In our society suffering, immolation, sacrifice, etc. have a “good” connotation. Typically, it is the “I” giving up itself for others.
Pleasure, sensuality, sexiness, etc. have a “bad” connotation. It is the “I” being ego centered, hedonistic, indulging himself rather than “helping others.”
Our morality is based on the dichotomy of those values.
Pleasure is mostly condemned and suffering exalted, considered “spiritual.”
Suffering, immolation, sacrifice are always of the “I.” It is the “I” suffering for others, to become better, to accomplish things. This could be easily labeled as Love but it is not. Giving yourself for others without the “I” in between, is indeed Love. The difference cannot be told by the media, the masses, the lawyers… Thus, behind an action there is always an intention, not known by the “others” and mostly rationalized by the “I” to fit an image of sainthood. In time, this becomes absolute hypocrisy.
Paradoxically, pleasure is fulfilling in the experience of “no-I.” If there is an “I” wanting to experience pleasure, that pleasure will be unfulfilling for the “I” cannot reach satisfaction, the ego-mind will continually disturb the experience of pleasure.
Sex is a great example to illustrate the above.
Individuals condemning pleasure in the name of morality, have already a strong conditioning against sexuality. The “I” wants to be in “control” in an experience which is meant to abandon the control of the “I.” A person is unable to be fully present, in the “now” while thinking about being in “control.” We can learn a lot about ourselves from our sexuality.
When the “I” looks for pleasure, it cannot resist the sensations but yet the experience may be unfulfilling. Thus, it becomes addictive. The mind will keep a dream of pursuing full satisfaction which cannot exist.
Thus, the avoidance or regulation of sensual pleasure is preached by many religions and societies. The “rebels” of this sort of morality act in rejection of established moral values, but they are still influenced by the morality of guilt and sin, deep inside.
Their reactionary movement lacks awareness, for with awareness there is no need to be reactionary.
Suffering is used by religions and moral laws as expiation of “sin.” The morality of guilt and shame is created through the exaltation of suffering as a means to redeem the individual from “sin.”
Suffering and pleasure are 2 ends of the same experience. The experience of one side, brings necessarily the other. Therefore, moral values rejecting one side to promote the other are unrealistic, utopic.
Our conditioning is to reject one side of a duality. At this time, that teaching/belief is outdated and detrimental. Integration of all energies, is very important at this time. Here is where the balancing act resides, where harmony in the self means harmony with the world, the Totality.
Suffering and pleasure are part of living Life at this time.Embrace them. They are not meant to be a traumatic experience unless we make it that way; but only a particular and passing experience of the vast range of experiences in Life. It is the dolphin swimming in the ocean: Now you see it, a minute later you will not… yet the Ocean remains with Life. 🙂
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. 🙂
“Yeah brother. We all got the same problems: Guilt, regret…”
(The Falcon to Captain America in the “Winter soldier” movie.)
Do we see why, “we all got the same problems”?
Yes, it is the “I” at the end of the road; but many cannot see that far. However, guilt and regret are closer, they can be seen on a daily basis. For many the “I” is a metaphysical entity. Guilt and regret are tangible even though they are intimately related with the “I.”
Why do we feel guilty? Because of the “choice” we made or didn’t make. Guilt will give us a sense of being worthless, it will diminish our self-respect. That guilt will bring his brother “regret” with him. They come together.
Sadness, melancholy, a sense of despair will surround the person experiencing regret.
“I must not lose my temper.” That is the goal. I will add a religious belief to it such as:” God punishes/does not like/does not help people losing their temper.” Now I have motivation to change.
However, Life presents that which I reject. What is that?
The opportunity to lose my temper. 🙂
Then, I feel sinful. Worthless. I may need to ask for forgiveness, for I have “failed.” I “made a choice” which is not what “God likes.” Then, self-punishment will be added into the mix, so I can obtain “God’s grace” again. That is the martyr syndrome: Life is about sacrifices. No time to play. We have truly learned the conditioning of “reward and punishment.”It has been instilled in us. Our society works through that.
If you are not the religious type, then guilt and regret may come stronger for there may not be an opportunity to be “forgiven.” Then you can try “losing yourself,” through some self-destructive activity.
That energy of guilt will stay in us even though intellectually, we know that it is unnecessary.
That is an emotion which needs to be released. Intellectual understanding does very little when it is about releasing emotions. Do we want an example?
Let me go into the “classic” guilt of our society and religious beliefs: Sex.
You were a baby, your parents told you not to touch “down there.” They looked at you with disgust when you were exploring your body and the pleasure that it could offer you in a very innocent way. Remember the time when you first masturbated? I know, it was a “mistake.”Did you tell your parents? What did the priest say? It is true that society accepted your exploration openly? Were you an example? Were your congratulated?
