Wednesday, February 12, 2020


• Questioner:

How am I to know if there is any progress in my spiritual search?
How am I to know if I am progressing?

• Maharaj: 

You don't really listen. If you did, such a question should not arise.
 And, if at all it did, you could have easily dealt with it yourself,
 in case if you had listened to me attentively and understood 
what I had been saying. Instead, I find that this question does disturb
 many of you. The problem apparently is about 'progress'. 

Now, who is to make the progress, and progress towards what?

 I have said this repeatedly and untiringly that you are the Conscious Presence,
 the animating consciousness which gives sentience to phenomenal objects; 
that you are not a phenomenal object, which is merely an appearance
 in the consciousness of those who perceive it. How can an 'appearance' 
make any 'progress' towards any objective? 

Now, instead of letting this basic perception impregnate your very being, 
what you do is to accept it merely as an ideological thesis and ask the question. 
How can a conceptual appearance know whether it is making any 
conceptual progress towards its conceptual liberation? 

Perception is not a matter of gradual practice. It can only happen by itself 
instantaneously, there are no stages in which deliberate progress is made. 
There is no 'one' to make any progress.

 Perhaps, one wonders, could it be that the surest sign of 'progress',
 if one cannot give up the concept, is a total lack of concern about 'progress'
 and an utter absence of anxiety about anything like 'liberation', 
a sort of' 'hollowness' in one's being, a kind of looseness, 
an unvolitional surrender to whatever might happen? 

 ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
with thanks to No Mind's Land


jacquin said...

Thanks for this encouraging perspective. It seems natural to keep simplifying, to learn less and be more, to discard rules ... Sometimes there is a moment of self doubt; perhaps this is just laziness. But perhaps not.