Listener (L): You talk about being devoted to seeing till the seeing is gone and the seer is gone.
Acharya Prashant (AP): The seer is gone – is all right; the seeing is gone – is not all right.
Seeing is the nature of the Absolute; it can not ever go away.
The seer is the game of the absolute; the game can change, the seer can go away.
The child that has gone out to play can return home and sleep. So, the game can come to a pause but the seeing can never stop. But why do you feel that the seeing can stop and why do the teachers advise that the seeing must stop?
Because they equate seeing with seeing through a seer; because there is a deep notion that if there is no seer then, obviously, there can be no seeing. It is the notion that our eyes give us, it is a matter of common experience that if there are no eyes then there is no eyeing, there is no vision, no seeing.
So, we feel that an agency is definitely needed for an action to occur, we feel that an actor is definitely needed for an action to occur; just as eyes are needed to see. So, we feel if the eyes are gone then the vision is gone and if I cannot see anything, then it is a proof that the eyes are gone.
In the normal usual worldly operations, this conclusion is acceptable but not in the higher sense. It is very much possible to see without eyes, walk without legs, reach without travelling, really listen without ears — it is possible. So, you can have seeing without the seer — that is the only genuine seeing.
With the seer, seeing is partial;
with the seer seeing is tainted by the seer itself.
All seeing then carries the imprint of the seer. So, dropping the seer is wonderful but if you say seeing too will cease, it won’t!
Seeing will cease in the way you currently define seeing but seeing will continue. Seeing continues even after your physical death. The body is no more there, yet seeing is there. You will now start wondering: Who is seeing? How is he seeing? What does he come to see? These questions cannot be answered that is why I rarely talk about these things — what happens post the physical death and all those things.
Seeing continues, seeing really continues.
L1: Could you say seeing as being awareness?
AP: Seeing continues as nothingness; seeing continue as nothing in particular. Right now, as a particular body, you see particular things; the particular body is gone, the particular things and this particular world is also gone.
So, it is not as if you will see this world, it is not as if you will be hanging in space like a spy camera and looking at the world without anyone being able to look at you. But if you will think, this is the only conclusion you can come to — the body is not there but the seeing agency is still there, so it is somewhere in space looking at the world.
When you are gone, space and time are also gone; the universe is gone. When you are gone time is no more functional. With you, time also dies; with you, space also is put to an end.
So what does one see then?
We are saying seeing continues even after physical death. After physical death time is no more there, space is no more there, the universe is no more there, things are no more there, people are no more there, the car is no more there, the cat is no more there. What to see then?
What does the absolute see?
What does the undivided One see?
Only Himself. Not any other object.
But here when I am talking of physical death, I am talking of a total death of the body and also the bodily tendencies. Merely dying physically does not ensure a death of physical tendencies as well, that is why it is important to die totally before your physical death so that when the physical death comes it comes as the last thing.
Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: With the eyes, you see something; with the I, nothing