Notes on Quotes: Politics

“Everything is politics.” – Thomas Mann

Therefore, “everything” is corrupted by politics. Politics is “the art or science concerned with winning and holding control over a government.” Our society has made different ideologies to govern a country. Those ideologies make divisions between those who are governed and those who govern: Political parties are born. Thus, there is a struggle to control power by subduing or suppressing other parties or ideas.

However; the main issue is not found in the external ideologies, but in the principles and values of those who are in power, human beings. Why? Because that power to obligate others to behave or think in a certain way, that perceived control over others, will create a personality disorder in individuals without values. Whether a visible government is the ultimate authority or a group of hidden individuals, the fact remains the same: Power corrupts an unaware human being.

“Politics is not a game. It is an earnest business.” –Winston Churchill

Those in power will represent a group and will defend that group’s interest, conveniently forgetting the common good. It is a profitable business for them as long as they follow that trend. A powerful country has a greater scope of influence over weaker countries in the world. That “power effect,” trickles down.

“It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.” – Ronald Reagan

Politics then becomes a way to sell yourself for profit, simple prostitution.

“It is not in the nature of politics that the best men should be elected. The best men do not want to govern their fellowmen.” – George MacDonald

That becomes the paradox of politics: The best men do not want to be part of it. Politics as it is today is a dirty business, where even the responsibility of being part of human bloodshed could be part of that experience. No individual with higher awareness would consider being part of it.

Notes on Quotes: Sexuality

“We live in a society that wants to label you with a color, sexuality, religion, or ethnicity. It divides us, but it also allows us to find pride in our identity.” – Logan Browning

Identity is the main concern. Most everyone is looking to identify themselves with something greater than themselves, whether that is an ideal or something tangible. Some identify with gender and among that group there is an identification with color of skin. Then, there are further divisions, further ways to label people and in turn, the most oppressed groups will fight back using their recognized “proud” identity as a shield. As our consciousness enhances, we will start peeling the skin of the “onion,” that is all those things which could be perceived with our senses, as we could identify those as external layers protecting an inner core which could give us another identity. To illustrate, if every human being was like a shoe, then divisions will be made regarding colors, shapes, heights, materials, etc. Most individuals are not programmed to look for the common identity, that is of being a shoe; but rather their minds will go into subclasses, sub-groups which will create animosity, separation among them. A “human being,” is the common identity; although there are more universal ways to identify ourselves even beyond that. We may need to “peel the layers of the onion” to find out.

“There is no dignity when the human dimension is eliminated from the person. In short, the problem with pornography is not that it shows too much of the person, but that it shows far too little.” – Pope John Paul II

Through pornography the human identity is objectified to only concentrate on pleasure as a repetitive, addictive sexual arousal. A porn actor/actress is then just a “merchandise” to obtain sexual pleasure from it; not truly a person to relate with. That conditioning will extend to regular human relationships.

Our society sells that “merchandise” legally for huge private profit, as there is a massive addiction to that pleasure. Not need but addiction.

Human sexuality as the outcome of the feeling of love has been distorted into a narrow door of only mental sensual pleasure. That is, the potential of what human sexuality could be when soul, mind and body are connected, has been ridiculed into an addictive mental game. Thus, the pursuit of pleasure becomes the addiction of the mind which is then exploited for profit. The end result is that this addiction will take a person into levels of neediness and dependency which deteriorates his identity as a human being. That person becomes a puppet of society believing he has the ability to choose, when is truly dependent on his regular “fix.”

“According to the prevailing view human sexual life consists essentially in an endeavor to bring one’s own genitals into contact with those of someone of the opposite sex.” Sigmund Freud

That is the extent and objective of human relationship by many humans at this time.

“It is the duty of every thoughtful Indian not to marry. In case he is helpless in regard to marriage, he should abstain from sexual intercourse with his wife.” – Mahatma Gandhi

So much for Gandhi’s non-violence. Repression is the messenger of violence.

Notes on Quotes: Nationalism and Patriotism

“Nationalism, like virtue, has its own reward.” – Mahatma Gandhi

To bring the emotion of unity to a particular group of people through division from the rest, may have a short term benefit as in Gandhi’s time, when the ideal was to break free from British colonialism. That ideal however, is antagonistic to the other ideal of Gandhi called “ahimsa” or “non-violence.”

