Our world of concepts is supported by our perceptions. That in itself, will give us a twisted view of what we call “reality.”
For example, what I can observe, touch, smell, etc. becomes my physical “reality.” Many individuals having similar experiences will agree to label our descriptions of similarities as “reality.” However, how could we be so sure that what we are able to interpret through our senses is in fact what is “real”?
Isn’t science verifying our physical reality from the standpoint of what our senses are able to pick up? What is that which we could truly know?
We heard it many times, ME; but yet that is left for the very last.
We use more labels to figure out what we ARE, but we do not observe what IS.
We are a “soul” we say. Isn’t that merely a label to describe a concept? The concept is whatever we believe a “soul” to be. How is that helpful to know ourselves?
Is the reality of that label depending on my experience alone ? Or perhaps is the acceptance of the authority of someone else like a guru, a scientist, God, etc?
In self knowledge, concepts are truly deceitful.
Free will and Predestination. Merely labels to describe a perception. When we go beyond the labels and concepts, another “reality” emerges.
That is our interdependence. Observe the web of relationships. When we understand that our actions affect everything else (Totality) we could also understand that someone’s activity even though away from my field of perception, will definitely affect ME in some way. The part (“I”) affects the whole (every living being) and similarly, the whole affects the part. “Logical”?
Why do you like chocolate ice cream (or other flavor)? How does it (particular taste) appeared in your repertoire of things to like? We don’t think about that. We prefer the shallow “I like.” End of report. We call that “free will.” There is a Totality behind that “I like” phrase, we express a small part of that Totality through an insignificant “I like.”
However, Science hasn’t proved that. Science cannot comprehend that we ARE individuals but at the same time, a Totality. That is too far out.
What are the practical aspects of the above?
Every religion, every philosophy, every “ism”, every political party out there cannot have the “truth.” It is always partial. An incomplete perception.
How do I know that?
Life cannot be described through words. The Totality cannot be understood through words just like a human being cannot.
Ask someone to describe you exactly as you ARE. That is not only your psychological make up at a certain point in time, but your physical appearance, your unique behaviors, etc.
It is impossible. Only you know and the totality of what you know cannot be shared to others.
Perceptions. Our world is viewed through perceptions.
Isn’t what I am explaining also a perception? You bet.
That is why, mental explanations, descriptions and concepts are only distractions from what truly matters.
What is that?
To learn to be AWARE of ourselves. That is the only thing that we can know for sure, the only thing that we could be completely honest about; but yet for most of us, that “reality” is full of conditioning, full of traumas which will not allow us to fully look.
The mind has expectations, it has dreams, it has objectives to accomplish. The world is a playground to “achieve” and to show everyone “who we are.”
That is ego. That is not who we ARE. We ARE when ego is not.
“We” are a soul. “We” are a spirit. “We” are a multidimensional being.
Those labels behind concepts are fooling us from the possibility to observe.
Get rid of those labels. They only confuse and limit the unlimited.
Feel what IS. Observe what IS. Become AWARE of that without the distraction of labels and mental voices, which compel us to verbalize our experiences.
When there is no mind, we ARE.
A friend told me that she attended a retreat of a known “guru” and this guru explained that “Everything was predestined.” That was a major shock to some. My friend told me that one person was crying in disbelief.
Even though this explanation was only a mental idea, it was enough to trigger an emotional reaction. That explains our level of engagement with our minds and our need to find theoretical “truth” even though it may differ our own experience.
The “problem” of free will vs. predestination is a popular topic among thinkers and even regular folks. Movies are introducing this topic to the masses who strongly believed that they had “free will.”
Why is it that we cannot figure it out ourselves?
Mostly because we are stuck in a certain level of consciousness, the “I” who is separated from everything else. In separation we are unsure if destiny plays a part to mess up “our” plans or if we didn’t “think” things enough to come up with a better plan. Another “reason” is our high level of social conditioning. For most of us given 3 choices, the answer can only be one. “It is A or B or C.” That logic does not work in Life.
