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No Need for Discouragement, You Are the Self
Rick: Hi, Tan. I agree absolutely with your assessment of where I am in this process. I am working at establishing a witness, and it is hard work!
The impetus to dismiss objects as not-self comes typically when I experience “negative” or problematic emotions. It’s as if pain makes me more open to awareness. Then I assert that these emotions are not me, but that I am witnessing them. As I am aware of them, they are not me, but arising in me or appearing to me, awareness. After that, it’s as if the witness subsides till the next time.
In addition to that, I do sometimes get an almost physical sense of peace or pleasure or calm or warmth in the body which is quite new. It’s hard to describe, and it’s very fleeting. So it looks like all this might correspond to what you said about the witness being time-bound and a doer. I feel quite discouraged in that if this is the case I’m only at the beginning of this process. How do I progress in this? I think that, if you agree on my assessment and you think it would be helpful at this point, we could talk on Skype.
~ Love, Rick
Tan: Hi, Rick. Discouragement is not required. You are already the self, since you are yourself. So you do not need to become anything. The becoming is not hard work since it is just removing the doubts and misunderstandings about who you really are. You “become” by understanding who you are.
Actually, it is not work at all to know. The knowledge that you are the self is already there or else you would not understand it at all. It is just some ignorance that needs to be removed, and that can happen very quickly or may need a long time, it is difficult to tell and depends on the level of qualifications.
You can look them up in James’ How to Attain Enlightenment. Since you are, however, already engaged with Vedanta (only very few qualified spiritual seekers at all understand and are seriously interested for Vedanta), you are qualified.
This sense of peace and pleasure and calm that you are describing is your own nature. It becomes more available to the experiencer because your mind is becoming more clear (more sattvic), more qualified to absorb the knowledge of who you are.
We can Skype, maybe next week.
~ Love, Tan
Rick: Thanks, Tan. That is very encouraging. I went to see James in Goetz in March, and he said I seemed to be assimilating the teachings very well. One time he looked over at me in a class and said, “You look quite blissful, Rick, like a little Buddha.”
Yes, I live in Zurich. If you give me some times when you’re free to Skype, I’ll get back to you.
~ Love, Rick