What Am I?
Quotes about what we are from written works related to Advaitism.
"I" can be defined as a person who was born at a specific time on a specific date in a specific
place. Nobody else was born at that exact same time in that exact same specific location. If you
are approached by anyone at any time during your life and asked for exactly when and where you
were born, your answer will always be the same (if you happen to know that specific information
about your birth). No other person could truthfully provide that exact same answer about
themselves, not even a twin sibling (the time will not be exactly the same even for twins).
But that is not really the "I" that is of interest in these inquiries. The definition
of "I" that is of interest is the one that differentiates "me" from "John Doe". What is the
definition of "I" that "I" experience such that "I" view life from the vantage point of
"Brian Drisko" and not "John Doe". How is it that "I" know that "I" am "Brian Drisko" rather than
"John Doe" or that "I" am not both "Brian Drisko" and "John Doe" at the same time, or maybe "I" am?
Is my perception that "I" am just "Brian Drisko" an illusion?
Am "I" simultaneously everyone and everything in existence?
Just because the vantage point of "Brian Drisko" is all that registers in this mind does not
mean that "I" am not also "John Doe" and everyone and everything else having the experiences of
each entity registering separately in the minds of each individual with minds capable of doing so.
-- Brian William Drisko, 04-Jan-2010 1321 email@example.com
And you will realise at long last that yes, of course, you are that Nothingness, and you
always have been. With utter clarity, it will be seen that Nothingness is the essence of it all,
the reason for it all, the cause of it all, the beginning and end of it all, for all eternity and
beyond. And there will be great laughter, and great lightness.
And you will laugh at even these thoughts, which like all thoughts are just pointless mental noise.
And you will come to rest in the simplicity of being, in the obviousness of present-moment
awareness. You will come to deeply accept what life throws at you now, now and now. You will have
found your true home, and nothing will ever be able to hurt you again.
-- Jeff Foster in LIFE WITHOUT A CENTRE - Awakening From the Dream of Separation, pg 141
... there is only ever the present appearance of life, with no individual at its core who could
ever escape even if they wanted to. Indeed, the individual is merely another appearance in the
play, not something that needs to be accepted or rejected, transcended or denied, but something
that simply appears, along with all the other sights, sounds, smells, thoughts and feelings.
This message is so simple, so obvious. The individual (the seeker, the sufferer, the candlestick
maker) simple appears as another part of the play of life. And with it may arise the
desire to escape from life, but that too is merely another appearance, another part of the
-- Jeff Foster in LIFE WITHOUT A CENTRE - Awakening From the Dream of Separation, pg 2
I am not ... my life story, the mind, the body, feelings, experiences of pain or pleasure,
struggle, success or failure. I am not loneliness, stillness, frustration or compassion. I am not
even what I think is my purpose, the seeking, the finding, or anything which is called a
When I don't know what I am I sanctify these experiences, take ownership of them and give them
great significance. I believe they mean something which, once understood, will give me answers and
provide formulas. But these experiences are only consciousness concealing and revealing itself in
order to be recognized.
I don't need to be serious, honest, dishonest, moral or immoral, aesthetic or gross. There are no
reference points. All is just as it should be, right now.
-- Tony Parsons in The Open Secret, pg 46-47
The life of individuality or the sense of being a separate self is really nothing more than a
mistaken assumption. It is easily resolved through the application of a bit of clear seeing and
investigation. It need not be a difficult or protracted affair if you keep the basics clearly in
-- John Wheeler in Shining in Plain View, pg 34
Even the sense of 'I' is a thought. So a thought arises. Where did it come from? Why did it arise? How does it exist?
Of what is it made? What is my relationship to that thought? A penetrating investigation of these questions will quickly lead you
to a realization of your real identity and the true nature of appearances as well. Investigate this a bit and see what you come
-- John Wheeler in Shining in Plain View, pg 95
You can look for any independently existing person and see if you can find any such thing at all. There is existence.
There is awareness. There are a handful of thoughts, perceptions, and feelings arising in the moment -- but that is all. All
else is imagination, that is to say, it is not really present, except as a concept. 'Time', 'space', 'causality', 'me', 'you',
'good', 'bad', 'liberation', 'bondage' -- all of these are imaginary concepts. They are just words! None of them are given in
Seeing that there is no separate person is something you can see for yourself by looking and investigating. Where is
the separate, defective person? Have you ever seen any such thing? The mind may continue with this belief out of habit,
but you have seen the true posiiton. There has never been any separate or substantial entity or person at all.
