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I Am Happiness Itself
Ram: The knowledge that “I am awareness” is superior to the state of surrender because when you know that you are okay you can handle anything that comes your way. Therefore there is no need to surrender to things as they happen.
Cynthia: Yes, definitely!
Ram (from a previous email): I like the idea of renunciation better than the idea of surrender. By renunciation I mean letting go of ignorance. You renounce (or surrender, if you wish) your ignorance. It is not an emotional thing. To do that you don’t have to be 100% convinced of the self, you only have to be convinced that your ignorance doesn’t work. When you let go of the last little bit of ignorance, the spiritual quest ends.
Cynthia: I’ve got it, clearly!
Ram (from a previous email): Well, all this work and all this thinking has been going on for whom? For Cynthia. So Cynthia must think she is the UTMOST REALITY or she wouldn’t go to all this trouble.
Cynthia: No. If she would have thought herself to be the utmost Reality she would not have problems. Spiritual knowing would not have let her seek for anything. She thought she was a stupid little nothing and tried to prove to herself that it wasn’t true. She had doubts all along. But it turned out to be a stroke of good luck; it was the thorn that caused her to search for True Reality! Tracing my yearning, I must say I actually never was bothered with the “who am I?” question but was preoccupied with figuring out how to get out of the tiny prison cell I had locked myself in.
Ram: Well, now it seems that “who am I?” is the key to unlock the prison door. What I meant by saying that you must think of Cynthia as the utmost reality is that people don’t go to so much trouble to make themselves happy unless they think they are very important. Animals, for example, suffer terrible things and accept them because they don’t consider themselves too valuable. But when intellect enters the picture it can evaluate things. Evaluate means “to place value on things.” Naturally, one’s self is the most valuable.
Ram (from a previous email): The Upanishad says, “It is for the sake of the self that the husband loves the wife and the wife loves the husband,” etc. If this is true, then how are you going to surrender to Cynthia? The proof of your surrender lies in the fact that you have spent 48 years trying to make her happy.
Cynthia: You are right. I love your way of thinking also.
Ram: The reason you are tired is because you have put in a total effort. It is quite natural to be fed up when you work this hard for so long and seem to be no closer to your goal. But actually you are very close.
Cynthia: I can feel it.
Ram: This “who am I?” business is not settled by doings. We have only a small problem: the word “Cynthia” doesn’t refer to a whole and complete being. It refers to an incomplete self.
Cynthia: This I know, and my belief in the incomplete Cynthia is becoming weaker.
Ram: So as soon as you refuse to accept the idea that something is missing you will relax and see that you are already Home – or you may soon feel so confident in yourself that you can take on a major change without suffering too much anxiety.
Cynthia: This points to one of the important reasons for a teacher: one has an ongoing encouragement to throw away depressing, negative beliefs and the doubts that come from them until the knowledge of wholeness is steadfast.
Ram: I think it’s really cool that you are at least provisionally willing to move in another direction. There is a saying in the Bible: “…and the Truth shall set you free.” You don’t have to do anything with your life, actually. When you understand the truth your life adjusts to it automatically and it is fine with you. Don’t worry, be patient, we’ll sort this out. You’re right on track.
Cynthia: I eat your words, they are so nourishing. Thank you! I hope you will come and help me dry the dishes and have satsang while we work in March! All cells are becoming naturally filled and enlivened by the happiness I remember from childhood. I lost it at some point, but now it is coming back and I am starting to feel that I am HAPPINESS itself.
~ Yours in love, Cynthia