Shining World

Do the Knowledge or Be the Knowledge?

Samuel:  I have gone through a period of inner upheaval and intense resistance to keeping up my practice of pratipaksha bhavana, which has been such a source of freedom, joy, and well-being. Intense resistance, frustration, inertia. Meanwhile I am still telling other people it is the best thing they can possibly do for themselves, while I am not doing it myself! Sticking with what you know works for you is a tough thing to do.

Sundari: I am sorry to hear that you are still going through a bit of a tough time internally. With everyone’s emotional bandwidth currently tapped out by world affairs beyond their control, it is not surprising you are more stressed.  Though I don’t get that it is your jiva life per se that is troubling you. You seem to take care of your jiva karma and humbly do what needs to be done. I think the problem is very subtle, and very common with long time inquirers like yourself. 

There comes a time when practicing the knowledge no longer works its magic because it’s time to move beyond it.  The point is, are you doing the knowledge or are you the knowledge?  Vedanta is not about accumulating or perfecting the knowledge, or any practice as such, because for the Self, knowledge, even Self-knowledge is an object known to you.

No amount of ‘doing’ is going to correct this or get you out of your rut. The toughest part of inquiry is when you give it all up and live as the Self, no fine print.  At this point there are no rules for you or things you should or should not be doing, applying, or inquiring into. There is no nididhysana for the Self.  How can there be? You are the knowledge because you are the Self, period. You follow dharma without default, but the jiva is free to be what it is, without censure. 

Take this statement from your email:

Samuel: ‘I just wrote to a friend: “The austerity of fullness and the light of a thousand suns with which it shines is strangely both the answer to our deepest longing as well as almost impossible to bear.” 

Sundari: What are you talking about here? And more importantly, is this the Self speaking or the jiva speaking about the Self? There is no austerity for the Self and nothing to renounce because it is all there is. Even the renouncer has been renounced. This sounds like the Buddhist concept of shunya, emptiness. But you are the fullness that knows the emptiness, the austerity. And for the Self, there can be no longing because you are what you seek. 

It sounds to me that there is still a subtle and unconscious thought which believes the Self is an impossible object to obtain. If you are longing for the Self, you will never find it.  And if you are not, there is nothing to bear, unless you call the pure lightness of being Awareness a burden. What is perhaps the hardest burden to bear for the jiva is freedom from all burdens.  It just seems out of reach, too much to expect.  But it is the deepest truth about you and always has been.

Samuel: I guess dear Sundari the message is always the same – it takes work and an unusual depth of longing to be free to pierce the many layers of misconception we carry within us. More Zazen! as a good friend used to tell me.’

Sundari: This is true for most inquirers, up to a point. But for someone who has been on the path for so long and has all the knowledge, like you do, there is no more work because there is no doer. What is lacking is full acceptance of who you are and, full appreciation and love for who Samuel is and is not. Maybe the hardest thing for you is to give up being an inquirer. To throw Vedanta away, cut the lifeline. 

Knowledge is meant to remove ignorance, that is all! When you have the knowledge, the knowledge must disappear.  If the knowledge remains you have the knowledge, but you also still have ignorance. Freedom is the absence of ignorance not the gaining of knowledge.  It is freedom from the knower of knowledge. It is BEING the knowing not knowing the knower. Existence shining as Awareness. No maintenance is required. Hanging on to the knowledge is hanging on to Harry, keeping the doer, seeker, knower, ignorance alive.

You have always had a tendency to be very hard on yourself, an ingrained pattern from childhood, and a remnant of the low self-esteem that enslaved you to Andrew. But Vedanta does not want your servitude.  It totally rejects it. All it wants is for you to assimilate its main precept: ‘I AM whole and complete, unchanging, ever-present, non-dual Awareness.’ Stop wasting your time trying so hard to do things right, to perfect Samuel, it will never set you free of him. Why not relax, take it easy, give him a pass, and try something really simple like accepting him the way he is, without censuring him, sending him off to school or putting him in the corner for whatever perceived failure? It’s about time you love him unconditionally.

James is teaching this very topic in his recent seminars at Suryallila on Ramana’s Sat Darshanam.  I think you will benefit greatly from reading the document I attached.  He wrote it for the many inquirers who are stuck and depressed at this point, like yourself, and cannot figure out why. I have also attached a link to a recent satsang he wrote on this topic.  I hope it helps.

All you need to ‘do’ is contemplate on the point I presented to you, from Isvara. If you assimilate it, you will be free of Harry.  If not, not and you will remain stuck in our spiritual story.

It is your last step. Give up the knowledge, forget what you know and BE who you are.

Take the plunge. Time to graduate. No problem with doing if you know you are not the doer.  It’s how and why you do anything. So its graduation from the doer by BEING the knowing not knowing the knower. It’s the end of knowledge and ignorance.

Sending you much love, Sundari

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