In Spirituality, to know means to live the experience in awareness. Humans live many experiences without awareness, thus; there is no consciousness of the significance of their own thoughts and actions. It is merely an automatic response like a physical reflex which in spirituality is known as conditioning. We are not free when conditioned.
“Spirituality” means to become aware of the experience of inner conflict; the continuous division between the Observer (“I”) and the observed (world.) The conflict arises when the observer seeks to conform to an ideal, what “should be.”
“When there is conflict there is a waste of energy. Conflict being: I must control fear, I must run away from it, I must go to somebody to tell me how to get rid of fear. All those are factors of wasting energy. If you don’t waste energy, and that only takes place when the observer is the observed, then you have immense energy to transform what is. The very observation is the energy that transforms that which is.”
Public Talk 3 in Ojai, California, 10 April 1976
Practically; how the above works?
In a heated family discussion where most of the “covers of an educated individual” are gone, we could OBSERVE the scenes.
Typically, we could OBSERVE two related emotions: VIOLENCE and FEAR. When we perceive those 2 emotions, we are able to change by allowing the current of those 2 emotions to go through us without further energetic consequences. Otherwise, we are unaware and the opportunity to OBSERVE gets lost in our attempt to defend the “I” or to take sides by JUDGING the scenes and picking the “right” side and the “wrong” one. Emotionally, that means that we RESISTED ( we felt insulted, misunderstood, etc) for we had the need to DEFEND the “I” or the side that we considered to be “right.” That resistance feeds the energy of violence and fear in that environment, back to ourselves. Again, energetically; we can either let the energy go through us (observer and observed are one) or let the energy to stay with us (observer and observed are different.) Most individuals will go with the later. This is not a “choice” that we need to make. This is only a matter of awareness.
Therefore, for most conditioned individuals the OBSERVER is different than the OBSERVER.
“When the observer is the observed, there is only the observed, not the observer. When there is division as the observer and the observed, there is conflict and the desire to control, suppress, conquer. That is a waste of energy. When there is only the observed, not the observer observing that which he is seeing, there is energy to go beyond the observed, beyond what is. So it is very important to find out how to observe. Don’t go to classes or some community to learn how to observe or how to become sensitive. For God’s sake be simple. It is very important to understand this for yourself, not from my explanation. See it for yourself. Then the conflict in yourself comes to an end, and you have no violence. The truth, the understanding, not intellectual but the fact that the observer is the observed, brings about a totally different freedom in which there is no conflict whatsoever.”
Public Talk 1 in San Francisco, California, 20 March 1975
If we understand the above only intellectually, we will not change at all. It will only be a fancy piece of information to display in the next spiritual gathering. If we have experienced this through Life itself; the above will only put words to an already lived experience. Then, we “know.”
When we sleep at night, who are we?
Are we conscious of BEING? No? Where are We?
We could say “logically” that we are the body which is resting on the bed. But, experientially; we are not. Logically that is a “truth,” but experientially is a falsehood.
We ARE but we ARE NOT. That is the totality. The illogical “reality” which our conditioning is unable to make us understand.
When we ARE, when we awaken from sleep, we do not realize how the environment affects our disposition. The collective consciousness is affected, but yet, we believe that we are separated from all of that.
Even though awake, we are asleep.
Some are affected by a profound lethargy due to their efforts to keep the “same old thing.” Life changes around but yet, the way we meet those changes is with the same “old tricks” from the past. In that conditioning, we cannot meet the “now.”
Once a change is visible as it screams in front of our faces, we meet that change with resistance, comparing what it used to be with what IS.
In our “logical” society we have learned that if A is different than B, then B cannot be ever he same as A.
In Life, both are the same; for the recognition of A as the opposite of B, means that both are naturally inseparable, as a head follows a body. Due to our “efforts” to fight by keeping the head but not the body, we kill the whole thing in the name of some belief. We only see a different form, and label it to make a conceptual difference, but we do not see the substance.
“I am this, not that.” Infantile perception. Superficial observation.
In Life “opposites” are together. That is the totality in the world of duality.
