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Isvara 1 and Isvara 2 Again
Mani: Hi, James.
You said that one can can solve all psychological problems with the gunas. Do you do that by doing what you can to get yourself into a sattvic state?
James: It depends on how deep the problems go and how willing you are to face them, but yes. I just finished an introductory seminar on the gunas. It will be in the ShiningWorld shop in a couple of weeks. Look for it. It will help you understand the gunas and how to develop sattva.
Mani: You outlined the following samsara cycle, and I am trying to understand how what you said below is a cycle.
Mind receives sensory info.
Mind passes the doubt to the intellect.
Intellect resolves the doubt and passes the info on to the ego.
Ego emotes and uses five particular sense organs to act out the decision of the intellect.
Action produces a result.
James: The desire for an object produces an action.The action creates a desireable or undesireable situation, which creates a vasana to repeat or to avoid that situation again, which creates another action, etc. To put it simply, the more you want something the more you do it and the more you want to do it until it becomes a habit, which may turn into a compulsion, which may lead to an addiction, in which case you lose control of your actions.
Mani: You said that jiva and Isvara are objects. Is Isvara really an object? My friend, whom you stayed with, wonders why it is necessary to distinguish Isvara 1 = awareness and Isvara 2 = awareness + maya.
James: Because Isvara 1 is non-dual consciousness. There is no creation from its point of view. We know that everything is consciousness when we practice self-inquiry because self-inquiry reduces everything to its cause, revealing consciousness to be the cause, but can’t be Isvara 1, because reality is non-dual. How can a non-dual something cause anything? You need duality for cause and effect. Yet we see a creation and legitimately infer a creator So somehow Isvara 1 must be creating. How does it create? It seemingly identifies with maya and brings the world and the jivas into being. Creator is a role that Isvara 1, pure non-dual consciousness, “assumes.” We need this explanation because if you are non-different from Isvara 1 as consciousness, you know very well that you didn’t create the world, so if you understand maya you will not imagine that you are not enlightened if you don’t have the power to create the world. Isvara 2 is the most difficult teaching to understand in Vedanta because it is not the same as Isvara 1 and it is not different. It is the key to liberation because it is the link between you, limited consciousness, and the limitless consciousness of Isvara 1. You can’t jump from your consciousness in one leap of understanding without understanding maya, Isvara 2. So Isvara 2 is an object known to Isvara 1. When jiva realizes its identity with Isvara 1, Isvara 2 is known to be an object. If jiva doesn’t know its identity as Isvara 1, Isvara 2 is also known indirectly as an object.