Shining World

BigBoy Pants

Dear James

I know both you and Sundari are so busy with Shiningworld and students and I should not be writing you so often but I can not seem to help myself because you are both in my heart so much. This is particularly true at this time, even this whole past year, with what Ishvara has been putting our family through. 

Anyway, I happened to see you in the trailer “Mystic By Default with Swami Chinmayananda” done six years ago and thoroughly enjoyed seeing and listening to you. I haven’t watched you for months, so it was nice. It seems to me that much has been happening around you and the Shiningworld website. I think you have a good team around you. Sundari is even more amazing than I’d thought.

However, small talk aside (I hear your voice) I need a little slap in the head James, so I’m writing you rather than Sundari. She’s much too kind. 

Two things, first some reassurance that I’m staying true to the teaching and then a question that arose from something you wrote in your book “How to Attain Enlightenment”, (which by the way, I love, particularly the first and twelfth chapters, actually all the chapters),  this morning that set “me” on my heels.

On the matter of asking for some reassurance, I had just written in my journal earlier in the morning the following: The Self, non-dual limitless, consciously aware existence does not occupy space because space or the idea of space depends on conscious awareness. The universe is the creation of Ishvara which provides the mirror, the means for the Self to (see) reflect its Self to its Self, with the reflection in the polished mirror being the jivan mukta, atman.

That understanding arises from my questioning as to why is there an (apparent) jiva and an apparent universe since I understand the Self,  being non-dual and without the instruments of knowing, not being a knower of “any thing”. Your comments please.

Second, just when I was sailing along thinking I was pretty firm in my understanding of the teaching and was experiencing the fruit, (with the ego sneaking in of course), you wrote under the chapter on meditation page 249, that the soul undergoes evolution.

Could you clarify as I am not sure what is meant by the use of the word soul and the use of the word evolution?

Thank you James and again forgive me for wanting to keep in touch.


James:  You are one of the most exasperating people I know.   We have been through this issue many times in the last few years and you know that it’s not cool to revisit it so why do you want me to scold you again?  It’s not my job to reassure you.   Put on your big boy pants, if you have any, and do proper sadhana.  A teacher is only a temporary psychological aid.  Maybe personal bhakti works for you but what about me?  If I have to hold the hands of every Tom, Dick and Mary, when to I get to do my duty to myself?  Faith pending the application of the teaching is the guru.  Thousands of people listen to ShiningWorld’s offerings and nearly everbody plays by the rules, except you.  How does this letter endear me to you?

You don’t attend the Sunday satsang.  You don’t donate for your own good or the good of the world.  You obviously haven’t retained even the most rudimentary information from my books and videos and you seem to think that it is my job to answer the most elementary questions. 

I’m not your personal guru.  The people I serve personally are sensitive, sincere, classy people who appreciate me and who actively support our mission to disseminate non-dual wisdom for the benefit of the world. 

You may write with a serious question after you have attended the Sunday satsang for one year, make a recurring monthly donation of $25 for one year, and generally show some kind of appreciation for my situation assuming I’m still alive, which is anybody’s guess.  You don’t even know that I’m in New York waiting for a second surgical procedure this month!  If you’re sailing along with Vedanta, I wonder what kind of Vedanta you’re talking about.  You know who got the message and corrected himself on the basis of one short friendly conversation.  Please do the same.

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