What was said in this article, cannot be “explained” logically or through a “spiritual” course without lying and getting into logical “loopholes.”
Who are we?
What we ARE and what we ARE not. That wholeness is an experience, not an intellectual understanding.
When we ARE, we are afraid of what we ARE NOT.
When we ARE NOT, fear is not.
As long as we ARE, there will be fear.
Fear is the opposite of love. So in the duality of Life, both are like a body with a head.
Some may say: Hate is the opposite of love not fear! I am not talking about a dictionary word here. The game of antonyms. Look inside you! FEAR is there as the cause. The siblings are hate, greed, attachment, add any other “bad” word here…
Yet, Love is experienced when we ARE NOT while WE ARE. That is to be AWAKE by integrating the opposites. That was labeled as “egoless” by some misunderstood religious book, beliefs, etc.
However, we are busy rejecting fear with its siblings and praising love. That we call “spiritual,” “moral,” etc.
By denying what IS, we live in a made-up world of concepts and illusions; truly sleeping while walking around.
In Nature, we can observe a variety of flowers: Colors, shapes, sizes, etc.
We could observe new born buds, full grown flowers and the ones decaying. Life will allow us to see the full range of experiences as an observer.
Is a decaying flower worse off than a new born bud?
Observe the range. Every flower will go through that range of experiences.
We say: “Young and old.” That distinction, that duality is a seed for suffering, for a traumatic experience when we imbibe conditionings beyond the label.
Labels allow us to make distinctions. When we give to a label certain value as in good/bad, right/wrong; we will create a trauma.
Life will show us the full range at any given time. Today, “you” may be the representative for young. Tomorrow, it is certain that “you” will represent old. What is the trauma? To identify with a particular, transient state. We cannot fully observe when we identify ourselves with something. We are biased.
To live on Earth; means to experience duality at every step. Our “choice,” our attachment to one side of a duality creates the trauma in Life. That trauma will not allow us to evolve for fear arrives.
Fear brings a mentality of continuous fight to live, a mind conditioned to compete for ideals, or an obsession to maintain something unchanged.
To enjoy Life with that conditioning, with that program; is impossible.
Gradual change in Life is the law. Humans do not respect that. We want for things to change “now.” The consequence is violence. What happens when violence increases? Look around you.
When we observe our thoughts, we may find a new world.
Our world is our thoughts.
You may be swimming in the Ocean, floating, relax and then a thought comes up: “A shark may be close by.” That moment of relaxation is gone. We believed “our” thought and flew away from the Ocean. Did we think this? Did we purposely spoil our moment of peace?
Have you seen a “real” shark? How the association came by?
That is one of the first aspects to know about the mind: It is a repository for stuff we call “knowledge.”
Did you watch the movie “Shark”? That is “knowledge.” The mind will keep that information and it will throw it back at us through association when a similar experience arrives.
If we did not have the movie “Shark” in our heads, we wouldn’t be able to react in fear of sharks unless we had such a first-hand experience. That is one characteristic of thoughts, they come through association. If we are unaware of that, we may call that thought as “mine” as if it was created by “me.” We will obey that thought, for we believe it is “Me.” – I, Me, Mine- a fantastic trio.
Our imagination (another type of thought) is made from the same elements of “knowledge.”
Imagine something wild. Something new that you have never seen before.
You will not be able to. Even if you imagine pink holy hogs, flying around with bat wings looking to eat ham for breakfast… All of those elements in that story line are not “new.” Those are part of that “knowledge” kept in the mind.
Human conditioning has the same path. It is that “knowledge” making us see things from a particular perspective which we believe to be “right, true, valid,” etc.
Many times, we catch “thoughts.” We are not isolated from Life. Nowadays, sorrow is a common emotion, a vibe expanded through thoughts. We catch the vibe. A thought appears through the recognition of it, from our “bank of knowledge.” We IDENTIFY with it, we call that thought, that vibe as MINE.
An unaware individual will start weaving a story to support that vibe of sorrow and then… sadness will appear. “I am” sad is the conclusion of that “I-ness.”
