Finding “good” in apparently “bad,” is one of the trademarks of a spiritual person. If we look at the symbol of “yin -yang,” (duality) we will see that one side whether black or white, has a little “eye” with opposite color. Therefore, we can “select” to focus on the positive side of an apparent negative situation.
The above is not a “trick” or a “method.” It is simply the recognition through observation of Life. Where we focus, our attention is. That is what becomes “real.”
A person changing through the process of self-realization without a doubt, has experienced a lockdown period in his own Life. It is necessary to process all the inner changes.
Thus, those who are ready to take advantage of this situation, will use time to be completely observant of his own mind.
The mind is very important, for that is the filter to watch and to interpret what we consider “reality.” Observe how the mind will introduce desires in unexpected ways. The mind is eager of constant movement. It wants to be continuously stimulated.
Observing means merely to watch as if we are watching a TV program. The minute we are able to do this without engaging our beliefs, judgments or emotional responses, then we are getting to know what Observation is.
The previous teaching was to change a “bad” thought with a “good” thought. Although that is typical material for a “best-seller;” we are not realizing that this practice only engages more the mind to make such change. The mind sees itself as thinking something “bad.” The mind judges that “it cannot be. I am good. I want good thoughts.” So, the mind changes by picking a thought and label that as “good.” In this exercise, we have given further nourishment to the needed stimulation of the mind.
As long as there is inner chattering, there cannot be observation. When we bypass the mind, we will know no-mind. However, this is not a goal to be achieved. It just happens.
The mind creates a “reality” which is not necessarily there. We need to recall that our focus will dictate what we perceive.
On the other hand, most individuals unaware of the above; are only concerned on distracting their minds. Nothing wrong with that. Just be AWARE that this is happening while it is happening. Many providers are streaming hours of entertainment to “help others cope with stressful times.” Then, their minds will fantasize about the future on and off. The antenna of their minds will pick up the collective vibe of distress, uncertainty and nuisance of having to stay home. In turn that will give them a certain mood, which goes unperceived; so they may call that “my mood.” In extreme cases, a pill will be taken to be able to sleep and send the overworked mind to rest.
It is important to learn to observe in order to pick up the messages and the conditions of the outside which may affect the “inside.”
The mind could be our greatest friend or enemy. It is a tool and as such, we have the opportunity now when we could be out of our “normal” busy schedule, to learn from it.
Without a doubt, a step forward is when we clearly perceive that “I” am not the mind. The tool is not “me.” That is a fantastic Aha! moment.
We are all connected. One. Life is unpredictable. As the world’s human population increases, so the chances to hurt our delicate eco system.
It is interesting to witness how different approaches have been taken by affected countries in regards to the Covid-19.
Very few have taken the “sit and wait” approach. Their scientists believe that there is not much help that quarentine could do (how long is enough? could the virus reoccur after isolation?) even though the number of cases increase in their lands and so deaths. Others heavily hit by the virus, have mandatory quarentine for the population; whereas other countries with no deaths and relatively few cases, have mandatory quarentines as well. Testing methods for covid-19 are mostly used for the most evident cases at this time, which means that a person could have the virus and feel alright, but he may be contagious without knowing.
The bottom line is protection of population vs. protection of the economy. That is the political gamble there. For how long a country can stop to produce goods without being affected? There is another game on how some are taking advantage of the panic and declining macro financial situation, for their personal profit. But the biggest “spiritual teaching,” is to observe how panic will take over when the perspective of death knocking at our doors, is perceived as imminent.
The idea of losing all, even our lives doesn’t sink in well in our psyche. Panic is the consequence. Economic paralysis, panic buying over fears of not having enough to eat or to protect our lives, and overall tension is in the air. The media does a great job intensifying fears in the population.
The thought of “protecting my family and I” above anyone else is rampant. Clean the shelves of the store before someone else does it. It is that sort of consciousness, the one that only shows who we ARE.
Indeed, it is in distressed situations when our “happy” routine (the same old thing) is not; when we show our true colors.
This pandemic episode going on is a suitable scenario to learn a lot about ourselves, only if we are willing to OBSERVE.
The great majority is hooked on the TV, being fed by the same message of distress of the news.These individuals only repeat what they hear without further thought. We are so used to “fighting” with all the “enemies” to “win” the “war,” but yet there is nothing we can do with a virus: It has to come and go. That is their “normal” path. It starts slowly, it has a peak and goes away. Consider this, there is “natural selection” related with fitness in Nature. This is true not only for animals but humans as well. This is the way of Life. It is not some moral standard, where humans are above all species. In general, we don’t help ourselves to maintain a good immune system by living an artificial life style, away from Nature. The “cure” is our immune system.
Not even the almighty economy is able to survive to the tiny virus, for there is uncertainty on how things will move.
