By Nilanjana Haldar
I have always wondered if there was any necessity for me to pen down this article but as I looked back to my years of strife for truth, I recalled how difficult my journey had been given the elusiveness of the real-life examples of self-realisation that I barely recognised as what I was endeavouring to get to, back then. All I knew in those months was that I was hungry for something that had nothing to do with everything that we are able to see and hear in everyday life. Hence, I figured that this article I’m typing now deserves a spot in the web world—a place I hope hungry truth-seekers will someday step into if only to learn that their strife will not be in vain and that it IS possible to arrive at a moment of actual union with all of reality.
I’ll start with the example that completely blew me away—it was during COVID ward duty with a house staff lady who was one of the finest doctors I have ever worked with—agewise junior to me, she is someone who works with 100% integrity, putting the needs of patients and colleagues before her own, being loving and gentle with each and every patient and staff, piquing cheer and gaiety amongst each and every hospital person. In one of our workdays together, she had somehow came to misunderstand me by the end of our work time together where she wrongly believed that I had dumped all my work upon her and rushed home for the night shift, as per our agreement, which wasn’t the exact plan she had had in mind. My reasons for leaving at 8 in any case was because that’s how I worked with another colleague on other days as per our respective agreement. So basically, my assumption of operating out of a pact with another and her uncommunicated, and unquestioned assumptions regarding me brought on a misunderstanding between both of us. The following morning when I was back on duty at 6 a.m. when she had left, I finished my tasks and then checked my phone to find a long angry message from her, which included something in the lines—>” I hadn’t taken dinner and you didn’t come back. I stayed back for the patients, all hungry, and you didn’t even show up. Now that I have left, the entire responsibility of the patients is on you, not me…..in future if you wish to work with me, please take care of your time.”
In the past whenever I stumbled against messages of this drift, I would quickly knee-jerk with unease. But for the first time ever I experienced a very different sensation. I dropped all my thoughts, my disquietude, my need for acknowledgement and all I felt was love—an unconditional, boundless form of love, and in two minutes of being immersed in it I recognised that my mind had become wholly quiet—it had no thought, no memory, no concept, all it experienced was an inseparable bond with her and with EVERYTHING and everyone around. I felt a limitless form of love, one that I had never experienced before. In a wordless form of realisation, I recognised then that I was experiencing something that was beyond spoken words—I was suddenly feeling a connection with everything and everybody around me!
Ofcourse I explained everything to her and the matter did get clarified very simply. I even told her how much I admired her for who she is and that she was probably one of the best doctors I had ever worked with!
This unitive experience repeated itself once again at work on a Saturday when my boss (who is a very loving person) was on leave. In her absence, my colleagues took leave earlier than usual and I was left with the entire workload (which I take enormous pleasure in by the way) but despite their departure, the only emotion I experienced for them was that same unconditional form of love. I didn’t even try to bring that about. I didn’t feel the resentment I would have reacted with in the past. I felt so much love that while returning back home, I even shed tears of I-don’t-know-what in my car. I was brimming with a feeling of love I had never experienced before. I felt only love, joy, and oneness and I had no clue what was happening to me!
In time this all-encompassing feeling changed into a very clear understanding of the vastness of all happenings—everything happening right now, all the thoughts appearing in my head included, is all one happening. Try to get a grasp of it and that trying is part of that singular, all-encompassing happening. : ) This singular happening is oneness. The more you look for it the further go from it. The more you try to parse out who it is you REALLY are, the more you gain the understanding that you really don’t know what it is you are.
But this oneness of existence where I was unable to tell the difference between myself and another crystallised into something and has now come to lie against what J.D. Krishnamurti defines as “choiceless awareness,” where in glancing at the world, there is no ‘me’ or ‘them,’ and the scene I am looking at is being watched not with my eyes only but by the whole of my being, from a centerless centre, where I am not ‘deciding’-to-look-at-the-world-and-then-seeing-it, but that I am anyways in perception whether I liked it or not and that the figment of me ‘making-an-effort’ to become so wholeheartedly aware is already locked in perception from this centerless centre.
In suddenly understanding this, I deeply grasped the meaning of ‘choiceless awareness’ by J.D. Krishnamurti. In order to explain to people who haven’t reached this level of awareness, I will ask them to try something. Close your eyes and try observing the blackness behind you eyelids. You will see that when you try that, images will cross the purview of your consciousness. You might gain hold of a moment-of-blackness but then it will disappear as another image arrives. However, I wish to impress upon you that from the point of view of this centerless centre, you (that which you REALLY are) are anyways staring at it all, including the facade of yourself that is ‘trying-to’ focus on the blackness, you are anyways already gazing at what IS in that moment, which is the backside of your eyelids and darkness. You are already perceiving it choicelessly now that you have shut your eyes, and hence when you genuinely quit trying (even quitting trying to quit trying : )), you will observe that this blackness of the backside of your eyelids have been lain against your eyes anyways.
Meaning you are anyways all-the-time, unquestionably in awareness whether you like it or not. This is something you derive when you begin operating from this centerless centre.
These days everyday in my day-to-day life I am able to operate from this choiceless awareness and I no longer see a ‘me-facade,’ or a ‘him-facade.’ All I see is an awareness that is filtering through everything, every what-is-termed-as-human, every animal, and every plant, and which undeniably exists in the space around.
The problem that will arise for anybody making at an effort to get to this point is located in the effort-making. : ) You lose it the moment you ‘try’ because it is choiceless already. In analogy I will describe it as a three-faced mirror (cross-sectionally triangular) that is tainted with facades of “ourselves” like stains over the mirror surface. These stains are ‘trying’ to look for the perceiving eyes, when these perceiving eyes, from out of a centerless centre behind the the mirrors are anyways perceiving the world (by picking the reflection of anything around!) in all three directions, without any time delay. It is all there is!
This is a point one can attain through subtraction only. Not with effort but with moment-to-moment psychological death to the happenings of every previous moment, submitting everything of every previous moment (including all that we know about ourselves) into the cloud of memory, leaving it as a circular eddy that we are in perception of but isn’t us. Because we can’t be what we perceive. : )
Who who REALLY who is this perceiver?!
Something beyond, isn’t it? (Don’t give it a name, but it 100% can’t be what it IS perceiving which is, the facade of ourselves)
This, I experience daily! : )
We are all one! Our actions, our personalities are different, but the whole thing is one monumental perception happening. Whatever is perceiving is literally fooling itself by perceiving a multitude and then pretending it doesn’t know who it is.
Alan Watts said it right—“ The universe is playing a game of hide and seek with itself.”
One way for ordinary-consciousness people to grasp this level of consciousness is by accepting people as they are, including criminals. Mentally, I mean. With regards to their activities, obviously, you have to thwart the criminals. But in mind, you relax and observe the whole world as it is, without any good (yes! Not even good!) or bad judgements and in relieving yourself of the tether of judgement, you have granted access for perception to surface into the purview (which nevertheless is always playing behind the scenes) and not delude itself with a facade that is ‘making-an-effort-to-see-the-world-as-it-is.”
I repeat, we really are all one!
In this choiceless awareness, I am like a lens that has eyes everywhere and that is literally how it feels!
Concluding, “God” is merely a word created by humans but “oneness” can be a living reality.
What is this oneness? Is it God?
Not knowing but questioning-and-leaving-it-there is enough! : )
Read about “Awareness” is J.D. Krishnamurti’s talks—> https://jkrishnamurti.org/
Read about J.D. Krishnamurti here—> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/