As the old saying goes ” in this world, no man is an island unto himself.”
There would have to be relationships, but what do we mean by relationships and by what means are the relationships formed? Are they formed by an attraction or by repulsion? You can have a relationship with a person and be totally repulsed by that person. Yet the very thought of that person in repulsiveness is a relationship because that person is in your mind. You are related to the person in thought, and then, of course, attraction does apply a certain amount of respect, of love, or admiration that would form attraction.
Attraction cannot exist without repulsion. But these two qualities are not opposites. They are part of the same thing, two sides of the same coin as, for example, in an electrical wire you have the positive and the negative. Here the negative does not mean something opposing the positive, but both are required to form a circuit so that the light could burn. In every attraction the element of repulsion is there, for attraction and repulsion, if we regard them to be of relative value, they will function in the law of opposites. As I have said many times, wherever there is pleasure, there is pain. Wherever there is the sun, there is rain. Wherever there is attraction, there is repulsion.
You can start with any object in mind from the standpoint of repulsion, and that could be turned into attraction. You might have experienced this in your own lives where you did not like a person and slowly knowing the person you grew to like the person. Sometimes you find a person that you are immediately attracted to and then slowly that attraction will fade away. A husband and wife get attracted to each other, and they get married. You find many instances where they just grow cold to each other. Yet in the beginning, there was that enthusiasm and warmth, and now they have gone cold. If repulsion were not in-built in the quality of attraction, then you would not get cold.
THE IDEAL RELATIONSHIP
The ideal relationship would be to stand on the thin dividing line between the two and recognising them both, so there is neither an intense attraction nor intense repulsion. If there is no intense attraction, then there will not be intense repulsion. By standing on the dividing line and looking at both sides, you will find yourself in a different area altogether. Like a pendulum, the harder and further it swings to the left, the further would it swing to the right. Then it comes to a standstill after all the swinging, and when it comes to a standstill, the clock stops. But we do not want the clock of relationships to stop.
There is a scientific theory that when the pendulum sways to the left, there is a pause, and when it sways to the extreme right, there is that pause, that indefinable quality that knows of no time and space. That is the area a person has to find to know true relationships. Otherwise, you are just playing around. You are swinging to the left and the right and the left and the right.
The time comes when the spring that has been wound in the clock dissipates itself; the energy is gone. But when you reach either to the left or the right and reach that area, that momentary stop, that is where everything is found. The totality of life is found, which means you are going beyond the swinging of the pendulum and even beyond the standing still of the pendulum.
What is that place at either end of the pendulum? How does one reach there? One reaches there by the attitude of mind that I am aloof from the pendulum, aloof in the sense that I am not the pendulum, but I am the momentum! When you are merged into momentum, then neither would you know attraction and neither repulsion. You know only of the momentum because both attraction and repulsion require that energy which we call momentum. Here you refine the qualities of attraction, and you refine the qualities of repulsion to its basic value which is momentum. In other words, it is energy.
When that energy is realised that I am neither this nor that, but the energy itself, I will find that the energy that is me is the same energy that is you. I would not ever feel disappointed if something you do becomes unattractive or repulsive to me because I have centred myself in the energy. The attraction and repulsion move away to the periphery. Here I am centred in the energy and the qualities which that energy produces, or rather manifests, is on the periphery.
Peripheries can be changed. You can put a compass at the centre point, and you can squeeze that compass closer, and it will make a smaller circle. You pull it out, and it will make a wider circle and a still wider circle.
WE REQUIRE A CENTRING OF OURSELVES IN OURSELVES
This means that attraction or repulsion can be changed, that they can be brought closer or they can be shifted far away. The consciousness that we require is that of the centre. As long as the axle in not bent in the centre, the wheel will run smoothly. What we require is a centring of ourselves in ourselves. Then only secondarily do we take notice of the periphery. But we are so much immersed in the periphery that we find attractions and repulsions all the time. We find faults in something so beautiful, which we can call attraction. Because operating from the periphery things are forever changing for us. We become ignorant or we ignore the stableness that is us.
ATTRACTION IS FROM THE MIND LEVEL
Say I am attracted to a woman. Attraction is from the mind level. The entire depth or the width or the measurement of attraction is just on the mind level. With my mind, I find a woman to be attractive. She has a beautiful face. She has lovely ways, mannerisms, and things are also beautiful there. But as I start living with her, for example, and I will not always see her face well made up, I will see her first thing in the morning, then I say, “Oh, she is not as pretty as I thought she is.” The same thing applies to a man.
By the way, when I say “man” it includes women, and when I say “woman” it includes a man. You know that is legal terminology. When a lawyer draws up an agreement, he qualifies in the beginning by saying that where man is referred to it also implies women and where woman is referred to it also implies man. It means both.
