Presented by Jhampa Shaneman
These lectures were transcribed by T Vd Broek. Heartfelt gratitude is offered for all the hours of work spent on this Dharma activity. These talks are offered free of charge. They have been slightly edited.
July 23 1991
We have been talking about integration in the sense that if one aspires towards an enlightened level of conscious, on one side you could say there would be the person who takes all the ideals and puts them on straight jackets so one has a lot of reasons, I should be generous, I should be compassionate kind and such. Shackles that bind them and then they try to be a spiritual person. And that does have its level of spirituality. One cannot say it is an appropriate thing, if is not as effective as it could be, but it should be recognized that some people practice within their level, so it is not wrong. But a more proficient way to become enlightened, is to work on yourself. The more you understand your own suffering, the more you are in touch with it, the more you have a direct channel to love and compassion. Because the more you understand frustration, unhappiness and insecurity, in yourself when you feel insecure, and what you do about it, making yourself be secure and realizing the suffering you experience in that, with that realization as a conscious experience, then when someone else experiences it, you have empathy. And empathy is real love, it is not artificial. Empathy gives you direct access to that other person's experience.
Now it is marginally projected, you can't say someone totally understands another person's suffering, but your emotional response is much more authentic then being a very detached person that pats one on the head and says I feel so sorry for you. Rather if you know your own sufferings, you certainly can relate to another's suffering.
That is what the process of integration is in terms of Jungian psychology. And that is why it is important to try to work in that way for oneself. It is a more healthy and more real form of spirituality versus a dogma or restricting oneself into creeds. In doing that, we have the inspiration that we would like to be happy. That is the fundamental issue that is recognized. I want to be happy. And in that, and moving into a realistic example, I would like to be happy. I would like to have the perfect mate with me. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have just the right partner. Had all the right physical attributes, emotional attributes, it would be intoxicating to be with such a person. So, we have that in us! Most of us just practice patience with our partners! And it is a benign patience, it's not like unhappily patience. You sort of relate, yes, they have all these limitations but it is the best I can get for right now. Actually we did get married too, so it is the best I am going to have unless something dramatic happens!
So we have that in our mind. But we do have an aspiration for happiness and we do have objects, members of the opposite sex, and when we see people who have certain character or certain physical quality and certain interest, we are attracted to that sort of person. Whether we have a partner or not, we feel attraction. And that merely indicates that person carries a certain amount of what we project has to be the ideal or the potential of the ideal relationship. If you could take yourself and realize that your wish for happiness is an internal one and is impractical to think you will find it our in the world. Sometimes we might find someone who seems to catch a lot of the image of what we want. And then is when we are blown away we fall in love just like that. It has very much to do with projection. But if it is a more casual a relationship it works into a real sharing. But we do bump into people who catch the image.
If you have this understanding about yourself, that you do have a wish for happiness, and once you start to experience those urges towards fulfillment, in that context, not in setting up extra marital relationships which would be ridiculous, if you see someone who is very attractive, you can recognize in them that quality which is wonderful! Which is something which you vibrate to, you respond to. And in many ways you can have respect for that person and think they are wonderful. They embody something which I think is beautiful. Suddenly you have taken all the wind out of getting all strung out maybe that you have attachment towards someone like that, or you feel attracted and such. You can recognize that is in you. And that person is very much a representative of my inner psyche in someways. I wouldn't say totally, but in some ways.
Last week we dealt into the evolution of the anima or animus, termed as the counterpart within. I would like to say that counterpart is not to be integrated in the sense that you can assume the counterpart. Rather, you keep your position as a personality. If you are a man or a woman, you should still maintain your personal position. A man should not become feminine, being overwhelmed by the anima, or a woman becoming a feminist or something obnoxious because she has been taken over by the animus. Rather, that you start to recognize people that personify your animus. In doing that, you can have them fall into certain categories. Physical relationship such as Tarzan and Jane, a more serious relationship moved more into career, family and those things which are worldly and recognized as respectable. That animus level projected on others doesn't mean you are going to be drawn to that person, just that sometimes you can recognize it carries something like that. The attraction depends on where you are at individually. The third level is the one of spirituality related to Virgin Mary for a man because it is something very pure, chaste, no sexuality involved. For women it would be a monk or a priest or even higher. Someone who is a true representative of the spiritual image we can project on them and therefore feel inspired by them in our spiritual pursuits. Mother Theresa for example. When you see that she inspired you, you would know there is a strong resonant cord within yourself for spirituality.
