“Good and Bad” are not separate.

A duality is understood as two separate options when truly is one line of continuity. I am not speaking about the “morality” of what we perceive as “bad” or “wrong” for that is a human value. I am pointing out that our perception of a duality as separate, opposite sides is an illusion in the “reality” of Life.  We need language to identify a side of that duality, but if we consider one side valuable and despise or reject the other, we are setting ourselves up for suffering.  Language is an identifier but let us forget the connotation that it brings, if we want to go deeper. For example, the word “snake” brings a connotation according to tradition or cultural conditioning (devil, penis, medicine- caduceus-, etc.) if we are influenced by that, we cannot look at the reality of the snake appearing in front us. The mind and its conditioning will give us an illusory reality.

Let me illustrate with the duality of life and death.

The weather is getting hotter because of the increase of carbon dioxide emissions. Superficially, we could say that “Australia is one of the largest per capita emission of carbon dioxide in the world; “ and come up with a “reason” for dead kangaroos and other animals there at this time, due to the recent fires. However, Life does not make distinctions of nationalities, which are man made illusions, part of the conditioning.  Is Global warming “good or bad”?

Our moral conditioned mind will say “ It is bad.” Yet, our human “progress” depends on it. In a nutshell, the “economy needs global warming to thrive.” More cars, more coal powered electrical stations, more energy dependent sources on petrol and oil which are used in greater quantities as human population increases. 
What we DO is in contradiction with what we say. It is called politics. 

Do we see how something which we apparently call “bad” could be turned into “good” after a couple of turns in the streets of Life? We could change our perspective of “good and bad,” due to mass media and political pressures, but we cannot change the consequences.

Every belief and support in something labeled as “good” will bring its “bad” effect as well. Observe the current international situation between Iran and the USA.  We are used to take sides based on our assesment of  the “good and bad;” however, ego manifested as desire for control, is the “real” cause to observe and that ego is more important in the “normal” human mind than to respect Life. No matter what religious or moral teachings we may have superficially accepted about protecting Life; sooner or later the “truth” of who we ARE will come out. Then, the question of choosing countries and pair them with a label such as “good or bad” seems very infantile. Another example? it is said that the belief in God has brought some social order but many lives have been taken as well due to that belief.  Our conditioning will follow what mainstream teaches us, but every belief has 2 sides which cannot be taken apart: To separate a duality to support one side and reject the other is insane; however, it is the “bread and butter” of our spiritual/religious/moral teachings.

Many years ago while I was running, a car hit a deer. The deer could hardly walk and went near the bushes to the side of the road. I looked for help as I didn’t know what to do. A couple of firefighters came with a security guard. They offered shooting the deer with a gun and “end its misery.” The firefighters “jokingly” (but seriously) were talking about eating the deer afterwards. I was in my late twenty’s at the time. I wanted for the deer to be in a tranquil space and asked for help because I thought the deer could get well. Nevertheless, I had to forcefully convince the people around me to let the deer go naturally. The “help” I brought, didn’t help in my view. I could see the face of despair of the deer. I couldn’t understand how some people were not sensible to pain and suffering. There was no empathy. Their “economic interests” were more important. From the time the deer was hit until it finally died, about 1 hour lapsed. I saw the deer die, and then the “helpful” people helped themselves.

Now, I understand that other humans will see Life with different eyes. Where some see despair and anguish; others see an opportunity to eat. Who is to say that my view is “good” and theirs “bad”? Judgment is out of the way in Life. There will be consequences for all players. No matter what we believe is “good or bad.” Life is about the experience of consequences. Are we able to OBSERVE the consequences of our own actions? As a consequence of this incident, I developed a trauma: I had to fight with others to impose my views which I thought were “right,” “compassionate,” etc. Superior than other people’s views. Also, the witnessing of pain and suffering in others affected me as if it was my own. Empathy is different than suffering for others. Their experience is not mine.  Those traumas were with me for a long time.  I am sure other consequences were experienced by the other “players” of the deer scene, although they may not be aware of that.

Beyond duality, there is the common good which cannot be perceived by the conditioned mind. It is only felt when there are no reasons or interests at stake. 

