Thusness Stage 3:

Thusness (2008) on Stage 3: "Associating 'death of I' with vivid luminosity of your experience is far too early. This will lead you into erroneous views because there is also the experience of practitioners by way of complete surrendering or elimination (dropping) like Taoist practitioners. An experience of deep bliss that is beyond that of what you experienced can occur. But the focus is not on luminosity but effortlessness, naturalness and spontaneity. In complete giving up, there is no 'I' ; it is also needless to know anything; in fact 'knowledge' is considered a stumbling block. The practitioner drops away mind, body, knowledge...everything. There is no insight, there is no luminosity there is only total allowing of whatever that happens, happen in its own accord. All senses including consciousness are shut and fully absorbed. Awareness of 'anything' is only after emerging from that state.

One is the experience of vivid luminosity while the other is a state of oblivious. It is therefore not appropriate to relate the complete dissolving of 'I' with what u experienced alone."

Related article on going from I AM to Nothingness:

Thusness's comments on Stage 3:

Session Start: Saturday, October 04, 2008

(3:21 PM) AEN:    Q: Is the "I Am" there all the time, as long as my body is there?

M: The "I Am" is absent only in the state of samadhi, when the self merges into the Self.  Otherwise, it will be there. In the state of a realized person the "I Am" is there; he just  doesn't give much importance to it. A jnani is not guided by a concept.
(3:21 PM) AEN:    .... Feeling that I am present depends on having a body; I am neither the body nor the  conscious presence.

In this body is the subtle principle "I Am"; that principle witnesses all this. You are not  the words. Words are the expression of space, they are not yours. Still further, you are not  that "I Am"
(3:22 PM) AEN:    Q: As an individual can we go back to the source?

M: Not as an individual; the knowledge "I Am" must go back to its own source.

Now, consciousness has identified with a form. Later, it understands that it is not that form  and goes further. In a few cases it may reach the space, and very often, there it stops. In a  very few cases, it reaches its real source, beyond all conditioning.

It is difficult to give up that inclination of identifying the body as the self. I am not  talking to an individual, I am talking to the consciousness. It is consciousness which must  seek its source.
(3:22 PM) AEN:    Out of that no-being state comes the beingness. It comes as quietly as twilight, with just a  feel of "I Am" and then suddenly the space is there. In the space, movement starts with the  air, the fire, the water, and the earth. All these five elements are you only. Out of your  consciousness all this has happened. There is no individual. There is only you, the total  functioning is you, the consciousness is you.

You are the consciousness, all the titles of the Gods are you names, but by clinging to the  body you hand yourself over to time and death -- you are imposing it on yourself.
(3:22 PM) AEN:    I am the total universe. When I am the total universe I am in need of nothing because I am  everything. But I cramped myself into a small thing, a body; I made myself a fragment and  became needful. I need so many things as a body. In the absence of a body, do you, and did you, exist? Are you, and were you, there or not?  Attain that state which is and was prior to the body. Your true nature is open and free, but  you cover it up, you give it various designs.
(3:24 PM) AEN:    wat he means by in a few cases it may reach the space
(3:28 PM) Thusness:    not exactly good in my view.
(3:28 PM) AEN:    oic
(3:28 PM) AEN:    wat is he trying to say
(3:33 PM) Thusness:    trying to experience something like stage 3
(3:33 PM) AEN:    icic..
(3:35 PM) AEN:    ya he said about going into oblivion
(3:35 PM) AEN:  

M: If you feel that sense of something, can it be the truth? When this consciousness goes into oblivion, who is to say what that state is?

Q: I don't know.

