We have no choice. How do you like that?
Many will react to this statement, mostly those who have no idea of what the “I” is. Their dreamy world continues on with all the “choices” they are making.
Is your intelligence your choice?
How about your looks? How about your consciousness?
“Spirituality for the masses” continues on making followers believe that “We can change our consciousness. We can change world consciousness.” That sort of material is sold to many, for most “like the idea” that “I am control. I am in charge.”
The question is, control of what? The “office world”? Of course. That is meant to cater the egocentric need of the mind. However, the things that matter such as health, aging, intelligence, psychological readiness, consciousness, awareness and Life and Death… Those things are completely out of “our” control. How do we like that? What the “office world” can do about it? Perhaps offer insurance, power, money to control those things?
The “I” can only change behavior. “I” can behave according to what my mind recognizes as being “good,” however, that is no change at all. Nevertheless, our society, our understanding and morality is only concerned with behavior. The mind is required for that, thus; the “I” is there. “Spirituality” based solely on change of behavior is infantile.
Honesty is not shown in behavior. Who we ARE could be hidden behind the action.
Awakening is not an easy thing. Picture that you are deeply asleep and someone is nagging the heck out of you to wake up… What do you do? What is your “choice”?
“I can bend my left pinky, that is my choice!”
Yes…but go deeper. Who made the choice? It was the mind. It had a reason, even if that is to prove me wrong. That reason hides the “I.” Otherwise, your pinky moves without your awareness. It is automatic. Have you noticed that?
The mind creates a static entity and separates it from Life. It even separates your pinky from the rest of the body, when in reality your pinky needs a hand and the hand needs an arm and the arm needs a body and the body needs a “something” to be alive…but we never stop and ask: Who is that “I”? and most important, Where is it?
Yes, we can believe all sort of things and even call it with names such as “soul,” just to stop our inquire, but that is superficial. Observe that there is no difference between that “I” and what we call mind. Observe that the contents of the mind and therefore, the “I” cannot bring newness for the mind is a repository of things that we have accumulated. We see the world and ourselves through that lenses.
Humans as well as all living beings are agents for change. Life manifests change through all living organisms.
The paradox is that we are needed exactly as we are… but what we are, does not depend on us. It is related with consciousness.
Take away choice, and free will goes down the drain… but it is not that “bad” for guilt, shame and forgiveness… all of that goes along with it, flushed down the toilet… There is more, but that is up to you to find out. 🙂
Once we start our “spiritual” search, the “I” is a pretty strong fellow.
The “I” is always innocent. The problem is with the “others.”
Blame to “others” will arrive as events are not happening the way we want it, or the way they “should.”
After some experience of suffering, we may be willing to see Life from a different perspective; then our search for answers may take us to the opposite view:
The problem is with “Me.”
Welcome to your new “spirituality.”
What a shift, huh?
In awareness, we could observe how we go from one extreme into another. Yes, it is the “Black or White” mentality.
What makes that change?
Again, typically is the experience of unbearable pain, sorrow.
The greater is the extent of that “I,” the greatest suffering will be experienced to break that “I” apart.
For example, jumping from one relationship into another due to the feeling of pain, we may search for the psychologist, the priest, the holy one as a desperate attempt to find “answers,” just to hear the same song: “The problem is you.”
At that point we may shift the blame game and we become the victim and the perpetrator at the same time.
We need “healing.”
Do we see the game?
If we understand this Guilt/Blame game and we could see how guilt arrives, then could we say that feeling guilty is “real”?
Yes and No.
Yes, we can feel it even though it is a ghost.
We created that phantom based in our upbringing while being surrounded by players of the “blame game.”
The blame/guilt game is continually reinforced in our society, our beliefs and values. We may become paranoid of doing some action as that may bring guilt/blame.
Perhaps the above is crystal clear for some. Even though it may be understood intellectually; when the time comes and Life throws a particular experience at us, we will not remember what we theoretically “know.”
Moreover, even if we read this article 1000 times; it will not help us to deal with the surprising “test” from Life.
