We don’t possess a single proof about anything. What we have are beliefs and assumptions. All our evidence is but speculation we believe to be true. We cannot prove, only assume. Our whole world is in our head. All the senses and sensory evidence are within the brain. Brain perceives and contains all that we see, hear, touch etc. The only thing we know is our perception of something – of a table in front of us, a man in front of us, the earth (though we don’t know even this), or some universe we are in. If we turn perception off, say we turn off the senses with some chemical substance, we turn off the mind which perceives through the senses, and sometimes we even turn off the working of organs when it’s possible that the body “stops working”. The feeling of body, the feeling in the body is only an impulse of the nervous system. If we turn off the work of the nervous system, again with some substance, we will not feel the body. Assumption is everything and with it, or behind it, stands a belief about self, life, surroundings.
If we turn off the naming and explaining of energy movements within us, i.e. emotions, we will have a perception of movement, a feeling of movement or emotion, but we won’t know what that emotion is. We won’t know its name; it will look like any other emotion. Behind each emotion and its name (fear, jealousy, love, anxiety) there is an assumption and a belief, a program we gave to that movement. In the end we can say only one thing, not very different from the previous – as a description of a body sensation the emotion we feel is either pleasant or unpleasant. We feel unpleasantness in the body, or in the stomach, or we feel pleasantness.
When we look into ourselves without naming, we experience that we don’t know what we are looking at. We don’t know what it is. We feel pleasantness or unpleasantness which is a body sensation that we can look at just as anything else. Without naming it “pleasantness” or “unpleasantness” all we experience is a sensation. We experience sensation because of perception. In other words, we have a perception of something – of sensation, or lack thereof, of an inner movement – and through this perception we define reality. We say “the reality around us exists” only because our perception perceives something that we have called reality, material reality, a more subtle reality, etc.
Yet we don’t know if this reality is real or we are merely perceiving it. We can create a perception of something which isn’t there by various chemical or natural substances, that is, we can have a hallucination. In that case we will think that the hallucination is real up until the substance wears off and we “regain our senses” outside the hallucination. Then we know it was only a hallucination, nothing more.
Now look at your own life. All that you have been, all that you are now. Ask yourself, how do you know that this is real? That it’s not just a prolonged hallucination? How do you know it is real? And anyway, on what basis do you define “real”? We know that we have a perception of something even if we seemingly proved it; we know that we have a perception of body, of sensory reality (mind the words) but we have no proof of that reality. We can’t prove it.
All we can have is a perception of something as evidence that there is a reality around us, a table we stubbed our toe on, a dog running in front of us. But we can’t prove it in any way. What does “proving something” even mean? A proof within perception? We already have that. That’s when a few guys in white coats agree upon a certain perception and tell us it has been proven? If you start questioning your own perception, I fear you will quickly give up. It looks frightening. When by trying to prove your perception of reality you realize that perception is all you have, and that you don’t have the proof of reality, the reaction is panic, fear, powerlessness, apprehension telling you “don’t go any further” for you will destroy yourself and the world. But what if you do go further?
What if you have the guts to destroy the “reality” which isn’t real, save for your belief in its reality. What will you find? Where will you end up? Will you even exist? What if your curiosity gets the best of you and you try to prove the reality or your own existence? And what if you realize that you don’t exist, that perception has an “image of self” but not the reality of self? What happens when you realize that you are only perception that can easily be turned off? If you are this perception, then the fear which appears is also only perception, it isn’t real just like you yourself aren’t real. Perception is real, up until it gets turned off in some way. By fainting, a chemical substance or even death. What is it that died, what is it that’s turned off? Only perception, a self-cognitive ability of the mind coming through external or internal senses. The perception of senses was turned off and consequently the sensory mid. Internal perception which has all attributes of the sensory was turns off; thoughts, emotions, internal sensations are off. In other words, you are turned off.
Except the perception of something, nothing in you is real. And when we turn that perception off, you too are gone.
