Search & Read
Conquering Dispassion with Compassion
Jennifer: Dear James, thank you for the satsang and for autographing my book. ☺ And as I said, it was first time in my life I’ve ever asked for an autograph. I was planning to come again to the satsang, but I won’t make it. But I’m still “listening.” I had a dream in which you told me you were here to show me how to listen. I awoke with such a good feeling.
Right at this moment, I feel like I’m two steps forward and one step back. Just when I thought I had conquered dispassion with compassion, someone entered my life and has as quickly disappeared. He was an observation in looking at myself. There is no choice here, is there, except to react or not? But even that’s not true, because I’m watching myself reacting, grieving, feeling a loss so deep, like I’ve never known. Crazy. I say to myself, “You are so pitiful… wallowing in self-pity. What a waste of your precious time. Are you just going to wallow in the mud? Oh, yeah, cry, baby, cry.” And it’s interesting to watch me, but I want to get out of my skin, just do the ugly cry and get it over with. But no. The person that I appear to be needs to hold on to impossible dignity. (Can you even imagine, James, that friends call me for guidance? What are they thinking?!)
Anyway, dear man. Thank you. Thank you. This too shall pass.
~ Love, Jennifer
James: Hi, Jennifer. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be loved. It is just not going to work from the outside for someone like you who has such a strong spiritual vasana. The grief is natural. It is inevitable when the ego doesn’t get what it wants. I wonder if you got the real message. Why do you want the love of a man?
There is nothing unspiritual about wanting relationship love, but don’t you think it indicates a priority conflict, a belief that you can actually attain freedom from emotional insecurity through a relationship – when you know that it only comes through self-realization? Maybe you believe that you can have your cake and eat it too – have the love relationship and your spirituality – perhaps do the relationship as a spiritual practice? You actually can, if you have the right attitude. But the way you reacted to this disappointment shows that you were not indifferent to the results – which is what dispassion is.
You don’t conquer dispassion with compassion. You conquer it by understanding the inherent limitations in all objects – in this case a special relationship with a man. When you see that a relationship cannot give you what your Heart wants, that is dispassion. As you will recall from the talk on Saturday, dispassion is indifference to the results of one’s actions. It is best to find enough compassion for yourself that you feel emotionally fulfilled. Then you will not be upset when you do not get the guy. But as long as this belief remains unexamined, you will suffer both in and out of relationships. It won’t be grief when you get Mr. Right, it will be attachment, which for a pure soul like you is just suffering. The conclusion is that life is a zero-sum game. You don’t win – or lose – by playing it. You win and lose. Anyway, forgive me if I took more of a liberty with your email than you wanted.
~ All the best, James