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Mark: Dear Ramji, thank you for being there. I hope you are well.
How do I live as consciousness? I know I'm consciousness, aware, being present. I am not specially focused on listening or looking at objects but I am aware of sounds, surroundings and so on, without translating them into knowledge (although unconsciously I recognize the sound of a passing car, I do know it is a car). I am the witness. I'm sure about my silence. But is being the witness the same as being consciousness? It seems there is a thin line between only-witness and mind-witness. Maybe it’s a naive question, but for me, in the practice of the day, important to understand.
My wish is to speak less of I (this message is full of “I”s!). My wish is for “no-mind.”
Ramji: It is a good question. You cannot physically separate the “mind-witness” and the “witness only,” Mark. You should use the right terminology: the mind-witness or the experiencing witness is called the subtle body or reflected awareness. The “witness-only” is pure awareness, the non-experiencing witness. The relationship between them is like the relationship between a mirror (pure awareness, silence, the non-experiencing witness) and a reflection (the subtle body, the experiencing jiva entity). How can you separate them? Only by understanding what the characteristics of each are. They are one, but they are not the same. Both are awareness but one is free of thoughts and an “I” sense and the other isn’t. This understanding of the difference between the subject – you, the non-experiencing witness – and the object – Mark, the experiencing witness, the person – is called viveka, discrimination. It leads to moksa and it is moksa.
This leads to your wish to have “no-mind.” This is a mistake. You cannot get a state of “no-mind, no ‘I.’” The non-experiencing witness is free from the subtle body/mind/ego already. So if you want “no-mind,” all you need to do is identify with the non-experiencing witness. You cannot get rid of the experiencing witness because it is created, sustained and destroyed by Isvara. It is not up to you. It will always be there as long as Mark exists. It is Mark. It goes when Mark dies. So you, awareness, are stuck with it. If you can see that you are not Mark, then you are free because liberation, moksa, is freedom from Mark. This may take some more contemplation.
~ Love, Ramji