The “I am” is in no way more real than anything outside of you. When you faint, the feeling of existence is not there. Neither is it present when you are sleeping. What then is real? You can’t even say you are real. You are but an appearance and disappearance of perception. Self-awareness. More precisely: sense-awareness, awareness of sensations, awareness of body-perception and of the imaginary mind, imaginary ego, imaginary self-image you have been nursing for years. An imaginary role you play in front of others which disappears when you are alone. But you maintain an imaginary role of self even when you are alone. You are imaginary. You don’t exist. You have perception, better yet, the perception has you, you don’t own even that. It happens on its own, disappears on its own, appears on its own.
Only that which is unchangeable, constant, permanent, true, insusceptible to alterations or movements is real. What then is real regarding you? Personally, I have no proof that I have anything real. Even the feeling of existence we call “I am” isn’t real, for it too came and will be gone. Where is the “I am” when I am not thinking of “I am” or of the feeling of existence? It’s gone. When consciousness thinks the idea “I am”, that “I am” idea is like a seed which instantly creates the feeling “I am”. Then I say that I am, I feel that I am, – but I know that this “I am” only came as an idea, as a seed into perception. In the end, the “I am” is also just a perception. If I don’t have perception, I don’t have the feeling that I am.
Understanding, realization, knowledge about this is called “emptiness” or “nothing”. But it is neither emptiness nor nothing, these are just meaningless labels. Everything happens within an immovable “reality” which perception cannot reach but can know about. Everything keeps moving and flowing in its course without it having anything to do with you. Like images on a TV screen constantly altering without affecting the TV. If there were no electricity the TV wouldn’t work, the images couldn’t appear. All those characters appearing on TV screen don’t exist, they’re not real. It’s just electricity, alternation of colors, light and dark. Nothing more. If there is no one to witness it, do the images on the screen even exist?
Existing means to exist within perception which is perceiving that something has appeared (the apparent) and is appearing, lasting for some time, within this perception. Apart from perception, can anything exist? You can see this text but if it weren’t for your perception, would this text exist? Do not project the existence of others into your perception. I am not asking them. I am asking you. Others are merely a projection you imagine within perception, even when they are physically standing right in front of you, let alone in imagination, fantasy. We have a conception, an image about self and others, about the world and the universe, but we lack proof that any of it is real.
You need guts to question the perception of everything around you, even the perception of yourself. If you want to know what peace is, see what lies behind each perception, that is one a way of coming to it.
Peace won’t last, if you come to it, because your perception will quickly attach itself to something. It is in its nature. Peace will endure only if, in every moment, you question the perception of everything, and if you keep on proving one and the same thing. That there is nothing save the perception of something. While perception itself isn’t real for it appears and disappears. It is inconstant. Owing to this, it isn’t real, but it is a means of questioning reality. If you give a name to perception of questioning, you will call it consciousness, self-awareness, witnessing and you who are doing and maintaining this questioning will call yourself “an awake” or “a conscious man”. These are just names, obviously. The conscious, the awake and the man, all of it. What are you, if you are not any of it? (save from assuming, having a belief, an opinion, an attitude, a sensation of it?)
Nothing. That’s what you are. Everything will keep playing out within perception as it always had, but you will know that you are nothing. You can no longer believe either yourself or others, the world, not even perception. Everything appears in your consciousness, sorry – perception – and that’s why it is called “the apparent”. That which perceives is the “witness of apparent” or “the perception of the apparent”, which appears for as long as the apparent exists (appears). When there is nothing to be perceived, where is perception? Where is the witness? Where is the awareness of something? It’s gone. There remains only ABSENCE. Nirvana is the dying out of everything which abides in perception and then the dying out of perception itself. Emptiness is the same thing, nothingness also. To what can you give reality if you know reality doesn’t exist? To whom do you give reality when you know he doesn’t exist? How can you give value to yourself when you know you don’t exist but are only an appearance within perception? You can say that you are perception, fine, but you’re lying to yourself.