-- John Wheeler in Shining in Plain View, pg 49
... the question arose, 'What do 'I' know about this presence?' Then the loop was seen. The thought 'I', which is nothing but
a reference or pointer to the presence, was supposedly asking what it knows about presence. The loop is -- you are what you seek.
-- A Questioner to John Wheeler in Shining in Plain View, pg 63
This reminds me of a situation a friend told me about. His daughter decided that she was actually a cat. She began acting like one
and eating like one. She virtually lived like one. Then one day she told her father that she no longer wanted to be a cat, but
she did not know how to stop being one and go back to being a person. ... he tried to explain to her that she was not a cat, that
she did not need to do anything to become a person because that is what she already was.
-- A Questioner to John Wheeler in Shining in Plain View, pg 80
Even the sense of 'I' is a thought. So a thought arises. Where did it come from? Why did it arise? How does it exist?
Of what is it made? What is my relationship to that thought? A penetrating investigation of these questions will quickly lead you
to a realization of your real identity and the true nature of appearances as well. Investigate this a bit and see what you come
-- John Wheeler in Shining in Plain View, pg 95
The real presence is there always, whether thought is present or not. Your existence does not increase or decrease if thought
is present or absent. ... The thought 'I am' is just a thought. You exist whether you think that idea or not.
-- John Wheeler in Shining in Plain View, pg 141
There is nothing wrong with doing, thinking, acting or deciding. All of that goes on and will not stop till that body and mind
give up the ghost. ... Then we think, 'I am here, but I am not supposed to be consciously doing anything'. But that is
confusing and misses the mark.
This issue of the 'me' is the only point that needs clarity. As long as this is not precisely clear, we dance in agony around all
the spiritual pointers and teachings.
So I would recommend that you forget all tangential issues and stick with the basic Question: 'Who or what am I? There are
thoughts, feelings, perceptions, actions going on -- fine. Are any of these my real nature, my constant identity? If not, then
what am I? Tossing all those overboard as 'not I', what is left? Is there a person, entity or thing anywhere in the picture that
I can find and say: "This is myself"? I cannot deny my own presence, my own being. But what is it?
All of the conceptual problems hang on my assumed identity as a thing, a body, a person, a thinker, an agent -- but am I any of
these? All of these depend on the idea that I am something, someone. If I am not a something or someone, then all of those
problems have no basis or support. It is the belief in my being something or someone that keeps the whole show in operation.
Everything resolves smoothly when the identity of your true nature is absolutely clearly perceived without confusion.
Everything goes on just as before, but the referencing of things to a self-center ceases. Then you stand as what you are and
always have been.
-- John Wheeler in Shining in Plain View, pg 160
Every thought, action, feeling, every object or concept, arises spontaneously from Source like fragrance from a rose.
Source/IT does you, you do not do IT. This is already and always so. No need to remember or forget, just as you do not have to
remember to be present while reading these words; and just as forgetting about being present does not erase the Presence that IS.
-- Leo Hartong in From Self to Self, pg 212
This is the open secret, which all can discover for themselves. We live our lives, as it were 'inside our' projecting the existence
of an 'I' as separate from an external world which we try to manipulate to gain satisfaction. But as long as one remains in the
dualistic state, one's experience has always underlying it a sense of loss, of fear, of anxiety, and dissatisfaction. When, on the
other hand, one goes beyond the dualistic level, anything is possible.
-- Chogyal Namkhai Norbu in The Crystal and the Way of Light
I am not ... my life story, the mind, the body, feelings, experiences of pain or pleasure, struggle, success, or failure.
I am not loneliness, stillness, frustration, or compassion. I am not even what I think is my purpose, the seeking, the finding, or
anything which is called a spiritual experience.
When I don't know what I am I sanctify these experiences, take ownership of them and give them great significance. I believe they
mean something which, once understood, will provide me with answers and formulas. But these experiences are only consciousness
concealing and revealing itself in order to be recognized. When I know "what" I am I discover that I am not existence; I am the
presence which allows existence to be. Existence either blossoms in that presence or reflects back my sense of separation.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 71
I am ... the divine expression exactly as I am, right here, right now. You are the divine expression exactly as you are,
right here, right now. It is the divine expression, exactly as it is, right here, right now. Nothing, absolutely nothing,
needs to be added or taken away. Nothing is more valid or sacred than anything else. No conditions need to be fulfilled.
