Search & Read
Ego Destruction by Chaos
Mildred: Dear Ram, thank you for your encouragement and love. To be more discriminative, I would like your help. This is why living with a teacher like you did and being observed by one who can help See and thus Know is so important. There are still many things I feel I am just sort of muddling through, doing the best I can.
Ram: Dear Mildred, sorry for the delay. I have many satsangs to write and have to do them in order. Thank you for laying out your thinking. You are muddling through because you are confused about what you want in life. I have made replies after each of your statements that should help you think about things differently. There will be some things your ego does not want to hear. I am sorry for it, but I think you need a bit of tough love.
Mildred: For instance, even though I have found for some years now little meaning in the ways of the world, I don’t spend the whole day in meditation or reading your book. For the first time ever I got a TV in the last long, cold winter and I find that the mind likes to be taken out of this experiential void I am often experiencing which it finds quite boring.
Ram: If you want an interesting life, you have make it interesting. Life is essentially boring. It is just vasanas working out and working back in. If you do the right thing for yourself you will like yourself and do things that stimulate you. It seems you expect life to be like the TV, a form of passive entertainment. There is no reason why you should do spiritual things all the time either, but the quest for God should be your centerpiece and once that is clear, the small daily pleasures will not distract you.
Mildred: I also have a dear friend in with whom there have been vague plans to live together for years now, but it has not happened yet because I can’t work right now and he is not financially stable, and also, I feel, because we are both still unsure after 12 years – me because even though he has a beautiful heart and adores me like a goddess, a spiritual path of inner growth does not interest him.
Ram: If you were clear about what you want, you would see if your friend fits in or not.
Mildred: In many ways he is more spiritual than many of the men I have observed at satsangs. He is kind and compassionate, took care of his aging/dying mother, cleaned diapers, etc. Now he helps out his schizophrenic brother because no one else will, but because he does not investigate his own thinking/conditioning, etc. he projects his pain onto himself or out on the world/politics/family and then he gets depressed/angry and lost. I guess I am wondering if this dream of a possible future together keeps the “us” going in a way that is not karmically sound somehow.
Ram: Nobody is perfect, Mildred, so he is probably as good as anyone. Don’t think that because he is not spiritual that he is somehow not okay. The spiritual men are usually as screwed up as the worldly ones, sometimes more. But it is nice to have someone who understands what you are all about. But this is not really about a relationship. It is about your lack of clarity about your goal in life.
Mildred: My other question concerns seva. I had to learn to say no to situations where there was great neediness because of my own exhaustion. I can also See more clearly my own very tricky identification with offering compassion/wise counsel/and so obtain a place in the tribe/universe, not having much of a place in the eyes of others (and myself also) because of my lifestyle, how to offer it without getting involved and affected by other people’s patterns/rajas while I am so vulnerable right now.
Ram: This is the wrong reason to serve others. You know it. You should not do it to be liked. It just means you don’t like yourself. You feel vulnerable because you are not taking care of yourself properly. You should not offer service in this way. Here is a better definition of service: keeping your mind on the self, the truth. If you do that everything you do will be an act of worship. Your emotions are destroying your peace because they are not flowing to some higher altar. Read about karma yoga in my book. You have the wrong attitude toward life.
Mildred: I had a friendship with a young woman with small children who is involved with an Advaita teacher here locally, who is not at all concerned with karma or enquiry, who encourages people to just allow chaos/intensity or whatever life presents to destroy the ego.
Ram: That’s a good one! Ego destruction by chaos! Ha! Ha!
Mildred: I studied with him for a while myself and even though he was pure in his intentions and very loving I left, already a year ago. It was difficult to leave, that group was my support, but it did not feel like my path, and when I read your book I knew that this suits me and I have already learned much.
Ram: He may be pure as a saint, but he is an idiot. It is good you wised up to him. Keep reading the book.
Mildred: This woman though is still studying with him and she is totally overwhelmed by her vasanas/life plus her teacher’s encouragement to just let this chaos eat her up. I have a connection/karma(?) with her and especially her children. I went by her place yesterday after I saw in a dream that she was asking for help. I had not seen her in a long time and just being there for a while wore me out. I don’t know how to be there with her in a grounded way – she is very ungrounded and worn out, but she is only 33; she can eventually recuperate, she still has time to find her way. I just turned 60 and have a lot of catching up to do myself.
Ram: Jesus! Mildred, are you nuts? What business is this of yours? You can’t even keep your own life on track and you feel bad that you can’t help her? Forget all this sentimental do-gooder stuff. It is a waste of your time. Concentrate on healing yourself. You are choosing this karma. Karma is only karma because you choose it. You need to love yourself properly.
Mildred: This being grounded is a big thing for me. Also, how does one get grounded? It seems that the more I retreat from the world and people who are very much a part of it, the less grounded I seem to get. Or is this getting too New-Agey for you?
Ram: It’s pretty New-Agey, alright. ☺ You are retreating because you are full of fears. You don’t get rid of your fears by running from the world. You get rid of them by facing them.
Mildred: There is a man who wants to study your book with me. He has a girlfriend, but whenever he has spent time with me I feel I am triggered by something and I get very restless again. He says he wants to just be friends, and I don’t want to get involved in that way with him, but he is not clear at all, unconsciously, so I suggested studying scripture so that our being together has a firm basis. I do need some people in my life, so this is the best I can do!
Ram: This is sad, Mildred. I am sorry for you, but what can I do if you are lonely? You don’t need anybody, but it seems that you think you do. When you have this kind of loneliness, you will settle for less. It is sad.
Mildred: He also wants to study a book by Nisargadatta. Is it a good mix?
Ram: This is like the blind leading the blind. Nisagadatta’s teaching is for advanced seekers. It is very confusing as it is and if you are not ready for it, it is a disaster. I say forget it. Get a proper boyfriend or go to the nunnery. It sounds like he just wants to get laid.
Mildred: I am sorry for this long email but I figured it was important to lay it all out. I would have loved to talk to you in person or even over the phone. It has helped to write it all down, Ram.
Ram: You have a lot of courage to bare your life like this, Mildred. I respect you for it. I generally do not offer people advice on their lives unless they ask, and even then I am quite reluctant to do it. But since you asked, I have offered some suggestions. I hope I did not offend you.
Mildred: So one last question… about life and the offering of it back to life: is it okay for me to just work/live/love in the gardens surrounded by flowers and trees, meditate, watch some TV and to study your book? Is this enough seva for now?
Ram: Now you are thinking clearly. Yes, definitely. Stay out of other people’s lives. Live by yourself. Get plenty of physical exercise. Read my book and website. Eat healthy food. Stay away from alcohol. And write to me when you have a question. Come to see me if you can.
Mildred: How do I “deal” with this existential feeling of emptiness, which I have also experienced as a fullness when Grace bestowed it upon me? Thank you so much for your presence in my life and your patience! Love to you, Ram.
Ram: Learn to see it as fullness. If you can’t do that, love it to death.
~ Much love, Ram