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Awareness of Other Worlds
Deva: James, thank you for taking the time to respond to my email. Pardon me for the delay in responding, but I seemed not to be able to collect my thoughts in a timely fashion. But here goes.
The reason for not seeking happiness is that I don’t see happiness as a goal. I see happiness as perhaps a by-product of walking a path. Sometimes along the way you see things or do things that make you happy and sometimes you don’t. I fully accept happiness when it comes, but I don’t seek it (I also would not consider it beneficial to pursue a “desire”).
It seems you could frame any attempt to change your condition as wanting to be happy, but I believe it’s really just a description using words that are not well-defined. The explorer explores for “happiness”? The parent gives to the kid for their “happiness”? I am writing this letter for my “happiness”? You could label any purposeful action in this way. But to me the best way to sort this out is to distinguish between what one is seeking and what comes as a consequence. For example, I could seek my goal of freedom of perception without expecting any happiness or unhappiness at all. I would still seek it without the consideration one way or another.
James: Okay, I understand what you mean.
Deva: I am by no means knowledgeable of Sanskrit, but from what I can glean looking up the definition of “siddhi,” it is an ability or extraordinary power. I don’t really look at freedom of perception that way so much. I feel like rather than obtaining a power it would be getting rid of a hindrance. I believe I have encountered in your teachings the idea that we are conditioned to view reality the way we do, brought up as babies through childhood to agree upon a common reality, which we call the “real” world. I would like to un-condition that conditioning.
James: Yes, it is conditioning that limits perception.
Deva: The idea is that there are multitudes or worlds in the universe; why be restricted to view just one? I feel as a being of awareness, if not restricted by human conditioning, that I would be able see the other worlds just as we see our human agreed-upon world. So to me it is more like getting rid of something unnatural than training in a new ability. The primary practice the Toltecs use to accomplish this is very similar, I believe, to what you teach, and that is to silence the mind.
James: How do you know there are other worlds if you haven’t seen them? And if you have seen them, why are they more attractive than this world?
Yes, Vedanta says that if you want freedom you need self-knowledge, i.e. the hard and fast understanding that you are unborn, limitless, actionless, ordinary awareness. Since knowledge takes place in the mind, it should be in a condition to receive and assimilate knowledge, i.e. peaceful and alert.
Deva: Your point about accumulating knowledge is well-taken. I have to admit I have been a bit of a knowledge slut. The analogy which I saw recently was of knowledge being an expanding sphere. What is unknown is the surface of the sphere. The more it expands the greater the surface area. But recently I been concentrating more on quieting and stopping the mind. Your videos and writings actually helped get me going in this direction. Also, I have found the writings of Nisargadatta Maharaj quite helpful.
I do not/did not seek knowledge for power. I feel more like it is destiny to explore and understand what is around me. If I could help others, that would be great. If not, that is okay too.
From comments above I think you will understand that I am not looking at psychic powers, at least as usually defined. I just don’t like my perception to be unnecessarily limited. One small example is that I don’t see why memory seems so frail from a “dream” state, i.e. while sleeping, or why I am not more aware while asleep. I feel this is a limitation to overcome, not a power to gain.
James: Perception is limited by its means of knowledge, i.e. the senses, mind and intellect, but awareness is limitless. So if you want limitlessness you will get it by knowing who you are. But this does not mean that you can read the mind of an ant or commune with the ascended masters or sport with the angels.
Deva: On spiritual goals, you could say that I have not obtained any ultimate goal. Of course there are many stages, starting with understanding that there is nothing spiritual to have a goal about. I went exterior to my body with full perception at one point, and had a goal to be able to do that at will.
James: It must have been a good experience if you wanted it back. Why did you come back into your body if it was so enjoyable?
Deva: Another goal was to clean up my past so as to free up all the stuck energy and make it available in present time.
James: That is a preliminary goal for anyone pursuing liberation.
Deva: So there have been different goals, some obtained and some not. I like your idea of freedom from perception. But that begs the question, are we talking about perception of the senses, of awareness?
James: Freedom from sense perception. You can never be free of awareness, because you are awareness.
Deva: Perhaps I should word my goal as “awareness of other worlds.” But if you think the enlightenment that you speak of is a greater awareness, then I would be foolish to turn away from it.
James: You have no way of knowing this, but I have visited hundreds of other worlds and none of them begin to compare to awareness. It is a limitless “world” of light/love. All other worlds pale by comparison.
Deva: On another note, any chance you will be in the U.S. any time in the near future? I would love to see you speak in person.
James: Yes. I will be there from May till September. What I would really like to know is why you are so interested in other worlds.
~ All the best, James