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An Object Is an Object
Anne: I see that James means the intellect is the closest to yourself. And also that the mind can be used as a tool to think properly. I just watched Vedanta Retreat – Part 1 [at YouTube] from Germany over again.
Daniel: Yes, you could say that the intellect is the closest to yourself in the sense that it’s in the intellect that self-knowledge reflects. When the mind is clear (sattvic) and qualified to digest the teachings then your true nature (as free awareness) is mirrored. The intellect is the tool and home to self-knowledge. Self-knowledge equals freedom (moksa).
When we apply self-knowledge the mind organically aligns its thoughts in accordance with the nature of reality. This vision of non-duality is what we refer to as proper thinking.
Anne: I have no clear understanding of what mind is. I feel the intellect might be in my forehead (sounds weird) and I cannot see my mind. Is mind also not just in the head, like the brain is situated in the head? I ask since I feel unclear about it in words, but what I see is the body and thoughts appearing in the head: feelings in the body, silence in the head
Daniel: Mind is just another object appearing in/to you. An object is anything other than you, awareness. Whether it be a gross object (i.e. physical element, such as the body) or a subtle object (i.e. mental vibration/thought/feeling), understand them to be not any different to the computer screen in front of you. All objects are inert and share the same nature: they come and go, and they are known to you, awareness.
There is no need to get too caught up in the endless array of objects, Anne. An object is an object.
Indeed the more subtle the object is (i.e. ego) the more tricky it is to discriminate it from your free nature. Whether it be the physical shell of Anne or the mental vibrations (thoughts/feelings, etc.) experienced by Anne, know them to be objects arising in/to you.
You are always free from objects. You are free from Anne. Take a stand in awareness as awareness.
Anne: I just thought mind “consisted” of thought and feelings that just fluctuate. This jiva is from Norway, so here we use another word for mind. So IT is not equivalent or used the same way as “mind.” Here we use the word “sinn” (mind) nearly as intellect, so it does not include emotions, as far as I can see.
Daniel: It’s “hei” here in South Africa. Again, an object is an object. What is important to understand is who the subject is and what the relationship between the subject and object is.
The subject is you (awareness), and you always remain free from the object. Though objects are made up of you (awareness), you simultaneously remain unaffected whilst the objects change shape and form within your limitless, self-illumined light.
A nice analogy is the ocean and wave. The waves (objects) depend on the ocean (subject/you), and despite there changing forms the ocean (subject) remains unaffected.
Anne: Can you please explain something according to Vedanta? It seems like Mooji, etc. wants one to forget the mind, leave it, as if all of it is ego. And Vedanta says ego, or doer, is fine. I must sort out what I do not understand.
Daniel: Mooji and the rest of the Neo-Advaita circus are very confused. Thank God you’re on the Vedanta bus now, I’m happy for you.
As long as the jiva is alive, the ego/doer will always be doing/vibrating. It’s the nature of the doer to do. There is never a moment when the doer is not doing. Breathing, thinking, peeing, eating, sweating, walking, dreaming, etc. are all acts of doership and cannot be avoided.
It’s not that ego/doership is a problem, but rather the identification with and as the doer that causes the suffering. It’s not that we get rid of the doer/ego, but rather that we get rid of the idea/identification to/as the doer. You are not the doer (i.e. Anne) but rather the knower of the doer. You are actionless awareness, who always remains free from doership and jiva activity.
When this knowledge is firm in the intellect, the jiva enjoys a sense of ease and flow. You happily enjoy watching the jiva do its duty whilst enjoying your freedom from him/her. It’s like having your cake and eating it too. ☺
Anne: I see for myself, from a teaching in a dream before I found Vedanta, it is just to live and do action that needs to be done while alive. But if ego is no problem, why should I do karma yoga and eat sattvic food, etc?
Daniel: The teachings are for the jiva, not for you, awareness. Why would Anne not want to enjoy a sattvic and peaceful jiva life? By following dharma and applying karma yoga the jiva will enjoy the fruits of a peaceful mind. If the mind is agitated, then what is the point?
Anne: I just read your email. I like it that you are so clear. I am grateful to hear that karma-dharma yoga is for the person. I agree that it makes life better. It feels good to be at peace with the jiva and leave the notion that the ego is wrong. Thank you so much, Daniel.
Daniel: My pleasure, Anne. May Isvara bless you in everything you do.
~ Much love, Daniel