Hating life spiritually

I’m going through some rough times where every day is becoming more and more about surviving just one more day. I woke up one day with my son crying and the first sentence I uttered before I was even out of bed was “I hate my life”. In Norway we have a saying: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. That’s utterly bullshit, of course. The truth is more in terms of “What doesn’t kill you, you persevere”.

Or how about that quote every krishna conscious devotee and ex-devotees have heard: “Chant and be happy!” Well, when is that happiness coming, because it sure can’t be found here much?

I do believe the quote from Srila Prabhupada, but I also know it’s not easily attained. I will probably not realize it fully in this lifetime. So how do I approach dealing with a hard life when there is no spiritual books to guide me?

Turns out that I was wrong. The books I needed somehow ended up in the mail at the time I needed them. Three months ago I purchased some books written by Gour Govinda Swami: Trnad api sunicena, Vedic dharma and the grahasta-ashrama and Encountering the Krshnalingita Vigraha. Shipping ends up costing almost as much as the books even when you choose the three months delivery option, but it was well worth the wait.

20121209-122757.jpgI browsed through the table of contents and quickly found out that trnad api sunicena was the book to start with? Just read these titles:
How to develop tolerance, Happiness and distress is mental concoctions, humility is needed, Crookedness – the great stumbling block, society without envy, the source of envy and intolerance.

I found exactly what I needed in my current situation, a whole book dedicated to how I develop tolerance, how to deal with the distress I’m drowning in etc. I’m already almost half way into the book as I’ve devoured the book any spare moment I have. On hating my life I got a new perseptive from the book I have to work myself through:

In the world of duality – that is to say, in the material world – so-called goodness and badness are both the same. Therefore, in this world, to distinguish between good and bad, happiness and distress, is meaningless because they are both mental concoctions (manodharma)…

mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya
āgamāpāyino ‘nityās
tāḿs titikṣasva bhārata
Bhagavad-gita 2.14

“O son of Kunti, the non-permanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.”

So that is part of my lesson right now. To tolerate distress without it affecting my mood and bhajana. So: tolerance, tolerance, tolerance, perseverance. That is my motto and mantra for the time being. Let’s hope I learn this lesson fast.

Personal growth and spirituality

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I used to love reading personal growth books. I used them to work through issues I had, to find love (or the correct love challenge), read everything I came over about happiness, work and how to thrive in a work environment (damn hard by the way). I came to a mental place which was okey. I’m not saying great because living is difficult. As soon as one challenge and problem has been resolved, there are other issues that come to the surface that you didn’t have before. The good part is that the new issues only arises because you become more and more mentally healthy, the other issues just hadn’t had any possibility to arise before.

Speed forward to today where personal growth books is in most part uninteresting to me. I find books that seem interesting, buy them, only to discover there is nothing there for me. They have nothing to teach me anymore. If I want to continue evolving (which I really, really want), I have to start looking towards my religious beliefs where there are tons of books.

The trouble is that it’s deep, deep philosophy that sometimes can get really technical (I love that). Religious books aren’t created like personal growth books. They aren’t tailored towards specific issues that comes up in daily life, they contain more general advice. It’s easy to tailor the general advice to specific issues, but I need more. More than quotes and paragraphs. I need to work through the issue. Having a whole book dedicated to something I need to work on gives me new information, and a lot of days to work through it.

Not so much in religious text. Then you get a small paragrah (if you are lucky – two!) that is tailored towards your trouble, and a whole book about something more/different with statements here and there. Furthermore, the vedic texts doesn’t deal so much with different types of material consciousness, as it does by actions. Actions define us, but the mental part has too be there (first). Vedic texts contain instructions to follow, but not so much info when you are unable to follow those instructions.

Then you get those general things like: Keep chanting, and the trouble you have will disappear with time.

Well… yes. Time does that.

It doesn’t help to know that the issue you have is only temporary when you haven’t entered that consciousness yet. There’s a reason something is a problem: It’s because you haven’t learned to deal with it yet. Chanting a problem away? Well, chanting does help in clearing the mind to come to a decision. Making a problem go away? That requires action. And by action I’m not talking about chanting at the other person. That would be offensive.

I’m coming to an understanding that spiritual life requires a new approach. A different approach I haven’t done before. I understand I need to study it more thoroughly, but I have troubles in doing the study part which require learning by rote. Writing things down and go over the notes, again and again. Sticking to one subject and book.

Figuring out how to balance my material life with who and what I really am. Because I figured something out today. I’m not so much physically exhausted as I am mentally exhausted. That’s my real problem. I’m mentally exhausted.

Now where is that problem addressed in the vedic texts?