There is no “spirituality” without sexuality, as there is no beach without Ocean.
There is no better indicator to know “where we are” in the “spiritual” game, than to observe the way we approach sexuality.
Some religions satanize sexuality. They are not concerned on self-knowledge of who we ARE now, but only in the “ideal” of what it “should be” in the future. That gap creates all sorts of insanity.
Sex could be from the ranges of no sex whatsoever, to “a lot” if we are looking at numbers; or from unfulfilling to fulfilling, if we are looking at quality. Anything in between is also part of the human experience. Every person in this planet interprets part of that range of experiences, therefore; where is the “problem”?
The “problem” arrives when we think that we have a “problem,” at that point “solutions” are needed.
To look for “solutions” is part of fulfilling our range of experiences.
Sexuality is only an outcome of who we ARE.
Our tendency is to label an experience as good or bad, normal or abnormal; those labels full of duality, are part of playing the “game” in society.
Why sexuality has taken such a great importance for the masses nowadays?
Because it has been repressed for many centuries. Sexuality has been confined through unspoken rules into what is “right and what is wrong.”
Those traumas linger in the human psyche as experiences of many past lives.
Many individuals feel unfulfilled with their sexual lives, thus the “sexual revolution” is marketing “solutions” to improve our sexual fulfillment.
Tantra for the masses is becoming just that, a technique to be learned and practiced to become “better.” That is not Tantra at all, but Spiritual salesmen are “helping” others to achieve great things… And even they pitch about higher consciousness, enhanced awareness, the ability to be in the “now” and of course, … “Enlightenment.” Salesmen know all the “keywords.”
For most individuals, the energy behind sexuality is anger.
Unless a person is ready to go deeper to release that energy, his BEING will be anger and therefore, his sex life will be manifested as anger as well.
This transformation is what Tantra is meant to assist, when the person is ready. The word “ready” doesn’t mean that “I think that I am ready.” It means that this person has gone through the range of experiences already and Life will support that change. Our experiences in Life are not random occurrences but carefully crafted, tailored for our growth.
Sexuality could be a source of frustration and a source of bliss. Sexuality could be a source of degradation and a source of wholesomeness and elevation. That is the range.
Humans keep creating “problems” by making that range dualistic: Frustration is wrong. Bliss is good… without realizing that every experience will change by itself (when the time is appropriate) as to complete the range of experiences.
We were born with certain gifts and certain handicaps; we could understand that. But truly, those are neither gifts nor handicaps but catalysts to experience an ever-dynamic Life.
Sexuality as spirituality, does not start in a Tantra retreat. Tantra is not meant for those who can pay for a class but for those who are “ready.”
Sexuality is “output.” “Input” is what we ARE.
It is not a concept. It is not something to be defined. It is transcending through acceptance. This acceptance is not intellectual. It is openness.
I will attempt to describe it.
Peter was driving his car when, someone cut him off.
Anger was the immediate response: He waved the finger and screamed the F word. As a consequence, he wasn’t paying attention and he almost hit the car in the adjacent lane.
Peter wasn’t AWARE of how anger became him in a few moments.
In retrospect, Peter wasn’t AWARE of the repercussion of a car passing in front of him. The car did not do any harm to Peter. Peter only slowed down a bit for couple of seconds. Reality was that the driver was in a hurry to get to the hospital, as her daughter was about to die.
Peter interpreted the driver’s action as “mean and unthoughtful,” but deep inside he had his ego to protect: How you dare to cut ME off? I am right!
That was the real “reason” of Peter’s reaction.
During the brief seconds of this road rage, Peter was not AWARE of the different personalities inside him. He was divided.
Surprise, was one emotional personality showing up, followed by fear of being hit, and then a sense of not being respected. Out of the 3 different personalities, Peter identified with the last one: Not being respected. That “button” when pushed, triggered anger. If he had identified with the other 2 emotions, his response would have been different.
Peter had the possibility to identify with 3 personalities in such a small amount of time or not to identify at all. This is not a “choice” it is a natural process which only manifests who we ARE.
The sense of not being respected is a “big button” in Peter. Anger is the manifestation of that button being pushed.
As Peter, most individuals have different personalities, different centers “driving” our reactions.
In the “office world” we have been conditioned with rudimentary “spirituality”. This is known as “Emotional intelligence”.
Become aware of the energy of anger, so you can stop it; it is said.
