The uses of the will (even if you know it to be an illusion)

Jonathan Bricklin brickmar at EARTHCOM.NET
Fri Jul 18 11:35:36 CDT 1997

Vidysankar, in response to the following,

> >The visitor said: "One must satiate with the fulfilment of desires
> >before they are renounced.". Sri Bhagavan smiled and cut in: "Fire might
> >as well be put out by pouring spirit over the flames. (All laugh). The
> >more the desires are fulfilled, the deeper grows the samskara. They must
> >become weaker before they cease to assert themselves. That weakness is
> >brought about by restraining oneself and not by losing oneself in
> >desires."
> Well, perhaps the visitor was to polite to offer the obvious retort--that
> fire is not put out by a partial cover-up, but actually made to increase.
> "Restraining oneself" can lead to a most dangerous backdraft.


> It was not Sri Ramana's intention to say that the fire should be
> covered, allowing the possibility of backdraft. What he says is, don't
> feed it with more fuel.
> The basic idea is not to completely dam the desires, which can lead to a
> dangerous accumulation. What is always taught is the regulation of
> - don't torture yourself by restraining them artifically, but at the same
> time, don't let them to roam unrestrained or overindulge them.

There is a wonderful passage in Zorba the Greek where Zorba advises his
companion to eat as many grapes as he can stuff in his mouth  so that he'll
get sick.  That is his lesson on how to learn restraint.  I'm not saying it
is the only way, I'm not even saying that is the best way.  I am only
saying that it _is_ a way, and while humor often reveals an insight, the
laughter that Sri Ramana's response evoked may have served to drown out an
equally valid one.

Jonathan Bricklin

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