M: Because your "I Amness" is not there, you do not know yourself. When you began knowing that you are, you did a lot of mischief, but when the "I Am" is not there, there is no question of mischief.
(3:37 PM) Thusness:    'I Am' is not there when sense of self is not imputed on sensate reality.
(3:38 PM) AEN:    icic..
(3:39 PM) Thusness:    when we truly know what awareness is, there is no 'I Am'.  That does not require being in a state of oblivion.
(3:40 PM) AEN:    oic..
(3:41 PM) Thusness:    What is important is to experience the one taste of oblivion and presence.  Vividly present and gone thoroughly.
(3:41 PM) AEN:    icic..
(3:43 PM) Thusness:    When we see that all forms are emptiness, we have the one taste of all manifested states and no state.
(3:44 PM) AEN:    oic..
(3:45 PM) Thusness:    When we see are all to see all insubstantiality and essencelessness of forms are vividly luminous, seeing the texture and fabric
(3:45 PM) AEN:    oh ya nisargadatta sems to see that dissolving of 'I AM' as a stage isnt it, he said it dissolves in samadhi otherwise it will be there
(3:45 PM) AEN:    oic..
(3:45 PM) Thusness:    ,we see emptiness as form
(3:45 PM) AEN:    he said "I am the total universe. When I am the total universe I am in need of nothing because I am  everything." this is like nondual rite
(3:46 PM) Thusness:    yes but that is not necessary
(3:46 PM) AEN:    what is not necessary
(3:47 PM) Thusness:    Dissolve in samadhi
(3:47 PM) AEN:    icic..
(3:50 PM) Thusness:    a practitioner that experience the 18 dhatus is buddha nature is in maha every moment.
(3:51 PM) Thusness:    there is no concentration nor attention.
(3:52 PM) Thusness:    Even swallowing saliva is maha.  Great and magnificent.
(3:52 PM) AEN:    oic..
(3:53 PM) Thusness:    No sense of self is imputed, no samadhi to enter.  Always Oneness, One Reality.  One action.
(3:53 PM) Thusness:    One sunya. :P
(3:54 PM) AEN:    icic..
(3:57 PM) AEN:    "When you pursue the spiritual path, the path of self-knowing, all your desires, all your attachments, will just drop away, provided you investigate and hold on to that with which you are trying to understand the self. Then what happens? Your 'I-am-ness' is the state 'to be'. You are 'to be' and attached to that state. You love to be. Now, as I said, ... your desires drop off. And what is the primary desire? To be. When you stay put in that beingness for some time, that desire also will drop off. This is very important. When this is dropped off, you are in the Absolute -- a most essential state."
(3:57 PM) AEN:    he's saying must drop off conscious presence also?
(3:58 PM) Thusness:    Yes
(3:58 PM) AEN:    icic..
(3:59 PM) Thusness:    But that is not the most essential state.
(3:59 PM) Thusness:    It is necessary.
(4:00 PM) AEN:    necessary or not necessary?
(4:00 PM) AEN:    oh u mean necessary but not the most essential state
(4:00 PM) Thusness:    Yes
(4:00 PM) AEN:    icic..
(4:00 PM) Thusness:    That is not the absolute state
(4:01 PM) AEN:    oic..
(4:01 PM) Thusness:    That is just another state That is equally empty
(4:01 PM) AEN:    icic..
(4:02 PM) Thusness:    That too will pass due to its emptiness nature and no purer than that 'I M' state.

Quote - 18 October 2008:

(12:29 AM) Thusness:    There r different phases.
(12:30 AM) Thusness:    Once the 'I' is gone, this quality of seeing as pure seeing without subject and object separation is non-dual experience.
(12:31 AM) Thusness:    But the holding on to the witness prevents the direct experience of the transience.
(12:31 AM) Thusness:    So rest in phenomena completely.  Be phenomena-ing.
(12:31 AM) Thusness:    Don't equate the 2.
(12:32 AM) AEN:    oic..
(12:32 AM) Thusness:    See both as non-dual experiences, but resting completely in the transience, the phenomena-ing, is anatta and path u towards the insight of emptiness and DO later.
(12:32 AM) AEN:    icic..
(12:33 AM) Thusness:    In later phase of ur experience, this phase is most difficult to break-through. :)
(12:34 AM) AEN:    oic..
(12:34 AM) Thusness:    The former always become 'constant' while the later (anatta) is always essenceless, ever manifesting and changing.
(12:35 AM) AEN:    icic..
(12:35 AM) Thusness:    although both has no sense of 'I', the former has not dissolved the tendency and the DO nature is not seen.
(12:36 AM) AEN:    oic..
(12:37 AM) AEN:    is this the difference between the non-dual experience and non-dual insight u mentioned
(12:37 AM) AEN:    like ken wilber is still non-dual experience right?
(12:37 AM) Thusness:    yes
(12:37 AM) AEN:    icic..
(12:37 AM) Thusness:    There can be no such thing as changeless consciousness.
Changelessness wipes out consciousness immediately. A man deprived of
outer and inner sensations blanks out, or goes beyond consciousness
and unconsciousness into the birthless and deathless state (Nisargadatta)
(12:38 AM) Thusness:    The former experience will attempt to seek the above state.
(12:38 AM) Thusness:    While Buddhism is not about that.
(12:39 AM) Thusness:    It is to see all states are empty and experience the nirvana of sound, taste, an arising thought and all transience.
(12:39 AM) AEN:    oic..
(12:39 AM) Thusness:    as well as dream and deep sleep...eheheh
(12:39 AM) AEN:    icic..
(12:40 AM) AEN:    that is stage 3 rite?
(12:40 AM) AEN:    i mean the go beyond conscious and unconscious
(12:40 AM) Thusness:    yes but it is really stage 5.
(12:41 AM) Thusness:    however due to the block of insight of DO, the mind can only rest on phase 3.
(12:41 AM) Thusness:    the experience is already stage 5.
(12:41 AM) Thusness:    But misunderstood stage 3 as ultimate.