We wish we could have a “crystal ball” to see the future, so we can save ourselves and be safe, be “right.”
Discovering who we truly ARE, requires guts. It requires an extraordinary sensibility, intelligence. It is from that inner observation how a new being could be born.
In order to be at peace with a life of uncertainties, there is no future to muse over. It is through that deep understanding how the mind could be at ease, for there is nothing to fantasize about.
Fear of the future. Fear of losing. Fear of not being there. That is panic. The mind in distress.
“Rationally,” “logically,” those fears will need to be faced one day by all of us.
Do we see that?
Justice, equality, love… pretty words used by many when looking for support.
The human journey is to go from the merely intellectual understanding of those words to the actual feeling and thus BEING it.
Love IS. Justice and equality are man-made inventions in a world full of violence. Human beings ARE violent creatures.
Life has “justice” in it. Although, “justice” is not the correct word; which should be “balance” instead, human perception of justice is not the paradigm used by Life itself.
A few days ago, the International women’s day was celebrated. Women’s constant struggle to find equality with men has been the theme of many years now. The invention of a new pretty word -empowerment- (of women) has been used to show society’s efforts to work towards that equality.
Why does society perceives men and women not to be equal? Because conditioned human beings find and concentrate on differences and use violence as a tool to demonstrate supremacy over “different ones.” However, that perception is an illusion, for differences create a complementary quality which creates wholesomeness, unity. We are one.
In short, differences are not opposite but complementary. Life moves along those lines. Society moves through conflict, through discrimination, oppression and violence of one side towards the other. Paradoxically, it is that same violent mind the one that has created “rights” to defend the oppressed side.
At the most obvious and superficial perception, differences of men and women create the complementary quality needed to live Life in harmony. In its depth, we could find that every man and woman irrespective of sexual orientation, has a masculine and a feminine side. Our perception as society will change once a human being is able to harmonize those 2 sides within. Otherwise, the predominant side will prevail and dominate the other. That is exactly what happens at the level of society.
It is too bad that politicians and law makers are completely unaware of the above, for “laws” are only intellectual cover ups unable to change how actually a person feels. It is indeed those feelings, the ones that will be expressed and despite the enactment of “pretty” laws, we will witness further violence.
Yes, laws are better than nothing in a dormant society. At least we could say that “we are trying.”
Observe that we ARE violence. Laws only cover that fact by forcing a behavior, because most humans are unable to look inside. There is no time. There is no profit in such activity. No demand.
Among men, there has been separation as well. Exploitation due to differences of skin color, religion, etc. Not long ago, a man could have been a slave to another, due to his skin color or national origin.
The same type of violence is showcased with animals. I always wondered about the “symbiotic” relationship of domesticated animals with human beings: What benefit do animals obtain? They could be better off all by themselves. On the other hand, humans have benefited through the free exploitation of animals. Animals have been used even for “entertainment” (bull fight, cock fight, dog fight, etc.) as still some countries keep obsolete and inhumane traditions as forms of “entertainment” and many times use another “pretty” word to hide their violent nature, they use the word “art” to hide the slaughter.
But, where is “justice” in those inhumane practices with animals?
Well… It comes to mind the epidemic diseases: COVID-19. SARS, MERS, Avian influenza, Swine flu, etc. Those viruses have an origin in animals.
Balance. In Life, a human being is no better than a fish. Although human religions and law makers may believe otherwise. Want “proof”? Death is everywhere. Hardship strikes to hunters and prey “equally.”
It is important to recognize that we are all together in this. Our distinctions, separations, differences, etc. do not control the way Life works.
When we DO something to OTHERS, we do it to OURSELVES.
Looking forward to see that “law” in “practice” in some country showcasing a “progressive,” democratic constitution.
Many years ago, it was taught: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It seems we still have issues properly defining and understanding what “others” means, for most only see “I” but cannot understand what it is.
There are monuments for “war heroes.”
It is country A fighting with country B. Each one has its heroes, those “who will be remembered for years to come.” Most heroes are famous for fighting, killing the “enemy” in war.
Life works through “cause and effect.” There is no room for human reasons as to who is “right or wrong.” A person consciously killing another will experience the consequence of that action. No matter how many pretty labels we may use to cover that action. No matter how many beliefs we may have in “protecting our freedom,” or how much we believe that “God is with us.”
Patriotism is insanity. Chauvinism is sickness. It is violence through the exclusion of others. It is a search of personal identity through the collective consciousness. It is the herd mentality in action. A truly spiritual person does not have a flag in his heart. The world is where he belongs.
Anyone killing on the name of “god,” has no respect for their own God. Executing someone on blasphemy charges, is to go back to the dark ages. The “true” meaning of a word is in the feeling behind them. Most, talk without it.
