Looking for all places to find God did not allow me to see that which I call myself. However, without that search I wouldn’t see myself.
Serenity, tranquility comes by the recognition through our own experience in Life that there is absolutely nothing that “I” could “do” to change my current state of consciousness.
Let me put it in another way: “You” cannot change your consciousness. There is nothing that you can “do” to change it.
It just happens.
“Doing” cannot change “Being.”
“But … that goes against all teachings, against all the dogmatic truth of religions and “spirituality”… It goes against everything that society has taught us to be “true.”
That is right.
The “change your thoughts,” become loving, become good, saintly, all of those spiritual “catch phrases” used to sell religions, saviors, books and Cds. All of that can only be “practiced” to change behavior, but our consciousness cannot be changed through “doing” those things. Our consciousness will remain in the same place every time the “I” wishes to change it.
The accepted “spiritual” teaching is:
“It is “I” who can change everything about “Me”… I can change myself… or the “only thing that I can change is myself.”
The “I” can only change behavior but never consciousness, without a change of consciousness, our behavior of “trying to be good” can only be a dishonest trip to self-delusion.
“But… There must be something that “I” could do, something that “I” am responsible for…”
Correct. “You” are responsible for allowing Life to make that change. It is not the “I.”
That is the meaning of being open in Life.
I hear in the background some misinterpretation:
“ Since I cannot change my consciousness then I will just waste myself in trivialities to pass my time… That is what you are saying…”
Wait a minute. Let me finish. 🙂 Since “I” cannot change my consciousness, therefore; let me enjoy what is.
Want to “waste your life”?
OK. But enjoy it. If you enjoy it, it cannot be a waste.
More misinterpretation coming through my left ear:
“ What!! So you are saying now that I should indulge in all sorts of pleasures to enjoy Life… rather than living an ascetic, God fearing Life style which will build my character…”
Discover enjoyment. Pleasure is part of enjoyment but it is not enjoyment. Full of beliefs as to what is “good” and saintly, we forget to feel what is, without any further wishes or thoughts about what this moment “should be.”
Our ability to enjoy the moment, to unwind, to relax is very limited in general.
We feel proud to talk about how “busy” we are. How may things we are “doing.”
Enjoyment is not related with being busy but in balance, in harmony. Enjoyment is a feeling of wonder, of appreciation and gratefulness of living the experience of Life.
One more thing, without enjoyment there cannot be love, for enjoyment entails an opening of that rigid and static “I” to assimilate and allow for Life to “do its thing.”
To discover enjoyment could be the greatest religion to join, the “true” God to worship and to obey, just to go to heaven “now,” and not in the “future.”
Nevertheless, the “I” in his static world of truths is unable to perceive that Life is change and that “I” am that change.
There is no “YOU” separated from Life. However in the consciousness of the “I” there is that separation.
It is “Me” and there is Life, 2 distinct things.
The “I” could fight against that imminent change but in the world of continuous changes there is no way to stop it. If Life changes so the “I.”
“But …why? I want to do what “I” want…”
“You” can, “do it.” But know that what you do will not change what you are.
Then get a big house, a boat, a pretty partner, a 6-figure job, etc.
Do things, get things.
Aren’t you happy yet? 🙂 How come?
Ahh! You don’t know how to enjoy those things. You are not enjoyment.
How can you change yourself into enjoyment?
By reading a book about what is enjoyment?
Allow it to happen. Open up.
If what “you” want does not materialize, that is part of Life as well.
Would you be sad, frustrated, angry if that happens?
That is because “YOU” are separated from Life.
Do you see that?
Wouldn’t it be nice if we truly accepted “what is”?
That is the starting point for serenity, tranquility, peace.
It is that acceptance what brings further change.
A rejection of “what is” will bring the permanence of that which we reject.
More misunderstanding coming through my right ear:
“So you are saying now to become a passive, soft guy. Everyone could walk all over you, is that your idea of accepting “what is”?
NO! Allow, “what is,” without trying to “do it.” It is not just a matter of acceptance.
