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Squatters in the Mind
Robert: And a quick confirmation of Vedanta: there are these waves and waves of depression appearing in me; it seems from the satsangs this is quite normal at certain stages of inquiry? They are at times extremely difficult to neutralize…
Sundari: The depression is tamas erupting from the causal body, all those years and years of dark and heavy conditioning and the thoughts/feelings associated with it. It is vomit and there is not much you can do about it other than discriminate it as not-you. The prarabdha karma has to play out, like an awful smell from an old blocked sewer. It will end, the sewer will empty and the jiva will be free of it. It is already free of it as the self, but it is not an easy process for the jiva to go through. Don’t make a big deal of it. This is the less than fabulous part of self-inquiry. Stand strong in objectivity, no matter how overwhelming the thoughts and feelings, which are objects known to you. Thoughts and feelings are always changing, they are not real.
See the muck, don’t pay too much attention to it and above all don’t identify with it or try to pick through it. You understand the patterns now, there is nothing more to know or be said about Robert’s story.
Feel the bliss of the self that is always there no matter what is going on in the mind.
Trust the knowledge, it works.
And as always, practise karma yoga on those thoughts/vasanas. Consecrate them to Isvara. See them like squatters taking over the real estate of the mind, products of toxic waste, contradicting your true nature and values, and not-you. Reclaim the mind by practising the opposite thought no matter how ugly the thoughts/feelings. Even if you can’t chase them all off your land, you can ignore them. Trust the knowledge to be the bad cop that’s going to get rid of them permanently, all in good time.
It will pass, take heart.
Robert: Thank you for these, I find these short snippets of comment a great help when things get difficult for Robert, reading them constantly…
I call them Vedanta Bites. ☺
Sundari: I agree, short Vedanta bites often deliver a more potent punch than the longer teachings, as necessary as they are. All the teachings point to a very simple truth.
Think of it this way: you are unborn, undying, ever-present, unchanging, limitless awareness. One day, the jiva called Robert appears in front of you. Arising from you, he is perfect because he is you. But there is one problem. Maya, the power in you to delude has also appeared.
Although Robert is conscious only because your light shines on him, he now believes he is Robert. He experiences objects and identifies with them, believing he is nothing, empty, and needs something to make him whole. He believes he is a worthless, unlovable burden. He suffers. This suffering is also a gift because it galvanises him to find relief.
Through many travails Robert finds the Holy Grail, himself – Vedanta. But he still has a problem. He was given an exquisite instrument with which to experience. He now knows he is the knower of this instrument, not the instrument itself. But, nonetheless, this instrument has one big drawback.
It generates thoughts Robert has no control over.
It’s like he owns this beautiful piece of land, but squatters have moved in; ugly, smelly, gross, uncouth – even evil – squatters. And they take over. Worse, they do not even see him.They ignore him. It seems he is helpless to get rid of them even though they contradict everything about him. They paralyze the mind like a virus. Robert feels heavy, dull, depressed, sick and hopeless.
Then, through the dark cloud of tamas, he remembers. He is not Robert; he is the knower of Robert. Robert exists only because of the knower, his true self, awareness. He feels the power of self-knowledge stir; the thoughts recede somewhat into the shadows. But they seem to have a life of their own all the same. Even though he is the light that makes even those thoughts possible, there is a certain order that is keeping them in the real estate of the mind. They do not go away and they keep coming.
They come from an unknown and unknowable place, the unconscious – the causal body.But now Robert has self-knowledge; he is protected, and the thoughts/feelings, those awful imposters, cannot take over the mind anymore. They are known for what they are: phantoms of the opera called Robert’s life.
So don’t worry about them. The knowledge will take care of them in due course. Reclaim the power and real estate of the mind by giving it a project – noble work. Keep it focused on the scripture, on the self. If you don’t have an altar, create one. Practice devotion daily. Chant the names of the Lord, read the Song of the Self out loud. You, the self, are lord of the manor, owner of the mind. Those imposter thoughts will play out as long as they play out, and one day they will be gone. No trace of their existence will remain.
And Robert will be Robert, but he will no longer be burdened with Robert.
Say thank you to Isvara, accept what appears with gratitude. Feel the bliss of self-knowledge, always present, witnessing. It does not feel like anything. It is you, existence.
~ Much love, Sundari