In the surroundings of a lovely afternoon, the sun was about to end its perceived daily trip from east to west, while giving the chance to most individuals to change the direction of their familiar gazes at this time: From looking downward to looking up at the sky. The scenery had that depth beyond the normal, trivial entertainment which the human mind has grown to be accustomed with.
The master said: “ To understand our own minds is perhaps one of the most important tasks that we could undertake. In general, the mind is an instrument to deal with memories, data and facts. The mind centers its existence in the past or the future only; that is; the mind lives in those times which are no longer real. The experience of the present as in “right now” is not of the mind. Thus, if you look at a sunset, you could look at it attentively as if that was the first time ever; that sight is immensely fulfilling or you can choose to take a photograph and look at it later and use your mind to label that sight and compare it: ‘It was yesterday at 6pm. Last year’s was better’ and completely miss that wonder. Humanity has grown to be content with having a picture or a video for that information of pixels is all the mind needs; but they are missing the unique moment of being in front of a timeless presence which no picture or film can ever grab. That timeless moment can nourish you. A picture cannot.”
The disciple had a question: “Master, isn’t a memory needed to connect with people? Otherwise, how could I remember that I know you?”
The master responded: “While the mind will allow us to remember someone from our childhood; it is that same mind creating a still picture, a belief that that one who we have met many years ago, is still the same. Therefore, most will relate with their own mind pictures rather than what is actually there. To find out what is there, you may need to observe as if that was the first time ever.”
The master paused for a few seconds and then continued: “The mind will judge based on social protocols which it has learned through conditioning. That judgment has the polarity of moral standards such as good or bad. That judgment will make us biased. A lazy mind will not consider change for it likes the certainty of what it already knows. Therefore, you will find in Life people who will be attached to their beliefs and defend them even to the expense of losing their own lives, in the name of truth. The mind finds a way to maintain its principles under the facade of improvement, which is another ideal of pursuit of that mind.
The mind is very good at recalling pieces of information to resolve technical or mathematical problems; it has the idea that Life follows the same protocols; that is the accumulation of information which has been labeled as knowledge to solve problems. Thus, the mind will follow ready-made recipes which do not necessarily meet the need of time. There is a disconnection with ‘what is.’
The mind creates separation, as it is designed to see differences. Those differences will be the ingredients to create beliefs. Those beliefs are static and cannot match the fluidity of Life. The mind creates what is known as ego in every individual as well as collective identity: Patriotism, nationalism, chauvinism are degrees of that same disease of pursuing separation, but yet the mind distinguishes those labels as different and appeal to the morality of ‘good and bad’ to make one degree of separation between those words and create a theoretical moral reality.
Moreover; suffering is a creation of the mind, that is the continuous repetition of distorted facts in time. Life will give us the experience of pain and pleasure: Physical, emotional or psychological; but the mind will make that experience into a ghost of torments or a pleasurable treasure to look for in a repetitive fashion, to bring addiction to our experience.
Pain is a fact of Life. Suffering is the option of a sick mind. Pleasure is the other side of the coin following pain, but addiction is the option of that ill mind. Therefore, the intensity of your suffering will give you the intensity of your addiction.”
Finally, the master went into a deep silence and emerged after a few seconds and said: “ The mind could be your greatest friend or your most formidable enemy. ”
Will resume writing on August 19, 2021. Enjoy life!
In a rare sunny afternoon in the middle of Winter, the master and his disciple had a conversation on the master’s house rooftop, while overseeing human “progress” in a classical crowded, busy city: Buildings upon buildings of concrete with the characteristic background noise of cars, motorcycles, horns and even fruit salesmen with megaphones, voicing their latest deals. That setting was perfect to practice observation and appreciation skills. Nevertheless, the master had a few pots there, with gorgeous aloe plants and geraniums to look at, and practice those same skills. The art of appreciating Life is in finding beauty in everything.
The disciple asked: “Master, why is it that good people seem to have so many problems to deal with? My neighbor’s kid ran away from her house then she lost all of her savings during a fire. She is a good person! Why does Life seem to be so unfair?”
The master listened attentively and replied:” Our judgment shows our conditioning. Life events occur as consequences of our actions and emotions. Today you may learn something new. Many are not ready for this yet but, you are. Good and evil are part of the human perception of a society ruled by the misunderstanding of duality. It is conditioning. Life itself is beyond those definitions, those borders created by the human mind.”
The disciple was surprised and replied: “ But master, I see people harming another. We cannot call that good.”
