Search & Read
Seeing the World as the Self
Arlindo: Very well put, Rodney, and this is a very important point. A sattvic mind is like a mirror that not only reflects awareness and illumines the dualistic world of objects in such a way that it sees this apparent reality with clarity (with no distortions), but also a “mirror-like” mind is a mind that can produce this rare phenomenon called self-knowledge.
The ego invariably suffers from a sense of limitation and inadequacy, and when it becomes spiritual it becomes impatient and wants to declare to itself and others that it (the ego) is awareness, which is true, but it will benefit the jiva only if this knowledge is born out of a clear and direct “seeing.” This clarity of apprehension of the non-dual nature of reality as awareness usually occurs in a sattvic mind.
Sattva guna is associated with the qualities of knowledge, clarity, intelligence, peace, love, compassion, dispassion – it is said to be the revealing power/guna. When such revelation occurs, the jiva, or better said the subtle intellect, realizes that its essential nature is awareness and that everything is only awareness.
This clear and doubt-free self-knowledge liberates the jiva from its long-lived self-ignorance, but as far as awareness goes, it has no effect on IT, because awareness has always been free, unconcerned and ever-existing as the substratum of this apparent order of reality called the world of objects. We could also say that awareness is therefore apparently freed from its “apparent” ignorance – the benefit for the jiva is a life free of the psychological suffering derived from the stress, anxiety, depression – desires and fears due to the ignorance of its true free nature as pure consciousness.
Does the jiva become enlightened? No, because it has always been the light of pure consciousness. The removal of jiva’s ignorance of its own true nature is what reveals what has always been present – and Vedanta methodology works as the neutralizer of ignorance to leave the jiva free of knowledge and ignorance.
Rodney: Thank you, Arlindo. Before, I was under the false illusion that a “sattvic” mind was a high, morally righteous mind, a special mind, like the idealistic “ego development” perspective – which is just nothing more than a pipe dream.
Arlindo: Yes, you got it. Sattvic mind is rather a clear, creative, generous, loving mind.
Rodney: Sattvic mind, as far as I’m aware, is a mind that has no problem with reality, no problem with the “ugliness” of life, because it doesn’t care – all those ideals were born of ignorance, early years’ damage and a need to “conquer” the evil in the world and other such nonsense. ☺
Arlindo: Yes, no need to conquer the evil forces, etc. Those were all notions born out of self-ignorance, as you say. Yes, a clear mind under the influence of self-knowledge is unconcerned with the beauty and the ugliness of the dualistic world. Such a mind sees through the pairs of opposites because it sees everything in this apparent order of reality as awareness itself.
Rodney: A humble truck driver can have a sattvic mind. The spiritual world has some silly ideals that contradict non-duality because, as far as I’m aware, non-duality is understanding that there is no real difference between a bank robber and a mahatma, and a true mahatma knows this, knows he’s not special or “better than,” because once the self is the identity there are no more egoic differentiations taking place in the mind.
Arlindo: That is correct and well said, but it is important to understand that non-duality does not mean sameness. Awareness is non-dual, but due to its own power called maya it projects an apparent reality within itself in which the “one without a second” seemingly appears as the many, and in the land of the “many” diversity is infinity in number – there is no sameness in mithya.
These are the two orders of reality (satya and mithya) coexisting simultaneously. In mithya, differentiation, diversity, otherness is the law. But from satya standpoint, the waves and the ocean are seen for what they are in their essential nature: water. Yes, a true jivanmukta knows that awareness is the only “thing” and the most ordinary “thing” permeating and sustaining this apparent world in the same way water does the ocean and the waves. There is no question of vanity for a true knower of the truth. To feel special or better than others is duality, an indication of self-ignorance.