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You Are Ever-New
Max: Hello, James. I wrote an email to you some three days ago but came across your recommendation to read your book How to Attain Enlightenment before I had the chance to post it. So I bought and read your book, and now that email is gone. I have no questions. You writing is crystal-clear.
I was the suspicious person you describe so astutely, and rejected most everything up until I found the Upanishads. Using my bastardized version of self-enquiry (mostly inspired by Ramana Maharshi), I saw the self wittingly for the first and last time in my thirty-third year. The first because I finally kept my cool as it unfolded. The last because I realised beyond doubt that what I saw was myself.
Since then the formerly medicated and counselled clinical depression has turned into nothing but an odd memory, and most scripture is refreshingly simple and clear. I guess there are other boons too but they don’t concern me at the moment.
I will admit that I still feel like a newborn. Thank you for that beautiful piece of prose, James! I will recommend it to seekers whenever I get the chance.
James: Lovely to hear from you, Max. Am I correct to think that what you mean when you say you saw the self for the first and last time is that since it is you, there is no need to see it because you are it? It is never an effort to see yourself, because you are yourself. The result of the knowledge – the transformation of depression into an odd memory – is always the feeling being “ever-new,” to quote scripture. Nothing sticks to you, awareness, so there is nothing to drag you down and make you tired, aged and depressed. I am happy for you and whatever part the words in my book played in your realization.
~ Love, James