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Fear Prevents You from Seeing Things as They Are
Alice: Dear Ram, I am becoming more aware of an energy in my life that just sits there and doesn’t move. It kind of feels like stuckness, and I’ve been sitting with it patiently for years.
Ram: Yes, it’s tamas. When you have so much rajas you also have tamas in equal measure. Tamas means fear. This is why you are so reluctant to assert your divinity and claim your freedom. If you understood the spiritual science you would understand rajas and tamas and you would not make this kind of statement. The mind always has both in varying degrees. It’s not really a matter of patterns, although patterns will be rajasic, tamasic or sattvic.
Alice: I don’t think it’s been a pattern in my whole life, but maybe it has. Maybe fear… for instance, sitting with discomfort and not being able to speak about my experience with you. I want to speak and am afraid that if I do speak “things” will fall apart, probably a shadow of my situation with my parents.
Ram: If you take the psychological view then I think you can probably attribute this reticence to your parents. But it is just tamas, attachment to the way things are, fear of upsetting the apple cart, losing something, etc. In some relationships, particularly with samsaris, it is often not prudent to express oneself – I keep a lot of my feelings to myself – in social situations – but with a person like me I don’t know how you could have this kind of reaction. I am completely beyond judging you or withdrawing my love. It is not possible. I’m not sure why you can’t see that. My view is that there is nothing you or anyone else can say or do that will change the way I see you. Sure, if you consistently insulted me and didn’t respond to my entreaties to address the source, I would not associate with you anymore but I would not stop loving you.
If you just laid it out there, quit worrying about the reaction and were open to what I had to say, you would make giant steps – believe me. I often facilitate breakthroughs in people’s lives. Here is a quote from an email I got a couple of days ago.
“I am feeling a lot of gratitude towards you for all the time and personal attention you gave to me. I learnt much more in these few days with you in Tiru than I will learn in months of traditional teachings. And most of all, you grabbed me by the shoulders and turned me around 180 degrees, so I am facing the right direction now.”
I never attack anyone, but if you are protective of your feelings you will not put yourself in a position to hear the truth – and take it to heart. This woman was ready to hear some uncomfortable things about herself, and when I laid them out clearly they became clear to her, she let them go and her life just took off. I’ve been working with you for many years and yet you still feel reluctant to put yourself in the fire. This is tamas, trying to protect yourself. Your dietary obsession is about self-protection because of a tamasic thought – that “the universe is a dangerous place full of threatening stuff and if I don’t eat right I might die a horrible death of cancer,” etc.
If you value me as a spiritual teacher you need to be willing to see it the way I see it. This is what you have failed to do. You keep wanting to have it your way. When I say you should see it my way, I’m not talking about a personal way of seeing. I have accepted the spiritual vision as my own, so my view is in harmony with truth, therefore it is not a case of some big powerful ego brainwashing you to see things its way. The reason I got rid of my personal stuff and took the spiritual view on board is because it works perfectly. It delivers peace, joy and understanding. This is what we are after here, not hanging onto the rightness of a particular person’s experience.
If you are an ego, the conclusions you have come to about the way you are and the way life is are necessarily not going to be the most truthful. This is so because your likes and dislikes color your perception and make you come to conclusions that do not conflict with your likes and dislikes. But if you take the spiritual view, for example, you understand that likes and dislikes are the problem, so you have a completely different relationship to them than you would as a samsari. Samsaris (and there is a dedicated samsari in everyone) are nothing but slaves to their likes and dislikes. And this keeps them tied to the karmic wheel. The feeling of stuckness you have is bondage to karma. Attachment to your likes and dislikes makes you maintain certain boring, repetitive practices that weigh you down.
Alice: It seems that practicing detachment and objectivity doesn’t take care of everything – and I wonder why I thought it should. I’d like nice, neat, little, pat answers to everything, but it seems that once one is formed, it is unformed.
Ram: You can’t really practice detachment and objectivity. You can only see that, as the self, you are already non-attached and objective. When you practice it you get the problem that you mentioned. It goes and comes.
What has to happen is that you have to inquire into who is practicing what. The one who is wanting to be objective is the problem. This one is not you. It is an imaginary person that has come about because there is self-forgetting. Anyway, this should be your gurugic money’s-worth for today.
~ Love, Ram