Witnessing the pain of others

Although we hear how to deal with our own pain (physical or psychological/emotional) very seldom we hear about the suffering of witnessing the pain of others.

For instance, a loved one, a close relative could be going through excruciating physical or emotional pain: We could hear and see their discomfort, we could empathize with them, we could wish them a prompt recovery, but we could find ourselves absorbing that pain emotionally in such a way that their pain, becomes ours.

A famous case is the one experienced by Christopher Reeve, (actor who played Superman in 1978) who went through many diseases after he was paralyzed from the neck down, after falling from a horse. After his death in 2004, his wife; Dana Reeve died 18 months later from lung cancer. She wasn’t a smoker. She was 44 years old.
As cancer is known for being an emotional disease, we could observe how her husband’s experiences affected her. The symbolism for pain in the lungs is sadness.

Ahnanda is very experienced in seeing the pain of others, I used to take them with me. However, as my awareness increased; that has changed.
There are 2 things to be aware of: 1) How our emotions are affected 2) How the mind is affected through identification.
There is an emotional energy sent by someone in pain. I have been in cases where there was nothing I could do, but just observe. That frustration added further sorrow when the perception of my mind in that moment, changed: “How unfair life could be…” the mind is champion in adding useless comments. “I” identified with someone’s sorrow thus, awareness is no longer there.

It is what it is. Observe. Feel compassion, send get well wishes, but as soon as the opportunity is there to change into another activity; we need to do it, we need to smile again. This is living in the now.
The mind may bring memories. It may bring comments. Observe and let it go.
In my own experience, dancing to upbeat music, has been an incredible help to take my mind away from remembering such experiences. When the mind is distracted, enjoyment follows.
We could turn the page onto another chapter.

Life presents different experiences. If pain is not our own, why not keep our happiness?

Energetically; what it is not ours, we do not need to take with us. That is part of self-respect. To be able to save the integrity of our own self and to know when enough, is enough; that is, when we have reached a limit.

Traditional society may have a different perception on this based on ideas of “sainthood;” (suffering with others or for others) however, society is not concerned in increasing our own awareness through Life experiences.

Compassion is found in the experience of witnessing someone’s sorrow. That compassion is without “practice.” It is natural, real. Nevertheless, to remain untouched by someone’s sorrow is an art of awareness, it is the practical experience of living with no mind.

Seeing sorrow of others is unavoidable but so is our own Joy. Our quality of awareness flips the coin.

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The spirituality of placebos

What we ARE, displays in inner INTENTIONS (feelings underneath intellectual rationalizations) which later manifest into outer actions (DOING). This is the “natural way” without struggle.

BEING-→ INTENTION → DOING (Action)

However, the spirituality of “practices” and “training” are placebos for they only focus on ACTIONS.
“Our teachers are trained in compassion”. That is fake compassion.
“Our practices will lead you into being a more secure individual”. That is a fake security.
Practices and training have a place in our society where we are trained to become “something” in Life, but those have no place whenever we deal with inner knowledge, self-realization.

The “spiritual market” selling tips, training, practices, master classes, etc. are only focused on the outcome, the DOING. An actor is DOING something on the screen, nevertheless; that is fake DOING. It is just a script. In that, there is no spontaneity in Life.

Our social conditioning, our “training” deals with structure. That structure is a construct of a controlling mind.

CONDITIONING → Training → DOING

That is the path taught in our society.

BEING “good” or “better” in Life, is not the outcome of performing certain actions which we have been conditioned to believe to be “good.” That repertoire  of repetitive actions, takes away the joy of living by feeling Life, but rather supports the pre-arranged script of the mind.

Is drinking alcohol “good” or “bad”? OBSERVE that we are concerned in labeling an ACTION with some moral label. That is the religious conditioning tinted with heavy social traumas. We forget about the people involved and the quality of their intentions which shows their BEING. In our society we are conditioned to simply judge things based on ACTIONS.

Although that formula may work in our society, in “spirituality” or living Life in harmony; that social practice is pointless, childish.

OBSERVATION, AWARENESS, being AWAKE, STILLNESS, TRANQUILITY… those are words pointing to what could be useful in living Life in harmony. We need to discover that ourselves.
For some, that may be the chance to make those words into some profitable “practice” or some best-seller “training” book.
The inner experience of those words are not “practices.”

