Living life is about experiencing life to gain valuable insight, thus any path that someone takes to search for answers about their own life will eventually lead that person to realize the self. It all goes back to the self, but that needs to be realized and not conceptualized.
It all depends on our state of consciousness. That consciousness is not modified by “following teachings,” but by gaining insight.
In this way, there is no repression in the self.
We could do something out of compulsion. That is not honest. We could behave in ways that we truly do not feel.
Heckle and Jeckle went to a “spiritual/meditation” class.
Jeckle wanted to help himself to gain “peace of mind” as he was going through “problems” in life. Jeckle started his search for meaning at that point. Before that “problem,” Jeckle had no desire to listen to anything “spiritual” as that was “boring stuff” for him. 🙂
Heckle on the other hand, was very experienced. He had experienced different religious groups, spiritual groups, self-help groups, new age groups, metaphysical groups, psychic groups, etc. Read many things, realized others and so on. In every experience Heckle gained valuable insight to continue in his personal path.
Jeckle was listening attentively to the teacher in that “spiritual” class. The teacher was wearing a particular robe which gave him an air of importance.
The teacher spoke about the mind in that class.
“What is the mind? What is its origin? What is its function?” He went on to explain his beliefs as if they were “facts.” Those beliefs were backed up by a book that he was reading to the audience. The book was written by his masters.
“The mind leaves the body. So if you are sleeping and then you think about India and then you die during your sleep… Guess where you are going to live in your next life?”
The teacher went on: “ Life is not just this experience that we have here, but there will be plenty of other lives in the future and the time to be engaged in making those future lives happy, is now; through pure spiritual practices. All problems are just thoughts created by the mind. A feeling of love for someone is just another thought.”
The teacher finished his class with a meditation in which he repeated the same concepts for the audience to repeat in their minds and thus, “realize” those concepts for “themselves.” 🙂
Heckle observed that what this teacher called the “mind,” that was called the “soul” in other religious views. He also realized that this teacher was giving importance to the future rather than the “now” and that this teacher wasn’t aware of feelings but only about emotions.
Finally, Heckle concluded that the teacher’s set of beliefs and concepts were not useful for him.
What is the purpose of having a concept about the mind or to play with concepts or beliefs about its origin and function, if Heckle had an experience of it…of what this “thing” is without further labels?
That first hand experience is what is useful to realize the self as an experience, not to have a concept about it or theoretical knowledge.
Heckle was waiting anxiously for the teacher to end his talk, to ask questions and to debunk that “teacher” who was talking “useless stuff” from his viewpoint.
After all Heckle was in favor of the “truth” and not in beliefs and stories based on “hand-me down” teachings. 🙂
When the teacher finished his talk, he asked everyone to speak with their seating neighbor about their own realizations in the class.
Heckle heard Jeckle’s viewpoint first.
Jeckle said: “Wasn’t that a great explanation about the mind? I never thought that the mind was so important. I ought to watch my mind from now on…”
When Heckle heard that from his friend; Heckle did not have the courage to debunk the teacher.
Heckle learned through that experience that life teaches everyone in different ways. From that moment, Heckle learned the importance to respect everyone’s path.
When we hear about “Tolerance” of faiths, that is just a concept. We could learn to tolerate someone who thinks and feel different from us, without ever listening to what that person is conveying.
That is “conceptual tolerance” that stuff we can learn from a nice book or a “teacher.”
However, when we experience the need to respect someone’s path in his search for meaning in life, then at that moment; tolerance becomes an unnecessary word. 🙂
Jeckle learned about his mind.
Heckle learned from that teacher something about himself which was very important in his self-realization.
Thus, everyone learned something new.
Jeckle is just beginning his journey for meaning in life. Jeckle is acquiring information to feed his mind with “new things” to think about.
Heckle has already gone through that and now Heckle is learning to free himself from that information and letting life itself be the teacher. Heckle is learning to trust and not to think too much.
Different paths. All going to the same place but with different timings.
The flowers in a garden will blossom at different times. The gardener’s job is to respect their personal timing.
God is the truth, is a statement that we hear all the time from different sources.