The infinite is not somewhere else waiting for us to become worthy.
I do not have to experience "the dark night of the soul", or surrender, be purified, or go through any kind of change or process.
How can the illusory separate self practice something in order to reveal that it is illusory?
I don't need to be serious, honest, dishonest, moral or immoral, aesthetic or gross. There are no reference points.
The life story that has apparently happened is uniquely and exactly appropriate for each awakening. All is just as it should be,
right now. Not because it is a potential for something better, but simply because all that is is divine expression.
The invitation to discover that there is no one who needs liberating is constant. There is no need to wait for moments of
transformation, to look for the non-doer, permanent bliss, an egoless state, or a still mind. I don't even have to wait for grace
to descend, for I am, you are, it is already the abiding grace.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 73
The "secret" is that there is no separation, but it remains a secret as long as we believe we are someone.
You can't see it until you stop looking for it, and simply let "what is" be there.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 79
So what about free will?
There is no question of there being free will, simply because there is no one there in the first
place who can have a will or make a choice. Ask yourself where do thoughts come from, and if you
watch for some time you will see that they are not yours. They emerge, seemingly from nowhere,
and rise up, have their time, and then recede to nothing. Their origin is not of your making.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 98
Everything is simply happening through you. There is tremendous relief when this realization is
embraced -- all guilt falls away, there are no longer any regrets, and it is seen that you have
been brought to sit here and hear this. All struggle can drop away, and the effort to make one's
life work suddenly loses its attraction. To relax and let life flow opens one to another
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 99
I see I am that, which watches the excitement happening.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 102
All we have is someone who is happier with his or her self. There are no rules. No conditions are
required prior to awakening. We are talking here about an energy, a light, which is the source of
all that is. This energy is impersonal. It is totally disinterested in what is apparently going on
for an illusory body/mind.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 103
There is no possibility for the mind to still the mind, and once it is recognzed that what you are
is the still silent awareness that sees the mind and its activities going on, then it is also
recognized that there is no need to still the mind.
It's all very simple, really -- what we are is just the background, just sitting there waiting for
us to stop somewhere and see the busyness. Once that happens, then we begin to have a different
taste about what we are.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 109
... for the sake of communication, I use the word presence to express as nearly as I can
that sense of something that is absolutely still and silent, which is impersonal and ever constant,
and from which all and everything emerges. It is what you are.
... presence is a welcoming, open stillness, which is the ground of what we are. It is our nature.
Through dedication to the awareness of "what is", there can come a moment when there is no longer
a self or a seeker; there is simply "what is". Though constantly available, it becomes apparent in
those moments -- this is what I call "presence".
It is simply there; it is seen. It appears to fill everything when the self is no more. There is
no one who is aware of it; it is simply "as it is". And now we have again crossed over to a place,
which is not comprehensible or expressible in words.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 114-115
All of our thoughts are fed to us from consciousness. That is why we have no responsibility. If
you watch in a day where your thoughts come from or how they happen, you will discover when you
get to the root of them that they are not yours and that they did not originate from you. When
we discover this, we begin to see that we have no choice and no free will. We are being lived
through, and one of the ways we are lived through is with thinking.
After awakening, nothing will basically change, and the awakened one will still follow a particular
way of being. Abstract thought can still happen, but most of the time the watcher is there, and as
these abstract thoughts arise, they are simply not hooked into. There is, most of the time, no
identification with them. Natural thinking begins to take over, and what I call creative thought
also emerges and is expressed in one way or another.
Come to see that you don't have to do anything about thought. Ultimately, you will realize that
you are not your thoughts, your mind, your body, or any other object, but that behind all of these
is a still, constant, seeming nothingness from which everything emanates; this is what you are.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 117-118
Begin to allow the watcher to emerge. See that the mind is always trying to run the show, to
strut the stage. Just see this without judgment, and that seeing emanates from silence. This is
what you are. It's like a film projector that is always on. We put the film through the projector
and it plays out the life story with all its ups and downs, its dramas and conflicts, which we are
fascinated by, but which signify nothing. Then the film runs out; the light is still on. You are
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 133
So is this being in the now, or living in the moment?
