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The Click of Enlightenment
Harry: Greetings, Ramji!
I am sending much love to you, as I haven’t written for some time. I hope all is well with you and Sundari.
Ramji: Everything is fine here.
Harry: I will make it to the Spain seminar this year, but have been working hard since India to make it easier to travel and attend future seminars.
I am continuing to study the scriptures and am finding that slowly but surely the apparent puzzle of reality is coming together. The teachings have become less of an intellectual exercise in understanding and more of a practical application to life. Vedanta is like a simple road map, i.e. there is nothing mystical or abstract at all. Understanding satya and mithya, and using the recommended yogas to prepare the mind works!
A couple of questions I am hoping you can offer some insight:
For my entire life I have had periodic moments of paralyzing fear and dread, often late at night, related to the physical body dying. These experiences would happen suddenly and without any build-up or warning. Lately I have been thinking about the death of the body a great deal. I find the more I am identified with pure awareness, the less I care about what happens to the body. And then, the other day, again seemingly out of the blue, a sense of fear and dread arose in the mind. What was striking about it this time was that it was not based on a fear of the body’s death, rather a fear that I would not know myself with 100% confidence and/or experience the fruit of self-knowledge in this lifetime. I have certainly have experienced a lot of fruit. But you have spoken in the past about a final “click.” It is this “click” I am wanting so strongly. At the time I had this experience, I determined that it must be growing mumukshutva. Do you think this is true or is this my ego co-opting the desire for freedom?
Ramji: It is mumukshutva, burning desire to be free. It is the ego desiring to be free. It is completely correct because it is the ego that is bound. Feed it. It has nothing to do with the death of the body, which is just a fact. The more sadhana you do, the more your desire to be free grows. At the same time, don’t worry about the “click.” There have been a lot of clicks so far and when the last doubt goes, the clicks will end but this is up to Isvara. Of course the more intense you do inquiry the more likely that the last doubt will go sooner rather than later. By your own admission, Vedanta is working, so that is all that counts. It will work right up till the last doubt goes and beyond.
Harry: I am focusing more and more on silence in the mind. I can see it is a pure reflection of me/awareness in mithya. I see the silence, but I am also not separate from it. It is all I want to focus on these days. I try my best to do so not only during formal sadhana, but in all interactions and every moment when the thought arises in my mind to do so. There are times when the silence seems very strong and others when it seems quite distant. I know I am the witness of this apparent change. In fact focusing on the silence has helped to deepen the understanding that everything in mithya is always changing and therefore not real; and awareness/me is the rock that never moves or changes. As I see the world as ever-changing, it becomes more and more like a dream and thus less important. I sometimes find that I don’t care about much of what happen at all, but then I start to wonder if perhaps I am not paying enough attention to the dharma of the moment. It seems that “my life” could literally fall apart if I don’t pay attention to it some degree.
Ramji: Growing dispassion is a sign of assimilated self-knowledge.
Harry: I guess my question is, is there a point when dharma does not matter?
Ramji: Yes, indeed. When your identity as the self is no longer in doubt. As Krishna says in the last verse of the Gita, “Surrendering all dharmas to me, fix your mind on Me alone. I will liberate you. Fear not.” Moksa is freedom from dharma and adharma. Your life falls apart all right, but it falls right into Isvara’s hands. What a relief.
Harry: Given the world is truly transient, do I need to give up the world entirely to see and know myself? If so, can you explain what this means?
Ramji: Of course not. See the world as mithya and enjoy what the world has to offer. It’s as good as non-existent for you. When you see it as mithya, it gives up on you.
Harry: There are times when it seems as if I am floating around, detached from the world and in some ways the mind itself. Is this normal or is there some course correction needed here?
Ramji: It is completely normal. The mind is like a balloon. It stays close to the earth as long as it is tethered to a branch, but when dispassion develops due to inquiry, it works loose and ascends into the spiritual sky. Don’t worry about it; it’s a good sign. Sundari thought I was a space cadet till it started happening to her.
Harry: Thank you in advance, Ramji!
Ramji: You’re welcome, Harry.