Grew up with the religious belief that God created everything and gave us free will; then I was introduced into the opposite belief: God did not create anything and we were all predestined.
Went from one extreme to the other on that belief.
I went through the full experience… The full polarity on God in one lifetime.
Could God create the Universe and not create the Universe at the same time?
Could God give us free will and predestination at the same time?
Isn’t the definition of God: Omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient?
Thus; if God created everything, then God created the Devil. He created his own nemesis.
“No! The Devil was an angel who used his free will to become the Devil.”
Isn’t God omniscient? He knew what was going to happen with his creation. Thus, God created temptation, God created salvation, damnation and Hell… Isn’t that God sort of Devilish? 🙂
If God did not create anything and we are all predestined… That God doesn’t fit the previous definition of “God.”
What could be the task of such a God ?
“To give us knowledge… as it is written in holy books.”
Sorry. That is not in the definition of God.
Knowledge only brings intellectual understanding.
Intellectual understanding does not bring a new consciousness.
“But…Why is a new consciousness important?”
Without a new consciousness, we cannot go to “His” Paradise. We cannot become “angels.” We cannot be “holy…” All of those “nice words” wouldn’t have any meaning.
Without a change of consciousness we can only pretend to be “good,” act agreed upon “good” actions but our thoughts, our feelings and our intentions will be as they typically are for most: Bad thoughts, ill feelings, hidden intentions..
“… I need to practice to have positive thoughts and positive feelings.”
We cannot change what we ARE by practicing. DOING does not change BEING.
How could we go to “Paradise” pretending to be something that we ARE not?
Do you see my logic? Do you see my reasoning?
That is knowledge. It is utterly worthless when it comes to change of consciousness.
“OK…What changes consciousness, then?”
The experiences of Life itself will bring change of consciousness when we allow it, when we align with Life.
Define your God. Worship Him. Love Him.
Nothing wrong with that.
Just remember that your God is only your God, not necessarily everyone else’s.
Definitely, the “One” is not the only One.
Perhaps in this understanding by going beyond deep beliefs, we could begin to explore consciousness and to trust our Life path, which has been set up for us to travel. There is nothing “special” to DO but to enjoy the journey; for wherever it may take us, it will be without doubt, what we need in our Life process.
Going North, just to come back South. Experiencing day, just to experience night.
Do we see how insane is to label one side of the duality “good or bad”?
That only will bring fear, shame, guilt and low self-esteem.
All fears will vanish, when we open up. 🙂
Duality: Self and No-self
We interpret life. We typically do not observe.
It is a wonderful sight to observe how daylight appears from nighttime. The label we use is “dawn.”
That perception of pristine light may be called “paradise,” and darkness “hell” or we can change labels in duality and call them “good” and “bad,” “right” or “wrong,” etc.
Nevertheless, when there is a preference for an experience, a rejection is born out of that preference. The night is not cherished as much as daylight.
“Hell” is despised despite its continuous occurrence and need to be there, for “paradise” to happen.
The above is the belief system and moral standard of many at this time. It is called duality.
Our culture has taught us to “choose” one side considered “good” and reject the other.
Embrace the day and reject the night.
That vision is the cause of inner and outer conflicts.
That vision takes a person into mental and psychological issues.
There is absolutely nothing that “we” have to “do” for nighttime to become daylight again. It will happen by itself, without “our” help.
Do we see that?
What it needs to change is our vision, our attitude in life.
Nighttime offers an experience and so daylight.
When we embrace both without judgment as life experiences, then we don’t reject; but we integrate.
We have been taught that “angels” reject the darkness of the light. They fight for light and conquer evil.
A being of light or an “angel” does not reject any part of duality. A being of light does not reject “hell” and chooses heaven. A being of light integrates both perceptions and experiences so his life remains in joy, in appreciation and in balance according to the movement of time.
Embracing the Totality is what we call harmony. A being of light is harmonious in life.
Life is harmony… if “I am” the Totality, why I am not harmonious?
That is the question. The answer may be the sense of self. There is no flowing in life when we are not life itself.
The symbol of “yin and yang” expresses that beautifully, although that symbol is open to interpretation according to the consciousness of the viewer.
Some will say: “ It is the concept of duality forming a whole.”
That concept is worthless, intellectual stuff.
The symbol of “ying yang” represents life itself, the Totality. That symbol is meant to be in movement just like life.
