Note: This satsang talk is copied from a transcript of Robert Adam’s talks. The PDF of the complete collection of his talks is available from this link (as of 11/1/’18; right-click to download).
I suggest listening to the audio while (or instead of) reading.
The audio for this talk (1992-10-15), recorded and transcribed by some students, is at: an MP3 here.
A compilation of and all satsang audios can be found at robert-adams.info
October 15th, 1992
Robert: Om, shanti, shanti, shanti, om. Peace.
Good evening. Welcome. I welcome you with all my heart. Most people are home watching the presidential debates. We ought to have jnani debates. We have all the jnanis in the world show up. Whoever shows up loses of course.
If only people understood the first principle of self-realization, which is simply this: Whatever is destined to happen, is going to happen, no matter how you try to stop it. And whatever is destined not to happen, will never happen, no matter how much you try to make it happen.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the politicians understood this truth. There would be absolutely nothing to worry about, nothing to fear, nothing to conquer, nothing to win, nothing to lose. Everything is unfolding the way it should. Everything is in its right place. There are no mistakes. Everything is lovely and beautiful, just the way it is.
If you can only understand this in your own personal life. What you’re supposed to go through, in this experience, in this incarnation, has been already planned for you before you came into this body. Yet you have absolutely nothing to do with it, because you are not the body. But as long as you think you are a body, you think you’re somebody, somebody important, or you think you are a failure, whatever you think about yourself, if you would only turn within, and see the one self, then you would never worry about what is going to happen to you at all, for you would realize, there’s no you for anything to happen to.
You are total freedom right now, total liberation, complete awareness. Yet, you do not believe me. You still feel inclined to be a body, a doer. Think of the experiences you went through today, and see if you do not believe that you’re a doer. How many times did you become angry today? How many times did you feel slighted today? How many times did you feel fear, or something is wrong somewhere, or you’re not in your right place? This shows you that you believe that you are a body. And as long as you believe that you are a body, why not just let go and stop fretting and worrying about your body.
The power that knows the way will take care of you. The one who makes the sun shine, the grass grow, the apples grow perfectly on apple trees, the food that sustains us, nourishes us. Everything has been lovingly provided for us. Have faith, trust the power that knows the way.
This is the first step, to have total faith and total trust in the infinite, the one. You may call this God, if you want to. Makes no difference what you call it. It is within you. It is without you. It is everywhere. All you have to do is to surrender to it. Surrender all of your doubts, your frustrations, your fears, everything that has besieged you for so long. Give it all up. It doesn’t belong to you. Be free of it.
When you’re able to do this, you can go further, and understand that there never was a body to begin with. The world, as it appears, does not exist. The universe, as it appears does not exist. Yet you are, and you will always be. What are you and what will you always be? Silence. There is no answer for that, for the mind can never comprehend the unknown, the transcendental, the Self. The mind can never know these things. The mind only knows itself as a body, as a doer. Therefore you have to transcend the mind, transcend the thoughts, transcend the world, transcend the universe, and enter the silence, where there is total bliss, and peace and harmony.
Actually the only freedom you have is not to react to conditions and to turn within, to see the truth. Everything else is preordained. Whatever appears in your life is destined to be. It is your reaction to what appears that matters to you, what’s going to happen to you next. It’s your reaction to life’s experiences that comes to you, which determines what is going to happen to you next, by the way you respond to it, by the way you react to it.
Do not be in conflict with your thoughts and the self. When there is no conflict there are no thoughts. Thoughts only appear because there’s conflict. By conflict I mean, you’re worrying about getting rid of your thoughts, you’re doing sadhana, meditation, pranayamas, japa. All of these things cause conflict. For aren’t you saying, “I’m doing these things to become liberated. I’m doing these things to become free.” The reason there’s a the conflict is because you’re already free and liberated.
Therefore when you give yourself the information that you have to do something to become liberated, there is immediately conflict.
This is the only problem you have. It is your conflict. And this conflict comes from programming when you were a child, from samskaras, from previous existence, things that you took with you, the habits that are inside of you, that you believe you are. This is where the conflict comes from. For it tells you, “I’m just a human being, I’m just a frail body. I have to suffer sometimes, sometimes I have to be happy.” This is all a lie. There never was a you that has to suffer. There never was a you that has to be happy.
