People usually try to project themselves into things they are not, and when one projects oneself into something which one is not, one lives in a false world or unreality. You always find that every man thinks he is more handsome than he is, and every woman thinks more pretty than she is; we have made or created an image of ourselves, and what reality is there in an image? Image is imaginary, and most people imagine themselves to be what they are not; his imagination can be used for personal upliftment, for life is nothing else but this instant we are at about. The real am-ness is within you; therein lies total reality.

One has to go beyond the imagined reality to reach that total reality. Imagined reality is conceptional, while total reality is experiential. When you can really and truly experience yourself as you are, you will find that vastness where you transcend all limitations. You transcend the limits of your body; you transcend the limitations of your mind. And in image making, the central letter there is the “M.” image making the “M” in “I-ma-ginary.” In the authentic self, you have the “A” before the “M,” not the “M” or “A” image. And when one realises the “A” before the “M”, you are, and you would find such a beautitude in this realisation. You would discover total bliss, ecstasy, and joy, which is proof enough to tell you that you are not finding that total joy or bliss because you are imagining. You are image-making. While the real “I” within us has no images, it is formless, immortal. But in creating the images, we develop a form simultaneously; we are bringing that formless reality within everyone into imagined unreality.


Now, look at the process. So, you are lost, totally lost. And no one could tell me that they do not feel themselves to be lost. Sometimes, you feel so lost that you become lonely and not alone. There is a significant difference between being alone and being lonely. Loneliness has a need, while aloneness subsists with itself. It is non-dependent. It does not need any crutches.

Meanwhile, the imagined self, the so-called false reality, will always need crutches. So, you become dependent instead of independent, and we see in people’s daily lives that there is some kind of crutch that everyone carries. It could be a physical crutch, or it could be primarily a mental crutch.

When we have these mental crutches on which we depend, life becomes a phenomenon, and when you proceed with this phenomenon, you land up in greater and greater unreality. The process is not to go outward to that which is unreal; the process is to go inward, where we find actual reality. It is an indescribable experience. We seem to think that everything in this world is real. Because we picture it as accurate, anything you picture to be genuine will become a reality. But remember, it is a false reality.


So, we proceed from darkness into light, from mortality to immortality. It is all dark here, while in there, it is all light, shimmering, glowing. And life becomes different when the light is brought forward and that inner reality is realised. Then it assumes the quality of reality, and then only, and never before then.

You are all sitting here. Are you genuine? Everyone will say “yes.” I say, “No,” you are not real. You have emphasised the surface waves, forgetting the depths within you, the depths of the ocean, which are calm, blissful, and joyful.

One has to dive deep within oneself through our spiritual practices to find the real me. And when you discover the real me, the question, “Who am I?” will cease immediately. The most significant question a person can ask himself is, “Who am I?” And it is the most challenging question to answer. No one can tell you who you are. It is by self-inquiry only, through the imaginary mind, that one reaches a certain level where you have a glimpse of who you are. And then you jump, you leap into the unknown, for the unknown is what you are.

When we use the word “unknown,” we mean it is not conceptual. It can be experienced. For example, this little thing, say sugar, you can analyse sugar, take it to the laboratory, and find out all its components. But by doing that, you are not knowing the sweetness of sugar. You have to taste the sugar, which means experiencing the sugar and its sweetness. Then only will the question cease, “Who am I?”

The way to start knowing who you are is to move away from the little self. Moving away from the little self means you become an observer of the little self. So here, reality is observing unreality, the play of life, for life is nothing but a play. You sit in the audience and see the actors doing their play. It could be Macbeth or Hamlet or whatever. How much do you identify yourself with what is happening on the stage? I was in show business for over 20 years, and if there is a tearjerker, as we call films, that brings tears to your eyes, you will find so many hankies drawn from their pockets and wiping their eyes. They have become involved in the play, yet the person in the audience who is crying knows it is just a play enacted. It is not the actor, but it is just the acting. And yet you start crying.


That is what is happening in daily life. You become so involved in this unreality, and being involved in this unreality, you get all kinds of different feelings and emotions. You suffer pains and pleasures, for one balance out the other. With every pain, there is an element of pleasure, and with every bit of pleasure, there is an element of pain. So therefore, being involved in one’s ego-self, one goes through all these things. But if you are not involved in the ego self and become an observer of day-to-day living, you will be filled with that beautiful bliss I mentioned a moment ago.

