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The Self Is Not an Algorithm
Lena: Hi, Sundari. Happy, shiny New Year to you and James! Many blessings your way!
Sundari: Thank you for the wishes, Lena, and may life and the knowledge bless you too.
Lena: Imagine the knowledge of the self as a writing an algorithm for software. All these little rectangles, rhombuses, circles. The flow is logical, no skipping steps; if you do not do it properly, sequentially, there is a bug in the system and the operation gets stuck till you fix the glitch.
Sundari: This is a good analogy for the methodology of Vedanta, as it is a progressive and structured teaching requiring qualifications. However, although the teachings follow a very definite methodology to remove ignorance, which can be likened to the laws of mathematics or to computer software, the self or self-knowledge itself has no algorithm. How can it? It is who you are, it is beyond logic – and everything else. Logic is another object known to it. Although the methodology of Vedanta teaches non-duality, it is in mithya and uses duality to teach non-duality through careful, systematic logic. If you do not follow it and the mind is not qualified, self-knowledge will not obtain.
Lena: What question is on the very first rectangle? What has to be answered to move to the next step, and how do you know that you are ready to move on?
Sundari: That will be up to the grace of Isvara, your karma and the qualifications present in the mind. If the mind has negated objects – i.e. you have seen that life is a zero-sum game and you cannot win, because no object is capable of giving you what you seek – the right questions start appearing in the mind, not before. It is only Isvara, who controls everything in the field of existence, that prepares the mind for self-inquiry. However, once the mind starts to turn inwards to look at the self instead of looking outward at objects, it is up to each one of us to “do the work” and apply the teachings of Vedanta to the mind and our lives.
~ Love, Sundari