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!
It was a cloudy, gray and moody day. Most did not want to come out unless they had to. Winter was silently tiptoeing its way into the city as an expert burglar; stealing precious Nature time from unaware citizens. Nevertheless, that was the moment of blossoming of many flowers, a moment to admire that bright shade of green color in Nature and to enjoy that distinct morning grassy smell; while birds were harmoniously singing and chirping for only those who could have ears to listen. Nature has a bright side even in the darkest day.
On another scene, the disciple was in a heated discussion with his neighbor during that cold morning. The disciple was right in his complaint but the neighbor continued with his diatribes. After a few moments which seemed like an eternity, the disciple walked away and went to see his master. The disciple explained that scene and waited for his master’s words.
The master said: “Ego is a coward in disguise. Ego is afraid. Ego will look for an enemy to discuss, to fight because otherwise; it will have so much fear that it will sense its own dissolution. If ego is not utilized, it dies and disappears but not everyone has the courage to break away from that identity of themselves and to realize that as it is outside; it is inside. How did you feel during that battle?”
The disciple responded: “I felt very tense during those minutes, master. Now, I feel depleted.”
The master then replied: “Do you know the difference between sexual orgasm and ejaculation? The difference is Tension. To relax means to open up to life beyond the feeling of annoyance or hassle. Many times we just want to liberate ourselves from a bothersome relation as soon as possible thus, we are in complete tension. When there is this intention of ‘getting rid of’ before meeting that one, then that becomes an ejaculation. Then exhaustion appears, tiredness and a sensation of annoyance almost as if you had a relationship with a girlfriend where you need to ejaculate many times to demonstrate your virility. The end result is an uncomfortable feeling with her smell, her presence, her skin. Thereby; an orgasm means relaxation, to surrender in infinite pleasure. Ego does not like to surrender. It likes to fight, to run high. However, deeply in that personality there is a broken heart. Proud as no other of something which does not have. A complete illusion.”
The disciple understood his master’s words but he wanted to know what he needed to DO in such circumstance. The master responded: “ Only Presence. Thoughtless awareness. Whatever is there it has to be as it is; but if you remain consciously present that which is there in conflict, will dissolve by itself.”
The disciple then said: “Master, that person was acting in a crazy manner. The world is Crazy!”
The master listened, smiled and answered: “To live in a mental hospital has its pleasant side when you know that you are a doctor. But when you begin to fall ill from listening about diseases, when you become afraid of a disease or when you feel bothered by a sick patient; in that moment your vocation to help humanity goes away. Then obligation, a sense of duty comes in to replace vocation. Ego bubbles up as soap in that situation. Ego suffers in that sense of obligation and that will keep it alive. Trapped in that circle of feeling annoyance and hassle, bitterness appears.
Remember: Tension brings rigidity and that will end up breaking down your own body. Thinking about those events after the fact, attracts further tension. Feelings of goodness on the other hand, will evade it and settle into relaxation. Relaxation does not come by thinking about it or by forcing ourselves to be relax. It naturally comes in the awareness of tension.”
The disciple said : “ The other day I watched the presentation of a writer of spiritual topics. In his latest book, he spoke about conquering ego. Someone in the audience asked him: “Your ego probably increased once your book became a best seller. How did you avoid that?” The writer smiled and said that he wrote it with the idea of helping others and the popularity of his book was only icing on the cake. I believe it was a nice answer, but the writer didn’t reply to the question. What could you share with me about ego, master?
Ego is there whether your book is a best seller or not. Observe how obstacles or advantages in Life are behind that ego. However there is a compelling difference according to your level of consciousness on how you look at it.
While in the world, to overcome obstacles in Life or to experience fame are both opportunities for the normal person to increase ego, by showcasing their ‘success story;’ for the one who is ready to change into greater consciousness, those obstacles are ways to polish the diamond of goodness inside. How inner goodness comes out? Through the conscious experience of your own darkness.
Then the disciple asked: “And what is the perception of advantages in Life, that is when everything is good for the one with greater consciousness?” The master smiled and said: “ That one knows that even though his book was written through him, he did not do it. Therefore, how ego could come up? Greater consciousness will allow you to see the insubstantiality, frail and illusory image of that “I,” ego. Everything changes continuously, remember? Even that perception of “I.” It is in that awareness how ego dissolves and not in mental understanding of words.”
The master paused and the continued: “ ‘I wrote the book’ brings a force, a one sided front. That sets up those who will be for and also against that book because they did not like it. If the author feels insulted, he will not separate from his book and his ideas. Greater identification means greater experience of suffering through his fight but also greater experience of pleasure when the media pampers his book. Duality. A person may need to have a degree of conscious awareness to observe this within himself. A ‘normal’ person is not able to. His ‘I’ or ego will be built and caressed through those supporting his identity with the book; but also his ego will be built through his fight or rejection of those who feel against it. Either way, ego will be built.”
“Pardon me,” said the disciple, “but what do you mean by conscious awareness?”
