On control and manipulation
The disciple asked the master about the significance of control in society.
The master replied: “ In society there is a need to impose a will over another. For example the belief in widgets as the way to improve society, will encounter many who will not believe in that. Therefore, a will needs to impose for a belief to rule. Manipulation means to influence another to accommodate their will to our own personal ideas, beliefs. Manipulation and control come together.
In society, a belief will encounter many obstacles, such as rejection from others which will have a reactive consequence. Every disagreement, every fight is an opportunity to display violence over another to subdue that one, to win. In this context, winning is to impose over another.
Life does not work that way. Life shows the path, the direction and we align or oppose. Every opposition is a bitter lesson to learn, but nonetheless; useful for our conscious development.
For example is we observe the climate changing from hot to cold, we dress accordingly. If we believe that things should be the same, there will be a consequence for us. On another level, Life will show death to every person at a particular time. Acceptance is to go with the way. Rejection, fight, implies that there is a personal will with ideas and beliefs, opposing Life. What could be some of the consequences of that? Society has many problems to solve from dysthanasia, euthanasia, orthothanasia, combined with several religious beliefs, moral values involved and such. Society wants to come up with a solution that will be applicable to all; and that belief will be imposed to others to follow in the name of righteousness. Society has its way. Life has another. Observe that Life is completely impersonal and its movement tends to balance different forces. Society usually relies on personal opinion which comes from conditioning, tradition, personal interests and deep rooted beliefs.
Every time we are unwilling to observe the signals that Life is giving us and we stubbornly hold on to a belief for we believe that to be right, we are opposing to what is. To discern “what is now” is one of the greatest awareness we could have.
Life will teach us to respect, to acknowledge and to move on. Thus, become flexible like a palm tree who does not have a rooted belief as to where the wind needs to come from, and to which direction the tree should move to be right. If you observe this carefully, you will discover that every belief a person has is deep rooted in something ideal which Life uses sooner or later, to teach us to open up, to accept and to move on.
Confrontations, control, manipulation are human ways to obtain what a group wants. In that scenario, look for a common ground and take that. Sooner or later the common ground is bound to appear for at the end, we are all breathing the same air to survive. That is the common good.”
Will resume writing on April 22. Until then! 🙂
To fall in Love is very easy. To love, is something that very few are able to know. Love cannot be learned.
Love appears when we are able to appreciate and give.
Appreciate the moment. Give yourself. This is not a “practice,” this is BEING those things without trying.
How can I “achieve” those things then?
By being completely AWARE of who you ARE now and allowing for the inner barriers to fall.
Otherwise, we bring the past to the “now,” we try to control outcomes and expect to receive what we desire, what we think is “fair.” For most, that is their version of love.
To bring the past means to feed grudges. To point out “mistakes.” To believe that someone cannot change. Control brings jealousy, the need to possess. Because there is this psychological separation, there is always the “Me “and “you” that cannot fuse into “us.” Thus, to give yourself under those terms, is only another pretty idea.
Everything in Life is meant to change. When we live through the identity of another, we will suffer when the other is gone.
Many will avoid becoming closer to another, for the fear of being hurt; but yet miss an opportunity for growth and enjoyment. They are not AWARE that inner fears do not allow someone to experience the way Life IS. With fear there cannot be love.
That emotional dependency of illusory security, does not go away when we protect ourselves from others, but when we are wide open, vulnerable, alive.
Some relationships are meant to last 1 day. Others a lifetime. Truly, there is no difference for the one who is open to Life.
The moment, the “now,” that is all that matters. Once it is gone, a new door will open if we do not bring the past with us. A new adventure will arrive if we do not try to control the surroundings. If we give ourselves to Life at every moment, we may find what Love IS.
We find by letting go.
Yoga is about Control
Ultimately, yoga could be understood in the need to control.
Our society is sold on that idea.
Control means to enhance our sensation of power, our ability to decide the course of actions.
When that control is used in the self, it can only become a source of ego.
Who is controlling?
That “center,” or persona controlling things is what many will call the “true I.” Nevertheless, that center is just that mind playing the game of the controller and the one being controlled.
Control your thoughts. Control your emotions. Control your reactions.
Observe the center, the mind directing the separation between who “I am” and what “I should be.”
