The wisdom of contradiction
To complete the last article, consider this:
“Why do we fall, sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.” ( From Batman Begins)
The above is a “spiritual” quote with the teaching to “never give up.” Nevertheless, it is not the complete phrase describing Life.
“Why do we rise, sir? So that we can learn to fall.”
Now, that is the complete experience.
To rise and fall come in the same package. Those are not different things, as we have been conditioned to believe. Being “successful” is only a word that we use to segment our lives. Yes, you can be “successful” at work, in sports, in your family life, at church, and whatever else we may think that we are “successful” at. BUT, that is not the whole package.
What about your health? What about your inner peace? What about your fears? What about your sex life?
Are you “successful” in all those facets at the same time, for as long as you live?
Under the above “reality” the perception of “success” and “failure” will vanish.
Now consider this:
“The true path is to go North. Follow me.” Sounds familiar?
That is incomplete.
However, the sage came a few days later and said: “The true path is to go South. Follow me.”
His followers were baffled. Why is this sage contradicting himself? Logically, there is no “truth” in contradiction! He is not a sage at all!
Which one is the true path? It is North or South? There cannot be both!
The sage gave the full experience: North and South. His followers may need a little de-conditioning to understand that.
If you could walk North all the way on Earth, wouldn’t you end up South?
That is “reality.” However, our minds are conditioned to perceive North and South as 2 different things. The “reality” of their difference is only referential.
Most religious “spirituality” avoid the full experience and embraces only one side of their own creation of duality.
“Do not do this…” This is the “true” path!
What could be the practical lesson out of the above?
Any spiritual path which does not embrace the whole human experience, is only a partial path.
Any religious holy book embracing only one side of a duality, is not the complete path. It is partial. It may have benefits for followers, yes… but it is not complete.
Self-realization is a path of inclusion, completeness; where openness of that which we know as “I,” opens in such a way as to disappear in the immensity of Oneness.
That openness can be labeled as “surrender” ”egolessness” or some other “spiritual” label.
“You” are God, not because you ARE, but because “you” ARE NOT.
“You” are Life, not because you ARE the same as Life, but because “you” ARE NOT.
When “you” ARE, you cannot be anything else. “You” ARE stuck in “you,” so self-absorbed that “you” can only separate from everyone else and Life. The paradox being that that which we think we ARE, we ARE NOT. What you put in words, is not.
Perhaps, this is the main issue with “spirituality “for the masses:
It is so concerned in making believers become something that they ARE NOT instead of supporting the seeking of who they ARE.
When you find who you ARE, you will find all the answers, without asking a question. 🙂
Vices will bring virtues … and virtues? vices.
In the surface, the “vices” are ways of bringing humanity down. A way for perdition.
Nevertheless in the world of duality the experience of one extreme means the necessary experience of the other side. How could you know “day” if you have not experienced “night”? In Life, knowing is experience. Without experience there is no “true” change.
That is the journey.
I am not saying that vices are “good.” I am saying they are necessary in the journey of Life as the experience of them will allow us to know, to experience and to transform.
Greed is one extreme. Generosity is another. Our potential to be giving is equal to our potential for greed.
We get confused and biased by the labels we use to describe a human character, but we are only looking at one point, one day of the whole journey. We get caught up with our experience with one person, limiting him to that experience. We don’t see that change is part of it.
For example, if Bruce Wayne (Batman) “developed” anger and guilt through one experience in Life, there is a process to come out of that and transform within himself those energies.
Without that anger and that feeling of guilt, Batman would have never been born. Do we see that? Can we say that anger and guilt are “bad” then?
What would have happened if Bruce Wayne had learned when he was a little boy: “Anger is bad. You must get rid of it”?
Bruce Wayne would have learned to repress anger to conform with a moral code, a perception… but anger would be there.
What would have happened if Bruce Wayne would have been told: “ You must make effort to conquer anger”?
He could have believed that it is in “his” hands ( the “I”) to change BEING at will.
Who is the one making effort? The “I.”
What is anger if is not a supporting energy for that “I”?
How is it possible for the “I” to get rid of a supporting energy, which makes up himself?
That is the deception. Nevertheless, the above is “spirituality” for most; as the time to find about that “I” hasn’t arrived to their journey yet.
Bruce Wayne was meant to be Batman. That was his destiny. In his path, “he found” a teacher when he was ready to transform that anger. Life brought the teacher when the student was ready (as we know) but that teacher was not really a friend for he was helping with an ulterior motive, later on he became Bruce’s enemy.
Shall we judge Life’s method to transform Bruce’s anger?
Why Life didn’t give Bruce an angel to “help” him? Or a saint? Or an “illuminated” one?
Because Bruce Wayne didn’t need that. He was to become Batman.
Bruce Wayne healed his anger and guilt through Batman.
Religious beliefs and moral codes have a “black or white” vision of the different energies that a human could come across, without considering the process of a particular human being.
To label “Lust” as ugly, bad, evil, etc. does not consider the process that every human being will go through. What could be the teaching of experiencing lust?
That love and lust are like water and oil. They don’t mix, they don’t become one.
