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Moksa Only a Change in Status
Kenneth: Hi, James. I have had lots of free time, and my favorite pastime activity is to watch your videos again and again. I am still not quite sure I fully comprehend the impact Vedanta is having in the life of Kenneth here, but certainly the Kenneth today is by far much freer than the one before Vedanta.
James: It seems the knowledge is doing its work, Kenneth, as you are now starting to experience the fruit – freedom for Kenneth.
Kenneth: More and more understanding is taking place and the last piece that clicked is again related to the knowledge/experience confusion. I have always wondered why you are so reluctant to mention the experiential change in the life of the individual after self-recognition, but I guess I may begin understanding it by now.
James: I do mention it but don’t emphasize it, Kenneth, because self-knowledge is not about changing the individual – it is about getting an new identity. People seek it because they want to be different as people and they have expectations as to what that “new” person should be. But what that new person is going to be is up to Isvara, not the one who wants to be a new person. So you have to get them to seek knowledge alone, to understand that their problem is an identity problem, not an experience problem. Once the knowledge is received and many doubts are eliminated, the experiential changes come. They are a side effect, a consequence of the gaining of self-knowledge. They are not “it.” As the self you are not so concerned with the jiva’s experience – it is what it is. Having said that, if you stay with your identity as awareness, the changes are always good – more peace, light, freedom, etc.
Kenneth: I used to think that the experiential change in the life of the jiva was related to the purification of its subtle body due to self-knowledge, and also related to its relationship with the environment, since after self-recognition the jiva experiences more joy, peace and love in contacting the world because deep down he/she senses that the apparent creation is just an “extension” of himself, the non-dual self, which I believe can be also said.
James: This is a legitimate way to look at it.
Kenneth: However, after a deeper analysis, a fresher and clearer understanding takes place. Since reality is non-dual, and if we consider that there is such thing as the freedom for awareness from the entanglement with its apparent (not real) environment, such freedom can only have an experiential element in identity, not in experiencing objects.
James: Yes, indeed. The relationship to objects changes because the objects are seen for what they are. The knowledge of one’s fullness “strips” away the belief that the objects are full of meaning. They appear as they are, devoid of bliss. They are meaningful to jiva because of their supposed bliss component. Moksa is only a change in status. Objects and their functions, qualities, attributes, etc. remain because they are created and sustained by Isvara.
Kenneth: In other words, self-recognition once followed by knowledge seems to produce a sort of “new” experience which is non-objective. It is not a new experience upon contact with the environment, but a sort of an experience of identity as the self. How could it be otherwise since reality is non-dual? The experience of it can only be one of identity, and this apparent shift of identity (which has nothing to do with contacting objects) is the only “experience” required for moksa.
James: Very good, Kenneth! Go to the head of the class. You get a gold star. I wouldn’t say the “new” experience is non-objective, perhaps non-subjective, but from the context I know what you mean. I think “objective” is better. You see things as they are – without any filters.
Kenneth: Dear teacher, I am sorry if I keep repeating myself but I have no words to express the love, appreciation and gratitude I feel for you.
James: Don’t thank me, Kenneth. What did I do? Thank yourself. You stayed with your spiritual vasana through thick and thin. You never gave up and Isvara sent Vedanta to you. You were prepared, the knowledge came and it is assimilating itself as we speak. I just sat in my chair blabbing Vedanta, which is something I enjoy, and you listened. However, appreciation is much appreciated. Keep in touch.
~ Love, James