The master said: “It means to be attentive in the moment that ego appears during an episode of Life. Recognize the trigger and the emotional response within. Recognize the identification which originates the ‘I.’ For centuries it has been said that ego is bad. Many wanted to conquer it. However, ego is neither bad nor good. The reality of ego is in being a continuous illusion of separation through identification with something. When we say “I” there is consistency, solidity of something inconsistent.
The disciple added: “But master, how to separate from ego in every day life when we use the word ‘I’ continuously, which is needed to properly communicate ?”
The master said: Ego is not a word. Say the word ‘I’ when you communicate but be aware of who that is while saying it. The key is to BE Aware. I told you enough about ego. Observe this example and its ramifications within yourself.”
The disciple asked: “Master, I hear and read about life in other planets, then about spiritual entities like angels fighting with demons, and then religions preach about repentance of our sins before final judgment. I am confused with all of this. Are those true? What is important to know in Life?”
The master reflected on that question for a few seconds which seemed an eternity to his disciple and said: “ Important? That depends on who you are. Who you are depends on your state of consciousness. Look. Do you recall a time in your life when you thought you were the center of the Universe and everything revolved around you? Most children will go through that stage of great egotism. Plenty will stay that way as adults. For them, there is no other life besides their own. That is, they look up only for number one. “
The master paused and the disciple asked: “But master, how my question is related with your explanation?”
The master smiled and said: “ There cannot be other beings when I am all that matters. Life is about Me. My salvation, my family, my property, my land, my ideas, my religion, my beliefs supporting my life style, etc. With that mentality, all I care about is my life cut off from the rest and later on how to take what I value from others, for I am living to compete. It is the survival of the strongest and I want to be the strongest, it is about force, violence.”
“But master,” interrupted the disciple, “ What is the truth?”
The master looked at the disciple with care and compassion and after half a minute responded: “Have you experienced all of that which you have heard of?” The disciple replied, “No, master.” “Then…” the master said “ That which you have heard or read about cannot be the truth for you. It could be for others who have experienced those things.”
The disciple said: “ Master, Does God exist?”
The master said immediately, “God is needed for such consciousness, the ME first consciousness. God is necessary and helpful as a way to reform their minds from degradation.”
The disciple was a bit tired by now of not getting straight answers and said: “ I see that you will not give me a straight answer, the truth.” The master smiled and said: “ I am here to help you with consciousness, then you will find the answers yourself.”
Those searching for the “truth” are interested only in information. Their minds filled with words and beliefs from their own experiences or others, under the label of “truth.” Those who search for change of consciousness are very rare indeed; for they will need to understand the signs posted by Life pointing to inner change.
For many seekers, the ego is some sort of individual entity tagged with the word “I,” and offered an extension of its influence through the word “mine.” That description is easy to grasp, but not enough.
A seeker should not be comfortable with a description, which only brings mental understanding of the idea; but a seeker may need to observe that ego in action, become conscious when it is being displayed as it happens in “real time.”
We may discover that the inner chattering of the mind is part of that “I” and the outcome of our conditioning. When we identify with that voice as “Me,” that is the second when action is the outcome of pure conditioning. Therefore, where is our “free will”? Some trying to make a distinction between the ego and that which is “really me,” may say that the voice of the chattering mind is not me, but the one hearing it, is truly “me.” However, the voice and the one who listens are both the mind, where different faces of ego come from.
Our society encourages the cementing of ego as that brings individuality. Our society is made under the premise that we are all separate; therefore our minds will bring that understanding of Life which brings as consequence, the perception of conflict to preserve that “I” when dealing with others.
Individuality is merely an aspect of the experience of Life. Because we are unable to observe how connected we are with Life, we encourage division, competition: The “I” with its many identities will fight with other “I’s” for supremacy.
What are those identities of the “I”? A profession, social status, a team, a political party, a religion, a belief, an ideal, a country. Observe that those identities are idealistic, nevertheless; those are “real” in our mind world. For example, burning a flag may be considered a criminal act for the ideal it represents when in reality, a flag is a piece of colored cloth which encourages human division.
How is it possible for someone to observe without bias his own ego,while still trapped in some identity? It is a very limited scope of observation.
It is an interesting exercise to read the world news and observe the extension of identification of humans with different ideals which will make up their egos and how the mechanics of conflict will be unavoidably there; which are usually dealt with violence. That is in a nutshell the history of mankind, thus we are born with that legacy. That is our conditioning.
What is the way out ? It is not through some social agreement or structure or law, as those are other ways we have invented to deal with conflict in society. Those methods are meant to “do something about the problem;” and we have changed things around superficially throughout History, although psychologically man is the same. There is constant division within and with others.
As a species we are highly conditioned to use only the mind to deal with society’s problems, thus we can only perceive Life though a mental position, which is empty of fulfillment. The “normal” man is an unfulfilled creature who is constantly searching for meaning.
The issue is the overused ego driven mind. Is there another way of connecting with Life besides the mind? Yes. There is. With Feeling. Fulfillment is there. That is the journey seldom walked by the “normal” man.
Every Life has a story. We refer to that story as “ups” and “downs” because that is what we are conditioned to believe; but ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ are together like day and night. Humans feel elated when things go their way (ups) and will suffer when things go the way they don’t want (down.)
