Recognizing Dishonesty

The you that you think of as you (and that thinks of you as you, and so on) is not you, it’s just the character that the underlying truth of you is dreaming into brief existence. Enlightenment isn’t in the character, it’s in the underlying truth. Now, there’s nothing wrong with being a dream character, of course, unless it’s your goal to wake up, in which case the dream character must be ruthlessly annihilated. If your desire is to experience transcendental bliss or supreme love or altered states of consciousness or awakened kundalini, or to quality for heaven, or to liberate all sentient beings, or simply to become the best dang person you can be, then rejoice!, you’re in the right place: the dream state, the dualistic universe. However, if your interest is to cut the crap and figure out what’s true, then you’re in the wrong place and you’ve got a very messy fight ahead and there’s no point in pretending otherwise.

—Jed McKenna

Challenge yourself.

Look at the ways in which people so easily lie to themselves. Look at the lies in you.

Recently I had a comment-conversation with a blogger who believes people need to be “warriors” and not a “wussies.” After that interesting beginning he quickly devolves into fluffy ideas of “wealth abundance” and “self-empowerment”  and how not to procrastinate and so forth, all bundled up in a sort of mindful-marketing package. When challenged, he came up this doozie: he says he had already achieved a highly mystical state where he simultaneously existed and did not exist, but decided to come back to corporeal existence to teach the rest of us about wealth abundance, and other such crap.

This is someone whose dishonesty has extended into egotistical fantasy–and, I don’t really know how to reach people like these. This is not the first time this has happened, and this is why I now rarely comment on other people’s blogs. I can be very direct, and that’s not what people want. A similar confrontation happened about a year ago with woman who was and might still be a popular spiritual blogger. She does not want to awaken to truth; what she really wants is only positive validation for her continued spiritual accumulation.

The blogging community tends to create this incestuous pockets of bloggers where bloggers leave agreeable and reciprocal comments on one another’s blogs. That happened here in the beginning and for that very reason I stopped writing for a few months, and it worked. The comments here are now sincere and open. Every once a while someone jumps in hoping for reciprocity, and every once in a while, I am inspired to be a little too direct.

In the blogosphere, there is quite a bit of this repeatable nonsense, but this tendency to embrace and promote fluffy concepts is of course nothing new. It is exposed beautifully by Shakespeare in the character Polonius, who is fond of giving wise-sounding advice which is ultimately useless and toxic.

Polonius is rampant in the fluffiness of spirituality and self-improvement and the blogsphere.

Perhaps this is why many awakening and awakened people distance themselves from the conventional affairs of humanity. Egos can be very exhausting.

And this is the mechanism of dishonesty.

I don’t mean dishonest in an judgmental sense. It’s not that people want to be dishonest. It’s just that most people have given into to the dishonest mechanism in the mind which automatically runs away from truth.

When you’re alert to it you can actually see the lies in the people’s heads. You can see how the lies seem to have an autonomous life, separate from the actual being, and how these lies multiply and defend.

As Jed Mckenna says, cut the crap.

Develop stark honesty. Develop courage. Challenge yourself.

It really isn’t that hard when you have the willingness.

And that’s what it takes, a willingness. You don’t have to be smart or special. Just willing.

I had not been willing to look for a long time–it was suffering which made me willing. But once willing, it’s surprising how quickly self-honesty builds up.

In the unawakened mind, the tendency is to bolt. The mind wants to run away. I did too–I remember the desperate feeling of wanting to bolt when I was at ten-day Vipassana retreat a few years ago. I remember the angered dismissal I felt when I first read Tolle.

The unawakened mind wants to run away from truth, towards fluffy concepts and validating identities and familiar routine. It does not want to be challenged by truth.

People run away in different ways. Some people react with anger; some with fear; some dismiss; some flock to familiar beliefs; some embrace fluffy concepts.

This is dishonesty–this is the mechanical mind mechanically running away. Watch for it.

Truth is honest looking.

Not believing, not ideas, not spiritual accumulation, not ascetic practices, not building up validating spiritual identities, not the fluffy-pretend compassion of spirituality, not platitudes, not clever sayings, and certainly not the unquestioned fantasies of the blogosphere.

Just honest looking.

Develop the skill of observing. It’s not a difficult skill to develop because it is the most innate skill you have. Noticing.

Observe thoughts, as a witness, and thoughts diminish, and the true nature of thought is apparent.

Observe emotions. Allow them, invite them, don’t be afraid, make space for them, and you will understand the true nature of emotions. And you can easily let them go–this is releasing. It’s easy when you actually look.

Be alert to fear-bodies–when any sort of fear or negativity or pain comes up, just allow and watch, Allow the fear or anger, make space for it in the body, make even more space for it, and watch, and the truth of embodied patterns becomes apparent.

As you observe, you begin to see that the lies in your head have a seemingly-independent, slithering life of their own. It’s easier to see it in other people at first. Look for the lies, look at how the lies live a separate life. The lies teem and breed and multiply, slither and defend and attack, in reaction to stimulus from outside and inside.

True compassion is the ability to see that people are not who they seem; people are what is behind the autonomous, undulating blob of delusions that they have created and identified with.