The typical “medicine” will be to drill in his mind: “sex (or whatever the trigger is) is bad. Don’t do it.”
We may only control our actions, but we cannot control what is natural in a human being. We could repress ourselves by not acting, but without understanding of the circumstances, the setting and the time, that repression will cause damage to ourselves.
Repression is neither “good” nor “bad.” There are times when it is useful and times when it is not. To be able to recognize timing, is part of the inner wisdom which appears as we experience Life in its different facets.
That insight is not learned through holy books or holy teachers. It is the consequence of all experiences that we have had in many Life times. Openness by acknowledging all of those different perspectives of Life, is what minimizes the size of the “I.”
Accumulation of “vices” will make someone a vicious man, but that is the “natural” path as well, for being vice less. It is just a matter of time. Paradoxical!
It will happen as the size of the “I” diminishes. This is not a mental, intellectual exercise, but it is openness of the heart.
Every man is in a different stage of his journey. There is no goal in that journey, all there is; is the journey itself. The words “goal,” “destination,” “objective,” “perfection,” are all beliefs of an intellectual mind when related to Life itself. Those words have the power to make the life of many a very dissatisfied one.
Who is Batman?
Anger, compassion, guilt, forgiveness, millionaire, who experienced in his own skin what is to be poor, a playboy, a faithful man to a woman, a philanthropist who builds weapons; loneliness, aloneness, intelligence, stupidity, ironical sense of humor, seriousness… it is that type of integration, that type of openness and acceptance of the different roles and experiences in his lifetime which will give him the insight to know. It is not about rejection of one side of the coin and acceptance of the other. It is about integration, for in that integration there is healing, acceptance and the opportunity to change, to grow.
To understand that there is more than our own selves, is to understand that as we take the steps to integrate into the totality; there will be the experience of being born again into something greater than our previous small selves. When the “i” becomes smaller, we could see the immensity and beauty of all …
There is no angel who hasn’t been a “sinner.” 🙂
Batman and “true” spirituality :-)
Batman wasn’t born when he faced his fear of bats.
He was born when he discovered his guilt (of his parents being murdered) covered by his anger.
His anger allowed him to look fearless…but he had fear, and he faced it.
Propelled by anger he could have been a criminal, without that; he discovered compassion. He was born again.
The fear of bats was just a symbol preserving that guilt.
Our desire to become “something” such as “better, enlightened, wise, powerful, fearless, etc.” is the obstacle of being empty of ego. Who wants to become “better”? The “I.” The same “I” who wants to get rid of himself to become “better.”
Every energy that we come in contact with, has a purpose for being there.
Anger, lust, greed, attachment, ego… all of those have a purpose. They are neither “good nor bad” but necessary when we are living in the consciousness of “I.” The purpose of the above energies is to maintain and support that “I.”
Once the “I” wants to get rid of those energies due to feeling guilty, all that this “I” can do is… avoid acting, avoid expressing.
Those energies will be in the person despite his actions. That energy cannot be discarded by willing to be “better,” by “making effort” or by following a method, or by connecting with whichever sacred entity we can think of.
There are many “peace seekers.” The ideal is peace.
Peace is not a “doing.” The absence of war is not peace, when humans live in inner struggle.
It is that inner struggle the one seeking self-destruction.
Under that condition; there cannot be peace but only absence of war as a repression of expressing our inner struggle.
“Peace seekers” are acting according to their experience of peace. Thus, there are some people who will act, rally, proselytize pushing “peace”… and others who will not.
Action defines some people. When their actions are not in congruence with BEING, it is an egotistical action. Others know that BEING drives doing, thus peace can only be brought when we are peaceful ourselves. No need to talk, to act, but to BE.
Anger has a function. We could cover our guilt in anger. We could bury our fear by covering it with a “nice” ideal, a “nice” word such a “compassion,” “love,” etc.
That is the state of consciousness of most individuals. It is about ideals, it is about “nice” words, it is about following a method, a teacher, a God, a holy scripture…to be “better,” to be “more spiritual,” to become “enlightened.”
When we are willing to peel our layers of inner deception, that is the time when we awaken to the reality of our inner dishonesty. That is the time when rather than “practicing” and “doing things to become better,” we face who we are. We face our fears, our struggles not by rejecting them or by asking for forgiveness, but by acknowledging that “this” is who we are at this time.
Just as if we were looking at another person and pinpointing that person’s virtues and weaknesses, we don’t realize that we are seeing what we know in ourselves.
We may need to be able to look at ourselves. Become aware of that which we call “I.”
Then we will see that anger, fear, lust, attachment, had a reason and timing to be there; but once we see them, perhaps the time to let them go has arrived.
There is nothing to do or practice to get rid of them, but just by allowing the opening of that “I,” by allowing for changes to happen, by allowing emptiness and not by trying desperately to control things so they appear the way we believe to be “good for us.”
Life has its own methods. Do not judge the method.
Definitely the above is not for all of us, for we may not be ready yet to “see inside.”
When that “inner looking” does not happen, then the “game” of naming actions and things as “good or bad, right or wrong” will be necessary for that is as much as our consciousness will allow us to understand.
What else could we see, if we are not willing to face ourselves?