Q&A with Sailor Bob
Bob: You’re not unaware right now? So you must be aware? But that awareness is not being noticed. As soon as you start looking for awareness, you’ve objectified awareness. And if it’s objectified, it’s not what you are. So, realize the same thing. When all the chatter or whatever’s going on, peace, bliss, or the anger, fear, row with your wife or whatever, or whatever’s going on, what’s that appearing in, on? Could it take place outside of awareness? So, it’s just another pattern of awareness appearing seemingly differently. See the essence of it, take the meaning out of it, the label you put on, the meaning out of it, it must naturally back into that awareness. In work, you’re utilizing the mind. But what’s it doing to the ‘me’, anything? The ‘me’ is not even involved. The mind is just taking part in some activity that needs to be done. And it’s not a problem then, is it? You’re not beating yourself up, or you might be if you think you’re not getting it done, or pleasing the boss or something like that, you know. But if you’re totally into the work, that energy is being utilized quite usefully and it’s not a problem. When you relate it to the ‘me’ again, it suddenly becomes a problem. Don’t bother relating it to the ‘me’ because you have nothing to relate to, when you look along the lines we pointed to again and see if you can find a self-centre or a reference point there with any substance or any independent nature. Where’s it going to lodge if you’ve got nowhere to fixate on, nowhere to latch to? Here, there’s long periods of silence without trying. Sometimes there’s lots of chatter without trying. Neither one is preferable because they are both experiences. Any experience comes and goes. What I am, is the experiencing in which ‘the experience-er’ and the experience appear, play around, and disappear. What you are is the aware-ing. Nothing can take place without that constant. You are that constant which is no thing you can grasp with a concept. Functioning is going on all the time.
Q: I feel like there’s going to be a final understanding where it all falls into place.
Bob: Well, see what happens there. You’ve got the concept of time. See that time is a mental concept. Ask yourself, is there a past right now if I don’t think about it? You’ve got to pause a thought to do that, what can you say? You can say there’s a past or a future, can you? You say, “I was in the past, or I am imagining the future.” Can you actually live in the past? Can you live a moment ago? You can’t, it’s gone. But you can recall it. And what you’re recalling, the only actuality you’re giving it is what you’re giving it right now. You can imagine at some future time there will be a final understanding and all the rest of it. But you can’t live a moment in the future. You can only imagine it, or conceptualize it, or anticipate it. And the only actuality you’re giving it is right now. So when’s the final understanding?
Q: It’s an illusion.
Bob: No, isn’t it right now? You say it’s illusion, but you miss out on the basic point. It’s right now, in this immediacy, you are. That’s the final understanding. You can’t get away from this now. People say you have to try to stay in the now. Realize you can’t get out of it. You can never get away from it. Only conceptually. This is always the actuality. This moment is the livingness. This is the only time anybody will ever live. Right now. It’s already again right now. So it’s useless trying to imagine or anticipate a future, or go back into a past. You can recall if you want to, but all it’s doing is taking up some of this actuality. Be utterly awake, right now, seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling. Be the livingness. You’ll never live this moment again. Get into it. If you really want to live.
Q: Is there any place for thoughts of the future?