Seeing that the you which you think you are–seeing that this you does not refer to anything–this seeing comes from simply observing. Looking.

The mind creates the idea of you as a way to explain the mystery of existence. Existence exists, awareness exists, a mind-body exists, but the you is just the creation of the mind which is desperate to explain the mystery of experience. Life is completely self-contained in this moment–it does not need a you.

Agreement with any of this is useless. Take a look. Actually look. Honestly.

67 thoughts on “Recognizing Dishonesty

  1. Navee Juman

    Honestly, I was disgusted with all the comments in your blog. Everyone agrees with you as if you are a saint. I recently came across your blog and made a few comments. What made me read your blogs are that you have some credible sources like Wei Wu Wei and Ramana Maharishi. Also you respond to most all comments although they are all patronizing and useless.

    However, honestly, I don’t think you really convey the advaita message that well (but I do believe that you have a deeper understanding..but much better than most Western Satsang freaks).

    Please post a blog article on the fiction of time and how our false sense of self is linked to this fiction. Wei Wu Wei talks about it well, but I would like your take on it.

    1. Kaushik Post author

      Oh come on, I think the comments here are very good. People are at various levels, and the comments here are open and sincere. Often the comment-conversations here take a life of its own, and I leave those alone to let people take the discussion where ever it naturally goes–and that’s great because this goes directly to helping people.

      I have read Wei Wei Wu and Ramana Maharishi, but what I write about here comes from direct experience. If what I say is close to Advaita, that’s a coincidence. I don’t think any kind of study is necessary to know truth. Truth is experience, not knowledge.

      What I’m trying to say in this article is that dishonesty is just another mechanism of the mind. The word ‘dishonest’ is judgmental, but if we can put that aside, we can see that dishonesty is simply another mechanism of the mind, where the mind prefers to lazily follow it’s preset grooves, rather than actually look. The delusions and running-away that we experience are automatic reactions of the mind.

      Ok, I’ll write about the fictive layer of time. That’s a good idea. We create a delusional concept of time for the same reason we create a delusional idea of “me.” I’ll explore it in future articles.

      Thanks for your directness!

    2. Elder Dude

      Thanks Navee:
      I was going to post a comment about “the pot calling the kettle black”, but you pretty well handled it for me.

  2. Gipsy


    I would like to ask you what to do when you are in the stage of non-willingness, I mean, when you run away from truth all the time. When you know that you are the only one who limits yourself and cannot do other thing but to further it. When you are just able to let time go clueless of what to try next.

    The only action that seems right for me nowadays is ‘to wait’…but waiting for what? and how when you have to work to pay the bills (not too many, luckily) and to buy food?

    Anyway, I agree with you about the fluffiness of the blogosphere’s conversation.


    1. Navee Juman

      Ask yourself “who is doing the running away?” Look deeply and realize that is is also a story you are telling yourself.

          1. Navee Juman

            In one of the comments above, Kaushik spoke of preset grooves in the mind. These are the habits we developed. So running away is a habit among many other habits. So look at a habit for what it is without condemning it. Sometimes it is referred to as conditioned mind. My understanding is that when you honestly look at these habits, it just becomes a “looking” or awareness and no one doing the looking or possessing the awareness.

    2. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Gipsy,

      Ah, good question. What develops willingness?

      In my case it was suffering. I had read the Power of Now by Tolle and I didn’t quite get it. But a seed was planted, and then when I went through an emotional setback from a breakup, I was open enough to see Tolle’s message in the right way.

      Some people start at this from spiritual or intellectual interest. It would be interesting to hear how others got started.

      I went through a long period of waiting as well, when nothing seemed to be happening. There didn’t seem to be much forward progress. But of course there is–waiting is not empty time.

      Jed Mckenna says that what we have to know is our next question. That’s all. Just the very next thing that you need to explore. Of course, knowing what the very next thing is may not be simple, because there is no individual roadmap to guide us. So if there is a mantra, it is to be patient, to allow, to continue to explore, to develop honesty.

      This is how I came upon observing, releasing, and recognizing “I” don’t exist.

      Keep exploring.

      Thanks, great discussion!

      1. Gipsy

        Patience, what a huge word! Suffering guides me as well most of the time. I read the Power of Now a couple of years ago but, although the message seemed quite sensible to me, I struggled trying to ‘stay’ present (feeling so forced, almost emotionless) so I forgot about it. Obviously I didn’t approached it openly enough.

        I keep exploring, no worries!

        Thanks for your words

        1. Kaushik Post author

          I had the same experience with staying present. It felt lifeless and boring. People would say they were present and how peaceful and blissful it felt, but I soon learned that people lie. They convince themselves that presence is beautiful because it’s supposed to be. It’s the emperor’s clothes.

          And this makes a good point about honesty. I dropped the practice of presence. And soon realized it’s really just about being aware. Being conscious, effortlessly observant.

          The reason that presence feels lifeless and boring is that the mind creates a space it calls presence. Since you’re forcing presence, the mind is active and therefore not present.

          Even so, I’m not completely dismissing the practice of presence. Leonard Jacobson seems to be a good teacher and he focuses on presence, so perhaps with perseverance, it works.