“Tai-chi “ is that slow movement which represents life. To consciously balance the different energies in the self.
When we truly understand harmony then we can start seeing something different. There is no fight needed. Nothing to conquer.
A life without harmony does not experience joy. That joy “NOW” is the most important item in life from my view.
As long as there is a rejection of a part of life, we will have an internal issue, an emotion that will need to be healed.
Typically we say that “acceptance” of life is needed, but there is no such a thing as “acceptance” when there is “no-self” to be life itself.
Thus, to bring that harmony, there are many elements that life offers in our experience. To use those according to time and circumstances is the art.
Whatever we choose to do or to be matters, as long as there is harmonious joy, balance in living.
That is the bottom line.
The above observation was expressed in a different way by another culture with the word “yoga.”
It is union. It is not the “union” of the “self” with something else, such as “life,” “God,” the “divine,”etc.
It is the union that happens when there is “no-self.”
Is self “bad”?
That question is called “misinterpretation.”
It is just a different experience.
We are so in-tune with “self.” We understand the world in “self.” We follow religious beliefs in “self.”
Through these writings, the invitation is to explore “no-self” and to embrace both,self and no-self; to integrate both experiences, to be harmonious just like the yin-yang symbol.
Want a teacher, a guru for that?
Observe Nature, the plants and the animal kingdom. Learn from their “ignorance” and open your heart to appreciate with thankfulness the marvelous opportunity to feel life by being aware, conscious of it.
A culture of punishment
Ananda went to the dentist. 🙂 In that office, different posters caught his attention.
“One American dies every hour from oral cancer.”
“One cavity is too many.”
“Is your diet too acidic? Find out the risks.”
That is called adding fear to an experience.
Paul is a heavy smoker. Paul has yellow teeth and a tobacco smelly breath. Paul cannot do any exercises anymore but only walking. Paul is easily out of breath.
“If you continue like that, you are going to die, Paul.”
That is the “caring” advice that Paul is hearing all the time.
We all are going to die someday… 🙂
That is the “art” of inculcating fear as if death was a terrible thing.
It is natural. Moreover, there is no death… Everything continues on… and we bring the consequences with us…
Life and death is a duality where only “existence” exists.
Paul may not have a quality of life. That is the consequence of his own actions.
Shall we punish Paul with eternal fire?
Shall we punish Paul by informing him that he cannot go to heaven, because no one smokes in heaven? 🙂
Life is about experiences. Every experience has a consequence. We will assume the consequences.
That is the fine letter behind the movie of punishment… starring “good and evil” as the main actors.
Watching that movie will bring guilt and fear in life, just like coke and popcorn are a “must” while watching a movie in a theater near you…
The rating of that movie is “G” that means that a child could watch it and learn something from it…but an adult watching it, could believe in that movie “forever.” 🙂
“Your life could have been better/more successful if you would have listened to me and accomplished what I told you with great love and care.”
Cheap advice. “Monday morning quarterbacks” are out of fashion.
Life is about experiences. If we are joyful in that experience, you’ve made it! 🙂
Ray: “NOOO! He is not doing the right thing…”
Marc: He will go to hell… 🙂
Ray: “He is ‘bad.’ ”
Marc: He will be punished forever….
Are we happy with that story?
It is a childish tale.
If we learn to live life now as it is, we could realize that what is happening are just consequences. The fruit of previous experiences.
All we need to add is joy to it as cherry on top of the cake.
That is the energy that is needed at this time.
That smile will change our day. That cherry will become the consequence for joyous days to come….
Our joy will be contagious… and that is a “good disease” to have.
Don’t take life as a job, because it is a game.
Play it, enjoy it, laugh at it… that is “be good.” 🙂
The fear of emptiness
Today, Ananda will be “unleashed” rather than Avyakt7.
Bear with this… 🙂
All monotheistic religions are based on the support of individuality as ego.
Here is the mantra:
This is God. That is “you.”
“You” need to do what pleases God.
Otherwise, “you” will be punished… Hell.
But, if you “do” what pleases God, then “you” will be “saved.” That is “you” will be in Paradise.
As the above gets more childish, “you” even could resurrect with your dead body and meet all your relatives who were “God fearing” people on Earth, in a “better place”…Heaven.
That “doing” what pleases God remains the main religious activity. It is no longer about “being” virtuous,” but doing things like: opening temples, spreading the word of God, etc.
