Search & Read
About to Crack the Code
Neil: Hi, James. I am operating under the assumption that if I continue with the inquiry, if I actually am doing it effectively, and if I continue to be mindful of mental and physical sattvic influences, such as good diet, meditation and the karma yoga attitude, then someday I will know I am enlightened.
I assume it is an event that will happen in the future. At some point I will “get it” or realize that I “got it.” I don’t think I am enlightened, because (1) when my person is insulted I feel like I am insulted, (2) I know I don’t understand what the sages are talking about when they talk about non-duality and (3) I can still suffer from worry about the future.
Yet I know I am the ever-present self because if I say I don’t know it, it seems like a lie. Also, this knowledge is a source of continual renewal and my confidence in it is like bedrock.
James: When you are certain that it is a lie you are almost enlightened. It seems that you think that enlightenment is going to change your mind, that it won’t worry, feel insulted, etc. Right now you see it reacting according to its conditioning. It is always going to do that, although its reactive tendencies will slowly ameliorate when the knowledge “I am the self” is rock-solid. The confidence in the knowledge is confidence in you as awareness, not Neil. Neil will be what Neil is and you will see him for what he is – a bundle of tendencies, behaviors, thoughts and feelings.
Freedom is not freedom for Neil, it is freedom from Neil, which happens to be a fact right now. See if it isn’t true.
It feels like a lie because you are “enlightened” right now, although “enlightenment” is a bad word, because it makes it seem like a particular event, which it isn’t. Light – awareness/knowledge – is the “light” that illumines Neil and his stuff at any moment. You are that. You know it in some way, but your confidence in it is not 100%. You could say that when your confidence is 100%, you are “enlightened.”
The problem with the word “enlightenment” is that it presupposes a time when you were not the light of awareness. You were never not awareness. When you appreciate this fact, you are happy with Neil and his stuff. You can even entertain the idea “I am not enlightened” because you know it comes from ignorance. It just appears as a thought that has the same meaning to you as, for example, “the sun is shining.” You do not identify with many thoughts that appear in you, so why identify with the idea that you are not enlightened? Now you sometimes identify with it, although you know it is a lie. When you identify with the one that knows it is a lie you will “be enlightened.”
Neil: I continue to read your website materials for knowledge that will weed out false and fanciful notions I’ve acquired over the years. I have the feeling that I’ve seen the man behind the curtain.
James: That’s correct, because you are the man behind the curtain. See your perspective. You are looking at the man as an object. But the man is you, the subject.
Neil: Once you’ve seen it, it can’t be unseen nor does it have to be seen again. It’s like the rope. Once you see it is a rope is not a snake, that illusion is shattered and you don’t have to keep looking at the rope again and again. So something I once believed is no longer believed, but I don’t know what it is. I just feel its absence.
James: It is not an “it.” It is you. Do you feel your absence? You don’t, because you are never absent. Calling you an “it” is objectifying you. But you cannot be objectified. You are always the subject. The subject is always prior to objects. So when you catch yourself thinking of “it,” look for the light in which the “it” appears.
It can be unseen if it is an it. But it can’t be unseen, because it is the one that sees. It is your being, your existence. You always exist. You are always aware. It is not something you gain. Have you ever observed your non-existence? Investigate the one that “feels its absence.”
Neil: Thank you for your wonderful website. It has filled in the many blanks left by the Advaita teachers whom I will not speak ill of (except maybe Tony Parsons).
~ With loving gratitude, Neil
James: You are welcome, Neil. You are about to crack the code, it seems. Keep at it!