Often it seems like your desires get in the way of the light, and yet the only reason those desires are around is because they are old habits that you learned in order to get to the light. You try to be sexually continent, and you suddenly experience lust, and you experience lust because previously the closest way you got to the light was through the moment of sexual union. But the problem with lust is that it takes an object, you lust after somebody or something. And when the world is divided into subjects and objects, we’re all alone all the time.

If you can see how thoughts create the universe, it really helps.

You meet somebody and for some reason or another you think they’re a good person under a gruff exterior, that idea upsets all of your responses, which in turn affect all of the responses of the other individual, which in turn dictates the way in which that relationship works out. It’s very different than meeting someone and saying, “I bet they’re pompous.” The weird and far out and paradoxical thing is that all of the thoughts that we have that seem to lead us away from life, soon lead us into isolation, into anxiety, into low energy. All those are functional, too. Because it turns out that there is an abrasive quality in suffering that is as part of the process of coming to the light. It’s like shining silver, polishing mirrors, waking you up.

A lot of people look back with horror on all their past experiences and say, “Well, finally it’s getting good.” That’s because they haven’t yet stood back far enough to see how exquisitely it all unfolds, how every confusing backtracking doubt, fear, horrible experience, unfortunate event, pitiful circumstance, seemingly frivolous act, sinful breakdown of discipline; all of it were just steps along the path. But in order to see the path you have to be very quiet and stop thinking, because every time you think how the path is, you just created it according to that thought. Even the concept of the path. At the moment now, you’re on a path, and you think, “I am on the path.”

Well if I can’t stop thinking, maybe I can just let my thoughts go by without getting all caught up in them.  Feel the breeze on your face or your neck?  See how it’s going by?  You’re not all hung up with it.  You don’t have to see where each breeze goes.  You don’t have to look quickly to see if it hit those trees over there.  It’s breezes, and they’re just going by.  Make your thoughts like those breezes, those little breezes…just going by.


-Ram Dass


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