Mental images and neediness.

We are never the same. There is no static moment, no past where we could look back and believe to be completely unchanged since then.

I observed some family members visiting us. They live in another country. The last family gathering was about 20 years ago. Now, they ARE different from what I knew before. It is not just looks. That is the most superficial aspect of change. They are different, “I” am different.
I had an image of them in my mind. That image created an expectation, which resulted in illusion.
The only thing without a change that I knew from before, was their names. The same outcome occurs when we are living closely with others, although we may not realize the changes.

As we grow in relationship with others, we change. An individual is affected by company. Most are aware of that.
Most are oblivious that as we grow older, our own changes will create an inner resistance, when we are aware of them. There is an image, a still picture of the “perfect” self, which we would like to keep.
That “poster” is living in the mind. As any poster, it is static, completely unchanged. It is not real.
Nevertheless, that is our point of inner comparison. Comparison is the mother of unhappiness, at any level.

Practically, we live to keep an image and we relate with our own images of others.

“Pat” has an image of “Carl.” There is “Carl’s image” as perceived by Carl himself.
Carl would like to be treated according to the image that he has of himself. Anything lower than that, is considered an insult. Pat will mingle with Carl, by using the image that she has of Carl. Those are the untold boundaries.

Typically, when we meet someone for the first time, we spend that meeting in creating an image of that person. If we like that person, then the image grows in accolades, until one day we may “realize” and say to her: “You have changed since I first met you.”
It could be many years before we awaken from the dream.

Similarly if we dislike a person. Our image about that person can only go down, as we strive for consistency. “We cannot be wrong.” Observe the inner game of placing images into simple containers of likes and dislikes and to consider those as the standards of accuracy, reality, etc.

Could we relate without images?
That may require great awareness of the tricks of our own minds.

To meet someone without “pictures and posters” in our minds, will allow that other person to BE, for there is no inner need for the other to comply with our own picture of expectations, requirements and ideals.
For that we need to be free from psychological neediness, at any level in regards to the other. If there is a need, there will be a picture and our desire to maintain that picture as the ideal. Consciously or unconsciously, we will manipulate “reality” to look like that picture.

Psychological neediness does not allow for a “true,” open, caring relationship; for we are concerned in keeping the validity of personal images, rather than becoming aware of and accepting unconditionally “what is.”

Will be taking a break until October 31st. Enjoy yourself! 🙂

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The thought, the thinker, thinking and dreaming

“Thinking is common to all humanity. Thought is not my thought; there is only thought. Thought is neither of the East or West; there is only thinking. “ J. Krishnamurti

“I think therefore, I am.” Rene Descartes

The philosopher and mystic, J. Krishnamurti states the opposite of philosopher, mathematician and scientist Descartes: Thought is not mine vs. I think. Thus, thought is mine.
Most of humanity will experience as Descartes states. Few individuals will understand the depth of Krishnamurti, for he is not an intellectual (although described as such) but he merely states his own experiences. Without similar experiences, there will not be understanding.

Also, whether it is “my” thought or there is only thought, there is the “reality” of thought or the lack of it, called “dreams.”
Descartes said: “The dreams we imagine when we are asleep should not in any way make us doubt the truth of the thoughts we have when we are awake.”

Nevertheless, he had a dream which told him a lot:

“…After a short time, he goes back to sleep once more, and finds himself in a third dream. In front of him, on a table, is a book. Having opened it, he sees that it is a dictionary. Then he notices a second book. This one is a poetry anthology. He flicks through it and immediately comes upon the latin verse: “Quod vitae sectabor iter?”: “Which path in life will I choose?”.
At the same time, an unknown man appears and presents him with a poem which starts with Est et non (what is and is not). He adds that it is an excellent work. The young soldier says:
“I know. It is in this book of poems. Look!”
But he flicks through the anthology in vain. He can’t find the poem. So, he takes up the dictionary and notices that some of the pages are missing. He is exchanging a few more words with the stranger when, suddenly, the books and the man disappear.”

Is following the path of “what is” and “what is not” a choice? We take both in Life.
Can we find that poem in a book? Can we find words to describe it? Life is such a poem.

Many “ideas” or “inventions” came from a dream.

When Life speaks to us, we say” I imagined a dream.” “ I invented this gadget.”

Out of touch with awareness, most don’t perceive that we can only “do” thinking with what Life has already thought.
We say “My thought”: How scientific that could be!!

Dreams are only dreams, for all those who only dream.

Dying is the way of Living

The significance of Death changes according to consciousness.
For most, there is only one death; at the end of Life. Typically, we will perceive death as something “bad”, which we need to delay even though quality of Life may be lacking. These are the individuals “fighting Death.” We hear: “After a long fight, he lost the battle with cancer” (or some other disease.) From that nonsensical perception, we don’t realize that “we will always lose to death.” Always.
Our petty fighting attitude only brings animosity towards the inevitable. A trauma.
Embrace death. After all; it is part of living. The duality of life and death will be experienced. Why reject one side of the same experience?

Death brings fear to the unknown. However, what we truly fear is to lose that which is known. Thus, we may need to learn to die from the known.

It is in that understanding, how a different consciousness could perceive that there is no better way to live Life than dying psychologically while living.

In one lifetime, the one who was born, is not the same as the one who dies. That may require a bit more awareness to understand. The one who experiences death has no part of him identifying with the one who was born: The body is different, the mind is different. Nevertheless, what creates the linear identity of ‘I am the same,’ is the attachment to different things in Life. That could be names, people, objects, positions, ideals, beliefs, etc. That creates the sense of “self.”

Therefore, the greatest attachment is the perception of “self.” We greatly cling to it.

Life will bring many experiences where we feel that we “have lost” something but then, we DO things to gain something back for ourselves. That game, we usually call Life.
“Self” is being built through that game.

When Life brings the experience to “lose” something; we don’t see that this brings the opposite as well, automatically once the old is “lost”, newness is gained. We “win” newness through that duality.

If the above is fully understood, we could observe that dying from something is the way to gain; but the hardest part is the mental clinging of the past, for that which is gone. Then, we live in the past and we are not able to die from the past. We fight. Thus, there is no newness.
Observe. Become aware. Accept. Move on.

Life will “give” but also will “take away” to give something else. Are we willing to play that game?
“Willingness” means our capacity to die from who we were and accept the newness of who we could be. “Losing is winning.”
That game when fully experienced, will change that sense of self; reducing its size until one day, we have died from “self.”
Then, there is nothing to be attached to. We dropped the burden by dying psychologically from a static sense of “self.”

When the psychological “self” is not there, Who is going to die?
Learning to die at every moment, is the way to live.

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.

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.