Ending “vices” through will-power.
Our “spiritual” upbringing suggests that “I have a choice” in ending what is perceived to be “wrong.”
For example, there are the vices of lust, greed, anger, ego, attachment, etc. Spiritual seekers want to be “free” of those for they believe that those things are ugly, evil which will not let them grow.
Religious groups as well as psychology support groups have made clever “tricks” to avoid repeated behaviors, as they consider vices as behaviors (DOING) rather than an expression of BEING.
For instance, the importance of waking up very early every morning to pray, is a replacement behavior so the sexual urges in a healthy person will not manifest. We could call that the “cure” to attain celibacy.
Similarly, I was told that methods to deal with drug addicts are based on this principle. That is to replace the time where the behavior is more likely to appear, with another behavior considered “better.”
However, the “vice” is still there but unable to manifest.
J. Krishnamurti mentioned:
“When you determine to end envy, there is a conflict. You may suppress it, overcome it or escape from it, but it is still there.” Public Talk 1 in Madras (Chennai), 7 December 1974
Observe that every known vice has its opposite virtue. Observe that vices are not opposites of virtues, but complement each other. In other words, the potential to be lustful is equal and the same as the potential of having compassion. That is duality. In Life, that is the total range of an experience, on the other hand, for society we need to support one side (virtues) and “conquer” the other (vices) for the sake of “order.”
Life experiences will take a person to experiment a particular place within the total range. That is unavoidable at this time. Observe that greed appears as we develop, that is as Life experiences are assimilated in a particular way. As we develop greater perception inside our own emotional layers and “self-study” our own triggers, and realize instantly when “vices” or “virtues” arrive; we will learn to OBSERVE without further comments or judgment. J. Krishnamurti could call that as “insight.”
“Insight can only take place when the mind is observant, attentive, without a direction or motive, listening without the interference of thought. This is real meditation, in which there is no operation of will. Will is time and thought.” (Bangalore Jan. 11, 1973.)
That is a necessary step to understand ourselves. This requires ample time and supportive circumstances to be emotionally tranquil to “see.” As we reach our “own center,” by leaving the typical busy Life; a new “breath of Life” arrives. We call that “new” consciousness. What was there before, in time will leave. Whatever that is; as long as the mind doesn’t evoke what is naturally gone.
I understand that the above is not practical at all. Most individuals want a “fast solution.” They want to have control (will power) of their own inner world. That is why, repression, suppression and escapes have been crafted by psychologists, religions and support groups to make us believe that we got rid of some “vice” when in fact, it is there. That is the reason why most will relapse, once their method is no longer followed. They go back into “temptation.”
Every experience will bring its changes in a person which will eventually allow that person to evolve; however, OBSERVATION is a DOING in itself, for that will give us the awareness of all changes happening within. It is that OBSERVATION, that inner AWARENESS the one bringing a new light of consciousness (insight) which will change the experience.
Note that there is no “method to attain the solution and get rid of the vice,” as most are conditioned to expect. The above is not practical in a society interested in instant changes at will, and “successful stories.” If a person hasn’t reached a level of awareness where inner OBSERVATION is part of his Life, that person however; will obtain “help” through any method which brings repression and inner conflict; where fear is a factor so the “wrong” behavior is not expressed again. That we are used to, through the conditioning of society.
That experience is not “bad” at all; for still it will bring further changes in the individual according to what he needs to experience in Life; although society may have a preconceived idea of “what should be,” or “what is right.”
However, Life has its own ways and we are ALL in it. No one is ever alone.
Achieving wisdom for $9.99
Wisdom is not attained. There is no achievement there.
Insight is not given in a “spiritual class.”
There is no religion or philosophical system that could offer wisdom, but conditioning through information.
There is no course or “certification,” that could prepare anyone to be a “spiritual guide.”
Living Life will unleash wisdom… little by little.
Living Life in awareness, will speed things up.
Therefore; in Life, we could go slow or we could go fast.
Either way we will get there.
Nowhere. A rat in a maze will run everywhere, “searching” for something. Awareness, will allow us to know that we are in a maze. What is there to search? The “exit”? Everyone will get there without “effort.” Thus, Enjoy the maze!