          You’re showing a remarkable honesty in recognizing that your presence was forced and emotionless.

          Keep exploring!

  3. Janice R.

    Mr. K.,
    I still have not advanced to the “I do not exist” level of understanding. For whatever reason, I cannot click that understanding/seeing switch.
    Anyway, I am looking at the part of me that has always been there. I was guided to this through some Adyashanti and Scott Kiloby writings. The wonderful part of this is, this is something I understand. I have been having no luck with your tips and focusing techniques. It was so frustrating I just wanted to simply walk away. Well, as you know, it doesn’t work that way. “It” is stll there. The “it” is the drive to keep going. Well, I get the keep going further, but, I need something to hang on to. So, this exploration of the me that has always been there is very peaceful. And, I could use a dose of peaceful right now. I am not trying to avoid anything painful, (I don’t think, who knows??) but at least I have a direction for this moment.
    I just look at that part of me and think, the emotions/feelings/memories, joyful or otherwise are just what they are. The part of me that has always been there is peaceful and accepting. I don’t know how to explain this any clearer. I would love to be able to spend more time in that space and less time in the drama of Janice. Besides the Drama of Janice is getting more and more boring and she is not so much dishonest as she is unintelligent. Please don’t freak out and think I now have a split personality. It is not like that at all. I just don’t know the lingo and the correct labels for this process. Hi Ralph, Masi, Brenda and Sarah. Thanks, Mr. K.
    Love & Light,

    1. Navee Juman

      Please forgive my frankness. I think you are addicted to spirituality. There is nothing there in spirituality. Stop looking for anything to happen in the future. Everything you are now is all that is. Nothing significant can either be added to taken away.

      “For whatever reason, I cannot click that understanding/seeing switch.”

      No one can. It may just happen. If you are trying to do it, false-self (or imagined self) just gets stronger in the effort.

      You are lucky in the sense you have spiritual thirst. When the frustration gets strong, just give up seeking anything. This is freedom. If you keep coming back, you are not frustrated enough. There is nothing you will find in this search. No one has. If Kaushik says otherwise, he is lying.

      1. Janice R.

        Thank you for your comments Navee. I don’t quite understand your statement that you think I am addicted to spirituality. What about my comments gave you that impression? Just curious.

        1. navee.juman

          Ego’s nature is that of addiction. Spritual addiction is another way it asserts itself. You said that you have not advanced to some level yet. This is exactly how we all feel at different times in our lifes. This is normal. Ego is looking for something in the future. Don’t look for something in the future becasue that’s ego’s job. Look for it now and what you see (seeing itself) is the most magical thing.

    2. Kaushik Post author


      Adyashanti is an excellent teacher. And so if he’s the one who resonates with you right now, it’s all good.

      Jed Mckenna is someone I resonate with right now, and some people think Adyashanti and Jed Mckenna are the same person.

      Janice is not unintelligent. You’ve said similar things before. Cut that out. You are more than smart enough. And at any rate you don’t have to be smart or special or gifted in anyway. You just have to be willing.

      You are not frustrated. There is just frustration.

      Let it be. Whatever feelings come up, just allow them and let them be.

      Many people say, as Navee has said to you, that there is nothing to find. I understand why that is said, but I don’t think it is helpful to people. Seeking is not counter-productive. People say there is nothing to be found because there is nothing to be found for the imagined self, but the recognition that the self is imaginary is something to be found.

      The “you do not exist” technique can help you recognize no-self. It also has added benefit of making you very, very honest with yourself.

      You don’t have a mental understanding of how it is that you do not exist yet. And that’s fine. It will come.

      with love,

  4. Janice R.

    Thanks Mr. K.,
    I label it unintelligent because I feel that I have tons of willingness and it really does not move me any closer to realization. It seems to be something I just don’t understand.
    I am not trying to sound or be “spiritually fluffy” or sweet to be sweet, but, I really am glad for your progress.
    Take care,

    1. Ralph

      Hi Janice,
      That part of you that has always been there is here NOW, .. what obscures it is the ‘belief’ that you are other than that. Can you see that the part of you that wants to spend more time in that space is the false you ? In truth, you have never left that space.
      Our true nature is peaceful and accepting but the ‘belief ‘ that we are other than that is what needs to be investigate.
      So, I recommend that you look at your beliefs… they obstruct the view of clear seeing. The drama of Janice is just that, a story, told by an imaginary self that believes itself to be real. SEE what stands in the way. of true seeing. As you say, there is a ton of willingness, now all you have to do is to LOOK with nonjudgemental eyes.
      Hope this helps.

      1. Janice R.

        Hey Ralph,
        I really thought I was going to “get it” and then “it” disappeared. “It” meaning understanding. Regarding the following…..
        Can you see that the part of you that wants to spend more time in that space is the false you ? In truth, you have never left that space.
        But the false me wants to feel better, Right? Why wouldn’t all of me want to me in this freedom space?

        Our true nature is peaceful and accepting but the ‘belief ‘ that we are other than that is what needs to be investigate.
        So, I recommend that you look at your beliefs… they obstruct the view of clear seeing.
        Look at my beliefs? Ralph you drive me crazy when you say things like this. You and Mr. K., say stuff there is no way I understand. My beliefs that I am separate? That I have a space of who I always have been and then a space of Drama Janice. I am not kidding you. Say it clearer. Say it simplier. One tiny thing that I can understand about this. Say it!!!! If you or K., say you Janice are one, I get it, I just don’t know it or realize it. I don’t know how to realize it. Seriously.

