“… I too am happy to see you back again… but i have a question. 🙂
Tantra (in India) means something else than what you have explained in your blog. In brief, Tantra means – 1. a Hindu or Buddhist mystical or magical text, dating from the 7th century or earlier. 2. adherence to the doctrines or principles of the tantras, involving mantras, meditation, yoga, and ritual.
It sounds ‘logical’ when you explain that we spontaneously shift from one extreme to the other with passing of time… but where is the need to label it as Tantra which has totally a different meaning? If you are very particular on labeling this process, please choose a different word. And if needed, i can supply you a few words for a nominal fee. 🙂
Thank you for your welcoming message. I will answer your question for I feel, it is for the common good.
When we are speaking about “spiritual matters,” definitions are useful as long as they will give someone an idea of what I am trying to convey. My definition is not the “thing.” If someone gets caught up in my definition, that becomes a belief for that person; for it is second hand stuff taken as a conceptual “truth” or “falsehood.” It does not matter which one. The important thing is that without experience, words are merely incomplete tools.
Tantra is not in your experience yet. For you it is second hand “knowledge,” a concept that you accepted from Wikipedia, a dictionary, a Guru…that is why you are bringing up the tradition, the dictionary definition of what is known by the masses.
In the West, Tantra is understood to be just about sex. “Tantra yoga” is called in the West.
The link below has another explanation of Tantra by a Guru from India:
As you can see, it doesn’t fit your idea or definition of what Tantra is.
And here, a comment by Rajneesh (Osho) from India, about Tantra: “Tantra is science, tantra is not philosophy. To understand philosophy is easy because only your intellect is required. If you can understand language, if you can understand concept, you can understand philosophy. You need not change; you require no transformation. As you are, you can understand philosophy – but not tantra. You will need a change… rather, a mutation. Unless YOU are different tantra cannot be understood, because tantra is not an intellectual proposition, it is an experience. Unless you are receptive, ready, vulnerable to the experience, it is not going to come to you.”
Ahnanda will not give you definitions or commentaries. In my experience Tantra is neither philosophy nor Science. You will find out what Tantra is when you are ready, but I agree with the comment that: “Unless YOU are different, Tantra cannot be understood.”
I picked the word Tantra because it means so many different things for many people, which are the opposite of what I know or have experienced as Yoga, just to make a point.
It seems that you may be biased towards Tantra. But for you, it is just a word and you have beliefs about that word. The experience is not the word.
Let me go into the importance of understanding how words, concepts, moral standards and ideologies are limiting and how we may need to put our beliefs aside.
The “swastika” in the West means Evil. In India, it means auspiciousness.
The swastika is just a symbol. Is that symbol “evil” or “good”? It just depends where you are, the circumstances, timing, the setting, what your mind already has as “knowledge.”
Another example: A Woman being “topless” in a beach, could be looked upon as sinful, immoral… in India. Even though India has so many temples depicting bare breasted women engaging in sexual activity. A Temple is probably the most sacred place for the general Indian mentality, but at the same time sex may be considered as a “taboo” in most Indian Culture.
Isn’t that contradictory? In the USA there are beaches where it is “legal” for women to be topless. At other beaches it is “illegal.” In the USA morality becomes an imaginary line between what is “legal,” and “illegal.” It is not a religious thing anymore. At many beaches in Europe, it is alright for women to be topless in a beach. We could appreciate the different perspectives, knowing that everyone has a different viewpoint. This is not a matter of being “right or wrong.”
See my point? It is in your openness to an experience how the “taboo” gets dissolved and we become free from the “hang up.” There is no rejection of any viewpoint, but acceptance of all.
Tantra is like that. It has the ability to dissolve “hang ups,” “taboos” through acceptance.
The same woman could go to different beaches around the world and that woman will not have a “hang up” about her breasts being exposed, but she will behave according to the situation and understand that the “sin” is not in her bare breasts being exposed, but in the eyes of those looking at her with disrespect.
Your attitude is what determines your openness in Life.
All the best to you! 🙂
Life is One. There are no divisions in it. No parts. No stages.
All of those concepts/ideals are added by human beings in their quest to dominate, control, possess something, which is perceived as different from “them.”
“Morality” is a human invention, which has been consistently used to “teach” others.
For example, if Mike decides to walk completely naked on a congested street; more likely, Mike will be arrested. Why?
He is acting against the law. Some may label him as being “immoral.” Some others as being “offensive, “ etc.
The interesting thing to observe is how such a belief arises. This is not meant to go against the rules of society, but just to observe the “moral” invention behind it.
