Growing out of “spiritual words.”
We rely heavily on words to understand. We think we know, when we got the concept or a definition. “Life/Spirituality” is not in the realm of words and language. Words are merely vague descriptions.
For example, the “problem” is “anger.” The solution is to be “centered.” Thus, to “practice” being centered, is the “homework” to attain the label “conqueror of anger.”
Anger is not a problem. The consequences on how we handle that energy is the issue. Anger is an experience, an emotional experience which needs to be observed, conscious of, aware of. If we label it as a “problem,” we are denying the other side of duality.
“What is that?”
The same energy that produces anger in one extreme, is the same one that will produce compassion on the other side.
Daylight and night are the experience of what we label as a day. Both come together. If we make a “problem” out of daylight, then our days will be fixated in “solving” something that does not need to be solved, only observed.
In the “office world,” we are taught to “solve problems.” We are trained to be “problem solvers.” That same mentality does not “work” in Life. There is nothing to “solve” but rather to be aware of as everything changes at its own time. We could push change by following our own agenda, by using violence and hide it with pretty labels such as “justice,” “the need of the time,” etc.
Our society, morality, values, spiritual coaches and religions are typically caught up in identifying “good,” defining it, labeling it and “practicing it.” That mentality does not have any depth. Any change in it is superficial.
Observe how many laws and codes of conduct man has followed throughout history. Observe that any change in human psychology has been superficial. Only in behavior and as long as someone is “watching.”
That is how God was needed. An honest, “God fearing individual” knows that “God is watching him,” thus that is no honesty at all. It is just a “spiritual” façade.
“To practice good” is the most dishonest behavior a person could engage in.
You ARE. If you practice something that you aren’t, you are merely covering that which you ARE with some belief of what “should be.” BE AWARE of what you ARE so change can happen.
A person “practicing” to be centered as to avoid anger, is making himself believe that he is achieving something. The reality is that the word “centered” is misleading our mind. Thus, I will practice what I believe to be “centered.”
My belief is based on my understanding, my interpretation of some spiritual class, some “best seller” book or just my understanding of the dictionary definition of the word “centered.”
Observe that we are caught up in words. We are caught up in the understanding of the mind. Just observe the energy of anger (don’t even use that label internally) without reacting. Be aware of it, let it go through you. This is to acknowledge the process.
Most individuals only want the “magic pill,” the “method to get rid of anger.” That is why “spiritual salesman” of quick-fixes are making a living by “helping others.”
Those individuals buying quick-fixes are not ready yet for inner Awareness. The same happens with Tantra. A “quick fix” to have “great sex,” to “last longer” will not necessarily lead to a fulfilling Life. Selling the icing of the cake without the cake is like building a house without foundation.
“But Ahnanda… you have written good arguments but you have not given a solution to anger… “
Well my friend, it seems that the above hasn’t been understood. I wonder If I am not using the “right words.”
Here is your “solution.” Remove yourself from the world for 90 days. Live by yourself, alone without any human company, TVs, phones, computers, etc. When you go back to the “real world,” you will be AWARE and sensible about the energy of anger.
“But Ahnanda… that is not practical. We have to make a living, we have jobs, studies, relationships, a life to take care of…”
I understand. Then, follow a quick fix. Pick any. Practice it… Pay for it so it is “worth it.” Ask for a money back policy. Would that work?
“Ahnanda… you surprise me. First you say that “quick fixes” are only superficial, but yet you are giving me that “solution” to my serious enquire about anger. Why are you doing that?”
Ah! My friend…So you don’t get angry. See, I am “helping you.” 🙂
The limits of adaptation in Life
All diseases are psychosomatic. Observe that there is no separation between the body/mind/soul. It is a continuous of interlaced “things.”
Your stomach hurts? That stomach is related with other bodily parts as well as with emotions/sensations. To try to separate this “reality” of oneness is to create a problem for adaptation.
When there is lack of adaptation, there is a disease.
That is why, when we say: “I am a soul/spirit and not a body,” that innocent phrase creates rejection of the body by placing it below other things deemed to be “good,” “holy,” etc.
That rejection creates an aversion to the pleasurable sensations that the body could bring for the sake of being “spiritual.”
If we label “spirituality” as the absence of consciousness of a body, we are negating the reality of the wholeness of the experience of Life.
Therefore, the question “Who am I?” is a limit for adaptation.
As we define “who I am?” that which we think we “are not” becomes the “thing” to reject, negate, forget, and even pretend that it is not there.
A definition narrows down the extension of our “knowing,” what is meant to be without borders.
