I Will Not Have That Ice Cream Cone!
I was in a taxicab in Bali. The driver was lost, and needed to stop and ask directions. As we pulled along side a fellow walking down the road, I said, "Just roll down your window and ask him,” He replied, "Oh no, I am shudra caste. I have to get out to speak to him because he is brahman. Balinese society is much more traditional and stylized than western society, or is it?
Your relationship with yourself has become rather stylized over time in a different way. You have developed certain ideas about who you are and what you are capable of and especially what your weaknesses are like shudra or untouchable class believes about them selves. These may not be true weaknesses, but a kind of indoctrinated weakness that has caused you to believe something about yourself that is not true.
Because our intention is healing of wisdom it is important to explore mind/body connections that may be unhealed. There is some relationship between your body and your mind that might have created misunderstanding and damaged your opportunity for higher development. Often the relationship that you have with yourself is in a form of a power struggle.
You want to go to bed early? How many people here want to go to bed early, but don’t? Almost everybody! Even with something as simple as your biological need for sleep it is a struggle. You decide that you are going to retire early, but rarely do, and so you struggle against your natural responses and your need for rest.
You probably also have ideas of what you are capable of accomplishing. Even though you have capabilities, you might decide that you are either not going to use them or that you are not capable of certain things. In other words, you never challenged yourself to your capacity! There are obstacles in the mind that act as barriers to accomplishing important activities just as certainly as iron bars of a prison.
Because you are not doing what you want to be doing you might turn on yourself in anger and frustration. Perhaps you even have devious methods for punishing yourself. You know, personally I think if I was going to punish myself, I should do it with ice cream. I will put my finger on my nose and tell myself, "You have been very bad. Now you must not have an ice cream cone." This actually would work very well with myself.
However, people can develop some pretty serious methods and strategies for punishing themselves for some imagined or real infraction. There could even be a subconscious model forced upon you by dysfunctional family dynamics that trained you against your will. Once internalized and energetically “learned” it arises by itself in response to guilt that you broke a rule. You cease normal operations and cannot be you, the experiencer of your life. Now you have to be the punisher of you!
These kinds of punishments often come in the form of a deadening to life’s experiences that forbid you to feel anything. You literally deny yourself the ability to feel anything as a punishment for something that you may have done. These punishments can become habitual in you. People who are habitual punishers of them selves will also indulge in other harmful dynamics such as shame or denying themselves something that they really want or want to do. This is why I used ice cream as an example. There could be something that you really want to do, that would make you happy but you tell yourself, "No, I’m not going to do it" because you would enjoy it.
This is the brahman and shudra in you engrossed in a power struggle. Not only engrossed but bringing other energies such as meditational merits and practice accomplishments into the struggle. This can actually cause the individual to believe impossibilities such as God or Buddha hates them or their teacher is angry with them.
The subconscious or subtle mind affects the way that you act because it has been programmed to punish. The attempt to get back into a psychological balance or state of well-being is important. The mind is a delicate instrument. It is in the activity of preparation for transformation to the enlightened state that we deliberately reprogram body, speech, mind and subtle minds such as the close inner mind of the subconscious toward higher development.
We never act as the punisher. There are more skillful methods to overcome the obstacles that cause inner anger to be directed at the mind itself.
Tomorrow-we continue this discussion with advice on purification practices.