Now, if you thought that non-monotheistic religions are the “true” ones; let me share this:
In the absence of God, you have the “Buddha,” you have the Guru, the abbot, the priest, etc.
Then the above “mantra” remains. It is always about “doing” things, becoming involved in spreading the teachings, doing some devotional practices, igniting the incense, listening to feel-y songs….. and dressing in a particular color which means “something” so we feel “good,” that we belong, that we are part of the “few.…”
If the above is our idea of spirituality, we may need to reconsider.
“You” cannot go to Paradise. 🙂 That “you” is made up of all your beliefs, fears, expectations, ideas, etc. under this life, this circumstance. When the body perishes, that “you” will perish…or hang out as a ghost, dearly attached to what you left behind …. 🙂
But, “you” want to believe that “you” will continue. “You” want to believe that “you” will be someone higher in the afterlife, etc.
That is the “you,” that personality, which needs to “die” in order to know something different, that is to be “reborn” again.
That death comes when your mind stops “doing” things and your feelings arrive, unleashed from the thoughts of your mind; that is when you are able to connect with the Totality, that is with the “voidness,” with the emptiness of a clear mind.
“You” are an individual, but at the same time; “you” are part of the “Totality.”
Our “systems” and religions are made to support the “individuality” aspect of the self, but they do not teach us the connection with the “Totality,” the “Drama,” life, etc.
Rather, to be “disconnected” from that Totality is their task by just supporting one side of the coin: Individuality.
Day light is one side of the coin.
Night time is the other side.
Both make the day.
“You” are awake during the day.
“You” sleep at night.
“You” are an individual during the day
“You” are “Totality,” “emptiness” during the night.
Are you afraid of sleeping? 🙂
Both, individuality and totality make up life.
To be awake means that during the day, we become conscious on how our mind filters information which is not “reality,” but just thoughts, ideas, assumptions.
When we believe that thought, then it becomes real.
When there is a collective belief then that “reality” becomes a system, a tradition….
If you look at the Ocean without thinking, you are empty. Then, “you” can really look. If you allow “that” to be without interference of your own mind, “you” are free, paradoxically by being “nothing” at the same time.
That “nothingness” is emptiness for that second.
Our misery is a thought that we believe in, for that situation does not fit the ideas of “I.”
Our sorrow is our lack of acceptance of life as it is, for it does not fit the ideas made up by “I.”
Our karma means to be closed to life for if we were open, accepting; then we will accept that karma as well…. It is part of life and acceptance means to be liberated. When “you” are not, “you” are free… 🙂
There are no beliefs here. See it in yourself…
Aren’t you afraid of dying?
“I” don’t know. “I” am living right now.
There is no chance for a belief to enter when there is no fear.
You cannot fear something that you don’t know. You can only fear to “lose” what you know.
Spiritual puppy treats
Mr. Religion:“God will punish you, if you do wrong”
Believer: What is to do wrong?
Mr. Religion: To hurt “others.”
Mr. Religion: You have free will, but not to do evil. Then, God will punish you for that.
Believer: How evil came into existence? 🙂
Mr. Religion: Simply because, “good” exists. Duality, right?
Believer: How “good” came into existence?
Mr. Religion: Well, we believe that God created it.
Believer: Ok. Then the problem is that God created evil as well…
Mr. Religion: No! That is not possible… It was the “devil.” 🙂
Believer: Who created the devil? 🙂 …
And then, we will go into the intricacies of an ideology, made to explain their own shortcomings… Mr. Religion will tighten up the threads of his creative ideology, by saying something like: “ You must believe if you want your soul to be saved. Otherwise, you will be in hell for eternity. You are warned.”
No questions about it.
Let us see another “puppy training session:”
Mr. Religion: “If you do that action, then the law of karma will appear and you will suffer the consequences.”
Believer: I don’t want for the law of karma to punish me. What should I do?
Mr. Religion: You should do “good actions.”
Believer: If I help my neighbor because I am afraid of the law of karma, but I really don’t want to do it; is that a good action or a bad action?
Mr. Religion: It is a good action, because you acted “good.”
Believer: Can I do “good” if I think “bad”?
Mr. Religion: Ehem…Just do what I tell you and you will always do good….
Many times a donkey needs a carrot to do some heavy task just as a puppy dog may need a biscuit to perform the trick of rolling around its belly.
