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The Life of My Dreams
Seeker: Dear James, Vedanta keeps doing its work as days go by… and as I look back I again realize that I am now freer, happier, more peaceful and satisfied. The conviction that my nature is full, whole and complete, that nothing, no object of experience can add or take anything away from me becomes firmer and steadier as the knowledge is further recognized and its limitless nature assimilated.
Today, having a walk with my wife while contemplating on the teachings, something clicked and I understood the difference between knowing that I am the light of consciousness and having the full understanding of the implications of that realization. What happened to me a couple of years back was the recognition that what I am is awareness, and that was a landmark event in the life of the jiva at that time.
But that event was not supported by the complete knowledge (Vedanta) of the implied meaning of that realization. I did not have a clear understanding that to be awareness means to be limitless, full, whole and complete, and to indeed be free from desires and fears, free from dependence on objects.
For the jiva that event was an aha! moment: “I am pure consciousness! It is so simple! Now I can go and help others to recognize it too… I will become a teacher, get recognition from the world and live a good life surrounded by students and a cozy sangha.” I rapidly contracted the enlightenment sickness virus. You see, I did not really understand that the nature of awareness is full satisfaction. Because the knowledge was not there I kept unconsciously looking for validation, for something to make me feel more adequate, appreciated, loved, whole and complete. I thought that to know “I am awareness” was basically going to make it easier for me to get what I wanted… to live the life of my dreams.
When I first met your book I felt a strong excitement and attraction. It was more like the kiss of death because I knew that it was going to strip away the ignorance left over and leave me utterly alone, free from the dependence on people, things and circumstances. However, to be left alone in my whole and complete nature is the most blissful human experience there is. It almost feels as if I no longer live in this world… I never felt so peaceful, so free… wanting nothing, needing nothing in order to be truly content full and satisfied, and for this I am immensely grateful to you.
~ Much love
James: I know that this letter does not require a reply, nonetheless I want you to know that it makes me very happy to receive it. Swamiji used to say, “The spiritual path is alone, all alone to the alone.” Sometimes this statement scared people, so it would have been good if he had added your sentence, “However, to be left alone in my whole and complete nature is the most blissful human experience there is. It almost feels as if I no longer live in this world. I never felt so peaceful and so free… wanting nothing, needing nothing in order to be truly content full and satisfied.” I would add that you don’t live in this world; you live in the self-shining world of self-knowledge.
~ Love, James