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The Number One Vedanta Tool
Terry: Hi, James. All is well? Here all is well and cosy.
I’d like to give you a little update/report of the developments, as hopefully I will see you later this week. This also gives me an extra chance to thank you again for your counselling a few months ago.
With the danger of tickling Isvara to test my endurance for talking too big, I actually feel life has been more or less perfect ever since. We made a contract for the future with detailed information about tasks and duties and both agreed upon it. It has completely taken the sting out of the mind-attacks. I also learnt a very very important lesson, which had to do with level confusion. Actually, I learnt two lessons during that episode.
One was the fact that a karma yogi becomes a sanyassi by gaining a contemplative temperament, by living in the right attitude. From that platform of mind knowledge is accessable. Or said differently, when I have the karma yoga attitude in life towards everything my mind becomes discriminative and that’s the end of trouble, whatever it might be, in maya. I also notice these days it doesn’t always seem necessary to have a sattvic mind for the knowledge to operate. When I’m very rajasic, for example, I still know I’m looking at a very rajasic Terry talking fast, etc. and I can laugh at it. However, this often gets painful or ignorance takes over and I have to re-manage the gunas to get knowledge in the driver’s seat. I’d say the guna teaching is probably the best teaching since the invention of analogue synthesizers, though it’s probably safe to say it existed before the invention of analogue synthesizers.
The other thing I learnt was that my freedom to claim my freedom was kidnapped by an idea of level confusion. I thought that I, as a person, had to be more spiritual. I am, however, not a holy person. I’m very vain, arrogant, backwards, ambitious, etc. I’m also kind, good-hearted, etc. of course… just like any other member of the human race (this excludes of course the Williams sisters, who we all know are not humans but a result of a mad scientist with too much time, a laboratory, an enormous love for the game of tennis and muscled men with female faces).
I thought I had to change as a person. Even though I heard thousands of times I didn’t have to change anything, my thinking during those mind-attacks (and outside of them) revealed I felt I had to overcome my bad features and be, for example, more like a sanyassic sage.
Something has really changed since I realised that Terry, as a person, is totally okay to be ambitious, vain, obsessive, etc., the whole thing being a case of level confusion. What’s in maya is in maya and I as awareness am what I am regardless. This has been a big relief, a huge relief.
I therefore vote discrimination as king of the Vedantic toolset. If I put attention on myself as awareness I can see immediately Terry is totally part of the projection and I am cool as awareness so there have been no hurdles left where I’ve been stuck since our last conversation. I read somewhere you and Sundari are like two peas in a pod. I feel like this with Huda, exactly the same. We wake up in the morning day after day in this soup of existence, obsess over food and managing the gunas, get worked up over the world and how stupid it and its inhabitants are. Then we see how lame we are for getting worked up over it, try to suck love and physical affection out of our two cats, make music and more food. I told you before, since I discovered Vedanta life has become more and more like a holiday. A permanent camp-out even when doing your job, etc.
I still listen to the satsangs daily in the morning and evening to keep my mind on-topic. We follow quite a strict diet and lifestyle to keep us happy and alert.
Maybe in the future I can let go more of the diet and lifestyle but for now it’s important to keep this up otherwise it’s too hard for me to keep discrimination in check. I’ve tested it. There’s nothing wrong anyway with keeping a strict lifestyle in the future, however. There’s nothing wrong with letting it go either.
Again, let me tell you I am very grateful for doing what you do and thank you one last time for your counselling. I don’t contact you very much because the site and satsang MP3s give me pretty much every answer I need but I want to let you know I, or we, have relentlessly closed you into our heart here at PB’s penthouse. We love you all the way.
I am brimmed with gratitude for the whole Vedanta business. The blessing on the different levels of existence which self-knowledge campaigns is impossible to convey to a normal person, but you understand what I mean. It turns a life caught in big and small disasters into a lightweight comic-tragedy humming against a backdrop of silent compassion.
I’ll leave with these poetic ramblings, and hope to see you this week. All the best to Sundari, we’re very happy for you guys.