Search & Read
Graham: Hi, Sundari.
Tomorrow I am planning to see James again. As I prepared myself for the seminar, I reread my exchange with James and you.
I feel motivated to learn from our exchange and prevent repeating old vasanas:
When you pointed out the critical, judgemental part in myself and the flawed idea that I am special and rather live a safe life in my “ivory tower,” did you feel angry and frustrated because it is important for you that I respect James’ contribution to his students and the sampradaya, respect his decisions regarding his private and business life and move out in order to grow up?
In other words, would you like me to appreciate what James and you have built up and how much time and love you put into your contribution to the world? And how much James has given to me in particular?
And thus that I maintain a professional distance and refrain from any critical judgements regarding his actions?
Would you also like me to see to move out of the flat which is in the house of my parents? To leave my safe ivory tower, so to say? Would you like me to mature up and instead work full time or at least listen to a full-time Vedanta program?
I feel grateful and inspired for the opportunity to come back to our exchange, Sundari, and it is important for me to receive feedback from you to my questions in order to grow up. Can you do this, please?
Sundari: What is it you really want, Graham? Do you know?
I have no interest in telling you or anyone what to do. I am not your parent.
I can tell you this though – judgmental people generally have one major issue in common:
Deep samskara: low self-esteem. Perfection. Fear of failure and inadequacy.
When triggered, it causes four pretty predictable reactions, all guna-generated of course. Rajas: projection/desire; and tamas: denial/negativity.
1. Perfection causes COMPARISON, which causes criticism and JUDGEMENT of “others.”
2. Envy causes self-pity (“Why doesn’t anyone value ME!”) masked as “mysterious,” arrogance or self-aggrandizement.
3. Touchy, taking things personally. Attack. Self-defence. Justification.
4. Self-criticism. Remorse. Guilt. Shame.
All judgment is an attempt to deflect attention from the low self-esteem samskara that gives rise to these thoughts/feelings about yourself projected onto someone else. It is usually someone who is much admired by others, who is first put on a pedestal just so they can be knocked off.
It matters not to us what you think of us, Graham, don’t you get that? All your negative judgments and thoughts about us speak only about you, in bright neon colours. Have all these years of exposure to the teachings not taught you that much? We know who we are and what we do. You can judge or not judge, so what? We don’t care. The only one who suffers is you. We know who you are both as the jiva and as the Self. James has always loved you and makes special time for you because he believes you are sincere despite a few jiva hang-ups. He is not interested in where people come from but where they are going. He never judges, because he understands everyone as a jiva and sees everyone as the Self.
Nobody is perfect, Graham. Acceptance of this brings great relief. The antidote to the low self-esteem/perfection samskara is to love yourself anyway. Refusal to do so is just narcissistic, egoic, small-self obsession. To understand this requires responsibility (ability to respond appropriately to Isvara) and results in freedom from the jiva and its useless expectations and attempts to make mithya into something it can never be – real.
Yes, James-jiva is above reproach, and I do get annoyed with people who do not understand this and judge or try to smear his name, especially people he has helped so much. But that is just Sundari-wife. Nobody can damage him or me. We may not be perfect as jivas, because that is not possible, but we are perfect as the Self. We live the teachings. Our karma is spotless.
We love our jivas with their beautiful imperfections because they too are the Self.
It is for you to work out who and what triggers you and why. It is all part of growing up. I hope you enjoy the seminar with or without your judgments.
~ Love, Sundari