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Questioner: Dear James, I know I said I wouldn’t email again but bear with me, this is different, so here goes. When I was 17 or 18 I started taking heroin and basically was on it for a year. I never stole to feed the habit and never let it drag me down; however, I was given methadone. I am still on methadone even now. I don’t know why I am telling you this, because it doesn’t affect the love I have for you and Vedanta or indeed even the freedom I have found as the Self. However, I don’t want to hide anything from you. It feels cathartic for my jiva so there it is. I want to be absolutely honest with you, as I don’t like thinking I am keeping anything from you, a great Vedanta sage and teacher. When we met I wanted to tell you but it just never came up. I know it belongs to my ignorant past. And it doesn’t affect my sadhana in any real way. Methadone is almost impossible to come off, although I am in the process of reducing now. And will in due course get off it completely. Thanks for listening, James. God bless.
As an “add-on” to the previous email, James, I would just like to say that the fact that the body that appears in front of me (I’m consciously distancing myself from it, even though I’m not in it), has to take methadone because of some emotional issues, that seem like they came from another dimension or person now, has in no way prevented the assimilation of Vedanta’s incredible methodology leading those fortunate souls to the perfect truth that everything and everyone indeed is the non-dual, impersonal, ordinary, unconcerned essence of all LIFE.
“I” was also on antidepressants for a while too. I know that many of Vedanta’s marvelous disciples – superb and brave people whom I have great respect for, for doing this – have been brave enough (I wasn’t, until it didn’t matter) to admit to you what they were “up to” in their “personal lives.” However, for myself it is better late than never. Now I can truly say that I am free, free from the apparent burden of non-disclosure (it only bothered me occasionally), although it is akin to the princess and the pea in that it was always there saying to me, “Tell James.” Maybe I should’ve told y’all sooner, but Isvara had other plans, it seems.
So anyhow, Ram, the “non-event” of Self-realization (actually, it was a process of ever-increasing insight, bliss and love), whilst jiva is on methadone, well, it simply shows that ordinary, non-dual, complete, ever-full, existence-awareness is utterly free from its apparently material sheaths. After all, this body that is here seemingly typing away and being thought of is already dead, as it is totally inert here and now. So Ramji, only a Vedanta “student” or “teacher” could understand this and have a laugh about it, or not. As the Self, as you well know, “I” is totally free of and from the movie of our lives, whether they be blissful or still seemingly painful as the pesky vapors of past miss-takes.
So it is over and out, my dearest Ramji. The All-Divine Guru, and all-round great guy that you are!
PS: Do say hi to Sundari, the ever-immaculate-one, for me. Thank you. Namaste. May Lord Narayana bless you both and ShiningWorld.com and the teachers there, as it reveals our true nature back to us, being the perfect mirror of beginningless and endless Mind and Consciousness. Au revoir, James.
James: Lovely email! The jiva is always “on” something; it really doesn’t matter what. Krishna makes the point in the Gita that “a great sinner who is rightly resolved is to be respected because he will realize his or her nature.” Receiving confession is one function of the guru, although it is not necessary to confess to someone else if you have confessed to yourself. At the same time, it is important to be transparent to others. It shows that you are pure, like the Self. Purity means that you have nothing to hide. You are not ashamed of anything. It shows that you have fully assimilated the Isvara teaching, which is: you didn’t create the attachment, so you can’t be blamed for it. If there is still a sense of ownership about it, i.e. if you think it is “my” addiction, then there is still work to do. l don’t get the sense that you own it anymore, and if you don’t, it will just fade away, as the blades of a fan gradually stop when the electricity is removed. On the other hand, it never hurts to apply a little will power if it terminates the attachment quickly, even though it may be painful in the short run. Some vasanas go away on their own, some require effort and others burn out in their own good time.
~ Much love, James
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