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July 18, 2021

The Investment In My Story

The Investment In My Story

In this episode, The Bearded Mystic Podcast discusses how we sometimes play the role of the victim and the hero. The ego likes to trap us into incessant thinking. This episode goes into how we can transcend this narrative and enter a non-dual state. The whole point of gaining spiritual insight is to get our whole being in a nondual state. 

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Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the ninth episode of The Bearded Mystic Podcast and I'm your host, Rahul N Singh. Thank you for joining today and thank you for taking out the time to either listen or watch this podcast episode. Today, what I'm going to be talking about, and what we're going to be discussing together is the investment that we have in our personal story, whether it's a good thing or a bad thing. What I mean about a personal story is have you ever been in a situation where you're with your friends and you keep talking about something that's happened in your life, you keep repeating it. For example, most common one is when we have a breakup, especially, in your teens or, in your twenties. You go through a breakup, you feel that you were absolutely in love and there was nothing more than you having that person in your life. We go all Bollywood or Hollywood. We actually create a Hollywood and Bollywood movie in our mind with the memories that we have of that person. We create this story, this whole narrative. This narrative becomes our talking point all the time. We keep talking about it with our friends and our friends, and they start feeling like, well, bored. They don't want to be talking about how our love story or they don't want to be talking about our pain again. Sometimes when we are in that moment of feeling like the victim, our memories also get distorted. We create the memory where we look like the victim and the other person was being unfair to us, when realistically it may have been that things just ran its course. Not every relationship will last forever, no matter how much we like to believe in that concept. Our relationships end up moving forward. We have to transcend them at a certain point. We tend to go through that narrative and sometimes when we act like the victim, it's very safe for the ego actually. Instead of dealing with the situation by creating this story, this narrative, we end up going round around in circles, and this can happen actually during anything. It's not just a breakup, but actually when we lose a loved one, sometimes instead of dealing with that loss, we create the narrative and we create the story that we've lost someone and we get really depressed about it. Instead of seeking help from somebody or seeking professional help, we rather live in our own mind and that's pretty dangerous. Another one, I wanna give is losing our job or not getting the grades that we wanted at school that creates a certain narrative in our mind. We keep thinking what if and we can also fool ourselves into thinking, 'I did try hard' when really we know we could have done a little bit better or we did put in the effort and we just didn't get what we wanted. Sometimes we just have to let it go and eventually this story that we've created is all about keeping the narrative of the ego, it's a facet of the ego. The ego is very complex and it's not as simple as feeling proud about something. It's also, when we feel like we're a victim and in times there are certain circumstances where we are a victim. We have to seek not only professional help, but sometimes of the authorities that can help us. There is a point where we have to deal with our trauma, where we have to deal with what has happened or where we have to deal with the loss of something. This is where we have to look at it in a way where we're being compassionate with our thoughts, where we're having empathy with our thoughts, where we're analyzing our thoughts appropriately. When we actually look at a situation and create that space right, where we can say this isn't working for me, I'm now repeating myself again and again. Whenever I have a chance to speak to other people, it's about me, me, me, and my problem, and what I've gone through. I've actually took no time to listen to other people. When we started doing that and thinking like that, we start realizing from their perspective. For example, we put a mirror and we look at the reflection of what we are showing, the reflection of our thoughts, our intentions, our interactions, our conditioning, everything. When we're able to look into that mirror, we're then able to look at the story we've created. We look at the story in an objective sense because prior to this, we were being subjective with our experience. We were being subjective with our reality. This story that we create, especially when we've gone through a breakup where we're not really a victim, the ego likes to make us into a hero. There is this inter changing game that goes on between being a hero and being a victim. This also happens in the spiritual journey too. Sometimes we act like