Search & Read
The Feminine Archetype
Tom: I am having a hard time getting over my last relationship, with Karen. I know she is probably not right for me but I still want her back. I think she sees me as an impediment on her path. I wish her well. Sentimental thoughts appear from time to time but I try to release them knowing that the Field of Experience dishes out what it sees fit, not what my little expectations want. I have also spoken to my ex-wife but I see that her expectations will not allow her to be friends with me.
Sundari: I think Karen needs to sort out the mess her mind/life is in. Do you really want to be the scapegoat for the poisonous fallout of that unending drama? You are a wonderful man and human being and deserve to be loved and cherished, so don’t settle for less. Love yourself enough to see and be seen for who you really are, and you will be loved fully by everyone you come in contact with. When you love yourself for who you are, you do not put yourself in harm’s way.
What is the “Field of Experience” and who is trying to release these sentimental thoughts? You say you know that “the Field” will do what it’s going to do regardless of your expectations – presumably, you know the field to be Isvara? Tom can only assume that the message he is getting is that that experience is over and it is now time to assimilate it. As for your ex-wife, I know how kindhearted and generous you are but it is important not to be pushed around or allow yourself to be manipulated by ultimatums. The feminine archetype (in men and women) is manipulative and exploitative in many ways, so see if you hold this energy in yourself and have any unresolved issues around women, your mother, for instance. This energy is not difficult to identify (it is tamas) and see operating, because it is sticky, full of hooks. It is subversive, it conceals and denies, its essence is unfulfilled desire and need. There is often a definitive flavour of entitlement masquerading as self-righteousness, masking the (usually) thinly veiled threat of anger, or rage, which is aimed at intimidation (rajas) – and it is born of the aching longing to be loved which is behind all desire (more rajas).
Just be brutally honest with the whole issue and ask yourself why you think you owe your wife or Karen anything. There is no right or wrong about it for you, just what is most conducive to real peace of mind and freedom from the tyranny of misplaced obligations, (tamas/fear and guilt) which are imprisoning you, not to mention the illusion that someone other than you can make you feel loved or worthy. With the self-knowledge you have you know very well that this is not possible and will never happen. And if you really are seeking moksa, then you know that it means freedom from dependence on objects. If you cannot not act on this vasana then put moksa aside and apply karma yoga to your desire for a relationship. Throw yourself fully into it and see what happens. Go for it, let it play out. Maybe someone else will come along. The only problem is that if one has not dealt with the origin of the desperate need for a relationship (rajas), one will simply create the same situation again sooner or later, no matter who comes along. Even if the person of your dreams should show up, it will inevitably and inescapably be the same relationship – with a different person. This is because you, the person (i.e the vasanas/samskaras), is the same. You have not resolved any of your relationship issues with the women in your life, so why would it be different with the next relationship?
The feminine archetype is much more lethal in many ways than the masculine archetype. Both men and women have it but it is more prevalent in women. The worst thing about it is that some women can be so underhanded and devious about their manipulations (tamas) – and SO good at projecting them onto men (rajas). It is really quite astounding and predictable when you watch it as the self.
It’s just a game. You write beautifully, and in your last article you said: “…it’s like a game of hopscotch, the lines are illusory boundaries.” Indeed, they are. Vasanas attract vasanas. I call it “woundology,” people bond over their wounds and the unowned aspects of their psychology. If you look at things as the self rather than as Tom you will see that there was no man or woman involved, just vasanas. No one is innocent or guilty; there is always a movie going on. You need to see your vasanas and how they play, Tom. It’s not about women per se, it’s about the fact that you are not a doer and how to make those vasanas non-binding. Don’t beat Tom up about it. He was just functioning as Isvara programmed him, that’s all. Take it all as prasad; Karen did you a favour by leaving.
The point is not to be on or off women; they just represent your vasanas, as do all objects. When you know who you are you are not controlled by them anymore and “women” will not have that effect on you. Then maybe you can love a woman because you are love and not because you need love.
This whole relationship thing is THE biggest issue for most people because the male/ female identity is the ultimate superimposition of duality. It is pure Isvara and it is the biggest zero-sum game of all in samsara. The only way out of it is to see it from the self’s perspective. When you know who you are, which you do, you know that samsara, male/ female (along with all objects), are just notions in you. James and I don’t relate to each other as male/female, although we can and do at times; it’s fun.
So this brings us to self-actualisation. It is the fine print on the self-realisation certificate. It is all very well to know you are the self and talk the talk about Vedanta – anyone can do that. I have seen many people who are self-realised but are not self-actualised; their freedom is not so free. It is easy to wax lyrical and write brilliant essays or to recite the scriptures knowledgeably. Where the rubber meets the road (to use Ramji’s favourite term), is how do you live this knowledge as the self masquerading as a jiva? What happens to moksa then? It just does not work to impose satya on mithya.
After all, the jiva is inert. Apart from the light of the self illuminating it, it is nothing more than a costume hanging in the cupboard backstage, waiting to be part of a play. Selfrealization is for the jiva, the apparent self, operating in the apparent reality. And life is a very hard for the jiva if it does not know who it is. When you know who you are all objects, including relationships, are in you and you can then have a great deal of fun with all of it. In fact this is the only time you get to have “real” fun. When you know you are free objects are no longer a problem for you and you don’t look for happiness where you will never find it. As the self, you are the knower of all those (apparently unfinished) thoughts and feelings about the apparent person Karen that still trouble Tom so much. It’s okay to have them.
Let them play out until they don’t anymore. It’s no use endlessly dissecting the relationship and your feelings about her. Just observe the gunas and what thoughts and feelings arise in the subtle body along with them. Vasanas, samskaras and pratibandikas are only a problem if you believe they are. They do not belong to Tom; following dharma comes naturally then because you are dharma. Managing the gunas (and NOT identifying with them) is the key.
They belong to Isvara, and are what make up the fabric of the creation; you can’t avoid them When you know who you are and don’t identify with them they no longer condition the subtle body. This does not mean you live in denial of Tom’s conditioning; choosing peace of mind is following dharma and this means getting the sewer of the unconsciousness cleaned up. Some people believe that if you know you are the self and not “your” conditioning it is possible to live with the muck, never identifying with it. Freedom for me definitely meant cleaning out the unconsciousness.
Karen is no more than a thought in your mind and symbolises some part of “Tom’s” conditioning, i.e. vasanas, nothing more.
~ Much love, Sundari