The static “self” looks for identity. Our identification goes along with our consciousness.
I could be taught: “You are a soul, eternal Atman,” If I believe that, and if my consciousness is identified with the way my body looks, the automatic reaction for an individual experiencing duality in the mind, is to reject the body and to embrace the new “idea” of self.
Rejection or fighting against anything as a method to overcome something is completely irrational.
That is how the word “spirituality” came into being. It is about the “spirit,” the “soul,” “who we truly are.”
When our awareness allows us to see something else, we could observe that the duality between the body and the spirit has been created out of a concept, an idea; thus we will reject something about “us.”
Living life with joy, the “now” becomes “spirituality” to another type of consciousness.
It doesn’t matter if we know the concepts, the ideas about “who we are,” for that “knowing” is all about the dualistic mind.
When we abandon the mind and start living with the heart, labels and ideas are no longer needed.
Those beliefs become an obstacle to experience life to the fullest. The mystery of “who we are” will be answered when we realize “who we are not.” 🙂
Life is harmony. To live life to the fullest we may need to be aware of that harmonic, rhythmical movement. Without that awareness we become rigid. Fixated in something. Death.
I recall the words of my friend Mathias about harmony and rhythm in life.
“Rhythm in life is already there. Human beings continue, in a hardheaded way; to try to accommodate life to what they believe is their life.
When you develop your intuition then you begin to understand that “to observe” is more than what we are able to see… then you start discovering that the internal weeping comes from the stubbornness of trying to be someone who is no longer you.
When that sense of rhythm is lacking, then we embrace extremes in our life.”
If we are unable to live life to the fullest “now” like a child, how is it possible to pretend to live to the fullest “in the future”?
How concepts and labels such as “atman,” “predestination,” “karma” and all of that are able to help us when we have not been able to realize by our own observation how Nature, Life works and rather rely on the hand –me -down ideas of someone else?
It does not matter how enlightened those ideas are, or how much we quote them or repeat them. If we have not experienced those, we will have our mind full of ideas and our hearts empty of fulfillment.
To know means, to live life in that harmonious symphony.
When we listen to a song, we don’t think about it. We don’t dissect it in different parts and analyze it to discover the exact timing of the instruments to try to discover why a song is “likable.”
When we truly listen to the song, we enjoy it. That enjoyment is a feeling where the mind has no place.
Life is like that song.
Feel the song. 🙂
Living life to the fullest means the capacity to enjoy every moment of it for “what it is.”
Perceptions of reality are there all the time.
What do we do with them?
Do we create a philosophy or a religion out of “our” perception? Or do we want to spend our time, searching for the “truth”?
Those perceptions are there to be enjoyed while they last. There is no “purpose” other than our own, so why not enjoy it?
When we label those perceptions and compare them with our own expectations, then that perception becomes a belief and that belief will be part of our personality. We are building the “Self.”
Expectations become beliefs.
A life, which is full of thinking and thoughts, is ready-made to support the existence of the thinker, the “self.”
“I think, therefore; I am.”
That phrase by Rene Descartes has become the basis of Western mentality. The “I” exists because the “I” is the thinker.
Doesn’t it seem logical? 🙂
However, that “I” is living miserably because of its “own” thinking which cannot be stopped.
A child does not have that “problem.” His thinking is minimal. His innocence is there to protect him.
An adult who was indoctrinated into the belief of the existence of the “I” as the only “reality,” has lost the zest for living.
That is the modern man searching for security and comfort. Searching for pleasure and power, searching for immortality and looking to possess someone who he believes to be the ultimate “boss” in the Universe, God… for in that way, “He is alright,” saved, redeemed, etc.
That thinking is dualistic. That man will be trapped with his own expectations and beliefs. Isn’t that obvious?
What is the solution?
Shall we “think” about a solution?
Feel life. Feel your own being without the enclosure of the word “I.”
Be natural, in Nature… get acquainted with “it” again.
Joy resides in feelings not in thinking. As our feelings increase our thinking will diminish. Balance will come back again to our lives.
This feeling is not something that we could artificially focus on something or someone. It comes naturally, for life itself, for the Totality.
The separation of Godly and Evil exists only in our minds.
Nature, the Universe does not operate through that “black or white” morality.
A “free man” is the one who can enjoy without the mental blockages of beliefs, fear and ego driven traumas, someone who has the innocence of that child, to live life spontaneously without hurting the “others;” for he is in tune with life itself…while at the same time, having the courage to conquer his inner dragons… one by one, through carefully looking at the mirror of relationships.
“I feel, therefore I enjoy Life.”
Isn’t sensual pleasure part of the experience of living life?
Why it has been denied in many ways and in many beliefs?
The word “spirituality” is identified by many as “beyond the body.” To reach that belief of “beyond the body” for many, it is about denying the body. That acceptable practice could be mystified by adding another word to it: Purity or to purify our self.
Pain and suffering could be easily accepted as “life lessons” or “karma” but the experience of pleasure is to be rejected as “non-spiritual.” 😉
We accept one side and reject the other. That surely will bring issues in our lives.
