“Heart at peace gives life to the body but envy rots the bones.”
BIBLE (PROVERBS 14:30)
Shilpi is asking:
Namaste Acharya Ji,
The bible says “Heart at peace gives life to the body but envy rots the bones”. I see that I’m stricken with jealousy or envy for my fellow co-workers, or people I hear about in the media, sometimes even friends, as I feel like they have something I don’t. It is very draining and disturbing and I do not want to focus on this anymore. Please guide me away from this trait.
Shilpi, when you are alright with yourself then the way your energy flows towards others, your attitude towards others, your relationship with others, is called as Love. When you are not alright with yourself then your attitude towards others, the way your energy flows towards others, is called as envy or desire.
If you are envious that somebody has something, then rest assured, you too desire that something. So, envy and desire go together.
Unless the other has something that you too are desirous of, you won’t feel any envy.
So, the question is not about how you feel towards others. It’s not about your coworkers or the people been talked of in the media. The question fundamentally is about your relationship with yourself. When you are great with yourself, then to others you have only Love to offer, and when you are not alright with yourself, then to others you offer all the vitriol that is consuming your life. How to have envy-free relation with others? By having ignorance free relation with oneself.
The more you look at yourself in erroneous ways, the more you will be compelled to look at the world as the provider of a sucker, or as a threat to your identities and comforts. No feeling of any kind is to be promoted. I am not qualifying my statement by saying that feelings of littleness or envy or loneliness or incompleteness are to be selectively discouraged. I am saying no feeling of any kind is to be fueled.
Are you getting it?
No feeling of any kind.
All feelings are fundamentally feeling of incompleteness, of completeness, there is no feeling.
Completeness is a different entity altogether. It comes to you but not as a feeling. If I switch off all the lights in this room you will stop seeing me. When the light is switched on you’ll start seeing me. Does that mean that I have emerged from the tube light? Think of it. All the lights are switched off and you do not see me, and then you go to the button, you switch something on and I appear. Why can’t you say that I have sprung up from the switchboard, or dropped down from the tube light? Why can’t you say that? That’s the thing with completeness.
In completeness the feelings are lit bright.
But completeness itself is not a feeling.
Just as the light is not me, the person, but in light, you are able to see me, see me clearly. My face is flooded with light. Similarly, the face of all feelings is flooded with completeness when completeness is present, and when completeness is not present, in the sense when you are away from completeness, then the face of feelings is dark and the face could be so dark that the feelings might get hidden. Such feelings that get hidden because completeness is not shining on them constitute the subconscious of the human mind. The subconscious is nothing but this.
There was no completeness to light up things. Things went into the deep and dark recesses of the mind. Completeness just is. You don’t even require to do something at the switchboard, It just is. You don’t even need to try to come to it. Rather you need to feel a little tired of trying, an effort can only do something with the non-real. An effort has no bearing on the real, on the true.
See how much effort you put in to feel jealous. Such things don’t happen effortlessly. Start favoring yourself, start being more kind to yourself. You don’t need to punish yourself. You don’t need to be competitive. You don’t need to benchmark yourself. You don’t need to reach anywhere. You don’t need to prove anything. Relax, and be kind. You don’t need to inflict so much violence on yourself. Completeness is there, and stubbornly there, inexorably there, and because completeness is such a permanent fixture, such an unshakable, undeniable reality, therefore you have to make great efforts to deny it.
If completeness were any less heavy, any less certain, any less indispensable, any less unchangeable, then you could have done away with it far more easily. But you look at people, you look at mankind, how hard we all are trying. We all are at war with the Truth. The entire mankind is fighting one collective war. We want to keep the Truth at bay. And that is taking a huge toll on our lives. Because fighting a Truth requires all of your energy, your entire being, your total personality, and still your investment in that war never suffices. You keep on fighting the Truth with all your might, and you find that the Truth is mightier than your cumulative might. You must feel tired now. You must give up now.
The time has come to resign, retire, and simply go off to sleep. You must admit that you are fighting an impossible war, Surrender. This war cannot be won. How is it to be feelingless? How is it to not give weight to any feeling? Does it mean leading a dry and prosaic life? We said all feelings are of incompleteness. So, the one who’s living in completeness, is he totally shorn off feelings? Does he not feel, does he not emote? He feels just the way you are looking at my face, drenched in the light. So you are able to look at me clearly.
