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Getting Unstuck from the Meat Tube
Kenny: Hi, James. Chapter VII of your book How to Attain Enlightenment has my head spinning… I think I have read it about ten times in the last few days. “There is no doer.” My experience (I apologize for the language I use because it may not technically be correct) is this: there is awareness, which is impartial and passive, and then there is all this crazy, random shit that happens in the mind and body. It know that I don’t control my thoughts and I thought that I controlled my body, but upon current examination and past experience, it seems that stuff just happens, which is one hell of a head trip and seemingly a bit schizo. So I am essentially awareness animating my meat suit? And seemingly, my meat suit is just part of the cosmic or universal program (sorry for the geekspeak)?
James: Got it in one, Kenny, as the Brits say. The meat tube is just matter, no different from a stone or an automobile. It appears in ever-present, formless, actionless awareness, aka you. I’m sure you have the good sense not to tell your bosses or you wife that you are ever-present, formless awareness. What animates the meat tube? The vasanas. And what animates the vasanas, since they have virtually the same status as the meat tube insofar as they are also insentient? You, awareness, animates them. But to animate them takes no effort. Your very presence animates them. You can’t do, because you have no sense organs and mind. You are non-dual. It can’t do and you can’t do, but when you shine on it – voila! – doing happens. How cool is that.
Kenny: I have been trying to write more, but as I reflect upon this issue my brain seems like it is being pulled apart and is stuck…
James: Great. That’s the idea – unstick the brain from its idea of doership. Liberation, freedom, enlightenment, is nothing but the firm conviction “I am not the doer. I am awareness.” It solves all problems. They all belong to the body-mind/sense complex, not to you. You probably can’t write more, because this the essence of Vedanta. What more is there to say? You can talk about this in different words from different perspectives, but it all boils down to the same thing: discriminating the subject from the body-mind, the apparent doer, separating what is actionless from what is active. When you go to a symphony, you are so fascinated by the sounds you don’t consciously hear the silence that contains and defines them.
Kenny: The whole thing is awareness, and the black and white is maya, creation and destruction, right and wrong, etc., etc., happening in the whole. Two is one and one is two. From the awareness perspective there is no doer, but from the ego perspective there is a doer.
Kenny: Sorry, but I am just babbling now and will stop. Have you ever seen 3D stereograms before? I have trouble seeing the images; they seem to be a nice analogy for what I am experiencing (EyeTricks.com/3dstereo.htm). I guess I still need to keep contemplating this no-doer thing a while longer.
James: Life is like that. Another apt metaphor is the hologram, a projection of empty, actionless form in space. Yes, just keep thinking about it. It really is the way you are now seeing it.
~ All the best, James