Although “ahimsa” is a spiritual attitude of respect towards all life and all sentient beings which has been interpreted as “non-violence;” the application of that principle has been grossly misinterpreted when taken into a political context which is made of continuous, everlasting violent division among people. “Ahimsa” has been changed into a mere “concept,” where the “solution” to the “problem” of independence is to “apply” the “concept” of “non-violence” and use a “sacred word” to enhance the holiness of the “new practice.” How can you apply “ahimsa” when there is a mental division already in which we perceive another human being as an enemy? Nationalism just like patriotism serve for that purpose. India gained its independence but violence continued among Indians as religious fights took place. Gandhi was killed in that process. Was that the reward of nationalism?

“Nationalism is an infantile disease, the measles of mankind.” – Albert Einstein

An accurate description. Nationalism is an infantile disease where children play at dividing their territories and creating national songs and colorful rags to differentiate from one another. That game has been taken even to the “Olympic games” where athletes become soldiers, competing with others to be the “best,” to “win the war.” How childish, indeed! What Nationalism is ‘proud of’ is at the same time, the seed for division and violence. Nationalism has invaded many times the Olympic games, causing damage to the spirit of sportsmanship and poisoned the sense of fellowship with other athletes.

Measles is common in children. Thus, someone with an “adult,” “grown up” consciousness will not be part of such a game.

“I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth, and I am a citizen of the world.” – Eugene Debs

Eugene Debs had a socialist insight. Although those ideals were only at the intellectual level, they were promoted in a political party and thus, considered “illegal” at that time, which caused him to experience jail time and hardship. To feel beyond the boundaries of nationalities, is a way of living. Fundamentally, a way of BEING which does not have the need to convince another to gain followers. It is through that attitude how an individual could live with others without preaching ideas, as his only presence is the inspiration for others to change.

Nationalism is a barrier for greater consciousness. Beyond nations, there is the Earth. Even further, there is the Universe, Life itself. No borders there, and that is the basis of identity for any conscious human being.

“I” am Life, because Life is who “I” am.

Notes on Quotes: Violence

“I don’t even call it violence when it’s in self defense; I call it intelligence.” ―MalcomX

When someone attacks without apparent cause and there is no time to think, the immediate reaction to preserve life is natural intelligence to survive. But when someone expects to be attacked at any time and fear is inside, his action will be violent. That is not intelligence; for who will knowingly put his life at stake in the hands of another? Contrast the above quote with this one by Jose Marti: “An insatiable appetite for glory leads to sacrifice and death, but innate instinct leads to self-preservation and life.”

Angry impotency circulating in ourselves when we cannot change ourselves or another to fit our demands, will be expressed as what we call violence. The history of known humanity could be defined as utmost violence. Reading about the life of Malcom X we could easily observe that violence had surrounded his life experience: A silent witness of violence since childhood.

Understanding and goodwill does not arrive through violent means, but on the contrary the angry impotency to get even at some point by means of revenge, will be the outcome.

Self violence is expressed through repression or even through our perceived need to conform. Guilt or shame could be ways of self violence as well. Those emotions could be confined at one point, but will explode and could be used to hurt another.

The practice of “Non-violence” is another form of violence. Why? I could oppose without physically hurting another, but the intention to become a force against the wish of another force will be there; then, our actions will have that violent shade. We need to observe that a violent man cannot be ‘non-violent.’ It is not just about one action or two of pretending, but violence is in our BEING and will come out in our words, our demeanor, in our thoughts. Life has shown that those who have been violent by using the force of the collective consciousness to obtain their ideals, will have themselves a violent end.

A violent individual does not bring compassion to the world by practicing ‘non-violence.’ That individual needs to acknowledge that violence within and then heal it. As violence is no longer within; whatever he does, will be spared from the pungent smell of violence. Every significant change to change our world, starts within.

“Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.” ―Thomas Jefferson

How was it possible for empathy to be out of our system? At what point did we lose our ability to sense and feel someone else’s suffering? How could we talk about love when there is no compassion inside?

A Savage cannot stop being a savage by a new law or the practice of a new fashionable spiritual attitude. A savage has to be able to see himself in the mirror of a relationship with Life. Through that awareness, change could be. Until then, a human being will relentlessly exploit anything he thinks he needs to become “better.’

