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Ego’s Planning Function
Owing to rajas the ego feels a need to plan. Plans are fantasies because what is to come has already been decreed by Isvara, the causal body. The creation is a huge machine, and Isvara can’t afford to wait till the last minute to make up its mind as to which of many quadrillions of results should manifest in a given situation, so right at the beginning it thought the whole thing out, cranked up its almighty will, banged the whole creation into existence and sat back to watch the play. Transcendental boredom hangs heavy on Isvara’s hands and it needs entertainment. Even though jiva is a (very) mini Isvara, it isn’t omniscient, so unlike Isvara it doesn’t know what will happen. It knows something will happen and it has its silly ignorance-inspired desires, so it fantasizes.
For instance, you are an entertainer and you are planning an event. Many people will be there. It is your chance to shine, so you start dreaming all the possible ways you would like to experience the event. The very fact that you are invested in your plans means that you are setting yourself up for failure because things never go as planned. Well, they may generally proceed as you imagine, but rajas makes you so sensitive and vain that even one small glitch can ruin the whole thing for you. Your costume may malfunction and the audience may be treated to a bird’s eye view of your private parts. The embarrassment, the shame! But the audience greatly appreciates it because your song and dance is a little lifeless (tamasic) owing to the fact that you unwisely stayed up partying (rajas) till four in the morning the night before. Motivated by your desire for appreciation and recognition, you had imagined enthusiastic, adoring applause, but they were applauding for the wrong reason – you made a fool of yourself. Well, you didn’t really, Isvara set it up that way for its entertainment. It’s the audience too and needs to take care of the results of their actions. They spent fifty bucks and hauled their sorry asses to the venue, and they need to get their money’s worth. They would have been satisfied if your performance had been up to par, but it wasn’t. Isvara didn’t want to disappoint them – the needs of the total come first! – so it factored in the malfunction just for laughs. In fact somebody was filming with their smartphone, posted it on the internet where it went viral. You wanted fame alright, but not this kind of fame. Henceforth, people smiled when you walked into a room, but they weren’t smiling for the right reason. Poor ego.
When you plan without the knowledge that Isvara is the giver of the results, you are setting yourself up for disappointment, which you know (sort of), so you try to envision all the contingencies, which invariably leads to more desiring, planning and doing. You never reach the end of wanting.