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Claudia: Dear Ramji, I have had nothing to say since your last e-mail to me when you said, “I love you, Claudia!” That felt really nice!
I have been reading these very interesting satsangs that you recently uploaded. So far, the one with Violetta about self-realization and self-actualization is particularly interesting. I will be reading this one several more times.
Ramji: That is a good one.
Claudia: I love how you convey what unconditional love is, seeing no difference between yourself and others, highlighting that with the symbolism of Jesus on the cross and the wound in his side. That speaks to me.
I have a question.
I know you told me to see that the vasanas belong to Isvara, and that everyone, including my ex-husband, is the self. I feel that I do pretty well with forgiving them “for they know not what they do,” but I still get annoyed with, a bit agitated over, some behaviors, of course not nearly as much as before, but I still notice a little of that here and there.
Ramji: You should be agitated about behaviors that violate dharma. It is natural. But if you make a big deal of it, then you need work. Or if you get agitated because the behavior does not jibe with your likes and dislikes, then it is a spiritual issue.
Claudia: And I’m experiencing some confusion about likes and dislikes and preferences and unknown, unresolved samskaras and purifying vasanas. Don’t get me wrong, I am fine with my own preferences, but do I have unconditional love if I am judging a particular behavior as greedy and selfish?
Ramji: If it is greedy and selfish, it isn’t a judgment. It is just a fact. If you make a story about it, then you have a problem. If someone else’s greed and selfishness makes you feel virtuous, then you have a problem.
Claudia: Also, I think I may tend to alienate certain people that I start to become close to, case in point my latest ex-boyfriend, especially if I think I see their delusions, because I say things about their stuff that I see. I’m not saying I am right, and I don’t really realize I am doing it.
Ramji: Sure you do or you would not be telling me about it.
Claudia: It’s like you said, people don’t want their good opinion of themselves messed with. So he sees it as being mean to him, and then he does something mean back. He says that I see everything he says and does in a negative light.
Ramji: This is just your karma coming back.
Claudia: Well, the truth is that I want to see him as a loving person, capable of being a good partner, but sometimes I can and sometimes I can’t.
Ramji: Wanting means that you don’t see him in a good light and that you do not like yourself because of it. A good partner means what? It usually means that he behaves in such a way that your dislikes are not called into play.
Claudia: He does nice things for me, but it always seems like it’s with the expectation of some return on the investment, and I sense some disingenuousness. I am continually suspicious of his agenda. Why do I see it like that? Is that love? I feel like I am seeing the ego doing its things, and what can I do about it?
Ramji: You see it that way because you are suspicious. You are afraid that you are not going to get what you want. It is anxiety for the fruits of the action. You are not doing your karma yoga.
He would not be that way if he could help it. And you are in the same boat. Your agenda is that he fit into your likes and dislikes. You want him to be something he isn’t. Never fall in love with potential. If actual is not good enough, then stay away from the relationship.
My rule is never to criticize a person’s ego unless they ask you. If you have this rule you will not be criticizing, because nobody wants to hear your opinion. If you have to criticize, criticize them behind their back so it does not pollute the relationship. Better yet, criticize them in your mind and then dislike yourself for thinking you are so superior.
Claudia: A former guru of mine used to say, “Only agendas see other agendas.” That one always gets me. How can you not?
Ramji: If you focus on what is good the relationship will flower.
Claudia: Anyway, I haven’t seen him for over a month, but we are still a bit attached to each other.
Ramji: Attached probably means that you had some good sex. It does not sound like the important attraction – heart to heart – is there.
Claudia: I’m a little concerned that I might go in for another round with him, but I think he is afraid of me hurting his ego; he doesn’t really trust me. That makes me sad. And the whole thing will probably just cause agitation again, telling me it’s not the right thing to be engaged with. Still, a part of me wishes it could’ve worked out and wants to “win him over.”