(12:55 AM) Thusness:    It is without the experience of 'I' but still rest in the Subject.
(12:56 AM) Thusness:    U will see stage 4 onwards is all about resting in transience and nothing on Subject.
(12:57 AM) Thusness:    all those practitioners even after non-dual experience if insight of anatta has not arisen will have the tendency of towards the stage 3.
(12:58 AM) Thusness:    all those practitioners even after non-dual experience and still sink back to the Subject, will have the tendency of skewing towards the stage 3.


“[22/4/18, 8:40:51 PM] John Tan: Lately I kept seeing articles and conversations relating to "nothingness" wonder why. The mysterious gate of taoism.

[22/4/18, 8:42:31 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Oic.. maybe you should write something about it.. lol

[22/4/18, 8:44:36 PM] John Tan: Lol...Taoist valley spirit is the opposite of attempts to express the depth "source" of life.

[22/4/18, 8:47:18 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Oic.. sounds like Christianity? Was reading some Christian mystic website I think based on Father Thomas keating. They are aware of I AM and witnessing but states that the goal of Christian contemplation is beyond that, is the source of that and will and doing

[22/4/18, 8:47:21 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Or something like that

[22/4/18, 8:47:45 PM] John Tan: Nothingness. Even nisargadatta

[22/4/18, 8:49:22 PM] John Tan: There is nothing to contemplate as it cannot be approached through a known mind. They call it contemplative prayer

[22/4/18, 8:49:55 PM] Soh Wei Yu: More like prayer.. or meditation.. dunno what is it. Maybe surrendering

[22/4/18, 8:50:08 PM] John Tan: Yes. The tao is the way. The way of always in Union with the "source". Or even yoga. One has to be aware of this dimension but nothing to seek. It is rather only in daily encounter and manifestation

[22/4/18, 8:55:00 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Union with source is like divine happening? Not my will but the source

[22/4/18, 8:56:12 PM] John Tan: Yes but we cannot approach the  "unfathomable depth" through "knowing".  only moment to moment gnosis in seeing, feeling, thinking, tasting, hearing and smelling.

[22/4/18, 8:57:30 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Knowing as in intellect?

[22/4/18, 8:58:51 PM] John Tan: Yes intellect.  The way to understanding the nature of aliveness and clarity is to fully "live" and "express".

[22/4/18, 8:59:00 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Ic..

[22/4/18, 9:00:01 PM] John Tan: Taoism is unique in this sense in expressing this dark illumination

[22/4/18, 9:03:33 PM] Soh Wei Yu: How is it unique?

[22/4/18, 9:09:19 PM] John Tan: it is not really interest in presence. But what is behind presence...when in deep sleep, where is awareness? So the valley spirit is often described as dark. How is this different from anatta?

[22/4/18, 9:24:30 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Anatta does not see something behind presence but source is none other than manifestation

[22/4/18, 9:25:10 PM] John Tan: What does source is none other manifestation mean to u?

[22/4/18, 9:26:41 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Means when hearing sound, I don’t see it arising out of a nothingness but sound springs from right where it is fully aliveness and full expression of life

[22/4/18, 9:27:59 PM] John Tan: First you must differentiate between experiential insight that there is nothing behind and directly experiencing presence as the 6 entries and exits. From seeing through conventions and how the mind mistaken. How the mind mistakes and reify conventions. How the mind attempt to fix and fit and explain in a "known" pattern according to its existing paradigm. What r the difference?  And only when these 2 insights arise, practitioner can clearly understand and experience.

[22/4/18, 9:34:30 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Insight that there is nothing behind is realising anatta, directly experience presence is all six senses is just PCE”


