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Two Thoughts to Keep in Mind at All Times
Patrick: Ram, I wanted to share with you something.
Since the last two days a feeling of great peace, purity and love seems to have come over me.
It seems to be the result of giving up the effort to cleanse myself. Maybe I was doing something wrong, but the strong effort to purify the mind itself seemed to be getting in the way of purity because the mind seemed to be still unduly focusing on “itself”… in a way giving itself more importance than “other things out there.” I know this of course has got to do with something I was doing incorrectly. But giving up the effort seems to have helped in any case.
Ram: Good for you. You are evidently quite self-aware. The best thing is to forget whether or not you are pure or impure, relax and respond to what the day brings in the karma yoga spirit.
Patrick: It has also got to do with a realization, I think. I feel, at least as of this moment, that if I can authentically live with the following twofold realization, nothing else is needed.
1. The only thing that can “perceive” anything, and hence that which can “get” or “lose” anything, is the self. But as the self I am everything. And the self can never “get” or “lose” anything, because it never “changes.” (How could an entity that doesn’t change “get” or “lose”?)
2. The doer can “do” but it has nothing to do with the “getting.” Because it can’t perceive, it’s like a machine. Why then should it concern itself with “results”? Also, as the doer I am an extremely limited entity. In fact whatever I “do” is possible because the universe/divine intention allows that doing to happen, in every possible sense. Hence as the doer I need have no pride/shame/ownership for what “I” do. It’s “God” doing it through me. The doer is automatically filled with humility and gratitude by this realization. As long as I can do things with a pure intention (authenticity, objectivity, honesty… and love/seva), I never need to fear/worry about the outcome, because beyond its purest effort nothing is up to the doer, nor does the doer having anything to do with “getting.”
Ram: Very good. The only thing up to you is your intention. Keep your mind focused on the self and act. Take the results as prasad and you will find the mind becomes peaceful quickly.
Patrick: These two points acknowledge my nature both as the supreme (as the self) and the very limited (as the doer).
This twofold understanding makes a clear distinction between the entity that can “get” and that which can “do.” Normally, doing and getting are mixed up, hence one feels that one has to do something to get something. And one feels, ultimately, that there is something out there to “get,” even if the doing is concerned with “purifying” the mind. But if I truly examine the entity which can “get,” I can see that it never changes, and so cannot “get/lose.” Why then should the mind/doer do anything with impurity? The tendencies caused by past impurities will dissolve (or not). What should the doer care if it cannot get anything out of it?
Ram: That’s right. In fact the doer doesn’t really care about the results anyway, although it seems to. Why? Because it is actually the self and somehow, in some obscure way, it already knows that it is whole and complete.
Patrick: Maybe there are still things in my understanding which are incorrect. Maybe the mind’s tendencies will make it fall prey to fear and greed again. Maybe doubt will again arise.
Ram: Yes, but it doesn’t matter. If you can keep the knowledge that you expressed here at the forefront of your mind and go about the business of life, whatever else to be known will be known in the fullness of time.
Patrick: But for now, I feel that the only “practice” needs to be a deep appreciation and affirmation of these two points. If it can be so, no other “practice” is needed. What do you think? (Yes, it still remains the doer/mind’s “duty” to keep itself fit so that it can best serve God’s will.)
Ram: If I wanted a guru, you would be it. Good for you.
Patrick: I would love to hear your advice, thoughts, on this.
~ Love and gratitude, Patrick