The insanity of expectation
If Life brings lemons, and I dream about strawberries; how can I come at peace with my disappointment?
By forgetting yourself. Going beyond “you” and your problems, your unfulfilled mental dreams, your drama. “Others” exist in integration when we forget ourselves. Before that consciousness, “others” is only separation, a barrier. As Sartre said: “Hell is other people.” So …”Heaven” is only “you.”
Society will teach us to imitate somebody as a role model.
“He lived with lemons. Be like him.”
Imitation brings repression.
Repression is a form of dishonesty.
Every time Life brings what we desire easily; we learn that Life “works for us.” We learn to expect that. Ego increases.
When that which we desire does not appear despite our “efforts,” we become bitter, disappointed, angry, etc. Ego increases as well.
Therefore, whether we get what we desire or not, still ego will grow through our expectations. Growth of ego is part of Life, and paradoxically, that is its natural path for dissolution.
Forget yourself. That is the fast lane. You cannot drive there? Then continue with your expectations. Paradoxically, that is another way to forget yourself. That is the slow lane.
Anything that we desire, may come to fruition at a time when we least expect it.
When there is expectation, we cannot enjoy the experience of living Life as it IS, for our minds are always looking for something which does not exist. That is insane.
Life is unexpected.
Because you can only give who you ARE, unless you ARE love, there is no love to give.
We are taught to believe that we can give love without BEING it, as when we can give money to someone when we “get it.”
We cannot “get” love to give, unless we ARE.
Any “effort” on BEING loving is self-deception.
We are taught to be desire-less to be happy. However, what is the anxious need to go to “Paradise,” to reach illumination, to please God, to become “soul” conscious”? Those things are desires just like any other “mundane” desire.
We are taught to “help others in a self-less” way; Nevertheless, we cannot BE self-less by separating “I” from the “others.” As a matter of fact, to “help others” is just a catchy phrase. By helping others, we only help ourselves. Do we get this riddle? We are not separated.
We are taught to take Life seriously, whether in the mundane business world or in the Godly world: Time is money- Become someone, save yourself from hell; hurry up! This is your only chance, if you miss this chance you will be doomed forever…
We cannot enjoy life when there is pressure to attain something, when our process is not being respected. Then we are willing to “sacrifice” our lives now for the promise to “enjoy” something in the future. That is a wonderful “method” but nothing else.
That promise of a “better” future is empty, as the “I” as it is now, cannot be the “I” in the future.
Our desire for a “better future” will only make us reject the “now.”
Once we realize the depth of all of those beliefs in our minds; then we are ready to put aside all of those teachings, to unlearn all of those things which keep the “rat-race” going in our minds as well as the division, of the mundane and the divine.
We could be aware of our own fear to continue in Life without those “training wheels,” those half-truths which we believed to be the “holy truth.” Ego needs the security of being part of a “selected” group, the mainstream, the Godly family, the familiar faces…
The above realization is the first step of our catharsis as seekers.
Before that, being a seeker is just another fashion, another way for the ego to believe in himself as “virtuous,” another way to socialize and to show how many spiritual books we can read and how many authors we could quote. That is a source for fattening our needy ego, for we could obtain the label of “knowledgeable” among our peers.
A catharsis then, is a process of unlearning and with that, a process of unleashing our repressed behaviors.
We could understand that some beliefs are just equal to the belief in Santa Claus, a technique meant to teach a self-centered person, the “joy” of giving a gift to another… but the belief in Santa Claus will be deep down in our unconscious no matter how much we could reason and understand in the surface of the conscious mind. Its depth in the unconscious is proportional to the amount of time we have spent drilling down such beliefs in our conscious mind.
For that reason, we shall deal with emotions, the “programming” of our unconscious.
Many individuals who have not experienced the process of a catharsis are caught up in blaming a society, a religion, a practice… unable to see that every experience is invaluable in our development.
What is important is to know when those “tools” need to be discarded, so we could embrace something new.
For instance, ego is a “tool.” It is not a “bad” thing, a vice. It is a mechanism of “self-defense,” something that will allow a person to survive in this society. However, it comes to a point, when that grown up ego, is an obstacle to flourish by connecting with others… then ego must go away through a process of catharsis.
