Many of you come here because you think I know something, and you want a piece of the something that I know. You believe the something will make you become self-realized, perhaps. But in truth I know nothing. Then you come to me because you want a piece of the nothing. And you think if you know nothing you'll become self-realized. But in truth you have to know something to know nothing. It is the something that we'll talk about tonight.
What do you have to be to become nothing? What do you have to know to be nothing? To be nothing is a misnomer, for you make the nothing into some thing. If you're trying to be nothing, then you're trying to be something, aren't you? Because the nothing is something, that you're trying to become. Consequently, you should never strive to be nothing and you should never strive to be something, for they're both erroneous concepts. None of them really exist.
The question therefore is, "If something doesn't exist, and nothing doesn't exist, well what is?" And the answer is silence. Absolute silence. For the human mind and the human thinking, the human thoughts, can never comprehend what silence is. You try to put it into words, and you spoil it. There are no words that can interpret the silence, for when you go into the true silence, you go beyond nothing and something. Yet everyone has experienced this true silence who has gone beyond nothing and something, and appeared to have to first become something and nothing, in order to be silent.
There's something you have to know: No. 1. Nothing is as it appears. You have to feel this deep in your heart. Nothing in this whole universe is as it appears. So do not be fooled by appearances. You do not allow the appearance to get to you, to make you feel this way or that way, no matter what the appearance may be. You are to look at the appearance as you would look at a mirage. And this is scientific, for the appearance will change sooner or later anyway. Therefore when you feel something from an experience, it is subject to change. You'll not be the same again. This is why the average person keeps going up and down like a yo-yo. They respond to a condition, then the condition changes and they respond in a different way to the same condition, and this changes and you respond again to the condition. They keep responding again and again to what they see as a condition.
No. 2. Do not say that the world is maya, for if you say the world is maya, that's a concept you have. And this is a non-duality concept, but nevertheless it's a concept, for you're holding on to the fact that the world is maya. In reality maya does not exist. There is no maya. Therefore everything that appears to come from maya, must also not exist. Do you follow this?
Whatever you think does not exist, is a concept. It becomes a thing, something to hold on to. You go around saying, "Everything is maya, everything is maya, the universe does not exist." But that maya exists, and this is the biggest mistake you're making, for you think maya exists. What is maya? An illusion. To whom comes the illusion? To the one who believes maya as a concept, maya as a thing, a belief. In other words, everything that you believe up to this point is erroneous, and it should be dropped.
The same is true with the words of absolute reality, pure awareness, Brahman, sat-chit-ananda. These things become a safe haven for you, and they keep you back from your full realization, for you are holding on to these beliefs that there is absolute reality, there is sat-chit-ananda, there is nirvana. Where would these things come from except from your own mind? It is you who gave these things names. We have given names to something we do not understand. We call it reality. What is reality? Something that never changes. And the something that never changes, becomes a concept and you hold on to that.
Is it any wonder such few people are self-realized? Is it any wonder that certain people only are liberated, very few people liberated? For we have simply exchanged terms. We say the world does not exist but maya exists. We say everything comes from consciousness, everything comes from the absolute reality. We merely change words, change terms.
There is no absolute reality. There is no sat-chit-ananda. There is no Brahman. It is we who made these terms up, and we feel safe and secure by holding on to them. At one time we used to say, "God is with me." Now we say, "Consciousness is with me," or, "I am the absolute reality." We've just changed the names. That's all we've done.
No. 3 is: you are not even the silence, for as long as you can express the word silence, that's not it. You have to get to the place where you have absolutely nothing to hold on to, nothing to lean against. Even when Buddha said to take refuge in the Buddha, take refuge in the sangha, take refuge in the eight fold path, this again is a mistake. I'm not saying the Buddha made a mistake. What I'm saying is the reason he said this, is because he was speaking to ignorant people who had to hold on to something. But the Buddha realized there's nothing to hold on to. There never was anything to hold on to. Even when you’re told you're total freedom, the word freedom becomes a concept for you. As long as you can lean on to it, as long as you can hold on to it, and you feel good in it, it's a mistake.
Again, this is the reason so few people are self-realized. You're holding on to something. You're attached to something. Whether it's a teaching, or a person, or a satsang, or a sangha, you can never become free while you're attached to something.
So the question is, what shall I do? You do exactly what you're doing now, but do not think about it. This is the important point. Do not try to find some new profound teaching, that will give you new words, or new methods, or new rules and regulations. You merely do what you're doing now and you do not think about it, you do not attempt to analyze it, you do not think this teaching is higher than any other teaching. You leave yourself alone. When you learn to leave yourself alone, in body and in mind, you have arrived. Do not ask, "Where have I arrived? To what have I arrived?"