When the mind is empty of our “busy-ness,” the worries concerning running “profitable business,” and our daily “fill the day” activities; then there is space to sit, relax and smell the roses. Then, there is room for no-mind. Emptiness is a requisite for newness.
The experience of those “keywords” above, will appear all by themselves little by little, without rush. If we “catch them,” then we will be practicing without practice. We will be trained without having training. We will be “better” without “making effort.”

Those are “real” practices. For it is through uncovering BEING how our intentions and actions cannot be fake.

We become “real.”

The blame game in burning the Amazon forest

It is said that the Amazon forest is the “Lungs of the World” for more than 20% of the world oxygen is produced there.
It is known the importance to preserve the Amazon forest, to help with Global warming issues. Nevertheless, human greed and negligence are again the cause of problems for the living entities in the world and for our “future generations”.

Why are humans burning the amazon? To clear out land for cattle and sell the meat for profit. To use lumber for profit. The world knows that. There is an interesting article by CNN explaining this.
https://edition.cnn.com/2019/08/23/americas/brazil-beef-amazon-rainforest-fire-intl/index.html

The blame game started. Who is the culprit? Ahh! The Brazilian president for allowing that burning.
Let us look deeper. Isn’t economics the most important thing in our society? Isn’t the game of economics about “supply and demand”? It is said that Brazil was the largest exporter of meat last year (2018) in the world. There is a demand thus, Brazil supplies.
“But the Brazilian president should have fought against local farmers, meat producing corporations and international meat traders and think about how not to endanger our world!”

That is a high expectation for just a politician, who is not “trained” to look out for the common good and who believes to be acting for “Brazilian interest”. For him this is “an internal problem” not a World issue, for things are happening in Brazil. For him, it is no one else business. If there is demand, there will be supply and economic growth in Brazil… Isn’t that what we learn in business?
Ahh! Those countries importing Brazilian meat are the underlying problem. Hong Kong and China are by far, the ones who import the most from Brazil! They should stop importing Brazilian meat to save the forests!
However, “China’s average consumption per person is still well below the world average (and six times smaller than the US) and its growth rate is slowing,” (https://edition.cnn.com/2018/12/11/health/the-beef-with-beef/index.html )

Some will even say that the “problem” is that “we eat too much meat”, as the CNN article explicitly implies.
What is too much meat for a person? Who is there to stop someone from buying when there is supply?
Look deeper.
Demand means people. More people conditioned for generations through an old carnivorous tradition. No one looks at the number of humans in the planet.
We are too many. We increase our human population and diminish natural resources to support the whims and fancies of the “market.” It is a vicious cycle ultimately damaging our own living conditions. It is the dog chasing its own tail, but this is a crazy dog: It caught it and is angrily chewing it, and being numb to this.

It is very unlikely that humans will stop reproducing themselves in a considerable way to “save the planet.” Most want children to unwillingly offer them a depleted, competitive madhouse for their future.
It is very unlikely that humans will stop eating meat in a considerable way to “save the planet,” even though this may be the single best action to “help.” As a matter of fact for the majority, “saving the planet” is not a concrete thing. It is not something that they could see right now. It is not like seeing 100 US dollars in your pocket after selling a widget, even if that harms the planet.
For most, “help” is to write a check to some entity which supposedly will “fight” to save the rain forest. That is the conditioning. This will make most feel good about themselves. The comfort zone is a tremendous obstacle to overcome by the majority. Easier to write a check than to stop eating meat.

We are all one, even if we don’t see it.
There are no “real” lines delimiting countries. We are all humans. This world is not just for humans. We forget that.
In Life there is a continuous tendency to reach balance. Life knows that. We don’t.

If humans destroy the planet, there will be a consequence for humans. It comes to mind: “Forgive them for they do not know what they do”. But forgiveness is human. In Life, there is cause and effect.
In Human history, there have been wars, diseases, famine, natural disasters etc. Hardship for humans at particular key times in history, which diminish human population.
That is the balancing act of Life just to preserve itself. Humans themselves play a role in that balancing act, unknowingly due to their deep unconsciousness.
Yet some want to “pray to God” to avoid this from happening? How naive we could be!

So where is the “Spiritual” part of this writing?
While in this madness act to support Life; the common good, however you perceive it.
Trust in Life, for many cannot perceive that we ARE this planet. They are in a deep sleep.
Keep in mind that while politicians debate, and most get angry and do superfluous activities just to feel good about themselves; Life has its own way to deal with this.
Do not be surprised. It is not a human way.
But, it is human to feel compassion for ourselves. This is a good time for this.

