Other Transcripts:

An Introduction

All beings and things are interconnected and of the same Spirit.
There are many names for God, most religions admit that God is of
a singular essence which includes all. In Advaita Vedanta we call it Being-Consciousness-Bliss. It is singular and free from division. It is so free from any kind of division that we call it nondual. It is not two and it does not take multiple forms. We call it Self. There is only one, whole, undivided, and perfectly free Self. It is not a human being and yet the real truth of every human being is this blissful Self. It is not an entity and it has no qualities and yet every entity and every quality is only this One. Those who yearn to know the truth and diligently inquire into the real meaning of their own existence will discover the Self through divine experience. Present Nonexistence Center is devoted to this wonderful Self discovery.

Understanding why you are here on this earth and who you are is of utmost importance. Discovering the Reality is called enlightenment or Self Knowledge. Awakening to the sublime truth of your real existence is not discovering something new. It is realizing what is already real. Yet it is so profound that most people totally miss it. What is required is a deep and diligent look at your identity. It requires fierce honesty. The spiritual practice as taught by Sri Ramana Maharshi can be summed up in three words. "Who Am I?" -- Many people hear the words. Few actually pursue the "hidden" meaning that this inquiry reveals. May you take the empowered tool so graciously given by the Maharshi - the inquiry "Who am I?" - and use it to dissolve all delusion.

People ask, "If I am already this perfect Self, then why am I suffering?" This is a very good question and one that you should take very seriously. Ask the question of yourself. Why am I suffering? More to the point, ask yourself the question, "Who is this one that suffers?" Don't just skip over the words, lock yourself in a room for a period of time if you have to, face yourself and find out who you really are.

If you are confusing yourself with something you are not, you suffer. If you are covering up your reality with a limited false identity, you suffer. When you have a headache, you seek relief and yearn to come back to your natural state in which there is no headache. Likewise, when you feel bound by a false identity you seek liberation and yearn to come back to your natural state, which happens to be boundless freedom and perfect peace.

As you delve into this question of your own existence, you may
discover that you are not who you think you are. If you think you are the form of a human being, you will not be awake to your own truth. The persona you think you are is a mistaken identity. It is just as crazy as limiting yourself to the form of a cartoon character and defending it mightily. It is silliness. It is suffering. The fear of death is unnecessary. Don't settle for the identity of a dream character, a cartoon character, or a human fleshy form. Don't settle for an uninspected assumption as an identity. Your Being has no form. Don't give a form to what is formless and limitless. There is no birth or death for what is inherently without birth and immortal.

Your ordinary intellect and intuition, the one you are using to understand these words, has a source that is unlimited, boundless, and utterly free. Your own source radiates in all directions at once to infinity. This source is Being-Consciousness-Bliss. It is not limited by that person you call yourself. It is not limited or defined by any body, ego, or quality, gross or subtle. The inquiry "Who am I?" -- if taken up in earnest, will reveal the source of everything that appears. It will reveal Reality and your True Identity, the unspeakable bliss of Self Knowledge.

It is of utmost importance to know yourself. Knowing yourself fully is knowing the Truth. You must release yourself from the bondage of your own thinking. Learn to discriminate between what is real and what is unreal. Cease the objective outlook by quieting the mind. Find the serene center of your own existence. It is ridiculous to live your whole life without knowing who you really are! Put forth the effort needed to awaken yourself to Reality. Study the teachings of Ramana Maharshi, go to living sages like Master Nome at the Society of Abidance in Truth. Listen and ponder and meditate until the teaching of Advaita Vedanta makes its point. What will it take for you to be absolutely free? Do whatever it takes. Love yourself enough to give yourself the ultimate happiness of knowing who you really are.

What do the words "Present Nonexistence" mean?

Present Nonexistence is the conscious practice of eliminating the ego in whatever form it might take. Whether you take yourself to be a servant or a hero, a bug or a Buddha, an ant or an angel, any and all identities are limiting and false. An identity is what creates duality. With no identity there is Nonduality. Nonduality is the truth of all beings. Nonduality is pure Awareness, unbifurcated Being. Knowing this truth is freedom and eliminates fear and suffering.

Present Nonexistence is accomplished using the powerful means of Self Inquiry. By the inquiry "Who am I?" -- you return to the source of any particular identity you may appear to be. Inspecting your current stance as a persona or a body reveals that stance impossible. Returning to your own source renders your separate identity nonexistent. When your false identity no longer exists, you rest in pure Awareness. Discovering the nonexistence of a separate ego or persona eliminates your position as any body at all and reveals the Blissful Reality. Sri Ramana Maharshi calls it I-I or I-less I. It is Existence free of an ego. It is Consciousness without an object. It is illimitable Being. Knowing it for yourself is knowing it AS YOURSELF. Thus the ancient sages proclaim, You Are That.

So the words "Present Nonexistence" are simply words to point you in the right direction. The Self needs no such instruction. The Enlightened have no use for words. Awareness has no thought of existence or nonexistence. The words are meant for human beings. Present Nonexistence is a practice of eliminating your stance as a human being. With the nonexistence of an individualized ego-I,
Absolute Presence is the Reality.

The Reality is always now, and the practice should always be in the present moment. Thoughts of future spiritual practice is no practice at all! So the words are not, "Future Nonexistence," or enlightenment sometime in the future. The words are "Present Nonexistence" a practice for any time or place you appear to be.
Present Nonexistence is a practice that eliminates the false appearances of things and joyfully returns you to your rightful "place," a "place" that is not touched by the limitations of time or space. Being-Consciousness-Bliss.