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Why Let the Jiva Suffer?
Rosemary: Dear Sundari, I appreciate your responses. I watched the videos by Bede and found them helpful. I had noticed that shift to looking at the apparent reality with more objectivity after moksa. Is it the case that such a shift gets reflected in apparent reality?
Sundari: I am glad you found Bede’s videos helpful.
What do you mean by “after moksa”? As awareness you are moksa, i.e. free. This may just be a language issue, I am not sure, but you need to be clear about this. The whole point of moksa is to discriminate the self from the not-self, which means that once all the objects have been negated, one knows that there is only the self, awareness. One has to negate the objects that arise in awareness first though before one can take the next step, which is to see only the self, awareness, the self “seeing” itself. Thus if one cannot look at the apparent reality with objectivity, it means that the ego, the experiencer/doer, is still there and is the one doing the seeing, through the screen of ignorance – i.e. rajas/tamas, or the vasanas (patterns of thinking/conditioning). The ego and the objects appearing are still taken to be real. So yes, absolutely, “after” moksa this “shift” will be reflected in the apparent reality. Being the self, the one who sees the apparent reality, will be seeing it objectively because it is free of the jiva thus it is known that what the jiva “sees” is only an apparent reality.
It is also not really a “shift” either. This word implies that the ego has changed its position or transformed. The jiva has not changed or been “transformed.” It has been negated by the removal of ignorance, meaning the doer is gone, all objects have been negated and only the self remains. Everything is known to be you and you are free of it all, plain and simple. The self is limitless, meaning it does not modify to anything and is not modified by anything, therefore it cannot do any shifting.
How we see the apparent reality is determined by the quality of our thinking, which is why self-inquiry is about watching the mind while exposing it to self-knowledge so that ignorance of its true nature can be removed. It is the shift from the ego trying to experience the self to the self “experiencing” the ego. Thus it is the knowing that your true nature is the experienceless experiencer, non-dual awareness, that without which no experience takes place, though awareness itself is free of experience. The jiva will seem to have shifted though because knowing it is really the self will change the way it has contact with objects, meaning it no longer has to suffer.
Rosemary: I mean I feel my mind breaking away from old patterns of thinking. I dream about divorce repeatedly, and my husband tells me he wants us to separate (not immediately but within the next couple of years, and not entirely unexpected).
Sundari: The patterns of thinking, or Rosemary’s’ conditioning (vasanas), is given to her by Isvara. The creation of the vasanas is governed by the gunas, again, Isvara. You know this. So which I is speaking here? Who feels the mind breaking away from old patterns and dreams of divorce? If you are/have moksa it will only be the self that feels the mind breaking away, although the word “feels” is a little suspicious. Are you speaking as the jiva and not as the self here? Hence my question. Moksa is entirely about old patterns breaking away, or binding vasanas made unbinding. Remember that moksa is freedom from the jiva, or experiencing entity, not for it. Read the article I attached on the samskaras; it fits right in here.
For a while in our exchanges I have been picking up anger (rajas), which is not allowed to be expressed (tamas), depression and resignation, more tamas. You made it clear in our last exchange that there is great “angst” (rajas) and sadness (tamas), which is obviously a result of this situation and these changes hanging in the air. The intention to divorce, which has been expressed by your husband but is not going to be acted upon for a few years is more tamas, putting off the inevitable for whatever reason. It is like waiting for the axe to fall or being on death row awaiting execution, waiting for the time bomb to go off.
Why wait? Even if you want this divorce, it can’t be easy to live with this. And if you don’t want it, it must be hell. So either way you are stuck between rajas and tamas, even if you are free of Rosemary. If you are free of her, then why would you want Rosemary to continue suffering? I suppose you could see what is unfolding as your sadhana, albeit it a negative one because the jiva will still suffer.
