The master said to his disciple: “Experiences in Life are meant to peel all the layers of perceived knowledge, for those who are aware. Those who are not, merely will react according to likes or dislikes strengthening emotions. A strong like will create an avenue for pleasure, with the mental need to repeat certain experiences. A strong dislike will create a trauma due to a rejection of such experience. Caught up in such duality most human beings are unable to move on towards greater consciousness.”
The disciple responded: “It appears that everything is about the mind ….”
The master took a moment and said: “There are many types of seekers and every one of them is at a particular landmark in that path. In general, the mental layer is the first and perhaps most important at this time, to set yourself free. In this Life path, it is of no consequence to know how the brain works or to understand what is conscious or unconscious. What is very important is to observe what is there and what triggers it. How anxiety comes up? How fear arrives? How the sense of insecurity lingers throughout the day? What is like to feel at ease? Are we able to observe violence as we act? That is important.”
Then the disciple said: “I noticed that many seekers know the theory behind improving themselves. They know what to practice and what not. However, when tests in Life appear they fail the test. Why is that?”
The master responded: “Most likely they are unaware of their emotions. Thought cannot control an emotion. It can only repress it, but eventually; the emotion will surface with greater intensity. At this time, fear is one of the greatest emotions influencing most people. Those who have walked the path, know the importance of the process of catharsis for emotional liberation. While your arms are extending towards heaven; your feet are immersed in the depths of hell. To acknowledge that duality within creates that which we know as self. Transcending it means to integrate it.”
The disciple eagerly said: “Then that will be to know yourself? We arrived. Correct?”
The master calmly replied: “Because there is self, in the world of duality there is also no-self which is the collective consciousness. The most significant aspect of that collective consciousness is experienced through the emotional and mental roots of your family ancestry. ‘you’ are not only what ‘you are’ but what your family has been. There are branches from that family tree influencing you. Most are completely unaware of that. That is how the past is connected to the present and the future. Once that layer is peeled off, you are free to be no one.”
The disciple was a bit disturbed and responded: “No one? That is scary.”
The master immediately said: “And very gratifying indeed. Peel all the layers of the onion. What is left? Similarly, all those onion layers are like armors of ego protecting nothing inside. Do you see that? As you are peeling the onion, you may shed some tears, which at the same time will give you the fuel to smile with greater intensity. That is the gift of duality. To know who you are is to liberate yourself from the cage of yourself.”
It was a cloudy day in the middle of nowhere. It was the perfect setting for deep questioning. The disciple asked: “Master, there is a businessman offering prize money for any qualified individual offering proof that consciousness survives after death. Is there life after death?”
The master couldn’t help but laughed out loud and said:” Do you want to win that money?” The disciple said: “ I have no scientific proof even if I knew. How can I do that?”
The master smiled and said:” Science is mostly objective. Spirituality subjective. The world beyond the physical realm is not the study of science. All they could ever have is subjective answers from different experiences of individuals. Consider this: Even if science gives you an answer, something like- Yes, there is Life after death. Consciousness survives- for you, that will be another belief just like a religious belief. When faced with the experience of death, you will be afraid and finally accept it just like a cow does when facing a slaughter house, but the general human distaste and fear of death and the unknown, will be there like a shadow throughout your life. Do you realize that?”
The disciple was anguished by that answer. He uttered: “ There is no hope then.”
The master said: “Hope? There is no need for hope for those who know. A drop of water separates from the Ocean. That consciousness creates suffering. The drop is the Ocean itself. It has been said: ‘Know thyself then thou shall know the Universe and God.’ Right there is the answer, but most are not ready to go inside but rather start their journeys from the outside.”
The disciple said: “ The Universe and God will be known to me when I know myself?”
The master replied: “That is correct. Not before. By BEING that experiential knowing, that living presence, and not intellectually or through second hand information or beliefs, how could you be afraid of death? How could you ask what is there after death?”