So, the process would be to nullify the sense of the small “I.” Say to yourself, “I am nothing. I am nothing. Nothing,” by developing this sense that I am nothing, you become everything. Then you become a reality. So, it is a matter of emphasis. What part of you are you emphasising mainly? It is a slight turn in the opposite direction where you find your authentic self.

When you look in the mirror, who do you see? Do you think you see yourself? You do not see anything at all, but the seer within you sees and not you. Where does the energy come from in seeing? And the source is the seer. About any deed we do, we say, oh, I did this, or I did that. But I did nothing. That inner Force or He, whatever you want to call it, is the real Doer, and in recognising the doings of the Doer, you lose the sense of the small “I” in which you are so immersed—no wonder the world is full of all these troubles, all these pains, all these sufferings. Because the emphasis is wrong, we have this body for a purpose. It has to be put in its proper place without neglecting it to be in the world and yet not of the world. And when you combine both of them, you will immediately see that which is accurate and unreal.


From the vantage point of reality, you can make it a personal reality combined with impersonal reality. Here, personal reality is when you merge in the totalness of yourself, and impersonal reality is imaginary because there is no person there at all. But to add the impersonal reality into personal reality, one goes through a process, which is finding yourself. Then, when you travel on, you will know that this long path that I have gone through has not been a path at all.

I am real. This body, this mind, is nothing but an illusion, and when one moves away from the illusion, one thing will happen to you: you will find yourself unattached to anything. And when you are non-attached to your mind and body, then life can only be beautiful. It is because of the attachments that all the sufferings come about. Man loves his beloved. Who is he loving? No, she is not the beautiful body, the cute nose, the beautiful face, the lovely hair. He loves the Divinity within his beloved, and it is not a mental projection because the Divinity in the beloved is the same as in the lover. So here you find a mergence, and in that flow of love, you observe Divinity first before you see the bodily frame. And, of course, as you would know, God is love, and love is God, and therein lies the reality where one experiences that profound love which is indescribable.

If someone asks you, “Why do you love me?” and you answer, oh, because you have a beautiful face, a beautiful figure or whatever, it is not love; forget it. The real answer would be, I love you, but I do not know why. Because how can you explain it? If you can explain love, you can explain God; when you can explain God, you can explain reality.


So, to repeat, try to become non-attached as much as possible, and you can find the non-attachment by diving deep within yourself, and when you reach that central point, the Kingdom of Heaven within, you become the master of the universe. I never talk from books; I speak from personal experience, which combines the individual and the impersonal reality.

Everything seems natural because you use your five senses: hearing, seeing, touching, smelling, tasting. Therefore, things seem natural to you. You see this table here as a table, but I can see the total molecular structure swirling around, around, and everywhere in this table, and I find no difference between you and the table structure—the same. The table might have a lower form of consciousness, and you might have a higher form of consciousness, but it is still consciousness, and when you recognise the oneness, you see things as they are. Then you find the reality. Otherwise, you just know the surface level.

You must go on a bit. Then you find truth, and truth will always triumph in everyone’s life, that is for sure. It might take many lifetimes; it does not matter as long as people are set or put on the path of finding reality. Otherwise, we are wasting our time, and why should these few years allotted to you be wasted? Because the same cycle will start over and over again. You will discard this body and take on another body, and the same things will go on and on and on, and you will remain in unreality. So why go through all these pains of birth and death and whatever, because people are mixed up. They are loco, they are. You see people’s actions, and you can observe them so well. Ninety per cent of people’s actions are insane, 90 per cent. Because they do not know what they are doing, they are just acting out life and not living it. So, by finding that reality within, you understand what life is all about.


You look at these walls, and they will be vibrating. You look at the ceiling, and it will be vibrating with life, with reality. What do most people see? Wood. That is all. But do you know that life in that wood? Can you feel that life in that wood? Can you touch that life in that wood? So, it goes through your entire system, and you identify yourself with a life that is no different.

So, we go to the essence of things, and the essence is the only reality. The rest is unreal. You take a golden bracelet, necklace, or bangles, perhaps, is that what you call it? You say ah, that is a bracelet, a necklace, and those are bangles. But what is the reality of it? It is all just gold. The necklace is gold, the bracelet is gold, and the bangles are gold. So, we miss the goal and give it a name and a form, calling it a necklace, bracelet, bangle, or whatever.

But when we realise the essence of everything, we are elevating ourselves to that pure consciousness where everything is the same to us. There is no discrimination left anymore. You start with discrimination, but that is not the end of the path. The end is when you no longer discriminate, and when you do not discriminate, that love will flow. It will flow throughout this entire universe; it is so vast. And you go even beyond that, for there are many kinds of realities. There are assumed realities. Then, as you approach further on, you will find assumptions becoming less until you reach the end where there are no more assumptions, no more conceptions, no more discriminations, and all is one. That is the stage that everyone will reach.


