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Self-Realization and Self-Actualization
Mary: Dear James, as I was listening to Vivekacudmani Tiru 2012 audio today, the part about Arunachala is me/awareness, the spider and the web analogy was mentioned which I did not get until now. I just wanted to confirm I am on the right track with my knowledge. (I may have had an “aha” moment but I feel I have regressed, not to mention those bloody vasanas!)
So to continue, ideas and thoughts are objects manufactured out of me, awareness, (by Isvara in the form of the causal body?). You say in the audio that objects are only borrowed from me and are just thoughts appearing in awareness; there is no cat, no dog, no wife, no job etc., they are just ideas manufactured out of me that seem to exist independently of me but in fact do not, and someone says “including Arunchula the mountain.” You continue saying that the mountain is just a thought in my awareness. The thoughts and vibrations are just manufactured out of me, awareness. That’s all! I am the mountain. It is bit like a projection screen which is an analogy I have heard before.
Anyway, I know I am not the jiva but because ignorance is so hardwired (with bells on) that in some way it seems like I am still attached to jiva concept. So I just don’t seem to get it half the time. It is a bit like physics: I hear what they say about stuff not being solid, etc., etc. It is like a supersized brain-teaser!!! It is the mechanics of it all I don’t get yet as explained in Panchadasi.
However, I must say, when the penny does drop, it is quite shocking and I just want to melt away, if that makes any sense, and it makes one’s existence here a bit odd. But I am here for a reason and so this existence will go on until it ceases.
It is like you say, one just has to listen and listen and listen which is what I am doing because I want to know.
Using the word “I” makes it personal in some way. Maya again and that hardwiring!
I just wanted to share that because talking to myself only goes so far on the Vedanta journey.
James: You are talking to yourself when you are talking to me, Mary. Just keep up the inquiry, be persistent. You are in what I like to call the firefly stage; you blink on as the self, then on as the jiva. It is natural. The idea that the “I” is an individual is hardwired.
Here is a simple way to understand the non-duality of awareness and objects: your experiences don’t float into you from somewhere or somebody else. If they came from the outside, what would prevent my experience to enter your mind and become your experience? If they come out of you, they can’t be separate from you. They are you. At the same time you are not them because you witness them. The witness is pristine. It is always separate from the object.
Mary: I have viewed some Swami Dayananda YouTube stuff on the Nectar of Duality. I just love to watch and listen to him. I wonder, what does his name mean? He is a wee treasure.
James: His name means “endless compassion.”
Mary: On a different note, during same 2012 Tiru audio you mentioned memory and dementia. I have worked and played with a lot of folks with dementia. I was pondering if an enlightened person who has Alzheimer’s, for instance, would they still know they are awareness?
James: Yes, because self-knowledge is not memory-based.
Mary: Another thing I would like to mention while I am here is about what to do next, i.e. since I realised who I am. Is there any guidance I can be given?
James: What you have been doing all along. Keep applying the knowledge until the firefly stops blinking on and off. You are self-realized but not fully self-actualized.
Mary: In a satsang about how adandakaravritti causes liberation you said to Marvin that for you the “I am the self” thought arose many times with great clarity over a period of several years beginning at age 26. And that you did not understand its significance, etc. but you kept up your practice and dispassion grew, and then you met your guru who helped you to understand. And then you said to Marvin that after a year-and-a-half of continuous meditation in which you clung to that thought with great tenacity… affirming it in every situation… it destroyed the notion that “I” was limited.
So is that what one has to do? It is what I do to help shut the mind up, as well as some strong language if necessary! I feel like I am floundering a bit, so some input from you might just help me at this stage my enquiry.
James: Yes, indeed, Mary. That is precisely what one should do. It is called nididyasana. The doer often flounders a bit after self-realization because it has an expectation that everything should be a bed of roses. If the mind had been properly prepared before you heard the teaching, the self-actualization would have come with the self-realization. But since you heard prematurely, there is still work to do if you want to enjoy the fruit of self-realization – the continuous experience of freedom.
~ Much love, James
Mary: Thank you for everything and more! Have a fab and peaceful time in South Africa.
~ Thanks, Mary