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Channels Change, You Do Not
Jack: Hi, Daniel.
In mithya we are all the same.
In awareness there is no separation; in mithya the objective world is Isvara, we are Isvara. When we get to the jiva, name and form, we still are all the same because by now we have all the constructs in place that can create separation. From the point of view of Isvara, we are all the same because we are all of one substance. The self “knows” this. But when I am at work I am a worker, when I am a parent I am a father, etc.
Is it more a case of wholly accepting cultural diversity since we know the prerequisite is that we, name and form, are of one substance?
Daniel: In mithya we all share the same equipment but seemingly express individual karmic packages (vasanas) in different styles (svadharama). Mithya is the world of duality and offers an apparent play of time, form and splitting. This view applies to a mind which is under the spell of maya – a mind identified with objects. An object includes the jiva.
But to awareness, there is no such thing as mithya and the above does not apply.
There is nothing “in” awareness, because this would then apply that reality is subject to space, time and splitting, which is not the case. Reality is non-dual, meaning there is nothing but one awareness that shines.
There are only two views – two identities – to choose from:
1. a limited view seen from a jiva or
2. one’s true view: limitless, non-dual awareness (satya).
When ignorance is active, the first view is at play. When self-knowledge is active, the second view is taken up.
Karma yoga, Jack, karma yoga. In order for the vision of non-duality to firmly settle, the mind needs to be accommodating, i.e. settled. In order to settle the mind we need to withdraw its attention from the unsettling world of objects. This is brought to fruition by the application of karma yoga.
Jack: I have been contemplating your article on having your cake and eating it too.
Daniel: The cake (mithya) gets to be eaten (i.e. enjoyed) when you no longer depend on it to fill you up. Otherwise, it (i.e. samsara) just eats you.
Jack: This from the Basic Vedanta Course:
Swami Paramarthananda likes to give the “channel” example. We have two channels available to us: the “world” channel and the “self” channel.
When I need entertainment, education or I need to transact with the world, I use the “world” channel. When I need psychological security and support, I change to the “self” channel.
Daniel: I like the channel example. But I also know how easy it is to be tricked and contract enlightenment sickness.
It’s not uncommon to think one’s got the correct channel (“self channel”) switched on whilst totally unaware that in actual fact the channel of ignorance (“world channel”) is still firmly in charge of the remote control.
If you feel any sense of lack, agitation or fear, then it’s definitely not the “self channel” that’s being mobilized. Any form of uneasiness or doubt indicates that the “channel of ignorance” is still in the driver’s seat.
Only you will know which channel is truly activated.
Jack: When I need entertainment, education or I need to transact with the world, I use the “world” channel. When I need psychological security and support, I change to the “self” channel.
Daniel: The “I” that you are referring to is the jiva. This “I” will always be in need of something; it’s nothing but a bundle of needs. Security and support only applies to the jiva.
The self needs nothing, because it is already everything. Security and support is naturally brought to fruition by the understanding that “I am already the always-full self.”
To say I change back and forth from a “world channel” to a “self channel” means that one’s knowledge is not yet firm and remains indirect.
When the mind is firm in the self as the self, there is no switching of any channels, but simply the vision of non-duality that remains. Freedom is when one’s attention is firmly fixed onto its actionless nature as satya, and the world of objects (mithya) are chopped off with the axe of discrimination.
The nature of a channel is to change. You, awareness, do not change.
Jack: This changing of channels is called dispassion. This reduction of dependence on the world is born out of discrimination.
Daniel: The changing of channels is called indirect and incomplete knowledge. But if it helps further develop dispassion and discrimination whilst the mind gets qualified, then great.
Jack: This understanding will enable us to set our priorities right and recognize the place that these things enjoy in our lives. At present, we make unreasonable demands of life, ourselves and others.
Daniel: Yes, a mind driven by ignorance is one of unreasonable demands. It has no choice.
Jack: However, what we are seeking is the limitless and we expect the limited things of the world to give us that.
Daniel: Yes, you seek what you already are: limitless awareness. It’s good that you are clear that the world cannot give you what you already are/have.
Jack: As we take control of the reins of the mind, this affects our world view. Such love and compassion start to shine through.
Jack: Many thanks for this. The channel-switching analogy, I think, has finally struck a chord. It seems a good interim measure in assimilating the self. As you know, I have been pretty hardwired to the jiva. With reading your article (on eating cake, etc.) in addition to the channel analogy, things are finally sinking in.
A big issue has been expecting to have to ditch the jiva, à la the Neos. But given that the jiva remains and we just accept things as prasad with dispassion and non-attachment…
Daniel: Nothing wrong with a good interim measure, Jack.
No need to ditch anything, apart from false ideas. The mere application of self-knowledge to a qualified mind does the work. It naturally ditches (negates) what needs to be ditched (i.e. ignorance/limiting thoughts).
The jiva remains but now acquires a secondary identity and no longer has such a grip. Instead, seeing through the jiva, you see the jiva appearing to you, awareness. The jiva is negated as just another object.
Yes, accepting all things as prasad with dispassion and non-attachment is the foundation of all spiritual sadhanas.
Jack: Firm in the knowledge of the self turns things around.
Daniel: Firm in the knowledge as the self turns things around.
Jack: Just carry on as normal, as per usual, but with love.
Daniel: Yes, chop wood and carry water with love.
Jack: Daniel, many thanks.
Daniel: Cool, Jack. Take it easy.