Individuals nowadays are addicted to thinking. Their feelings have been shut down. Because the mind is always looking to repeat a pleasurable experience, then addiction appears.
“Thinking” when it is related to pleasure means repetition. Something to compare to. Something to enhance every time, to make it “better.”
When the mind meets an experience in life full of thoughts, taboos, beliefs and traumas, it is obvious that there will not be a fulfilling experience, even while that is pleasurable.
Thinking separates the subject and the object. It is in that separation when “loneliness” arrives. However, not only loneliness arrives but everything else that we believe to be “me.”
Neediness, emotional traumas, addictions, taboos, beliefs, etc.
Pleasure or desire is the opportunity to calm or fill even momentarily our own feeling of emptiness through something beyond our sense of self.
That is how pleasure was satanized by cultural beliefs and religions, for it became an addiction.
“I” could enjoy a party if paradoxically; “I” am not there. That means the baggage that comes with thinking about “me.” That “me” only exists in my mind.
“I just want to be myself.” 🙂 It is actually “no-self.”
To get out of thinking and the world at the “office,” where logic, analysis and research is needed, we may need to open our feelings. We could do that when we experience the “non-I” which we could find in Nature.
To increase our ability to enjoy life means to decrease our capacity to think.
Our culture worships thinking and forgets about feelings.
Too much thinking kills our feelings and without feelings, we cannot enjoy life.
Pleasure is enjoyed when “I” am not there and because of that, “I” let things happen.
That enjoyment is fulfilling because there is no “I” there to think about it…
At that point, I am living in the “now.”
Sex and pleasure are not bad or evil. It is the condition of our minds which make something “ugly” out of an experience.
Drinking a glass of beer is not bad. Unless you are an addict. (That is a mind condition.)
If I say: “Beer is bad. It is impure…” all I am doing is reinforcing fear to drinking beer and denying the experience of it. Beer becomes a “problem” in my mind.
If you want for something to be remembered continuously in your mind, all you have to do is deny it to yourself, then it becomes a “problem.”
Religions will find a childish solution to that “problem.”
“There is something better than beer.”
“There is paradise in the future where you could enjoy.” Deny yourself now. Repress yourself now. Wait for the future, wait for enlightenment.
“There is a non-sensual pleasure in meditation which is better than physical pleasure.”
“Connect to God and you will not feel the body.”
For God’s sake… the issue is our minds. The issue is our addictive thinking, everything else gets colored by the condition of our minds.
A belief of the suppression of something to cure our minds is like patching our internally bleeding heart with an external band-aid, so everyone could see that “ our bleeding has stopped” but we are the only ones who can feel otherwise.
When a human being deviates from the common good, then different rationalizations will arise to protect his own perceived individuality.
Mr. A wants to get more out of life by “having more” than anyone else. Mr. A has the right to “have more.” Note that the whole mental idea of a prosperous society is to “have more” of anything.
That could be money, things, people, sex, pleasure, things to do, places to go, etc. In this type of mentality to be “idle” is out of the question. You have to fill your time with “doing” and “achieving.”
Obviously we have set up the environment for competition. Yes, we could call that “healthy competition” to label our ways in the most “sensible way.” 🙂
Obviously, to “win” is everything and that “winning” could be interpreted as being “better,” not being a “loser,” and since that is the motive, the purpose of our existence, then our behavior to procure that “win, win” may deviate from the Totality.
Trying to win 1 million dollars or to win Paradise is the same ego centered thing.
That is how “morality” came into existence and with that, all the rules, commandments, codes of conduct and laws that we could think of; just to make the game of “winning,” a fair game… 🙂
“You are a loser” even though you played “fair” because someone was “better than you” according to the laws and moral standards… 🙂
That is how manipulation and interpretation of those moral standards have changed throughout human history.
Then, to perform certain activities was considered to be the “culprit” of insensible human behavior, so “do not’s” appeared as moral patterns to follow and praise and with that a rigid mind appeared, thinking that something is “good” because it is the law or the moral standard of the time.
Our lives became “mental” and we got separated from empathizing and feeling life as part of the whole thing.
There is the sign by the lake: “Do not swim.” We see someone drowning and we may be good swimmers, as a matter of fact, the individual drowning is not far away… Do you jump in and save the person or not? If you don’t, you may be following the “law.” Intellectually, you have done the right thing!
Your heart may tell you a different story, but nothing that you could not “drown” inside yourself by trying to forget about it!
If we become too mental, too brainy about acting, we could never act in a “good way.” All we could do is to follow a script, which is not what we feel.
Many religions and societies are in favor of scripts, and laws. Being “right,” means doing what is “right” according to some standard.
For someone who is in tune with his own feelings and who is sensible to beauty, that sensibility becomes the law.
Not touching a prostitute to help her to cross the river is the law for some. To feel the beauty of empathizing and feeling for others, is the heart, the core of an action.
Many are so caught up with particular actions by calling them “good or bad,” and forget the heart of those activities; that is what I feel beyond my individuality.
