Working Out Your Karma

I have been in a very unhappy marriage for the last 10 years. There’s no affection, no sex, no kindness, no warmth, no communication. My wife has given me the silent treatment for the last 2 years. I am slowly going insane.

I realize that she is I and that I am she. There is only Self. So my question is the following: Would you stay in such a marriage if it drives you insane (literally) just to work out past karma? Or, would you leave? I remember the Buddha left his wife and children behind. Very confusing because he must have realized all was Self and that any action like leaving a wife and children behind was thus futile (there is no such thing as divorce; Self always is).

Not sure if you are married but you are a realized person so I wanted to ask your opinion. Sorry for the deep question.

Thank you,
A

V:  I’m sorry to hear that you’re unhappy but I’m a Vedanta teacher, not a marriage counselor. So I am not qualified to answer your question about marriage.  

But I can address your understanding of self and karma.  Realizing the non-duality of the self does not have anything to do with passively accepting one’s circumstances on the basis that they’re just an illusory appearance of one’s own self.  Sameness only applies at the absolute level of the self.  It does not apply to everyday circumstances.  In other words, not everything in life is equal, just because it’s all the self.  Some things are, relatively speaking, better, healthier and more constructive than others. 
 
Further, working out karma doesn’t mean accepting suffering and unhappiness.  Sure, everyone will have some degree of suffering and unhappiness in their karma.  But karma is not fate.  The point of the theory of karma is to put you in the driver’s seat. It says your current circumstances are the product of your past choices and actions.  The implication is that your future circumstances can be influenced by your current choices and actions.  

So once again, I am not qualified to give you relationship advice.  Nor am I interested in doing so because my purpose here is to teach Vedanta.  But I hate to hear that you’re unhappy.  So I wanted to say that Vedanta, non-duality and karma all allow for positive change in one’s “personal” well-being.  They are not in conflict with you doing what you feel is best for your happiness.  The point of this teaching is peace of mind.
 
All my best,
Vishnudeva    

A: Your answer is incredible and I quote only partially: “But I can address your understanding of self and karma.  Realizing the non-duality of the self does not have anything to do with passively accepting one’s circumstances on the basis that they’re just an illusory appearance of one’s own self.”

I was stuck with this question for so many years and you understood it and gave the answer I was looking for so I will re-read it because it is so very very valuable.

Thank you very much,
A

Steady Wisdom: Day 92

Steady Wisdom: 108 Verses On Changing My Thinking

DAY 92

I am undifferentiated. For me there is no karma, no liberation-in-life and no liberation-in-death. 
-Ashtavakra Samhita 20:4
Meditation

I am one alone and I have no internal divisions or differences.  In the absence of distinctions such as the agent of action (ego), the instrument of action (body) and the action itself, how can there be action (karma) at all?  Since action does not truly exist I cannot be bound by action or its results.  Because I am not bound, I do not need not be liberated, either here in this life or in death—not that life and death apply to me in the first place.  OM. 

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Steady Wisdom: Day 52

Steady Wisdom: 108 Verses On Changing My Thinking

DAY 52

I am neither the doer nor the enjoyer.  There is no karma for me, past or present.  I have no body nor is the body mine.  There is only me so what could be mine or not-mine?
-Avadhuta Gita 1:66
Meditation

The doer and enjoyer is the ego, a thought in my mind that claims, “I am doing this” and “Now I am enjoying the results of my actions.”  Because the ego is a thought known to me, it cannot be me.  Because the ego comes and goes, it cannot be me.  The same applies to the body.  Because I am not the body that performs action, nor the ego that claims the results of action as its own, there is no karma for me, past or present.  OM. 

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Steady Wisdom: Day 11

Steady Wisdom: 108 Days of Changing My Thinking

DAY 11

I am not limited by the body, senses, or intellect. Good and bad karma do not affect me in the least. Old age and death, hunger and thirst, grief and delusion do not touch me. I am none other than pure consciousness, the ever-free.
– Sarva Vedanta Siddhanta Sara Sangraha V.841
Meditation

I am pure consciousness. The body, senses and intellect are known to me so they cannot be me—nor can they limit me. Good and bad karma, old age and death pertain to the body—they do no pertain to me, pure consciousness. Hunger and thirst belong to the senses—they do not belong to me, pure consciousness. Grief and delusion affect the intellect—they do not affect me, pure consciousness. I am untouched by them all. I am ever-free. OM.

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