Conversation between AAU (Academy of Absolute understanding, and a closed group on Facebook teaching “Direct experience of what is“


Opening post by AAU:

What does man think?

To think is to mean something. So, it is obvious that the answer to the question ‘what does man think’ is: man thinks words that convey meaning. But man cannot think a meaning alone, no matter how hard he tries. Even to answer the question ‘what does man think?’ words would be required. Hence, man thinks words that convey a meaning and not a meaning by itself.

Therefore, until words evolved that conveyed a meaning, man would not have been able to think. Intellect mysteriously has imparted a meaning to a word from its opposite. It is the opposite word that donates a meaning to a word although the opposite has no meaning by itself. For example, good has meaning because of bad and vice versa. Hence, thinking is a mysterious ability that has evolved within man.

But what could thinking be? Present-day man understands that thinking is a process to reason something. He also understands that words would be required to reason. So, it is easy for present-day man to understand that, in order to think, reason or apply logic, words are the basic necessity.

It is not rocket science to understand that, in any language, a letter is just sound and a word is a process of letters. This can only mean that sound has evolved as a letter; that a process of letters makes a word and that thinking is a process of words.

It is obvious that sound, which has evolved as a letter or a word, is an innate property of life. Various sounds are present in nature and in man as well, for he is part of nature and not separate from it. Every language is a class of sound within man that has evolved as words with meanings.

How did primitive man think? Primitive man lived by the instinct of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. The instinctive lifestyle of the primitive man has evolved in the present-day man as the ability by words to think, see, hear, smell, taste and touch, although the individual does nothing to bring about sight, sound, smell, taste or touch.

Primitive man, during evolution, first came to know and later recognised and identified the world. After man was familiar with identification of the world around him, thinking evolved within man. Even to this day, a baby begins to think only after it comes to know and is able to identify the world around it.

Primitive man adapted to the world naturally by instinct and, in much the same way, the present- day man adapts naturally to the world by thinking. Man is unable to control the sounds that are in nature, as they evolve spontaneously, unpredictably and uncontrollably. Similarly, man cannot control the sounds within his body, as they evolve spontaneously, unpredictably and uncontrollably during circulation, digestion and respiration, including the sounds that mysteriously appear as thinking in the mind.

If man wishes to control the thinking process, he should first be able to control sound. This would be possible if man were able to control evolution, which is impossible. So, thinking happens to man, whatever that may be, and he does not make thinking happen to him.

Man thinks he can think for himself and for the other, but he cannot think for the other or for himself, as thinking happens to the other just as it does to him. Thinking may be similar, but not identical. As a metaphor, fruits of a particular kind on different trees may be similar, but not identical in quantity or quality.

So what does man think? Life has evolved man to think whatever sounds are within his mind, which mysteriously appear spontaneously, unpredictably and uncontrollably as words with meanings.

Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar
© Copyright V. S. Shankar 2013


Facebook: Nice story Marcus, is this true? Looking forward to the dissection.

Facebook: Nice story

Facebook: Sometimes the sword just laughs.

Facebook: LOL

Facebook: Appears that Dr. Vijai S. Shankar enjoys writing fiction.

AAU: Dr. Shankar shares how a sage experiences the world, man and the mind: as an illusion. Thought to the ego is real, to a witnesser, an evolved ego, it is just sound.

Facebook: I see what you're saying, Marcus. When THIS is seen, thought is seen for the hollow empty shell that it is. But, is there such a thing as an ego? If so, can it evolve? Where can it be found? What is a witnesser? Or is all of that just thought?

Facebook: It doesn't take a sage to see there is no thinker of thoughts, or authoring of thoughts, thoughts just appearing. Have you looked at that for yourself Marcus?

AAU: Illusory does not mean it does not exist. It exists, but not in the manner the mind thinks it exists. The ego takes thoughts for real, the witnesser is aware that thought is sound transforming itself into words and meanings. This is how life manifests the illusion in man's mind. The one who "sees" there is no thinker, is the thinker itself as long as thoughts are not yet perceived as what they really are, just sound. Life is a play of light and sound.

Facebook: I look and can't find a witnesser or man or ego or mind. Can you, Marcus?

Facebook: Nothing exists the way thought appears, here there is no experience of a mind thinking only thoughts appearing, the ego here just appears as a thought, a thought story perhaps, is ego seen to be. If the one who sees there is no thinker is the thinker, does it author thoughts? in vedic philosophy there is this teaching of thoughts arising as pure sound and then forming deforming as it passes the various centres of heart throat etc., but here that is only a story, life is just this, light and sound, the projector and the projection, the screen. Are you speaking from what you observe or of what you've read Marcus?

