Sage SRI RAMANA MAHARSHI
PRACTICING – ‘WHO AM I’
The awareness which shines fully, without misery, and without a body,
not only when the world is known but also when the world is not known is your real form.
– Ramana Maharshi
Awareness existed before any manifestation. Which is more significant Awareness or manifestation? It is the Heart that instructs, not the words. The heart goes beyond words and cannot be fooled. There is no one reading this book to whom the Truth has not been revealed many times and for whom the Truth only needs to be lived. Additional enlightenment and its tangible experience called ‘healing’ come with LIVING – just beyond the wailing wall of words. But the light that is being the Awareness of the words – the light identity is – cannot be revealed by word alone. Now listen softly. Wisdom comes out of warm quietness and simplicity, not from the bombast of overpowering words, intellectual mumbo jumboand hard talk. Knowledge comes out of simple tenderness and childlikeness. We let weighted concern go! Frustration and fear have no authority! They cannot alter the Identity being us. We let go the struggle to define the infinitesimal. We end the battle to outline the relationship of an endless microcosm – foolish task! We come home to Awareness. It is the identity Awareness which gives us the power to be aware of this frustration and fear. We return to simplicity, to the warm tenderness and inescapable effortlessness of the Already-Identity that Awareness is, right here, right now reading these words. This is not to laboriously ponder the mysterious paradoxes as though wisdom depended on that. This is to joy in letting go of the thinker, and find ourselves the THINKING of Isness.
Consider this ‘here’ and ‘now’ for a moment: When do we read these words? When do we look across the way and see a familiar face? Or any face? When do we see children scampering with their toys? NOW is the ‘time’ that ‘seeing’ takes place. Seeing is NOW.
Listen again: the here and now are present as this consciousness reading these words. This is the here- and- now consciousness that individual identity is! And this is the only one we are ever concerned with. Actually we have never been concerned with another conscious Awareness. Even when we think we have been confronted with ‘another’ experience of son, daughter, husband, wife, partner, associate, leader, national figure, potentate, King, Christ Jesus or the hosts of heaven, hell and the universe, the knowledge of these figures and the consciousness of their actions are always this conscious Awareness even now examining these words! They are everyone included ‘within’ and ‘as’ this here and now consciousness that says ‘I am!’ Who can deny that conscious Awareness lives forever as itself, here and now the eternal moment and infinite place of all that we call ‘our own’ Identity – Experience? We dream in the now. We have missed many tangible wonders in our here and now while wrestling with tangible dreams of a not-now or worrying about events that are not here. Suppose we resolve to ‘begin’ this New Now looking ‘with the eyes of God’ at the majesty and wonder Isness-as-us is. Let us further resolve to let go, as persistently as we can, Bill’s, Jack’s, Mary’s or Jane’s view of things. To do so is to find ourselves letting go the ‘old man’s or the ego-personality’s fears, frustrations and confusions. To do so is to find ourselves looking at a tangible harmony on the here – and – now –scene- a harmony we can see even when others won’t. To do so is to live a deep and abiding JOY that cannot be taken away from us.
The musician begins with the principle of music, not the discord. The mathematician begins with the principle of his science, not the error. WE BEGIN AS THE IM-MACUALTE, PRISTINE, PURE AND PERFECT IDENTITY WE ARE ALREADY, not the personal sense of things, not the world’s ideas, opinions and judgement of things. We ‘begin’ with God, the ALL that Isness is, and rejoice at the wonders this ever new view reveals. We LET that Mind be us which IS the Awareness of the Truth we are.
Awareness is the common denominator which includes ALL.
Nor is Awareness separate from the images within it, any more than the television screen is separate from the cowboys and commercials there. Therefore, we can see that our identification as Awareness ITSELF is not a withdrawal from the world, from people or from the adventure of living. It is a withdrawal from our own valued opinions, notions and prejudices of them. To the contrary, this work appears as revitalized interest in everything that appears as conscious identity (Awareness) and that is everything! As we live childlike-Awareness-being-effortlessly-aware, we find our daily experience expanding into undreamed of new action – plus the strength and means necessary for that action. This Identity we are is AWARENESS, the action of Mind, God. Its purpose (Our reason for being!) is to delineate itself. Deity’s SELF-Awareness in action. And this is our heritage! This is our inescapable. Identity, already the only fact of Allness. All is already infinite. Infinity is already all. We look on ‘others’ as Awareness simply being very much aware. We are not about the business of determining how images are supposed to look, walk or talk. Rather, we are in the business of seeing images-out-there as what they are: perfect images, doing what they are supposed to be doing – and that perfectly!