This spoils the whole thing. That's what I'm trying to explain to you. Do not look at something that I say, and attempt to analyze it, tear it apart, try to make something out of it, or take refuge in it. Just be. Be neither this nor that.
If you were only able to do what I tell you, you would immediately feel a tremendous happiness, a tremendous bliss inside of you. You would feel a tremendous joy welling up within yourself. This happiness, this bliss and this joy is your very nature. It has nothing to do with words, places or things. It is what you are when you let go of everything that you've been holding on to.
Some of us have formed so many habits of holding on to something, that we do not know we're holding on to it. You may be holding on to a belief that has become totally integrated in your thinking, in your thoughts, in your body, in your mind, and you don't even know you're holding on to it. You may be holding on to some type of concepts that you've had for many years, you're not aware of, because it is integrated within you.
So how can you deal with this? How do you deal with this? You just remain as you are. You remain exactly as you are. This is why when you meet a liberated person they appear to be just like you. For there's nothing to get rid of. There's really nothing to drop. Remember, when you try to get rid of something, when you try to drop something, you believe in yourself there’s something that you've got to drop. Do you see what I'm saying? You believe there's something there, that has to be gotten rid of, and this keeps you back. There never was anything that you have to get rid of. There never was anything that has been interfering with your freedom.
I suppose you can only feel this, what I'm saying to you, when you're living in the moment, when you learn to be spontaneous, in the moment. Always remember this truth. When you try to change yourself, when you try practicing sadhanas, or you try to get rid of a feeling or an emotion, you are really saying to yourself, "I've got this something that's interfering in my spiritual life and I have to get rid of it." Where did this something come from, that you have to get rid of it? The truth is you never had it in the first place. There never was anything that overwhelmed you, that caused you pain, that made you think that you're not enlightened, or not good enough. These things never existed for you to begin with. Consequently why would you have to get rid of something that doesn't exist? Why would you spend years upon years of working on yourself, trying to get rid of something that doesn't exist, trying to improve yourself when there's nothing to improve. There's only that, and that doesn't exist.
So where are we? Nowhere. We're absolutely nowhere. And that's exactly where we should be. Nowhere, knowing nothing. This is total emptiness. Remember all of your beliefs, all of your concepts, all of your ideas, all of your dogmas, all of your religious training, comes from false imagination. You have imagined that karma has put you here, in a relative plane on this earth, and then you have to get rid of your karma, and you spend many years working on yourself to get rid of the karma that you never had to begin with.
Think back in retrospect in your life. See all the things that you've been playing with all these years, the things you've been trying to remove from yourself, trying to attain something, trying to get rid of a bad habit. Both are erroneous.
There’s no realization, there’s no liberation, there’s no bondage. There’s no false imagination. So you have nothing. And then I tell you, there's no nothing. So where are you? Where are you? Exactly where you are supposed to be. Here. Doing nothing. Isn't that wonderful? To know that you’re in your right place. There never was a time when you were in the wrong place. You are here means that you’re nowhere. You're neither here nor there. You're neither up nor down. You're neither forward nor backward.
What I have done is I've pulled away all of your crutches, and everything you've been holding onto or leaning against. Now you're absolutely free. But again there's nobody to become free. So you go back to the same question. What are you? Catch yourself when you want to answer that question. You cannot say you're something. You cannot say you're nothing.
Don't you see what this is leading to? Just by knowing this, it should make you feel peaceful, more peaceful than you've ever felt in years. You should begin to feel happy for no reason at all, total happiness. When you think about this, and you realize that you're not something and you're not nothing, there's nothing else to say after that, nothing else to do after that, nothing to become, nothing to achieve. You're totally free, and there is nothing to think about.
The point is, when you have nothing to hold onto, when you realize you're not something, you're not nothing, there has to be complete silence. You have nothing else to say to yourself. The thoughts stop. You should find that happening right now. The thoughts just stop by themselves, for there is no one left to think anything. The thinker has been totally destroyed. If there’s no thinker, how can there be thoughts?
Isn't it beautiful? Do you feel what I'm talking about? You have gone beyond everything. You've gone beyond everything that exists and does not exist. You've gone beyond everything that appears and does not appear. You've gone beyond everything that thinks and does not think.
You are now totally, absolutely, whole heartedly free.