There is no one in you who needs to be happy. There is no one in you who needs to be miserable. They are both impostors. So every time you try to exchange negative conditioning to positive conditioning, you’re causing conflict. This is the reason psychology and psychiatry does not work. For they’re trying to make you normal. Who wants to be normal? How boring.
The truth is do not wish to be anything. There is nothing you wish to be. There is nothing you have to become. There is no future, for you to become anything. Right this moment you are the one, and there never was another. Right this moment you are totally free, without thinking a thought, without trying to make anything happen.
Why not awaken to this truth? Why not awaken to the fact that there is nothing that you have to become, there are no goals to accomplish. You want to believe everything is preordained, and it’s been mapped out for you. Or you believe that you’re just a victim of circumstance, going through many experiences, to learn a lesson. It’s really funny to me when people tell me, “Something happened in my life, but I guess that’s the lesson that I have to learn,” or, “That’s my karma.” Forget about karma.
Forget about lessons you have to learn. No one has to learn any lessons. No one has to go through their karmic experiences. Put an end to it all. Drop it all. After all, for whom is there karma? For whom are there experiences? Only for the I-thought, for the mind, not for you. You are bright and shining. You are the absolute reality, Brahman.
Yet even those words are superfluous, redundant. For what do these words actually mean to you, absolute reality, Brahman? They’re just names that are given to the absolute reality, to the Self. Yet everything has to go. The absolute reality has to go. The Self has to go. The reason it has to go is because you’re thinking about this with your finite mind, and every answer you come up with is erroneous. Always remember the finite mind can never know the infinite. It’s impossible. And there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. Consequently the wise person becomes silent, quiescent. You’re not even trying to change your thoughts or stop your thoughts. For how can you try to stop something or change something that never existed to begin with.
Can you see now why you’re in conflict? You’re trying to correct something, you’re trying to become something, you’re trying to do something, and something does not exist. Also what you’re trying to correct does not exist. What you’re trying to change does not exist. You get nowhere. This is why I tell you so often: leave everything alone. Have no opinions for or against. Do not be judgmental. Be nothing and you’ll be everything.
Why do most of you come to satsang? As long as you have a reason it’s the wrong reason. There should be no reason. There shouldn’t be any valid reason why you come to satsang. For if you think back on what I’ve been referring to, you will see every reason is erroneous. For the reason that you’re trying to come to satsang doesn’t exist at all. You say you come to satsang to become enlightened, to know the truth. Who has to know the truth? Who has to become enlightened?
You come to sit with me. You can always sit with me, wherever you are. What I’m trying to tell you, do not look for reasons why you do something. When you start giving up all reasoning, all ambition, when you start surrendering all of your so called power, your human power that you think you have, this is when the mind begins to slow down. The mind will never slow down by trying to make it slow down. I don’t care what method you use. When you are using Vipassana meditation, when you’re using breathing, whatever method you’re using… Whatever method you’re using, you’re using your mind. It is your mind that you’re still using. That’s why you can never get anywhere.
You must use your mind, no matter what you do. Therefore stop doing anything. I know many of you have been practicing sadhana for 25 years, 40 years, practicing many forms of meditation, going to teachers, reading many books. And what becomes of you? You may get a good feeling, then it goes away, and you’re back where you started from.
The only thing that you should do, or must do, is not to be in conflict with anything. Do not be in conflict with anyone or anything. When you’re not in conflict with anything, the mind begins to surrender itself, and goes back into the heart, and you become your Self. This is the easiest thing that you ever had to do. It’s simplicity itself. It’s simplicity itself because there’s nothing you have to do. There’s nothing you have to become. There’s no one you have to change. You are that.
Do not analyze what I am saying. Do not even agree with what I’m saying. Just be open. Open your heart by remaining still, silent. Allow the thoughts to come, do try not to stop them. Do not judge your thoughts, analyze your thoughts, or try to change your thoughts, or try to remove your thoughts. This will put you back in conflict with your thoughts. Do not even observe your thoughts. Do not even be the witness to your thoughts. Why? Because in reality there are no thoughts. The thoughts that you think you’re thinking, are an optical illusion. It is false imagination. Don’t you see? Everything that you’re thinking about is false. There is no thinker and there are no thoughts.
