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What Creates the Projection?
Christine: My dear Sundari! Thank you for the satsang. It has led me to another question. I get that matter/Creation is a projection, but what “creates” the projection given that Maya and the Self cannot create. Is it safe to say that the projection really isn’t there: nothing is happening? However, I’m experiencing it, so it’s apparently there.
Sundari: The Self is the causeless cause without which no causation/creation is possible. Without awareness, there is no Maya to cause the Creation. The Self in the role of Creator, Isvara, “creates,” but does it? If the Creation is not real, is there a Creation? Well, yes and no! It all depends on your perspective. From the Self’s point of view, there is no Creation, and from the jiva’s point of view, there is. Moksa is discriminating the Self from the objects that appear in you 24/7, never confusing the two, meaning you see primarily as the Self but also as the jiva because you need to function in the world. But you don’t identify with the jiva or take the world to be real.
It’s just like watching a movie: it seems like it’s there, but it’s only apparently so, and we know it. Seems wild, does it not? Maya is such a trickster, makes the impossible possible; duality is so convincing! The “thereness” of Creation comes down to sensory perception, which we know is limited, as it is in mithya. You cannot fathom mithya from within mithya, only by stepping outside of Maya, as the Self.
The point is, who experiences? The statement James makes in the Mandukya commentaries, “Experience is another name for consciousness,” presupposes that the inquirer has progressed beyond the cause-and-effect teaching and understands the non-origination teaching. It is quite a big jump, although on the surface, it does not appear that there is much difference between the two teachings.
The meaning of the statement above is that all objects are reduced to Experience with a capital “E,” not discrete experiences, and that experience is consciousness because there is no other option, seeing as there is only consciousness. Once you have non-dual vision, all objects (Experience) are known to be you, but you are not the objects/experience, i.e. mithya becomes “real” because you see only the consciousness, the Self. Crazy stuff!
Christine: I love thinking about this stuff. I wish I could just do this all day. In four years I can retire and study Vedanta full-time. Right now, Isvara is keeping me here, LOL. I’ve given up and figure when it’s time to move on, it’s time.
Sundari: You can get Vedanta overload! We do sometimes; it’s good to have a break and just be a person sometimes. No point wanting things to be different, best to give up and surrender to Isvara, as the opposite is so exhausting. And you never win anyway.
Christine: Again, I’m so sorry that you and James have been treated so poorly. I know how much time and energy you both have put into working with your endorsed teachers. There is a lot of hubris among these teachers. It practically drips off them.
My standard is and will continue to be James. The only vibe I get from his is love and caring, deep caring about the jivas who need help and deep caring about Vedanta.
Sundari: Yes, life is what it is, nobody is doing anything, all beings follow their nature. When there is still unresolved jiva stuff lurking in the causal body, it is sure to come out. James is the bar, and few measure up. We decided in an experiment to endorse young teachers to see if we could help them mature as qualified Vedanta teachers. Unfortunately, most of them had too much karma in the world. They are all good people, but it is best they go into the world and do “their thing.” We were not really treated poorly by any of them; Dan treated himself poorly by responding the way he did to our correcting him. We are never injured, and Vedanta will never be either; it cannot be corrupted and will always self-correct. It is not possible, Isvara will make sure of it.
It’s all part of the illusion, even the teaching is mithya. For the Self, there is no teaching, teacher, no ignorance or knowledge. Who cares? Ignorance is so boring. I feel sorry for them, as they were my guru brothers, but what to do? Bless everyone!
Christine: As for me, now that I get that everything is a projection, I find that nothing is that interesting anymore. There really is nothing to say or do, but I have to do because this jiva is part of the projection. Prior to this knowledge, I loved to create new projects and be busy, busy, busy. Not now. It’s like I’m floating along a river just watching things pass. It’s a little unnerving getting used to this new frame of reference. Sometimes the jiva gets pulled into drama, but I can see the pulling and make the choice of whether to participate or not.
It’s an interesting space to be in. I guess this is what you and James mean by “transcendental boredom.”
Sundari: I know just what you mean, the downside of being “enlightened,” it seems! In negating the doer, rajas and tamas get suppressed by sattva, and once you have seen the emptiness of all the objects, what’s left? Only love. It is pretty cool that mithya makes it possible to touch and hold love, so to speak, even though you are love and only every touching and holding yourself! To enjoy the ephemeral nature of experience, to never need anything to “last,” to never fear loss.
Freedom is so scary for the ego: How does it define itself when all definitions are gone? It is so much easier to be anchored to experience/desire/need, it seems to give an identity to the little ego. It never lasts though, so no satisfaction there either, for the ego.
You are completely free of the jiva when Self-knowledge obtains only if the fruit of Self-knowledge, total satisfaction (tripti), comes with it. If perfect satisfaction does not occur, there is another stage to go through beyond direct knowledge.
If this is the case, although all doubts about your true identity have been removed by Self-knowledge so ignorance is gone, one must “requalify” in a way because the effects of ignorance are still playing out. The stage after firm direct knowledge is called nididhyasana, and all but the most qualified souls must go through it. It is the final disappearance of the doer, the part of the Self that is bored, dissatisfied or ambitious, for instance. The boredom/dissatisfaction/ambition indicates ego remnants (sattvic/rajasic/tamasic pratibandikas) that should be removed if you have compassion for the jiva and want to give it perfect satisfaction.
So nididhyasana (which is just sadhana without the seeking) is required. It takes care of any residual mental/emotional impurities, including dualistic bhakti. Dualistic bhakti, worship of the guru as a person, indicates the presence of an inadequate, small self, which means that Self-knowledge is not firm.
There is a basic formula, which we call the 5/10/15 rule. Of course it varies from individual to individual, but it is not necessarily an exaggeration. This rule suggests five years for manana, hearing the teaching; 10 years for resolving doubts (manana) created by the teaching; and 15 years (nididhyasana) for the final negation of jiva-hood, i.e. the sense of doership. Tripti is complete satisfaction.
A mithya jiva remains but it is totally happy with itself and the world. It has no desire whatsoever for things to be different from what they are. It is called Isvara pranidanam, surrender to Isvara, or non-dual devotion (bhakti).
~ Love you much too, Sundari