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Good to Go – No Enlightenment Sickness
James: This satsang reveals a rare virtue, humility, which is awareness of one’s insignificance, one’s ordinariness. It shows that the person has attained a proper understanding of satya and mithya, which is moksa.
Carrie: Dear James, I understand now better when you said that one day you decided (along the lines) to remove your mind and “‘install a Vedanta computer” instead. I’m happy and grateful for my mind and intellect and the body – nothing wrong with them! I see them as something that is given to me and which I may take care of like a reliable trustee. The amazing reward is the experience of this beautiful appearance called world or life.
But the mind should definitely not take over. And it tends to have a life of its own. It maybe thinks it knows something when it’s ignorant instead. The ego doesn’t know about a true identity, it just wants to maintain itself in sticking to a story and its supporting habits, beliefs, opinions, emotions. The mind and its inherent ignorance is hardwired. Or better said, the mind is the “main component” of ignorance. The scripture says the truth, it’s reliable. And so are you, my teacher, who reveals the meaning to me. And for which I’m grateful beyond words.
So what happened to me, which law did Carrie break to get so clouded, what form of ignorance (which thoughts) got in the way? Although I stuck to my daily routine in reading and listening to the teaching, contemplating – and in general having a sattvic life – an unresolved issue came to the foreground. I would describe it as a dependency on a relationship, in which somebody takes care of me materially (financially). I also wanted my lover to change: I expected him to take my view about money and belongings.
So, how can I know who I am, understand Isvara and still be dependent of an object to maintain my happiness? It makes no sense. Et voilà – Isvara brought me back to the classroom, brought me to you!
I think that, after some time, I (the mind) also thought that’s it, there’s nothing more to do. And that’s true and wrong at the same time. I was ignorant of the fact that the ego would still try to maintain itself in the way that it would still have the convincing power to appear as real. I found myself flatfooted. Of course I don’t mean that you or the teaching didn’t prepare me for this trickery of Maya. You talk about it often! But what can you do, the heavenly fields of sattva can come across as a lovely ground of protection, but in the end it reveals itself as just one more ordinary layer of ignorance, a layer that simulates that everything is perfect and clear, but at the same time it creates the same phenomenon of dependency, like every other object. Or in your words, it’s the experience of bliss, which is only reflected awareness.
One other fact which I start more to understand is – and I guess that’s the main point – that it’s amazingly beautiful to rediscover the true nature as awareness, BUT this understanding is also the most ORDINARY thing there is. I always had a little problem with the word “ordinary” when you described the Self. Limitless, non-dual, free, unconcerned, whole, complete – sure!
But ordinary? I could see somehow that since there is nothing else than it, it’s ordinary. But my mind mixed up the wonderful and extremely transformed experience of life after realization (free, relaxed, confident, undisturbed, curious, fearless, tranquil, joyful = sattvic) as being the direct proof of it. And it’s true but it’s not, if the slightest preference or avoidance comes into play. My mind started to give limitless awareness somehow a positive characterization, like a happy person on earth. In other words, I mixed up satya and mithya. That’s embarrassing!
I contemplated the word “ordinary” a lot over the last weeks and now I would say awareness (me) is ordinary because it’s ever-present and self-sufficient. It doesn’t need anything else to confirm it. It’s one without a second and therefore absolutely independent. That I’m writing to you in this moment is the very proof of me/existence/consciousness (although it doesn’t need an object to prove its existence).
And that’s the liberation for the person, to be happy and independent of whatever happens in this lifetime. It takes what comes, doing still happens, but the happiness and contentment only comes from the understanding about the real identity, from the unbreakable current of bliss of Self-knowledge – and not from the belief that an object would contain happiness and that therefore the happiness can be taken away. Wow, this is Vedanta 101 (the joy is not in the object)!
One really needs to be very cautious and able to think clearly and with discrimination all the time for Self knowledge to become firm and solid as a rock!
Actualisation means understanding Maya/Isvara and (therefore) never mixing up satya and mithya. Maya is all the creative potential there is and which manifests in me and is made out of me only. There’s nothing outside of me, there is no bad or good outcome. This Creation is completely lawful and benign, and is nothing other than me. It’s 100% dependent on me but I’m independent of it.
My happiness is always free (independent) of what happens here to Carrie! I’m limitless bliss itself.
~ Much love and the deepest respect for you
James: Excellent, Carrie! You’re good to go.
Much love, James