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Inspirational Daily Quote
“Our essential nature of pure awareness is utterly surrendered to all experience. It is pure innocence, openness, intimacy, allowing, sensitivity and availability, an unconditional ‘yes’ to all experience just as it is from moment to moment, without judgment or preference.”
Objector: All very nice if you like this “touchy-feely” dualistic kind of talk, but it has nothing to do with the Truth. This experiential language is confusing mind with awareness. How can awareness choose to have “judgment or preference” or not? How can awareness be “utterly surrendered” to “all experience,” when there is nothing that awareness can surrender to? It sees everything as itself. There are no “two things” for awareness. It is one without another – non-dual.
Yes, “all experience” is awareness, but awareness is not “all experience.” One is satya, the other is mithya, and never the two will meet. If they did, there could be no freedom. “Moment to moment” implies time and space – the signature of duality.
I think author had one too many sherries over Christmas and listened to too much by the Neo-Advaita teacher – no offense meant!
Arlindo: The author uses an experiential “poetic” dualistic language to describe pure consciousness, which is not only sweet, inspirational and beautiful, but also “valid” if presented within the context of the entire body of Vedantic teaching. Left by itself, it is conducive to confusion and misleading conclusions. That’s the problem with the talks and isolated statements of the “Direct Path” teachers without a complete body of knowledge. They do not have the full teaching – they bypass Isvara, jiva, jagata, dharma, karma, etc. They bypass mithya. Furthermore, they usually do not resolve the contradictions created by the “experience-action” language style.
In some of our Vedantic scriptures, “experience” is presented as synonymous with, or rather another name for, consciousness. How so? Whenever Maya operates its power, consciousness, just like a “self-conscious space,” “seemingly” accommodates and with “no resistance” “surrenders” to Maya, and contacts all objects of experience. You see, I right now used dualistic experiential language, and that is okay, provided one keeps resolving all possible misleading implications.
That is the problem with the usage of dualistic language (all language is dualistic) in jnana yoga, and that is the difficulty encountered by all teachers. Nearly anything we say may be misleading, but for the benefit of the mature student, the words of the scriptures must be said – must be carefully unfolded – because silence is not a valid alternative, it is not a valid means of Self-knowledge.
As far as the relationship between satya and mithya goes, “consciousness” can be equated with “experience” whenever Maya operates – in fact, if put in their proper perspective, everything in mithya can be equated with satya – but as our friend wrote, “all experience” is awareness, but awareness is not “all experience,” or mithya is satya, but satya is not mithya. They don’t really meet like our friend mentioned, because they belong to two different orders of the “one” non-dual reality. And that is where things get confused and often mutually superimposed.
We need to keep in mind that almost invariably the seeker comes in contact with Vedanta already loaded with misleading notions of enlightenment as an object of experience. If we are not careful with our language, and/or if we present Vedanta in fragments or pieces, dissociated from its entire body of knowledge, we end up adding more confusion to the soup.
Objective-knowledge and objective ignorance both refer to Isvara’s pure knowledge – they exist in mithya. Knowledge always cancels ignorance in the same way light always cancels darkness. But Self-knowledge is not a dualistic knowledge – it is not knowledge of any phenomenal object. Self-knowledge “transcends” mithya (object) in the sense that it is the knowledge of the “subject,” which is not subject to objectification. In other words, Self-knowledge is consciousness, by the grace of Maya/Isvara, “seemingly” knowing and experiencing itself.
As you probably know, jiva’s experience of peace, silence, love, presence, etc. is only an “object” of experience. You, consciousness, are the subject. Jiva is the reflection of pure consciousness on the subtle body. When the subtle body is purified by the means of yoga and Self-inquiry, jiva experiences the reflection of consciousness in its own pure subtle body. This is a very nice emotional experience of bliss, etc. That is where most people stop. They get fascinated by the effects of consciousness reflected on the mind under the influence of sattvaguna.
But a sattvic mind is not equal to an “enlightened light.” A sattvic mind may be conducive to it, providing the seeker rejects its effects and further inquires into the nature of the subject-knower by following the logic as presented by the scriptures. A sattvic mind produces the experience of peace, clarity and presence – but these are only effects of a single cause: “mental clarity.” Having said so, the key to freedom is to develop mental clarity as a “means,” not as an “end.” Mental clarity associated with scriptural knowledge will in due time inevitably produce Self-knowledge. And the bonus of Self-knowledge is not only freedom from identification with one’s mental condition, but also more mental clarity.