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The Power of Lust
Cathy: Hi, Ram. This is the next chapter in The Days of Our Lives saga, yes, John and me. He needed a blue computer cord which I had at home, asked me to take it to him and he would treat me to dinner. We had spoken on the phone the last few days and we seemed friendly enough with each other, so I agreed.
In a nutshell, he wants me to become his sexual partner. In return he offers me fidelity, but he wants to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, with whomever he wants (in other words, he just wants me there when he feels like a fuck, and I have the king prize of being the only receptacle for his pent-up semen (sorry for the bluntness). Besides these times, he wants to be free to do whatever, and see whoever, he so wishes. I’m sure there would be other minor perks that goes with this job, like some dinners, chai teas, etc. when he has nothing else to do. Last time (three weeks ago) when he came up with the same proposal, I told him he might as well buy a rubber sex doll. Either that or masturbate!! I still think this.
He is back in touch with his ex-girlfriend. He refuses to keep his emails between them (and other women) in the open (meaning he does not want me to see them). I say it is because he is hiding something, he says it is a freedom thing and sets a precedent. Besides this, he says that I will give him a hard time if I read something I don’t like. True, I tend to be emotional, but if they are only friends there should not be any problems. I’m sure he would not hesitate to show me his boring emails between he and his mates. And I’m sure I would have no problems in seeing them either, unless of course they were sending him porn.
I don’t want to have her in my life, and while she is in his she is in mine. He said to me then let’s just not talk about her since it gets me so upset. I said to him I will not sweep things under the carpet so he can have nice Cathy instead of bitchy Cathy and then he can have his cake and eat it too. I told him I’d rather just not see him if that is the case, and to let me know when he gets over it. I am quite happy and content on my own anyway (told him this too). He says that is an ultimatum and I say no, I have had enough of that bullshit, thank you very much. I am free to have in my life whomever I so wish, and I don’t want her in it. Of course he said she is in his life, not mine, to which I replied if I am in his life and she is in his life, she is in my life. How many times we went away for a weekend and all he ever spoke about was Sally, Sally, Sally. I’ve just had enough, that’s all. How can men be so easily manipulated, I have no idea.
At to top it off when John is admiring my body I am loving it and the self is nowhere to be seen. What a pathetic mess! Live a quiet, contemplative life and forget about relationships, they are just a recipe for trouble anyway. Thank you, Ram, and God bless you for your patience.
Ram: Jesus, Cathy! Do you think I’m a marriage counselor? Now you are getting an idea of the power of the vasanas, lust on his part and a craving for love on yours. I’m not sure why you are telling me this. I think you are both fools for slightly different reasons, but it all boils down to the belief that something or someone “out there” can make you happy. Why are your torturing yourself with this? What do you hope to gain? The net result will only be bitterness. As you point out, the self gets forgotten in this whole mess. Vedanta is for mature people, Cathy. This is kid stuff. I guess you will just have to go through it. You will have to let it go one day. I say do yourself a favor and terminate all contact with John. Try cold turkey. This gradual withdrawal is not working.
The way I see it, you have a certain nature and he has a different nature. You cannot be true to your nature and agree to his conditions. He is a fool for thinking that you can contravene your nature and agree to his conditions. It cannot work. The texts are clear that a wise person follows his or her nature. When you have sex with a man, you expect certain things. This is how you are conditioned. There is nothing wrong with it. In fact it is not your conditioning at all. It is Isvara imprinting rajas on your subtle body. John expects other things, i.e. to be given complete freedom to do what he wants as long as he doesn’t cheat on you. It is nearly impossible to find a woman in the world who would agree to such an arrangement, although it is a very nice ideal. But ideals are not reality. In any case he expects you to change. And you expect him to change his nature. If you want a healthy relationship with a man, you should choose a man who has a similar nature to you, someone who will not find your demands onerous. Is this difficult to see, Cathy?
The fact is that you cannot change your nature in this life. You did not create it and you cannot destroy it. What we are as psychological entities is what Isvara wants us to be, nothing else. So rather than feeling bad because you are a certain way, you should understand your nature and work with it, not against it.
