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Why You Are Not Different from God
Marlon: Thanks for your email. It’s so good keeping in touch with you, like, there is nobody here in Madagascar, I feel all alone sometimes – and that is dangerous, as it can lead to all sorts of projections and fantasies about what one is experiencing. The main point in the last John-satsang – yes, it’s totally necessary to have a balance between the heart and the mind, discrimination is vital to evaluate what the heart experiences.
I want to write something more soon. I am busy at the moment, and much is happening to me. Between 12:00 am and 3:00 am all this week I have been inundated with Light and what you would call shakti. I am not sure what it is all about yet, I have certainly been in bliss, but possibly the self is purging my vasanas (I may not have expressed this correctly, so don’t get semantic over these statements).
Ram: Yes, the shakti does purify the vasanas. When the mind is turned inward and one is experiencing the self in the form of light, power, peace, etc. the vasanas come up all the time, but when they hit the energy field they just get fried like in a bug zapper. You do not notice the vasanas exploding into the energy field, because your attention is on the light, but it is their destruction that releases the energy you feel. A vasana destroyed reduces the vasana pressure in the causal body and this in turn helps the mind stay inward-looking. This is an excellent way to purify, but it has its limitations. Obviously, it is not suitable for householders, karma yogis, like yourself. But since it is happening you have to make do.
This kind of energetic purification does not burn all the binding vasanas unless, like Ramana, you sit in a cave for however many years. The other method, which in no way excludes energetic or meditative purification, is through knowledge. What causes the vasanas to bind is ignorance of your non-dual nature, so this ignorance needs to be removed. As long as you see yourself as an experiencer, a doer, a limited entity, you will be troubled by vasanas. So somehow one has to relinquish this belief. When it is surrendered the vasanas are automatically neutralized and you will simply not reinforce them by acting them out with the belief that you have something to gain or lose by so doing.
Knowledge purifies the vasanas in this sense also: knowledge means you understand that this is a non-dual reality and that everything here is you. If there are vasanas in a non-dual reality then they are also you. Therefore how can they be a problem?
Marlon: What does intrigue me at the moment is advaita, the non-dual perspective. Please do not interpret what I am saying as heresy (after all we have discussed), but while I can see in bliss I am one with the self, still God can be somewhere else. We are of the same matrix, sat chit ananda, but there is a difference – in power. I cannot create universes, beings or planets nor can I be in every being’s heart like God.
Ram: Point number one is true, although who is to say that what you do create is any less important or powerful than universes, planets, beings, etc? From what perspective are we distinguishing your creation from God’s?
Point number two (nor can I be in every being’s heart like God) isn’t true. In maya there are two creations: Isvara shristi and jiva shristi. Isvara shristi is God’s creation, the sum total of all manifest existence. Jiva shristi is the individual’s creation, Marlon’s life. The creations are apparently different in terms of scale, power, longevity, etc. but the creators are exactly the same. The Veda is very clear on this. It says the jivatman (you) and the paramatman (God) are one. God and the individual are one. There is no difference. What is causing it to seem that God is much greater is the number of apparent objects it is associated with. Consciousness associated with twenty things is less powerful than consciousness associated with twenty billion things? I won’t insult you by giving the answer. You, the self, are the same no matter the magnitude of things you associate with. The President is the President when he is at home alone with his wife and he is the President when he is addressing two hundred million Americans on TV. Only the non-essential outer stuff is (apparently) different.
How can it be that there is no difference between the individual and God? Because there is no creation in the first place. Creation is just a concept that human beings have dreamed up to explain an eternal reality that is unconsciously being interpreted as a temporal reality by the mind. If you analyze time you cannot find it to have an objective existence. Without time there is no creator and no act of creation, because creation requires time. What you see here and call a creation is just the unborn self. It seems to be moving and changing, but it is not. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. “The more it changes, the more it stays the same.” This needs to be realized.
The self is beyond God. “God” is just an explanation given to people who find themselves caught up in a body to explain their origins and the origins of the world in which they find themselves.
No, you cannot be in everyone’s heart, because you are everyone’s heart. The self, consciousness, is the heart, the essence, of everything. Common sense and the scripture tell us that if there is such a person as Marlon, this Marlon is limited in many ways and that it is not possible for Marlon to be everywhere at once. But as the self, which is what you are, you are not only in everything, you are everything. It is just a matter of getting it straight who you are. If you enjoy being Marlon, fine. Accept the limitations that this conception imposes and soldier on. If not, chuck Marlon. When you let Marlon go, you see that you are everything that is.
Marlon: When I am in bliss I am aware of this and follow my devotional prescriptions of offering love and blessings to the Lord, a being who is clearly more powerful than me. In this subtle relationship there is an exchange of love and bliss which I experience, but is this non-dual in a technical sense?
Ram: It is non-dual if you see that the one who is offering the prayers and the one to whom the prayers are offered are one and the same being. If you can’t, you are a shakti worshiper, a power worshiper. To be a power worshiper you need to think of yourself as less powerful than what you worship. You think of yourself as created by God and you offer thanks. No blame.
But you are not created. You are eternal awareness. “Marlon” is a name some people put on eternal awareness. In a non-dual reality, which scripture says this is, you are neither less powerful nor more powerful than God. Power is simply not an issue, because it implies duality. God is the self and you are the self.
If you are here to get something, the best way is to be a devotee of God. That way you enlist the help of the giver of the fruits of the action on your side. But some people don’t want God’s stuff, they want God. And it is entirely possible to get God because you are God already. Even God can’t give you God.
Finally, I would suggest that you look into the statement “when I am in bliss.” What does this mean? It means that sometimes you are not in bliss. So who is this person that goes in and out of bliss? I take “bliss” to mean that you feel good. Vedanta (must toe the party line here, Marlon, no heresy allowed) says that you are bliss. Bliss is your nature.
Below I’ve copied in an email to a fellow on the subject of bliss. Perhaps I’ve sent it to you (my records are a bit sketchy this far back), nonetheless it might be useful in this context.
~ Love, Ram