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I Have Eaten Up The World And I Need Not Think About It Anymore

You say: Some say the universe was created. Others say that it always existed and is for ever undergoing transformation. Some say it is subject to eternal laws. Others deny even causality. Some say the world is real. Others — that it has no being whatsoever. 

Life answers: Which world are you enquiring about? 

You say: The world of my perceptions, of course. 

Life says: The world you can perceive is a very small world indeed. And it is entirely private. Take it to be a dream and be done with it. 

You say: How can I take it to be a dream? A dream does not last. 

Life says: How long will your own world last? 

You say: After all, my little world is but a part of the total. 

Life says: Is not the idea of a total world a part of your personal world? The universe does not come to tell you that you are a part of it. It is you who have invented a totality to contain you as a part. In fact all you know is your own private world, however well you have furnished it with your imaginations and expectations. 

You say: Surely, perception is not imagination! 

Life says: What else? Perception is recognition, is it not? Something entirely unfamiliar can be sensed, but cannot be perceived. Perception involves memory. 

You say: Granted, but memory does not make it illusion. 

Life says: Perception, imagination, expectation, anticipation, illusion — all are based on memory. There are hardly any border lines between them. They just merge into each other. All are responses of memory. 

You say: Still, memory is there to prove the reality of my world. 

Life says: How much do you remember? Try to write down from memory what you were thinking, saying and doing on the 30th of the last month. 

You say: Yes, there is a blank. 

Life says: It is not so bad. You do remember a lot — unconscious memory makes the world in which you live so familiar. 

You say: Admitted that the world in which I live is subjective and partial. What about you? In what kind of world do you live? 

Life answers: My world is just like yours. I see, I hear, I feel, I think, I speak and act in a world I perceive, just like you. But with you it is all, with me it is nothing. Knowing the world to be a part of myself, I pay it no more attention than you pay to the food you have eaten. While being prepared and eaten, the food is separate from you and your mind is on it; once swallowed, you become totally unconscious of it. I have eaten up the world and I need not think of it any more. 

You ask: Don’t you become completely irresponsible? 

Life answers: How could I? How can I hurt something which is one with me. On the contrary, without thinking of the world, whatever I do will be of benefit to it. Just as the body sets itself right unconsciously, so am I ceaselessly active in setting the world right. 

You say: Nevertheless, you are aware of the immense suffering of the world? 

Life says: Of course I am, much more than you. 

You say: Then what do you do? 

Life says: I look at it through the eyes of Everything and find that all is well. 

You say: How can you say that all is well? Look at the wars, the exploitation, the cruel strife between the citizen and the state. 

Life says: All these sufferings are man-made and it is somewhat within our human animal power to put an end to them. The experience of life helps by holding up to us the results of our actions and demanding that the balance should be restored. Karma may be one way of  describing this, this propensity towards righteousness; it is the healing hand of our experience. 

The above text comes from Sri Nisargadatta’s I Am That.

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