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One Small Mistake
Seeker: Dear James, I have a question I am hoping you can shed light on regarding some confusion around creating a satya/mithya discrimination, vasanas and being non-dual awareness.
I understand the importance of discriminating myself as awareness, thus separate and free from all objects/experiences. However, I find there is confusion when I think about myself as non-dual awareness – awareness that pervades all things (objects/experiences). I recognize the truth that reality is non-dual, but it sometimes seems more intellectual than anything else.
One one hand, I see objects as the witnessing self, and therefore they are not me. On the other hand, I am the objects as non-dual awareness. I am not sure what to focus my mind on at times, i.e. should I be discriminating between myself/awareness and objects or recognizing myself in all objects or both? Or should I be thinking/doing something else entirely?
James: There is just one small mistake in your thinking. As awareness you see objects, and therefore you are not them. If they are not you, reality is a duality because the self and the objects would be different. The objects seem to be different because maya causes you to identify with the body, in which case it appears as if they are something other than “you.” But you are not the body, because it is an object known to you, awareness, too. All objects are awareness because existence is non-dual awareness, and all objects are born out of it and located in it. An object is only the thought of the object. The thought is manufactured in the mind when the mind and an object come in contact. Though they are inert, thoughts are you, consciousness in a particular form, like a wave is the ocean in a particular form. The wave is the ocean but the ocean is not the wave. So they are different. However, since both are H2O, they are non-different. So the objects are non-separate from you but you, the H2O, i.e. awareness, are free of both the ocean and the waves.