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An Entity Watching Me
Charles: Dear James, I really like the way you write. It is beautiful, and I will keep that in mind about not allowing duality to intrude on the teachings.
James: What you always have to remember is that Vedanta is only a means of knowledge. A means of knowledge only removes ignorance. So when you teach you have to identify the ignorance in the student’s mind and apply the appropriate teaching.
Charles: One question. It is odd but recently I have felt that there is invisible entity that keeps following me around. It doesn't do anything, but I feel like it is keeping watch over me or just observing me. Have you had any experiences like that?
What or whom is this entity? It is rather disconcerting having someone invisible follow you around. I am not a big fan of invisible beings, and as of now it has not stopped my meditation. Should I just leave it alone, and will it go away? It has happened before occasionally but now seems to be on a full-time basis.
James: Quite a few people have this kind of experience. I don't know for sure but I think that as your mind becomes more “aware of awareness,” i.e. sattvic, it objectifies awareness in the form of an experience of a witness, not unusual insofar as awareness is a witness, albeit a non-experiencing one. It is indeed odd if you identify with Charles – reflected awareness – because he thinks he is the only witness. But it is not odd if you look at it from awareness. It means you are aware of Charles and the sensation that Charles is being watched – which he is – by you. I don't think there is anything you can do about it. It seems Isvara is playing some tricks. It will probably go away. It will be interesting to see what happens.
Charles: Fascinating, James. I am so happy I found you. It is really disconcerting if you have no idea what is happening. I thought I had an entity from another dimension hanging out with me but now that you explain it this way, it seems obvious. This “entity” seems to come into full relief only when I am meditating or doing an action with complete concentration, like chanting or playing music. And if you take your logic one step further, it is exactly during these moments that the mind becomes sattvic. I can bet easy money that Tantra uses similar ideas to concretize awareness. Whether it serves any purpose is open to debate.
James: It serves the purpose of keeping the doer alive, but that is all. These experiential paths have no way to reveal the self so they try to mimic it, turn the mind inward and get it to look at itself. This is the “I sense” teaching of which you are well aware too.
Charles: Will keep you updated. I will try to watch what happens when I practise self-enquiry and change my perspective from the experiencing to the non-experiencing witness.
James: Okay, but you can’t really change your perspective to that of the non-experiencing witness because it is you before you make any changes. In other words, the words “non-experiencing witness” just point to you. And the one who changes cannot see from the platform of the non-experiencing witness because it is limited and inert.
Charles: If it is an entity, I will know pretty soon what it is up to.
James: Seems it is just a perverted voyeur. If it knew who it was it would look at itself, not at you.