ARE SELF-REALIZATION, AWAKENING, LIBERATION, AND
The Practical Application & Fruits of Self
Knowledge: I AM
IS ONE OF THE MOST (maybe the most) practical
articles I have ever written, as it cuts to the core of how to
understand and apply the teaching of Self Knowledge so you can
experience the fruits for yourself now.
Reading and applying what you learn here
will help develop the experiential understanding that is imperative
to Self Realization. Read it, re-read it and go for it.
At some time, sooner rather than later, I
think it is really important to have a solid understanding of a
comprehensive and complete teaching of Self Knowledge, at least
intellectually at first. Without a solid understanding of a
comprehensive teaching, the experiences and realizations the
pointers facilitate are almost always misunderstood and misapplied.
I work with two forms of the Perennial Wisdom Teachings, but there
are many others from which you can choose.
First, Some Background to Set the
The teachings of Self Knowledge that I
present here are rooted in the ancient traditional teachings of Self
Knowledge developed over the centuries in the East and the West.
Nisargadatta’s teaching is quite similar
to that of Adi Shankara, the 8th century
philosopher-teacher who organized the ancient Hindu teachings from
the Vedas, the Upanishads, The Bhagavad Gita and the Brahma Sutras
into what many refer to as Advaita Vedanta - which essentially
teaches a means to non-dual Self Knowledge.
The core philosophy of A Course in
Miracles is quite similar to that of the ancient Greek
philosophers-teachers Socrates, Plato and Plotinus. Socrates, as we
know through Plato’s dialogues, taught that truth is absolute, not
relative; and they emphasized the importance of Self Knowledge, and
understanding that the truth of one’s Self is absolute not relative.
Plotinus organized some of Plato’s spiritual teachings of Self
Knowledge and they are presented in the Enneads. While
A Course in Miracles uses Judeo-Christian, biblical language,
in terms of their fundamental philosophies, ACIM and the Bible are
mutually exclusive systems of thought - they are completely
different. A Course in Miracles is a teaching of non-dual
Self Knowledge in the Neo-Platonic tradition.
Over the years I have studied the ancient
teachings of the East and West, and the modern presentations of the
ancient teachings. Virtually every idea I present here is based on
these modernized-ancient teachings; with mainly just my whacky
personality added (Sri Sri Chimpanzee).
I think it is important to be aware of the
source of the teachings because you can follow up on them and do
your own research if you are so inclined. Also, it is important to
know that the teachings are based on the philosophies that formed
the foundations of Eastern and Western cultures.
As you study the ancient philosophies of
the East and West you will realize that our modern social
organizations, schools, religions, governments; virtually every
aspect of the way we think, feel, relate to each other, and live our
lives can be traced to the ancient schools of thought.
Now We Begin to Get Practical
If you are interested, I am going to show
how you can save yourself twenty years of confusion and frustration
by focusing in for twenty minutes to start, and you can begin to
develop a solid, practical, experiential understanding of the
teachings of non-dual Self Knowledge.
is nothing esoteric or weird about this teaching. If you find
yourself thinking or saying weird things like, “There’s no me;”
“There’s nothing I can do;” “I don’t exist;” “There’s nothing to
teach;” “It’s all an illusion;” “There’s no mind;” “I am not the
Or repeating silly questions like, “Who
would do that?” “Who wants to know?” “Who am I?” - Stop it! Don’t
repeat those silly, weird questions and statements. If you cannot
explain the teaching of Self Knowledge in everyday language like a
normal human being in a way that the average High School student can
understand - STOP IT.
Take twenty minutes, or however long it
takes, to focus in and understand the purpose behind those silly,
weird statements and questions. And if you find benefit here, follow
through and develop your understanding further.
A Visual Overview
Having a visual overview of the whole
teaching on one sheet of paper, showing the complete teaching in
context, and in an easy-to-understand format that a High Schooler
can understand and explain is of immeasurable value.
that for a run-on sentence? Sorry Miss Friedlander! She taught me
Self Knowledge Diagram
- One Page - Printable PDF
Five-thousand years of the most brilliant
teachings in recorded history are illustrated on this one 8 ˝ x 11
sheet of paper. Do yourself a favor, open and print the Self
Knowledge Diagram so you can refer to it easily.
Now bear with me here and have some
patience; give yourself some time to take in all this and understand
it, and feel it. Riding a bike is easy once you can ride a bike; but
it’s a little wobbly when you first start pedaling. And it’s a lot
easier to ride a bike than it is to write down and explain
how to ride a bike - you
get me? So let’s go for a spin....
Whole Purpose of the Teaching of Self Knowledge
The whole purpose of the teaching of Self
Knowledge, funny enough, is to know who or what I AM. Hmmm, would
you believe it? Self Knowledge. Wow, that makes sense. Keep that in
Let’s make this practical. “I AM.” Why is
there so much talk of this “I AM”? Notice on the Self Knowledge
Diagram the position of “I AM.” All of your experiences in your life
are determined by what you identify yourself as. I AM _________ is
at the root of every experience in your life. Are you getting that?
EVERY experience, without exception, has its root cause in your
identity, what you believe you are. Let that sink in for a while.
Now go into this with me. Please, save
yourself twenty years and 26,062 YouTube videos watched; 14,217
non-dual pointers read; 10,099 hours of meditation; 6,813 spiritual
books read, and....Oh, God, please let it end!
Notice in your normal, everyday life,
even right now, what comes after the “I AM” causes your
experience. I AM ________? When I AM with my parents, I AM a son or
a daughter. When I AM with my siblings, I AM a brother or a sister.
