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.
Our society is concerned with Actions. DOING defines who we are.
Observe the religious teachings, how what we know as “good” is determined by an action. Our society may need this arrangement for it brings stability to the system; nevertheless, the mind is creating what is “good,” when our feelings may be different.
The above has been the dissonance that societies have been maintaining: What I feel is not what I do; but what I do must be respectable, it should bring some advantages to “me,” except inner honesty. Therefore, let me be an actor. Let me “fake it.”
The “Office World” is sold on DOING before BEING. Life does not work on those terms, for Being means to be one with Life.
This does not mean that the “Office World” is “bad” or “negative.” No!
It means that it has a different way to operate. Most label the “Office world” as Life, when it is only our own little, mind-created world; our escape from Nature, our “sand-box” to exercise control, free will, choice… the “I.”
In my view, David Carradine was an extraordinary actor. He starred the TV series, “Kung Fu.” That series is my old time favorite in “spiritual movies.”
Carradine honestly stated that his Life wasn’t like the character he was playing in “Kung Fu.” Although he was invited to talk about “spiritual” things by the public; many times he would agree to do that as when someone agrees to play Santa Claus even though he knows, Santa doesn’t exist. It is about the fans and their expectations, to agree with the power driven by the masses and to keep a good PR.
Similarly, we are acting Life. We have the expectations, the rules and obligations which need to be fulfilled. The “objective” is to maintain those expectations unchanged throughout generations. Every time there is a systemic change due to obsolescence, there is a clash of expectations manifested through violence in society.
We may be slaves of the system, for our actions will define who we are under the scrutiny of someone else’s eyes. We can make “effort” to comply, but ultimately is the feeling, what we ARE, what will come out no matter how hard we try to put it aside, forget about it, bury it under some belief.
We may live miserable lives by struggling to be someone who we are not.
Carradine knew that he was an actor. He knew about the expectations of others as he was a source of imitation, but most humans labeling themselves “spiritual,” are only concerned in imitating what they consider to be “good, right, spiritual,” by DOING so, Life is no longer an enjoyable experience. For it is about cheap imitation.
“Keeping up with the Joneses” is certainly THE expectation. Who do you imitate? Who do you compete with? That is where the “cookie cutter” pressure starts, and that experience is carried over into the “spiritual realm,” into getting “heaven,” “God” etc.
Be aware that you are acting. The “Office world” calls for that. On the other hand, the journey of living Life has always been an individual experience. What you feel” now” is what you feel “now.” Acknowledge it. Tomorrow it will change. If it doesn’t, you are still acting. Living Life and “spirituality” are the same exact thing.
Life is unpredictable. Life is change. Life is uncertain. Life is a gift to be experienced and to let go… So ARE “you.” That is to BE one with Life.
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. 🙂 🙂
This experiment in quantum physics named the “double slit” experiment shows that mater as perceived by a “normal” human being is not so in “reality.”
Most human beings will perceive matter as “particles.” However, as we can see in this experiment a particle could be a “wave” as well. This paradox has been named the “wave–particle duality.” If you would like to know more about this, please read this wiki article.
By watching this practical video, we can see that everything depends on the observer who is “measuring” what appears to be “reality.”
How is that related with spirituality?
Spirituality had the answer long ago. There is a pre-ordained Drama which moves everything from the quantum level of the electron through a particle. This is something which Science hasn’t quite figure it out.
There is also a “role” which perceives and observes the things happening in the Drama in a particular way. That role is within the Drama.
Observation based on expectation (as in the experiment) is not observing but inferring, thinking.
This is the same phenomena that a human being displays. When we observe life, when we observe our own inner world; we already have an expectation of “what to get out of it.”
If “I” observe “my thoughts,” it is so I can get rid of my wasteful thinking. That is an expectation which will not allow me to observe.
This is why, reality as it is or “truth” could be observed when that “I” is not there, for otherwise; there is thought and with that thinking there is an entity called the “me” manipulating information based on previous experiences.
To understand this principle of duality means to understand the principle of “being and non-being.” A person immersed in spirituality, may want to consider the following points:
1) what “I” observe is not necessarily real.
2) What my logic and reasoning are able to find as “facts,” are not necessarily true.
3) There is a paradoxical quality in very phenomena in life, so if “I” attach myself to a particular belief or concept; “I” will be missing the other side which duality brings. There is the reality of the concept but also the reality of the “no-concept.”
4) As long as there is “I” there cannot be the whole picture. “Truly” observing is not possible.
5) The way we have perceived the world as emphasized by “traditional” physics, mathematics, history and any other source of human knowledge is not truly real, for the “I” has been lingering in that observation. This is what is commonly known as “biased” perception.
6) This is the reason why we should not be attached to a concept or perception of the senses, for it is a half-truth as best.
7) Egolessness is the way to observe without bias.
A drop of water belongs to the Ocean just like a human being to the Drama of life. To feel separated as “me” different from life, means not to see the “reality” of being the same thing at the same time.
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.
The word “Detachment” is used in Spirituality as the ability to become a “witness,” that is a “trustee” in all the different life situations.
Through “detachment,” “Me” becomes another actor in the “movie” of life (my part) and as such “Me” is the “observer,” the one sitting comfortably in a seat in the first row of the movie theater of life, just to watch the show… which includes “my” part.
That detachment in only possible when there are no desires.
That is one way to check if our so called “detachment” is “true,” for if there is any sort of desires about a particular outcome, we cannot be “detached observers.”
Not to have desires is one of the first practices that any spiritual teachings will teach. Desires are the “doors to suffering,” we are told. Nevertheless, our minds are usually full with desires.
That is why, it becomes important to check our thoughts, to watch the mind and its emotions, as a “detached observer.”
Thus, to be a “detached observer,” a “trustee” in the movie of life, we need to check our own mind first.
A desire will come to the mind and our thoughts will create a story. That story brings emotions and those emotions have the control over us to “make us feel” sad, happy or neutral.
Detachment does not mean to “negate” life, but to enjoy it without “attachment” to it. That “attachment” is also at the level of our minds. It is the mind who is attached to, who does not want to let go. The thoughts in the mind are obstacles to feelings in the heart.
In “detachment” there will be preferences many times. That is life will offer different experiences that we could be open to. As mentioned before, rejection is a sure way to suffer. Many may see rejection of life as detachment from it. That is a separation, that is asking for suffering through the “desire” of being detached.
Life may open the door with possibilities. Which one to take? That is a preference. That is a “choice.” In Detachment there could be a “preference,” but even within that preference, there is no expectation of an outcome, that is a desire on that preference is not materialized.
However, at the most “elevated” level of the self, that is when the “self” is self-less, that is when “preferences” are not even part of the equation, for there is acceptance of that which appears, in that; there is freedom from the movie of life.
In that freedom there is love.
That is how being detached and being loving are related.