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SELECTED QUOTES

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

I Am That

“On such flimsy foundations we build a sense of personal existence - —vague, intermittent, dreamlike. This vague persuasion: "‘I am-so-and-so"’ obscures the changeless state of pure awareness...…”

“As salt dissolves in water, so does everything dissolve into pure being.”

“Just like in a cinema all is light, so does consciousness become the vast world. Look closely, and you will see that all names and forms are but transitory waves on the ocean of consciousness, that only consciousness can be said to be, not its transformations.”

“Time is endless, though limited, eternity is in the split moment of the now. We miss it because the mind is ever shuttling between the past and the future. It will not stop to focus the now. It can be done with comparative ease, if interest is aroused.”

“When you look at anything, it is the ultimate you see, but you imagine that you see a cloud or a tree.”

“The world you perceive is made of consciousness; what you call matter is consciousness itself.”

“Wonder is the dawn of wisdom.”

“Love says: ‘"I am everything"’. Wisdom says: "‘I am nothing"’. Between the two my life flows.”

“Affectionate awareness is the crucial factor that brings Reality into focus.”

“You are afraid of what you are. Your destination is the whole. But you are afraid that you will lose your identity. This is childishness, clinging to the toys, to your desires and fears, opinions and ideas. Give it all up and be ready for the real to assert itself.”

“It is the "‘I-am the body"’ idea that is so calamitous. It blinds you completely to your real nature.”

“Your consciousness is raised to a higher dimension, from which you see everything much clearer and with greater intensity. You realize that the person you became at birth and will cease to be at death is temporary and false. You are not the sensual, emotional and intellectual person, gripped by desires and fears. Find out your real being. What am I? is the fundamental question of all philosophy and psychology. Go into it deeply.”

“You are so accustomed to think of yourselves as bodies having consciousness that you just cannot imagine consciousness as having bodies.”

“I am nowhere to be found! I am not a thing to be given a place among other things. All things are in me, but I am not among things.”

“The world is a magic show!”

“There is something exceptional, unique, about the present event, which the previous, or the coming do not have. There is a livingness about it, an actuality; it stands out as if illumed.”

“The world no longer holds him. He has gone beyond the bounds of human nature.”

“I do not negate the world. I see it as appearing in consciousness.”

“Awareness is itself and does not change with the event. The event may be pleasant or unpleasant, minor or important, awareness is the same. Take note of the peculiar nature of pure awareness, its natural self-identity, without the least trace of self-consciousness, and go to the root of it and you will soon realize that awareness is your true nature and nothing you may be aware of, you can call your own.”

“The person merges into the witness, the witness into awareness, awareness into pure being, yet identity is not lost, only its limitations are lost. It is transfigured, and becomes the real Self.”

“My self and your self are one. I know it, but you don'’t.”

“To me, nothing exists by itself. All is the Self, all is myself. To see myself in everybody and everybody in myself most certainly is love.”

Henri Matisse

“Beneath the succession of moments that makes up the superficial existence of beings and things, and clothes them in changing appearances, soon vanished, one can search for a truer, more essential character to which the artist will dedicate himself in order to give a more enduring interpretation of reality.”

“When I am drawing, naturally I try to empty my brain completely of all memory in order to receive only the present moment.”

“The essential thing is to work in a state of mind that approaches prayer.”

Piet Mondrian

“Less matter, more force.”

“The surface of things gives delight, their inwardness gives life.”

“If the universal is the essential, then it is the basis of all life and art. Recognizing and uniting with the universal therefore gives us the greatest aesthetic satisfaction, the greatest emotion of beauty. The more determinately (consciously) this recognition is experienced, the more intense our happiness. The more determinately (consciously) this union with the universal is felt, the more individual subjectivity declines.”

“Through our intuition, the universal in us can become so active...… that it pushes aside our individuality. Then art can reveal itself.”

Michel de Montaigne

“If learning is to do us any good, we must not merely lodge it within us, we must live it.”

“It is only personal weakness that makes us content with what others or we ourselves have learned in this quest for knowledge. An abler man will not rest content with it: there is no end to our researches; our end is in the other world.”

“Among the liberal arts, let us begin with the art that liberates us.”

Peter D. Ouspensky

“The greatest barrier to consciousness is the belief that one is already conscious.”

“It is not enough to admit this absence of consciousness in oneself; one has to see it in actual fact, to verify it from personal observation.”

“Out of all you have heard, the most important idea is that with certain knowledge and certain efforts man can develop, he can complete himself.”

Art is based on emotional understanding, on the feeling of the Unknown which lies behind the visible and the tangible, and on creative power, the power that is to reconstruct in visible or audible forms, sensations, feelings, visions and moods and especially a certain fugitive sensation, which is in fact the feeling of the harmonious interconnection and oneness of everything and the feeling of the ‘"soul’" of things and phenomena.”

“Only you must remember that it is said from the very beginning that we must study not only states of consciousness but also obstacles to consciousness. So we must study them, and then remove them. All these obstacles are in ourselves.”

“What is really useful for understanding is comparing the different degrees of consciousness within our ordinary state, for even in our ordinary state of relative consciousness there are different degrees, different levels: we can be nearer to awakening or further from it. We can see such big differences in ourselves, when we really learn to observe, that it will show us the possibilities we have.

“The whole idea is to be aware of yourself in this place, at this moment. This is the beginning, for one has to begin somewhere. Later it may take different forms, many other things may be included in it.

“When you tried to be aware of yourself, for a moment you became conscious and saw things you had not seen before. If you could keep this consciousness for, say, ten minutes, you would see many things which would astonish you. We look with our eyes and do not see; but if we become conscious, we begin to see things about which we have no idea.”

“You can only find out for yourself whether man’s development is an abstract idea or the truth. You must yourself come to one or another point of view. If you realize that change is only possible through awakening, then it becomes a fact, because you can see small degrees of awakening in yourself.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

“One lives so badly, because one always comes into the present unfinished, unable, distracted.”

“Courage is demanded of us to have strength for the strange, singular and most inexplicable events we may encounter.”

“If we arrange our lives according to that principle which counsels us that we must always hold to the difficult, then that which now still seems to us the most alien will become what we trust and find most faithful.”

“The nearest object is distant for mankind.”

“The artist may take neither the burden of knowledge nor the denying doubts of ignorance with him on his path which leads him from miracle to miracle.”

“Everyone must be able to find in his work the centre of his life and from there be able to grow out and radiate form as far as he can.”

“All we basically have to do is to be there, but simply, ardently, the way the earth simply is, consenting to the seasons, light and dark and all together in space, not asking to rest upon anything other than the net of influences and forces in which the stars feel secure.”

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