Tagged: conditioning

Awareness is thy religion

To be alert, conscious of our own reactions and our environment as Life unfolds, at every moment, is the essence of being awake.
Otherwise, the mind has a continuous voice which we call “I.” That voice labels, judges, compares using the benchmark of its own conditioning. That voice clouds the perception of objectivity. Under that spell, the “same old thing” is the rule. That is safe, it is comfortable but at the same time unbearable, as Life loses its taste. We are eating the same thing over and over again.

When that voice is gone, we are free without “thinking” about it. We are free without running after the ideal. We experience a different reality.

How to “get rid” of that voice? By being aware of it.
Awareness is not some “action” that we do once in a while when we remember to do it; a “practice,” No!
Awareness grows naturally as our consciousness expands, that is when our pettiness shrinks.

Pettiness? Can you elaborate on that?

Our concern for salvation. Our desire for heaven. Our merchant mentality looking for personal profit in everything we do, whether worldly or spiritual, etc.
Our fear to face the unexpected is pettiness. Our hidden desire to be the “center of the universe” is utmost pettiness.

Many have their own life stories full of beliefs, interpretations about how life is “treating them.” Their sentimentality brings the “victim” syndrome which eventually, shows up as violence.
Everyone has their share of ups and downs in Life. We cannot compare which one is “greater,” for our capacity to adapt, enjoy and cope are different. Nevertheless, Life has lessons which are tailor made for every single one of us. Nothing is left to chance.

A lesson learned means the opportunity to increase our awareness.
How? Lessons in Life are meant to bring every resource we have gathered through experience. We just need the “right combination,” to use “the right set of tools.” That is known as maturity, which dilutes our pettiness.

There are many grown ups without maturity, for this doesn’t come with age necessarily but rather through assimilation of experiences.
We could experience many things in Life but unless there is assimilation of those experiences through impartial observation of them, those experiences become trauma, pettiness; which will not allow us to expand our consciousness.

It is particularly at this time, when we may need to become aware of our violent nature which may not be expressed physically against another, but nonetheless could be expressed through our own opinions, beliefs and idiosyncrasies.

Being aware of our violence is the practical way to allow love to flourish. Otherwise, love is relegated to be another pretty word used to sell more widgets, and to hide our fear to face our inner reality.

Our mental conditioning is our own demise

Within the words “reason and logic” our society has built its own way of looking and understanding the world. We say “the world around us” but it is truly within us.

The following has been taught and accepted by the great majority:
“There is good and bad. The “good” needs to prevail over the “bad.” We should strive to become good and eliminate evil completely.”

Most “normal” people will agree with that. After all, it is “logical,” “reasonable;” in a world where good and evil exists, one side has to fight the other and “win.” A logical, but violent deduction from a conditioned mind.
99% of movies, are made to fit that paradigm. We are fed with that idea day and night.

Traditional medicine, observes that paradigm as well. “The body fights against pathogens which are the cause of diseases.” That is the belief. Since pathogens are spread out like soldiers, traditional medicine will send a drug (an internal atomic bomb) to destroy “everything,” the pathogens and the defense mechanisms of the body included. Never mind any side effects and complications.
A person may have deep emotional issues or he may be negligent by eating traditional “fast food” on a regular basis; but we only see bacteria as the logical cause of the disease and we need to fight and “win.”

There are many more examples where the mindset of “us” against “them,” prevails.
Do we see the consequences of that limited view of Life? We have been conditioned to fight as a way of living.

Is a “reasonable” explanation enough to gain our belief? The worship of that little word “reason” is truly limiting our understanding of Life. I am not speaking about society with its “reasons.” I am speaking about Life.
Life is birth and death. Life is ups and downs. Life is our ability to enjoy and to mourn. Life is that empty sensation yearning to be filled with some meaning while still alive. We fill that with beliefs trying to convince ourselves that we are on the “right” track.

In the following ending paragraphs, lies my legacy to the “spiritually minded” future generations:

Life cannot be understood by the mind.
Good and bad are not separated.
A theist and an atheist are walking the same path.
Politics is violence.

What we were taught to believe and take as facts, are not the “truth” we thought they were. Go beyond beliefs. Find out for yourself.
Waking up from the dreamy world hasn’t been easy, but when it is our time; there is nothing we can do about it … but open our eyes.

