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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As long as there are beliefs, our consciousness will be located and influenced by the mind. The mind is a repository of experiences which have been recognized, labeled and used to make sense of “life”. Nevertheless, that “life” is only the reflection of traditions, teachings and traumas of the collective consciousness which will have lasting influence on the individual.
Basically, there cannot be newness while trapped in the mind. There is repetition, there is a false sense of security of “knowing”, which will not allow us to look further into what IS.
The atheist who converts into Christianity after having an “after death” experience, will have a change in his Life. That is the bottom line. It will be the complete opposite of what he previously rejected. That is the mind in action. Moreover, the tradition of what is known as “God” may be affected by a well known religion (Christianity) which he was familiar with. A Life experience is only meant for the one experiencing it. End of report. However, most take this opportunity to enhance their ego and make out of this an opportunity to show how extraordinary they are. A “chosen” one.
“God gave me this experience so I can be a testimony and lead people into his way.” That is “pure” ego in action.
The mind has a belief. The mind has interpreted an experience. The mind has labeled that experience and made it something extraordinary, especial. Then, the field of beliefs is open: God is this or that. He has chosen this one or that one. He will come back to make sure his kingdom is alright, etc. It is extraordinary to observe how from an individual experience, we could make a religion.
The atheist and the believer are at the same level. Their minds took them there. There is full reliance on that conditioned mind, that is what we may need to realize.
Life has many ways to change the perspective of people. For the ones anchored in the mind, rationality and logic; an out of this “world” experience will be necessary to change them. For those way “out there”, something worldly will be needed to balance them. A seeker will need to go through the full range of the experience, the “yes” and the “no”; to “know”. That teaching is experiential, that is why it cannot be told to another so they also “know.”
Beliefs are not bad. Those are tools to gain further consciousness. The tool is not the “thing” to obtain; but while in the mind; we could debate, fight as to which tool is the “true” one. Then, we want to use “science” to prove if the tool is “true.” We are missing the point.
There are many types of consciousness, but the collective consciousness, the one with the “buying power” is an infantile one, and so the journey is just beginning for them.
As we mature, we will observe that spirituality is based on our own self understanding, our own self observation, our own self acceptance; for there is an opening in that which liberates the person from the conditioned mind. We can make that clear distinction. It is the experience of that freedom, what we may long for.
In that realm, beliefs are not necessary. Free from beliefs, we ARE.
“Self” is the most misunderstood label there is, from the dictionary word to the “spiritual” connection.
A seeker will be confused depending on their level of consciousness, for “self” is the very beginning of “spirituality” but at the same time, the very end. It is Alpha and Omega.
Most “think” they know what “self” is. It is “me.” That is kindergarten a priori “knowledge” however, it is readily accepted without further observation.
There is the “self” of “Google”: “a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.”
There is the “self” of Krishnamurti:
“ …the idea, the memory, the conclusion, the experience, the various forms of namable and unnamable intentions, the conscious endeavor to be or not to be, the accumulated memory of the unconscious, the racial, the group, the individual, the clan, and the whole of it all, whether it is projected outwardly in action, or projected spiritually as virtue; the striving after all this is the self.”
There is the “Self” of Ramana Maharshi : “That state which transcends speech and thought is mouna. That which is, is mouna. How can mouna be explained in words? Sages say that the state in which the thought”I” (the ego) does not rise even in the least, alone is Self (swarupa) which is silence (mouna). That silent Self alone is God; Self alone is the jiva (individual soul). Self alone is this ancient world. All other kinds of knowledge are only petty and trivial knowledge; the experience of silence alone is the real and perfect knowledge. Know that the many objective differences are not real but are mere superimpositions on Self, which is the form of true knowledge.”
And then, there is the “real self” of Osho: “The Real Self is dangerous: dangerous to the established church, dangerous to the state, dangerous to the crowd, dangerous to tradition, because once a man knows his real self, he becomes an individual.”
And then there is Lao Tzu: “Knowing others is wisdom. Knowing the self is enlightenment.”
And …there is “Nosce te Ipsum” (Know thyself).
An individual will be seeking to “save and continue” his perception of “self” through the belief in “heaven,” the “soul” (Atma or Atman, which is also known as the “real self” by some or Swaroop, etc.) after this lifetime is over, while others believe that everything is over at death time.
Lost in theories, beliefs and what not, we are unable to OBSERVE.
In my experience, when we want to find out something related with “spirituality”, there is no sense in following words. It doesn’t matter how “enlightened” they may be. There are many interferences in between: The level of consciousness of the one describing and the one listening (even “Death” depends on the level of consciousness of a person); the word used to describe a personal experience is a barrier for intellectual understanding; there is interpretation of the word, then there is translation (if it comes from another language) and finally, there is the emotional attachment to that word: “atman /atma/soul” is an example. It has a positive connotation which for many means “self or real-self.”
Confusion is the mother of all religions.
Look at “yourself.” Do you perceive thoughts (the little guy/gal talking to you in your “head”?) Do you perceive his fears, dreams, hopes, desires, activity, patterns, memories? That is typically known as “self.” That is also known as “I.” That is what many are concerned in “saving” for the “afterlife.”
