When I read that quote, a sense of elation invaded me.
That quote is not coming from thinking, that is by conditioning.
For mainstream, there is “good and bad.” For mainstream, morality is about choosing “good” over “bad.”
Let me pretty up that word “morality,” so it has a “good” reception in our mind: To be “ethical.” 🙂
I don’t know who the author of that quote is or what he does. It doesn’t matter.
Nevertheless, let me add another spin on that “insight.”
There cannot be “the only truth” as we are dealing with perceptions. That is why, there is no “good or evil.” That is known as duality. Duality is another perception.
However, there is cause and effect. Every action will bring its own effect which will be experienced by the originator of that action.
Isn’t “cause and effect” another perception? 🙂
Yes and No. 🙂
Test it for yourself. Anything we “do” has a consequence. Anything “we” think may not…( A thought came to me, rather than “I” thought a thought… “I thought I saw a pussy cat”… 🙂 )
That is “karma 101” explained by religious groups and philosophies.
That is how for some religions there are “good actions” and “bad actions.”
Nevertheless, actions are neutral without intentions.
The consequences will happen based on our intention.
If my intention has an ulterior motive, if my intention is to separate, to segregate, to bring antagonism, to “rob” from the Totality, the consequences will be suffering for the “doer.”
Some individuals do not realize that their intention behind the action drives the consequence. That is why, we need to check our feelings. If I feel angry, my intentions will come out with that anger which means separation.
In “Religion 101” we were stuck with actions only as “good or bad.”
“Sex is bad.” “Marriage is good.” “Divorce is bad.”
The above is very easy to label and to promote for followers to follow.
It is very difficult to check the intentions, for the only person that could know is the one acting.
“But, I gave her a box with chocolates… I wanted to be “good” with her… and she turned them down.”
The perception of the intention could be heard by some accurately and misunderstood by others.
That is how it is easier to stick with actions as “good and bad.” It is safe, simple but not complete.
When the great Tao is forgotten,
Kindness and morality arise.
When wisdom and intelligence are born,
The great pretense begins.” ( Tao te Ching – Ch 18)
Another good insight! If we think about it, if we try to rationalize it, we will not understand.
Insight comes from knowing, from being able to recognize something without thought. It is intuitive.
There is “cause and effect.” That is known as Karma. This is not a belief. It is something that we could observe in life. An action powered by our intentions will have a consequence in the Totality, in life because there is interdependence, interbeingness.
Because the return comes back to the “doer” then there is “someone” who receives the fruit. That someone is what is known as the soul. It is the essence, which goes beyond a simple lifetime, but could extend to several lifetimes. That is how “reincarnation” comes into being, not as another belief, but as a natural consequence of observing cause and effect and the understanding of the soul’s immortality.
What is the “reason” why Tom was born around unfit parents? How come Jerry was a silver spoon child?
Cause and effect.
Otherwise we could believe that God selected those scenarios for Tom and Jerry… and they only have one lifetime to “shape up” and become believers or, they could be “punished forever.” 🙂
There is no “good or bad” but just cause and effect, as everything is necessary in the Totality just as it is, however the consequences are experienced by the “doer.”
If my intentions are to enhance my ego and to forget about the common good, then the consequence will be an obvious separation from the totality of life which means greater ego colored by a sense of pride. That will cause suffering which in turn will allow the person to realize that it is time to change his ways.
That is why suffering is not “bad.”
This “process” could take many lifetimes. Nevertheless, just like the phases of the moon, every human being will enjoy a time of fullness and a time of emptiness.
Guaranteed or your money back… 🙂
The range of experiences is complete for everyone, but at different times.
The soul is eternal and so is consciousness and life.
The soul even though is individual, it is not individuality; it is part of a totality, just like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle. The piece by itself is worthless unless it is in relationship with other pieces to make up a story, a reality… life.
The above is the paradox of the soul.
Nevertheless, the experience of “nothingness” or “emptiness” as Zen or Buddhism puts it… is nothing else but the experience of the soul.
The empty canvas.
Then we could make sense of some religions believing that we are “souls” and others not bothering about concepts and merely saying that we are “nothing,” “empty.”
For a person without experience, those 2 apparent belief systems are contradictory. But going beyond the words and definitions, we could see that it is the same thing.
Same talk different words.
Experience is everything.
A soul is an empty canvas. Many empty canvases will only reflect emptiness, silence, void, peace, etc.
When the painter known as “Life” for some and “God” for others, arrives to paint its colors and shapes over those canvases, then a personality appears. Every canvas has a different theme according to experiences in a lifetime.
That is the game.
The painter will paint. The canvases will let themselves be painted on… until it gets to be “blank” again… then we could call that death, debt or last breath… the canvas is meant to be painted again… and life will do so and “I” will be born out of the ashes again, but with different colors and a different theme….but the same old canvas.
I could put the above explanation, to be surrounded by religious beliefs. I could even say that if you don’t join my selective group, you will be lost forever… and punished in top of that!
But then, we wouldn’t be able to smile, to live life to the fullest and in fear of not being enough or doing enough… etc.
