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Only the Body and Awareness
Marie: Hi, James. The Vedanta, especially as you present it, is working VERY well. I have been able to continue to relax more and more. It’s really great. I’m enjoying life even more. I’m feeling much less compelled to stay with people, groups or places that I feel misplaced with. I will continue to be more mindful to not do things that go against my nature or aren’t in harmony with the dharma. Also, being vigilant about being aware when I’m chasing objects for happiness.
I have been watching the ShiningWorld Channel videos at YouTube, which are serving to supplement the satsang. All of them are great.
One thing that has been really helping is something you said in You’re Not Who You Think You Are. You said the enlightened “person” sees another person and all they see is pure awareness and a body. When the other person opens their mouth and talks, it is all discounted as it wobbles out. All the I, I, I, etc. – the wise people don’t even listen to that, it goes right through them and they just relate to the awareness. They can just stand there in awareness and not have to explain themselves to other people in terms of their experience. How liberating! Yeah, I really get that! I am seeing how I can apply that as I go through the day. Because no one is this separately existing entity that has something to gain or to lose by any of it. There is only pure awareness and the ignorance of the fact that I am it. It is that which shines on everything else that is going on or exists in the mind.
I’ll continue to watch the videos over and over, as well as read the book and all the other resources that are at your website. My desire for a relationship for security and pleasure is lessening considerably, although I won’t develop an aversion to it either. I am just going to simply let things be, with the understanding that to every upside there is a downside and vice versa. Just continue to do everything, including relationship, in the karma yoga spirit with the intention to purify my mind and to firm up self-knowledge and make it strong. God will provide me with all I need in service of my transformation.
The epiphany I had about there only being one “me,” or I, was several years ago. There’s not too much to say about it. If I remember correctly, I was under a lot of stress at the time. I woke up one day and got out of bed. Suddenly this feeling that everybody in the world was gone came to me. Complete aloneness. It was so real. It was just me and not even a person, just an aware energy. It was really interesting at first, and I had this very firm sense that I was being shown something important about non-duality, so it registered.
But then I started to become anxious as I came more into my body; it was as if I was like that person stranded on a desert island. I tried to reach out in my mind to friends, relatives and people that I knew, but it wasn’t happening. No one was there. It felt so unfamiliar and strange, I became filled with fear. Eventually the fear fell away as I acclimated back to the feeling there were other people in the world to keep me company and help me feel safe.
Your thoughts and comments about it, if you have any, are much appreciated.
James: It was great to meet you in Casadega, Marie. It is nice to have a face to go with the emails. I am so happy that Vedanta is working for you. That teaching about there being only a body and awareness for the wise is very useful and I am not surprised that you are benefiting from it. Your idea to keep on inquiring along the lines suggested by Vedanta is very wise. I liked very much what you said about not developing an aversion to relationship, just letting things be as they are. It is also wise.
What is interesting about your experience is that as long as you were completely identified with the self you were fine, but when you started to identify with the body fear became the dominant emotion. This is an experiential confirmation of non-duality. And you drew the right conclusion: “I had this very firm sense that I was being shown something important about non-duality, so it registered.” You were being shown your true nature. There is only one self looking out from within billions of bodies. When it identifies with itself it is happy. When it identifies with the body it is subject to fear. All dualistic notions spring from ignorance, which in this case is the idea “I am the body.”
Anyways, it is lovely to hear from you, Marie, as always. Keep your mind on the self, remain dispassionate and discriminating with the karma yoga spirit and soldier on!
~ Much love, James