So why have you been practicing all these exercises all of your life? It’s like a person in the ocean going in search for water.
Awaken. Be free. Be yourself.
You are the joy of the world, the light that shines in darkness. You are a blessing to the universe. Love yourself always. When you love yourself, you love God. Forget about the past. Never dwell on the past. Remember, time and space does not exist. If time and space does not exist, then there cannot be a past or a future, for the past and the future is about space and time. If there is no time and space, there cannot possibly be a past or a future. So who thinks about the past? Who thinks about the future?
Even to say the I does, the I-thought does, this again is mostly for beginners. Self-inquiry is very important, don’t get me wrong. But the day has to come when you go beyond self-inquiry, when you just realize and understand that there is no I-thought at all. It never existed.
Therefore you do not have to get rid of it. There is nothing to get rid of, because nothing exists. You are total freedom, right this instant, right this minute.
Whenever your thoughts dwell on the past, do not become angry with yourself. Leave them alone. Do not observe them. Do not watch them. Do not be the witness to them. Just leave them alone. They will disappear of their own volition, due to the fact that they never existed. This is an important point. This is the reason why you leave everything alone. Now if things existed, if there was such a thing as negative thinking, karma to get rid of, then you’d have a job on your hands. You’d have to do all sorts of things to get rid of your karma, your past sins. You’d be working continuously, practicing all kinds of japa, mantras, everything, to remove all of these thoughts of the past. But I say to you since these things never existed to begin with, why do any work at all? Oh, it’s okay, if you like to work, but I’m very lazy myself, and the less work I have to do, the better.
I know it’s difficult for some of you to think that you have to do absolutely nothing to become free, because you’re already free. For you’ve been brought up that you have to work, work, work to get ahead. Why do you want to get ahead? Ahead to what? To whom? Everything must change sooner or later. Everything must dissolve and return to the elements from whence they came. And new forms are always being born, so to speak. So what kind of goals are you trying to achieve? Your goals will vanish, like everything else vanishes, sooner or later.
Think how many civilizations we’ve had on this planet. Many civilizations and they’ve also passed us where we are today. But where are they now? They’re gone. Dissolved into the nothingness from whence they came.
So it is folly to try to improve yourself, or to try to achieve anything. It is folly to try to change something or to become something. Just be. You may ask, “How do I just be?” By asking, you’re not being. To just be is to just be. Not to be this or to be that, or to try to discover how to just be.
Just be, without trying to understand what that means, without analyzing, without pondering. Just be. Just be. Just be. Just be.
R: Om shanti shanti shanti shanti. Feel free to ask questions. To make statements.
S: You say, “Why don’t we just wake up, just wake up” Why don’t you ??? By trying to get the others to think that they are enlightened beings and wonder why they don’t wake up…
R: Do not concern yourself with others.
S: I know but sometimes it’s easier to see ourselves because we’re all doing that right?
R: You always see yourself. That is all you can see. (S: Pardon me?) You will always see yourself…
S: Yes, in others, that’s right. So when we look at others we see ourselves? (R: Yes.) But when I look at the others and wonder, as I’m wondering about myself, if I can see why they don’t wake up perhaps then I can see why I don’t wake up.
R: No. (S: No?) Don’t worry about them.
S: I’m not worried about them.
R: They are an extension of you.
S: I know that that’s why I’m… (R: So what don’t you know?)…does anyone else understand what I mean?
R: I know what you mean, you’re trying to look at others to see how you are. (S: Yeah.) But that is the wrong way of thinking, the wrong way of doing things. Leave everything alone and leave yourself alone. When you think about waking up or waking somebody else up that is the worst conclusion you come to. For nobody needs to really wake up.
What you have to do is just be yourself and you will wake up, you will awaken to yourself by doing absolutely nothing. By not judging yourself or judging others or looking at others and seeing how others are so you will see how you are. Forget all about that.
S: Well, it’s easy to understand when you say that we are already awakened we just don’t realize it. What is it that keeps us from realizing it?
