Memory, part of the Self?
Miguel Angel Carrasco
nisargadata at MX3.REDESTB.ES
Sun Feb 15 13:52:31 CST 1998
Nanda Chandran wrote:
>Yesterday I was reading Taks with RM and there he explains the relevence
of the three states pointing out that it's not the body or the mind, but
something within which is the witness or the seer to all the three states.
For he says, if there's no such thing, after a deep sleep where
consiousness as we know it is absent, A Johnson might wake up as a Benson!
As I understand it:
It is indeed the Self (Atman) which is the only seer, the witness, and only
a seer, a witness, not a agent, of the three states. There is hardly any
difference between the three states, as they are all imagined. The
differences that do appear to be are in name and form only, thus unreal.
The only common reality in the three is that they are seen by the one
witness. Imagine that one night you have three different dreams. The only
difference between them is in their contents. What the three really have in
common is that they all are mere dreams, and that they were dreamt by you
alone. The same is true with the three states, which are all unreal. The
fourth (turiya) is the witnessing state of the Self. Beyond that is the
fifth and ultimate, turiyatita, the state where there is nothing to
witness. Nisargadatta says that the fourth, the witnessing state, is a
bridge between reality and illusion. Real because the witnessing Self does
not change and is the real screen on which everything appears. Unreal
because it is there only as long as there is something to witness. He (and
Ramesh Balsekar) also rejects rebirth as another legend:
"Reincarnation implies a reincarnating self. There is no such thing. The
bundle of memories and hopes, called the "I", imagines itself existing
everlastingly and creates time to accomodate its false eternity. To be, I
need no past or future. All experience is born of imagination; I do not
imagine, so no birth or death happens to me. Only those who think
themselves born can think themselves re-born. All exists in awareness, and
awareness neither dies nor is re-born. It is the changeless reality
itself." (I Am That p.262)
"When the body is no more, the person disappears completely without return,
only the witness remains and the Great Unknown." (I Am That p.400)
>Clear enough! But then does it mean that the memory is associated with the
Self? If that's so, how's that after rebirth, when the Self assumes another
living form, we start afresh with no memory of the past birth?
As I understand it:
There is no such thing as memory for the Self. For the simple reason that
there is no past or future in Reality, the level of the Self. What should
the Self remember, if there is only Now? Time is only a fiction that
enables the different contents of Consciousness to be seen as seemingly
existing and as different.
So why does a person wake up always with the same name and personality? Not
because the Self ^Óremembers^Ô the previous waking state (It is just the
witness, not a prompter or scriptwriter in this Lila play), nor because
there is anything that really continues unchanged in that person (nothing
continues but the Self, all else is momentary and illusory). Nor can I
subscribe to Greg^Òs idea of a ^ÓBrahman qualified by Maya^Ô (that^Òs a
contradiction in terms, besides bordering dualism).
So why? ... I don^Òt know. And I don^Òt care. I'm only the witness of the
play (the three states). I don't have to explain why the play is like this
or like that. I just sit back and watch.
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