“Since Life presents many perspectives which are labeled by humans according to their conditioning, what is the point of a spiritual path?”
To be ONE with Life. However, that cliche answer is not truly what it is.
“Then… what is, what is?” 🙂
We are already ONE, but we are not aware of it.
To “gain” that awareness, there have been 2 apparently contradictory paths. One is the path of Yoga (Union) the other, is the path of Tantra (Openness/Expansion.)
Observe that in Life, paradoxically openness and union are the same exact thing.
The question is: Who opens and who is in union?
Thus, the “I” is the main thing, the link between those 2 apparently contradictory paths. That is why all paths return to the “I.”
In Yoga, the “I” is the last thing for someone to become fully aware of. It is the path of resistance, struggle, suffering of the “I” to become something else, greater, improved, magnificent. I am not referring here about memorizing the definitions of Patanjali about yoga or the practice of pretty asanas like in the “yoga” studio near you.
Yoga is the will power to be someone else and the struggle to make it happen through controlling the mind.
In Tantra, the “I” is the first thing to become aware of, by going into the beliefs systems, taboos, hang ups, ideals, moralities… all of that which makes up the “I.” It is the path of pleasure, enjoyment, openness, by being “nothing,” that is being away from the mind. Thus, emphasis on unlearning, leveling the mind, regaining innocence of a child and not trying to be someone… such as “equal to God.” Taoism is closest to Tantra than any other path. However; to understand it we need to live it, experience it and put all books aside.
I can put this writing together about yoga and tantra into 2 pages long, because it is my Life experience. It does not come from a book. Although many salesman are putting together their own versions of yoga/tantra, know that in “reality” those labels only describe a Life experience and every salesman, only puts their own flavor in it. Their “creation” is ready to be sold with the “right” package. Happily, purchased by the masses who are looking to solve their problems by taking that “magic” pill. Let me share with you something that I have found true in my journey: Every book/writing which has been of any help in my journey, has always been free of charge, easy to download. No salesman involved.
Yoga and Tantra are 2 ends of the same continuity. When the “I” becomes someone equal to “God,” then to be in union with Life, that “someone” will need to go away. But that is at the end of the “yoga” journey.
In Tantra, that “union” preached by Yoga, arrives when the “I” opens up to Life. Open, open, expand, until the “I” is no longer there…
In your Life at this time, you may be living your interpretation, your creation, of one of those 2 paths. However, a fruit matures at the end of the journey. Thus, in spirituality, in Life the journey is to go through both paths without choosing, without making a brainy “selection” coming from the “I.” Life will give the opportunity when the “aspirant” is ready.
I realize that “yoga” has a name recognition. A “good” name. Easy to follow. Easy to understand. Tantra instead, has a “bad reputation.”
To go into the path of pleasure, before having experienced fully the suffering of the “I,” means to find suffering in pleasure. Nevertheless, as we know; all experiences are “good.” They are part of the journey.
“How do you label your own journey then?”
In this life I could call it: From yoga to tantra. The offspring of that marriage is Ahnanda.
Both, yoga and tantra; are paths of self-discovery. Life may give someone a book, another a guru, yet to another a spirit-guide, etc. The means are different, but the end is the same: Self-discovery. To be one with Life.
AWARENESS, consciousness is not something that we could “create, improve, practice.”
We could only obstruct it, repress it.
If we realize the obstruction, if we become AWARE of it, then consciousness will open.
Society, religions, the whole system is an obstruction. If we are not aware of that obstruction, then there is no space between BEING and being conditioned.
Esteban is a citizen of a third world country. Chauvinism is part of the indoctrination there. Esteban did not realize about it until he went to a different country in another continent.
Esteban could not be AWARE of that chauvinism while living in his country of birth. He was too close to it to become aware. That was a realization.
A realization is a mental “aha!” moment. It is the first step into a different direction.
Even though Esteban thought that he was “free” from chauvinism, he wasn’t. Some ideals popped up once in awhile such as “buy only from XYZ country,” “XYZ country has the best cuisine in the world,” etc. Esteban defined himself, identified himself through his country of birth.
One day, Esteban was on a plane and it crashed. He was the only survivor. He ended up on a secluded island.
Esteban lived in that Island by himself for 10 years before he was taken back into civilization.
