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Stand Up and Fight!
Mike: Dear Ramji, Maya is just such a giant suck. It pulls you in and beats you around to apparently no end. What’s the deal? Binding vasanas? Results from what thoughts and actions?
James: (I deleted a two-page “poor me” rant to save you, my darling readers, the misery of reading about my friend’s miseries, which, rest assured, are legion.)
Wow! You are angry and depressed. I think you gave the basic answer in your last email with this sentence: “I am about to start making progress again but have been too tired out by Maya and doing other work that isn’t in phase with the swadharma of this jiva.” What is the svadharma of that jiva?
In lieu of a definitive understanding of what the jiva is supposed to be doing, I’d say that karma yogi might be a good svadharma. That would certainly go a long way to wipe out the Maya complaint. Maya is just a state of mind, not an actual fact, which means that your state of mind is a giant suck. If the joy is not in the object, neither are the miseries.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but would you be happy if the tips were good and the money rolling in? Is financial insecurity the issue? It would not be surprising insofar as service people in places of great wealth are really pissing in the wind. The money logic more or less guarantees a sense of despair, but to hell with money logic. I know it’s probably the beautiful women that keeps you in Hollywood, but perhaps you would be happier in a place like Portland or one of the tech hubs where creatives congregate.
Anyway, the quick and easy solution is karma yoga. Not only the “count your blessings part” but the right action part. Start your day differently. Get up early, shower, meditate for twenty minutes, read a few verses of the Gita and head off to work with the idea of loving those dumb rich fucks (who are incidentally God, for your information) and don’t let your state of mind ride on the tips or no-tips. That will put a smile on your face and the rich punters will probably feel more inclined to pony up for a happy person than a resentful gouchy one. Go to bed at a reasonable time, etc. Think “I’m the Self. Maya is just a state of mind. My customers are Isvara. I love ’em,” etc., etc.
So yes, results of bad thoughts about sums it up. It will all change when you resolve to do your life as sadhana. You’ve got a roof over your head, food and clothing and enough spiritual knowledge to thrive, much less survive. Oh yes, one more thing: set up an altar – you can nick a fancy icon from one of those pretentious spiritual centers favored by the rich, a Buddha or a New-Agey crystal, and don’t forget to snag a few boxes of incense and a candle or two when nobody is looking – and when you get up in the morning, light a candle and pray hard to Isvara to see things differently. Vedanta works, Mike. Sadhana works. Maya is unforgiving if your attitude is wrong. It is a great blessing if you put out the right energy. You will be kissing Isvara’s non-dual ass if you get on the devotional bus. And finally, know that I am rooting for you one hundred percent. “Stand up and fight, O Mighty Arjuna!!!”
~ Love, Ramji