To understand Life at least at the intellectual level, we need to step away from our ideas of “good” and “bad,” “right” or “wrong,” etc.
Our moral standards and ways of looking at Life are highly biased by our conditioning.
Life does not exist based on human morality and understanding. That conditioning is what makes the content of our mind. Our mind expects to “see” Life under that vision.
We have learned about the “law of karma.” We know that causality is determining outcomes. Although we may not be aware of all causes, we should be aware that what is happening now is exactly what we need to experience. There is no randomness here.
Our limited labeling of our experience as “good” or “bad” has no consequence other than setting ourselves up into a particular attitude towards Life.
In Life, there is a mesh of experiences void of moral labeling. “Your” car accident may be labeled as “bad” in our moral understanding, but then we see that this incident is the cause of “your” change into a “spiritual” person. The experience of Life frailty, its ephemeral quality was the cause of that change and not an action taken by the “I” to “become spiritual.”
Life does not end in “becoming spiritual,” as there may be other “bad” things happening, culminating in death.
Is death “bad”? Apparently in our society, it is.
Death is a taboo in our society.
Why do you pray to God if there is causality? Why do you ask God for forgiveness in light of causality? Why do you ask God for “help”? Obviously, because “you” want someone with influence to spare you from your lot. Just like in the “Office world.”
It is understood that what you are going through is exactly what you need to experience in Life and that will change at the “right” time, as everything in Life does. We are part of Life.
When the “I” is afraid, that “I” will cling to any idea of safety, salvation, redemption, etc. Our inability to deal with the situation, to accept it and acknowledge it, will prompt us to look for any sort of escape, any sort of palliative medicine to give us the idea that we are “better” now.
That is how religions appeared and so “Spiritual Best sellers.”
“It seems that you have a grudge against “spiritual bestseller books,” you are dancing around that theme for too long now, what is your point?”
My point is that “what sells” is not necessarily aligned with “what is.” The collective consciousness of the masses (supporting what sells) are looking to escape from their perception of whatever is considered to be “bad.” They want a method to change things around, even by embracing beliefs and askew ideas. The “majority rules” is a human belief supported by economical interest.
“Spirituality” as understanding of Life, is not constrained by the claims of the masses.
Let me put it out in concrete words: “You” will experience your lot, no matter what you DO, no matter what you call it (good/bad/right/wrong) duration and intensity are all figured out just for “you.” Change of consciousness does not happen by escaping with a “positive affirmation” or by escaping with “hope.”
Life is fully inviting “you” to be AWARE of what is going on, the changes that are happening little by little, in a subtle way. There is timing for everything.
Causality is underneath every action, every thought, every feeling. Causality unites the past, the present and the future.
The understanding of Life and thus, “true Spirituality” is in the understanding of causality. There is nothing to change, control or escape from.
What is left then?
To experience. For change itself comes through experiencing the experience brought to us by Life.
“But, what if the experience is “negative,” “bad”? “
That means that “you” will be a step closer to what is “good.” Life will take you there at the “right” time. Be AWARE of it. “You” are Life itself. “You” are taken care of. In the meantime, enjoy your lot…enjoy what you are able to… for it will change. 🙂
Misinterpreting spiritual teachings or knowledge
Carl, a spiritual man; was relating a story to his friends. Carl was able to “forgive” an ex business partner from his wrongdoings.
Richard stole from Carl in a business transaction. Moreover, Richard reacted in a violent way towards Carl when he claimed his money back. Richard threatened Carl and drove away in his pick up truck.
Carl said to his friends: “ I forgave him for what he has done to me, because I know the Universe will take care of him for what he has done. There is no way he is going to get away from it. It is his karma. When I went to the police to report this incident, the officer asked me if I wanted for Richard to go to jail. I said No! I want for him to complete an anger management class. The officer said to me: “That is great of you.” He needs to take care of his anger before he does the same to someone else. Now, whenever I see a red pick up truck, I remember that incident and him, but I have forgiven him.”
Carl’s friends perceived his anger while he was relating his story.
Carl’s mind believes that he has “forgiven” Richard, although anger is hiding between his words.
Many times, we can use our “knowledge” of karma or some other mental teaching to hide our true feelings. That is the danger of knowledge. We could be ready to give the “other cheek” to someone as Jesus has taught; but that action which could be perceived as “great” by outsiders, it is truly “show business,” for the feelings underneath, what we truly ARE is not considered.
