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The Eye of the Eye
Joe: Dear James, it’s been a while, and I felt like writing to you this beautiful morning. Aside from your book and I Am That, which I’ve been reading very carefully almost every day for a long time, there is no “spiritual side” to life these days other than the beauty of daily living. I’m busy making a living and building a couple of small businesses to support myself and our coming child. I work and live with ordinary “non-spiritual” people mostly, but don’t feel that even that is a problem anymore. There is a longing sometimes though, to be able to talk about spiritual things with people. It seems to be extremely rare that anybody is even interested in this type of thing.
The problems of physical anxiety and stress symptoms have become much better, though they are still there to some extent. I can see that they are related to deep old fears and unacknowledged emotion in the body, that’s moving under the surface. I have good hopes that all this is about to resolve by itself as time goes by. The concept of tamas, rajas and sattva has been clearing out many many things. My God, our whole society is based on rajas! (and then tamas… back and forth).
James: Yes, the guna model is excellent. It makes it very clear what is going on.
Joe: I just want to say that reading your book is changing my life. It is also shedding new light on Nisargadatta’s book. I’m somehow deeply in love with his work, but your book definitely lays down a foundation that I don’t find in I Am That. I am sitting watching myself whenever I have the time, and I’m starting to see clearly this impersonal Being. It’s going on all the time without “my” involvement. It “is” always. I can’t even express what it’s like, its just like the “ever-present” space that is the basis for all that we call life. We are playing hide-and-seek in it, almost like pretending being blind to it.
James: I am so glad that Vedanta is working for you, Joe. Nisagadatta was a realized person but he had no actual teaching. He just had one idea, an idea that set him free. That works for very committed, dispassionate souls, but most people need more. They need to understand the big picture and have a lot of tools to work with.
Joe: I remember as a young kid thinking about these things: “Yes, I have ears, eyes, a nose etc. but there must be something ‘behind’ them that is the receiver or the ‘enjoyer’ of them, or they would be useless.” I get a very spooky feeling sometimes, very real, that “I am all there is,” that the “space” outside that I’m used to think of as “the world” is actually myself. This comes almost as a great shock to the system but it subsides within minutes/seconds, then is forgotten.
James: There is an Upanishad, Kena, that reveals the self as “the eye of the eye, the ear of the ear…” This is so cool, Joe. You are on the right path.
Joe: It seems I’m able to understand now that whatever happens, or is experienced, is not the self. But I can’t really seem to get a grip on what the self actually is, and I don’t feel that I know that I am it.
James: It is you, the simple, ordinary awareness that is watching Joe read these words. You can’t “get a grip on it,” because it is not experienciable as an object. It is just you. You are aware. It is your awareness, minus the thoughts and feelings that appear in it. It is very simple.
Joe: Well, lets see what happens, even though whatever happens is not the self. ☺
I truly appreciate you, James, I’m very thankful for what you are doing.
James: You are most welcome, Joe. Much love to you.