Because there was no one to talk with; Esteban’s mind became silent. Because there was no cultural reference, Esteban unlearned the meaning of “country” and because of that, the concept of “patriotism” had no meaning to him anymore. Esteban wasn’t a chauvinistic individual anymore. Esteban was “cured” from stress, from “becoming better,” from his greedy desire to attain whatever ideal in order to “succeed.”
What did he do? What was his “spiritual” method?
Nothing. Life took him away into isolation; then that which is natural in him, resurfaced.
Likewise is the journey of a person who is ready for self-realization. When Life brings the opportunity, that person will be alone to face himself; whether that is through living in a forest away from society for many years to being unable to communicate but conscious for a few days in a deathbed, through anything in between. If someone is not ready yet, Life will not bring the situation.
Many extreme religions have copied this. Followers may believe that they have “renounced the world.” That renunciation is violent for it does not come “naturally” (Paradoxically, “natural” renunciation is not renunciation at all) as Life brings the situation when someone is ready; but as a feature of belonging to a belief system.
Renunciation is rejection. To reject means to struggle, to separate, to strengthen the ego.
The journey of a seeker is to go away just to come back again, as a new, different individual.
Going away is the cocoon of the caterpillar. The butterfly is the new individual. They are the same, but they are not. The caterpillar is death now but alive in a new form.
A seeker will find himself at the end… but to do that; he needs to begin his journey, away from himself.
“Why don’t save time then, and start the journey by looking inside?” 🙂
It does not work that way. Consciousness does not change by having “answers,” and getting “shortcuts.” It changes through Life experiences. The beginning is to go outside. The end is to go inside. The process to get there is the journey. The experience, is “true” change.
Life is paradoxical… as the journey of the seeker.
Spirituality is a deceitful word.
Forget that word and you may find Life. By finding Life, you may start living it. By living it, enjoying it. By enjoying it, finding the meaning of spirituality. It is not a concept.
To find honesty within ourselves, sooner or later we may learn to forget everything we have been taught, only to find who we ARE.
Every experience in Life only will show us who we ARE at that moment in time.
When we learn to accept ourselves as we ARE in an unconditional way, then we may be able to accept “others;” not as an idea, a concept, a “spiritual” virtue to practice, but as genuine, unrehearsed, unlearned, natural way of being.
Want to practice empathy?
Want to work on being more loving?
Want to practice detachment?
Do you have sainthood as an objective?
Want to teach peace to others?
Then your mind is engaged in the intellectual world of ideas, concepts and “spiritual” words.
When the mind empties itself from the intellectual world, there is knowing in BEING.
Does not make any sense?
Wonderful! That is a step forward.
Forget the “practice.” Forget to label virtues. Forget all dictionary words defining Love.
Unlearn all of those concepts.
“To surrender,” is not to give up something in Life. It is effortless openness when the “I” dilutes itself.
“To love someone” is not just a mushy feeling. It is to allow that one to be, without conditions. To grow together in joy.
“To be detached” is not to be insensitive, aloof. It is to acknowledge the process of another, knowing that we have our own.
“To go with the flow” is not to follow what Life offers for there is no option to choose from. It is to BE one with Life.
If you “practice” any of my “definitions,” you will deceive yourself. If you repeat any of my definitions, you will not be honest with your own findings.
Know that your own definitions will need to change in time, just like mine. That is what we have in common. Change.
It is said that to know “Spirituality” there is a need of a teacher to teach.
I am assuring you that none of the “spiritual values” can be taught.
It can only be found in your own walking path. As you place one foot in front of another in your Life journey, you will recognize the teaching that Life offers, only because you already know it. Concepts can be taught, not Living Life.
To teach “spirituality” is deceitful. We can only share our experiences as a friend shares with another.
When that one is ready, your words can only inspire, allow for a different perspective, but words are not meant to teach in the realm of Life.
Life is the teacher, without being appointed for that.
Thus, we can only teach when we are ONE with Life…. and at that moment, there may be nothing to teach. 🙂
In the “office world” to reinvent the wheel is inefficient effort.
In Life, to reinvent the wheel is necessary to grow.
From the last article, we could observe the duality of the “believer” and the “non-believer.” Both are experiencing their childhood state of consciousness.
