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Eastern Philosopher Letter

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You see, Vishnu, you are different in a similar way as I was. You see beyond the immediate. you even surpassed me in some ways, such as your seeing the futility of the way of the ascetics. Your questions regarding them impressed me. I will not forget when you asked me how one can attain enlightenment when continually starving, dirty and begging. You inquired of the balance in your years with me (Moore-Bruder, 2005, p. 499). It is indeed the balance between desire and self-denial that is the key to the detachment that leads to the finer levels of consciousness.
There must be an incredible awareness, an ability to see beyond this world our senses recognize and apprehend. The awareness directs the senses, not the other way around. this is where the teaching cannot be transferred from one person to another through words only. Words in and of themselves do not have any intrinsic meaning, yet the way they are delivered has an impact upon the mind that contemplates the words. Each mind is unique in its ability to transcend itself. By adhering to the Eightfold Path, one’s mind unfolds and begins to align with nirvana (Moore-Bruder, p. 502).
First one must become aware of desires and cravings of the senses, which are the primary receivers of the mind. It is only when the mind is stilled and the senses are fully awake, hence overcoming their cravings, that one can begin to comprehend nirvana. This is what is most difficult to communicate with people, and this is what makes you weary.
As we grow and develop, our thoughts and cravings form a unifying force that is very powerful in the physical realm. It is this force that is the fuel of life for most people and they do not or cannot know any different.
Once the path to enlightenment, true enlightenment, begins, there is no way back to the limited mind with its busy activities and desires and plots for gaining more and more material things. Power and glory become dust in the winds of time and one can begin to feel separated from humanity as you expressed in your letter. Know that this, too, is an illusion.