Another Correspondence

Email questions from R:   

Hi – my name is R….. and I hope you’ll take a moment to read this and maybe offer a few words/pointers.

I’ve been reading a lot of your writings and they are some of the clearest I’ve read. I’ve been studying Eastern Philosophies since I was about 12 and for the past couple of years I’ve been reading Advaita Vedanta through Nisargadatta, Stephen Wolinski, John Wheeler and a few others.

I feel I have a pretty good understanding of what all this is about – basically I am awareness and have always been.  The world presented to me through the senses is not what it appears, in fact it is emptiness which appears solid.  I understand on the level of the mind that all appears in this awareness and awareness is not affected by the manifest world.  In fact, I’ve recently partially and sort of experientially gotten that the world moves, not I.  It is just so backward to what the ordinary view of the world is that I just don’t trust it.

That’s where I’m at a stopping point.  I “know” this world isn’t what it seems, I seem to have a lessening of attachment to this manifest world.  But I’ve not noticed a realization or dropping off of the sense of I.  It’s definitely still there.

I’m beginning to sort of experientially feel that the body is acting on it’s own, thoughts are appearing out of nowhere, not something I’m doing.  Is this “movement” a natural and gradual process that helps the sense of I fall away or am I off course somehow?

Once again, I’ve decided to attempt to contact you because I’ve found what you’ve written speaks very clearly to me.  I’ve found Nisargadatta to be a sort of hammer that hits one in the head, over and over, which seems very necessary.  I’ve found your writing to be more of a knife which cuts deep.  The problem is, I don’t feel I’ve crossed over to the point where I’m experientially getting that which I always have been.  I’m still, for the most part, relating to the world in which this body lives, acts and suffers. Any help would be greatly appreciated. – R.

Gilbert Reply:

Mind is dualistic.  Mind is dual.   Awareness is non dual.   ‘I’ is a word we put upon this living presence and then we attach all kinds of other concepts to that ‘I’.  It is all conceptual.

So, in recognizing that awareness is no dual, in the light of that fact, who is going to cross over from where to where?   All there is is here, now.  Duality is appearance or mind. So if there are two ‘places’, in respect of finding your true nature, then those 2 places must be, one to leave from…. and one to arrive at.  Those places are in your mind.  How many minds do you have? Awareness is the activity of knowing.  A thought cannot know anything.  The so-called ‘spiritual journey’ can’t be anything but mind content.  It is all phenomena.  It all appears in the present (now, which you cannot get out of) and it all appears upon awareness presently, as the immediacy. Awareness is not an event in time, awareness is actually ‘nothing happening’, yet for the mind it appears that everything happens to the ‘me’.  

As you board the train, the carriage appears to surround you.  As you step out of the carriage it disappears behind you.  You wave goodbye as the train pulls away.  If you are on the train, it is the train station that moves away and out of sight.  You remain exactly where you are.  Whether you are on the train or on the platform, awareness doesn’t move.  You are the seeming center that does not move.  That centre has no substance, so it can’t be anything that can be an object.  It is the body that moves as you walk but from where you are seeing, from where the seeing is happening, there is no movement at all.  No one gets that, so it seems.

Departures appear to happen and arrivals appear to happen but at no point can you ever step outside of this immediacy.   Mind is time.  No one seems to get that.  It is so obvious, it is remarkable that it isn’t the most obvious thing you know.

A thought is a fleeting appearance that has no actual duration.  You cannot measure a duration for a thought or a concept.  You cannot find a point where a thought or concept appears and disappears.

Recognize that all of your self-assessment is conceptual.  It is all mind content.

If you drop all concepts what is left?

You can’t really put a name to it.  We could call it naked presence.

That is what you are.

In the scheme of things, one needs to get a taste of that over and over.   It is as though something sinks in.  What actually happens is that the energy (life energy) slows down or ceases to flow into belief in words, thoughts and concepts.  This fresh taste naturally brings fresh insights.  The pure function of seeing is not limited to the eyes and anything that appears, appears IN the seeing.  No one gets that either, so it seems!

As for my writing: My posts contain nothing for the belief in me.  Most leave after reading a few lines.  

I don’t see any point in beating around the bush.  The point is that NO belief is anything but an acceptance of something without any positive knowledge or proof.


  1. The usual teachings available ‘out there’, in spirituality land, consistently offer methods or practices for the believed in entity to ‘do’ and for that erroneous belief to build a new image of self. The point is that there is no self that you can find. What all that nonsense is, is just imagination and what we call ‘ego’. Everyone goes on about the ego has to be subjugated or dealt with….but the ego actually does not exist. So all the dealing with ego is nothing but imagination. Some make a very comfortable living out of fixing up the ego. I have never met anyone who can explain what the ego is, except by rambling on about theories and beliefs.

  2. Many folk write to me and ask me to watch someone on the internet. I don’t have the slightest interest in what some guru, teacher or video host has to say about their take on enlightenment. I have seen enough to know that they all talk from the self-center and I don’t have to go onto the internet to find that. 99.999% of everyone I meet is coming from the self-center…..and most in a far less pretentious way than those who THINK they know something special.

  3. Now and then I demonstrate, in a post, how ‘coming from a personal point of view’ distorts the message. Accusations are tossed at ‘me’ but the accuser doesn’t see what the demonstration subtly points at. The base line is that the so-called self center can’t see or know anything. It borrows everything as a support for the fictional character me. It is just a learned behavior, no one doing it.

  4. Wow ! ….. if 99.999% of everyone you meet on the internet is coming from the self-center, then you must be the .001%.

    hmm .. it appears to me that anyone who makes such a statement like this is also coming from the self-center.

  5. Yes Ralph…you say “It appears to me”. That me is an appearance and it is the mind that tells a story about ‘things appearing to me’. It is the me that sits in judgment and accusation. I have no interest in what you think about me….or anyone. Do you have any idea what it might mean to not come from a self-center?