What is the “solution” to conquer those sad thoughts?
Some will use drugs. Others, liquor and escapism from themselves. Others will swear by meditation and medication….
Are you sure that those are “your” thoughts?
The vehicles of thoughts are passing by the street of our empty mind. We label that street as “mine.”
When there is no identification, we can OBSERVE. When we observe, we could be AWARE. Through that awareness, thoughts may appear and disappear… There is nothing to hold them back.
Thoughts are clouds in the sky of our minds. Some will cover the light of the Sun, but they will move away. Even in the darkest and cloudiest day, there will be change. The key is to be AWARE that the sky is not “I.”
This information is only “knowledge.” There is nothing to put into “practice.” Just to be AWARE, awake, conscious. 🙂
Observe that I have purposely used conditioned terminology: Truth, Doctrine and God.
Those 3 words have all the ingredients to enhance any “spiritual” message, to make it sound important. That is the conditioning!
Life is. We live it. We are conscious of it. That is the gift.
To be conscious of BEING, to BE conscious of the surroundings including our own bodies, that is a fantastic experience!
When we wake up in the morning from sleeping, the gift of a new experience is right there. However, our minds will add conditioned thoughts to define our current newness with the past, it will unwind the reel of past experiences to shape up our perspective on things… That is how Life becomes the “same old thing.”
The interesting aspect is that we want to hang onto the known. That which is known to us, secure, unchangeable which basically follows the pattern of our mind: The mind welcomes static things, lifeless things, something that could be labeled and classified as “good or bad.” Those labels will remain unchanged through centuries of conditioning.
“Snake.” Observe the feeling that this word brings, the imagery, the emotions. Whatever it is, the bottom line is: Is it “good or bad”?
We are so lifeless when living through words!
The effect of hanging onto the known brings fear. Our minds are masters in the art of infusing fear.
Then, we search for God, we look for truth, for a doctrine to “save us” to keep us safe, to mitigate fear.
Life becomes a task, a DOING to accomplish that safety, whether that is through possession of goods, the pursue of god or the attainment of what is good. Do you see how similar those words are?
“God, goods, good.” Observe your feelings for those words, your emotions, your conditioning.
Life is away from all those words and their connotation and conditioning.
Your experience of BEING is related with feelings and those feelings get distorted through words, concepts, definitions.
Life is not about static “TRUTH.” It is about appreciation of perspectives (realities not reality) and thus, enjoyment of them. To allow them to change as Life changes, as BEING changes without the need of the artificial DOCTRINE (religious, political) that keeps things under control, to bring the sensation of safety, to calm down fear.
Away from that Life of concepts, ideals and conditioning Life IS.
Appreciation and enjoyment of “what is” without further labels, is the key for change, for self-transformation, self-realization, enlightenment and all of those “good” but meaningless words.
Life is away from our mind driven life. 🙂
“I want to know what my personal situation says about myself. If you don’t mind I would like to share it.
‘Marriage (arranged) happened to me, but from the starting I wasn’t satisfied though my husband is not a bad person and everybody in my family likes him. After that I came with my husband to another country where I met a person whom I liked instantly. Now it’s more than a year but that liking is still there. Now that I am married I can’t express this feeling to the person and ask him out and get to know what he feels for me and whether this liking is mutual. I like the new country, this place and everything and this place and company has provided me exposure to many new things. So I m happy that way.
Now, if i opt out of marriage I would have to go back to my country and to my parents who are quite controlling for my personality. Besides, greater fear is that I would be labeled, as it’s an Indian society. And I don’t know who I will end up with eventually, so that is another fear.’
I understand that you cannot tell me what to do. But please help me understand myself in this situation. Thank you.”
Thank you for your question.
Based on what you have shared and with the shortcomings of my understanding; I will answer this because it may be for the common good. If you haven’t observed your situation, let me bring some points:
You have a pretty good Life. Everyone takes care of you. You probably have plenty of free time, good meals, friends, comfort. You enjoy the new country, you have the company of a “not bad” husband…
What is the issue?
