Problems in life

Question: Since I began meditating, the little “I” (or ego) has been going through an extremely rough time. Can you explain a little more about this and how long will it go on?

jumping_to_lifeGururaj: Very good. Beautiful. The little “I” has been going through a rough time. Now, which “I” observes this? That is the question. It is the little “I” itself that thinks it is going through a rough time because when the big “I” (or Observer) sees the little “I” going through a rough time, the big “I” becomes very happy. The big “I” becomes very happy in seeing that the little “I” is coming to some realization of its shortcomings and weaknesses and is now ready to face them.

We are all in good company – 99.999% of people are in the same boat – so there is nothing to worry about. Nevertheless, this is a good thing because the small “I” realizes by itself, through the power of the big “I”, its shortcomings and failings. It presents a mirror and says, “Look here, there are areas in my life that I can improve upon.” Therefore I always say that meditation on it’s own is not enough. Twenty or thirty minutes in the morning and the evening gives us the strength to face ourselves so that in daily waking life we do make some conscious effort to better these areas of our lives. These are the basic principles. In other words, the conscious effort leads us to self-help because if we don’t help ourselves, no one can. No one can evolve you; you have to evolve yourself.

It is within the framework and laws of nature that man must evolve himself. There is nothing else that could evolve him. Gurus and various practices or techniques are but guides that lead one to the full recognition of one’s small “I” until one goes beyond, until one rights these faults or frailties, and then from there lives entirely in the Big “I”. That is the ideal of all mankind. It is within the scope of each and every one of us to live entirely in the big “I”, even with the existence of the small “I”. Then, the small “I” will not have the little battle that it’s having.

It is good when a person comes to a recognition or realization of these shortcomings, faces them, and does something actively to improve them. To use an analogy, if a man is a drunkard and can’t do without a bottle, he could meditate twelve hours a day but in his waking state, if he does not make an effort to push the bottle a bit further and further away, then naturally he won’t be able to have the experience of sobriety. So with meditation, there must be some conscious effort for the betterment of oneself.

The meditations help give strength for the betterment. As the betterment occurs, the meditations also improve; they work hand-in-hand all the time. And as we find the gradual improvement through self-help and meditation in our lives, we find that we become permeated with greater and greater joy. That is the process, a beautiful process. The dirtiest washing, too, has to be cleaned. The washing machine turns but the material is not damaged – just the dirt is shaken loose, that’s all. We want that.

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