Self “Sees” Everything As Itself

INQUIRER:

I see emotions and thoughts arising within me (Self; ātmā).

I see the apparent world (including the body) appearing in me, and everything is just pure-being.

There isn't even a subject or object.

There’s no actual person living separately. It’s such a wonderful feeling to acknowledge this… until doubt arise again in my mind.

RESPONSE:

A term called samadhi is being spoken of.

What is samādhi? Equanimity (sama) of the intellect (buddhi). In short; non-dual vision.  

Meaning the intellect is locked onto knowledge that's true to the FINAL REALITY (sat-cit; Existence-Awareness).

Put another way, the intellect has taken the form of knowledge that accurately represents the ever-present non-dual reality.

Notice how doubt immediately ceases the samadhi.

What is a doubt? A samskara (past impression).

That's why mind purification is crucial in Vedanta. To clear out the compromising samskaras. Else the non-dual vision can't stick, and one will become frustrated with themselves.

INQUIRER:

Since the Self (ātmā) can’t know objects without the use of the mind (reflecting medium which bounces back all experiences “back” to ātmā)  — when we say “there is emotion arising”, could we rephrase that as…

The Self (one non-dual reality) is appearing as the mind which further has capacity to know about emotions/thoughts arising within it (which are also modifications of this one non-dual reality).

RESPONSE:

Initially, this is a valid model. However it's strictly incorrect. Because the rephrasing implies existence of two selves; the self (knower), and the mind (knower).

The mind is the instrument by means of which the self (ātṃā) knows objects (anātmā).  

At the same time, the CONTENT of the mind, and the mind itself — is nothing but the self.

Though the self (the watcher; sakshi) is always free of the mind.

Think of it this way…

Imagine the clay is Awareness; the watcher.

And the pot, which has ability to constantly reshape itself — is the mind (thoughts/emotions/memories).

Is the pot away from clay? No.

Is there such thing as pot? No. It's just clay (Awareness) temporarily assuming shape of a pot (mind).

Remember, there's no such thing as “mind”, “body”, and hundreds of terms in Vedanta. They're used for self-inquiry purposes (since mind needs concrete concepts to think about).

Finally, after all it's inquiry, mind should arrive to a conclusion that even self-enquiry is another pot (whose content is clay; Self).

Ultimately, the Self is seeing only itself. Just as clay is only seeing itself, whether it's a clay-pot, or a clay-spoon.

INQUIRER:

Or perhaps the Self CAN see an emotion (like anger) without mind.

RESPONSE:

Incorrect.  As stated earlier, the self “sees” or “knows” anger through the mind.  

The self does require the intellect in order to know objects as objects.  Thanks to the mind, the self can see itself in apparently different names-forms.

INQUIRER:

Why does the Self need to “reflect itself” via the body/mind in order to know itself as limitless, non-dual Existence-Awareness?

RESPONSE:

The self doesn’t need to reflect itself in order to “realize” or “know” itself.  

The self already knows itself by virtue of being itself.  

The realization (liberation; moksha) is solely for the apparent individual (jiva) via the intellect.  

In other words, in order for the jiva to understand his/her true identity — he/she needs to “see” the reflection of limitless existence-awareness in the intellect.

There is actually no reason why the self (atman) needs this little drama of awakening to occur within its being.

It just happens as a result of the conditioning influence of maya — which is ironically a power inherent in the self.  

Simply put, it is the way it is, and can't be any other way. Because if it was a different way, one could ask “Why isn't it another way?”. Thus the question would never end. The “Greatest Story Ever Told” has to be SOME WAY.

INQUIRER:

Since the epiphany (as described start of the message) where I realized I was NOT the emotion — but the emotion was merely arising in Me — it seemed as though the mind was “known TO me”.

But then the realization that objects can only be known VIA the mind created confusion.

RESPONSE:

The mind is known TO you (self) from the standpoint of the jiva — through which you (self) are viewing the apparent reality.

Furthermore, since the content of the mind is nothing but the self (just as content of pot is clay) — the mind too is known to be the Self, through the means of the mind.

Put another way: From the jiva's standpoint — the mind is seen as an object arising within existence-awareness (sat-cit) which you know yourself to be by means of having “seen” its reflection in your intellect.  

Seen your reflection how? As self-evident existence-awareness (sat-cit).

Whereas from the standpoint of sat-cit, the mind is not known as an object.  Though its “form” may appear as an object, its essential nature is known as sat-cit (just as content of pot is clay).  

Another way put: Mind’s essential existence is “seen” / understood / known / recognized as your own essential existence.  In other words, existence “knows” its own existence, being, “is-ness.”

INQUIRER:

What is role of the Self in relation to the body-mind?

RESPONSE:

The self (atman) doesn’t have a role in relation to the body-mind.  

The self isn’t something that interacts with the body-mind.  

The self is simply the “light” that illumines the body-mind, or the awareness in which the body/mind appears.  

Again, you (awareness), doesn’t know the body-mind as the  jiva knows objects.  You (awareness) are simply the very existence, being, “is-ness” of the body-mind.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *