“Heaven is a state of mind, not a location, since Spirit is everywhere and in everything. You can begin making a conscious decision to look for the unfolding of Spirit in everything and everyone that you encounter. I personally do this by making an effort to look upon my world as if I were observing it through lenses that filter out the form and all of the material aspects of what I am seeing, and can only view the spiritual energy that allows what I am noticing to exist. Try putting on these imaginary magical lenses and see how different everything appears…”
The paragraph above is an excerpt from an article in a magazine. The author is a well known “self-help” Guru, who wrote many “best sellers.”
Observe the assumptions. Observe the keywords used: Heaven, Spirit… and observe the “method:” To make a conscious effort to see something that he is not really seeing for the sake of conforming with his belief.
Observe the decision to make “spirit” as something more desirable than “matter” or our current perception.
That teaching has gone into mainstream. If Guru XYZ is perceived to be able to live in a realm of bliss and continuous delight, then that must be the “place” where “I” need to be. If Guru XYZ is seeing something that I don’t, let me “make an effort” to see the same, let me use my imagination and convince myself that this is the “real thing.”
The excerpt above has appeal to mainstream because it is able to give an easy “solution” for the perception of suffering = matter, mostly viewed and at the same time, it gently guides individuals into accepting a different perception of reality.
That acceptance comes automatically with the recognition of the “spiritual advancement” of the Guru writing the excerpt. “ He is a best seller author, he must be good and he must know what he is talking about!”
Heaven as Paradise is supposed to be a “place.” But that place does not exist without a new consciousness. People with new consciousness make that Heaven and not a place.
The belief of going to “heaven” without a change of consciousness is plain ego. There is no religion able to offer change of consciousness, but only change of behavior.
The “spirit” is consciousness. There are many individual spirits like individual human beings, but consciousness is One and for all, manifested according to our nature at a particular time. That consciousness is beyond the grasp of the “I” to change.
What the Guru wrote is not “bad” at all… It is not “wrong.” It is what his intellect was able to perceive. The issue is when followers call that the “truth” and would like to make their particular experiences to fit the Guru’s.
In my perception, I will honor what I perceive without trying to change it by playing mind games, knowing that my perception is not the “truth” but a perception, and that there are many other perceptions according to states of consciousness. The perception will change and the “I” will change as well.
What I find important is not the perception itself but our ability to enjoy that experience. Let me repeat that again. What is important is our ability to enjoy our perception, that experience while it lasts, for it will go away. That in itself brings openness to hear other perceptions, for we are not investing in a particular viewpoint.
The “I” changes as we allow for that change of perceptions. It is not about putting on “imaginary glasses” but we will see things under a different light when the rigid “I” opens up.
However the “I” is looking for “truth” for a piece of information to hold on to as that will give importance and support to the existence of that “I.”
“I have the truth.”
Let me give another example that I read in the same magazine by another Guru:
“In a Hindu text, a wise man is asked: ”Of all things in Life what is the most amazing?” He answers, “That a man seeing others die all around him, never thinks that he will die.” Taking time to reflect deeply on one’s own death with clarity, understanding and compassion, one can move out of denial, confusion and fear and focus on what is important: how to prepare for being present with the dying process, personally and with others. Reflection on death and impermanence is the portal to living a life of true meaning and happiness.”
Observe the words used, the assumptions, the “solutions.”
Does a man seeing that others are born all around him, ever wonder about his own birth?
Isn’t to die a process from the minute that we are born? Why separate dying and living if they go together?
What is the meaning of a “deep reflection” when in the “future,” we will be someone different?
The words “deep reflection” mean nothing, when there is observation of the changes in Life and openness, continuous acceptance, agreement with Life itself. Consciousness will be there even though “I” will die.
Learn to enjoy the experience of changes. It is all change, nothing could be destroyed… it just recycles.
How do I know that?
Because “I” am that, of course. Just like “you.” 🙂 Life itself.
To know in words who we are, who God is, what will be our future, how to live Life, etc. is never going to allow us to BE the answer. It will only give us an answer. Right or wrong… it is all the same.
Fear to live, fear to die will remain despite “knowing” the answer. Then, of what good is to know an answer?
We may have many questions about Life, but lost in questioning we cannot enjoy what is.
Enjoyment is in a quiet mind.
We cannot “make” our minds quiet, we need to allow it to experience that quietness. That is all. Any use of force will be a violent action towards our mind, a step away from quietness.
Here is something that I have learned: There is nothing “spiritual” in just “doing,” in acting to fulfill an ideal. If we qualify an action as “good, spiritual, moral, etc.” those labels are only taking us away from the observation of our own feelings.
Feel quietness, feel at peace and our actions cannot be away from that feeling.