        1. Kaushik Post author

          “Why wouldn’t all of me want to me in this freedom space? ”

          Excellent question. When you are experiencing a painful emotion, it isn’t like there are two people in you, one trying to hold on to the pain, and another which is tries to let it go. Or is it? It does seem like there are multiple persons within us. And this is because we have conditioned reflexes in the mind and body. These are embodied patterns which sometimes seem to conflict with one another. It can appear as if multiple autonomous persons live with you, but they are just embodied patterns.

          These embodied patterns create and influence beliefs. Beliefs themselves can be thought of as just patterns in the mind.

          Look at these beliefs and patterns. Don’t try to analyze or articulate. It’s not a psychological or intellectual type of analysis. You simply look, with awareness and honesty. Don’t try to stop or change.

          Some simple ways of looking are:
          1. Observe thought. As a witness, as a watcher, without trying to change or stop thoughts, just observe.
          2. Observe emotions. Emotions are an association between an energetic thought and body-sensations. Step back and allow and observe emotion. Make space for them in the body. When you observe them in this way, you can let them go.
          3. Observe fear-bodies. Whenever fear or any sort of negativity or resistance comes up, observe. See how fast they come up and seem to take over. With practice you see these reactions are just fast-habit-reactions of embodied patterns.
          4. Observe the idea of you. See that the you which you think you are does not refer to anything.

          You say that you are sometimes a space for the you which you always have been and sometimes a space for Drama Janice. That isn’t quite it. It’s not like “you” jump from one space to another. It’s not like you jump from identification with drama to identification with awareness. There is no you. There is only identification with drama. And there is only identification with awareness. The you that you think bounces around in different spaces does not exist.

          Hope this helps.

          1. Janice R.

            Oh my gosh Mr. K. I think I understand something. I understand that I don’t understand #4. You have taught me 1-3 pretty thoroughly. I rely on those tools all the time. Sometimes I do well with them and sometimes they sneak up on me and bite me in the ass. Okay, another thing. You said, there is only identification with awareness. I think you are right about that, but, if it is true that means I live 99.999% of my time in identification.
            Do you have any suggestions for this issue I am having. I used to be able to sit and watch my thoughts or feelings come and go. I always labled them but so what. Anyway, I would use it as an exercise to see that they are just thoughts, etc. Now, I think I am creeping folks out because I will notice that occasionally people will say to me “Wow, you are deep in thought, what are you thinking about”? In other words I cannot always plan to practice this exercise I am just doing it more and more. Involuntarily. There is just more distance between me and my feelings. Is this normal? How do you this without looking like you are on acid? I imagine I look like I am trying to calculate my federal taxes in my head.
            Love ya,

            1. Kaushik Post author

              Yes, #4 is a little different. You’re doing fine. You’ve worked on the others, and you’re clearly made progress. You’re in a period of frustration and confusion. That seems to be a normal part of the process of awakening. Allow, and watch. Not with the intention of getting rid of the confusion, but just watching.

              #4 takes focus. You don’t want to be looking at anything else when you’re looking at how it is true that you do not exist.

              The you that you think and feel you are, does not refer to anything. That’s all.

              When you’re ready, look at that.

              1. Kaushik Post author

                Janice, you are experiencing frustration and confusion, and to alleviate them you are desperately trying to seek an answer. You think there is some secret, some key, some understanding, some clever saying which will unlock it all for you.

                It doesn’t work that way.

                Allow the frustration and confusion. Allow, watch, make space for them.

                Yes, keep learning. Explore Adyashanti, Tolle, the writings and comments here and other places.

                But freedom is not about change. Freedom is freedom from the angst of wanting change.

                It isn’t about knowledge or belief; it is about recognition. How does recognition happen?

                Look. Observe. Let it be and observe. I’ve given you the four things that have helped me, and you say you get the first three. Then get serious about recognizing you don’t exist.

                Let the confusion and frustration be. Just allow and watch.

        2. Navee Juman

          I will try to say it simpler. There is no false you. Just like there are no unicorns, but only images of them, the false you is an image. Contrary to some teachers who say that you should reject this image, you should use it as it provides extraordinary survival skills. The downside is the anxiety it creates, but as long you see it for what it is (just an image like unicorn, the Janice you see in dreams), it should be good. Try not to get conned into spiritual progress later. There is no such thing. This is available to you now and every continuous nows.

