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The Intermediate Step

Sam Hewinson TEST 12 February 2024

Sage Vasiṣṭha highlights the crucial intermediate step we discussed in the last lesson. The mixture of sincere living of the dualistic life while understanding the nondual state as our lifeline, keeping it close by and frequently accessed.

He says that a wise man may see both the whole truth and the narrow illusion. Rather than being extremely lost in the material world or extremely aloof to it, the middle ground is vital. That way we can keep moving on up without neglecting the personal story we have created. It is possible to see and enjoy both.

Then, when the time is right, we can step into the exclusively non-dual state, kaivalya, without compulsive actions and unmet desires that would lead us into automatic and unthinking rebirth.

“Live as the sages of self-knowledge live. They know both the infinite consciousness and the material world. Hence, they neither relish nor renounce activity in this world.”

Yoga Vasiṣṭha IV.47

As has been stated, we are here for a reason. It was our decision, even if not remembered. Does this sound like gaslighting? Telling someone they chose something when they do not recall doing so. As long as we are made aware of how we can remember it or prove it our ourselves, it is non-toxic.

The regular practice of yoga makes the state of nonduality more common in your life. Sometimes this takes the form of memory of such things as the circumstances of this birth or other births. Sometimes it is clear and specific (if you really need to know you will eventually find out), and sometimes it is more all-encompassing (and more useful).

Anyway. For some people, the play of lila and the unfolding of karma involves running into the forest and abandoning worldly duties. But many would feel that to be an incomplete life. We have a tale to unfold, and the satisfaction of building and maintaining things, then passing them on for others to use, improve, or even destroy is a common narrative in life.

In this we see the purpose of the arts, cultural institutions, and community services provided by governments and others. Here is the real value of industry, beyond feeding our families and securing our retirement.

The beauty of any form and the magnitude of any dividend is but a by-product of something greater. So, let our journeys be exciting and virtuous, and let us direct our passion to the task of seeing the unified whole in addition to the material.

Success is measured by living this life in a way that exemplifies right mindedness – truth, generosity, discernment, playfulness. Such character benefits all those nearby and perhaps those far away. Such behaviour leads to nonduality and away from addiction.