Life cannot be understood by the mind

The mind is a repository of information, memories. It is almost like a hard drive, being filled with videos (MP4) of our recorded life experiences, with the additional “feature” of being able to extrapolate assumptions based on the stored information. However, some information “leaks” as years go by. It is unreliable.

A “normal” person will use those memories and information as a source of “knowledge” and apply it to unknown situations, by assuming that existing trends or past life experiences, will continue as they had. We use Life experiences, the past; to forecast the future and new situations. We can label that as “ thinking” or “reasoning” and feel safe; but notice that this process is as good as flipping a coin to make a “choice,” for truly Life is completely unexpected. The threads of Life situations escape our mental perception.

A person living in the “mind,” will believe that “he” (“I”) is the mind. When Life throws something “new,” then the mind will retrieve information and use that info as bona fide source of action.

Trusting only the contents of the mind is a superficial way to meet Life. There are 2 or more paths opening in our Life at the same time, which one do we follow? That could be a hard “decision.” We have been taught to weigh the “pros” against the “cons.” We are merely speculating. We don’t know. What is perceived as “bad” could be necessary in our Life path in order to grow; but our “reason” may not see that.
Thus, we can flip a coin and odds are the same as “thinking through it.” However, we will be hesitant to do it, for “thinking” gives the false sensation of having some control over circumstances. We are great believers of the mind.

The mind is a static mechanism meant to recall past experiences. There is no creativity in it. Through it we only perpetuate the “same old thing.” That is the false sensation of security that we embrace.

The mind wishes to understand Life. How could it be? A “machine” built to keep, process and understand only pictures and data will feel intimidated when a “real” movie of Life is in front. The mind takes a picture, analyzes it, dissects it and comes up with some theory as to how the next movie frame “should be.” Otherwise, it gets a disappointing feeling, even a bitter taste: A trauma is made. However if the forecast happens, then ego pops up until the upcoming “failure” brings it down.
Ironically and philosophically, we may conclude that “Life is a bitch and then we die.”

Understanding Life through the mind is futile.  A picture cannot explain the movie. We are spinning our wheels without moving an inch. Life is not meant to be mentally understood but lived. Living is not of the mind, but we assimilate the experience by being observant, quiet which is the way to learn, without making mental conclusions and theories.

When we talk to someone we may hear words and only believe what comes out of her mouth. Those who have a bit more observation, know that the overall feeling, gestures and setting will give a better clue. That “knowing” cannot be put in a book in easy to understand “fool-proof ”steps for everyone to read and “apply.” That “knowing” is more accurate as it fits “reality.”

Tantra moves along those lines. It is the invitation to abandon the mind and its understanding, its signals; which only makes our moves in Life through the path of stored fears. Very predictable, that is lacking creativity.

The very wish to understand Life through the mind, creates the motion of our minds over our hearts. 
We will not dare to OBSERVE the movie of ourselves quietly, while moving in Life. We will be content with a “selfie” and hang on to some belief about that picture, which at the end will be shattered when Life moves beyond that point.

Paradoxically, Life is understood without trying to understand it. That may be the only requisite. That understanding is not of the mind; thus, closer to “what is.”

Our mental conditioning is our own demise

Within the words “reason and logic” our society has built its own way of looking and understanding the world. We say “the world around us” but it is truly within us.

The following has been taught and accepted by the great majority:
“There is good and bad. The “good” needs to prevail over the “bad.” We should strive to become good and eliminate evil completely.”

Most “normal” people will agree with that. After all, it is “logical,” “reasonable;” in a world where good and evil exists, one side has to fight the other and “win.” A logical, but violent deduction from a conditioned mind.
99% of movies, are made to fit that paradigm. We are fed with that idea day and night.

Traditional medicine, observes that paradigm as well. “The body fights against pathogens which are the cause of diseases.” That is the belief. Since pathogens are spread out like soldiers, traditional medicine will send a drug (an internal atomic bomb) to destroy “everything,” the pathogens and the defense mechanisms of the body included. Never mind any side effects and complications.
A person may have deep emotional issues or he may be negligent by eating traditional “fast food” on a regular basis; but we only see bacteria as the logical cause of the disease and we need to fight and “win.”

There are many more examples where the mindset of “us” against “them,” prevails.
Do we see the consequences of that limited view of Life? We have been conditioned to fight as a way of living.

