While the master and the disciple were enjoying a walk in Nature on an ample sidewalk, a mother walked with her son in the same direction as them for a couple of seconds. They overheard the little kid saying: “I will clean up the front porch of the house, but if you want it done right it will cost you more than what you want to give me.”
The master decided to stop by a pond and asked: “ Would you charge me if I ask you to clean up my front porch?” The disciple was perplexed by that question but immediately said: “No, Master.”
The master said: “Why not?” The disciple said: “ I am grateful that I am your disciple and you do not charge me for that.” The master then said: “Your education is different from that kid who charged his mother to clean up the porch of the house.”
The disciple said: “ He is living in her house and obtaining many benefits but he doesn’t realize that. I wonder why?” The master responded:” He has been trained alright to know the value of coins and bills. He wants to get the maximum profit that he can. That was his education.”
The disciple said:”The word education can be understood in many ways, master. In this case, you are saying that the mother has taught that kid to act in that way…”
The master said: “ You said that. Let us talk about that word, education. What does it mean to you?”
The disciple who was versed in dictionary meanings said: “ Well, education is the process to acquire general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself intellectually for mature life.”
The master said: “Very well. What about acquiring beliefs, values, skills and habits. Is that education too?”
The disciple said: “Yes, master but that depends on the setting. Someone from a different country will have different values and beliefs.”
The master said: “Therefore education depends on a particular setting. Isn’t that called training or even indoctrination to fit into that particular country?”
The disciple said: “Yes, master. We could call that training too.”
The master said: “ Society has a way to train a person to fit into it. Society values the economy over any other thing. Therefore, that training will be geared towards that end. The development of reasoning and judgment will be centered in that value of economics. Do you see that?”
The master continued:” Even if you are well versed in languages, arts and sciences; you are only trained to fit into the boundaries of society. Thus, education in our society is just training to acquire skills to fit in, to promote the ways and beliefs of that society. However, Life or Nature does not fit into those narrow boundaries. Society has borders, Nature does not. What sort of training do you need to understand Life, to enjoy it? How does society prepare you for that?”
The disciple thought for a few seconds and said: “When I attended a University, I had a few courses in psychology, philosophy and religion. I guess that is the extent of my preparation for that Life beyond the boundaries of society along with my beliefs and values.”
The master said: “ Life does not usually use the language of reasoning. If you would like to understand Life, a vision based only on intellectual reasoning is very superficial and narrow. Thinking cannot see the whole for it is fragmentary. But why is it so important to understand Life, you may say? Well, most individuals want happiness and all they do is acquire, buy things, power and wills. They believe that happiness can be purchased. Most individuals want to feel at peace and what they do is prepare themselves to fight in case someone takes away what they have accumulated. Most individuals want fulfillment in this life experience but all they find is seclusion from their roots, from Nature, and rather live artificial lives surrounded by concrete, artificial food which they need to purchase, and dependency on a few coins which you must obtain to survive. Many in the world, have to work selling widgets 7days a week to survive. Imagine that life! No time to smell the roses. No time to feel! They will be closer to Nature only when they are depressed, or when they want to take something from it. If these individuals acquire more knowledge or training to have a better standard of living, they become slaves of their acquisitions and status, ever fearful that those could go away. In that conditioning, most speak about love, peace and happiness and even justice without knowing those through experience. Labels become their mental, reasonable reality; but there are no feelings no meaning behind those words. Those labels are empty, lifeless, but yet minds are obsessed with those words. Do you see the importance of that education and where it may lead you if you become unaware? That kid will work only because he wants profit. He does not know about the common good. On the other hand, you will work and you will do it with joy. Isn’t that another type of education? “
The disciple asked the master about the significance of control in society.
The master replied: “ In society there is a need to impose a will over another. For example the belief in widgets as the way to improve society, will encounter many who will not believe in that. Therefore, a will needs to impose for a belief to rule. Manipulation means to influence another to accommodate their will to our own personal ideas, beliefs. Manipulation and control come together.
In society, a belief will encounter many obstacles, such as rejection from others which will have a reactive consequence. Every disagreement, every fight is an opportunity to display violence over another to subdue that one, to win. In this context, winning is to impose over another.
Life does not work that way. Life shows the path, the direction and we align or oppose. Every opposition is a bitter lesson to learn, but nonetheless; useful for our conscious development.
