Before the thought ‘I am’ arises, what are you? You are always before the thoughts. You do not have to go backwards in some inner space, or go backwards in some inner time to get to the before. You are already before. When it says ‘From the beginning all beings are Buddha’ it is saying: at the origin, at the very source, this is your home, this is where you reside. Coming and going, you can never leave home, you are always at the source. This source is now. It is not a new way of knowing, it is dropping the illusion that goes with knowing, the illusion of something.
It is not a matter of understanding or interpretation. When we ask ‘who are you?’ we are not asking for any kind of definition. You cannot draw a boundary around it. There is only one world. That world is you. This matter is not in the eye, or in the ear, or in the environment. You can’t see it, you can’t hear it, it is not out there. As long as there is something to know, you have missed it. Forget gain and loss, forget achievement, forget getting something.
Everyone must investigate for themselves. Everyone has their own light, shining continuously now as of old. It is not something you see but something you see with, know with. Because of this light you see, you hear, you feel. This light is the seeing, the hearing, the feeling. The entire world is your divine light. The entire world is within your light, and the entire world is inseparable from yourself.
What was your face before your parents were born? It is because we are imbued with the notion of beginnings and endings, of birth and death, that we feel we are contained, that we are defined by life, by our bodies, by our experience. We feel we are subject to experience, that experience is primary. We feel the world is primary, that we are born into the world and die from the world.
Before existence, what are you? Before a thought arises, what are you? It is in the immediacy of the moment, now, that you can respond. A moment’s hesitation and you are in a state of reflection, which means you are outside yourself.
Knowing is not illuminating something, knowing something; Knowing illuminates itself.