Yes, we could hear “great job. That is how Jesus would have done it” and our ego is caressed in such a way as to believe that we are closer to sainthood.
Because of lack of AWARENESS we cannot see our inner dishonesty.
Carl, what are you going to do with that energy of anger that you have in you?
“Anger? I am not angry. I have forgiven him!”
The ego knows “I have given the other cheek. I have been a good Samaritan. I have gotten the law’s approval confirming my greatness.”
The mind could create wonderful excuses. The mind could create “Godly words to live by,” however; what we FEEL will remain stuck with us. Knowledge cannot take that away, for knowledge is only mental.
Everything happening to us is an experience that is worth for us to go through. The labeling to judge our experience such as “good luck or bad luck” is of no consequence. We may need to act according to the law, but hopefully that action is not another cover up to build self-righteousness around us.
The mind could use any “knowledge” to protect the ego. When this happens, we cannot acknowledge our feelings.
Spiritual knowledge is a tool to help us become aware of ourselves. If we do not use it to see ourselves, we use it to judge others; in light of the information we “know.”
In the discovery of our connection with the Totality, the meaning of “spirituality” changes completely.
It is no longer the search of something separated from “I,” which could be labeled as “God,” “spirits,” “gurus,” etc. or the experience of yet another state of consciousness, or the practice of religious codes, worship and penances…
Spirituality is the art of living Life in joy.
It is right here, right now, in BEING and not in the future, by becoming someone or when “I die.”
The knowledge of religious tales for grown ups, are similar to knowing the story of the “Little Red Riding hood.” There is the big, “bad” Wolf who needs to be conquered, destroyed, avoided. The story may change as religions change. Story #1: The “bad” wolf eats red riding hood. End of story for some. The fear of being eaten by the “bad” wolf is infused in followers. Story #2: The “bad” wolf is cut open by the woodcutter, saving little red riding hood. The “bad” wolf dies and everyone lives “happy ever after.” That is the “redeemer,” the “savior” story…. Paradise. Followers are hoping for “salvation.”
Away from the little kids’ stories is the presence of that “I.” The size of that “I” is proportional to the amount of suffering experienced. Suffering is not bad. It is not something to be avoided and feared, for it comes as consequence of developing that “I.” Once the “I” is fully experienced, then “No-I” will take its place, little by little, there is a process which some religions pretend to bypass by giving “shortcuts” to their followers. A “shortcut” is another method to increase that “I.” Thus, it is “good”… for it is making things move, but that “shortcut” is not the “method,” the “solution” into being “ego-less.”
What happens when there is “no-I”? Is that the goal?
There is no goal, nothing to “achieve”… “No-I” will bring “I” again. Just like day brings night and night, day.
SO… What is the goal, the objective?
There is none. It is a moving circle, a hand watch moving. Some may say the goal is to see time. Some may say the goal is to have a “nice watch,” a piece of jewelry to show.
So… What I am supposed to DO in Life?
Nothing, unless “you” want to DO something. Enjoy it!
That is why enjoyment of BEING may be the most spiritual “virtue.” It definitely brings “good karma.” 🙂
The influence of ancestors and family members
The family unity is the root feeding the experience of every leaf, every family member.
It is not just the feeling that we are “One,” but rather it goes back to our own roots and the relationship of those roots with the whole.
The family that we currently are in, is part of this conscious experience. There is a plan, which wasn’t planned. It is just the way it is.
Basically, every family member is there to “learn” from each other and to “work things out” in the development of every member. The stories may be different, the degree of relationship different, the level of intensity may vary, but each member brings in their own contribution to the family tree.
For the individual who is aware, that is a great opportunity to learn about himself.
Is there something, which you can see in your sibling or parents, which you do not like? ☺
You have that characteristic as well.
Is there a “virtue” which you like about a family member?
It is yours as well.
The degree of those characteristics may change; the stage in our life when that particular characteristic becomes visible to us may have different timing, but it is there, latent, ready to be expressed at some time.
Therefore, an easy way to learn about ourselves is in the relationship with our family members. There is no one else who could be able to bring the “best of us” and because of that, the “worst.”
A family has a Life span. Every member will bring unity with that whole just to separate at different times.
There is a time for dissolution of the family, just like everything else in Life. That time is misunderstood by most individuals influenced by collective beliefs.