The disciple said: “But that person who knows could tell others and help them in their lives.”
The master then said:” The one who knows through the process of self-realization is helping by only saying the necessary according to someone’s path, for they know the path. The ones who had personal supernatural experiences are being interviewed all the time. Their particular experience becomes another belief for others. Everyone has their own timing to start.”
The disciple asked: “Master, where do I start?”
The master said: “By dying from that self. That is the price that few are willing to pay. Most are only curious. They only want answers to be right. Most are not willing to go deep into their own lives to peel off all the layers of the onion of the self. Most are no willing to die from that shell of layers that they have built around themselves and in that perceived comfort, surrounded by their worldly distractions, achievements, conditioning and power struggle; in that sleepy trance, is how they encounter death. Obviously, fear and the desire to be certain will be there. They will cling to what they know by accepting beliefs from a subjective experience or tradition, unwilling to let all of that go. That is, they want hope that a sleepy consciousness will survive.”
The master was at the beach with his disciple observing Nature without a reason or purpose in mind.
As they were looking, a bird similar to an eagle appeared flying from behind them. It was quite big and descended quickly like a rocket into the sea, to catch a fish with its claws. It was a successful catch. The bird took the fish to a near electric pole and devoured it.
The disciple exclaimed: “Poor fish!” The master smiled and took a moment to respond: “ To put yourself in the shoes of another ’s fate is empathy, that is laudable. The human world has lost contact with the laws of Nature and thus, perceptions are contradictory. In Nature, the hunter and the prey are merely fulfilling a harmonious order, a balance in Nature. Death is part of Living. The population of birds, fish and other animals and plants are in balance and can fulfill their purpose, their roles of living without being extinguished. That holds true for every species except humans.”
The disciple said: “Then it was right for that bird to kill that fish to survive?”
The master said: “ Let us not think in terms of right or wrong. In Nature, things happen without ultimate reason but the common good. The bird did not act in an evil way despite killing. The fish wasn’t a victim despite being killed. There was an ultimate balance, for there wasn’t a purpose other than the common good.”
The disciple said: “ I don’t understand your lack of empathy for the fish.”
The master said: “Observe. It is not about my empathy or yours. When you judge Nature based on human morality there will be contradiction and misunderstanding. Nature cannot be understood through the mind made reality of written moral standards. Harmonious balance for the common good is the song in Nature not a written paragraph. We cannot judge Nature’s methods.”
The disciple tried to understand but had a puzzled look in his face. The master then continued: “In the human world there is an ultimate purpose. It is called profit, gain. That is not for the common good but for the perceived benefit of few above the rest. That is why their killing or any other action behind that purpose is ugly. Look at how people succumb to Nature. That is what is labeled as natural disasters. Balance is the ultimate purpose and humans are in that as well as any other beings on Earth. We are all one. There is no will for profit there. Observe how humans kill each other or other defenseless beings for a reason which only fit their own interests. Remember this: Your intention behind your action is the most important ingredient for the type of Life that you will experience. If your intention is service for the common good, how wonderful your life would be. Life itself will be with you. Knowing that, you wouldn’t live without serving others. You may need to go beyond good and evil to observe a different reality.”
Then the master sighed and continued: “What I said may be misunderstood for our human conditioning and beliefs are very strong. Just remember this: I am not here to change your beliefs. What you need to understand will come to you naturally without effort, without struggle.”
The master and his disciple sat in front of the Ocean. It was the Bay according to human knowledge but the Ocean nonetheless. The disciple asked: “ Master, you have said that you are here to help me with consciousness and not to give me answers which I should find myself. Why is consciousness so important?”
The master smiled and said: “ Look at the Ocean. Any comments?” The disciple did not take too long to answer: “ Well, it is moving salty water, kind of bluish/greenish color.”
