Search & Read
Falling in Love
Paula: Well, I can see I’m going to have to stop thinking!!!
Ram: Au contraire, Paula, just think the right thoughts. But I know what you mean. Anxiety is the one certain characteristic of relationship-love. Hopefully, you will get to the point where you realize that the joy is coming from you. This should put the relationship in perspective. When you get attached to a certain kind of positive feeling, you are skating on thin ice. This is not to say that there is anything wrong with this kind of feeling or that it shouldn’t be there, just that you need to know that it is being produced by the situation, the fact that one of your vasanas looks like it might get satisfied. And you need to know that it will change, not necessarily for the worse, it may even evolve into devotion, but it will change. Nonetheless, it seems like there is a common spiritual interest which is absolutely necessary for someone like you – so that is a good sign. One thing I didn’t hear was the downside of this guy. Remember, don’t throw out your discrimination. Take your time to find out what you don’t like about him. There will be things because if you take up with him you will be getting the bitter with the sweet. On the other hand, if he’s not an axe murderer or a child molester, he’s probably pretty much like any normal person, and you can try to do the relationship as sadhana, which I think you will do, considering how deep your spiritual vasana is. The danger in at this stage of relationship is that people are on their best behavior, each one is trying to look just plain wonderful for the other one – so nothing screws up – so you need to give it time until you are sure that both of you are being totally real.
Paula: It’s funny, really. I had quite firmly decided that there was no point in getting involved with anyone, and then this happens. I feel as if the whole thing was almost unavoidable… that to turn away from it wouldn’t be the right thing to do. But maybe I’m just deluded – that sounds deluded, doesn’t it?!?
Ram: Yes. As I’ve said before, you are always free to say no to anything that comes from the outside. Reality does not validate you. You validate reality. I walk away from opportunities all the time. So you need to take full responsibility for it, not blame it on fate or God or anything else. You want love, here it is and it’s up to you to accept it. Or not.
Paula: It seems more like it’s happening to someone else than to me – I seem to be going with the flow.
Ram: This is absolutely correct. Don’t discount this perception. It is not happening to you. Nothing ever happened to you. It is an object, a confluence of factors that is producing a particular experience in your awareness.
Paula: I am quite honestly not expecting anything from the whole situation at this point. Whatever happens is fine.
Ram: Good on you. This is the spiritual point of view. When the expectations begin, look out.
Paula: I suppose this relates to what you said in your last email: “Actually, nobody chooses anything. The forces within them pull them toward certain objects and push them away from others. The ‘choice’ is actually an illusion – a notion that happens when the vasana hits the ego-intellect. Meditation on the concept ‘I am not the doer’ is meant to wake one up to this fact.”
Ram: Yes. This is exactly what I was talking about. It isn’t you. Don’t own it. Observe it. Lest this seem like a contradiction to what I said above about taking full responsibility for it, that comment was addressed to Paula. This statement is addressed to the one who sees it as happening to someone else, i.e. the self.
Paula: So I guess what is happening is the outpicturing of a vasana.
Ram: Mind like a laser, Paula.
Paula: I know that it would probably be wise to stay well clear, but I don’t know, Ram, it’s probably all happening for a reason(?).
Ram: The reason is that you have a desire for a relationship. Don’t imagine that the self has anything to do it it. It loves you no matter what your karmic ties are. Sometimes you just have to go through what you have to go through. It is not the kiss of death if you end up disappointed. You just go back to what you were. When you’re in it you will long for what you get from not being in it (peace, freedom) and when you are out of it you long for what you get when you are in it (intimacy, passion). This is the nature of the mind-ego.
Paula: I’m hoping that I will be able to keep a peaceful mind no matter what happens, but I might be kidding myself on that score.
Ram: It will be pretty much like it is now after the passion wears out. The mind will be peaceful sometimes and when it looks like the ego is not getting what it wants, the mind will be agitated.
Paula: I’ve been finding it so hard not to have any peace since she returned from holiday. I quite honestly get more peace sitting at my desk at work!
Ram: It’s probably better to move out. Your roommate is a good person but she hasn’t a clue what sadhana is. Yes, Maharaji was a boy-wonder saint who came to the USA over thirty years ago. He’s okay. It’s an entry-level scene, bhakti yoga basically. It’s perfect for her.
Paula: I had started to think about moving and was daydreaming about getting a studio apartment (see what I mean about thinking!!, look what’s happened!).
Ram: A studio is a good idea, I think. You have a lot of sattva and you need peace.
Paula: The self is throwing me out of my apartment, so to speak… But overall I feel like it’s somehow the right thing at the right time… I’m not thinking about it too much right now, but just letting it “percolate” until Monday when I feel that I will somehow get inspired with a sense of direction.
Ram: That useless self!
Paula: I seem to be staying pretty balanced at the moment, though I have to admit to going through a small struggle over the idea of Joe – coming back to the realisation that whatever happens will happen, but none of it can really change me. So far so good, though I am aware it’s a slippery slope and I must watch my footing very carefully.
Ram: Don’t wear your heart on your sleeve, Paula. Make him court you properly. Make sure of what you’re getting. You’re worth it.
Paula: Well, Ram, you never know just what I’m going to come up with next, do you! Life most certainly is a transient event.
Ram: I was getting bored sitting here editing Mystic by Default and no new crises. This came at just the right time.
Paula: So now it’s Monday… Ram, I’m sure you’re going to have much to say about this, but things seem to be going really well with Joe though it’s very early days and I can’t be entirely sure what’s what. He’s certainly a wonderful person – very compassionate and caring, gentle and open-hearted. He is really at ease with himself and has a very balanced ego and outlook. We seem to have made a real connection – it was pretty instantaneous.
Ram: In the old days they called it “love at first sight.” It happens all the time, Paula. It’s no big deal. If you feel this way in ten years, then it is something extraordinary. This is perhaps a chance to do it without all that romantic crap that you told me sunk your previous relationships.
Paula: I’m actually feeling worried about the effect this might have on me… it’s so hard not to be disturbed by it all, and I’m definitely being affected by it and worrying about what will happen/how it will all proceed (or that maybe it won’t, I’m afraid to say!). Nevertheless, I can’t seem to turn away from it, even though I know the whole thing is really starting to agitate me.
Ram: As I said above, anxiety is the signature of romantic love.
Paula: We have already done some spiritual practice together (Heart Sutra and other prayers) which I found to be quite a profound experience, and we have a deep respect for each other’s spiritual practice (he practises Dzogchen Buddhism). So it could be worse!
Ram: What’s his financial situation? What about other emotional entanglements? Do some practical research. You have to live in the world too.
Paula: Well, I knew I had to tell you about this, Ram.
Ram: I’m glad you did. Don’t forget me. It’s always good to have the voice of reason on your side. Whatever comes of it, know that I love you and will always be there for you.