          1. Janice R.

            Navee, you just settled something inside of me. Thank you. When you said “try not to get conned into spiritual progress later” I immediately thought, there is no such thing as spiritual progress. Whether I understand awakening or enlightenment I don’t believe for a second that any human could ever be more advanced spiritually than another. I know I have just said a bunch of personal identification in this comment, but please bear with my humanness/ego, I am not sure what the word is.
            Also, I am not clear on your comment about
            Contrary to some teachers who say that you should reject this image, you should use it as it provides extraordinary survival skills. The downside is the anxiety it creates, but as long you see it for what it is (just an image like unicorn, the Janice you see in dreams), it should be good.
            Do you mean not identifying with the false self can create anxiety? Like what will happen to Drama Janice? if I don’t live in that identification all the time?
            Thanks Navee,

            1. Navee Juman


              There is no such thing as spiritual progress as we are all in the same situation. No one is more enlightened than the other. Some intellectual understanding can pave the way for dis-identification with the ego image and identification with awareness. You are already the awareness and perfect albeit all the dysfunctionallity that comes with being a human. The shift in identification will happen and when that does, nothing new would have been achieved except that you will be less anxious. Identification with ego creates anxiety because it (self image = ego) feeds on regrets and future plans.

              What I meant was that some gurus would ask us to get rid of our ego. I say this is a wrong approach. Those who embark on this futile exercise create a big ego to beat-up the ego and end up with a righteous big ego. I have my ego and I work with it. I know what it is. It helps me conceptualize the world in which I function, just like I conceptualize other non-existents like time and space, I conceptualize ego and these three imaginaries help me function well. But on a spiritual plane, I don’t take them seriously. But on a mundane plane, I (ego) need all these. Nothing holy here. You can verify this for yourself.

              Don’t take all these words seriously. Discard after reading everything. Words are food for ego. Words are not real. Just like a picture is not the real thing. In fact my ego wrote all these. So did K’s ego. He has a big ego that’s why he has a blog 🙂 But I am sure he sees it for what it is.

        3. Ralph

          Hi Janice,
          When Mr K says that “you do not exist”, it is just another way of saying “you are not who you think you are.” but I am unsure as this is what you truly want to pursue further. Am I wrong ?

          I will try to make it more simple if you make it more simple for me. What I like to know is what are you ‘really’ after here. It is unclear to me as what I say is unclear to you. I want you to be honest with me and then perhaps we will have a better understanding of each other. Do we a have a deal ?

          1. Janice R.

            Hi Ralph,
            We have a deal. Everytime you ask me this question my answer changes slightly. So it is good that you are helping me stay on track. Okay, here goes.
            I am searching for freedom from my limiting beliefs about myself. I want to understand who and what I am. I want to believe that I am part of something helpful to others. I really want to feel better. Suffering sucks.
            Even on my good days (reduction in anxiety,mostly) if you asked me who I am I would respond Harriet’s second daughter. I would add my job title at work and say that I have two adult daughters, etc. I would say silently in my mind that I have periods of anxiety and some phobias. I would say there are days when I am not so sure of my next step in life. Doubts, more doubts than I would like to admit.
            All my searching has brought me to this place where I believe there is something bigger (I have had glimpses) than my suffering and I want it. there has to be a flip side to this and a way for me to be helpful. Even if I just stop being a pain in the ass to Mr.K., that would be helpful.
            The “you do not exist” thread, well, I am still here and I am still trying to stay open to all this stuff I don’t understand because frankly, I don’t know any other way to get more understanding of what I am going through. If I have to beat on Mr. K.’s door till the cows come home I will. And as long as he keeps saying “you don’t exist” I will keep saying “I don’t get it”, until I do. I follow his instructions and read every post (see I have no choice, this is unbearable if I try to ignore it) and I am stuck.
            Dark Night of the Soul, more sitting needed, not focusing enough, dishonesty, Allow and Release, Identify the false you, I hear these suggestions and I feel discouraged. Like there is this block in my brain and I cannot get it unblocked. I have done these exercises a million times. Sorry for raising my voice earlier. You are clear, I am not. I don’t know how to explain this any better.
            Thanks for your time.

            1. Ralph

              To be honest with you Janice, I still can’t put my finger on where you are coming from but I will try my best to answer and I can be totally wrong. So, please correct me if I am wrong.
              You say, ” I want to believe that I am part of something helpful to others. I really want to feel better. Suffering sucks.”
              Is your self worth in question here ? I say this because it appears to me that you perhaps feel that you ‘must’ get this to be alright. .This is not the right approach. There is nothing to get, the seeing of this will set you free . It is more of an undoing than a doing. Just watch your thoughts, the problem is that we believe certain thoughts to be who we are, this is false, your true nature lies beyond the thoughts. .We create our personality based on what we believe. This is why it is important to look at our beliefs.

              Look again , can you see thoughts come and go ? Now , can you see which thoughts you cling to.? The ones you cling to is who you take yourself to be but who/what you truly are just SEES the coming and going of thoughts without attachment.

              1. Janice R.

                Is your self worth in question here ? I say this because it appears to me that you perhaps feel that you ‘must’ get this to be alright.

                Wow, you hit a nerve with this comment. Yes, I would be lying to you and me if I said this is not true. But, the weird thing is even though I do feel this way, I also just want “it”. “it” the understanding, a way to live my life in a way that I don’t live in anxiety and the energy of “what if”. I have always had issues of self worth, but, even that is much better than even 6 months ago. Actually as I write this I realize that some much of this started with Mr. K., because I just plain wanted to feel better. The energy of living a life of that I can be a better Mom or be of some service to others has taken on it’s own life. Somedays it is stronger than wanting to feel better. Do I have a big ego? Yes, I have always had to be the leader in my family of sibs. I was married to an alcoholic for 25 years. The last 10 years have been weird in the fact that I am not the leader with by sibs and I am not trying to heal a sick person any longer. But, I really don’t want to live the rest of my life without my own identity. Oh my gosh, I just said it.

