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“I Am Awareness” Is Not Enough
Mike: Dear James, first of all thank you so much for your answers during the last weeks. Many, many thanks. Thanks to Isvara for your role that apparently is to play the guru and mine to play the student. ☺ I am grateful. I am really grateful, not only to you, but for You.
Some unstructured self-inventory: I have never expected a big shift after the awakening in 2000, after the dream world had collapsed after weeks of intense bliss.
No shift needs to come. I am always here. I am consciousness, I am bliss, I am constant. Tender bliss with no Big Bang, but constant. Pain, fear, sad thoughts are objects appearing and disappearing. They cannot disturb me. I am bliss seeing them arise in me.
Years ago, during my intensive meditation time periods, I had often practiced formal meditation, first at home, then later I was at construction sites with heavy machinery or just sitting next to an automobile highway.
I wanted to see: Is this Stillness, this tender bliss, always available, undisturbed? Until one day I realized that I am that, I am the stillness, I am the bliss that I have been searching for. I never leave.
Even during strongest pain, I am bliss and there is pain. But I am unchanged even during the heaviest pain. I even laugh sometimes when there is pain, amused by the comical challenges that appear in the manifestation.
The apparent is a comical play with slings and turns, always ready to create a little surprise for Mike.
Fear was one of my strongest vasanas.
James: You mean one of “Mike’s” strongest vasanas, don’t you? Above you said you were consciousness, which has no vasanas.
Mike: Fear of everything: not being adequate, not being right, not being secure, from childhood till now. It is almost gone now, almost disappeared. I am security. I am constant. I never leave. Fear, insecurity, just arises and disappears.
Sometimes fear shows up just after sleep and right before waking up. A confused, dim fear, not very strong, very gentle, without direction. An inquiry shows that the fear is irrational. It is Mike’s fear. It is his personality. The fear quickly fades away.
Answers to your questions:
“1. If you meant “ready to apparently become all,” it is knowledge…”
…yes, I meant I have no attributes, apparently to become all. I am consciousness apparently manifesting as the chair, as Mike, as my wife, as my children, as the tree…
That is why there is so much love for the manifestation, for this world. It is me appearing as something else. That is why I know the world so well.
I know them, because I am consciousness appearing as them. I am real love without someone to love except myself.
James: I understand. This connection between love and awareness is very well expressed.
Mike: “2. Why do you not call it an understanding?”
It seemed more that ignorance has disappeared, not understanding gained. What I gain, I can lose. A discovery was made. Maybe that is more the right term? Knowledge discovered/uncovered through disappearance of ignorance.
James: Who made the discovery? You can lose knowledge (what “stands under” you) if the object of knowledge is something other than you. But if you are the object of knowledge, how can you lose the knowledge? In the case of enlightenment, the knowledge and awareness are one.
Mike: “3. What do you stand on?”
I do not understand the question fully. “I do not stand on anything,” would be the immediate response.
James: I meant what “stands under” Mike is awareness. It is his support. If you are awareness, everything stands in or on you.
Mike: “4. See how you have shifted to the point of view of the experiencer, the looker. You describe yourself as ‘it.’ You are constant and continuously available. The words for you are limitless, non-dual, actionless, ordinary awareness. At this stage you need a word, Mike. If you don’t have one, the confusion will continue. Once the confusion is erased, you can forget the word.”
This is great insight. How subtle knowledge has given its place for ignorance. Yes. I stand as awareness. I am consciousness. I have started to work on finding a proper term for what I am in my first language that rings my heart and feels true.
James: It doesn’t really matter what the word is, as long as it refers to awareness. It is very difficult teaching you because you are either 100% enlightened, in which case you don’t need teaching, or you are 99% enlightened, not that that is possible, but I think you know what I mean. It may be only a language problem. But I think – and it is only a guess – that there is some very subtle confusion in your mind between satya, awareness, and mithya, awareness appearing as Mike. On the one hand, your discrimination seems to be clear, but sometimes the way you use words makes me think there is a confusion. In any case, 99% is good.
Mike: “5. Why would you ‘become everything’ and ‘identify with everything’? If you are not the doer, how will you act?”
Yes. Thank you. I am consciousness and everything is appearing in the mirror of the subtle body which I enlighten.
James: Yes. This is correct.
Mike: So, I am neither enlightened nor unenlightened. I am enlightenment. I am the light which enlightens this world.
James: Yes. I am the light. I am “enlightenment” is a bad word, because it implies endarkenment.
Mike: When I read the last sentence again, although it is absolute truth, I am helpless when the thought arises: “It is time that the people with the straightjacket visit my place and lock me away.” ☺
James: Yes, this thought prevents most people from freedom. It seems to be such an incredible thing to claim: “I am the light.” But it is only incredible if you have been in ignorance for a long time. The implications are apparently staggering for someone who thinks of himself or herself as a body-mind entity. This is because there are so many irrational spiritual beliefs associated with this knowledge. People imagine that it means that if you can’t walk on water or leap skyscrapers in a single bound or read minds, you are not the light. But when your understanding of the nature of awareness is clear, you are a fool not to claim it. It is the most natural, easy thing. Of course it is wise to keep your mouth shut even though they don’t tack us up on the cross these days. There are so many nutters running around a God-nutter is just one among many.
Mike: With love to you, dear James, and with many thanks for your insights.
James: They aren’t insights, Mike. I don’t believe in insight. I am just analyzing your statements in light of scripture. We do not accept anyone as enlightened unless their words conform to scripture. Any Tom, Dick or Harry can say, “I am enlightened.” And there are many clever Toms who can talk a very good enlightenment game. But when you study these people closely – what they say and what they do – you can winnow out the poseurs and the partially enlightened. The best trick is to keep your mouth shut. Everyone is enlightened until they open their mouth. Most people who think they are enlightened think that what comes out of their mouths is truth. It may be and it may not be. We need an independent objective source for our evaluation. I happen to be an expert on the scripture. I know what it says about enlightenment, so I just check your words and the way you use words to see if your understanding is perfect or not. And this understanding is more than “I am awareness.” That is good, but it is not the whole enchilada. You have to understand what it means to be awareness in terms of the apparent reality. After all, the “I am awareness” statement is being made in the apparent reality. This is the bit the Neos like Tony Parsons come up short on. They deny the apparent reality, so “I am awareness” is enough. But it is not awareness that is saying “I am awareness.” It is the subtle body saying it.
And why is it saying it? If you know, you know. There is nothing to say. This does not mean that awareness can’t say “I am awareness.” It definitely can. But when awareness says it, its meaning in terms of the apparently reality is clearly known. It does not think that it means something other than what it means, whereas when an individual realizes “I am awareness” there are invariably projections – we call them superimpositions – on the statement. It can mean, “I am awareness, therefore I am special.” It can mean anything when the individual says it. So as long as there is the slightest confusion of awareness with the subtle body, you are not enlightened. If you study Vedanta carefully you will see that it is a very scientific and precise means of knowledge. In the Vedanta world we call the body “the five elements.” What the average person thinks of as his or her self we call the subtle body, reflected awareness. Etc.
The Neo world – which has no standards, no commonly-accepted definitions and no methodology – is completely idiosyncratic. Anyone can say anything. And we are left to take it all on faith. To tell the truth, I would take the words of the man on the street long before I would take the words of modern “spiritual” people.
I am not even asking you to trust me. If you want to know where my knowledge comes from, I can refer you to the texts. It is not insight. Insight, intuition, etc. – these are unreliable tools. The only thing you can count on is knowledge. It is completely impersonal.
~ Love, James