Search & Read
An Ever-Present Palpable Current of Bliss
Vanessa: Hi, Ramji.
Wonderful to hear from you! It was a real joy seeing you and Sundari in Bad Meinburg. I had a lovely time! Each time I see you and get to spend the time immersing myself in the teaching it feels like such a blessing.
I did have a question prior to seeing you. I knew Isvara would provide an answer courtesy of Ramji, and it was one of the last comments that you made (regarding associations with other people). I already knew the answer anyway; I think I just needed confirmation. I got into a relationship last summer. I didn’t initiate it, but thought I’d go along with it because I liked him and thought it would be fun. I didn’t see the harm in engaging with maya a little bit more. What happened was I quickly realised he was very rajasic, an extreme enneagram type 3 (achiever) personality. Dealing with the rajas and tamas (which does tend to rub off on you) and being around some of his friends, who I didn’t necessarily feel comfortable with (some of them totally didn’t get me at all!), I started to get a very agitated subtle body.
I mistakenly thought that because I can see the Self in all people and situations that “I” as jiva should be absolutely okay in any situation. I think I’d slipped into a mindset of saying “yes” to whatever was coming along. Sometimes that works, but sometimes it doesn’t. I realised I need sattva, for nididhyasana if nothing else. I also thought I could dance through a relationship without forming an attachment, but object attachment is very insidious. (I read this article just yesterday <link> about the neuroscience of attachment and found it fascinating. It’s almost like neuroscience outlining how vasanas are formed – the structure of the brain literally changes! As jivas we are indeed hardwired to develop object attachment.)
Anyway, I realised that the relationship/situation probably wasn’t in line with my dharma. It was difficult to end it, but I did, and it was for the best. Fortunately, we are still very close friends. It’s been a learning curve. I was able to watch attachment forming, and the stress caused by trying to hold onto a situation that wasn’t right. It made me realise the necessity of vigilance. I know as awareness I am always fine and unaffected. But as a jiva interacting with other jivas and the mithya world, I don’t know if I can let my guard down yet.
At the time it seemed a bit selfish making decisions based upon what does and doesn’t create a sattvic mindset. But I feel that’s as good a means of making decisions and navigating maya as any. I don’t function that well with a rajasic/tamasic subtle body! A sattvic mind seems to be better for me and the world around me. I’m also aware that I’m happiest when I’m able to tune my mind into the bliss current of the self. No object compares to it all, although the mind still frequently forgets this. ☺ Sorry for rambling!
I send all my love to you and Sundari. Hope you’ve been enjoying your travels and keeping in good health! You seemed very well and were in amazing form in Bad Meinburg. I’m hoping to perhaps see you at Trout Lake. My dad would like to come too; he has developed a taste for non-duality.
~ Much love, Vanessa
Ramji: Hi, Vanessa.
About relationships, it’s probably better keep your guard up until your love for yourself is unconditional. Even then, a watchful eye is always good. Have you read The Yoga of Love? It warns about this problem, association with non-inquirers, the insidiousness of the vasanas, etc. As Swamiji used to say, “The price of freedom [for the jiva] is eternal vigilance. It’s not selfish to take care of your jiva’s needs. I’m totally attached to sattva and proud of it. Fuck rajas and tamas; the downsides are too painful. Sattva is the basis of all my decisions, speaking as a jiva. Consequently, the current of bliss is palpable and always present.Nididyasana goes on till the day one dies.
~ Love, Ramji
A Disoriented Sense of Doership
Vanessa: Thank you, Ramji!
Your advice really helps. It clarifies what I already knew or suspected, but maybe wasn’t that confident about. I haven’t read The Yoga of Love yet, as I’ve been slowly working my way through Inquiry into Existence, sometimes only a couple of pages a day to really absorb and reflect (an amazing work, by the way; I’m blown away by the scope and immensity of it), but I will check it out now.
In some ways I’ve had a bit of a disoriented sense of doership the past year, and less of a sense of differentiation at times. This has made making decisions harder sometimes because I’m clear that I’d be fine with either option, assuming both were dharmic. I don’t know if this is a common “thing.” But there are apparent doings to be done and decisions to make on the mithya level, so basing choices on what is going to cultivate a sattvic mind and body is how I’m going to navigate now. You’re right. Fuck rajas and tamas! I’m very sensitive to their effects on the level of mind and body. It’s really not fun. Sattva is the way to go. Sattva and vigilance, as Swamiji says.
Ramji: The disoriented sense of doership is a consequence of superimposing satya on mithya. It’s true that everything is fine from the self’s point of view, but everything is not fine from the jiva’s point of view. One option is always superior to another. The crazy wisdom “teachings” are based completely on superimposing satya on mithya, the idea being that since I am beyond everything I can do anything. Well, you can, but unless that anything is in harmony with your svadharma, visesa dharma or samanya dharma, the doer, enlightened or not, is going to suffer. If it wants to be happy, it has to discriminate. And, since (experiential) happiness is sattva, the bliss of the self reflecting in the pure mirror of the subtle body, and since more happiness is always preferable to less happiness, it behooves an individual, enlightened or not, to do actions that produce sattva and minimize rajas and tamas. Choosing sattva is choosing sat, consciousness, in the mithya world.
Vanessa: Thanks for this, it really helps me make sense of things. I never realised there was an element of superimposing satya on mithya, but yes, it makes sense now. With my inquiry I’ve been so focused on my identity as awareness that I’m still learning how to integrate my understanding and live as both awareness and an apparent jiva; two different levels with two different “rule books.” I think I had the understanding that because I know I’m awareness I should be dispassionate about what goes down on the mithya level, but as I discovered, it doesn’t pay to get involved with situations and people that agitate the subtle body. You’re right, on an individual level I’m happiest living a sattvic life, and this enables me to enjoy an experiential happiness and function and live according to my dharma. I feel so much clearer now. I’m not even sure how this confusion slipped in, but I’m glad I spoke to you about it. It’s given me fuel for further inquiry.