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Awareness Doesn’t Change
James: Hi, Donnie. I have been inundated with emails since fame came and my wife Sundari, who is a realized person, has graciously offered to help, so I asked her to reply to this one. I read all the emails she writes carefully and see to it that that they are pure Vedanta, so you can take her words as my words, which in turn are just the words of the self.
Donnie: Hi, James. Your insight proved to be spot on. Focusing attention/awareness on the points you identified has helped to clear up many old beliefs I wasn’t aware I was carrying.
That, in conjunction with the knowledge that the “ego is the self” finally sinking in, has led to a very subtle yet sudden shift in perception. There is a noted lightness and less “stickiness” about everything. Awareness seems to be going in and out of thinking it is the Donnie character at differing levels of intensity depending on the situation. There is a sense of a wider wholeness/connectiveness to everything that has nothing to do with a separate physical individual.
Sundari: This shift in perception is the understanding that the self is experiencing the ego, not the ego trying to experience the self. Well done, Donnie, but there is an error in your statement. You have a language problem or you have not thought this through carefully.
You say, “Awareness seems to be going in and out of thinking it is the Donnie character at differing levels of intensity depending on the situation.”
Awareness does not go in and out of anything. It is non-dual, so does not move. Your word “seems” is correct. It seems as if it is. But this “seeming” is the ego, Donnie, vacillating between knowing he is awareness experiencing Donnie and Donnie thinking he can experience awareness. This switch of orientations accounts for the differing levels of “intensity.”
Donnie: I have previously experienced periods of dropping into what I call the “witness” that came and went at random, but because this is knowledge-based I understand what is happening (thanks to Vedanta) and it doesn’t feel like a “state/experience” that will come and go (it will only get clearer) – it feels (not the right word) more like “this is how it is – reality.”
Sundari: When the knowledge that your true nature is the self and as such the self is experiencing Donnie, “dropping into the witness” will shift to knowing yourself as the knower of the witness. As you say here, it will not feel like a “state/experience that will come and go,” and even if it is a feeling, the experience and the feeling will both be objects known to you, awareness. “Reality” is you, awareness, and all else are objects known to you and therefore not real, i.e. not-self.
~ Om and prem, Sundari