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A Vibrating Piece of Non-Stop, Action-Packed Movements
Jeff: As awareness, all action that is perceived to be performed is not a direct doing of awareness.
Daniel: Spot on! You, awareness, = action-less.
Jeff: The illusion is that this awareness personified itself as the object being observed.
Daniel: Yup, I’d just add “apparently personified itself.” We call this illusion maya, a power that apparently appears in you, awareness. Here is a super link that covers the finer points: Isvara, jiva, jagat and the gunas.
Jeff: The difficult part is that it does feel as though I am controlling the object in awareness, whereas awareness is just observing the action in creation.
Daniel: You are identifying yourself as the little entity called Jeff, so of course it’s going to be difficult – not to mention that it’s impossible to live free as long as the false identification remains. As long as you mistake yourself to be a separate, incomplete action figure, you will be burdened with a sense of control – more accurately, attempting to control the uncontrollable.
Neither Jeff nor you, awareness, is controlling anything. To keep it simple, we can say that Isvara or the gunas are the “controllers.” Jeff is just a by-product of Isvara/the dharma field.
Though actions depend on you, awareness, you remain free from action. The only solution is this: identify yourself as awareness, take a stand in awareness, as awareness, and understand what it means to be awareness.
Jeff: Then if I disconnect from action, it would seem that there is nothing holding me accountable.
Daniel: You are confusing the two orders of reality, the apparent reality (mithya) and reality (satya). Jeff can never disconnect from action, because that’s what he is: a vibrating piece of non-stop, action-packed movements, both subtle (mind) and gross (body). As long as Jeff is walking around on this island, action, and therefore results, cannot be avoided.
With this said, Jeff is definitely accountable for his actions, hence he should follow dharma (appropriate action) at all times. Remember, freedom is for Jeff, not for you, (already-free) awareness. And only by following dharma will Jeff cultivate a mind suitable (free from agitation) for self-inquiry/liberation.
Jeff: Is there a better way to understand this?
Daniel: Though freedom is for Jeff, it’s more accurate to point out that freedom = freedom FROM Jeff. This is a subtle but key point to contemplate.
Another subtle point to reflect on is that Jeff does not know awareness, rather awareness knows this object called Jeff. You are awareness, and awareness is always free from the objects that appear in/to it.
Have you read James Swartz’s book How to Attain Enlightenment? If not, then I suggest ordering it. It clarifies the entire teaching in a simple, non-bull format: How to Attain Enlightenment.
~ Much love, Daniel