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What You Resist Persists
Seeker: Ramji, I hope your travels in the mountainous West are going well! Telluride looks beautiful, it is on my to-do list to visit. I’ll be catching you when you come around to Golden.
Again, I have some more thinking that I need verification upon. It helps solidify my confidence in my understanding when I get the Ramji stamp of approval on my train of thought, so hope you don’t mind the constant emails.
Ignorance is something that is in the causal body. That’s why in deep sleep, when only the causal body is present, ignorance is present as well. This ignorance manifests itself in the subtle body as thoughts and feelings, the primary one being the belief/feeling of “I’m not good enough, I’m small, I’m limited, etc.” From this other ignorance-based beliefs and feelings manifest themselves. Since the jiva feels limited, it seeks objects in the gross world to satisfy itself. Over time a whole web of subjective suffering is wound, all of this based upon this primary seed of ignorance.
Vedanta is a means of getting to this primary seed of ignorance and removing it. It recommends to first restrict the senses from the gross world, then calm the mind of many of the illusions of the subtle subjective world until it can then have a calm enough mind to inquire into this primary seed of ignorance. I think this is where I am at right now. I see the worthlessness of all worldly pursuits and I see how all the inner subjective beliefs are based around this sense of lack. All the beliefs I have about myself as a person can be traced back to this.
Since you can’t work on the ignorance in the causal body directly, you can work on its effects in the subtle body. This sense of lack feels like a void, a non-existence of something. But since even non-existence is an object to me, I must be “bigger” than it. Focusing on this sense of lack often brings about intense bodily pain and such. I tend to pull away from this energy when it gets too intense… but I realize that all I’m doing is becoming a person again and believing in the reality of death. At this point, is it just a matter of allowing whatever that comes up to come up no matter how painful, letting my understanding do the work for me?
The reason I am focusing on this sense of lack in the first place is that if ignorance is something that is in the subtle body I can do work on it to remove it. That’s why it is said that enlightenment is for the mind, not the self. So as long as this limiting feeling is in there I can do a process to remove it. And this process basically entails allowing it to be experienced while standing as awareness until I “see” hard and fast that it is in me, that it has nothing to do with me, etc.
Ramji: Yes. There is no point resisting them. When they come up think about whether or not they are true. Think about the origin – that you believe that you are incomplete – assert the truth: “I am the self, I am okay.” And then turn you attention to the knower of the feeling. Just by being present with whatever comes up and taking it as prasad these samskaras will slowly die.
Your understanding is very clear. Good for you. See you soon!
~ Love, Ramji