The staunch followers distort teachings, for they lack sensibility. Those are followers looking for respect by imposing fear, violence. Respect is naturally earned. It is not something that we could push into another.
The human race displays violence everywhere. It is important to be able to discern when a cultural tradition is no longer serving a higher purpose, the common good; but rather becomes a source of further violence.
Our society teaches through suppression: “Don’t do this. Don’t say this. Don’t think that.” That is a violent teaching as we impose our values onto another.
We seldom observe those beliefs. You see, this idea of trying to change another on what we consider “right” for his “own good” is more violence in action.
When a person is given the chance to observe and evaluate his own beliefs, he will find out that his own Life is defined by his cultural conditioning. When that person is ready to walk away from this conditioning, that is the time when the room of his consciousness is empty and ready to receive newness. Without this emptiness there is no way to pile newness on top of something old; for then this newness will only be accepted as a continuation of the same old thing.
Unlearning is the way to learn newness.
How do we unlearn violence?
By being frequently in touch with our inner space, our inner peace; that is when the outside artificial busy noise and the inside chattering of the mind are not. That creates sensibility. It is through this “newness,” how we are able to walk away from violence without trying, without thinking about it. It is like a magnet, attracted to that silence, to that new found sensibility. There, we are not repelling violence. Simply, there is no compatibility with something which is not in the same frequency.
While being in Nature, we may feel a connection, a link. As this link strengthens, the cultural pull of noise diminishes. Secluded in walls and cement, we become used to noise and cement. The first step of courage is needed to start the journey. Life awaits.
In society we tend to allow ourselves to be defined by others. Most have a label, a definition to describe us. Our tendency is to live in a predictable way. That belief may need to go away.
Undefined, unpredictable, dangerously unexpected… Society is afraid of that person. He doesn’t fit in.
Beliefs will keep us defined. When we live to fit a definition, we are living in the safety of being confined just like a flock of sheep; safely waiting for the shepherd to take us to new pastures, an incapable of doing that ourselves.
Beliefs serve a purpose, a particular timing in our lives. Once the time is up, those need to go away for newness to follow.
To be alert, conscious of our own reactions and our environment as Life unfolds, at every moment, is the essence of being awake.
Otherwise, the mind has a continuous voice which we call “I.” That voice labels, judges, compares using the benchmark of its own conditioning. That voice clouds the perception of objectivity. Under that spell, the “same old thing” is the rule. That is safe, it is comfortable but at the same time unbearable, as Life loses its taste. We are eating the same thing over and over again.
When that voice is gone, we are free without “thinking” about it. We are free without running after the ideal. We experience a different reality.
How to “get rid” of that voice? By being aware of it.
Awareness is not some “action” that we do once in a while when we remember to do it; a “practice,” No!
Awareness grows naturally as our consciousness expands, that is when our pettiness shrinks.
Pettiness? Can you elaborate on that?
Our concern for salvation. Our desire for heaven. Our merchant mentality looking for personal profit in everything we do, whether worldly or spiritual, etc.
Our fear to face the unexpected is pettiness. Our hidden desire to be the “center of the universe” is utmost pettiness.
Many have their own life stories full of beliefs, interpretations about how life is “treating them.” Their sentimentality brings the “victim” syndrome which eventually, shows up as violence.
Everyone has their share of ups and downs in Life. We cannot compare which one is “greater,” for our capacity to adapt, enjoy and cope are different. Nevertheless, Life has lessons which are tailor made for every single one of us. Nothing is left to chance.
A lesson learned means the opportunity to increase our awareness.
How? Lessons in Life are meant to bring every resource we have gathered through experience. We just need the “right combination,” to use “the right set of tools.” That is known as maturity, which dilutes our pettiness.
There are many grown ups without maturity, for this doesn’t come with age necessarily but rather through assimilation of experiences.
We could experience many things in Life but unless there is assimilation of those experiences through impartial observation of them, those experiences become trauma, pettiness; which will not allow us to expand our consciousness.
It is particularly at this time, when we may need to become aware of our violent nature which may not be expressed physically against another, but nonetheless could be expressed through our own opinions, beliefs and idiosyncrasies.
Being aware of our violence is the practical way to allow love to flourish. Otherwise, love is relegated to be another pretty word used to sell more widgets, and to hide our fear to face our inner reality.
Many are inspired by gurus, saints and self proclaimed self-realized individuals, in their search for “enlightenment,” a “higher state,” etc. for they want to achieve that state for themselves.
Because these individuals think that to become “better” and achieve something as they have done in society, is “good.” Their role models fit that aspiration.
We may think that such goal is laudable, that it is something “good” to pursue and encourage the seeker to “obtain” that, to “achieve” it, so he can be a model too and tell us “how to get it” for ourselves later on.
