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All Problems Belong to Jiva
Ian: So I, as jiva, have a problem, but as awareness I have no problem.
However, jiva’s got this problem and needs to take care of it, but doesn’t know how.
So jiva starts to think about how his real identity is awareness. No matter how much he thinks this, the problem is still there.
Jiva doesn’t know the answer. All answers are known to awareness, right? You can’t have an answer without awareness of the answer. So, although awareness has no mind, no intellect, the best answer to jiva’s problem doesn’t exist without awareness.
So jiva says to himself, “As a jiva, my mind is limited, and I don’t know the answer to this problem. However, I am not jiva. Jiva is known to me. I know all answers.” Jiva says that, but no answer comes.
Knowing that I am awareness, why isn’t the answer clear to me? It can’t be only with God, and hidden away from both jiva and awareness. It can be hidden from jiva, but can’t be hidden from awareness.
Why does God not just stick the answer in jiva’s mind?
Arlindo: Hi, Ian. As you say, “…as awareness, I have no problem.”
Without maya and the manifest universe (mithya), awareness (satya) is not an experiencing entity. It apparently becomes an experiencing entity only when the world of duality is project by maya/Isvara. Just to make sure it is clear: all problems are “located” in mithya and only experienced by human jivas because only they have a certain subtle body with the property of “becoming” self-conscious and subsequently project a subjective interpretation on Isvara’s objective creation.
Every time things do not go in accordance to jiva’s expectations, jiva experiences adversity and considers it to be a problem. And since the objective world of things and experiences are under Isvara’s jurisdiction, the poor jiva has almost no say in it. It all seems to be a set-up designed to frustrate the jiva in his attempts to get what he/she wants at any cost. The understanding of what belongs to Isvara and the proper play of the jiva in his relationship with Isvara is fundamental in the development of jiva’s maturity.
Before we go further into the basic question of your original post it is important that we define what a jiva really is. A jiva is an apparent living creature with three bodies vivified by awareness and made up, controlled and operated by maya/Isvara.
In our case, as human jivas, we develop the self-consciousness “I exist,” which gives birth to the sense of existence as personified consciousness. A jiva is this sense of personified consciousness, or in a simpler language, the “I-thought.”
It is fundamentally important, this understanding, because it is the jiva who feels limited by his problems and it is the jiva who wants moksa.
Most people take the subtle body to be the jiva, but I don’t see it this way. The phenomenon called “I-thought” cannot be the gross, subtle or causal body. The three bodies constitute the body-mind apparatus in which the “I-thought” emerges. But all bodies are matter, and all matter is inert and insentient, i.e. not independently conscious.
Of all three bodies the subtle body is the one on which the apparent self-conscious “I-thought” takes on a sense of independent existence. The subtle body is a sort of subtle mirror-like surface with the property of bouncing off “OC” (original pure consciousness) to produce what we may call “RC” (reflected consciousness).
This reflected consciousness is not the “OC,” because, apparently, it has taken some of the subtle body’s properties – it is no longer original or pure. Originally, it was attributeless, and now it seems to have acquired qualities and attributes which belong to the mirror (the subtle body).
The jiva is not “the mirror.” The jiva is RC, reflected consciousness, after OC bounces off the mirror (the subtle body) to produce the phenomenon called jiva, or “RC” (reflected consciousness).
Why is it important to define the jiva? Because jivas are not only made of dense or subtle matter but a combination of matter (the five elements plus the gunas) and the self-conscious awareness that pervades, vivifies and makes the jiva aware of awareness’s own existence. Important is also to notice that “RC,” even though apparently modified from its original source, still holds its essential nature as consciousness, in the same way reflected light is still of the nature of light after it bounces off a mirror-like surface.
You say jiva doesn’t know the answer to his problems. All answers are known to awareness, right? You can’t have an answer without awareness of the answer. So although awareness has no mind, no intellect, the best answer to jiva’s problem doesn’t exist without awareness.
Your logic is good! But again, awareness is not an experiencing entity, therefore jiva’s problems are only experienced by the jiva, and the solution to one’s problems is also to be found by the jiva alone. How do the problems of life get solved then? Jiva’s rajasic-tamasic life style will produce a rajasic-tamasic mind, and a mind governed by rajas and tamas will have difficulty in intelligently reading and understanding whatsoever situations Isvara presents to him/her with (jiva’s karma, or result of previous actions). As a result, jiva’s response will not be the most appropriate. The inability to wisely respond to life’s situations may produce what we commonly call problems and adversities, or papa karma.
In order to solve one’s problems of life we need a mind with predominance of sattva guna, followed by a good portion of rajas and a smaller portion of tamas.
You say, “So jiva says to himself, ‘As a jiva, my mind is limited, and I don’t know the answer to this problem. However, I am not jiva. Jiva is known to me. I know all answers.’” Jiva says that, but no answer comes.
The answer is to be found in jiva’s mind once it has developed a predominance of sattva guna. Remember, jiva (RC) is not made of matter alone. It is also made of awareness, and sattva is the intelligent principle, reflected and manifest out of awareness. A pure mind will produce the clear and simple vision to see the most obvious answers to jiva’s problems of life.
Awareness knows no answers, because IT has no questions. Answers are to be found by the jiva only. Discrimination between satya and mithya may not produce the desired result if jiva’s mind is not yet prepared for it. Jiva’s mind needs to become very subtle and contemplative in order to be able to reflect “the subtlest” and apprehend that “RC” is in truth “OC” in its nature. Karma yoga, dharma yoga must come first. A few problems of life may continue once you firmly know that RC is of same nature as OC, but problems will not be seen as real problems, much less taken personally. Life will be a smooth sailing.
Much love, and good luck.