I wouldn’t do that to you ! 🙂 Life wouldn’t either. Games are meant to be fun, entertaining.
That is the game… Enjoy it! 🙂
When we observe the self to find “who we are” without using labels to define ourselves, then we will deal with our emotions.
We could use any technique to “bypass” our emotions, but anything could be just a temporary fix.
We need to heal by observing with gentleness and understanding.
When we are in that discovery “help” will arrive. Those are the mysterious ways that life has to allow someone to go back to its roots.
Some may call that experience as “listening to God.” 🙂 And God speaks in different ways to different people.
Along with our emotions, our beliefs will be waiting for our own scrutiny. Those beliefs could be comfortably rooted in “moral standards.”
This becomes a great challenge, for everything that we have known as “good or bad” is completely challenged.
The choice is to hang on to our mental beliefs and to put aside the call for inner discovery…or to go wholly into it… 🙂
Ashley was training her puppy “Oggy” on the intricacies of “going to the bathroom.”
Oggy didn’t have any idea of “good and bad” until Ashley taught him.
Oggy went on his “ normal business” near the sofa. Ashley perplexed with that sight and smell, promptly got the newspaper and started yelling “Bad dog” at him, while hitting Oggy’s little furry behind with the paper.
That is the time when “morality” was invented for little Oggy.
There is cause and effect. But there is no such a thing as “good or bad.” That labeling is meant to increase or decrease the perception of ourselves by creating guilt or arrogance.
That duality of “good and bad” arose when individuality, ego; became strong and settled. “Your good” may not be mine, but we live in society and we need to have standards. Those set of rules became what is known as “morality.”
Living in a society has its rules which need to be followed. I cannot play “Monopoly” with others without following the rules; however, the “rules” of “Monopoly” are not the standards of “illumination” that is, a different game requires different rules.
Nevertheless, some human beings have decided that the rules in “Monopoly” are the most elevated, moral and sublime. Moreover, if you dare not to support those rules, you are automatically labeled as “bad.”
Ananda was playing in the Ocean. Ananda observed that Nature is void of “morality.” The Ocean was tranquil. Ananda could not believe how something which does not have consistency could transform into something dangerous.
As Ananda was getting out of the Ocean, waves were hitting him with such a strength that he almost fell.
Isn’t that the same water? Is the Ocean “good or bad”?
Those same scary waves could be used by a surfer to enjoy the day.
Ananda then observed a sea-bird eating a little shrimp. The bird was completely still, waiting for its prey to arrive. When the time was right, the bird got the shrimp with its beak, crushed it and swallowed.
Was that seabird “bad”?
Now, the tricky part.
A human being kills another one. Is that human being “good or bad”?
We could say many things. We could debate about it.
But when we understand and experience “cause and effect” and our own eternity, there cannot be death, there cannot be killing. There is no need for justice, for cause and effect will take care of it… And one more thing… Everything is beneficial as it is, for there is no other way that it could be…
There are no hunters and no prey. No victims.
However, the individual could create a trauma out of that experience. An emotion. A rejection.
Nevertheless, the killer will go to jail if caught. Cause and effect. Or the killer could get a medal if the circumstances of the killing call for it. Cause and effect.
The above is not easy to understand and it is not the “Holy truth” either, but as we observe and become acquainted with the Natural way of things, the ways of Nature; we could see more. As our beliefs dissolve, we could see something new.
Mathias the wise tree, was speaking with Ananda while observing the Ocean.
Mathias: What is there is based on what you are offering to others…
Interacting with others require both parts to offer something, otherwise egotism and arrogance will increase.
Ananda: But what could I offer?
Mathias: Break “yourself” down. Dissolve yourself.
What a beautiful moment which human beings do not give themselves the chance to experiment!
What a beautiful time in which the experience will take you beyond time!
Maybe you, maybe I… maybe unity is the point of the encounter.
Mathias observes the Ocean and becomes a philosopher and a poet. Mathias elevates his sight to the sky and he dissolves himself… becoming one… becoming nothing.
Being an eternal being means that every one of us will experience different experiences at a certain point. Usually we call those experiences, “good” or “bad.” That is only a limited perspective, a still picture in the movie of life. When we only see the still picture; we could suffer unnecessarily. When we see the movie of life and the message behind it in an “unlimited” way, we could understand the “timing” for a particular being and the experiences, which are necessary for their growth.
We need to learn to trust life and in the meantime, to be joyful of the moment which is not related with circumstances or a context around us, but just because we are living life.
Jesse was born with a handicap. His brain lacked a supply of oxygen for a couple of minutes during his birth.
This event had a consequence in his development. He had speech problems and his physical age did not match his mental age.
He was a teenager mentally when he was physically a middle-aged man.
As we could foresee, Jesse had problems relating with people. When he was a kid, some “mean people” used to make fun of him and his speech pattern.
His mother over protected him in such way as to completely void him from being able to take care of himself.
Jesse was growing up with a sense of self-pity and some anger for not being accepted by all.
Jesse felt either sorry coming from others or derision.
