Search & Read
Curt: Dear James, the inquiry at the moment has to do with the three perspectives or points of view we have available to us, namely, from the standpoints of the jiva, of awareness and of Isvara. The question arises as to how or even whether we decide which standpoint to adopt. Is it simply Isvara that sets up the standpoint arising at the moment? Is there a role here for our intellect to perform with regard to choosing which standpoint to adopt in any given situation? Is the standpoint of awareness always the highest and best? Maybe the answer simply is that the appropriate standpoint will arise naturally in any given stituation (or maybe not?). What kind of also comes up in this question seems to me somehow related to the concept of purpose, or deciding what it is we are looking for or valuing. Any comments you might have for these questions would be most appreciated.
James: Hi, Curt. It is lovely to hear from you. The question is not so much “which standpoint to adopt” but to understand the implications of each standpoint in terms of the others. For instance, it is natural to adopt the standpoint of the jiva. In fact it is not consciously adopted. It is the default. We all think we are jivas first. You can’t adopt the standpoint of Isvara, because jiva can never be Isvara. Isvara is limitless and jiva is limited. But jiva can understand how it relates to Isvara, how Isvara creates and maintains the dharma field in which the jiva lives and how Isvara facilitates the karma of jiva. Doing so makes the jiva objective. However, jiva can adopt the standpoint of paramatma – pure awareness – because in essence it is pure awareness. Self-inquiry is looking at jiva’s desires and fears from the standpoint of pure awareness – “I am whole and complete, and therefore I don’t need anything to complete me” – and dismissing them as unreal. So this standpoint should be kept in mind all the time until the mind is purified. I hope this helps.
~ Love, James