When something does not have artificially created borders, it is open for further exploration, it is open for newness.
Is the “virtue” of goodness something that you value in someone?
When that goodness is limited by our beliefs and philosophies; that goodness is no longer goodness but just a “picture” instead of the “real” thing.
Paradoxically, our concepts, our “knowledge” become a limitation to adapt to the changes in Life.
As Life changes, some would like to remain static in time:
Decaying rather than evolving; while believing in the virtue of being true to a static belief.
The old paradigm of dual moral teachings based on the acceptance of what is considered to be “good” over that which is considered to be “bad,” is no longer what is required for our consciousness to expand.
Because that paradigm brings guilt and fear, which in turn will not allow us to adapt to Life’s changes.
It is not that guilt and fear are “bad,” but they have timing. Those emotions could be a protection for sometime, to avoid acting in a certain way; but as Life changes and our consciousness do not, that guilt and fear become the ingredients for our own auto destruction.
As our consciousness grows, a different perception will arrive. It is called integration.
Some people like to call integration as “There is nothing bad.”
That definition becomes the door for misunderstanding.
Let me rephrase it: “There is nothing bad, because there is nothing good.” Everything is and by being what it is, there are only consequences, which will change according to time.
There is nothing static in Life, but our concepts, ideals, standards and the way our minds understand the world.
In that dissonance, it is difficult to flow with Life when all we are looking for is for Life to adapt to our needs and wants.
In a sentence, it is the drop of water wanting to control the Ocean.
Isn’t that ironic? If not plain stupid?
Does a triangle exist?
In “reality,” in the natural world, in Nature… It does not. It is a concept.
Nevertheless, we continuously use concepts to make up our “reality.”
A triangle could be used to build a house, yet that “reality” is non-existent in Nature.
As we go into this further, we will realize how far human concepts have become our way of living and how far we have gone apart from Nature.
I am not saying that to know how to use a GPS device is not useful… No.
I am saying that Nature is a completely stranger to us at this time.
We are trying to replace Nature with conceptual living, which is brought to us by our ideologies.
Yes.. I am communicating with you through our technology, the offspring of our ideas. Isn’t that marvelous?
However, these words wouldn’t be needed if we merely observe Nature and perform the “lost long son” parable, to establish a relationship back with “mother” Nature.
Technology is neither “good nor bad.” We embrace it, but because there is no harmonious balance, the weight leans towards the “conceptual” side of the scale.
Nature is One. The Universe is a song.
That song could be divided into different parts and we could dissect every sound to get to every instrument, but we cannot “analyze” the performance itself, the mastery of every artist, which in unison will make up that song.
A concept will only allow someone to perceive separated instruments, which is an illusion for that instrument cannot play by itself in “reality.”
The Universe is an orchestra with synchronous sounds. The magic is that this wonderful song is being played without notes to read.
No one has composed the song, but is being played “impromptu” which paradoxically, is the perfect and complete way to play. No “concepts” there.
Concepts such as “individual,” the “other,” “Paradise,” “salvation, “ etc. are just concepts which are necessary to explain a particular perception of Life.
Nevertheless, let me assure you that none of those concepts are “real” for none of those bring unity but rather division, separation and egotism. We cannot see oneness when lost in those concepts.
That is the paradoxical aspects of conceptual beliefs.
Although the idea, the concept is the pursue of righteousness, the end result is further separation and division among human beings and all other beings sharing the space of this planet , this Universe with us.
The call of time is not for a revolution. It is not for salvation, neither for “knowing” God.
The call of time is for sensibility of the “reality” of Oneness. It is a state of consciousness, which could be experienced when we open the door in our hearts to contemplate Nature for the sake of being there and without any purpose, any goal, any desire of getting something out it, such as “illumination.”
Being there with “mother” Nature for the sake of appreciation, as a nurtured kid will do with his own mother.
The Body-mind-spirit-soul connection
“I am a soul not a body.”
What about the mind?
What about the spirit?
Why some religions and philosophies spend so much of their beliefs in “conquering the mind” or “controlling the mind” if “I am not the mind”?
That is perhaps one of the most important realizations to go beyond the “head” and into the feeling of living Life.
Every word has an opposite.
That is how duality is created in our communication.
Now, that we could see this handicap inherent in the way we “think” (for words are needed to express thoughts) then we could see how plain stupid is the idea of “defining” God, “defining” who I am, “defining” Life, etc.
Do we see that we are using words to express in duality that which is not possible to express through duality?
Do we see how thinking alone cannot bring a different state of consciousness, other than the perception of separation?
Living life in joy is not concerned in the most minimum in defining or conceptualizing Life.