Look at a wall. Hold your breath. Stop breathing for a few seconds. Notice how “your” thoughts will stop. Just notice. Keep focused on that wall.
There is an “observer” and there is the “object” observed (wall).
When the “observer” disappears as well as the “object” although the eyes are looking at a wall, that IS. We could name that infinitesimal experience as “Me without baggage” or “naked me.” “Bagagge” is all the stuff that we perceive when we observe the content of the mind.
Some will describe the experience above as “when the observer and the object merge in each other”, or “when the observer and object are one”. Same experience different words.
That “IS” will be called with many names: “real self”, “swaroop”, “atma”, “atman”, “God”, “Brahman”, that state of “mouna” (according to Ramana Mahrshi- above) which cannot be explained in words, is where “silence” resides.
However a glimpse is not the “state of being” of a self-realized individual. An attempt to float in the Ocean, is not swimming. However, the EXPERIENCE will allow us to “observe” that which we call personality, self, etc. which Krishnamurti points out, and OBSERVE the difference “without using the mind.” Just look.
“Meditation” has been used to experience that which IS. However, a meditation related only with the mind by trying to stop thoughts, still the mind, etc. will not allow us to experience what is beyond the mind (no-mind). Thus, Contemplation.
Looking at a wall in a relaxed way, without any aim whatsoever is contemplation. We could feel our breathing, our heart, we can open our inner senses for what IS to arrive. That could be experienced by some as bouts of bliss. The “inner smile.” We could observe that “thoughts” become an interference, that is why the artifice of stoping to breathe was used. How can we contemplate if thoughts are bothersome then? The power of your feelings shall be used. Feel from you heart and your gut as we breathe in and out. That will overcome our “habit” of “thinking” or “daydreaming.”
When words arrive in our heads, the mind has entered. The show is over.
If you never learned a language to speak, how would you relate with that which we typically call “self”? How the “little guy/gal” in your head could communicate with you?
Experience that. There is more to “self” than what is described here, but this is just a “finger pointing to the moon.” It is not the moon.
Nosce te Ipsum. There is no other “knowledge” more fascinating in Life.
The experience of Life is typically seen as duality: Going up means to go down.
There is day and there is night. Can we select one without the experience of the other?
Those selecting or being attached to only day or only night haven’t understood this.
Do you look for success? There must be failure. Do you look for truth? There must be the experience of falsehood. Do you want good? There must be the experience of evil.
Thus, how insane is to place high regard, high value on one side of a duality and reject the other, when both are complementary. Both come together as a “package.” Therefore, it is ONE.
Our society is suffocated by the experience of a misunderstood duality. There is no “two” opposites but “one” complementary experience.
Life is not concerned with human morality. It merely presents the whole range of experiences. That is a strong reason to observe that most religions do not fit the way of Life itself, but will support the conditioning of human morality, that is; one side of a duality. Life constantly will show us the whole experience.
If the above needs further clarification, I will add this example.
Are you familiar with the teachings of J. Krishnamurti and Osho Rajneesh ?
Most “spiritual seekers” are. Both are like day and night. “Dawn” (between day and night) is the rebellious attitude which they have in common.
Krishnamurti says that there is no method to reach the “truth.” Osho will give plenty of methods for that. Krishnamurti did not follow any books. Osho gave some of his teachings using some books that he had read. Krishnamurti did not want followers. He did not choose someone to replace him. Osho had followers. It is said that he picked before his death, someone to continue with his “dream.”
Both observed that we live in a sick society. That is “dawn” again for both. Krishnamurti, supported to look deep within and inquire within to freed yourself through a new consciousness. He believed in the change of the individual. Osho wanted to build a “Noah’s ark” with followers who would be living outside society in a new paradigm, with a new consciousness. That is collective change.
Since their teachings were opposite of each other, who is “right” and who is “wrong”? Isn’t that the typical conditioned question which we cleverly ask to side with something and be “right”?
Because they are opposite, it doesn’t mean that one of them has to be “wrong”. That is the old conditioning. Rather; because they are opposite, they are complementary of each other. They are ONE.
Both teachings will show us the complete Life experience.
Do you want a “method” to reach “truth”? Osho is the man for you. Once you have gone through that, you’ll be ready for Krishnamurti and you will have no more methods. If you start with Krishnamurti without going through Osho; you will not be ready. Do you want to know the extent of love? Start with Krishnamurti to end up with Osho.
What is my point?
Embrace both opposites in Life. This is not a question of morality. It is a matter of knowing Life. Not from the conditioned “intellectual” perspective of society, but without the parameters which are holding us back to be open to the uncertainty of Life.
Life is not interested on who is “right” or “wrong”. Why should we? IT IS as IT IS. It is not a matter of “choosing one” over the other. It is a matter of accepting both and OBSERVING honestly, where you fit within that range, and go from there.
There are more “teachers” than Osho and Krishnamurti. A person may go through many of those teachers. Some may even embrace religions which will be necessary for a particular path. The “Yes” and the “No” will need to be experienced for a complete experience. This cannot be only intellectual information. There must be experience.
We need to go through it. That is when there is true change. That is your unique path.