Hi Rupert. You said this morning, ahm… something about investigating the thoughts, and making sure they don’t arise on behalf of the separate self. And I would like to clarify that, because when I’m engaged in a relationship, it’s always, kind of, as this character. And there are a lot of thoughts that can arise in a relationship on behalf of the character. So how do I…?
Yes, but the character is not necessarily the separate self.
So it’s the sense of separation in you, or let’s say
the sense of separation in the character.
So it’s nothing wrong for a thought to arise on behalf of the character, you know…
What do we have for breakfast today? I’d like coffee, or…
That’s not a thought that arises on behalf of the sense of separation;
it’s a thought that arises on behalf of the character.
A thought that would arise on behalf of the sense of separation would be more like a thought,
I was really upset because you said such and such…
those kind of thoughts; or
I felt that you didn’t… I felt that you don’t love me.
These are the kind of thoughts that arise on behalf of a separate self.
They are not necessarily the thoughts that represent your character.
So would it be the kind of thoughts
that are about resisting the situation, or…
Not even necessarily resisting,
because it’s perfectly legitimate
to resist some circumstances
out of love and intelligence.
So it’s not the resistance itself that is problematic;
it’s on whose behalf does the resistance arise.
If you see something that’s going on in your environment or with another person, and your resistance comes from intelligence or from love –you see someone treating a child unkindly or unfairly– you resist that action. Your resistance doesn’t arise on behalf of the separate self; it arises on behalf of love and intelligence. It’s perfectly legitimate. So resistance by itself is not problematic. It’s a resistance that comes from, and supports the notion of, being a temporary finite self.
Yes. That’s exactly what I was thinking. If I am in a conflict with somebody, then I might have to say no.
Yes! Not all conflicts arise on behalf of the separate self. If you are… If you are doing… If you’re in business, for instance, and there is a business transaction and the company that you’re dealing with cheat you, then you draw their attention to it and they deny it, or they refuse to correspond with you, or… You’re going to get into a conflict with them. And again, your conflict comes from… Your conflict does not arise on behalf of a separate self; your conflict represents truth! What is truth here? What is fair? What is just? So the conflict that arises will be a conflict that is necessary to redress the balance…
… and to bring back truth and justice into the situation.
So, again, not all conflicts necessarily arise on behalf of the separate self.
You notice, particularly in intimate relationships, if your conflict comes from the sense of being hurt, for instance, that would be an indication that what is it in you that has been hurt… It is always the sense of being a separate self. It is not awareness that has been hurt. Your hurt does not arise on behalf of truth or love or justice. It’s your wounded ego that is feeling hurt.
You know, I’m trying to get a taste of the difference, so would it be like not taking things personally, or taking them personally? This kind of difference? Or in something else?
Yes; if by “personal” you mean the separate self. But something can still relate to you, as a character… ahm… Let’s say that you’re… Let’s say that you’re sick. And as a result of that you need to organize various appointments in order to take care of your health. The thoughts and the actions that arise from that situation are not in service of a separate self. You’re looking after your body; the character, as you said earlier, you’re looking after the character. That would be perfectly legitimate. You’re not tending to the needs of an illusory self.
If you find yourself defending a position –again, not always; sometimes you may need to defend something that you consider true; so not always, but very often, particularly in intimate relationship– if you find yourself taking a defensive stance, or indeed an aggressive stance, then you can be almost certain, that your defence or aggression is rising on behalf of the separate self in you.
Thank you. This “defensive position” is helpful to clarify it. And there is one more…
Or –sorry, just to interrupt– another example: a judgement. [Woman nods head emphatically] You find yourself judging someone, as opposed to making a simple observation. That would be another case where usually the judgement would be arising on behalf of the separate self.
And sorry, I interrupted you.
Yes, there is one more thing if I may… There was a discussion on the –I think yesterday morning– in a few cases about feelings; that they don’t hurt what I really am, like fear, for instance, and I have a question about physical pain. Because it doesn’t hurt what I really am. And at the same time, I can take steps to prevent it from happening, or to address it when it does happen, and that is legitimate.
And at the same I notice that sometimes… this preoccupation with preventing physical pain or discomfort, can also be something that takes me away from living the understanding. And its seems to be such a fine balance…
Well, it depends. Is your preoccupation with preventing or healing physical pain, is it a response to an actual situation, or is it a neurotic fear about a situation that might arise in the future.
[Woman smiles brightly] Yeah, that is exactly the question!
[Rupert laughs kindly] Well; the answer is: If it’s a response to an actual situation, in other words, if you are in pain or you’re sick, if that is your experience, then it’s perfectly legitimate to do whatever you need to do to attend to it. However, if you’re healthy, and not in pain, but you have a neurotic fear that has no basis in your current experience, that you are going to become sick in future, then that would be a fear or an anxiety that was a symptom of the separate self. The sense of… the sense of… In this case, the sense of being limited.
Yeah, on that scale it’s very clear.
But sometimes, when you make certain choices…
[woman sighs, uncertain as of how to phrase it]
then… [she laughs]
ninety per cent of the time,
it’s clear, it will be clear to you…
… whether your thoughts and actions
are motivated by the sense of separation or not.
In the ten per cent that it’s not clear to you,
just do your best.
[Sweetly] OK, thank you!
Rupert Spira transcribed by Leon Hieros