NATHAN GILL published Clarity back in 2000 as a booklet. Clarity is very short, simple, and direct, but within its brevity can be found a full, complete teaching. Above all, it is...guess what? Clear! There is great power and lucidity in it. Clarity has deeply affected thousands of readers over the years. Now it's your turn.
If all there is is Consciousness, if there is only Consciousness, then why or
for what are you still seeking? If there is only Consciousness then right now
you must be that and everything else that appears in and as awareness must
also be that, including your sense of separate self if that is how you appear
now. Any personal sense of I or ‘doership’ or ego must be Consciousness.
What else could it be?
I, ego, time, thought, separation, - if all there is is Consciousness then is not
all of this already Consciousness? Any appearance of mundane, ordinary
existence can be no less of Consciousness than any appearance of
unconditional love, wholeness, bliss, stillness, silence or anything else. Does
anything really need to be transcended, found or let go of?
Why not live in this understanding, no longer requiring that you wait for all the
Until I was about 25 years old, I had no interest in spiritual matters and all I
knew about them was what I had learned in religious education lessons at
Around 1985 I joined a fraternal order which sent me regular monthly lessons
in mysticism and ‘universal law’.
After a couple of years I found it a bit stodgy and became interested in the
teachings of a deceased Indian teacher offered, again, in monthly lessons,
and also a guru-disciple relationship – even though he was already dead!
A couple of years and several spiritual techniques later, I was bored with it
and happened upon a book by a western guru. This book told me that I was
already awake and needed no liberation. The truth of what he was saying
was obvious. However, he then went on, (in the next few years and over the
course of quite a few books), to proclaim himself the world teacher and
offered a guru-disciple relationship with those who were interested.
Well, I was having none of it, although over the following five years I read a
few more of his books and just about every other spiritual book I could get my
hands on. But, nothing really cut it for me like this western guru’s book had
done. Somewhere in me I knew it was true; that I was already awake and
free but, I was still confused because I seemed to be just an ordinary bloke
with all the usual sorts of problems that ordinary people have.
Anyway, I got sick of this guy’s stuff and everyone else’s and then I hit the
Advaita scene. I read everything by and about Ramana Maharshi, Jean Klein
and Nisargadatta Maharaj and everything by Ramesh Balseker.
A lot of the confusion that I had felt before went. I understood that all there is
is Consciousness, but why did I still feel like a separate me? What was the
missing link? If I was already awake and free then why did my life seem like a
pile of dung?
In 1997 I read Tony Parson’s first book called “The Open Secret”. I contacted
him and he invited me to join a discussion at a private house in London.
I went along and sat in the crowded room and it became clear to me how
much mystique I had built around the whole ‘enlightenment’ drama.
Tony looked like an ordinary man. He spoke with humour and patience. I
listened to what he said in response to people’s questions and I was struck by
the simplicity and clarity of his answers. I went to more discussions over the
next year and spoke to Tony on the phone whenever I could.
I wanted to make him into my ‘teacher’ but he explained that he had nothing
to teach, that there was nothing to learn. He pointed out that there is only
Consciousness and that I am already that. Although I had accepted this
already, it really began to sink in. Tony pointed out that there need not be any
kind of ‘event’ associated with the recognition of your nature as
Well, as it happened, in September 1998 an event did occur. I was gardening
and it was drizzling with rain. I looked up and there was a subtle sense of ‘me’
not being there. I got on my bike and cycled around the lanes and it seemed
like there was a movie going on without any effort needed on my behalf to be
taking part in it.
Even though Tony had pointed out that no event is necessarily associated
with the recognition of your nature as Consciousness, I had obviously still
been subtly waiting for one because now that this event, or experience, was
occurring I gave myself ‘permission’ to be awake. I had been waiting for
I rang Tony and excitedly explained what was going on and, having given
myself ‘permission’ to be awake, I allowed myself to speak from the clarity of
understanding that had already unfolded during the process of my seeking
before the event took place. I no longer related as a seeker to Tony and he
recognised that I now spoke from my nature as Consciousness.
