The Hostile Behind Me

The Nightmare by Henry Fuseli

For a number of years now I’ve been living with chronic pain in my lower back and my knees. There’s not a whole lot I can say about it other than it was a major life change that came on suddenly, and one that took a long time to even begin to adjust to. As you might imagine I’ve been searching for answers via my dreams as to what’s actually caused these disorders and preventing healing, since I suspect it’s something deeper than just physical injury or wear and tear. I hope one day to be able to know and be able to share insight into the deeper causes of my physical state, be they emotional, mental etc., but I can’t do that now with any kind of certainty. One thing though that I’ve suspected for years is that a hostile force (and by that I mean a force of conscious darkness) may be a factor involved in aggravating the pain, and maybe also in preventing its resolution, and I recently had a dream that for me verifies this.

Before I share the dream let me say that I had an actual injury to my lower back from a fall almost eighteen years ago that healed after a few weeks, and which I believe was a manifestation of the same causes that have brought about the chronic pain.1 The chronic pain itself didn’t begin until about eight years ago. The knee pain is more mysterious, and began suddenly about a year and a half after the back pain started, and was so intense for a while I didn’t feel the back pain very much. Some other pertinent details to know is the back pain started while I was staying at Nilambe Meditation Center in Sri Lanka, and that there was an Israeli man, Adi, who was giving me massage to help and actually succeeded in eliminating the pain for a couple of days before it came back.

So having given a little background here is the dream:

I’m at Nilambe. I’m in my room there, and it has amenities like a small refrigerator and microwave as well as a coffee maker. There is also a TV and DVD player. Outside my room I can see some people having a drum circle, and I’m thinking about how much this place has changed and become like a Rainbow Community2. I leave my room and go into the new library but am shocked to see only something like 25% of the books are there, and I’m wondering what happened to all the others. I figure they must be in a room somewhere else. I talk to Upul (the leader at Nilambe) a little bit, and at one point I’m outside by the dining area. I’ve got a motorbike I’m going to use to drive back to my room. I start driving, but then I’m walking, and I become lucid and don’t remember exactly what happened after that, but at one point I find myself lucid again and am laying in a bed lying on my side in the dark. Behind me I sense a disquieting presence and can sort of sense its form without actually seeing it. It’s humanoid, but very strange with some appendages on it a normal human body doesn’t have that come from the front of its trunk and are of different lengths. The appendages are stiff and wood-like but flexible at the same time and have blunt ends. I turn and start to struggle with the creature calling on the Mother as I do so. One of the appendages is attached to my lower back and I knock it off. Now the light is on in the room and I’m on top of the creature, which has changed into a blond woman. I’ve got her by the throat with both hands and am trying to choke her to death. I can’t seem to kill it, but I leave it on the bed in a seemingly incapacitated state. Now though it’s a brunette woman. Then I’m talking to Adi about what happened.

I can’t report the back pain being resolved or even greatly relieved on that day, but the dream did finally offer some proof to my suspicion that a hostile being or force is involved in the pain. The Mother speaks about this in her Questions and Answers, pointing out that sometimes behind an illness there’s also “an attack, a pressure from adverse forces who really want to harm you…encouraging the illness to become as bad as it can be.”3 I imagine her statement is also applicable to disorders like chronic pain syndromes, and she goes on to say that the right spiritual force can remove or destroy the adverse force “if you have this Force at your disposal or if you can ask for it and get it.”4

It was this passage in Questions and Answers that planted this idea in me some time ago, leading me to suspect that this was the case with me. So even before having this dream I’ve been asking for this Force to act and remove the hostile influence and also asking to be shown and to get help to change whatever mental, or emotional elements there might be that have given rise to this. I believe there might also be some kind of blockage or resistance in the body consciousness itself, and so I ask for help with that, help with making the body plastic and receptive. I also try to exercise regularly and stay as active as I can.

