Question: Is being rooted in the Self a matter of enlightenment?
The main rooting is in the Self. However, it maps onto (correlates with) more superficial levels of life. I have said to our employees, if we have a motto on how we run Mount Soma, it is: stay out of the weeds. I understand that when there is conflict, sometimes people make you so mad, you just want to slap them. You have to acknowledge it. But, stay out of the weeds. Now, that’s not the Transcendental Self, that’s some personality self-control. If you get in the weeds, it starts tumbling, and you make it way worse. If somebody is insisting, if they are grabbing you by the nose, so to speak, and they want you to come in the weeds with them and fight, don’t do it. Stay out of the weeds.
Staying out of the weeds maps in many different ways onto life. It’s not just when somebody makes you mad and you don’t do it. When you catch yourself going around in circles: “If I do this there is this, and if I do that there is that, and what am I going to do…?” Okay you are in the weeds. Just back off. Let it go for a little while. Calm down. Stay out of the weeds.
There are many ways to stay out of the weeds. Do you know what staying out of the weeds looks like? It looks like wisdom: “There they go, there is no stopping them. I’m not going there with them.” Just do what you have to do to stay out of the weeds.
There is the Alcoholics Anonymous Serenity Prayer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” If you think you can have some sort of a positive impact, then go ahead, go for it. “Oh, what if I’m not sure what to say?” Well, then you just blew it. It’s just another failure. But at least you tried to have a positive impact. You’re doing your best to stay out of the weeds. If you get sucked in, then you can always back off again. It’s just another failure. But choose your words, choose your actions carefully. Then, if you goof, you goof, and you can always back up or what have you. Stay out of the weeds. When you feel “there is nothing I can do here”, then that’s it, let it go. There is nothing else you can do.
Sometimes doing your best is just the expression “Hey, chill.” Sometimes it can be a whole conversation. The other day on the phone, it was a student and I got pretty aggressive. When I think about it, I still feel how I took a little chance, but it worked. I said, “Come on. This is ridiculous.” I made some points that were right out of the teachings. I would say I spoke firmly and a little more loudly than normal. I got the point across and then I left it. You know, if there is a bend in a branch, and you straighten it up, sometimes when you let go, it tends to go slowly, slowly back. We’ll see.
You need to learn how to work with your environment. That includes, people, things, finances, everything… in a constructive manner. That’s all. You see how things are and you, with full awareness of how things are, move forward in a manner that doesn’t try to change things you just can’t, but somehow maybe invites or coaxes or gives the opportunity to move in a more construction direction. You evolve yourself by helping to evolve your environment. That’s all. Sometimes you do it very gently and sometimes you have to be firm.
Evolution means ever-increasing degrees of embodying the Transcendental Self—increasing integration of the surface with the depth. The surface of every life is tethered to the Transcendent. As we evolve, the connection strengthens. Like a field of wheat dancing in the wind, the lives of the enlightened dance in the winds of world karma while rooted in the soil of Transcendental stability.
© Michael Mamas, 2/16