Shining World

Brain Fade – The End is the Beginning

Hi James,

I can’t tell if the writing is more polished or if my understanding is clearer.  It comes across as a very a coherent teaching that I didn’t recognize in the earlier editions.  I have no further comments regarding things that are unclear or should be changed.

If this has been a learning experience for you, it has been for me as well because it has forced me to discover the Vedanta within the story.  Perhaps my clarity regarding the vison of Vedanta is improving as a result.

I’m a slow reader and find that each time I pick up my reading after any layoff, that it’s helpful to go back a few pages and go over the material again.  I haven’t done that with your story in the past, but have been forced to do so with each successive iteration you sent for review.  These successive iterations along with the refection on what you’re driving at in the story has helped clear up my understanding, I think.

I’m still barely half way through “Inquiry into Existence” because I have repeatedly gone back to go over material I’ve read earlier, and in fact, at one point, I backed up 100 pages and started all over again.  It’s amazing that each time I read it, I have different and sometimes new insights.  Almost like I’ve never seen it before.  Maybe my brain is fading out as I age as I’ve noticed this phenomenon also occurring with movies I’ve seen before.  My wife and I watch a movie almost every night and it has happened more than just a few times that we didn’t know we’ve seen it before until sometime in the middle of the movie.  It’s like its brand new!  So, I feel like I have a lifetime of “band new” Vedanta reading in all the books I have that you’ve written.

I just received your “Road Map to Enlightenment” the other day and immediately took it up and started reading with apt fascination.  What a great book!  I got as far as page 17 where you reference an interview that first appeared in your “How to Attain Enlightenment” book.  I haven’t gotten around to reading that book because I read the “Essence of Enlightenment’ book first, but I was drawn to read the interview about Ramana’s teachings as it promised to provide a more comprehensive understanding of Samadhis.  Wow, that interview is a complete teaching in itself!  It’s so good that it left me wondering why it wasn’t included in the Essence of Enlightenment, and for that matter, also in Existence Shinning as Awareness.  I haven’t gotten around to Sat Darshanam, for the reasons already stated, but see that that your interview about Ramana’s teaching should fit in nicely as an appendix to that book.

In conclusion, you appear to be on a roll with the latest verion of The Wall and all I could say it to: “Keep up the good work.”

Thanks for the preview, and also for the Road Map to Enlightenment.  Good stuff!

James:  One of the disciplines involved in scripture study is a simple ritual that acknowledges the power of Vedanta to transform your understanding.  When you come to the end of a text you aren’t at the end until you go back and read the first verse!  Meaning the study never ends because each iteration increases your self love, which is called non-dual bhakti, in so far as you are taking care of what you love the most, the Self.

The senior moment metaphor, which I also share with you and many others, is a good symbol of the freshness of Vedanta.  Viewed from the level of a jiva there is always an unknown and Vedanta makes that unknown known, over and over.  So the discoveries are really re-discoveries, which are a great delight.  As Isvara says, “I remember and forget.”  That’s the set-up.  At the same time there is no remembering and forgetting for you, the one who knows what you know and knows what you don’t.  So it’s all good. 

Thanks a lot for helping me work out this writing issue.  I’m getting the same message from others so I can proceed.  You will see the whole teaching laid out in this format by the end.  It’s a lot more work but it’s good to keep the mind active.  I just posted a satsang called The Body is Actually the Mind which points out that what the medical profession describes as brain atrophy is actually mind atrophy.  This is not to say the pranas don’t slowly pack up as one’s prarabdha winds down, but the pranas are part of the suksma sariria, the mind.  You can argue that this distinction is hair-splitting i.e. just semantics and it is, but everything we experience is just words aka thoughts appearing in the mind.  So the words are very important in so far as they make the difference between freedom and bondage.



Your Shopping cart