The “spiritual class,” the religion, the philosophical system, the spiritual certification, the course with the guru, will give you a destination, a “where to go,” Something to achieve!
The majority of “spiritual” people need that. Achieve by paying a fee.
Go through a door, here comes another. There are so many doors! Which one is the “top door” to achieve? What is the shortcut, the “right” method? Label every door: Level 1, level 2, level 3… just like a Nintendo game. Now we are going someplace! Although, nowhere.
Wisdom and age
An individual thought to be “wise” because she was older.
Wisdom does not come through age, but through insight.
That insight refines itself once the accumulation of experiences is filtered from the emotional traumas, beliefs and conditionings of the “I.”
An older fellow has many experiences. The ego chooses what is “right,” and what is “wrong.” That becomes her wisdom.
That is not wisdom but conditioning.
Thus, “peeling the layers of the onion” is one way to display insight and therefore, wisdom.
Wisdom is not related with accumulation of information or data. That is why, reading and memorizing holy books will not change the fact of our ignorance.
Many seekers value their “degrees,” “holy labels” and “certifications” for joining a particular “method,” or religious system.
Sometimes, the number of years that someone has lived with a particular viewpoint or philosophy is valued as the yardstick for wisdom.
It is very naïve to believe that.
Once we stop trying to understand Life with the values dictated by our society, we could find the necessary openness to see things from a different perspective.
Gautama Buddha did not create Buddhism. His followers did. Gautama was “enlightened” when he was about 35 years old.
Jesus did not create Christianity. His follower did. Jesus was 33 years old when crucified. He experienced a different state of consciousness before that.
Mahavira did not create Jainism. His followers did. He attained a different state of consciousness when he was 43 years old.
After these individuals experienced a particular state of consciousness, they taught based on their experiences. Followers made those into philosophies and “truths.”
Many greedy followers thought that by following the “enlightened” footsteps, they could “attain” the same for themselves. That is an ego trip. There is nothing to “attain.” It happens.
Because it “happens,” it is away from ego, away from any type of pursuit. It is “natural.”
“Methods” are meant to expand our experience, but those by themselves cannot change our state of consciousness.
When we know this, we could relax, unwind, smell the roses and enjoy Life. There is no time to waste unless you are greedy. Then your greed becomes the issue.
Be aware, conscious and find ways to enjoy the experiences that Life presents to you. Allow for Life to change you, become open like an open door, or an open window, so people can see through you… but not because of you. 🙂
Question: Looking on being right rather than wrong
“Profound and thought-provoking post. (Spirituality, repression and control: http://avyakt7.com/2013/04/10/spirituality-repression-and-control/#comment-9789 )
If externally imposed morality leads to double -standards and dishonesty/ hypocrisy ( and I agree with that fully) then how do flawed humans that we are discriminate right from wrong? Inner compass is not auto-calibrated in all, hence transformation needs some cardinal points- true North- to align righteously?”
Thank you for your interesting question.
Yesterday it was shared that there is no moment in time when we “are” the same. Avyakt7 is a label and behind that label there is someone who is continually changing by opening his consciousness; therefore, “no one” in particular… paradoxically. 🙂
Your agreement with some aspects of what Avyakt7 has shared, only indicates your location of consciousness at a particular point in time. That does not mean that because we both agree, that thing is automatically “right.”
In my current state of consciousness, there is no such a thing as “right or wrong” in life but every intention has the potential to turn into an action and that has a consequence.
It is “what it is” and judgments are out of the question. Everything which has happened in life had a “motive” for being that way. My moral judgments about rightness or wrongness are not needed. Human moral behavior in society is part of life, but it is not necessarily the reflection of what Nature and the Universe manifests. Humans expect that our understanding of “our world” at the “office,” in business, in cyber space, in logic, reasoning and analysis is the one which could give us an accurate view of what is “out there” in life.
A religious mind is of no use as well, for a religious mind already has lenses to look at things. It has a flag to defend and a dogma to maintain, thus that mind has a need to interpret experiences for a particular collective consciousness to believe that “we have the truth.”
In my experience life is not like that.
