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Kick Sand in the Face of Fear
Samuel: Hi, Sundari. This week has brought some interesting changes in my lifelong battle against debilitating fear. Below is a quote from Ramji from Surrender Is a Concept Too from the “Suffering - Emotions - Fears” satsangs that relates to this. Please forgive some of the language below.
Sundari: Great email, Samuel, good for you! It is so strange that it takes the ego so long to understand that it has nothing to fear, even with self-knowledge. Deep samskaras are just that – deep “in” the causal body! I did send you the email Ram and I wrote on samskaras, didn’t I?
Samuel: About four days before I read this I woke up and just said, “Fuck it. I will not cower in fear for one more second of my life. I don’t give a fuck what happens anymore (as long as I follow dharma). In fact I would rather the things I fear so much actually happen than spend one second of my life being a weak, miserable, whiny, complainy, totally afraid, useless wimp (this was said in the right spirit, not in a low self-esteem or self-loathing way).”
Mind you, Mr Doer is taking all the credit here, but this actually happened to me, it was not done by me.
Up till this point, for the past couple of weeks, Isvara was giving me a hell of a time. I was on the receiving end of a monstrous ass-kicking from Isvara. I was at war with deep samskaras, and let’s just say I was not winning.
Sundari: It is absolutely essential to go through this process if one wants to grow up spiritually. You have to take control of Isvara if you want the programmes that run the subtle body to change. You have to force Isvara to change so that new programmes operate in the subtle body. The alternative is to keep getting your ass kicked! Of course this is speaking as the doer, which is fine as long as you know that it is not the ego doing the changing but self-knowledge. Have you read the article James and I wrote and put in the latest newsletter? I have attached that for you too.
Samuel: Maybe it’s my own fault though, because I tell Isvara every day that I am completely willing to face what I have to face in the name of mental-emotional purification. Heck, I tell Isvara to “bring it on” because I want to get on with it and get it over with.
Sundari: Yes, you have to be careful what you ask Isvara for! Isvara will respond in the way you ask for a response. It’s guaranteed you will not always like it!
Samuel: So I was able to drop a lot of fear, on the spot. It makes me think of the Neo teaching to just “drop your fears and suffering.” They are actually right – you can do this – but they don’t realise the enormous effort it takes for the mind to generate sufficient power where it has the ability to do this.
Sundari: Yes, indeed. You can’t drop the fears anyway. You can only drop the one doing the dropping. The fears will leave when the programme that keeps them running have been changed in the causal body.
Samuel: I realised that it is a total insult to me as consciousness for jiva to live with such fear. It is a total to insult to me as a person, to you and Ram as my teachers, to the Vedanta sampradaya as a whole.
Sundari: No, it is not an insult to us or to you. It is just impersonal, beginningless ignorance. It has nothing to do with you or us. To say it is an insult is to identify with it. Just see fear for what it is: False Evidence Appearing Real.
Samuel: Here is the quote: “The point of all this, as I’m sure you have divined, is not about childrearing but about establishing your authority with the weak, ignorant, childish part of the mind, the part that wants what it wants, the way it wants it, when it wants it. Yes, everyone has fears but the problem is not the fears. The problem is that you permit them to be there in the first place. You accept them. Vedanta says to stand up to them. Show contempt for them. Tell them to fuck off. Laugh at them. Mock them. They are nothing.”
Sundari: Yeah, kick fear in the butt! James hates fear; he will not tolerate it.
Samuel: And last night, after a rare day off from Vedanta, I had my first glimpse in a long time of the beauty behind the curtain. It happened, if you can believe it, while I was watching Dirty Dancing. I wasn’t really watching it, I just had it on in the background while I was doing some stuff. I saw some of the dance scenes with Patrick Swayze (probably my all-time favourite actor) and Jennifer Grey, and it just hit me, there is beauty here. Beauty everywhere.
For the first time too I understood art, or at least, started to. I have zero art vasanas but I saw that I was missing the point, that I did not understand the artist or what they were trying to express. I was seeing without tamas and rajas, I suppose you could say, and it was fabulous.
Sundari: Yes, indeed! Fear and anxiety (tamas and rajas) have to go first before beauty can be recognised, because they cover sattva.
Samuel: All of this reminded me of another film, American Beauty, an absolute masterpiece of filmmaking, which has a character that senses the beauty in everything, even amidst the massive suffering that is depicted in that film by all of the characters, himself included. The main character learns this lesson as the film draws to a close.
Sundari: One of our all time favourites; we watched it again the other day just for fun. We love Kevin Spacey and the character he played in that movie. The young man was brilliant too, poignantly capturing the essence of the unbearable lightness of being to perfection.
Samuel: You know, I must confess, I always struggled to understand what Ram meant when he says that life is beautiful. I sort of knew but not really, because I just couldn’t see it yet.
So it has been a fascinating week.
~ My love to you both, Samuel
Sundari: So happy for you, Samuel. It is a real breakthrough. Now when the fear returns just do not give toxic thoughts any credence. Say “Oh, you again. Well, take that!!” and zap them with the bug-zapper of self-knowledge! ☺ The more you do this the more self-confidence builds up and eventually the thoughts will not rise anymore. Give yourself permission to be an enjoyer. Relax. This is why we say that for the enlightened there are only bhokta vasanas left – enjoyer vasanas. It means that the vasanas are still there but they are like seeds that have been roasted, they cannot sprout anymore. So all that is left is to enjoy!
~ Much love to you too from both of us, Sundari