Remembering the past is a “past time” for most individuals. When we observe our minds going into the past to re-live those moments, we could observe that our emotions will change, with that our mood will change and our outlook towards life, the experience of living the moment, will change as well.
Nothing wrong with remembering the past; what is important to recognize is how our emotions will change our experience of “now.”
Those emotions, whether elation or sadness are just ghosts. They no longer exist, nevertheless, our emotions are timeless.
A factual past becomes a hurtful psychological past. That psychological past has a charge of emotions, which will affect our present.
For example, some will remember a loved one who left, several times a day for many months. When this condition is beyond our control, this becomes a mental disease.
It is a chronic depression.
The solution does not reside on “not thinking” about things, or to have the “self control” not to think, to avoid this condition. Most will recur into further pain by doping themselves to avoid remembering.
The issue resides in our inability to understand the emotion underneath. Thinking about that loved one is merely showing that emotions need to be expressed. Thoughts are the vehicle for that expression.
The key element then is to find which is the emotion which needs to be understood, which neediness is being expressed by our rejection of the present, that is why we go into a recurrent past.
For example, the “9/11” episode. Many will gather today to remember that event. What will those individuals be remembering?
That is the key element to know. If it is about the sadness and pain of losing a loved one, if it is about maintaining the fire of revenge in their hearts; they are actually opening a wound that needs to be healed to “move on” in life.
“Move on,” means to transform that anger into acceptance. That is to have openness to life again. The obstacle in moving forward is resentment.
For a spiritual aware individual, revenge does not accomplish anything but the certainty to experience further suffering. Life has its own ways. There is no one who can escape the reaction caused by his or her own activity.
What you do unto others, you truly do it to yourself. That is why the teaching is: “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.”
On the other hand, to gather and to remember the contributions of every human being who met their last breath in that event, brings a different attitude. It will not be about suffering anymore, but about appreciation, about recognizing the unique qualities and roles that every person plays in life.
It is in this way, when the past dissolves in the past; and our present brings a different fragrance. For once a hurtful situation is transformed into the flower of acceptance and openness, then there is the opportunity for that flower to blossom in life and to share that beauty without ‘trying to.’
That is the best way to give, to teach and to live a human life.
Tammy had a beautiful daughter, Brandy who was completing her second year of college. Tammy made all sorts of efforts to give Brandy the opportunity to go to college.
Brandy was a happy-go-lucky person. She had many friends due to her prompt smile, beauty and friendly attitude. Her future was bright. For Thanksgiving, Brandy traveled with her boyfriend, Fred to visit his relatives in Canada. They were driving at night through the mountains near a lake. It was freezing cold.
Another car driver hit the couple, and their car effortlessly slipped through the icy mountain into the frozen water. Brandy and Fred met their death there. No one knows what happened with the hit and run car.
When Tammy knew about this, she was devastated. Tammy was angry. She had so much anger towards that person who hit her daughter’s car, but she couldn’t make a picture in her mind of that person; so her anger went towards God, towards life and towards every hit and run driver who was caught.
Psychologists could describe Tammy’s experience as being “normal,” under the circumstances. As a matter of fact; there is a “5 stage mourning process” which is usually described as: 1. Denial and isolation, 2. Anger, 2. Bargaining, 4. Depression and 5. Acceptance.
Tammy started the process in anger and hopefully, she will be able to reach acceptance at one point in her life.
In spirituality, acceptance is the first and only step. Acceptance is something to be aware of and thus, practice every day at every moment.
I could share many beliefs as to why we need to accept things as they are; but a belief will not help if we face a life experience similar to Tammy’s.
Whether we believe in predestination or in bad luck or karma or in the “will of God,” all of those things will not change the most important item in this experience; that is how much this is affecting me.
Life is a gift. Acceptance of situations means to accept the gift. Any rejection means to reject life and thus, to slowly die.
