Saturday, March 29, 2014

B2 - Nisargadatta Maharaj is my guru

Nisargadatta Maharaj is my guru. I never met the man.

Some will think that’s absurd. They may be correct—I’m not speaking for them or others.

Thirty years ago, a psychological therapist summed up my personal conditioning this way: your mother taught you to be absolutely afraid of the world and your father completely failed to introduce you to the world.

I was obsessed in knowing the world. I didn’t trust the world to teach me about itself.

So I read books. I became obsessed with certain viewpoints until ultimately I discovered their weakness. I moved on to another book. Another viewpoint.

The first time I read Nisargadatta’s I Am That, I was enthralled, but I stopped midway at some point—I was appalled at something I had read. But his words kept haunting me. Six months later, I had forgotten why I had been horrified, reread the chapter in question, and couldn’t find anything repulsive—only wisdom. So, in my second attempt, I finished reading the book.

For a third act, I read Ramesh Balsekar’s Pointers from Nisargadatta, the Jean Dunn translations, and the Robert Powell translations. Meanwhile I was rereading I Am That and tweeting phrases under my @Nisargadatta_M avatar—which continues to this day. To paraphrase one of my earlier teachers: something is happening but I don’t know what it is. Exactly! There is no viewpoint.

I still read books for recreation as well. It was in such a manner I began reading Gurdjieff’s Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson. It wasn’t pleasurable, so I stopped. Of course, that’s Gurdjieff’s point. So I’m not speaking for him or others.

One thing I did appreciate from the first page of Gurdjieff’s three-volume Coyote tale is the first page, Friendly Advice, in which he advises one should read his “written expositions thrice.” The first is in a mechanized way. The second is as one person to another. And the third is to “fathom the gist.” I did read his Friendly Advice three times.

Nisargadatta says to his listeners, and therefore to the reader, that he, Nisargadatta Maharaj, is Consciousness speaking to Consciousness.


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