Observe the desire to achieve. Observe the typical “modus operandi” in action: It is the same “method” that we have learned to DO and accomplish things in “Life.” We believe in “hard work” and steady effort to “achieve” this aspiration of “enlightenment” as well, by following the same.
Nevertheless, “spirituality” or the art of living Life in fulfillment; doesn’t follow the ways we have learned through centuries of conditioning.
Until we don’t realize that, we will be repeating the same pattern. A “higher state of BEING” is not like getting a job, or working hard through endless repetition of methods. As a matter of fact, our desires for such achievement, are of no consequence. It is not like what we have been taught.
Still, the machinery is at work in search for profit. Books, classes and other sources of information are sold to “help” the seeker to “achieve” his goals.
That is snake oil. However, it has a placebo effect according to the depth of belief.
Here is the premise to understand: The same ego, the same “I,” the same “mind” trying to achieve something “great” such as a higher state of BEING is the one required to melt away.
Thus, isn’t that desire to achieve something, coming from the same ego-mind which needs to wither away? “Oh Ok…then, I will achieve and then wither the ego away…” If it was like that, then everyone could be self-realized in “3 simple steps.”
A “higher state” is not achievable. For there will be no “I,” there to achieve. Further, a “higher state” only happens according to the need of time to those whose life experience calls for that. That “event” is beyond our DOING.
Let me be more explicit: The “I,” the “mind,” the “ego,” achieves through action, through DOING something. Observe how religions and spiritual paths have many rituals, commandments and practices thought to “better” a person.
However, DOING does not change BEING. DOING can only change behavior but never BEING.
No matter how many times we repeat some “practice,” BEING cannot change. BEING does not change due to the strong desire of the “ego-mind” to “succeed.” Spirituality is in the realm of BEING first, not DOING to cover BEING.
If the above is clearly understood, then we will face the “reality” that truly AWARENESS is the trademark of a conscious existence, which is not concerned in bringing change to itself, as change naturally happens; but rather OBSERVES, is AWARE of how it happens and naturally allows for it to happen at its own time. ALLOWING is key, when ego has been taught to control.
It is of paramount importance to understand what AWARENESS is, but the catch is that it cannot be explained or defined. There is the dictionary definition, but that is not the EXPERIENTIAL, complete, unmistakably meaning. As the experience of awareness happens and we become more conscious, then we will know.
In the meantime and until that happens, there are tons of “self-help” books, classes and information to help us “achieve” our spiritual goals; whether that is “heaven,” “self-realization,” or some other goal desired by the ego driven mind. It is good to get “busy.” 🙂
Yes, there is something for everyone.
Any seeker looking to find “truth,” is only using the conditioned mind to understand Life. That cannot happen, for the conditioned mind has parameters to look, to search, and those parameters are very small. Life is immense.
Any “spiritual” class or talk given by someone deemed to be “advanced” is bound to be misunderstood. Those words cannot be taken literally. Those can only be small pointers. “Truth” cannot be put into a paragraph. No one can ever have the objective “truth.” We can only have facts.
What is the difference between facts and truth?
Facts are coming from the same parameters accepted by a group of people or society and thus, seemingly objective. Truth is subjective, according to experience. So, there is “my” truth. To find our “truth” is all there is.
If we say that “truth” is according to fact or reality, we are merely sugar coating a fact, for the word “truth” has authoritarian connotation.
Person A pulled the trigger and killed person B. That fact could be proven.
Person C died due to “mysterious” causes (meaning unknown.) Some say it was medical negligence, others go for some sort of sorcery, witchcraft. That cannot be proven. However, Life will bring consequences for the ones killing others. Since we are part of Life, we cannot escape Life.
My last sentence may seem like some fact, but it is only a belief unless we have the experience. Then, that becomes our truth. It doesn’t become a fact.
Is God a fact?
God is someone’s truth, but a belief for those without the experience.
In our society, we value facts. Life for the ones living in awareness, is about finding our own truth. That is a continuous task. Those who make a philosophy out of their own findings, are trying to make a fact out of their own truth. Followers will believe that to be the unquestionable “truth.”
Living Life in awareness and learning to swim, has many things in common.
Swimming is not floating. Yet, some who can only float will call that swimming. There are some who can swim, but their movement is not efficient and enjoyable. Are they truly swimming?
Someone who is perfecting his swimming style, could watch many videos from the “experts,” but until we are able to become self aware and catch our own movements by feeling them, then we will able to recognize some of the words given by the “experts.” That recognition through experience is knowing.
The bottom line is that each swimmer will need to find out what actually works for them. That is to find our “truth” at every moment and to be authentic, true to ourselves. That is honesty.
The path of honesty is not easy, but there is fulfillment in that journey. Nevertheless, many prefer to follow “the truth,” as given by someone else and believe in it.
A believer does not have facts or truth, but only a belief.