The man living in completeness feels, but he is able to clearly look at the face of the feelings, and because he is able to look at the face of the feelings, something magical happens; the face changes, that’s the way it is.
What you look at is decided by who you are.
If your eyes can see clearly, they’ll only see clarity all around. If your eyes are sharp, they’ll see sharpness all around. If your eyes have Love, they’ll see Love all around. If you’ve such clarity that you can look at the face of a feeling, then that feelings cannot remain jumbled, confused, knotted. The very act of looking at the feeling changes the feeling. It’s not really a rack but in a manner of speaking, one sees. The same feeling when not looked at clearly remains knotted, jumbled, tortuous, complex and convoluted.
Blame not the feeling,
blame your absence from clarity.
You are the center. Feelings are all around you. If you are all right, your feelings would be all right,
that’s the great thing with spirituality.
You don’t get random feelings. You don’t get ill or evil feelings. It is not as if the spiritual man fights fear. It’s just that the thought of fear comes less and less to him, wonderful. You don’t have to fight fear, you don’t have to fight all kinds of rubbish, overpowering lust, envy, jealousy, Ah! so much more. You don’t have to fight them. They just cease coming to you. Feelings always come to somebody, and who that somebody is defining those feelings. You change, the feelings will change. You keep coming closer and closer to light, you will find your feelings are changing.
You will simply stop having certain thoughts. It’s not as if now you have understood those thoughts or mastered them or repressed them or whatever. Those thoughts just don’t come to you anymore, and it’s such a relief. It’s like wearing wet clothes and being in the vicinity of a great heater, as you keep coming closer to the heater your clothes change. They lose the wetness. You are shivering in the wet clothes, and as you’re moving towards the heater, the wetness is disappearing.
As you move towards Truth, the feelings around you change.
Just as the clothes around you change when you move towards a source of heat.
Are you getting it?
They just keep running away, the evil thoughts, just as moisture keeps disappearing from clothes as we move towards strong heat source. The moisture knows that its time is over now. The moisture was around you. The moisture was your slave in a sense. If you move in the right direction, the moisture would go away. If you move in the right direction, the rubbish feelings would disappear.
I’ve said the same thing in two ways you see. I have said that if you look clearly at something, that thing changes, and I have said that when you move towards the Truth you start losing the company of the false. The Truth is a great magnet. You don’t have to do anything to move towards the Truth. I’ve said this before in my reply. I am reiterating it. You just have to shed your efforts that are enabling you so far to remain distant from the Truth. You are an iron piece. The Truth is a giant magnet. You would be anyway pulled towards the Truth. If the iron piece is not being pulled towards the Truth, it is because it has willingly tied itself to huge chains. The chains are preventing it from being pulled away to the Truth, but you know something funny. The chains too are of iron. They too are being pulled towards the Truth. You may envelop yourself in a system that you think will insulate you from the Truth, but there is no man-made system in this world that is itself not a fanboy when it comes to the Truth.
Deep within man loves Truth. Deep within, all of man’s system too love Truth. So you would be defeated. Your efforts are going to go down the drain. You’re needlessly spending your time, life, energy. Stop trying so hard.
When you are envious, you start having the mild headache, don’t you? The eyes start burning. Now go to sleep, simple. It’s such a task remaining envious, Is it not? You won’t feel like eating. The head is spinning, the mood is spoilt. What can you do with such a mood? What can you do in such a situation? Only one thing, sleep that’s what is needed. A cessation of your efforts. A final conclusive sleep is needed.
You will say you can’t sleep because you’re still effortful, because you’re still in the middle of an action, because you’re still trying. Fine, but why are you trying? Because you believe that your efforts can bear fruit. Because you believe that you can win the war against Truth. And why do you believe that? Because others instilled in you that belief. Because there were so many others who came to you and told to you ‘Keep trying to keep trying. Push, push, maybe you can win.’ Others told you that, right? And you believed. If you could believe it when the others told you, now believe me as well. Others told you that the war can be won, right? And you innocently followed. Now I’m telling you that the war cannot be won. With that same innocence, believe me.
-Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity
Watch the session: On Jesus Christ: How to be free of envy and jealousy?
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