“Oh! Now you are changing! You are just a confusing guy…”
Live it yourself. My words cannot explain what cannot be explained through words. It is a matter of consciousness.
“Right. Now you take the easy way out…”
When the waters of Life are stuck in that “I,” bad odor will appear as a result of being stagnant.
That odor is not bad either. Putrefaction of the “I” comes through that “bad odor.” We call it suffering.
Do you suffer?
How is it possible for enjoyment to come out then? How is it possible for love to be?
How is it possible for appreciation and gratefulness to arrive into your consciousness?
“When I feel it.”
That is it. No words needed to explain that.
When we learn to trust life, we could truly observe without coming from a particular point of view.
If we just sit down to “meditate” or observe, we may need to be aware of the thoughts arising. Those thoughts have a story which are glued to our inner feelings, those thoughts will maintain the sense of self. We become self-absorbed.
If we are sitting in front of Nature, those thoughts will not allow us to enjoy “what is.”
This enjoyment is not a “Look, how beautiful!” wordy remark; the little thoughtful voice speaking to us.
There is no voice there, but the sense of appreciation and gratefulness arrives, as we are part of that scene in the “now.” It is a feeling.
It is the strength of this feeling, which will take us away from the cage of the belief of being just an “I.”
What Ananda is trying to transmit is this: There is absolutely nothing intellectual, no beliefs, no words or labeling in the moment of appreciation and gratefulness.
To appreciate the “now “ for “what is” means to go away from every expectation.
When we learn to connect to Life as an empty space, with the inner door wide open, then a smile comes out. There is nothing that “I” expect. Nothing to be afraid.
What is happening is all right.
This has been labeled as “contentment.” However, observe that this contentment is not born out of a method or a “realization” that “I need to be content.” This “contentment” is not faked.
Observe that contentment is a feeling, just like happiness.
Observe that contentment arises when the sense of “I” diminishes.
Observe that to get to that “I” to open up by itself, to diminish that sensation, we may need to take away the layers of “stuff” that are bunching up and clogging up that natural state of openness.
Observe that to realize what is clogging up, we just need to observe and become aware of that “I.”
At that point the “job starts.” This is the point when a “seeker” is born. Before that moment, it is just playing about being “spiritual” and socializing.
How does the job start?
It is known as healing “yourself.” Catharsis.
Emotions and beliefs… fears acquired through many journeys. All of that is the “stuff.” To heal “yourself” becomes your own path, your own journey because until that “stuff” is not healed, there cannot be “contentment.”
Contentment is appreciation and gratefulness. When you are that state of being, it does not matter what we “think” we are. It does not matter what belief system someone embraces. It does not matter if the world disappears the next day. It does not matter if we found God or not. It does not matter… we are OK with “what is,” we are one with everything.
We are one with thoughts and beliefs, we are one with the world… we are one with God.
Then consciousness will change without “effort”… by itself, for there is no one there (the “I”) trying to prevent that change.
By observing the variety of life, the different shades, colors, sounds, experiences, etc. We could realize that nothing could be labeled as “bad” for it has a reason to be.
That “reason” does not deal with our perceptions of what is “moral” and what is not.
The movie of life contains everything in itself. That movie has a plot and that plot is meant to self-preserve itself through changes. We are part of that plot.
Thus a sense of appreciation and gratefulness for “what is” will be naturally born.
“What is” could be tinted by the colors of our belief systems.
If I observe a snake eating a rabbit, I could observe it or I could act upon it just to change things according to my belief system or the Disney’s channel’s view… or I could feel sad or even happy.
All of those reactions have a label in our minds: Crazy, good, bad, stupid, etc.
Every person will react in a different way.
The issue is when a preference arrives.
A preference is not a choice. A preference is something like “I’ve got to have that rather than anything else.” “That thing is especial.”
Why is that?
Because there is a consciousness of “self.” A personality built.
A preference is not “bad.” A preference just shows a personality.
That preference may not flow along with the way life may flow.
“I prefer Summer time.”
