The master and his disciple were strolling at the open market place. There, they found many things to see including all sort of animals such as birds, hamsters, and even mice.
A strong medium size bird caught the attention of the master. That bird was hitting the cage while trying to fly from one side to the other. The bird had vitality and plenty of stamina.
The master said to his disciple: “Buy that bird.” The disciple asked for the price to the seller and paid for it. As soon as the disciple finished paying, the master told him: “Open the cage.”
The disciple hesitated while the seller exclaimed : “What!!”
The master said in a firm voice: “Open the door of that cage.” The disciple obeyed and – Oh Behold! The bird escaped the cage. The master exclaimed to his disciple: “ That bird wanted its freedom. Give that cage back to the salesman.”
The disciple said: “ For sure that bird will appreciate its wings and its flying ability now.” The master said: “Nah. That is human. See that other bird in that cage? “ The disciple said : “Yes, I see it.”
The master replied: “Buy that bird.” The salesman was getting a bit anxious while taking the money from the disciple.
The master said: “Open the door of the cage.” The disciple opened the cage. The bird was hesitant as if it wasn’t sure whether to come out or not. Finally, after a few seconds, the bird flew away.
The salesman couldn’t contain himself and asked the master: “Why are you doing that?”
The master replied: “Why not? ” The master asked his disciple to give the cage back to the salesman and walked away.
Freedom does not have a patent.
I live in Tampa, Florida. Our winter here is pretty mild so far. I went to Lima, Peru for vacation to visit family.
In Lima, the Sunshine is emerging as Summer is on the way.
I could not be able to fully appreciate the weather in Tampa unless I go somewhere else, ideally to the opposite experience. Self-realization uses pretty much the same “method.”
Most of us are comfortable with our Life styles. We have been conditioned.
To be conditioned is not a “bad thing,” it is just the “outside” becoming the “inside” to put it in simple words.
Therefore, there is a need to “distance” from the outside to become AWARE.
Life has many “methods” for this when the person is ready to initiate the journey of self-realization.
Someone may lose everything that his conditioning has valued. Another may find an extremist religion to get out of his conditioning. Another may experience a disease, a life threatening situation or the death of a loved one. Those events will force the individual to see Life from a different perspective: It is either to change to survive in newness or to embrace their own physical death. Newness is the outcome of either “choice,” thus there is no “good or bad” choice.
At the end of this “game,” whether we endure, suffer, complain, etc. trying to be the same, to remain the same, to maintain “status quo;” Change will appear. This realization may be the beginning of “spiritual” intelligence in Life.
I can appreciate now the weather in Tampa, Florida. I am aware of the subtle changes of green shades on trees, vegetation, and the intensity of the sun. I am aware of the wind, its cooling effect in Winter rather than the gentle breeze it used to be in the Summer. The above, may be nonsense for someone who is entrenched in the “office world” and the “political activities through economies of scale,” living fully in the world of the mind.
Want to know what self-realization may entail?
To get out of our current conditioning, fully, without a chance to go back until the “new” conditioning takes effect.
That is all, but when is happening to “you”… not to many are able to survive.
But if you survive, there is an issue. What is the problem?
To call the “new” conditioning “truth,” “reality” and all of those self-empowering words that only brighten the halo of the “I.”
To be able to perceive different perspectives is the origin of clairvoyance (clear vision.)
Summer is different than Winter. We call them opposites, but they are not. They are different shades of the same experience.
The same happens with every human being. Every human being is experiencing a particular shade of the full range of experiences. This awareness brings understanding of the human dilemma of “doing the right thing” or “being a good person.” Those labels only have meaning through a particular perspective, a particular viewpoint, conditioning…
The “Office World” is just an office located in the 2nd floor of the skyscraper of Life. For many individuals, that is their only reference, their perspective, their reality. Self realization lies in getting out of that office and rather than taking the elevator to the 100th floor, you will take the stairs to the 100th floor to learn to see Life from different perspectives. You will sweat, you will feel uncomfortable, you will suffer, you will be tired, it may seem as if the 100th floor will never arrive. You may lose hope… but you will continue on, because you are ready. Once you get to the top… It is time to come down. That is the “reward.” The experience will free you as nothing could ever do.
