Tagged: consciousness

Notes on Quotes: Duality

“Every explicit duality is an implicit unity.” ~ Alan Watts

Our perception that things are only individually separated will be the seed of comparison and from that point we choose one over another. Take the duality of day and night. It is a duality promoted by language. Through words we want to clarify a distinction and we make a “thing.”  In western culture we equated day with God and goodness.The connotation of Night is with darkness, evil and what is forbidden. In brief: Good is day. Night is evil. Thus, unconsciously we choose one side and reject the other. Ideas about that particular chosen “thing” are contributing to create further divisions through fear, further dualities, for instance: There is the white race and the black race (duality) which could be associated with the conditioning of day and night. However, black and white races are part of the same human race, but as history has recorded; less than 200 years ago (Even now?) we couldn’t see that, and came up with slavery of one race over another. The reality of unity is there all the way, but it may need to be separated only as a way to clarify and point out through language. When we live in the mind however, the word is the “thing,” the concept is the “thing.”  The word “cat” will trigger different emotions or mind images in every individual which in turn become the reality of what a cat is for that person. Very few will take that word as just that, a word. When we become aware that the mind is only one way to perceive Life, then words are just a way to communicate and not a way to separate and create “things” through analysis and comparison of what is meant to be together. Similarly, we could be caught up in the “reality” of  “I” and “you.” Through language and physical perception, we separate something that cannot be. “I” cannot act upon “you” without consequences and by action it is meant the way I look at “you,” what I say and the intention behind those words and then any DOING, action. In Life “I” am bound to every perceived “you.”  Words will not allow me to go any further than this. We may need to go beyond intellectual understanding, for words are themselves supporters of duality.

“Love is the recognition of oneness in the world of duality.”~ Eckhart Tolle

Love does not make distinctions between day and night (duality) for it knows every perception is an expression of the same reality. Thus, the “other” is “you.” The experience of that recognition is bliss.

“Who is it that loves and who that suffers? He alone stages a play with Himself; who exists save Him? The individual suffers because he perceives duality. It is duality which causes all sorrow and grief. Find the One everywhere and in everything and there will be an end to pain and suffering.” – Anandamayi Ma

That is, ending the mental separation which causes isolation by going into our own psychological conditioning; for no one could liberate us from that by our own awareness. Observe how words have power for an unaware mind. Love is a feeling not a word. Reasoning kills our feelings.

“Past and Future are a duality of which Present is the reality. The now-moment alone is eternal and real.”~ Wei Wu Wei

How is possible for the now-moment to be eternal? Please do not think about it. Feel it…The “now” is still there.

Notes on Quotes: Politics

“Everything is politics.” – Thomas Mann

Therefore, “everything” is corrupted by politics. Politics is “the art or science concerned with winning and holding control over a government.” Our society has made different ideologies to govern a country. Those ideologies make divisions between those who are governed and those who govern: Political parties are born. Thus, there is a struggle to control power by subduing or suppressing other parties or ideas.

However; the main issue is not found in the external ideologies, but in the principles and values of those who are in power, human beings. Why? Because that power to obligate others to behave or think in a certain way, that perceived control over others, will create a personality disorder in individuals without values. Whether a visible government is the ultimate authority or a group of hidden individuals, the fact remains the same: Power corrupts an unaware human being.

“Politics is not a game. It is an earnest business.” –Winston Churchill

Those in power will represent a group and will defend that group’s interest, conveniently forgetting the common good. It is a profitable business for them as long as they follow that trend. A powerful country has a greater scope of influence over weaker countries in the world. That “power effect,” trickles down.

“It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.” – Ronald Reagan

Politics then becomes a way to sell yourself for profit, simple prostitution.

“It is not in the nature of politics that the best men should be elected. The best men do not want to govern their fellowmen.” – George MacDonald

That becomes the paradox of politics: The best men do not want to be part of it. Politics as it is today is a dirty business, where even the responsibility of being part of human bloodshed could be part of that experience. No individual with higher awareness would consider being part of it.

Notes on Quotes: Nationalism and Patriotism

“Nationalism, like virtue, has its own reward.” – Mahatma Gandhi

To bring the emotion of unity to a particular group of people through division from the rest, may have a short term benefit as in Gandhi’s time, when the ideal was to break free from British colonialism. That ideal however, is antagonistic to the other ideal of Gandhi called “ahimsa” or “non-violence.”

Although “ahimsa” is a spiritual attitude of respect towards all life and all sentient beings which has been interpreted as “non-violence;” the application of that principle has been grossly misinterpreted when taken into a political context which is made of continuous, everlasting violent division among people. “Ahimsa” has been changed into a mere “concept,” where the “solution” to the “problem” of independence is to “apply” the “concept” of “non-violence” and use a “sacred word” to enhance the holiness of the “new practice.” How can you apply “ahimsa” when there is a mental division already in which we perceive another human being as an enemy? Nationalism just like patriotism serve for that purpose. India gained its independence but violence continued among Indians as religious fights took place. Gandhi was killed in that process. Was that the reward of nationalism?