The consciousness of being an “I” a “ME,” separated from everything else does not see the relationships, the interconnections as a piece of a jigsaw puzzle has with every other piece. We cannot see that the purpose of a piece of a puzzle resides in belonging to the jigsaw puzzle.
The same is with a human being in relationship with the Universe, with Life.
Thus, the belief in “free will” supports that separation from the jigsaw puzzle. When someone comes from that consciousness, the belief and acceptance of free will is very important.
As a person moves to a different position in consciousness, that person will experience less of an “I.” That “ME” is no longer the most important, the center of the Universe. We will observe that we do not have control over many things in Life: our own birth, our own childhood, the conditioning that went through us and finally we will acknowledge randomness, serendipity, synchronicity, etc; observing how mysterious Life is. Then predestination is no longer a hard to swallow pill.
There is another stage of consciousness, that is when the “I”, the “Me” moves away.
If the “I” is like a closed door, we are no longer just the door itself but also the space when the door opens. That “nothingness” scares the hell out of most human beings. However, in being that space, we ARE everything as well: The space in the door, the door itself, the house, etc. for space is in them as well.
Therefore, we are Nothing, ONE (I,) and Everything all at the same time.
It is in that consciousness when the words predestination and free will are completely meaningless.
The jigsaw puzzle will be orderly completed only to be chaotically dispersed. Those are the forces of duality which allow for change. That is the nature of the Universe, whether we believe in free will or predestination.
A belief is just our attempt to label some experience. We need to contrast that something with its opposite to give life to our description, so others know what we are talking about. How can we speak about God without bringing the Devil? How can we speak of Night without Day? However, those apparent opposites are coming from the same phenomena.
In a nutshell, free will and predestination are exactly the same thing in Life. The conditioning of our minds will not allow us to see that for we are stuck in the description of words and our mind thrives in seeing opposites to grasp a mental understanding, which in Life is not “true” understanding.
Step outside of your mind, to see.
Life is unexpected, dynamic, ever changing. Our society taught us to behave and meet situations with a recipe or pre-cooked package of actions, moral standards and laws.
We believe that a particular action labeled as “moral” is useful for all situations. That is not so. When our moralists realize that, then we try to create another recipe that will fit all. As a consequence, many discusions will arise leading nowhere.
As we go beyond conditionings, we will find that Life is only met fully in the moment.
Experiences are personal and could be used as personal guidelines but never as commandments or laws which can apply to all.
This realization will take away our neediness to be “right,” or to give free advice to others.
One thing is to say “in my experience…” another to say “my advice to you is…”
My favorite cup is made of blue glass. If I was that cup, I will see things “blue.” (reminds me of the “blue song.”) Through that center of personal experiences all I could feel comfortable with is that which I recognize: Perhaps another cup made of glass. I will not be able to distinguish colors as all I see is blue.
It will be a mistake to believe that everything is of blue color. In fact, I wouldn’t know colors at all. I wouldn’t understand what a color is, for I will need to experience contrasts to see that.
Most individuals in the world are trapped in their sense of self and their self centered perception, their own experiences which would like to label as “truth,” “right,” and all of those words which will make us feel “better and above.”
We could choose to meet Life intellectually. We could choose to follow a determined philosophy or belief but in doing so, we are creating a particular cup of a particular color. Life is much greater than that.
As I observe my kitchen, living room, bedroom, house, neighboorhood, city, country, continent, etc… I could observe that there is no end. Everything is so different, unknown, mysterious and yet “I” pretend to know it all… “I” pretend to be “right.”
I am just a cup of glass with extraordinary value as I am unique, but just like everything else. We tend to value things through their utility, but that is another conditioning. If it IS, it has the right to BE. That is value.
I heard the saying “Ignorance is bliss.” I understand the meaning of that; but also that “knowledge” is truly a kind of ignorance.
Blissful, if we don’t take it so seriously as the “only truth;” however, miserable if we completely believe in it.
