David: I think you’ll find things kind of cycle in here. Things will get calm for a while and then everything gets revved up again. You’ll go in and out of these divine cycles in which the Ultimate Reality communicates different aspects of itself. Some of the aspects are quiet aspects like silence, calmness. You feel your mind getting quiet. You feel your desire system going into abeyance, that is, there’s no really dominating energy while this thing neutralizes the personality. It quiets the personality structure. It gives you less noise, less agitation, that’s one flavor. There are other flavors. There’s the flavor of the Shakti. You might feel a positive influx of energy, an effervescence, bubbling. Some call it a vibratory current, an inner vibration or even a kind bodily fullness, a pressure. Others might feel a very rapturous feeling of reverence, of sacredness like something holy is happening in and around. The mind notices it. The feeling nature notices it. So, these flavors move fluidly among the feeling nature, the mental nature, the bodily nature, and the sensory nature. All of these natures partake and begin to taste this exquisite, unnamable something which talks the various languages of the human experience.
It seems like we don’t experience that in its pure aspect and Ramana has done a good job in educating us all about the nature of the self, that it’s ineffable. It’s inviolable. It’s untouchable. It’s beyond the mind, truly and that means beyond all cognition, beyond knowing. It’s also beyond feeling. Nevertheless, David says, that how are you going to make sense of what the self is unless it impinges upon your experience system as a direct event, as a direct taste or flavor or a felt texture. I think Ramana would say he spoke from direct experience, but what does that mean? It means he was not theorizing or talking about ideas, although he used ideas because you cannot communicate without them if you are using language. I’ve never heard anyone communicate a single syllable without an idea in back of it unless it’s some nonsense syllable such as chanting a sound for whom no one knows the definition. But even birds when they sign are actually talking or so we believe. We know that animals communicate through sounds. Humans communicate through sounds. So, in some ultimate context, it might be that in the true non-duality there’s no difference whatsoever between the moving active cognitive aspect of existence and that which is somehow at least logically speaking prior to it all. But it’s one thing to prove something through induction or deduction, with the use of reason, the use of the ideational system. It’s another thing to talk about a feeling of living. Yet, if you look closely at the notion of a feeling of living, what I just said, “Feeling of living,” I just expressed an idea to you. Yet that idea is supposed to point to a non-idea, something that is intuited about direct experience as it moves from moment to moment. So, whatever that unnamable existence is that we are from moment to moment, that to me is the subject of awakening. And what that entails to understand it completely, if you want to understand it or feel it or know it or sense it or embrace it in some way, is a direct experience of that which is closest to attention itself. That whatever this subject matter is, it does an about face in the face of attention itself. It retreats. So, because its nature is to hide, you can’t probe it aggressively. It’s not a self-announcing truth. It’s not an assertion of itself. But something that doesn’t have a self-assertive value may still not lack flavor. In some paradoxical or poetic way, that which has no form still can have existence. But the only way it can show its existence is through the experience of being touched by it in some way. So, I’m not talking about literal physical touch because again that brings up a very strong dualistic metaphor.
Participant 1: Well, I’m afraid I can today all day or most of the day, I’m noticing that being in this room it’s like the top of my head is wide open and I’m experiencing, way up, it feels like twenty or thirty feet above me. It feels like what you’re talking about is playing hide and seek with me, kind of, just little flashes. It’s revealing itself but it’s revealing itself by the cessation of any kind of experience. I just came to that just a few minutes ago.
David: Or you can say that’s a new experience. You can say it’s the cessation of experience. We’ll say it’s the cessation of the particular kind of limited self-experience brought about by serial attention, by deliberate attention focusing upon an object. What you find is that this reveals itself as pre-objectified or so close to the mind, to the heart, to knowing itself that it doesn’t engage in representation. It doesn’t represent itself. It’s non-representational or you can say it only represents itself at the right moment. Yes?
P1: See, sounds right, all I know is that I don’t know.
David: Right, what I just said does not represent your experience of it.
P1: What’s that?
David: What I just stated did not represent your experience of it because it’s not representing. It doesn’t really correlate with what you say about it
P1: Right. It doesn’t.
David: So, that’s what Ramana says of the self. It doesn’t represent. It doesn’t actually appear because, he says, by definition the Self is that which underlies appearance and disappearance. He makes that extremely clear. So, of course, I’m invoking a spiritual authority in order to assert a certain point, which requires you then to abandon your thought processes and simply apparently believe in someone else’s words. I’m not actually suggesting that, but I’m bringing him up because in common spiritual circles he is considered to be someone informative, even authoritative. I don’t see him as an authority in any sense but I do find him informative. I find him educational, but he is talking about what he would consider a non-representational subject. And that the only way to taste that self is to abandon other ways of knowing that occupy the human mind and that apparently prevent the pure perception that you’re describing. Yes?
Participant 2: I find that my own experience is that there’s, just what you just said. There’s lack of reliance on habit of thinking because you just know. It’s not going to take you, where are you going to go? It’s just the knowledge of that and it’s brushing up, brushing up with something else.
P2: It doesn’t have to speak in order to speak.
P2: It’s like the wind speaks.
P2: The breath itself speaks.
David: The wind speaks. Right, the sunshine speaks. It doesn’t speak human tongue.
David: But it doesn’t need to. Yes, that’s a beautiful evocation. I love that.
P2: And with the dying of the desiring me to think it through, is such a gift.
David: We’re organisms of the same species. If I’m in a particular condition I can share it with you because through osmosis we ingest each other. The same principle of eating applies to the sharing of knowledge. Which might be what Jesus was talking about when he said, eat me, drink me. In other words, don’t conceptualize about me. I’m food. I’m something to be eaten. In other words, I’m non-representational. You have to take me in and swallow me whole. I’m not a representation of anything else other than that, which I am. It’s…, I was going to say perfection but then I backed out.
P2: It’s a representation of nothing.
David: It’s nothing.