No, it is absolutely not being in the now or living in the moment. This terminology implies that
there is someone who can be, or live in, something called "now" or "this moment". Both ideas are
illusory. There is no separate someone who can intentionally do anything, and there is no such
thing as the moment or now. Where is now? Where is the next "now? Now implies that
there could be a then, so where is then? Now and then are both time concepts. When there is only
"what is", without apparent separation, then there is absolute being, or presence; and this
timelessness, this light, this silence and utter stillness is what you are. Many people have
come to hear these words, and as they open to this possibility, moments of presence take them over.
-- Tony Parsons in As It Is - The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening, pg 135
You cannot find or understand what you are. You can only be what you are.
Two points are important to consider. First, the mind can never know what is being pointed to.
Second, the answer is not in the mind. Realize that the mind can never find what you are. You
already are what you are seeking.
-- John Wheeler in Shining in Plain View, pg 178
'It's more difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven ...'
People who come here, seekers, own something. What they own is the idea that there is someone
there; what they own is the 'me', the apparent separate identity ... which is a mirage.
... there's no one there to do anything. Nobody ever did anything. Nobody's actually ever done
anything, because there is no one. There are only the appearances of people doing things.
That's the game.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 15
The idea that somewhere Bill or karma continues after death comes totally out of the mind -
it has no relationship to reality at all. The mind longs to go on and on and on forever.
It just longs to, so it builds up all sorts of ideas about after death. It loves all that.
When that body/mind ceases, then the appearance ceases and there isn't anything but light.
In fact, there never was anything but light.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 20
Nothing has ever happened. Nothing will ever happen. Nobody will ever go anywhere,
because there is nowhere to go, this is it.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 31
... 'me' doesn't come to oneness - 'me' arises in oneness. There is only oneness and 'me' arises
in that. So you will be at one - there is oneness, with 'you' arising in that.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 36
... it isn't something to do with understanding - it's more to do with intuition. It's like a
jump, a leap, a sudden seeing of something that was already known. 'Oh yes - I know this!'
When there's a realisation that there's nothing to get, then what beginis to be seen is this
as it is.
This has nothing to do with detachment or non-identification - this is to do with letting go of
the seeker and discovering that what we are is living in this paradise. This is about a love
affair. It's to do with a total intimacy just with the wonder of this. It's like a child on the
beach building sandcastles, and there's nothing else there is - there isn't anything else. It's
the wonder of that simplicity, the wonder of this, which blows everything about concepts, about
good and evil, out of the window. It's the timeless wonder of what we are.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 37
If you want to, you can close your eyes and try and find 'me'. What arises in awareness are
sensations. There can be feelings in the body, thoughts ... It doesn't matter what it is that
arises - a 'me' can't be found in there. Look for 'me' - it's not possible to find a fixed place,
a fixed point that is 'me'. Where is your 'me'? Go on looking for 'me' and all that is actually
found is sensations, bodily sensations, awarreness of body, awareness of the thought 'I can't
find me' ...
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 42
What I'm talking about is the realisation that there's nothing you can do about seeking or not
seeking. What I'm saying to you is that there is no one there.
... the seeking is something else that's arising. There is no one in there it's arising for, but
if I start to tell you to seek, I'm actually reinforcing the idea that there's someone in there
who can make a choice. And if I tell you to stop seeking, I'm also reinforcing the idea that
there's someone in there!
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 71
... the whole thing about being a unique individual -- or what seems to be a unique individual --
goes on strengthening the hypnotic dream that we all have separate lives we're leading which have
a meaning. And so we go on looking for this meaning -- 'I'm going to find the meaning of my life'.
And the invitation of that is to go on searching for this meaning until we give up.
And then when there's a giving up, there is the possibility that the idea that there's anyone
there is also given up. It's the great and wonderful paradox ...
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 92
The idea that you are a person is something that was adopted
when you were a kid, and since then you've gone on reinforcing
the idea until you take it really seriously. You take seriously that
original idea that you are separate and that you are an individual.
