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Renunciation Is the Only Way
Kelly: James, please comment on this statement. Recently I have been acutely aware of the transitions as this body-mind travels from waking to dreaming and deep sleep, and of the something else that allows for it.
James: That “something else” is awareness. When you see that you are that something (which is not an “else”) and not the one who is aware of it – not that there is actually anyone other than awareness to be aware of it – it will finish your quest. At the moment you so clearly describe, you are what you always are, but because of self-ignorance – which manifests as a sense of duality – you think that you are the one who is aware of it. You are, but not as a separate entity called Kelly. Awareness is self-aware. If you experience awareness this way you will say, “I am enlightened,” but this is still incorrect. When you understand the significance, the non-duality of awareness, you will say, “I am awareness.”
When you get this sorted, i.e. when the ignorance is removed, you can’t in good faith pursue Kelly’s agenda anymore. It is known to be contrary to your nature. Because it is contrary to your nature it produces suffering. It is this realization that is called “moksa,” or freedom. It is not freedom for Kelly, it is freedom from Kelly. You know this but you don’t really have full confidence in it. I say this because in this statement of yours, “Perhaps, in the end, it is simply about letting go, welcoming whatever appears without expectation or desire as the pure, undefined but intelligent awareness which we are,” you come up with the solution.
Scripture is clear on this: renunciation is the only way to free yourself. Or to put it differently, letting go is the proof that this knowledge is “stithya,” firm. As long as there is a “perhaps,” the samsara (the Kelly-psychology and the rajasic lifestyle it causes) continues. You seem to understand this too because you are patiently developing sattva in the form of your spiritual quest. One day you’ll be comfortable living in a van – although probably a somewhat more elegant one than mine – and shopping at Goodwill. Perhaps you’ll not need clothing at all and be counted as a Jain digambara, someone “clad only in the sky.”
~ Much love, James