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Teenage Romance and the Secret of Life
Anil: Dear Ram, it’s me again. How do you do? I can imagine you’re always perfectly fine. Well, I guess we all are, even if some don’t know it. ☺ I have a couple of questions and you are the man to ask, so let’s get right to it. I have recently begun a relationship with a very attractive girl. This attractive girl is causing my ego to become attached and rajasic/tamasic. I’ve been enquiring into the source of the dissatisfaction and have found that the anxiety is being spurred by my worrying that I will not get what I want, which is spending time with her. If I give up this craving to the self and lose the ego’s expectations, will the attachment vasana eventually burn out? As much as I know that the feeling is me but I am free of it, it is uncomfortable and just want reassurance that if I keep up the enquiry with the knowledge that I am non-dual awareness, the vasana will eventually subside.
Ram: Hi, Anil. I am just fine, thank you. Life is going along very nicely, albeit a bit too busy for my taste. In any case let’s think about this romance thing. The antidote to worry about the results of your action, i.e. whether or not she will spend more time with you, is the knowledge that it is up to her and not up to you, so the worry is a waste of time. This kind of situation is only solvable by you with reference to yourself, as you seem to know or you would not have written me. This is elementary karma yoga: the results of action are not up to the doer of action.
Secondly, why is the time you do spend with her insufficient? You were happy enough before you met her. What happened to that happiness? It seems the craving for her company has upset it. Will her company bring it back or will it supplant it with object-happiness, i.e. a love relationship? Can’t you find that happiness and rest in it and see what happens? She will be much more inclined to spend time with you if you are happy and not needy. People want to be with people who make a contribution, not with demanding people. The knowledge that you are okay with and without her should allow you to give up this craving. If it does not, then you need to dedicate your actions to the self – meaning you need to see that this situation is there for your spiritual growth – and take the results – acceptance or rejection – as a gift. In this way the craving will more or less subside.
At the same time you need to ask if the craving is actually about spending more time with her or if it’s about spending more time with the real you. We do not want the object for the object’s sake, we want it for our own sake. But if we think the joy is in the object, it means that the joy we take in ourselves is inadequate. There is some joy in relationship love, but is it enough to fill the loneliness that caused the craving in the first place?
If this is not about love but is about pleasure, then it is a good object lesson because while there is nothing wrong with pleasure, chasing it is a problem because of the craving that develops. The craving basically cancels the pleasure and you have not gained anything. It is a zero-sum game.
If you really believe that you are whole and complete and assert that fact aggressively by not giving into the craving, the craving will diminish. There is no doubt about it. But this requires great honesty because if there is a doubt about your wholeness, craving will enter through that crack.
Anil: Secondly, and more interesting than teenage romance, I read an article about these scientists that created a genome, then put it into a bacteria which proceeded to transform the cell into a different species. Here’s the link: TimesOnline.co.uk/tol/news/science/biology_evolution/article7132299.ece. It’s not real life, and apparently they are far from creating anything very close to life, but it got me thinking. If humans were able to create life – self-sustaining, single-celled organisms or something – how would the self come into this? Would that cell be aware? If scientists were able to create an aware organism, it would refute the theory that matter comes from awareness, would it not? Do you think that would be possible? A lot of questions in one sentence, but I’m curious to know what you think.
Ram: It would be the self creating life through human beings. But this will not happen, because the self has already created life and the process is not a mystery to it. If there is some need for life made by humans apart from life made by consciousness, then it might happen. But what is the advantage? How does it serve the self? And remember, there is only the self. We already have life in spades and it does not change anything at all. So some weird creature that man concocts will be an improvement? At best it would just be an odd curiosity. This attempt to create life is just human vanity, basically a bunch of crazy materialistic intellectuals with a lot of big money working on an unsolvable problem, probably motivated in no small measure by their desire to stick it to the religious types who know that only God creates life. Yet if they can create an organism that does not suffer, sign me up. The cells in conscious beings right now are not aware. They are just material structures that borrow life from omnipresent consciousness.
If science was able to create an aware organism, it would not refute the notion that matter comes from awareness, because it was awareness operating through the mind of the scientist that caused matter to become aware. But matter will never become aware, although it is awareness, because it is inert. You cannot get something out of nothing. There has to be life it already for it to appear. The boundary between awareness and matter is impermeable. Actually, the teenage romance question was more interesting. These scientists are nuts.
~ Much love, Ram