Jesse was losing his mind as he perceived the world as being too harsh for him.
Ananda was Jesse’s friend.
Ananda went to see Mathias, the wise tree. He wanted to ask him about his friend, Jesse. Ananda was concerned about helping Jesse.
Ananda: I have a friend who is living a pitiful life. I mean, what is there for him to live for?
Mathias: You are sad about that, right?
Ananda: Yes. Even though I understand that every human being needs to perform a particular role in life which happens due to cause and effect and the capacity of that particular being to experience duality, I feel sad when something like this happens to someone who is close to me.
Mathias: Tell me some good things that you see about Jesse’s life.
Ananda: Well… He is alive. He is still living with his parents, which is something that many people would have loved to but at some point they have to depart and forget about being kids. Jesse likes to help animals and he has a good sense of humor….
Mathias: Good! Then you are starting to see the complete picture from your perspective.
Ananda: But still… Why he has to go through that type of life?
Mathias: There is a tyrant that at one point in time destroyed everything which was at his service. The experience that Jesse is going through is neither “good,” nor “bad,” but necessary. If you just look at the still picture you can get lost in it feeling pity when there is no need for that. See the whole movie. Be unlimited.
Jesse is an immortal being as you know. He has to go through a particular experience to let go of his own stubbornness and for that, he needs to give up, open himself to life. Until that does not happen, he will only experience the same thing, over and over.
He will have that openness when his time arrives. That is why those experiences are there for. Every being is unique and every being needs particular experiences.
Ananda: how can I help to make his experience easier on him?
Mathias: Love and discipline. He only understands those 2 sides. Be his friend, his brother, and his father at certain times. He will listen.
Ananda: But many times he does not listen what I tell him…
Mathias: Drop that ego my friend. You can only communicate your feelings with love. He will do the rest when the time arrives. In the meantime, you could be joyful… and smile… 🙂
In the video shared about Mooji, he mentioned about the realization that “I don’t do anything as we get to explore the self with greater extent.” Notice that this is a realization through observation: I wake up, without an alarm I have “no control” of the time that I will wake up. Still with an alarm, many things could go “wrong,” the battery of the alarm, the fact that I went to sleep hungry and couldn’t sleep well and overslept, etc. If we look at every activity that we do, we will see the chain of “cause and effect” behind it… and in this life, how that “chain reaction” started without my “choosing.” Do we see that? 🙂
In the first video, we will explore a “brainy” point on predestination and the fact that “if I am not responsible for my own actions, because I really have no free will, then I cannot be accountable for my actions. I am not guilty of them.”
The above reasoning of course is used as a good argument to see the need for “free will;” otherwise, why put serial killers in jail, if they are not truly responsible for their actions?
In the second video with Mr. Eckhart Tolle; he discusses our “responsibility,” and that is in the well-being of our own consciousness. He even expresses about this illusory entity called the “me” (which agrees with Mooji)and then, he “enlightens” us with “Who you “are” is the primary consciousness. What you “do” follows that.”
Please pay special attention to those words and observe them in yourself as they have great significance.
Notice the video below, “The Quran speaks” a good program due to the questions the interviewer is asking. The questions are answered by Dr. Shabir Ally.
In this video we can see that all is about “justification” of God. How “free will” is necessary to get God out of the hook for “creating” evil(because He created good, he created evil as well because one side cannot exist without the other.) “Final outcomes are not predetermined,” even though often scriptures talk about God knowing beforehand what will happen. Not only that, the belief of reincarnation, goes beyond the realm of “free will” and “choosing,” because there is “cause and effect” in it. However, a “Heaven” and “Hell” puts the “choice” back into the individual.
This is the Muslim belief as well as the Christian belief and other God centered religions. There is Godly judgment, so you are responsible for your actions.
Note that there is no point in the conversation where the word “consciousness” is used. All is about faith and beliefs. “Some beliefs do not seem to be rather logical…” Dr. Ally points out; but there are some beliefs which more logical than others, I may point out; however that does not mean that those beliefs are “truth.”
In this video everything is about responsibility of actions. I am responsible for them and God will judge me and either give me eternal hell or paradise in return.
Finally, in this video by Adyshanti, the word “oneness” comes into the picture. If everything is one, who am I? Part of that oneness. This “idea” will flow nicely with Mooji’s, Tolle’s and Zen about non doing our own actions but rather actions flow through us as we identify with them. That is how the “me” appears. Therefore, by concentrating in our actions, we will not solve anything “wrong” unless we take care first of our consciousness, because our actions follows consciousness as Mr. Tolle pointed out.
Consciousness is primarily, awareness and our extent of awareness will dictate how responsible we could be.
How do I make sense out of all the above information?
Easy. Experience it for yourself. This is not a matter of belief.
There is obviously a consciousness of “doing things” for some. Others will find that they do not do anything. Either way, as long as our consciousness hasn’t changed, then our activities whether we “do them” or not, those activities cannot be “elevated” unless my consciousness precedes them.
Consciousness precedes commandments and rituals.
Responsibility of action then is a matter of consciousness not a matter of beliefs.