For instance, Gabriela was a very famous woman. She married a popular man as well. It was a Cinderella story where eternal Love was promised. The couple had children. This family was the “great example” for others to follow. The belief of only one marriage in Life, which should last “forever,” is a common desirable belief worldwide.
This famous couple separated after a few years. That was painful for Gabriela and her now, ex-husband.
Gabriela’s sister was unknown to the public, but she married another unknown man and their marriage lasted “forever.”
Even though Gabriela re-married and was able to observe how much she had learned through the experiences of that previous marriage, she couldn’t help but to compare with the “lucky” destiny of her sister.
The social stigma of having a “failed marriage” was hunting her down, even though she was enjoying life. Gabriella felt like a failure to her children.
As most people age, their faces and body will show the pain and anguish of not fulfilling their ideas of a “perfect Life.”
Gabriella’s children may feel the discomfort and trauma of not being “normal.”
Some individuals may not know who their “biological parents” are.
What is their root, then?
The whole, the Universe. Those individuals are meant to learn about themselves as a reflection of the World.
Many cultures give a very special deference to the ancestors, the roots.
Every family has a particular characteristic, which could be perceived by others.
That particular characteristic may be the one to be aware of.
That is the gift if a virtue, or the material to create the gift…work in progress.
Our relationship with family members could bring us a sense of balance and closure in Life: Attachment while in unity will bring suffering when dissolution arrives. Detachment when it is the time for unity, will bring a wasted opportunity for knowing ourselves through the mirror of that relationship.
Timing is the most important aspect in any relationship.
When a person is going through an emotional healing experience; sooner or later, the family members will need to be involved in that healing.
A family is like the Rubik’s cube. If only one face of the cube is complete, there are 5 sides, which are “out of balance.” The whole cube is dependent on the completion of every face of the cube.
When the whole cube is displaying a solid color in each face, there is completeness, there has been healing.
If one a member of a family advances in consciousness, automatically everyone else in that family will move a step forward as well.
Because we are One.
Karma: The inaccuracy of simplicity – part 1
“Truly, one becomes good through good action, and evil through evil action.”
—Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, 3.2.13
“Karma” is not fully understood.
Karma means “action” and from that word, we could establish a system to define what is “good and bad.”
If we do “good actions,” we will receive “good things.”
If we do “bad actions,” we will receive “bad things.” Or in religious words, If we do “good,” God will reward us. If we do “bad,” God will punish us.
Here comes the controversy…
Are lies “bad”? 🙂
What about “white lies”? Not bad…huh?
Is to lie an “action”?
Then, if to lie is not action, why is it “bad karma”?
Framed in “bad actions,” “good actions” and “neutral actions” we forget about the underlying force behind any action or thought.
That is our intention.
It is so evident that the intention of a lie is what makes that lie “good” or “bad.”
“The law of Karma” as it is mostly explained, brings by necessity the labeling of some actions as “good or bad.”
That is inaccurate.
“The law says, we must stop on a red light while driving. If we don’t do that, we will be punished by paying a steep fine.”
In that “black or white” statement, there is plenty of “life in between” that could happen: The red light may not work properly, there is an emergency in the road, someone’s life is in danger, etc. There will be plenty of scenarios but our intention is the driving factor for experiencing the return of our activities.
In life, there are those individuals who will stop on a red light no matter what happens around them. Their belief is to be “righteous” by following words to the dot.
The irony is that we do not follow life and its changes, but words and their “static reality”…
An action performed by itself does not determine how life will give a return. Please experiment with this. Don’t merely accept it.
As expressed many times already, life is not interested in complying with our petty “black or white” morality.
Intentions hide behind actions.
Someone may say “ to rape someone is bad. Rape is a bad action.”
Rape is a sexual act by force. Notice the intention of the action: Force, abuse, domination, selfishness.
Q:Is the sexual act in itself “good or bad”? 🙂
A: Depends on your belief.
Life is not about beliefs, it is about intentions.
A sexual act is neutral until the intention of the “doer” arrives.
It is the intention what gives the quality of that action and thus the return.
To be continued….
What is there beyond duality?….Non-existence? what EXISTS then?
What exists is your perception.
Duality is a perception which rejects by conveniently separating experiences in life. Let me give the classical example:
There is a glass of water. The water fills up the middle of the glass.
Is the glass half full or half empty?
The example above in the traditional consciousness, is full of duality. You are made to choose between two apparently opposite states (fullness and emptiness.)
In life “at the office” this is the type of indoctrination that we go through and we apply the same to everything in our perception of life.
