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Enlightenment Is Not Surrender
Terrance: Hi, James.
I have watched your YouTube videos and I know you are a good teacher. I also have one of your books. However, I’m reading one right now by Greg Goode called The Direct Path. It is experiential, and I have also gone through David Lang/Douglas Harding’s website.
I fully understand what you are saying and agree with you 100 percent.
Yes, I understand I am awareness. I know it is a matter of grace. I guess it is the habits you pick up from childhood that prevent you from seeing who and what you really are. I’m not sure but I may of had small glimpses of a few seconds or so of something very nice. It kind of felt like a unitive experience.
This was from the experiential stuff from Greg Goode’s book and the Douglas Harding website. Oh, I also have a three-CD set from Loch Kelly. He is a non-dualist teacher. It is also experiential.
I think I was a bit impatient in wanting to get some relief from some pain I am going through. I have had a financial setback, my mother is dying of lung cancer and a couple of other things all came up at the same time. However, I have already received a better perspective from the books I’ve been reading and CDs I’ve been viewing on non-duality.
I understand I am already what I seek to be. I also understand it is a matter of time and grace as to what level of liberation I may or may not receive.
What I thought enlightenment was would be mostly permanent bliss. From my readings now I understand it is not that. It is an understanding of who you are as awareness. It is not permanent bliss. From what I read, it is rather ordinary.
James: It is ordinary, but it is permanent bliss. I think your idea of the bliss of self-knowledge is probably incorrect.
Terrance: That you don’t get that attached to bad things or even good things that occur you, see them as all passing, and the only thing that really stays around is your awareness.
James: Yes, but awareness experiencing itself is bliss. It manifests in the mind as a constant sense of complete satisfaction and self-confidence.
Terrance: Enlightenment, I think, also means all is one. I think it is so powerful and deep you really can’t define it.
James: Enlightenment is the knowledge that the subject – you, consciousness – and the objects you experience – thoughts, feelings, people, situations, etc. – are non-separate, so there is no longer any resistance to life.
Terrance: There is a Trappist monk named Father Thomas Keating. He is a mystic and teaches centering prayer, which is a contemplative type of mediation. He says when you are in meditation, don’t seek anything. Just surrender, even when the bliss comes up, to surrender that. Because when you try and hold it you are quantifying it and making it into an object, which it is not. I think enlightenment is like that. You can’t hold it, try to maintain it. It just is, and if you try to use it for your own purposes you kind of lose it.
James: No, it is not like that. Enlightenment is the understanding that the one who surrenders is not real, although it is not non-existent. It is the one that knows the surrenderer or the non-surrenderer. It is a shift of identity from the surrenderer to the awareness of the surrenderer.
Terrance: I would be very happy to answer any additional questions you may have.
James: You have to supply the questions, Terrance. But before you write again, you need to read my book The Essence of Enlightenment carefully. I can see from your questions and the sources of your knowledge that Vedanta will be very helpful for you.
Terrance: Hopefully, we can work together or you can recommend someone.
James: Read my book and get back to me. Either I will help you or one of the ShiningWorld teachers will help you.
Terrance: I wish you all the best and thank you!
James: You are welcome.
~ Love, James