That is the price of Freedom from the known, that is… Self-realization.
I have modified this blog a bit to express change. The “about” page was changed. “Exploring the Depth of Living” was simplified with the phrase: “The journey from Yoga into Tantra” while living Life in joy.
From now on, I will be sharing twice a week: Monday and Friday.
I appreciate your openness to read these articles. Change is all that could be offered in this new phase. 🙂
Just as Justice is an ideal, a pretty word, a political correct term, a word worshipped by all “who are seeking freedom, peace and harmony in the world”… Similarly, freedom, peace and harmony are more ideals to strive, to achieve, concepts to define… food for the busy mind.
Is man a free being?
“Well, we just celebrated 4th of July, the day of American independence. Of course, those living in America are free men since 1776.”
What about black men? Weren’t they slaves even after “independence”?
What about homosexuals? Do they have the same rights as “free” men?
Any other label to divide?
The ideal is there. We could celebrate it, but reality is something different.
Observe the limits of freedom: Gender, race, nationality, etc, etc. The definition of what “men” are is feeble and so is the ideal.
In the consciousness of most, to be “free” means to roam around as a wireless signal. That is the extent of freedom most people are aware of.
There is also freedom from the known. That is for the few.
That is the freedom from beliefs, traditions, isms, dogmas, etc.
You could be confined, but still free.
There is also the freedom of not BEING. That is to BE the unexpected, the unusual, the formless like the waters of the Ocean.
That type of freedom is known by even fewer.
Are you free to select your type of freedom?
For most, as long as you can roam around, everything is OK. Most care less if they are slaves of the TV, the religion, the office routine, the entertainment, junk food, the drug industry, the marketing for the masses. Paradoxically, those same individuals are proud of their “freedom.”
What about Peace? Same ideal.
No wars equal peace for most. Even though most don’t say “hello” to a stranger anymore for fear. Is fear a conduit for Peace?
Is the ideal of peace something to attain? Something to work on? Something to teach to others?
We are teaching fear, we watch fear as entertainment through all forms of violence. Fear is taking away our freedom.
As long as there is fear, there cannot be peace nor freedom.
What fear? Fear of thy neighbor. Fear of death. Fear of being alone. Fear of god. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of not fitting in… Fear of living day by day.
Fear is not an ideal. It is a reality. If we do not face that reality in ourselves then freedom, peace and harmony can only be pretty words to talk about.
Yes, I could repeat to myself: ” I am a peaceful being,” but until “I” face the reality by being AWARE of it…we will smell fear, the “reality” behind our ideals.
Growing up my “keyword” was freedom.
Freedom from the enemies. Freedom to Do what I want. Freedom to HAVE whatever I could get. Freedom to BE what I wanted to BE…
All of those “freedoms” are only circumstantial. They depend on the conditions, the settings. Whatever I DO, whatever I HAVE, whatever I want to BE is only another cage to fight for, to be attached to, to become fearful of losing… The cage is there and whenever there is a cage, freedom slips out of our hands…
Aware of these things, some religions paradoxically have misunderstood the meaning of freedom. For them to “attain” that is a matter of renouncing the world.
In DOING that, their cage becomes their own little world.
Freedom is not a matter of escaping from something and labeling that “ renunciation.”
To DO, to HAVE, to BE … are mental cages. Mind made definitions with borders which we will not trespass for safety, for comfort, for security.
True Freedom is in BEING, but this is not the mind BEING such as BEING a professional, BEING a father, BEING a guru… or BEING God. This BEING that I am talking about is without mind.
A child is that BEING and so a wild animal. FREE from traumas, FREE from hang ups, FREE from neurosis, FREE from the “future.”
A conditioned human being is always looking for security. If a man is in a relationship with someone, he may need a way to possess a woman so she doesn’t run away. That insecurity, that pettiness is called “love” by most. The “proof” is in the emotion of jealousy felt. However, it is certain that this man has built his own cage of attachment and neediness.
Then, his mind always going into extremes; will decide to go to the other extreme: “I will never be in love with anyone. I want to be Free.”
That decision is unbearably naïve. That man has built yet another cage for himself. He cannot be free.
Because it doesn’t matter whether he is in a relationship or not. Both states are cages when we move in the duality of the mind.