Let us inquire into this.
We know as “truth” as “that which is in accordance with a fact or reality.”
Throughout these writings we have been able to observe that only perceptions are all we could ever obtain, because there are different roles performed by different actors in this Drama of life, which have different stages of consciousness.
Human beings do not perceive things in the same way.
As we progress in our knowledge of the world and the universe, what we call as “fact” is merely a perception. That is why to “know that we don’t know” is to be “real.” 🙂
When we approach God, we have religions and philosophies dealing with him in several ways as something “outside” us. That becomes a source of debate about “who has the truth. Who has God.”
It is important to note that we could only get perceptions of that experience which we may call God. Some may say, that God is this or that. Perceptions.
Every religion has its own procedures to deal with the perception by extending the experience of one individual as the “way” of knowing God. That becomes a belief. Something to have faith on.
That is why, some will extend the meaning of “knowing God” as knowing “the word of God,” that is someone knows God when that one hears “his words” and follows those words literally.
Those words accordingly are written in some sort of scripture, some sort of book or booklet, where we could “get the truth.”
Nevertheless, as shared many times in this blog; there is no way that words could reflect truth, specially spiritual truth.
Because any ordinary language can only express duality, and the depth of spirituality resides in understanding that duality exists, but also to go beyond it.
That “going beyond,” is not in the realm of words.
That is why to connect with feelings of the heart has been used by religions to connect with the “truth,” with God. Nevertheless, the outcome of that connection has to be shown in our own actions; otherwise those feelings become mere sentimental, emotional outlets, a source for devotional upliftment for the heart, but without the force to express itself in our own activity.
It has been said that: “The highest truth cannot be put into words. Therefore, the greatest teacher has nothing to say. He simply gives himself in service, and never worries.” (Hua Hu Ching )
Activity over words and language. Don’t talk, for, it could be misunderstood. Just do the walk and let everyone see.
For example, some scriptures could express that marriage is “bad.” Others that celibacy is “good,” etc.
Please note that this “all or nothing” approach is not reflecting truth but is reflecting a teaching according to time and to certain individuals according to traditions and levels of understanding.
If marriage was “bad,” then societies wouldn’t be able to survive. For a society depends on a couple as the building block to survive.
Likewise, celibacy is not for everyone. As we know, “actors” need to come on to this “stage” of the Drama of life and that happens through reproduction.
Similarly if we go to an extreme, like in killing, we could observe that life may offer “tests” when
killing may be necessary as a last resort as in self-defense or even when euthanasia is considered.
We also know that there is “no killing” in the unlimited, for, we are eternal beings, but there is “cause and effect,” thus, what we do will come back to us.
A commandment such as “you shall not murder” could be extended to murder of animals for some, while for others that is not the “true” meaning of that commandment.
Note that religious teachings have been given according to the consciousness of those being taught.
Note that “black or white” statements are meant to reform personalities, their ways of living. They are meant for a particular type of people at a particular time. That is why, the “word of God,” cannot be put into words as the “ultimate truth,” but rather as a reference for behavioral change.
Therefore, the only thing that I could truly attempt to know in its fullest extent is the self, for no one can know more about myself than myself.
Below some quotes to spark the need for self-knowledge:
* Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.
(Actions are in itself neutral. Our hearts, our intentions, our consciousness make those activities “good or bad.”)
* When asked what was the most difficult thing, Thales replied, “To know thyself.”
When asked what was easiest, he replied, “To give advice.”
* Katha Upanishad: The Self lies beyond the senses and can only be understood by him who knows It is.
* Ramayana: Enquiry into the truth of the Self is knowledge.
* Koran: And Do thou, Oh Muhammad, remember thy Lord within thyself.
* Tao Te Ching: Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering
others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.
A spiritual seeker, perhaps will start looking for the truth. He will start looking for anything outside him including the idea that he has about God. However, that search sooner or later will go back to the inner self, that is the only truth we could ever get close to in a world ruled by perceptions where our perception about ourselves is our own reality.
Spirituality then is meant to change that perception to the highest one of ourselves.
That truth cannot be put into words.