You've spent years building up a very strong belief in your
existence. There's such huge investment in the person you think
you are; you think that's the real thing. You take seriously the idea
of the person and for years and years you've maintained and
created a life that sustains that person and serves that person. (It
doesn't actually, but that's what's been going on.) For years and
years you've protected that person and tried to satisfy the needs of
And there's a belief that if that person isn't there, then that's
the end of everything. The great fear is that if the person isn't
there, then everything will end.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 105
... [Oneness] never stopped happening -- it is the only thing thre is. But
the sense of 'me' emerges again, and the problem is that we think
that the 'me' coming in again is somehow wrong. Actually, the
emergence of 'me' is absolutely perfect -- the 'me' needs to come
back. It is all part of the process of seeing that 'me' coming in is just
what is arising. It is not that 'me' coming in has pushed oneness
out -- what has happened in fact is that one has come back as 'me'.
'Me' is oneness, 'me'-ing. The mind is always dividing everything
into two. 'I glimpsed oneness and then the ego came back' -- as if
those are two separate things.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 115
The whole point of what we are talking about here today is giving up any idea that there is
anyone anywhere. There isn't anyone, so there is nothing to do, there is nothing that can be done.
Look for 'me' -- where is 'me'? Nowhere. All there is is this. All there is is the seeing of this.
Whatever that is -- feeling warm, hearing a sound, sitting on a chair, feeling angry, feeling
frustrated -- all of these things are simply sensations. There is no fixed datum called 'me' in
there -- there are just happenings. The one that sees that is what is.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 122
We tend to think of the mind as a thing -- really, it is a collection of thoughts. One of the
thoughts is 'I am a separate entity', which you could call the formation of the ego. The ego is
the idea that there is a separate entity. And there is nothing wrong with that. In a way, freedom
is there. You are living with ego; you are living with other apparent egos -- let them be there.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 126
... the mind is only a tool that is used by one to divide everything into two.
The mind is the divider. The mind lives in time and division. Take away time and dividion and
there is no mind.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 127
The mind lives in references and pigeon-holes and names and labels. And even whilst this process
is going on, it might put a label on and say that enlightenment is happening.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 130
You are going to lose everything -- what you think is everything. All the time there is a 'me'
there, it has a collection of things around it that keep it as 'me'. And those things are
everything to 'me'. That's why Christ said, 'It is more difficult for a rich man to enter the
kingdom of heaven...' Or,, 'What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world...?' And by
'world' he meant things like family, children, music -- all the things that maintain the sense
of a 'me'.
'... everybody in the room is an addict actually'. Not necessarily an addict to drugs or gambling
or alcohol but mainly to 'me' -- we are all addicted to the drug of 'me' and all that comes with
it. When that falls away and there is no longer any addiction, there is just life. You aren't
anyone -- you are life. Once there is no one, there is just the seeing of life. There is just
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 144
You can't open to the idea that there is no one here, because who is going to open to it?
There is nothing you can do and there is nothing that needs doing because just as you are,
sitting there, is the divine expression.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 169
Awakening is the dropping away of the one that is looking for paradise. When the looking for
paradise ceases, it is seen that there is only paradise.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 179
The reality is that all there is is simply seeing. The mind makes up ideas that there is someone
seeing. The mind takes possession of being and turns it into an object called 'me'. There is
simply a seeing of everyhing. Everything is this. There isn't anything else.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 188
You think you are walking around in a location called 'me', looking at things. But there is only
the one being two.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 191
Just go on letting go. Just be helpless and see that the character is there. And aloneness comes
back -- not loneliness, but aloneness.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 197
The one thing that you can never get is your original nature. You will never ever find or get
that because it already is.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 222
... I think we have got to be very clear about something else -- I am not an individual; I'm not
someone or something which has total wisdom and total freedom and therefore cannot possibly
experience any sort of anger whatever. I am this -- I am all that is! And in that 'all that is'
there can be anger, pride, lust ... All of that arises in this. It has to be like that.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 231
There's no one here. So there's nothing to accept or not accept. The only difference between you
and me is that I have lost everything; you still own the belief that your are someone.
-- Tony Parsons in All There Is, pg 232
Many people have become very excited about this concept and have suggested and taught that if we
can change our thought patterns and our belief systems, then we can change the way we experience
life. It seems this could be so, but they also entirely miss the point. For what we really are is
beyond the limitation of experience and belief.
Until I have rediscovered what I am, what kind of existence am I trying to create? From where do I
see clearly that what I think I want is what I really need?
-- Tony Parsons in The Open Secret, pg 30-31
All ideas of a personal "after life" or re-incarnation are merely the mind wishing to preserve
the illusion of its continuity.