That is why it has been said: “Know thyself,” but I‘d like to clarify: “Know thy mind to be FREE from it.”
That is where freedom resides: Away from the duality created by the mind.
Our search for security will kill our freedom to BE. The need for security will create a cage and the fear to abandon it.
A mental “cage” could be like a hotel: A place to be for a short while before continuing in our journey. But, the one who feels secure, safe, at ease and would like by all means to maintain that state; that person will suffer when the time to change arrives.
Don’t we know that Life is change? Don’t we know that Life is completely uncertain?
Do we want to live in our own “little world” for the sake of being safe?
That will kill our growth as humans. Our development will be hindered.
Nothing is secure in life. That is the extraordinary thing about Life. It can turn around at any time and there is no one who could stop it… but yet, some want to fight against it even though “losing” every single battle against Life… While others would like to “hide” and control their environment to feel safe, even though there is no Life in their lives…. They are already death.
In both cases there is no Freedom.
Freedom is not in the extremes. It is neither in hiding nor in fighting, rejecting, conquering… to know Freedom we need to become AWARE of the works of our mind.
A seeker who does not understand his own mind, is only playing the game of self-deception: It is a game with plenty of beliefs and promises for great things in the “future,” but the price is not to enjoy the freedom of living fully in the “now.”
The “golden cage” may be a pretty cage for our minds. But … the best things in Life are always FREE…. Of charge?
No… FREE of mind.
Society and religions have enhanced the perception of the “I” by offering to the world their teachings based on duality: Heaven with Hell, Sinner with Saint, God with Devil, Creation with Destruction, Body with Soul, Pure with Impure, Passing with Failing, Salvation with Damnation, etc. That was the beginning of insanity.
The “I” becomes bigger and stronger when a “choice” is given to decide between the apparent opposites: If you want “Heaven” then, you must follow some rules, which will avoid Hell.
As the concept of “Hell” became fearful, then the masses wanted an “authority figure” to determine what to DO, how to BEHAVE.
That was the beginning of “practices,” labeled as “spiritual practices.”
It is in that misunderstanding, how living Life became a matter of DOING due to fear, what it is considered to be “right.”
A concept was sold and the solution was with the seller.
Every single religion has teachings. Every single teaching as it stands today, has been grossly misinterpreted by followers who did not experience a change of consciousness similar to their founder, but rather; offered loyalty to their religion by DOING and BEHAVING the way their religion expected. As more people “join,” more laws are necessary.
That “loyalty” offers continuity of teachings as static pieces of information, which are unable to change despite the changes in Life. That posture then becomes a dogma.
Therefore, choosing one concept such as “God” implies the rejection of the opposite “Devil.” It is that rejection which will make up insane minds.
Insanity will be proportional to the degree of obsessiveness to attain a concept such as God, Holy, Soul, etc.
Many may have experiences with the spirit world, but the LABEL used to describe that experience is what creates the duality; in that duality lays rejection and with that the inability to change consciousness. We are stuck in that consciousness no matter what we DO or how we BEHAVE.
Every religion believes to have the “truth,” but that is another concept to entertain ourselves, for it has the duality of falsehood.
Observe that a “truth” it is only so, when it can be perceived due to a particular state of consciousness.
When consciousness changes, so the perception of that “truth.”
For we can only perceive “reality” from a perspective, which is not absolute. Perceptions come, perceptions go…
That is why BEING has far more relevance than any “truth.”
God and Devil, Body and Soul, Pure and Impure, etc. are the SAME concepts, the same thing. What is the difference?
Degrees of it. The 2 extremes have labels (God, Devil) but nothing in between. That was explained in the article about “polarities.”
Some believe that God is a person an entity, a soul, a spirit…The label “God” is what shapes their experience and creates a duality in their lives.
The journey of a person is to experience all of those degrees in between the extremes for that is how consciousness will change naturally.
For instance if you pick to go “south” rather than “north.” Eventually by going as far as we can go “south”… we will reach “north.” We could reject “north” all we want, but our obsession of reaching as far “south” as we can, will lead us into “north.” Nevertheless, “north” and “south” do not exist, they are merely concepts.
Do we see that? 🙂
Ahnanda speaks about these matters from his own experience.
