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The Shame Samskara
Student: Yes!!!! You nailed it for me, and I am very grateful. Your generous words of wisdom have resonated with my understanding and given me a clear direction to pursue.
This is exactly what needed to happen for my sadhana to deepen and for me to get to the root of these persistent samskaras.
As you observe, this self-esteem has been a lifelong issue for me, in my childhood, in my first marriage and then exacerbated by the Cohen experience. To truly deconstruct these negative and recurrent thought patterns is going to free up my jiva to be a true expression of the glorious shining love that is in my heart. I appreciate the detail with which you explain the specific work that is needed for this shift to be assimilated.
I will update you on my “progress” and thank you again!
Sundari: Samskaras may seem like they are singular, but they are connected to a vast underground network of other vasanas, like mycorrhizal fungi. They never manifest alone. The pratibandika colours every experience. Our deeply buried stuff exacts a high price, as unreal as it may be, until we see it and dissolve it all in self-knowledge. If you want to be free, you cannot be the jiva and the self. The jiva, while accepted and loved with all its faults, must be dismissed with all its stuff or freedom will never obtain.
Remember what I wrote in the newsletter some months ago:
Taking a stand in awareness as awareness means taking a stand in our fullness, not in smallness. As long as I try to turn the “other” into “my” husband/wife/son/daughter, etc. and try to work things out with him or her on that level, I am keeping the concept of duality, smallness, limitation, alive. The jiva can never compete with the self, obviously. So the jiva overcomes its smallness by living as the self and consciously doing battle with the “voices of diminishment” as they arise. It does not try to defend them. To do so only gives them life. And arise they do! It is difficult at first because you feel like a fraud, that you are trying to be something you are not. However, if we are hooked by the thoughts and emotional patterns of fear and diminishment inherent in being a jiva, even in seemingly small day-to-day issues, we will never be free of them. The ever-changing and limited idea of whom you are trying to keep alive as the person is just a memory, a guilt-inspired thought. For the most part, it is a toxic program. I say get rid of it, pay it no heed!
Dismiss the Jiva!
Even though I had realized the self, my problem for a long while was thinking that as the jiva never disappeared, it had to be catered to, as it is. This may be true – the jiva will remain as Isvara made it, for the most part – even with moksa – and we must love it unconditionally. Nevertheless, satya and mithya is duality if you think the jiva is as real as the self. Taking a stand as the self means the jiva is as good as non-existent. You are self. You are not the self and the jiva. So when jiva appears, dismiss it. This final realization only fully sank in recently, and what a tremendous relief it is. It really is true that nididhysana never ends for the jiva. Self-actualization is not for the faint of heart, that is for sure! Facing the small, less-than-fabulous part of the psyche Isvara equipped us with is not easy. It requires a great deal of courage to face the world as the jiva, and it takes even more courage to face the demons that awaits us in the causal body, to free ourselves of the jiva. When we do, we see the demons for what they are, just paper dragons. Not real at all.
We do need to separate the jiva from the self, 24/7, there is no other way to freedom from limitation. As soon as it creeps in, duality and suffering creeps in. Eternal vigilance is the price – as you know.
I recognize your shame samskara because I had one that was quite similar, same overlay. Shame is shame, and almost all humans have it, to some degree. It is very tough to break through the negativity/tamas vasana once it gets a hold of the mind. The thing with shame is that it arises from fear, as do most samskaras, and it plays out, day in and day out, in all areas of our lives. Because we have normalized it, we don’t register how much the mind conditions to it.
But you can do it because you know you are.
~ With much love, always, Sundari