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Change the Causal Body
Jason: How do I consciously divert a thought that is controlling my actions on a subconscious level? If the vasana is deeply ingrained in the causal body, where all thought originates, where does the action of sublimation take place? It seems like the hawk guarding the hen house.
In Alcoholics Anonymous they talk about surrendering your will (i.e. thinking) to a higher power. I guess that would be the self. It seems to work fine if you are imagining God to be another Someone/something outside of yourself. But if God is the self and the self is manifesting the causal body… Well, you see the predicament.
If I take God to BE the pleasure I am erroneously seeking in sex/food/social interaction then that seems to point me in the right direction, but it’s not happening instantly.
James: You don’t do it instantly, Jason. You didn’t develop these samskaras instantly. The only way you can change your programming is to introduce a cognitive shift on the intellectual level. You “pretend” that you are the self and you start acting as if you were. You actually are but it doesn’t feel like it, so you fake it. Your vasanas are changed by the karma you do. If you don’t change the actions, the vasanas won’t dissolve but will be recreated with every action. Your will power will diminish with every action and you will start to feel helpless and your self-esteem will suffer. There is no quick fix. You have to see that what the scripture is saying is true and do the actions it recommends. It is a constant battle until sattvic samskaras are in place. Then life starts to flow and you experience a sense of lightness and self-confidence.
Jason: Since our initial conversations I have given up my need for others’ approval. Already I notice a difference in my relationships. It feels very good to be free of my ambitions.
James: Good for you. Nobody but you can validate you. The way you validate yourself is to do what is right whether your ego likes it or not.
Jason: But my petty habits are still there. The only difference is that I am disgusted with my own lack of ability to control them. Where I once felt proud of my virility, I now feel ashamed. It’s starting to cause a sort of depression. How ironic to know the pleasure is not in the act or object and feel so helpless. It reminds me of the couple of years it took me to quit doing drugs and drinking, knowing I had a problem but feeling helpless to overcome it. It’s demoralizing.
James: To your credit you are not in denial about it. You are facing it. There is nothing wrong with pleasure, but it is not something one should pursue. It should be the result of following a righteous way of life.