Have you heard the singing of a yellow warbler or a robin bird?
Be aware of how you feel. You may enjoy it.
Those sounds have a pleasing effect on us. There is coordination, balance, symmetry, agreement, peace in that. It happens without rehearsal, naturally.
That sensation we label as “harmony.” There is agreement with the environment.
I could take someone right out of that sensation if I ask:
“Why do you like that singing? Please elaborate.”
Even worse, I could ask: “Why do birds sing?” Then meaningless answers may arrive: That is the way they attract potential mates. They are protecting their territory. Truly, a bird does not DO things out of a plan, an objective. That is rational, not harmonious.
The mind keeps questioning. It keeps coming up with plans of action. Ideas, ideals and fantasies filling up our time.
Inner nourishment and delight is in the experience of listening to the bird’s song, not in knowing intellectual answers.
We only have preconceptions based on our human expectations and understanding of the world. Can’t ask the bird for “answers;” instead, ask your neighbor: “Why do you breathe?” Then, we could realize the value of our questioning and spare the bird from a meaningless question. Intellectual questions/answers are without fulfillment.
The intellect, reason, logic have a place in Life. That is the “office world.” We can hardly survive in that world without it. But to know harmony, we may need to open a different door.
Enjoyment of Life means to enter into that door of harmony.
Our “black or white” mentalities are not “trained” for harmony. We want to live Life in the “right” way, which is to follow a set of rules, commandments, expectations that we believe to be the representation of “righteousness.” We will apply those rules every time, the goal is to be consistent with our ideas. To be “right” we must get rid of “wrong.” “Wrong” is our definition of unacceptable…. Living in that intellectual, conceptual manner we lack fulfillment, harmony.
Harmony is not an idea, a concept. There is nothing to get rid of to make things “right” but rather to integrate. Can we integrate “right” with “wrong”? Not in our minds. Our strict “concepts” and ideals do not allow for that.
A song does not have a preconceived structure. It does not follow a particular pattern. A bird does not have limits of what is “right” or “wrong” to sing. Those are only expectations of the human mind, which are obstacles to discover joy.
“Mind” the environment. The inner and outer world. Be aware of the discordance of our own voice. Have we heard how unpleasant the sound of it may be? What we ARE manifests in so many ways.
Harmonious living cannot be put into a recipe. There is no method to study, concept to DO or commandments to follow.
Harmony changes continuously. Every song Life plays even though different, is in accord with the time, setting and environment. That is why, no one could teach another to be harmonious. Moving with it, is not following it. That is beyond the limits of any sort of “spirituality” or moral standards. Without harmony; enjoyment of Life is reduced to another method to “practice” and achieve by our monkey mind.
An enticing “objective” only to dream about. 🙂
To arrive at a different awareness we may need to find for ourselves the insanity of our deep beliefs. Life will present the trigger, the instant that we may need to appreciate to find the “gem.” That “gem” could be a simple rock, nevertheless; it comes from the depth of our being, as the trophy for looking where “no man has gone before.”
Richard was walking down the beach. There was a fisherman there. As he walked by, Richard saw a container with small silver colored fish. Richard looked closer at the container and a small cute fish swam towards the surface of it. It seemed as if the fish wanted to get out but it couldn’t.
Richard wanted to “liberate” the fish, but he felt short to talk to the fisherman, maybe because of fear, maybe because of shame. Richard decided to stay close by and observe.
Richard was shame, fear, fairness, sadness, anxiety… but he wasn’t violence at that moment.
As Life has it, just a few minutes passed by and the fisherman decided to go someplace. The fisherman took the container with little fish and he walked by the Ocean with it… Richard thought “Yes! Release them.” But the fisherman swoosh around the content of the container and threw the fish towards the white sand away from the Ocean… some birds standing by did not hesitate to have a feast with the small fish!
Richard felt sad, guilty, he felt like a coward…
“Wait a minute… what is the big deal with fish? It is just fish. No big deal!”
That is what a fish represents for everyone else but Richard.
When Richard goes by the Ocean, fish will jump looking at him. Their jumping out of the Ocean and into the air, is a precious sight to watch. There is a language there between fish and Richard, an experience that no one else could be able to understand. Richard loves fish as a human could love their own pet. That is the story, which is not in the surface, which is not known to everyone… Fish are “special” for Richard.
For that “reason,” Richard felt at that time that he betrayed his “friends.”
Life will show us different stories.
For the fisherman; those fish meant something different. They meant food, and so for the birds.
The scene was meant to bring certain emotions in Richard.
Seeing fish jump out of the water and enjoying that unique moment, is to enjoy Life.
To use that moment to decorate Richard’s passive ego by giving to fish a certain significance such as “special,” “friends,” and any other label to bring closeness and partiality towards them to the point of feeling a need to protect them, that is another story.
Out of that need to “protect” something which does not call for protection, an “active” ego is born.
“Richard: Protector of fish, the innocent, the unprivileged ones, the handicapped, etc.” but… as much as Richard is known to be brave, he is a coward as well… for he didn’t save his friend, (as the Disney channel could show how a Dolphin will save his “friend” the dog, from the evil Shark when “cute dog” fell off the boat of his master… I mean human friend.)
The ideal was broken and Richard was able to see how his emotions were dependent on that “savior image” that he (the “I”) has placed upon himself.
The passive ego suffers. The passive ego will call himself derogatory names to feel “better.”
