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Awareness and Isolation
Jim: Thanks, James. I am enjoying your teachings. It is important for me to learn from the sources and not the Westernized version of Vedanta. Your approach resonates with me. I am going again to India again for the sixth time. Where do you suggest I can go for a few weeks to delve more into awareness? Also, do you offer any insight into how to deal with the increasing sense of personal (jiva) isolation when one starts to develop more awareness? From an emotional level it feels quite isolated… Any thoughts?
James: The two first-class centers of traditional Vedanta study in India, Chinmaya Mission at Andheri, Bombay, and Arsha Vidya Gurukulam in Coimbatore, only do two- and three-year courses. They don’t accept visitors or part-time people. I can't really recommend any others. Sorry.
You also want insight into “how to deal with the increasing sense of personal (jiva) isolation when one starts to develp more awareness.” I think you have the wrong idea of awareness, Jim. Awareness is not something that you develop. It is something you are. It is the knowledge of “the sense of personal isolation.” So if your jiva is feeling isolated because of your “increased knowledge of awareness,” your knowledge of awareness needs some work because knowledge of yourself as awareness does not isolate you from the world, it makes it easy to accommodate the world. There is no contradiction between awareness and the world, because they are in different orders of the one reality. It is like a person asleep in a dark room dreaming a bright light. The dream light does not affect the darkness. Both the dream light and the darkness exist nicely together. One does not cancel the other. So it would be good to contemplate this teaching (the distinction between satya and mithya (google ShiningWorld satya mithya) to read satsangs on this topic. It will help you.