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Why Do I Want a Relationship?
Aleksandra: I am returning to our earlier correspondence because I’m still working on my love/sex vasana, which is an ongoing battle. I have my victories and I can see the self-knowledge working on me. Even if I decide to throw the vasana a small bone from time to time I get knowledge in return – which is stronger than a feeling of disappointment. But I need to clarify one thing. I think I know the answer already, but I need to confirm it with a teacher.
There is one statement you have written previously that bothers me. It states that, “If you love yourself as you should, either you most likely would not have a problem attracting an appropriate mate…,” which my EGO interprets as something that I am doing wrong, therefore it is my fault and that I should do something differently. But I am not a doer. Isn’t it Isvara’s doing alone, the whole maya field – knowing someone, attracting someone, meeting someone? And that the only true statement in the light of Vedanta is that all I need is to love myself, being ALL ONE. You wrote it in the next part of your statement. Therefore I consider the full statement contradictory – as the first part states I am a doer and the second refers to me as the self.
I might have understood it, contrary to your initial intention, therefore I would be grateful if you could explain it one more time. My ego seems to be very fond of the idea that it can do something to attract Mr. Right and it keeps interfering with the stability of the self-knowledge that nothing needs to be done, because I have what I need. ☺
Sundari: In the mithya world, it is always a both/and, not an either/or. The point is always: From which perspective are you asking this question? Are you the self or are you the jiva/ego? The self has no needs and is not a doer. When you live free as the self, you are the most attractive person to everyone because you have no emotional hooks, no agenda. There is nothing more attractive than the firm confidence of the self that needs nothing from anyone. On the other hand, the jiva/ego has needs and believes it must act to get what it thinks it lacks because it sees itself as separate, incomplete and alone. Need is the most unattractive quality in anyone.
If you are thinking as a jiva and insist on a relationship, if or when Mr. Right shows up do the relationship as karma yoga. If you understand karma yoga – and I have unfolded this teaching for you (Ramji also has many teachings on this vital practice in his books), then you know that the jiva never stops acting. Doing is not about action, it is about identity. Moksa is negating the idea that “I am the doer,” so I act appropriately with indifference to the results of action and accept the results that do come as prasad.
To get what you want to satisfy your wants and be successful, you need to act appropriately. Acting appropriately and in a timely way is not about “right” or “wrong.” It is about clarity with reference to your goal and doing what is required at the right time. However, you need to understand that karma yoga does not guarantee success – nothing does. You may or may not get what you want. Isvara always takes care of the needs of the total first. The worry about results compromises your actions and the possible results – worry does not help, it hinders. The field of existence is always asking you for something, all the time. Your duty here is to serve life, Isvara, FIRST. When you are obsessed with getting what you want, you are not contributing to the field, you are only extracting, and you will be an unhappy person.
Self-inquiry is always about the “why.” With regards to the overriding need for a relationship, we must ask ourselves, why do we need a relationship? Why do I want somebody in my life? Why am I not content with myself as I am? Why do I think that somebody else can improve my life? Am I bored with myself? Am I lonely? Why am I lonely in a world with billions of people? Who is lonely? Who is needy? Who is this “I” that seems to want things? Is this “I” really me? Can this “I” give me lasting satisfaction?
The glaring truth is, if you are seeking a relationship, you are reinforcing your desires and fears. Accept the truth: being in relationship will not make you any happier than not being in one. In fact, if you have not inquired into why you need a relationship, the chances are very good that the relationship you are in or that shows up will make you extremely unhappy, usually sooner rather than later. Lack tends to attract lack.
There is nothing wrong with wanting a relationship, but there is nothing right with it either. We need to consider the downside of this desire carefully and logically. If we go into a relationship focused only on the upside, we will not find relationship to be fulfilling. Our likes and dislikes soon rear their nasty little heads – and so do our partner’s. The game is ON. All bets are off now as to how things will end up. Life is a zero-sum game. There are benefits to and miseries in being in or out of relationship.
The upside always cancels the downside. It’s fine to want what we want, but it makes us blind to that fact that wanting itself is the problem. The uncomfortable truth most people don’t want to face is that wanting does not stop when we get what we want. We do not solve anything by getting what we want. We simply create more wanting. A Course in Miracles says, “From what you want God won’t save you!” So a serious inquirer should be trying to solve the problem of wanting another way, by doing inquiry into the one who wants what it wants the way it wants it, and why. Worldly people believe that getting what they want equals happiness, and no amount of evidence to the contrary seems to convince them that this is not true.
The cause of unhappiness is the belief that one is a needy, wanting creature, and not the whole and complete being that the Creator made us. Freedom is freedom from the one who wants. We are not saying don’t have a relationship; have one. But know that relationship won’t solve your problems. It will just create new ones. This is so because you are the problem.
As the jiva who knows it is the self, it makes no difference whether you are in or out of relationship, because you are full; you do not need anything to complete you, you are not dependent on anything for your happiness. All relationships are beautiful and serve their purpose, they are a contribution to the field – to be the love you are and to allow love to love itself. I have added the link to the interview Ram and I did a few years ago, on non-dual relationships. We have it for sale in the shop. I send it to you as a gift.
I am almost finished a book on the enlightened lifestyle, which will be available shortly on our website.
~ Love, Sundari