Sometimes you want that attraction.
Here two men were living out in the woods. They became confirmed bachelors. So, the one friend asked, “You know, Horace, you should be married. What happened?” So, Horace says, “You know, I met a girl. She was a lovely blond, and I liked her. I was attracted to her. I liked her very much. So, I took her home to meet my mother, but my mother did not like her very much because of the way she walked and the way she talked like a hillbilly, what have you. She was not of the class. So, I had to give her up to please my mother.”
“And then what happened?” “And then,” he says, “I met a redhead—a very attractive girl. And I took her home to meet my mother and my mother did not like her either because she could not cook, and she could not do this and that, and she behaved very differently. So, of course, I had to chuck her.” (You see how far attraction goes? Just because a mother says…) “
Then I met a third girl who was a brunette. I looked around to find someone who was like my mother, and this brunette talked like my mother. She walked like my mother. She cooked like my mother. You could say that she was a daughter kind of thing, perhaps. She was so like my mother.”
“So, why did you not marry her?” the friend asked. So, Horace says, “Well, I would have. My mother was quite in favour of it, but being so like my mother, my father could not stand the sight of her.”
What is the worth of attraction when you get influenced by others? Because it is on the mind level, you get influenced by others! You might be attracted to a woman, or a woman is attracted to a man, and this girl might meet a friend who would tell this girl a lot of ugly stories about this man. “You know, Jim did this, and you might not know it, but he did this and that, and he had several other women before. And he jilted them. And you know…. So, do not put your heart on him!” So, your attraction to him starts fading away. It can fade away by the creation of repulsion. But then to another girl again that very repulsion can be the basis of attraction. See the circle it works in? Attraction to repulsion and that sheer repulsion form a challenge. “Oh, so he has been around with a hundred women, has he? I will put him in his place and keep him to me only!” And that could lead to an assumed attraction which would become a genuine attraction if the woman is strong enough.
So why do we run around in these circles? Because we are operating from the mind level only and we know that the mind is very fickle. That is on the day to day level as an example. Why are you attracted to the concept of God? Because of the need in you. You have been told through your parents and schools and churches that God the Father helps. You need help so there is an attraction to the concept of God, and yet God could not be a reality. He is not a reality until you have realised Him. Your attraction here now is based only on concept which is an ideal you have formulated in your mind with the help of the environment that there is an old chap up there and if you appeal to him, you can win your case.
He is a good judge. That is a mental concept. No one can prove that that is true. You are repulsed by the devil, and you stay away. That too is a mental concept, for who has seen either God or the devil according to your conception. No one.
RELATIONSHIP SHOULD BE FROM THE CENTRE
The second factor is this, that attraction or repulsion in any form of relationship, whether earthly or ethereally is but based upon your concepts, upon certain ideals that you have. How many of us can evaluate things in totality? How many of us can look at a person, and evaluate that person thoroughly? Ninety-nine-point nine percent of people cannot. “Oh, he is a good-looking man. Oh, she is a pretty girl, so she is attractive.” That is the basis of your evaluation. “Oh, he has got a glib tongue; he is sweet. Or she is sweet; she speaks nice. She is very affectionate.” That is the basis. Or she is very affectionate. She is very demonstrative. She caresses your head. She puts her arms around you. That makes your body feel comfortable and makes your mind feel at ease. How long is it going to last? It cannot last because as we said a moment ago, attraction and repulsion in any form of relationship is based only on the mind level, and the mind could never be centred. The mind is not the centre of man and neither of woman. I have better mention women as well. The mind could never be the centre of yourself because the centre is forever still while the mind is forever changing and changing and changing.
All conclusions that we arrive at are from a changing level. It means your conclusions and your judgments and your evaluations can change from day to day. Attraction in human relationships can become repulsive tomorrow, and the repulsive can become attractive the next day. The basis of human relationship should be from the core of one’s personality, that means from the centre.
Where is the centre of man? We normally say in the heart, and we point here to the chest. Now that is metaphorically said. That is a metaphor because your centre is you, your whole self. This heart here is just an organ and the centre of yourself does not necessarily need to be in the chest. The centre can be anywhere. But the cognition and realisation of the centre, that is important and not where it is placed. Because from the very tips of your toes to the top of your head is nothing else but consciousness, and that very consciousness is your centre. That very consciousness is your centre, but when consciousness, pure consciousness, becomes clouded by the workings of the mind, we lose the sense of the centre.
CONSCIOUSNESS IS THE ABSOLUTE
Where is your love, centred? At this moment? Your love is centred in the mind, and you have very mistakenly called the mind consciousness. It is very mistaken. The mind is a centre of recognition because the conscious mind can always drawback and look into the cubbyholes of the subconscious to compare. I have seen a chair before, so this I recognise to be a chair. But how much is the mind conscious? Or is there something that is beyond the mind that we could call consciousness? That is the question! And there is. Mind is not consciousness.
