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Your Duty to Yourself

Hi Ted,

Ted: Hi, Sanford.

Sanford: How incredibly lucky I am for the blessing of this Satsangs, they
are valuable points and lessons in here.

It became clear to me that to be really peaceful and content, I need to be in
alignment with the way things are, finding my mission. The quest for
svadharma is on for a while, however I could not find any clues, and
honestly I do not know a way of tracking it, besides asking a question,
"What Am I suppose to do?"

Ted: While it is true that the bundle of vasanas that constitute the person
identified as Sanford does most likely have a practical contribution to make
to the field of existence that is related to or reflective of a specific aptitude
or talent for which that particular mind-body-sense complex is a vehicle,
your 'real' mission is to remove the ignorance of your true nature through
self-inquiry and realize your true identity as whole and complete, limitless,
actionless, ordinary, unborn, non-dual awareness.

You don't really have to quest after your svadharma. Your natural way of
being -- how you behave, what you think, how you express your feelings,
what you are passionate about -- will shine forth on its own when you are
no longer worried about what other people will think of you or whether or
not you are acceptable if you act, think, feel, or pursue your interests in the
way that feels right to you.

This is not a license to act compulsively, indulgently, and without regard for
the well-being of others. You should exercise self-restraint and discretion
with regard to your conduct. But you should also realize that you cannot
nor is it your responsibility to please everyone else at the expense of what
you feel called to do. There is a balance to be struck, but it shouldn't come

at the expense of your duty to yourself, which is essentially what

svadharma is.

Perhaps the most important question to ask yourself in this light is "Which
self am I serving?" It is, of course, ultimately true that there are not two
selves. The self is the self. When, however, the self identifies with a
particular mind-body-sense complex it apparently forgets itself and takes
itself to be that individual and feeling incomplete and inadequate as such
seeks to complete itself by pursuing objects. This pseudo-self is an
insatiable task-master, for no matter how much it acquires, consumes, and
achieves, it will never be satisfied, for its fundamental identity is based on
the notion of scarcity and lack. When you know this, as I think you do
Sanford (though you do not yet stand fully confident in this understanding),
you cease or will soon cease the incessant scramble to satisfy this beastly

The point of all this is simply that it might be a good idea to get really clear
about who you really are before devoting so much time to worrying about
whether or not you are following your svadharma. You might find that the
you you thought you were is not the real you. And wouldn't it have been a
shame to have spent so much energy trying to find the appropriate mission
for an entity that isn't even real?

To reiterate, yes, it is true that the apparent person does have a svadharma
inherent in its nature, so you will be drawn to pursue certain interests and
endeavors that are in alignment with it. But this will happen naturally. To
use an analogy, the banana tree doesn't have to quest for whether it should
produce bananas or get a job selling stocks.

Sanford: Maybe I still did not suffer enough, to kindle that fire of intense
longing for freedom.

Ted: Maybe. I'm not exactly sure if you are saying that you hadn't before
or that you still have not. In the latter case, the question is quite simply,
"Have you?" You seem to know you suffer when you chase joy in the
world. So have you had enough of this, or would you like to continue
banging your head against the, sorry, didn't mean to sound

judgmental....or would you like to continue playing? The choice is yours,

but I bet I know the answer given that we have been engaging in these
satsangs for some time now. It is important to know, however, that self-
knowledge will not really take hold until you make it your top priority.

Sanford: I just wondered in regards to that voice, that it might be some
other part of the mind that would make the voice up, the alter ego, or just
plain imagination, that conjured it up because I wished to be encouraged.
What would you say how to differentiate between intuition aka real Self
and the guises of ego, mind demons?

Ted: In one sense, you've hit the nail on the head, Sanford. The voice is
nothing more than another aspect of yourself. The entire apparent reality -
- both gross and subtle -- is essentially nothing more than a dream. So the
voice is not spoken by some separate entity other than yourself. It may
seem to be coming from a source outside of Sanford, but such a suspicion
bodes the same old nagging question, "Are you really the person whom you
take yourself to be?" Truly speaking, you are the self. As a consequence of
having identified with the limited and seemingly separate mind-body-sense
complex that is known as Aleksander, you feel a sense of discomfort
because such limitation is not your true nature, and so now you are seeking
to regain the knowledge of who you really are. It is all a game, so to speak,
that you are playing with yourself. So the voice you are hearing that is
encouraging you to get on with it is yourself sending itself as you a message
about its desire (not that the self has any desire, but we are talking here in
terms of the self seemingly under the influence of its own power of
ignorance....weird, I know) to once again rest in the knowledge of its true

In light of these comments, you might rightfully ask, "What about the
negative voice that tells me to do dumb things and discourages me from
pursuing the path to freedom?" To be honest, that voice is ironically the
self as well, but it is the apparently deluded self, whose advice you don't
want to follow provided you want to be happy and ultimately free. Which
brings us to your final question concerning how to discriminate between
the real self and the ego.

The way to discriminate between the real self and the ego is simple.
Any voice that tells you that you need something other than or outside
yourself in order to be complete, worthwhile, secure, happy, or peaceful is
the voice of the ego. Only the apparently separate and limited individual
feels that it needs something from the world to complete itself or
overcome its feeling of inadequacy. This can be a difficult voice to resist
giving in to, but it is spouting nothing more than a bunch of bullshit. Okay,
yes, there are basic needs -- and here I stress the idea of 'needs' required
to be met in order to ensure the survival of any apparent person, but if you
know that you yourself are the very essence of the creation, you can trust
that Isvara (i.e. yet another form of you, albeit one with a wider range of
potency than the apparent individual) will meet those. Scripture says that
it is so. Krishna tells Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, "Focus all your attention
on me, and I will take care of your getting and keeping."

The self is the voice that reminds you of your true identity as whole and
complete, limitless, actionless, ordinary, unborn, non-dual awareness, and
that as such you don't need a damn thing other than your own self in order
to be completely happy. You are free. As you are. You don't need to heal
or improve or iron out a few pesky details in the contract you negotiated
with God before signing on to play this character in the grand movie of life.
Listen to this voice, for it is your own.


Ted: OM sweet OM.

With love,


Ted: Love to you too.