The master listened and smiled: “ If we cannot call that good, we call it bad, evil and we will throw in our emotional charge to demonstrate our rejection. Correct? That is exactly the point. Those labels could be used only to identify something due to the limits of language but if you judge, you are missing the point. If you observe someone harming another, do you reject that one? Look at your emotions. If you find rejection, distaste, you are judging based on your social conditioning. Remain unbiased, even if you participate to avoid further harm. ”
The disciple responded:” But what is wrong with that, master? I will do what is necessary to stop that fight and side with the good ones.”
The master smiled and said: “ Observe how you continue using those dualistic words: good, bad, right, wrong to emit judgment. Do as you wish, but observe that your feelings remain unmovable to either side. Let me explain: A strong Earthquake will kill many. Shall we label that as bad and reject that? Interestingly, many call an Earthquake an ‘act of God’ but yet in their minds, that God is good. Do you see the deceiving game of words and judgment? We do not know about the different events that will happen in Life, for Life is uncertain. There is no security in it; but yet if events are suitable to our viewpoint, we label those as good and pretend to find security in them by holding on with something that will change. We experience fear instead, which we then label as bad. That is the conditioning that we need to become aware of. More important than those labels are the emotions that we send out. Those are actions in itself and that which we emotionally reject, will be attracted toward us like a magnet. Our emotional charge becomes the strength of that magnet. Do you remember the time when you saw a couple fighting? What happened?”
The disciple remembered that episode. The boy was starting to beat up the girl and the disciple tried to separate them. To his surprise, the girl said to him: “ Why do you interfere with our fight? Who gives you that right?”
The disciple said: “ I thought I was doing the right thing. But obviously, they didn’t think so.”
The master smiled and said: “Now, you are starting to understand. You acted with an emotional impulse based on your conditioning of what is right to do. You did not feel inside you whether your presence was required there. You did not ask first, if you could be helpful. You merely thought to be right… and that gave you the right. Similarly, you will find out that our social conditioning is very limited to understand Life. Look at the Sun up there. It is giving light to all. It is not judging who is good or bad, who deserves this or that. Ruminate on this: People are caught in the duality of good and evil but Life and the angelic realm are beyond good and evil.”
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 ?”
There was a long walking path by the Bay. Many people used to walk there at night. The rhythmic on going waves incessantly caressed the shore, which had a small long wall separating the water from the side walk. There were many sitting benches around. The master and his disciple sat on one, to watch the moon and the stars while enjoying the gentle breeze coming from the Ocean.
As they were enjoying themselves, they overheard a conversation from the adjacent bench. It was a young couple. They had to break up from their relationship. That sitting bench was the lovely place they picked to say ‘good bye.’ After they departed on their own separate ways, the disciple said:
“Master, all departures could be painful and sad. I am sure that couple loved each other but for some reason they had to separate. Why is life so unfair?”
The master listened to the emotional question and after a brief moment responded: “ If you find someone, it is sure that at time will come when that one will go away, a good bye. That is not unfairness, it is the way the laws abide in this world of duality. Even tough we have this human experience, many do not want to understand that reality, and suffer instead. Observe that departure is the opposite of arrival. Just like in the airport! Both must be experienced by all. Observe that Life will bring a variety of scenes with different individuals and circumstances, but yet portraying the same story. This couple had the chance to say good bye. Others do not. That is another duality. Some say good bye with the chance to see each other again if destiny allows it, while others will depart for good. Another duality. Although at the end, as time goes by everyone will change and that experience will be the past. No one is never the same. Life only has one time and that is the present, the now. Observe how important is to be conscious of every unique moment that Life brings; but yet we rather dwell in the mind, and live in the past or the future which are no longer Life.”
The disciple listened and he understood how emotional suffering arrives, when there is no awareness of the coin of Life and its two faces, but he had another question: ” But master… That couple were in love. How could that be to find someone so close and that experience does not last too much, that seems sad.”
The master had a smirk in his face and replied: “ Fair and unfair. Sad and happy. Duality. We tend to judge Life as if we understood this wonderful unique movement. Time is irrelevant for the soul. It is just the experience that matters, for that can change you within 1 second. All of these experiences that we experience in Life, have only one purpose. Do you know what that is?”
“No master, said the disciple.”
The master then said: ”To allow us to be someone different: Good, bad, right, wrong… Those are labels that we use to describe what we judge through our conditioning, but every actor in Life has the chance to change; but yet we want to remain the same. Wouldn’t that stubbornness open another door for bitterness and sorrow? Of course. “
The disciple insisted: “but, love master. They were in love…”
The master took a few moments to respond: “Human love is a peak. After the peak comes a valley. Life will give many experiences which will be a peak for us, and we will try to maintain those or become addicted to those peaks, without recognizing the valleys. In human love, the most intense experiences will tend to have a shorter life span while the less intense, will be longer. Have you observed that?