Will resume writing on January 9, 2020.
Best wishes for the new year! 🙂

Question: Do I follow my fleeting huge attraction or my comfortable, unfulfilled but good life?

The question is here:
https://explore7.wordpress.com/about-2/#comment-18947

(Bottom of the “about” tab)

Thank you for your question.
It appears that you have an Indian background, where typically marriages are arranged and there is a negative stigma with being divorced. Here goes the small print before we start: Ahnanda does not give advice. Ahnanda only shares.

Clarity is brought through inner honesty. The mind does not know about inner honesty. The mind knows about compliance, convenience, tradition, among other things. Inner honesty is felt. We could choose to hear that and go for it (that is the hard part, to learn to listen without interference of the mind) and accepting all consequences. That will bring us a type of experience.
We could choose to ignore that inner feeling and go for the “Do what I am supposed to do” and also, accept the consequences. Which path is “better” ? None. It just depends who you ARE. Be honest with that.
That is the “clarity” that you were looking for.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you speak with your husband and let him know frankly, about the huge attraction that you feel for someone else? AND wouldn’t it be fantastic if your husband let you go with your attraction and allow you to come back to him if you wish since you have with him a “good life” already? Would that make you happy? Satisfied?
Many times, marriage turns into a license to possess another, but if we decided to play that game, we may need to play it until we call it quits. Don’t you think? You don’t mention if you have children. I am assuming you don’t.

Are you willing to give everything up for that attraction, not knowing how long it will last? Are you willing to stay stuck in a relationship without feeling fulfilled but comfortable? Rest assured that at least 90% of people have to answer that question at one point of their married lives.

What do you use as compass for your own Life? What do you believe is your purpose?
That is the important question, for that will bring you direction, clarity. Feel it.

In a previous article I shared what my friend Mathias mentioned about attraction:
” Attraction brings a collision. It is like a magnet. When that magnet attracts another object, a collision is unavoidable. Attraction has the ability to make someone lose their own essence. A “Life walker” does not reject attraction. He simply observes it in himself, smiles at the scene and continues on, not forgetting his life purpose. When a “Life walker” forgets his purpose for a few days, then that attraction will distract his mind, then his thoughts and his feelings will deepen that attraction.”

You have not mentioned if the other person feels the same for you. If you don’t know, then your mind is fantasizing. If you know he does, then are you willing to take the chance? It may work or it may not. You may be more miserable and your mind will make sure to complain about that later and blame your situation to someone else. But perhaps, you will be satisfied to follow that huge attraction. However, rest assured that something else will not go as you expect it. Guaranteed.

What do you want out of Life?
Children? Sexual fulfillment? Romantic love? Let that be your compass. Once you know, allow for Life to show you the path and be willing to accept it for that is what your heart desires: That experience.

Observe that you did not go with what you felt when you decided to get married. It may be that you accepted a tradition or your family pushed you into it; however; learn about the consequences of going with something which we do not feel 100% sure, although our conditioned mind may tell us that it is “best for us.”

Finally, know that there is a difference between feeling from the gut and the heart vs. an emotional outbreak like an attraction. In the world of duality you cannot have it all. That is the dream that many have bought into.
Don’t follow your dreams. That is conditioned utopia. Follow your compass, your purpose. Not what the mind tells you, but what you feel from the heart without distortion from emotions or mind games.

All the best.

Practical Spirituality

Many people are looking for some type of help to carry on with their lives.
The paradox being that even though we are supposedly more connected with more people, loneliness is felt with even greater intensity than before.

Most are looking for a sense of fulfillment, something where they could experience some type of value, the feeling of a worthwhile Life.
Why is it that even those who apparently HAVE everything, tend to destroy themselves?

It is not what you HAVE or what you DO, but what you ARE. BEING is important.

Where is the practical help?
Listen up. Forget your mind. Don’t think. Can you do that?
No? If we could control “our” thoughts at will, we could stop them, but we cannot.
Then, OBSERVE them. Make a space between them and you. Learn from that OBSERVATION. Those thoughts are not you, those thoughts appear in your mind’s display and all we DO is posses them. We believe those to be ours. “My thought.”

Many times those thoughts carry our hidden emotions, repressions and rejections that we have learned to manifest in Life, it is through the awareness of those, how we could heal these patterns.

Emotions are not logical. They are not reasonable. Do not expect that a logical therapy will heal them or release them.
Expect the unexpected. Observe the voice of your mind.
That is practical spirituality.

