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Isvara Structures Reality
Franklin: Ram, thank you so much for you incredibly detailed response. You have answered my questions just from one email response that I have not been able to get answered in the last five months and have provided such clarity for me. I find this incredible. I thank you so greatly for this. I want to read your book. A friend indicated that I “have to read James’ book.” However, I never asked which book and I don’t know which book this is. There are a number of books listed at your website. Can you recommend which one?
Ram: How to Attain Enlightenment. It is available from Amazon.com.
Franklin: I have one last question and I literally promise I won’t bug you again. When you indicate “what seems solid and real is anything but solid and real” I am assuming you are referring to… that it is only NOT solid and real relative to what is actually real, which is awareness? Because if it is the mind that translates this sense-data into solidity, then I wonder why seven billion or so people interpet the data as solidity, or is it merely the nature of maya that solidity is “apparent.” Can you just clarify that?
Ram: You are not bugging me. I am glad that my email was helpful. You are new to this non-duality business and you are definitely in the ballpark but I want to get to you before you wander off into the Neo-Advaita scene or Buddhism because you will only get confused. So if you want me to teach you, you need to read my book carefully. It will give you the big picture so you can see where each of your doubts fits. It will save a lot of time and give a structure to your questions that will make my job easier.
Take your time. Do not move on at any point until you have assimilated all the logic that has gone before. Most of it will be more or less easy and you will probably get quite inspired, but moksa is the clarity of mind that comes from complete knowledge. By “complete knowledge” I mean the essence and the structure of consciousness, your self. Only when the complete vision of non-duality is established in your mind will you actually be free, although you will feel more and more free as you let Vedanta work its magic on you.
You have a few bits and pieces but there are a lot of gaps in your understanding that need to be filled. I say this because of the way you have formulated your question. I think I know what you are trying to say and I reply below but if my answer does not satisfy you it is because you are not clear what the doubt is or about the importance of the doubt with reference to what you are actually trying to accomplish in the long run. I noticed in your first letter that there seemed to be a lack of clarity with reference to moksa. This will be remedied if you expose your mind to Vedanta in a systematic way. If you actually hear the whole teaching and it is not satisfying then it will be clear that you are not ready for Vedanta and you should move on to something else. I don’t think this is the case. It seems quite fitting that you have written, and I get the feeling that you will progress rapidly but I don’t want to do this piecemeal. Teaching should be driven by your questions but Vedanta should provide the context so we don’t waste time.
Franklin: I am assuming you are referring to… that it is only NOT solid and real relative to what is actually real, which is awareness?
Franklin: Because if it is the mind that translates this sense-data into solidity, then I wonder why seven billion or so people interpet the data as solidity, or is it merely the nature of maya that solidity is “apparent.”
Ram: Maya in the form of the senses turns unstructured, limitless consciousness into apparently discrete and solid names and forms so that the jivas, the individuals, can work out their karmas. A jiva is awareness saddled with a vasana bundle that prevents it from being happy. Jivas are impelled to satisfy their vasanas. Right now your spiritual vasana generated the witness experience, which has inspired you to seek liberation. But you can’t get liberation by yourself. You need a teacher and a teaching. So consciousness in the form of Isvara structures itself in the form of Vedanta and Ram and your senses and your mind and the internet, etc. and – presto chango, you have a way to work out your desire for freedom.
If you have vasanas that you have not neutralized by knowledge – or cannot neutralize by knowledge – then you have to work them out. To do that you need a body. So Isvara provides a body to make it easy. If you had to structure reality yourself you could never work out anything. You would be spending all your time getting your equipment prepared to experience and no time to actually experience anything. So the whole thing is set up in such a way that all you have to do is respond appropriately to the experiences Isvara presents to the senses, which you are doing. You write me with the right attitude. You ask pertinent questions. I reply in such a way that you write back and a dialogue is established. What happens now, should you wish to continue – which I believe you do – is that you follow my instructions and leave the results up to Isvara. In this way everything will unfold according to Isvara’s will. I think you partially understand the value of Vedanta but I want to make sure you really understand its value because if you do, you will attain your heart’s desire in no time.
~ Love, Ram