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Understand that it is not the individual that has consciousness; it is the Consciousness which assumes innumerable forms. That something which is born or which will die is purely imaginary. It is the child of a barren womanNISARGADATTA MAHARAJ. This is all very fine, but what about the fact that here I am as a human being, with my individuality, my desires, my hopes, my emotions, my feelings and so on ? How can I accept that as this human being, I am an illusion, a child of a barren woman ? Let us consider our real nature for a moment. Here we are, the two of us, talking to each other. The senses in my body are telling me that I am seeing you, hearing you, and can even touch you if I want to. The senses in my body are telling me that nothing can be more real than you and I here and now. We are both a part of reality here and now. However, what is actually happening? Light from your body touches my eyes and my sense of sight conveys a thought that I am seeing you. Sound from your lips reaches my ears and my sense of hearing conveys a thought that I am hearing you speak. Therefore, you as a so called real person is actually a thought in my mind or consciousness. If I had been born blind, then my so called reality would know you as someone invisible although I could touch you or hear you speak. Therefore, my so called reality is nothing but that conveyed to me by my senses through thoughts rising and setting in my mind or consciousness. Where do these senses reside? Obviously in the body which I think I am. But am I this body? It is the body itself through its senses that is telling me that I am this body that I can see and touch and smell and so on. Again, all these are only thoughts in my mind. I am not this body. I am that which is aware of this body. If I were not conscious such as when I am in deep sleep or in coma, then these thoughts would not arise and I would not even be aware of my body or of my ego. My ego or my individuality is also a thought. I think I am someone different from you and others and that I have to look after my own interests. Therefore, we who are sitting and talking to each other are nothing but thoughts rising and setting in

Consciousness and of which, Consciousness is the content. Nisargadatta Maharaj often used to say that the talks he was having with us ,were nothing but Consciousness speaking to Consciousness. This Impersonal Consciousness which I am, how is it connected to this body appearance to make me a human being with an ego? A large body of water appears as the ocean and waves appear in the ocean. However, it is the same water appearing both as the ocean and the waves Similarly, Consciousness is appearing as this manifestation and is its content. When a human body appearance rises in the manifestation, Impersonal Consciousness identifies with the appearance and becomes Identified Consciousness identified with the human appearance. All thoughts in the Identified Consciousness which is the same thing as the mind, get identified with the body appearance and create the ego identified with body. The subject end of every thought becomes the ego---I think, while the object end may be whatever. The ego rises and sets with every thought but appears as one continuous ego because of the rapidity of the thoughts and memory. Both the body appearance and the ego are illusions, appearances of Consciousness in Consciousness. By the power of Maya or Divine hypnosis we accept them as real, the unreal as real. Again, when a human body appearance arises in Consciousness, Consciousness gets reflected in the body appearance as the life of the appearance or the breath in the body. The body appearance becomes a human being by the breath in the body and the thoughts in the mind or Identified Consciousness which create the ego. The human being is a combination of the breath in the body and the ego in the mind. To repeat, the life of the body is the breath in the body which is Identified Consciousness identified with body. Therefore, when the ego pays attention to the breath with Understanding, it is identifying with the Presence of the Identified Consciousness which appears as the breath. Every thought in the Identified Consciousness or the mind create the ego identified with the body as a separate individual separate from others or other appearances When a wave disappears into the water, only the water remains as it always was and is. When as a part of the appearance of the manifestation, my body appearance dies or disappears into Consciousness, the ego will disappear with it. Only Consciousness will remain along with rest of the manifestation. I was always an appearance of Consciousness in Consciousness along with the rest of the manifestation, an illusion, the child of a barren woman.

This manifestation is a dream of Consciousness, and as part of the manifestation, we are dreamed characters in the dream of Consciousness When I am dreaming, the dream world including my dream body and dream ego appear very real. When I wake up, they all disappear and I wake up to a waking dream, the dream of Consciousness of which I am a part. In this waking dream, all this manifestation appears very real to me including my body and my ego. Even if I am blessed to realize that I am not this dreamed character but that I am Impersonal Consciousness having this dream, the dream will still continue. The dream will disappear for me only when this body appearance dies or disappears into Consciousness along with the ego while the dream of Consciousness continues. When the dream of Consciousness is still continuing for me and I am still a dreamed character in the dream, here I am as a human being with my individuality, my hopes, desires, emotion, feelings and so on. However, I am now aware of my real nature. How do I live? I still have my apparent ego, my apparent free will. I fully use them, but now knowing that whatever I think or feel or want or do is exactly what I am supposed to do being lived as a dreamed character. I learn to fully accept the what is, and no matter all my regrets and anxieties or fears, I know that is exactly what I am supposed to experience. Knowing that even my trying to do anything is part of my being lived, I try to be the perfect Witness, witnessing everything without judgment or identification. What we are trying to achieve is an intellectual Understanding of our real nature, a giant step in its own right. This intellectual Understanding may become experiential some day. Even otherwise, the Understanding is all, and it will get deeper and deeper. By waking up early, we cannot hasten the dawn, but we are at least ready to experience it when it comes. There is no creation. There is no destruction. It is all an illusion. Consciousness is all there is, all pervading, all knowing, all powerful, the infinite here, the eternal now, beyond time or space. Consciousness is.
Chaitanya S. Balsekar