What you see is what you get. When we are clear, what you see is what you get. There is nothing to hide and nothing to reveal. We are. We no longer hide from ourselves or others.
Usually we present our best foot when meeting with people socially, professionally or even in the privacy of our families. This means that somewhere we know we have another foot; a foot we do not want others to see.
The foursquare below presents this set of beliefs about our interactions with others.
|Fake/ For Show||Authentic/ Honest|
In sādhana everything is to be brought to the front and dissolved. There is no best foot forward or worst foot hidden. We are to work to know all that is within our individuality.
Surprisingly, being given the opportunity to acknowledge the other foot makes people angry. This last year, we worked on accepting our self-loathing. I gave everyone permission to hate, to feel the hate that everyone has inside themselves. People did not want permission because they did not want to face their own feelings of hate. Not only do we want others not to see our dark side; we do not want to see it ourselves. We decide what we as well as others can see.
This presents another foursquare, built around our beliefs about self-presentation and self-concealment:
Even if we own, master and transcend this foursquare, people will still project their imaginings onto us. When we are not identified with what is being projected, though, there is no need for upset or joy. Just quietly watch, marveling at the creativity.
When, instead of being who we really are, we decide who and how we are, we box ourselves in. We act in ways that we have decided express the characteristics we believe we embody. This presentation is motivated by the ideals to which the small self is attached. Being comfortable in our own skin would have us functioning from the Heart, and all would be infused with the Heart. If we are imposing ideas on ourselves, then only our outer shell will mimic those ideals. Our presentation is only skin-deep. If and when we go deeper, or if something occurs to throw us inward, that shell will no longer be what we present outwardly. When we are tested, we get to see what we are made of; it is not the thin veneer we have presented to the world.
There is a reason I trust Swami Muktananda, my Guru. So many events occurred in the ashram that tested all of us. I found myself in many an uncomfortable situation. Each time, Baba could have done something that would have hurt or crushed me. He never did. He always guided me, even when I had done something terribly wrong. He showed me over and over again that what he wanted was what was best for me. And because I was always willing to step up and face my own delusions, we were on the same side of any battle of wills or egos.
This does not mean I did not question. The way to build trust was to question, to commit, to participate. If I had walked around presenting as something I was not, Baba and I never would have cleared out so much of my inner debris. I would not have seen my motivation and its flaws. Over and over again, Baba proved to me that what he wanted for me was true love and happiness. He wanted me to be free in the best sense of the word. He neither wanted nor allowed me to box myself in or have others box me in.
This foursquare shows how we box ourselves in:
|Comfortable in own skin||Uptight/Insecure/Boxed in|
As my time with him went on, it became clear to me that Baba was the same all the way through. He was seamless. There were people who used to say Baba was different in public and in private. Baba was just different with them privately because they themselves were different in public and private. Baba used to say, “The world is as you see it”.
So maybe I am stupid and did not see what others saw. I looked and questioned, and I trust Baba with my physical and spiritual life, both of which he actually saved. For me, Baba was seamless. What I saw was what I got. No regrets. Just my deepest gratitude.
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