NA’HAM – I AM NOT THAT
NA’HAM – I AM NOT THAT
Stone: Green Jadeite
The Mantra: Na’ham
To discover who we really are we must first of all find out
WHO WE ARE NOT.
Which is almost all you always thought you were.
Ha ha ha ha!
There is no other very effective way.
a) Mère introduces the issue thus:
You should have the awareness or knowledge
that the body isn’t you –
the trouble is that when you say “me” you think of this (Mother strikes her body), but that’s not it! It isn’t you!
As long as you say, “This is me,” you are tied,
bound hand and foot.
Are you still saying “this is me”?
It is like saying that you are the clothes you wear.
Hey, this is for real, not just words!
Don’t be deceived.
The Ashtavarka Ghita agrees:
You are not your body.
Your body is not you.
You are not the doer.
You are not the enjoyer.
You are pure awareness,
the witness of all things.
As Nisargadatta Maharaj noted,
You are not who you think yourself to be, I assure you. The image
you have of yourself is made up from memories
and is purely accidental.
Most believe that all they are is their superficial “I”,
their self-image, but it merely consists of a chaos of likes and dislikes, memories, needs and inane desires distorted by their mind’s countless conditionings,
and there is absolutely NOTHING at all in all this
that is part of our true nature.
What do YOU believe that you are?
b) In the course of your life you have identified yourself with so many ways
preferences and repulsions, beliefs, inclinations,
habits, anxieties and worries, attitudes, etc.
It is their total sum that formed the self-image which you mistake for whom you are, for your Self, although it keeps changing all the time,
but it is no more the real you as your shadow
on the ground can ever be.
How clearly can you see that
all your thoughts, emotions, feelings keep changing all the time,
and so do your many personalities?
You are not only different from a few years ago, as it is only too obvious, but even from yesterday.
Therefore saying such things as: ”This is myself” is utterly meaningless: like in the famous metaphor of someone terrified by what he thinks is a snake laughs as he realizes that it is just a piece of rope.
When you will realize that your self-image is just a mask after all,
not YOU, after probably a confused period of transition
all troubles will leave you forever.
What are you waiting for?
Don’t you know that with the present acceleration after 1012 there is almost no more time to do it?
c) Nisargadatta Maharaj could not have put it better:
All you can say is: I am not this,
I am not that.
It is enough to know what you are not. You do not need
to know mentally what you are.
You cannot really say “This is what I am”. It has no meaning at all. You cannot be a “something” You are nothing that can be perceived or imagined,
but without you there cannot be
perception or imagination.
What does this imply?
That as Mooji said
You are a ghost! An apparition appearing
inside your own Self.
You are no thing, presently conceiving of yourself as something.
The body is something, but without the mind, the body could not be seen.
And without the consciousness, the mind cannot be seen.
And without the absolute, the consciousness cannot be seen.
In short, you watch, nourish, protect and guard
that which you are not in actuality.
How does this make you feel?
What are you going to DO about it?
While visiting the Tabriz Madrassa just after Ramadan, the Kabuli went to the covered bazaar to purchase new prayer beads for the dervishes of the congregation and overheard the shopkeeper telling a customer that he was not like the other sellers but a truly honest man.
The Kabuli told him:
Deception can perhaps be tolerated in the taverns and opium dens,
but never in someone dealing in sacred prayer beads!
When the shopkeeper, a Shia from Tabriz, disrespectfully asked Him how he dared question his honesty, as they had never met before and He didn’t know him at all, the Kabuli compassionately replied:
Unless you have danced with the dervishes, how could you
possibly know WHO or WHAT you are, let alone
if you are honest or not?
But you have only danced with the dead so far and not seen
the real mosque even from the outside!
Of course the sentence “seen the real Mosque only from the outside” does not refer to the physical Muslim temple
but to the inner one in all of us.
Have you seen your own inner “mosque” from the inside yet?
The aspect of the Veil keeping you identified with everything
that isn’t truly you is the ego.
In the Dreamgame, the full realization of Na’ham, that we are not what we always thought we were, is our greatest ALLY
Before we have reached a certain level of personal evolution
we do not have one “self” but many small ones which do not cooperate
very well together or are even in conflict with each other.
Who are you then?
You are awareness itself,
NOT the consciousness identified with just your body
emotions and thoughts.
Wu Hsin agrees:
My dear children,you are not
what you think you are
This what-you-think-you-are is
a shadow of what you are,
just as the moon reflected on the lake water
isn’t the moon.
The Devil’s Advocate:
When you say “I”, to which of the many parts of yourself are you referring to?
They are all no more than so many farts in the wind!
Every time you say “I am so and so” instead of simply “I am”
you are imprisoning yourself in something that
essentially you are NOT.
Words of Power:
Never tell me who or what I am – don’t even think about it:
beyond all definitions I always abide.