The “programming” is erased. Some religions pretend to have “the method” to erase the emotions stored deep in our unconscious. However, everyone is not the same. A “method” may work for some but no others. Life will bring the right conditions at the right time. Different Life experiences are tailored to our particular needs. We are not alone.
Through that catharsis, you are empty and open for newness. It is in that emptiness how Love IS.
Before that catharsis, love may be pretty talk, romantic “get aways,” and fairy tales.
Question: Are desires the root cause of suffering?
…When I started exploring spiritual knowledge, I came across this point that “desires are the root cause of suffering”. I have contemplated a bit on it. And I do agree that lesser the desires, lesser will be your suffering. But you know they say that final aim of a person who wants to be fully enlightened, you have to become “Unknown to desire”, now how is that possible. Desire of getting rid of desires is also a desire. Desire to achieve enlightenment is also a desire. Becoming a deity… making God as your companion, getting Jevan Mukti, getting moksha, all these are desires. So, can we really become “Unknown to desires”. Icha matram avidya, that’s what they call it.
And most important, is it possible to become desire-less human being by living in sansarik (being married and with family) world??
Now even if you attain this stage, “I want food at least one time in a day” is also a desire. I know I am bit confused about this. Please explore and elaborate on this.
Very good question for the common good!
Just observe what happens in you, become aware of that. Let yourself be the one who experiences those words.
You have a desire. Nothing wrong with that. You want to be happy. That is a desire.
You are currently not happy, because you think that happiness is some “state” that you need to achieve, some state that others have achieved and you want that for you…
Some will create a method to reach that “happiness.” Buy a big house, get a significant one, become famous, do yoga, meditate for 10 hours a day, repeat a mantra, get a Guru, etc. You follow the method, you obtain what the method says… but you are not satisfied… you have more desires.
Why are you still having desires? Because “you” haven’t achieved that “happiness.”
The “I” wants fulfillment but “can’t get no satisfaction” 🙂
The issue is not the desire. The issue is the “I” who cannot be satisfied. You could have one desire or many desires, one thing is sure; the “I” will not be satisfied once that desire is fulfilled as a “reality.”
Do you see that?
Do you want to be “illuminated”? Do you want Moksha? Do you want God? Do you want to accomplish all of those “spiritual” words?
That is the desire. The good news is that you may achieve those words at anytime. However, as long as there is an “I,” there will be no satisfaction.
Then suffering sets in. It wasn’t because of the desire; but because the “I” cannot get satisfaction.
Then, you realize: “Ah! The problem is the “I.” Let me get rid of that.”
But the “I” cannot get rid of himself.
However, there is suffering! It is that suffering and nothing else the one burning that “I.”
Therefore, when you say: “Desires are the root cause of suffering,” then I understand that desires are a very good thing for those who would like to reduce the size of their ego, their “I-ness,” but a “bad” thing for those who want to keep their ego intact or make it bigger… then for those; to get rid of desires or anything else except the “I,” is the medicine…
If you are trying to be desire-less by getting rid of desires, by repressing them and rejecting them; you will learn that your “I” will become stronger, big… your ego will blossom without a doubt. Thus, try to get rid of your desires. Invent any method. It doesn’t matter. Follow any method… It does not matter.
The important aspect is to get your ego big enough, so it is ready to burst out through suffering… then at that point and not before, you will start the journey of dissolving the ego.
When there is no ego, no “I,” then there are no desires, for who is going to have a desire? Although, there maybe desires…they are not as you used to know them. It is not that the desires have changed, but “you” have changed… there is “no –I.”
There, you could be married and have 50 children, a dog, a cat and a parrot and… there will be no ”I” to fight against the “I” of your wife, your children and your parrot.
How do we want to call that state of “no-I”?
Let me throw some neat words at you: Happiness, Paradise, Moksha, Jeevan Mukti, no-desire, Being one with God… but here is my favorite: Empty.
Your baggage is gone and so “your” desires.
All the best to you!
A perception is a teacher not a judge.