The strength to accept a moment of grief is not gained after living a “normal” life of wanting and getting things “my way.” A life of “fight” to get things done. It is a slow process of acceptance, to let things be, to allow things to happen and to continue smiling for the gift of life is not something to possess, but something to enjoy and share.
The flower blossoms and then dies. Timing among flowers will be different. That is life. If I am appreciating that gift of life, there is no space for attachment to a particular flower. If I am attached, then there cannot be appreciation.
The butterfly is meant to fly. It comes and it goes. It has the freedom of life. If I close my hand to keep that butterfly with me; its freedom will not be acknowledged.
The 5 stages of loss and grief are nothing else but to learn to open that silly grip towards life, to learn to open our clenched fingers little by little: first is denial then anger, then depression, etc. until the open hand is seen and truly enjoyed. That is acceptance. The hand is now ready to feel and to let go. Ready to appreciate the gift of life.
“As it is inside, it is outside.”
We could get lost in that phrase intellectually or just mechanically repeat it without knowing its “real” meaning through observation of the self.
Using the intellectual abilities of the mind, we could infer that there is no difference between the outside and the inside after considering the phrase. It is the same. Thus, the division between “outer” and “inner” is fictitious.
This is the conclusion of a logical, reasonable mind; what is typically called an “intelligent” mind. Nevertheless; the true meaning of the phrase “as it is inside, it is outside,” will not be known. Without experience of this phrase at a level beyond the mind, there will be only information.
The “job” of a spiritual person sooner or later will be to “get out “ of the mind. That is to be free from the mind. Not to think in intellectual terms anymore, in duality. Here is where “not thinking,” can only be understood by those who have experienced being out of the rational mind. For the rest, “not thinking” means blindly following someone.
To “get out of the mind” is not something that happens through force, through will power. It happens through awareness.
Wisdom does not reside in thinking. Knowing is not thinking and this knowing is not related with finding out the square root of 666; but something even greater: To know how to live life without stress, with harmony; in balance. This is the first and ultimate knowledge.
To experience ourselves without the hindrance of the mind is to liberate ourselves of a heavy weight.
That lightness appears only when the thoughts related with our own “movie mind” ceases to play.
The easiest way to experience this state is to become lighter of any unnecessary responsibilities, to be able to enjoy a whole day by yourself without a thing to do. Nothing to do. Nothing to take care of. Can you afford that? 🙂
When there is nothing to think about, a walk in the park is refreshing. Then, we could enjoy the scenery and being part of it. While walking, we could be observing different faces, attitudes and behaviors from people, without taking that in as: “Why that person did not say hello to me?” Why that person did not smile back at me?” The mind is not there to take thoughts into the “me” “center of the universe;” thus the feeling of lightness appears and then that episode of liberation from the internal movie of the mind will be cherished… only if we realize that magical moment of liberation, that is; if we are aware. Awake.
As mentioned in the previous article, anger is energy. Energy has the power to transform matter. This means that anything touched by that energy depending on the intensity of it, will be colored by that energy. If you are cooking, you will put the ingredient of anger in your meal. If you speak with someone in angry mode and that person is “unprotected” (energetically) that current will go through in the form of fear or further anger.
Please be aware of this: To say that anger is “bad,” is to go back into the duality of it. A person who has the understanding of things as being “good” or “bad” has the understanding of the level of spirituality 101. This is not “bad,” it means that it is a beginner understanding.
A little puppy is told “bad dog,” when we would like to correct the behavior of the puppy. Because the dog does not have complexes related with moral teachings; what the dog merely understands is: “do,” and “don’t do.” The dog does not comprehend the complexities of “heaven and hell” and “punishment forever… ”
We may need to learn from that puppy dog 🙂 and rather than qualify something as “good” or “bad,” just refer to that as “do it” or “don’t do it,” for in this way guilt and repentance are avoided, for we know that in spirituality, whatever we “do” or “don’t do” has a return; thus, it is wasteful to resort into meaningless thoughts, when we will have to “pay the bill anyway” or “obtain the fruits of our activities.”
“Not doing” is actually doing. Not acting is acting.
