Bait and Switch
My dear Mind,
When you become turbulent and self-conceited, you go by a fancy name called Ego. And when you are in this mode, I am really frustrated with you that you bait me about something at one time and then switch to a different thing later.
And somehow you make me believe you at first, even though I have experienced innumerable times that you will change and say something else later.
If you are shocked that I am accusing you of Bait and Switch, let me give you examples. Okay?
One example is, in the morning you tell me that I have to diet or eat healthy. But in the afternoon or evening, when I am mentally tired (again because of your ramblings!), you tell me that there is no harm in eating a Rich Chocolate or a large slice of Cake or something like that!
Another example is, you tell me that I should be generous and charitable, and in a split second you give me hundreds of reasons why I shouldn’t part with my money! You have an answer for everything, don’t you?
Here is a third one; you yourself create problems for me and then you yourself pretend to help me solve them. Talk about conniving!
Let me give you one more, and this is the Mother of all the games you play and the Machiavellian schemes you enact. You tell me that I should meditate and be quiet, but as soon as I sit down and close my yes, you lure me into thousand avenues of imagination and all the wonderful things I can do. And you do this so effectively too. But later, I don’t seem to have the slightest inclination to do most of those things. You just make sure that I don’t turn inward. (By the way, you even tell me that I should have a “holier than thou” attitude and force my Faith on others, but fortunately, I have never fallen for this enticement of yours. Sri Ramana Maharshi says that the two most important things for a spiritual seeker is to be humble and not interfere in other people’s business.)
Anyway, how do you do your bait and switch? And why do you do that? What do you gain by that? Oh, I guess this is your way to ensure that I will always be a slave to you.
I want the real SELF to rule my kingdom, but you perform a hostile take over just like a minister who is a traitor to the King, but acts like he is a kind and faithful friend of the King. You confuse and confound me with your beautiful but illusive pleasures of the world, but skilfully hide the miseries that they are accompanied with. You persuade me to do things that are not wise, using my weaknesses, which you created. After making me do these things, you yourself make me regret it. Then you yourself show me all the Scriptures and Gurus I should follow and retrace my steps back to sanity and my Real SELF. You are certainly double-faced!
In the waking state, you are very innovative; so you show me new temptations or rekindle old memories and somehow keep me entangled and occupied in illusory worlds of creative imagination or keep me constantly chewing the cud. You make me dwell in the past or project my future, instead of living in the present and let things happen by themselves to fulfill the purpose for which I am here on earth. In dreams, you don’t exert too much by using the body, but roam about in smoky scenes and weird situations and sometimes nightmares to keep me involved with you. In deep sleep, however, you want to save all the energies; so you keep quiet and rest, only to rise and shine with full speed to scheme and enjoy your plans and activities. Don’t you ever get tired of this cycle?
You think you are very smart, don’t you? But my cunning ghostly friend, your game is up! I now have a Great, Strong, yet Noble and Kind Friend. His name is Ramana. As though you don’t know! You have been trying to hide Him and His Greatness from me all along. But you know the saying by Abraham Lincoln, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” You got that?
This great Friend has always tried to help me be my SELF, but you never let me listen to Him. Life smacked me once or twice to shake me up and make me see that you are up to no good if I don’t control you. In a way I needed those jolts, or else I will always be in the prison of darkness and delusion which you have built for me, keeping me in the shackles of unwise worldly attachments, and giving me sugar-coated poison pills of the so-called pleasures as food. Please know that my Friend will never forsake me or anyone, no matter what sins they have committed. So there, you have met your match.
Actually, you are no match to Him. He has revealed to me your phony personality. He has warned me about your illusory powers and magical acrobatics. He has convinced me that you are a Thief dressed like a Policeman. He has asked me to constantly look for your source. He has advised me to scorch you by ignoring you. He has told me that you are just a dot in Space, a drop in the Sea, a wave in the Ocean. He has recommended that I use you for self-improvement and turning inward, but not for expanding further and further, forgetting the real SELF.
Finally, he has made me realize that you are Not Real, that you are a constantly changing bundle of thoughts. He has recommended that I use you for self-improvement and turning inward, but not for expanding further and further, forgetting the real SELF.
So, my dear egotistical Mind, I caution you. I will catch you one day and expose your false identity. It will not be easy, but these days I am trying to follow the guidance of my Master a little more seriously, and that too is because of his merciful Grace. I am slowly turning away from your machinations. I find even this little effort and practice creating a wee bit of happiness and peacefulness for me and around me.
So I have decided to stick to the teachings of my Guru, who is the Blissful, All-Pervading SELF manifested in human form to guide me. I humbly offer my worship to Him, and all the Great Men and Women Sages, Sains and Mahatmas. You can try to defeat me, (but you will fail, I guarantee you), or you can join me in the venture of finding Lasting Happiness and Peace of Mind, and make things easy for both of us. We can be active in Life, but instead of ruining ourselves in meaningless pursuits, we can let the Purpose fulfill itself, the purpose for which we are here on earth. What do you say?