For example is we observe the climate changing from hot to cold, we dress accordingly. If we believe that things should be the same, there will be a consequence for us. On another level, Life will show death to every person at a particular time. Acceptance is to go with the way. Rejection, fight, implies that there is a personal will with ideas and beliefs, opposing Life. What could be some of the consequences of that? Society has many problems to solve from dysthanasia, euthanasia, orthothanasia, combined with several religious beliefs, moral values involved and such. Society wants to come up with a solution that will be applicable to all; and that belief will be imposed to others to follow in the name of righteousness. Society has its way. Life has another. Observe that Life is completely impersonal and its movement tends to balance different forces. Society usually relies on personal opinion which comes from conditioning, tradition, personal interests and deep rooted beliefs.
Every time we are unwilling to observe the signals that Life is giving us and we stubbornly hold on to a belief for we believe that to be right, we are opposing to what is. To discern “what is now” is one of the greatest awareness we could have.
Life will teach us to respect, to acknowledge and to move on. Thus, become flexible like a palm tree who does not have a rooted belief as to where the wind needs to come from, and to which direction the tree should move to be right. If you observe this carefully, you will discover that every belief a person has is deep rooted in something ideal which Life uses sooner or later, to teach us to open up, to accept and to move on.
Confrontations, control, manipulation are human ways to obtain what a group wants. In that scenario, look for a common ground and take that. Sooner or later the common ground is bound to appear for at the end, we are all breathing the same air to survive. That is the common good.”
Will resume writing on April 22. Until then! 🙂
The disciple asked: “Master since you said that you will not change my beliefs, how those will change in me?”
The master couldn’t help but laugh and then said: “ Is that “me” something fixed in time? Remember when you were a kid? Sure you do. However, is there anything there which has remained unchanged in you? ”
The master waited for the response of his disciple.
“Well,” said the disciple: “My name is the same. Everything else has changed including my beliefs and life outlook.”
The master said: “What you just said required awareness. Most believe that there is an unchanging “I” or “me.” Their memories make up their lives which are in the past and never “now.” Yes, your name is the same and that is why, when you become a new person centered in your heart rather than the mind; you will have a new spiritual name which you will use instead.”
Then the master continued: “ Look, there wasn’t a time when you were the same. Change is unavoidable but when your life is anchored in the mind, only the past matters and that creates illusions of a future, but in truth; in that future you will not be.”
The disciple looked at his master with a lost gaze and said: “You mean that Life itself will change my beliefs?”
The master said: “ The most important practice for you is to observe your mind, your thoughts and everything that comes out of that. Be quiet for a moment and do as told.” After sometime in silence, the master interrupted and said: “What did you observe?”
The disciple was hesitant to answer but after getting some courage said: “ It is insane, but I observed that my thoughts merely appear in my mind. I did not willingly fabricated them.” The master said: “That is a fantastic observation. That for sure will change some of your beliefs. Now, let me add this: Can you think without language? Don’t answer me yet. Try it.”
After a few minutes, the disciple said: “ Master, I am afraid I cannot. I need some sort of language in my head to relate things and come up with something, it is like an internal voice without sound.” The master then said: “Now you have discovered the influence of language in your mind. Most see the world only as their language allows them, that is conditioning. For instance, there are languages without the use of gender for nouns, while other languages give a gender to every object. That creates the idea that there are feminine things and masculine things. A separatist mind. Now, observe without language in your mind.”
After a few minutes the disciple said: “It is a weird state of attentiveness which I cannot hold for too long.” The master then smiled and replied: “ Some may call that state no-mind. Others, may call that a silent mind, and yet others may call that a peaceful mind. Do not get caught up with labels, for that is mind. Go deeper in that experience.”
Then the master said something apparently unrelated: “Many try to solve problems in the world through that separatist mind. There is always a division:Rich and poor, black and white, national and foreigner, my neighborhood and out of town, etc. The mind only divides, separates. That non-inclusive, egotistical mind cannot see the whole, the common good no matter what system it uses to try to solve problems. Conditioned humans are not aware that the root cause of human suffering is not their economy, political system, or distinct beliefs but their identification with their own unchecked, egotistical ever divisive mind.“
The following will be a description of the religious/spiritual experience, according to my own experience. None of the levels are better or more “advanced” than another, for there is a continuity which needs to be divided only for the sake of understanding and the limitations of language.
