In the ashram, people tended not to like me. My presence has always had a strange ability to bring out whatever is inside of people. Depending on where they are internally, being around me will bring out the worst or the best. Many times Baba would direct me to walk into some office of the ashram, and shortly thereafter something unexpected would appear.
In sādhana, the worst and the best both keep us from Love. Both are parts of who we think we are. They have to be pulled into conscious awareness; then they can be disentangled from who we truly are. When these traits are positive, people tend to be pleased with themselves and with me. When they are negative, the response is not welcoming.
We may be identified with the negative but call it our best trait. Then, when the world does not receive it the way we believe it should be received, we will be defensive. We may think of ourselves as assertive and outgoing, only to find that when the world experiences our assertiveness and outgoingness, those qualities are received as rudeness and intrusiveness. On the other hand, if we do not value what is truly great within us, when it comes forth we will barely recognize it. When I acknowledge such a trait in a student, she will not believe me.
Until we let go of such wrong identification, we will see goodness as whatever we believe is “the way to be”. For each of us, “the way to be” is different. For example, if your “way to be”—your “goodness”—is not to take care of yourself, then if I advise you not to buy a suspect car, you will go ahead and buy the car, because I am advising you to take care of yourself. I am not “good”; I am encouraging you to depart from your idea of “the way to be”. If being “good” means not exercising any discernment, then no matter what anyone else says, you will not exercise discernment. It is crucially important for each of us to discover our “way to be”, our “good”.
Our delusional notions of “the way to be” lead us into some very interesting thought-forms. Let’s say you believe that hate is power and Love is weakness. Look at the nonsensical thinking that follows:
Hate is power.
If you have no hate, then you have no power.
Therefore, if you let go of hate, you are choosing to be a weakling.
Love is weak.
If you are weak, then you love.
Therefore, if you value love, you are hopelessly weak.
Life is about Alphas and people subjugated by Alphas.
You have two choices: be an Alpha, or be subjugated.
Therefore, the one condition that makes no sense is equality.
People also approach spirituality with their understanding of “the way to be”. For instance, they might decide that “goodness” can never be colorful, or that spirituality is just a way to compensate for their perceived inadequacies.
Goodness is about drabness.
Stylish, colorful clothes are bad.
Spirituality is good.
Therefore, if you wear stylish, colorful clothes, you are not spiritual.
If you are bad at life, spirituality will divinize your inadequacy.
If you are spiritual, you must be bad at life.
Therefore, the more you are spiritually committed and advanced, the worse you are at life.
Many people think that because I have committed my life to spiritual practice, then I must be completely inept in what they think of as “the real world”. I no longer bother to demonstrate otherwise.
As I have said many times before, “goodness” is not the goal. It has nothing to do with Love, and it isn’t compatible with happiness. We will never be happy until we are perfectly happy not to be “the way to be.”
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