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God Isn’t Supposed to Motivate You
Kevin: Dear James, so I hope all finds you well. Things are good with me. I’m sticking with some Vedantic reading and getting back to things that fill me with joy. I had been separated from some things and ideas, but now see the value in them, such as martial arts, which grounds me, gives focus and helps me put my body into a context to live with confidence and dynamism. Ive been getting into literature again. [Walt] Whitman is inspirational, and novels and looking into classics from time to time, including philosophy, just to get the old noggin working. I’m working on some plans, but it’s going slow getting normal, normal work and living on-track. Relationships seem to always elude me as well. I don’t know what that’s about; it’s bothered me from time to time, but I think right now I’ll just let it be and see what comes. So on those two fronts, from your advice and really what I’ve normally tried to achieve anyway, it’s a bit slow, but I’m trying.
I’ve been reading some of your articles on why traditional Vedanta works that puts things into a nice perspective; I’ve also been reading Chinmayananda and others from time to time, also Bhagavad Purana, which does me a lot of good, I feel. I think my main problem is one of faith. I don’t seem to really know what the “spiritual” thing is about – like what it is or how one sees it. I’m thinking it’s because of that pesky experience idea, but the idea of knowing a true self and getting to a truth seems like a hazy goal at the moment. The God idea doesn’t seem to really motivate me. I see the value in values; it doesn’t really call to me to work for it. The inspiration of living dynamically and freely is great, like it touches anyone, I think, so I try and keep the definition at the beginning of the texts in mind: that one is the goal, so we all have it and that purnam, or fullness, wholeness, perfect, is our true way of being, just have to have full confidence in that knowledge. Well, I thought I’d say something. Thanks and much love.
James: Hi, Kevin.
I’m glad to hear that things are good with you. Work slowly. Don’t expect dramatic results. Relationships will come when you are clear about who you are and what you are doing in life. You’ve been a floater, just knocking about from one thing to the next. A worldly woman wants somebody committed to chasing objects, and a spiritual woman wants someone committed to sadhana, which you are, but you have not been going about it properly. You are right that the problem is the “pesky experience idea.” Real spirituality has nothing to do with special experiences. It is simply accepting the statement “I am always free” based on the logic of the teachings and then working patiently to remove the obstacles to the direct experience/appreciation of your ever-free nature. The God idea isn’t supposed to motivate you, Kevin. It’s supposed to set you free of stress.
~ Love, James