If we consider that anger is “bad,” we will repress it. In a few words, we will be allowing that energy to cause damage in our being. The “healthy” alternative given by “experts,” is to send it away, to “others,” in adequate doses, 🙂 to “express it.” “Experts” recommend to hit a punching bag or to go for a 15 mile run, etc.to dissipate that anger. That is to merely waste our own energy unnecessarily.
As we know, in Spirituality, the “other” is non-existent when it comes to karmic returns. Basically, that anger will just come back to the originator.
Therefore, whether we keep it inside by labeling it as “bad,” or whether we send it out by calling that “healthy” or “good,” it just comes back to us.
It is very important to understand that anger occurs because we are not aware of it at the moment something is triggered in us, and the ultimate reason as to why we are not aware, is because our state of being is chaotic. Something we will not hear from the latest M.D research or “expert” advice.
That is our mind is not stable and nourished with serenity and calmness.
Thus, we cannot expect a method to deal with anger when our minds are not experiencing continuous serenity.
On the other hand, if we nourish ourselves continually in the morning with the experience of serenity and lightness coming from Nature or by some tranquil activity such as meditation or a combination, then our state of mind will be tranquil; and when something may likely trigger anger in us, we will be able to recognize it and to feel the consequence of it in our own bodies and beings. It just takes a second.
The stove of anger is burning, but we keep putting our hands in it as an automatic, learned response. If on the other hand, we are aware of the heat coming from the stove, we will learn about the pains of being burned… which we call “living life,” until all of a sudden, we know better by experience.
If we awaken to the awareness of anger without labeling it, then we can transform that energy in us BEFORE it happens by being serene calm, observing it… until it goes away…
A serene, calm mind will feel the disturbance of anger and self correct by itself without the need of remembering “moral codes.”
One of the first “juicy” issues to find out about ourselves, is our immediate disposition to become angry.
To show anger is so common that it has been named as a “normal” thing to experience. It is so “normal” that to relate with another human being without anger is considered a sign of weakness, of being meek, of not having the force to oppose others, etc.
Anger is just a mental disease, the turbulence of the mind. When tolerance and inner strength are lacking, then anger arises. Thus, anger is weakness in itself.
It is the little pussy cat pretending to be a big tiger. 🙂
Anger could arise as a mechanism to protect our “weak” ego. There are some individuals who use anger to support their position in life, to manipulate people around them; that is to control people and situations.
The emotion behind anger is: “things are not going my way, I must force them to go my way at all costs.”
Any form of anger has that motto.
In a competitive society, anger is used as a “boost” mechanism. If I get angry I will fight with greater courage, with greater force, with greater strength, etc.
However, what is not observed is that anger “hits” our own body/emotions by way of diseases: Heart problems, high blood pressure, digestion issues, strokes, depression, anxiety, etc.
Anger is energy. That energy could be directed to someone or something, but at the same time; that energy remains in the person producing it, which has ill effects for his own well-being.
Emotional anger could be felt when a person raises his voice, when a person becomes ironic, when a person develops thoughts against someone or a situation, when a person uses harsh words to express himself, when a person has violent movements or lacking gracefulness… different ways of manifesting anger; some are very visible, others are more subtle.
This problem with anger, gave birth to the duality of expressing “healthy anger” and avoiding “unhealthy anger.” That is how “anger management” took birth.
In this duality of “good or bad,” we oversee the problem; as long as our minds are not balanced, harmonious; there will be anger and with that the problem of defining levels of anger as “good” or “bad.”
This harmony of the mind is not resolved by taking a pill or by going to classes on anger management or by taking up meditation or by “doing” something to “get anger out of our systems,” when there is a cultural understanding that “we need anger so we can deal with people.” We need to get rid of that complex first.
Anger merely demonstrates how dysfunctional our society has become.
When kids are angry, they fight to find who “is the boss.” The issue does not matter but it is all about physical force. When adults have anger is about screaming and putting up an emotional performance to take the audience in deep silence…and fear… It is the master and slave complex.
