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So Who Is the Doer?
Leeroy: Hi, Daniel.
I have been revisiting doership and reading up on it in James’ book.
Just to clean things up when I am identifying with the self, there is no doer. I can appreciate and understand that because awareness is actionless.
Ego is not the doer even if it claims to be, and neither is Isvara. So who is the doer? Answer: no one. This is where I am seeking a bit of clarity. Doership, if I am not mistaken, only exists in duality. Accordingly, from what I also understand, we as jivas live in an apparent duality, therefore any doership the ego claims is just an apparent doership.
Daniel: One hundred per cent correct: you, awareness, are free of doership and action altogether, always. And because reality (you) is non-dual – there’s no such thing as action, because there’s no separation between parts for action to take place. So from this perspective the question does not apply.
To answer this question we’ve got to step back into the apparent reality, into the world opposites.
The ego is also not the doer, because it’s totally dependent on the Macrocosmic Field (Isvara) for its actions and its results, from the most subtle to the most gross. In other words, the apparent doer is not actually even the doer but simply just the vehicle through which doership gets delivered.
This then brings us to your answer. Doership is therefore a result of – drum roll, please – Isvara! Aka the gunas!
Isvara (which is simply the three gunas) is apparently responsible for apparent doership. Here’s a link that further explores this topic.
Leeroy: I have had to come back to this because having pondered your reply and read your article, it is very interesting.
One starts to see the logic, irrespective of being a sinner, saint, rich or poor, gay or straight, black or white – you can go on. These aspects have nothing to do with us, the self, whatsoever.
Accordingly, I return once again to my position of householder, and the best we can do in this apparent reality is to apply Vedanta and live with respect for karma and the dharma field.
Simple, really. ☺
Daniel: Vedanta accommodates both positions simultaneously: your duty-less self (as free awareness) and your apparent position as the limited action figure. Vedanta is a complete teaching, and thus takes all views/positions (real or not) into account.
Appreciating (dharmically responding) to your apparent duty as a householder whilst positioning the mind firmly in awareness as awareness is what it’s all about. When the mind is firmly rooted in self-knowledge, though the apparent reality (maya) and the action figure (jiva) continues to exist, a very different “texture” is fructified. We call this texture “ease” – the understanding that, although there is a limited role to attend to, in actuality I am always free of it.
But not so easy to apply. ☺
You’re doing great.
Leeroy: Once again, many thanks.
Daniel: You bet!