Bob: Plans will come up. The plans you having coming up right now, instead of worrying about it, trying to work it out bit by bit, do what you can do about it now and when the so-called actual time that you’re supposed to do it takes place you can act on it then. There’s nothing wrong with making plans. Who’s making them? It’s coming up in intelligence. Our problem is we carry it on, keep carrying it on, and building on it, looking for the answer in the mind. You’ll never find the answer in the mind. The nature of the mind is to vibrate. And it will continue vibrating. Have a look at it. When you’re thinking silently, there’s a subtle vibration going on there. When it comes out as words, these words are sound. What’s sound? Sound is a vibration. What is a vibration? A movement of energy. Now look at your thinking and see how it functions. You’re either in the past or the future. That’s a vibration. It’s either pleasant, painful, happy, sad, serene, angry, all vibrating in the inter-related opposites. And the boundaries we put upon it is the word. Good, bad, pleasant, painful, they’re the stoppers, the boundaries. And there’s no words you’ve ever spoken, or ever likely to speak, that hasn’t been learnt or acquired. There is no word that is your natural state. All the words have been learnt. So these boundaries, or stoppers we put on it, are all acquired or learnt words. It’s either good or bad. What if you take those words off? Shakespeare said, “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” If you haven’t got a boundary on it that’s good or bad, where is it? Free to move on. We put the acquired or learnt stopper on it and it stays there, fixates on that word. And we beat ourselves up with the word. When you were a little kid, you were told, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” Somebody calls you an asshole or a nasty name, you take delivery of it and you beat yourself up. He called me that. And we carry it around for days and weeks. The word. But if somebody belted you with a stick or a stone, you get bruised, it’ll heal up long ago, but the word we carry around. And the word is not the thing. We carry around something that has no substance at all and beat ourselves up with the word. Words are useful but they can be self-destructive. We tell ourselves, “I can’t do this” or “I’m not good enough. Poor me. I’m fearful.” Energy of belief goes into it and it seemingly becomes so. And that’s another word you want to look at too. Belief. A belief is never the actual. The dictionary definition of belief is, “An unquestioned acceptance of something in the absence of reason. Acceptance of an alleged fact without positive knowledge or proof.” And we believe so many things. But this is the actual. The only actuality that you’re absolutely sure of is the fact of your own being. Nobody believes that “I am”, one knows that “I am”. It translates as that thought, “I am”. The knowing is different from belief. You get the taste of the difference between knowing and belief. Knowing is the actuality. Belief is something imagined or anticipated. Unquestioned. When we’re not taking the beliefs to be real, again you’ve freed yourself up.
Q: What’s interesting is that, “I’m expecting to get something”, this sort of thought process. It seems like that can come up a lot. But the interesting part about that is that the whole entire thought structure or whatever the premise of that recurring notion is, is false because it assumes that you’re a separate entity who’s going to get something in the future and that things are going to be different. But if you keep looking into this ‘me’, you can’t find it anywhere. So the premise, the idea itself is false. And like Bob often says, “You can’t get to non-duality from duality.” So you know, if you’re going to walk around pretending you’re a separate individual who’s going to come into this door and ask a bunch of questions and have a conversation here and then you’re going to obtain some sort of understanding and you’re going to get it and then all of a sudden, ta-daa, it’s going to be great or something like this. That whole story is just that, it’s a story, a conceptual construct of a separate entity who is going to get something. But, when you look for it, you can’t find this separate entity. Bob is pointing to something that is real and you look at that and you say, “Oh, that’s true!” It’s not the words that are important, but Bob says, “Start from the fact that you already are that.” So if you already are that, what do you need? What can you get? And if you’re not thinking about it, where’s the problem? And when you don’t have that thought, where’s the entity? It’s just a conceptual house of cards. And we’re always sitting in this room, apparently, talking about stuff and pointing at it and you see. How many times do you have to see the same thing to be false? You just can’t keep believing in it because it’s not true. And so it appears as if the more you look at it, it’s like, “Oh!” and it just falls away. But you’re not doing that either, that’s all just happening. Like everything. So, if it pops up, just recognize the falsity of it. And when you drop it, where’s the problem. What are you waiting for? Just drop it. So, what’s wrong with right now unless you think about it, right Bob?
Bob: That’s right.
“Sailor” Bob Adamson found the peace he was seeking in the presence of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj in the 70′s. Bob lives in Australia and has held weekly talks for visitors from all over the world for 30 years. Many come to his home or call him to discover the same Presence Awareness of which he speaks.
Bob has an amazing clear and direct way of expressing what has been called Nonduality. Visit his Website, listen to his audio and video, pick up his books/CDs/DVDs, or pay him a visit at his meetings.
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