                1. Ralph

                  Janice, there is no understanding to get because this you, who you take yourself to be, will never get this. This ‘you’ is what stands in the way of true seeing. Awareness does not belong to anybody,. Awareness just is. Can you see that the problem arises when this ‘little me’ is trying to get it ? YOU already are it. SEE who it is that is trying to get “it”. Is it not the separate self ? The belief that you are separate from me is the cause of all misery. Separation is the cause of your frustration, suffering,confusion, etc… Who is it that is trying to get this, try seeing it from a different set of eyes. your eyes will keep you in separation. YOU are all of it, not this ‘little me’ you take yourself to be. Stop believing this lie. LOOK at yourself . The answer you seek lies inside of you. No one can give it to you.

                  You say “But, I really don’t want to live the rest of my life without my own identity. Oh my gosh, I just said it.”

                  Awareness has no identity. Identities is for the separate self. Which one are you ? Find this out .

                  1. Janice R.

                    My identity has it relates to Who/What am I? Not my identity as it relates to a psychological identity crisis. “I just said it” means do I really have the courage to SEE, like calling my own bluff. Put up or shut up. How do I get myself out of my way, for optimal viewing?
                    I absolutely believe you when you say my little self is what is in the way.

                    1. Ralph

                      “How do I get myself out of my way, for optimal viewing?”
                      – You don’t need to DO anything…. just SEE that you are in the way is enough. Stop there.

                      “I absolutely believe you when you say my little self is what is in the way.”
                      – is this a recognition or a belief ? A belief is for a someone but a recognition comes from your true self. There is a BIG difference.

                    2. Elder Dude

                      What you are seeking is like riding on an Ox while looking for an Ox. You will experience “It”; have faith in the Divine process of waking up. “It” will find you.

    1. Kaushik Post author

      Jed is very good–very direct. The criticism I have is he is not clear about methods. He talks frugally about Spiritual Autolysis (observe and write) and Memento Mori (reflect on your mortality), and that’s about it. But still, he’s very direct and compelling, and one of the few awakened teachers who openly discusses that awakening can be pretty rough.

      Hope you’re doing well, Ralph!

  5. Laurie

    Hello Kaushik
    Just want to say g’day and that I have been reading your blog since I stumbled on it a couple of weeks ago. I am looking forward to commenting and posting a few of my experiences regarding (for want of a better word) awakening..

  6. Janice R.

    Okay Ralph
    Just See that I am in my own way. Check.
    Don’t DO anything with that information, just Look. Check.

    Belief vs. Recognition. Good Point.
    I have belief. Maybe I will have recognition after I See.

    Is it normal to feel like you are starting over at page one every….single…….

  7. Nitin

    Good day Kaushikbhai,

    As usual, try to digest yours and others comments.
    The reason, one would like to get all this is for peace of mind, so one can live without effect of any emotions on their daily life. Am I correct? I am in same boat as others, I Don’t care about any ABCD of enlightenment or spiritual experience, what I am tried of constant thoughts and fear come along with it, more I tried not to think about it, more it comes and more fearful.
    How one can live without any worry and fear ?…..I know it’s loaded question.!
    If thoughts and emotions are coming constant then ” let them go” and “releasing” need to be constant as well. Is It right ??
    If Ralph and Navee Juman wants to comment, please do so…..All we getting here is the nectar of the great thoughts……Thank you all.


    1. Kaushik Post author

      You are exactly right, Nitin. The point is to wake up, not learn everything there is to know about waking up.

      I like what Jed Mckenna says: figure out your next step and do it. And always keep going further. Further.

      There is a lot said about seeking and not-seeking. I see it very simply. Of course we have to seek. Sure there are awakened teachers who say that they woke up when they stopped seeking. But then there those who also woke up accidentally. And those who woke up because they were seeking. Adyashanti and Jed Mckenna come to mind.

      Keep going. Just keep in mind that this is about recognition. Not accumulation or changing.

      It can be important to realize that truth cannot be sought directly, because it is about recognition, not belief. My favorite quotation is “Do not seek Truth; only cease to cherish opinion.”

      How can one live with worry and fear?

      Well, my “method” is simple. Learn to observe. I’ll repeat what I said to Janice here, because it’s important:

      Some simple ways of looking are:
      1. Observe thought. As a witness, as a watcher, without trying to change or stop thoughts, just observe.
      2. Observe emotions. Emotions are an association between an energetic thought and body-sensations. Step back and allow and observe emotion. Make space for them in the body. When you observe them in this way, you can let them go.
      3. Observe fear-bodies. Whenever fear or any sort of negativity or resistance comes up, observe. See how fast they come up and seem to take over. With practice you see these reactions are just fast-habit-reactions of embodied patterns.
      4. Observe the idea of you. See that the you which you think you are does not refer to anything.