Didn’t the fisherman feel bad for throwing the fish to the birds?
No. He acted according to his nature. He gave food that he didn’t need to the birds. He may have thought of himself as “helping the birds” but the passive ego can believe anything about himself. “Fish” means something different for the fisherman than for Richard. This scene only brought emotions, which inflicted self-punishment in Richard.
That was a great opportunity to heal.
Fortunately, Richard was able to observe that “sad” story in himself at that moment … so he is no longer that “sadness.”
The passive and the active ego will play with our emotions when a scene of Life “attacks” a deep belief. To be open, means to be able to recognize other perceptions in Life: The fisherman and the bird’s. Perceptions are not wrong, neither right.
Life is truly a movie. We are not “part of it,” we are “it,” the movie itself…. One. When we lose that perspective we may get caught up with deep collective human beliefs. Suffering will arrive when our ego has invested itself to promote or defend a particular belief and that belief is being challenged in Life.
As Richard learns to see that the fish became part of the bird, he could understand that the perception of horror of a separated ego fighting to keep himself alive, is just another perception. Death is part of Life. We could embrace it or we could reject it. The ego rejects… Ego cannot see beyond its little “self.”
Consciousness cannot be destroyed. Therefore, the easiest thing to do in Life, is to let go… but we were taught to stick with the difficult, to fight for the static “I” to continue on despite changes.
The role of the victim and the hunter are continually played in Nature. In the human world, we have the same roles but with more “civilized” labels; the coward and the brave. Every being gets to play both roles.
We are taught to stick with one role and to reject the other.
That is insane.
Both roles depend on each other. They are One. If you experience one side, you must experience the other side. What could be the “moral” of the true story above?
Embrace both. There is a coward in every brave man as there is a victim in every hunter, for Death is in Life as Life is in Death.
Only labels separate what otherwise could not be separated.
When there is knowledge of any kind in our intellect (scientific, religious, beliefs, etc.) we will believe that knowledge to be true and we will try to act accordingly. This activity based on intellectual knowledge is what is commonly known as doing “good.” Every religion has its own body of knowledge. We have commandments, laws, spiritual guidelines, codes of conduct, traditions, instructions, etc.
Nevertheless, many times we fail to realize that any of those “good” laws or their combination cannot fit the immensity of life and living life, those things cannot fit the many possibilities of living life. Thus, many individuals will choose to live a life of restriction based upon the understanding of certain laws. Their lives could be described in a piece of paper as the commandments they follow.
Those “laws” are not life. Those “laws” or guidelines are “fingers pointing to the Moon.” The Moon cannot be described in lengthy books, thus, it is an illusion that 10 instructions or 1000 could fit every aspect of life.
To experience the Moon is the goal, not to be stuck in the fingers. Experiencing the Moon is not just one experience. There are many, based on timing, circumstances, sensibility, state of mind, etc.
When I appreciate a bird singing in the morning, my sensibility is opened. This wonder is not man created. This wonder of life comes from a pure source of beauty which is Nature. No one can dispute the existence of Nature. It is there, every day, every night. It is just that TV has a greater pull, the cubicle at work and plenty of coffee has more to offer to our sleepy minds than the kiss of the handsome prince from Nature, to awaken us; the sleeping beauties, from the nightmare of living life in the “rat race.”
Nature is not metaphysical. We cannot make a religion out of Nature as we could out of God, however; the sounds of Nature, the vibrations , the colors; the experience is completely alive and when there is sensitivity for beauty, we could perceive it; and that brings its own change to our sleepy minds. That receptivity to beauty is all we need to “do.”
Then the commandment comes: “ I must not be attached to Nature.” That is when the “fingers pointing to the Moon,” become our worse nightmare. Intellectually I can understand attachment and intellectually I will force myself “not to be with Nature on a regular basis so I don’t’ get attached to it.” 🙂 for this is my perceived “truth.”
That is the time when our “spiritual life” turns into one restriction after another.
We have not understood our mind. That is the problem.
The mind will like something. It will not like something else. It will be indifferent toward certain things. That is all folks! 🙂
If the mind “likes something,” then it will get attached to it. If the mind, does not like something; then it will reject that. If the mind is indifferent, then nothing will happen. As long as there is “mind” in us, we will fluctuate between those 3 states. As long as the mind “likes” Nature; that is the thought of “liking,” has entered; then the commandment to “regulate,” things will use the other aspect of the mind; that is to reject something. “I must not be in Nature for too long..” Note that this is the war of the mind.
Indifference is not the key either, for indifference does not allow appreciation; when appreciation is lacking, life loses its zest, its sacredness. It becomes the “same ol’ thing.”
Here is where the teaching of “no mind,” or to go beyond the mind or to have an empty mind, becomes important. Even though, we have knowledge that life is a movie; our minds are continuously playing its own movie. We believe that movie of the mind to be true and become entangled in the issues which are merely a reflection of our own liking something and being attached to it or fully rejecting something else which could turn around at any time.
Finally, in that state of duality of the mind, there cannot possibly be love.
To experience the Moon with the mind, is a recipe for trouble. As a matter of fact, there is no experience as long as the mind is in between.
What do we do?
Observe. That is become aware, conscious that this is happening. That is the study.
Is the mind “bad” then? No. Neither “good” nor “bad.” It just is. Imagination comes from it, dreams come from it; that is why life is really a dream for most of us; thus the need to wake up. 🙂