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Mike: Dear Ramji, I am hoping this mail finds you well and have a question that is really puzzling me – it may take a few sentences this time.
In listening to the Viveka Tiruvannamalai MP3s since the spring when we met almost every day, it can be I need to listen to just one 10-minute part over and over again. There is something in there I gotta get and then it’s like an almost physical sleep comes over me just when the vital 30 seconds comes up – I mean, I am fully awake – but each time I miss the part I want to hear until maybe the twentieth time, then I can move on.
I notice the same when “discriminating” often just after reading Viveka as well, like a really new piece of knowledge stops me in my tracks, often with a feeling of gratefulness. Then as I then try catch it, make it permanent, this dull magnet thing drags my head in a sleepy way and I might be gone from it for hours, maybe days!
There is a symbol of a snake eating its own tail; it’s as if the very thing I am using to discriminate is eating itself, like it is getting less and less… it’s not bad or evil… but maybe this thing just tries to survive and knock me out temporarily – but it can’t be me, the self?!?
Any help on this one much appreciated, as always. I hope to meet you in Germany in the spring!
Ramji: Lovely to hear from you, Mike. It is hard to say for sure but it sounds like there is some unconscious belief that if you get it you might lose something you value, so the ego, the self under the spell of ignorance, becomes very tamasic when it feels threatened. Ignorance is fear, and it is pretty intelligent insofar as it wants to survive. Probably you don’t have to try too hard to get it insofar as there is no definitive moment when you do, although sometimes it feels like there is. Just keep listening and reflecting; the inquiry is working fine. The ouroboros, the snake eating its tail, is a great metaphor for what is happening. I’d say that you are getting closer and closer to cracking the code. There is a war inside between the self under the spell of ignorance and the self destroying the ignorance with the help of the teachings, the self, you, eating yourself. It can only be that way because reality is non-dual.