There is no knowledge able to contain Life.
Many people are looking for some type of help to carry on with their lives.
The paradox being that even though we are supposedly more connected with more people, loneliness is felt with even greater intensity than before.
Most are looking for a sense of fulfillment, something where they could experience some type of value, the feeling of a worthwhile Life.
Why is it that even those who apparently HAVE everything, tend to destroy themselves?
It is not what you HAVE or what you DO, but what you ARE. BEING is important.
Where is the practical help?
Listen up. Forget your mind. Don’t think. Can you do that?
No? If we could control “our” thoughts at will, we could stop them, but we cannot.
Then, OBSERVE them. Make a space between them and you. Learn from that OBSERVATION. Those thoughts are not you, those thoughts appear in your mind’s display and all we DO is posses them. We believe those to be ours. “My thought.”
Many times those thoughts carry our hidden emotions, repressions and rejections that we have learned to manifest in Life, it is through the awareness of those, how we could heal these patterns.
Emotions are not logical. They are not reasonable. Do not expect that a logical therapy will heal them or release them.
Expect the unexpected. Observe the voice of your mind.
That is practical spirituality.
Forget about any religious philosophy. Forget about all the beliefs. Clear your mind from all the package of conditioning. Truly, those are worthless in Life.
It doest’matter how holy we believe those are. It doesn’t matter how respectable, true or valuable they appear to be.
Do yourself a favor and empty your mind from those.
There are no magic pills. No expensive treatments.
Learning about yourself is the hardest thing, the most useful, the most valuable.
It is what will bring fulfillment, when we empty our bag of conditioning.
If someone invents a vacuum cleaner to clean the mind, to make it pristine; that would be a worthwhile invention.
In the meantime, use your own broom and dustpan. That is practical spirituality.
Our society praises logic and reason as a way to gather objective “reality.” Logic becomes the tool to discover if something is “right” or “true.”
Humans have created a society with structure, where something logical could be enforced.
That is right, logic is another ideal of our society. Life is not logical at all. Have we experienced that?
The ways that we try to understand Life are typically the ones taught to us, passed to us by the educational system. It is almost as if we have built our own little world of ideas, supported by dualistic language which do not have the ability to describe the amplitude of Life, but only to make partial, inaccurate references.
What is the logic behind a “good man” experiencing a terrible death?
A “good man” according to who? What do you mean by a “terrible death”?
What is the logic of hunger in the world? Aren’t humans working together to help each other? How long would it take?
Life is not logical. In our society, we have made it to appear as logical. That reminds me about the “logical song” by Supertramp. The ability to feel without the interruptions of the mind is the trademark of a child. A “reasonable” man has so many things to THINK about. The joy of life is taken away.
Logic, reason… Those mental tools have transformed the lives of so many “professionals.” They are efficient, they have degrees, they are comfortable, well off, but not fulfilled. Emotionally they may not be able to connect to another human being, although that one may be physically close; emotionally there is a huge distance.
Without emotional connection, there cannot be fulfillment.
Observe how Sexuality has been transformed into physical pleasure. Sex without emotional connectivity is in fashion. It is more efficient, less complicated. It is practical. Logical. The desire of not “getting involved” brings at the same time, a sense of missing something.
Life requires our complete involvement at every moment.
Logic and reason scrape the surface of “reality,” but yet most believe that “truth” is in them.
Life offers so many experiences which reason is unable to see.
In Life, duality is always present. Not as opposites of each other, but as necessary complements. When we view Life through concepts, we see 2 different energies: We see Life and Death as different, opposites. That is the vision taught through centuries of conditioning. That is how we view politics, society and religions. It is only A or B. Choose one. Fight against the other to preserve your “choice.” The way we are taught in society to perceive Life is through that. Observe it.
When we begin to understand duality from another perspective, we perceive only ONE energy which changes, alters by diminishing its original quality. What is night but the continuous absence of light? What is cowardice but the continuous absence of bravery? And bravery? The continuous absence of cowardice.
