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Adyashanti – The Narrator and Consciousness

In this video by spiritual teacher Adyashanti, he brings our attention the sense of β€œthe narrator.” The constant stream of thoughts that is commenting on our experience, and our sense of that being who we are. 

It is a subject he addresses often, and in my opinion, is particularly good at helping people get a chance to see beyond it, or experience some silence. 

The question of who we are without referencing, or believing in any thoughts that arise from this narrator is a very effective pointer. 

Adya comments that while you certainly do not vanish into thin air, there is often confusion when examining this question. There is also an awareness that whatever it is we are exactly, without any thoughts about it, it continues to be. 

The continued exploration of this, as his words guide to it, I find create a sense of peacefulness and a sort of de-stabilization at the same time. 

I appreciate how in this talk, he goes beyond simply describing whatever we are as consciousness. It is a phrase used often, but in and of itself, can just be a concept, and is not fully satisfying as an abstract idea. The words in this talk continue to bring the attention back to the actual experience of what it is to have an experience that goes beyond identifying with thought and narration. 

Transcript of Video: 

Since the narrator comprises almost our entire sense of who we are. It’s not just the painful narration seen through it When you see through it you also see through the narrator and the narrator is guess who? It’s everything that you have ever known about yourself! Who would you be without your narration? Just give it a try! Anybody can do it.

Anybody can do it. Who are you if you don’t think about yourself at all? Don’t refer to a single thought! Who are you then? I’ve never seen anybody drop out of their chair when they got asked this question Some day they might.

I’ve never seen anybody go up in a puff of smoke and disappear But I have seen a lot of confused faces for a few seconds when they go ‘Now, who am I … let me not refer to a single thought’ something inside is like ‘Damn, he has tied my hands.

‘ ‘Am I good, am I bad, am I someone’s daughter, mother, sister, brother am I worthy, am I awake, am I unawake, am I a man, am I a woman? Let me not go to my mind. Now who am I? Whatever you are is still here, isn’t it?! You didn’t just die, your heart didn’t stop beating.

So whoever you are, whatever you are, whatever any of us are, is still here even when it can’t define itself! Even without its little narration about who it imagines itself. So clearly our minds can completely stop all this nonsense and we are still here.

Which if you really see through this it tells you that you’ve never been anything you’ve ever thought about yourself anyway. Because why? Because what you are survives you not thinking about it! But everything you know about yourself disappears when you’re not thinking about it! It’s not there! That’s the small print.

Do I really want to be what I am? Do I really want to be something I can never define? Do I really want to be something I can never grasp? Even though that’s true do I really want that? Am I really ready for that? Have I gone through enough cycles of samsara, of dissatisfaction in life Have I been tumbled around in the washing machine of life enough to where I kind of go ‘Yes, I am ready!’ ‘I am willing.

‘ I don’t have to be anybody. By God, if I am not a somebody I’ll be that. If I am something that I can never actually think about in my mind if that’s it, OK I’ve had enough of this ridiculous dog and pony show I’m ready! But let me ask ‘Can I at least be consciousness?’ I mean, it sounds so good.

It is written in all the books. Can I at least be that? Well just check it out. Anybody can answer that for themselves! Do you disappear when you don’t give rise to that definition? And if say yourself ‘I am consciousness;’ does it actually add anything? And when you take away the definition? Does it actually add or subtract anything? You see.

Now I am not even saying whether you are or aren’t consciousness. You are certainly not just an idea called ‘consciousness’ That I can guarantee you. But what that word points to I’m not saying whether that’s what you are or not because that’s not really important for the moment.

So you just watch. Watch without any condemnation, without any guilt, without any judgement. Just watch it those moments where the mind seems to choose to be something else it chooses its narrative rather than the reality of the moment Just watch it! Watch how it really believes what it tells itself! Just watch it! [Music] you [Music] since the narrator comprises our almost our entire sense of who we are see when there’s it’s not just the painful narration seen through it that’s all when you see through it you also see through the narrator and the narrator is guess who with everything you ever known about yourself who would you be without your narration just give it a try anybody can do it anybody can do it who are you if you don’t think about yourself at all don’t refer to a single thought who are you then

I’ve never seen anybody drop over out of their chair when they ask this question someday they might you know I’ve never seen anybody go up in a puff of smoke and disappear but it’s interested but but I have seen a lot of confused faces for a few seconds when they go yeah now Who am I but let me let me not refer to a single thought something insides like dandies tight my hands you know am I good my bad my someone’s daughter mother sister brother am i worthy and I’m I am I awake in my unawakened am I a woman let me not go to my mind now Who am I?

you know whatever you are still here isn’t it you didn’t just die your heart didn’t stop beating so whoever you are whatever you are whatever any of us are is still here even when it can’t define itself even without its little narration about who it imagines itself so clearly our minds completely stop all this nonsense and we’re still here which if you really see through this it tells you that you’ve never been anything you’ve ever thought about yourself anyway because why because what you are survives you not thinking about it but everything you know of you about yourself disappears when you’re not thinking about it

it’s not there that’s the small print do I really want to be what I am do I really want to be something I can never define do I really want to be something I can never grasp even though that’s true is that what do I really want that am I really ready for that have I gone through enough cycles of samsara of dissatisfaction in life have I been tumbled around in the washing machine unlife enough to where I kind of go yes I’m ready I’m willing I don’t have to be anybody by God if I’m not of somebody I’ll be that

if I’m something that I can never actually think about in my mind if that’s it okay I’ve had enough of this ridiculous dog and pony show I’m ready but let me ask can I at least be consciousness I mean it sounds so good and it’s written in all the books you know can can I at least be that well just check it out you anybody can answer that for themselves do you disappear when you don’t give rise to that definition and if you say to yourself I am consciousness does it actually add anything and when you take away the definition does it actually add or subtract anything you see now I’m not even saying whether you are art consciousness you’re certainly not just an idea called consciousness like that I can guarantee you but what that word points to I’m not saying whether that’s what you are or not because that’s not really important for the moment we just watch watch without any condemnation without any guilt without any judgment just watch at those moments where the mind seems to choose to be something else it chooses its narrative rather than the reality of the moment just watch it watch how it really believes what it tells itself just watch it you

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