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Unconconsious Tendencies Are the Doer
Seeker: Dear Ram, thinking about the doer idea… must a doer be limited?… everyone who is in this world does, acts… you have to… what may differ is not the doing, but the attitude to doing??
Ram: Yes, absolutely. Action is inevitable. However, people have a doubt about the authorship of action. When you look into it, you will see that action is the result of many forces and factors, some of which are known and some which aren’t. In fact it is the vasanas, illumined by awareness, that cause the body and mind to dance. If you look at addictions and compulsions you can plainly see that the person, the ego, the doer, is actually helpless in the face of desire in spite of its assertions to the contrary. Even so-called normal people are not in charge of what happens. One’s karma unfolds impersonally in the context of a huge cosmic machine. When you recognize this you relax and the mind becomes quiet and capable of inquiry. So the belief that you are in charge, that you can control your destiny, is a major spiritual obstacle. Nonetheless, you can control your motivation and the way that you deal with the results of your actions. The major emphasis that Vedic culture puts on karma yoga is all about the attitude necessary to function successfully in this world.
Actually, if there is someone doing something it is the self, since this is a non-dual reality. So in that sense the doer is limitless. But the instruments through which the self functions, the vasanas, mind and body, are limited and can only produce limited results. So when you identify with the body-mind/ego entity you are assuming a limited identity – and this identity causes existential discomfort because it is in conflict with the truth of your nature – that you are limitless awareness.
~ Love, Ram