At the thought level, that makes “sense”. In reality, it is detrimental for repressed anger will explode at a later time.
The answer is in the “button to be pushed”. If Peter did not interpret someone cutting him off as “lack of respect,” then the latent energy of anger couldn’t have any way to manifest for lack of identification.
Thus, as the “buttons to be pushed” are cleared from the self, observation becomes impersonal as well as awareness. It is not “I” being aware, but there is awareness of the “inside” and “outside”.
Lesser “I” means greater awareness, greater observation, greater detachment from the scene; for it is the “I” identifying with some belief, some ideal, some taboo which will manifest a reactive energy of defense.
I have “analyzed” a sample of the process of anger. Someone who observed this in himself, wouldn’t need these many words to know.
Therefore, AWARENESS merely observes depending on the size of the “I”. A “big I” does not have the capacity for awareness, for identification will be there. That “I” becomes “someone” through identification.
When there is a “smaller I”, there is greater capacity for awareness as the opportunity to identify with a particular energy diminishes.
Peter will learn to repress anger through this experience. He needs to be careful. “He” needs to control his anger. Emotional intelligence or any superficial “spirituality” may give him “tools” to conquer anger. Peter may believe that “he is making progress for he is less angry than before.” In reality, he is repressing more due to his fear of anger.
Once he is AWARE of that, Peter will be ready to know about the inner buttons pushed by the circumstances of Life. That will be the beginning of a healthy acceptance of his own anger.
To transcend we need to learn to accept. 🙂
After realizing that being in the present moment and being aware of your own thoughts is the key towards something USEFUL in life, I am facing some obstacles. Like in I am totally in the present moment enjoying my meal by being focused on it, something from outside happens like my sibling pops up from somewhere and starts shouting about what wrong I did in morning in my washroom (I just broke the bucket in which I bath, nothing else). And that too in a way as if I have committed a sin. So inside I got a thought of anger but as I am AWARE about it, I did not express it. But how to not just get that thought of anger, because after that you can’t enjoy your present moments for another half an hour, You may end up saying, becoming totally aware of that thought of anger as soon as it arises and it will vanish, will that ever happen to me, seems strange! Or should I allow that thought too, may be it is in connection with your recent article of “Enjoying the thought”.
Thank you for your well elaborated question.
Awareness does not imply rejection of an emotion such as anger.
Anger is not “good or bad”. That is the first item to be AWARE of. We have been conditioned to reject anger and to embrace compassion, however; both are different degrees of the same energy. The world of “good and bad, right or wrong” does not apply in Life but only in the “office world.”
“Should I let myself express anger?” Understand anger through your own experience of being AWARE of anger completely, through all phases of it. To transcend something, we cannot repress it, deny it or suppress it. To do that means to establish an inner conflict for the sake of an ideal.
Anger is there. Be it. Become totally aware of it. I repeat TOTALLY AWARE of it: How it appears, how it ignites you, what you feel and how it goes away. Then, you will know that you are an angry person. Accept it. Don’t try to cover it with mental ideals such as: “ I should not be this. I should be a compassionate person. I promise to myself and God that I will not DO it again”.
That is rejection of the energy of anger. That rejection based on an ideal strengthens ego, for then the ideal becomes everything and your “practice” of the ideal is the measuring stick to judge others and yourself.
Acceptance is not intellectual. It is not to say to yourself: “I accept my anger”. That means nothing. Acceptance is at the level of feelings. It takes self-love.
Anger is not a thought (so it is not related with my last article). If you observe it, you will notice that an inner button was pushed. Then thoughts will arrive to support that experience.
To live in the “now” means that once anger is unleashed, (storm) you go back to the “now” which is “anger free” (calmness).
I used to know someone who could get angry while eating his meals, and then a few seconds later; it was as if nothing has happened. That is to live in the “now”.
However, our conditioning is to keep that anger with us for a long time. That is artificial. We are keeping that through our conditioned mind. This is poison for our being.
If you observe a child, you will notice what I am talking about. If you observe a child, then your question will be answered without using words.
If you are keeping anger inside, that means that you are not observing it. AWARENESS is not like pressing the brakes on a car to avoid something. AWARENESS is to go into it fully conscious of what is happening inside and outside, the repercussions and the consequences. That experience has value for it is about knowing to transcend it, not just expressing anger as a reaction without awareness.
