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You Are Not a Drug Addict
Rodney: Hi, Sundari. Things are going well for me, really well. I’ve had emails and even a phone chat with Paul Hardman. Nice guy. He’s heavily advised to use Vedanta alongside the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. I am actually going to go to my first AA meeting this Friday, so will give it a shot.
When I start something, I like to see it through and excel at it, if that is the right way to express it. I’m referring to Vedanta. The more I use discrimination, the more confident I feel that it will do what is needed. After all, it isn’t about eradicating desires, it is about what I do in response to them.
Sundari: This is true, moksa is not about eradicating all desires, only the ones that agitate the mind and are not in harmony with dharma. Some desires are very good, like the desire for moksa. However, in order to be free of ignorance, all binding vasanas have to be rendered non-binding by self-knowledge or else ignorance still obtains and one is not free of the person and therefore of suffering.
Rodney: What you wrote before about my family being Isvara was a lightning bolt. It has completely turned around my attitude, responses and perception to them. And indeed, that is spreading to all.
Sundari: I am so happy to hear this, Rodney. Yes, this is the power of self-knowledge; it makes things crystal clear. There is nothing like it.
Rodney: Between these things and karma yoga, it seems, I am beginning to get an inkling of something, leading me to suggest, or ask, that these things may bring one to the point where I was with the savilkalpa samadhi or more.
Sundari: It is essential that you are applying the knowledge to your life but be careful here, Rodney. It sounds like you are hankering after the experience that the samadhi brought you. Are you Rodney or are you awareness? If you think you are Rodney who needs an experience of the self to know the self, this may be true. But it will not work for long, as you have already experienced.
The knowledge that the samadhi was meant to deliver is “I am whole and complete non-dual awareness, right now. I have always been this and always will be this. I do not need an experience to confirm this because I am always experiencing this.”
If you need confidence in the knowledge, take a stand in awareness as awareness. Proclaim the truth of who you are out loud, as often as you can. Apply the opposite thought every time a contrary thought appears. Be bold.
If you are awareness and not Rodney, then “where you were” with the savilkalpa samadhi was no different and cannot be “more” than were you are right now. There is nowhere that you are not and you do not need an experience to know yourself, because you are the self. You need knowledge, not any particular experience.
Rodney: In that Vedanta is becoming more clearer to me, IT is hard to describe, but it is as if Vedanta is a part of me, and the cobwebs are clearing to make that realized.
Sundari: Vedanta is not separate from you as awareness. It is the means of knowledge that reveals your true nature to be awareness, so it is about you. It is you. There are no parts to you as awareness; you are a partless whole. Through continued self-inquiry, discrimination between the self and the objects appearing in you, the self under the spell of ignorance – aka Rodney – see yourself more clearly to be pure awareness, and not Rodney.
We highly recommend that you follow through on the 12-step programme. However, you are going to run into a resistance there if you talk Vedanta, because they do not know about the self. AA takes the jiva, or person, to be the self. They will tell you that you are a drug addict/alcoholic and you are to take responsibility for this. While it is true, in that before an addict can be helped they need to be “at cause,” which is why the 12-step programme works for those who are identified with the body. However, you are not an alcoholic/drug addict. You have a pattern of behaviour that is not in harmony with Isvara, which is addiction. It is not who you are.
We recommend karma yoga and triguna vibhava yoga (guna teaching) to take care of the idea that the doer, the dry drunk, is you. But we also encourage the 12 steps to kick the addiction first or you can use them in tandem.
~ Much love to you, Sundari