Do not define yourself to be able to change, to flow, to live.
The unity of the body, mind, spirit, soul is artificially divided through thought; when in “reality” it is unity which no label or definition could touch.
Do we see that?
Moreover; the unity of body, mind, spirit, soul is ONE with everything else, for it cannot exist all by itself. Totality.
Do we see that?
Let me put it in another way.
Any thought is doomed to separate what otherwise is not. That is why any “intellectual” cannot “walk his talk” in “spirituality.”
“ Me and God alone.”
That phrase is full of separation. Full of “I.”
Let me put it in yet another way…. 🙂
Thinking and its entire family of beliefs, judgments, assumptions, analysis, logic and reasoning are not the “tools” to live Life in Joy.
I could hear a “black or white” follower saying:
“ Thoughts are bad then. We must make effort not to think.”
That is a gross misinterpretation just as to believe that by denying ourselves from Life’s pleasures and becoming an ascetic or a “renunciate” we could be “better.”
Thoughts are extraordinary tools to live Life in the “office world.”
Integration rather than rejection.
Life’s pleasures are part of the whole experience of living.
Separating pleasure from pain, we have created a duality. Choosing one over the other, we have created an illusion.
There is no separation between pleasure and pain for the experience of one, necessarily leads to the experience of the other.
Just like the experience of hot and cold, light and darkness, good and bad…
Want to feel guilty? Want to ask God for forgiveness?
Make that separation. That is all it takes.
A dogmatic view
What color is the sky?
Depending on our consciousness, there will be an answer.
Let us say that some individuals were born color blind but with possibility to recover their “in color” vision.
One of them had a vision of the sky on a sunny day. He was amazed at the color that he saw: “It is blue!” he said.
“Blue” was something that the others could not understand for that wasn’t in their experience.
For all we are concerned, he could have said: “It is yellow,” but still it wouldn’t be understood.
Those who could see colors realize that “blue” is a vague identification of the color of the sky. There are many types of blue. Many shades. Many tones.
As the “color blind” people around were amazed to witness the “transformation” of the person who identified the sky as “blue,” everyone followed him.
The “blue sky” person became a “colorful” person. He was different. Everyone decided to follow him to have a portion of his experience.
They had “knowledge” now. The sky is blue.
What color is the sky?
“We believe the color of the sky is blue. That is right. Everything else is wrong.”
That is a dogmatic view.
The color of the sky changes for life changes. The color of the sky cannot be reduced into a word.
What would happen if one of the color blind people awakens his full vision while looking at sunset hours? That is when shades of red, orange, yellow, white and blue are perceived in the sky.
A new religion will be born, for sure.
Some scientific people will spend their time analyzing the sky. Their question is: Does the sky exist?
Define what is “sky,” perhaps some will ask.
Hiding behind that definition lays the “trap.”
My definition is not the sky, but just a definition.
Others may ask, ‘Why is the sky blue?”
Some may say: “It is due to the color of Ozone.”
It is 3 molecules of Oxygen.
That makes sense! Now, I know!
But others may say: “According to so and so, Ozone is colorless.”
The endless search for answers gives the illusion of knowing. That is the other extreme of a dogma.
A dogmatic view of life is completely closed to the possibility of change. Their dogma could be put into words to live by.
A dogma is a rejection of the possibility of newness. It is in that view how our beings are unable to perceive change and to embrace it for fear of losing that which we may think to know.
Knowing is not words. It is not a sentence or a book. It is experience. That experience cannot be put into words.
A dogma is composed of words. It is a closed “post-office” of never sent letters, in the immensity of the world.
“Why is the sky blue?”
Because it is blue.
Now, let us try replacing the word “sky” for “spiritual” words such as: God, soul, spirit, goodness, mind, etc, etc, etc.
The inherent issue of “I am a soul.”
Sharings now, may not be easily digestible. They may not be for “general audiences” anymore.
That is the small print.
Every time the words “I am a soul” are mentioned, there is an inherent separation, a rupture which will be experienced by those located in the consciousness of individuality.
When we add in that consciousness words such as: “I am a soul and not a body,” then automatic negation of the body will appear. For some it could even go to the extreme of denial of everything the body represents.
In the path of the “Life walker,” the first thing we may want to be conscious of, is to be honest with ourselves. That is, to stop lying and denying our “true” perceptions.
Some may “know” that they are “souls” but when the body feels ill, they may realize that the theory behind “I am not the body” may need to be checked. If “I am not the shoe” and the shoe is bothering you , just take the shoe off and continue walking barefooted in joy.
That is not the case with the body.
