Enlightened by the Sun

I would like to thank Gil Michaels much for writing about Advaita (“Prayer Techniques for the Fearful,” Aug. 27). I really enjoyed it. I’ve never responded to an Alameda Sun article before but this time I felt compelled to. I’d love to comment on a few points

1) I don’t consider the choice to be between mental awareness/awakening and a “distant, mythical, imaginary god.” To me that distinction itself emanates from a patriarchal dualistic Lens. For those of us who are Bhakti/devotional by nature, the inner Lord is Both the doer and the actor. Like the great poet NzozAke Shang said,

“I found God in myself and I loved Her fiercely.” There is no separation.

2) I’m hoping Rupert Spira’s quote at the end of the article means that when one is in the state of “I Am,” even if physical illness exists, the identity is anchored in wholeness regardless. If he is saying if that once one is awakened, the physical body will never have disease, that’s one more untrue dualistic distinction.

Ramana Maharishi died of throat cancer. There are countless other examples. The principle of Parabdha karma is useful here: our individual bodies In a given incarnation have karma and lessons to experience regardless of the awakening of the mind To its true nature. In other words, You can know you are not the Body and still have helluva bodily karma.

3) The word ‘mankind’ to mean all of humanity just doesn’t work for many of us anymore. It’s a little like saying ‘white people’ to mean ‘all people’. Saying Humanity or humankind is like a welcome mat to the other half of the planet:)

Thanks again for this terrific piece. May the Sun include more of them!

— Tosha Silver