“Women endure entire lifetimes of these indignities—in the form of catcalls, groping, assault, oppression. These things injure us. They sap our strength. Some of the cuts are so small they’re barely visible. Others are huge and gaping, leaving scars that never heal. Either way, they accumulate. We carry them everywhere, to and from school and work, at home while raising our children, at our places of worship, anytime we try to advance.”― Michelle Obama, Becoming

Violence also exists in the relationship of men and women. The use of physical strength to subdue another is a savage way of relating. When a man uses that biological advantage to subdue, humiliate or degrade another; that man is a complete coward. Unfortunately many societies have supported that cowardice by labeling that as a ‘compliment’ from one gender to another. However, a sexual advance under that circumstance is not a compliment but a lack of respect, for whenever we think of another as an object to satisfy lustful mental desires, we do not care about the person but only about ourselves.

A coward will look for ways to express that violence with those who have no chance to defend themselves. ‘Compliments’ coming from such individuals are merely a show of their own shallowness.

A compliment when accompanied with a legitimate expression of admiration and a notch of elegance will be well received by most.

Notes on Quotes: Greed, Wealth and what truly counts in Life.

“Well first of all, tell me, is there some society you know of that doesn’t run on greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? What is greed? –Milton Friedman

Economic systems of the world have greed as their main engine, no matter what ideal or philosophy they represent, for greed is within most humans at this time. Therefore, greed is the kernel, the cause behind every motivation to “succeed” in economic systems. As long as there is greed, there will be division: China, Russia, USA, etc. are merely mental divisions with non existent borders but with all the limitations that man has made. A human being is the same species on Earth, but our minds have used all sorts of divisions to create the “me against you” paradigm. Friedman asks ‘what is greed?’ With all the degrees, intellectual studies and science in existence, the basic engine of the economy hasn’t been studied yet. Greed is the division of rich and poor. Greed is the existence of hunger in the world. Greed is the pollution of the Earth. Greed is the need to compete with another to accumulate wealth, power and status. Through that greed all that really matters is ‘I,’ and then my group; known as ‘we’ against the rest. Greed is that compulsive need to conquer and make everyone subservient of self created interests.

Isn’t human history made mostly of human greed? History of the World may be covered with pretty words and colorful stories but nonetheless, there is human greed behind it. It is in the acknowledgment and personal observation of greed, how we could find that the common good is mostly missing in our stories to become “someone” in life.

“Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” –Henry David Thoreau

When that capacity to fully experience Life is missing, then fear and greed arrive. Most humans have created a mental barrier, that is a comfort zone which is unable to accept change. Life being change in itself is denied. Our quest for security arrives and we close the doors to anything our minds recognize as losing the status quo. The full experience of Life is the experience of duality. When we have that capacity to ‘go with the flow’ in the river of Life, then we will be prepared to experience the ups and downs of the journey as interesting and challenging episodes, rather than traumas and mental tantrums made whenever Life goes the opposite way of our desires or hopes. It is in that ability to experience Life in its whole range, how wisdom appears and; there is no greater wealth than that.

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” –Albert Einstein

In the world created by the mind, we have the tendency to count everything:We count the number of paper money we have as sign of wealth, we count the possessions we have, we count the number of birds in a flying formation, we count how many times we have sex or how many times we can ejaculate or have an orgasm. Those statistics are meaningful in most minds to compare with another and demonstrate how much better or worse off they are. But those things may not count. However, happiness, peace and joy are feelings which count in our experience of a fulfilling Life regardless of everything else that we could mentally count, but yet; we cannot count those feelings.

Notes on Quotes: Success, who we are, omnipresence

“The great secret of true success, of true happiness, is this: the man or woman who asks for no return, the perfectly unselfish person, is the most successful.”
― Swami Vivekananda

The word “success” is open to many interpretations. For that reason “true success” is an open door. In this quote, Vivekananda wanted to highlight one side of unselfishness which is to ask for no return when DOING “good.” For the beginner in spirituality, this quote deserves to be “practiced.” The end result being someone who is practicing something as a means to obtain something else, that is our own self gratification for we have “achieved” some sort of perceived unselfishness.

If I discover that I am selfish, then I want to be unselfish and thus, I will follow Vivekananda’s advise and “practice” not to ask for return. Now, after a few or many of those practices, I can call myself “unselfish” and “successful.” Is that so? Not a chance.

Unselfishness cannot be defined or put into a concept. Someone unselfish will not “practice” or rehearse in his mind the deed that he is to perform and the way that he will behave after the action has been completed. That is completely artificial. Also, Life may present situations when asking for a return is necessary. Life is not a static formula to be applied in all situations.