By having gone “north” and “south,” all there is to it, is to smile at such a “fun” trip that Life has offered.
What is the outcome?
To be able to smile. Free and unencumbered, with a new consciousness… like a child. 🙂
One of Life sweetest pleasures is to share with your friends the immense freedom of being just “you.”
As a seeker, I am discovering the full circle of Life. In my experience, it was about going outside for validation, for love, for acceptance just to come back to myself, to feel comfortable in my own skin, in my own company… that “getting used to” could take many years. It is a process.
When we reach the “comfortable” level, that is the time when Life will prompt us to move on, to go “outside the shell” for a “new beginning.” That is the time to integrate with the Totality under a new “me.”
When Life gives us “idle time” with ourselves, it is to recuperate, unwind, gather strength and face what is left, to complete that full circle.
Many times, we will find friendship in some who remind us of ourselves. We could see many characteristics that we have in common. That brings a comfortable, nurturing friendship.
That reminds me of the saying: “Tell me who your friends are and I ‘ll tell you who you are.”
Nevertheless, many times we forget that friends are those who show us who we truly are, and accept us as we are.
Want a teacher?
There you have it, in flesh, near you !
Have you seen Ralph E. Wolf and Sam Sheepdog from “Looney Tunes” cartoons?
They have opposite interests, they will disagree, fight and try to outwit each other while in “office hours,” but once they “punch out” the clock, they are friends again as if nothing happened before.
Most humans keep the past inside them, some as a reminder of a “payback time,” and others as a “danger” signal to reject something or someone, thus; unknowingly allowing for a traumatic experience, which will become a deep emotion in need of healing, later on.
What is that “punch out of the clock” in a friendship?
The ability to say, and feel: “I am sorry.”
It is not just lip service, but the connection with a person will be maintained in the capacity that we have to feel appreciation for that person despite differences.
Is he/she pushing all your buttons? Is he/she “mirroring” you and that is exactly what you do not like about them?
For the aware individual, that is an excellent “teacher”!
If your Life journey is dedicated on knowing yourself, who could be the most adequate person to partner with in Life?
The opposite of yourself, of course.
The sheepdog with the wolf makes a great Life long partnership as long as there is a common time to “punch out” of the clock.
“But why? They will be fighting all along!”
That may be true. That is why it was said, “for those who are in the journey of knowing themselves.”
The opposites are complements.
One with yourself, you could be one with another who is the opposite.
“Wouldn’t that be a great challenge?”
Yes, but it also has a great reward.
“What is that?”
To find love.
Love the ones who are like you but also the ones who are the opposite. Isn’t that a religious teaching? Yes, and without the experience in “real” Life, it is just a meaningless dogma.
Every single relationship, every single friendship has been planned out just for you! Whether a “good” experience or a “bad” experience, it is exactly what you need in your current stage.
We are going in a full circle in Life, so there is no objective to reach, but just to enjoy the unique moment as it is.
Perhaps, do we want an easy “method” to “achieve” friendship?
Here are the “steps:”
2) Show empathy
3) Say I am sorry.
Do you like that? Want to teach that to others?
No rush.The above is completely useless! 🙂
You can only act as you are. To believe that by changing your behavior you will “achieve” something is truly an illusion. Repetition of a script will only dull your feelings.
Nevertheless, to go through that illusion is “good” for it is part of your journey which is pointing to no other place… but yourself.
I have learned in Life that out of all the possible relationships that one could experience, friendship is the most flexible, adaptable and capable of allowing us to be true to ourselves.
Freedom in friendship. The bond of a friendship is what is needed in all other relationships, for even if the other relationships dissolve, friendship will remain.
Friendship is the epitome of a relationship.
If we could only perceive the “other” as a friend…
A sense of belonging is so important for our well being, but there are few things that we could belong to, without being asked for something in return.
When you find friends that accept you without conditions, without rules and restrictions… value that time, be grateful to Life because you found an invaluable treasure … 🙂
Consciousness allows someone to perceive things in a particular way. According to that consciousness, we could have a limited understanding. To see things under a different perspective means to have the openness to accept newness. Honesty means to acknowledge our new perception despite a belief, a teaching, and a dogma.
Fear arrives through dishonesty.