-- Tony Parsons in The Open Secret, pg 34
Wei Wu Wei: Free, we are not the number One, the first of all our objects, but Zero --
ther universal and Absolute Subject.
-- Gary Crowley in From Here To Here, Turning Toward Enlightenment, pgs 1 & 2
-- Gary Crowley in From Here To Here, Turning Toward Enlightenment, pgs 36
The crux of all these stories, and our basic problem, is our preoccupation with pleasing and
protecting ourselves. In the process of trying to attain security, we make ourselves insecure.
-- Steve Hagen in Buddhism Is Not What You Think, pg 31
Another nice analogy that we can use is that all of this is the body of the one, and all the
human characters are little cells circulating around in the body of the one. They are simply
viewing points. Oneness is viewing itself via each of these cells, within and as itself.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 35
Consciousness is wholeness, or oneness, which we can say has two aspects: awareness and the
content of awareness. ... But if there is only Consciousness -- which is awareness and content
of awareness -- then the content of awareness is completely and equally as important as
So we have our two concepts: awareness and content of awareness. These are the two aspects or
facets of Consciousness.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pgs 43 & 44
It's so simple. It's so simple that it's nearly always overlooked. There's no need for the 'me'
to disappear. There's actually no need to get into the technicalities of witnessing or knowing
or anything else. There is only ever this knowing -- oneness, always immediate, always
Wholeness is already the case, right now. There hasn't even got to be a feeling of
wholeness or oneness.
... as the recognition of our true nature unfolds, there is less of a feeling of being located
as the body or as something 'inside the body'. There is just a body appearing, thoughts appearing,
trees and hills appearing and all the rest of it.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pgs 50 & 51
If we use the analogy of a movie appearing on a screen, there's nothing there but images appearing --
the screen and the movie go together. The images appear on the screen and that's it. It's only
when there is this mesmerisation in thought that there is the idea appearing that something can be
done about it, that there's a point to it all. But that's just the play.
... it's a multi-dimentional movie, being viewed from within the movie, not being viewed by a
viewer from outside. This is the movie. Using an analogy of the human characters
representing cells within the 'body' of Consciousness -- viewing points, then we can see that this
movie is being viewed from all these different points within itself by Consciousness. Consciousness
is the movie, and is viewing and experiencing itself as each character.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 57 & 58
... within the play, there is a constant tendency of forgetting of our true nature. All the
characters are behaving as individual characters, completely unaware that our true identity is
the same. When there is reminding of your true nature, it's not hard to see that everything,
every form, is Yourself.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 59
Within simple presence, all this concern over choice becomes obsolete. When there is identification
as the character, then all of this philosophising is a 'distraction' from presence. Thoughts about
chosing are arising and there is distraction in them. Anything that arises within the content --
a discussion about choice, thoughts about choice or anything else -- is the entertainment of the
play. And when there is recognition of this being a play, then the desire no longer appears for any
of it to change at all. There is presently what is.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 61
You can't find It because you are It. The only way you could find It is by not
being It and observing It ... but there is nothing that is not It.
-- Wayne Liquorman in Acceptance of What Is -- A Book About Nothing, pg 41
We are God's sandcastles! ... Each organism is made up of the same materials -- all of them
made of the exact same basic nucleic acids, all the same genetic material, yet each and every one
of them is unique. Each one of them is created, exists for a little while, and is then 'mooshed'
like the sandcastle. And that's just how it is. But if you know that you're sand rather than a
sandcastle, then it doesn't matter what form that sand takes. The fact that it builds up into a
human shape or is mooshed back down into the beach doesn't matter. So the sand can be said
to reincarnate, but the sandcastle does not reincarnate.
-- Wayne Liquorman in Acceptance of What Is -- A Book About Nothing, pgs 48-49
There is only oneness appearing as every character, not 'through' every character -- that
implies a subtle kind of separation. These two characters sitting here is the present
configuration of oneness.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 125
And there is nothing separate watching it?
No, there is this appearance as the character, but the story of the character is no longer
taken seriously. Life is lived as the character, but there is no longer the same investment. There
doesn't have to be a 'final' and 'complete' seeing through, as such -- maybe there is a gradual
unfolding of this seeing and less investment in the story.
Life gets easier.