The label “religion” has a connotation of “faith and beliefs.” At this level, we may have a belief in god, the virgin, saints, prophets, saviors, gurus, angels, extraterrestrial beings, beings of light, etc. There is always someone “higher” than us, humans; who are ready to perform “miracles” or specific actions to help us in our lives in exchange for nothing. Thus, we ask them for salvation, redemption, favors, miracles, etc. Typically there is someone in those religions who has access to those higher beings, or there is a belief that this is so; while the rest, the believers; will use them to intercede into that. A religion has a body of beliefs which are referred as “truth.” Those beliefs are indisputable and require the follower’s full agreement. “Blind faith” is typically the phrase used to refer to this stage.
Such follower may have a code of conduct or behavior which aligns with current values of society, which are known as “good deeds.” Such performance is encouraged by their faith, and according to their belief; become the “measuring stick” of those higher beings to concede special favors to the followers. In that way, societies will support religions, as they are guided by the same recognized basic values.
Later, “Spirituality” came as an offshoot of a religion. The idea of worshiping “higher beings” is placed on a lower level if ever, and the value of particular beliefs known as “truths,” is downplayed. What matters here is the experience of the participant and not how much that participant follows the structure. Spirituality then grew into many avenues and was accepted by the masses as an alternative to worship. The rigidity of a religion was transformed into over flexibility: Use it as it best fits you. That attitude brought a new fashion in style: The spiritual seeker, the one who jumps from flower to flower searching for something “special.”
Out of the many “spiritual” paths, we could recognize two distinct but complementary paths: The one recognizing the importance of subtle energies ( the ones embedded in chakras, kundalini, vibrations, third eye, etc.) and the other which brings the element of inner observation, awareness. These 2 particular paths are not concerned with deities or worship of anyone. There are no particular beliefs to follow, although some may import rituals, gurus’ words and even worshiping practices from the previous stage. However, the main element to “study” is the self.
Observe the shift: From the “others,” the gods, the higher beings into looking at the self. The journey could be put into a nutshell: From worshiping others into self-realization. That shift may take many years if not many lifetimes, but it is bound to happen, when the seeker is ready.
Generally speaking, religions are not concerned with inward study, although there may be rare exceptions.
When a person perceives subtle energies, that person is concerned in exploring their own atypical experience. At the end, they may realize that everything is “energy,” including what we know as “I.” Those without this experience, but however open minded; who have already gone through many “miles” of the journey, will become acquainted with studying the self through their own observation. It is important to mention that both paths are truly complementary of each other, for a person with high awareness will be able to perceive subtle energies and vice versa. When this level hasn’t been reached, then a person following the path of energies will perform exercises, mudras, mantras, chakra cleansing, etc. as another belief system which in turn will help that person to run away from the important item, to know the self.
Similarly those following the path of observation by itself, will be limited by their own findings. Sooner or later they will need to go deeper inside their inner subtle energies, to “advance” the level of their awareness. This occurs through outside help from another, usually of those who are in tune with different healing modalities. For instance; when there is observation of an emotion, there has to come a time when we recognize the energetic value of it, and how that could dissolve. That is a learning adventure in itself.
Finally, the journey will go from “self-realization into no-self and thus, Totality, Onenes.” The inner changes are dramatic at this stage. As there is the experience of suffering of the “I,” for everything which gave us a form of identity, will go away. That has been labeled as “Dying alive.”
Interestingly, those “higher beings” worshiped at one time, may become the teachers and guides to help those who are ready, to cross the seldom walked path of the enclosure of the “I.” That may be “true” Salvation after all.
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.
As long as there are beliefs, our consciousness will be located and influenced by the mind. The mind is a repository of experiences which have been recognized, labeled and used to make sense of “life”. Nevertheless, that “life” is only the reflection of traditions, teachings and traumas of the collective consciousness which will have lasting influence on the individual.
Basically, there cannot be newness while trapped in the mind. There is repetition, there is a false sense of security of “knowing”, which will not allow us to look further into what IS.
The atheist who converts into Christianity after having an “after death” experience, will have a change in his Life. That is the bottom line. It will be the complete opposite of what he previously rejected. That is the mind in action. Moreover, the tradition of what is known as “God” may be affected by a well known religion (Christianity) which he was familiar with. A Life experience is only meant for the one experiencing it. End of report. However, most take this opportunity to enhance their ego and make out of this an opportunity to show how extraordinary they are. A “chosen” one.