The master said: “That shows your consciousness. It is only about your senses. You are describing what your senses may perceive. That we may call knowledge. Many will change their consciousness momentarily through the ingestion of potions made of plants and thus their perceptions will be different, but the consciousness that we are interested in is BEING. A seeker wants to become good, loving, open, compassionate. BEING is the ultimate of becoming of any spiritual knowledge. “
As they were talking a Dolphin appeared from the Ocean and both looked at their swift, elegant movement. The master said: “ Do you believe that Dolphin to have the same consciousness as yours?” “No, master.” Responded the disciple.
The master then said: “It is like looking at a painting. Your position in relation with that painting will dictate what you perceive and what you don’t. The issue is that most believe what they perceive to be the only truth.” Then the master took a deep breath and continued: “ The human mind perceives separation, fragmentation and thus, there is continuous fight – There is the homosexual and the heterosexual, both identify with a fragment of their reality -their gender, and fight among each other. There cannot be common good in separation. Their fragmented vision is unable to see that both are still human beings. Different but the same.”
The disciple said: “ Oh! I see it. The mind will give a perception based on differences, separation, contrast, analysis, logic and that collective reality we will call truth. But that is just a perception.” The master then said: “ Now see and experience that reality in yourself. That requires consciousness, awareness to nourish your BEING. That experience cannot be told to another. It is not second hand information. You call me master not teacher. A master does not teach, but a teacher does.”
The disciple didn’t understand completely yet so, he asked more questions: “Master, Do i have other ways to perceive Life?” The master replied emphatically as if he wanted for his words to pierce the ears of his disciple: “FEEL IT. The Ocean is there to be felt just like Life. Feeling brings the common good for in that experience, we can connect with another being. The Ocean is a fabulous experience when you feel it. That could change your consciousness. However if you take the word ‘fabulous’ and merely repeat it because that is the ‘right answer,’ your mind may be content with such empty word, but never your heart.”
FEELING is very difficult for those who have been conditioned to only connect with Life through their minds.
What could be the word to sum up all the experiences currently going on in our planet, the Earth?
Love? Peace? Happiness? Hope? Understanding? Animosity? How about violence.
At this stage in my own evolution, I am observing all of that violence within. Perhaps, that is the “reason” why I pick the word violence among all the other labels. Through the experience of violence, I have been the tyrant and the submissive peon. Once one side is experienced the other side will follow, for that reason; submissiveness is passive violence.
Violence has been with us from time immemorial. A culture conquered another through violence. Then, there was violence within that conquered culture. A gender subdued another through violence. A race proclaimed its superiority through violence. In society, we clash with one another and use violence to “win.”
Violence is not just physical, but that is the most obvious and grotesque. We could insult one another, we could look at someone in a despicable way. We could say things with irony, sharpness, dryness and sarcasm. We could speak with a tone of voice meant to overpower another. To take advantage of another, is violence.
Then, we could go into the “subtler” aspects of it, the ones which not too many could observe: I could compare a person with another. That is violence for I am not respecting their unique individuality. I could teach someone that respect means to infuse fear to others, that is violence. I could “correct” someone by putting down their ideas, by letting them know that “I am right, you are wrong;” that is violence as well. The key to understand violence is in being aware of the sensation, the internal emotion, the feeling which it brings. Many times it could be perceived as a “current” over the head area. That will change our facial expression. Definitely, the first sensation will be “closing up” or clenching up. Most will feel their stomach areas tighten up. If we are able to observe this emotion, open up; let the perceived violence go through you and outside you. Thus, it is not necessarily an action the one which defines violence, but rather the engine of it; is the sensation we have inside.
There are countless ways to express violence, even while “making love” (which by the way, is the most common.) Violence is everywhere and “I” am part of it. Do we see the enormous significance of this?
How can I love and feel peace with violence within? The conditioning of using violence is overwhelming. Isn’t the “alpha male” the archetype of violence? However, we could observe that the media almost worships that “winner” image.