R: Nothing, why do you think there is something that is keeping you from realizing? That thought is keeping you from realizing, that belief, that something is keeping you from realizing, that’s keeping you from realizing. Just remove that thought and you’re realized.
S: Every time I think about that there is something that is missing is when I come here. Everything seems fine (R: Yes.) and then I come here and I think when you say, “Just wake up.” And I think, “Something to do, just to wake up.” I must be missing something?
R: Why do you think that at all? (student laughs) Don’t believe me. (Students laughs again) Don’t believe a word I say. Just be yourself, you’re already awake. Leave yourself alone. Do absolutely nothing with yourself. And you will be who you are.
S: Robert, if you gave me a copy of this tape. I play it everyday after I go home…
R: Say that again Howard.
S: If we get a copy of this tape. And we play it everyday, listen to it everyday, will that be helpful?
R: If you listen to the tape everyday it will put you in a higher state of consciousness. But to really awaken to yourself, you have to forget about tapes, forget about lessons, forget about everything and forget yourself. Then you will be free. So the tapes and transcripts help you do that, to an extent. They help you to realize that you do not have to do that at all.
(Student says something but unclear because of plane noise in background) (R: Excuse me?)
S: This kind of message is profound. R: Why do you want to be profound? S: No I said, this path, what you say… R: What did I say? Forget about all of that.
S: Robert, there are teachers who will acknowledge that we’re already enlightened and feel that what happens is that people develop … and their criticism is that people develop a conceit that since they feel that they are already enlightened and they don’t have to do anything. But they are actually enlightened and therefore it’s necessary for people to go through this great ordeal of sadhana, immense amount of discipline for many years with great intensity in order to make that actually so. It’s simple fact that they already are enlightened, actually so. I just think this is a point of view of some teachers that this is something that doesn’t come easy.
R: Why are you concerned with the point of view of others? Why are you concerned with what teachers think or what teachers do. Turn to yourself. What do you think? What do you believe? What do you do? That is all that counts.
There are many teachers who teach all kinds of things in this world. Forget about all the teachers. You are the one. Turn to yourself. The truth is within you, you are the truth. You are the whole truth but nothing but the truth. Leave the teachers alone. Let them teach what they will, let them say what they will. Turn to yourself. And you will be free. Because you’re already free.
S: Robert I’m going to back up John again on that. (R: Come on.) And what I’m going to ask you is, I’m going to give you credit since being a jnani I’m going to give you a credit…(students laugh) What the hell you know something I don’t know.
R: Thanks George, thanks. (students burst out laughing)
S: I’m going to assume that you know all about your prior lives which don’t exist but you know about them. And I’m going to ask you to help John out here, how many prior lives did you spend in sadhana.
R: Why do you want me to tell you about prior lives?
S: I want you to come into my dimension and answer that question. (S: Laughter)
R: How can I come into that dimension?
S: Well stick one foot in and get in there and…(laughter)
R: That dimension that you are referring to does not even exist. (Students laugh again) So how can I come into it?
S: I’m trying to be polite but really I feel like you’re telling a fib.
R: True, I am telling a fib. The fib that you’re a body in this dimension, your other lives, that is a fib. In truth there is no lives, there is no dimensions, there is nothing. And you are that nothing.
S: How many prior lives did you have on sadhana.
R: Why do you want to know about prior lives?
S: To help to understand what John is asking.
R: But I would be telling him a lie if I told him about prior lives. That is the fib.
S: But you told us not to believe in anything you say anyway so come on tell us what we want to hear…
S: Yeah, yeah make it up…(students laugh)
R: What can I possibly say?
S: Just be creative. (laughs)
R: I know you like your stories but I have no stories to tell you. I have always existed and I will always exist, just like you. There is only one of us and the one appears as many.
S: How many times were you incarnated somehow in connection with some physical body and doing sadhana?
R: It’s as if you’re in a darkroom and everything appears very dark and you trip over the furniture and then you find the light switch and the light comes on and you’re in the light. When you’re in the light you forget about the darkness. The darkness never existed.
And so it is with past lives. When you believe you’re a human being then you believe in past lives and karma, reincarnation and all that stuff. But if you know that you are not a human being and that you never were a human being and you will never be a human being then for whom is there past lives?