AAU: Dr. Shankar's books explain, in a relative manner, not through absolute statements, how the illusions of life are manifested. Life has revealed itself as a play of light and sound to a witnesser you may call Marcus. Marcus, the ego that believed in thoughts as real, has evolved by understanding one by one that every thought of the mind is not real but illusory, including "thought" as such which is obviously just sound. This happens spontaneously as part of life's illusory evolution not by will and choice. The ego is sound, the witnesser is light. A sage does not point to experiences, but explains how experience is illusory and not real. If the ego, which takes thoughts for real, "looks" to see that there is no thinker it still takes this experience of no-thinker for real which means, it is still the "thinker". It happens to the illusory thinker/ego (which is just sound in life) to maintain the illusion of real experiences.

Facebook: So do you believe you have an evolved ego? What sound does it make? Yes no choice, no author of thoughts. Here we point to experience in the sense that there is no separation between knowing and known, seeing and seen, the idea of witnessing infers a separation where there is none. There is no separation, real and illusory are only abstractions, labels used by thought, pointers for a time perhaps. The ego here is just another label for thoughts, there is just this as it is appearing.

AAU: Absolute statements does not make things clear to the conditioned mind. Therefore Dr. Shankar shares in many books, DVDs, CDs and a film how the illusion of separation is manifested by the duality of thoughts. If you point here to an experience of any kind you should be able to explain what an experience is and whether it is real or not. A belief is that which has time, cause and effect and man as a doer in it. The witnesser is aware of time, cause and effect and man as a doer that it is illusory and not real. The witnesser transcends duality, yet duality exists, as thoughts in the mind. Yes, there is no separation.

Facebook: The witnesser, by implication is a separation where there is none, the duality doesn't exist, it appears to or at least thought says. It seems Dr Shankar is sharing the same teachings as many others and if you find them helpful well and good, however home is here to invite looking, the inseparability of this is self evident, in ones own experience, any teaching must be grounded here, it is of no value as a belief system, I'm not saying that is what has happened with you Marcus, but there is no need to look at books and DVD's to see this, or sit at the feet of a "sage" or "master" The witnesser can not transcend duality, when the witnesser merges with the witnessed its clear there never was duality, there never was separation between the two, not two. ;0 Although reading many books and watching DVDs and sitting with "masters" happened here, go figure.

AAU: The illusion has to be understood (not just known!) in detail as relative, dual, not absolute. Then man will be able to "see" spontaneously. The ego in its present state that takes experiences for real will only see illusions taking it for real. And man will not be transformed but only informed. Wisdom is not a belief, it reveals, relatively, not with just absolute statements, that all thoughts are in fact illusory and not real. To establish and cement in the understanding that life is in fact a play of light and sound and not an actuality, reading Dr. Shankar's books is helpful. The books help the conditioned mind to understand the conditioning in detail instead of being happy with "experiences" of any kind as real. This is the way, illusory it may be, that has figured it out here as Marcus.

Facebook: Only thought says that illusion has to be understood and not just known. Only thought says that there is a mind and that it's conditioned. Only thought says that man will be able to see spontaneously. There is only THIS that is. As soon as the idea of 'man, ego, mind' comes in, separation is implied. Thought knows nothing of THIS. The x, y and Marcus characters know nothing about THIS. And thought makes it out to be all about the character (or itself). It also says that it's complicated and that there's 'work' involved in seeing what you are. All empty chatter from something that can't be touched, tasted, felt or heard. Pretty amazing.

Facebook: Was it figured out or did you use it to look for yourself, as you say this is revealed, it can never be figured out, figuring out is a thought process. If you found it helpful well and good, here I am that, seemed to reveal the nature of thought as just empty data, that I am all of this, many beautiful pointers appearing, what they point to only revealed by looking here, not taken on as a belief, it seems that is what has happened Marcus, rather than being figured out. Well maybe, it seems this can be understood in thought yet there is no seeing, to see it seems there must be looking, the ego and any other thoughts are just seen as they are, the idea of illusion is a thorn to remove a thorn, it only has any effect if there is looking then the thorn is discarded, and neither thorns were real. Late here goodnight Marcus. Have you read any Marcus Aurelius by the way, quite good stuff from what I remember, which isn't very much. He said "Perhaps there are none more lazy, or more truly ignorant, than your everlasting readers" It doesn't mean that reading can't be useful in pointing to this as it is, but what is read or pointed must be looked at as more than information to be thought about, it seems you realise that, that is all I am saying about, one must look for oneself, at the end of the day there is no other authority, and in fact in looking, no authority required.