Many couples grow used to each other. After many years, their love is only a comfortable same-old-thing experience. While others may have lived a peak for a short time, enough to change their lives and then their paths will separate. Destiny will bring you exactly what you need to experience at this time. Have you experienced that sort of romantic separation? “
The disciple smiled and said: “ A few years back, I loved someone dearly. Life didn’t allow us to be together at that time for she did not feel the same for me. After a couple of years of feeling rejected, she passed away unexpectedly.”
The master replied: “I understand. But do you? You were rejected, that was the experience. The opposite of that duality may be in the horizon, unless you want to remain the same. If you do not reject that experience but allow yourself to heal and hope for the best, then your next experience will definitely be different. As a changed experienced person, perhaps you will experience when both meet in a peak of love to allow Life to change both of you. But remember that a peak will bring a valley. Accept and enjoy both and you will be in continuous harmony with the duality of Life.”
The disciple asked: “ Master, science is trying to describe all phenomena in the Universe through a ‘theory of everything.’ Is that something possible? So far, they have encountered 2 theories [Relativity and Quantum mechanics] which have been proven to be correct but are contradictory of each other. There is no consensus as to where one starts and the other ends…
The master replied: “Perhaps they are beginning to understand what duality is all about.” The disciple listened and wanted more, but the master kept quiet. “But master,” inquired the disciple, “It doesn’t make sense that a planet appears solid and has a clear path of movement but yet is made up by either non solid waves or particles which do not have an exact location and appear to have random movements.”
The master smiled and said: “ That is a riddle of consciousness.”
The disciple said: :”Consciousness? But master…What consciousness has to do with that?” The master said: “Everything. Are you still or in movement?” The disciple said: “Master, obviously I am sitting here still listening to you.” The Master replied: “Obviously. However, you are moving as well. Isn’t the planet moving? You are moving with it. Aren’t the cells in your body moving, changing? Who is still then?”
At that point the disciple didn’t know what to say. “But, master if everything is moving that means that movement is in relation to a point of reference…” The master said: “ Everything is moving but yet is at rest. That is duality. It depends on the location of your consciousness. That location will give you a particular experience. Have you seen a sunset?”
The disciple said: “Of course, master.” The master said: “ How is it possible for the Sun to disappear in the horizon?” The disciple said: “It is impossible, but yet we see it and call it sunset.”
The master said: “The sunset exists but it doesn’t. Duality. Even though for the great majority of people, there is the experience of a sunset; that doesn’t exist. The reference is in the observer.”
The disciple said: “But scientific experiments prove something as existent.” The master said: “ The point of reference is the human being. Using their human senses to measure things. Human senses have a limitation to perceive the unlimited. The physical world is real for most consciousness but limited for other consciousness. The Universe provides for all, according to how they want to see it, measure it, understand it, but it leaves mystery for more.”
The disciple said: “Oh! So everything is relative.” The master said: “Relative to the observer. As we gain more consciousness there will be no difference between the observer and that which is observed. But that consciousness is not in the collective yet.”
All of the sudden, the master asked to his disciple: “Are we predestined or do we have free will?” The disciple thought for a few seconds and said: “Both. But yet none…. However, we are predestined according to some people but with free will for the immense majority. All according to consciousness.”
The master smiled and said: “You have understood. Now observe the significance of such questions.”
Mental understanding of duality does not have any consequence in our lives. It becomes yet another concept, another theory, another definition to like or dislike. Day and night is an example of duality but what is the consequence of it in our own lives? That is the question that truly matters for those looking to live Life in harmony.
Whereas in our society we make continuous distinctions and differences which in turn are used to separate people in religions, races, gender, nationalities, etc. a good grasp of the meaning of integration of duality is lacking.
Let me illustrate with practical examples.
Gender is a good case in point. It is a duality. There is male and female. There are many shades of those 2 genders in between. A person identifying with a particular gender will create a separation on something which is meant to be united, whole, harmonious within ourselves.
Of course the above may not make any sense to most individuals. A male is supposed to be a “macho” figure. Anything less than that is despised with a derogative in many societies. However, gender is not just a function of having a particular body organ. It is mainly how a person FEELS about themselves. Moreover, every individual has within them male and female characteristics. It is a mix with different percentages; a person by person case, thus undefinable. The reality of Life goes beyond our mental definitions, our artificial “lines” that we draw to differentiate A from B, male from female.
Let me go a notch further in depth. There is a cliché stating that “to love another, first we need to love ourselves.” How could this be accomplished unless we are energetically complete? Otherwise, we will feel as if something is missing, thus; we will have the need, the desire to complete ourselves with someone else. It is that desire, that need not allowing us to feel love. A desire is not love. A need is not love. Consequently, we typically observe the drama of relationships as desire and neediness. To transcend that, we will need to recognize and acknowledge the male and female within ourselves. That “marriage” within is completeness, and from that wholesomeness we could extend who we ARE, onto others: Love. We could say that Love is the extension of BEING when wholesome.