How do you know if you are no longer there?
When you are not conscious of that duality, of course.
For the most part, our “journey” will take us to both sides equally and with the same intensity, that is we could be a believer or non-believer turned into its opposite.
That “journey” will take us to the full range of experiences and will give us naturally, a deep insight away from the simplistic labeling of something as “good” or “bad.”
That labeling is a child-like consciousness.
Ingrained in that childhood state, it is the belief that we could “become better” by following some thought out method, by practicing certain actions considered to be “good.”
“Practice compassion if you want to be compassionate.”
“You should choose what you want to create and then, take the steps towards that direction to “achieve” it.”
Sounds good? Respectable? Reasonable?
Perhaps, but let me assure something. Unless you are “compassionate” already, there is no way to “practice” compassion. If you practice something that you call or think as compassion, that is not compassion but just a thought, a belief, a mask that we wear for a determined occasion.
You see, Life will present different scenes, which will shatter all of our “thought out” ideas about compassion.
BEING compassion will result in acting compassionate.
The practice of something, which we are not; will merely change our behavior and that behavior will reverse as soon as the practice is stopped. Consciousness will remain the same.
That is the issue that all religions cannot resolve. They are about “practice.”
“Practice” will solidify DOING. Repetition will create a habit, but none of that is related with change of consciousness.
If you are a seeker, please consider the above; for it may be helpful.
Internally, we believe that “spirituality” is another subject, another discipline to “practice.”
Most seekers do not realize that “spirituality” cannot be separated from living Life itself.
It is that same frame of mind, the one looking for a method to obtain “compassion” after putting the “effort to achieve it.”
It is that same frame of mind, the one which will inculcate “steps” to reach the goal.
Please see that all of those “steps” are only made to hide who you really ARE.
BEING is a process. Every Human being is in a different location in that process.
BEING changes by living Life, in the assimilation of experiences.
Did you realize that you don’t have compassion in your heart and now, you want to change that?
Become aware of those traits that are in what you call “you.” Life will bring the right scenarios for that to change into greater openness, that is compassion.
Life for you, is a different experience than Life for me. Therefore, how is it possible to generalize a method, to reach a collective ideal?
Did you hear about Mother Theresa?
Do you believe that she was compassionate?
Want to be like her?
Then, imitation is all you will have. Imitation is not BEING compassionate but just to copy someone’s demeanor, activity, behavior.
The “I” cannot change anything about itself. The “I” can only change behavior, externalities but never the core, the heart.
The “I” is a separation from Life, an entity living his own world in self-absorption.
That “I” is the one who needs a God to “change.”
That “I” is the one who needs to “practice” things to make himself believe that is becoming “better” now.
That “I” is the one in need of Paradise as a reward for postponing the “practice” of his “real” nature now.
That “I” is the one selecting pain and suffering and denying pleasure as a way to “purify” himself.
That “I” is the one making up beliefs, dogmas when there is the experience of Life and our ability to enjoy that experience.
BEING in AWARENESS of continuous change will take away the static beliefs and dogmatic truths that will not allow us to flow with the wind of destiny.
That freedom to BE implies a journey to unmask the “I.”
The “I” is not “bad” nor “good.”
The “I” is part of our own growth in the journey, from “self” into “no-self,” from “form” into “no-form,” from “being” into “non-being.” 🙂
Roy was waiting for his laundry to be done when a person came by and approached him:
“ Sir, I have some important literature for you to read.”
When Roy read the front page of the little pamphlet, he encountered the following:
“Why did God gave the commandments? Can I go to heaven if a follow them? What if I break the commandments? How can I be forgiven of my sin? Look inside for the answers of these questions!!”
Roy looked at the contents inside observing a typical “life insurance policy” for the afterlife.
“You cannot go to heaven if you trust the wrong thing. If you have been trusting the commandments, you are not saved. Will you repent right now and only trust Jesus for your salvation?”
Once our consciousness changes, “high pressure, save yourself ads” will not have any effect.
If our consciousness on the other hand remains at a certain level of influence, that is in the “I” awareness; then the above will be enough to make someone act.
For example, Robert knows about the keywords of “spirituality.” Sin, God, Salvation, Hell, Heaven, etc.