a victim. "Ah, I can't achieve it. I can't sit down to meditate. Oh, I can't focus for 10 minutes. That's too much. I sit down, but then I start feeling hungry again. We want sympathy for our physical ailments and that's what I really want to talk about in terms of the story is how it's linked to our spiritual journey or we keep blaming things on our karma. " Ah, my karma is such and I must have done some bad deeds in my past life. You don't even know what happened in your past life. Maybe you do. I don't know, but most of us don't remember. If we're fortunate enough to not remember, let's not blame it on that past life, let's deal with the situation that we got now. We create that story. We create being a victim and that story is only there to strengthen the ego. The ego creates that story. So we don't transcend. Let's think about this? The ego simply does not want us to transcend it. Why would the ego wants us to become enlightened or to rediscover that actually we were always enlightened. But we were fed into a story where we felt that we weren't adequate enough. For example, especially in Advaita Vedanta, in Hinduism and the religions that mainly come out from Hinduism. So that's including Buddhism and Sikhism. Those particular religions have always talked about how the truth is always within you. You are the Truth. Don't look for the truth outside, it's internal. Go inside. Find the truth. It's all about self-discovery. Nobody can show you. And this whole tradition, whether you look at it from the point of view of studying a scripture or from studying with a Master. It's all about transcending the ego and realizing that you are this infinite formless, shapeless, colorless Brahman, ultimate reality. That's what you are. You've always been that, Tat Tvam Asi. We've talked about this before briefly, You Are That. What is 'That'? 'That' is Brahman. You are that infinite space. You are prior to existence, consciousness. Everything that is happening to you. You are an observer to it, and you've always been the observer. You've always been the witness. However, the story tells us you are the one suffering. You are the one going through pain and instead of saying, feel the pain so you can deal with the pain, it's saying, "Why are you in pain? How did this pain come to you? Why did this happen?" It starts creating more and more subplots to the narrative and what happens when you go deeper and deeper into the narrative, you get lost. There's a very beautiful example that I watched on a TV show. It's called Devo Ka Dev Mahadev, and it's an Indian show about Lord Shiva. There's a time where Lord Shiva's wife, Mata Parvati ji has got amnesia. She's, forgotten all her memories. She's forgotten who she is. Actually this is the prime point. She has forgotten who she is. Now, Lord Shiva, being a kind of person that likes to stand back and just observe and not interfere as much. He is then told by, Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu, that you need to interfere now, you need to intervene. The Lord of Ignorance has taken hold of your wife and you need to do something. It's not doing good for the world, the world needs Mata Parvati ji. So Shiva ji ends up conceding and saying, "Okay, I accept what you say. I will speak to the Lord of Ignorance." What happens is really interesting. The Lord of Ignorance says, " Even though I don't exist, people think I do. Hence I take over." Then Lord Shiva says, "That, which is not, I am also That." What Lord Shiva Ji was saying, and this is a re deep point that even though ignorance doesn't exist, I am also that. Even though, Lord of Ignorance thinks it's separate, it's powerful. You still come under my domain. When Shiv Ji fights and defeats the Lord of Ignorance, Mata Parvati ji regains that consciousness to understand who she is and what she is. The point of the story is that we are ignorant of who we are and the "Lord of Ignorance" has or the Lord of ego has taken over and has made us forget who we are. You could say the ego is now heavy in our mind and we have to lighten the load of the ego. When we lighten that load of the ego, then Brahman - The Ultimate Reality or Shiv Ji that Ultimate Reality will take over. It will be the one that is All-Pervading. The choice is ours when you think about it. Internally, there is always Brahman. Brahman is always there. Brahman has never disappeared. Brahman only has to be discovered. Brahman meaning Pure Consciousness. This story that we create and this story that we keep telling others, the more times you feel like the hero or the victim, we're delaying that process because now we're giving power to thought and what is really thought? If we really looked into thought, we will know that it's a subject of our imagination, really we think of the thought. Yeah, we imagine the thought. And again, we imagine the power the thought has upon us. The power it has depends on how much intention we have or how strong our intention is behind that thought. When does this investment begin? It begins when we want to seek the approval of others and we want that sympathy and it suits our ego. It really, like I said, it really strengthens our ego