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Taking a Stand in Awareness AS Awareness
Ronald: Hi, Sundari. During one of the breaks you suggested I take a stand as awareness (I think that’s the phrase you used). Is there anything more you can say about that?
~ Love, Ronald
Sundari: Hello, Ronald. Taking a stand in awareness as awareness is a statement of intent based on faith in the knowledge.
Direct knowledge is “I am awareness.” Owning the idea is just confidence in the truth of this fact. The intellect may have notions to the contrary making it difficult to say “I am awareness” with confidence. So one needs to inquire as to why one does not accept the truth. Usually it is because you believe that you need some kind of special experience to lend credence to the knowledge. But no experience can validate the “I” because the “I” is prior to experience. If you see that, the knowledge “I am awareness” becomes yours. But if you can’t, it is because you take the reflected self, the experiencing entity, to be yourself. In which case taking a stand in awareness is simply having faith in the scripture and the confidence to live “as if” until the knowledge becomes direct.
Think of it like an exiled king laying claim to the kingdom he knows is rightfully his and always has been, but he was deposed and needs to be recognised as the rightful ruler again. Or renting the perfect house and deciding to buy it because you know that there is no house like this, it is the ultimate house, so you start the process of buying but there are a few papers missing, the sale is taking a while to close and title deeds are not in your hands yet. But you have the money and you know the papers will be in your hands. Sooner or later it will be sorted out, so you live there as if the house is already yours, because you know it is. It’s just a technicality standing in the way.
Moksa is simply knowing that you are already free. Until self-knowledge has removed all the ignorance that is preventing your full assimilation of this fact, you take the scriptures word for it and trust the knowledge rather than the mind. You understand that the mind is not you and it is run by the gunas.
The dharma of self-inquiry is faith in the scripture, and taking such a stand is a statement of faith, the scripture being none other than your own good self, i.e. awareness. Even if the ego is still falling down rabbit holes and generally having trouble getting on board with this idea, it is nonetheless very effective as a practice (prakriya). It is the same as thinking the opposite thought. Every time you observe the mind thinking that you are limited or a negative/fear thought comes up, press “pause” and say, “Who is talking here? What are the facts?” Track the guna operating and reassert the opposite thought: “I am whole and complete, non-dual, actionless, unborn, unchanging, limitless, ordinary awareness.”
This practice generally only works for inquirers who are dedicated to their sadhana and are already well-established in self-inquiry or yoga. Once you are committed to scripture and the mind is absorbed in it, there is nothing other than taking this stand. Sooner or later, by the grace of Isvara, self-knowledge will do the job and the knowledge will be firm.
So if we wish to be free to wake up from the dream of being a jiva, we must take our stand in pure awareness as pure awareness: sat-chit-ananda. We may not be able to stand steadily in sat-chit-ananda at this stage of our understanding, but we should never lose sight of it as the ultimate and only reality.
~ Om and prem, Sundari