It is the intensity of that preference the one that will bring the intensity of sorrow that we could feel.
“How do you feel in Winter?”
The word could have been “cold” which denotes a matter of fact sensation. To be miserable is to be unhappy, to lack joy.
We need to remember that the issue is not about the words we use but the FELLING that we experience.
Joy is not dependent in outside situations but as mentioned before, it is the consequence of being fulfilled with appreciation and gratefulness towards life.
Appreciation of “what is” develops a different “taste bud” in our life. We are no longer limited to a particular thing or dependent on that.
As life is a big circle; Summer time will arrive again. Winter is the “cause” of Summer along with the other seasons, so why not learn to appreciate Winter?
In the “black or white” world, we have been told that preferences are “bad,” desires are “bad,” etc.
“I must not have desires or preferences.”
Because the Guru/ God/ holy scripture / priest/ holy person has said so.
That is called repression. There is no need to force ourselves to adopt a behavior which is not consistent with our state of consciousness. That is “spiritual self aggression.”
To observe every change in life, to welcome those changes and to adapt accordingly is to flow with life. Every stage in our life has “uniqueness.”
Everything is unique but we distort that pristine uniqueness when we have a preference and call that “especial.”
At that point, we have set ourselves up to experience sorrow.
Life is unique. We are unique. “Especial” is a personality value, a preference that qualifies other things as “non-especial.” That is separation (duality) and with that separation, the sense of self becomes alive.
The word “spirituality” could be a source of worship, a “nice word,” to call someone or to feel good about ourselves.
“He is spiritual.” Means nothing, as spirituality could be viewed in different ways by different people.
When the painting shows itself in the raw, without make up, there is an automatic impact for most everyone is used to behave and believe as “we should.”
That impact creates labeling from “others,” and the painting may change to “fit in,” to be part of the “crowd.”
To be marketable. 🙂
That is why, spirituality is viewed under a safe perspective. The religious person who practices some devotional thing everyday to please his God or the layman who decides to wear some clothing to look different or the person who knocks at someone else’s door to “teach the truth” according to a belief.
“You ought to believe in something,” the father tells his son.
Let me ignite the candles, let me light up the incense, let me do some ceremony at midnight to thank the Earth and the Universe, let me teach you what I know is the truth, let me “act nice” while in my spiritual cloths, let me identify myself with a religious view or a belief….let me follow the Guru, the latest “spiritual book,” the latest CD, let me “talk the talk,” let me pray to God, to the Universe, to the stars; let me ask for things for my family, for myself, for the world …. That is nice and very spiritual!
For the spiritual walker, spirituality is just a label which represents a natural and healthy attitude towards life.
Spirituality is not a practice but living life in itself with enjoyment, gratefulness, enthusiasm and appreciation.
That is all!
There is no belief system which can bring those attributes into someone automatically. Beliefs are just meant to change the mind set of an individual, beliefs are tools to place the individual under a different perspective but they cannot emerge newness.
A spiritual walker sooner or later will realize that the analytical mind and trying to grasp life through the mind will kill feelings and when those feelings are gone, there is no possibility to live life to the fullest, for to live means to feel.
That seems like an artist mantra, but it is not. To discover enjoyment, gratefulness, enthusiasm and appreciation are not depending on anything: in my music, my paintings, my poetry, my writings… but in being able to breath in and out… to enjoy nothing but the moment, to experience the experience and to let life continue on, that is to live. There is no judgment or complaint. It is just what it is… so let me enjoy it!
That attitude of gratefulness and appreciation to this experience called “life,” is the bread and butter of enjoying life.
For that a “breaking point” will be experienced by most “spiritual walkers,” for previous attitudes, beliefs and mental walls, will need to be destroyed. This destruction is a healthy destruction, which allows for the new to emerge. Not everyone has the capacity to go through this, but if in your destiny; you will find out.
Never tell a spiritual walker how to walk, for the one who knows himself, knows where to place his next step.
That takes courage. That takes trust; but more than anything, it takes the capacity to enjoy life! 🙂