Shining World

Apparent Perfection isn’t Perfect

Dear James,

I hope you’re well and so is Sundari!  You’re with me ‘wherever I go‘ and I just cannot start a letter to you without telling you how grateful I am, that you and the teaching appeared one fine day and turned everything around – finally! A turning around, which I always knew deep inside of me, must somehow be possible, that couldn’t have been all to life… but how? I didn’t have a clue! And although in this mail I really want to ask you for your attention as my teacher and not only praise you, I just feel so much love and gratitude that you share the knowledge so generously and that you’re available! So first of all: Thank you.

In the last months, after I’ve visited the seminar you gave at Suryalila and I’ve told you I would like to write to you – I didn’t forget it obviously! But I also didn’t want to bother you with something half-baked. We could also call it a slight predominance of tamas 😉 The tamas – on the other hand – gave me the precious opportunity to think and contemplate once more about the Gunas and in general about mithya and its proper understanding. 

I know that I’m the Self in which the conditioning of the person (nothing more than a continuous series of thoughts and accompanying emotions) plays out. One could name it the play of the gunas, ignorance or whatever one wants, but it will never change the fact that the Self is absolutely unaffected by the apparent play. 

Some weeks ago I had a pretty tamasic week although Larry was very sattvic. He felt like the cat’s pajamas. I couldn’t stand it! He was happy and clear, but also arrogant and conceited. Thanks to just enough sattva on my side I could clearly see the `disease pattern` of sattva, which was very liberating. But before the feeling of liberation through a deepening of understanding sunk in, embarrassment kicked in, remembering how often in the last years I was “Mrs. Knowing it better and I tell you about it and show you, if you want or not”, because of the confidence of sattva. No question, sattva is beautiful and makes the mind clear and the reflection easy, but it’s a chain too and it’s just a reflection – an appearance in mithya – not the light itself.  It’s a chain, not only because one can be stuck there on `the way to liberation` in it feeds the ego.  Or after the understanding of one’s true nature mixing the Knowledge with the experience of a sattvic mind, but also because you just can be an annoying person when you are sattvic.

I would say that a very pure sattvic mind is just beautiful and a gift to the Jiva and the world. but as soon it gets mixed more strongly with another guna, the ego tends to `use it` as support for rajasic or tamasic needs). I guess one can always recognise this state of mind, if there’s a strong desire to share something with the world. 

I’ve found my little examination about sattva also interesting, because it shows clearly once more that since the play of the gunas is in a constant state of flux, we cannot trust the mind. From the standpoint of a predominately tamasic mind I can’t cope with the predominance of sattva. If I would have been the same sattvic-rajasic like Larry, we would have been two cat’s pajamas. So it’s similar to the three states; since it changes it cannot be real, I cannot count on the mind, the view is always filtered and not reliable! I know – on the other hand – how valuable words are. Vedanta only deals with words to transport knowledge. The mind will just never become perfect. It is duality itself.

And therefore it’s also not easy to stay objective accurately with one’s own state of mind or the proportions of the Gunas and interfere intelligently… although I would say mostly it’s possible for me to be clear about the relative proportions of the gunas and I’m able to bring some balance back. But sometimes when I get triggered, I identify with it and cannot just stay 100% consciously present, leave the situation in its order of reality and be the witness, free of it all. It’s like a voice which says: Yes, yes, I know who I am, I’m full and complete, limitless, unconcerned awareness, but I jiva still need to take care of this and that and tell my boyfriend that he sucks. It just makes no sense. I know in general it’s not a problem to have whatever feeling or thought or even a fight (it’s anyway not up to me) but it feels kind of binding and identified sometimes

It never takes long to be knowingly the Self and be just the loving witness of the show, but, dear James, it happens that I get a little bit too identified with a thought and I ask you for advice.

One assumption is that the temporary cloudiness is fed from the (ignorant) thought, something needs to be optimised.  Similar to the belief; a very sattvic state of mind is the evidence for The Knowledge. That’s of course no freedom at all, but dependence, ignorance and mixing up sathya and mithya. I’m a little bit stuck there. I know it’s not true, but the thought-pattern still appears.  I also find myself sometimes being a little bit mechanical in situations. 

You know, I think and contemplate about these things all the time and I know that I’m not it. I know that my identity is flawless and infinite. So any slightest irritation, any disturbing, distraction thought is worth an investment. What do you think?

One more thing: I’ve heard you saying several times that people don’t really want to hear what you can tell them and show them about themselves.  So I want to invite you here and now to tell me about every blind spot about Jiva Ute – even and especially when it will turn into nectar a little later. For example I remember you wrote to my ex-boyfriend in an email that Ute is proud.

Hi Ute,

I’m glad you wrote.  Here’s my take on the situation.  At what point do you just accept Ute’s small imperfections and turn your attention to the Self?  Perhaps you are overthinking this situation a bit.  Perhaps you are a bit too conscientious.  You can’t optimize situations.  But you can optimize your mind.  How?  Just accept the situation as “what is.”  The conflict in you and with Larry is the Self. You have no control of his state of mind but, as you say, “it never takes long to be knowingly the Self, the loving witness…”  So just go to the Self right away instead of pandering to your negative feelings.  Or just see him as the Self and let the irritation turn to love.  If everything is the Self, meaning you, then love him as much as you love yourself.  You can optimize the mind…establish it in sattva…but you can’t make it 100% sattvic.  I think you’re confusing satya and mithya, expecting Ute to be a perfectly spiritual person and your relationship to be a perfect relationship.  You can never make perfect what is imperfect by nature.  This is perhaps where pride comes in.  Can you only be proud of yourself if life fits your idea of what it should be?  It’s clear you love each other so just have your fights but limit them to a few hours.  Evidently the basic issues, money and privacy, haven’t been laid to rest.  Even then, so what?  You can get a job and let him sit alone in his room for days on end if he wants.  Or just say, “Larry is Larry,” take a walk and come home with love in your heart.  I don’t want to stereotype, but Germans tend to be a little too obsessed with being right.  I walked against the light in a town in Bavaria one time and a house frau came running out of her house and followed me down the street for a good five minutes shouting a violent lecture at the top of her lungs so everyone could hear.  It’s good that I didn’t understand German.  Say, “hi” to Larry.

Ute: Thank you very much! What you’ve said resonates with me 100%. As usual you hit the nail right on the head – You’re the best! I was hoping to hear that I’m overthinking it. It seemingly needs a little time for me to fully relax into being just a normal imperfect person again. On the one hand the recognition of my true nature is like finally coming home, finally being able to relax, no agenda, noThing. And on the other hand it kind of also hit me like a Tornado but the Self doesn’t move an inch. It unmovable/quiet/unchanging/always present and Ute overflows with joy/ a bursting vision of non duality/ in an impeccable flow with isvara. The storm is over now, knowledge and peace is all I need.

Much love,


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