🙂 The one who screams the most wins…at least at the moment.
Anger is a very immature way of dealing with life. It is the rage of someone who didn’t get his piece of chocolate cake, and wants for no one to enjoy their piece to “get even.” That is the cowardice of the pussy cat performing the roaring voice of a tiger.
As we observe, as we become aware of our own minds; we will recognize the rage of someone who does not know the meaning of tolerance, compromise and calmness without taking a pill to numb his mind, to dull his feelings.
This realization, will bring change without side effects. This is the task of a healthy mind.
Nature is that source of harmony and balance in life. Everything in Nature has its own cycle; however, nothing is the same; everything changes but yet there is harmony in continual change.
Peace in movement is harmony. Balance means harmony; thus peace is balance.
Nature can be used as a source of inner healing. A closed heart due to fear to love or to relate with others is a common spiritual disease nowadays. This condition will bring sadness, close mindedness, lack of trust and our inner world will be dried up. This spiritual condition will manifest as a physical disease sooner or later.
We can observe our inner selves to break those mental complexes, beliefs and ideas which are shattering our spiritual progress, but that work may not be complete. There is always something coming out from our darker sides, as rabbits from the magician’s hat.
Here is where Nature can help.
Just completely abandon yourself in the presence of Nature and quickly, go over the issues in your mind. The sensation will be as when a little dog is kept in a house for a long time and the first thing the dog will do when let go outside, is to look for grass and turn around in it, in happiness.
That is the way to cleanse our energy field through the help of Nature.
Similarly, we could use different elements in Nature to energetically “clean ourselves.” The sand at the beach is another, or just floating in the water as a “dead body.”
As long as our hearts are closed due to feeling emotional pain, there will be further accumulation of emotional sorrow.
The feeling of universal love is needed to open that heart.
Nature brings that universal energy by contemplating its unlabeled beauty.
A similar experience is experienced by those who seek God. Then, God means that universal form of love that could open our closed hearts; rather than what is usually seen as: A selective, individualized love.
From the universal we can go into the particular, individual. We cannot pretend to only know love from an individualized view and extend it to the world, for love is universal.
Harmony is in the totality of things. Appreciation is that totality. Wholesomeness is in that which is Universal, because it is complete, total. When something is complete, it is harmonious.
Talk about your feelings: Hidden and repressed emotions and feelings, will end in illnesses.
Confide: Be sincere and share your sorrow, secrets and mistakes: Be free!
People who repress their feelings suffer from gastritis, ulcers, lumbar pain, back pain, cancer.
Decision Making: The undecided remains in doubt, in anxiety, in anguish. Indecision accumulates problems, worries and aggressions. Human history is made of decisions.
In order to know how to decide, it is important to know how to renounce. To know how to lose advantages and values to win others. The undecided suffers from: Nervous diseases, gastric and skin problems.
Find Solutions: Negative people do not find solutions and they enlarge problems. They prefer to lament, to gossip, pessimism.
Better to light a match than to regret darkness. We are what we think. A negative thought generates negative energy that is transformed into illness.
Stop living out of appearance: Those who hide reality, pretend. They want to give the impression of being right, they strike a pose and want to appear perfect, good-natured … That person is accumulating tons of weight! It is a bronze statue with feet of clay. Their destiny is the pharmacy, the doctor, pain.
Accept yourself: Self rejection, low self-esteem will make us to alienate ourselves. Whoever does not accept himself is envious, jealous, wannabe, competitive, destructive. Being you is the core of a healthy life.
Trust: Those who do not trust, lack communication, become closed, isolated. That generates unstable and shallow relationships. Without trust there is no relationship or faith.
Laugh: Good humor restores health and brings a long life span. A happy person has the gift of improving the environment where he lives. Good humor prevents a visit to the doctor.
Dr. Drauzio Varella. Oncologist, educator, scientist and writer.
(Translated from Spanish by Google and avyakt7.)