Now, having associated this experience with being awake, I started to get a
bit precious about it.
I woke the next day. Was it still there? Yes! Then, after a few days, I noticed
that the experience was wearing off a bit, but a couple of days later it was full
on again. After a couple of weeks of the experience coming and going and of
trying to hold on to it, I went to one of Tony’s discussions and the experience
seemed to be re-charged by being there but then a few days later the
experience disappeared altogether. I didn’t say anything to Tony about it and
I didn’t go to the meetings for a while. I felt confused again.
Then I happened to read a book called “Collision with the Infinite” by a woman
called Suzanne Segal who, over many years, had an experience going on
constantly. After several years it was confirmed by certain ‘teachers’ that it
was ‘enlightenment’. Then she got ill and died, and, in the afterword to
Suzanne’s book which was written by a therapist friend of hers, I read that
near the end she had become confused and frustrated because the
experience had left her.
That was it! Suddenly it was absolutely clear to me that these experiences – I
call them transcendental events or experiences – actually have nothing to do
with clarity. A transcendental experience can last a few seconds or ten years
or maybe even the rest of your life, but a transcendental experience is just
that. An experience. Many people have had these experiences and then the
experience is gone and often the person is left with a desire for more of it.
They think they have been given a taste of ‘enlightenment’, when all that has
happened is that they have had a transcendental experience. Walking down
the street is an experience, but it’s an ordinary one so you don’t go looking for
more of it.
The confusion was gone. I knew what I am without any doubt and it was
obvious that I already had been that all my life. I no longer required any
transcendental experience to prove it to me.
The whole of my ‘spiritual’ search had been added on to what I already am
and I also understood why people are confused around this whole issue. Why
they confuse ‘spirituality’ with clarity. This recognition of my true nature was
not associated with any transcendental event or experience. It was clear that
a transcendental experience of any kind is easily confusing if it occurs before
you recognise with clarity your nature as Consciousness.
It is obvious that the transcendental event that was experienced had nothing
to do with clarity of recognition. The occurrence of the event brought my
confusion to a head and allowed me to see clearly how I had been subtly
waiting for an event as permission to be what I already am.
I see now that no transcendental event has any significance in the light of the
You are Consciousness. You are that in which all appears. World, body,
thoughts – all appear in you. You are not to be found as separate from
anything. You are the source and appearance of all that is . You need not go
anywhere or do anything for this to be obvious. It is the most obvious thing.
You are always overlooking it, taking it for granted.
All appears in awareness, ordinary awareness now, which is the ground of all
that is, including this present experience. Simple awareness is the common
factor to all experience. Just see that you are simply present. Nothing else is
ever happening. See that all arises and falls in present awareness. People
pass, clouds are going by, conversations are going on, thoughts appear. All
unfolds in present awareness.
Within awareness, you are appearing to yourself as everything. People,
thoughts, worlds, universes, life, death – all take place in you. Identification
as an ordinary human individual takes place in you. You are the source and
appearance of all.
All experience appears in you. There is only the present appearance of
everything in and as awareness. Any ‘enlightenment’ experience is merely
another modification of experience in awareness. You need not attempt any
transcendence or annihilation of individuality, ego, or anything else. All of that
appears in ordinary awareness. This experience now, however ordinary or
extraordinary, is the content of awareness. Nothing whatsoever needs to
change, there is nothing to get or realise. You are Consciousness, aware and
appearing as everything.
There is awareness right now – whatever the content. Awareness and
content. Ocean and waves. The ebb and flow of life. This is it now. You are it.
When you no longer seriously entertain the whole conceptual story of a life
extended in thought beyond the present content of awareness, conceptual
living is seen for what it is and ceases to be the exclusive focus of attention.
Identification as the conceptual me – or ego – is no less a reality than simple
awareness, but is an unnecessary addition, or overlay, onto the
uncomplicated sense of ‘me’ as bodily presence.