      Now you might notice that this is pretty simple and straightforward. And yet it is the nature of the mind to get caught up in questions and answers about knowledge and seeking and so on. We get caught up in these distractions because there is frustration and confusion. Wisdom comes when we can allow the frustration and confusion and recognize they are a natural part of the process.

      Thanks Nitin.

      1. Nitin

        Thank you Kaushikbhai,
        Navee Juman & Ralph.

        All the time ‘Mind’ want to make final conclusion about all this search and any other life’s subjects. Or the Ego of mind wants to achieve something to full-fill. And at the end, even mind get confused and the circle goes again….!
        It’s journey and NOT the destination, keep releasing, keep witnessing and be observer for yourself (I), which might become one day part of THE ONENESS without worrying who am I, why am I, how I should reach etc. Enjoy the just Being with NO complains, worry and desire…….!!!
        Opps…made a final conclusion !!


    2. Navee Juman


      Worry and fear are not the problem. The image of the seeker who wants to rid them is the problem. Ownership of worry and fear creates an imaginary agent at the centre of worry/fear.

      If a practice is required, treat worry and fear as your twin kids and take good care of them by pouring light (awareness/attention) on them. Keep at it and you will see that they don’t go away, but become lighter as if it is someone’s problem that you still care a lot about. We need worry and fear to survive. What we don’t need is dysfunctional attachment to irrational worry/fear.

      There are some people who don’t worry or fear much. They are psychopaths and I would stay away from them.

    3. Ralph

      Hi Nitin,

      It is very important to find out who/what your true nature is. Once this becomes clear then you may have a better understanding of “who it is that worries and suffers ? ”
      Find out who is this “I” you take yourself to be ?. Start there.

      Perhaps this clip will help .

  8. Amit Sodha - The Power Of Choice

    The problem is of course Kaushik, you are so entrenched in your way of thinking that you now think that everyone else is wrong, or those who do not perceive thing as you do, or to put it more aptly, the ‘isness’ of what you believe to be absolute; this is, that we do not exist. No anyone who does not follow that view is almost an enemy to you.

    You’ve posted something wonderful, lets hope it does not create fear in those who wish to oppose your views. To those who wish to escape the world we live in as opposed to fully get involved with life. You insist that I, you, do not exist. How does help a mother who wishes to care for her child? I would like one person to come here right now and say, how has saying ‘i do not exist’ benefited them in a single way?

    When my sister died I wrote my post about ‘dealing with death’ which has helped so many people who’ve also struggled. Should I just have said…My sister didn’t exist anyway…so it doesn’t matter…You partner died, they don’t exist anyway…so don’t worry about it.

    You’re created a paradox for yourself. You ego is waiting to be validated by those saying “yes, I do not exist and Kaushik is wonderful” but when faced with an alternate view it’s the ego of your existing the will be caught out.

    Just look at the comment from Nitin, you felt validated, you could’ve said to him, do you realise neither you or I exist so this is not really nectar? It’s an illusion? It looks like to me you haven’t really digested what you are teaching.

    You talked about observation, in exactly the same way I talk about mindfulness, I see no difference but still you seem to think in some way you are right and I am wrong. It’s ok…because I’ve met people like you before, I used to be one of them…then I realised that we live in a diverse universe. My believing something neither makes it so nor does inflicting that view on others make them change.

    You can preach your absolutes as much as you wish, it doesn’t make them any more true, powerful, rich, than the power of perception and belief. Allow people to just be them.

    If people want to blog to and to be popular and have lots of comments and just have fun with writing, let them be. If you want to have your belief about non-existence, that is your choice. There is nothing greater than choice. Your choice is to believe is just that…a choice…a choice for you, no one else.

    Reciprocal comments are fine, it’s a choice for them, no one else.

    You are truly welcome to be as direct with me as you wish. You can continue to tell me that I am disillusioned and do not really know what living consciously is all about or that my choices are not congruent with all of that. You can be direct with me. But the problem was I couldn’t be direct with you. Just go back and re-read your comments on that blog post….you just insisted on counter arguing everything I said. Where does that get either of us. You say you want to reach me. At what point would you say you’ve reached me. When I start agreeing with you? Is that your idea of reach? Is that really your idea of connecting with people by telling them that they don’t exist and if they think they do, that they are totally disillusioned?

    Good luck in your quest of reaching people and telling them about non-existence. You will continue on your path and in your way. I will continue in mine.

      1. Kaushik Post author

        Oh boy.

        It isn’t my style to confront or intimidate people. I usually meet people where they are–that’s what I’m comfortable with. But you are already re-evaluating, and you are close.

        Keep going. You are right about mindfulness and awareness. Now look for the you.

        Observe, and do it with stark honesty.

    1. Kaushik Post author

      You are still thinking that this is some sort of magical, mystical thing where by saying “you do not exist” people can somehow pop in and out of existence. This isn’t some sort of paradoxical thing. It isn’t a nihilistic thing which dismisses human experience and pain. This is not a way of saying that nothing matters since you don’t actually exist.

      It isn’t that at all.

      The recognition that the you is a false idea does not dismiss human experience–it in fact enhances it because it brings us closer to our natural state.

      This is very real, here in everyday life.

