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Know without Knowing
Charles: Howdy, James. When I first got the notion to send this email, it was during a very emotionally traumatic time that I was going through during the last five months, but I wasn’t sure what to say or what I needed from you. Some things happened that got me wrapped up in a lot of negative emotions, sort of like, “There I was, doing all types of self-inquiry, killing my inner demons, when something thought it would be funny to push me into the abyss and make me face them all at once,” something like that. I was really painful. It felt like I lost everything of value and I wasn’t sure how to get through it. I did a lot of everything spiritual that I knew just to get through it: prayer, mediation, chanting. I didn’t care what religion it came from, I was on board if it gave me just a little peace. Then one day I woke up and I didn’t feel any emotional pain. I just didn’t really care. Every now and again I did, but it wasn’t that real to me. I felt really clean. At least that’s the best way to describe it, and I also felt hollow and tired. I didn’t care about much of anything. I was just empty. I still went to work. I actually like that more than being at home. I didn’t hate anyone, but I didn’t feel any real love either. I felt jealousy, but dropped it just because I didn’t want to feel it. I got angry, but it was like far away. I didn’t quit smoking, but I don’t really care. I was for the most part an emotional void.
Every now and then I would feel really sattvic and be happy, but otherwise I just didn’t feel anything. I didn’t really feel bad, just like I was just here and it didn’t matter. How I felt emotionally was like the changing weather. Nothing I did or didn’t do had anything to do with them, so I just sort of watched them and let myself feel whatever. When before I wished for death, now I don’t care one way or the other… sort of. I was reading the letters you get at your website. Humans are a strange bunch, aren’t we? For a while I thought I was dead spiritually, but maybe I’m just right for enlightenment and maybe it doesn’t matter. I was really confused about vanasas (I think that’s how you spell it) when you said having a guru enter your dreams was just one of your vanasas working itself out, and I thought they were like emotional dependencies, but I guess they are more than that, but then again they could still be that because there is only you anyway, so who the hell was that in your dream?
I have found that a good and probably correct way to see life is that there is only me and my mind is what programs my reality. What’s in it is what’s out there. I may not always know what’s in it, and that is the problem, but it’s kind of what makes life fun too. So if you could sort of know without knowing you would have some kind of an interesting life. I think it’s funny that the more I learn the more I feel like I always knew. Is that a correct feeling? I had stopped meditating for a while and I still haven’t. It’s not that I don’t feel like I need to. Sometimes I want to. I just don’t know what I’m trying to achieve anymore. When I said I feel empty, it isn’t really a bad feeling, it’s just not a good one either. Now after reading the letters at your website and looking at my life, I had a strange sort of feeling about it like, “Is this really what you wanted or cared about? Is this your limit?” And you know what? It isn’t. When you read that it will probably be taken out of context, but the meaning is the same in the end, so not to worry. Now I still feel empty, but I also feel I don’t know potential, maybe. I’m just not that worried anymore. I just want to see were the rabbit hole goes and I don’t want to set any more boundaries. I don’t know what’s next. But I don’t even care. I’m slowing getting desires and emotions again, but I don’t take that seriously now. Keep your fingers crossed.
~ Much love, Charles
PS: I didn’t proofread this, so it’s probably an incomprehensible mess.
PPS: I had to send it as new email because my other one was blocked. I’m hoping it was because my email was hacked and you get sent a lot of spam and not because you don’t want to talk, but either way, I guess life goes on. I’m the one who felt like he wasted his life trying to be good, if you were wondering.
James: Dear Wasted Life Trying to Be Good, interesting story. You are lucky to have this experience. It shows that dispassion is developing. Sometimes they call it the experience of “the void.” It is basically how the world looks from the self’s point of view. If you turn around and look at the one to whom this emptiness occurred and who is observing the desires and emotions returning, you will find the bliss. The world really is empty of meaning and so are Charles’ emotions. It is always a surprise when you realize it. It is a definite improvement from wasting one’s life trying to be good. You are neither good nor bad. You are the one that sees good and bad, the one observing your experience, the one writing this letter, the one that happens to have the name Charles but who is not a person.
Charles: I have found that a good and probably correct way to see life is that there is only me and my mind is what programs my reality.
James: This is the truth. The mind programs it. Let it program and observe the program. Don’t try to change the program.
Charles: I think it’s funny that the more I learn the more I feel like I always knew. Is that a correct feeling?
James: Yes. You are learning the self indirectly through experiences which are all the self. The self is not unknown to you or anybody. It is partially known. This feeling is a good sign that you are on the right path.
Charles: I just want to see were the rabbit hole goes and I don’t want to set any more boundaries.
James: You are the rabbit hole, Charles. It goes to you. This means that you are awareness, the awareness that has dispassionately recounted this story of Charles and his non-attachment to the world and to his feelings. It is good that you say that you don’t care if the desires come back. Let them come back. They will come back anyway. Just observe them. Don’t mess with them. Don’t make a story of them and wonder what they “mean.” They don’t mean anything. They are just the vomit of the mind. Don’t pick through your vomit looking for something valuable. They are just desires born of ignorance of your nature as awareness.
~ Love, James