The final level for the male is Sophia and for a woman something like a Dalai Lama without ordination. Again sexuality is acceptable. It has gone beyond the need to be terribly chaste or pure, it is more the full expression of being. And it is termed an evolution because it contains all three previous levels in perfect harmony. So it is unbelievable integration. A terrific spiritual quality, a terrific understand of worldly pursuits, and a good physical basis, all integrated in a wonderful way. So women or men represent that. They talk about the wise old man image, as the potential of that, that gone beyond worldly concept and divine. Or, Sophia or mother nature has that aspect too. The incredible divine feminine.
Those are the four levels recognized, male and female. In your journeys in the world, if you find someone catches a bit of that image, you can have respect for that person because they can embody for you a bit of that inner thing that you are starting to become aware of. In the individuation process, it is important that you recognize projection and then become the owner of it. In contrast, if you do not recognize it, you see someone attractive, and you are not aware of projection, you dump everything on that person and feel if I could possess that person I am going to have everything I ever wanted. And for example in relationships, most of us are married, but in a relationship when you first see someone, and they seem to embody all things you ever wanted, there is a lot of projection there. The real person is not really there very much. After a month or two, the real person will surface and you will have to make a lot of adjustments to the projection you had. But you can see in that, the projection process, if you understand it, then you can recognize and validate Yes, I have that energy within me so it is acceptable. It is not like I get strung out about it. And then you start to have a very viable way of understanding yourself and integrating yourself, becoming a very whole person and very fulfilled person.
An example is, take a time of involvement with your partner. At some point in time when you are really happy. A fulfillment is with you at that time. And you are just walking down the street, and there is this glory around you. And it can be like that. That fulfillment you are projecting is what integration is for yourself. If you can recognize your projection, and then start to understand yourself in a full context for those sorts of things, and I would say it would have to require meditation where you start to actually integrate it, where you become more conscious of yourself, and there is different levels of it. For example, worldly capacity. How effective and good are you at your worldly job? So when you feel really good about yourself, you feel confident, skillful inspired and such, you project a good energy. And people you work with pick up on that, they think you are in a really good mood. And everyone functions really well around you. Well, that is because you are feeling integrated. And if you were more conscious about it, you could see that with you, in an image, would be the person that would help you balance that. For example, when the partner catches your projection, and when your together, you feel fulfilled, people pick up on it. Remove the partner as an actual person being there, let's say at some moment I am feeling really fulfilled within myself, maybe that is the best word to use, when I have that people look at me and think that person is really attractive. And they look really beautiful. The person is not strung out with feeling empty, without parts of them.
So when you experience that in your job for example, really good energy, being confident, good head space, at that moment, if you could project it as an image, you would find your anima or animus with you. And that would be created by you. Because that is what we are. We are men and women, and that is what we do with ourselves, we create that.
And it is internal. Not that an actual entity is there. It is an internal one, like a reflection. And you just respond to it. Some people say their work is their partner. And if they really manifest fulfillment, then obviously it is. And certainly when you move to the third level, like Mother Theresa, she lives in the image of being with Jesus Christ. And that is why when she goes out and works with people, she has an incredible healing effect on them. She does it very consciously. She prays to the guy all day long. She is focused totally on this divine entity, Jesus as with her at all times. And that is why when you look at her she projects incredible wonderful spiritual energy.