Because our emotions are the ones affected and our emotions are not interested in intellectual stuff.
Do we see that?
What is the solution?
Become aware of the emotion and release it. Let it go.
How that happens?
That is our personal path.
Releasing a particular emotional energy at one time such as feeling guilty, does not mean that the guilt/blame game will not recur again in a different form, a different way. That is known as a “recurrent energy.”
We may need to observe what is happening in ourselves and allow for those emotions to dissolve by itself through our own feeling of openness to “others.” It is in our relationship with “others” how we know if a recurrent energy is affecting us or not. If it has been healed or not.
Observe how the emotion of anger or fear comes in. Feel how those energies will be used against ourselves, in our every day activities, which in turn will sabotage what we truly want for ourselves in Life.
We will become our own enemy, not the “other.”
Allow yourself to be vulnerable and not defensive. Observe the process and be mindful of the time needed for healing to occur by itself. If you close doors that come to help you, suffering will be extended.
Life has different ways to extend that help. Take it and do not judge it.
Openness is the key for our perception of reality to change.
That is known as forgiveness.
To forgive yourself and to forgive others, is perceived as 2 different things in the “normal,” spiritual/religious use of the word.
In reality, it is only a childish lesson to strengthen the existence of the “I.”
“I am so good. I am forgiving you.” Observe how insane is for you to divide yourself into 2 so you can forgive yourself.
Allow for a different perception of Life to sink in. That is all. Forgiveness is to allow for a different perception to appear in your consciousness.
Openness happens when there is an empty space in us available for newness to arrive.
We need that emptiness. We are emptiness.
That “seat” becomes empty, because an emotion /belief was released.
That may be the whole magic behind the word “healing.” It is the process to emptiness.
“I am a soul not a body.”
What about the mind?
What about the spirit?
Why some religions and philosophies spend so much of their beliefs in “conquering the mind” or “controlling the mind” if “I am not the mind”?
That is perhaps one of the most important realizations to go beyond the “head” and into the feeling of living Life.
Every word has an opposite.
That is how duality is created in our communication.
Now, that we could see this handicap inherent in the way we “think” (for words are needed to express thoughts) then we could see how plain stupid is the idea of “defining” God, “defining” who I am, “defining” Life, etc.
Do we see that we are using words to express in duality that which is not possible to express through duality?
Do we see how thinking alone cannot bring a different state of consciousness, other than the perception of separation?
Living life in joy is not concerned in the most minimum in defining or conceptualizing Life.
Do not define yourself to be able to change, to flow, to live.
The unity of the body, mind, spirit, soul is artificially divided through thought; when in “reality” it is unity which no label or definition could touch.
Do we see that?
Moreover; the unity of body, mind, spirit, soul is ONE with everything else, for it cannot exist all by itself. Totality.
Do we see that?
Let me put it in another way.
Any thought is doomed to separate what otherwise is not. That is why any “intellectual” cannot “walk his talk” in “spirituality.”
“ Me and God alone.”
That phrase is full of separation. Full of “I.”
Let me put it in yet another way…. 🙂
Thinking and its entire family of beliefs, judgments, assumptions, analysis, logic and reasoning are not the “tools” to live Life in Joy.
I could hear a “black or white” follower saying:
“ Thoughts are bad then. We must make effort not to think.”
That is a gross misinterpretation just as to believe that by denying ourselves from Life’s pleasures and becoming an ascetic or a “renunciate” we could be “better.”
Thoughts are extraordinary tools to live Life in the “office world.”
Integration rather than rejection.
Life’s pleasures are part of the whole experience of living.
Separating pleasure from pain, we have created a duality. Choosing one over the other, we have created an illusion.
There is no separation between pleasure and pain for the experience of one, necessarily leads to the experience of the other.
Just like the experience of hot and cold, light and darkness, good and bad…
Want to feel guilty? Want to ask God for forgiveness?
Make that separation. That is all it takes.
Many things that we label under the word “love.”
