Rupert Spira

Rupert Spira

Born: March 13, 1960, London, United Kingdom
Nationality: British
Guru: Dr. Francis Roles, Francis Lucille, Ramana Maharshi and Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
Philosophy: Advaita Vedanta
Books: - An Introduction to Non-Duality (2018), The Nature of Consciousness (2017), Being Aware of Being Aware (2017), The Art of Happiness (2016), The Intimacy of All Experience (2016), Ashes of Love: Sayings on the Essence of Non-Duality (2014), The Art of Peace and Happiness (2011), The Transparency of Things (2008).

34 Rupert Spira Quotes & Pointers

Rupert Spira is an international teacher of the Advaita Vedanta direct path method of spiritual self enquiry through talks and writing, and a notable English potter and studio potter with work in public and private collections. (Wikipedia)

“We take that which is unreal to be real and that which is real to be unreal.”

“Only that which is always with you can be said to be your self and if you look closely and simply at experience, only awareness is always ‘with you’.”

“In other words, in reality, there are not two things—one, the screen and two, the document or image. There is just the screen. Two things (or a multiplicity and diversity of things) only come into apparent existence when their true reality—the screen—is overlooked. Experience is like that. All we know is experience but there is no independent ‘we’ or ‘I’ that knows experience. There is just experience or experiencing. And experiencing is not inherently divided into one part that experiences and another part that is experienced.”

“I’ve been operating according to the idea that it is almost impossible to let go of mental patterns that operate unconsciously and that I have to know such a pattern of thinking first in order to let go of it and abide in my true nature. Leave all those mental habits and patterns alone. The self that is apparently operating, that seems to know these patterns and that would ‘let go of them’ is itself simply one such pattern. These patterns of thinking and feeling have taken their shape, over the years, from the belief that we are a separate self, without our making any particular effort. In just the same way, as our experiential conviction that we are not a limited, located self deepens, so our thoughts, feelings and subsequent behaviour will slowly, effortlessly and naturally realign themselves with this new understanding. In order to know our self we do not need to know the mind. No other knowledge than the knowledge that is present right now in this very moment is required to know our self. What does it mean to know our self? We are our self, so we are too close to our self to be able to know our self as an object. Our simply being our self is as close to knowing our self as we will ever come. We cannot get closer than that. In fact, being our self is the knowing of our self, but it is not the knowing of our self as an object. To say ‘I am’, (in other words to assert that we are present), we must know that ‘I am’. Being and knowing are, in fact, one single non-objective experience. But we do not step outside of our self in order to know our own being. We simply are our self. That being of our self is the knowing of our self. This being/knowing is shining in all experience. This experiential understanding dissolves the idea that our self is not present here and now and that it is not known here and now. And when our desire to know or find ourselves as an object is withdrawn, we discover that our own self was and is present all along, shining quietly in the background, as it were, of all experience. As this becomes obvious we discover that it is not just the background but also the foreground. In other words, it is not just the witness but simultaneously the substance of all experience. Completely relax the desire to find yourself as an object or to change your experience in any way. Relax into this present knowing of your own being. See that it is intimate, familiar and loving. See clearly that it is never not with you. It is shining here in this experience, knowing and loving its own being. It runs throughout all experience, closer than close, intimately one with all experience but untouched by it. As this intimate oneness, it is known as love. In its untouchable-ness it is known as peace and in its fullness it is known as happiness. In its openness and willingness to give itself to any possible shape (including the apparent veiling of its own being), it is known as freedom and, as the substance of all things, it is known as beauty. However, more simply it is known just as ‘I’ or ‘this’. Who Is? Q: All these questions about consciousness”

“I am that which knows or is aware of all experience, but I am not myself an experience. I am aware of thoughts but am not myself a thought; I am aware of feelings and sensations but am not myself a feeling or sensation; I am aware of perceptions but am not myself a perception. Whatever the content of experience, I know or am aware of it. Thus, knowing or being aware is the essential element in all knowledge, the common factor in all experience.”

“And this ‘knowing’ is our self, aware presence. In other words, all that is ever experienced is our self knowing itself, awareness aware of awareness.”

“This perpetual longing for happiness—which can, by definition, never be fulfilled because that very search itself denies the happiness that is present in our own being now—condemns us to an endless search in the future and thus perpetuates unhappiness. It is for this reason that the poet said, ‘Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.’”

“In reality, which means in our actual experience, all experience is one seamless substance. The duality between the inside self and the outside object, world or other is never actually experienced. It is always imagined.”

“In fact, we don’t know objects; we just know ‘knowing.’ And who is it that knows ‘knowing’? ‘Knowing’ is not known by something or someone outside or other than itself. ‘Knowing’ is known by ‘knowing.’ In other words, all that is experienced in the experience of an object, other or world is ‘knowing.’”

“And what is it that experiences our self? Only our self! There is only one substance in experience and it is pervaded by and made out of knowing or awareness. In the classical language of non-duality this is sometimes expressed in phrases such as, ‘Awareness only knows itself’, but this may seem abstract. It is simply an attempt to describe the seamless intimacy of experience in which there is no room for a self, object, other or world; no room to step back from experience and find it happy or unhappy, right or wrong, good or bad; no time in which to step out of the now into an imaginary past or into a future in which we may become, evolve or progress; no possibility of stepping out of the intimacy of love into relationship with an other; no possibility of knowing anything other than knowing, of being anything other than being, of loving anything other than loving; no possibility of a thought arising which would attempt to frame the intimacy of experience in the abstract forms of the mind; no possibility for our self to become a self, a fragment, a part; no possibility for the world to jump outside and for the self to contract inside; no possibility for time, distance or space to appear.”