Observe that the one that “I should be” is built upon conditioning.
That conditioning has been learned and thought of as a source of goodness, righteousness, morality, compassion, etc.
Thus, yoga is the desire to bring the one that “I should be” into the front, by suppressing the one that “I am.”
Let me elucidate. Let me use a simple duality; we can use a label such as dirty.
The word dirty becomes the ideal to suppress. The ideal to embrace is the word clean.
“I must be clean.” That is the generalization that I could repeat to myself. Nevertheless, what “I am” is not “black or white,” it cannot be hidden under my ideal.
“Control yourself so you are not dirty.”
That mentality of separating what is meant to be together, is creating a serious mental disease in most human beings at this time.
Dirty is meant to be together with Clean. Both are just extremes of the same journey.
Life is change as we already know, and repeated here ad nauseam. Change is to experience every inch of the circular journey, where dualities are only perception of the mind due to its tendency to separate things.
If your clothes are clean, it is a fact that they will get dirty while living Life.
Yoga is the need to maintain the ideal of the word “clean” despite the fact of change.
If Yoga is not intimately understood as union beyond the mental dualities, it will create a mentally diseased individual; that is someone who is in continuous fear, even obsessive compulsiveness of not losing the ideal of “clean.”
That control will be used to maintain the ideal even in denial of the reality of change.
However, Yoga is a great path. It will bring all the elements of the “I” into light.
At the end is not about the “I” having control of Life, but to see the mirage of the unchanged permanency of the “I.”
If the “I” is not permanent, so is the control/power that he inflicts.
Once we see that totally, without the influence of conditioning; we could observe for the first time that “union,” “yoga” is in the absence of the “I.”
That “I” is the promoter of control, power, achievement, goals, etc. all ideals of our society. That is why, most can only live and understand life from the mind: Unable to feel it, unable to enjoy it. Paradoxically, unable to live Life.
“Your” choice is not important
Many will frown at this statement with disapproval.
The conditioning is that “I have a choice and that choice matters.”
The “I” does not feel good without full control. The “I” realizes that many times “his” choice does not happen or it may bring suffering. The righteousness of the “I” based on some borrowed morality does not fit the intelligence of Life itself.
Plan all you want. Nothing wrong with that. Be assured that you could go tomorrow to “thy kingdom come.” That lack of control, of certainty bothers the “I” tremendously.
Yes, you could be “successful,” yes, you could have power, money and things which the “Office world” readily provides to those who have followed society’s conditioning. Nothing wrong with that.
On the other hand, can you be “successful” in being healthy throughout your life? Can you buy your own health? Can you be accident free through some insurance?
In the middle of your “moment of power,” you could have earned a one way free ticket to the “unknown.” All your choices, gone at that moment. Yes, you could believe that your “choices” were helpful to “others,” but that is not necessarily true. Your help to someone may be a disservice to another. Your “help” to a wounded eagle, may be the loss of one of your eyes.
The mind and is petty morality is in trouble as “I” could add more intricacies of Life that the mind is not prepared to confront. It is better if someone tells you: “This is good, that is bad.” Then if you follow, at least you feel that you are not alone.
Here is something to “think” about: “Your” choice will bring “you” your guilt. Choice is of the mind. Therefore, embrace “no-choice.” 🙂
Let me explain:
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” A famous spiritual quote by someone.
Is that a choice? If you choose to “practice” that; you will never know what that phrase means.
On the other hand, if you do not make a choice to practice, then through Life experiences you will know, if you are aware of it.
As a matter of fact, that catchy phrase could be:
“Life begins when there is no comfort zone.”
Your thought out choice whether to go “right or left” is a comfort zone.
Of course, the above is not for everyone. After all some have plans and dreams and things to DO in Life before moving on to heaven…
Better “practice” spirituality safely when you have the time out of your busy schedule, get a nice white/black dress and put some feely music in the background, light up some incense and talk about the latest “best seller” spiritual book by some Guru…
Yeah.. that is a comfortable “spiritual” choice.
Out of your control
“Situations outside are uncertain. If we make our state of mind dependent on them, then also our reactions become uncertain.”
Life is uncertainty. This is something that a neophyte in inner search may be afraid of. Thus, most teachings in that consciousness are about control.