“Nationalism is an infantile disease, the measles of mankind.” – Albert Einstein

An accurate description. Nationalism is an infantile disease where children play at dividing their territories and creating national songs and colorful rags to differentiate from one another. That game has been taken even to the “Olympic games” where athletes become soldiers, competing with others to be the “best,” to “win the war.” How childish, indeed! What Nationalism is ‘proud of’ is at the same time, the seed for division and violence. Nationalism has invaded many times the Olympic games, causing damage to the spirit of sportsmanship and poisoned the sense of fellowship with other athletes.

Measles is common in children. Thus, someone with an “adult,” “grown up” consciousness will not be part of such a game.

“I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth, and I am a citizen of the world.” – Eugene Debs

Eugene Debs had a socialist insight. Although those ideals were only at the intellectual level, they were promoted in a political party and thus, considered “illegal” at that time, which caused him to experience jail time and hardship. To feel beyond the boundaries of nationalities, is a way of living. Fundamentally, a way of BEING which does not have the need to convince another to gain followers. It is through that attitude how an individual could live with others without preaching ideas, as his only presence is the inspiration for others to change.

Nationalism is a barrier for greater consciousness. Beyond nations, there is the Earth. Even further, there is the Universe, Life itself. No borders there, and that is the basis of identity for any conscious human being.

“I” am Life, because Life is who “I” am.

Notes on Quotes: Violence

“I don’t even call it violence when it’s in self defense; I call it intelligence.” ―MalcomX

When someone attacks without apparent cause and there is no time to think, the immediate reaction to preserve life is natural intelligence to survive. But when someone expects to be attacked at any time and fear is inside, his action will be violent. That is not intelligence; for who will knowingly put his life at stake in the hands of another? Contrast the above quote with this one by Jose Marti: “An insatiable appetite for glory leads to sacrifice and death, but innate instinct leads to self-preservation and life.”

Angry impotency circulating in ourselves when we cannot change ourselves or another to fit our demands, will be expressed as what we call violence. The history of known humanity could be defined as utmost violence. Reading about the life of Malcom X we could easily observe that violence had surrounded his life experience: A silent witness of violence since childhood.

Understanding and goodwill does not arrive through violent means, but on the contrary the angry impotency to get even at some point by means of revenge, will be the outcome.

Self violence is expressed through repression or even through our perceived need to conform. Guilt or shame could be ways of self violence as well. Those emotions could be confined at one point, but will explode and could be used to hurt another.

The practice of “Non-violence” is another form of violence. Why? I could oppose without physically hurting another, but the intention to become a force against the wish of another force will be there; then, our actions will have that violent shade. We need to observe that a violent man cannot be ‘non-violent.’ It is not just about one action or two of pretending, but violence is in our BEING and will come out in our words, our demeanor, in our thoughts. Life has shown that those who have been violent by using the force of the collective consciousness to obtain their ideals, will have themselves a violent end.

A violent individual does not bring compassion to the world by practicing ‘non-violence.’ That individual needs to acknowledge that violence within and then heal it. As violence is no longer within; whatever he does, will be spared from the pungent smell of violence. Every significant change to change our world, starts within.

“Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.” ―Thomas Jefferson

How was it possible for empathy to be out of our system? At what point did we lose our ability to sense and feel someone else’s suffering? How could we talk about love when there is no compassion inside?

A Savage cannot stop being a savage by a new law or the practice of a new fashionable spiritual attitude. A savage has to be able to see himself in the mirror of a relationship with Life. Through that awareness, change could be. Until then, a human being will relentlessly exploit anything he thinks he needs to become “better.’

“Women endure entire lifetimes of these indignities—in the form of catcalls, groping, assault, oppression. These things injure us. They sap our strength. Some of the cuts are so small they’re barely visible. Others are huge and gaping, leaving scars that never heal. Either way, they accumulate. We carry them everywhere, to and from school and work, at home while raising our children, at our places of worship, anytime we try to advance.”― Michelle Obama, Becoming

Violence also exists in the relationship of men and women. The use of physical strength to subdue another is a savage way of relating. When a man uses that biological advantage to subdue, humiliate or degrade another; that man is a complete coward. Unfortunately many societies have supported that cowardice by labeling that as a ‘compliment’ from one gender to another. However, a sexual advance under that circumstance is not a compliment but a lack of respect, for whenever we think of another as an object to satisfy lustful mental desires, we do not care about the person but only about ourselves.

A coward will look for ways to express that violence with those who have no chance to defend themselves. ‘Compliments’ coming from such individuals are merely a show of their own shallowness.

A compliment when accompanied with a legitimate expression of admiration and a notch of elegance will be well received by most.

