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Lao Tzu, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, Swamiji Shyam, consciousness, God, and self

excerpted from THE WAY OF WONDER: a return to the mystery of ourselves, by Jack Haas




“He who defines himself, can’t know who he really is.”

Lao Tzu



We wake up as God with absolute incredulity. And when this happens the word God is not even there for us to describe ourselves, only the unavoidable, staggering realization that ¼I AM!

            ‘I AM’ is the indefinable Self, the primordial mystery. Realizing this, Sri Nisgardatta Maharaj offers: “It is enough to know what you are not. You need not know what you are. For, as long as knowledge means description in terms of what is already known, perceptual, or conceptual, there can be no such thing as self-knowledge, for what you are cannot be described, except as total negation. All you can say is this: ‘I am not this, I am not that’. You cannot meaningfully say ‘this is what I am’. What you can point out as ‘this’ or ‘that’ cannot be yourself. Surely you cannot be ‘something’ else. You are nothing perceivable, or imaginable.”

That is, ‘I’ is as meaningless and inaccurate as all other words. There is no such word which properly describes what the word ‘I’ attempts to describe. There is only the unknowable, indefinable, insurmountable mystery...‘I’.

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj continues, speaking from the ‘I’ of ‘I’s’, he says: “I cannot tell what I am because words can describe only what I am not. ...I am beyond consciousness and, therefore, in consciousness I cannot say what I am. Yet, I am. The question ‘Who am I’ has no answer. No experience can answer it, for the self is beyond experience. ...I am free from all description and identification. Whatever you may hear, see, or think of, I am not that. I am free from being a precept, or a concept.”

And so, if you begin to know yourself as God, and you know God is unknowable, you will no longer know yourself, nor will you know God. And this recognition is, “...the consciousness which stupefies the Lord himself”, rejoices Swamiji Shyam.

           God does not understand being God, God merely experiences being God. There is no Knower, only the Great Unknown.


 excerpted from:


way of wonder, sacred geometry, sri yantra



THE WAY OF WONDER: a return to the mystery of ourselves

by Jack Haas

author Jack Haas, Canadian, American writer, artist, photographer

















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