and it's because our mind naturally gravitates towards the past and the future. What we do is we then invest into that subconscious reality that we belong to the past. This is what happened in the past. This is where I want to be in the future and we imagine that future and we're in this tug of war between both the past and the future. When we're in this tug of war, guess what's not happening? We're not being in the present. When we're not in the present, we're not in touch with reality. We're living in the subconscious reality, which is of the past, which has our memories, which has our thoughts, which has our interactions with other people. It has our conditioning and the same thing with our future. It has our imagination. Again, whatever has happened in the past is now being related to what happens in the future. Eventually what happens is because we've become so accustomed to our past and our future, the subconscious reality becomes our ultimate reality. That takes the shape of the ultimate reality when really that isn't the ultimate reality, it's not really Brahman, but we enlarge it to such an extent where Brahman is not even seen, not even as a thin blade of light. Brahman is not even there when this subconscious reality becomes everything. When we continuously live in the past or continuously live in the future, this is what happens. How can we transcend our story? This inevitably is the biggest question. Having a story in itself isn't bad. I want to make that very clear. We all have a story because our certain experiences have made us who we are today, and we need to be grateful for that. And we need to appreciate that, the tragedies we've dealt with, our achievements, they're important and they all have a part to play in our lives. Having that story isn't the bad thing, it's when the story becomes our everything, instead of what reality really is, and reality in itself is no thing. It has no substance. It has no content. That is our real story. A story-less story, if you must. We're in this transactional reality, therefore in this transactional or relative reality, we have a story. There's a story of Rahul that I'm relaying to you. These thoughts have come from the story of Rahul. I wouldn't have these thoughts if I didn't have a story, of course I do. But how do I transcend it's clutch, it's hold on me? Because this story will give layers to my ego. So the first step is to always watch our thoughts and to travel with them. See where the thought is. Leading us, see where this story is leading us, see where it's going to take us? What is it trying to show us? And then watch had thoughts to see do I then interpret this as being the hero or the victim? Is this constantly going on? Am I labeling each memory? Therefore strengthening it, therefore adding layers to it. I want to peel away the layers, not add on to them. So to transcend them, what becomes more important for me is to understand what is behind the thought? What is behind the narrative? What is projecting this narrative? You have a blank screen and you have images being shown on that screen. Our story is the images that are being shown on the screen. Our consciousness is the background is that blank screen. That's what we really are. The more we go back to this blank screen, the better, and the more we live in that, the better. In our interactions. Yes. We may talk about our story and that's fine. We will talk about the images, but allowing that background awareness to be our constant reality, as much as possible is better. To recap, we invest in a story because we want to feel like a character, whether it's a victim or whether it's the hero. Although, I wouldn't term this as being completely narcissistic. It could lead there and eventually our whole interactions with people becomes about me, me and me. What we want to do is through this podcast and through our spiritual practice is to get away from me, me and me to 'That', this Brahman, this Brahman that is always there. This is what we want to be pointing to: Tat Tvam Asi - You Are That' we want to get to that point where most of our conversations lead to This. They don't have to be about This all the time, but they should eventually lead to This. The more we watch our thoughts, the more we watch our intentions, the more we watch how we label things. The more we will have a more grounded reality, a more grounded, transactional reality. And the more grounded we are, the higher the chances we have to go towards that Ultimate Reality, that is Brahman. What I really want to end with today is that it's not bad to have a story. Have a story, it's fine. But don't let the story take over so much that you're not able to see the Ultimate Reality, where you do not allow yourself to be this Ultimate Reality. It's really important that we understand that this Ultimate Reality has no story. No story has ever happened to It. And eventually our existence will be like a wisp of smoke. It will disappear. That's literally our existence. If we believe that this body is our whole existence. The choice is ours, whether we want to invest in this Ultimate Reality or whether we want to invest in this wisp of smoke?