A “Life walker” will merely observe and perceive if there is any contempt or rejection arising inside. If there is, that becomes “food” for further discoveries about the self and its beliefs.
The sinner mentality is part of that “morality.”
Every action that we perform toward “others,” we do it to ourselves.
Because there is Oneness. There is no separation.
Some may call that “karma” and create a fictitious web of separations between the “doer” and the “receiver” of an action.
When we are lost in “actions” we oversee the intention.
What was Mike’s intention while walking naked on the street?
That is his “doing” to others and thus, to “himself.”
Because a society cannot control an individual by intentions, then “actions” became the most important item.
A religion is based on the premise of actions. Good actions. Bad actions= Karma = Heaven or Hell.
That is not Life.
That is just a religious belief.
A God watching everyone to punish some or to reward others is not Life.
It is a belief.
That is the starting point of the sinner mentality.
In Oneness there is no such a thing as a “sin.” There are consequences.
Human consciousness changes through the experience of those consequences and not through the adoption of a belief system.
If we are One with Life, Life will teach us when we are ready to assimilate… In the meantime, the experience of suffering will prepare the “student.”
Suffering is not “bad” at all… Neither good nor bad. It just “is.”
A belief system is a human invention. It is a limited perception, an attempt to explain something that cannot be explained without a human point of reference (previous beliefs, traditions, moral values, etc.)
Here is another paradoxical realization: Every belief there is, it is not “bad.” However, it has its timing.
That timing is observed when consciousness changes.
The belief in Santa Claus is not bad at all. But it has timing. If we persist in believing in something well beyond the lapse of that particular consciousness, then inner conflict will arise and inner dishonesty will be felt. Dissonance.
The belief of being a “sinner” has elapsed for many. However, many others are still living in that “reality.” It is a matter of consciousness.
I could write many convincing rational arguments to demonstrate that the sinner mentality is an illusion; however, intellectual arguments or logical premises cannot erase what we feel. To believe that rationality can overcome feelings and emotions means not to understand human nature.
Here another paradoxical realization:
Rationality is great for making a living in our society but… It is deficient for the experience of living Life in joy. Rationally, most will look for the accumulation of wealth to feel happy but… 🙂 there will be disappointment (suffering) when the result is not as expected.
Rationality kills our feelings and without feelings there is no experience of fullness.
Is rationality “bad”?
It is neither “good” nor “bad” like everything else in Life. It “is,” thus observe it and enjoy it.
” Does the ‘ belief system’ and ‘feelings’ (sometimes, if not always) have/ may create conflict? If the consciousness changes, do they have harmony in between them?”
Thank you for your question.
I could see that some readers were feeling “ out of ease” with the last article. Why?
Because it went against their beliefs systems. That is all.
“Oneness is “good,” Totality is “good,” love to God is “good,” but do not share anything that is against what I believe to be true. “
With that kind of mentality, there is no hope to go into something different. Not as an “intellectual exercise,” but as something that could be understood by observing our own self in action.
The duality of thinking/beliefs and feelings is represented all the time through moral and religious systems.
We have been taught to “check” against an idea of what is “good” and to act upon that.
For example if you belong to a religion and embrace their beliefs systems, you may have been told to “do good actions.”
What are those “good actions”?
We need a definition. Right? 🙂
To build churches, to open centers, to spread the faith/knowledge/word of God, etc… to help someone else (and the meaning of what is “help” changes among beliefs) all of that are “good actions” and God will be satisfied if you “do that.”
Ananda expresses that the above is not completely true. As long as we have not aligned our thoughts with our feelings (oneness) and we know clearly our intentions (not as “another thought”) actions by itself do not matter as proof of being “good.”
For example, if Charlie wants to build a church for his religion and he is willing to give money and resources, is his aim to be recognized? Or he really means to help? or he will use that as another reason to think that he has obtained “heaven”?
This intention needs to come “raw,” without the make up of thinking, something like: “ My intention is truly to help people, that is why I am giving money for that church.”
That is a farce.
Our intention comes out “raw” as we truly are. It cannot be otherwise. That is why, Ananda states the importance of going deep inside and observe our feelings, our intentions as the source of “checking.” Life merely presents scenes. Our reaction to those is the “learning material” for an aware individual.
The religious leader may be happy to see Charlie the follower, building a new church for the religion. The religious leader may assure Charlie many things (such as Heaven, good reputation, etc.) Nevertheless if Charlie hasn’t looked into his deep intentions before, I guarantee that “his good action” is just a farce. He is not being honest with himself. As a matter of fact, that “good action” unchecked is a source of greater ego.