Let me elaborate on the above.
Experiences in life are like the story of going from day to-night. Every experience has a degree from one extreme to another.
Many are stuck with the experiences at 6 AM, at Dawn. These individuals call that experience “right, pure, Godly, happy, etc” As the day advances that “righteousness” becomes “wrong” so at 5 AM something totally wrong, that is totally dark will give birth to Dawn at 6 AM again… 🙂 Darkness and light are related. Their timing is different and that makes our experiences different…in time.
How can you be “right” if you don’t know about “wrong”? How do you know something without experiencing unless your insight is used?
The easy answer is to follow someone who we deem to be “right,” nevertheless; our insight, our inner knowing beyond intellectual debates and logical games, will remain dormant.
Following someone has its time and that time is different for everyone.
Someone who shows courage has the potential as well to show cowardice at a different time. As a matter of fact, both ranges of experiences will be experienced.
If we understand that, how could we generalize and call humans as “flawed”?
Let us get rid of that label, of that belief.
As the song from one of my favorite groups of all time “Depeche Mode” illustrates in “Nothing.”
“Life is full of surprises
It advertises nothing, nothing”
Always knows the prospects
Learn to expect nothing, nothing.”
We give meaning to what is out there, based on what we ARE “inside.” The outside merely reflects the inside.
Because the mirror can only reflect the source.
To transform the self is not a matter of intellectual discrimination of “wrong vs. right” actions, although Avyakt7 respects those who feel that way.
As shared before, actions are “nothing” when intentions are the honest source of that action.
Intentions come from your feelings. Those feelings are the manifestation of what you ARE.
That is why, Being is before doing and having. To follow a moral code just for the sake of following without a change of consciousness, a change of being… That may be externally “good” but internally of no use.
For example: Raymond does not eat meat. If Susan has a cookout with hamburgers, bacon and steaks…that will not “tempt” a bit Raymond’s being.
It is not because Raymond feels sorry for animals or because Raymond thinks that eating meat is unhealthy. Those thoughts are artificial.
Raymond’s consciousness is aligned with living and to let others live. He does not need a commandment, but at the same time there is no rejection in him when someone eats meat. There is acceptance.
Being aligned with life and letting live has its own consequence. There is no need to label someone as “good or bad, pure or impure.” There is no need to teach anyone a lesson.
Since we are in different states of consciousness, some may need to follow a path, a religion, someone to tell them what is “right and wrong.”
That is a good beginning which reflects our consciousness.
If we allow our consciousness to open, to move by simply accepting the experiences in life and by not rejecting life itself, then we could be able to develop our insight which already knows. At that point “right or wrong” acquires a different meaning.
As Depeche Mode would put it:
What am I trying to do?
What am I trying to say?
I’m not trying to tell you anything
You didn’t know when you woke up today
Whenever there is a strong recognition of something or someone who appears for the “first time” in our lives; there is something that we already know about them or that.
We may not be able to explain what it is. We may not be able to give a “reason.”
That strong recognition is insight.
We could read the words written by someone. We may feel aligned with those words for they allow us to remember something that we knew.
That is insight.
As our consciousness changes in our life time, we will be able to recognize things as “true” for us.
The mind could be deceiving. Our senses deceptive, but that insight is the driving force in our destiny if we recognize it.
The piece of the puzzle in life will fit as it is meant to be if we learn to listen to that insight.
Nothing happens out of a random whim. There is a script already going that will allow us to reach our destiny in life.
The clues are out there. Every experience, every encounter, every step is getting us closer to it.
That magic of “fitting in” gets disturbed through unnecessary thinking and by blindly following our emotions.
Thinking and emotions are the 2 extremes of human behavior.
It is in the above realization, when we could understand the necessity to allow our intuition, our insight to evolve in us, for that is the stamp, the mark that life has placed in us to uncover life itself through our own experiences.
That is how to “know the self” means to recognize that we are a piece of the “big puzzle” which moves harmoniously by flowing with the calling of that insight.
That is how we could be “true to ourselves.”
The mind collects information to figure out life. Many may think that the most information we acquire, the better off we are.
