The Formless Cannot Die


I am very grateful for your teachings at this time Mooji. My story at the moment is that a tumour is growing in my body. There is also a sense of awareness and calmness. Although this awareness takes me by surprise and is unfamiliar, it feels like Home. During this time I have become more intimate with the body symptoms when they arise. I feel well, and yet I feel so strongly how much the body would like to live. So there is an oscillation, a rocking to and fro of sorts, between the total 'okayness' and the thing being witnessed that really wants to live which is saying to the awareness, "If you really wanted you could do something about this."

Fear comes when I wonder about what will happen at the time of the death of the body. Will it be easier to stay in awareness, or will the body become so noisy that it will be very easy to lose it?

First of all it is not the body that wants to live; it has no desire. It functions until the life force departs from it. This departure is not an accident. Even an accident is not an accident! It is part of the portrayal of the Self as existence - as time and change. You are fortunate that you have come to be more aware of the awareness you are. Now gradually the 'I' self that wants to live, loses significance and power in the light of the newly discovered position of your Self as the true source of all phenomenal appearances. And we are not talking about whatever is going to happen to this tumour or whatever it is that will come up for all of us at some point: No, what we are looking at is the identity itself which grabs at life and is watched within the greater awareness. This is where both the challenge and the invitation lie-for you to continue fixing your attention fully in awareness-being. Not out of fear, but from this position of awareness itself. Everything becomes less significant as they are observed to be only transient phenomena, and through this seeing-understanding a great joy and gratitude for life arises.

When we have a sense that we are going to die, we start to fully live. Your experience has made everything more acute and made you more appreciative of life and, more than this, offers the chance to win Liberation. When you believe you have a lot of time, you start to plan out your existence, thinking ahead into the future: 'On such and such a date in 2014, I'll be having lunch at my sister's place in Peckham.' If we had diaries that went that far we would probably fill them up with plans, but for one who is physically unwell such projections are meaningless and far-fetched. So complications in the body can be a helpful phenomenon, as they bring our attention into the present and free the mind from all these distorted projections and expectations, which do nothing but make us more feeble and dependent. Now, free from such fickle tendencies, consciousness can gather up its strength and is held inside awareness itself as silence, peace, wisdom and love-the unity of being. What beauty!

You see... somehow it is a gift. Many people who become very sick, especially the ones who are told they have a terminal condition, start to live a second life... becoming very sensitive, deep, introspective and broader in their approach to life. They become very open inwardly and tend to use this new aliveness to find the undying Being they truly are. They don't know what the outcome is going to be and as they progress further into their introspection, into their real nature, they come to care less about any outcome. Somehow when the mind merges in awareness, it is the greatest thing that can happen for a human being-even for their physical health. Finally, the light of freedom comes to shine upon the worrying mind and transforms this sorrowful state from being constantly stressed, which intensifies the state of illness itself, into radiant happiness, peace and openness.

[Questioner laughs]

When you are the Self, one real day as the Self is greater than years of ignorant living. One real day lived in consciousness of your own Self is of greater value, of more power and joy than all the years spent just passing time...pursuing the fickle projections of the egoic mind...falling in love and becoming attached to transience. The introduction to a higher life which you have received inside your heart is coming to fruition now. You accepted this opportunity.
Wherever you've come from, your beingness has brought you here to be reminded that you are no one in particular, and to enjoy the immensity of your true Being. Somewhere inside there comes, we don't know how, but there comes an intuitive knowing that you have no beginning and no end. And no university in the world can teach you this. It sprouts out of your own being unexpectedly and grows into the profound understanding spontaneously.

Thankfully, you don't have to write a thesis about this, for there is really no way anyone can convey this to the ego-identified mind. It's a deep knowing and it's enough like this: Somehow, something begins to relax, to pull away from this habit to get, grab and amass as much experience as one can. This is the reflex of the ego-centred mind.

If you believe yourself to be merely body-mind then your life is going to feel like a burning candle. Right from the beginning we know that it has an end. It will have an end whether we're conscious of this or not and at some level, maybe subconsciously, there's a subtle trauma in the human psyche because of this knowing-that there is an end to 'me'. But there cannot be an end to what really Is, and we're here to find That as a living fact. Finding it is finding your own Self, it is not merely belief. It is something more powerful than even conviction, that inner knowing that kills death itself.

At the moment when the body dies, is that inner knowing... is it... very strong?

Why not now? Even now you are being shown this thing. Even now you can see that from time to time something comes up to reveal this timeless truth.

There is a story about Ramana Maharshi. When he was a young boy of about 15 years old, he happen to be visiting his Uncle's home when suddenly a strong fear came over him. He felt convinced he was going to die. The feeling was so strong, and there was no one for him to call for help, no one to hold him. He was entirely on his own. So he said to himself, "Well okay if I'm going to die..." And of course in India most people, even children, see dead bodies-so he actually laid down on the ground, assumed the posture of a corpse and just waited for death to happen. He thought, 'If I'm going to die, I want to be able to witness it as much as I can and for as long as I can.' And he could sense: 'It's coming!' But at the same time a flash of something else arose within him, a sudden insight and a deep knowing that although this body was going to die, the watching of what was happening in the body, the awareness of what was taking place-This formless thing cannot die!

It wasn't that he figured it out because he had been thinking about it scientifically-it came as such a powerful intuitive insight that immediately all fear disappeared. Many years later death for the body did come. That one who saw that death is not what it's been portrayed to be inside the mind, where is he now? What happens when the body falls away? It varies according to where your consciousness is located; it is not one common experience.

Someone once asked me, "What happened after your master died?" I said, "The master does not die. It is only the misterthat dies. The master-that satguru within, alone is real." When death comes for the body, all the ideas we have about who we are will go like they do every night when we go into deep sleep. Only the body doesn't die and wakes up as the waking state we call life. Cherished ideas come back in again and the page called time is turned to another day.

Use this time while the body is still warm to completely find out: 'Who am I? What exactly is this 'I' feeling that arises in this body so profoundly?' These are the most powerful and auspicious questions when asked with the pure intention of discovering truth. All other questions are objective in nature and can be satisfied with objective answers. 'Who or what is the 'I' that is operating as the perceiving centre inside the body? Where did it come from? It is clearly perceivable, therefore it also must be a phenomenon, by what is it perceived?' These are not merely mental or objective questions but rather, they are subjective inquiries that can only be satisfied by subjective, intuitive and confirmed insights or revelations arising from the source of one's being. These questions and introspections are the master key to the understanding and recognition of the pure imperishable Self we truly are.

Therefore one who seeks truth will identify and swiftly abandon or avoid all lesser knowledge and so bring the full focus of attention to bear on the discovery of That which alone is perfect, immutable and holy.

See: Satsang with Mooji