No wonder we are violent. That trait could be desirable for those in society who are looking to get ahead, to dominate others and show them who “they are;” it is desirable for those who only care to “look out for number 1,” nevertheless; that sort of enhanced ego, cannot harmonize with the common good. There are consequences for behaving in such selfish way.
I recall: “ A violent man does not die a natural death” Tao Te Ching – Ch 42 or in a Christian way : “… and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7.
Despite all the religious and “spiritual” teachings, violence endures. It toughen our hearts, it creates psychological pain which in turn will be a traumatic experience lingering in our beings for as long as it needs, until one day we realize it is there, ready to heal into its opposite, that is Gentleness.
Authentic gentleness is not the “practice” of a violent person. Gentleness is the outcome of lack of violence.
It is a wonder how religions and spirituality have named the capital sins, the main vices, etc. as important to eradicate; however, we are not looking good enough at the obvious violence.
We want to deal with our ego, to become “better,” but we have a hard time recognizing what that ego is.
It is way easier to start with violence as we can smell it. However, we may need to be aware that if “I” try to stop it; “I” will inflict violence on myself. It is not by rejection or suppression how violence will subside. It is by being aware of it, through watching it in ourselves and fully realizing what it is and what it does to us.
“Non-violence” is non existing in a violent being, thus; we can only “practice” it, which is truly the rehearsal of a script.
To meet violence only with some defined “non-violence,” is to take the process of understanding violence in ourselves, in a trivial way. We could DO actions which seem non-violent, but when we ARE violence we cannot get away from the fact of who we ARE and thus, we only cover the reality of ourselves with the veil of “good deeds,” until we have the fortitude to look inside.
The “reality” of the “normal” person is surrounded by a man made “reality” of formulas, formalisms and philosophy known as economics. The poor and the rich are man made. That is not something coming from Nature or Life. That “reality” is what most humans are conscious of. A man made illusion which has become “real.”
Similarly, at this time in Spirituality; there is the “reality” of the “ethereal body” for some individuals. This is related with the touted “Ascencion to the 5th Dimension.” where it is said that “everyone in the planet will go through that.” That “5th dimension” is not a place. It is a state of consciousness where the bagagge of emotionality will be dropped by some individuals (those who are ready) with the outcome of a non-violent being who is ready to explore the meaning of love. Thus, the development and awareness of this vehicle (ethereal body) has importance according to this time.
Below is the conversation between Mathias ( A being of light manifesting as a tree of Nature) and Ahnanda about some ontologycal questions surrounding BEING. I am reproducing it, for it shows the interconnection of BEING with the Totality. The question of “who I am?” is answered in an orignal way. Note that many religions or philosophies may use other labels.
Ahnanda: Now that you mention about the importance of developing the ethereal body at this time, I read many articles with contradicting information about the ethereal body. Could you tell me what the ethereal body is?
Mathias: It is “you” but bigger. It is a world of giants. En each part of those worlds, there is “you” as well, but you are under the illusion that you are only here. The ethereal body is the body limit which unites these dimensions with another sublime reality where density is not nor duality. It maintains a connection and interaction. It is like the roots, stem, leaves and the flower. The ethereal body is the leaves before the flower.
Ahnanda: What is the flower in this analogy?
Mathias: The essence, my friend.
Ahnanda: The essence? That is what is known as “soul.”
Mathias: That is what is known as “spirit,” that is “you” not “I.”
Ahnanda: Isn’t the soul the essence, as I have been taught by religions?
Mathias: If you wish, we can call that soul.
Ahnanda: But, you call it spirit…
Ahnanda: And that flower is the one having experiences of many lives?
Mathias: The stem has the experience of many lives, my friend. What would you call the stem? The stem has two parts. The first one is the emotional body and the second part is the physical body made to enter duality. Then you have the roots.
Ahnanda: But that stem unites everything.
Mathias: Of course, my friend.
Ahnanda: And… where is consciousness then? I mean, the plant who is conscious of the stem, the roots and the flower.
Mathias: In the water, my friend.
Ahnanda: Water is the Universe?