“I read all the books from Chopra, Dyer, Tolle, Krishnamurti, Osho, Lao Tzu, Plato, St. Augustine and Einstein.”
Did we recognize something in those books about ourselves which will help us to find ourselves? 🙂
To be a walking library of “self-help” authors does not mean that we could live life with joy.
“I have joined many religions throughout my life. I am very experienced in Spirituality.”
So what? 🙂
To bring a “Spiritual” resume with us does not mean that someone has found joy in his life. Joining a group does not mean joy. “Joining” and “Joy” are 2 different words. 🙂
When the piece of the puzzle fits the Totality, Joy is the only avenue. We have “arrived.” 🙂
Everything is already in us.
Why can’t we see it?
Why do we look out there for that insight which is in us already?
That may be another paradoxical aspect of life: To go out to search for something, which is inside. So much for that cliché.
However, that “inside” is only a door, a passage to recognize the outside as being the inside as well. 🙂
Truth and moral standards
When I read that quote, a sense of elation invaded me.
That quote is not coming from thinking, that is by conditioning.
For mainstream, there is “good and bad.” For mainstream, morality is about choosing “good” over “bad.”
Let me pretty up that word “morality,” so it has a “good” reception in our mind: To be “ethical.” 🙂
I don’t know who the author of that quote is or what he does. It doesn’t matter.
Nevertheless, let me add another spin on that “insight.”
There cannot be “the only truth” as we are dealing with perceptions. That is why, there is no “good or evil.” That is known as duality. Duality is another perception.
However, there is cause and effect. Every action will bring its own effect which will be experienced by the originator of that action.
Isn’t “cause and effect” another perception? 🙂
Yes and No. 🙂
Test it for yourself. Anything we “do” has a consequence. Anything “we” think may not…( A thought came to me, rather than “I” thought a thought… “I thought I saw a pussy cat”… 🙂 )
That is “karma 101” explained by religious groups and philosophies.
That is how for some religions there are “good actions” and “bad actions.”
Nevertheless, actions are neutral without intentions.
The consequences will happen based on our intention.
If my intention has an ulterior motive, if my intention is to separate, to segregate, to bring antagonism, to “rob” from the Totality, the consequences will be suffering for the “doer.”
Some individuals do not realize that their intention behind the action drives the consequence. That is why, we need to check our feelings. If I feel angry, my intentions will come out with that anger which means separation.
In “Religion 101” we were stuck with actions only as “good or bad.”
“Sex is bad.” “Marriage is good.” “Divorce is bad.”
The above is very easy to label and to promote for followers to follow.
It is very difficult to check the intentions, for the only person that could know is the one acting.
“But, I gave her a box with chocolates… I wanted to be “good” with her… and she turned them down.”
The perception of the intention could be heard by some accurately and misunderstood by others.
That is how it is easier to stick with actions as “good and bad.” It is safe, simple but not complete.
When the great Tao is forgotten,
Kindness and morality arise.
When wisdom and intelligence are born,
The great pretense begins.” ( Tao te Ching – Ch 18)
Another good insight! If we think about it, if we try to rationalize it, we will not understand.
Insight comes from knowing, from being able to recognize something without thought. It is intuitive.
The belief of getting rid of beliefs- Question by reader
“In one of your write-ups you mentioned about J Krishnamurthi..I have read quite a lot of his works..and i always felt his underline “idea” has always been to be free from all the beliefs and then one can know truly about oneself. But I fail to understand, how can one do that…isn’t getting rid from the beliefs also a belief in itself?
I agree that one should constantly question their beliefs and “work” on them, but how can one not have a belief?
This question has been on my mind for quite sometime now…”
This question could be applied to the “common good.”
Thank you for your question! Please place your undivided attention into this writing and a new insight may develop. 🙂
Intellectual understanding is very limited for things which are related with “living life to the fullest.”
Avyakt7 is not saying that “intellectual understanding is bad.” No.
Intellectual understanding is “good” for “another day at the office, honey…” type of scenario. 🙂 Intellectual understanding is “good” to get your certification in Cisco routers and to successfully complete a test in a school setting, etc.
If we are trying to use our intellectual understanding to “get” what J. Krishnamurti is conveying, we will have a very vague idea, no matter how many of his books we read.
