In Life everyone is different but yet the same. If we go by language alone, I haven’t said anything. Depth is beyond language.
Our society will make us the same in some aspects. Different in others. Those views become our conditioning, although; we may like to label those views as “truth,” “morality,” “Godly laws,” etc. as those labels will give us a sense of righteousness.
What we know as “spirituality,” is heavily conditioned by our learned views. When those views are supported by the collective consciousness, then acceptance is guaranteed. Those are the things that will sell. Those are the things that are viewed as “desirable.”
“Spiritual teachings” along those lines will sell. They are accepted for they do not deviate from mainstream. These are easy to understand through language. Popular “teachers” and “gurus” conform to this.
For instance, it is popular to DO something to change things according to our beliefs. That may be labeled as “spiritual,” but it is only a continuation of what we have learned in society. The collective consciousness understands DOING. You may sign up for a retreat. Invest in some meditation classes. Join a “spiritual” group, etc. All of those things are DOING something.
If the Guru believes that we need “sexual education” to change our views and practices of sex; that is accepted for “education” is a word with “good” connotation. Sign up for the class. DO something to become “more spiritual,” to gain more satisfaction through sex, etc. Those are the promises.
The above is for the majority of people; our conditioning is OK with that. Nevertheless, a different level of spirituality beyond the understanding of the masses, does not reside in DOING things. It is totally involved with BEING.
Exploring BEING. Becoming AWARE, CONSCIOUS of BEING.
That does not require classes or retreats. It does not require buying a book or a guru. It requires to have the capacity for self-observation. However, while we are not there; there is plenty to DO. Sign up…
There are many “techniques” to learn and master. Many degrees and certifications to pursue. Many levels to become “enlightened.” There is plenty of entertainment for the mind.
For the few: BEING is about unlearning. BEING is about slowing down: Slowing down thoughts. Slowing down movements. Slowing down our necessity to go to places and meet people. We cannot force this to ourselves as another “spiritual practice,” it should arrive naturally to be true. Therefore, there is nothing to achieve. No goals. It comes at its own time.
That cannot sell. No one could make money out of it. There is no amount of DOING that could change BEING, but that is a realization of the few and through that, there is automatic unlearning.
The path of BEING is pathless, so no books could be written about it. There are no steps to follow, no proven methods to DO. It is in this apparent chaos which is continually challenging our beliefs, where light shines.
An illuminated BEING is its own light. Not because he wanted to achieve that; but because it happened in his path. That light serves to illuminate other paths, the ones around him. But, there is no desire to illuminate no one’s path. It just happens.
A lighted candle cannot help but illuminate.
“New age” groups, religions and gurus may offer “enlightenment” as part of their sales package.
In Tantra, we have the enticing offer: “enlightenment through sex.”
Simply put, enlightenment is not a package to buy or an objective to pursue. There is no human being that can offer “enlightenment” to another man.
Enlightenment happens when we have gone through the journey of the range of experiences. It is not just a one life-time process. It comes through the accumulation of many life times. That is why the term ”old soul” is used, to denote someone who “has been around.” His time to become “enlightened” is to lose the armors accumulated through the experience of being the “I.” To flush those conditionings out. That experience is never easy, however; the process, the timing, the experience could be completely different for every human being as every human has a different set of experiences.
“Enlightenment” is about Destiny. As long as our conditioning does not allow us to observe and experience, that we are one with Life; we will not be able to acknowledge Destiny as the journey of Life.
The journey is Destiny itself. We walk the path, but the path is ready made for us.
Whether we agree or disagree with the above, it does not make a difference.
Whether we buy a “money back guaranteed,” enlightenment package or not; that has no consequence.
That is why, “spiritual salesmen” are alright as they offer a particular experience to a buyer (seeker) necessary for that person’s growth, as part of his journey.
As a matter of fact, ANY experience that we have gone through in our path, was necessary for our growth.
Therefore, why look for the “right” experience? There is nothing to search for.
Why being caught up with “spiritual objectives,” if any other thing in our Life path, (which we may call “non-spiritual”) has the same value?
Life experiences have the same value, whether we label them as “good/ spiritual or bad/mundane.”
What truly matters is the change of consciousness happening by going through the experiences, in our personal journey.
Consciousness will change in our journey, no matter what we DO.
The direction of it (what we call “good” or “bad”) in one Life time, does not depend on us; however, rest assured that there is no saint who hasn’t been a sinner, nor sinner who hasn’t been a saint. For in Life, the experience of both is the full experience.
When we hop on the train of Life, the rails are already there made for our destiny. No matter what we DO inside the train and during the trip, we will get there.
Thus, what is the sensible thing to DO?
To search for “enlightenment” inside the train? To search for God inside the train? To make a profitable business deal with the rest of the passengers? To deeply study the rules for playing cards/ dice/ successfully, as to win recognition during the short trip?
