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The Inexorable Power of Self-Knowledge
Anne: For this jiva life goes on, and in a quiet, subtle way there is less and less struggle and greater acceptance. I am not “doing” anything except leading a pretty busy jiva life and studying the teachings regularly – but the effect is that gradually, like a drip of water wearing away at rock, ignorant ideas are less and less bothersome and is just in the knowledge. It’s a miracle really how this works. Knowledge does it! It is such a gentle, and yet totally invincible, process of allowing the true nature of being to pervade the whole apparent life of the jiva, through knowledge.
Sundari: So true and so well-put, Anne! When you look back on your progress over the years, it is hard to believe you were ever “that” person! I know I did. Acknowledging this is a powerful way to see how impossible it is for the doer to be doing anything at all – and certainly, it will never be capable of freeing the doer!
Anne: I think the biggest shift recently has been in not worrying about what goes on in mithya. This really stemmed from your comment to me about letting go of the desire for a non-dual relationship! It was so freeing to let go and it created a domino effect of letting go. Of course! Even a non-dual relationship is just another object, and all relationships are just a matter of how I perceive apparent reality anyway. What a relief to let that one go. Same with my kids, my patients, my friends, the world! All sorts of usual human issues arise of course but I (as the Self) am not affected by any of it. The intellectual knowing of this fact and the “experiential life” of this jiva are slowly, gradually merging, and this creates more of a continuous flow of effortless peace.
Sundari: I am so glad to hear this. Having a non-dual relationship as a goal is as pointless as trying to “achieve” moksa. It can’t be done. A non-dual relationship is an oxymoron because it’s a relationship with yourself – a marriage, if you will – of Self to Self. I finished the relationship book where I talk about this at length; it should be out soon.
Anne: What is interesting is that I am becoming more aware of this jiva’s vasanas and samskaras, and therefore not so worried when they surface. Similarly, with the gunas – I am less attached to needing to “feel sattvic” because the knowledge tells me that I am always sattva no matter what guna is predominant right now. So who cares if tamas is uppermost right now? It will pass, and I can help it along a bit with some techniques.
Sundari: Brilliant! This realization is a sure sign that Self-knowledge is permanent. Freedom means accommodating to life, to Isvara, without conditioning to the gunas, which is to say going with the flow without being swept away by it.
Anne: Of course ultimately there are some lifestyle changes that I want to make, but these will take time and I am no longer stressing about it, as it’s all in Isvara’s loving hands anyway.
Sundari: Absolutely, I have no doubt that any changes that are necessary for peace of mind will happen naturally – and if they don’t, you are still the Self no matter what.
Anne: So I am sending so much love to you, dear Sundari, my bold and beautiful dharma sister. You are such an inspiration to me because you are so solidly and evidently living the knowledge and generously sharing it with us. I am blessed to know you and to have you and Ramji as my teachers. Thank you, thank you, Isvara!
Sundari: Great big hugs and much love to you, we hope to see you again soon.