Is a “reasonable” explanation enough to gain our belief? The worship of that little word “reason” is truly limiting our understanding of Life. I am not speaking about society with its “reasons.” I am speaking about Life.
Life is birth and death. Life is ups and downs. Life is our ability to enjoy and to mourn. Life is that empty sensation yearning to be filled with some meaning while still alive. We fill that with beliefs trying to convince ourselves that we are on the “right” track.

In the following ending paragraphs, lies my legacy to the “spiritually minded” future generations:

Life cannot be understood by the mind.
Good and bad are not separated.
A theist and an atheist are walking the same path.
Politics is violence.

What we were taught to believe and take as facts, are not the “truth” we thought they were. Go beyond beliefs. Find out for yourself.
Waking up from the dreamy world hasn’t been easy, but when it is our time; there is nothing we can do about it … but open our eyes.

Will resume writing on January 9, 2020.
Best wishes for the new year! 🙂

The spirituality of “practices”

To be able to understand the way a person operates within the context of society, we will need utmost awareness. That cannot be taught through “best sellers.” Awareness is not “marketable.” We cannot take “master classes” in that. Although, most self-help books, clearly spell out this word “awareness” as another key word to throw in inside a “spiritual” coffee conversation. However, the word is not the thing.

Awareness comes when we are able to “detach” from “what is.”
“what is” differs from person to person. It is what we mostly focus on. It is subjective.

For example: “Can I look at the sunset with all my heart and walk away from it with the same empty heart? Empty: A completely innocent heart.”

Most when reading those lines will “practice” those words. “Now, I am looking at the sunset with all my heart… How beautiful! Isn’t that glorious? Marvelous! .. then a few minutes later. Now… I am walking away without a memory of it. Empty. I will not even take a picture. I will forget it.” On the way home, the thought “so that is what innocence is all about. I felt innocent. Wonderful. Now I need to keep practicing that.”

That “innocent” practice is not what innocence is. That is a rehearsed action, which lacks creativity. It is the outcome of a mind taught to follow and taught only to believe in what it reads or hears. Moreover, that mind has been taught to daydream as to ingest a “feel good pill,” a placebo cemented with the belief that to follow to the dot, means to “do it right.”

Observe that in “spirituality” to follow means to miss the point.
Words cannot be taken literally. This is not a course of computer science or technology. There are no certifications for awareness.

When I am AWARE of Life, right now… and there are no thoughts of any kind in a natural way (that is without practice) then, I can FEEL. That may be “all my heart.” From there, I must find out for myself how the mind returns and takes over with memories and the meaning of it. That finding out is inner AWARENESS.

If I spell everything out, like the quote above or like any “best seller” would do, practice of what I said will be unavoidable for a reader who has been conditioned to follow. He may like what I said, so he follows to the dot. He may not like what I say, so he rejects it to the dot. That is the same exact movement although in different, “opposite” directions; but liking or not, is not the same as finding out. That requires awareness.

In short, “practice” as following directions, recipes, steps, techniques in “spiritual” endeavors; will make us dull, insensitive. For that is mind.
“Practice” as the ability to meet with newness “what is” without a script or a recipe; requires utmost intelligence and sensibility.

It requires the ability to be flexible and change as Life IS.

When I see the sunset. Am I seeing it? When I no longer see it. Am I still seeing it?
That could be as much as it could be written for those AWARE, but for those who are not, a detailed explanation will be needed which brings “practice” of something which cannot be practiced.
Do we see that?

 Words don’t bring inner change

 

I have been sharing some quotes from J. Krishnamurti for the past month.
I consider that J. Krishnamurti had deep insight into human nature and what we know as “spirituality.”

Krishnamurti transmits through his own words, a description of what is like to observe and experience from a different consciousness. Reading his words may bring agreement, it may bring intellectual understanding; but there is no practical change in consciousness that could be experienced by the reader.

In short, Krishnamurti truly expresses “truth,” but that is unreachable for those who do not share the same consciousness. That is why, Krishnamurti is not “practical” at all, for the immense majority.

It is important to understand that words cannot bring change in a person. I am not talking about change of behavior, which is superficial. I am speaking about “true” change which is consciousness.