Remember when walking naked around the house was “alright” and then the time when that changed? Did someone tell you “Don’t do it” or suddenly you felt shame like Adan and Eve, and covered your “private parts” with leaves, when God was around?
Society preaches that the “human body is beautiful,” but yet that same society arrests someone who is naked at the beach, while enjoying the Ocean and the Sun. Yeah, the human body has some “sinful” parts that need to be covered. Correct? After all, to be prudish is “moral” and God likes “moral” people.
Yes… There is plenty of guilt and shame about sexuality. It has been going for many generations already. How could we speak about enjoying life then, if we fear an important, integral part of Life ?
It is not possible. Fear will arrive every time we challenge the conditioning. The mind will hang onto moral standards as the symbol of “righteousness.” You see, the mind is only interested in being “right” but not in enjoying Life. (to be continued.)
When the “I” is hurt through an experience, there could be revenge or there could be surrendering as a reaction. Either way, the “I” cannot let go or move on, for the pain will not allow it.
When a person speaks of the need for emotional or psychological healing, that person is describing a traumatic experience, which wasn’t allowed to dissolve through the full process.
That experience could come from many lives before, but the pain will be triggered through different experiences in our current life.
A person who lacks awareness will only point a finger onto the culprit of his woes, or try to get rid of the “source” of his pain, or even become submissive of a greater force than himself.
All of those reactions are merely there to reject the experience.
To be submissive is to reject our own self worth.
Suzie had issues with her mother from an early age. Her mother was very bossy, thinking that she was right all the time. Suzie couldn’t express herself well. She would keep an experience that she perceived as unjust towards her, in her heart… the “unconscious.”
Suzie developed problems with her digestion which had a psychological origin; however, doctors kept medicating her for a physical problem. Life continued on and those resentments surfaced in Suzie. As the mother became older, she wasn’t the same. Life taught her to tone down, she became almost like a child, but Suzie’s resentment and anger were unleashed towards her mother. “Time to get even,” Suzie thought.
Suzie left the house and she swore never to see her mother again after all the things that she had done to her…
“Time will heal,” we say; but it doesn’t.
Time only covers the wounds.
Those wounds will be open again at some other time.
When the “I” suffers from an experience; there may be a need for “time off.”
That is the time to recuperate and build ourselves up.
General wisdom will advice: “ Move on, forget the past.”
The trauma cannot be forgotten, it will resurface until we realize that we need to face the issue.
“The issues are in the tissues,” and they will resurface as long as fear and our inability to face things is not realized.
Suzie may have the space to recuperate. She may have the space to fill herself with peace, but unless she realizes her attraction towards violence as away to punish herself, she will continually look for violence towards her being: Self-inflicted or not.
Her mother was the trigger and the source to give the opportunity for Suzie to heal.
Why does Suzie punish herself?
There is guilt in her. That guilt needs to be dissolved. The typical word used is “forgiven.”
Suzie may not see it as it is easier to blame the obvious: “Her mother is a witch.” Yes, her mother has her own issues to deal with, but in a household of 3 kids, only one of them was affected as much as Suzie did. In Life, nothing is a random event. The web of interactions is exactly as it needs to be.
We could easily say: “That is Suzie’s karma” but that does not bring any solution to her woes. “You acted wrong in another Life, now you have to pay for it.”
That is a story for little children.
We may need to deal with what is “now” and Life will bring the tools and resources to do it, if we are ready; if the “I” will allow it by not holding onto beliefs, but by having the courage to face the truth as it changes, as it unfolds…
If that emotion is “let go,” then the time to move on has arrived.
The proof that the issue is gone is in Suzie’s interaction with her mother and not in running away and using the “spiritual buzzwords” of “letting go and moving on.”
Therefore, it is in the moment when Suzie faces her mother empty of that guilt, when she will know if she is healed from previous traumatic experiences.
Please keep this in your awareness: Every experience in Life only will show us who we are. Nothing wrong with that. Just become aware of it.
When Suzie is empty of that inner-guilt, there is no outside violence, which will be a magnet for her.
“When do we move on and let go, then?”
When there is no space in us for that type of wound to appear.
When Suzie has dealt with her guilt and she is able to feel appreciation and compassion for her mother, then she could move on and let go of the past and that will be without effort, it will be as natural as watching a rainy day from the comfort of our home.
We could see the beauty, the uniqueness… but we will not get soaking wet.
“Love” will then have a different dimension in Suzie’s heart.
