The Person is Not Real, But The Experience Is

Q: Yesterday I was listening to a lecture by Alan Watts. It goes along with what Tony Parsons says in his Open Secret. There is no me who can do anything to understand. If understanding happens, then you understand. Everything is spontaneous happening. Can I accept that J[---] does not exist? Can I surrender to my helplessness? It's a movie that I am witnessing.

Not grasping because there is nothing to grasp. Let go. Relax and release. These exhortations are pointless. What moves the world is something else, poetic name is divine will. If you experience fear, then is it personal ...Result of some inadequacy.

Non-dual view is there is no person. No person who can “do” anything. All attempt to grasp is futile. But if I do not exist in a substantial way then this attempt is not real and only apparent.

I have tied myself in knots. Please help.

A: I feel for you because this is a horrible place to be, tied in knots, as you say. I really don't have any way to explain this succinctly, but look at the flaw in your logic that shows up right away in your statement: "If understanding happens, then you understand." What is the "you" that you are referring to here? It's not awareness, which needs no understanding. So you must be referring to some limited idea appearing in awareness, that you have taken up identification with mistakenly. You have "forgotten," so to speak, that you have no limitations and are infinite consciousness.

I hate to say this, but you are stuck and will always be...UNLESS you stop denying the experience of a separate you which believes it needs further understanding. Look, are you satisfied at this point in your journey? I can say that you are not, or you wouldn't still be asking questions. The knowledge puts all the questions to rest, totally.

So since you are not satisfied, that means you have not cleared things up. I'm going to recommend
Vedanta for clearing these things up. Or, listen to Rupert Spira instead of Tony Parsons. Tony just isn't helpful. A compassionate teaching makes certain necessary concessions to duality, for the sake of the "one" who believes himself a person who needs something, and it gives that imaginary person the means to free himself from the false beliefs. Tony gives you no such means. I'm not saying that he is incorrect, I'm just saying that what he says isn't helpful. He is denying the existence of the one who feels tied in knots, and that's the one who needs to be gently held by the hand and guided through the logic, so that he can drop the false idea that he is that separate one.

I would start with Swami Sarvapriyananda, Aparokshanubhuti. Yes, it's about 44 long lessons on YouTube. It's long. But what else have you got to do that's more important? Just listen. You can reject it if you want. But honestly, just quit going around and around in this impossible trap you have yourself in. It's only denial of the existence (appearance) of a separate you that is keeping you tied in knots. And I'm telling you right now, you will never get out of your knots until you acknowledge that you believe in someone who is tied in knots. That's the one who needs to be educated. When you clear this up, THEN the separate self is seen to be non-existent. But you have to do this in logical order. It has to be presented skillfully.

At the same time as the separate self is being dismantled, the non-objective picture of your true nature is pointed to more and more, and it grows in the mind of the person. Eventually, gradually, the true nature takes over. But it's essential to have both sides – the direct pointing, AND the dismantling.

You'll find the
link to Aparokshanubhuti on my website. Good luck and keep me posted.