When I AM with my boss, I AM an employee. When I AM with my
children, I AM a father or mother. When I AM in school, I AM a
student. When I play music, I AM a musician.
Go into these identities. Play with them a
bit. Notice what you experience, how you feel and what you think
when you become or “I AM” your various identities.
What else do you identify yourself as?
Are you a woman? I AM a woman. Are you a man? I AM a man? Are you
heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual? I AM________? I AM an atheist. I
AM a Buddhist. I AM Hindu. I AM spiritual. I AM Caucasian. I AM a
Socialist, a Communist, a Libertarian.
I AM a sick person, a healthy
person, a strong person, a weak person. I Am mentally healthy,
mentally ill, a neurotic, a psychotic. When I AM in love, I AM a
lover, and its “sexy-time!” Tee hee-hee-hee. I AM______?
"Business Time" by Flight of the
Conchords for a really good laugh)
Notice How You Feel About Yourself
When Your Identity Changes
Also, and this is of great importance,
notice how you experience other people and the world when your
identity shifts. Does your world change when you change identities?
HINT: Hell yeah!! Notice how you make and enter a whole new world
the instant your identity shifts. Do it. Notice it. Don’t keep
repeating silly non-dual pointers until you vomit all over yourself,
please, that’s gross.
some time and experiment with shifting your identity and noticing
how your experience changes, sometimes drastically, as you shift
identities. Keep playing with this until you feel quite shocked by
how dramatic your experience changes as your identity changes. And
keep experimenting until you are shocked at how a whole different
world appears the moment you change from one identity to another.
How many different identities do you have
in a normal day? In a month, a year? How many different identities
have you experienced as “yourself” so far in your life? Are you the
happy one? The lonely one? The smart one? The dumb one? The
miserable one? Have you been the young child? The rebellious teen?
The inspired adult? The elderly curmudgeon? Who have you been? Who
are you right now? Are you the seeker? The curious one? Who?
If you are interested in Self Knowledge and
would like to save yourself 1.2 gazillion years of confusion and
frustration, re-read the previous few paragraphs and put the
suggestions into practice; do it for yourself now. Then do it again
later today. Then again tomorrow. And the next day. Keep shifting
your identity and notice how your experience changes, and notice how
your world changes.
Feel it. Then read on...
Now to the Self Knowledge Diagram
Notice where the I AM is positioned, and
think of yourself as this I AM. Feel it. Now you can “pick up” the
I AM and shift it around the Self
Knowledge Diagram. Move the I Am below and to the left where it
says, ”Personal self - Divided mind” and put your name there. I Am
Pat, a separate, personal self. Notice the description in
that box which represents your identity as a separate self. Notice
what your purpose is. Feel it. Notice what you are guided by. Feel
it. Get a good feel for your identity as a separate self. I
AM_______ a separate, personal self.
Now move on...
Listen, You Have to Ride the Bike for Yourself. No One
Can Ride Your Bike for You. Do It.
Now shift yourself, your identity, “I AM”
down and to the left, to the “Personal World - Dream World - Divided
World.” Notice the description there. Notice your purpose there -
feel it. Notice the other ideas of yourself there - feel them. What
does it feel like in your world down there? Does it feel familiar?
Go into it.
The “Light of Truth” represents the
teaching of Self Knowledge. The inquiry and investigation we are
doing now is part of the Light of Truth. As we go deeply into this
inquiry now, you may notice your identity shifting.
Shift yourself, I AM, over to the bottom
right, the “Whole World.” Notice the description there. This is the
experience you begin to have as the teaching of Self Knowledge
starts to sink in. Notice what your purpose is now, and how it is
different from your purpose before you noticed the Light of Truth
shining into your mind and world. Feel it.
And now you can shift your identity up the
left side to the “Real Self - Whole Mind - Heart.” I AM the Real
Self, I AM the Heart. Notice the description there - feel it.
Now go back to the I AM, and above to the
left. Notice the description “Universal Consciousness-Mind,
Creator-Preserver-Destroyer.” Let your identity shift there, feel
it. I AM the Creator. I AM the Creator of all identities; all worlds
are my creation. Watch yourself creating your identity, and watch
yourself create your world - do it. Because I AM as I AM, the world
is as it is. Notice your purpose as the Universal Mind. Feel it.
Know it. Let it sink in.
Keep Pedaling, It Gets Easier
shift your identity over to the right to the “Witness-Knower.” Let
yourself become the witness. I AM the witness. And relax into your
Natural State. I AM relaxed in and as my own Natural State. Take
your time and come back to this again and again. You will feel it
more each time.
Now notice the Source of the I AM, up
above. Let your identity shift. I AM the Source, I AM the Infinite
Potential, I AM the Light, I AM the One. Notice yourself as the
Light and the Light can blend into itself, until there is all Light.
I Am the Light. Take your time. Relax into it, and feel it.
And notice how you can shift your identity
back to the personal self when you want. I AM _______. And you can
notice how you have a new perspective on being a separate personal
self, and a new appreciation and love for yourself, because you know
your personal self is simply one part of your Whole Identity, your
Whole Self. I AM _______?
You May Burst into Tears or You May
Burst into Laughter - You Will Feel It
And it will sink in more and more. You will
understand, know, feel and experience the meaning, value and purpose
of the Perennial Wisdom Teachings of Self Knowledge. You will find
it easier to fulfil your purpose in life, your purpose for being,
which is to know, feel and experience yourself as the Absolute,
Unconditional Love of the One. I AM the One. And now I know my Self.
All is my Self. I AM the Self. I AM the Light.
And do it again. And again.