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Tim: Thanks again, Daniel, for your emails. I guess I’m still trying to understand what the jiva benefits from removing its ignorance.
Daniel: The removal of ignorance is the removal of the sense of limitation. And the removal of limitation is the revealing of your true nature, limitless awareness. What can be more beneficial than to confidently be able to weather life’s existential storms...to remain stably self-content regardless of its ups and downs.
Remember, Tim will always be limited. Limited actions can only produce limited results. And to make matters worse...the results are not even up to Tim. Quite often we receive something that we don’t want.
Tim's actions and its results, plus the environment that he finds himself in, is not something that he wants to depend on for happiness. They are in constant flux. This is because results are manipulated according to fit the needs of the total/Isvara, not according to what Tim wants. This brings us to the foundation of all spiritual practice, karma yoga. Without karma yoga in place self-inquiry will not be stable, and thus self-actualization will not occur/stick. Go through the link NonDoodle.com/funny-truth/beautiful-karma-dharma-yoga.
Tim: It’s confusing not to know what or on whom to rely on.
Daniel: Freedom is freedom from the dependence on objects. “Objects” refer to anything other than you, awareness. Tim is just another object known to you, awareness. Self-knowledge means being free from Tim and not having to rely on him or his situation (or on any situation) for happiness.
In other words, freedom is not for Tim, but from Tim. Contemplate this sentence.
Suffering occurs when we depend on our environment (“environment” meaning any object) for happiness. The only “thing” not limited is you, awareness.
Self-knowledge, aka Vedanta, is what you want to depend on, as it makes you totally independent – including from the teaching itself.
Tim: Or I guess I’m trying to figure out what is holding back the jiva from giving up its ignorance. The rock-solid knowledge of completeness and authenticity sounds nice, but I get waylaid by hearing that “the jiva receives no benefit.”
Daniel: Ignorance is hardwired and incredibly intelligently smudged in. Self-knowledge is bad news for the ego. Of course there will be resistance. Continue your sadhana of self-inquiry. Eventually it won’t just sound nice but it will feel nice. Not a “ha ha” nice, but rather a sense of easiness and rock-solid confidence experienced by Tim.
Tim: I have another question: Do you still feel like you have meaningful work or goals in life? I mean, what else does the jiva do?
Daniel: The goal of birth is to realise one’s birthless/deathless nature, awareness. Nothing changes on the apparent level, only the negation of its reality. Life continues same as before, but minus the sense of incompleteness. You perform your jiva-duty and take part in this play just as you did before. Wood is chopped and water is carried – but only now you know very well that you're not actually the chopper or carrier of anything.
When you know yourself to be actionless, non-dual awareness, you understand that the play is you, but you are free of the play.
Tim: I’m on my way to India for some “spiritual seeking,” mainly just to attend James’ course, so I hope to remove most (all?) of my doubts there.
Daniel: Have a good trip and enjoy the Ramji show!
Tim: Thanks you for all the support, as always. I’ll just keep my head down and keep on discriminating.
Daniel: Om for now!