Ramji: That’s a pity, but what to do? Nobody wants to hear that they are not good enough. It is condescending to criticize. You are no better than he is. You are a certain program and he is a certain program. When you step away from your program, his program will not bother you. People follow their own natures.
What use is control? Power and control are usually at the heart of these samsaric relationships.
That “win him over” idea is just vanity, Claudia. You don’t like the idea that you messed up the relationship with your criticisms and complaints. You are having regrets. You believe that if you could win him over, you would like yourself more.
Claudia: I think the crux of this is that I am judging myself as not knowing myself as love, some lack of unconditional love, believing that if I did I would be able to have him or anyone, for that matter, trust me and be happy with me, and I wouldn’t be suspicious and everything would work out.
Ramji: That’s right. If you loved yourself unconditionally, it would not matter what he was. This does not mean that you have to live with him. It means that the thought of him will not agitate you. He is only made out of your thoughts. So if you have a problem with him you have a problem with you. Suspicion is just fear, self-protection. He cannot hurt you unless you give him that power.
But the real issue is why you want someone to trust you and be happy with you. If you are happy with yourself, you will not be interested in how others see you.
Claudia: There’s something that I just feel I am not getting here, and that there is something wrong that a partner is not in my life, since I really desire that. How can I give myself what it is I really want and desire, which would include not judging myself and others if it’s not happening for us?
Ramji: The first issue is why you desire it. What do you hope to accomplish by that desire?
The second issue is that you cannot give yourself what you really want. It is not up to you. If you go around picking this and that guy, it will never work in the long run. You have to wait and let Isvara give you want you need. If Isvara wants you to have a partner, you will get a good one. If not, not. Your likes and dislikes will do the choosing, and as you very well know this is not a recipe for success, because the object does not see himself as coming here to earth to fit into your projection of a perfect mate. In his mind he is okay as he is. And you are obviously not okay with you as you are if you want him to be something other than what he is.
Having said that, if you want to be in charge of your destiny – good luck, incidentally :-) – then you have to be more discriminating and take your time vetting the guys. The problem is that if you have a strong desire for a partner like you do, then you are not always as patient as you should be. And when you hit middle age everyone is damaged to some degree. You need to be a lot more forgiving and patient. Or just feel lucky to have anybody.
Claudia: I’d like to learn as much as possible from this whole relationship, and how unresolved samskaras may apply, and I still do desire the right partner, because it just feels right for someone of my nature, but am not desperate for one.
Ramji: The best approach is to forget the partner thing and work on yourself, learn to enjoy your own company and let Isvara give you a partner that is good for you, if that is what is best. This is what happened with me. I just kept my head down and did my sadhana, and one day there she was. If she has her criticisms about me she keeps them to herself because she knows that they are coming from the ego’s likes and dislikes and that it does not serve the relationship to make an issue of them. I cannot recall one criticism so far. Quite the contrary, she consistently praises my good qualities.
Nobody comes here to please anyone else. You come here to please yourself. You are not going to like yourself if you are critical. That is what I am getting from this email. And relationships are about seeing the best in someone. People are amazed that I get along very well with quite fucked-up people. I know they are fucked-up. It serves no purpose to tell them that they are fucked-up. They know it and they think they can’t help it. I just ignore it and speak to the self in them, and slowly they learn to accommodate themselves – because they feel that if they are acceptable to someone else, they can be acceptable to themselves.
The problem is not the samskaras. The problem is your understanding of the samskaras and what you think they can do for you.
Claudia: I too want to be left with only enjoyment vasanas!
Ramji: You have the wrong “I” for that to happen. Claudia is not you. You have to leave Claudia and see that you are the knower of Claudia for that to happen. You can’t fix her or make her happy. She is not real. She is just a reflection of you in the subtle body. She is a dream made out of your thoughts. Let her be.
Claudia: I think I am going to take your advice and keep my mouth shut about others’ delusions, but like I said, sometimes I don’t realize it.