AAU: Life as science proofs too, is nothing but energy, or just light. Light reflects itself. Man is a quantum of light, an optical illusion. Light transforms as sound which is light too in a slower wavelength. Light in man transforms as sound, therefore the ego is sound. The witnesser is light. Neither "make" sound, sound happens as life is a play of light and sound. Some sounds transform as words with meanings labeling optical illusions as separate entities. This is how oneness (light) appears as duality. Knowledge happens in the intellect as sound, wisdom happens in intelligence which is life or just light. A sage is an optical illusion, as any other man too, but the sage is aware that life is a play of light and sound. This cannot be "looked" but it reveals itself when all the illusions of the mind are understood as illusory and not real. Any attempt to "look and see" holds man closed in his mind as real. Do you understand? If not, it would be helpful to read the book "Evolution of Mind" for example.

Facebook: What needs to be understood, intellectual understanding is just a vaneer, it never gets this ever. It can be entertaining it seems, but that sort of entertainment doesn't seem to be sought here for now, this is wonderful as it is, self evident, but thanks for the recommendation, I'll bare it in mind, but here there is no belief in a mind that needs to evolve, it seem a plausable story though, what about darkness, the darkness of a blackhole which has such a pull that light cannot escape, is this darkness too? Some teachings state that truth is darkness exploding into light in meeting creation, I like that story too.

AAU: Wisdom is not intellectual understanding. Knowledge (intellectual understanding) happens in the intellect as sound, wisdom (understanding beyond the mind) happens in intelligence which is life or just light. The mind does not evolve as a real entity. Life evolves as sound and sound as words and meanings, which is the "mind". Such is the intelligence of life to manifest an illusory mind. Primitive man did not have a functioning mind as yet. Sounds happened to man as life evolved as modern man. This sound began to transform as words with meanings, beliefs, logic... Evolution does not mean "cause and effect" but a singular transformation of energy which is life. The illusion needs to be understood as how it manifests, bare this in mind, if it happens! Light appears as darkness too. Darkness is just minimal light. Stories about truth are just stories, truth cannot be known, but only be lived.

Facebook: Does life evolve, evolution is a story too, but what you say is getting closer to how it appears, although "the illusion needs to be understood" is seen as just thought fluff, everything appears as it is, perhaps that is what is meant by the use of the word wisdom, it belongs to no one, it cannot be acquired, there is no tranference of wisdom, or this simply is as it is. Illusion or ignorance is seemingly removed but it never was it just disappears at the thought fluff it is when all teachings, thoughts, beliefs are discarded or seen through. Holding positions or authorities in this it seems is a haze which can be seen through. This can only be lived, it is perhaps too much to say truth is lived, but it could be said like that.

AAU: Evolution by science, has been described as real, meaning a matter of separate entities, cause and effect. Dr. Shankar explains evolution as illusory. Illusory does not mean it does not exist! Life is a timeless, singular flow of energy or light which transforms itself spontaneously, uncontrollably and unpredictably – this is meant by "Evolution" here. Wisdom happens spontaneously and is also not caused by anything, yes. The mind however is not able to understand this. Therefore the mind gets conditioned by life and deconditioned by life when pondering happens to man about whether he takes for real is in fact real. Illusion is not the same as ignorance. Illusion means that what the mind reports is not as it appears to be. Therefore every "experience", even of "oneness" is just and illusory experience. Experience which is understood as how it is illusory reveals life as it is. Please read the books or have a deep look into what is shared on If wisdom has already happened to you, you will easily understand, if not, wisdom may happen spontaneously while reading, if it is meant to. And then there is no need to "look" because, what ever you see is clearly illusory to you, spontaneously every moment.

Facebook: Are you here to try to sell books?

Facebook: That is the point I am everything, but as I said reading about something doesn't do it, do you see what is being expounded in the book, if so you could just speak as yourself instead of selling a book or quoting someone else as your authority, you are the only authority you'll ever need, and you need no authority, it appears attempting to sell a book is happening, this is not an advertising site, but thanks for the recommendation. I was in a school of Advaita Vedanta for a long time, and there was much revealed in that but also some major identification with teachings and teachers, but this must be taken as ones own Marcus, if a teacher says otherwise, then there is something going on other than a true teaching.

