OVERCOMING NEGATIVE QUALITIES
The Gita speaks of lamenting for our loved ones. I have a loved one who committed murder and is in
prison. Is it wrong to feel compassion for such a person?
Arjuna represents the ego of individuality. Arjuna was fighting to liberate himself from all attachments.
But in the battlefield, he started lamenting for those who were killed and those who would get killed.
Krishna reminds him about the wrong action of lamenting which was due to his attachment. By lamenting,
we don't change any situation. It's only our ego's expression.
Aren't those for whom he was lamenting actually the negative qualities within himself which he was
reluctant to destroy?
Symbolically, yes. But negative qualities and positive qualities both are in the mind. And you can't
tell when some quality becomes negative. Attachment is not negative in a common person. It's part of
When a quality is becoming negative is there more attachment or desires or intent on expressing the
Negative quality in a common person is not the same as in a fighter for liberation.
I know someone who is doing wrong behavior that is harmful to others and who wants to stop, but
they are getting deeper and deeper because they don't know how to stop. How can I help?
Negativity is addictive. The person knows it's hurting and wants to stop but the addiction pulls the
mind back to violence. It takes much inner strength to change oneself.
It seems very difficult to break through the addiction to negative relations.
Yes, it's very, very, very difficult. And also very easy! When the mind understands itself truthfully,
then it's easy. Think of any situation and find out your mind's desire involved in it. In a relationship,
for example, you have fixed desire and expectation. When it's not fulfilled exactly as you want, the
confrontations start. Your ego doesn't want to compromise because compromise for the ego is like
losing the battle. So all problems start from our own mind and then attract the problems of others and
creates a mess.
When we have a negative feeling, what is the best course of action to take in that moment?
There are many tricks but the idea is the same: to remove that memory. You can do mantra or chant
God's name or go out in nature and watch the energy of nature or do the rituals. Anything can work.
Sometimes when the desire is very strong for the negative feeling to go away, it seems to strengthen
Do you know the ego feels its existence in negativity and in positivity the ego doesn't feel so strongly?
The ego pulls the mind back to negativity to feel its existence. Go back to your past: how many bad
events of life do you remember and how many good events? You will find 90% are bad and more clear.
10% are good but like in a fog. This is the great power of our ego.
Do the seeds of negative qualities remain but you are somehow able to separate yourself from them?
Or ignore them through one's own strength?
We are all born with negative and positive qualities but we are addicted to negative qualities. If one
breaks that addiction, then one can see the reality. Addicted person, in that force of pulling the mind,
doesn't see anyone else nor his or her self. Opium addicts I have seen. If they don't have opium, they
will do any wrong action to get it.
Could you talk about self-love in connection with the ego and the intellect?
Do you mean loving yourself?
Every person has self-rejection. ''I am tall; I am short; I am ugly; I am not smart, etc. You can make a
big list. Burn that list and self-love is right there.
The idea of living in community brings up fear. I'm afraid I would feel overwhelmed. How do I
know if I should go in that direction or if I truly have a different path?
You will feel overwhelmed. You have already conditioned your mind. You feel it because you have
fear. Why are we afraid? If you are in the woods all alone and a person comes running towards you,
your first thought will be ''that is a bad person coming to hurt me. The person comes and asks if
that path goes to a village. Then you feel better and think the person is not bad. Do you see how fast
the ego is ready to defend itself? In a community, there is so much comparison with others. So
naturally people feel fear, anger, friendliness, etc.
I am seeking liberation from my mother and sister who have caused me much pain in my life. I will be
seeing them soon and I don't want to get caught up in the pain with them again. I expect them to be
supportive, helpful, and to understand me. But they aren't. Any advice?
So it's a bondage of your own fear. You have fear you will get rejected. Your lifestyle will not be
accepted by them. You feel you are different from your mother and sister. If you don't bring those
things in your mind while with them or not with them, then you are liberated. You are creating it.
They will not harm you. If they say something you don't want to hear, then just think ''it's their own
The sense I have about the ego is that it's sort of an alien entity with a voracious appetite that constantly
needs to be fed. All our experience is its food.
So when my thoughts will feed my ego. Why? My list of negative ways of seeing myself is much
longer than the positive way of seeing myself. It seems to be a general way that people see
Why does my ego need the negative list to be so longer?
The reason is the ego feels its presence more in negative aspect of life: 'I am in pain; I am miserable;
no one likes me,' etc.
What about the positive negative ones? 'I am great; I am beautiful; I am better than everybody else?'
That creates pride and pride is worse than desire. Pride inflates the ego.
Wouldn't the ego want to have a tendency to do that rather than be negative?
Yes, but no one is contented. Pride inflates the ego and the ego is very fearful that someone will deflate it.
© 1997 Sri Rama Publishing
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