DO whatever you like. However, be AWARE, CONSCIOUS of the TRIP. Know that every action has a consequence… We could say that those actions will take you to your destination, or that your destination called for certain actions made during the trip. Either way it does not matter.
ENJOY the trip!
Yes… Life is a journey. Enlightenment could happen at any train station… If it is in your destiny, but if it is not, enjoy the experience for whatever it is “now,” it is only a step closer to it, or “your money back.” 🙂
In your view, what is the most valuable “practice” in the path of self-realization?
That question is not properly made. It is biased with the belief that we need to “practice” to achieve something in “spirituality” to become a “better” person.
Nevertheless, let me share my experience.
To learn to be comfortable with yourself and to have a full life while living alone, is the most important “practice.”
Most “spiritual” people may understand this as to “force yourself” to DO it, because practice “makes perfect.” That is the conditioning, the discipline of practicing something to “achieve it.” That is fine for man-made ideals, but BEING does not change like that.
Life will put you in that situation. That is the natural path, that goes along with individual readiness.
Someone who is not ready, will internally fight it. Outwardly he may be living a life of a hermit like monks and nuns DO. However, they are busy with their own mental ideas, desires and needs to achieve Paradise, enlightenment and favors from God.
When you are comfortable with yourself, at peace; there is nothing to DO, nothing to achieve, nothing to look forward to. In our language and conditioning that may sound as the description of a “loser,” but it is far from it. It is the plain enjoyment of your own company and the experience of feeling fulfilled, at peace, vital.
This is not a compulsory activity (DOING) to become enlightened or “better.” It is a harmonized, natural response of being at peace.
It is in that state of balance how we discover the meaning of to “live in the now,” for the mind cannot go to the future as there is no need to achieve anything: No prize, no grandiose ideal to become, no “spiritual” after-life fantasy to get.
Going into the memories of the past, will show me all the pieces of the riddle which are building the “now,” although without identification with the one who at one time “I was,” the traumatic past experiences do not have the pull to remain in my psyche and change my enjoyment into sadness. The one from that past is not the same as the one who is now. Even though we have the same name and the same memories, there is no continuity of that “I” internally. “I” am free by not BEING a particular “I” at any point in time, by not defining me.
When the mind has no place to go, then enjoyment arrives through the feeling of BEING at peace, in harmony with “what is.”
The mental conditioning of what is supposed to be “fun,” or enjoyable does not allow us to BE, for the mind will look for that idea as the definition of success. Anything less is failure and the conditioning is to avoid it at all costs.
Define something, then that exists. Make that into an ideal to obtain, and the “reality” will be that it cannot be obtained. However, the mind will be entertained with the possibility to achieve that.
What is what I can DO to “improve”?
Become aware of the conditionings. Not to reject them, but to observe that any decision, any choice that we think we make, is coming from certain conditioning which we label as “truth.”
This awareness of all those things that we have learned through conditioning, is the “solution” that will prompt us to unlearn.
Without unlearning there cannot be newness.
Without newness, life may be the “same old thing.” 🙂
The following reflects 2 different views of truth. Very interesting.
First, we have Mr.Steve Jobs. He is an “icon” of success in the USA. The former Apple CEO, had an interesting life. He shaped his world. He manipulated it because he realized that “Everything you call life was made up by people not smarter than you.” Therefore, you can embrace it, change it, improve it.. make your mark on it…because the world is messed up in a way…
Notice that Mr. Jobs realization about a conceptual life that is limiting us, is very spiritual indeed.
Interesting to know that, Mr. Jobs went to India to find “enlightenment” in her younger days.
Mr. Jobs approach was to “change the world.” That was his truth.
However, notice that the way we change the world will reflect the way we are. In other words, don’t expect that someone who is a “go getter,” who is looking for “profit” and that is all about “beating the competition” will change the world in a gentle, compassionate way… 🙂 their concept of “improving the world” is based on their perspective of the world.
Anyone who is for the “motto” of changing the world without first changing the self, will try to make the world an extension of himself.Ego.
If you want to know how spiritually evolved someone is, just hear the “noise” that they make while speaking. Note not what they are saying but how they are saying it. The way it sounds to the ears without decoding the words, their voice inflection, the all embracing “vibe” that they send out…All of that gives you the “truth” behind the words… 🙂
In this video we have Zen master Jinen. He is hinting that “truth” is to find yourself and everything shows you who you are, so you can learn what truth is. That truth is non conceptual. It cannot be put into words and in that truth there is no separation. Everything reflects who you are.
Therefore, to think “me” and the “world,” is separation. To change the world isolated from “me” is a conceptual illusion.
Even though his English is limited, there is a lot more talking about him which goes beyond words and concepts… 🙂