Forget about any religious philosophy. Forget about all the beliefs. Clear your mind from all the package of conditioning. Truly, those are worthless in Life.
It doest’matter how holy we believe those are. It doesn’t matter how respectable, true or valuable they appear to be.
Do yourself a favor and empty your mind from those.

There are no magic pills. No expensive treatments.

Learning about yourself is the hardest thing, the most useful, the most valuable.
It is what will bring fulfillment, when we empty our bag of conditioning.
If someone invents a vacuum cleaner to clean the mind, to make it pristine; that would be a worthwhile invention.
In the meantime, use your own broom and dustpan. That is practical spirituality.

The intelligent seeker

A time will come when we want to DO things “right.”
However, what is our standard for that? Our conditioning of what “right” should be.
It is from there how we envision “spirituality”: A God that should act in the “right way.” A “Paradise” where right-full people should go to enjoy Life forever, since they were busy suffering the mishaps caused by “others,” who in turn, will pay their dues in “hell.”

Our idea of “justice” is framed within those parameters: Give to A the same amount as to B. That is our concept of equality.
From there, a family will automatically implement those “values.”
Education then, becomes nothing but training to implement these ideals in the minds of children. We call that to do the “right thing.” Those “unfortunate” who are away from the system, are uneducated, handicapped children who are not in the same condition to “compete” with others in “Life.”

We could inquire into the “fairness” of competition. Then, we will find 2 contradictory “values,” justice vs. competition.
Contradictory “values” are the signature of our society. Thus, be smart. Use those as convenient. That is to be politically correct, right. Right? 🙂

Therefore, any spiritual teaching in alignment with values of society, are only preserving mainstream understanding. Those teachings could be helpful for some to fit with society’s values; but rest assured; that these teachings are not a reflection of the reality of Life. They only reflect our society.

The first thing to understand is that Life is not only what happens between 8 to 5 at work. It is not what happens on TV. It is not what happens in the family.
Life is more than that. To grasp Life we will need to go beyond our need to preserve that who we think we ARE. Our identification with that, will not allow us to move into the changing waves of Life.

Who we THINK we ARE, is not who WE ARE.
What others label us, is not who we are.
Let it BE undefined, without a conceptual idea.

Society is not prepared for that, but that is the starting point for deconditioning, otherwise; we become successfully trained with these teachings.

What are those teachings?
In a word: FEAR.
The future is more valuable than “now.”
Fear of punishment here and the afterlife.
Fear of the unknown. Death is perceived as something to avoid.
There are “good” and “bad” individuals. They could be easily recognized as if they were wearing a particular t-shirt color. Thus, we fear labels.
If you are not like us, you are against us.
If it cannot be controlled or regulated, it is “bad.” Sex comes to mind.
Pretty words and politicians will save the World.
Technology and math are the key for happiness.

Those values are heavily imprinted. This perception becomes our trauma in Life.
How could we be able to OBSERVE something different when we have that ingrained in our core?
That is the first question to resolve (for an intelligent seeker.)
Freedom from the known, is at the end of the street.

Not all teachings are the same for everyone

In Life everyone is different but yet the same. If we go by language alone, I haven’t said anything. Depth is beyond language.
Our society will make us the same in some aspects. Different in others. Those views become our conditioning, although; we may like to label those views as “truth,” “morality,” “Godly laws,” etc. as those labels will give us a sense of righteousness.
What we know as “spirituality,” is heavily conditioned by our learned views. When those views are supported by the collective consciousness, then acceptance is guaranteed. Those are the things that will sell. Those are the things that are viewed as “desirable.”
“Spiritual teachings” along those lines will sell. They are accepted for they do not deviate from mainstream. These are easy to understand through language. Popular “teachers” and “gurus” conform to this.

For instance, it is popular to DO something to change things according to our beliefs. That may be labeled as “spiritual,” but it is only a continuation of what we have learned in society. The collective consciousness understands DOING. You may sign up for a retreat. Invest in some meditation classes. Join a “spiritual” group, etc. All of those things are DOING something.
If the Guru believes that we need “sexual education” to change our views and practices of sex; that is accepted for “education” is a word with “good” connotation. Sign up for the class. DO something to become “more spiritual,” to gain more satisfaction through sex, etc. Those are the promises.

