sun the source both of matter and of light. The window may be closed, or open, the sun shines all the time. It makes all the difference to the room, but none to the sun. Yet all this is secondary to the tiny little thing which is the 'I am'. Without the 'I am' there is nothing. All knowledge is about the 'I am'. False ideas about this 'I am' lead to bondage, right knowledge leads to freedom and happiness.
Q: Is 'I am' and 'there is' the same?
M:'I am' denotes the inner, 'there is' -- the outer. Both are based on the sense of being.
Q: Is it the same as the experience of existence?
M:To exist means to be something, a thing, a feeling, a thought, an idea. All existence is particular. Only being is universal, in the sense that every being is compatible with every other being. Existences clash, being -- never. Existence means becoming, change, birth and death and birth again, while in being there is silent peace.
Q: If I create the world, why have I made it bad?
M:Everyone lives in his own world. Not all the worlds are equally good or bad.
Q: What determines the difference?
M:The mind that projects the world, colours it its own way. When you meet a man, he is a stranger. When you marry him, he becomes your own self. When you quarrel, he becomes your enemy. It is your mind's attitude that determines what he is to you.
Q: I can see that my world is subjective. Does it make it also illusory?
M:It is illusory as long as it is subjective and to that extent only. Reality lies in objectivity.
Q: What does objectivity mean? You said the world is subjective and now you talk of objectivity. Is not everything subjective?
M:Everything is subjective, but the real is objective.
Q: In what sense?
M:It does not depend on memories and expectations, desires and fears, likes and dislikes. All is seen as it is.
Q: Is it what you call the fourth state (turiya)?
M:Call it as you like. It is solid, steady, changeless, beginningless and endless, ever new, ever fresh.
Q: How is it reached?
M:Desirelessness and fearlessness will take you there.
Chapter1 - Foreword
Chapter2 - Who is Nisargadatta Maharaj?
Chapter3 - Translators Note
Chapter4 - Editors Note
Chapter5 - The Sense of ‘I am’
Chapter6 - Obsession with the body
Chapter7 - The Living Present
Chapter8 - Real World is Beyond the Mind
Chapter9 - What is Born must Die
Chapter10 - Meditation
Chapter11 - The Mind
Chapter12 - The Self Stands Beyond Mind
Chapter13 - Responses of Memory
Chapter14 - Witnessing
Chapter15 - Awareness and Consciousness
Chapter16 - The Person is not Reality
Chapter17 - The Supreme, the Mind and the Body
Chapter18 - Appearances and the Reality
Chapter19 - The Jnani
Chapter20 - Desirelessness, the Highest Bliss
Chapter21 - The Ever-Present
Chapter22 - To Know What you Are, Find What you Are Not
Chapter23 - Reality lies in Objectivity
Chapter24 - The Supreme is Beyond All
Chapter25 - Who am I?
Chapter26 - Life is Love and Love is Life
Chapter27 - Discrimination leads to Detachment
Chapter28 - God is the All-doer, the Jnani a Non-doer
Chapter29 - Hold on to ‘I am’
Chapter30 - Personality, an Obstacle
Chapter31 - The Beginningless Begins Forever
Chapter32 - All Suffering is Born of Desire
Chapter33 - Living is Life’s only Purpose
Chapter34 - You are Free NOW
Chapter35 - Do not Undervalue Attention
Chapter36 - Life is the Supreme Guru
Chapter37 - Everything Happens by Itself
Chapter38 - Mind is restlessness Itself
Chapter39 - Greatest Guru is Your Inner Self
Chapter40 - Killing Hurts the Killer, not the Killed
Chapter41 - Beyond Pain and Pleasure there is Bliss
Chapter42 - Spiritual Practice is Will Asserted and Re-asserted
Chapter43 - By Itself Nothing has Existence
Chapter44 - Only the Self is Real
Chapter45 - Develop the Witness Attitude
Chapter46 - Reality can not be Expressed
Chapter47 - Ignorance can be Recognised, not Jnana
Chapter48 - &39;I am&39; is True, all else is Inference
Chapter49 - What Comes and Goes has no Being
Chapter50 - Awareness of Being is Bliss
Chapter51 - Watch Your Mind
Chapter52 - Awareness is Free
Chapter53 - Mind Causes Insecurity
Chapter54 - Self-awareness is the Witness
Chapter55 - Be Indifferent to Pain and Pleasure
Chapter56 - Being Happy, Making Happy is the Rhythm of Life
Chapter57 - Desires Fulfilled, Breed More Desires
Chapter58 - Body and Mind are Symptoms of Ignorance
Chapter59 - Give up All and You Gain All
Chapter60 - Consciousness Arising, World Arises
Chapter61 - Beyond Mind there is no Suffering
Chapter62 - Perfection, Destiny of All
Chapter63 - Desire and Fear: Self-centred States
Chapter64 - Live Facts, not Fancies
Chapter65 - Matter is Consciousness Itself
Chapter66 - In the Supreme the Witness Appears
Chapter67 - Notion of Doership is Bondage
Chapter68 - Whatever pleases you, Keeps you Back
Chapter69 - A Quiet Mind is All You Need
Chapter70 - All Search for Happiness is Misery
Chapter71 - Experience is not the Real Thing
Chapter72 - Seek the Source of Consciousness
Chapter73 - Transiency is Proof of Unreality
Chapter74 - God is the End of All Desire and Knowledge
Chapter75 - In Self-awareness you Learn about Yourself
Chapter76 - What is Pure, Unalloyed, Unattached is Real
Chapter77 - Death of the Mind is Birth of Wisdom
Chapter78 - Truth is Here and Now
Chapter79 - In Peace and Silence you Grow
Chapter80 - To Know that You do not Know, is True Knowledge
Chapter81 - &39;I&39; and &39;Mine&39; are False Ideas
Chapter82 - All Knowledge is Ignorance
Chapter83 - Person, Witness and the Supreme
Chapter84 - Awareness
Chapter85 - Root Cause of Fear
Chapter86 - Absolute Perfection is Here and Now
Chapter87 - The True Guru
Chapter88 - Your Goal is Your Guru
Chapter89 - ‘I am’: The Foundation of all Experience
Chapter90 - The Unknown is the Home of the Real
Chapter91 - Keep the Mind Silent and You shall Discover
Chapter92 - Knowledge by the Mind, is not True Knowledge
Chapter93 - Progress in Spiritual Life
Chapter94 - Surrender to Your Own Self
Chapter95 - Pleasure and Happiness
Chapter96 - Go Beyond the l-am-the-body Idea
Chapter97 - Man is not the Doer
Chapter98 - You are Beyond Space and Time
Chapter99 - Accept Life as it Comes
Chapter100 - Abandon Memories and Expectations
Chapter101 - Mind and the World are not Separate
Chapter102 - Freedom from Self-identification
Chapter103 - The Perceived can not be the Perceiver
Chapter104 - Understanding leads to Freedom
Chapter105 - Jnani does not Grasp, nor Hold
Chapter106 - Appendix-1: Nisarga Yoga
Chapter107 - Appendix-2: Navnath Sampradaya