Ultimately what’s hard for me is letting go of getting any results, to ask and aspire for healing, but to put whether or not that happens in the end in divine hands and to try to keep my focus on doing the sadhana, on the goal of surrendering completely to the Divine in order to gain release from ego consciousness. But I’ve come to believe you even have to let go of whether or not your sadhana bears any kind of fruit as well, but yet still make the effort and aspire. It’s a level of sincerity I’ve yet to reach. A few days ago I read another passage of the Mother’s in a later volume of Questions and Answers that I’ve been trying to take to heart and would like to share since it spells out what the right attitude needs to be. It’s a rather long quote, but one that I think ought to be read in its entirety:

As with everything in yoga, the effort for progress must be made for the love of the effort for progress. The joy of effort, the aspiration for progress must be enough in themselves, quite independent of the result. Everything one does in yoga must be done for the joy of doing it, and not in view of the result one wants to obtain…. Indeed, in life, always, in all things, the result does not belong to us. And if we want to keep the right attitude, we must act, feel, think, strive spontaneously, for that is what we must do, and not in view of the result to be obtained.

 As soon as we think of the result we begin to bargain and that takes away all sincerity from the effort. You make an effort to progress because you feel within you the need, the imperative need to make an effort and progress; and this effort is the gift you offer to the Divine Consciousness in you, the Divine Consciousness in the Universe, it is your way of expressing your gratitude, offering yourself; and whether this results in progress or not is of no importance. You will progress when it is decided that the time has come to progress and not because you desire it.5

 Now THAT’S sincerity.


When I originally started writing this article I considered leaving the first part at Nilambe out, but decided to keep it in for two reasons. One, it seems significant because that’s where the chronic problems started and two, because of something that happened at Nilambe a couple of days before the chronic pain commenced. Let me explain.

Since Nilambe is a mediation center, I was obviously doing a lot of daily meditation as well as yoga classes in the morning and afternoon. One day after the afternoon meditation I found that I was very peaceful and relaxed and also had a very pleasant feeling throughout my body. I found it was a physical joy just to move as long as I moved slowly, and a walk up the hill to the lookout which normally took less than five minutes, took more like fifteen as I enjoyed the experience. After that I seem to remember the experience faded. Then like I said a couple of days later during the afternoon yoga class the pain started up. Given this I’ve had to wonder if there’s a connection between the two things. I’m unsure what that connection would be if indeed one exists, but one possibility that occurred to me is that the positive experience in the body may have been brought on prematurely by all the meditation and asana, and the result was that a resistance in the body which could have been worked out more slowly and less traumatically by the progression of the sadhana was brought up in a very abrupt way. There isn’t this kind of correlation of a nice bodily experience with the commencement of the knee pain, but following my neurologist’s recommendation, I was doing a lot of physical exercise at the time including two weekly one-hour power yoga classes when that pain started up. Maybe overdoing it with exercise, especially asana, brought up more resistance in the body. It’s hard to say, but it seems possible.

Now I’m not sure as to what symbolic meaning the part of the dream with Nilambe may have had. The dream did prompt me though to look up their website and see what was going on with them. When I was at Nilambe it was a fairly open place and you could show up and stay just one night if you wanted to and long term stays were also possible, though most people were backpackers who would stay for a few days or a week or so. At some point though since the last time I was there in 2010 they have changed things considerably and are only running seven day retreats that you are required to attend for the whole seven days. My dream showed an even more bohemian and unstructured arrangement than when I was there and not a more structured one, so this dream doesn’t seem to reflect those changes. This leads me to believe it perhaps had more to do with where I was at in my life at the time of the dream. Our house here is pretty bohemian as far as things go with the young people that live or visit here, none of whom have any interest in the spiritual life and just want to get as much vital pleasure out of existence as they can. There’s a freedom here in our house for young people that probably doesn’t exist anywhere else in Pondicherry, though nearby Auroville has a more western and free atmosphere throughout the whole community. I can see how the dream might represent the state of our house which for Donny and I at least is our ashram in the midst of life, but overlaid with the vital atmosphere of our young people.