In the religious world of beliefs, there is nothing more precious than “heaven” or “salvation.”
You should do things to please God…then, you will be rewarded with Heaven when you die.
You should follow these teachings then, you will be saved forever. You will be resurrected and then will enjoy the Godly “government” for eternity….
Now, the serious stuff… 🙂
How on Earth our inner sensibility to have empathy for humanity will be born? Isn’t the carrot or the doggy biscuit a “basic way” to “train” someone to act “good”?
Why do we need to be scared of “karma,” “hell” or “destruction” or “everlasting damnation” when there is goodness in our hearts? Isn’t that goodness what is necessary to emerge?
If you live, it is assured that you will die. Whether you have beliefs or not. If you ARE goodness “now,” what wrong could ever happen to you in your next life?
Don’t you wonder if your “transaction with God,” of getting heaven in exchange of “doing” things, is truly making you “good”? Or is it just a “new” trick that we have learned?
The puppy dog will not roll on its belly unless there is a biscuit. Isn’t that the level of our spirituality? Anyone looking for a biscuit? 🙂
Believe it or not; there are many human beings looking for that “biscuit.” Their sensibility to beauty has been shutdown. Fear is the language to understand along with “life insurance in the afterlife,” to be “someone” in the afterlife, it is all some can understand.
To take a puppy dog to watch a beautiful sunset to awaken its sensibility to beauty will not work. A puppy dog needs biscuits, treats… just like many human beings who cannot understand that we live in connection with everything existing, not only “now,” but there are threads with our past and the future as well.
If we are able to see “that reality,” goodness should flow as an automatic response of being in continuous relationship. What you “do” to “another” you do it to yourself. In that consciousness, we could live fear free… No biscuits needed. 🙂
Who has the truth?
If someone could explain to you what is the truth about God, our existence on Earth, the “reason” as to why we are here, what happens after we die, where do we go and what we do, etc, etc…etc.
Would you believe that to be the truth? 🙂
Are you sure that you can understand the “truth”?
Certainly, you are a very intelligent human being. Up to date with all the information out there and the latest scientific discoveries… you have the brain of Mr. Spock, capable of reciting the latest accurate data out of logical and reasonable input… Einstein’s insight is equal to a middle school kid compared to yours… 🙂
Please see that our human ways, what we value in our society, what we have been taught to worship such as our intellectual capacity, understanding and reasoning may not be valid “tools” to understand the “truth.”
That is a healthy doubt, ladies and gentlemen.
“Human ways” does not mean that the Universe works under those premises.
In our society we tend to misname the “truth” as “facts.”
“Nothing but the facts, man..” has been interpreted as “truth.”
Spiritually speaking, it does not matter who is speaking the “facts,” unless those words have been experienced in “real” life; there is not a chance to know anything at all but just to hear words to repeat and believe…
“I believe.” 🙂
“After you die, you either go to heaven or hell.
Time does not exist. We are timeless.
Everything repeats identically. Eternal return.
You are not the body. You are a spirit, a soul.
You will be resurrected by God with your body and will live for ever in Paradise.
We know God. God is speaking to us.
We know God. We have in these scriptures, the “words” of God.”
In the plethora of “truths” which are somehow different, what do you believe and why? 🙂
Every religion has a set of beliefs. We believe in this and that.
Is that the truth? Are we concerned only in following beliefs and facts or are we truly concerned in “truth” ? 🙂
Words and mystical stories, well written scriptures can only attempt to give us ‘facts.’ In fact, 🙂 the beliefs of different religions are different because of their own beliefs about those ‘facts.’
Facts are great for a history book. Facts are great for a geography book. Facts are good in mathematics, logic, reasoning…. However, none of those facts from none of those branches of human knowledge can convey truth.
Truth can make a human being truthful. Facts cannot do that change.
When a human being lives his truth, all the “why’s” type of questions are over. They are meaningless.
Do you know “why?” 🙂
Because the search for facts does not feed our hunger for inner fulfillment.
All verbal answers will only bring another set of beliefs to believe in.
Verbal answers could bring facts, but never truth.
When a human being is free from his own baggage, his own hang ups, and when he is mentally and emotionally balanced; the question of certainty of a “tomorrow” in heaven or hell does not arise mentally and verbally; for words cannot answer questions which have not been experienced.
All we have left are just beliefs.
