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Collapsing the Witness
Penny: Hello. I searched for your website after watching a video clip at the Stillness Speaks website.
You said “there’s another step,” and at that point the interviewer began to interrupt the flow constantly. My urge for him to stop talking was profound. I had to laugh at myself! Of course this would be “muffled” because this is where things are here – confused, spinning, chafing – all against the majestic, unmoving, whatever-you-want-to-try to-call-it – “THAT” is as good a word as any!
There has been a working through of “The world is illusion. Brahman alone is real.” It is “The world is brahman” that hangs things up. Mind batters against this. There is a consuming feeling of being the only consciousness, everything a miraculous dream.
Nothing real. All one. Or perhaps better put, nothing is different. All one stuff. I think this is “stuck in the witness.” That “flip” of, I think you said, “taking all the objects back.” Perhaps that is too soon here (must be or it would be!). Incredible sense of loneliness, the only consciousness in the universe. Of course that means there is an “I.” Still dual. Need to collapse the witness.
A lot of “meditation” goes on here, but it is really just sitting down and letting the powerful energy of consciousness work on the body-mind, as there is also a kundalini thing ongoing. And a lot of enquiry goes on all day long. The “spiritual thing” completely took over three years ago. It is clear there is no going back!
If there is anything that would help at this stage, it would be truly appreciated.
James: It seems you are confused about your relationship to the objects, experiences taking place in you.
Collapsing the witness is not something that you do. It is something that happens when you understand who you are. But anything that collapses will uncollapse later, so this is not the solution. The experiencing entity – Penny – is not really a problem if you understand what it means to be awareness and the relationship of awareness to the objects appearing in it.
The person you take yourself to be, the experiencing/witnessing/knowing entity, i.e. Penny – the “I” – is an object appearing in you and in a different order of reality and can coexist with you quite nicely. I think you think that non-duality, which you have realized, means “sameness.” You need a way to interpret what is happening with you. For example, you misinterpret aloneness, which is your nature, as loneliness. When you look at it correctly, as freedom, the sense of loneliness, which is just an object in you, will disappear. Try to formulate your question more carefully. If you can pinpoint your doubt I can help you.
I think the way you use language to describe what is going on with you is contributing to your confusion. It is not very natural, very personal. I know this detached way of speaking is in vogue in some circles in the spiritual world and probably reflects your actual experience as a witnessing entity, but it causes difficulties.
Language is important for anyone on the spiritual path and becomes extremely important for someone as close to liberation as you. The words you use and the objects to which they refer, in this case very subtle experiences and states of mind, should be direct and precise. I have copied in below a recent email that may be helpful concerning the witness and the objects appearing in it. It might help you see that you are the witness of the witness.
I think that rather than reading the Meditation: Inquiry into the Self book you should get How to Attain Enlightenment and read it very carefully, starting at the beginning and signing on to the logic unfolded there as it unfolds. I think you need a valid means of knowledge. What that means will become clear as you read the book. You can also read the website, ShiningWorld.com. The e-satsangs have proven to be particularly helpful. Go to the bottom of the home page and click the link next to the “new” graphic or click the satsang link on the navigation bar on the top left. They are like a Vedanta FAQ, and if you patiently work your way through them in conjunction with the book, the vision of non-duality should start to crystallize in your mind. It think it will remove 95% of your doubts. The rest I will help you with if you write to me or call me or come to one of my retreats. Inquiry should be guided by proven knowledge if it is going to succeed. It should be conducted along certain lines and the book shows you what is involved.