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Sattva Is Not All Sweetness and Light
Inquirer: In the Vivekachudamani from Spain 2014, James, talking about ignorance, says that the tamasic aspect of ignorance is the non-apprehension of myself as awareness. The rajasic aspect is the misapprehension that objects are real. Would it then follow that the sattvic aspect of ignorance is the non-apprehension of the knowledge that I am ordinary?
Daniel: I’d say that the sattvic aspect of ignorance is just a karmi following appropriate action (dharma) whilst still totally hooked on object-chasing. In other words, though he/she appreciates the rules operating within mithya, he/she still remains fooled and limited (i.e ignorant). Limitation is limitation, ignorance is ignorance. One’s either free or not free. That said – a sattvic aspect of ignorance only occurs within ignorance – within mithya, whereas moksa is liberation FROM ignorance/mithya/limitation altogether. Brotherji, what ya say?
Christian: I’d say the sattvic aspect of ignorance is indirect knowledge of the self.
Darryl: My thought is that the sattvic aspect of ignorance could be the mistaking of the reflection of the self for the self – bright, beautiful, peaceful, etc. – but still an object in you.
Sundari: Good question and good answers, all correct.
But you forget one thing. It is easy to define sattva as purely good – all sweetness and light. It is not. A psychopath having just brutally and cruelly murdered and dismembered his latest victim feels just as good and virtuous as a dharmi doing good deeds – and both are experiencing sattva.
Isvara is dharma and adharma, so all three gunas must have the ability to express from one end of the spectrum to the other or this game would be over.
And sattva ignorance comes in very subtle forms too – such as when the ego sneaks in under the radar, “post”-moksa, and co-opts self-knowledge: enlightenment sickness. And what about the identification with “purity” which keeps many inquirers stuck for years, thinking they are so special because they are “free”? Ha ha – not so fast. The “golden cage of sattva” – and so many more! James and I went into all three gunas in great detail in the guna book. I have whole chapters on all three, which is why we stress continuously that the last stage of self-inquiry, nididhysana, is the longest. None of us ShiningWorld teachers are through it yet. The only truly free jiva/self I have met in all my travels around the world, meeting thousands of people, is Ramji.
We have a way to go to walk in his shoes, that is for very sure.
Love to all!