Words cannot fully explain duality, but through our own observation of Nature, we will understand. Nature, Life has always been the teacher.
Death goes hand in hand with Life. In Nature what we label as “killing” is also to preserve, to live.
What makes the difference with the killing going on among human beings?
Only each of us knows our intention behind an action.
Humans strive to live harmoniously with Nature, but they cannot for their intentions are driven by “reasons,” the conditioned mind, labeled as “choice.” A true intention is the manifestation of who we ARE not what we THINK. There is a huge difference.
Animals free in the “wild,” act without “reason,” without a conditioned mind. We could label that way “instinctual” or “predestined” or even a “gutsy feeling” or use any other label.
The point is that wild animals live harmoniously in Nature.
In Nature, killing is out of necessity to eat in order to survive. For humans, killing have different “reasons” created by an egotistical mind. It is the sick mind, over-trained mind, creating “problems” that we hope to resolve by using that same kind of mind. That is insanity.
Life is like a mirror reflecting who we ARE, but also a boomerang sending back that which we have generated.
We are individuals but at the same time a Totality. To act in the world is to DO that to ourselves. The hand feeding the tummy is also feeding itself; for without a body there cannot be a living hand.
Hand, tummy, liver, heart, lungs are all individual organs, but nothing without the Totality of the body.
Animals sense that, most humans do not.
From the above “justice” is already in Life.
Individuals conditioned by the teachings in society believe that the above is only a “spiritual holistic view,” some utopia which is unable to “solve” the real problems in society.
How is it possible for the World to be filled with Justice already, if there is killing and wrong doing everywhere? It is white against black, woman against man, country against country, religion against religion, Humans against Nature… We need to organize and DO something!
That is how revolutionary sociopolitical IDEAS are born under many labels. Each one with a different dream of what “justice” means, driven by the same conditioned mind.
Those idealists believe that “teaching” can change everything. But if the teacher is born out of the same mental conditioning of society, how is he going to teach others? Undoubtedly, he will pass on the same conditioning.
When the mind unlearns that which it has been taught to learn.
When the heart opens up because it is no longer afraid to maintain the false security of having things, or the need of being somebody and doing great things to be remembered…
Out of that mental “programming,” there is a new Life.
There is the ideal of being a saint. Although, it is impossible for all to be saints. There is the ideal of Democracy as the best political system. The ideal of education is to create wholesome individuals despite the reality of being just trained to become employed. The ideal of peace is absence of war. The ideal of love is to attend to the needs of another… and so on.
Those ideals remain in our heads as the “right thing” to DO, to BE, etc.
Those ideals, do not meet the reality of “what is.” Thus, there is constant conflict. The “ought to be” is not “what is.”
IS our way of solving issues with others or ourselves, guided by ideals? Then, there is no care for others or ourselves. To care means to meet someone in what he IS NOW, not in what he should BE according to an ideal. It is not the action in itself, the DOING which shows true care. It is the feeling behind it. We have forgotten that, and believe that DOING is enough. That feeling must be unconditioned to be real. Otherwise, it is fake.
We can give some money to an indigent. Did we give based on the ideal of “being a good Samaritan”? Then, we are fake. Want to make points to go to heaven? That dishonesty will take us to hell instead.
Did we give because something inside moved us without further reasons or ideals, without expectations, without ulterior motives? That may be real, “what is”. Only we know that.
BEING real will not take us anywhere in society. It will not allow us to move ahead in society or the afterlife.
Being real is unexpected, unlearned. It comes from an empty mind and an open heart. That sort of BEING is not understood in society, for it does not make any sense. It is not “reasonable.” It is crazy.
The support of ideals will make us respectable, comfortable, powerful… but fake. Proselytizing those ideals will make us dishonest, for sooner or later we will not be able to honor them.
Living life fully by expressing our authenticity means in a practical way, to be free from ideals.