The mental goal: “I should be anger free,” will not allow you to understand your own anger. The objective to get rid of it, is the obstacle. In most “spiritual people” the belief that anger is “bad” is lingering in their unconscious. That is a huge obstacle.
When there is no reaction in you, no button pressed whatsoever, then anger will not arrive …but neither compassion. That is known as being a “witness” or a “detached observer.”
That is not something to “practice” but a state of being which will arrive as our inner “buttons to be pushed” diminish.
So, the real question is “how to get rid of those inner buttons?”
There are so many articles in this blog about beliefs, hang ups, taboos, ideals, emotions and judgements that need to be observed to experience a “button free” state, a.k.a “witness of Life.”
All of this “unconditional acceptance” is known as Tantra: It applies to Life, Death, Sex and Love. The “real” things in Life. 🙂
We rely heavily on words to understand. We think we know, when we got the concept or a definition. “Life/Spirituality” is not in the realm of words and language. Words are merely vague descriptions.
For example, the “problem” is “anger.” The solution is to be “centered.” Thus, to “practice” being centered, is the “homework” to attain the label “conqueror of anger.”
Anger is not a problem. The consequences on how we handle that energy is the issue. Anger is an experience, an emotional experience which needs to be observed, conscious of, aware of. If we label it as a “problem,” we are denying the other side of duality.
“What is that?”
The same energy that produces anger in one extreme, is the same one that will produce compassion on the other side.
Daylight and night are the experience of what we label as a day. Both come together. If we make a “problem” out of daylight, then our days will be fixated in “solving” something that does not need to be solved, only observed.
In the “office world,” we are taught to “solve problems.” We are trained to be “problem solvers.” That same mentality does not “work” in Life. There is nothing to “solve” but rather to be aware of as everything changes at its own time. We could push change by following our own agenda, by using violence and hide it with pretty labels such as “justice,” “the need of the time,” etc.
Our society, morality, values, spiritual coaches and religions are typically caught up in identifying “good,” defining it, labeling it and “practicing it.” That mentality does not have any depth. Any change in it is superficial.
Observe how many laws and codes of conduct man has followed throughout history. Observe that any change in human psychology has been superficial. Only in behavior and as long as someone is “watching.”
That is how God was needed. An honest, “God fearing individual” knows that “God is watching him,” thus that is no honesty at all. It is just a “spiritual” façade.
“To practice good” is the most dishonest behavior a person could engage in.
You ARE. If you practice something that you aren’t, you are merely covering that which you ARE with some belief of what “should be.” BE AWARE of what you ARE so change can happen.
A person “practicing” to be centered as to avoid anger, is making himself believe that he is achieving something. The reality is that the word “centered” is misleading our mind. Thus, I will practice what I believe to be “centered.”
My belief is based on my understanding, my interpretation of some spiritual class, some “best seller” book or just my understanding of the dictionary definition of the word “centered.”
Observe that we are caught up in words. We are caught up in the understanding of the mind. Just observe the energy of anger (don’t even use that label internally) without reacting. Be aware of it, let it go through you. This is to acknowledge the process.
Most individuals only want the “magic pill,” the “method to get rid of anger.” That is why “spiritual salesman” of quick-fixes are making a living by “helping others.”
Those individuals buying quick-fixes are not ready yet for inner Awareness. The same happens with Tantra. A “quick fix” to have “great sex,” to “last longer” will not necessarily lead to a fulfilling Life. Selling the icing of the cake without the cake is like building a house without foundation.
“But Ahnanda… you have written good arguments but you have not given a solution to anger… “
Well my friend, it seems that the above hasn’t been understood. I wonder If I am not using the “right words.”
Here is your “solution.” Remove yourself from the world for 90 days. Live by yourself, alone without any human company, TVs, phones, computers, etc. When you go back to the “real world,” you will be AWARE and sensible about the energy of anger.
“But Ahnanda… that is not practical. We have to make a living, we have jobs, studies, relationships, a life to take care of…”
I understand. Then, follow a quick fix. Pick any. Practice it… Pay for it so it is “worth it.” Ask for a money back policy. Would that work?
“Ahnanda… you surprise me. First you say that “quick fixes” are only superficial, but yet you are giving me that “solution” to my serious enquire about anger. Why are you doing that?”