To become sensible to beauty is something that many have lost. This is not only physical beauty but the surroundings, the vibrations, the setting and what we could bring into it. To feel beauty is not related with seeing it… although that beauty could be enjoyed through the eyes as well.
Life is way more than rigid systems created by the mind. Life is more than a book with commandments.
When we learn to be part of the Totality, the whole; then mental rigidity is out of the question.
Many are so busy teaching others about the “law of God,” forgetting about becoming sensible to beauty and the law of your own heart. The unspoken truth of your feelings in connection with all.
Not complying with Godly law, has been known as “sin” throughout history.
The issue is that a “sin” 300 years ago is not a “sin” today or vice versa. Different God or Different law.
A known God yesterday is not the same one today.
Ananda recalls the times when he was doing his mischievous activities as a 10-year-old kid and then his father’s voice was heard with something concise and to the point like: “God will punish you.” 😦
That was enough to send the chills of fear throughout Ananda’s spine. Then, Ananda went to confession and thanks to the power of reciting some prayers to the saintly images… magically, everything was absolved.
As the years went by, Ananda learned another concept, called the “law of karma.” In this concept, there was no need for a God punishing left and right for sinful activities, but it was an automatic boomerang. Everyone knew that “what goes around comes around.” Punishment then became less of a personal matter. 🙂
So what happened with God as a provider of “justice for all” through punishment?
We don’t know. But somehow, the idea still remained in Ananda’s later years in life.
Anada asked the following questions to his “magic mirror:”
How can I perform a “sin” if I know better? Don’t I know about Godly scriptures and “words of God”?
Then the issue becomes in finding which scripture is the “true” version of God…a matter of belief.
How is it possible for some people to understand things in one way while others have a different understanding?
How is it possible for some people to have a Godly experience which is not the same for others?
Is it possible for God to choose some and not others to understand and recognize Him?
Ananda was confused.
“You shall not kill.” It is a well-known Godly commandment. What is the extent of it? Some say God really means not to kill animals as well as human beings. Others say that it is only referred to human beings for animals have been created “for” human beings. Is it possible for people to see suffering in animals as well as human beings and do nothing about it? Is it OK for animals to suffer and die so we could satisfy our taste buds? If “my country” sent me to war, is then OK to kill?
Was that part of God’s instructions/commandment? or perhaps a reformed, up-to-date version of it? Or what about defending my religion in the name of God? Is killing only at the physical level or we could kill someone when that person is mistreated to the point of losing her mind?
What about experimenting with human beings? Through the wonders of a new genetically modified item or something else to “study” the antibodies reaction in humans in the next 5 years… I wonder if the law of God had room for all those little “loopholes.” 🙂
There are some individuals who need to be told what to do. Specifically, to the point.
These individuals need to follow a piece of paper, someone’s advice because they are unable to feel, to sense, to observe.
There is no empathy. There is no life in their lives. It is all about procuring pleasure, power and accumulating possessions. The 3 deadly “Ps.” 🙂
Certainly for these kind of individuals, the “law of God” needs to be very specific until their lives are controlled to the point of not knowing if taking a bath is OK or sinful for they could be worry about seeing their naked body…
When empathy, concern, mercy, compassion and all of those words are practical in our lives, then there will be “law” in our lives, at that point the “law of God” will be immersed in our veins, circulating throughout our internal system and pumping our heart with that blood which is needed to give a blood transfusion to this world, so we can resuscitate our feelings again.
It is a matter of a healthy, spiritual heart.
Thank you for your question!
To say to feel with “your heart,” is to say to feel with your whole being. We are in tune with this experience usually in the “negative” side. When your girlfriend leaves you for another one; when your favorite pet passed away, etc. Have you experienced that?
What is the “location” for that suffering? 🙂
The location does not matter, what matters is that your are feeling completely, whole-heartened that pain, and there is no escape for it.
Now, emerge that feeling when you say “Baba with your heart,” out of love or when the experience of the soul appears in your life.
That experience is you, the soul expressing. That experience is what makes you alive from living a “life-less” life in the head, that is to “feel with the heart.” To be alive.
Thank you for your great question!
Take the time to look at the sunset at the beach or after amrit vela, go to a park and feel the atmosphere (As long as it is safe, of course) those activities will fill you with a vibration, a mood, which comes from your own perception. You make it. The environment creates the setting. That is what I call to “feel.”
Read poetry or write poetry. There are feelings there. The greater the impact on your audience will be because you have made them feel.
Put your thoughts, analysis and observations in your pocket. Do not use them at all. Become aware of the source of your feelings. Connect with that.
Thinking beyond the necessary is a great disease. That disease is not allowing us to understand, something which is not in the realm of “thinking” to understand, but something which is there, ready to be perceived as long as our awareness is awaken.
You feel “empty” of worries, thoughts, analysis, reasons, logic; completely void, when you are full. Then you can express your true nature without being “artificial” about it, without “trying to be sweet,” or “become tolerant.” It comes naturally.
For most of us, “feeling suffering,” is the easiest way to get us into that consciousness of “feeling” as my friend Mathias commented here. That is we can “feel” if we are able to survive the episode of suffering without creating negativity.