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The Price of Freedom Is Eternal Vigilance
Prema: Dear James and Sundari, thank you for your help in guiding me to see I am not the vasanas I was identifying with. They are me, but I am not them. There are the vasanas, the intellect and awareness/consciousness. I have finally understood the analogy of the ocean and the wave. Ocean is formless like consciousness and the wave is just consciousness in a form, all part of the same thing. I also realized that everything is part of me, is consciousness. This was just a concept to me before, but now I can see it deeper, realize it and it’s not just words. I realize this for myself.
The co-worker who is not nice to me, she is me, the upset customer, they are me also. Everything is me, but in a form. They are part of me, but I am not them, I am consciousness. I feel like a light bulb has switched on in my head. Now, the thing will be when something happens that is not to my liking, will I follow the vasanas or will I see it for what it really is – a wave? I see the world in a different light now. Why get upset with someone when it is me getting upset with myself, really? Everything is a reflection of consciousness.
I sometimes forget the teachings, and my vasanas get the better of me, especially just before “that time of the month.” Hormones are a wonderful thing… LOL. But it’s true, I find this happens, and it is the karma of being a woman, I guess. Some months are better than others with controlling the emotions and being able to see through the thoughts.
Sundari: Who is it that forgets the teachings and thinks she is a woman? Is it Prema or you, awareness?
Prema: Realizing now not to identify with the emotions or thoughts, realizing I am not them, I hope will help with not being taken away with vasansas, or is this something I need to practice over and over again? I feel I realize Prema is me, but I am not Prema, and that everything is connected, but is it enough when I have a customer yelling and screaming at me or when my boss is rude to me, etc? As Sundari said in her reply to me, see everything as God and treat them that way.
Sundari: You can track your vasanas most easily through your likes and dislikes and the gunas, which colour everything. As you so rightly say, the trick is not to identify with them, because the vasanas and the gunas belong to Isvara and not to Prema. As soon Prema identifies with them, the ego has taken over and Prema becomes “unconscious” again, i.e. Prema starts thinking she is Prema. It takes discipline to manage the vasanas and the gunas, as they have a way of sneaking up on you.
So, yes, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. This is required until the binding vasanas are neutralised and the doer negated. Even then, it is wise to keep tracking them because your conditioning continues when self-ignorance (avidya) has been removed.
Here is a saying I really like: “Your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your character and your character becomes your destiny.” This saying is a good description of how the vasanas and the gunas become entrenched in our lives.
The only way to overcome difficult people and situations is to see them all as Isvara, the self. Write up something along these lines and place it where you see it often; make it your mantra. This practice will objectify Prema and her conditioning.
Prema: Thank you both so much.
Sundari: You are most welcome, Prema, and we are both very happy for you that this is working.
~ Om and prem, Sundari