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I Can’t Figure out Which You You Are
Mandy: Dear Ram, you say my understanding of how one reaches the mountain doesn’t allow you to see what I am getting at. Okay, I can accept that, but please explain what you are getting at.
Ram: As far as your statement about how one reaches the mountain, I’m saying that you are the mountain. You cannot reach it, because it is you. So if you feel that you are not “there” then you need to know what the mountain is. When you understand what the mountain is you will see that it is you and you will no longer have to reach it. From what I gather you seem to think that you are Mandy and the mountain is someone or something else. Is this true?
If you are the mountain and you don’t know it, then the only thing left is to get the knowledge of the mountain. The traditional teachings say that you are the mountain. So if you have a different view, how do you reconcile it with the experience of hundreds of thousands of realized souls – experience that has crystallized in the form of the scripture? If this is a non-dual reality as the scriptures say, then how can there be a “you” and a “mountain”?
So I’m confused about who you are. Over the last couple of years I’ve patiently tried to get a handle on what or who you actually think you are and I must say that I’m still in the dark. Your self-idea seems to be based solely on personal experience. There’s nothing “wrong” with that, but when I come up with something from my personal experience, I don’t just accept it as truth or fact, firstly because experience is very fickle and unreliable, not to mention contradictory, and secondly because I may very possibly be drawing incorrect conclusions about who I am from it. What I do is check traditional sources and see if it jibes with them. If it does, I know I am on the right track. If not, I look more closely into my experience and the conclusions I’ve drawn to see if I could be wrong. You’ve said several times that people don’t understand you. If your experience does not intersect with universal experience, how can anyone understand and appreciate it – unless they just happen to have had the same experience and come to a similar conclusion about it? In fact if self-knowledge is based solely on personal experience, how can you understand yourself? Perhaps the confusion you feel about what to do and how to do it comes from trying to create a “you” out of many disparate feelings and experiences. Scripture says we are a partless whole. I take this to mean that we are not a somebody abstracted from many disparate experiences, but are something that precedes and transcends our experience, something that apparently suffers and enjoys experience but is unchanged by it. If I’m somebody subject to change by experience, then I have to continually update my sense of self based on what has just happened. I was person X yesterday, now I’m person Y and tomorrow I’m going to be person Z. This, as you can see, could cause a lot of confusion.
The idea I have been trying to communicate is that you are not a personal somebody. Because you have not responded to this idea I have to assume that you do not see yourself in this way and deal with you as the person you purport to be. The problem with this is that sometimes you are one person and sometimes another. If you are always changing, how can you deal with yourself? How can someone else relate to you? In a relationship with oneself or others there has to be a solid understanding between the two parties, a basis of communication and something they can both refer to when conflict and confusion arises. If each person has a completely unique personal view of himself or herself and life, then that person is going to find his or herself in conflict or worse, irrelevant, to world around. And so relationship and learning, growing, etc. will not happen. And the person will feel isolated and lonely. Nobody wants this. If there are two yous, a “higher” and a lower, particular and universal, the same applies. If you are cut off from essential part of yourself, it does not feel good.
I’d like to know you. I’d like us to have an understanding and build a relationship. I’ve tried over and over to provide the basis of a relationship by engaging you on the level of spiritual ideas, and I don’t feel that anything solid has come of it. In most of my relationships there is a noticeable trend, a movement toward the same goal, something that provides the basis of a good friendship, something that one can build on and work together on. But this one has been very frustrating from my point of view. I don’t know where to go with it, so I will leave it up to you. I hope you won’t be insulted by this frank admission, but probably you will, so I will apologize in advance for hurting your feelings and await your reply – if any.