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The Importance of Dispassion
Conrad: It is of help to see better now that the patterns/vasanas, “my” jiva experiences, are not as binding/strong and more in view than felt before. And/so identification with jiva and its patterns lessens.
Also, with regard to them, as you indicated, some appropriate action here is was/is done, in myself and with regard to some people close to me, which was (of course) not easy, but what counts is that it clarifies. ☺
Shams: Let me ask these questions in order bring some inquiry back:
Who is acting? Is it difficult for whom?
Are you really attached by vasanas or patterns? Is the jiva real? Does the jiva have any power over you?
Conrad: The understanding that only (not “also”) Isvara, God, the whole field of manifestation(s), is “doing the work” is clearer now. Yes, that is of help too!
At the experiential level, there is again some more freedom from “jiva-ship,” some more being aware.
Shams: You don’t need to be aware in order to become free from the jiva. You are already free from it and from everything else. You only have to know it. The idea of being aware could be a trick because it is an action that you have to perform in order to be more adequate.
But adequacy is not an experience. The experience of adequacy doesn’t exist. Being completely free and adequate is not like being aware or anything else. You are fully adequate and free right now. You don’t even have to break free from the jiva. You only have to know that it is like that right now and it has always been that way. Awareness doesn’t need to be aware.
It seems to me that you are still looking for some kind of experience, and you want to feel better, more free, more adequate. The mind believes that there’s such a thing as an expercienceless experience where it feels very good because you are not the jiva and you are not the world. But that is a dream of the mind because the mind only knows experience and it is pretty sure that you are the mind. The mind appears in you, but you are not the mind. You are illumining the mind. You are only sitting there, real, unbreakable ordinary awareness. You are all that there is, and experience and the world are just insignificant specks in you.
Conrad: It is a very subtle sense of deep joy, not spectacular of course. Also, quite some pain is felt, grief, maybe more can come to the surface now and eventually let go of.
Shams: What you feel is certainly very important, and you can be sure that I honor every idea and emotion that happens in you with all respect. But also, I should say, as the one that is revealing the teaching of Vedanta, that it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter at all, and it’s a big mistake for you to keep looking at it with that amount of attention. You can’t trust the emotional parameters nor your actual interpretation. Those things are always changing, and they don’t have a meaning. You have to develop dispassion, but your paragraph is not a dispassionate one. Dispassion is not a process of letting go. Dispassion is clearly understanding that passions are not you, so you are not attached by them.
A day will come when your body and mind will be completely taken by tamas, so you won’t be experiencing bliss and joy. That is for sure. And again, someday, maybe in this life, you will be full of grace and peace, feeling rivers of sattva flowing through your heart, and also it will pass. But it will still doesn’t matter. That’s maya, the hardest thing ever invented because it’s beautiful and it feels so real that the mind just won’t take its eyes off it. However, it doesn’t matter.
Maybe you’ll say that you are writing this just as an example of the good effects that Vedanta had on you. If you believe that, then there are no effects. Vedanta was not precisely made for making the jiva feel good. Vedanta will only show that it doesn’t matter. You are free from joy, you are free from the seeking, you are also free from being free.
Experience doesn’t matter. If you don’t stop taking your feelings as a parameter, inquiry won’t work, because the mind won’t be prepared. If you want a reliable parameter, don’t look for experience, which is object-dependent, so it’s always changing. Look for knowledge, the one that never changes.
Feelings are only labels and ideas. You don’t feel like anything. Pain, grief and joy, there are the colors of life. Don’t try to let them go. You don’t have to do it, because they don’t belong to you. Certainly, on the human level, it’s a very good idea to learn how to deal with emotions, desires and behavior, but let the human do it. However, you don’t have to let the human go, because the human belongs to life, not to you.
Let the human develop a dispassionate mind, and be dispassionate about your own dispassion. Let knowledge be your guide. Recognize that your feelings and ideas are just objects in you, not you.
This essential topic should be completely clear, so please feel comfortable with asking until you get it. I hope you didn’t find some phrases tough, as I just wanted to emphasize and make a point as precisely as I can.