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Stand Up and Fight
Cornelius: Ramji, I am enjoying some really blatant tests by Isvara lately to see if my dispassion is solid. So far I’m not totally failing but not totally succeeding either. My father got himself into a legal rights battle and ended up with five to ten in the federal slammer. It was totally avoidable, brought on by his own karma. Nevertheless, misguided as it may be, I’m inclined to arrange a new lawyer to fight it on appeal. But maybe I should just let it stand. It’s the feeling that I “should” do something that pisses me off. But it’s coming from my own desires and fears, which I can’t fucking stand. At the same time my brilliant 16-year-old gets his girlfriend pregnant. I feel like I “should” do something. Again, my own desires and fears are trying to push me around.
Another part of me feels like I should let my dad sit in jail for his own stupidity and let my son drop out and work at McDonald’s to pay his own rent and child support. I was thinking this whole family BS was winding down. Wrong. What’s a jnani to do? But then again, nothing ever happened.
~ Love, Cornelius
Ramji: Hi, Cornelius.
Sorry about your family stuff. I’m assuming that you’d like me to weigh in on it? Nobody ever follows my advice, but that doesn’t stop me from offering it. Here’s a quotation from one of our sages: “Bitten by the vipers of guilt, obligation and responsibility, man suffers endless births and deaths in the ocean of samsara,” i.e. misery.
1. Your genius son. If they don’t wean themselves, it’s up to the parents. I think you should let him become a man and take care of his own karma. Be there for him as a friend but kiss the dad role off. Tough love.
2. Your contentious dad. Same story. Why waste time and money? He needs to grow up and accept the consequences of his actions. No place like the slammer to get one’s head straight. Tough love.
3. Sentimenal Cornelius. Treat yourself right. Turn the whole mess over to Isvara and manage your emotions. Empathy is great but it doesn’t necessarily imply action. Don’t cross the line or you will be singing a sad song for a long time. If you don’t learn your lesson, Isvara will just keep throwing it in your face until you do. There must be some part of you that likes to suffer. Take a stand in your true nature and let the world be. All beings follow their nature, what is the point of trying to make it work according to your idea of how it should work? At some point you need to set Cornelius free. Looking after these people is a losing proposition. Anyway, they aren’t “your” family. They are the Lord’s family. Think of yourself. You need to sign up for my FIFY (Fuck Your Feelings Yoga) seminars. Guilt, obligation and responsibility wall one off from joy. Stand up and fight, O mighty Arjuna! The Cornelius guy is a bit too sentimental.
Finally, leave the “nothing ever happened” stuff alone. If nothing ever happened, your relatives didn’t happen and your attachment to them never happened and God is great and life is so good you don’t know how you can stand it! Go with the jnani part, not the Cornelius part.
~ Much love, Ramji