The main character of that story is “I.” However, just as “up” go together with “down,” similarly “I” goes together with “no-I.”
We don’t know about “no-I.” Society and their teachers and gurus haven’t taught us about that, so we cannot throw the label loosely, in the next spiritual conversation. There are no “best sellers” yet, dealing with the philosophical “problem” of “no-I” and the “methods” to “achieve” it.
Our society, our beliefs and conditioning are so strong that will not allow us to see that there is nothing static about that which we call “I.”
The “I” is a container of memories, like a glass with water. Life will put different levels of water in that container. Until the last drop making the spill, will arrive. That will only show us the limits of the container.
Beyond the glass and its memories (“ I ”) there is “no-I,” air. An empty glass.
Yes, there are moments when we can believe to be the glass with water. But there others, when we could be air, in that way the “ups” and “downs” in Life, no longer will be. That movement is called a dance in Life.
When we hear “we should dance with Life,” it does not mean that “I” have to let “myself” be taken by “my” dancing partner, Life. Then is when we hear the teaching of “surrendering to Life” or “giving up.” That is the typical meaning when we believe to be the glass with water.
Now, we have a different perspective: It is to be the water and then to be air. Life is not a partner to dance with. Life is US, the containers, water and air. ALL at the same time. Because Life is movement, it is continuous change, the dance is to BE and not to BE.
BE water and BE air.
Many seekers ask “who am I?” They will make that into a “problem” to resolve. “What is the purpose of Life?” That is another subject for discussion… Drop that “I.” Drop the glass with water, drop the story of memories limiting who you believe to BE, then the question: “who am “I”? will be an utterly senseless question. “What is the purpose of Life?” It will be reworded as a different question: What is the purpose of “I” and “no-I”?
And then… we will realize that our society has pushed this idea that everything has to have a purpose, an objective to exist with some sort of “value.” Drop that “teaching” as well.
To BE is the purpose, which it happens to be no purpose at all.
BE… BE something and BE nothing…. ”I” and “no-I.”
Drop everything you think you know, to discover what you don’t.
Will be taking a short break from writing until August 30.
The website address of this site is: Explore7.wordpress.com
The name Avyakt7.com will be dropped next year.
I used to gather every weekend with a group of “seekers.” We were just like friends, sharing different things about “spirituality.” Few liked Ahnanda’s insight. Others did not. Some even despised it. Nothing new! It was another opportunity to argue, to prove who was “right” and who was “wrong.” Ego driven “spirituality.”
Ahnanda is just like them… another view point. There is no way they could ever know/believe that Ahnanda is going through a process of self-realization. Is that something making me “special”? My experience is my experience. It is not the “only truth.” It is not the “only path.” There is no such a thing as “the true path.” That much, I know. Perhaps that is enough. 🙂
Ahnanda does not perform miracles. He does not perform any healing or fortune telling. He does not have promises of salvation. He is not being endorsed by influential people. He is a nobody, where to be “somebody” is important.
Typically, things that he expresses will get distorted: “what you mean is this, right?” and after a few minutes those “important” things, will get completely forgotten… 🙂
Benefit for a seeker is encountered when they can IDENTIFY with what is being shared through their own experience. Otherwise, it does not make any sense. That is why there are so many “teachings” for so many types of consciousness. The ones geared for the collective consciousness are the “best seller” material, the “democratic truth;” the ones who are not, are for fewer. At the end, No teachings here but only recognition of an experience through the words of another. That is how a “follower” is born.
“Spiritual gurus” (whether self-realized or not) emphasize the need of their disciples to blindly follow what they “teach” so the disciples in time, could get the “vibe” and that will become part of them. A disciple with an argumentative mind, will not fit this set up. That is the theory.
However, I can now see that if there is no love from the disciple, there will not be openness to listen beyond words, to assimilate beyond dogmas and to mesh like a sponge does with water.
That sort of love is not necessarily romantic. That path is meant for those who have the capacity to open up and be as accepting as water.
In that sort of relationship, there are no teachings. It is a oneness. How could you teach yourself? This is not book learning, this is assimilation of Life experiences together.
Ahnanda only shares his experiences. AWARENESS is the big “keyword” here, but it is not just a word. The meaning is beyond the word. Love and trust to Life, are closely hidden behind awareness.
In my experience, the true measure of a man is found when you have too much free time on your hands: You could be unemployed, you could be bedridden through sickness or old age, you could be in jail or any other situation with lots of time in your hands. Most individuals will destroy themselves. Others will try to get busy and lost into “achievements” by making themselves into “something” in Life. Very few, will enjoy their own company and allow Life to open them up until there is nothing to call “I” but for namesake only.
There is nothing to teach, for you ARE and others could only recognize that, if it is meant to be. You ARE “something” but that is not to “be something in Life” as society teaches. That “something” that you ARE through self-realization, is very close to “nothing” and for that, even closer to “everything.” Of course, Love is everything.
Does it make sense?
No “best seller” material. 🙂