That is why, “good actions” are non existent (neither bad actions but there are consequences) unless we look deep into our intentions, our primary feelings. We could pretend all we want, even lie to ourselves but Life knows otherwise. The consequence will be according to those intentions.
The above may be against some readers beliefs. Ananda respects your belief. Life still continues on.
Therefore, someone who realizes the above, does not need to try to “be good” or try to “do good,” once he recognizes that “being now” is what is important and that manifests itself through our feelings which we cannot put a make-up or cultivate or to artificially change with a method.
Those feelings will be open as our consciousness changes through the assimilation of life experiences. There is a timing for every change in Life and for everyone is different.
Now, I could answer your question.
A belief system will be in conflict with inner feelings inasmuch as they are not together. That “togetherness” will change as our consciousness changes.
If our heart is truly kind without any additional effort or cultivation, our consciousness may change and that kindness will be given in that new perception of “reality” (consciousness) automatically. However, If our beliefs are the same despite the change of consciousness, there will be an inner fight, a repression. My feelings will be torn apart (known as emotions) and my actions will be just intellectual and full of duality and labeling.
Beliefs are boundaries for a certain state of consciousness, thus the need to go beyond them, to perceive something different.
This is “good,” that is “bad.” Do “good” avoid “bad.” As a consequence we will not have the oneness of feelings and thoughts, but one will prevail over the other in a fight for continuous supremacy.
Life becomes “something” when we label it. If we attach a moral value to that “something” we have created a dichotomy. Duality.
One of the greatest teachings I’ve heard is to have “good wishes and pure feelings for all.”
That simplicity brings at the same time, the greatest misunderstanding. It is not a practice. It is not something that we only “do” in particular occasions. It is a way of life without cultivation, without following a teaching or a guru. It happens when we are ready, otherwise it is not natural. Why? We will be hiding our true nature, our true feeling just to “be good” according to the church, the religion, the law.
Our essence is “good” already. To allow for that goodness to irradiate by itself, is the “work” of a “Life walker,” who is willing to strip away every single belief and perception of “truth” or idea of reaching the “truth,” or a perception of knowing or knowledge or a perception of tradition, labels and words… just to get to the core. The one who feels life without beliefs.
That is where knowledge sits already and the source of “checking and changing.”
There is no philosophy or religion able to describe in words “what is.”
“When you die, you either go to Paradise or hell forever.”
That is just a belief. It is not true for those who have experienced life as continuous movement and consciousness as eternal. It is not true for those who have experienced the paradoxical aspect of self and no self.
“Life is a return journey where souls go through a process of purification.”
That is a belief. Again, continuity of life as “is” entails no “home run,” no “return” for everything is new but paradoxically that “newness” could only be seen intellectually as a return.
Any intellectual knowledge as in:” This works this way therefore; there are 2 possibilities, it is either this or that. One is truth and the other is false.”
That sort of analytical dualistically mind, cannot quench his own doubts with reasons.
When to know means to “live it,” then to speculate things intellectually is just another belief system.
Obviously, what Ananda is sharing according to his experiences in life, is another belief system for someone else.
But… “This knowledge comes directly from God and your realizations are from your own crazy mind.”
🙂 There is nothing coming from “God” that could be put into words. Why?
Words can only express duality, “black or white” understanding. What is beyond duality cannot be explained in words, it needs to be experienced to be understood.
Then we could believe the answer is in “non-duality.” Right?
Have you listened to a so-called “non-duality” teacher?
It is one of the most boring intellectual things I’ve ever heard. Lots of reasoning to teach “happiness” through thinking…
But… Happiness is a feeling.
To connect with life through feelings is to encounter a different dimension of living life. This we could experience for ourselves without beliefs or dogmas.
When we realize that anything spoken by anyone is just a perception due to a limited experience of life, (his own experience) how could we pretend that this small piece of life could explain everything there is?
Life is not meant to be “explained.” It is meant to be “lived.”
When our life becomes integrated into “what is” without dogmatic beliefs, when our heart becomes open and ready to give the best of us through continuous feelings in every experience that life offers, then at that point; we could understand that the Universe is constantly playing with us, it is seducing us to open up, to unwind, to let ourselves be in that feeling of togetherness and appreciation of life itself. It is at that point, when we could be in love with Life… and that my friends, is the “highest religion” there is.
The above is not a “belief system.”
Ananda is not looking to “save souls” when there is nothing to save. Ananda is not looking to “help others,” when life itself performs that wonder all the time. Ananda is not looking to build the “true religion” for that is a narrow vision of the immensity of Life. Ananda is not looking to be an “instrument of God,” when everyone is that already.