Soh Wei Yu
Top Contributor
Dean Paradiso
Nisargadatta guides people to I AM realization first, then the emphasis later is on Thusness Stage 3
Also he had substantiated nondual insight but not anatta.
Q: Another question. There is the person. There is the knower of the person. There is the witness. Are the knower and the witness the same, or are they separate states?
M: The knower and the witness are two or one? When the knower is seen as separate from the known, the witness stands alone. When the known and the knower are seen as one, the witness becomes one with them.
Q: Who is the jnani? The witness or the supreme?
M: The jnani is the supreme and also the witness. He is both being and awareness. In relation to consciousness he is awareness. In relation to the universe he is pure being.
Q: And what about the person? What comes first, the person or the knower.
M: The person is a very small thing. Actually it is a composite, it cannot be said to exist by itself. Unperceived, it is just not there. It is but the shadow of the mind, the sum total of memories. Pure being is reflected in the mirror of the mind, as knowing. What is known takes the shape of a person, based on memory and habit. It is but a shadow, or a projection of the knower onto the screen of the mind.
Q: The mirror is there, the reflection is there. But where is the sun?
M: The supreme is the sun.
Q: It must be conscious.
M: It is neither conscious nor unconscious. Don't think of it in terms of consciousness or unconsciousness. It is the life, which contains both and is beyond both.
Q: Life is so intelligent. How can it be unconscious?
M: You talk of the unconscious when there is a lapse in memory. In reality there is only consciousness. All life is conscious, all consciousness -- alive.
Q: Even stones?
M: Even stones are conscious and alive.
Q: The worry with me is that I am prone to denying existence to what I cannot imagine.
M: You would be wiser to deny the existence of what you imagine. It is the imagined that is unreal.
Q: Is all imaginable unreal?
M: Imagination based on memories is unreal. The future is not entirely unreal.
Q: Which part of the future is real and which is not?
M: The unexpected and unpredictable is real.
-Nisargadatta Maharaj - I am That
“ long as the knower and the known are seen as separate, or
believed to be separate, the witness stands apart. When the knower
and the known are seen to be one, the witness is one with them and
witnessing happens.”
- Nisargadatta Maharaj
Thusness's Comments on Nisargadatta / Stage 3
Thusness's Comments on Nisargadatta / Stage 3
Thusness's Comments on Nisargadatta / Stage 3
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Soh Wei Yu
Top Contributor
Nisargadatta’s insight into nondual one witnessing undivided by subject and object is like what I said years ago: “
“between august 2010 and october 2010, when the observer and observed collapses into one witnessing undivided in terms of subject-object, it still felt like awareness is unchanging but inseparable from phenomena. that seems to be where you are at
that was before my anatta realization, where i clearly realised that seer-seeing-seen never applied to reality, that in seeing, there is just scenery/colors, no seer or seeing besides selfluminous colors, and the same for all other senses”
Also like what John Tan said in 2009:
(6:04 PM) Thusness: Presence and arising are not separated
(6:04 PM) AEN: oic
(6:04 PM) Thusness: What is 'inseparable' here?
(6:05 PM) Thusness: at the non-dual level, at the anatta level or DO level?
(6:05 PM) AEN: nondual?
(6:06 PM) Thusness: u must observe and directly experience every arising in bare, raw and free from labelling first.
(6:07 PM) Thusness: then upon analysis, there is still an observer and the observed
(6:07 PM) AEN: oic..
(6:08 PM) Thusness: until u r so clear in real time experience that the observer and the observed are one. Then u further investigate this experience if they are always one, why is there any separation in the first place?
(6:09 PM) Thusness: why experience occasionally appears split?
(6:09 PM) AEN: propensities?
(6:09 PM) Thusness: continue this investigation and experience the split as well as the non-dual.
(6:11 PM) Thusness: till u r thoroughly clear that observer and observed is merely an assumption. There is always only observation. Just one pure witnessing.
(6:11 PM) AEN: oic..
(6:14 PM) Thusness: This is the non-dual experience that u must have in order to understand the Advaita witnessing. One whole Experience. You do not say it is flowing through the Eye, there is absolutely no difference between the light and everything. The light is the everything. U must have this experience first.
(6:14 PM) AEN: icic..
(6:16 PM) Thusness: After this do not extrapolate, do not reify, do not abstract anything further. Any urge to go beyond, see with clarity it is the tendency...until u are able to rest completely first.
(6:17 PM) AEN: oic..
(6:19 PM) Thusness: until u are able to rest completely first. => i mean u must be able to rest deeply in this non-dual experience first then understand anatta and DO from there.
(6:19 PM) Thusness: There is no denial of this non-dual Witnessing. It is only right understanding of this experience.
(6:20 PM) AEN: icic..
