|Sri Nisigardatta (1897-1981)|
In the attached video (below), it is explained that Nisargadatta Maharaj "refered to the illusory sense of being, traditionally called the ego, as the I-Am-ness. He says that to find the source of this I-Am-ness and fully understand it as nothing more than a conceptual idea of one's self is the way to self-realization and wholeness. Maharaj asks the seeker to be in the state which is prior to the experience of I-Am-ness."
"The concept 'I Am' comes spontaneously and goes spontaneously," says Nisargadatta. "Amazingly, when it appears it is accepted as real. All subsequent misconceptions arise from that feeling of reality in the 'I-Am-ness.' The moment the feeling 'I Am' appears, the world also appears. Any image you have of yourself is not true. True knowledge is to abide in your own Self.""The teachings of Maharaj," it is observed, "move our awareness from the I-Am-ness, this sense of separate identity, to a non-dualistic sense of oneness with the Absolute, which is our real nature." In explaining this shift in his consciousness, Nisargadatta explained to his visitors that what he meant was that he was "free of all content."
"To myself," he explained, "I am neither perceivable nor conceivable. There is nothing I can point out and say, "This I am." You identify yourself with everything so easily. I find it impossible. The feeling I am not this or that, nor is anything mine, is so strong in me, that as soon as a thing or a thought appears, there comes the sense, 'This I am not.'"This radical acceptance of what is - this love without subject, object or conditions - an enlightened and acceptive state of higher consciousness. What is, is. And we are part of that totality Nothing could be plainer. In the beginning chapters of his book, "I Am That," Nisargadatta addresses how the fundamental problem of the mind is overcome with an acceptive love:
"I find that somehow by shifting the focus of attention, I become the very thing that I look at and experience the kind of consciousness it has. I become the inner witness of the thing. I call this capacity of entering other focal points of consciousness 'love.' You may give it any name you like. Since at any point of time and space I can be both the subject and the object of experience, I express it by saying that I am both and neither, and beyond both."
"Meditation will help you to find your bonds, loosen them, untie them and cast your moorings, says Nisargadatta. "When you are no longer attached to anything, you have done your share. The rest will be done for you."
[Nisagardatta, "I Am That," page 6.]
"Only in the dissolution of the problem in the universal solvents of enquiry and dispassion,' he notes, "can its right solution be found."
[Nisagardatta, "I Am That," pages 54-55.]