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We Are Only Interested in Ignorance
James: Dear Terry, both Stan and Sundari have shared their experience of talking to you and both came to a dead end. I read most of the discussions you had with them and offered ideas how to help you. I think I identified a basic misunderstanding about Vedanta. Vedanta is not about gaining knowledge, although it does seem to be. We often formulate it that way because most people seeking freedom from a subjective sense of limitation are emotionally oriented and need to become intellectually oriented, i.e. to get their lives on a rational foundation.
But Vedanta is not about gaining knowledge. It is about removing ignorance. If you gain knowledge you are adding something to Terry, which is a big problem because his stated aim is to teach people who they are. But “teaching people who they are” is not teaching people who they are. Teaching people who they are is losing the belief that you are a person, which we call ignorance. It can’t be taught. You can understand why the belief is a problem – Vedanta is good there – but getting rid of a false idea of who you are takes a lot of vigilance and hard inner work. Ignorance doesn’t mean the person you think you are is stupid. It means that you don’t realize there is only one Self and that it is not a doer – a seeker, a finder, a teacher, whatever.
Do you know why nobody ever told you that you exist or that you are conscious? Because it is a self-evident fact. To say that you exist and that you are conscious implies that you are existence/consciousness because whatever existence and consciousness you enjoy is obviously borrowed from existence/consciousness. You didn’t create your existence or your consciousness. If you did, you can claim authorship. If not, not. So you are two-thirds “enlightened” already. The other third is the fact that you are limitless. Obviously Terry is isn’t limitless, meaning free, because he has a lot of desires and he includes his body and mind when he says the word “I,” which always only refers to limitless existence/consciousness because there is only existence/consciousness, although it appears as if it is a person, sad to say.
So how does Vedanta solve this problem? It removes doubts. It doesn’t add knowledge. The knowledge neutralizes doubts as a base substance neutralizes an acid, leaving you as you are – free of ignorance and knowledge. So you will not be a teacher of Vedanta, because all proper teachers are not teachers of Vedanta. All proper teachers are the Self, existence/consciousness. So what is the teacher? The teacher is Isvara. The scriptures are the words of Isvara and the teachers of Vedanta, after a rigorous discipleship with a proper teacher, offer their minds to Isvara and let Isvara use them as instruments to remove the ignorance of qualified individuals who approach them in the right spirit.
You met with resistance with Stan and Sundari because your primary motivation was not freedom, but to teach Vedanta. A person who knows who they are is empowered by his or her teacher. Teaching without a proper teacher is a huge trap; it builds ego.
If you want me to teach you, you need to know that when you become a disciple you lose control of your destiny, but not to me. We don’t tell people what to do. We explain what has to be done to take advantage of the great tradition of Vedanta and we expect you to follow the program, which is not laid out by us. It is laid out by Isvara, the author of the Vedanta teaching tradition. Our job is to see that you stay on track. The whole teaching is a five-step process that you have to go through step by step: karma yoga, upasana yoga, sravanna, manana and nididhyasana. It is a lifetime commitment.
My view is that you’re way ahead of yourself. You don’t even understand the basics, although you are a clever guy who thinks he knows a lot. We come across this problem quite a bit because Vedanta attracts intellectuals, who tend to be know-it-alls. I suspect that the reason you have been unable to properly use Stan’s and Sundari’s services is because you think you know best, having read a lot of your satsangs.
The purpose of this letter is to cut you down to size. If you want help you need to listen to what I have to say and keep your questions on-topic. You can’t argue. Every possible doubt has been laid to rest by Vedanta so all I have to do is identify it, see that you are paying attention and give you the knowledge. Your mind will be left clear. You won’t have another bit of knowledge to add to Terry’s vast storehouse so he can go out and impress others.
As the ignorance goes you slowly become a simple, clear, happy, conscious being free of ambition. I will recommend some things that will qualify you, and you will accept it if your only desire is to be free. You needn’t feel bad that you wasted Stan’s and Sundari’s time. We are all timeless. We like challenges and we are not bothered by failure. For every clever know-it-all there are scores of simple, humble, smart people who understand how Vedanta works and who listen attentively and do the required work.
You haven’t asked me to teach you, but you seem to have worked your way up to the Big Cheese. ☺ This is a pre-emptive strike in case you do. You are free to Skype me, donation required, and we can speak face to face about teachings that you don’t understand. We are only interested in ignorance.
~ Love, James