We Are Certain Of Two Things…

1. We are, without any reflection or consideration, certain of two things:

2. One is I am. The other is that there is experiencing (thinking, hearing, touching, tasting, and so on).

3. Anyone who tries to deny the fact of experiencing is evincing experience (i.e., is experiencing) in that denial: he is thinking, then speaking, then feeling sensations (like the hotness of what’s usually termed “anger”), and so on. (However, we’ll see below how THIS is beyond experiencing.)

4. Now, I am can be regarded as “conscious presence.” And so, anyone who tries to deny I am must (a) be in order to advance that denial and (b) must be conscious while the denial is being advanced. So, experiencing is as undeniable as I am.

5. Next, it can be asked, “What is the relationship between experiencing and I am?” And the answer is: experiencing is that which appears to I am (where I am now is in the mode of witnessing awareness). That is to say and quite roughly so, experiencing is the object while I am is the subject. The subject–I am–is not the object.

6. Finally, we can come to see about how “all the trouble” begins. The trouble begins when I am mistakenly takes itself to be that somebody who is experiencing this. This is, of course, the apparent birth of the ego (“apparent birth” because the ego doesn’t actually exist yet it appears to exist just so long as it is believed in). “I am that somebody who is thinking, feeling, hearing, etc.”

7. The point of the nondual inquiry is to “go back the way you came” (Sri Ramana): undo the apparent “knot” holding the I am to the this (or experiencing) and then keep going back until the I am dissolves into the ultimate, unnamable THIS. THIS is beyond subject and object, prior to I am and experiencing.