I will say however, if I can get up on my soapbox for a moment, something that Donny suggested, and that is that my dream might more truly represent the spirit of Nilambe, which is actually stunted by all this added structure. There of course was a daily schedule when I was at Nilambe, and people were expected to participate as well as maintain the Noble Silence, but if you slept in and missed the 5am meditation one day no one gave you a hard time about it. I missed that particular mediation often during my stays there. People would also do things like go into the woods to get high or even for romantic/sexual liaisons, and even though that was against the rules, the staff didn’t try to crack down on it much. I would guess there is a lot less tolerance for that sort of thing there now. I do think that Nilambe is a retreat center, and you can’t just let it be a free for all, the same way Donny and I can’t let the unregenerate vital just run riot here and completely rule the house. I imagine the purpose of these changes at Nilambe is mainly to change the clientele, so that even if backpackers show up, they’re serious about doing a seven day retreat. It also probably makes things easier on the staff there since the retreats are done one week on, one week off. I have to say that I do understand why Nilambe has made these changes, to do things dynamically requires more work, and it’s easier to just lay down hard and fast rules. I have to wonder though if the center’s lost something of the magic it had by being ramrodded into something like a vipassana.6 Nuff said.

So to sum things up I haven’t been able to provide any answers regarding my physical problems in this article. I do feel though some kind of victory is possible in this situation, whether that would be healing for the body, or reaching a state of consciousness where I’m free inwardly from what’s going on with the body, or some combination of the two remains to be seen. I do think though if the influence of the hostile being could be removed or negated I wouldn’t have as difficult a time, but to do that seems to be something beyond my personal power and would require grace. In the end, it seems what I need to do is carry on persistently with the sadhana as sincerely as I can. There’s one particular quote of the Mother I call to mind frequently to help during trying times and will share to end this article. Very simply she says:

To the most stubborn goes the victory.7

Notes and References

  1. At the time of the accident I was experiencing a very joyous state brought on by an acid trip and was wondering why I couldn’t remain in that state. I guess the accident or what it represented was my answer. For those who are interested, I have incorporated a more detailed description of that joyous state in my short story Slumdog Epilogue which is posted here on our old blog The Chipmunk Press. Scroll down a little to read.
  2. Here I’m referring to the Rainbow Family that puts on the Rainbow Gatherings not the LGBT community.
  3. The Mother, Questions and Answers 1953, pg 185
  4. Ibid.
  5. The Mother, Questions and Answers 1957-58, pgs 316-317
  6. If you want to read my account of what Nilambe used to be like follow this link to The Chipmunk Press and scroll down a little to read.
  7. The Mother, The Mother’s Agenda Vol 1, entry January 28, 1960 pg 235


Breaking Down A Dream Feeling

Even though I’ve been reading about and trying to dedicate my life to what you might call the advent of a divine life (or heaven on earth if you prefer) for years, it’s not yet something my vital can get greatly excited about. I don’t think I’m unique in this, but rather the rule and not the exception. This inability I feel comes from the limitations of the little mind and vital that I and most everyone else live in. I think it’s possible for that little mind and vital to get more excited and comprehending about the prospect of a divine life than mine do. In fact, the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo aims at ultimately converting and transforming these parts (as well as the body) into willing and able instruments of the divine life.

There’s another part of us though referred to in the Integral Yoga as the psychic being or in more common language the soul. It’s a part of us which is “already given to the Divine”1 and just naturally possesses an ardent fire and aspiration for the divine life which can also spread to the other parts of the being. Now both the words soul and psychic get a lot of usage and can mean a lot of different things to different people. So before I go on, let me allow the Mother to explain in more detail what she’s pointing to with the terms ‘psychic being’ or ‘soul.’

It is the seat of the Divine Consciousness, the Divine Self in the individual being. It is a centre of light and truth and knowledge and beauty and harmony which the Divine Self in each of you creates by his presence, little by little; it is influenced, formed and moved by the Divine Consciousness of which it is a part and parcel. It is in each of you the deep inner being which you have to find in order that you may come in contact with the Divine in you. It is the intermediary between the Divine Consciousness and your external consciousness; it is the builder of the inner life, it is that which manifests in the outer nature the order and rule of the Divine Will. If you become aware in your outer consciousness of the psychic being within you and unite with it, you can find the pure Eternal Consciousness and live in it; instead of being moved by the Ignorance as the human being constantly is, you grow aware of the presence of an eternal light and knowledge within you, and to it you surrender and are integrally consecrated to it and moved by it in all things.2

Though I am not united with my psychic being nor even yet had a really definitive experience of it, I had a smaller experience recently that I believe was the result of an influence or contact with the psychic being and which was connected with a dream. So having set the scene, I’ll now get into what happened.