Ah! My friend…So you don’t get angry. See, I am “helping you.” 🙂
Many will repeat that “BEING is before DOING.” Many will understand that AWARENESS is not a practice, yet as a “new spiritual teaching” is being put into words, the first thing most everyone wants to DO is to “put it in practice.”
Please observe that this is not “wrong,” neither “right,” but you could only practice what you can intellectually understand and that is prone to distortion when we are talking about the immensity of Life.
We could hear that “Life will work for you if you accept it as it is, if you flow with it.” Then, we want to practice that because it sounds pretty good, because it makes sense, because a “super Guru” said so, or perhaps because “we want for Life to work for us,” etc.
Any of the above reasons will bring inner dishonesty. As a matter of fact, any reason behind our “practice” is dishonest, ego driven. We are not BEING. We want to DO what we AREN’T to become something desirable in our minds. DOING does not change BEING.
John was fired from his comfy job. He was very angry; however, he is a “spiritual person,” and he recalled the teaching of “accepting what Life brings.” He wanted to put that teaching into practice at that time.
“John, how do you feel… It must be pretty hard on you, right?” Asked one of his friends.
John replied:” Not really. I accepted it. Life works for me.”
John’s friend was impressed. What a guy! So spiritual, so calm, so cool… such an angel!
Nevertheless, John was angry. Inside he was burning with anger, but he made himself believe that he has “accepted” what Life brought. His meaning of acceptance was simple: Not to make a fuss of it. John wanted deep inside for Life to “work for him,” perhaps by giving him a nice job in the future, so he was willing to try that “teaching.” He had nothing to lose.
As days and months passed by without any apparent external change, John became irritated, he lost hope and he was snappy with others around him.
John couldn’t hide his true self anymore.
His dishonest acceptance, was never acceptance. It was another way to try to control Life, so “it works for him.”
John’s DOING was not according to BEING, his current BEING.
That is how spiritual teachings are misunderstood. We come from our conditioning of “making things happen,” and to “DO something to change things, change the world, change ourselves.” Change happens as we allow it. That is all, but our ideas, ideals, taboos, beliefs, traumas will not let that happen. Acceptance, surrendering in Life is not known by the dictionary.
The type of acceptance that is necessary to flow with Life, does not come from intellectual understanding of the word “acceptance.” It does not come from our willingness to practice that “virtue.” It comes through the assimilation of Life experiences. It is an opening in our Ego mind, a hole drilled by Life itself when there is no resistance, repression in us.
The art of Living Life, that is “spirituality,” is not learned by following books, quoting spiritual phrases from spiritual gurus, or by enrolling in a spiritual class. All of that is conditioning from the “office world.”
I am not saying that it is “bad,” I am saying that all of that is conceptual teachings, intellectual understanding, information. To truly KNOW, we need to experience the process of Life’s teachings; in a word; to be AWARE of it. It is happening in front of our noses all the time.
Busy in trying to change what is happening to us, we will buy any sort of “magic formula” to change our destiny, rather be AWARE of who we ARE. What is going on outside is only reflecting what goes on inside. Life is the biggest mirror, but yet we could be blind to its reflection.
If we cannot be AWARE, then to “practice” the teachings of someone may be our necessary beginning until we let go the conditioning of the mind. Until then, inner honesty will be hiding from our Awareness.
Ahnanda shares the path of discovery within yourself. This is not the path of “how to do it.” This is not the path of “teach me, I’ll pay for your services.” Become aware that change is happening. Through that, learning and teaching become one, and so unlearning. Student and Guru become one and so “spiritual” lineage. Life and “you” become one and so the Totality. Observe it, acknowledge it, enjoy it, let it happen… Tantra is hiding under those words, and that is a close as we can get when something is beyond a definition.
Until January 2nd! 🙂
What do you feel when a loved one dies?
What do you feel when you experience a broken heart?
What would you experience if you are told that you only have a month to live?
Most of us will perceive those experiences as a hardship, something that shouldn’t happen to us, but yet it does.
Psychologists have come up with stages of grief: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
Observe in yourself how grief transforms into anger and how that in turn will transform into sadness, depression and finally into acceptance.
Nevertheless, for most that final stage of acceptance is not “true” acceptance. It is more accurate to call it to be submissive.
The angry tiger becomes a docile kitty cat.
We could fight, struggle with anyone except with Life itself.
Observe how the experience of opposite emotions will be going through the experience of the “cycle” of grief: I could deny, just to accept. I could feel anger, just to be submissive. I could bargain with the higher powers to be, rationalizing the incident; just to be depressed.
