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The Final Final Final Knowledge
Annette: Hello, Ramji!
I have been listening to your Panchadasi from Tiruvannamali for the last few weeks and all I can say is WOW. This is your best series yet. Panchadasi is an amazing text – I didn’t know! It covers everything and then some. I think it may be my favorite text. Then again, the listener has changed, so who knows! Ha, ha, ha, ha! But honestly, James, I thought you were beyond fantastic before but now your teaching is reaching even higher levels and it’s just wonderful. Your chanting as well! I am impressed with the clarity with which you now belt out the brahmanandam chant. It is wonderful!
Ramji: It is as wonderful as your own mind, Annette. Nonetheless, appreciation is much appreciated. It is quite funny that when you step off the Vedanta bus you are still on it. ☺
Annette: Do you remember after I met you in Portland that I promised to write a piece about how Neo-Advaita had failed me? And then I never wrote it? Well, I knew there would be a time when all of that had been assimilated and I would be ready to talk about it, and that time is now. I’m putting my website back up, and the piece I wrote for the home page turned out to be exactly that. The thing that makes my story interesting is how I hit a dead end with the Neo teachings, found you through grace, applied myself obsessively to Vedanta for two or three years and that finished the job. So now it’s really clear to me what was missing in the “popular” non-dual teachings and I want to tell people about it.
I have a pretty good-sized list of contacts from when the website was up before, and they’re all Neos who were frustrated! And probably still are! They really don’t know where I’ve been all these years, so it will be fun to give them the “what happened” part. I did leave a pointer to your website up for a few months, years ago, before I took the website down completely, and some people have written to thank me for that. But now I’m going to have a whole page just devoted to you, your website and resources. So I’m sure you will get some new traffic that way, and all I can say is, lucky them!
Ramji: This is so cool, Annette. There are so many good people out there stuck in confusion. It is an act of kindness to show them a way out. I got an email yesterday from someone in Northern California who suggested that the bloom is off the Neo rose. Is that your opinion too? I always contended that it was just a fad. But some fads have staying power – like hippiedom.
Annette: I’m not going to purport to be a teacher of Vedanta – that’s why all the links to you and my recommendation that people seek you out – but I do think I can write intelligently about it now. I will be writing some things about the “old” terminology I heard so much of in Neo-Advaita, and maybe I can clear up some of that confusion. I also think I am equipped to answer questions people may have, so I’ll do that and post those as well. I’m sure I’ll get a lot of argument – at least I hope so, ha, ha, ha, ha – about this being “intellectual” and “not intended to be taught” – and all of this will be fun to respond to. It will deepen my love of Vedanta. That is actually the reason I want to write about Vedanta – I want to spend more time with my Love!
Ramji: It is obviously meant to be. You are very articulate, and the knowledge is settled and there are many ways to teach, not that anyone but Isvara is teaching. So sharing what you know in this spirit is just great. Vedanta is so excellent because it gets the teacher off the hook. You don’t have to take responsibility for anything except to dispassionately present the knowledge in a loving way.
Annette: The final final knowing was not complete until really pretty recently, I’d say within the last two months. From the time I had an “aha” moment with you in Portland it still took years of hearing the teaching for all that to bubble through the layers of ignorance and reeducate the whole branching network of conditioned beliefs. But persistence, constant discrimination and refusal to be lulled by any sattvic “state” finally led to the truth, and now I am just me! How simple is that!
Ramji: Yes, indeed. Grace is earned, Annette. You persevered and you were rewarded in spades. I am so happy for you. I don’t believe there will be a final final final knowing but if there is you will survive it. ☺ If doubts arise just recognize them as doubts – no need to associate them with you, awareness. If you understand that a doubt is just peculiar kind of thought object appearing in you, an effect of an ignorance that no longer obtains, you do not even have to address it and think there is something wrong with your knowledge.
Annette: I don’t have to be enlightened. I am the knower of every thought that presents itself to me whether it be knowledge or ignorance. A lot of people believe that they have to root out every last speck of ignorance but it is not true. You only need to know what ignorance is and what knowledge is. They are both objects known to me. It is only when you don’t know the difference that there is still work to be done.
I heard you say in Panchadasi that the desire of the guru for the disciples to be enlightened is fulfilled automatically by Isvara because the guru has nothing of himself standing in the way of that fulfillment. I don’t know if I got that right.
Ramji: Yes, moksa is Isvara’s will because it is the nature of Isvara. So a person who aligns his or her will with Isvara is Isvara, and their words have an inevitable result. Nothing that a mahatma says is every wasted.
Annete: But I take it to mean that your liberation and your love of your disciples was instrumental in my liberation, just in the fact that you wanted that for me. It makes me choke up a little to think of that. It makes me so grateful to you and to your guru and your guru’s guru, etc. What a great blessing. Thank you for wanting that for me.
Ramji: Yes, I feel the same way toward the sampradaya. It is completely justified. It saved my bacon. Jesus does love us. ☺ I immediately recognized your mumukshutva and I could see that it was not piddling or middling but burning. So it was really easy to teach you. In fact you did all the work. I was just me, croaking out the teachings.
Annette: I’m glad to see you’re going to be in the States this summer. I’m sure I’ll come track you down somewhere, maybe in Portland for the Panchadasi, or maybe we can catch each other while you’re in Berkeley, even if it’s just for a hug. Meanwhile, I’ll send you a link in the next few weeks when my site goes live, and let’s stay in touch.
Ramji: I would like that very much, Annette. Yes, send me the link. I will mention it in the next newsletter and at the website.
Annette: I love you with all my heart, Ramji.
Ramji: Ditto, Annette.
Annette’s website is WhatNeverChanges.com.