S: Is it like your memory faded?
R: There is no memory.
S: Yeah it faded right?
R: There never was a memory to fade.
S: But you remember what you did last week.
R: I remember what I did last week but that goes too, everything goes.
S: If that was an illusion, so if this is an illusion can’t you remember that illusion.
R: Everything that happens, happens simultaneously, happens now. So what I remember last week is like what I’m remembering now. It’s the same thing. There is no past there is no future. Everything is happening in the moment. When I remember something from last year or last week, for me it’s in this moment, this moment.
S: Thank you.
S: Robert I really got a lot out of what you said tonight, it was really good. Being the ego at a real gut level. Although what I sense is that…what I’m sensing is, what you said already I’m sort of saying it to hear myself say it, I guess. That there’s really nothing, there is nothing. There is nothing but silence. There is no past, there is no future, there is only now and there is only silence. And nothing really exists, there is no matter, there is really, there is nothing…what you say, letting go of everything.
I mean that is really a mind blowing idea which is letting go of everything I know, my complete past, which there is no past…I don’t know, I just feel it is really coming down to the present and I feel like I see something or a no-thing? It seems so obvious. (R: That’s good.) It’s freeing and it’s scary and it’s freeing at the same time. Nothing that I can do about it but I see a…tape unclear…
R: You’re becoming a good for nothing, congratulations!
S: But it feels good. It’s like a great relief. There is nothing I have to do. There is really nothing I have to do. And that is a relief. There is nothing I have to look for or to find or become. It’s not affected.
S: Robert not that I’m exactly reiterate the same point but to come at it from a slightly different angle. I think for me at least what it is, is this subtle concern that, it’s like the tortoise and the hare, that here I am as the hare thinking okay, I don’t have to go through all these disciplines and I am already enlightened.
And yet there is this other fellow back there that is doing all these practices and working very diligently, never stopping doing all these incredible things through sadhana. And I’m just kicking back and I’m already enlightened. Yet when it’s all said and done, maybe he is the one that is going to come in… (students laugh) …??? when you’re lagging back there when the bottom line it’s all written here. That the ultimate conceit of the professional seeker is this, that they’ve already got it, but they don’t have to do anything to consider. And yet also understanding your point, I have to agree with the others, you surpassed yourself tonight, this was an incredible talk. But I’m just trying to get beyond this one little point of concern that…why let it all go like you’re saying but it really won’t happen for me.
R: You are not to think that you’re already enlightened. This very thought keeps you from being enlightened. Do not believe that you have to be enlightened or that you’re already enlightened, let go of all of those things, those qualities. Of being enlightened or trying to be enlightened. They’re both erroneous.
You see there is noone to try to be enlightened. And there is noone who is enlightened. Both are impostors. That is what I mean when I say, “Just be.” You’re trying to become enlightened or you think you’re enlightened. When a person is awake, when a person is aware, when a person is liberated, they really cannot say, “I’ve been liberated.” Because the I has disappeared. The I that says, “I am liberated” does not exist. There is no longer such a thing at all, doesn’t exist at all, never did exist. Who is to say, “I am liberated?” Only the ego can say that. So there’s silence.
Therefore do not look at anybody else, what they’re doing. And don’t look at your thoughts that tells you you’re liberated or not liberated, that you have to work for it or you don’t have to work for it. Leave everything alone. Drop everything. Leave your thoughts alone. Do not try to make your thoughts believe anything. Stop thinking and be yourself.
When someone tells me, “Robert you’re enlightened so it’s easy for you.” I look at them real funny. I don’t know what they’re talking about. What’s enlightened? Who is enlightened? What does that mean? There is no such thing. Those are just printed words in books. Forget all that. Do not attempt to become anything.
Mary would you like to read the jnani?
S: Yes sure.
R: Thank you Mary.
S: Thank you Robert.
R: Do we have any announcements? (S: No.) No announcements hey? (S: No.) We have some interesting prashad.
(general prashad talk)
R: Remember to love yourself, to pray to yourself, to bow to yourself, to worship yourself. For God dwells in you as you.
Om shanti peace. Enjoy your prashad, be happy…END