Your mind is telling you that you need something else. Some excitement. Maybe your age, your hormones are playing with your emotions or perhaps, you do not love your husband as you think you should. That is for you to find out.
An episode of attraction to someone flusters your world. You may think that this attraction could lead you into something better, for you have not experienced something like that before. Your mind is weaving the “perfect world” for you with the source of your attraction at this time.
The security of marriage could be one of the greatest jails. It just depends which side you see and embrace.
Observe your dependency. You depend on your husband and your family. You are not free to do as you please.
Sometimes the price of independence is very steep. Are you willing to pay for it? Do you have skills to survive by yourself? You don’t? Maybe that is something to consider.
The mind is taking you to some futuristic events “that may happen.” That is a waste. If the “I” wants to DO something to change things, then that “I” must be willing to fully accept the consequences. This is not about good or bad consequences for that is meaningless in Life. Everything humans come up as “solutions” is dualistic: It could be “good,” or “bad” depending on your perspective. Marriage is one example. The consequences of it are beyond “good or bad.”
Attractions come and attractions go. Don’t think that because you are married or because you found the love of your life, that you are not going to feel attracted to another person. That does not depend on you. What depends on you is the value that you give to that attraction. Your fear increases as your need for security increases.
DOING nothing when unsure, could be the best recipe for that stress and anxiety.
Life does the DOING as long as we are ready for the move. It just takes time, for we take our time.
Communication with your husband may help you. Perhaps he understands the way you feel. He may not be in love with you, but going along with the “arrangement” as well.
Many times our minds are so caught up with human “arrangements” that we label as “Holy,” “Godly,” “Lawful,” “the right thing” etc. that we are unwilling to hear our gut feeling’s voice telling us our truth without using words.
The mind is so busy trying to figure out how we can save face, how we can get away with what we want to experience, despite the lock of the “arrangements” that we have signed up to live by.
Isn’t that the story of the human drama?
You are not alone.
When there is no choice inside you; You will be One with what you truly feel.
All the best.
Many will frown at this statement with disapproval.
The conditioning is that “I have a choice and that choice matters.”
The “I” does not feel good without full control. The “I” realizes that many times “his” choice does not happen or it may bring suffering. The righteousness of the “I” based on some borrowed morality does not fit the intelligence of Life itself.
Plan all you want. Nothing wrong with that. Be assured that you could go tomorrow to “thy kingdom come.” That lack of control, of certainty bothers the “I” tremendously.
Yes, you could be “successful,” yes, you could have power, money and things which the “Office world” readily provides to those who have followed society’s conditioning. Nothing wrong with that.
On the other hand, can you be “successful” in being healthy throughout your life? Can you buy your own health? Can you be accident free through some insurance?
In the middle of your “moment of power,” you could have earned a one way free ticket to the “unknown.” All your choices, gone at that moment. Yes, you could believe that your “choices” were helpful to “others,” but that is not necessarily true. Your help to someone may be a disservice to another. Your “help” to a wounded eagle, may be the loss of one of your eyes.
The mind and is petty morality is in trouble as “I” could add more intricacies of Life that the mind is not prepared to confront. It is better if someone tells you: “This is good, that is bad.” Then if you follow, at least you feel that you are not alone.
Here is something to “think” about: “Your” choice will bring “you” your guilt. Choice is of the mind. Therefore, embrace “no-choice.” 🙂
Let me explain:
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” A famous spiritual quote by someone.
Is that a choice? If you choose to “practice” that; you will never know what that phrase means.
On the other hand, if you do not make a choice to practice, then through Life experiences you will know, if you are aware of it.
As a matter of fact, that catchy phrase could be:
“Life begins when there is no comfort zone.”
Your thought out choice whether to go “right or left” is a comfort zone.
Of course, the above is not for everyone. After all some have plans and dreams and things to DO in Life before moving on to heaven…
Better “practice” spirituality safely when you have the time out of your busy schedule, get a nice white/black dress and put some feely music in the background, light up some incense and talk about the latest “best seller” spiritual book by some Guru…
Yeah.. that is a comfortable “spiritual” choice.