“As we sit allowing these thoughts and, more importantly, uncomfortable feelings to arise, it is important not to have any subtle agenda with them, not to ‘do this’ in order to ‘get rid of them’, That would be more of the same. Just allow the full panoply of thoughts and feelings to display themselves in your loving and indifferent presence. In time their ferocity will die down, revealing subtler and subtler layers of thinking and feeling on behalf of a separate entity, until we come to the little, almost innocuous background thinking about which we were speaking earlier. This is the sense of separation, the ‘ego’, in its apparently mildest and least easily detectable form. Be very sensitive to this. Be sensitive to the ‘avoidance of what is’ in its subtlest forms. It is the sweet, furry baby animal that later turns into a monster! As time goes on we become more and more sensitive and we see how much of our thinking and feeling, as well as our activities, are generated for the sole purpose of avoiding ‘what is’, of avoiding the ‘this’ and the ‘now’, It is this open, un-judging, un-avoiding allowing of all things which, in time, restores the ‘I’ to its proper place in the seat of awareness and which, as a natural corollary to the abiding in and as our true self, gently realigns our thoughts, feelings and activities with the peace and happiness that are inherent in it. Nobody Has, Owns or Chooses Anything Q: While allowing the body, mind and world to be as they are, different thoughts arise, some not so savoury and others that might be better left not acted upon. You have said that, once one begins to abide knowingly as presence, responses to situations will flow naturally from there.”

“It is the self-aware screen of awareness, upon which the drama of experience is playing and out of which it is made, that becomes so intimately involved with the objective content of its experience that it seems to lose itself in it and, as a result, overlooks or forgets its own presence, just as a dreamer’s mind loses itself in its own dream at night.”

“No formulation of the reality of experience is completely true. Once we acknowledge this, we relieve words of the impossible burden of trying to express the nature of experience and, as a result, leave them free to be spoken and heard in playful and creative ways that evoke Reality itself without trying to frame or grasp it.”

“The abstract concepts of the mind cannot apprehend Reality, although they are an expression of it.”

“If we look closely at the actual experience of the body rather than the idea we may have of it, we find that our only experience of it is the current sensation or perception. All sensations and perceptions appear and disappear, but our self, aware Presence, remains throughout. This ever-present ‘I’ cannot therefore be made out of an intermittent object such as a sensation or perception.”

“Our true self is known in a more intimate and direct way, simply through being. In fact, we discover that the only way to know our self is to be our self and not to mistake our self for any kind of an object.”

“Beingness is the witness, not the witnessed. Therefore, in all experience, Beingness is present as the knower, witness or experiencer. There is no part of experience that is not permeated by Beingness or Consciousness.”

“Happiness is simply to allow everything to be exactly as it is from moment to moment.”

“The discovery that peace, happiness and love are every-present within our own Being, and completely available at every moment of the experience, under all conditions, is the most important discovery that anyone can make.”

“Looking for happiness in the body, mind or world is like looking for the screen in a movie. The screen doesn’t appear in the movie, and yet, at the same time, all that is seen in the movie is the screen. In the same way that the screen ‘hides’ in plain view, so happiness ‘hides’ in all experience.”

“Give your attention to the experience of seeing rather than to the object seen and you will find yourself everywhere.”

“When feeling is divested of the feeler and the felt, it shines as love; when seeing is divested of the seer and the seen, it shines as beauty.”

“Pure Knowing, without a subject that knows or an object that is known, is what we are, not what we do. Thus, for our Self, to know is to be, and to be is to know.”

“It is impossible to experience the appearance of awareness. We are that awareness to which such an appearance would occur. We have no experience of a beginning to the awareness that is seeing these words. We have no experience of its birth. We have no experience that we, awareness, are born. Likewise, in order to claim legitimately that awareness dies, something would have to be present to experience its disappearance. Have we ever experienced the disappearance of awareness? If we think the answer is, ‘Yes’, then what is it that is present and aware to experience the apparent disappearance of awareness? Whatever that is must be aware and present. It must be awareness. When we are born or when we wake in the morning, we have the experience of the appearance of objects. When we die and when we fall asleep at night, we have the experience of the disappearance of objects. However, we have no experience that we, awareness, appear, are born, disappear or die.”

“, peace and happiness are inherent in the knowing of our own being. In fact, they are the knowing of being. They are simply other names for our self.”

“When the fan, the hand or indeed anything else are experienced, their apparent existence is not separate from awareness. All experiences are equally close, equally ‘one with’, awareness. When the apparent object disappears, awareness remains as it is.”

“In this exploration the deeper layers, such as feelings of fear, guilt, shame, inadequacy, unlovableness, etc. are allowed to surface without resistance or agenda and slowly reveal the sense of separation that lies at their heart.”

“In other words, in reality, there are not two things—one, the screen and two, the document or image. There is just the screen.”

“Every word on this page is in fact only made of paper. It only expresses the nature of the paper, although it may describe the moon.”

“Awareness is inherently whole, complete and fulfilled in itself. Thus its nature is happiness itself--not a happiness that depends upon the condition of the mind, body or world, but a causeless joy that is prior to and independent of all states, circumstances, and conditions.”

“Just as the screen does not share the qualities, characteristics, or limitations of any of the objects or characters in a movie, although it is their sole reality, so the knowing with which all knowledge and experience are known does not share the qualities, characteristics, or limitations of whatever is known or experienced. Thus, it is unlimited or infinite.”

“In ignorance I am something; in understanding I am nothing; in love I am everything.”

“We don’t have to wait for the right circumstances to have happiness.”

“Many of our ideas and beliefs about ourselves and the world are so deeply ingrained that we are unaware that they are beliefs and take them, without question, for the absolute truth.”