Hello, Francis. My question relates to the waking state and the “I Am”, a concept which, I think, has different meanings in the different traditions. I use it to describe the pure feeling of being, of existence, that appears in the waking state before getting identified with thoughts, names, body, mental processes, etc. and disappears in deep sleep. I think this was the way Nisargadatta used it, too. There´s something that confuses me. Most teachers use to speak about the Truth from the waking state´s standpoint only and, as the “I Am” is the purer feeling of this waking state, they make a goal of it. This creates the “spiritual seeker ego”, that is, the pure feeling of being, the “I Am” stops identifying with the usual mental processes just to start identifying with a subtler witness, a spiritual one. But this pure “I Am” feeling is only felt while we´re awake, during the waking state. Deep sleep does not care about “I Am” or “I Am Not”, it does not care about spiritual searchs whatsoever so ¿how could this pure “I Am” be the goal? Aren´t all this searches, all this meditations, satsangs, books, etc. just a product of the waking state and a fiction that only belongs to this state? Isn´t the “I Am”, even when it´s not identified with any object, subtle or gross, physical or mental, the last trick to overcome? Is it not true that even the I Am is a perception, the subtlest, but a perception anyway? Shouldn´t we use the waking state to realize that which transcends the three states, and not to reinforce a personality or a pure sensation that just appears in one of those states? Sorry for the lots of questions, and thank you very much in advance, Francis. I´d truly appreciate some words on it.
You asked the following questions:
According to your own words, the “I Am” you speak of is a feeling that appears and disappears. I don’t know what other teachers mean when they use this word, but I certainly don’t use it with the same meaning as you, for the “I Am” I speak of doesn’t appear and disappear, but is rather the changeless background of all appearances and disappearances. Therefore you are right when you say that the “I Am” (you speak of) couldn’t be the goal and I would be right if I said that the “I Am” (I speak of) is the goal.
No, because the waking state doesn’t produce anything. It is itself a product, a set of appearances within the “I Am” (as I define it). Everything you described (searches, meditations, satsangs, books, etc) has relative existence and is not therefore purely fictional. That which is a pure fiction is a personal, limited and separate “I Am” (as I define it). That is nowhere to be found, unlike books that can be found in bookstores.
Let’s face it: the “I Am” you speak of is an object, a “feeling …that appears …and disappears” in your own words. The real trick is not an object, this one or any other for that matter, but our belief that we are an object, this one or any other.
Yes, it is true that the “I Am” (the one you speak of) is a perception and no, it is not true that the “I Am” (the one I speak of) is a perception.
Yes, you are right.