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Does the Self Dislike Suffering?
Seeker: James, in your recent talk Binding and Unbinding Vasanas, you said;
“…[people in an adharmic situation should]… get off their butts and move their poor jiva somewhere it’d be happier…”
(1) Who would be doing this – the self or the jiva standing in awareness?
James: The self wouldn’t be doing it if it knew what it was because it would not be “in” an adharmic situation. It would see the adharmic situation in it. Depending on your meaning of “standing in awareness,” it would be the jiva standing as awareness because it would have compassion on that part of itself that was suffering uncomfortable circumstances. If the jiva was actually standing as awareness, it wouldn’t find itself in adharmic situations in the first place. When you stand as awareness, you are acutely aware of dharma and avoid adharma at all costs.
Seeker: Also, you said “the self… doesn’t like suffering…”
(2) Is this an exception to the self being “unconcerned”?
James: Yes and no. Of course the self has no likes and dislikes but, associated with a jiva, it can dislike suffering. If it couldn’t, it wouldn’t be free. Or you can look at the statement this way: the self is bliss, and bliss is incompatible with suffering.
Seeker: Thanks for making these talks available!