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The World Is Devastated
Jerry: Hi, Tan.
Thank you for your reply.
What seems to be happening is that I have a period of great clarity in which I know I am awareness and there is a sense of peace, joy and energy, and then, wham! Jerry’s vasanas come back with a vengeance and reclaim him. I had a dream not too long ago in which I escaped from an underground prison under the control of a sadistic, Nazi-style woman and I clawed my way to the surface and freedom. There I met up with members of the resistance but I saw that the land around had been utterly devastated by the war.
I think this is an accurate representation of the situation I described above. My release is into a landscape of utter bleakness and devastation, which is the vasana I have been talking about. Yes, I am free, but I am aware in my subtle body, particularly my feelings, of the massive damage and, to add to the dream, at times the Nazi woman recaptures me and drags me back to the prison. I think when you have suffered life-threatening emotional trauma as an infant liberation can be into a devastated world which though “unreal” still has to be dealt with on a daily basis because the vasana is so deep that it is the root of all one’s experience of life. There is no “normal” in the way that most people who have had a good-enough childhood could ever understand. At times I see myself as an orphan in a Romanian orphanage, banging my head against the wall in order to numb the pain. That is why I feel like I am living in solitary confinement or in a war zone. So I have to repeatedly dismiss this vasana as not me, awareness.
Tan: I wonder why that landscape in your dream is so bleak and devastated.
You are free but it is still a barren wasteland.
I have a suspicion that a step is missing in your inquiry. And you should check that and confirm that for yourself.
There is a phase in this self-inquiry where the whole world can seem bleak and meaningless.
When the seeker has dismissed every object arising and in conclusion dismisses this whole world as “not self” then the whole world seems to lose its value.
You are not attached to the objects, you are free, but the world of objects seems meaningless.
But this is just the first step.
Then as the second step, for example, by trusting the word of the scripture you can also understand that “this is you.” Tat tvam asi. The world is you.
All is made of you, awareness. This is a non-dual reality.
Every person, animal, plant and object that is seen, every feeling that is felt, every thought that is thought is – you.
So all the objects, the neighbor, the room, the loneliness, the boredom, are also you.
You meet yourself in everything.
Through this intimacy love arises. Bhakti arises.
Love and gratefulness for Isvara arises.
And this world is a celebration of yourself in every way.
I have the suspicion that this second step is missing.
For this step also trust in the scripture is needed.
If you do not trust me, trust Vedanta scripture.
This world is you. It is whole. It is complete. It is full. It is you.
Jerry: I think you’re absolutely right. There’s a great feeling of disillusionment and disappointment in Jerry’s subtle body at the realization that he can’t get what he wants, can’t have life on his terms, can’t “succeed,” and he’s just given up. There’s nothing to find, nothing to gain, nothing to be had. He finds the step you’re talking about interesting but has no idea how to go about taking it!
Tan: “Giving up” sounds like resignation, it does not sound like accepting the truth that Jerry is a concept.
There is nothing to gain, nothing to find, nothing to be had.
But that is only a tragedy for Jerry as long as he believes he needs to get something to make him full and if he thinks he can take any steps towards that fullness.
It is only a matter of knowledge, not a matter of an action.
It is only a matter of understanding that you are the self. You are already full, whole and complete.
This is a non-dual reality. There is only you. You cannot take a step to become full.
It is as if the sugar cube asks how it will become sweet. Sweetness is something that the sugar cube cannot become.
As you cannot become full and whole. Fullness is what you are. In order to appreciate yourself in everything that you see:
Consider the metaphor of the projector, the film reel and the movie projected on the screen.
You are the light, the film reel is maya and the movie on the screen is the world with all the objects, animals, people, plants, mountains, valleys, etc.
You – the light – are free of the objects on the movie screen.
But all these objects in the movie are you and depending on you.
They are made of light. They are made of you, awareness.
This whole manifestation, this movie, is a celebration of you, the self, the light.
Consider this the next time you see a friendly face or a grumpy face or a rose or a tree.
You are seeing yourself.
Jerry: Hi, Tan. Thank you. That’s beautiful. I know it’s true. I know I’m awareness, and for the past week or two this knowledge has been pretty firm. There’s been a sense of peace and freedom from Jerry’s vasanas. Jerry’s been getting on with his life, and I’ve just been witnessing it. Reading and rereading our satsangs has filled in the details of the knowledge, especially those answering the questions about knowing I’m awareness.
I don’t think there’s anything more to say at the moment.
~ Love, Jerry