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Do It Right
(This is an analysis of the dream of an inquirer who recently fell in love and is considering leaving her family.)
Karen: Dear Ramji, I would like to share a dream with you I had a couple of days ago. Maybe there is a message here that could help me further.
Ramji: The dream is about the impact of falling in love on your spiritual quest.
Karen: I was having cancer in my pancreas. It was painful, really painful at the body level.
Ramji: The pancreas is the organ that releases hormones that break down food. So this is about the break-up of your family.
Karen: There was a woman all the time on my side, who was familiar to me. She was polite, wearing white clothes, quite small, was communicating in a clear way. She was determined to carry out a very specific task and that was to be sure that my death was to occur at 12 o’clock in the afternoon. She explained to me that her task was to bring me to a clinic where a doctor was going to give me an injection to put an end to my (family) life. I felt very sad and did not want to die.
Ramji: The woman in white is Isvara, a helpful anima figure. It is trying to help you end your family life quickly.
Karen: I was not ready for that, but at the same time deeply understood that there was no way of trying to convince her to change what was going to happen anyway. There was no room for me to decide or to change what was about to happen. It was a set-up that could only be in that way.
Ramji: Isvara is saying that your actions have made a break-up inevitable, so it is better to get on with it. You are not happy about it.
Karen: The dream was taking place in the town where I was born. I could recognize houses and streets which were familiar to me.
Ramji: This problem started in your childhood.
Karen: The problem was that I was not sure of my being sick in the first place.
Ramji: Nobody is sick, just ignorant of their dharma and who they are.
You are having doubts about leaving Terry because part of you knows that there was nothing wrong with the marriage in the first place. You must have seen Terry’s upside at some time or you wouldn’t have married him. That upside is still there but you want a particular kind of feeling from him that he can’t give. Your desire for romantic passionate love is stifling you.
The only thing wrong with the situation was the idea that there was something wrong. If you had worked that out in your own mind, you would not find yourself in this situation now.
Karen: I thought of a plot against me! But I knew that was only an idea and I would not have the means and also any time left to verify that fact.
Ramji: Ignorance is always plotting against us. It appears as ideas; in this case, the idea that you are bored and lonely from the long dharma of wife and mother and think that exciting passionate love with a spiritual guy will ring your bell.
Karen: The dream started around 11 in the morning, so I only had one hour to live. Everybody around me was putting pressure on me to get me to the clinic for that injection.
Ramji: All your dissatisfied thoughts are about ending the relationship. They have assumed the force of karma, and your situation is about to change. You need an injection of common sense, Karen.
Karen: I was walking around in the city with the person I loved on my side… had to go to the bathroom.
Ramji: Of course you did. It was a shitty idea. “On my side” means an illicit love affair.
Karen: When I was waiting for my turn, I heard two young women talking about traveling somewhere in January. I thought, wow, I will be dead by then and I was planning myself to go to India in January to meet my lover. How could people make plans? Life does not give any possibility of making plans. There is no time for plans!
Ramji: Your jiva has lost control to Isvara, the results of your actions/thoughts. You are afraid that the way you are going about this is a violation of dharma. Your guilt shows that it is. Plans are like prayers, an attempt to manipulate Isvara. What will happen will happen whether or not you plan.
Karen: It was painful for the body but also difficult not to understand what was happening. I thought it was sad not to have the chance to die in peace.
Ramji: Die in peace = leave the relationship on good terms. Ignorance of any sort is painful. Ignorance of dharma is particularly painful.
Karen: The whole story was being set up, and I did not play any role in it.
Ramji: Your actions made this result inevitable.
Karen: My body was feeling very weak, and I observed that my belly was having five big scars because five organs were being operated out of my body without my being aware of that… I couldn’t understand how that could have happened… probably that woman together with the doctor had put me to sleep before and the doctor extracted those organs out of my body…
Ramji: The exoteric meaning is that five organs to be removed – I think there are five in your family? – are going to be separated, i.e. it will no longer be a family.
The esoteric meaning is that you have lost your (five) senses, meaning you are controlled by ignorance-inspired lack. The five senses are knowledge-gathering instruments. The implication is that you need to get your common sense back so you can look at this situation clearly.
Karen: I called Ted (the person I love), who was somewhere in India, to tell him that I was going to die. He picked up the phone but couldn’t hear me.
Ramji: Ted is your desire for freedom, your spiritual vasana (India). “He can’t hear you” means that you are not listening to your spiritual side.
Karen: I was worried about him not going to know about my death.
Ramji: You are trying to integrate this situation into your self-inquiry.
You feel you are dying to your spiritual impulse in the name of love and it bothers you because you are taking an external solution (breaking up the family), which is going to be very difficult – you are ignoring the downside of leaving the security of the family for love. The guilt you feel is the downside. If you worked it out internally and saw to it that the love for Terry was still there before you left, and left amicably, your spiritual self would not have a problem with it. We have divorce parties in America, which is what Isvara is about to suggest.
Karen: I met my sister and asked her to go to India to look for him and then tell him about my death. I also asked her to give him my “Om” pendant (one I always wear).
Ramji: You want the spiritual part to know that you haven’t forgotten it.
Karen: I told my youngest daughter what was about to happen. She replied that it was not nice to grow up without a mother but she would be able to cope with that. She also asked me if she was allowed to use by herself the CD player in the car after my death, which had a CD with a satsang of Ramji!, and I agreed to that.
In the dream, I was a bit sad about the cold reaction of my daughter to the fact that I was about to die, and understood that I was not important at all to anybody. I thought life will go on after my death and that will have no impact at all.
Ramji: Everyone is ego-centered, so nobody really cares what you do. But she is fine because you have fed her spirituality.
Karen: That lady who was on my side all the time wanted to make a celebration for me. I told her that I did not have any friends for that celebration. She proposed that I invite 30 children from a kindergarten to be my guests. I asked her to cancel that event… I was not interested in any kind of celebration.
Ramji: The lady on your side is Isvara, your spiritual self, and she is saying that you take this situation as a gift from Isvara and enjoy leaving your family, but you are crying over spilled milk; you are feeling too guilty to enjoy your freedom because the way you went about gaining freedom from your karmic duty was adharmic.
She is implying that you need to offer the guilt to Isvara – so it doesn’t poison your relationship with Ted – and rediscover your love for Terry. Guilt doesn’t help. Just vow that the next time you find yourself in a similar situation you do it the right way. The right way is to patiently cut the ties in a dignified way and give yourself a year or two to heal before you get hooked up again. And you should take the new situation as an opportunity to intensify your inquiry.
~ Much love, Ramji