A few weeks ago I was getting out of bed in the morning and suddenly remembered something that seemed to come from a dream. The memory though was a feeling; there was no picture or image content to it. I wish at the time I had recorded what that feeling felt like on my voice recorder, because now I can’t really conjure it up, whereas it was quite concrete at the time. I do recall though that the feeling somehow grasped what you could call infinity or eternity for lack of a better word. It didn’t bowl me over though. I felt it faintly but distinctly on the left side of my chest for a few seconds and then it sunk back down out of my awareness. I knew it was something significant, figured it came from some kind of experience during the night, but didn’t give it much more thought than that. The whole thing kind of caught me off guard.

So I went about my day and in the afternoon I picked up one of the books I was reading, a book of short stories called Guardians of Oneness by a German disciple of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother who went by the name of Medhananda. The story I was currently reading was called ‘One Million A.D.’ It’s the story of an astronaut who returns to earth after a long tour of the galaxy. However, since the astronaut spent most of his time away “traveling on a G-beam in a galactic slipstream”3 only 10 years have passed for him, whereas a million have passed on the earth. A lot has changed. The earth, he discovers, has again become a forest clad Eden populated by self-conscious animals and one remaining man. This man, who introduces himself as homo ultimus, is evolved far beyond what we would call human and has remained behind to foster and oversee the evolution of the animals. The rest of humanity has gone to live and continue their evolution in the suns, where, as homo ultimus explains, they take part in “those higher intensities of life and love which are possible in a sun.’’4 After that initial meeting most of the story is dedicated to showing the life of peace, harmony and joy of creation and discovery that the animals enjoy. Toward the end of the story though, homo ultimus gives the astronaut and us a glimpse of the life man is now living in the suns, through a link between their minds. This is what the astronaut experiences:

all I could see was the stars. But as I looked through his eyes and vibration receptors they were not merely stars any more, they were my fellow beings: friends, comrades, brothers – each one speaking to me, singing his particular and eternal hydrogen song which vibrated directly by molecular resonance in my DNA chains. Each had its own message, each was a guardian of a whole solar system, each was telling me about his adventure in evolution on the planets with which he was surrounded. Each one was singing his paean of cosmic love, of encouragement, of bliss, of victory, of triumph over the difficulties and obstacles of life and evolution. For hours I lay there listening, learning by memory-absorption all this news of the universe, of solar adventures and experiences.5

This was I believe the third time I’ve read this story, and like the other two times, I was struck and somewhat awed by the what this passage implies. This time though it went a little further in me, somehow made me really see the reality of this greater life and helped trigger a little inner opening. Later on as I sat on the front porch and was thinking about what I’d read a strong excitement and yearning for that greater life arose as well as a sort of knowing that this divine life of splendors we can’t even hardly conceive was really waiting for us. This knowing though wasn’t an intellectual thing, but rather a feeling, a confidence. My mind in fact had gotten fairly quiet as this state came to the foreground. In addition, there was joy in the experience as well as calm and a feeling of purity   A further boon was that the chronic pain I constantly experience was significantly diminished.

