Search & Read
Who Sees the Shift?
Sundari: Hello, Brad. I am answering for James, as he is very busy these days, but he will check it out before I send it to you to give it the thumbs-up! I hope you are well and that your building alterations were completed successfully and happily! I look forward to seeing you later in the year.
~ Much love, Sundari
Ram: Hi, Brad. I checked it out and it is great!
Brad: Dear Ram, I hope this mail finds you and Isabella well. I believe that you are coming back to South Africa in October. I’m looking forward to seeing you then.
In meditation, eyes closed or eyes open but more difficult, I can remind myself that even Brad, this body and thoughts are objects to me and happens inside me.
Sundari: Which “I” is asking this question? Who is reminding Brad that he is not his mind-body entity? Who is this perspective known to and where is “inside”?
Brad: This seems to quickly shift the perspective from thinking that I am Brad to, “I am awareness,” and Brad happens inside me. Brad is seen as an object.
Sundari: The shift that takes place is not really a shift although it seems like one. As the self, you – awareness – are experiencing the ego, not Brad the apparent entity (jiva) trying to experience the self. As awareness you are aware of Brad reminding himself that he and his thoughts are objects “in” you, awareness. There really is no “in or out” of awareness, so it would be more correct to say, “within the scope of awareness.” Awareness is the substrate of everything, and although everything appears to “rise” out of it, there is only awareness – and all that has “arisen” is only apparently real.
Brad: So now for the questions: Does there come a point where the shifting backwards and forwards between identification with Brad and awareness becomes a permanent identification with awareness?
Sundari: The shifting backwards and forwards between identification with Brad, the apparent entity and awareness does not happen until the discrimination between the self and the not-self is firm, or complete. When the knowledge, “I am awareness,” is firm all objects are negated, the binding vasanas are rendered non-binding and the doer is nullified. There is then only you, awareness. This does not mean that Brad and the objects physically disappear. They remain but are known to be not real, like a mirage. You are the knower of all the objects as well as the “shift” of identification between Brad and awareness, the “shift” being just another object.
Brad: Or does it just become easier to access either perspective when needed?
Sundari: The discrimination between the self and the not-self (satya-mithya) is an ongoing process until it isn’t anymore. Before ignorance of your true nature as awareness is permanently removed it is common that re-identification with the object (Brad) takes place. Identification with objects, the binding vasanas and the sense of doership, i.e. ignorance, is hardwired and can take hard work to permanently remove. Constant vigilance is the price. Once your personal ignorance (avidya) is removed, you will no longer have problems with Brad, the apparent entity, or jiva, and you, awareness – and will allow Brad full rein to go about his business because you know he always “comes home to you,” awareness.
When your personal ignorance (avidya) is removed maya still obtains, as it is eternal because the self is eternal. Maya is a shakti (power) within awareness – even though the effects, i.e. the objects in the apparent reality (mithya), are constantly changing and not real. Maya will still condition the subtle body, but as Brad will know himself to be an object in awareness he will no longer project his dream onto Isvara (the field/God), because he will know he is not the doer and the vasanas do not belong to him.
Brad: Is it helpful to spend more time looking from the perspective of awareness, with the point to make this perspective more permanent?
Sundari: Who is it helpful for? Self-knowledge is not a perspective. If you have direct knowledge of your true nature as awareness it means that your personal ignorance has been permanently removed. If you are “looking from the perspective of awareness” your knowledge is indirect and you have more work to do to make it direct – moksa is realising your nature AS awareness. The whole point of seeking moksa is to make this knowledge permanent or there is no moksa.
Brad: Does this shift in perspective even mean anything, and is there anything helpful to do from here?
Sundari: This “shift in perspective” means everything – if you want moksa. If you are awareness it means nothing. If you are Brad it means everything. If this is a permanent shift you are permanently freed of Brad and his attachment to objects and – MOST IMPORTANTLY – you will know there is nothing “to do” – because there is no doer and no such place as “here.”
Brad: Much thanks.