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The Self Is Not Mysterious
Seeker: Pranam, Swamiji. My humble thanks to you for clarifying each and every point. I am blessed to have your guidance.
The first wrong notion I had was that I’d assumed some kind of experience is needed for the hard and fast knowledge that I am limitless, non-dual, ordinary, actionless awareness. You seem to differentiate between experience and knowledge. I assume that by “knowledge” you mean the hard and fast conclusion about ourselves that we arrive at with or without having such experience. This knowledge about “I” is what really liberates. And you said that having such an experience is completely within the hands of Isvara. And I completely agree with it.
Swami: Yes, this is what I mean. Moksa is jnanam, self-knowledge, because you are already free. And yes, to reiterate, experiences are only as good as your interpetation of them. Many, probably most, who have non-dual epiphanies trouble themselves greatly trying to get a “permanent” epiphany. By definition, a discrete experience is limited time-wise. If something starts, it ends. This common sense logic escapes people who feel incomplete and want a feel good experience.
Seeker: Thanks for confirming that there is no identity for the body-mind complex (phenomenon). The fact that I am conscious itself indicates that my true self is consciousness. The quality of knowing, or the light with which “knowings” are illuminated, belongs to consciousness and “known” is phenomenon. As suggested by you, I will definitely try to see for myself who is it that knows “knowings” till wrong notions about myself are discarded and the hard and fast knowledge “I am limitless, non-dual, ordinary, actionless awareness” dawns.
Swami: Good. Dropping ignorance is all that is required because you are already the self.
Seeker: I do not understand maya and how it can apparently make awareness seem to forget itself. Sometimes I feel like it is very easy to explain/understand consciousness whereas nothing can be said/understood completely about phenomena.
Swami: This is a very perceptive observation. The self is very easy to understand. What can you actually say about something that is always with you, as sure as the nose on your face? And yes, everything produced by maya, the whole apparent reality, is completely mysterious. It changes every second. How can anyone say what it actually is? Accepting that it is a mystery and will always remain so is wisdom. Scripture is very clear on this point. It is a waste of time trying to make sense out of it.