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The Dream Aspect of the Waking State
Seeker: Hi, James.
Thank you for your prompt reply end of July, which was very much appreciated! I restrained the urge to immediately write back and instead followed your advice to take a break. Now over one month later and with a distance to “the happening,” I am calm and steady again, yet my perception of what happened and my doubts remain exactly the same. I try to be sharp to the point and really hope you can help me to understand/clarify my experience. It was too intense for simply letting it go. And since THAT “happened” I am not the same. I’m pretty sure only a self-realized person like you can help me here.
Is it possible to transmit a thought between teacher and student without speaking it? I clearly heard my teacher say while looking intensely into my eyes, “I suggest, if anything is left in you, you better leave it out now.” I checked the recording two times, it is not there. Yet, I heard it crystal-clear. A few days before, she advised me personally to “externalize” negative feelings, etc. Yet in this particular moment it felt as if my whole energy went out (not only the bad but also the good stuff). Before, I was in a very high energetic state of complete synchronicity. Actually, I really “felt” I am free. My mind was razor sharp yet gentle, and everything that happened inside and outside, even the teachings, everything in my waking state experience was totally synchronized and in one beautiful perfect flow. From THAT moment I was asked to internalize everything changed.
Just before, she spoke also about spiritual cheating and that she allows herself to be cheated because there is ultimately no cheating. I became fearful and contracted, paranoid and couldn’t sleep anymore, I had the feeling she somehow “stole” my energy and my state of being. From then on it seemed like she was indirectly talking about me in every satsang but when I confronted her she wouldn’t answer and told me that it was my problem.
This incident still influences my state of mind in various ways. I didn’t dream until it happened but now I have confused dreams every night. My energy seems to be completely gone and I sleep a lot. My burning desire for moksa is gone and I am considering taking up normal life again. She doesn’t answer my emaila although previously we had a very loving relationship. Due to this I am seriously doubting the teaching and the teacher. Before I was on fire for Vedanta. I’d love to believe the whole thing is my imagination. Can you make sense out of all that? What “happened” there? Would a teacher really harm me or “steal my energy” or let me fall down or suddenly stop supporting me and use me as an example?
OR did somehow these things appear/manifest in the “outside” because I got that fear that something bad was happening to me. So all what she said manifested spontaneously in the lectures without her intending to say it due to my mindset?
Thank you for your time and reply, James. I hope to meet you in person soon when you move to Spain.
James: Option 2: “Or did somehow these things appear/manifest in the ‘outside’ because I got that fear that something bad was happening to me? So all that she said manifested spontaneously in the lectures without her intending to say it due to my mindset?”
Your mind changed from sattva to tamas and projected a bunch of negative thoughts relating to Vedanta, the guru, etc. The cause of the shift, I believe, is probably due to too much attachment to the guru. Tamas is fear. I just spent four days with your teacher and I can’t believe she consciously transmits negative thoughts. Even if she was, if your mind had been sattvic, you would not have reacted the way you did. Sattva is like an early warning system that allows you to catch projections before they morph into negative emotions. Probably you have been working too hard on Self-inquiry. Intense concentration on anything generates tamasic karma, which sets the mind up to misunderstand. Tamas is avarana shakti, Maya’s concealing power. You are right that Vedanta is the best path for moksa, but as Swami Chinmaya used to say, “Hasten slowly,” meaning take it easy.
I don’t think you understand the teachings about the three orders of reality: paramartika satyam, vyavaharika satyam and pratibhasika satyam. Pratibhasika satyam is the subjective reality. It is like a dream state. When you are in it you don’t know you are in it, so you take what happens in it to be real. The projections are so real they seem to be coming from outside, i.e. vyavaharika satyam, the transactional reality. It is the dream aspect of the waking state.
I think what he meant by telling you to “externalize negative feelings” was to see them as objects, not to identify with them. From analyzing your account of the moment your mind changed, I think the subtler problem is related to your idea of moksa. Moksa is not a state of mind. It is freedom from the jiva/mind. I have no doubt that you were sattvic at the time and that things were going on very nicely in the apparent reality, but unless you are an accomplished upasana yogi (upasana yoga is refining, focusing and controlling the mind; it is the second stage of Vedanta sadhana after karma yoga), which requires objectifying the mind, you will change when the gunas change. Not because the real you, the Self, changes, but because Maya has caused you to identify with the subtle body, the antakarana, which is controlled by the gunas, which are unconscious factors. Most seekers believe that moksa is experiential, a special state of mind, i.e. pure sattva. You need to read the first and second chapters of my book The Essence of Enlightenment carefully, and once you are clear about it, then please read The Yoga of the Three Energies, which explains the action of the gunas and how to manage them.
I hope this helps.
~ Om and prem, James