Facing sorrow… and joy

Everyone has its share of sorrow in Life. Why?
Because everyone as well, has its share of joy. Duality.
To answer “Why” doesn’t give any comfort, when we deal with emotions in Life.  A “why/because” answer is useless, for there is no way to avoid or to “tackle the problem”. We need to go through the whole experience.

There is the type of sorrow and joy which “happen to us” due to circumstances. “I feel sorrow/joyful because…” Those are the types where duality manifests.
Also, there is a kind of “joy” which is the expression of BEING. That one is little known by most. Duality does not affect it. We usually cannot feel it for we have other garments covering it: Emotional traumas.

Observe our typical Joy. Like anything in Life, it is a transient state.
An episode of sorrow, precedes Joy. They follow each other.

The “answer” to go beyond that duality is right in the middle, between that duality; between the yin and yang. However, to experience that balance, that equanimity, may take many other experiences to center our consciousness to feel that equilibrium. It is a feeling.

Experiencing Life with impartiality, is key to ride the ups and downs in Life.
Impartiality is not a “practice”. That equilibrium is cumulative, as we are able to assimilate different Life experiences: Joyful, sorrowful or in between, all included without distinction. With some we laugh, others cry.  Smile. That is the middle.
Impartiality has been known as the “Middle Way”, for it is the middle between dualities; however, typically that is understood in a different way.

Sorrow may remain despite the ending of the situation causing it, for “I” will keep the memory of that incident as a traumatic experience. Fear will be born, and that weight will be with “me” as long as “I” live, unless “I” release that emotion.
Unavoidably, there will be the experience of sorrow in Life. Sorrow is meant to change a person through a new perspective of Life. No intellectual understanding can ever do that.
It doesn’t matter whether those perspectives are “true or false.” What matters is the imminent change in consciousness once we cross the obscure passage. Change upon change, eventually we will learn to see the “mirror” rather than the outside perception of an episode. However, the trauma may remain. We still need to clean the slate, dissolve the emotion.

Life will bring a way to free ourselves from past traumas as long as we are aware of them, acknowledge them and be willing to open up. In this way, every Life experience will increase our maturity, our insight; and that will bring us closer to that state of impartiality where dualities are experienced, but there is no traumatic footprint inside. The Middle way.

While living Life, we may learn to witness it without unneeded commentaries coming from the mind.
That creates the perfect soil for inner joy, the type of “inner smile” untouched by the dualities of Life.

The separatist political mind

Because most of humanity has a mind concerned with separation, division as a perception of Life, then unhappiness will be the outcome of such mind.

Observe your own mind. There is “I” and there is “you.” Also all personal pronouns are part of the division. We know to be bound by language syntax, but we believe deep inside that “innocent” division to be true. That carries an existential problem beyond language. Observe how the main tool that we use to figure out “Life,” is based on “analysis.”
Analysis is a tool for further division. We want to know something which is whole by dividing it in parts. However, parts do not make up what is meant to be whole. The “whole is equal to the sum of its parts” we say, it is a nice theory in society, but doesn’t quite work out in “real” Life. Can we take apart a human being in its numerous parts, and make it “work” as a live human as it was before the division?

Our vision of the world is meant to analyze things. Observe politics. It deals with government, administration of people in a society. Politics relies heavily in all sorts of analysis. We don’t take people as “people”, we divide people. We create groups and out of that we create struggle between groups. We forget the common good; but become biased and select what is most convenient for a particular group. That is “Democracy.” Not the nice theory of what is supposed to be; but the “real,” practical aspect ongoing around the world.
There will not be a self realized individual dealing with politics. Not because “politics is dirty business” but because politics is a fictitious, one sided way of looking at Life. That political vision is incapable of putting things together in synthesis.
Politics is about conflict among groups and power struggle of certain groups. That is the outcome of a mind which has been trained to divide.
How is it possible to find “solutions” for problems created in our society which such mind?
It is not possible. “Problems cannot be solved with the same mind set that created them.”
That is a quote from A. Einstein. “Division” is a mind set.
Where is the root problem in need of a “solution”?
The human mind.