“I thought I saw a pussy cat… I did, I did!
No. You didn’t. You are wrong!”
In Life we may have different perceptions of reality. That is based on the filtering of the mind, which in turn is related with the limited information gathered by our senses. The “I” creates that filtering.
At that point, we may assume things, we may extrapolate on previous known stories, and determine that our perception is the “right one.”
Perceptions of reality are neither right nor wrong. For we are always dealing with a changing location of consciousness and type of information that we could perceive.
What it is “now,” will not be tomorrow.
The issue is when we have determined in our minds that something is the way we think, and because of that we place an unchanging label of approval to our perceived “reality.”
Certainty is created by “force” in that way, and then supported by a belief, when we fear that our “reality” may change.
It has been said that the World is an illusion.
It is not. It is what we perceive of it. Neither illusion nor reality.
What is the purpose of experiencing, if that experience will be colored by a subjective perception, which is not “reality”?
There is no purpose for experiencing unless we make up one. There is no “reality” per say that is why; there cannot be illusion. Are you enjoying that perception? 🙂 Our capacity for enjoyment is fundamental to live Life.
Because perceptions cannot be right or wrong, what matters is how we feel about that perception, what matters is what we discover about us through that perception. In self-realization, every experience will give greater realization of the self for the one who is aware.
It has been said that the world is our own mirror. As long as there is a “someone” an “I,” there will be a reflection of something. That reflection can show us what is inside us, which is not meant to be labeled as “right” or “wrong.”
A stranger came from out of town asking for help. Carl, heard the stranger’s plead but decided not to help.
Carl was taught to “never trust a stranger.”
We could be lost in the morality of judging if Carl’s action is “right” or “wrong.” That does not matter.
What matters is if Carl is able to look at his own biased behavior. If he is able to look at the belief of righteousness based on a generalization.
That is true “spiritual” intelligence.
When we understand Oneness, how is it possible to discriminate based on the duality of “stranger” or “non-stranger”?
For that observation to take place, any cultural or religious belief will need to be set aside.
Henry may have lived under the impression of having the unconditional love of his girlfriend. The girlfriend run away with another man.
Henry could divert his energy in demonstrating how “wrong” his girlfriend was.
That is not the point, if we are dealing with the opportunity to grow in consciousness.
What is important for Henry is to observe how this episode is generating in him certain emotions, feelings which otherwise are hidden from his awareness.
Those things are the “real me” in disguise.
If we look at Life under this perspective, how “bad” or negative was the experience of Henry then?
It wasn’t negative at all, but the opportunity to learn about “him.”
“ But …That is not the case for the majority. 90% of people will feel devastated, perhaps to the point of taking their own life due to the pain felt as a consequence of their own attachment… in the name of love…”
Sure. That is because there is no awareness of that which we call “self.” There is a price to pay for that awareness which the majority is not willing to pay for… until there is no other way.
Life itself is the greatest teacher for those who are aware. For those who are not yet, a religion, a moral code, a cultural tradition may be necessary to tell them how to behave, how to feel and how to live.
Have you ever wondered why there are so many books’ titles, starting with the title of “How to do” something?
Perhaps we have the answer now.
So, you saw an Oasis when there was only a desert?
Observe your desire for water. Your mind is meant to do the rest.
Kathy was looking to get a different job. She was certain that she will be getting a new one in no time.
Kathy expected to be called to interview, but nothing was happening. That created an unknowingly irritation in her mood. The consequence of this was an inflammation in her body.
Although Kathy did not perceive the relationship, she was quick in label that incident as “bad luck,” and this pessimistic frame of mind, created a vicious cycle…
Expectations are a subtle way of a controlling personality. That person will not be able to enjoy life until a situation occurs.
We could expect a person to behave in a particular way. We could expect for some event to occur in the future. We could expect to be treated in a certain way.
All those expectations are a sure way of creating suffering.
Because things do not occur as “we” wish for them to happen UNLESS that is the way they should happen. thus, why put yourself on the spot? 🙂
In our society, we have created an idea to solidify that egocentric behavior: “I” am in control.