Unselfishness comes naturally when we realize that the “other” is also “me.” (See the third quote below) It is in that unity when there is no need to define “success,” for a natural act is only a reflection of who we truly ARE.

In the meantime; while that consciousness is not there in mankind, we could continue with our “practice” according to Vivekananda, and label ourselves whatever we wish. Obviously, it is better than DOING nothing.

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.“
– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Does it truly matter what label we think we ARE? (spiritual, bodily, astral, metaphysical, multidimensional, etc.) Paradoxically, what matters is to find out “who we ARE:” That is what we emit in Life, give in Life, for we could find out how we are contributing with Life. It is in under the observation of our relationship with other protagonists of Life, how we find who we ARE by ourselves; as long as we are aware of our thoughts, deeds and feelings. That is the most important finding beyond any sacred belief or dogma that we could ever engage in. In a nutshell, what we ARE is what we emit on a daily basis: Thoughts, words, deeds and of course, feelings. Could it be otherwise?

According to society, deeds alone will define us, but that is self deception. A “politically correct” lie to ourselves and others. A deed which is good, moral and with extensive benefit to all; comes from BEING first, which is in alignment with what we FEEL and think. That action is wholesome, honest and thus, will elevate our state of consciousness. For example, I could donate money to others. Society will praise that. I may get to be known as a ‘saint.’ However, my BEING is greedy and power hungry. I did that because I wanted a tax benefit (thoughts) and the admiration from others (feelings.) I will not follow up where those funds end up. I will not be there to give my time. Anyone can write a check if money is all they have. That dissonance between BEING, FEELING and THINKING creates an ACTION which will not be wholesome. That energy, may cause problems to others instead.

“The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that its center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.“
– Black Elk

Oneness with the Universe, Life. In duality, we are individuals but also ONE unity with the Totality, therefore; omnipresent, that is ONE with all there is.

The state of consciousness of many are stuck in one side of that duality, that is individuality for their way to relate with life comes from thinking alone. Thought is divisive by nature. It likes to separate and label things. The change in consciousness comes when feelings become the new way to relate with Life. Feelings like Love, peace and happiness are not emotions. Going into the experience and understanding of that, is another notch in consciousness.

Notes about Quotes: Love, Peace and Self.

“Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him.”
― C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Apparently, this quote is “good.” It is a version of “Fake it until you make it.” The word love has to be the most misused, misunderstood and misrepresented as the feeling is seldom felt. If we DO things without BEING those things, we are taught to be dishonest. Behavior can be changed through DOING, but BEING does not change through that. An honest, spiritual individual cannot behave as “if we loved someone.” Spirituality is not the art of conning someone or even worse, yourself. That is politics. Notice that spiritual consciousness varies, so teachings are according to that. Usually there are many levels above that which we usually believe to be the ‘ultimate.’ Thus, by being open to newness our consciousness will be open to understand other teachings.

“While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.”
― St. Francis of Assisi

It is the FEELING which should drive what is in our lips. In our society, we typically DO the opposite, we talk without meaning that. It is just politically correct to do that. It is in that mediocrity, how our worthiness as unique individuals is lost. We become part of the highly trained collective consciousness where words are important but without the meaning of feelings underneath.

“Love to be real, it must cost—it must hurt—it must empty us of self.”— Saint Theresa of Calcutta

Love is selfless. Thus; to know Love as a non-dualistic feeling, there is no sense of separation from the heart center. What this quote refers as ‘cost’ or ‘hurt’ and even ‘empty’ are words chosen to describe the process of selflessness. In that, ego which is our identity , the “I,” experiences its demise. What we used to be as an identity and protected so much, is no longer there and there is nothing to get a hold of to build another identity. Ego feels in pain. It hurts, it feels like mourning for that identity. The outcome of that process is the expression of what we ARE, Love. As long as we are surrounded by conditioned garments and a great ego, we can only feel the emotion of what we call love (with its duality of hate or fear) which is a distortion of what truly the FEELING of BEING Love is.
Observe that the above description uses words with negative connotation. We can also use words with positive connotation. It depends on the emphasis or highlight the author wants to convey. The reader needs to be aware that any description of a non dualistic feeling or spiritual experience will be using dualistic words and thus making any description incomplete. Many individuals/followers unaware of that, will believe that spirituality is about feeling physical pain or some sort of agony to get to experience the ‘real’ feeling, virtue or idea.