I know for myself, the Dalai Lama personifies that. He has a wonderful full energy. And when I see him as a male, I rejoice in his fullness of being. I think women are very attracted to him because he has this wonderful quality. And if you knew him more personally, maybe you could appreciate it.
When you move to this level, it is much more blatant. Down in the worldly level, Jhampa is sort of like... it doesn't work too well. But if you move to the next level, you can see, it is easier. You can say when the guru is with you, you feel really good fulfillment. When you feel really attuned atonement with your spiritual master, however it is, there is a wonderful energy, you feel really in tune with things and you have a really good energy. Confidence. Sensitivity, all those qualities. So that is integration on what I would term psychological levels. And it happens better if you understand projection, and if you understand that you carry that image within you and it is reflected in certain people. So like I say, you will find certain Tarzan and Jane people which catch it I am hitting some of my Tarzan and Jane energy, and that happens on the lower level, but when I move up and see a very together woman, I think she is beautiful. She does not intimidate me, because she is so together. But she is attractive, beautiful, creative, confident, there is a real resonance there. If I was intimidated, there would be a lacking in me, an insecurity. But if can resonate to what she reflects for me, I know I am starting to get in touch with my own level, that being a little more together person on that level of being. If when you see someone like that and you think they are too much for you, there is something inside of you which is not ripened on that level. I will leave it up to you to work on your own images and what you respond to.
I am talking about levels of integration which manifest in an aspect of fulfillment. That fulfillment, I am certain that you can recognize it in certain times in yourself, it is important to recognize the image which is being carried at that particular time.
On the first two levels it is not as important. It is something you can become more conscious of, but it is not so crucial. What is more important is the spiritual level, meditation and those levels of integration. But to have that well realized, you will have to go back to the other two levels and work on them because you won't get it. You can get a together spirituality which is chaste, pure and such, and you might have a terrific relationship with Jesus Christ, but at a certain level you are going to have big lacking, in big areas where you don't have any capacity to function at all. From a Buddhist perspective, that is a big problem. You have to be able as a bodhisattva to help all sentient beings at all levels. And this means you have to go beyond sexual morality. You have to understand different level of sexuality. You have got to be able to understand worldly pursuits, understand spirituality. And when you get those integrated, you flip onto the fourth one.
In the Buddhist path it is said if you want to become a hinayana arhat, you cut off everything and go into a cave or a hut and meditate for the rest of your life on the ultimate nature of reality and get nirvana. From a Bodhisattva perspective, you try rather to work for the benefit of every sentient being. If you aspire, and you can't do it, you have to think to the best of my ability I am going to try to be helpful for everyone at every level I can. It means being open and able to dialogue. And it means you have to be positive. And to all types of people on all levels. A drug addict is not to be below the dignity, it is too much hassle, if you can, you do something. If you can't, at least you offer in your mind a prayer that may I be able to help this person. When you meet people with physical hang ups, you see their suffering, they have big attachments and such. So you allow yourself to try to help them, put your positive energy, there is not much you can do, but in your heart feel inclined to benefit them.
This means in western terms that you have compassion on yourself. You have addictions in certain areas. Whether it is recognized or not. When you recognize your addiction, if you have no compassion on another person's addiction, you will never have compassion for yourself. Compassion which says lets try to go beyond the addiction. That is the bodhisattva thing, I will go into the deepest darkest hell to help one sentient being get their act together. That is the commitment of a Bodhisattva. So when you look at what that means, it means that no sentient being is rejected is it comes and says I need help. From that point of view, you have to have everything worked out. If you want to be an enlightened bodhisattva, you should try to go through all of the delusions that we have. Some are easily. Maybe we don't have addictions or hang ups. So we can understand and go through them very well. But you have to have the energy which says I will go through them, I will engage them, I will look at them and see them for what they are.
In that way there is no rejection. In that is an evolution. So in your spirituality, which is what meditation is mostly about, you will have to go back and appreciate people with kindness, compassion and consideration, not look down at them in arrogance or disdain. In Buddhism that would be considered not to have bodhicitta. In psychology, you would not have much positive energy to understand them. If you understood them, you would not feel that way.