Certainly, there is no one in control once we understand the principle of cause and effect.
There is no one in control, once we understand that this life is an eternal movie.
However, even though some of us could have “knowledge” to understand these things, at the same time, our vision is taken to strengthen that ego.
“I am” the star of this eternal movie. “I” control things. “I” will become an enlightened being, etc.
All of these expectations are bombs waiting to explode. We will feel the repercussions.
A person who realizes about how an expectation could be detrimental to his health, will try to do something about it.
The typical “spiritual” answer to his search will be: “Do not have expectations.” 🙂
That is the beginning of having a repressed personality.
It goes something like this:
Buddha says: ”Desires are the cause of suffering.”
Mr. Follower Tothedot will say: “I should not have desires. Desires are bad.”
Mr. Tothedot does not realize that negating something in him does not mean to solve something.
Unfortunately that understanding of Mr. Tothedot, has been what “easy religious spirituality” has brought to human kind: The idea that a repressed personality is “good.”
The expectation to get rid of desires in ourselves is a gross misunderstanding, which happens because there is no experience of the discovery on how a desire occurs and what that entails, for that discovery is truly a personal journey.
-Q: Who has the desire?
A: Well.. it is “I”
-Q:Get rid of that “I” then.
That is the teaching, the path, the journey, the discovery.
Observe those desires. Observe those expectations. As long as there is “someone” such as an “I” observing, there could be rationalization, which is thinking, which is separation, which means to deepen the sense of isolation, the sense of “I.”
Is there a way to observe without having an “I” involved in the process?
Ah! That is for every one of us to discover, that is if this thing called “inner discovery” truly matters to “you.”
If it doesn’t matter, then an answer is all you will be looking for. 🙂 🙂
Knowing the self
When the words, to “know the self” are uttered; immediately there is an interpretation of those words according to our consciousness.
For some, it will be about looking at the mirror to see our latest freckles or to discover that little mole that just popped up from “nowhere” by our left ankle. 😉
For others, it will be about “looking at our thoughts and desires.” Yet for others, that little phrase means nothing.
In Spirituality, the key element is to realize something by looking at it in ourselves.
That is, read whatever scripture, holy book or Guru’s words of wisdom; see those words in yourself to find their truth.
For example, a Guru just spoke about “lust.” Then there is a “pretty” girl walking by, someone may stop and look at her. Another may say something to her, yet someone else may not say anything and pretend that he didn’t watch a thing.
Let us say that we want to “judge” who is exhibiting the “vice” of lust in the above scenario according to the Guru’s teaching…for whatever those teachings may have been 🙂
There is no way to tell by just looking at their actions. To look at someone is not lustful. To say some words to someone is not lustful either. To pretend not to see, is deceitful but no lustful either.
We have to go beyond the outside “movie film” and observe/feel what a person feels. What is in his heart? Usually, we could observe that in their faces but not always. Many good actors out there! 🙂
Only I can know with certainty what I feel and how I feel. It is not about someone else, but about me.
This is the first realization in the spiritual path.
To observe “me” there is a need to be in a peaceful, tranquil state of mind. Slow down, relax and watch the show in front of your eyes… 🙂
Someone who is engaged in “knowing himself,” needs plenty of time, plenty of solitude. A busy schedule will not do. To be surrounded by everyone and your funny cat; may not work. Those are distractions in the beginning. Please note the word “beginning,” for a life away from everyone is not what life is all about.
It is in that serenity and amplitude of “doing nothing” throughout the day, where we could catch our emotions, our anxiety for action, our cravings for emotional support, company, need to be someone in life, etc.
All of that inner noise is not allowing us to see with clarity, and our minds will be in continuous turbulence, trying to find a way on how to fulfill those recurrent desires… Isn’t that so?
The mask of being “good” or acting “good” or putting up a “façade” with others is our own deceitful way to deal with this turbulence in our minds.
Basically, “I” cannot deal or understand myself but “I” can pretend that “I” do.
Pretending sooner or later will show the real naked picture of ourselves to ourselves.
When we see that picture and not before, is when a “true” spiritual walker has been born.