The acceptance of life as it is rather than any efforts to be rid of thinking or
ego, or to become ‘enlightened’, allows seeking to fall naturally away. All
efforts to be rid of ego merely reinforce the sense of identification with it.
Acceptance of life as it is does not bring ordinary bodily life to an end in some
magic firework display of enlightenment. Thinking continues, life carries on,
but is no longer burdened by the complication of the search for unity. Life is
seen as the expression of wholeness rather than a search for it.
You are Consciousness. However you presently appear is already perfect
including identification as ego, and also any seeking to be rid of ego.
Conceptual identification is merely an additional appearance within the
present play of awareness, and awareness requires no enlightenment. Ego
thinks it does.
Seeing with clarity, life appears as a great play. You – Consciousness play all
the roles in the play, and appear as the whole show spontaneously arising
It is part of the play that you – Consciousness play the roles usually without
knowing your real identity, but sometimes, as part of the show, you allow
yourself to know what you really are.
When you – Consciousness – are involved as a character in your play without
allowing yourself to know your real nature, the role is taken seriously and all
the dramas of life appear from this.
If a role is played where you notice what you are, the play is seen for what it
is. The character who notices it’s real identity doesn’t disappear with a flash
and a bang – although that is possible because there are no rules for the play,
- or put on ochre robes and have disciples, or teach ‘spiritual’ truths, although
any of these are possible, depending on the pattern of the character’s role in
the play. The character will likely appear as he or she did before knowing
their real identity. The character is likely to continue to lead what is an
ordinary life in the play. It is not even necessarily so that the character tells
anyone or communicates what is now obvious.
There is no point to this seeing with clarity. It is part of the play and has no
merit associated with it. If the character was suffering or had a problem
before the clarity, then that may still be part of the character’s role. There
could be bliss or delight, but only if that is a part of the role being played.
There are absolutely no rules or conditions. The whole play has no purpose
or point and is just you – Consciousness – celebrating yourself. You are your
Spiritual life has no particular relevance to clarity. Spiritual life appears as
part of the play of life but often becomes confused as a pre-requisite to clarity
because of what appears in the play as the individual’s evolution through
progressively ‘higher’ or finer stages of life.
The ordinary character, occupied with all the usual affairs of human life,
perhaps becomes interested in religion or self-improvement. There could be
a movement into ’spiritual’ life and maybe an interest in the non-duality of
This progression is not necessary for clarity to appear. It could appear at any
time in any character in the play. None of the various parts or apparent
stages in the play of life have any ability to produce clarity.
Clarity arises spontaneously of it’s own accord. Consciousness becomes
aware of itself in and as the play of life. Advaitic knowledge has no more
special ability to create a condition for clarity to appear than any other part of
Spiritual life sees the individual as separated from it’s nature as
Consciousness, and has as it’s goal re-union.
As a means to achieve this goal of re-union, an array of exotic techniques and
methods have been formulated to ‘purify’ the individual, to get rid of the ego,
to calm the mind and emotions etc.
The fundamental point being missed at every stage of the individual’s quest is
that the individual – being played by you, who are Consciousness – is already
what he or she is seeking. Nothing will make the seeker any more what he or
she already is.
The search and all the methods and techniques employed are there for no
more reason than any other part of the play. They arise for their own sake as
part of the play.
Clarity can occur in anyone at any time with no spiritual ‘qualifications’.
Consciousness in the form of a person sitting in a lotus posture, visualising a
purple light in their genitals, breathing the universe into the solar plexus,
chanting “om” and ascending up the spine into the thousand petalled lotus,
has no more chance of re-union than the drug-addict in the ghetto.
Consciousness is already perfectly present in either case so no re-union is
needed or possible.
Spiritual life imposes many conditions on the ‘impure’ and ‘separate’
individual. Special meditations, appropriate behaviours, ceremonies, diets,
sexual conduct, destruction of the ego, cessation of thought, finding the
stillness, surrendering to the guru etc.