Ramji: Every since I have known you this man/woman love thing has been the big issue. It is your delusion. See if you cannot see into it. Once you are over it, your suffering will stop. There is nothing right or wrong with it. You just have to discover the why.
Hint: a relationship will not work until you understand that you are the love you seek from others.
Keeping your mouth shut is good, but you need to work out why you are distrustful.
Claudia: If you have any insight you can share with me about what I’ve just written, Ramji, please share. I am not afraid of having my good opinion of myself messed with, I think you know that. You know I’m all about the practical application.
Ramji: Okay, I shared. Don’t blame me if you don’t like what I said. You asked.
Claudia: I never expected to not like what you said. I didn’t have any expectations, and said I could take it, and I meant that. Like you said, I asked. You put things in the right perspective for me.
Of course you are right. What you said wasn’t a surprise.
I am beating myself up because I went looking and he is just not the right one for me, regardless of likes, dislikes. I apologized to him for taking my frustrations out on him, and he sent me a nasty email. I don’t think I can do this anymore with him.
Ramji: From a spiritual point of view, the beating-up bit is the real issue. If you do the relationship right you will not feel bad about yourself. It really isn’t about the other person, assuming they are more or less okay. There are things to like and dislike about anyone, including yourself. You always have to ask yourself why you are in the relationship. Are you in it for love or are you in it to correct the other person? If you are trying to correct the other, it probably means that the love is gone and you believe that if the other person was acceptable to you, i.e. conformed with your likes and dislikes, you could love them.
Claudia: Yes, absolutely. I get it, Ramji! And a weight has been lifted.
John and I are on good terms again. He said that he didn’t think he could be the man I needed him to be and didn’t get why he couldn’t make me happy. I told him that I don’t need him to be anything for me; I just want to accept him and enjoy his friendship for what it is, that is enough. And that is true. I’m responsible for my own happiness. I don’t need to grab him and throw him in a cage.
I do know I don’t need anything external to know my self-worth, but it’s just that sometimes all the societal garbage, the samsaric stuff, and what I inherited from my father, who is one of the most negative, self-loathing people I have ever met, bubbles up and takes over. That must be an indication that I have to be even more diligent about self-inquiry. (By the way, my father and I get along great because I understand the nature of his existential angst and don’t get angry and annoyed with him, whereas my sister still blames him for her own negativity. We talked about it last night and I shared some viewpoints with her that she received well. She is ill with auto-immune and gets stressed out easily, but she does it to herself.)
The bright shiny objects “out there” do still distract at times by making me think that I need them in order to be complete, when in reality I don’t, including relationships. I’m not missing out on anything. I do find self-inquiry very fulfilling. So it doesn’t matter what I do or don’t do, as long as it’s not adharmic. I can’t be poisoned by demons, there really are no demons when you know who you are. Having some knowledge of that is very freeing. Also, I rediscovered that I don’t have to reflect everything back onto the Claudia-object. I was making the Claudia program itself responsible and accountable for all the different points of view. So unnecessary. Without that, so much more ease of being and joyfulness.
I do have this sense though that relationships, maybe even the one you have with Sundari, respectfully speaking, come along to make us know and deepen our self-worth even further, if that is possible. Maybe not, in your case. But you did say that you learned some things from her. Just thinking out loud.
When you know who you are, you don’t need one special person to love and be loved by, because you love and are loved by the whole world. The partner then is an added bonus, further augmenting the love, but is not the cause of the happiness.
I’m rereading this book I have called Love without Conditions: Reflections of the Christ Mind by Paul Ferrini. It is non-dual in nature. It has been very beneficial addition for this assimilation.
Thank you again, Ramji, this is all very life-changing. I know this relationship thing with me has been a bit stubborn, but it’s going to work itself out, I know it, because I am Home, I am the I just letting the vasanas work themselves out.
~ Much love, Claudia