Happiness is not a creation of the mind. What our society considers as happiness is truly infantile, nevertheless; we cannot find a happy person there, but rather a sedated one. Someone who lives in the comfort zone of his mind’s achievements which, are only another reflection of a mind trained to divide, to fight, to conquer, to compete, to become “someone” in Life, as the utmost value.
Most know that happiness is not brought by material things. Nevertheless, we strive to obtain those at all cost. Happiness is not in circumstances, settings, relationships. It is not bound by what is “out there”.
Happiness is inner fulfillment. It is an inseparable sensation when we breathe, which makes us alive and vital. That cannot be found in the mind. That is why, there is “no-mind.”
But, what our educational system knows about it? Not much. In fact, what we are so eager to learn in our educational system is all about living in the ego mind. Most individuals are only concerned with their own achievements, the well being of their own group and the continuous struggle to maintain an ideal status quo during their life times, which they fight to provide to their own kind, their succesors. Conditioning is very strong and will continue on from generations.

Therefore, a sensitive, intelligent person will look into this. His personal journey will deal with recognizing and knowing his own mind. There lies the conditioning. There lies the madness.

This route doesn’t take the traveler into “name and fame.” There are no medals or prize money at the end of the journey.
There is only this sense of fulfillment, which indicates that we found our place in Life. This “achievement” happens without being “someone”, without doing something “special”, without fighting and trying to “conquer” our self created demons.
The “normal” conditioned mind, will be unable to understand that unless, the actual “mind set” is left behind.

The main infantile collective beliefs

As we start observing the “others” that is society, just to know ourselves; we could make great progress in self knowledge. The mirror is there, reflecting back our true colors.
The ideology of modern society which is taught to individuals is built upon 2 clear principles, which are applied according to social power:
“I am the center of the Universe” and “If it doesn’t go my way, I will fight until it does.”
Those are the universal, infantile principles of the “I.”

Although, we may observe how childish those ideas are, we may not be able to recognize that the collective consciousness is within us. The training has been assimilated and those ideas will reflect the way our society acts as a whole.

The opposite extreme of those two main principles will be there as well, that is to the point where there is no self-worth. Any extreme location is a disease of the mind. We could observe how many human relationships typically bring those 2 extremes together as a “match made in heaven.” That is how we could safely assume, that there is a strong need for mental health in our society.

Life is not just about two states: happy and unhappy, as the collective consciousness dictates. Like a computer, we have been programmed to perceive only 2 states, 2 “bits” a “0” and “1”, on and off. Man created the computer in his own image.

Observe how labels are extremist. We say “there is good people and bad people”. We have learned to look at Life from 2 opposite colors (black or white) and as we “mature,” we have been told that Life has many “gray” areas; the combination of those two colors.
Life is not “gray”. It doesn’t have “gray” areas as we are told to believe; but our society may be very “gray” indeed. Life is colorful. Truly we cannot attempt to classify individuals or Life into 2 little boxes; although that is what we learn in the “system.”

When we go through the “system” our minds are fixed into good, bad, right, wrong, winner, loser, god, devil, success, failure, beautiful, ugly, life, death, etc. The collective consciousness is unable to perceive the amplitude of a label-less, colorful life. While it is true that we are condemned by our dualistic language, to use simple but inaccurate labels to communicate with each other; few will realize that our AWARENESS should be strong enough so we don’t believe what we are saying.
What?
Language describes things which may not be accurate. Spiritual, non-material values are clear examples (describe beauty or peace) but yet the collective consciousness believes in “holy words.”

Is there truly such a thing as a “bad” person? What about a “good” person? It is important to see that our judgment is biased as any judgment is. Nevertheless, we judge and place individuals in one of the 2 boxes available for us. Thus, as we say “bad dog”, we may want to be AWARE that this judgment is only for a particular situation and a limited time; and this label will need to be erased from our minds next time we meet such dog. However, more important than the label is the FEELING behind the label; for the feeling will give the flavor and we will keep the taste of it.

For the collective consciousness, words are everything. However, words without feelings are dead words. Observe yourself while speaking to someone and perceive the times when feelings arise. That is a fantastic training to be able to perceive the main conditioning of the collective consciousness: VIOLENCE.
We could smell violence in the air. It impregnates every human activity at this time. Even human sexuality. That is an activity which should be enjoyable and free from manipulation of the “I”, but it is another field to display violence.

Observe how sexuality has been transformed into a game of man vs woman (or partners against each other). Observe how it has been transformed into a game of performance and violent touching, wording and furious behavior which paradoxically is labeled as “making love. “

Observe how the infantile collective consciousness is permeated with violence in all aspects. An AWARE individual should be conscious of that influence.
When a person is ready to start his own process of de-condition, he will observe how deep the roots of violence are within.