The above is for the majority of people; our conditioning is OK with that. Nevertheless, a different level of spirituality beyond the understanding of the masses, does not reside in DOING things. It is totally involved with BEING.
Exploring BEING. Becoming AWARE, CONSCIOUS of BEING.
That does not require classes or retreats. It does not require buying a book or a guru. It requires to have the capacity for self-observation. However, while we are not there; there is plenty to DO. Sign up…
There are many “techniques” to learn and master. Many degrees and certifications to pursue. Many levels to become “enlightened.” There is plenty of entertainment for the mind.

For the few: BEING is about unlearning. BEING is about slowing down: Slowing down thoughts. Slowing down movements. Slowing down our necessity to go to places and meet people. We cannot force this to ourselves as another “spiritual practice,” it should arrive naturally to be true. Therefore, there is nothing to achieve. No goals. It comes at its own time.
That cannot sell. No one could make money out of it. There is no amount of DOING that could change BEING, but that is a realization of the few and through that, there is automatic unlearning.

The path of BEING is pathless, so no books could be written about it. There are no steps to follow, no proven methods to DO. It is in this apparent chaos which is continually challenging our beliefs, where light shines.
An illuminated BEING is its own light. Not because he wanted to achieve that; but because it happened in his path. That light serves to illuminate other paths, the ones around him. But, there is no desire to illuminate no one’s path. It just happens.
A lighted candle cannot help but illuminate.

The conditioning behind the word “Spirituality.”

Are you working on achieving peace of mind? Do you want to get rid of your vices to achieve something like heaven?
The above is only a continuation of the views of our “modern” society. Most individuals are framed in that. Through that tunnel, they can only see achievements, self-imposed changes to fit some ideal. Our society works that way, but Life does not.
Peace of mind is only a concept. For those who “know,” peace is in no-mind. That is not an achievement. That experience cannot be defined. Life does not fit our language, but our language fits the general perceptions of the collective consciousness.

Do you like to swim? Then swim. Enjoy that activity. But for our society that is not enough. Just to swim is “boring.” We need to improve ourselves. Get faster. Prove that we are capable of beating the “competition.” Then, we get a medal. Recognition as an appreciation for being a loyal supporter of the brainwashing. It is hard to say ‘No’ to that mindset, for financial gain is involved and for many, money is Life. That is their “spirituality.” However, this is not a matter of saying “yes” or “no” to that conditioning, or fighting against the “injustice” and the “control.”  No! It is a matter of being AWARE of the conditioning so it will never affect us whether we go with it or not. For we get affected, traumatized if we don’t “succeed,” if Life does not bring us closer to the ideal of what “should be,” of what the movie or the TV sells as “happiness,” or the “happy family.”

Want to go to heaven? Every religion selling that concept has a path. No one could ever check the validity of it, but it is good to give it a try so others can see “my improvement.” At least, “I” should leave a favorable impression, for “I” can’t ever BE the ideal. The ideal is unreachable but that becomes the “challenge,” a source of entertainment to pass our time.
The rat race of achieving objectives, labels or degrees has perceived benefits in our society; but that doesn’t mean that “spirituality” is based on the same premises. In Life, you are not a “master” if you have certifications, degrees or if you have studied many years with another “master.” You may have lots of information but consciousness … may not be there. Without that, we ARE NOT.

What is to be spiritual?
To live Life in harmony. It has nothing to do with a belief in higher or lower beings or a belief in Science to help the World. It has nothing to do with “practicing” predetermined actions and call those “good.”
Harmony has no definitions. We cannot “achieve” harmony for there is no method or practice to get to that. Harmony is like moving with the tune that Life is playing. That tune is only for those who can hear it. But there are other tunes playing at the same time. A tune doesn’t last our whole Life. That tune will change right when the next song arrives. If we are AWARE, we will change our dancing moves, our tempo, our cadence, our rhythm at the right time. No one could ever put in words “how to move,” buy yet many religions, spiritual movements, philosophies, etc. pretend to know the “steps” to take, as if they could predict the next song.

Nothing “spiritual” could ever be learned in books, classes or retreats. However, those have value as entertainment, to socialize, to accumulate information, concepts and ideas, to make us believe that we are “better” because we “understand” a concept. Entertainment is “good.”
With all of those conditionings in our minds, we cannot know what is no-mind. Without no-mind there is no empty space for peace. Without the experience of peace, there cannot be harmony.
So where do we start? Unlearning what we have learned.
So when do we start? When we are feed up with “Life.” That is… society.