The moment Robert identifies himself as a “sinner” due to some guilt complex for lack of understanding about consequences in life, then that is the moment where the other keywords will automatically pop up.
The little child who has disobeyed God’s orders and thus feel utterly in shame, needs salvation.
However, the above is not “bad” at all. That is the starting point for Robert to search and find more about himself. First, Robert will believe in someone who can “save him” for he does not know where to start. Robert feels hopeless and he cannot even quit his drinking habit, smoking or sexual addictions. At that point, Robert’s mentality will turn into the “black and white” understanding: “This is bad, that is good. Smoking is bad. Sex is bad, drinking is bad, etc.”
The idea of “purity” may arise out of all the denials, the “bad things” in his ever growing list.
In a different level of consciousness, we could see that any thought, philosophy or religion stuck in the level of the “I” is merely the starting point of the journey.
“I need to be saved. I must go to Paradise. I am a sinner. I need to become pure. I am an angel. I must do good actions. I will experience punishment if I disobey God’s law. etc.”
The sense of guilt, shame and worthlessness is part of the package as “motivators” to do something about changing the life of a “sinner.”
The point of this article is to share, what is already evident: Everyone has his own journey and a starting point. We may go from the “inside” to the “outside” to search for a savior, just to come back to the “inside” again and perhaps to recognize that there is no “inside”… but there is 🙂
If for some reason “I” find that “all of that stuff which I believed before is childish” and then go against that which I embraced before as a self proclaimed “savior to others;” it only shows that my consciousness is still dwelling into the “black and white” mentality. It is the same consciousness but in a different extreme. Duality.
To respect an individual and what he finds in his path for self-realization is very important in life. The “seeker” needs to become aware of his own findings.
It is his life. It is his experience. It is his journey. This life is another chapter in the book of life.
When “self” finds that there is “no-self” then another set of beliefs and religions will appear and that which was embraced before, may be despised as “childish.”
At that stage consciousness haven’t changed. It is the same duality between self and “no-self.” Many individuals could have a great intellectual understanding of “no-self” but their consciousness is still residing in the same duality.
Consciousness does not change by thinking. Our thinking is only a reflection of our consciousness.
When we have the courage to leave everything we have learned and put it aside, not as a rejection; but as a continuation of our own journey when the time comes, then there is an opportunity for our consciousness to change by itself and to realize new things. Life is change. Consciousness changes.
Any rejection of life will continue duality in our perception of reality.
I was surprised to discover that there is a “theological study of angels” named “angelology.”
It is interesting to note in that article how every religion has their own beliefs about what an angel is; which of course, only gives further support to their own ideologies.
When humans experience something “supernatural” then, an immediate explanation is required so it could be expressed to others and that explanation will carry in them, their own beliefs.
Angel with wings, pretty looking androgynous angels in white and gold, etc.
The limit is our imagination influenced by our own beliefs.
Some individuals believe that in the “angel world” there is a hierarchy just like in the “office world.”
There is the CEO known as God, then Seraphims, Cherubims, Archangels, regular “angels” and so on and so forth. Those are things to memorize and study in “Angelology.” 🙂
Sometimes we may talk to someone who has experienced an “angelic healing” from Michael the Angel, or Metatron or someone else.
Their immediate response is unconditional worship. These people will turn into hard-core believers.
The realization that their consciousness has changed due to that experience is minimal.
Before that experience, their world was the Office, the family sitcom etc. After that, they developed an interest in healing and “spirituality” aka. spirits.
Their consciousness changed.
If they had a serious disease and they were cured, they don’t ask themselves about the significance of that. They are happy to only worship and to tell the story.
A disease is part of the journey and so is the cure, but this life is not the only journey.
“Angels” or beings of light, know that every human being is located in different consciousness and “their help” is to become that trigger for that change of consciousness.
The word “help” is in quotes because “help” may not be in their vocabulary. There is something that needs to be completed and they have a part in this “unlimited game” which we call life.
There are many beings of light working together at this time. Raising human consciousness is part of their task as well as “helping” Nature from human abuse and negligence.
It is that big human “I” which does not allow us to perceive the Universe in a different way, in Totality.
A different consciousness is needed.
Lost in beliefs and the economical advantages of the “business world” we may overlook the obvious.