At that point, any beliefs are of no consequence. What matters is to return to that tranquility, to that serenity in our day to day living.
It is when we reach this understanding, that we finally make choices in life to support that tranquility, that serenity. Before that, is just lip service and internal chaos.
We say that we want to be peaceful but we act in the opposite way. We say that we are “good,” but there is no goodness coming from a clouded mind… there is just a “script” to do, something that someone has told me to do, so I could be qualified as “good,” “honorable,” “worth of being God’s child,” etc.
When we are not watching ourselves, we make “mistakes.” Those mistakes are not “financial” issues necessarily; but mistakes in treating another human being without care and concern by using our words in a very sloppy way.
Those mistakes are very costly for they will come back to hunt us down. You can call that “karma” or “God is punishing you,” Avyakt7 just like to call that “oneness.”
What I do to “my hand,” I do it to myself… not just “my hand,” but “myself.”
When we go away from Nature and only take a hike into tech “progress,” we lose sensibility to beauty. When beauty is lost in our lives, all we have left is a “lie,” that is the “ugliness” that we see only in “others;” but the one that we fail to see in ourselves.
That beauty beyond duality in knowing ourselves, is the one which does not know about ugliness.
Ananda typically walks in the morning by the Bay: The new day is fully alive; it is a delight to smell freshness all around: Dolphins swim nearby, all sorts of birds arrive for “early breakfast,” and the Sun shines its warmth equally among every living being.
Ananda realized in that walk, that the clearer his mind is from thoughts about himself, greater enjoyment will be experienced.
Ananda also experienced, that whatever the heart desires, the mind will make it happen…. Even if it is not “real.” It is all about those thoughts shaping the reality to fulfill unconscious wishes.
Playing with those thoughts about the reality of “me,” is called self-absorption.
When we reach that stage of consciousness, we see life only in relationship with our perceived “Me.”
If “I” have a problem, nothing going on outside will matter unless that which “I” see outside “myself,” helps “me.”
For example, if someone “falls in love,” and there is no correspondence as she wishes to happen; the ego will be hurt. That pain will be expressed through continuous thoughts about the same thing, for something has to be done to change that. Even though, life changes as we move in time, the thoughts from the past and future will be there hunting that person down, until “something” happens which is interpreted as “beneficial.” Then a “new story” is built by the mind.
Someone in that state of being cannot appreciate anything. That self –absorption does not allow for life to continue on, but it stops in the wall of the “Me.” For most, that is a very strong wall.
“I am hurt, thus the world does not matter.”
That is extreme self-absorption.
Ananda was smiling at the runners by the Bay, saying “hello” to them. But, a “hello” back to him seldom happened.
Most of them weren’t “real runners,” for running, as running in itself wasn’t enjoyed. It was about losing weight, getting a “workout,” etc. Anything but enjoying that running, enjoying that activity of moving one foot in front of the other through a graceful jump… all by itself.
You could see it in their faces. All hooked up to their devices, phones, radios, etc. To be in another reality until the “workout is over.” 🙂
In self absorption, the beauty of Nature is of no consequence when all it matters is to “lose weight” and “ to look good” as if there was a “judge” waiting to judge the “results.”
In self-absorption, enjoyment is an unknown long lasting experience. It is all about results, all about “getting there and make it happen.” Never mind the “process.”
When someone is self absorbed, to “do “ and to “have” are important as long as they enhance the sense of “me.”
My family is important as an extension of me.
My car is important as a perceived status of me.
My body is important as an image of me.
Exercise is important as a tool to reshape me.
God is important, as long as He helps me.
Meditation is important to feel good about me.
My thoughts about “me” will not allow “me” to appreciate “Me.”
In that state of consciousness, it is very difficult to experience oneness, for “Me” only sees separation.
When the capacity for enjoyment of life is gone; when feeling gratitude for being awake everyday is gone; when all there is in life is to “take care of me,” through the “same old thing,” when the only joy remaining is to “purchase” new things or to taste “new things,” at that point there is a need to change, for that self absorption will literally kill you.
That “me” is truly your worst nightmare. Wake up to save yourself…