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The Spiritual Ego
Dan: Dear Sundari Ma, I have a little more insight I wanted to share with you about this last round of unraveling.
There is an issue probably more fundamental than the wound around being criticized as a kid. In that long letter I wrote, I went into this big defense of the primary teachers I have had over the last forty-five years. (I threw Buddhism into the pile just to strengthen my case). But why all the fuss? Probably because my deepest attachments and loyalties formed there. The thoughts can arise: What do I do with all this? The years of effort, of tapas, of meditation, all the sadhanas? All the steady work? All the teachings I gained? It’s like a big wheel that’s finally coming to a stop. Not to mention the love and devotion for the teachers! Sometimes I even feel a trace of disloyalty.
It seems that the same Power that was behind all the apparent effort is now at work removing everything, including the whole idea of effort. Once in a while I let out a yelp.
Sundari: Yes indeed, letting go of the “holy cow” vasanas is tough! The ego really does try to hang on, so it will complain bitterly when self-knowledge appears to flatten its most precious territory. The most important point though is that you are observing the process, so you know it is not you. People who have had many years in the spiritual world and have done so much work, as have you, very often have the hardest to time letting go of what they know and hold dear because they are identified with it.
Dan: I am sorry you guys get any flack at all. I guess it comes with the job description. You hold the mirror of Vedanta. And, of course, you can’t compromise it or you compromise dharma. But what a mirror! This priceless, timeless teaching.
~ Much love, Dan
Sundari: Yes we do get flack thrown at us at times, it does go with the territory, especially now that James is getting so well-known. Most people who are identified with being people think we are too. It’s fine though, as we are not identified with being people, Vedanta teachers or paragons of virtue. We know who we really are, but we also remain normal people in Isvara’s service doing the best we can. We are not perfect and don’t claim to be, but we hold the integrity of the sampradaya above all else. The truth is not something we know, it is who we are.
We commend you for your honesty and clarity in seeing and understanding the origin of the issue. Understanding what conditions the mind in the light of self-knowledge is the only way to be free of it.
Much love to you too, and we are looking forward to seeing you all soon! I meant to reply to this sooner but we have been absolutely snowed under lately.