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Arlindo: Vedanta is not for or against feelings, visions, samadhis, mystical experiences and so on. We know it all to be mithya, objects of experience in a constant flux of modification. The reason we do not recommend you to pursue subtle objects is because we know that regardless of how wonderful an experience may be it eventually ends, leaving you again lacking something else in order to be content and satisfied.
Vedanta operates on knowledge alone because self-ignorance is the root cause of human suffering. All other apparent sufferings are ramifications of the ignorance of the non-dual nature of the self. Once we know the root cause of a disease, why to try curing, or better said, suppressing, its symptoms? Self-knowledge is the only remedy for self-ignorance!
Once you come to Vedanta we immediately tell you the truth: you are none of these impermanent things which change with time. You are the only constant factor, the ever-present consciousness operating your own body-mind mechanism. All impermanent gross or subtle things are like holographic images projected on maya’s space-time screen. You are the consciousness by which maya operates.
But the roots of self-ignorance are deeply hidden in the subconscious mind as causal vasanas. Self-knowledge must grow roots into the causal body in order to become “causal” self-knowledge to produce moksa. Once this knowledge spreads its roots into the subconscious mind it rapidly develops the power to dissolve jiva’s ignorance in its causal formations. Self-knowledge is the greatest neutralizer of those subconscious energies born out of self-ignorance.
Friend: Hi, Arlindo, thank you for your answer. In your conclusion you said, “This knowledge grows roots and fructifies ONLY to the degree of its application against ignorance in operation.”
Is what you are describing here “nididhyasana”?
Arlindo: Yes, my friend. Application of self-knowledge serves only to dispel ignorance. Once it does its job it loses its shining attraction. Knowledge and ignorance are only concepts – both share their existence in mithya. Self-Ignorance is the very nature of mithya. Knowledge is the opposite vritti with the power to neutralize ignorance to leave the self free from apparent knowledge and ignorance. Without nididhyasana, apparent moksa is not possible.
Friend: And we are not stuck with carrying knowledge about either then! It seems like a bargain to me.
Arlindo: That is it! Freedom is freedom from knowledge as well, otherwise what is the point?! A big-time bargain! But still, most people do not go for self-knowledge – they rather go for a self-experience. What to do? They insist on believing that the intellect is not a proper means of self-knowledge.