Yes, there is more of an ease.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 128
What you're calling 'mind' is only the apparent stream of thoughts.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 138
It's completely possible for the 'I' to be present and yet seen through. We're not looking for any
sustained absence of 'I'. Such events may happen, but they aren't necessary. It's not necessary for
the 'I' to completely disappear. If there is knowing as our true nature, then it doesn't matter
what appears, whether there is the appearance of 'I' or the absence of it.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 156
The knowing -- which is our true nature -- begins to percolate into the play initially in the form
of this quest or desire for understanding to help with what are seen as the problems in life.
However, understanding is simply the reflection of knowing arising in thought form. But because
the nature of thought as part of the content of the play is ever-moving, changing, then the arising
of knowing reflected as understanding -- although relieving to the character -- does not undermine
the 'I'. It appears as somemthing that the 'I' does.
In the continual reminding of our true nature -- whatever form it may take -- knowing is likely
revealed and the 'I' is seen through, rendering understanding obsolete.
In the con
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 167
The psychological self-sense is revealed to be a phantom, not an entity that is the natural
partner of this bodily image. So all is seen to be a play of images -- whether they are labeled
'real' or 'unreal' -- including all apparent others. There is only Self (capital S), which is the
registering and appearance of all 'selves'.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 187
An apparent surrendering happens, but there is no one that surrenders.
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 192
The character is seen through and yet there is still appearance as the character.
What else is there to appear as?
-- Nathan Gill in Already Awake, pg 201
There is a temptation to take reality to be the sense of being, presence, consciousness, aliveness
or even something more objective, such as stillness or a peaceful state. But all those things are
objective. You know them. What you are is evidently beyond them all.
You are beyond all experience, even the experience of 'I am'.
Reality is non-conceptual awareness that does not even know what it is.
... you are the primordial non-conceptual awareness, being or 'no-thing-ness' in which
consciousness and all subsequent appearances come and go.
Your essence is pure non-duality, one without a second, which we might point to as non-conceptual
awareness or pure being that is unaware of its awareness and without a sense of its own existence.
-- John Wheeler in The Light Behind Consciousness, pg 1 - 5
You are that which was present before consciousness appeared on you. Before consciousness
appeared, you were, but you did not know yourself or have any sense of existence. That is the
absolute, non-dual or perfect state. You often hear that you are consciousness presence, the
witness or the stillness beyond thought. This is only an initial pointer that is useful to free
you from a grosser identification with the body, mind and personality. But to stop there and
identify yourself as consciousness, presence or stillness is an error. Consciousness is not what
you are ultimately. In fact, consciousness is the initial movement upon the unmanifest that gives
rise to duality. Consciousness is duality itself. You are prior to consciousness, prior to being,
prior to presence, prior to knower, prior to stillness. Spirituality takes place in the domain of
consciousness and is in duality. You are offered to do, achieve and attain, because reality is
being viewed through the lens of becoming and time. The overt or subtle message is that there is
some state that you will get in the future. Abandon all such dubious concepts and be what you
already are -- the timeless, inconceivable absolute that is prior to the body, mind and
personality -- even prior to consciousness and being.
-- John Wheeler in The Light Behind Consciousness, pg 7
Your true nature is non-conceptual awareness. ... Ego is the notion of being a separate person,
which is based on identifying oneself as the body, mind and/or personality.
-- John Wheeler in The Light Behind Consciousness, pg 8
What is pointed to as awareness is beyond consciousness. ... That which is prior to consciousness
is what you truly are. ... That prior-to-being state does not depend on objects or even the
knowledge of existing to be. So in the final analysis, the experiences of being and consciousness
are experiences in duality. They may be useful as pointers to your true state, but your real nature
is beyond them.
-- John Wheeler in The Light Behind Consciousness, pg 9-10
... waves have no independent reality but are only appearacnes of the underlying water which is
their substratum. In the wave analogy, all that is present is water. The wave is just a label for
something that appears buut has no independent existence as a thing apart from its source.
Our fundamental identity is prior to consciousness.
... consciousness is an expression or modification of the absolute, whatever we may choose to call
that. Consciousness, which contains all that appears in dualistic experience, is itself a ripple
arising and setting on the timeless, unconditioned , non-dual state which is our true reality. If
consciousness is only a modification of the absolute, non-dual reality, then consciousness as such
does not truly exist, since it has no actual independent nature. Consciousness appears but it has
never truly existed as an independent reality. All there is, is the unconditioned, absolute,
non-dual source. That absolute reality is all there is, and it is all that we have ever been. There
has never been anything except this.