J. Krishnamurti is usually labeled as a “thinker…”
Aristotle was a thinker. Voltaire was a thinker. Descartes was a thinker. A philosopher is a thinker…we cannot say the same for men who have experienced a different level of consciousness.
“Thinking” is not the adequate word, for that thinking comes from “conditioning,” that is from the past.
Krishnamurti had insight and so, many others so-called “spiritual teachers.”
For example, whenever a person uses his intellectual ability to understand “God,” he will be like Epicurus.
His philosophy departs from a preconceived idea of who “God” is.
God is omnipotent. God is omniscient. God is this and that…
That belief “defines” his “God.” Every religion has a different belief, a different definition of their “God.”
Atheists could jump in the “bandwagon” for Epicurus has demonstrated “logically” that there is no God needed.
Epicurus have only negated his own definitions and ideas by using the game of words.
God is not a definition. A definition is not the thing.
That is the tricky aspect about relying in the logic and reasoning of intellectual understanding.
Logic and reasoning are part of the “office” environment. That is part of the “man made” artificial world of squares and triangles, cement and computers…
What is the shortest path between point A and point B?
Intellectually, we repeat. A straight line.
Bravo! That conditioning works great. However, there are no straight lines in Nature.
You may be able to pass your exam at the College near you, but at the same time; we need to be aware that we are dealing with “Disneyland knowledge,” that is something which only exists in our imagination… 🙂
With the above little preface, we could go into your question.
isn’t getting rid of beliefs also a belief in itself?”
The intellectual answer is “Yes and No.”
Do you like that? 🙂
Let us try the Zen method for intellectuals.
First get rid of all your beliefs…
Now, get rid of the belief that “getting rid of beliefs is a belief in itself…”
No more beliefs…
Now that our minds are clean from intellectual cluttering, perhaps we could share something meaningful…
When Avyakt7 refers to “get rid of beliefs,” Avyakt7 is constrained by language. The simple but dangerous “black or white” understanding may arrive for some.
“Pink pigs are able to fly.” It is a belief.
If someone tells you: “NO…you are wrong.” How do you feel about it? Do you defend yourself?
If yes. Get rid of that belief. If No… it wasn’t a belief. It was a thought… 🙂
Now, that we understand the game of beliefs, we could go further to push our own beliefs.
“Abortion is good”
What do you think?
If you disagree with me, that is fine as long as that statement does not move you, that is as long as you don’t put your energy to defend yourself or your position.
The issue with beliefs is not whether they are “right or wrong” that is debatable intellectual morality. The issue is to discover what moves you into some uncomfortable setting, something that gets you out of a peaceful self.
Let us try another one.
“God does not exist.”
Did it move you? Do you feel like defending God or rather your belief about God? 🙂
The opposite holds true. If you tell an atheist (someone who has labeled himself as “not believing in God”) that “God exists,” that person may strongly argue with you if he has identified with his beliefs.
On the other hand, if not he will carry on as a “normal” peaceful person, acknowledging your statement without “believing” in it…
How is that possible?
We shouldn’t forget that we are dealing with “perceptions of reality” and everyone is entitled to their beliefs. The problem is when we identify with them by REJECTING anything else.
That rejection in life will bring a lesson from life to learn to be open. ( As many other articles here explained that.)
Because there is oneness in openness. If we reject a part of life, we reject ourselves.
One more time, life is not interested in how “right or wrong” we are in our beliefs. That is of no consequence once we understand that we are dealing with perceptions.
Now… comes Mr. Intellectual and asks:
“You are saying that reality is a perception, right? Isn’t that another perception?”
And then… Avyakt7 will reply like his friend Mathias taught him:
“Yes and No.”
And if that doesn’t do the trick, then Avyakt7 will go back to the “Zen method” for intellectuals….
Any teaching that comes from insight is not to be taken intellectually. We could get lost in words, concepts and definitions by doing so.
Those teachings are meant to be used as a mirror to look at ourselves. Once we do that, we could “understand without understanding…”
Paradoxes are beyond logic and reasoning.
Life is a beautiful paradox. 🙂