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.
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,
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,