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Self Is Not a Saint, It Is SANE
Jonathen: Your reply to my last note was so incredibly helpful to us, it’s difficult to adequately describe. We were somewhat surprised about your answer, and happy to hear it and be able to apply the ideas during the familial visit. The boundaries issue has been big for both of us, and the thought that it would be adharmic to apply boundaries to those relationships was pretty strong. The application brings about a great degree of freedom. I guess in some way I think of self-realization as also being a saint, even though when I think about it, know that isn’t the case. Things do seem to be different with family compared to dealings with other acquaintances in life. This visit was about the best we’d had because we didn’t end up “pulling our own strings,” as Wayne Dyer puts it. So thank you!!
Sundari: I am so happy to hear this, Jonathen, well done to you both! It is a deeply ingrained myth that being self-realised equals sainthood. It does not, but it does equal being sane. How boring sainthood would be for poor jiva! You did not make the jiva the way it is, so why the pressure to make it conform to some silly ideal? If the mind is agitated for whatever reason, it means dharma is being contravened in some way, full stop. It’s not only okay to stand your ground and make it clear what the jiva is available for, it is imperative to do so if freedom from the jiva and for the jiva is your goal. Of course this assumes that the basis for all behaviour is a value system firmly rooted in dharmic values, the main one being non-injury. But non-injury applies to the jiva first. A self-realised person would never willingly harm any part of life, so why do harm to your own mind? And remember, even an abuser gets abused when the abuse is allowed to continue because you are saying to them that abuse is okay. But it never is, not in any form.
Jonathen: The application of the teachings continues. I took the “enlightenment test” again, after not having taken it for four years, and missed two, which is a much better score than the first time I took it! The process really seems to wax and wane, which you and James have described as the “firefly” stage. It seems to affect the meditation practice, as well as the discrimination between myself and objects.
Sundari: This stage is pretty normal for most inquirers. Ignorance is hardwired and tenaciously resistant, so the only thing to do is to stick to your sadhana. If your mumutsutva is single-pointed, it will remove every last vestige of ignorance from the mind. There is nothing more powerful than self-knowledge, provided you keep the mind focused on the self and exposed to the scripture. Self-knowledge has to translate into every aspect of the jiva’s life, no fine print.
Jonathen: I hope this messge finds you both well, and thank you again for that invaluable advice!
~ Love, Jonathen
Sundari: It was a great pleasure, Jonathen, much love to you both.