Tantra says that both are unreal. Then what is real? Tantra says that the one who knows the dreaming world and the one who knows the waking world, he is real – because he is never transcended. He is never canceled. Whether you dream or whether you are awake, he is there, uncanceled.
Tantra says that the one who knows the dream, and the one who knows that now the dream has stopped, the one who knows the waking world, and the one who knows that now the waking world has disappeared, is the real. Because there is no point when it is not; it is always there. That which cannot be canceled by any experience is the real. That which cannot be transcended, beyond which you cannot go, is your self. If you can go beyond it, then it was not your self.
This method of Gurdjieff’s, which he calls self-remembering, or Buddha’s method, which he calls right-mindfulness, or this Tantra sutra, lead to one thing. They lead within you to a point which is neither to known nor the knower, but a witnessing self which knows both.
This witnessing self is the ultimate, you cannot go beyond it, because now whatsoever you do will be witnessing. Beyond witnessing you cannot move. So witnessing is the ultimate substratum, the basic ground of consciousness. This sutra will reveal it to you.
Each thing is perceived through knowing.
The self shines in space through knowing.
Perceive one being as knower and known.
If you can perceive in yourself one point which is both knower and known, then you have transcended object and subject both. Then you have transcended the matter and mind both; then you have transcended the outer and inner both. You have come to a point where the knower and the known are one. There is no division.
With the mind, division will remain. Only with the witnessing self, division disappears. With the witnessing self you cannot say who is the known and who is the knower – it is both. But this has to be based on experience, otherwise it becomes a philosophical discussion. So try it, experiment.
You are sitting near a roseflower: look at it. The first thing to do is be totally attentive, give total attention to the rose, so that the whole world disappears and only the rose remains there – your consciousness is totally attentive to the being of the rose. If the attention is total then the world disappears, because the more the attention is concentrated on the rose, the more everything else falls away. The world disappears; only the rose remains. The rose becomes the world.
This is the first step – to concentrate on the rose. If you cannot concentrate on the rose, it will be difficult to move to the knower, because then your mind is always diverted. So concentration becomes the first step towards meditation. Only the rose remains; the whole world has disappeared. Now you can move inwards; now the rose becomes the point from where you can move. Now see the rose, and start becoming aware of yourself – the knower.