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The Dharma Beyond Dharma
Dorothy: Dear James, although I am aware that you are very busy answering emails about your new book, I would really appreciate your view on the following. I know who I am.
It was a couple of years ago after seeing a short clip of Ramesh Balsekar at YouTube that the penny finally dropped and the inescapable truth of this totally interconnected web of conditions, causes and effects, and the silence within and without was understood. It’s pretty obvious that you and I and everyone and everything is all one and that I, or source, or God, is it, as this, not separate from it.
Another way of looking at it is that all this just is, despite whether we are aware of it or not. There is no difference between those that know and those that don’t. No difference. It doesn’t even matter if we know or not, that’s the funniest thing.
Now here’s the thing: I am married to a wonderful, generous, hard-working, loving man who has no inclination whatsoever to investigate reality beyond going to work and then to the pub for a couple of beers. I want to use money in our savings account to go off travelling to India, to do what?
I am not working and will be using money that we need for repairs to our house. I have often acted in selfish ways in the past and done what I wanted to do. My husband really doesn’t want me to go – he has said so – but loves me a great deal and wants me to be happy, so has also said that he wants me to do what I really want to do: come to India.
Wherever I am, I am. Experiences come and go. So really, it makes no odds what I do, but somehow it seems that a choice is being made. I know who I am and yet I feel the pull to come to India – still searching for something? Is this just old “seeking” vasanas playing themselves out?
And if so, wouldn’t it be good for me to sit still here, love and care for my husband and hunker in for a snowy winter in England rather than come to India?
What say you, teacher?
~ Lots of love, Dorothy
James: Dear Dorothy, knowing who you are as awareness is the easy part. Now you have to decide who Dorothy is. From your point of view it is the same whether you stay with your husband or go to India. But now Dorothy, who is just an idea, an object appearing in you – as is “your” husband – has a dharma problem. How does she want to see herself? I think she thinks it is a choice between being “selfish” or not. Because there is an upside and a downside to staying AND going, it is impossible to say what is “right.” There are positive and negative consequences to both choices. The only relevant issue is the understanding and attitude that Dorothy entertains when she makes the choice, if in fact she is a doer and must make a choice. It may be true that you know who you are, but perhaps there is still more to understand. Enlightenment is the end of seeking, but it is also the beginning of life. You have never really lived until you know who you are. Read my book How to Attain Enlightenment. It may help you to understand life in the apparent reality better from the self’s point of view. If you were the self and not Dorothy, would this be a problem? It seems there is still some identification with the idea that you are Dorothy. Here is a meditation: what does the word “Dorothy” refer to?
~ Much love, James