Ananda only shares his experiences for the common good, that is all.
By observing the variety of life, the different shades, colors, sounds, experiences, etc. We could realize that nothing could be labeled as “bad” for it has a reason to be.
That “reason” does not deal with our perceptions of what is “moral” and what is not.
The movie of life contains everything in itself. That movie has a plot and that plot is meant to self-preserve itself through changes. We are part of that plot.
Thus a sense of appreciation and gratefulness for “what is” will be naturally born.
“What is” could be tinted by the colors of our belief systems.
If I observe a snake eating a rabbit, I could observe it or I could act upon it just to change things according to my belief system or the Disney’s channel’s view… or I could feel sad or even happy.
All of those reactions have a label in our minds: Crazy, good, bad, stupid, etc.
Every person will react in a different way.
The issue is when a preference arrives.
A preference is not a choice. A preference is something like “I’ve got to have that rather than anything else.” “That thing is especial.”
Why is that?
Because there is a consciousness of “self.” A personality built.
A preference is not “bad.” A preference just shows a personality.
That preference may not flow along with the way life may flow.
“I prefer Summer time.”
It is the intensity of that preference the one that will bring the intensity of sorrow that we could feel.
“How do you feel in Winter?”
The word could have been “cold” which denotes a matter of fact sensation. To be miserable is to be unhappy, to lack joy.
We need to remember that the issue is not about the words we use but the FELLING that we experience.
Joy is not dependent in outside situations but as mentioned before, it is the consequence of being fulfilled with appreciation and gratefulness towards life.
Appreciation of “what is” develops a different “taste bud” in our life. We are no longer limited to a particular thing or dependent on that.
As life is a big circle; Summer time will arrive again. Winter is the “cause” of Summer along with the other seasons, so why not learn to appreciate Winter?
In the “black or white” world, we have been told that preferences are “bad,” desires are “bad,” etc.
“I must not have desires or preferences.”
Because the Guru/ God/ holy scripture / priest/ holy person has said so.
That is called repression. There is no need to force ourselves to adopt a behavior which is not consistent with our state of consciousness. That is “spiritual self aggression.”
To observe every change in life, to welcome those changes and to adapt accordingly is to flow with life. Every stage in our life has “uniqueness.”
Everything is unique but we distort that pristine uniqueness when we have a preference and call that “especial.”
At that point, we have set ourselves up to experience sorrow.
Life is unique. We are unique. “Especial” is a personality value, a preference that qualifies other things as “non-especial.” That is separation (duality) and with that separation, the sense of self becomes alive.
The keyword to use in “Spirituality” is “witnessing” or to be a “detached observer.”
Accordingly, to reach that state is the highest a human being could attain… 🙂
Witnessing or being an observer and participant of life is a state of full integration with “what is.”
The word “detached” adds further misunderstanding.
Misunderstanding will occur if we would allow ourselves to just follow the dictionary meaning of those words. We need to remember that those words are a “distortion” of “what is,” and so will be these words… nevertheless, the sharing shall continue on.
Who is doing the witnessing? Who is being a “detached observer”?
If the answer is “I,” that could be anything but being a detached observer.
Ananda would like to use the words “observant and participant” to describe his realization.
Let us say that Carl witnessed a car accident. The people inside the 2 cars colliding at high speed, were in a “poor” condition. There were tears of pain, rage and fear surrounding the accident.
Carl is a “spiritual” person. Therefore, he decided to send “good wishes” to people in the accident.
It is indisputable that Carl has separated from the scene and made the decision to be a “good person” by sending good vibes and then becoming “detached” from the scene by continuing on his path.
Carl could have made the attempt to “help” the people, but that wasn’t his “karma,” he thought.
Carl acted from an intellectual standpoint by following his belief system.
Was Carl witnessing or being a “detached observer”?
No. He thought he was, but he was actually playing indifferent towards what happened.
To witness or to be a “detached observer” is not to separate from “what is.” It is the complete opposite. To integrate into “what is,” but not as a person, as an “I” thinking: “I am part of everything.”
That is a belief only.
Witnessing is not possible in the consciousness of self. Any religion or philosophy, which validates its teachings on the existence of self, cannot understand “witnessing.”
Therefore, we could see that “witnessing” or being a “detached observer” is not a “practice.”
No one could practice that.
It is a state of consciousness, which is void of beliefs and emotional baggage.
Witnessing is not “attained.” It happens.
Observe the world. If you believe that “I am” something or other, that belief will not allow someone to be an observant because there is the “I” of separation from “what is.”