If you perceive the glass “half full,” you get the label of being a “positive thinker.” Otherwise, you are “negative.”
Do you see how duality is still there? (Positive vs. negative.)
Moreover, a workshop in “positive thinking” will be created so our rejection to the other half (negative thinking) is granted. When there is rejection of one side of duality, paradoxically, we will experience that rejected side as well, for our perception of duality is just a perception and life itself is… oneness.
Be aware of your thoughts. Don’t label them or judge them. Be in tune with your feelings and be part of the Totality.
That is why, when someone talks about the law of karma under the perception of duality, by labeling actions as “good” and “bad” that is a very infantile way of looking at things. Actions are neither “good or bad” by themselves. That is why, in the oneness of life our intentions are important, our feelings… for that drives the action. We cannot pretend to “act good” when our feelings are not like that. That is why, to act in accordance with the need of the time, to be in tune with the Universe and Nature is in itself what may need to be done without further labeling.
The common good.
A Human being will not be able to experience that while trapped in the duality of individuality vs. the collective.
That is why, it was mentioned that we need to go beyond that perception of duality.
Basically, there is no need to take sides, to be in favor of something or against. That is duality. Our society may pursue this duality, but a “life walker” should be able to be there without being there…out of duality. 🙂
In the example of the half empty and half full glass of water, someone’s perception could be to observe a glass with water and air. It is neither empty nor full.
That mind will not take sides by labeling empty as “bad” and full as “good.” That is the origin of rejection.
It simply, “is what it is” without any further labeling or judgment.
When we truly understand that we are dealing with perceptions in life and what matters is not what our senses are able to perceive but rather how do we feel about our perception, then our consciousness may start changing.
Do I reject? Do I separate? Do I take sides?
I am caught in duality, if so.
To perceive something and enjoy that perception while it lasts, is to maintain that joy like a little child; who is joyfully riding in a train in Disneyland’s “Magic kingdom:” The scenes will change continuously and the child will just smile throughout the ride… enjoying the experience while it lasts. 🙂
Mitch bought a pair of tires for his bicycle on-line.
They were a good deal!
A week later an email confirmed that Mitch had already received the tires.
Mitch did not get anything. Mitch called the company a day later after going through their “black and white” system of questions on-line.
“Where is my stuff?” was the right selection to get the company to call Mitch within 5 minutes…
Ms. Bianca explained to Mitch that it was the policy of the company to wait for a week before sending a replacement order, for the tires could be with a neighbor! Nevertheless, she was going to send a replacement order immediately…Ms. Bianca emphasized that it would be appreciated if Mitch completed a survey about his experience on resolving this issue, which he should have in his email inbox in no time… 🙂
Mitch was happy. Mitch assured Ms. Bianca that he was going to complete the survey. Mitch was going to receive the tires exactly in a week!
Three days later, a neighbor showed up into Mitch’s place with the tires…
Mitch went to the website to stop the shipment of the replacement tires. He was able to find the “I don’t need the items” option in the system.
But… the items needed to arrive first before they were sent back AND because to return “something that Mitch didn’t need anymore” wasn’t the company’s “fault,” Mitch needed to pay the shipment back to them.
The moral/ethical question, ladies and gentleman is:
Should Mitch return the tires or not? 🙂
If a poll is open, we will have many “Yes” and many “No.”
Shall the “right” answer be “Yes and No”? 🙂
Certainly that cannot be the case.
Someone has to be “immoral” and the other side “moral.” 🙂
That is exactly how we label someone in any “big moral issue.” We judge. We think we are right.
Our belief is supported by some religious idea or some philosophy that we made up and labeled as “reason and logic.”
To be called “right or wrong” is of no consequence in living life, when we understand that every action has a return. Our human labeling has no consequence but to inflate or deflate someone’s ego.
Our morality based on “black or white” teachings that we have learned, could assure us that “we are right.”
Life however, could demonstrate otherwise… but we will not realize that or just overlook what is happening.
All we care about is to get the label: “ You are right, Mac!”
A week later, Mitch received a coupon to save money in his over due car oil change. The week after that, the passenger power window in his car wouldn’t open. Mitch drove the car to the dealer twice before it was fixed…however, his car was under warranty, and so he did not pay anything and got a free car wash… 🙂
Cause and effect in action… but humans are so caught up into being morally “right or wrong.”
By the way, what was Mitch’s decision?
That is a huge mystery to this day… 🙂