AAU: The books reveal what is man's and woman's daily life, as an illusion. Many articles and videos are for free on the website, it is shared with humanity, not sold. You only pay for the costs of producing a book. No teaching is offered as man is not a doer. I am not here to sell books.

Facebook: Spam alert!

AAU: A friend of mine has asked me to share this on this group, to help him understand what happens here. What happens here is a belief of "looking". This has reasonably been explained. The ego just tries to defend its beliefs. It is not the question whether the book is to be sold, the point is that the books makes clear to a seeker that what is shared here about "looking" will not facilitate a clear understanding of non-duality.

Facebook: Which is life, this, is the only teacher that is needed and not even that, you are all of it anyway. Read it, if its useful, use it to reveal in your experience, but don't pass it on as second hand wisdom, see what it points to, embody it, and share from there or not, but promotion of teachings is not what this group is for, and I appreciate your enthusiasm, there was great enthusiasm here for teachings to till there wasn't.

Facebook: Ok. You are not here to sell books, now we have heard about the books, thank you. Please stop referring to them from now on then. In this group we are not really interested in what is written in books, but what is direct experienced.

AAU: Would I be able to respond to all your queries so clearly if it were just second hand? Ponder! What is direct experience is explained here by Marcus as illusion, did you read the responses?

Facebook: Lol this only ever becomes clear in looking, non-duality is never understood, although thought likes to believe it has it down, like you say it seems it is revealed, seeing through beliefs about this it seems reveals it, there is nothing to defend, or promote. A friend asked you to share it here to help him understand eh? Why didn't you just give him the book? The you see what the book describes?

AAU: The friend needs to understand deeply what "looking" means and that it will ever remain an illusion as any experience is an illusion and not real. "Thought" is sound as was explained. Thought has ever been real to you on this forum. Now the friend is prepared to read the book and understand it, however not "with his mind" but "beyond the mind". Then seeing that life is non-dual appearing as dual will just happen to anybody spontaneously, without "looking", this is meant by "reveals itself".

Facebook: Advaita Vedanta is beautiful it as true as a teaching can be, but it reveals nothing in and of itself. It points to what is, try reading I am That by Nisargadatta, he will tell you believe no one, look for yourself, understanding deeply comes from standing under you own authority in this as this, teachings are useful to a point, that is they point, that is all.

AAU: Advaita is longly misunderstood as a teaching in the history of spirituality. What Dr. Shankar shares is not a teaching. Dr. Shankar never wants anybody to believe but to enquire. This is what happens here and this is what Nisargadatta, as he was a sage too, was sharing. A sage points to "what is" by explaining what is not (real). The sages who proclaimed the world to be illusory have not disclosed what is enlightenment. Those who could not understand the sages proclamation misinterpreted what enlightenment is. Enlightenment can never be disclosed what it is. If it is disclosed then it is not enlightenment. Just as love is not what the mind thinks it is, enlightenment is not what the mind thinks it is.

Facebook: Excellent, that is one method, it isn't always necessary though. What remains after seeing all that is not is what is? So what do you see Marcus?

AAU: Have explained it is not a "method", method would contain time, cause and effect and a doer as real, which you will not find in the books or, if you don't want to spend money, on the website. It has already been shared, what I see: A play of light and sound, not a reality.

Facebook: So how is light and sound appearing, what is appearing? What if anything is reality? What is light and sound appearing as?

AAU: Anything is not a reality because there is just a singlular movement of light and there is sound, some sounds transform into words with meanings and the meanings make an illusory world appear.

Facebook: What are you, are you separately witnessing the play of light and sound, can you find the edges of what is said to be illusion and what sees it?

AAU: Any separation would be a sound which appears as a thought calling it "separate".

Facebook: Is it seen that this is not a separation only a thought saying it is separate?

AAU: It is seen, spontaneously, that sound is an aspect of life as a play of light and sound and sounds appear as words which is therefore illusory and not real. It is "seen" that a thought as such is illusory, it is just sound! You have asked me now about my direct experience. It did not happen to me because, I have looked, it happens to me spontaneously. And it happens to anybody who has understood the illusory to be illusory and not real. Step by step, life de-conditions the mind. This is the process of neti,neti, not this, not this. This is how the sage "point" to what is real. By showing how that what is taken to be real is in fact illusory. Thought is illusory because it is just sound. Do you understand?