A poet may find that this “thing” which we call love is beyond reason, beyond thought.
It is the “I” confronted with a greater power than reason. Nevertheless, even in the face of this “proof,” we still rely on reason to run our lives. It is through experiencing that love and the way that it manifests, how we could find that “I” hidden underneath.
It is that “I” who feels elated when his love is retributed and the same “I” who feels in despair when it is not. It is the same “I” who will take things for granted when the love “wears off,” and the same “I” who will feel sorrow when that love goes away.
Without a doubt to learn about that type of love, is to learn about the “I.”
That “I” is always seeking for something. Love becomes that thing which is completely out of the “I” control and that becomes a powerful attraction for that “I.”
At the end, the story will be about adding other elements to that “love” such as forgiveness, guilt, remorse, passion, hate, confrontation, etc. All sorts of emotions, which appear due to a belief… and that belief will bring other emotions.
That my friends, is the love of the “I.”
A master once said: “ Life gives you 50% of the whole for you to become complete. The other 50% percent will be provided by life to complement the complete 50%. There is coffee and there is milk coming together to make something greater than themselves. Love does not need a receiver.”
When there is love without that “I,” then the giver is also the receiver. The giver is the receiver in the Totality of it.
At that point, love becomes that attitude of freedom to give without a specific receiver. When we understand that connection with the whole, love is that intention without expectations.
Our intentions, our feelings, our actions whatever we “think” we do onto “others,” we do it to ourselves.
That is to understand that “we” are that Totality.
Human affection could be expressed in different ways. There is no limit…but the limit becomes our own beliefs. As we label every relationship, we also determine that relationship.
“But she is the only one… I have not felt so intense in my life with another person.”
To discover our own intensity is great, but it is not reduced to a particular person. I could feel very intensely with one person, but that does not mean that it cannot happen again with someone else. Every relationship offers something to know about ourselves, the “I.”
As many of us do not spend the time or resources to become complete with the 50% that life has given us to play with, rather than finding a complement with others to make that tasty “milk and coffee,” we look for another person to complete ourselves.
That is the issue. We want for someone else to do the job that we couldn’t finish.
To “merge in love” is not just a pretty word. It is to empty yourself to be one with that Totality, for in that oneness there is completeness. Then life, may show us the other 50% to complement that completeness.. to make something greater than the “self.”
Love then is the universal path to self discovery and its own reward.
There is forgiveness of others and there is forgiveness of the self.
Basic “moral” teachings will speak about “forgiving thy neighbor” for the wrong doings that this person may have performed onto us.
Note that there is the separation between “I” and “you.” Notice that this type of forgiveness may be also an opportunity to develop “ego,” as being magnanimous, being “good,” and is a great chance to communicate to the world “how forgiving” we can be… 🙂
When there is a higher understanding of forgiveness, we realize that this “wrong” done to us is a consequence of our own activities in the past. This is known as the “law of karma.” Therefore, when we forgive another; we are basically “settling” that karmic account. Thus, forgiving “others” is thought about bringing a “good karmic account” back to us.
When there is an even higher understanding, we can see that the “other” is basically another manifestation of myself. Thus, by forgiving; I am just forgiving myself. In this vision there is no “duality” but the vision of oneness and interdependence.
When there is even a higher understanding, there is nothing to forgive inasmuch, as outside activities are not affecting “me.”
This can only be accomplished, when there is no “me.” Without “me” there is no need to forgive.
Those are examples of different types of Spiritual understandings.
The above could be understood intellectually by many; but that is not true understanding.
We need to feel this, play the game of life; become like a window which could reflect what is in the outside as well as the inside, which allows light to pass through it, so others can see… what they are ready to see…and understand 🙂
Nobody chooses dysfunction, conflict, pain. Nobody chooses insanity. They happen
because there is not enough presence in you to dissolve the past, not enough light to dispel
the darkness. You are not fully here. You have not quite woken up yet. In the meantime, the
conditioned mind is running your life.
