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The Self Takes Care of Your Getting and Keeping
Karl: Thanks, James, I guess the doubt, worry and fear is there because the mind keeps coming in and saying maybe I haven’t done enough. It says I should be doing this and that to get more work, but I simply don’t enjoy doing the things that my mind keeps suggesting. I’m simply not as ambitious or goal-oriented with my career as I used to be. I’d rather be studying Vedanta… your book… yes, I have read it and am working on karma yoga, enjoying nature, sitting in contemplation, etc. I plan to reread the chapters on dharma, karma and karma yoga as well as eventually buy the DVDs to study when money permits.
James: Well, Karl, only you know if you have done enough. But if the conflict between earning a living and pursuing your spiritual inclinations creates a consistent doubt – which it seems to – and the doubt bothers you, the way to get rid of it would be to either be happy to live in reduced circumstances or to assume that your “mind” has a good point and do the work that is required in the karma yoga spirit.
I don’t know what your material circumstances are. Maybe you do not need what you think you need to survive materially. A lot of Western people define luxuries as necessities and could easily live with a lot less, thus freeing the mind to pursue a more introverted lifestyle. On the other hand, it is quite natural as you age and inquire to lose interest in worldly things. If this dispassion you feel is genuine – and not tamasic avoidance – and you keep your mind on the self, then you do not need to worry about worldly things, because the self will see to it that you are taken care of. This is my experience. I never had a career or held down a regular job in my life. I just did what I liked doing and somehow the money was always there. Now I have about $600 a month in income and I go all over the world like a jetsetter and live more or less like a king. It is because I keep my mind on the self all the time. In the Bhagavad Gita Krishna, speaking as the self, gives an ironclad assurance that if you keep your mind on the self, it will take care of your “getting and keeping.” I am not keeping my mind on the self because I am afraid of doing work to support myself. I just do it because it is the only thing that makes me happy and the result is that I don’t have to worry about money. After all, you only want money for the happiness in it, but if you are happy in yourself, you don’t need money. So it seems to me that you have to determine whether the mind has a point or not.
Karl: On a separate point, I remember in one of your satsangs at your website you mentioned that you have the ability to see/read auras, and I’d love to know if/what you see in mine… if you don’t mind… no biggie though! Thanks so much for your help, and I will continue to study.
James: The “aura” thing is just knowledge of the subtle body. I don’t know you well enough to make any statements and I should be in your presence to read it. And any statements I would make would not change anything anyway, so what is the point? And since the aura is in maya it is subject to the gunas and is in a state of constant flux – so what appears one moment will not be there the next. And anyway, you cannot make book on aura knowledge. Even if you could if you understand the teachings of Vedanta it is clear when you open your mouth and express yourself where you are caught up or not. I haven’t heard much about auras in recent years, although at one time it was all the rage, like past lives, channeling, manifesting, etc. At best reading auras is fascination with quasi-spiritual epiphenomena. I suppose people are interested because there is a belief that somehow this knowledge will give them “the edge” in their seeking, but I have not found that is so. For me, the condition of the aura just confirms or denies certain observations.