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The Ego Wants a Guarantee It Reincarnates
Manolo: I don’t understand you because you talk about vasanas but then you say that all what I do right now only makes a difference to Manolo in this life, not for the next person.
Sundari: Manolo – you do not understand what I am saying because you are identified with the person, Manolo. As I said in my previous email I cannot teach you unless you have done your homework. If you want to understand Vedanta and you want me to help you – read James’ book How To Attain Enlightenment – I have sent you the first three chapters in Spanish. There will be more chapters coming soon, but read these first three chapters very slowly. Watch as many of James’ videos as possible and read the e-satsangs at the website.
Manolo: I will save all the emails and I will read them later, when I can understand.
Sundari: It is pointless for me to repeat what I have said every time because you are not hearing what I say; you need proper teaching. As I said in my last email, you only have indirect knowledge of awareness and a bunch of ideas that you have strung together from many different sources that do not hold up when you subject them to proper self-inquiry.
Manolo: Now I do not understand because you are breaking my ideas of all this.
Sundari: This is exactly my point, Manolo: if you want to be free, you have to break your ideas because they are based in ignorance of your true nature. I explained this to you in my last emails to you. You cannot make Vedanta fit into what you want to hear; if you don’t like Vedanta, that’s fine. You are not ready for it – so believe what you want to believe. There is nothing more to be said about reincarnation from scripture, take it or leave it.
Manolo: There’s no meaning if there is no control.
Sundari: There is no meaning if you think you are the ego, Manolo. What Vedanta is trying to show you is that you do not need to seek meaning or have control because YOU, AWARENESS, are the meaning. Only Isvara, or the Total Mind, has control in the apparent reality. Manolo is part of the apparent reality, he is not real and he is finite. However, you, awareness, are real and eternal, you are unborn and you never die, and you are that without which the apparent reality does not exist. And as awareness you are the common identity between Isvara and Manolo. This life is a movie – a dream within a dream. You are the one who knows the dream as it takes place in you.
Manolo: I can kill one thousand people and kill myself, and this is okay because I was never Manolo and that did not produce karma or anything else.
Sundari: Once again: your thinking is dualistic, which is to say you are thinking as a person identified with being a person attached to their story as though it is real. Vedanta is telling you that this is a non-dual reality and you are not the person because the person is not real; you are awareness, the knower of the person, and you are real. To live free as awareness while still a person, you need to subject the mind to self-inquiry so that self-knowledge can remove ignorance revealing your true nature to be awareness. When you understand what it means to be awareness and what it means to be the person (because the person does not cease to exist when you know you are awareness) then you are free of the person because you just understand the true nature of their existence, which is non-dual and you – the self no longer under the spell of ignorance – are freed from the apparent spell of duality or ignorance.
Freedom does not mean that everything is okay. Freedom means that you understand what makes up the person and what drives them to do what they do – in the light of self-knowledge – so that there is an end to existential suffering for the person. This is why I sent you the teachings on Isvara/jiva and on maya. Without understanding these teaching you will not understand what is meant by rendering the binding vasanas non-binding and negating the notion of doership.
Suffering is caused by the non-apprehension of your true nature as awareness and by NOT following dharma. If Manolo does not follow dharma, Manolo will suffer. Following dharma means doing whatever does not cause injury to you or any part of life. When you understand your true nature as awareness you respect and love ALL life because you know that it is all you: you would not harm yourself or anyone else because you see everything as non-different from you. Only when you truly understand what your true nature is can you honour and respect yourself and all life.
Manolo: The next person’s [reincarnated] life does not depend of what Manolo did in his life. I’m the self so I kill myself and it’s okay.
Sundari: Who or what is the next person? Why are you so hung up on that idea? There is no proof that there is such a thing as the next life or the next person; why not concentrate on what makes you happy in this life, which is doing what is right for Manolo? The only thing that brings lasting happiness is knowing that your true nature is awareness, that everything arises out of you but you are free of everything because you depend on nothing to exist or to be happy. All objects depend on you to exist and the joy comes from you. So you cannot gain anything AND you can never lose anything because YOU are everything and you are eternal! What is there to lose or to hold onto if it is all YOU? When you understand this, what does it matter if there is such a thing as reincarnation or not?
