Do you like spinach?
Let’s say that you don’t like spinach. Could you then say that “I am a person who doesn’t like spinach?”
Before reading on, try responding to this question.
OK, have you thought about the question? Hopefully you have.
Let’s say you responded by saying, “Yes, I am a person who doesn’t like spinach.” That’s an affirmative remark, which appears to be crystal clear.
While it is clear, is it true?
Let’s go over to our Advaita Expert and ask him if this remark, “I am a person who doesn’t like spinach” is true.
What does our Guru have to say on the matter? Let’s ask him.
Dear Guru, is it true that this is a person who doesn’t like spinach?
Our Guru reports, “No that is not a true statement. It is patently false.”
Could you please explain oh holy one.
Our beloved Guru says, “It may be true that this body does not like spinach, but the body is not the person. The body is an object of awareness. It cannot be the person.”
Please say more O All Seeing One we ask.
“The liking, disliking, or neutral position on spinach is something seen within awareness. One day the body may come upon spinach that it enjoys, for the body changes, but the light of awareness never changes. So if the body that didn’t like spinach becomes the body that now enjoys spinach, it is all seen within awareness. Awareness is that which endures in a universe of change.
People claim to see truth in that which does not endure, thus their projected self do not endure, but the Guru sees truth in that which is without limit, without definition, without change. It is that which sees but has no seer. It sees both enjoyment and its absence in this matter of spinach – and it delights in both.”
Can we say, Holy One Without Peer, that we can apply this teaching on the matter of spinach to all thoughts, feelings, and preferences of the body? Could we say that we are not our greatest elation, as in the finding of the enlightened self, or our greatest sadness, when we might ponder our own bodily end?
“Yes” says the Guru, before taking his leave to have a bowl of spinach, for the body of this Guru does indeed loves spinach. But before taking his leave, he smiles and with a twinkle in his eye, says to us, “particularly in this matter of ‘enlightenment’, that is of the emotions and is of the body. The experience is, essentially, no different from the body’s enjoyment of spinach.
Now I must go, for this body does indeed yearn for spinach. Is that need any different from any other bodily need. For do I decide when to pass water? Of course not. Obviously the concept of an independent decider is quite absurd. See that and be free of that burden of thought and the illusion of choice.
And please also see that no one ‘does’ awareness. That too happens without choice.”
And with that loving reminder, our Guru (better known as ourselves – you and me) – went off to enjoy his bowl of spinach – or maybe it was a hamburger. I can’t quite remember.