We don’t join a religion or an ideology or follow moral standards to become an “angel.” We join it to start our personal journey of self-realization. Some may need that, others may not.
Life is not interested on particular “brand names” to sponsor as “the only ones,” for the journey is in itself the destination at every moment; and everyone of us has his own path.
“Helping others” is not at simple as we may imagine.
There are no “others” when we are aware of our interdependence.
When we perceive that the world is a mirror of that “me,” which will show me “who I am” without any need of using fancy definitions or beliefs, then perhaps the realization that “helping myself” as the first step in “helping others” will be evident.
“Helping myself” could be easily misunderstood. It is not about “building the self” but it is related with dissolving it. That means, to empty the mind. Flowing in life, means to connect with life. That connection is non analytical. There are no “pros” or “cons” to be weighed for action.
Someone may say that “he likes to take action” and “do something about an issue to help resolve it.”
Without “helping ourselves first” all we will “do” is what “we think is right.” Our beliefs will be displayed, hidden under the “holy keywords” known by all: “This is the truth; “ “This is what is right,” “This is justice,” etc.
For example: If we perceive the world as being ugly, bad, and rotten, it needs to be changed; etc. that perception is merely speaking about us. The “mirror” is working at that time.
If we look deeply inside ourselves, we may find a rejection inside us which is prompting for “action.” That rejection, is the intention behind our willingness to change something into what we perceive as “good.”
There cannot be any “good” done when our perception and intention are coming from rejection of that which we “want to change.”
Acceptance of things as “they are” is the first step, and that step goes along with a change in our perception. That is to “help yourself.”
That change is not intellectual, it is not something to make myself believe.
Our attitude may need to embrace openness, acceptance. Judgments need to go away.
We cannot “help others” when we are being separated “from them” through an idea in our minds.
A Christian cannot help a Buddhist. A German cannot help a British. If they “help,” they only build their ego-mind.
Someone who builds many temples to “help others” is residing in the egotistical mind.
Because he is separating himself from the “others.”
We need to be “them” so that change is not coming from an egotistical mind.
Paradoxically, by being them, there is no “helping others.”
Otherwise, we will “act” by emotional reaction. So “we feel good” about ourselves.
Nothing wrong with that; however, that cannot be called “helping others.”
Life is a journey. This life is a chapter of that journey. The journey continues on. Every journey is its own destination.
Arthur is a good friend of Ananda. Arthur is very sick due to eating without awareness, by not listening to his body.
Arthur told Ananda that he felt miserable because he wasn’t able to eat for the last 3 days. Arthur didn’t ask for help. He is a very proud individual.
Ananda felt Arthur’s sorrow and asked his friend Mathias, the wise tree; for a medicine for Arthur.
Ananda wanted to help Arthur….
Isn’t he a nice guy? 🙂
Mathias the wise tree responded:
“If you help him, how is Arthur going to learn? Arthur has his own journey and this disease is part of that.
Observe how Arthur’s situation is affecting you.
In life, situations will happen as triggers which will only teach the “life walker” to see his own reactions. Keep your joy and send him generous wishes.”
Ananda understood the words of Mathias, but he had a question.
“Mathias, how do I know when it is time to help and when it is not?”
“Observe your intention and rely in your intuition, but also know that unless someone asks for help, you may be interfering with his life.
Everyone has his own journey and his own timing.”
Note that “learning in life” as Arthur will do, could be viewed under another consciousness as having “bad karma.”
It will go something like this: “You are being punished by having that disease due to your bad actions. God is punishing you. You need to settle your karma and create good karma.”
That long sentence only brings fear to experience life, it infuses guilt and changes the perception of life into a dangerous game.
Life itself is the teacher for the individual who is aware.
A fruit in a tree is not ripe all the time. That fruit has a journey, a timing in which that fruit will change. The art of recognizing that change and the most appropriate time for that fruit to be eaten has no “rule of thumb” to follow. Every fruit has a different timing, we just need to observe, experience and respect that timing.
To “help others” is not a matter of “doing things” for the sake of changing someone or a circumstance according to what we “think” is right. That is just another egotistical action.
Timing is important, and to learn to wait for the “fruit to be mature enough” could be the greatest act of respect for another being’s development in life.