There is nothing coming from the “outside” which can make us quiet, constant peace as a natural state of being. Quietness needs to happen naturally without any type of “effort,” or labor to be “real.”
“How do I obtain that?”
You don’t. It happens.
When the “I” is open enough to allow for things to be as they are, when the “I” is open enough to be at ease with his own company, when the “I” is open enough to invite Nature and its harmonious make up, into our own selves.
That change is slow, for we may need to seek silence rather than noise, seek solitude rather than loud company, rest rather than movement; free time rather than busy-ness…
If we “do” these changes in ourselves to try to “achieve” quietness, peace, etc. we could never obtain it. It is impossible.
Because achievement is of the “I.” What could someone “achieve” if we are aware that we are ONE with everything?
Nothing… but by being separated, then there is an “achiever.”
I am not saying that to “achieve” is “bad,” No!
I am saying that quietness, peace, solitude and tranquility are not achievements.
Those will happen naturally as the “I” opens its own preconceived, structured self.
There could be a method of “meditation for busy people” but there cannot be a method to reach “Tranquility,” for that is BEING it.
Simplicity in living. Simplicity in being… those may be necessary to experience that quietness. This means to be uncomplicated, easy…
Knowing is hidden in that state of BEING.
That is the knowing necessary to live and die without fear.
The answer is there. But that “answer” does not come out of a question. It comes out of BEING.
” Dear Ahnanda
somewhere you have mentioned that we are like small leaf in this river and leaf cant decide where to go and this river will take the leaf to particular place or to its destiny. We don’t need to make any effort .
Can you please explain this is in professional life scenario. For ex if i am working in office and need to plan and finish few task proactively as I think that is the only way to survive in this competitive world, Can i just rely on my destiny for that to happen and just doing minimal work? Doesn’t that make us laidback or not taking up things proactively.”
Thank you for your question for the common good.
Ahnanda also mentions about the importance of experiencing, not as to generalize the experience and make that the “truth” for everyone to follow, or even as an unchanged dogmatic “truth” for ourselves, but merely as a reference point to share, to assimilate and to grow.
Forsake the explanations and just try it. Experience it for yourself.
Read the “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Yogananda. The “mother” will provide he used to say, and the “mother” provided even though rational individuals doubted him. Yogananda went to College without studying. He just crammed near the exam days and “destiny” unexpectedly helped him out by providing the right connections, the right pages to read, the right timing.
Don’t want to experience because it is too risky and you may lose your job in such a “competitive” world? 🙂
Then keep reading…
Ahnanda has also mentioned that the “office world” is not Life, but it is what we, humans have made up as Life. There is a huge difference.
The way we perceive the “office world” to be, is ingrained in our understanding of Life, Nature.
Nevertheless, it was shared as well, that it is not a matter of rejection of the “office world,” but to embrace it as another perception, another part of Life.
When we are not observing, we cannot realize that the job that we currently have wasn’t dependent on our will to happen, but the circumstances, the settings… Life itself is offering that experience or “work opportunity” (as it is called in the office world) to “us.” Nevertheless we say: “I found a job.” 🙂
Dear reader, you still believe/experience that Life is separated from “you.” You still believe that your destiny is separated from “you.”
“You” are life itself. “You” are destiny itself, nevertheless; your consciousness will not be able to perceive that due to the shortcomings of labeling, logic and reasoning.
Basically, “You” are too “smart” to intellectually understand a different consciousness. 🙂
A person who is entrenched into the “office world” has a mind capable to understand the logic and reasoning of Aristotle or Descartes or even Mr. Spock… but, none of that could perceive the “reality” of Life.
Want something more “reasonable”?
Do your plans and finish your tasks proactively, but enjoy those. It is a sorry state of being to “do” things just to survive in this “competitive” world. It is in that mentality how your destiny will be manifested. You are calling for it.
It does not matter what you do, but your perception of what you do is important.
If your job is giving you the money to survive, don’t “make effort,” just do what you are supposed to. Enjoy it. Be like the leaf in the river, and float, flow with it. There are no guarantees. The ride could finish at any time. Enjoy it while it last without the obsessive thought: “It will finish soon… I must enjoy it.” That kills the enjoyment. Thinking kills the “fun.”
Your question: “Can I just rely on my destiny for that to happen and just doing minimal work? Doesn’t that make us laidback or not taking up things proactively.”
Who do you want to rely on?
It was shared above that there is no difference between what you perceive to be “you” and “your” destiny. It is the same thing, but in your consciousness you perceive those things as being separated, therefore you look for a solution. “You” must “make effort.”
“I must fight to get what I need for it is competitive out there.”
It is evident that you are viewing destiny as predestination in opposition to “free will” or choice. Those “concepts” are just that, “concepts.”