There is nothing wrong with relationships per se, but you should examine your motivations. What values are determining the type of man that attracts you? Are they spiritual values? Are they tamasic and rajasic values? Is going with them going to lead you to peace of mind? This whole relationship business should be looked at rationally with reference to your ultimate goal.
Cathy: First of all, you don’t know how relieved I am by your email. I have been trying to change both John and myself so we can somehow have a relationship together. You are right, we are fools. John hasn’t changed and neither have I. And there is a logical explanation as to why this is so. I am not crazy or stupid or immature (well, let’s not go into that) for not being able to accept certain things.
Ram: That’s right. In fact you are more honest than John. He is probably trying to use guilt to manipulate you to do what he wants you to do. His subconscious game is that if you are stupid and immature he isn’t because he sees it and you don’t, and since he is more enlightened than you, you should do what he wants. But it has nothing to do with stupidity or immaturity. It is just a question of two people with different natures who want different things. You are more honest and straightforward than John.
I told him that he was a victim of level confusion, superimposing the self on maya.
What applies to the self stays with the self and what applies to maya stays with maya. His idea is right. If you both saw yourself as the self, you would have a good relationship. But you don’t. You think you are Cathy and he thinks he is John who knows the self. No blame. But he cannot say that Cathy should be the self. She can never be the self. She is Cathy, so what applies to the self does not apply to Cathy. If Cathy sees that she is the self, then she is the self. In that case she won’t be bothered by John and his desires. She won’t be bothered by Cathy and her desires either. He is saying that you should see it from the self’s point of view and if you do it won’t matter if he has other women friends, which is true. But you are suspicious and do not trust him. It may very well be that he can keep his pecker in this pocket and screw only you. Or not. But this is impossible for you to accept because you know how attached you are to sex and you assume that he is equally attached – which he probably is. The attachment is why the sex is good. You see him as a sex object and when he is having coffee with an acquaintance you will imagine that he is chatting her up for a piece of ass on the side. Maybe he has violated another woman’s trust before and you know about this. Maybe you are just the jealous type. Maybe you do not believe that he as seen the light and changed. Who knows?
Cathy: I see it quite clearly now, either it works peacefully and effortlessly from the beginning or forget it.
Ram: That’s right. Don’t accept anything that isn’t easy. Trying to fit a square peg in a round hole is vanity. It reeks of low self-esteem. You are so desperate to be loved, you will love flawed goods.
Cathy: And not that I did not know this, mind you, because somewhere in me I knew this, but the ego wants what it wants, no matter how much hell it gives one. It is for this very reason that I have decided to cut all ties with both my mother and my sisters. And I find myself quite peaceful inside by this decision.
Ram: That’s probably wise.
Cathy: With John (and after his conversation with you, which shocked him into some kind of reality), we have decided we are only to remain as platonic friends and we’ll see how this goes. If he doesn’t behave and I find that I am not peaceful around him I will cut all ties. In other words, I can’t go cold turkey yet. Yes, I know, I know…
Ram: “Platonic friends,” that’s a good one. ☺ The very fact that you have to give it a name shows that it is insincere. Keep suffering.
Cathy: One thing is confusing me though. You say John has his nature and I have mine, but are not our natures “the self”? In other words, isn’t “awareness” our nature? I don’t get it. Could you explain? What do you mean when you say Isvara is imprinting rajas on my subtle body? You talk about psychological entities. Could you go further into this?
Ram: Your higher nature is the same, but your lower natures are different. If you were both coming from the higher nature, there would be no conflict. But, alas, you are not, ergo conflict.
Cathy: It is true that “physical relationships” are no good for me, like alcohol and marijuana weren’t either and I knew I had to give them up long before I did. It’s the same with relationships. I see how they take up my time and energy and leave me with nothing. And it is difficult enough to remember I am the self without extra difficulties (relationship problems, which eventually always come up).
Ram: It’s not the physicality that is the problem. It is attachment to pleasure. It is a result of self-ignorance. If you know who you are, you won’t get attached to it. You will have it, but it will leave no vasana. But when you feel incomplete, pleasure is important, so you get a vasana.
Cathy: God bless you, Ram, and thank you.