However you decide to handle this, as the self you would know that it is just the play of the gunas, that the suffering has nothing to do with you and whatever the outcome Rosemary will be fine because she is really awareness masquerading as Rosemary. It is true that even with this awareness, as a jiva Rosemary will go through ups and downs, mood swings, fear/exhilaration, depression/inspiration, certainty/uncertainty, rage/calm and so on and so on. This is normal. As the self she will observe all this and allow it to unfold.
Self-realisation is not a magic pill for the ego, it is not about not feeling anything. Feel what you feel, express what is true to you. If you are angry, be angry. Never censure the jiva, let it all out. You are the one that knows and observes it all with dispassion. Do your best not to cause injury to yourself or others. Stuffing your emotions away or pretending that you don’t have them will only make them worse. If peace of mind is your goal, then do not cause injury to yourself through denial (tamas) and neither through projection (rajas).
Don’t make this about anyone either: no one is to blame, no one is innocent. There is a movie going on and all involved played their parts perfectly, according to the gunas. I am not trying to say that there is a right or wrong way to handle your situation; only you know that.
The point I am making is: When does a person decide to get proactive and give the jiva the freedom that it deserves? Why don’t you feel that you can separate now? Yes, it is important not to repress one’s feelings but it is just as important not to let the suffering drag on either. Why waste time in a relationship that is not working? To know who you are and still let the jiva suffer is not dharmic, as it certainly is not conducive to peace of mind. I believe one should put it out of its misery as quickly as possible. But this is just who I am. Isvara will always back you up on that score, this you can count on.
Rosemary: More and more I can see everything dovetailing together. It’s like karma rises up straight in my face and says, “Yes, I am the consequence of THAT.” It can be overwhelming at times.
~ Wishing you well, love, Rosemary
Sundari: What do you mean by, “Yes, I am the consequence of THAT”? It sounds to me like something happened that you hold Rosemary responsible for or blame her for, and this is why she is resigned to her fate and might even be seeing it as punishment or she accepts her fate as a consequence. You could even be rationalising something that happened, maybe something your husband did or didn’t do and blaming Rosemary for it. It is not my business to know, just to present things for you to look at in the hope that they are helpful. I could be way off base. It is not important, as I don’t need to know and I am not trying to psychoanalyse Rosemary.
In your last email you said (speaking as Rosemary?): “I have had enough of sadness and angst! There is the peace of knowing I am the self, and nothing can touch that, but the jiva is like a sad, broken record. I think it’s going to be a while before those vasanas finally wind down.”
It is clear here that as the self you are the knower of the one who is a sad broken record, yet the statement seems to be made by the jiva who is identified with being a jiva. Who else would have had enough of the sadness and angst? It could be that Rosemary is living with the burden of either guilt or blame, that you still love your husband and want your marriage to work. If this is the case, guilt and blame (tamas) are completely unconstructive and have no value whatsoever.
Most emotions have a positive and negative side to them; guilt is purely negative. Yes, it is true that as the jiva one has to accept the karma from past actions, there is no escaping this unless you know you are not the jiva, which you do. In which case you can see the vasanas/gunas and the karma as not-self, freeing the jiva from carrying this burden.
If this is so and you know that the jiva is suffering, why not take the appropriate action now to end the suffering? Do you love Rosemary enough to do this? You as awareness are already free and you know that you are the knower of the suffering, but moksa is for the jiva so that it can enjoy life in the apparent reality and be free, which means to live free. Usually there is nothing stopping us from doing anything other than our limited ideas about how things should be or could be.
In whose face does the karma rise up? You, awareness, have no face and you are not the consequence of anything. “You are That” means that you are beyond all THAT, the uncaused cause of everything. And as the self you have no karma. Rosemary has karma if she thinks she is Rosemary. But you know you are not Rosemary. Rosemary is just a bundle of vasanas that Isvara strung together and has incarnated as an apparent individual who has an apparent story in the apparent reality, a dream within a dream.
~ So much love to you too, om, Sundari