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Ute: Dear James, by writing to you today I would like to celebrate the anniversary of the day when I realized that I am awareness. Two years ago, on the 8th of February, 2010, at approximately 11:00 am, the third time I attended your Vedanta class in Tiruvannamalai, a subtle shift happened and the ego and the self switched places. I suddenly saw that the individual I had taken myself to be, longing for God/enlightenment, was not the subject but only an object in the awareness that I am. I think you remember how heartily I laughed and the whole class with me. So I celebrate this day with joy and gratitude.
Anyhow, this was only the beginning of a continuously deepening self-inquiry. Soon it was obvious that there are no objects, that there is only the self. By reading your book over and over and reflecting on what I read, the implications of non-duality become more and more clear. In the beginning, when I had questions, I had the impulse to write to you, but as I didn’t take the time to do so, the answers started to come from within. I am happy about that and perhaps you too because I suspect you are overloaded with emails from people wanting guidance.
But now a question arises: Who is answering from within? And who is asking? Awareness, the self, is not involved in action, it only shines on the intellect and makes inquiry possible. From where does the intellect get the answer? From memory? But it feels like it is coming from a clearer source.
I did not go to India this winter, but I have had reports from Tiru through three friends of mine attending your classes. They are very happy to get this knowledge and want to buy DVDs so we can continue together to learn and discuss.
I live with a silent jubilation inwardly. This is what I tell people who ask how I am. I don’t teach or preach. I live a very quiet and peaceful life with family and friends.
I was so happy to read about your love and your marriage, and I send my heartfelt congratulations to you and your wife. I wish you all the best now and in the future. Hopefully I can come and meet you next winter.
I would like very much to get an answer from you if it is possible, knowing how much you teach and how many people you have around you asking for your attention.
James: Dear Ute, yes, it was a wonderful event, that day on the 8th of February. I will never forget it. I knew instantly that you had realized the truth. Yes, the realization of the self as oneself is the end of seeking but the beginning of a life of peace and jubilation. I am so happy for you. You deserve it. You lived a pure life and did your duty impeccably and earned the grace that set you free.
I like your questions, “Who is answering from within? And who is asking? Awareness, the self, is not involved in action, it only shines on the intellect and makes inquiry possible. From where does the intellect get the answer? From memory? But it feels like it is coming from a clearer source.”
The intellect is asking and the self is answering and you – awareness, the self “beyond” the self – are observing. It is just the natural inquiry that goes on all the time – a dialogue between the intellect, which is the self operating in the apparent reality, and the pure self. See how sattvic your subtle body is that it can reflect this dialogue so clearly.
There are quite a few people who have invited me to come to Scandinavia. I am booked up this year, but next year I will come. It will be very nice to see you.
~ Much love, James