The yearning and excitement waned after I got up from the porch rocker and had to start actively doing things, but the joy and calm hung around and diminished over the course of a few hours. There was still a touch of it when I went to bed, but upon awakening the next day it was gone. It was just a little glimpse that came and went much like the one I referred to in my last blog post, and like that experience I feel it was a promise of something that could become permanent. One of the reasons I think this was a psychic contact is because the experience was mainly on the level of the heart which is where the psychic being has its nexus with the outer nature. Others things about the experience that for me are indicative of the psychic are the element of aspiration as well as the element of feeling/knowing. As the Mother points out the psychic being:

has the true knowledge, an intuitive instinctive knowledge. It says, “I know; I cannot give reasons, but I know.” For its knowledge is not mental, based on experience or proved true. It does not believe after proofs are given: faith is the movement of the soul whose knowledge is spontaneous and direct. Even if the whole world denies and brings forward a thousand proofs to the contrary, still it knows by an inner knowledge, a direct perception that can stand against everything, a perception by identity. The knowledge of the psychic is something which is concrete and tangible, a solid mass. You can also bring it into your mental, your vital and your physical; and then you have an integral faith—a faith which can really move mountains.6

Now I think I should point out that this wasn’t some exalted state. It all happened within the confines of normal human consciousness and was basically a temporary uplift. Regardless I think any sane person would find it much more preferable to exist in that state if they once had a taste of it. The requirement for that though it seems would be to unite with one’s psychic being, otherwise experiences like this will remain transient.

It also bears mentioning that this memory from the dream and the experience in the waking state were not identical. The essence of the dream memory was something more profound, but more subtle. Regardless, for me the link between the two is clear, and what I think happened was that there was an inner experience during sleep that spilled over a bit into my waking life first as the dream memory and then later as the waking experience. And even though reading Medhananda’s story helped trigger the state, the mostly unrecalled sleep experience was the primary thing in my opinion. I’m also of the opinion that things like this happen with some frequency during our sleep hours, but most of the time we’re unable to bring back any memory of them. In one of her talks on dreams the Mother explained why this is:

Some people do not have a passage between one state and another, there is a little gap and so they leap from one to the other; there is no highway passing through all the states of being with no break of the consciousness. A small dark hole, and you do not remember. It is like a precipice across which one has to extend the consciousness. To build a bridge takes a very long time; it takes much longer than building a physical bridge…. Very few people want to and know how to do it. They may have had magnificent activities, they do not remember them or sometimes only the last, the nearest, the most physical activity, with an uncoordinated movement—dreams having no sense.7

So the lesson here is that with the right development a conscious bridge can be built between all the regions we visit in sleep and our waking state. Then we can more easily recall these things upon awakening. I’m sure there are occult disciplines that have been laid out for building that bridge, but I haven’t come across them with the exception of Tibetan dream yoga. And while I’ve done a lot over the years to improve my dream recall and also my ability to lucid dream, the main thing I rely on now in dream work (other than keeping a journal of dreams I feel are important) is just trying to do the sadhana and asking the Mother to help me reach my psychic being as well as the higher levels of consciousness above the normal human mind while I’m in the dream state. In addition, I’ve asked her to take charge of my lucid dreams and to help me remember to call on her when I find myself lucid. When I do remember to call on her, usually a force takes me and I travel in blackness for a while. A few times I’ve reached another dream, but normally I find I either can’t hold the concentration and fully wake up or am back in my body in the cataleptic state.

I had some dreams though that came about three weeks before the experiences I relate in this article which I feel offer some encouragement that the process of building that bridge is moving forward. The reader should know that both of these dreams happened in the same night. I should also mention to the reader that Sam, who appears in the first dream, was a professor of mine and later a friend. More importantly though he was the first person I ever met who talked openly about how he was on a spiritual path.

In the first dream I’m in a car with Sam going down a country road and he’s driving. As we drive I’m reading a little book someone gave me that was written by Sam. I’m telling Sam the story of how I got the book, which had something to do with how I kept trying to bring someone’s business cards into the chamber of commerce where I work, and they kept blowing out of my hand. I’m reading something in the book, and the gist of it was that you keep up your practices until the zero hour, or maybe it said the third hour. It’s implying that grace eventually intervenes. It says something too about how the grace came for Sri Aurobindo. When I look back at that part of the text again, it’s changed now to say Sir Richmond and not Sri Aurobindo. I know that Sir Richmond is a name Sam uses to refer to himself in the book. Then Sam pulls over and stops the car because he thinks it’s acting up. I tell him we better turn around and head back. Instead though he pulls up a little side road, and we pass through a bit of forest until we get to a wooden bridge that is too narrow for the car. The bridge has some plants on it which are draping it with beautiful flowers. One was like a bougainvillea with purple or pinkish purple flowers. I believe there were light blue flowers too. On the other side of the bridge is a beautiful big stone house landscaped also with the purple flowers and also blue ones too if I remember correctly. The stones are cut and are about the size of cinder blocks. They fit together perfectly and are a dark grey. It’s almost like a fortress or castle in style, but it doesn’t have a sense of foreboding about it. On the contrary, it looks very cool and inviting the way a shady spot next to a cool stream would be. We’re both admiring the beauty, and I tell Sam that the house must be 5,000 square feet at least.

