I worked with a lot of Indian people – especially Hindus, but Muslims also visited me. I have worked with people of just about every conceivable religion – even young Goths. (Teenage Goths was a “new” phenomenon at that time).
There was quite a stream of them. They were such serious, depressed youngsters – my heart went out to them. Several had blown open the crown energy centre with taking drugs. They had got tuned in to some frightening streams of foreign consciousness. I don’t know an easy answer for this problem. But I know the solution is to find a source of purer thought so that one can be saved from the negative thought – and I don’t mean in a fundamentalist way. There are Christian Groups and Spiritual Groups who are still doing wonderful work with young people all over the world in this way.
One day a Hindu man arrived and I was given a curious message to give him. It was only afterwards that these instructions made any sense when I found out that he was rarely at home, usually out every night, ate and drank too much and played pool more than he played father to his children. I simply wrote what I was told to by Sheel.
To Shamus ( very unhappy and fearing his wife would leave him)
The Buddha taught the middle way. It is like a knife edge and very easy to lose balance on. It means live but do not live. Work but do not work. Indulge but do not indulge.
You would be much happier if you followed the middle way.
Your first project could be to choose three days a week to indulge and three days a week not to indulge. On those three not indulging days you do things like reading, staying at home, being with your family, not drinking, smoking less, eating less, meditating, resting, looking at the stars, walking with your children, being with your wife. Practice some self-discipline. Indulge yourself by not indulging.
To Shamus (next visit)
The middle way is a fine balance between discipline and no discipline. At every moment of it, enjoy the feeling of holding in and letting go. On your discipline days you might feel uncomfortable – taut like a tight string. You do things like reading, being with your family, not drinking, smoking less, eating less, meditating, resting, and walking with the children and your wife. On your no discipline days you can think of yourself being and feeling loose, relaxed. You can indulge yourself on that day if that is what gives you pleasure.
Eventually you will be able to be completely loose and relaxed even at your most disciplined moments because you will get to enjoy the satisfaction that self control brings you. You will find self-discipline brings you great pleasure too – more than you could ever imagine. When you want to feel real pleasure and feel good about yourself, the quickest solution is to practise the middle way.
Poor Shamus! I wonder if he thought it was quite ridiculous, but he came several more times after that. Did he follow the advice? Did he try the project? I have no idea. His children would be quite grown up now. I wonder if they ever went for a nice walk ? or if he ever lay on his back on the lawn with them and watched the stars? It would be nice to think they all had some good memories of being a family. I hope so.