From “The Quest”:
In a Mahayana text I was particularly impressed by this passage in which the Buddha said – I may not remember the words exactly, I read it long ago:
“One cannot rightly say “This is mine alone; this I am; this is myself about what is transient, therefore, whatever may arise, whether gross or subtle, high or low, far or near, just keep telling yourself:
This does not belong to me; this I am not;
this is not my self.”
I must confess that it didn’t immediately make me renounce my ignorant ways because I only understood it at the mental level; it took me much more inner work to finally be able to transcend them.
We wish for you not to take as long!
Question/Ko’han 1 and 2:
What is not the “I”, is what?
Who is now looking at the “I”, is who?
If after reading this chapter you aren’t in an inner turmoil, intensely seeking who you really are,
you are either an already enlightened high being
or still inwardly deeply asleep.
Note: Forget about finding a third alternative – it isn’t there.
Question/Ko’han 4nd 5:
Do you still think that there is a “me”?
What make you think that?
Ha ha ha ha!
As the first man, Adam is the symbol of all humanity.
But in Farsi adam means not-being
Is this just a coincidence?
The Hebrew word “ani” means ‘I’,
but its three letters are the same of the word, “ain”,
which means nothing.
Is this just a coincidence?
The Buddha has the last word by affirming that:
Soulless is feeling, and so are perception and its aggregates;
consciousness is soulless…
Is it proper to consider what is impermanent, painful and subject
to change as: ‘This is mine, this am I,
this is my soul’? No indeed!
1) Consider this passage of Prof. Ferrini:
I’m not the brain or the mind that thinks.
The brain is the instrument through which the mind is physiologically
manifested, but the source of thought is the Purusha.
It is the eye that sees, but we see that, the eye is only a tool, as are glasses for example. For when the atman departs from the body at death, the eye no longer sees.
Eyes, vocal cords, brain, central nervous system tissues are made of atoms that have no conscience, only think, as the copper wire is not electricity, but channel it flows through the dual.
The senses, nerves, and the whole magnificent machine that is
the human body are instruments of the Atman.
2) Meditate on these words of Gurdjeff:
It is the greatest mistake to think that man
is always one and the same.
A man is never the same for long. He is continually changing. He seldom remains the same even for half an hour.
Man has no permanent and unchangeable I.Every thought,
every mood, every desire, every sensation, says “I”.
Man has no individual I.
But there are, instead, hundreds and thousands of separate small “I”s, very often entirely unknown to one another, never coming into contact, or, on the contrary, hostile to each other, mutually exclusive and incompatible.
Each minute, each moment, man is saying or thinking, “I”.
And each time his I is different.
Just now it was a thought, now it is a desire, now a sensation, now
another thought, and so on, endlessly.Man is a plurality.
Man’s name is legion.
3) Meditate also on these words of Nisargadatta Maharaj:
For as long as knowledge means description in terms of what is already known, perceptual, or conceptual, there can be no such thing as self-knowledge, for what you are cannot be described, except as except as total negation.
All you can say is: ‘I am not this, I am not that’. You cannot meaningfully say
‘this is what I am’. It just makes no sense.
What you can point out as ‘this’ or ‘that’ cannot be yourself. Surely, you cannot be ‘something’ else.
You are nothing perceivable,
Whatever your name or aspect may be,
it has nothing to do with you.
You are the Absolute, not your personal “I”. but all the twenty-four hours that personal I is defended, nourished, protected, and this allows it to endure.
In brief, you defend, nourish, protect, harbor
that which in reality you are not.
1) These verses of Jimenez:
I am not I. I am this one beside me walking
whom I do not see, whom at times may visit,
and at other times forget; the one always silent
while I talk, forgiving and sweet when I hate,
the one taking a walk when I remain indoors,
the one who will still be there when I die.
Who will still be there when YOU die?
You have better find out.
2) This poem of Rumi
No Christian, Jew or Muslim am I, no Hindu
nor Buddhist, Sufi or Zen; of no religion
or cultural system. Not from the East am I
nor from the West, not from the ocean
nor up from the ground, neither natural nor ethereal,
not of any element composed at all.
I do not exist, an entity I am not
neither in this world nor in the next…
neither body nor soul –
to the Beloved belong I…
3) These verses from Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri:
This strutting “I” of human self and pride
Is a puppet built by Nature for her use,
And dances as her strong compulsions bid,
Forcefully feeble, brilliantly obtuse.
Our thinking is her leap of ﬂuttering mind,
We hear and see by her constructed sense:
Our force is hers; her colors have combined
Our ﬂy-upon-the-wheel magnificence.
He sits within who turns on her machine
These beings, portions of his mystery,
Many dwarf beams of his great calm sunshine,
A reﬂex of his sole Inﬁnity.
One mighty Self of cosmic act and thought
Employs this figure of a unit nought.
Looking into my own past so clearly can I see
that I wasn’t really there in a true sense at all –
at first terrifying this realization was to me
but nowadays such an immense relief.