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A Clear/Direct Reflection of Yourself Is No Less Accurate
Amy: Hi, Danielji! How is your action figure doing? Did you manage to catch up with Ramji while he was there? I often think of you there in South Africa. I wonder what life is like there.
Dan: I’m glad to report that the equipment seems to slowly be on the mend. I’ve only just started the official Lyme protocol, so let’s see what Isvara dishes out over the next few weeks. Still early days. Inshallah!
Unfortunately, the vehicle was in no state to catch up with Guruji this time around, but I may see him in January, fuel-depending.
Life in South Africa? Same as everything in mithya: up/down, pros/cons, beautiful/ugly, incredibly sophisticated/incredibly primitive. Know that a warm bed in my little cottage welcomes you if you ever decide to come visit.
Amy: I wanted to clarify something with you, but in putting it into words, I am forced to reify experience, which immediately distorts my meaning and probably makes me sound confused and crazy. But at least I’m happy. Here goes…
Dan: Personifying or demonstrating experience is perfectly fine if you know what it is and what it isn’t. Understanding its relation to you, awareness, is the whole point behind the teaching. It’s this understanding that allows us to truly enjoy experience for what it is. Here’s a cool line for a tee-shirt print. On the front it states: “Duality is totally cool…” with “…if ya know it ain’t real” on the back. ☺
Amy: This mind is aware of trying to conceptualise timeless, non-local presence illuminating this jiva. The presence seemed to have limitations (i.e. boundaries) until repeated self-inquiry revealed that the apparent boundaries were just habits of thought. There are no boundaries or qualities of any manner to find. It is “a partless whole,” free of any qualities, except Presence. The Presence is me.
Dan: Perfect understanding.
Amy: The timeless, no-thing at the core of jiva-dom (me) is really obviously a different order of reality. It is not “personal” (in the sense that we think of personal) unless it is expressing as a jiva. It is no-thing.
Dan: Spot on.
Amy: The sampradaya tells me this is a refection of self. Is it? I can be aware of this in the middle of a big gym workout, when there is sensory overload, or in the midst of pain. Introspection reveals “A” is the experience of the no-thing (me).
Dan: Spot on again.
Amy: I cannot NOT experience myself as this no-thing if I withdraw the jiva’s attention from the senses.
Dan: Amy or no Amy, you simply are the all-pervading, always shining awareness that your jiva is now discriminating. Deep sleep is the closest analogy. In deep sleep you ARE pure peace, is-ness, with no need to know that’s what you are.
Amy: It is pure presence, timeless and spaceless, completely stable, not of the order of “thing.” It is therefore non-local, outside of any dimensionality. It is not even eternity, but I think it is what is meant by “eternity.” Eternity in the sense of no time, not endless time.
Dan: “Eternity in the sense of no time, not endless time.” I love this distinction. You, awareness, are clock-free.
Amy: “It” doesn’t fit the bill for an object (aka product of the mind).
Dan: Exactly, you can’t be directly objectified, because you are subtler than the subtlest. But owing to a pure reflector (i.e. sattvic mind), you, awareness, can be directly experienced, which is as good as anything.
Granted – an experience too is just an object, but it’s different to all other objects because what’s being reflected is actually not an object. Objects are limited. But not you.
It’s another one of those apparently yes-no paradoxical statements. But the point is that a clear/direct reflection of yourself is no less accurate. If the mirror is clean then the image it reveals is identical.
The homework lies in claiming your true reflection and fearlessly living from the platform of the self as the self. In other words, standing hard and fast in the conviction that “I am the limitless self.”
Amy: So I struggle with the idea that this no-thing, which is the only stable self I experience, which contains the jiva and the entire dream, is “a refection” of self. To say I am a reflection would mean I am still an object. Am I, no-thing, identified with a reflection in the subtle body?
Dan: Exactly, you, awareness (aka “no-thing”), are identifying yourself with a reflection in the subtle body. But because the subtle body has self-knowledge, you, the self, know that it’s actually just yourself in an apparent form. Understanding that objects are just you in apparent form is the vision of non-duality.
Amy: Can you set me straight, Danielji? ☺ This whole issue makes me laugh. How can we discuss something that cannot be conceptualised? Yet here I am trying. Maybe I should just shut up and “get down” (jnani-style).
Dan: You’re right on track – and that’s why you let out a good ol’ chuckle. You laugh because you know that you’re issue-free altogether, always.
Amy: Thank you. That’s perfect!
And thanks for the invitation to South Africa. It’s really kind. I’m sure we would have a few laughs!
Dan: You bet, Amyji. ☺