Mathias: Everything. Water here is everything. It is called Totality.
Ahnanda: But there is a difference between the plant and the Totality, right?
Mathias: Correct. Do you want to know a label for that?
Mathias: It is called nothingness.
After the talk with Mathias, I was wondering what would be the “root” in this analogy of the plant.
When I recalled that he used the word “root” to refer to my ancestors, my “roots.” My past, my genes which make up my personality. That is the connection with the past, which is part of the stem.
Thanks to this talk, I understood how spiritual schools, religions and philosophies emphasize only one label, one thing as the most important aspect of the human being when responding to the question “who am I?”: Soul, spirit, genes, physical body, consciousness, etc. without seeing the connection.
The plant is not only the flower or the roots. The plant requires water to survive.
Every human being is living their own “reality” of “who am I?”and thereby, the answers that he will validate as “the truth” are the ones fitting that “reality.” Very convenient indeed.
Who am “I”? 🙂
Laughing at that question, is my “rational” answer.
When we perceive danger or a situation which brings a feeling of uneasiness, we could stay and fight. We need to “win,” we need to conquer the “enemy,” etc. On the other hand, if that situation is perceived as unsurmountable, then we need to “save face,” that is “flight.”
Our conditioning is heavily influenced by dualities: win-lose, fight-flight. This is the first aspect to observe, when making sense of our behavior. Why is that important? Because we are caught in a box of 2 possibilities, when there are many.
One of the heaviest conditioning there is in our society, is related with this duality of perceiving Life as the inner working of a computer: On-OFF, 0-1. In general, we see Life from this binary format. Duality. No wonder “our creation,” the classical computer works in the same way. We may need to switch our awareness to something like a “Quantum Computer,” where there could be more than just one choice, many possibilities.
Spirituality sees that ACCEPTANCE of “what is,” is indeed another way to meet Life.
This is not surrendering or an offshoot of “flying,” by slowly walking off like a dog who has been nagged by his owner. Acceptance is to be flexible in the moment to meet Life as it appears.
For example, every Tuesday I may eat spaghetti religiously. One Tuesday I ran out of it and couldn’t purchase it. Yes, I could eat something else instead, but that is not the type of acceptance that I am talking about.
Acceptance is to look with some sort of excitement at the opportunity for something different, that is the arrival of newness. Acceptance is an attitude of gratefulness for the new experience.
The above is something difficult to see when we are only caught up in our own stories, our own images that we want to protect.
For instance, Life sends a pandemia. The story is not just about human beings. Nature has the rare opportunity to rebuild itself. Caught up in our own stories in self-absorption, we cannot see the whole picture. So what Nature has to do with “me”? Nature is where WE live, what we breathe, Life itself.
The human story commonly shared is about lost jobs, lost lives, lost income, lost markets, lost GDP, and so forth. We do not see the unity of all. We do not perceive when we divide ourselves from everything else, that we create a duality between “us” and “them;” therefore, the survival of “them” depends on the extermination of “us.” We cannot see a sane balance of “us” and “them,” for our minds haven’t been conditioned to harmonize but to ‘win,’ to ‘conquer,’ to follow the “survival of the fittest” idea when paradoxically, the weakest of us are being killed through a virus (There is an element of human responsibility in every pandemia) and we want to protect them. Let us not go into the “morality” of that perspective. Let us see the facts. Animals, plants, the environment are the “weakest links, “younger brothers” compared to humans but the same moral direction to protect is not there, but to exploit.
Acceptance. That is the opportunity to end the stories of despair and anguish and look forward to newness, the opportunities.
There are different levels or interpretations of acceptance, but a deep acceptance will bring as a result what is known as a “detached observer.”
What Life “throws at us” is for our own inner development; thus, we may need to sharpen our ability to Observe, so we could assimilate Life experiences with acceptance rather than bitterness and opposition.
“We” cannot ‘win’ over Life. We are Life itself.