Similarly, if you are one of the many people who have an issue with their parents, if you
still harbor resentment about something they did or did not do, then you still believe that they
had a choice – that they could have acted differently. It always looks as if people had a choice,
but that is an illusion. As long as your mind with its conditioned patterns runs your life, as
long as you are your mind, what choice do you have? None. You are not even there.
Those statements above could be easily misinterpreted as: “ No one is responsible for their actions,” Just have tolerance. But at the same time, do not have any resentment for they had no choice, because they are not “awake.”
Even though what Mr. Tolle explains is understandably correct; there is no awakening until there is knowledge of the rules of the game of life. How can we be awake without knowing that? Here is when the knowledge of the cycle of time and “pre-ordained,” comes in handy, for what we see as “injustice,” is plain “cause and effect,” which could be improved as long as the quality of our own activities is improved and that means “being,” rather than doing needs to be “awaken.” Thus, being “awake” is first in order for our “doing” to be aligned with that. There is no “choosing” here. Doing is a consequence of “Being.” My actions a consequence of who I am.
The mind-identified state is severely dysfunctional. It is a form of insanity. Almost everyone is
suffering from this illness in varying degrees. The moment you realize this, there can be no
more resentment. How can you resent someone’s illness? The only appropriate response is
That sounds like the realization in this article.
Rather than compassion, I rather use Baba’s word: “merciful,” meaning to have pure feelings and good wishes for all. No matter what is the perception of the issue, my feelings shouldn’t be changed, which means that I understand that this Drama in front of me is a movie playing and my stage is always constant, desireless. The perception of someone being ill and myself being mentally alright is itself an ego-booster.
So that means nobody is responsible for what they do? I don’t like that idea.
Mr.Tolle: If you are run by your mind, although you have no choice you will still suffer the
consequences of your unconsciousness, and you will create further suffering. You will bear
the burden of fear, conflict, problems, and pain. The suffering thus created will eventually
force you out of your unconscious state.
Mr. Tolle is simply speaking about the law of karma. “Cause and effect.” However that understanding practically. does not happen always in the same life time.
Questioner: What you say about choice also applies to forgiveness, I suppose. You need to be fully
conscious and surrender before you can forgive.
Mr. Tolle: “Forgiveness” is a term that has been in use for 2,000 years, but most people have a very
limited view of what it means. You cannot truly forgive yourself or others as long as you
derive your sense of self from the past. Only through accessing the power of the Now, which
is your own power, can there be true forgiveness. This renders the past powerless, and you
realize deeply that nothing you ever did or that was ever done to you could touch even in the
slightest the radiant essence of who you are. The whole concept of forgiveness then becomes
A more profound look into “forgiveness,” is in the awareness of time and its repetition. Then we can say: What is the aim of looking for forgiveness if I am to repeat the same activity again? The meaning is that whatever we do is for the “now,” and not the past or future. I feel better now because I have forgiven myself. That automatically opens the door for a better future.
The understanding that “no one could ever be guilty of anything,” in light of a pre-ordained, “predestined,” movie is the ingredient that we need to see how unnecessary is to use the word “to forgive,” but with knowledge, the right word is “to forget,” because only when we forget the past, we can live the present without that conditioning which Tolle talks about. To forget is a merciful way of dealing with things rather than the “compassionate,” i will forgive you…another ego booster.
Questioner: And how do I get to that point of realization?
Mr. Tolle: When you surrender to what is and so become fully present, the past ceases to have any
power. You do not need it anymore. Presence is the key. The Now is the key.
That is the experience of being “a-temporal,” the “now” is time, is present, but the soul is not caught up in psychological time nor physical time. The concept of “now” is not a time related issue. “Now” IS CONTINUALLY MOVING…It is never a static “now.” Paradox! and at the same time, to see and understand, the need to be “out” of time. A-temporal. The experience of the “dot.”
Questioner: How will I know when I have surrendered?
Mr. Tolle: When you no longer need to ask the question
Knowing means to know without knowing as long as there is the experience of being in the timeless “now.”