INTEGRATION within meshes together a duality. Different forces converging in a point together to create union.
Observe the ideology of nationalities. Duality is created once we identify with a particular “nation” and look to benefit it without acknowledging the Totality. Chauvinism is a disservice to humanity. Another example is to side with a particular religion, a political party, a race, all of those ways to separate; by creating rejection or repression of a part which makes up the whole.
When we have created a duality, we need to observe how a contradiction of values is born: For instance, a white supremacist who could be a Christian at the same time, is contradicting himself. Those contradictions create a dishonest person, a two face individual. It is that sort of corruption within corrupting society, and a corrupted society feeds individuals to preserve corruption.
To embrace our light and our shadow, is the practical work of the spiritual seeker. While knowing that shadows exist within because of light; they will learn to integrate their shadows into their light. That is when Lucifer reclaims his status of a “fallen angel” to align with his creator, God; in sacred union.
Will take a break until November 11 ! 🙂
Many spiritual seekers after learning about duality, may believe that there is no “way out” of that. For instance, what I hear most is in reference to the understanding of pain and pleasure. Certainly, if there is the experience of pleasure, there must be the experience of pain. That is perceived as a trap.
On a different perception, society teaches to maintain something considered “good” or pleasurable as long as possible, and to fight or have a rejection towards what is perceived as painful. On the other hand, some religions take the path of trying to avoid one side such as pleasure, with the idea that pain will be avoided as well.
Also it is believed or perceived that Death is painful, sorrowful while Life is pleasurable and a sunny experience. The observation, is to recognize that one side of that duality has been perceived as something unwelcome. Death is no longer something natural, unavoidable which can happen at any time, but something to be afraid of; thus we are taught to live with fear of an unexpected “final” experience. That is the primordial fear affecting the function of our first chakra and from that, new obstructions will occur. Because we fear death, we fear life; for the perception of separation is just in our imagination and conditioning. Both are a continuous experience.
Life will present moments of pleasure and pain as we know; while Death is something unknown to most of us, for we haven’t had the experience yet, or we don’t remember having it (if we would like to be accurate on this) but we judge and believe according to our conditioning.
I heard one time that the “art of living is to die at every moment,” or in other words, “The purpose of living is to know how to die.” These words may get lost in interpretations and misinterpretations, but they have clear meaning for some.
Those phrases are very insightful and perhaps haven’t been explored enough; but as a matter fact, they represent a healthy, sane way of living where the mind is no recording traumas or events to be rehearsed later on. The mind works almost as when we take pictures or film the beauty of Nature with the added “feature” of adding emotions to spice up the memory. However, the one recording is missing the moment, the now. We feel glad to go back and watch the pictures, but the “change” inside, the “magic touch” which happens at the moment of the experience when the mind is idle, is completely missed.
Life and Death are one movement and so is pleasure and pain. When there is something that we “like,” definitely there is something to “dislike” and so we seem destined to experience these seemingly two different movements without “escape.” Even some have said that pain and pleasure “are the same,” but our experience will tell us otherwise. They are not the same but one.
The world of duality is the world of the experience of the “I.” It is that “I” experienced by most, the one unable to experience lack of duality.
Peace, Love, Bliss. Those have no opposites when there is experience, and even more sublime when the experiencer dissolves away. However mentally; we find opposites through words: Peace with war, love with hate and bliss with misery.
Is it possible for someone to experience Love, and to have feelings of hate at the same time? In the experience of the “I,” it is possible for duality is there, but that cannot be true love, although we label that as “love.” Do we see the issue with words pretending to describe non dual state of consciousness?
True “Love” is not of the “I,” it is an experience of what is beyond that “I.” However, we cannot “get to that level” unless we clearly recognize that “I, ” acknowledge it, study it, observe it, become aware of it. We need to become our own scientist.
The idea to reject pleasure so the experience of pain is not, takes away the experience of being human. Some religions are using the mind and its “natural” duality to express something which is only idealistic. Thus, we may need to get away from the experience of the mind to know what lies “above it,” what is known as the “heart,” for lack of a less romantic label, but it is the world of feeling.
So what is the “solution” to get away from the trap of duality?
As long as someone dwells in the “I” without ulterior awareness, that person will not be able to acknowledge “no-I,” and with that “no-mind,” and with that, a different kind of perception which is beyond the experience of duality.
Yes, “we” can go beyond duality. That is what is known as the state of witnessing.
Will resume writing on August 27th. Until then! 🙂