Looking at Education

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 potential of responsibility

In a lovely afternoon, the rain was sparsely falling with utmost care. Its main function wihtout doubt, is to nourish all plants. That, we could say it is Nature’s responsibility.

Once the rain stopped, the master and his disciple observed some tiny hummingbirds, flying rapidly from flower to flower. They had another responsibility to fulfill as well.

The master asked: “ As you could see every being in Nature has a task. Something which they are responsible for. I have a question for you: What is responsibility? Search the answer in yourself. I will ask you that question again tomorrow.”

The disciple was confused. He knew that Spiritual teachings are different than merely finding a dictionary definition. But, just in case he read those dictionary definitions but also he looked up written material from spiritual gurus. He wanted to come up with a solid, informative, thought out answer for his master.

The day arrived quickly, and they met at the same place. The master asked: “What is your answer?”

The disciple said: “ Master, there are different views of that word. For most it is about fulfilling an obligation or duty and to accept the consequences of following certain path which was thought to be the best. Now, for a spiritual guru; responsibility is the duty that oneself has to dissipate darkness, and to be our own lighthouse.”

The master said: “ Alright. There is no point in repeating what others have said. Look in Nature. Do you believe that beings in Nature act based on a sense of duty or obligation?”

The disciple said: “No, master. I believe they have an intention guiding them to act. It is almost as if they were in tune, vibrating with what is needed.”

The master said: “ You know we are all one. Most humans do not experience that and they come up with definitions to support their collective individualistic view. In Nature; the intention of all beings is aligned with their actions. That is their responsibility. It is not a duty or an obligation as the dictionary may say. Observe how responsibility for humans, has been tinted with an accountable burden. It is that constant perception of separation given by their minds, which has distorted their feelings.”

The disciple smiled as he thought he gave the “correct answer.”

The master said: “Very good! But there is more.”

The disciple was surprised: “More?”

The master said: “Yes. When we are not conscious of our potential, we do not know our function and we could fall sleep in the belief that we are ‘good responsible people’ to the point where we forget to do what it is truly important. Therefore, discover your potential within; that is how you belong as a particular piece of the totality of Life. Then you will know your responsibility.”

Important lessons from Life

If we are aware, we could learn many Life lessons from almost everywhere. Even from the dentist office!

The disciple went to visit the Orthodontist. He had one front tooth crooked and he wanted to fix it so his smile could look much better. The disciple thought that to fix only one tooth, would be a matter of a few weeks. He was shocked to find out that it could take half a year or even more.

The disciple went to see his master afterwards. The disciple exclaimed: “Master, to make only one tooth straight, it will take half a year! In the meantime I will need to wear braces which I heard could be messy after eating.”

The master smiled and said: “Naturally, you have the option not to do it. Remember that Nature designed your teeth that way. You will only pay the fair price to change things.”

The disciple said: “ Master, I want to have a nice smile!”

The master said: “ Alright. But let that smile come from a relaxed gut like a child. That is a frank smile which is appreciated by all. You could have perfect teeth with a fake smile. Remember to talk to your body, your mouth and give it a little massage and explain to it what you desire to do. In that way you will have its natural cooperation. It is not just to do it because you want it done. ”

The disciple couldn’t understand that advice. After all, those were “his” teeth. But he was going to follow his master’s advice anyway… just in case.

The master continued: “Remember that in Life things get worse before they get better. You may observe that some of your teeth move all around just to allow for that one tooth to be straight. That takes time and concerted cooperation. Most are used to fix things right away without obtaining consensus from others. That way of fixing is a violent fixation indeed. Everything needs time to accommodate. By being aware of the need for cooperation to reach a common objective, you are allowing for lasting, harmonious change.”

The disciple said: “Yes, master. I can see that many times even though we have an idea to progress, there has to be consensus by all involved. Although, I have observed that many times something good could turn into something bad as well. Why is that master?”

The master replied: “ Remember the game of duality. Good goes together with bad. You could praise someone many times. That is good. But then she could learn to expect that and become a tyrant. Therefore, here is another important teaching from Life: Learn when to stop. This not an easy lesson. It requires to have a sense of balance. Perhaps this lesson is of utmost importance to preserve ourselves: Exercise all you want, but learn when to stop. Eat all you want, but learn when to stop. Pursue your dreams, but learn when to stop. When you walk from point A to point B, it is a matter of moving forward. But when you walk in Life and become a Life walker or a seeker; it is not a straight path. You move two steps forward and then one backwards and perhaps a couple steps to the right and half to the left and then you stop and go at it again. It is a dance, not a walk! Therefore, remember to listen to the music being played so you can dance harmoniously, in balance. Those fixed in improving all the time and moving forward no matter what, believe that Life is a contest, a struggle where they need to win. They do not know when to stop. Moreover, they do not know how to dance. Thus, what joy could there be in their journeys, if there is a song playing and they do not listen to it ?”