Teaching the Nonexistent

Transcript of the video:

Jagad Guru: Teaching… Teaching itself. The attempt that these guys have, they write articles in these scientific journals, right? And they give their lectures at the universities and so on. They’re promoting, actively promoting, like B.F. Skinner’s whole book, Beyond Freedom and Dignity, is an attempt to convince us that we do not exist in these bodies, that there is no self, there is no being within the body using it. There’s just a body that engages in complex behavior due to programming, and it therefore appears to have a self in it.

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But, in fact, there is no being, there is no self in the body using it. There is no director of this body. There is no being using it, okay? That’s their whole purpose. But why do they try so hard, why are they teaching, you see? What is this teaching based upon? It’s based upon awareness that I exist, and I know something that that guy over there who also exists, doesn’t know. I am aware that I exist and I am aware that you exist and I know I know something you don’t know and I’m going to teach it to you. You see? To save you. To help you. To educate you, okay? And you’re all in my class here and I’ve got this big auditorium of students. And I’m trying to convince you all, teach you, you’re fools, you’re only freshmen in college or whatever, right? You’re not learned yet. I’m trying to teach you, “You don’t exist!” [laughter] You know?

And, if you argue with me, you know, then I fail you. I not only argue with those who don't exist, I not only try to teach those who don't exist, I try to teach them that they don't exist, okay? They don't exist, but I try to teach them they don't exist, okay? But I not only argue with them about it, so I'm arguing with no one, I'm sitting here having an argument with nothing!

What do you mean, you say you don't exist? I’m learned, you’re not. There's no one there man, why do you argue with no one? Not only that, but I'm going to fail them. [laughter] All right, just for that I’m giving you an F! [laughter] You know, and I fail the guy.

There was this story in this connection - an absurdity. There’s a teacher and he’s trying to enlighten his student. You know, one of the students that doesn’t exist says, “Uh, teacher, what is your motivation for teaching this?” And the teacher says, “Well, compassion. I want to save you. I want to help you.” And so the student asks, “Hmm, compassion for me?” He says, “Well, well,” he, you know, he flashes, “Well, of course, you don’t exist, and I don’t really exist and none of us really exist. But I can’t stand to see you suffering in this way, so I want to enlighten you.” [laughter] And the student says, “One day maybe I’ll understand.” [laughter] “It’s too deep for me right now, maybe later. Maybe when I get my degree, yeah.” Yes?

Person in audience: It seems that the question or the real challenge then is that we have to do is to prove the existence of the self, when we prove it.

Jagad Guru: No. There is no challenge on our part to have to prove the existence of the self. The very concept of proof is based upon what? What is proof? When kids say, “Prove it to me!” What do they say? “Show me! Show me! Show me!” Right? [laughter] Then we get more sophisticated. We say, what was this? Are you able to confirm this scientifically? [laughter] Okay, but basically it’s show me. Okay? Show me, or show us, okay? Did you show anyone else? You got to show a bunch of people. You got to do the experiment again and show other observers, right? You have to show the same thing, the same effect, to other observers, then it’s proved, okay.

So basically proof means perception: That others perceive it, observe it. You see? Other people will observe what you say you observed, okay? Then you get together and say, “Did you see that? Yeah, I saw that. We all saw that. Let’s see if we can do it again. Okay?” It’s based upon perception.

But perception is based upon the self who is perceiving. Therefore, the very concept of proof is based upon our basic fundamental acceptance of the reality of the self. If we don’t accept the reality of the perceiver, the observer of the scientific experiment, we don’t accept the existence of the self, then we cannot accept the existence or the reality of anything else. If we don’t accept the reality of the self… I mean, it’s the self who confirms the reality of anything else. It’s selves, observers, who confirm the reality or reject the reality of other things. If you reject the reality of that factor which is itself the basis for proof itself, you see, then why should I talk to you about proof? Why should I try to prove anything to you because you’ve rejected the foundation of the very concept of proof? So it’s not my business to try to prove anything to someone who denies the existence of the prover, the self, the observer.

He denies his own existence, yet he says, “Show me.” You see, if I could show it to him, then he would believe it, but the ‘me’ that he says, “Show me, show me” the ‘me’ in that “Show me” supposedly doesn’t exist. So if he can’t show, if you just show, show who? The self is the fundamental principle that we accept as reality. Without that nothing could be shown as real.

Siddhaswarupananda - founder of Science of Identity Foundation