Thanks so much for taking the time out to write me such a detailed, clear, helpful response. I think you pretty much, answered my question.
If I may, I’d like to sum this up one last time, really quick as it helps me a lot when I write things out this way to see things more clearly.
So, basically, I am all pervading, limitless, and free. When mind gets ‘activated’ (waking state), the appearance of a body/mind appear and I, under the delusion of ignorance, take the mind/body complex to me ‘MY’ body/mind complex because I identify with thoughts…..as ‘my thoughts’ and therefore take myself to be a ‘separate’ being.
Then, (which is what seemed to hamper my understanding), since there is no real person, the act of ‘seeking’ merely is a bunch of thoughts produced by the ‘mind/body’ complex (based on ‘Vasanas’), that the Self is taking those thoughts to be MY thoughts as though…. ‘I am the one seeking’, when ultimately the thoughts are just….thoughts being produced by the body/mind mechanism because……..that’s just what the body/mind does. So, the realization itself, is just a ‘thought’ produced by the body/mind which Awareness….sort of….’recognizes’ via the mind….as ‘itself’.
Ted: You’ve got it. However, the fact that the mind-body-sense mechanism is just a machine generating thoughts, and the fact that you, awareness, only seem to be an individual person when you identify with those thoughts is not to say that those thoughts are meaningless. Given the way the dharma-field — i.e. the manifested apparent reality — is set up, so to speak, the thoughts registering in the intellect are the only means by which you, awareness, can eradicate your identification with the apparent individual entity. It is as if you wielded a magic spell of ignorance upon yourself in order to pretend you are an individual person and programmed the mind-body-sense mechanism to generate thoughts and emotions that would help it navigate within the apparent reality. Part of the program, however, included the thoughts that would eventually remind you, awareness, through the mind-body-sense mechanism, of your true identity — which you only apparently forgot in the first place — and break your identification with the pseudo-self or apparent individual person. In terms of another analogy, it is as if you set an alarm clock made of words/thoughts that would awaken you from the dream of duality, though it always bears repeating that you never actually forgot yourself in the first place. The words only apparently awaken awareness, for awareness never actually slept. Just as a kid assuming the role of an avatar in a video game does not forget his true identity as a person no matter how enthralled he becomes with playing his character within the context of the game, so you, awareness, never forgot who you were despite your identification with the character referred to as Mitch.
The point is that while it is true that thoughts and emotions are spontaneously generated by the mind-body-sense mechanism as a result of the vasanas influencing it, for all practical purposes from the point of view of the apparent individual person those thoughts and emotions seem to be his. And, moreover, he must make good use of them, so to speak, if he is going to get free of the sense of incompleteness and inadequacy that cause his apparent suffering within the context of samsara, or the inevitably frustrating and ultimately fruitless quest for permanent peace and happiness through the procurement of objects within the context of the dualistic apparent reality.
Of course, once the dis-identification with the apparent individual person has occurred, it no longer matters what thoughts or feelings arise within the scope of awareness. All such objects are seen as nothing more than ephemeral apparent phenomena whose essential substance is nothing other than awareness itself and who, therefore, can neither enhance or diminish awareness in any way whatsoever. In this way, you, awareness, stand with unshakeable conviction in the freedom that is your true identity, impervious to all sense of limitation.
Mitch: I think what really confused me….was the notion of ‘no person’ because while it was obvious that there was no ‘Mitch’, there obviously is still a ‘mind/body’ complex with thoughts, ideas, beliefs, etc. So, the mind/body complex most certainly still appears after enlightenment and THIS is what produces all thoughts, beliefs, desires, likes/dislikes and ideas (vasanas), but it’s when Self identifies with it as MY body/mind, when ignorance happens.
Ted: Yes. But remember that the mind-body-sense mechanism is nothing more than inert subtle and gross matter. While it does produce thoughts, beliefs, desires, likes/dislikes, ideas, and vasanas, it does not do so of its own volition. Unless you, awareness, illumine the machine, the machine does not run. Just as a computer has extraordinary capabilities within its design but can do nothing without a power source, so the mind-body-sense mechanism is wholly dependent upon awareness for its functionality. Thus, while all objects depend upon you for their existence, you are ever free of all objects. Ignorance is completely eradicated through the assimilation of this knowledge — assuming, that is, that the knowledge has killed the sense of doership (i.e. the sense of being an individual person with independent volition) and neutralized all your binding-vasanas. While the association with the apparent individual person will certainly continue, you should know without a shadow of a doubt — which according to your words seems to be the case with you — that you are not the apparent individual person you seem to be. And while personal preferences and proclivities, likes and dislikes, desires and fears, will continue to characterize the subtle body of the apparent individual person you seem to be, you should no longer feel compelled to act at their behest. Since you know that no object can complete you, you are no longer swept away by the desire to get what you want and avoid what you don’t want. This doesn’t mean you are apathetic, but simply accommodating. You can accept whatever is, for you are perfect as you are.
Only you know if this inner contentment and complete freedom characterizes the mind of Mitch, and whether or not you are thoroughly convinced of your inherent wholeness. But your words do reflect a sound understanding of your true nature as limitless awareness. Assuming such is the case, welcome home, brother.
Mitch: That’s the last time I’ll annoy you for your opinion on this.
Ted: Please understand that you don’t annoy me with your questions, my friend. To offer help clearing up any lingering doubts about your true nature as limitless awareness is the whole point of my service.
Mitch: I truly appreciate all that you do and that James does. I can’t express to you how helpful your articles and satsangs have been to help dissolve this ‘apparent person’.
Ted: Thank you. Appreciation is always appreciated.
Mitch: Anyway thanks again and I look forward to your response.
All the best,