To speak poetically, consciousness is a fleeting ripple on the fathomless ocean of the
unconditioned, absolute reality. Consciousness simply arises and sets as a vibration or pulsation
of the uncreated and eternal non-dual awareness. In that apparent ripple of consciousness appears
universes, worlds, living beings and everything within the domain of time and space. ... That
absolute is beyond time, space, body, mind, world, being and consciousness. This is what your true
nature is at this very moment -- the absolute, unconditioned reality prior to consciousness.
-- John Wheeler in The Light Behind Consciousness, pg 11-13
The focus in non-duality is to clarify what you are. It is not an inquiry into the world
appearance (cosmology), the creator (theology) or the apparent person and its motives, actions
and experiences (psychology). The cosmos, God and the person are subsequent appearances upon your
fundamental nature. ... what you actually are is the source or ground from which consciousness and
all subsequent appearances emerge. ... what you truly are is that which iss prior to consciousness.
No word will cover that, but it might be pointed to as 'non-conceptual awareness' or 'cognizing
emptiness'. You are that.
-- John Wheeler in The Light Behind Consciousness, pg 14
... the person I assumed that I was did not even exist, except as an assumption. The entity at the
center of my world, the very self around which my mind and all of its problems, questions, doubts
and issues revolved, was not and never had been present. All of those conceptual difficulties
simply evaporated due to having no central point of reference any longer.
One of the first recognitions was a very clear knowing that the spiritual search that had lasted
several decades was over. This was not because any particular goal had been attained, but because
the seeker had disppeared. With the dissolution of the 'I am' as a valid concept, any other
concept which I habitually attached to that concept, such as 'I am this' or 'I am that' was
rendered null and void. 'I' no longer existed as the person I assumed I was. ...
suffering is nothing more than self-centered thinking. Suffering is a result of the belief in the
reality of the separate self. And without the cause, can you have the effects?
With the self-center out of the picture, what was left? What was I? Clearly I was still there, but
not as anything I had previously taken myself to be. I existed, but nott as some 'thing'. A better
statement would be that I was no thing, meaning nothing in particular. I was aware, yet not
confined to any particular state of consciousness. In this non-conceptual recognition, my being was
vast, empty, clear, present, aware, utterly untouched by appearances, yeet intimately connected ...
-- John Wheeler in The Light Behind Consciousness, pg 15
All there is is the Self. And that is the crux of the Divine paradox, that there is this sense of
separateness that is in fact not separateness.
-- Wayne Liquorman in Acceptance of What Is -- A Book About Nothing, pg 30
... the only thing that none of us could really argue is that there is existence -- that I exist.
Now what the nature of that "I" is that is saying that, that is experiencing that, that feels that,
is open to a lot of argument. But the underlying experience, the underlying knowing, the underlying
presence is that there is something here. There is something here! There is existence here. When
you clear away all the bullshit, and the conceptual framework, everything, and you move it all
aside, what is left inarguably if that that is something there! And that is the only Truth. By
Truth I mean that which can brook no argument. And that point of existence is what is referred to
as the "I Am."
-- Wayne Liquorman in Acceptance of What Is -- A Book About Nothing, pg 31 & 32
... you will never wake up; ... you will never join Consciousness; because you were
never separate from Consciousness to be able to join with it.
-- Wayne Liquorman in Acceptance of What Is -- A Book About Nothing, pg 40
To understand the universe at the deepest level, we need to know not only how the universe behaves, but why.
Why is there something rather than nothing?
This is the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. We shall attempt to answer it in this book.
Unlike the answer given in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy ours won't be simply "42".
Why do we exist?
Why this particular set of laws and not some other?
-- Stephen Hawking & Leonard Mlodinow in The Grand Design, Kindle locations 92-96
Quotes About Advaitism:
The Aim Of Inquiry
/ The Inadequacy Of Words
What Am I?
/ The Illusion
Some Initial Questions And Answers /
Advaitism In A Nutshell
A Skeptics Approach To Non-Duality
Latter Day Buddhism
Science & Nonduality /
Non Duality Magazine
Books, Video, Audio, Podcasts /
On Being Adopted
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