the intellect is the decision maker
Again, what is this isolated decider, "the intellect?" Is it some kind of disembodied agent of Ishvara / Satya?
Bear with me while I try to explain this, I hope I don't fudge it up and confuse you. Before I start though...everything subtle and gross is Ishvara (awareness + maya), including the intellect, which is a function of the mind. Of course, we call this particular "jiva/person" separate, but really, it's an aspect of Ishvara.
In Vedanta, It is said that awareness "illumines and enlivens" the subtle body (includes the mind). The subtle body is inert without pure awareness shining "upon and within" it (it is composed of awareness, but dependent upon pure awareness, for it's apparent existence), it is what makes the subtle body sentient and conscious.
Awareness itself doesn't have a mind to think or know (it's called the "knower and witness" only in a figurative sense), the inert mind -plus
- awareness, can think, know, witness and discriminate. An analogy would be if the brain was a computer, the mind the software and awareness the electricity that makes it all run (pure awareness is impersonal and attributeless, so I'm not saying it is energy). If you took away any of the pieces to the computer (hardware, software or electricity), the computer wouldn't work. Same with experiencing objects (anything subtle/gross) you need- pure awareness, the mind (subtle body) and the brain (gross body), without all three there is no thinking, knowing, discriminating, etc
Now, the "intellect" is the discriminative, decision making function within the mind (there are other functions, but I won't get into that), the mind is not the brain or within the brain, the brain is within the mind. The mis-take of awareness identifying with the mind/body/sense complex happens within the intellect (ego is an "aspect" of the intellect). It is the intellect that registers/apprehends its true nature is awareness, usually through seeing a reflection of awareness within the subtle body- It registers as a "thought of limitlessness, unity, oneness". Self knowledge cleans the mirror of the subtle body allowing the reflection to be re-cognized, removing the Self ignorance. Allowing the intellect to realize that the B/M/S complex is "illuminated" by and "composed" of... awareness. Therefore, awareness is non-dual and since awareness is non-dual and you are awareness, through and through... there really isn't an Andy! There's an "apparent" Andy, he exists, but he's not "real".
I know exactly, from "personal" experience what you are saying, and always smile when I read your posts, because it sounds just like what's going on in my awareness, expressed with slightly different words, and much more Pali and Sanskrit!
Nice, sometimes I've wondered if anyone gets what I'm saying...
It is exactly a "both/and" paradox. There is both oneness and diversity. "Little me" is an operational identity that functions in the manifested relative world. And it has a name and many roles to play.
Right, it's not an "either/or", it's a "both/and"...I agree completely!
I have occasionally disagreed with Gary regarding the concept of "personality." He maintains that "personality" is an epiphenomenon of the body-mind. I say "so what," it is a handy term to use when cataloging the infinite variety of "people" we know. All gamepieces in the large enterprise of lila in maya, or "play" in Mithya. All good, for sure!
Yeah, the personality stays, imo, it may gets "refined", maybe a "bit" sweeter.. or not. Look at Nisargadatta, he had a bad ass persona/personality.....yelling, screaming, chain smoking, probably scaring the yell out of some people...lol.