Search & Read
End of Seeking and Finding
Landon: Dear Ramji, I wanted to talk about the knowledge “eating itself up,” as you said. That really puts into words something that has been happening lately. It seems like the means of knowledge is “collapsing” into itself, so to speak. Many of the dualistic sadhanas and concepts are dissolving. Other subtle thoughts of duality are being exposed and eliminated.
For instance, I noticed that the mind still wants to do what I call “jump back.” It still wants to go into “witness mode.” I guess this is a habit from the sadhana of watching the mind. The mind notices it is engrossed in objects, catches itself and then wants to step back and witness. But there is no point to this as I am always witnessing. I am witnessing the mind witnessing. But this line of thinking in turn exposes a subtle duality: that there is still me, awareness, and the mind I am watching.
Ramji: Duality is fine. You see it. If it dissolves or doesn’t dissolve, it has nothing to do with you.
Landon: This is where the pramana is dissolving. There is no more viveka, correct?
Because there is nothing to discriminate between. No anatman. Just atman. Any tendency of the mind to discriminate is just a habit from the sadhana and is unnecessary, right?
Ramji: Yes. Correct. It is the ego still hanging onto the idea of practicing knowledge. Once the belief in duality is removed then the basis of the idea of discrimination is lost.
Discrimination requires duality.
Landon: Also, any of the concepts regarding creation, vasanas, the gunas, the mechanics of action and the field can all dissolve. They are a provisional acceptance of something untrue. Granted, I can perfect my usage of these teachings for the benefit of others but I know them to be meaningless.
Ramji: Yes. Vedanta is a throwaway. It does its job and then dissolves. No actions are required. The doer has been negated.
Landon: There is not even any mithya. There is just satya. There can’t be a mithya, or awareness with a projection superimposed on it. Because the projection can only be unchanging satya.
Ramji: One hundred percent of the pot is clay.
Landon: Yes, experience of mithya remains. But there can’t even be awareness and then also experience separate from it. What can be unreal when there is only the real? So even the ideas of satya/mithya dissolve. Funnily enough, there is a reservation in the mind to this idea because it has gotten so used to practicing it.
But really, what use is discrimination when there is nothing to discriminate between?
Ramji: Yes, again. There is no need for a doer, a discriminator. A remnant of the doer feels strange without something to do.
Landon: This too even exposes a remaining dualistic line of thinking, the whole talk of me and “my mind.” There is just me. This ties into our discussion below about awareness having all powers, including the power to think. But again, the mind has a reservation to this idea and I suppose it’s another relic of the sadhana.
It wants to keep using the discrimination of “me and the thoughts.” But if there is thinking, then I am thinking. I am having a reservation to certain ideas and I also know that I am not having any reservations. The knowledge eliminates all contradiction between awareness and experience. This finally “heals” that fracture between the two, a fracture that the mind had been holding onto due to being used to practicing an apparent discrimination.
Ramji: Very good, Landon. Yes.
Landon: I may not be articulating this correctly and I may be repeating myself.
But the bottom line is that this seems to be the knowledge eating itself up, or the stick being thrown into the fire after stirring it. It’s like the momentum of the practice of discrimination winding down.
Ramji: You are articulating it correctly and repeating yourself, and it is good.
There is not even moksa anymore. There is just you.
Landon: In the last email you talk about the vastness of the universe only being an idea that appears in awareness. No one has ever seen the vastness. This makes perfect sense but prompts another question. It’s a given that anything that exists anywhere would have to appear in awareness. Fair enough. But does anything actually exist apart from when it is perceived?
Ramji: For whom? There is only awareness, and if objects appear they have to be awareness. Objects are just thoughts in awareness and the thoughts are awareness taking shape. Maya makes them appear to be out there but they aren’t. If you take the subtle body to be real then the objects it perceives in the waking state, which are not there in deep sleep, are still there. Isvara’s creation endures.
Landon: The reason I ask this is because it seems like there would be no actual way to prove this. If I fall asleep, does my body actually exist apart from it being perceived? When it is not appearing in awareness, how could it be proven that it still exists? We could say that I could wake up and ask somebody. But even then if they tell me they saw my body there sleeping, that response would only then appear in awareness and not prove there was actually a body there. Even if someone showed me a video of myself sleeping, again, that idea of a video of myself sleeping then appears in awareness. It does not prove that the body continuously existed outside of the perception of it. It appeared, disappeared in sleep and then reappeared in the video.
Ramji: That’s correct. There is nothing outside awareness. If awareness is not there, there are no objects. And since awareness is always present, the potential for objects exists because of maya.
Landon: This scenario could be repeated ad infinitum. I can ask you, “Hey, Ramji, do you exist when I don’t perceive you?” And certainly you would say yes. But the only thing that I am sure exists is when I perceive the occurrence of you telling me that you exist, not your existence apart from my perception of you.
Ramji: Objects are subject-dependent. The subject is not object-dependent.
Landon: If I say there are objects existing apart from my perception then it means there are other minds “out there” in awareness perceiving them. But just like the universe that no one has ever actually perceived remains an idea, the existence of anything apart from my perception of it just remains an idea. When it is not perceived it does not exist.
Ramji: The issue is, exist for whom? It exists for Isvara. It doesn’t exist for jiva.
But even then, nobody ever saw an Isvara or a jiva. They only exist as concepts and concepts only exist when they are illumined by awareness.
Landon: This being the case, the idea of an empirical reality deflates. The vyvaharika is just whatever happens to be appearing in my mind at the moment.
It isn’t there when I don’t perceive it, even if I perceive someone telling me that it does. This almost evokes a scary feeling of being totally alone, that one is the only being living in a private world. Maybe this is what you mean when you say that knowing you are awareness can seem lonely, because there is only you. Shit, my head hurts…
Ramji: Yes, this is how it is and it may feel lonely if there is a doer-remnant that wants to be connected to something. But this aloneness is an amazing, unconditioned fullness, a fullness that keeps thoughts and feelings far away dancing lightly on the surface of awareness.
Landon: The last part in this line of thought is, why does my mind appear in me and not someone else’s? Why does a mind with a 31-year-old white guy in it appear and not something or somebody else? But again, the idea that there is something else or another mind, etc. to perceive is just that, an idea. Shit, my head hurts again.
Ramji: The perception of objects depends on the upadhi. Every upadhi is different owing to the differences in time, place and circumstances of individual jivas, so what appears in my perception only appears in my perception. What appears in yours only appears in yours. You cannot superimpose satya on mithya.
Landon: It’s not necessarily a bad thing (what is bad anyway?) but it seems like everything is imploding or folding in on itself.
Ramji: That’s cool. Or not, if you want to be ignorant. It seems the seeking and finding phase of your spiritual life is over, Landon.
Landon: If I have gone off the rails then please rein me in with your sage counsel.
Ramji: You have gone off the rails if you think you have gone off the rails.
Actually, you are the rails, so no need to worry. You are fine, Landon. The seeking, the finding, etc., everything, is over. It is clear to both of us that there is just you.
Landon: And finally, if I don’t get to talk to you in the next few days, then have a Happy New Year! Or rather, I hope a happy new year appears in you!
Ramji: I’m sorry for the delay. I moved continents, the venue wasn’t ready when I got here, although it came together about ten hours before we were to begin, there is a good crowd, the website is generating a lot of interest, we are getting our ducks in line for Spain, I had a week of dental work – ouch! – and, well, Bob’s your uncle. I kind of wish you were ignorant. What will we talk about now?