Autumn arrived. It is the balancing act of Nature. High Summer activity will enter gradually into a period of rest. Some will feel happy because the heat of Summer is over. Others, will remember with nostalgia the great Summer time they had, hoping for that experience to come back again, some day. Summer will be back again. It is certain, just like the cycle of Life and Death.
The disciple was sad. A loving relative passed away. It was unexpected. It was in the midst of Summer. The disciple couldn’t shake that feeling of sadness from his heart. He went to his master and asked:
“Master, why is it so difficult to go over that feeling of sadness? Why does it persist? It is as if my mind brings piles of thoughts which end up in a feeling of despair.”
The master allowed the disciple to weep and when he was ready, the master replied: “ Losing someone we love is another experience in the vastness of Life. There are those who love things after they’ve lost them, and there are those who squeeze things hard so they do not lose them. Observe this: When we live in the mind, it will take us to the past which is gone or to the future which may not arrive. We don’t live in the reality of now, where Life unfolds, where love truly is.”
The disciple was disconcerted. He was waiting for some words to mitigate his pain. He asked: “ Do you think that my sorrow is in vain? I have the right to feel this way.”
The master understood his pain and lovingly said: “I feel your sorrow. Observe that all relationships have value, but when we value one relationship more than another, we set ourselves up for sorrow as all relationships sooner all later will disappear.”
The disciple responded: “Then, it is better not have relationships, for pain will be felt at the end.”
The master remained in silence for some time and then he added: “ Observe that many times we take Life experiences as traumatic experiences. We want to protect our self and by doing that we punish ourselves from the opportunity to forge new relationships. Life is relationship.”
The disciple had enough and he said: “What is the answer then ?”
The master replied: “ That is for you to find out. In a hot and humid Summer day, the wind will blow and clouds will appear turning the sky into a dark, gloomy day. Then, when darkness cannot be anymore, rain and thunder will arrive and lightning may show its anger by hitting things, but then soon it will be over and a rainbow will appear. Like Nature, express at once without holding back and move on into the rainbow for there is much more in Life than lightning and a dark sky. Everything has its own time. All experiences are fleeting. Enjoy an experience while it lasts. Not as a memory but as a heart felt experience while it is happening in the now. That will nourish that self that we try endlessly to protect. Remember that even lightning has its own beauty and that death is not the end but a passage. Summer which is gone now, will certainly return again. Spring time is its own colorful passage. In Life, what goes away comes back and once it is here, it goes away again. It is the circle of duality. That is the game we are offered to play and enjoy or to reject and traumatize.”
The disciple asked the master about the significance of control in society.
The master replied: “ In society there is a need to impose a will over another. For example the belief in widgets as the way to improve society, will encounter many who will not believe in that. Therefore, a will needs to impose for a belief to rule. Manipulation means to influence another to accommodate their will to our own personal ideas, beliefs. Manipulation and control come together.
In society, a belief will encounter many obstacles, such as rejection from others which will have a reactive consequence. Every disagreement, every fight is an opportunity to display violence over another to subdue that one, to win. In this context, winning is to impose over another.
Life does not work that way. Life shows the path, the direction and we align or oppose. Every opposition is a bitter lesson to learn, but nonetheless; useful for our conscious development.
For example is we observe the climate changing from hot to cold, we dress accordingly. If we believe that things should be the same, there will be a consequence for us. On another level, Life will show death to every person at a particular time. Acceptance is to go with the way. Rejection, fight, implies that there is a personal will with ideas and beliefs, opposing Life. What could be some of the consequences of that? Society has many problems to solve from dysthanasia, euthanasia, orthothanasia, combined with several religious beliefs, moral values involved and such. Society wants to come up with a solution that will be applicable to all; and that belief will be imposed to others to follow in the name of righteousness. Society has its way. Life has another. Observe that Life is completely impersonal and its movement tends to balance different forces. Society usually relies on personal opinion which comes from conditioning, tradition, personal interests and deep rooted beliefs.
Every time we are unwilling to observe the signals that Life is giving us and we stubbornly hold on to a belief for we believe that to be right, we are opposing to what is. To discern “what is now” is one of the greatest awareness we could have.
Life will teach us to respect, to acknowledge and to move on. Thus, become flexible like a palm tree who does not have a rooted belief as to where the wind needs to come from, and to which direction the tree should move to be right. If you observe this carefully, you will discover that every belief a person has is deep rooted in something ideal which Life uses sooner or later, to teach us to open up, to accept and to move on.
Confrontations, control, manipulation are human ways to obtain what a group wants. In that scenario, look for a common ground and take that. Sooner or later the common ground is bound to appear for at the end, we are all breathing the same air to survive. That is the common good.”