If we go back to the car accident episode, the minute Carl had the belief that what happened in front of his eyes was “bad” then, that belief will not allow witnessing to appear. If Carl felt sorrow, he wasn’t a witness anymore. His emotional baggage was triggered by the event.
What should be Carl’s behavior then to be a “detached observer”?
To ask that question means not to understand what is being conveyed.
Witnessing or a detached observer is not a behavior.
If Carl has worked in observing his beliefs and how emotions have appeared because of that, then it is in that inner work how the state of integration with the Totality appears, because there is no separation with “what is” when we become empty.
That is emptiness.
Less “stuff “ in our heads means greater openness to “what is.”
Greater feeling of gratefulness and appreciation of “what is” means greater inner joy. A belief will not allow for that to occur, because a belief will give us a static perception of an ever-changing world.
Some “black or white” readers may interpret the above as “it is better not to have feelings.”
NO. That is not the message. Carl may feel compassion but not sorrow.
Because his state of being, his joy; it is not dependent in what happens around.
To fill ourselves every morning with gratefulness of being, is to fill ourselves with joy and those vibes will be with us to “give” continuously and not because we have in our minds that someone needs our “pure” vibes.
One more time, observe your own beliefs. Observe the belief that we have about ourselves.
Life is an ever-changing movie, which has already a direction, a plot. The perception of the “I” is nothing but a manifestation of that plot through a being. It is through our own beliefs and emotional baggage how a personality is born and with that we deny ourselves the chance to change and to be different. We strive to be the “same”
or we strive to attain some intellectual idea.
Both are not in harmony with the changing nature of Life.
To be an Observant and Participant of life at the same time, is a paradoxical integration of the opposites to be One.
Let us say that the world is a “shoe box.” There is “John” all by himself in it.
What would be “moral or immoral” for John? What would be “right or wrong” for John?
Answer: What he believes to be.
Let us say that there is another person who joins John later on.
What would be “moral or immoral” to do? What would be “right or wrong” to do?
Answer: it depends on their belief.
Besides beliefs, there are matter of fact consequences. John may enjoy the company of that other being for he was alone before, but at the same time, John likes to have his own space all for himself.
If john was a “black or white” type of individual; he will either choose to be alone or to have company. There is no awareness of integrating both experiences without choosing.
The paradoxical and beautiful thing about the world is that every moral value, every belief system that someone may cherish as “truth” is contradicted by another living species in Nature.
Do you think that a caste system, a hierarchy based on being born in certain social class is “bad”?
Take a look at bees and ants.
Do you think that family life is a thing of the past?
Take a look at how wolves live.
Do you think that to be a loner and to mingle with the opposite gender just to procreate is to take advantage of someone?
Take a look at the life of tigers.
If we observe life as it is in Nature and not the artificially created “world at the office,” we will discover those beautiful contradictions, which make this world what is.
What could be God’s law then, in the observation that every species of “his” creation acts contradicting any written law that could ever be?
Perhaps there is a law for every species?
I have not seen any written codes of conduct for Tigers yet. But because there is that diversity around, could I make myself such a narrow minded, judgmental person who takes sides to label something as “good or bad”?
If there was a law of “good and bad” coming from God himself wouldn’t that be a contradiction of what already exists?
That is why many individuals have decided to create their “own world” in their own “shoe box” to fit their beliefs as “righteous” in their world.
As John’s “shoe box” becomes populated, there is obviously a problem of “logistics” in the human world that animals are unaware of.
Thinking, logic, analysis creates that contradiction which a human being will pretend to resolve through moral standards.
An animal adapts and harmoniously is able to live in balance with its surroundings.
A thinking, “rational” human being is unable to adapt like that.
The question is not “why is that?” because that will take our logic and rationality into greater contradictions.
The point is to observe, feel and act.
Nature has a completely different way of manifesting beyond logic, rationality and belief systems… well beyond our “office world” morality.
The “world of the office,” John’s “shoe box” has rationality, analysis, judgment, comparisons, separation, and, ifs, or, not … computer operations, that we have learned to troubleshoot by breaking the problems in “halfs” until we discover the “culprit.”
Nature does not work like that.
Which world do we choose?
Wrong question if we could see beyond duality, but a rational “good” question for those who cannot.
Integrate everything. Welcome the “office world” and Nature. Experience both.
At that point, we could understand practically that “God” could never have given us any laws to be followed, but to allow us to make sense of things for ourselves…Not intellectually, but by using our “instincts.”
That is insight, intuition, love for the Totality, appreciation of what is, gratefulness and a sense of balance.
When we discover in ourselves what is beautiful, then we have discovered what we have in common with “his” creation.