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Get off Your Miserable Backside and Clean up Your Life
Seeker: You asked about my life so you can give me some help. I am moving into a old house around Thanksgiving, so I really have not been able to free up attention for inquiry. From January to March I have tremendous amounts of time to free up attention. I can read book after book and go to this or that website. Five years ago when spontaneous self-enquiry/surrender was turning into self-attention there was not a problem, because it worked just like Ramana said it would.
I do a lot of internet browsing, especially at websites that talk about conspiracies in a factual manner instead with paranoia. I spend well over 20 hours a week watching sports on the internet. Every other week or so I will go to your website, David Godman’s, Michael James’ and others. I have not worked since 1990. I am very tamasic, very dull. I am muscular and overweight. I like to sit around and eat. I am also very attached to sleep. I sleep as much as I can.
Since self-enquiry/surrender/attention does not energetically work at all, even though I try hour after hour to make it spontaneously happen, I eventually give up in frustration.
If I had the “I am” connection in my Heart space area like I had last in 2003/2004 when I was in my mid-thirties, I would not waste extreme amounts of attention on the internet and books. Energetically I want to have the I am “contact” happen again, but it just will not happen.
James: You will probably not write to me again when you hear what I have to say, but I have to tell the truth. I hope you are not offended. To sum up your situation, you have the cart before the horse. By that I mean that you think that some kind of connection with the “Heart” will solve your problem when you have to solve your problem so that you can see that you are already connected to the Heart.
Why should a Heart connection, a “contact” with the self, happen when your lifestyle is so tamasic? The shakti will not rise up and inspire you unless you give it suitable conditions. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. You need to convince the self that you are serious about self-realization by living a pure life. If you just sit around and do samsaric things, the self will assume that this is what you want and leave you alone. It is not coercive. Just wanting things to be different does not work. Appropriate action is necessary.
When your life is so dull, the intellect gets very dull and self-inquiry is impossible. It only works with a sattvic lifestyle. Take the example of Ramana. I cannot think of a better role model. If he had been playing cricket, eating iddlies and knocking about with his buddies, he would not have been successful.
That you can live like this and expect to be “reconnected” is a kind of magical thinking. You are assuming that there is something “out there” other than you that is responsible for your suffering and that can relieve it. It is similar to the habit of poor people who buy lottery tickets but do nothing to better themselves.
A self-inquiry vasana builds up when you do self-inquiry. Self-inquiry is a simple but difficult practice. It involves keeping the mind on the self at all times in spite of its extroverting tendencies. You can do it if your desire for liberation is very strong. If it is not strong, which I suspect is the case, keep up the present lifestyle and pray that you really hit bottom. Once that happens, self-inquiry will spontaneously happen and it will be easy. You will abandon all those tamasic pursuits because you will really understand how detrimental they are. I can tell that you have not hit bottom, because you still have the energy to distract yourself with conspiracy theories and whatnot.
Please don’t take this the wrong way. Think of it as tough love. Sit that lazy bastard within down and have a nice chat. Let him know who is boss and then start to clean up your life. Be patient. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Just slowly, little by little, create a pure yogic lifestyle. You can do it.
Let me know how it goes.
~ Love, James
Addendum: I did not hear from Carl again.