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Do the Right Thing: Convert Dissatisfaction to Satisfaction
Wilbur: Dear Ramji, would you mind taking a shot at this dream? This one particularly interested me.
I’m in a dirty cement tunnel (like a hallway) underground.
Ramji: The dream is about the causal body. It is dirty, full of tamasic and rajasic vasanas.
Wilbur: I am in some kind of army unit. Everything looks old, almost World War II style. My friend from high school, Carson, is with me.
Ramji: There are old conflicts (rajas) that have not been resolved. Anger. There is an old friend, the self, with you, helping you.
Wilbur: We are behind some kind of very old armored flatbed truck.
Ramji: Armor = fear, denial, protection.
Wilbur: We attack the truck and take over the bed.
Ramji: The truck is a vehicle, just as the ego is a vehicle for the self. Some part of you wants to destroy it.
Wilbur: I don’t really see anybody we kill but it is implied.
Ramji: It isn’t something you can kill because it isn’t real.
Wilbur: Then I fire pistol shots into the back window, side and roof of the cab to kill anyone else inside. From the back of the bed I open the driver door of the cab. I assume they are dead because no one is inside.
Ramji: Trying to kill your stuff doesn’t work because it is not real (no one inside).
Wilbur: I want to take over the truck but I can’t jump down while it’s still moving. The truck bumps into something and comes to a halt. I jump down and warily get into the cab.
Ramji: There are control issues (want to take over). The truck is your ego.
Wilbur: It is very dark and dirty.
Ramji: It is a guilty, shameful ego.
Wilbur: Although it didn’t look like it from outside, the cab stretches far off into the distant darkness. No one is there, so I get in. I call out that there is room for one more, and Carson gets in.
Ramji: There is room for the self in this battle. Carson, the self, is your old friend.
Wilbur: The truck is an automatic but it seems to have 30 gears; it even has two gears for reverse.
Ramji: The ego is programmed (automatic).
Wilbur: I back up to get away from what we ran into and then proceed onward. We come to an intersection and I turn right. As we drive I see abandoned junk and pieces of weapons such as gun barrels. I keep an eye out for weapons we can use because we are out of guns and bullets.
Ramji: You are out of ideas for cleaning up your shit. The stage has been set. There is old crap that you are not happy with. Now for the solution.
Wilbur: To my left I see a child in my peripheral vision. To the right I see a section of the tunnel where the wall is broken open. Outside the sun is shining.
Ramji: Child = purity, innocence. The right = the right path, the path of understanding (shining sun) that offers a way out (broken wall) of the conflict.
Wilbur: Then suddenly I am in a dead-end hallway lined with doors in either side. The doors are either closed or they are open to pitch-dark rooms. I may still be in the truck but I can’t tell. I don’t want to, but I go for the last door on the left before the dead-end. I crash through the door and then I am in a pitch-black room. I can’t see anything.
Ramji: Maya, ignorance.
Wilbur: The door has closed behind me. I feel around and realize I am trapped in a very small room.
Ramji: Ignorance traps the self in a very small room, the ego.
Wilbur: When I reach out, the walls and ceiling are only a foot away. I think I should be afraid but I am not nearly as alarmed as I should be. I can hear myself breathing heavily. I start to recite the brahmanandam chant in my mind. I wake up.
Ramji: The solution: don’t worry about it (not alarmed as you should be). Why? Because you have self knowledge, the brahmanandam chant.
Wilbur: Thanks a lot for interpreting my dream. What you said made a lot of sense and seemed spot on. I can see that I would like to get rid of or destroy all this uncomfortable stuff I have been seeing. I would like my ego to be different because it is an ego full of fear, guilt and anger. I would like it all to go away but there is nowhere to hide. It just keeps coming. There is a part of me that wants to manage it, clean it, purify it or change it but as you pointed out, I have no idea how and no means to do it either. I think it somehow stems from a lingering expectation that self-knowledge will make the apparent person different. It’s that idea that surely, over time, Wilbur will change and become a “better” person. I see that maybe he will, maybe he won’t, depending on what is coming through the karma pipeline. Not getting the Wilbur I wanted has caused anger and thus conflict. I thought I liked Wilbur quite a bit but it has become clear that I do not. It is hard to accept him and this in turn has made it hard to accept others. Thus more conflict arises.
Either way, what does that have to do with me? I see it. I’m fine. I suppose I felt for a while that that stance was a touch disassociative and I wanted to take a more proactive stance but it hasn’t helped. It’s made it worse because of identification. But again, I saw that too. No problem. I shine on Wilbur unconditionally, without prejudice and opinion. I love him even if he does not.
Ramji: Leave the self out of it, Wilbur. There is another way to deal with this stuff aside from letting it be and taking a stand in awareness: do the actions that neutralize it. It must be manifesting as some kind of behavior now. Find out the behavior that makes you feel good about yourself and do that. If you avoid and ignore, engage and participate. If you lie, tell the truth. If you are selfish, be generous. If you are petty, be magnanimous. If you are impatient, be patient. If reactive, be accepting. When you feel anger toward something, express love. When you have a fear, convert it to a desire. You will like yourself if you do. As soon as you become proactive the good feelings will eat up the bad feelings.
Wilbur: That makes perfect sense. The reason I had stopped doing that was because the motivation to change was always guilt and dissatisfaction and I was tired of that. Although, upon analysis, that doesn’t really hold up because, ironically, I was dissatisfied with being dissatisfied. I suppose it was just that I was tired of wanting Wilbur to be different. Still, in a proactive sense, doing the action of accepting Wilbur rather than rejecting him would help, amongst others. I’ll see what I can do.
Ramji: It’s Wilbur’s problem, so Wilbur is the solution. The point, as you see, is that dissatisfaction can be converted to satisfaction. Self-esteem depends on doing what is right for you. You like yourself when you do what’s right.