      Everything is real. The body is real, emotions and thoughts are real, pain and suffering are real, the mind is real, awareness is real…it’s just that the you which is entwined in every one of your thoughts and emotions does not refer to anything.

      Think about that. Seriously consider that. Don’t just come up with automatic reactions. Consider it with honesty. Follow the you. What does it refer to?

      The you which you are very sure of does not refer to anything.


  9. Ralph

    hey.. where is everybody ?

    Kaushik, it looks like you succeeded and made everyone SEE that they don’t exist . 🙂

    1. Kaushik Post author


      I’ve been a little busy–will post soon. I think I really do need to put in a forum.

      Hope everyone’s doing well!

  10. Philip

    .K you are really a sharing a description of something that is beyond attainment, something that can’t be lost and also can’t be grasped or gained. It is so obvious and simple that the grasping of it obscures it. It was never able to be found, never knowable, being is the consummate absence that is beyond measure. There is only this, here right now, no big bang, no creation, just this aliveness as it is happening, boundless life. There is nothing in this for the individual and nothing to be discovered. Honesty, disonesty it makes no difference once you see that the separation is an illusion, that separation is impossible it is seen that all the shoulds and shouldn’ts are totally useless and meaningless. and no one has more of a dose of being than anyone else. If you don’t see through this illusion all this discourse is just “truth talk in the dream state” and no matter how insightful or profound it’s always coloured by the contraction of ‘self’, the self is always in there.

    1. Kaushik Post author

      Philip, that’s really it.

      To say it the way you have is completely accurate and correct, and yet people will make into a complicated and mystical thing. It’s simple. We add an extra layer on top natural life and call it the “me.” And to see through the “me”, we take on all sorts of practices–we try to attain knowledge, we chase morality, we try to understand, we chase God, we chase spirituality and meditation, we come up with clever sayings and platitudes and philosophy, and so on, not realizing that all of these are really the movement of the “me” and adds to the “me.”

  11. Janice R.

    Okay, Mr. K.,
    I don’t know if I had a breakthrough or a relapse, but, I just understood everything you and Phillip just talked about.
    Damn, my head hurts.
    Love ya,

  12. Janice R.

    Hold on Seabiscut……..
    My ego still has me by the throat…..
    However, in this exact moment I see that there are tons and tons of thoughts flying by. I keep identifying with them. Some of them are so juicy, I am entertained by their mystery, or sometimes misery. did I just say that I am entertained by misery? Yikes, let’s bury a rock over that thought. The insight has been to see that they are just thoughts. they are not me.

    1. Navee Juman

      Ego is the believe that there is an ego. It is sustained by other believes around it. But we cannot just un-believe it as the habit is so strong. All the thoughts are shaped by this constellation of beliefs. But who said we should get rid of all these? Just recognizing this is enough. Any other striving is more fuel for the false ego.

  13. Janice R.

    Hello Navee,
    Thank you so much for your comment. I do see that ego is a concept. I also see that I still engage in ego, as it is a squatter in my space. It will not leave, shut up or have the decency to help with the rent.
    Actually, I have no interest in vaporizing ego. I am attempting to practice living in harmony with all concepts, even the couch surfers that think they own the place. See for me ego seems to come and go.
    Have a great day!!

  14. Janice R.

    Elder Dude,
    Thank you for the support. It is a needed need. Some of this information I can intellectualize and some I can imagine, but, has there been a transformation in my senses, in my body, in my awareness of what I really am? No. If I can think it, I know it’s not my answer. I completely believe or hope that this will happen inside “my body”. My body as it relates to conventional conversation. My thought processes are over used and sloppy. I hardly believe a word they say any longer. I just have this sensation that coming to understand awakening, will come from my body. Another reason I say this is there has been tons and tons of energy sensations in my body for months now. I exhale periodically through the day and ask this energy presence to flow any way it wants and then I go back to “trying to control” it with cigarettes, snacks, worry or whatever is available. It is a shitty game but nonetheless…………….
    thanks for your support,
    Take care,

  15. wisdom

    Thanks a lot especially me k I came from somewhere in Africa where all we do is to believe what they told you starting from ur parents to ur priests and nothing else, I came across this whole thing last year when I want to know more about the mind the very first day I try to look I started by looking at heaven i came across someone that said when you look don’t give it any meaning so when I was looking at heaven I did not give any meaning all of a surdden the sky began to go back from its previous way I was shocked I ran away the next day I manage to come back and did the same thing this time i now new what am goin to see as i started looking the sky began to go back i kepk looking till what i now saw was different from the first day i lost who i thought i was and behold another me coming from up to be honest with every one till today i can explain what i saw that day but all i know is that i heard a big voice in my head that said i should surrender and imidiately i Somon corrage and ask it who are you and it said he is my creator that’s all i can remember and fear hold me down till today and no one seems to know what am i talking about in my whole place i have no one to go to or talk to

    1. Kaushik Post author

      That’s an interesting experience. I like the suggestion to look without giving it meaning.

      And you’re right that it’s not always easy to talk about these experiences. Most people we come across probably would not understand–and yet I’ve been surprised that almost everyone is interested in trying to understand their human experience; it’s just not always easy to find the opening.

      Check out online forums. I often go to:


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