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.
Tantra is the discovery of our limiting personality. Thus, Tantra “opens ourselves up” in such a way as
diluting that which we call “self.”
In my experience, Tantra is the discovery of no-self. How? “self” will open until there isn’t.
Thus, Tantra cannot be for everyone. We need to be ready for it; otherwise, it will be misinterpreted as it has been the case.
Some believe that Tantra embraces debauchery. “Tantra followers get drunk, have all sorts of sex and eat meat as a way of finding enlightenment.”
That is a gross misunderstanding. Whoever “practices” that, does not know what Tantra is.
Tantra as a “spiritual” path will allow us to observe our repressions. For instance, a yogi (one who truly follows the path of yoga) does not drink alcohol. A yogi does not eat meat. A yogi does not have sex. If there is repression while following those “disciplines” (sadhana) when that individual changes to Tantra, it is usually to indulge in his repressions.
As our society is sexually repressed, the attraction of Tantra resides in the sexual aspect. Individuals will find that there is a “spiritual path” agreeing with their desires. Again, that is another gross misinterpretation, for their “real” objective is a license to indulge in their repressions, feeling accepted without the feeling of guilt.
For example, when we observe ourselves and discover that we are afraid of another color of skin, when we discover that we are not open to different genders, or nationalities, when we value a particular political party, ideology or religion and belittle others, when we criticize to support self-righteousness, when we discover that, we are in the path of Tantra.
However, one thing is to discover our hang ups and a different thing is when that grudge or trauma goes away. We can make ourselves believe that we ARE open to those issues but something inside us has resistance, rejection, then; we are being dishonest. It is just the mind accepting a new “program” but not the heart. It is the heart the one in need of “opening up.”
The first step is to discover. Life will give us the tools to change and transform those hang ups when we are ready, when our desire to transform is true just for the sake of it, and not driven by another desire.
In my opinion, many traumas, hang ups and grudges will need to go away BEFORE exploring our sexual aspect. For the heart needs time to open up and the mind needs space to lose its overwhelming grip on us. Then, we may discover what “making love” truly means. That is Tantra.
Without this previous “work,” we only have the “tantra” of techniques, sexual retreats, and massages.
The hang ups are still there, but with a new toy to play, a new label to use, a new source of palliative “self-help.”
In society, every repression or neediness we experience, may be a source of profit for others. Profit seekers may label that opportunity as “helping others.”
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.
In Life, to hope for the best is important to maintain good spirits despite “setbacks.”
That type of hope brings tranquility and will allow us to digest an experience. Those experiences that we label as “negative,” or “bad,” are without a doubt; needed in our Life path. There is no way around them, no way to avoid them, no way to change what is already in our destiny.
We cannot make our own destiny, otherwise; how could we learn from Life? When the extent of our DOING is only conditioned by our previous experiences and idiosyncrasies, we are not living Life. We are merely surviving it.
To live means to allow for newness. “Newness” in Life means to accept the unexpected.
We could have high hopes that our path in Life will unveil, and teach us what we came here to learn. If we do not find those lessons which Life is tirelessly teaching us at every step of our journey; we will live a meaningless Life, despite “achieving what I want.” In society, “success” means to achieve. In Life, success is to become fully aware of the lesson.
We don’t learn through “achievements.” We learn through setbacks. That is how wisdom is made. A wise person has had countless setbacks. Thus, are those truly setbacks? The label is deceiving.
In society, setbacks means failure. In Life, setbacks bring the opportunity for wisdom.
Wisdom is earned in Life. It is not learned.
Life is not interested in our moral standards. Conditioning dictates what is moral and what is not.
Morality has utility in our society and that is the extent of it. To follow our laws and commandments is not a sign of sainthood. It is merely a convenience, to be able to live with others in society.
To be “holier than thou” is only a belief to enhance a petty ego.
What is “right”?
It is what you feel. Sounds easy, but it is often misinterpreted.
What “I” feel is not necessarily what is convenient for me. It is not what my mind tells me. It is not what my conditioning tells me is the “right thing to do.”
It is very hard to explain something where the mind is not. As we have lost touch with the reality of Life, we can only understand the reality of our society, that is the overuse of the mind.
I recall the tale of 3 monks crossing a river. A prostitute was there at the same time and had serious trouble. The commandments of “holy men” forbid monks to engage with women, even more so ; if women are “impure.” Two monks decided to follow their commandment. They were DOING “good” accordingly. One monk however; decided to help the woman. This monk was chastised by his peers for not following the code.
We are conditioned to ask: “Who did the “right” thing? Who was “wrong”?”
The 2 monks following their moral codes, did right. The one following his heart, did right as well. How is this so? The monks obeyed their conditioning. What else could these monks do? The other monk, went with his feeling defying his conditioning. To go beyond our conditioning is “good.”
What action was done for the common good?
We may need to ask the woman. She was appreciative with the unexpected help of the monk.
In society, these 2 “firm” monks may get medals, recognition, etc. In Life, these 2 monks will get more chances to realize their rejection until they become rejected by others.
The unusual “rebel” monk will get rejected by his society for “wrong doing,” but in Life; he is earning the rare opportunity to be one with Life.
We may choose to behave like the “rebel” monk because we may believe that the return given by Life is “better” and “holier” than the one offered by society, but in THINKING in that way, we are only building up our own ego. Our own greed comes to the surface, although we may disguise it with pretty, honorable words to explain our actions.
Again, What is right is what I feel. What I feel may not be what “I like.” There may be uncomfortable consequences but yet, I will be at peace.
Peace goes together with inner honesty. Inner honesty resides in fully acknowledging our feelings.
We can only DO what we ARE. We ARE what we FEEL. That is the foundation of the “right” action. It is not to follow a commandment or a code of conduct, for in Life circumstances change. A commandment does not care about circumstances; the “reality” of Life. It only cares about its blind imposition. That is the violent side of a “good thing”; the unrighteous side of what is deemed “right.”
Until January 2019. Have a happy new year! 🙂
The address of this site will change next year to : explore7.wordpress.com