Search & Read
That Bimbo-Bitch Is You
Cathy: Dear Ram, you are right. I have often felt very lonely in relationships (not just with John), along with disappointment, wondering how come I am now in a relationship and I feel more alone than before. I felt that especially strongly with my first husband and especially so in both my honeymoons. I am a very slow learner!! What do you mean when you say “aloneness of awareness”? I don’t get it.
Ram: Awareness is the nature of the self. “Cathy” is an idea about the self. By its very definition Cathy is distinct from others because it refers to a body-mind entity that has unique qualities and characteristics, so she is always separate and distinct from everyone and everything. This is called duality. Because you, awareness, think of yourself as Cathy, you are always alone, everything is other than you. This causes you to feel (experience) separation because experience is no better than your interpretation of it. The interpretation is loneliness. Loneliness is a statement that you are not satisfied with yourself. It is painful because at some level you know that you are not separate from everything. But this knowledge is not directly operational; it appears as a vague yearning for wholeness, oneness, connection, etc. This is how duality feels. If you investigate awareness, you discover that it has a peculiar relationship to the world, one that is quite different from its relationship as Cathy. When we hear that “I and the self are one” we assume that the self and the “I” are the same. They are, if the word “I” refers to the self, but if it refers to “Cathy” they are not the same. Yes, if there is such a creature as Cathy, she is awareness, but awareness is not Cathy. What does it mean to say that you are not Cathy? It means that Cathy is an idea that is concocted out of awareness, like a ring is created out of gold, but that awareness stands apart from Cathy, just as the gold stands apart from the ring. It stands alone. If you melt down the ring, you still have gold. If through inquiry you melt down Cathy, you are still there as awareness standing apart from the idea of Cathy.
This aloneness of awareness does not produce loneliness, because it cannot be otherwise. When you think you are Cathy and you feel lonely, it can be otherwise, so there is room for yearning. But it is not possible for awareness to be one with everything, because everything is already everything. It’s an absolutely essential thing to understand, but it is very subtle, so you need to contemplate it carefully. It may be that you are not quite ready to understand it yet.
Cathy: So you are saying that I need to understand that good and bad experiences are the same, just experiences, and when I see them as that, they will have no hold over me? Accept whatever is happening right now, pain or pleasure, understand them as experiences that will come and go and change like clouds in the sky, and stay with the self, take a step back and observe?
Ram: Yes, absolutely. But – here is the famous “but” – you don’t take a step back, you see that you are already back. There is no “stepping” in the sense of doing some kind of willful action. A shift will come, but it is a shift in understanding, a recognition of a fact, one that removes the longing for experience.
It is very difficult to see this fact about yourself if you are not willing to accept reality as it is, because the non-acceptance creates a continual disturbance in your mind that makes it incapable of contemplation. As humans we have been led to believe that changing the nature of our experience is the only way to solve problems, not to change the way we see experience. Ego is that stubborn factor that always wants things to be different from what they are, including the one who wants. Often it believes that if it were only a better person it would have what it wants. But this person does not need to have what it wants. Reality often denies us what we want because it wants us to know it. The whole karma yoga attitude of glad acceptance is based on the fact that reality, aka God, determines what happens, not our desires. Yes, if we do actions intended to produce desired results in an appropriate and timely manner and the result will further our evolution (which is only known to God), we will get what we want. If not, maybe we will and maybe we won’t. It is anybody’s guess. In the face of these facts, is there any other rational response than acceptance?
Cathy: What do you mean though by feeling the pain? Understanding it is just an experience, that it will change…
Ram: No, although this is true.
Cathy: .…or understanding that the reason I feel this pain is because I have not understood that I am whole and complete and I need nobody to complete me, as I am already complete?…
Ram: No, although this is also true.
Cathy: …or when I feel pain, move one step behind, as it were, like when Ramana asks, “Who feels the pain?,” and stay with the feeling or “I”?
Ram: Yes. Do not try to resolve the bad feeling by doing something in your life to change it. Don’t get drunk or call your ex. Stick with the feeling until you see how insubstantial it is. Stick with it until it is very clear that it is an object, like a table or a chair. See the self shining in it or behind it.
Cathy: So let me see if I understand what you are saying. You are saying that thoughts with negative energy agitate the mind, and in order to do self-enquiry one has to have a calm mind, therefore these thoughts are not helpful or conducive to self-realisation. You are also saying that John is just a thought in my mind, that he really is just consciousness, like me and the table and the chair and this computer in front of me; we are all the same because when you enquiry into them they are just energy, consciousness. This is easy to accept in theory, very hard in practice. So the thought “here is John” is what creates John in my mind and this is how the world that we sense is created. I think I got that so far.
Ram: That’s correct. Another gold star!
Cathy: And if I saw the self instead of John, John would disappear, as he is only a creation of my mind. Therefore there would neither agitation nor euphoria, like you say. And as you point out in “the sandal in your hand” example, we see it in our mind, not out there as it seems to be but is not. So when I see John, he is in my mind, not out there.
Ram: You are still on the right track.
Cathy: The next bit is a bit difficult, but are you saying that when this thought “John” appears in my mind, it is quickly assessed by my upbringing, culture, etc. (ignorance of the self) and then it interprets it as good or bad, when in reality it is just a good or bad thought in my mind?
Ram: Absolutely. No doubt about it.
Cathy: If this is the case, what do I need to say to myself when these thoughts come up, like John is such-and-such or so-and-so? “John is just a thought in my mind, he does not really exist, he is just consciousness, like me”?
Ram: Yes. Just be aware of what your likes and dislikes are adding to the John-thought. Ask yourself why you are making a big story out of the John-thought. See how stupid it is.
Cathy: I also need to sort out my hate towards his ex-girlfriend/present-friend girl because when I think about her, my blood boils. I guess the same principal would apply? As you can see, I have a great resistance to seeing her as any other thing than a manipulative, egocentric, bimbo-bitch!!! Oops…
Ram: The bimbo-bitch is only in Cathy’s mind. Insecurity and low self-esteem is behind this hatred. When you don’t properly love yourself, you feel small and insecure, so Cathy compares herself favorably to some and unfavorably to others. In this case you she thinks she is better than the bimbo-bitch. The joke is that the bimbo-bitch is you! (Fortunately, you are not the bimbo-bitch.) There is no rational basis for this evaluation, only your psychological need to feel superior. It is what they call compensation in psychology. You compensate for a feeling of inferiority but putting others down.
Cathy: PS, don’t worry about the delay in replying. As long as you get my emails, I’m happy, well… I am the self, after all!!!
Ram: Right on!