In the second dream, as the observer, I’m looking at a bridge that is being built from both sides to meet in the middle. The bridge is about 50 feet long and is an arch or at least slopes up toward the middle. It’s almost done and there is just a few feet more until the two sides connect. I’m semi lucid and remembering the bridge from the earlier dream with Sam as well as another bridge from another dream from that night, and I’m remembering them both as almost ready to meet in the middle too. I’m thinking this must have something to do with making the connection to the psychic being, and I’m repeating “Mother I must have this.”

Now in one dream the bridge was too narrow, and in the other it wasn’t complete, but I think it’s just two ways of saying the same thing. Namely that there’s some work to go to complete the bridge to whatever is represented by the beautiful stone house with all the flowers. My guess is that the house symbolizes the sanctuary of the psychic being, and the presence of flowers would seem to support that since flowers can represent things psychic. Another thing in favor of this idea is the intuition I had in the second dream that the bridge represented making the connection to the psychic being. I think I will trust that intuition for now until I feel I have good reason not to or I discover in time that the bridge represented something else. I should point out though that while in the Integral Yoga pink is a psychic color, blue is more of a spiritual color and purple a color corresponding to the vital. So maybe there’s more represented here than just the psychic change [or transformation] .

Another interesting point about the bridge in the second dream that was raised by my collaborator Donny, is the fact that it’s being built from both ends to meet in the middle. He suggested that could mean that the one end represents my own personal effort and aspiration in the sadhana while the other end represents the answering grace, and that both are needed to make that connection. I don’t know if that’s true, but it makes enough intuitive sense that I thought it worth putting forward for consideration.

In conclusion, I think that regardless of what the house in the first dream symbolizes, it’s clear the bridge to something good is nearing completion. How near to completion is hard to say. There were feet left to go and not inches, so it may not be something imminent. Being shown though that the bridge is being built has given a boost to my faith, and perhaps that was the primary purpose of these dreams. The first dream also gives some good advice, which I’ll try to take, which is to carry on with the sadhana keeping frustration at bay and with the faith that when the zero hour is reached the grace will take care of the rest.


1.Question and Answers 1929-1931 by the Mother pg 62
2.Question and Answers 1929-1931 by the Mother pg 62
3.Guardians of Oneness ‘One Million A.D.’ by Medhananda pg 45
4.Guardians of Oneness ‘One Million A.D.’ by Medhananda pg 53
5.Guardians of Oneness ‘One Million A.D.’ by Medhananda pg 63-64
6.Question and Answers 1929-1931 by the Mother pg 152
7.Question and Answers 1953 by the Mother pg 38


Portrait of a Grouch

Oscar on my bag by cbcastro, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  cbcastro 

In a recent post, I pointed out how people in dreams often represent the presence in us of what we would consider their defining characteristic. I had a lucid dream recently, which is a good example of this:

I’m in a bright, well-lit house, and I realize I’m dreaming. I’m walking down a corridor and there’s a big mirror ahead of me. In the mirror I can see that there is a picture of the Mother (Mirra Alfassa) down the hall behind me.   So I turn around intending to head toward the picture, but now there’s a painting, a portrait, of Janet there instead. The entire background of the portrait is black and Janet, clothes hair and all, is kind of a smoky white or light grey color. She has an odd look on her face, which is hard to describe, but it was most certainly not positive. I go up to the painting and, assuming something’s wrong, I tell her I’ll call or email her.   Then I go around the left side of the portrait and enter a room hoping to still find the picture of the Mother. I don’t see it, but then a force picks me up, and I just ask the Mother to take me. It carries me up through the wall and roof of the room to the outside of the house. Then the dream starts to go black so I just close my eyes and move through the blackness for awhile before I wake up.