There is reincarnation if you take yourself to be the person identified with their vasanas but it does not mean that you as a particular person reincarnates. All this means is that ignorance reincarnates, not the person. Whether the next person has a better life or not because of what Manolo did or did not do in this life still does not mean that ignorance has been removed. The next person with Manolo’s vasanas will still be ignorant of their true nature and unless Manolo actualises self-knowledge in this life, there is no freedom. When you do actualise self-knowledge it does not matter what happens in this life or the next life because you know that none of it is real. That’s all there is to the subject.
Manolo: I really want to know all this but I don’t want to fall into dogma, even if Vedanta is the Truth as you say. Feeling that I’m the self is no guarantee of knowing everything; an enlightened person can be wrong about his ideas.
Sundari: Only the ego wants guarantees because it is afraid of its own demise. Vedanta is not dogma and it is not a belief system; it offers no guarantees and makes no false promises. If the mind is qualified and you are prepared to subject it to self-inquiry with great dedication and commitment, self-knowledge will do the work of removing ignorance. But there is no magic formula and there is no way around you doing the work. Ignorance is hardwired and VERY resistant; a strong desire to be free is necessary to go the distance; that is one of the most importance qualifications.
I keep telling you this. Vedanta is the science of consciousness: it is a proven methodology for understanding the true nature of reality as a non-duality based on the unexamined logic of your own experience. Yes, it is true that Vedanta is counterintuitive because maya or ignorance makes it look like what is only apparently real is actually real, meaning that maya makes duality seem real. This is the cause of all suffering, taking duality to be reality – like the mirage on the desert floor – it seems real, but if you try to drink the water – you will die of thirst.
Vedanta is not the idea of an enlightened person because what Vedanta is saying is that the person is not real; so there is no such thing as an enlightened person. There are only beings who know their true nature to be awareness–the light – and are no longer under the spell of ignorance. Such people do not have opinions or beliefs because they understand the true nature of reality. Belief or opinions can be wrong because they are based on subjective truth or knowledge.
Self-knowledge is always true because it is true to the self; meaning it cannot be dismissed or negated by any other knowledge. Self-knowledge is different from knowledge of objects, which is object-based, not subject-based. Knowledge of objects is not knowledge unless it is true to the object. If it is my knowledge, then it is my interpretation of an object, which is not necessarily knowledge. Ignorance (or my point of view) causes me to see or experience objects in a certain way because of my conditioning. People believe that ignorance is knowledge because they believe that what they experience is knowledge. It may be knowledge, but it may not be.
Self-knowledge depends on the nature of the self, not on knowledge gained through personal experience, meaning through object-knowledge. Self-knowledge is based on irrefutable logic which is why we call it the science of consciousness. On the basis of self-knowledge the individual can retain or reject the knowledge gained through his or her personal experience.
Vedanta is not my teaching and it is not anyone’s teaching. It is an objective and scientific analysis of the true nature of reality – and your experience – based on the facts. Like any other science, it is not personal and it has a methodology – which, if followed with great dedication and commitment, will provide irrefutable knowledge that is moksa, if the student is qualified. Vedanta is simply the truth about you. Not your truth or my truth or anyone’s truth: it is The Truth about the true nature of reality.
This is why Vedanta is called apauruseya jnanam, meaning not the philosophy or experience of one person like a prophet or a mystic. It is not a belief system or religion either. It is an independent teaching or sruti, which means that which is heard. Vedanta is revealed to the mind of man, not thought up by the mind of man, which is why you can trust it.
I do not believe in Vedanta. I am Vedanta because Vedanta means self-knowledge. I know that I am awareness and not the Isabella-person. I am free of bondage to the idea of being a person – which means I honour, worship and love myself and all of life, including the Isabella-person. I am whole and complete, I need nothing to complete me, so I can give and receive without fear. I live, love and laugh because the flame of self-knowledge burns like the brightest sun in my mind. Life is a gift, priceless beyond words, and I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to experience being awake in the dream. I revel in the glory of life knowing that I was never born and I never die.
I know this is hard to grasp, Manolo. Without proper teaching, negating the person sounds like it makes life empty and meaningless but I assure you, quite the opposite is true. This is because you, awareness, are the fullness that knows the emptiness of objects – you are that which gives meaning to everything. Manolo and his life have meaning because you are awareness, not because of anything else.
Manolo is beautiful, life is beautiful. Be grateful.
I have made some changes to the last email I sent you and attached it. Read it all carefully before you reply so quickly again. Please follow the instructions I have given you if you want to be taught as you are not qualified. I can help you develop the qualifications but you first need to do some work or I can’t teach you.
You are a very kind and beautiful soul, and I wish you only the very best.
~ Much love to you, Sundari