Facebook: Oh dear, 3am, goodnight Marcus

AAU: Good night, Facebook.

Facebook: To the OP; Dr Shankar obviously arrived at this by thinking verbal thoughts.

Had he known about DE (Direct experience), he would have discovered that he has much more than word thoughts. Here it has been noticed thoughts that occur as images as well. Then there are thoughts 'below' both verbal and visual, that appear as a flash and are a complete story. There is a knowing of the content even before diluting it into a thought stream. A story here is that primitive people would have acted on these without the need to verbalise them...

AAU: No man "acts on thoughts" be it verbal or non-verbal thoughts, whatever that could be. Life functions precisely without the mind as a reality. In nature, there is sound, but not a mind. Primitive man did not have a mind and all of daily life, as an illusion, happened to him as part of the evolution of life. Later on, sound in primitive man, evolved as words with meanings and actions appeared in his mind. The illusion of a doer was manifested based on the illusion of an action. Even today man simply moves as a quantum of light and only some, not all, apparent movements get labeled by the mind which is sound. Sound transforming as labels in the mind accompany the movement of light as an apparent body. The movement however does never stop, there is no beginning and no end of an action. Therefore life is a singular movement and not many separate actions. Because action is an illusion man is not a doer because there is no real action in the first place. Illusory does not mean that it does not exist! Man moves as a quantum of light and the mind moves as sound which is light at a slower speed. Life is more than the mind and includes the mind as an illusion. This understanding has happened to Dr. Shankar and life expresses as Dr. Shankar writing words of wisdom which reveal the timeless Here and the thoughtless Now by explaining that and why (!) every thought is in fact illusory and not real. He did not come to this understanding as a "real thinker thinking verbal thoughts". It happened to him spontaneously beyond the mind. A sage is he in whom the understanding that life is a play of light and sound has cemented to a point of transformation that he does not react to his mind as if it were real but responds to life as it is, from beyond the mind, so to speak. The depth of understanding reflects itself in the apparent actions, speech and thoughts of the illusory individual.

Facebook: @OP: It seems to me that this Shankar character is a confused puppy. He says: "So, thinking happens to man, whatever that may be, and he does not make thinking happen to him." So obviously he is imagining that thoughts are known by people. They are not. It is a BELIEF that man knows of thoughts. Do you believe that people can be aware of thoughts? You say: "A sage is he in whom the understanding that life is a play of light and sound has cemented to a point of transformation that he does not react to his mind as if it were real but responds to life as it is, from beyond the mind, so to speak. The depth of understanding reflects itself in the apparent actions, speech and thoughts of the illusory individual." Do you believe that people ever understand anything? Do you understand that for people to understand anything they would have to be aware first? And Marcus, here is another thing that you say: "The ego just tries to defend its beliefs." What is "the ego"? As far as I understand "ego", it's just an idea. And ideas are utterly unaware of anything, so how does a thought have beliefs???

AAU: Confused is he who takes thoughts for real. This is the state of any average man. Even more confused is he who hears the belief that an individual does not exist at all. The individual, as anything in life, is illusory, but it does not mean that it doesn‘t exist. How it exists, as an optical illusion, has been explained here repeatedly. There is no real individual as a thinker, speaker and doer but there is an illusory individual to whom thinking, speaking and doing happens as an illusion of light and sound, this could not be denied! If it were not the case, you also would not be able to read and answer! A thought does not have beliefs, this was never meant. What was meant and already explained is that man, as an optical illusion has beliefs. And a sage, who is an optical illusion too, understands them as illusory and not real. This description of life does not leave man confused believing that he does not exist. And there is much to be understood in daily life, because the conditioned mind that nobody has ever seen and is yet present as an illusion, will appear real to man in many situations, such as relationships, work issues, money issues, children, feelings, health and illness... All topics need to be understood with clarity as the illusion they are, in daily life. So Dr. Shankar is not confused at all to write so many books which help man to rethink daily life as well as science, religion and spirituality whether it is real or not in detail. He knows that it is not possible to wipe out beliefs in a short conversation all and once and for all. If it happens, well and good, so let your people have a “look“ if it happens to them, and if they are contended and peaceful all the rest of their illusory life, moment for moment, well and good. But if they are confused and the ego, that only appears real but isn‘t of course, makes man react to thoughts as if they were real (by anger, sadness, judgements that appear real to them), further guidance would be helpful – guidance about how life is manifested in so many “situations“ in the human mind to appear oh so real.