Obsession

From An Interview with Shamcher Bryn Beorse
J=Jelaluddin Boru, S=Shamcher
J: Shamcher, I’ve been searching for the underlying similarity in the type of obsession we’ve talked about. The “obsession” of Inayat Khan’s interest, contact with spirits of the other side, and the obsession that is preoccupation with certain ideas of the mind, and the obsession that is a process towards living with ego in balance. Somehow it is all caught up with the old idea from the Gita that deals with attachment to the fruits of one’s labors…
S: Yes, Obsession only occurs when you are concerned with the fruits of your labor. There is an old piece of wisdom in both yogic and sufi lore, and that is that you may be fond of your labor, you may do your labor for humanity, but if you think about the fruits and are concerned primarily with them then you are off the track, and for our purposes here you could say such a one was obsessed. For instance, you do certain things, and are overanxious with the results: “Will they understand me, will they go along, will I have no success at all?” Such thoughts make an obsession out of your work.

J: There seem to be two sides of dealing with this, On the one hand, the idea of struggle into self mastery, as suggested by the Gita quote: “O Arjuna, you can fight…”, and the other approach which is to yield to one’s impulses and “go with the flow…”
S: You give in to the flow, but this is perhaps not as simple as it sounds, Say there is a trend in our civilization right now to strive for more income. Civilization tells you that you are a bigger and better person the more you get. If you give in to this, you are not giving in to the ‘flow’, you are giving in to a quirk of civilization. There is a difference…
Congressmen, for instance, who feel that they must be privileged to increase their salaries in correspondence with inflation (which they are perhaps more responsible for than anyone else), they are giving in to the flow in a certain sense, but what flow? A flow of incorrect civilization.
Giving in to the flow really means giving in to the flow that is the flow of the Universe, of the spirit.
It is important to know which flow we are speaking of.
Like the way we give awards, titles, prizes. A person receives a Ph.D. or a Nobel prize… One rather wise head of a university once said: “I’d like to add a little note on everyone who gets their Ph.D. ‘This man has strived hard to become a very narrow specialist in this field, so never listen to him in anything else…’” This is the correct way, this man was trying to listen to the real flow. Whereas the others, the ones who have such great respect because they are Ph.D.s or some other title of being a great scientist, may be giving in to another flow altogether different, and one quite unworthy.

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