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A Certain Arrogance (Self-Realization and Self-Actualization)
John: We got hung up on the word “moksa” in our group. I am asking everyone to read the last chapter of Enlightenment again, as it lays it out but it doesn’t use the word. It does, however, very clearly state the difference between realized and actualized, and the enlightenment sickness issue. I did find a seemingly good definition of moksa on another site and wonder if it has your blessing (see below).
James: Moksa means freedom from dependence on objects. It comes about by discriminating satya from mithya, the non-experiencing witnessing subject, from the experiencing object, the subtle body, i.e. the person. It is discriminating the real from the apparently real. John is apparently real, you, existence/awareness, is real. When this knowledge is firm it is called moksa, freedom from the jiva. It is possible not to experience the fruit of moksa (perfect satisfaction) even if your knowledge that you are the Self is hard and fast, in which case you are only Self-realized. If you want to enjoy the fruit – complete satisfaction – you need to requalify, i.e. remove the subconscious obstacles to the experience of constant bliss, i.e. perfect satisfaction. Once all the subconscious obstacles are removed you are Self-actualized, meaning the experiencing subject – the individual insofar as there is one – is totally happy with itself, warts and all. If there is any sense that your jiva could be improved, you are not Self-actualized. So actually it is correct to see Self-realization as moksa, considering the idea of the presence or the absence of its fruit. If moksa is something that happens, then it will have a result. But moksa is not just a happening. It is your nature, which means there is no result. If you understand that, you are Self-actualized when you gain Self-realization.
Now for a rap on the knuckles, after which you can put on your dunce cap and sit in the corner for twenty minutes. Actually, you are not clear as you claim. You have a certain arrogance concerning what you know, but don’t forget that in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king. You have a superficial understanding that gets you by and makes you happy, but there is more to Vedanta than you think. Honestly, you have no business reading other sites. There are all kinds of problems with the definition below, which I haven’t time to explain. Although there is some truth to it, it is not true. You don’t understand Vedanta if you are reading other sites. Yes, once you have assimilated the teachings fully then you can visit other sites and read other teachings, although there would be no reason to do so except to discover how incomplete and imperfect non-traditional teachings are.
You should care about the word. Vedanta is all words. The words are defined by their roots and the prakarana texts that explain them in the context of the Upanishads. Moksa is complete knowledge, knowledge of both satya and mithya. You can’t discriminate them until your knowledge of both is complete – Gita, Chapter VII, and elsewhere. Any prakriya can remove your ignorance, but teaching Vedanta is a whole different ball of wax. Each prakriya has to be viewed in the context of all the other teachings or your knowledge is incomplete. It is the job of the guru to provide that context, i.e. the set-up.
Below is the offending quote. Actually, there is a glaring contradiction between the first and second sentences. See if you can figure it out. Somebody just copied that definition without understanding it at all.
“Moksha is enlightenment. Moksha is being free from the need to fulfill desires, the causes of suffering. It means to be free from undesirable thinking or company or circumstances. Moksha – merging of soul in supreme consciousness which is god (Hindu). Freedom from samsara, the cycle of death and rebirth.”
Anyway, I am not cross with you. There is still plenty of rajas in your subtle body. That’s why you got on the internet looking for some information that is all over my books, videos and satsangs. You should never think you know anything. But you are doing fine. I’m glad you checked with me. I’m pretty strict and don’t let half-assed things pass.
~ Much love, Ramji