Little Carlos may not hit his dog if he “understands,” that this is a “bad thing to do and that God will punish him.” The elements of moral standards and fear are there to induce change of behavior. However, Carlos’ violence is still there and he may not hit his dog anymore but he may hurt himself or others in different ways.

“Little Carlos’ consciousness” is the collective consciousness in society. The concern of the machinery of society is to change behavior through “practice,” or through “effort” to reach an objective. Religions operate in the same way.

Reading and understanding words in “spiritual” topics are only meant for us to look deeply at the self. To resonate with the words so they bring a different way to look at Life. Intellectual understanding is futile, for we will not be able to “put them in practice” in real Life; for Life is not a “recipe” that fits all. Life will bring “tailor made,” unique experiences in which we may not be able to recognize the words or the examples used by Krishnamurti, thus; we will not be able to “apply them” as we use a mathematical formula. Through that “practice,” we have no chance to know who we truly ARE.

Consciousness is gained through the experience of the “yes” and the “no.”

In a religious setting, I was taught to reject and suppress anger. Although my behavior was as if I had no anger in the eyes of others; due to the commending comments of those who observed my lack of reaction; I too believed that I was “anger free.”
To my surprise, I had plenty of anger inside stuck as emotional traumas which only needed a greater trigger to be displayed. Thus, “I tricked myself” for years.

Nevertheless, anger needed to be displayed so I could be free of it. Emotions will need to be displayed to be free from them. Through Observation of my own violence, anger diminished.
Through that full experience of anger and lack of it, a new consciousness appeared, which is now able to understand anger without rejection. I could not learn that by simply thinking: “Anger is bad. Don’t show it” or by believing that “God was going to punish me for being angry,” or by reading Krishnamurti’s words about anger and having a solid intellectual understanding of what those words meant.

Change of consciousness occurs when we assimilate Life experiences while we are AWARE of it. Without awareness there is repetition of experiences and through that vicious repetitive cycle, a dull feeling of bitterness mixed with apathy until  a compulsive need to change occurs through the experience of suffering.

The “good news” is that eventually we will change; not because we understood some “words of wisdom,” but because Life will give us the complete experience. The “yes” and the “no,” that is a new consciousness.

“Knowing” the Observer and the Observed

In Spirituality, to know means to live the experience in awareness. Humans live many experiences without awareness, thus; there is no consciousness of the significance of their own thoughts and actions. It is merely an automatic response like a physical reflex which in spirituality is known as conditioning. We are not free when conditioned.
“Spirituality” means to become aware of the experience of inner conflict; the continuous division between the Observer (“I”) and the observed (world.) The conflict arises when the observer seeks to conform to an ideal, what “should be.”

“When there is conflict there is a waste of energy. Conflict being: I must control fear, I must run away from it, I must go to somebody to tell me how to get rid of fear. All those are factors of wasting energy. If you don’t waste energy, and that only takes place when the observer is the observed, then you have immense energy to transform what is. The very observation is the energy that transforms that which is.”
Public Talk 3 in Ojai, California, 10 April 1976

Practically; how the above works?
In a heated family discussion where most of the “covers of an educated individual” are gone, we could OBSERVE the scenes.
Typically, we could OBSERVE two related emotions: VIOLENCE and FEAR. When we perceive those 2 emotions, we are able to change by allowing the current of those 2 emotions to go through us without further energetic consequences. Otherwise, we are unaware and the opportunity to OBSERVE gets lost in our attempt to defend the “I” or to take sides by JUDGING the scenes and picking the “right” side and the “wrong” one. Emotionally, that means that we RESISTED ( we felt insulted, misunderstood, etc) for we had the need to DEFEND the “I” or the side that we considered to be “right.” That resistance feeds the energy of violence and fear in that environment, back to ourselves. Again, energetically; we can either let the energy go through us (observer and observed are one) or let the energy to stay with us (observer and observed are different.) Most individuals will go with the later. This is not a “choice” that we need to make. This is only a matter of awareness.
Therefore, for most conditioned individuals the OBSERVER is different than the OBSERVER.

