Question: All this talk about bliss and love is fine, but what has it got to do with me, the evolving I?
Jan: The I is a fiction; it is not you, though you at present think it is you.
Q: You mean the ego? The I is the Self that evolves to enlightenment.
J: No, I mean the I. Understand that the I and the ego are inseperable. The ego is the complex of past and present identities. The I is the identity produced by the identification-
Q: I don't agree. Changing my name has helped me support the evolving consciousness in me and made it easier to integrate Self in my sense of who I am and in my everyday life.
J: Your perspective is wrong. Nothing evolves with respect to getting enlightened. What you call evolution, I call changes in the I based on shifting identification. Your karma brought you to a point in your evolution, where you were sick of your I, and instead of getting enlightened, you decided to replace the old I with a new I. Now to make matters worse, you anchor this misunderstanding in your spirituality by calling the change a step in your progress towards enlightenment. Thus you project a number of steps into the future, that you have to take in order to get enlightened. The problem is, you can go on projecting such steps infinitely and will never get enlightened. You can project such steps infinitely because that is exactly what you have already been doing for countless lifetimes. You are just repeating a good old pattern in the guise of spirituality. I sincerely recommend you give it all up right now.
Q: I know I am not my name, that is commonplace. The point is I evolve towards enlightenment and use as many means as I can to get there and stabilize that evolution.
J: I never meant to imply you think you are your name. I know you somewhat do not. I say somewhat, beacuse though you do not identify with the name as such, you identify with the fiction the name refers to. As for the matter of evolution, I am telling you, you do not evolve towards Self-
Q: Yes, but I at the same time understand enlightenment more and more. That is evolution. I am certainly closer to enlightenment, more Selfrealized, today than I was 30 years ago.
J: No, you are not. Either you are Selfrealized or you are not Selfrealized, there is no in-
Q: Selfimprovement is a prerequisite for enlightenment.
J: Not really. You are not Ganesh. I am not Jan, I don't care much about him anymore, to be honest. Jan is just a shell I live with and I agree that Jan is not a particularly ideal personality. The personality is a body you incarnate in, just like the physical body. Most identify with the physical body, more identify with the personality. So called spiritual people identify with the changing I. The reason you think that an enlightened person must have a nice personality is because you yourself identify with your personality. You think you are "I, Ganesh" and that to become enlightened you must change somehow. That is a fundamentally wrong understanding of enlightenment and it will prevent you from reaching it.
Q: I don't agree with you at all, because the enlightened persons I have met have all had an incredible charm and loving kindness about them. You can't have enlightenment and a problematic personality at the same time. It is a contradiction of terms.
J: Yes, their personality reflects their enlightenment. But where you go wrong is, you think the personality has to change in order to get Selfrealized. You can certainly get Selfrealized while still being a not very nice person; I could, so you can too and so can everybody else. What you observe is that in full enlightenment the personality will change. That is true, but that comes after Self-
Q: I think it should come on the way to Self-
J: No, it's not how it works. I know, because I made it, you are just speculating. Where you go wrong is, you think there is something to uphold. There is not. You are deperately trying to hold on to enlightenment, that is one reason why you are missing it all the time. Furthermore what you hold on to is a fiction about what is essentially fictionless. You are holding on to an illusory idea about what enlightenment is, and you use your bliss experiences during bhajans to confirm that illusion because it makes your ego feel good. Then afterwards you project your fictional norms about what enlightenment is onto others and denigrade their state if it does not fit those norms. Those norms are essentially constructed by your ego to feed itself into the pleasent illusion of progressing towards Self-
Q: I am not holding on to a fiction. I experince true bliss at times, just as you experience bliss. It is experiences of the Self and they are clearly steps towards becomming more and more Selfrealized.
J: What you experience is not the bliss of the Self, it is the bliss of singing bhajans. It is not the same bliss that I am talking about. True, it is a very subtle bliss in the I and personality, that can create a gap through which you may eventually fall into the Self and its bliss for a moment. But by and large your bliss is a state comparable to a state of trance. It is not the stateless. Do you not agree it is a state?
Q: Well, yes, I must admit that. But what I am trying to say is that that state grows more and more in me and that that not only helps realizing the Self, but is a prerequisite for Self-
J: There are no prerequisites for Self-
Q: What do you mean decent?
J: Free of the cardinal sins. You know, decent. You have spiritual greed and that hampers your realization. You want to be a disciple of the enlightened ones, because that feeds your ego. You don't want to be a gnani, because that would destroy the I, that is so proud of itself and its achievments. Please understand: your personality, your ego, will still be there after Self-
Q: I think performing good acts like singing bhajans will generate good karma that furthers enlightenment.
Q: Are you saying good karma is useless?
J: Well, good karma helps become a decent person, so it does help, but once you have become pure, then Self-
Q: What's the difference? If doing good karma after Self-
J: As far as I understand it, you really can't take steps in advance. Well, not as far as i understand things. I'll explain why I believe it is so... Now, the difference is, that before Self-
Q: So what's wrong with getting rid of some ego before Self-
J: The point here is, that if you don't get rid of the identification-
Q: How do you mean, by itself? Don't you have to do any sadhana after Self-
J: After Self-
Q: Painful? I thought Self-
J: At times the pain of the disintegration of the ego is immense; if it was not because you simultaneously developed love-
Q: Could you mention some sadhana, that might be beneficial to do after full Self-
J: You will know when Self-