Shining World

The Lingering Temptation of the ‘Other’

Sally: I read in your book that “it is safer to CHOOSE someone whose nature is compatible with it complementary with yours”. 

Is this choosing not really a choice? When speaking about mature or awakened beings? 

Sundari:  A mature being is someone who has an ability to be objective about life and gained some knowledge of themselves, someone with good values but not necessarily free of the jiva. An awakened being is not really the correct term to use for someone who has realized the Self, because that implies the Self was once asleep, which is impossible, but I know what you mean.

Free will all depends on who you think you are.  Have you read my recent satsang posted on SW a few days ago on free will? If you are identified with the jiva then you do have limited free will, but it will be governed by your vasanas. If you know you are not the jiva but the Self, free will means that you understand how things work in mithya because you have knowledge of the gunas and do not condition to them. Therefore, you choose wisely what you want to experience. You keep your wits about you and manage your desires and the sense organs through Self-knowledge.  Though you are not dependent on objects for your happiness, if a relationship opportunity presents itself, there is no reason why you should not consider it because you know it is not going to give you something you don’t already have. But because you do not need the relationship to be happy, you would first do your due diligence and check out that person’s character, karma, and motivations. There is little chance that a truly free person would enter a relationship with someone who is needy, or they know is going to involve a lot of admin, not to mention, mental agitation.

Even if the person claims to know they are the Self, the proof is in how they conduct themselves towards you, and in their karma.  Are their lives a mess or are they simply bored? Are they demanding of your attention, needy and touchy, are they pressurizing you into a relationship with them? What are their values, are they compatible with yours? If you have a doubt about any of the above, you are wise to take heed and keep your distance. Taking things slowly is much advised if you want to avoid unpleasant blowback karma, especially since Self-knowledge is not firm yet.

If a person is truly free, they genuinely do not need anything badly enough to chase it. And secondly, they do not want to take on anyone else’s karma. Their values are not up for debate, they are as clear as night and day. And their primary value is non-injury in thought word and deed, which translates to peace of mind, freedom from limitation, and stress for themselves first and foremost.

As explained in my book and emails to you, the ego is very good at subterfuge.  It can play any part if it wants something badly enough. And is most often the case, even with advanced inquirers in the nididhysana stage of inquiry, there are still unresolved jiva issues lingering.  The need for love is a big one, a universal samskara. So, to err on the side of caution is a very wise tendency as an inquirer when it comes to close associations, and, it is a prerequisite if you are serious about self-inquiry. Remember that if you are, you are not the boss anymore. The scripture is. And the scripture tells you to avoid romantic temptations if you know that binding vasanas are still active and you want to progress with your sadhana. But it is still up to you, ultimately. Nobody is holding a gun to your head, either way, only your vasanas.

Sally: If we don’t need a relationship for our happiness then it might be so that the field is ‘giving’ you a lover or not. Right? 

Sundari: Maybe. But what is that drew that particular relationship to your door? What has truly come knocking? Just because it is Isvara (what isn’t?) does not mean it is heaven sent. There are many times when it is much in our benefit to say no to Isvara.

Sally: If I firmly know what I am, the need of wanting a relationship no longer binds. So to speak. 

Sundari: Yes. The need for the ‘other’ is gone, but that does not mean you cannot enjoy the apparent other as your Self, and, as an apparent jiva.  It’s always both/and. The bottom line depends on whether you truly are free or just think you are as an ego.  As I said above, the ego is a master at hiding binding desires or dressing them up as something else. If Self-knowledge is not firm and you are committed to your sadhana, it is best to say no to all romantic temptations.  Unless you want to experience it anyway and see what happens.  It may derail your inquiry and or it may strengthen it. Hard to predict the outcome, but it is not that hard to make an astute observation of the facts if we can manage the mind with Self-knowledge.

Sally: I am in a relationship as you know and with sacred Karma yoga attitude really does the job for a great deal,

Sundari:  I presume you mean with your current husband, so good for you applying the teachings.  It still seems to me that the temptation of the other is lingering. I hope that you are holding strong to the teachings, using discrimination, but if not, then perhaps you just need to experience it. The seduction of the ‘hot love vasana’ is very hard to resist, especially when you have never experienced it.

Sally: Your book is so great

Sundari:  Thank you, I am so glad it is helping you.

Much love

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