“God gave me this experience so I can be a testimony and lead people into his way.” That is “pure” ego in action.
The mind has a belief. The mind has interpreted an experience. The mind has labeled that experience and made it something extraordinary, especial. Then, the field of beliefs is open: God is this or that. He has chosen this one or that one. He will come back to make sure his kingdom is alright, etc. It is extraordinary to observe how from an individual experience, we could make a religion.
The atheist and the believer are at the same level. Their minds took them there. There is full reliance on that conditioned mind, that is what we may need to realize.
Life has many ways to change the perspective of people. For the ones anchored in the mind, rationality and logic; an out of this “world” experience will be necessary to change them. For those way “out there”, something worldly will be needed to balance them. A seeker will need to go through the full range of the experience, the “yes” and the “no”; to “know”. That teaching is experiential, that is why it cannot be told to another so they also “know.”
Beliefs are not bad. Those are tools to gain further consciousness. The tool is not the “thing” to obtain; but while in the mind; we could debate, fight as to which tool is the “true” one. Then, we want to use “science” to prove if the tool is “true.” We are missing the point.
There are many types of consciousness, but the collective consciousness, the one with the “buying power” is an infantile one, and so the journey is just beginning for them.
As we mature, we will observe that spirituality is based on our own self understanding, our own self observation, our own self acceptance; for there is an opening in that which liberates the person from the conditioned mind. We can make that clear distinction. It is the experience of that freedom, what we may long for.
In that realm, beliefs are not necessary. Free from beliefs, we ARE.
Living in society will bring us some sort of perceived security. A sense of purpose through having a laid out path to complete. We believe that our laws, moral values and “virtuous” living are compatible with higher order.
We believe in working hard to achieve whatever our minds tell us. That is whatever we believe. We live in the world of beliefs. Just achieve. Compete with others if they are in your way. Show them who the best is!
Look out for you and then for the extension of you, your family. “Help” others when yours are OK and have plenty, enough to “give” what is not needed.
Most of all, remain busy. Do things for an objective, a goal. Go to school, then college, get married, have kids, get a house, a car, a couple of pets. Get busy! Save for retirement, then you can ‘relax.’ Most of all… “Be happy!!”
We only understand “get happiness.” Something out there will give me that. I have to keep trying.
In a nutshell, that is the brainwash. The castle built out of “pretty” words. The belief that happiness is to comply with the conditioning.
Likewise, our “spirituality” will be based on that brainwash. There is the goal to achieve: Heaven, god, eternal salvation… Plenty of objectives.
There is the “family” of the “chosen ones.” You are part of it, if you just believe. There is plenty of help to give to others to “save them.” That “good action” will get you brownie points with the “Father,” the creator: God. Then you can ‘relax’ for eternity. Here in society, you work hard to get something for yourself. Over there, for the “spiritual” world, you do the same. We cannot ‘relax’ until we work hard first, right?
Isn’t it that “as it is above, it is below”? That phrase is used out of context. As we wake up, we will realize.
Awakening cannot be for everyone. There are many who rather live in the land of “make believe.”
Awakening is not an easy process. It is not a walk in the park.
It hurts, it disappoints, it hits you against the wall until “you” die. Once you are dead, then you are alive. Logical isn’t it? But it is no longer “you.”
When we are used to eating only chocolate in Life and we feel safe, how are we going to try another flavor? Only when Life offers us vanilla and not chocolate. That is a change of consciousness. Chocolate goes away and our fear to starve gets in the way. Our attachment to the known will not allow us to try something different. When we taste vanilla, we “know.” We become satisfied to taste another flavor and can appreciate chocolate from another perspective, another consciousness.
Awakening is like that. However for most, awakening is only about “understanding” the flavor of vanilla and reading plenty about it, getting certified in vanilla, but never had the opportunity to taste.
When we are ready to leave chocolate, vanilla will come and then chocolate will be gone, and we will “know” that there are many flavors in Life, many ways of looking at Life, many ways of living Life. Otherwise, we believe that Life is only chocolate!
Consciousness is not depending on us and our efforts to “achieve,” as society has conditioned us. So ‘relax.’ Consciousness is our link with Life itself. It happens. Just like Life itself. It happens. All we have to “do” is become AWARE of it.