If you aspire toward spiritual integration, it has to move back into that all of the hang ups that you have, you start to look on them with compassion and a positive energy to want to resolve them. To not just cut them off and say I know I have this problems, but I don't want to look at it, it is horrible, I am going to file it away and be a spiritual person and say a mantra.
Rather, one needs to say, I am here, I have this particular feeling. What is going on here? There is a delusion, but what is the underlying current there. I am feeling need. And this indicates that something is going on inside of you. There is a sense of neediness, a lack of fulfillment. Say you are driving past a bank and you get an urge to rob the bank because you want money. So you have to go back into yourself and find out what is going on. Say, if I had want I want, would I be happy. People who win the lottery. Nine out of ten of them are broke after three or four years because they do not know how to manage their money. Would I be happier? I would have a fling for awhile, but would I be happy?
So you engage in a positive way the thought that you could be a band robber because you want money. And work yourself through it until you realize that you do not want to be a bank robber because money wouldn't solve my problems. In that way you have resolved it. And then you come back to feeling alright about yourself.
I want you to use for yourselves, when you are out there and see someone you feel is physically attractive, or when you feeling adequate at your job, reflect on yourself and find out why you feel inadequate? Well maybe I haven't studied enough or know enough, that is one possibility. But what is the other thing? Well, there is authority. And I do not function well with authority. I get uptight about it. So you have to go back into yourself and maybe you look at this person as putting a power trip on you. And when you understand that, you can find compassion for the person because obviously they have some lacking because they have put a lot of power tripping on me to help themselves feel that they are in control. So there is compassion on it. Then you start to a realize you do not have to be intimidated by them. Because I am understanding them a bit better. And in this way you are working it through.
The next time they come up to you and lay this trip on you, you can look at them and feel sorry for them. They have major problems in their psyche. They don't have much capacity to work things out well. That is why they have to do this. But I don't need to feel like an idiot any more, I understand the situation. So you have moved out of being insecure, moved into a more positive relationship with this person in the sense of not looking down on then, but feeling compassion and moving forward for yourself in a positive way. If you are skillful, you might be able to help them have communication. Then there is the opportunity to give positive input. But at least, you do not need to flip into an insecurity trip because this person is intimidating you.
Psychologically you are working yourself through. You are becoming a more fulfilled person on one level. And with some energy towards that, you will find that in your dreams you will get indications that it is happening, depending on how focused you are in becoming an integrated person, how much these sorts of indications come.
Real spirituality, if we want to pursuit it, has nothing to do with a group or church, it has to do with one's own individual conscious awareness attempting to be more positive or integrated. And that requires awareness and compassion with a positive reflex so it is not just looking on with apathy. It looks or offers a prayer for that to be resolved or actually does something. Where there is a positive response to the compassion that we feel. In that way we start to become more integrated and have to deal with our own personal issues, our own personal insecurities, inferiority complexes, attachments, passions, desires and such. Greed. Anger. Hostility. And when you get into this head space you can understand yourself better. Know why others make you angry. They are hitting some area in you which you have an inability to deal with. So they represent for you a reflection of something which shows something in you which needs to be worked through. Maybe all you need is to change perception and recognize that person has a big problem. And in that way, you withdraw your involvement in being intimidated by them.
As soon as you understand you are being intimidated, it is broken. you do not have to get angry any more. You can realize this person is being very obnoxious right now, they are suffering, and they is why they demonstrate all these emotions. And you just pull back from it.
That is the general context of what I have been talking about. so moving back into our meditation for this evening, in the meditation, conscious awareness is the one facet and and an attitude which is observing who and what you are in a positive compassionate way. And when things arise, passions, anger, insecurities, that you observe those in a positive reflective way and try to work them through. Doing that, your spirituality will take an incredible step forward because you will be an authentic person as you move forward into integration.
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