Who Cares? by Ramesh Balsekar

Who Cares? by Ramesh Balsekar is my second favorite Advaita book of all-time. It is essentially a collection of various dialogues between Ramesh and seekers at his home in Mumbai, India. In fact, most if not all of the book is collected from his previous works, such as Consciousness Speaks, Your Head in the Tiger's Mouth, and others.

The only other Ramesh book I have read is The Wisdom of Balsekar which had no "resonance" with me; at least at that time. It seemed too intellectual or conceptual, like it was trying to make me think. You know that feeling you used to have trying to do your physics homework?

That's why I was all the more surprised to find such an easy-to-grasp flow in Who Cares? I suspect that when Ramesh sits down to write, he uses bigger words, but when he is interfacing with us seekers, the everyday language comes out of him, and he naturally speaks about Reality in everyman terms:

The resistance is the ego, and the ego, I'm not joking, will not easily give up... Everybody says the ego is the problem. All you have to do is simply give up "your" ego. But nobody tells you how to give up "your" ego. "You" are the ego! The "me" is the ego, and the ego is not going to commit suicide.
[from Who Cares? by Ramesh Balsekar; page 9]

Who Cares? along with Acceptance of What Is by Balsekar's "spiritual son" Wayne Liquorman, is just about as good as it gets for those of us who want to be bathed in the nonconceptual light of Advaita and nonduality as they come through the written word. The book does not ask us to use our brains too much, and instead just gently and powerfully uses its 200 pages to hold a mirror up to the ego and its spiritual games (see: "I, the ego, will now attempt to kill myself once and for all!...") from all different angles. When I read this Advaita primer I just had to keep giving up my silly notions of autonomy, because the points Ramesh was making made sense to me, like Oh yeah duh.

In fact, for me, the way Ramesh talked to the seekers gathered in his apartment, served as sort of a buffer on my mental tendencies. What he's saying about the falseness of the ego's claims of independence were recognized as true, and this recognition puts a damper on much of the effects of the belief in separateness. (At least, that's what it was like while I was reading the book! A nice, increased peace for a time.)

The effects of the belief in separateness, if you believe in the Advaita worldview, is suffering, plain and simple. It was nice to have less of that while I resonated with Who Cares? by Ramesh Balsekar and it is one of the few Advaita books that I recommend as a must-read for any seeker still caught in the tiger's mouth.

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