Why do we waste our time with people, things, objects, etc. that only engage the small self? So we may keep our false identity. We will use anything to maintain our sense of self. So anything that can keep us distracted, away from God, away from our true Self, we will pursue. How sad that we are so attached to the character we play that we will waste our time at anything or anyone in order not to see the truth.
You might respond, “You say I waste my time, but I care about others.” Do you? Or are you using them so you do not have to face yourself? Be honest. It is okay. We are human. Make all this no big deal—just facts that we face, learn from, and move past. Can you not accept that you are selfish or not a nice person? Why not? We are all made in God’s image; therefore we have all characteristics, just as God does. If we accept that we have a particular quality, we can actually then be able to choose to use it or not. By accept I do not mean intellectually; I mean with all your vehicles, so emotionally as well. This is not an idea but a reality. Yes, it hurts, but so does the pain you inflict on others and yourself from not accepting the quality. We are kind, and we are mean. We are enablers, and we are honest. When we really own, master and transcend these qualities, then we are free to be appropriate at all times. At this point we are no longer wasting our time; what is important is God within us, and then God everywhere. Immanent and transcendent.
Why do you waste your time with people and things that only engage your small self? Because you choose to. We have only ourselves to blame. We make a decision based on a wrong premise and then build an entire life around a wrong understanding. The Yoga Sūtras speak of the five Kleśas or five afflictions. I call them the five miseries. The first is ignorance, avidyā. Remember that the prefix “a” in Sanskrit does not mean opposite, it means a different kind of something. Vidyā means knowledge; avidyā means a different kind of knowledge. This shrunken knowledge is what we call ignorance. So ignorance is in fact a kind of knowledge. That is the problem: we know something, we are just not aware that this knowledge is shrunken. Ignorance is taking something that is temporary to be permanent, something impure to be pure, something unreal to be real. Once we do this, once we have formed our basic premise, we then identify with it (asmītā). This is like building a castle on what we believe to be a solid foundation, only to find out too late that the foundation is soft and the castle is sinking. Everything we then think, say and do is informed by this false knowledge. We lose our subject in the object of wrong knowledge. With our wrong knowledge, we are then attracted to certain things (raga) and repulsed by others (dveśa). We then cling to this wrong knowledge (abhiniveśa), for surely we will die if we let go of our understanding. Within this play, our character and our actions are based on wrong knowledge. We choose not to let go of that wrong knowledge. We are to blame.
In order to move beyond this, we must accept that at any given moment our first and basic premise is wrong. Even if we cannot accept it right away from the place of truth, we have to start by saying it intellectually: “I am wrong but I do not experience it.” Over and over again: “I am unwilling to let go of my wrong understanding”. Eventually something will give if we persevere and only look to ourselves for the cause.
The good news is that, when we fully accept the truth that we have avoided, we are in fact free to choose right knowledge. We are free at least for a moment to live from the place of the Heart. But if we do not see what we have actually done internally to get to this place of grace, it will all close down, and we will be building a new structure that looks similar to the old one, yet again on quicksand.
Surrender. Stop wasting your time on your small self. Keep redirecting your attention to the Heart; to the Perceiver and not the perceived.
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