Consciousness, already being Consciousness in whatever form it appears,
has no need of a vegetarian diet, celibacy, tantric sexuality, meditation or
gurus. Consciousness already is all of these things. If you like chanting,
meditation, eating vegetarian food, or practising tantric sex, then that’s all fine.
It won’t help you realise that which you already are.
The individual’s attention could move to exotic planes and realms, see the
continual creation and dissolution of the universe at the atomic level and
experience the eternal ecstatic cosmic union of Siva and Shakti. But, when
you get back, don’t forget to go to work on Monday, pay the electricity bill and
clean the toilet.
You – Consciousness also appear in your play as individuals playing the roles
of teachers, masters or gurus. In some cases the individual may have had a
transcendental experience or a still occurring one, which the individual
believes is his or her ‘enlightenment’. If the individual was already following a
guru of their own or a certain teaching, it is likely that the beliefs and methods
that appeared to lead up to the transcendental experience – his or her
‘enlightenment’ – will now be passed on to the individual’s followers as ’the
Some of these ‘teachers’ may even have the ability to induce unusual
experiences in the disciple via energy transmission which is often a strong
attraction to the disciple.
There is nothing wrong with any of this. All of it is the perfection of the play,
Carry on with it. Have fun. None of it leads to clarity.
I am that - but ………….. I need to take responsibility, heal my life, go
deeper, become more aware, be here now, enter the stillness, save the
planet, express my emotions, think positively, become the witness, be blissful,
find a guru, be useful, find the meaning of life, calm my thoughts , do good
works, get rid of the ego, enter manhood or womanhood, be more practical,
get enlightened, find my soul-mate, perform a ceremony, become initiated, get
in touch with my feelings, ……….
Maybe you do. How can I disagree ? While you’re busy with all that, I’ll go
What is, right now, is perfection. At each moment the content of awareness is
absolutely perfect just as it is.
This present moment of awareness has not arisen from the past and is not
leading to the future. This is Consciousness, right now.
If you seem to be a separate person with a strong sense of ego and plenty of
problems, then that is because you - Consciousness - are playing that role.
The apparent separate individual may concentrate upon self-improvement,
spiritual life, or anything else throughout the whole of their life if that is the role
being played, but only the clarity of what you really are undermines the search
to become awake or to be anything other than what already is.
You – Consciousness are appearing as your whole play now. Your play is not
a separate creation watched and presided over by you. You appear as your
play now, completely awake, absolutely already wide awake, unable therefore
to wake up. You are always obvious to yourself; never hidden.
The characters played by you in your play have no separate existence, only
an apparent one. Your characters are you celebrating yourself, immersed in
your great play of life, playing the game of looking for yourself, sometimes
finding and knowing yourself as the appearance of your play.
This communication about clarity has no particular relevance or significance
over any other part of the play. It carries no merit and has no point. There is
no purpose for you to find yourself.
The person of clarity appears here with all this made obvious, seeing with
clarity the play in all it’s myriad forms, knowing the non-necessity of
Right now you are Consciousness, appearing as a character in your play.
Maybe you think you need confirmation. Forget it. Relax. You already are
With much love to You from Yourself.
I sought ‘enlightenment’ as an escape from what I saw as the problems, trials and boredom of ordinary life. The ordinary life continues but is now seen in, and as, present awareness. The ‘spiritual’ search is over. Life is just as it is.
Nathan was born in 1960 and lives in rural England,
working as a gardener.
Copyright © Nathan Gill
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
We are grateful to Nathan and the good folks at Non-Duality Press for allowing us to present this beautiful teaching here on Awakening Clarity. Nathan's books are available from your bookseller, Amazon, or directly from Non-Duality Press.
Nathan's Website: http://www.nathangill.com/index.html
Nathan's Already Awake on Amazon: http://amzn.to/JOMAgh
Nathan's Being on Amazon: http://amzn.to/JWyp9Q
Nathan's books at Non-Duality Press: http://non-dualitypress.org/search?q=nathan+gill
On YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZxsOI2rpvk3I8L_XHkd2jQ