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A Non-Duality Download
Marianne: Dear James, in the situation I described below, I was unhappy and the self basically “showed up,” and the experiencing witness received the benefit. In another situation I was deliriously happy and the self came calling then also. I was standing on the open “lido deck” of a cruise ship last month, listening to a live band playing a song that I liked.
Looking down on the scene of bodies stretched out on deck chairs, one man was snapping his fingers and singing along with the music. The thought came to me, “He’s just like me,” and in an instant, standing as awareness, he was me. And as I looked around at the assortment of bodies, everyone was me. And my heart felt like it was bursting. I actually put my hand over my heart as it was just too glorious and my heart was just too full of joy. This was not at all “trippy” or out-of-body. I knew what it meant to know who I am, at least for those five minutes that I stood there gawking. It was as if “non-duality” was being downloaded into my head and into my heart. I am all the more dedicated to self-inquiry given that gracious gift of self that “I am.”
I write this in gratitude for the teachings you and Sundari have provided me as I bounce along “on the Vedanta bus” via audios, DVDs, satsangs, retreats, newsletters and your ever-present light shining on my life, and on Cole’s life. A gracious thank you, to both of you, for all the care you pour into the dissemination of non-dual wisdom.
James: Hi, Marianne. Appreciation is much appreciated. What a lovely experience!
I know you didn’t ask me to guru you but I can’t resist making a comment. You say, “I knew what it meant to know who I am, at least for those five minutes that I stood there gawking.”
The implied meaning of your statement is that you did not know who you are on the sixth minute. From this I deduce that you believe that who you are is some kind of experience or that you don’t have confidence in the knowledge that the experience delivered. What is the knowledge? Nothing is separate from me. Everything is me. This knowledge is freedom. From what? Duality, the belief in otherness. What should you do with this knowledge? Keep in in mind at all times and look at your thoughts and feelings with reference to it. See the discrepancy between the knowledge of the non-dual nature of reality as revealed to you and the way you think about reality. If you do this practice all the time, duality will gradually disappear and you will experience life in this way all the time. This is a valuable experience, one that you should not discount by longing for a similar one.
Here is another statement you made in a recent email that I want to comment on:
“Yesterday, it appeared that my existence itself was questioning my identification with the felt drama of family dynamics. It seemed that ‘the inquiry’ went in and through (the force field) of the subtle body. Immediately, a knowing that ‘I am (here)’ came into my experiencing awareness, and a somewhat ‘beatific’ smile spread across my face, by itself. The knowing, ‘I am,’ seemed to be an experience to the experiencing witness only, but not to me.”
You make an important statement here: You say, “The knowing, ‘I am,’ seemed to be an experience to the experiencing witness only, but not to me.”
The knowing “I am” is a thought-experience that caused the face to smile “by itself.” The thought and the smile was generated by Isvara. These are observed objects. Then you say that it was not an experience to you, “but not to me.” I take this to mean that you are the self – the non-experiencing witness – and not the experiencing witness. Is this correct?
~ Love, Ramji