I do not want you to live another 200 million lifetimes to reach there. You can get it in this lifetime without births, deaths, pain, or pleasure. There is infinite bliss because you have merged into reality, Divinity. That is the only reality.

Four thousand million people on this little planet, Earth, live in a world of their own. Why should there be four thousand million worlds? Is it not unreal? You can create your conception of reality, but remember it is just a conception and a conception is made of thought forms. And how much value is there in these thought forms? Because they are forever changing, changing, changing. There is no permanency there, and anything which is not permanent can never be accurate because reality is permanent.

So, we go on in this world looking at things with a bit of light shining through our minds. You use the conscious mind, you use the subconscious mind, which influences the conscious mind, but you have the Superconscious Mind, which is filled with light. The more the conscious and the subconscious mind are clouded up, the less light would shine through. But when we unclutter the cluttered mind through spiritual practices and get rid of the samskaras, the full force of that light from the Superconscious level shines through us. It permeates the lower minds, and when that permeation is complete, you can see nothing but the light.


You can be awake 24 hours a day. Even in sleep, you can be awake. When I go to sleep, I am still aware. I am fast asleep, but I am still aware of my entire surroundings. We did some tests in a sleep laboratory in the St. Thomas’ Hospital in London once and in the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, where they wire you up to measure the depth of your sleep. And yet I could tell them afterwards what was happening in the room. This one was saying this, and that one was saying that and things like that. It is so easy if you become the observer. Because the observer within you, the actual seer within you, never sleeps. It never sleeps.

Another example is when I had my open-heart operation, which will be ten years, on July 31st, I removed myself, my authentic self, from my body, and I was watching them working on this body. And I could describe all the details of who said what, and some of those doctors are damn nasty. I heard one doctor shouting at a nurse, saying cuss words to bring him something he needed. And I gave him all the details, and they were pretty astonished. So, these are all possibilities. If I can do something, you can do it too with just a bit more unfoldment. When they did this operation, they unfolded me.

Therefore, reaching this level of consciousness is everyone’s end and aim. They might not be conscious of it, but there is something within you that is pulling you to the totality of consciousness, and therein lies the reality. So, allow yourself to be drawn. Allow yourself to be dragged out of yourself. Do not let the attention be on the body alone. Give it its due. Give unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar and give unto God that which belongs to God. They tried to trap Jesus with that question, but he provided a beautiful answer. So, give unto the world what belongs to the world. Live the body, keep it in good shape as much as possible, and do nothing wrong. But let the significant attention be on the inner self. My mantra, which my Guru gave me, has 13 syllables, and 24 hours of the day, even while I am sitting here talking to you, I feel all 13 syllables in an impulse form all the time. I think the inner presence is always there, and you can all do it too by being regular in your practices if you want to know what reality is.


If you go through a desert, you see a mirage; there is water. You think it is real, but it is a mirage. Life is like that: it is a mirage. It cannot exist by itself. Anything that is not self-empowered can never be real. Like in your motor car engine, it will not function if you do not use gas. That Divinity is the gas that makes your engine function.

So, an excellent combination can be formed between unreality and reality. You go to a cinema and see things happening on the screen: this character is doing this, and that one is doing that. But if you go near the screen, would you touch those characters? No, you would be touching the screen. So, on the screen of Divinity, this play is going on. This play goes on and on and on. Look at the distance; the projector is here, and the screen is over there. The reality of what you see on the screen is in the projector, the film. So, regard all this as a projection created by Divinity, and the more you believe this to be just a projection, the less would you become attached to it. There lies the secret of absolute joy and happiness. There lies the secret of reality where you, although being in Maya, are apart from Maya. I Am That I Am, Yahweh. I am here, there, and everywhere. Think about that because you are here, there, and everywhere. You are universal. So why limit oneself to this little unreal self?

When you look at someone, what are you looking at? That she has got a purple pair of pants on, she has got a blue suit on here, that one has got a brown jersey on there.

That is what you see, and then, of course, you look at the face. But do you see more profound than that? There lies the rub: to see within the person that sparkling, scintillating Divinity that is there, pulsating by itself, to know within itself without any dependency. So, as we carry on with spiritual practices, you will realise the Divinity in everything, and then you realise reality.

… Gururaj Ananda Yogi: Satsang US 1985 – 02