She is healed. 🙂
Life is not our adversary. We are Life itself.
If we try to define who “we are,” we will only restrict the beauty of “what is.”
A tree is meaningless without the earth, the sky, the birds; it is all togetherness.
Therefore, if we blame others; we blame ourselves.
What you give out, you will collect.
Some call that “karma,” but it is not. We cannot try to deceive Life through “good actions” when our feelings do not correspond with the “holiness” of our actions.
Therefore, what we give out through our feelings (intention) is what we shall receive.
That is no longer “karma” (action.)
That is how we arrive at the importance of emotions and feelings and perhaps we leave the realm of thinking, analysis and logic as useless tools for inner observation.
They are completely useless.
To acquire intellectual knowledge is good but when we deal with our feelings/emotions, that knowledge is useless. It will take us into lying to ourselves just to fit what we think is “right,” “holy” or “pure.”
Things happen , there are consequences. Whether we feel guilty or not, the consequences will be felt based on the intention.
That is what we call “Life lessons.” Living Life. Live and learn.
“But the fact is that he cheated on me.”
Yes, that is the fact. Observe how you FEEL about that.
FEELING lousy is the way not to forget. A trauma is made. A new distressing emotion built.
Would you keep that poison inside?
Some will. Nothing wrong with that for eventually suffering will make us awake.
Perhaps we may lose some valuable time in that process?
That is known as “paying the price” of the free lesson.
In the “Office world” we play with paper money and give that paper utmost value. In Life, we pay the price through spending our valuable time, our Life.
True “Spirituality” is not learned through books, religions or holy ones. It is learned every day in Life as we become aware of this game of existence, but when we are not aware, we may need the above.
“Spirituality” is living Life itself. There is no difference.
Some may awaken with a gentle whisper. Others, may require cold water to be thrown at their faces to wake up.
The “other” could do that favor to you. The “other” will be the trigger.
Wouldn’t you be grateful of the “other” then? To do that means to change our perspective, our awareness, our consciousness.
Blame and Guilt dissolve by acknowledging the experience of the self -created ghost.
Things do not happen because we want them to happen but rather because they are meant to happen. We are not separated from Life.
Thus, Blame and Guilt exist as deep and unforgettable as we want them. That ghost is our own creation…. just like paper money in the “Office World.”
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.
Since we could observe that any perspective that we take towards Life has a consequence, and that any perspective is neither “right” nor “wrong,” then we could be open to acknowledge every perspective.
Moreover, if we support a particular view of Life we will be closed, biased towards the others.
What is the practical aspect of the above?
Robert gave some chocolates to Mary.
Mary said to him: “I cannot take those. I am on a diet.”
Robert thought: “ I wasn’t asking for her to eat the chocolates, but just to take them. I wanted to be friendly.”
Mary thought of the incident: “ I know that Robert wants something from me. I don’t want anything from him.”
Observe how the feelings in Mary and Robert will change towards each other. It will be another “brick on the wall,” in the way their perception of the “outside” will be perceived.
“Why give anything to people, if they are going to reject it.”
“ Don’t trust people. Don’t accept anything from them. Better dead than to ask for anything.”
That animosity created through misunderstandings, interpretations and even by unconsciously poking into someone’s hurtful triggers, collaborates into the feeling of heaviness, darkness which will color our perception of the world.
“The world is THIS and I am THAT.” An absolute response to the World, ready to turn into a dogmatic way of living.
“But… if we tend to interpret the world, how is it possible not to interpret it?”
That is not the point. It is not a matter of saying: “If you interpret the world under your own perspective that is bad and that will take you to hell.”
The point is to realize that “I am interpreting,” thus what comes out of my mouth or anyone’s without exception, is not the holy truth; but merely a perception.
That is known as the benefit of the doubt.
“Robert looks like he wants something from me, but I will give him the benefit of the doubt.”
That perspective of giving someone the benefit of the doubt in healing in itself.
Because we are trusting Life.
The way to stop the heaviness of that energy of suspicion and self-righteousness is by giving the benefit of the doubt.
In this way we could understand that to “have doubts” is not “bad,” it is not only a sign of insecurity or lack of faith, but its utility resides in using that energy with wisdom, according to time and circumstances.
All opposite energies have the same source. Different polarities is what we perceive.
Lost in the perception that “I am right,” we do not realize that “I am wrong” is part of the same energy. To experience one side, means to experience the other.
Labeling one side as “good” and the other as “bad,” means to set yourself up for feeling guilty, unworthy, unholy and all the opposite labels that we strived to “achieve” to become “better” or “spiritual.”
Isn’t that something to be aware of ? 🙂