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It Can’t Be Any Other Way
James: Hi, Dick. Another great email! Keep ’em coming.
Dick: Vedanta and your teaching is always in my mind and devotions. I wonder often if a jiva can feel exhausted from the gunas forcing the jiva to act. I don’t mean I’m exhausted. I feel great! Previously though I would be heavily drawn into specific fears or desires, perhaps five or six that have been at the root of most all action since childhood. Now, not so much.
James: Yes, indeed. I feel great too, but my jiva is world-weary. It knows it does, but it keeps wondering if life ever ends. It is a war of attrition, a death of a thousand cuts, the Chinese water torture. No single thing finishes you off, yet one fine day the equipment grinds to a halt. Or as Swami Paramarthananda says, “Moksa is freedom in spite of samsara.”
Dick: As the wonderful teaching began its work, there were moments of incredible release which got more constant with practice. In hindsight now, freedom is really the right word, as if I am no longer bound by an insidious but benign something that the jiva does not understand. I can feel and see the cost, like some kind of sand grinding like a wheel within all jivas, not just mine. It’s really painful and such a con trick without being malevolent.
James: It is “time, destroyer of worlds,” to quote Krishna. It’s not bad at all but because we love existence so much it seems like a terrible perversion. You can feel it because your mind is becoming subtle from all the inquiry.
Dick: I still haven’t figured out how the jiva, moved by the gunas, getting and avoiding also gets ground down and bound. It’s like seeing two images in one mirror at the same time.
James: Yes, indeed. That’s Maya, duality. It is indefinable, indescribable. The only thing you can do is to stop trying to make sense of it.
Dick: So it seems I’m watching both. It’s not crazy, it seems ignorance keeps this curtain up between the two (as if that defines general sanity without inquiry) but I’m not sure I’ve defined it precisely.
James: Close enough for government work. I know what you’re talking about. Liberation is the view from consciousness. It alone is aware of both the is and the is not, the light and the dark, knowledge and ignorance. You actually don’t have to remove ignorance, can’t actually, only know what it is. You needn’t get knowledge, only know what it is. If you are a jiva, there are things you know and things you don’t know. But the Self knows what jiva knows and doesn’t know, and it isn’t bothered by either.
Dick: My ego absolutely hates it. It’s like it knows it’s at the end of the road, not in a dramatic deathlike way, but in a “party pooper way,” like it knows there’s no more surprises, no more new dreams or fun just round the corner. Okay, I’m sure there is plenty left to come, but it’s known even before it happens.
James: Liberation is called viragya, pure dispassion. Life is joy and sorrow woven fine, a big so-what? It makes the jiva as good as omniscient.
Dick: And I’m sitting here smiling. It is so precise and it cannot be any other way when I see it each time. Thank you so much again. Much love.