Will resume writing on April 22. Until then! 🙂
The disciple had a typical walk of about 3 miles before meeting his master. In his walk, the disciple witnessed how a person stole a cellphone from another, who was walking on the opposite side walk; then he observed that the amount of indigent people begging for money in the company of their small kids, had increased.
The disciple met his master and almost immediately asked him: “Master, are any of these things that you teach me useful to help solve the problems in the world? I see people stealing, I see people hungry begging for money and I hear that people kill one another for personal interest, and yet laws do not seem to help. There is a general idleness to do something real about it.”
The master said to his disciple: “Let me sit down to talk about it.” The master sat and observed the sense of emotional helplessness that his disciple experienced.
The master said: “ What you are learning is called spirituality by many. However, that is a very imprecise label. What you are truly learning is to live life in balance. Therefore, before knowing balance you must experience lack of it, disharmony. Once you are feed up, you will experience inner struggle; then you will be open to look somewhere else, to listen to something different. That is the process.”
“But master,” interrupted the disciple “that can take a long time for others and we need action now.”
The master observed the eagerness of his disciple to change things immediately, and said calmly: “Life has its own processes. There is a process of maturity for a a fruit to be ripe and ready to be eaten. Similarly is with human beings. When we do not understand that, we react and act violently to repress. In human history a reactionary movement has been used to suffocate something perceived as unfair. That is usually the task of politicians who experience that level of consciousness. Out of that struggle, something else happens one way or another, creating further friction which is met with further reaction. At this time, there are many individuals believing that laws and politics can change the world on a positive direction, however; they fail to observe that further struggle comes up, no matter what. That is what human beings label as problems.”
After a brief pause, the master saw the reaction of his disciple as if he was waiting for something else, a cure, a formula that will help everyone.
The master said: “ You are ready to look inside therefore your experiences will be different. Most humans are not ready. Many are always looking outside and trying to change things from an idealistic position. For example, many politicians believe in political systems as the necessary value to change the world; but they do not look at their own greed, their own violence, nor the ones following the ideal, the people. If they knew that, they could understand that any idealistic system that they choose will fail, for what they ARE is different from the ideal that they want to implement. Laws can force someone to DO something, but they cannot change that person to BE something else.”
The disciple was a bit disappointed with that reply and said: “Master, the systems implemented in the world have brought technological improvement and greater life expectancy. Something must be right.”
The master smiled and said: “The psychological and emotional profile of man has been the same or even degraded as time has gone by. Greater life expectancy is not the same as quality of life. Stress, anxiety, fear, anguish, restlessness, worry, neurosis.. with greater life expectancy, those will last longer as well. There is no balance there, and that is what human beings will learn to sense. Trust the process.”
It was a large park on a Saturday afternoon. It had many ponds, trees and flowers in a humid Summer. The master and his disciple sat near one fishing pond.
The disciple observed how a man was trying to catch fish. Once caught, he threw the fish back into the water. The disciple exclaimed: “That man is playing to be God. He decides over the life of those fish. Master, what is the right that a man has over the life of another being?”
The master listened carefully and after taking a few seconds, responded as if he was assessing the readiness of his disciple to assimilate what he was about to say. “A person is programmed with certain beliefs. The more unconscious that person is, the hardest it is for him to consider a different view point or belief. Many people with the same unconscious belief make up the collective consciousness. That program is hard to change for it brings some certainty, security to them.
A long time ago, there was a belief that the Earth was the center of the Universe. What was the basis for that? A belief in anthropocentrism. That is, life is according to human understanding and humans are the measure of all, above any species.
For instance, a Dolphin is considered inferior in that view, although it is quite intelligent. The label ‘intelligent’ is used to organize species according to how well they follow human standards. Humans are dominant because of their capacity to subdue others. Then, violence becomes the measuring stick for superiority over others. This also occurs among human races, gender, nationalities and religions and with greater intensity toward animals and plants. However, humans are afraid to live in an uncertain world which they cannot dominate completely. Nature is above any human power. Then anthropocentrism creates a being at the image and likeness of a person for protection and certainty. This fear of Nature, has increased to the point where most humans are no longer in touch with Nature, living artificial lives heavily surrounded by cement, processed food and mental entertainment. The master paused, watched the reactions of his disciple and continued: “To be able to observe how much egocentrism exists in many human beliefs, requires intelligence. Greater intelligence means to be able to discern if those beliefs are influenced by some needy psychological interest. As long as fear is the engine behind human decisions; humans will not be able to understand and become sensible of others’ needs.”
The disciple said: “There are religions and political systems proclaiming that man is the ultimate creation and that life and freedom are the greatest rights to preserve, but yet in practice that doesn’t happen, for man exploits other species and even other men.”
The master said: “ Fear brings corruption. That desire for certainty and security in an uncertain world brings a neurotic response in man. Knowing that, observe your beliefs and their emotional roots. There lies the human knot to untie in yourself. That is the most effective action you could do to benefit all.”
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.”