Ahnanda is not concerned about denying or proving the existence of God or the Devil. Ahnanda is only concerned about finding his own beliefs. Rest assured, that this sharing is based on my own experience.
I have searched for God. I have found God. I have forgotten myself.
I found myself, then I found no-self and with that I found that all there is… is God. Although, many labels could be used to name it.
Do you want me to elaborate on that? It is for you to find out. It will be misunderstood for those who have not gone through the full experience.
“God created the Universe.”
Didn’t he create the Devil as well?
“NO. God has given us free will to choose.”
Really? Why is the Devil “wrong” then, isn’t he following his free will?
“Because he is against God.”
Is it “free will” as long as we do not go against God? That is not free will but manipulation. Isn’t that a devilish trait?
God and the Devil depend on each other to survive.
Believers are needed.
“But, I had an experience with God himself. I felt floating in bliss and with such love that it had to be God giving me this experience. It cannot be the Devil.”
The issue is not the experience of something extraordinary in our lives. The issue is the label that we have used to describe that.
“That must be God.”
The concept, the definition is added into that experience and through that a belief.
Let me “rephrase” your consciousness:
“I am unique. God has chosen me. Someone else’s experience is not the “true” one for I know God and they don’t.”
The clothes of Santa Claus do not make the one wearing it, as the “true” Santa. You have to believe in Santa, for that concept to exist. We make that concept alive.
Different people wear the Santa Claus’s clothing. Common agreement makes that clothing “special.”
“Knowing God” is meant to enhance the ego of the one who claims that. In my experience, it truly doesn’t matter if you “know God.”
Know yourself to find no-self. That matters to you and to me. Not to God or the Devil.
“God did not create the Universe. Everything already existed. “
If God did not create the Universe, why do we call him God then?
“Because, he is the Supreme.”
Isn’t that a belief based on the concept that God has to be the supreme? Aren’t we building up concepts upon concepts to make an ideal?
Because we have 2 different explanations of God; Is it possible for God to create the Universe and not to create the Universe at the same time?
“Well… One belief is right and the other is wrong.”
I suppose yours is “right,” correct? At the end, it is about “you.”
Beliefs are neither right nor wrong. They are just beliefs.
Accept a belief and your perception will be in one way.
Do not accept it and your perception will be in a different way.
Acknowledge the belief and let it go, and your perception will be yet in a different way.
What difference does it make to know who created the Universe?
What difference does it make to have intellectual answers to believe in?
Lost in the intellect, the mind, we forget the heart. That heart which is not meant to love “God alone,” but to love without restrictions.
Truly want to know what love is?
It is inversely proportional to the size of the “I.” That is the extent of your love. Love is being it.
How do you like that “definition”? 🙂
“What is your relationship with God?”
Until I find no-self, there cannot possibly be a relationship. I can call God my father, my lover, my everything… Those are just labels, ideals based on “ME.” Find no-self and the perception will be different.
A change in consciousness is not related with beliefs and intellectual answers.
Those things are meant to change behavior only, to make us believe that “we are transforming ourselves.”
The self, the “I” cannot transform itself. Every action or thought directed towards self-transformation will only follow an ideal, a learned belief.
For change to be “real” it has to be natural. Not manipulated in any way through the beliefs of the “I.”
When we step outside the boundaries of a belief system meant to delimit our consciousness and to keep us safe within the limits of our society’s collective beliefs, at that point we can explore, we could observe and be an active participant of Life.
“But… If I step away from my belief of a God; who will save “me” and protect “me” and take care of “me” in this Life of uncertainties, and in “my” next Life in the future… Who will be there for “me”?
That is not the question that a grown up could ask before leaving his parents’ home to move in a place by himself. That is a question that a kid could ask. The kid looks for that certainty, he calls “protection.”
Who will be there for you?
Freedom from a belief, freedom from ideals, freedom to experience life.
To be free was the dream of the slave. The dream of the one who wanted to express but couldn’t, the dream of the one who wanted to live and not just breathe.
For the one who is caught up with beliefs and ideals, for the one who breathes fear in every inhalation and repression in every exhalation, for that one freedom is meaningful, holy and necessary to enjoy life.
Freedom from the known, is for the one who is ready. It is a waste for the one who is not.