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No Pat Answer
Isaiah: James, I wanted to follow up on this response. You said this about discrimination: “It is important to note that the negation is not merely intellectual. In other words, you can’t just dismiss the objects without having actually tried to make them work.”
I just wanted to be clear about this. For instance, in my adult life I have never experienced financial security or a job that I enjoy. I am aware that I have a desire to experience these things. Do I need to pursue them more ardently in order to see that they don’t work (to negate them as not self)? If so, is the reason for experiencing these things so you can resolve the idea in your mind that maybe, just maybe, happiness might just be in those objects?
I will say however, that discrimination has helped a lot in this area. When I feel anxious about financial security I remind myself that I am the self. The anxiety is an object in my awareness and the anxiety is rooted in the false belief that I am incomplete. Also, when it comes to me thinking about a career (musician, actually) I remind myself that playing or not playing music can’t add or take away anything from me, the self, because the self is full and complete. Will this practice not work on its own or do I have to experience the financial security and music career to really see that I don’t need them?
James: There is no pat answer for this, Isaiah. It depends on your maturity level. I suspect that you do not have to go through those things to realize there is nothing in them. It depends on your maturity. An immature person cannot see the logic in renunciation of action, so he or she just has to work it out in the world. A mature person can trust common sense and the words of the wise and forgo action. If you really want only liberation, then there is no question. You will take the words of the wise as your own and act accordingly. You say that discrimination has helped a lot, so I suggest that you stick with it. If you want a big of supporting logic, it is good to know that there is a downside to financial security and a career in music, as there is with every worldly pursuit. So in the fullness of time you will not have gained anything except a bit of disillusionment – or maturity if you get the message.
~ Love, James