Consciousness is the Absolute, the total centre, the centre within yourself. That is consciousness, while the mind is a reflection of consciousness. So habitually and by our past samskaras, we take for granted that the mind is consciousness while it is not. It is only a reflection of consciousness and not the real thing, for the reflection can never be real.
All the people on the cinema screen seem so real, especially in 3-D and cinemascope, all kinds of scopes. But what real scope has it got? Very limited scope because it is a reflection. But you sit in the cinema, and you get so involved with the happenings on the screen that if it is a sad picture you would find that hankies are being pulled out. You would hear sniffles. Nowadays they have banned smoking in cinemas, but if you go to a cinema, and you can see how suggestive the mind is, that in the audience, someone in front lights a cigarette. Look around you and you will find fifty cigarettes are being lit. Yet that person might not feel like lighting a cigarette. I have experimented with this. I used to be in show business. You see one person lighting a cigarette, and you will find fifty people around would be lighting up a cigarette. In such a small thing, you do things that you do not feel like doing. You get influenced by what is happening on the screen. Look at the excitement! The hero is on his horse on his way to rescue the damsel in distress, and you get excited. “Come on! Hurry up! You know she is going to fall down the cliff! Hurry up. Save her!” You get excited. How the mind can be influenced and how the mind can be led into doing things that you do not want to do. You have not felt like lighting up a cigarette, but you have lit one up. That is what everyday television does, and you do not realise it. Television is a medium firstly to entertain and secondly for entertainment; you require relaxation. Now and then you find the heroine or the hero lighting up a cigarette. Seven out of ten viewers that are smokers will also feel for their packet of cigarettes and light one up. Do you see how relationships are formed?
ARE YOU LIVING YOURSELF?
A relationship does not only mean the relationship of man and woman or a person and his friends or his environment or his circle. A relationship does not only mean that, but it also means how you relate to things. How you relate to things should be something individual from yourself and not be influenced by the circumstances, the few which I have described to you, and there are so many. So, are you really living yourself? No, you are not living yourself. Your life is governed by the people around you, by the circumstances around you, and by the things around you. There is only a very small percentage of you that shows its individuality, that shows its personal identity.
A true relationship, even from a mind level, is to first cognise your personal identity and then identify it with the object and then there would be a truer attraction or a truer repulsion! It is not the attraction or the repulsion that is so important. It becomes a secondary matter. But that which you identify as yourself, that is the important factor. If you are totally identified on the mind and thought level, then your reaction would be accordingly so. But if you are closer to the centre, then your reaction to whatever happens will have a different perspective.
A person might do something, and there are five people present. Everyone will react to the circumstance very differently. A person makes a statement in the company of five other people. One will say, “Ahh, he is crazy.” One might say something else. But the man that understands, that operates from the centre will look at him very kindly and compassionately and say that he is still steeped in some ignorance. He is functioning from his level. Another will say, “Oh, chuck him out! He does not belong in our company.” The wise man will say, “Of course. Everyone belongs in our company. It is just that his level of understanding has not reached a certain stage, and therefore he seems crazy. Let us have him as a friend and see what we can do about his view of life or perspective.”
OPERATE FROM THE CENTRE
To repeat, as we through our spiritual practices reach the centre of ourselves, the more could we identify ourselves with everything around us and yet remain non-attached to all that which is around us. We have talked about non-attachment many times. It is only where non-attachment is that we do not feel hurt because we operate from the centre. The centre never hurts because it does not move. The axle of the cart stands still. It is only the wheel that moves, the wheel of the mind, the whirlpools of the mind that keeps on moving. But here lies the secret that in the centre of the whirlpool, if you have ever been in a whirlpool, in the centre if you dive, you get sucked into that whirlpool. But as you go deeper down that even in that whirlpool, you will find a point of stillness. So, let the whirlpool of the mind whirl around all the time, but seeing through the mind, with the mind itself, with the higher level of the mind, you would find that still centre. It becomes very, very attractive to you, so much so that the attraction leads to total identification with the centre. That is the greatest joy one could ever have, to be totally centred without any disturbance, without any attraction and neither any repulsion.
All relationships, be it to mother, father, children, husband, beloved, is seen and known in its true value. Here, although there is a differentiation between your beloved and your friends, your father and mother, although there is a differentiation in its expression, the centre remains the same. And that centre one could call love. The centre remains the same only expressed in different forms because of different kinds of relationships.
… Gururaj Ananda Yogi: Satsang US 1983 – 45