Let me assure you that none of those “concepts” exist as “reality,” unless you believe in them.
When you are “laid back” nothing can “make you” that … you are.
To try to change what you are by taking up a behavior to “make you better” is just a belief.
It is like trying to change wintertime into summer by dressing beach clothing… and then we wonder: “But how come do I still feel cold?”
First we acknowledge wintertime, we learn to appreciate wintertime, and to be at peace with it and when that happens …summer time appears all by itself. No effort involved.
All the best.
Ananda had a supernatural experience. After meditating , he felt in complete bliss. Obviously, Ananda believed in the meditation practices and in the teacher who taught him about this type of meditation.
Ananda became a believer.
Ananda had a deep sense of commitment and started following every direction from his new appointed Guru.
Ananda wanted to “become better.” Ananda wanted to be enlightened with wisdom and to become another Guru just like his master.
Ananda made all sorts of “effort” to get that same experience of bliss that he had experienced sometime ago.
Ananda’s expectations to get that “out of the world” experience increased, but at the same time; he experienced the frustration of not “getting it.”
Ananda made all sorts of “efforts.” He changed his life style completely. He wanted to be better, so he avoided people who were not in his path.
Ananda rejected the world and wanted to spend time meditating and to experience that bliss again…
Ananda was truly disappointed with his Guru. What was wrong? He was doing everything and nothing would happen!
Ananda decided to change his Guru. Ananda bought books on Spirituality, bought CDs, Ananda attended to several seminars run by the “experts,” in “enlightenment,” he even traveled to the holiest places on Earth to get “better.”
Ananda developed an obsession out of his spirituality. He developed a great ego as well and sarcastic irony when he heard others speaking about their own spiritual paths and experiences.
Ananda gave up. He was truly tired of all the rituals and reading materials which “promised” him to become “better.”
Ananda couldn’t sleep. He went outside and sat by a tree. Thoughts started coming into his mind about all the “effort” that he had done. All the time that he had wasted for nothing! His memory brought the episode when he got into this blissful state and he started to recall every moment of it. Ananda wanted to experience that moment one more time, it was so exquisite, so out of this world, so blissful… Ananda started to cry in distress. All his knowledge about his spiritual teachings were in vain, he thought.
Ananda wanted answers and no one was able to give those to him. Ananda felt like a failure.
Meanwhile, Mathias, the “wise tree,” was a witness of all of this.
Mathias spoke to Ananda.
“Friend, why are you crying?”
Ananda replied: “ I am a failure. I wanted to become enlightened with bliss and I cannot.”
Mathias replied: “Really? Who wants to become enlightened?”
Ananda looked at Mathias bothered that he had to say the same thing again. “ I said , Me.” Replied Ananda.
Mathias answered: “ Then, get rid of “me” and there will not be a failure.”
Ananda said: “Are you crazy? Do you want me to kill myself?”
Mathias replied: “ not friend, just your mind. “Me” is in your mind.”
Ananda didn’t realize in all his years of “effort” that his own mind was in continuous upheaval. Always striving for something. If the issue wasn’t how to get a better job or a better something, then it was “to be better.” To become enlightened, angelic, Godly, pure, powerful, etc, etc. If he didn’t reach “his” objective, the frustration and sorrow set in.
Ananda, thought about it for a second and asked: “How do I do that?”
“By becoming aware of your mind. Sit there, stop thinking, experience what you are besides that mind. If you hear words inside , that is your mind. Observe how your senses experience something and then an idea is created in your mind based on the memory of previous experiences. See how you are incapable of observing and listening to others and to yourself without putting an idea and “making sense of it.” Observe, how your mind is constantly taking you from one place into another. If you hear a song and you recognize it with your memory; that song will take you to a daydream. You may call that “to remember is to live again,” but become aware that all of that is the past and it is dead.
That experience may take you to a happy end or a sorrowful end, therefore; your emotions are slaves of your own mind.
Similarly, your “becoming better” is to be anxious about the future, which is not real. Your mind is taking you to the past and to the future, but cannot be still in the present.
Become acquainted on that timeless serenity, that which you are besides the mind and then other experiences may arrive. To spend your time observing the works of your mind is to become free from it.
That bliss may arrive again… but this time without “you” wanting it. That is how things arrive on time, when “Me” is not there, completely out of the picture. No failure, means no success.
Duality free. That is the greatest success.” 🙂
What are the different forms of maya. How can a bk recognise it. Baba says the sronger you become in effort the stronger is maya. What types of maya affect a senior bk? Please help.
Thank you for your great question!
Maya or “illusion” is just that, an “illusion.”
In Sakar days, it was about the “illusion” of taking you away from the “Father’s lap.” In our days, it is the illusion that removes you from self-transformation if that is what you value in life.