“When the observer is the observed, there is only the observed, not the observer. When there is division as the observer and the observed, there is conflict and the desire to control, suppress, conquer. That is a waste of energy. When there is only the observed, not the observer observing that which he is seeing, there is energy to go beyond the observed, beyond what is. So it is very important to find out how to observe. Don’t go to classes or some community to learn how to observe or how to become sensitive. For God’s sake be simple. It is very important to understand this for yourself, not from my explanation. See it for yourself. Then the conflict in yourself comes to an end, and you have no violence. The truth, the understanding, not intellectual but the fact that the observer is the observed, brings about a totally different freedom in which there is no conflict whatsoever.”
Public Talk 1 in San Francisco, California, 20 March 1975

If we understand the above only intellectually, we will not change at all. It will only be a fancy piece of information to display in the next spiritual gathering. If we have experienced this through Life itself; the above will only put words to an already lived experience. Then, we “know.”

The thought of violence

Many times I hear that part of Education is to teach the student “how to think.”
Actually, that is called conditioning, in a mild way. The proper label is violence.

Most individuals do not realize how violence has been ingrained by society. The competitive “spirit” hungry for success is violence, as it is not concerned at all for the common good. It is just about “ME” and “MY” loved ones. If we want to observe this with some depth, we may need to inquire about the nature of thought:

“Thought is the response of the brain that has recorded. If the brain did not record, you would have no thought or knowledge. It is like a registering machine. From knowledge is memory, and the response of memory is thought.”
J. Krishnamurti – Public Talk 1 in Madras (Chennai), 24 December 1977
Notice the automatic process of thought. That mechanism is unable to be creative. It only repeats what is recorded, although with variations. That may be a “good thing” to learn some technical skill, but the art of living is not concerned with that skill at all.
Out of that repetition and the obsession of “becoming number 1” to feel “successful” in society, the thought of violence was generated.

“Thought has created violence in me, and then it creates non-violence to be achieved, and then there is conflict.”
J. Krishnamurti – Buddhist Scholars Discussion in Madras, 21 January 1985
Observe the contradiction. I AM vs. I SHOULD BE. What SHOULD BE is an ideal. That is the main component of the rhetorical talk of a politician. Those are the “feel good” words that most want to listen. We don’t want to SEE what IS. We are blind. 

What is needed is a new way to deal with what IS.
“Please learn. Learn to observe, not memorize. We have contradiction only when we are not dealing with what is actually going on. Because we don’t know how to deal with what is going on, we invent the ideal, which is an escape. If you want to change what is going on, don’t have contradiction. Then you have the energy to deal with what is, instead of wasting energy in contradiction, having ideals and all the rest of it. I am violent, and my conditioning has been not to be violent, so I try to be non-violent. Whereas in actual fact, I am violent. So I am wasting my energy in trying to be non-violent. When I remove that, I have the energy to deal with what is – the energy to observe the fact of being angry. I won’t use the word ‘anger’ because the word is not the thing. Therefore there is only that reaction. The moment you name it, it becomes stronger. By associating through that word with the past, you are giving it strength. If you don’t name it, it soon dissipates. Eliminate contradictions altogether, and you are dealing only with what is actually going on.
J. Krishnamurti – Public Discussion 1 in Madras (Chennai), 27 December 1977

What should I DO to eliminate violence in me?
Acknowledge it. Do not fight it. OBSERVE it when it appears and become aware on how “I “want to demonstrate my supremacy over others, then we invent escapes, such as pride, shame, competition, non-violence and even nationalism.

“Nationalism is a poison.”
J. Krishnamurti – Public talk 2 in Bombay (Mumbai) 25 January 1981.
As the emotion is OBSERVED without labeling it or judgment; there is a space where it could be seen to its root causes. Every person may have a different root, although the “output” is violence. Observation is not concerned with results or the goal of “becoming better.” Observation is only concerned with OBSERVATION.

Thought, memory, thinking, conditioning, action; which in our society usually results in violence. It is a vicious cycle.
For those eager to “practice” and learn this “new method,” there is a catch:
“Real learning comes about when the competitive spirit has ceased.” –  J. Krishnamurti.  There is no achievement, no “becoming better,” no reward in the afterlife, no “special mention” and honors, no utility whatsoever in our “money making” society. Can we handle that?