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We Grow in Shit
Student: Dear Ramji, this mail is for your enjoyment as a Vedanta teacher as an expression of my gratitude to you. This may be a beautiful, intelligent ignorance but is no match for the intelligence of the Self yearning to be free. The process that brought me freedom from my painful conditioning also brought ignited the lamp of knowledge of a young woman I interacted with on the internet.
I understand that this is all jiva vasana stuff and there is only residual identification with it, but I talk as the little “me” to avoid awkwardness. It was impossible not to communicate with her, because she activated an ancient memory of a daughter I neglected and abandoned. I once considered women stupid, carnal and found that hanging out with men was much more interesting than looking after a family. There was an incredible amount of guilt in me. I craved forgiveness.
And there was more to it. I felt responsible for my daughter. She had lots of spiritual experiences she could not make sense of, because she did not have any spiritual knowledge and was not aware that she needed it. For instance, she had a temporary experience like Suzanne Segal describes in Collision with the Infinite that scared the living hell out of her. And she had her own painful conditioning that looked like it was a result of my past actions.
I insulted her with an inappropriate comment because I wanted more of her attention. When I look at it now, I almost did it on purpose. Something in me wanted to suffer even more in order to produce a shift in my perception so I would dig to the bottom of it all. And I did suffer terrible agitation.
But it was precisely this suffering that started the process of very deep, painful, long and gradual self-reflection on the roots of my neurosis that culminated in the dream I described to you previously. It was self-reflection from the perspective of Vedanta that deconstructed it. And my daughter needed to be a witness to the details of this deconstruction and its sincerity to be persuaded beyond a shadow of a doubt that my negative comments were never actually about her. This brought her freedom from her painful conditioning. She already had the knowledge. She only lacked confidence in it.
I no longer allow negative comments to upset my balance. I did my best trying to find my way through this huge, cosmic puzzle, just like everybody else. The essence of one’s attacks is the mechanism of denial and projection. People deny the painful conditioning received from their environment but are not ready to face and neutralize their stuff, so they project it on others. Understanding that nobody consciously chooses to be the way he/she is allows forgiveness. Forgiveness brings peace.
This is an exchange with the young Swedish woman on the internet who acted as a stand-in for my daughter. Owing to my Norse conditioning, I call her my dear Valkyrie taking me to Valhalla. I just did not know that Valhalla really means the holy spirit, non-dual awareness, and Valkyries come not only in a form of mystical beings, but also in form of people that are close to us.
She said, “Thank you so much. I always love to read your thoughts and perspective on things. ♥ It feels so good nowadays that I finally can truly understand the things you mentioned above. Even though I have always ‘known’ those things, evil comments or negative people always made me feel so sad before. No matter if I believed what they wrote or not, it hit me like a knife in my soul. Making me feel bad for days, sometimes weeks. But since a time back – I don’t know when it changed – I don’t feel that way from negative words now. I now truly feel that bad words are not saying anything about me, just about the one that says them. I can forgive and send back love. And – oh my God, that feels so good. Just as you say, it brings peace.
“A few days ago I was sitting in a meeting and one of the older men sent out the most awful energy to me. He looked the other way as I talked, ignoring my questions and had this look in his eyes as if he hated me. And instead of getting insecure, I smiled and sent this white light of love to him. In a way it felt weird, but also – so peaceful and right. I felt free, not captured in his low vibration.
“And also, hate/negative words or people trying to put me down is doing the opposite to me now. Whenever I feel someone or something trying to lower my energy, I instead feel stronger. It’s like they are throwing shit on me but from that I get nutrition to keep growing. ☺ I have no idea when or how this changed, but it is really new to me, and I am so thankful that I no longer feel like other people can put these ‘energy knives’ in me anymore.”
And, as if she were my daughter, I said, “You made my spirit soar again. I have always been convinced that spiritually you are like bone-dry grass. A little spark of spiritual knowledge could turn you into a raging fire of peace, contentment, confidence and love. What you describe is how true spiritual realization gradually works its way through a human being and affects his/her experience of reality. We seek knowledge because we want to be happy here and now, not in some future afterlife.
“People are not able to put these ‘energy knives’ in you anymore because the essence of every exchange in this world is love. Spiritually, love is much more than warm and fuzzy feeling in one’s stomach. It is a willful attention directed towards an object. When you say that you love someone it means that you pay attention to him. Hatred is simply love being expressed through a human being conditioned by his/her negative experiences but the essence of love is unaffected – it is still willful attention. Something in you recognizes this truth, drinks the nectar and discards the package. I have a feeling that you incredibly intelligently extracted this knowledge from the exchange that took place between us. Wow, I am truly impressed. You are the wisest Valkyrie anybody has ever heard of.
“Yes, peace feels very good and we want to hang onto it as much as we can. This is the main reason we seek spiritual knowledge. Experience is an exchange of energy, and energy is by nature fickle; it constantly fluctuates. When we have knowledge about its essence, these changes can only affect us to a very limited degree. It is like having a drone flying high above the hurricane informing us about its direction so we can always stay in the eye.”