Perception has appeared and that’s it. In the end, it will be turned off and that’s that. There is nothing, no one, no you, no others. There is only perception of all of it and it is not real for it is appearing and disappearing. The perception of someone else cannot exist (appear) if the other is not standing in front of you. The perception of conceiving someone else cannot exist if that conceiving doesn’t exist in your perception. If you manage to avoid reactions, and you would succeed only if you had “worked through them”, you will be free. Or so we say. Free of yourself, free of conception of self, of conceiving you exist, that you are real, of conception of witness and witnessing. Free of conception about conception. The price of freedom is everything. You need to give up everything both within and without.
There is a fine technique, exercise for this. It’s called “What does this have to do with me?” Or, “What do I (perception) have to do with this”? You can ask any question if you follow this structure. If you follow this question seriously, it destroys every significance, meaning you ever gave to anything, even to yourself. It releases everything. Then, it releases even the question, for it too appears within perception you gave meaning to. The “with me” or “I” part is just something to rely on, a basic assumption by which you discard, reject, negate, destroy all meaning and importance which appear as a reaction or action within perception. In the end, when you pose the same question to perception itself, what remains is the “taste” of the answer. You know it, but you can’t experience it. It’s impossible to experience it because there is no perception of it.
If someone is telling you something and is zealously engaged, perhaps he is accusing you, simply ask yourself “what does this have to do with me?” If you remain attentive behind it, you will see that it has nothing to do with you. There isn’t even a possibility that it does. Reject it. If a reaction appears within you, question it too. “What do I (as consciousness and perception) have to do with this reaction?” If perception or consciousness gives importance to the reaction, then you do. If it does not, do you? All of this is happening within perception and if there were no perception it couldn’t have been happening, so does any of it have anything to do with the (core of) perception? It does not. All that you may say is that you are witnessing this, and you know that even the appearance of witness is simply perception and nothing more. Perception of emotion appeared within general perception, that’s it.
“What, or who am I?” is simply an appearance of importance of self that appears within perception; an appearance of questions, words, letters as thoughts; vital curiosity within perception (I won’t say “you”.) There is no answer to this question. Even if you say that you are nothing, it’s still not true. For you cannot know that “nothing”. Same thing if you say that you are emptiness, because you have no proof of it. If you tell me that you are the one perceiving, I will tell you to question the one doing the perceiving and prove it to me. You can’t prove neither witness, nor witnessed, nor the process of witnessing. We can say that you can “be” and that’s all. Even that is a lie, but a lie we will buy into because we know what you have said. But we will believe you only when you prove it to us. Perception, in broad terms, enters the dream of man and the world. Enters the illusion of man and the world, the game of man and the world. Or, into consciousness as a conception of man and the world. Perception will be for as long as there is an impulse for it. When this disappears, you will disappear on all levels. Then there is nothing to be born or live. No one to live, to be born. Obviously, we’re talking about this so-called reality of life. It has nothing to do with your conceptions of paradise, higher realities and what not. They are all imaginations in perception.
Perception can appear any time anywhere. And you will call it “I”. That “I” will be brought to you by the forces within the general Force. You may call it the force of illusion, dream, Maya. You can say that it is shakti or Shakti, all the same. You will have a feeling that this is you, just like now you have the same feeling, just like everything around you has that same feeling. All of this is an appearance within perception of what we call God, Truth, Brahma, Absolute, Consciousness etc. You think that you will be born, but when you get to know this a little bit, that thought disappears. This is your last life. Really. Whether you know it or not, this is the only and last life you will ever have. You will never be born again, but which “you” are we talking about?
Of this specific set of habits, needs, thoughts, emotions, genetics (if you believe in it); the specific body, the inner soup that you are now. This kind of self-conception has appeared for the first and last time and will never repeat. What I have just said relates to the essence, not the apparent. In the sphere of apparent, dream keeps spinning and turning into another dream, this one or that one, but it’s just a dream. Perception dreams a dream up until perception realizes it’s just a dream and nothing more. Then it stops dreaming, but the dream is still there. Illusion is still there, though there is no one to believe in it anymore. There is the perception of it, yet no one to have that perception. All of it is one great cosmic soup served in various plates. Put spiritually, it’s all one ocean in different drops.