We cannot cut those roots for the pain would be unbearable (if that was possible.) We can observe them, become aware of them and begin sowing the seed of gentleness.

Protect that seed while it is growing, for eventually it will use the roots of violence to nurture itself, for the opposite of violence is gentleness and that means, that both have the same root. Duality 101. Observe that mainstream religious, social and moral teachings would like for us to “get rid of violence” through rejection. That is a violent way to uproot something which is the fuel for its opposite.
We cannot cut violence with violence, but we can let it be transformed gradually; that change will be ushered into gentleness. This is personal inner work.
“Time, Sun and Water” will do the magic in such fertile soil.

The conditioning of the collective consciousness

Many seekers are sensible to perceive the type of mental madness going on in our human society. However; when given the chance to leave all behind; they will feel trapped. There is too much at stake to “lose”.
“ I have my job, my family, my possessions, my reputation…” those will weigh more than anything else. Nevertheless, that wasn’t a problem for a Buddha, a Jesus or a Mahavira among a list of others; who were passionate about their search. They had plenty to “lose,” and that was their way to gain consciousness.

Thus, in a military formation, we follow. We comply. We go with inertia. The end result is a conditioned, fearful individual unable to perceive the world outside the common boundaries set aside by the traditions and views of society.

If an intelligent being from out of space could be able to live among us for a brief time, he could observe some relevant facts which “normal” individuals are unable to perceive:

“ Humans have created “countries” ( a kind of mental limit of one group of people from another. Limits can go from language, looks or beliefs) when there are no truly physical boundaries. That artificial separation, could go on: States, cities, neighborhoods… The separation continues on until there is a small group of people living together which they call “family.” There are divisions among families as well.

This mentality of separation is used frantically to view Life. As a consequence there is violence among groups to “survive”. That violence surrounds human beings throughout their lives. It is man against man, group against group just to “get ahead.”
A toned down flavor of violence is called “competition.” A human born in such environment is taught to compete. “Survival of the fittest” it is said. Humans consider themselves the most intelligent species. However, no other species harms their habitat as much as humans. Other species live in balance with each other to assure their survival. If a species becomes extinct, it is due to human policies.

Humans live in competition with each other. Even their games are about competition. They have “winners and losers.” It is hard to describe what winning is, for it is merely a moment of feeling elation for subduing all the other competitors.

Humans have created a reward system for “winners”. No one wants to be a “loser”, thus dishonesty appears as consequence for “winners” create “losers.”
Humans have created a bartering system to survive in society, which is tinted with competition. Their system relies in the irrational trust of paper which is known as “money.” They exchange paper for services. Most humans will do anything to obtain those pieces of paper, which are colored with pictures of other humans from the past. That “money” has a number which means the exchange value but there is nothing valuable backing that money.
Interestingly, humans have created wealth and poverty among their own groups. Paradoxically, humans struggle to put an end to poverty. They are hesitant to create more paper money to create opportunities for the poor as their system will reduce the overall value of their “currency” (paper) of that location compared with others, which will affect their production of goods and being able to sell it. It is a complicated system based on the whim of those who have lots of paper money competing with each other to preserve their power to subdue those who have less paper money with them. Everything they do in their society is about buying or selling: Buy cheap, sell expensive. Make profit. That is their beloved “mantra.”

Humans mask their violent ways with ideologies of peace and equality; however those systems clash against each other producing more conflicts. Overall, humans are a violent species, but overall they have high hopes to change some day, they believe in change …”

The above description is the weigh of conditioning from our collective consciousness. To get away from that is the easiest way to de-condition.
That is why a wealthy, powerful man cannot self-realize and so those who are invested in their professions for unwillingly, these individuals help preserve the collective conditioning.

Without peeling that layer, there is no true passion in a seeker who seeks the “truth” of self knowledge. That is one of the “filters” in the path.

While out of the system, a seeker has the time to observe unaffected. What would you do with your time if work, entertainment, friends and relatives are out of your life?
How is consciousness able to change if we are always “busy”?

With time, we could sit in a park, contemplate that setting and smell the roses. We could truly look at Life and observe the “rat race” happening. We could learn to enjoy our own company. We could learn to appreciate the simple things in Life: Cooking your meals, sweeping your place. Learning to play a musical instrument. Becoming AWARE of what is like to live without trying to accomplish, compete, achieve and getting the approval of the masses for name and fame.

Many will think: “That is boring”. But then, those are the ones who sooner or later will look for “peace.”
Perhaps when they “retire”…. RIP.