Control yourself. Control your thoughts. Control your environment. Control your feelings. Control your reactions.
There is this division of the “evil” half and the “godly” half inside us. The “godly” half must win. It must control the “evil” half.
Western morality is based on that principle of “good and bad.” Therefore, our gods and devils are shaped accordingly.
Our state of mind is one thing. The environment is another thing. What do I do? “I” control my mind so my state of mind can be whatever “I want.” (What I want is what should be “good” according to someone.)
It is all about control. No wonder many individuals in this particular state of consciousness can become control “freaks,” not only of themselves but also of their relationships.
Without a doubt the above teaching of “controlling my mind,” is an ego builder. Why?
Because the separation, the division between “I” and everything else is supported. As a matter of fact, “I” must be prevalent over everything else.
The above teaching is concerned with “reactions.” Our reactions must follow a determined moral code, a particular behavior given by someone. DOING that means to override through repression what we really ARE. That is the key element to understand.
Nevertheless, to experience repression and to be aware of it, is a step forward into gaining greater consciousness.
That is why the teaching of “controlling everything” is not a “bad” teaching, but it must change as our AWARENESS develops.
The “truth” depends on your state of consciousness. The “truth” cannot be expressed in words, for words are dualistic and unable to express the “reality” of the Totality. However, there are facts. Facts are not “truth.” Carl insulted Bob. That is a fact. The truth may be that Carl was in a drug trip due to some inner insecurity. That insecurity triggered everything else. That is why, there cannot be a “God” for everyone as consciousness will differ among individuals.
BEING is “truth.” We will discover that “truth” as our consciousness develops.
Some may say “I am a soul.” But in “truth” they are not. They ARE bodies lying to themselves through words, making themselves believe something that they ARE not.
The “truth” cannot be spoken. You ARE that truth, when that truth of BEING is repressed; we have the teaching of “control.”
Then, the mind is important, for the mind will remember the teaching. The intellectual teaching becomes important and not the individual, BEING.
In a different consciousness, an uncertain response or reaction, is a sign of truth. BEING is allowed to BE. That can only happen once we have developed some awareness, before that; when we have no awareness whatsoever, repression will be the “right” teaching.
Therefore, if someone asks: “Is repression good or bad?”
That questions reveals a neophyte state of consciousness. Repression is neither good nor bad. It is beyond that. Repression has utility at a certain point of our Life experience but then it becomes an obstacle to thrive.
When do we know that we are ready to change from repression into freedom?
If you realize that much of your suffering is due to a controlling personality, then that openness will bring different Life experiences. If you allow for those experiences to take you by dropping your controlling nature, then the “magic” could happen.
You just need to give up… surrender that “I” just to be someone else… someone out of “your” control. 🙂
What is true cannot be chosen
“When we believe that our reactions to situations are dependent on the situation, then we shift to an automatic way of reacting, rather than choosing our reactions.
Situations outside are uncertain. If we make our state of mind dependent on them, then our reactions also become uncertain.”
The above was sent to me via email. I am copying that here because the above will help illustrate something which is very difficult to explain: “ A different state of consciousness.”
Teachers, Gurus and even “Gods” (in different religions) are not teaching the “truth,” but only teaching a method to gain awareness while in a particular type of consciousness (followers.) Teachings are geared towards students residing in certain consciousness.
The above quote is the popular teaching on “having control on how we react” and “choosing our reactions.” Seems like a wonderful teaching to follow. Right?
When a person starts their journey into inner search, that person does not have awareness. Their minds’ inner chattering is continuously clouding that awareness. Their reactions are learned mechanisms. They may blame others when they react in a certain way.
For example, Mary screamed at Sam. Sam slapped Mary in return. Sam blamed Mary of his reaction. She made him violent, he said. For Sam, Mary had a violent interaction (screaming.) For Mary, screaming at someone is not violent. She has learned that. It is “normal” for her. If you are upset with someone, you scream at him to show that. That is the way soap opera actresses (super stars) behave… and even Mary’s mom, aunt and older sister behave the same way.
Thus, a teaching telling Mary: “ Don’t get angry. To scream is bad. You will go to hell if you scream at someone. God will be upset with you,” etc. That teaching is trying to change Mary’s behavior. “Here is how you react: Be silent. Don’t do anything. Feel compassion for them.”