The stronger is our ego, the stronger will be the “effort” needed to “overcome it,” thus, that “illusion” becomes stronger.
From a child like understanding then, Maya is “bad.”
We need to destroy “her.” We need to “make effort” to go over it…
Once the child grows up then, “Maya” is a teacher. (This is something which Baba has said as well.) Nothing to be afraid of, but it becomes the way that we learn about ourselves when we have that honesty, awareness and Spirituality is our aim.
I don’t know what kind of illusions a senior has. But, definitely, just like the rest of us. My illusion may not be your illusion, but your illusion is an illusion just like mine.
Once we awaken from those illusions, the nightmare is over.
What are the different forms of Maya?
It is formless. Or as many forms as the sand grains at the beach… It is omnipresent 🙂
How can a BK could recognize it?
By suffering. Unless you are able to see it at a “distance,” and no reject it, but play with it… 🙂 or just wake up from sleeping mode.
How can you recognize day light?
By having experienced night time.
Many concepts which are supposed to help our rational being to understand things so we can self transform, several times are misunderstood when they are understood without experience and merely using our intellectual abilities to grasp them.
The battle between “free will” and “predestination” is just one of them.
Spirituality is not about intellectual understanding. Having a high IQ means nothing. In spirituality, our understanding will change as our consciousness changes. Openness of consciousness means greater understanding.
In simple words, a person without much ego; will have a different understanding than a person filled with ego.
A person without much ego will be able to sense that “his individuality” is an illusion of the mind for practical purposes. Life is a relationship. The “I” is nothing without that relationship. A person without much ego, will be able to sense the Unity of all, not as another concept, not as another label such as “omnipresence,” but as an experience of life.
As ego dissolves; then having “free will” or being predestined is no longer important for those concepts do not affect the only fact of BEING, those concepts only affect BEING when there is separation, when there is this idea of “individuality,” which exists only as much ego is displayed.
Then, my “effort” becomes important. Then, to “try hard,” to labor, to achieve, to strive are all words known by those struggling in the ego battle of “becoming better.”
When ego is left aside, the above mentioned words are no longer used. Then, we achieve by not trying, we make effort; when all effort has ceased…Paradoxes.
Because there is no “I” doing things.
In that process of seeing the “I” dissolve; there is a time when “I” need to be motivated so I do not forget to “make effort.”
Motivation becomes important, because it is the way to continue on in the Spiritual quest to self-transformation.
Many who have been involved in Spirituality, have left this path only because their motivation was lost.
When we lose our motivation to continue, carelessness arrives and with that “entropy,” which means that we will be going “back” to the old ways…
BapDada calls that motivation with 2 words: Zeal and Enthusiasm.
Without those (which I refer to as motivation) we will experience “darker days and nights,” we will experience that our purpose is gone. We will search for outside sources of motivation, such as being with the Spiritual family, the center, being busy in this and that, etc. All important items as long as there is no dependency.
Nevertheless, motivation, to be true; always comes from the inside.
As our consciousness increases, our motivation will increase as well. It cannot be otherwise, for seeing the “attainments” (As BapDada calls it) is an automatic boost to continue on.
Those attainments could be named with simple words: Experiencing the inner smile of super sensuous joy (bliss,) experiencing the light of being light in life and to finish this beautiful painting, with a bright smile in our faces.
The above cannot be “obtained” by making effort. It comes automatically as a reward of maintaining that inner motivation, as the prize of experiencing a different consciousness.
In Gita, it is said, put your effort but don’t have expectations for its reward.
This simple explanation applies even now.
Predestination is the reward (which is not just based on our effort) and our role is to perform to our level best.
It is like driving a car, you have the right to drive but the destination is not in your effort, it depends upon how fast the car in front of you moves and how the whole traffic is in that road, and everyone knows how long it takes to reach the destination inspite of the traffic, still the person-driver has to drive the car.
The driving effort is in our hands and reaching the destination depends upon the karma-fate of individual or the whole society/traffic. Both goes together – self effort and fate,they cannot be separated.
If we divide “traffic” and “my car” with “my destination,” we will have a problem.
In your phrase: “Put your effort but don’t have expectations for its reward.”
WHo is putting effort?
For what? 🙂
I guess, it is not for the sake of “making effort” right? There is a purpose.
If I don’t want to call that purpose with its real name: “expectations” then “I am” just kidding myself. Making myself believe that “my” effort does not have an expectation.
As long as there is a “my effort,” there will ego and with that, we cannot pretend that expectations will not exist.
Ego and expectations arrive at the same time.
“Self effort” is just a nice phrase. “Fate” is what you get when there is an “I” lingering around.
The issue is separation. The traffic and the cars and your car are all part of the same thing. They are not separated but only in a separating mind.