Search & Read
Seeker: Okay, yeah, I see where my confusion lies. Before I also didn’t know I was hopping much when I looked into stuff. I thought a lot related to Vedanta even if indirectly to catch the symbols through osmosis, didn’t have the clarity about the important differences and the whys of certain beliefs were wrong in other sects saying they were related to Hinduism. I’ll try to give a really close reading of the document that you sent, thinking about reading it with the dharma combat article you had also discussing subtleties of these things. But besides that, to continue with Vedanta, should I slowly read the scriptures and other texts all relating to it?
James: Yes. Start with the course on the home page of the website. Read the texts in order. When you find something you don’t understand make a note and think about it. If you can’t figure it out write to me or one of the other teachers. Inquiry has be a consistent discipline. You can’t read your way to moksa unless you have a guru to point out the inconsistencies in your thinking.
Vedanta Is a Logical Program
Seeker: When I read before, I didn’t know which were preliminary and advanced, so kind of read through a lot in no particular order, skimming by the parts that sounded the same or were seemingly explained away by other texts as not necessarily necessary.
I’ll keep up with your books and try to listen to more audio. Besides that, emailing and asking like I do – does that count as being properly taught by a living teacher?
Seeker: I do have trouble, I guess, with applying inquiry into things, about what’s true and confronting, as you mention – I don’t really feel the need or it always seems that confronting is just made-up stuff in my head and I get things – stems from either past experiences or instinctual things, so I just lump it all as psychological BS or find that I don’t seem to see where motivations really come from – that most are pretend-learned, pop-psychology-learned things, and that people always say, well, obviously you do this for that reason or whatever, and so stop trying to find sources of what might be sorrow, because it all seems beyond really the importance of it.
James: You should take everything your mind thinks seriously and look at it in light of the teachings, and then negate those thoughts that contradict scripture. But this implies that you know the teachings as they are intended to be understood, which means that you need to be taught what they mean. If you knew who you were, you wouldn’t require scripture, and if you require scripture, it means that you don’t know who you are. So you can’t read your way to enlightenment. Your ignorance will mislead you.