First of all let me point out that the Mother along with her partner Sri Aurobindo are my teachers, and the ones who are in charge of my spiritual welfare. They therefore appear in my dreams from time to time, and the Mother’s presence in this one let’s me know that there’s something here I need to pay attention to.

Now regarding the symbol of Janet, Janet is a former coworker and friend who’s been in the midst of a long battle with cancer. I haven’t been very attentive to her situation as of late, and I feel on one level the dream was showing me things are not good with her at the moment. After contacting Janet, I found out that things indeed aren’t good, and I made arrangements for my mom and I to take Janet out to lunch next weekend.

On another level though I feel the Mother was trying to draw attention to something in me represented by Janet, something I need to work on. Now while Janet has many positive qualities, on the negative side anyone who has ever worked with her knows she is very much a grumbler and complainer, to the point that people have referred to her as a ‘negative’ person. She is also very inflexible and very resistant to change. Having this dream prompted me to have a closer look at how I act like Janet.

I find my ‘Janetness’ is more of an issue at work, and in general it’s more of an inner grumbling than an outer one.   Lots of things come up that I don’t want to do or think is the wrong thing to do or think is eating up time that could better be spent doing something else. Despite what I’m feeling on the inside though, I do what I’m asked even if I have issues with it and don’t usually outwardly show my feelings by complaining or protesting.   I do also at times express things negatively or pessimistically in speech, but not to the point where anyone would refer to me as a negative person. On the contrary, most people would probably say I’m a positive person, though I’m not as positive as I might seem on the surface. I’ve just developed a certain amount of self-control, and I suspect that’s the way most ‘positive’ people are. This sort of self-control though is very important and we certainly shouldn’t knock it, but it’s necessary to go further.

So what’s the cure? I think ultimately the only complete cure is to transition to a higher consciousness to which these movements are completely foreign. What, however, can you do in the meantime? Well one thing I pointed out in another post is to try and remember that ultimately everything comes from the One1, and if a task falls to you in a situation like your job where you can’t really refuse, you can try and accept the fact that the Divine himself has thrust this work upon you, and then do it as best you can for that reason. That requires a mental effort though and isn’t always so easy at least for me.

Then there’s also the element of active rejection. I recently read a wonderful passage by the Mother about this, and it seems like a fitting end to this post. She tells us:

This is the dark side. And so, the moment one sees it, if one looks at it and doesn’t say, “It is I”, if one says, “No, it is my shadow, it is the being I must throw out of myself”, one puts on it the light of the other part, one tries to bring them face to face; and with the knowledge and light of the other, one doesn’t try so much to convince—because that is very difficult—but one compels it to remain quiet… first to stand farther away, then one flings it very far away so that it can no longer return—putting a great light on it. There are instances in which it is possible to change, but this is very rare. There are instances in which one can put upon this being—or this shadow—put upon it such an intense light that it transforms it, and it changes into what is the truth of your being.

But this is a rare thing…. It can be done, but it is rare. Usually, the best thing is to say, “No, this is not I! I don’t want it! I have nothing to do with this movement, it doesn’t exist for me, it is something contrary to my nature!” And so, by dint of insisting and driving it away, finally one separates oneself from it.2

Notes and References

  1. To avoid confusion I think I should point out two things. The first is that the concept of everything coming from the One is still just a belief for me, though it’s a belief I feel for which I have enough evidence that I can do my best to try and take my stand on it. The second thing is that, even if I’m correct that it’s all ultimately coming from the One, that doesn’t mean everything that comes is good or appropriate. Until you’re in that higher consciousness that knows spontaneously what to accept or not accept, you can’t take leave of your discrimination and common sense.
  2. Collected Works of the Mother Vol 6 “Questions and Answers 1954”, pg 263.