“We believe” will add number of believers, but never truth.
When a human being lives life to the fullest, that is in a balanced, harmonious relationship with all; then this experience is the answer to all questions.
There is no doubt about “tomorrow” when today is a full day. There is no need for beliefs, when our own harmony and balance has certainty of a bright day today and because of that, tomorrow.
The ‘facts’ of different belief systems are just meant to make us see the world and our lives under a particular perspective, so we could discover that which cannot be spoken of, that which cannot be transmitted to another human being; which is our own self realization.
To know ourselves.
Once the belief system, whatever may that be; has been able to produce a human being who is looking at/ understanding his own self, then that belief system has been useful to that person. Otherwise, it is just a source of dependency, a source of more beliefs, a source of ‘facts’ from a limited perspective, which is one sided, incomplete and then misunderstood.
If someone tells you that you will be going to heaven, would that make you “sure” of that?
Wouldn’t you have any doubts, even if “God” told you that? Wouldn’t you be trying to make sure that “your belief in God,” is truly “God,” “The God”? 🙂
How is it possible for that doubt to go away? 🙂
When you discover heaven now, in your own life. Now.
That is the beginning and the end of every belief system.
My next goal: “I” want to go to Heaven…
From the last article on Oneness, we can really see interdependence, that everything relies on everything else to co-exist. This is the higher consciousness needed to realize that “we are not alone.” It is the “You” and “Me” deal that separates.
Granted; when Joe Average keeps telling Joanne about all his great accomplishments in life so she feels proud of him; in that consciousness there is a need to understand their language of separation which brings “having” and “possessing” one another as the “normal” thing to do.
We need to understand that we may need to “speak” the language of separation with them; but keeping a state of consciousness far beyond that moment. If Joe Average felt oneness with Joanne, he wouldn’t need to try to impress her. Who is he trying to impress whom?
“Me” wants to impress “You.”
Is there anything wrong with seeing things in the separation of “you” and “me”?
No. It is just a state of consciousness.
It is in that state of consciousness of separation where most religious beliefs have been created.
There is “heaven” which is the ultimate prize. The “six figure job” in the afterlife. 🙂
Of course, “I” want to go there. That becomes my new “motivation in life.”
What are the requisites? That is the “job qualifications.”
You have to be “good.” You have to follow the commandments. You have to love God. If you don’t follow the above, then you will not get there. You will fail. You will not get the job…
You will miss heaven for eternity… 😦 and that is a long time… 🙂
Then, going to heaven becomes an exclusivity for not everyone could make it; it becomes another competition, which truly reflects the ways of our society.
Just another reinforcement for an ego driven personality. Not everyone can go there. But “I” have to go. “I” have to “make effort” to go there.
As we can see, in the above belief there is that reinforcement of “I” as something completely individual and separated from everything else.
Why do you want to “be good” and “do good”? Please ask this seemingly naïve question to yourself.
Because… “I” want to go to heaven. Because “I” want to be an angel. Because “I” don’t want God to punish me. Because “I” don’t want to burn in hell for ever…
What a bunch of ego builder answers!
When we truly see interdependence, that “I” am everything; then “I” cannot go to heaven unless everyone else does, that is when heaven is important for the sake of the world. That is beyond the “I” want, “I” need game.
Humanity is greater than my “petty” self and all its fears.
That is how, heaven is no longer another belief after “I” die.
“Would you like to liberate yourself from the lower realms of life? Would you like to save the world from the degradation and destruction it seems destined for? Then step away from shallow mass movements and quietly go to work on your own self-awareness. If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself…”
Hua Hu Ching Ch 75
If “I” do good. I am not good. I just “look” good.
If I am “good” then thanks to “me” there is someone who is “bad.”
It is when “I” go beyond that duality, beyond good and evil, when “I” die alive “now,” then everything can exist without separation. A different “reality.” Awareness. Consciousness.
“To the ordinary person, the body of humanity seems vast. In truth, it is neither bigger nor smaller than anything else. To the ordinary person, there are others whose awareness needs raising. In truth, there is no self, and no other. To the ordinary person, the temple is sacred and the field is not. This, too, is a dualism which runs counter to the truth. Those who are highly evolved maintain an undiscriminating perception. Seeing everything, labeling nothing, they maintain their awareness of the Great Oneness. Thus they are supported by it.”
Hua Hu Ching Ch 19.