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Spirituality in Its Infancy
Seeker: I want to thank you, James, for sharing the wonderful teachings at the website. I’ve studied Buddhism for years, Neo-Advaita stuff for a couple of years and shamanism for many years. But James’ explanations of Vedanta have truly increased my understanding of how things really work and explained things that I’ve always had trouble understanding. For instance, while the better of the Neo-Advaita teachers present some inspiring teachings about the self, they just leave you hanging as far as how you can proceed. They say that knowing the self is not an experience, but every one of them refers to an experience they had, and then they say there’s nothing you can do to also have an experience. What are you supposed to do with that? It’s totally useless as a teaching because it’s not another experience you need anyway, but knowledge.
James: The problem with Neo-Advaita is that it is neo. It is spirituality in its early infancy. In fact it is still in the crib. It is going to have to stick around for a long time before it becomes self-conscious and looks at its teachings objectively. The Neo world is like the Wild West. A new country – awareness – has been opened up and everyone is rushing around laying claim to some part of it. There is no thought involved. It is just experience masquerading as knowledge but not even knowing what knowledge is and what a means of knowledge for awareness actually entails, so you get these obvious contradictions. Anyway, I am preaching to the choir so I will stop before a full-fledged rant begins. Your appreciation is much appreciated.