(6:21 PM) Thusness: Because of the inability of going beyond the dualistic framework, there is such "You are me" and "I am you" such erroneous concept by extrapolating an ultimate essence that all shares.
This is what I do not want u to get into.
(6:22 PM) Thusness: But the dissolution of the split is most precious and important.
(6:22 PM) AEN: oic..
(6:23 PM) Thusness: I go to go makan
(6:23 PM) AEN: ok.. cya
(10:35 PM) Thusness: It is most important to realize that this Witnessing is by nature non-dual and has always been so but that has nothing to do with an ultimate nature. Having this non-dual experience has nothing to do with an ultimate nature.
(10:36 PM) AEN: oic..
(10:38 PM) Thusness: So not to extrapolate, reify, abstract anything further but rather allow complete resting in this non-dual state first and allow the tendency to extrapolate to settle.
(10:40 PM) Thusness: Because if we extrapolate and entertain this tendency, it blinds us further. In fact that is the cause of suffering. Despite this non-dual non-conceptual experience of the witnessing itself, we are still not free from the tendency to reify.
(10:42 PM) AEN: icic..
(10:47 PM) AEN: extrapolate means think conceptually?
(10:48 PM) Thusness: Many misunderstood that DO denies freedom as it is 'dependent'. This is attempting to understanding DO through a dualistic framework. In actual experience, DO leads to liberation whereas attachment to an ultimate essence is the cause of suffering despite having clear and direct experience of the non-dual non conceptual aspect of Awareness.
(10:49 PM) Thusness: extrapolate means deducing further than what is being actually experienced.
(10:49 PM) Thusness: I have always told u that "I AM" is a direct experience of Awareness.
But u r telling ppl it does not exist
(10:49 PM) Thusness: I am saying it is not the experience of our Buddha nature.
(10:50 PM) Thusness: I said that this experience is misunderstood
(10:50 PM) AEN: oic..
(10:51 PM) Thusness: I told u many times that nothing is more precious than a direct touch of this luminous nature but no experience is more dangerous than misinterpreting this experience, this direct touch.
(11:01 PM) Thusness: When one is able to rest completely in this non-dual clarity then one is able to understand anatta and DO more deeply.
i din tell u that
(11:01 PM) Thusness: i said first rest in this non-dual witnessing and not reify further till the tendency subsides
(11:02 PM) AEN: oic..
(11:05 PM) Thusness: now when u explain, u must also understand that whether u r using direct experience approach or using DO approach
(11:05 PM) AEN: oic wat u mean
(11:06 PM) Thusness: don't anyhow mixed the 2
(11:06 PM) Thusness: is experience by nature non-dual?
(11:07 PM) AEN: ya
(11:07 PM) Thusness: then why is there the apparent split at all?
(11:08 PM) AEN: due to propensities?
(11:08 PM) Thusness: so is the illusionary split real?
(11:08 PM) AEN: no its just appearance
(11:09 PM) Thusness: then u r having an ultimate view
(11:09 PM) AEN: oic how come
(11:10 PM) Thusness: if illusionary split isn't there, then u would not be able to experience the split at all
(11:11 PM) Thusness: if non-dual is always the case then how is the illusionary split possible?
(11:12 PM) AEN: by projection?
(11:12 PM) Thusness: no
because whatever arises dependently originates
(11:13 PM) Thusness: when u have the wrong views with the tendencies, experience appears divided
(11:14 PM) Thusness: if illusion is inherently there, then freedom would not be possible
(11:14 PM) Thusness: similarly for non-dual, if it is inherently there, then illusionary split would not arise.
(11:15 PM) AEN: oic..
(11:15 PM) AEN: but consciousness is by nature non dual rite
(11:18 PM) Thusness: but if u were talking to practitioners having direct non-dual experiences and when conditions weren't there, it is easier to lead one to the thorough experience of non-dual and later anatta insight.
(11:19 PM) AEN: icic..
btw if non dual is not inherently there then why do u say consciousness is by nature non dual
(11:20 PM) Thusness: i say that is always dependent on one's experience
(11:20 PM) Thusness: when it is non-conceptual and directly experienced, it is non-dual
(11:21 PM) Thusness: when over-layered with labels and concepts, it always appears dualistic
(11:21 PM) AEN: u said 'It is most important to realize that this Witnessing is by nature non-dual and has always been so'
(11:21 PM) Thusness: yes witnessing
not witness
(11:22 PM) Thusness: in witnessing, it is always non-dual
(11:22 PM) Thusness: when in witness, it is always a witness and object being witness
when there is an observer, there is no such thing as no observed
(11:23 PM) Thusness: when u realised that there is only witnessing, there is no observer and observed
it is always non-dual
(11:24 PM) Thusness: that is why when genpo something said there is no witness only witnessing, yet taught the staying back and observed
(11:24 PM) Thusness: i commented the path deviates from the view
(11:25 PM) AEN: oic..
(11:25 PM) Thusness: when u teach experience the witness, u teach that
that is not about no subject-object split
u r teaching one to experience that witness
(11:26 PM) Thusness: first stage of insight of the "I AM"

Good video by A H Almaas:

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