Saguna Bhakti

“There is a definite identity between the objects in the field and you [awareness], and the discovery of that identity is called bhakti, or love.”

- James Swartz

(Saguna Bhakti = Loving the Self with form)

There is No Life "Out There"

John Levy was teacher of Vedanta and a disciple of Sri Atmananda Krishna Menon. James occasionally mentions a book of Levy’s called “The Nature of Man According to the Vedanta” (1956). Levy sees the entire problem of suffering as being one of “I” identifying mistakenly with a body. Here is an interesting quote from the book, where Levy explains why we see bodies as “alive,” when actually they are inert matter, and insentient:

“The senses as such meet solely with insentient matter; and the principle of life and consciousness can never be the objects of perception; ….the habit of attributing life to bodies goes hand in hand with extroversion [objectification]; and the notion of a living organism is nothing but an objectification of the principle of life [consciousness] in terms of the senses.”

Levy is saying that the senses turn consciousness into what they call “life,” by projecting onto insentient matter, as part of their seeing consciousness as “out there.” There is no life “out there.” There are no bodies that have “life.” Bodies are not alive; they are inert and insentient. The only life there is is you, consciousness.

Where's the Pizazz?

“Early in my interviews with Dipa Ma, I once said, ‘When I try to imagine the enlightened state, it seems kind of gray and dull to me. Once you’ve extinguished all the desire, anger, and passion, where’s the juice? Where’s the pizazz?’...

turtle crossed arms
“As soon as Dipa translated my question, her mother broke out laughing. ‘Oh, you don’t understand! Life was dull and boring before. Always the same routine, nothing new. Once you get rid of all that stale stuff you’ve been carrying around, every moment is fresh and new, interesting and alive. Now everything has zest and taste. No two moments are ever the same’.”

- Jack Engler