This mentality of dissecting things, to find out who “we are” is clouded by our language, by thinking and intellectual understanding.
The word “soul” is a concept open to interpretation. To live life pretending that “I am experiencing that interpreted concept” is a self-infused lie.
There is an essence that feels in every human being, we could call it “soul” but that essence is void of personality and individuality.
It is the identification with the body what brings individuality along with the consciousness going at a particular point in time, which creates a personality.
The “soul,” the essence; is like a camera. The camera is meant to take pictures. To take pictures is the nature of the camera. To say “I am a camera” without considering the pictures is of no consequence.
In that analogy, the pictures are what the camera is able to do through its sense organs (body) however, there is a need of a “perceiver.” That “perceiver” is brought about by consciousness.
When someone is “unconscious” the “soul” is there but there is no feeling. Lights out.
That is why consciousness is what every sentient being has in common. Without consciousness the “soul” is nothing, but a dormant sleepy beauty… although eternal.
That is how we could explore consciousness without denying the perception of who “we are.”
Consciousness perceives. That perception may change in time. When a sense of individuality has been created, the mind and thoughts come into the picture to support that idea of “I am.” The ego when supporting that idea, contradicts the free flowing changes in consciousness.
Do we see that?
Therefore, wouldn’t make sense to study, to observe that which supports the idea of “self”? Our emotions, traumatic experiences, judgments and thoughts do not allow that universal consciousness to manifest as it should be according to time.
The kid “who decides” to stop playing with dolls in a natural way; could experience a psychosis if a dogma prescribes that “to play with dolls is good” and it must be done for as long as the kid lives for otherwise, there will be punishment.
That is the religious mentality of fear and punishment. Paradoxically, it is not bad; but necessary for the growth of many, to become aware.
Mathias the wise tree; suggested an easy exercise for conscious living to Ananda.
Here it goes:
“Sit down early in the morning with your palms in your lap facing upwards. Breathe in and out feeling your breath as your stomach inflates and deflates, synchronize your thoughts and feelings to be one along with your breathing.
That is consciousness without movement.
The next step is to put everything together while moving. Be conscious of your breath while walking as well as your thoughts and feelings.
That is all.”
It seems so easy… 🙂
Do we recognize our thoughts? Do we recognize our feelings? Do we know what our breathing is?
There are no concepts in that practice to believe in, nothing to lie ourselves about. Simple as a bird flying high in the sky… 🙂
Life out of the box
The intention behind the action is the determining factor in the consequence of it.
We cannot hide our intentions to life, although we could dress them up with pretty words to defend our “morality.”
That is how “Being” is before “Doing” and Karma is not understood unless the intention, the feeling behind that action is identified.
For a religion or a society it may be easier to judge individuals according to their actions. That will give them some objectivity.
It is easier to punish someone and call him “bad” or “evil” in that way, but it is very difficult to pinpoint the feeling the intention behind it.
Being virtuous in life is not a matter of “working on a virtue” or “making effort.”
In that realm of understanding, we are caught up with conceptual living.
Love is “good” but love is not a definition to practice, to be “better at.” To work on “being loving” or to “make effort” to love is just strengthening the “I.”
Unless there is a change in consciousness, that means opening our own limits to life itself, we may not be able to grasp a new consciousness.
There may be plenty of pretty words and rules to follow to give us the idea that we “are being good,” but a concept cannot do the trick.
When we open ourselves to the experiences that life is bringing, we will be out of our comfort zone. That means, the “I” will be challenged.
Any ideas, beliefs or preconceptions of the “I” could be challenged.
If there is no selection coming from an “educated” trained mind, but rather; there is the feeling to flow with life without “making decisions,” our journey will be aligned with “what is.”
“What is” is not the understanding of the “I.”
To live in a “box” of comfort is the tendency of most human beings.
That “box” has “life insurance” for us. There is a step-by-step path to follow that humans have made up to get someplace, even to get to Paradise after we die.
Ahnanda is saying that it is not like that.
Every individual has its own path based on his own experiences in life and his own consciousness.
Life presents different flavors to taste. Humans like to think that by tasting all, the “I” could select what he likes and what he does not, creating in that way a duality which rejects life by rejecting one side of the duality.
Ahananda is saying that every flavor is to be tasted and appreciated when it is happening. That is, enjoyed in that moment to the fullest.
For that a tremendous ability to be open and accepting to life is needed, something which there is no religion or commandment that could teach.
To honor life, to trust it, to live it, to enjoy it, to appreciate it… to be in awe and wonder, to be open without armors… to dissolve the “I.”
That is all.