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Does Sativa Make You Sattvic?
Morrie: I want to really thank you for the chance to help. It felt so great to contribute even just a little bit to the good effort! It would be easy for you or others who are totally engaged in their passion to take for granted how wonderful and rare it is to be doing what you love 24/7, so for me, a blessing just to help. Thanks for the chance to learn from you!
It’s ups and downs, ranging all the way from utter dispassion to biting the worm, taking it hook, line and sinker, as we used to say. I guess you could say I have had a “lot of range” over the last weeks. Maybe it’s because I am starting to pursue women, several, all at once. And experiencing everything from rejection (from the ones I like best) to admiration and desire (from the ones I don’t want to be with) and even a new best spiritual friend, whom I thought I wanted as a “lover.” Well, it turns out she is, just not the way I had envisioned it, from my meat-tube projection equipment.
I have still been doing that practice most days in bed, the sattvic energy washing over me, over and over. I think I am building it up, and sometimes when I practice discrimination, it’s like the sattvic energy blasts the demon thought or painful emotion out of the sky. My guess is that with my work and social desires, that the rajasic energy sometimes overshadows the sattva, and so we have some good waves on the pond of my subtle body.
I have given up pornography and do feel good about that, but that may explain some of the motivation for the pursuit of various females. On the other issue, smoking the sativa occasionally – you advised me to cut back to once per week. I want to say again I believe that used in moderation the sativa somehow delivers a clearer sattvic experience. So I want to ask you, as my teacher, if I can have your blessing to go up to twice in a week, which feels right to me.
Thank you for the blessing that you are and for reflecting that back to us who have ears to hear and eyes to see.
Ramji: It seems I have to give you a rap on the knuckles, knucklehead. Think of it as tough love. I have nothing to say about what you do, Morrie. I made a suggestion. It gives me an idea of your relationship to your vasanas, which gives me an idea how to teach you. You can smoke and wank yourself silly if you want. I personally think its pretty dumb at your age. It’s about right for teenagers and maybe even twenty-somethings, but for a smart, likable guy that’s pushing sixty?
The idea that sativa makes you sattvic is true but not true. Short-term yes, long-term no. The vasana it produces masks the real issue, which you fail to address. If it produced useful sattva, then you should smoke every waking hour. But it doesn’t. It just makes the mind tamasic. The sattva that sativa produces is simply a chemical way to deal with psychological pain, i.e. rajas.
The whole point of Vedanta is to inquire into the “why.” Why do you want a woman and why do you need to smoke dope, which, needless to say, unsmokes itself? What spiritual need is the desire for pleasure masking? How are they connected? To me it sounds like woman = sex for you. Is that true? The pornography seems to indicate that it is. Pornography is basically a response to the breakdown in communication between the sexes and the difficulty of courtship, which is a way that two people protect themselves against exploitation by each other and by their own desires. Pornography is sexual fast food. You are too lazy and too cheap to make a reservation, dress up, go out to a good restaurant and have a proper meal. It avoids all the messy stuff, the anxiety, the rejection, the lie, i.e. being honest with yourself, etc. But what is behind it? I know, but I’ll let you tell me. Once you find out, then you will have something meaningful to work on.
Basically, what you are saying is the mithya world is not a zero-sum game, that you actually think that you can game the system by getting a woman. How does that work? How has it worked so far? From what you have told me, there is no evidence that it works. Plus, I don’t know if you have thought this through properly, but did you ever question how people who are looking for “love” are going to find love with people who are looking for “love”? Oops, I spilled the beans! So I’ll give you the answer. It’s a love problem, Morrie. Wanking doesn’t make you love yourself any more, quite the contrary; it reminds you that you are a loser in the love game, which is not a great feeling, to be sure, but it is not the kiss of death. In fact it is an opportunity for inquiry. Smoking dope doesn’t make you love yourself more; it masks a failure to get high naturally by doing what’s right, which for a spiritual person is cleaning up messy karma.
By the way, how is your financial situation? Of course there is nothing “wrong” with wanting a relationship, but aren’t you jumping the gun? Are you at peace with your relationship with your ex? Any woman worth her salt emotionally is not going to invest emotional energy in a man who hasn’t processed the emotion he invested in his ex, not to mention financial problems. And if you find one that will, it means that she hasn’t cleared up her stuff, which means – well, you get the idea. Why didn’t it work out with that nice woman from the satsang, the one that sat in the front row to my left? Anyway, this is enough to chew on, I think. I’m starting to enjoy giving you a spanking. I expect an answer because this kind of satsang is kid stuff and above and beyond the call of duty.
~ Much love, Ramji