Acceptance is not submissiveness.
Acceptance is openness to the experience.
When you are a “Life walker,” a seeker; you may find out that those 5 stages of grief are not accurate in your case.
There is one important stage, which will return a true smile in our faces.
That final stage is called GRATITUDE.
Gratitude is not say “Thank you” as many think. Gratitude means to be able to be fulfilled in yourself. Nothing is lacking. You are at ease and able to live with you.
“You” are Life itself, complete. Nevertheless, most “normal” people cannot experience that yet. For them gratitude is just another “spiritual keyword,” a nice way to say “thank you,” with the mind.
If a loved one passes away, your stage of grief will be fully transformed through “spiritual alchemy,” when there is a sense of gratitude in you. A loved one is gone into another journey. You are not lacking. That sense of grief was shown to you through that event. You are grief. Nothing wrong with that. However, you can transform it, that is; use the same energy to come up with something else: Acceptance, Gratitude.
When we are not aware of transformation of energies, we will only repress them to try to act tough, quasi-spiritual, disconnected, disinterested, etc.
Many individuals will experience grief, express it and keep it for as long as they can. They thrive in getting pity from others. It is a way for them to feel important as people may finally notice them. Others, may reject grief as they have been conditioned to believe that they have to show a happy face all the time.
Very few will transform it, and yet even fewer; will feel GRATITUDE out of that experience. Ultimately, there is FREEDOM in GRATITUDE.
A trauma or fear of Life comes when we have not reached a state of true acceptance, when we are continuously struggling with Life.
Our conditioning that we should fight for everything may work in the “office world,” but it will never work with Life.
The mind is our inner TV. It has so many images. Most times we believe in those images as “real” and add our own expectations, our own story of how life should be for “me.” When a setback is felt and grief comes in the horizon, that TV show will be the same repeat which in turn will bring more suffering to the ego, the “I.”
Why is that suffering?
Because my expectation of what Life should be for “me” does not fit reality. Ego cannot accept that. The repetition of the images is there so we don’t forget. It is a nagging reminder.
Anger, denial, etc. are expressions of the fighting ego.
EGO cannot have GRATITUDE, for ego always wants something else. Ego is in a state of lacking fulfillment.
That is why it is said that “time heals.” For the ego will look for something else in time to cover the previous trauma.
Self-observation is an invaluable tool for self-knowledge. For that to happen, we need to allow ourselves to feel the full range of an emotional experience. Life is always teaching us, showing us, who we truly are.
Until December 1st! Enjoy Life. 🙂
In the world of “spirituality for the masses” and “best sellers,” there is a famous phrase: “You cannot control the situation, but you can control your reaction over the situation.”
Apparently that phrase is “full of wisdom,” but that is only in the surface.
John was fired from his job. He was asked to go to a “meeting” with his boss. The HR person was there as well; John received the “pink slip.” John wanted to fight back and scream as he thought that to be unfair, but he didn’t as he remembered to be “calm under all circumstances.” He controlled his reaction.
Even though John lost his job, he did not lose his temper… hurrah! 🙂
Think of all the “pros” in John’s “controlled reaction.”
He did not make a drama out of that. He showed his composure under a stressful situation. He gave a “good impression” and he acted as a “mature individual.”
Observe that those “pros” could be perceived in the surface; but none of them are true about John.
John was a “good actor,” that is it. In “spirituality for the few” we could label that as “dishonest.”
That repressed anger will be detrimental to John’s health.
Our society, religious and moral ideals dwell in the “façade” of things. It is about showing, acting. The smiling clown for all to see, who is truly sad inside.
We are taught to constantly check that we conform with the ideal behavior. In doing so, the individual is completely forgotten. We are taught to repress who we truly ARE.
I am not saying that John should have acted in anger. Let us not see things in a “black or white” perspective. There are many colors between “black and white,” but those colors cannot be prescribed through a “black or white” law or moral standard.
If John learns to observe his reaction, if he is aware of what is going on inside him, he may find out many things. That awareness is for the “few.”
This mentality of “controlling things” and “struggling in Life to accomplish goals” are some of the most disrespectful ways towards Nature, Life, the Totality. In that perspective, our view of separation from Life is imminent.
Ego appears through that space of separation.
Ego is nourished through that continuous perspective…