Reality is a Verb

‘The Gray Tree’ – Piet Mondrian, 1911 – WikiArt

Here is a reminder inspired from the words of Rupert Spira. It is necessary and terribly efficient to look into these matters for ourselves. This is why I like to share here the parts of a spiritual teaching that sounds like ‘something to do’, something to experiment and verify for ourselves:

Instead of giving attention to the known object — thoughts, feelings, sensations and perceptions, give your attention to the knowing of your experience. Neither the knower, nor the known — just the knowing of your experience. Feel only in terms of verbs. Instead of thinking ‘I know such and such’, feel ‘There is only knowing and I am that’. Instead of thinking ‘I love you’, feel ‘There is only loving and I am that’. Instead of thinking ‘I see the tree’, feel ‘There is only seeing and I am that’…’


Further exploring on the subject:

When there is the awareness of the tree there is no evaluation. But when there is a response to the tree, when the tree is judged with like and dislike, then a division takes place in this awareness as the “me” and the “non-me”, the “me” who is different from the thing observed. This “me” is the response, in relationship, of past memory, past experiences. Now can there be an awareness, an observation of the tree, without any judgement, and can there be an observation of the response, the reactions, without any judgement? In this way we eradicate the principle of division, the principle of “me” and “non-me”, both in looking at the tree and in looking at ourselves.” 
– J. Krishnamurti (‘Awareness’ – ‘The Urgency of Change’)


We don’t really know or come in contact with an object, called a mind, a body, or a world. All we know is the knowing of our experience. And this knowing is not known by a separate object – the knower — this knowing knows itself. […] In the seeing of a tree for instance, there is no seer and there is no seen. There is no inside ‘I’ that sees and there is no outside ‘tree’ that is seen. The ‘I’ and the ‘tree’ are concepts superimposed by thinking onto the reality of the experience, which in this case could simply be called ‘seeing’.”
~ Rupert Spira (Presence, Vol.2)


The natural effortlessness of knowing, and the fact that it is always present, clearly prove it to be really the nature of the self; because this knowingness does not come and go like the other functions and does not part with the ‘I’-principle, even for a moment. […] A function should necessarily have a beginning and an end. Knowledge has neither of these, and so it cannot be a function. It serves as the background of all functions, lighting and co-ordinating all of them and their experiences.”
~ Atmananda Krishna Menon (‘Notes on Spiritual Discourses’ – 82 & 175)


Knowing Self,
mind empty and at peace,
the sage lives happily,
seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating
– Ashtavakra Gita (Bart Marshall – 17.8)


Do not see God as having ever created anything but rather as being in every moment a different configuration that sometimes seems to reveal Him and sometimes seems to conceal Him, without any conditions, because He is the first and the last, the apparent and the hidden and He IS knowledge of everything.”
– Balyani (‘Know Yourself’)


In True Meditation all objects (thoughts, feelings, emotions, memories, etc.) are left to their natural functioning. This means that no effort should be made to focus on, manipulate, control, or suppress any object of awareness. In True Meditation the emphasis is on being awareness—not on being aware of objects, but on resting as conscious being itself. In meditation you are not trying to change your experience; you are changing your relationship to your experience.”
– Adyashanti (The Way of Liberation)


Only if your knowledge of your own Self is correct, can you hope to know anything else correctly. It is our experience that our physical activities do not stand in the way of our thoughts and feelings. Similarly, it is possible for me as witness to be always knowing – even when the body, senses and mind are functioning. Merely note this fact and become deeply convinced of it. Don’t attempt to objectify the witness by thought.”
~ Atmananda Krishna Menon (’Notes on Spiritual Discourses’ – 288)


In the beginning, 
The very first thing, 
The primary experience, 
Is pure knowing being. 
And that becomes 
— Or rather seems to become
This knowing takes the form 
Of seeing,
And seems to become 
The seen world, 
The object, 
The known.
In fact it never actually 
Becomes flesh. 
It always remains 
Pure knowing being
– Rupert Spira (‘The Language of Non-Duality is only Verbs’)




– ‘Presence’, Vol. I & II – by Rupert Spira – (Non-Duality Press)
– ‘The First and Last Freedom’ – by J. krishnamurti – (Rider Book)
– ‘Notes on Spiritual Discourses of Shri Atmananda: Volumes 1-2-3’ – Shri Atmananda (Krishna Menon) (Taken by Nitya Tripta) – (Non-duality Press)
– ‘Know Yourself: An explanation of the oneness of being’ – by Balyani – (Beshara Publications) 

Rupert Spira
J. Krishnamurti
Adyashanti (Wikipedia)
Atmananda Krishna Menon (Wikipedia)
Ashtavakra Gita (Wikipedia)
Piet Mondrian (Wikipedia)

Fleeing to God (other pointers from the blog…)

A Day at Brockwood Park (Homage to J. Krishnamurti)
The Householder Sage (Homage to Atmananda Krishna Menon)
The Song of Ashtavakra (Homage to the Ashtavakra Gita)


The Song of Ashtavakra

Photo by Nick Kenrick.. on / CC BY-NC-SA

I’m sharing here the Ashtavakra Gita, in the translation of John Richards. This is a famous song and landmark of non-duality in India. It has been composed in Sanskrit as a dialogue between the eminent sage Ashtavakra and his brilliant disciple Janaka, also king of Mithila. It was allegedly written around the third Century BC although some scholars dated it in the eighth Century AD, at the period of Shankara. The author is unknown and the characters are borrowed from the ancient epics of India. ‘Ashtavakra’ means ‘eight bends’, for he has a deformed body. This is a short work of 300 verses, and was one of the favourites of Ramakrishna and Ramana Maharshi. In this dialogue, the process of enlightenment is easily dealt with, for Janaka is, in Ramesh Balsekar’s words, “a superbly ‘ripe’ disciple, one who is just waiting for that one quick spark of initiation into Truth that brings about sudden enlightenment.” The dialogue quickly moves to be an exposition of truth by two equally enlightened beings. Yet, a process is here at work, between the guru and his disciple, between truth and the slow movement towards full understanding, between the one reality and the many roads and aspects that lead to a total and definitive grasp of it…




Chapter I

Instruction on Self-Realisation

King Janaka asks the question that provoked Ashtavakra’s plain and direct exposition of truth…

Your real nature is as the one perfect, free, 
and actionless consciousness, the all-pervading witness 
– unattached to anything, desireless and at peace. 
It is from illusion that you seem to be involved in samsara


Janaka asked:

How is knowledge to be acquired? How is liberation to be attained? And how is dispassion to be reached? Tell me this, sir.

Ashtavakra replied:

If you are seeking liberation, my son, shun the objects of the senses like poison. Practise tolerance, sincerity, compassion, contentment and truthfulness like nectar.

You are neither earth, water, fire, air or even ether. For liberation know yourself as consisting of consciousness, the witness of these.

If only you will remain resting in consciousness, seeing yourself as distinct from the body, then even now you will become happy, peaceful and free from bonds.

You do not belong to the brahmin or any other caste, you are not at any stage, nor are you anything that the eye can see. You are unattached and formless, the witness of everything – so be happy.

Righteousness and unrighteousness, pleasure and pain are purely of the mind and are no concern of yours. You are neither the doer nor the reaper of the consequences, so you are always free.

You are the one witness of everything, and are always totally free. The cause of your bondage is that you see the witness as something other than this.


Continue reading the beautiful teaching of Ashtavakra… (READ MORE…)