Yes! What a wonderful teaching! It makes sense. It is “logical.” 🙂
A few days later, Mary is upset with Sam. Mary remembered this teaching and “chose” to be silent.
Wonderful! Mary feels happy about her “improvement.”
Mary does not realize yet that she has learned to repress her anger.
A few days later, there comes Sam again to “make” Mary upset.
Mary was too angry to remember any “good” teachings this time… She failed “her test.” She screamed at Sam and in the process received another slap in the face.
She took her “punishment” without complaint, for she had failed and she felt guilty. She needs forgiveness now in order to be “good” again…
If Mary becomes aware, she will notice her repression of anger.
That is a step forward, because before the teaching she did not have any awareness whatsoever.
She also realized that “to stop and choose how to react,” many times is impossible to DO. That is why she “failed her tests” in many occasions.
Awareness is working wonders now!
Mary may decide to ignore her findings and decide to “try harder” next time… OR she may decide not to repress her anger because she heard a teaching by a super Guru which said “to repress is bad.”
Mary’s mind will go to extremes. She needs to experience that “trip” to move into another consciousness. Becoming aware of that repression is a necessary step. Mary cannot study “how not to repress.” She needs to live it to know.
When she does that, the previous teachings will not apply to her anymore.
The issue in a new consciousness is not what you DO or how you react, the issue is if you are AWARE of yourself while it is happening. To be AWARE is not a mind thing such as “think before you act.” AWARENESS is beyond the mind.
If Mary is AWARE of becoming angry while interacting with Sam, that AWARENESS will not go into anger mode unless she wants to. If Mary is not anger, there is no way Sam could bring anger from her. That is why BEING is before DOING and DOING several times something does not change BEING. Consciousness is not changed by repetition (DOING) but it changes as a natural process of LIVING. When we are AWARE of that process; we become conscious, awaken.
Let me give another example: It is as if 3 year old Carol, had the need to pee and she couldn’t control it because she is not aware yet. The “moral” teaching for her is: “Peeing your pants is “bad.” You will be punished. Avoid peeing.” Thus, “choose” not to pee. “Think” before you pee… 🙂 It is all about the mind.
When Carol learns to be AWARE of the sensation, peeing her pants is no longer an issue. It is not a matter of “choice” but of AWARENESS. When Mary learns to go to the bathroom as she has been trained, she will understand that the moral ultimatum of “Peeing your pants is bad” is not true… but it was useful at one time, for she is in a different consciousness now.
The second paragraph of the quoted paragraph, will be dealt with next time…
Welcome the unexpected
Just when “I” thought that “I” control “my” life, that “I” have choices and my destiny is “my own” choosing, something unexpected, out of the blue comes out…
Then “I” may think: “There are some things out of “my” control.”
Without beliefs, this becomes an ongoing process of realizations in Life, a process of assimilation of different experiences which all of the sudden, in an unexpected fashion; that “I” will decide to finally look into itself and perhaps inquire into its existence and then into its lack of existence.
That could be labeled as self-realization.
What are some of the distractors preventing us into looking into that “I”?
Beliefs, emotions, moral standards.
To uncover our beliefs is to free our minds.
To uncover our emotions is to clean our hearts.
When the influence of those 2 is minimized through observation; then moral standards as “good and bad” automatically lose their grip. We are ready to be free from “ourselves.”
The above is my own journey. It is not something to be found in a book.
Yours, may be different. Ananda only shares his experiences.
Interestingly, there is a movie just being released “Inside out”
Which deals with emotions and the different voices inside our heads, making up that interesting figure or “reality” called the “I.”
That is the “real world” of most individuals; it is called a fragmented personality.
When those voices aren’t there, it is a world of appreciation and wonder.
What is the “method” to get rid of those voices, you may ask?
To do nothing. 🙂
Observe them, appreciate them, laugh through their performance. It is “You” after all.
There is nothing serious about observation. There is nothing “to do.”
The unexpected things:
Unexpectedly, I dropped my “i-phone” into my bathtub last night, just to the test the “waterproof” capabilities of that wonderful device… We shall see if it survives… Unexpectedly, my sister is coming to visit me this weekend, so I will be out of touch for a week since I will be enjoying her visit.
Got to love the unexpected!