A duality is understood as two separate options when truly is one line of continuity. I am not speaking about the “morality” of what we perceive as “bad” or “wrong” for that is a human value. I am pointing out that our perception of a duality as separate, opposite sides is an illusion in the “reality” of Life. We need language to identify a side of that duality, but if we consider one side valuable and despise or reject the other, we are setting ourselves up for suffering. Language is an identifier but let us forget the connotation that it brings, if we want to go deeper. For example, the word “snake” brings a connotation according to tradition or cultural conditioning (devil, penis, medicine- caduceus-, etc.) if we are influenced by that, we cannot look at the reality of the snake appearing in front us. The mind and its conditioning will give us an illusory reality.
Let me illustrate with the duality of life and death.
The weather is getting hotter because of the increase of carbon dioxide emissions. Superficially, we could say that “Australia is one of the largest per capita emission of carbon dioxide in the world; “ and come up with a “reason” for dead kangaroos and other animals there at this time, due to the recent fires. However, Life does not make distinctions of nationalities, which are man made illusions, part of the conditioning. Is Global warming “good or bad”?
Our moral conditioned mind will say “ It is bad.” Yet, our human “progress” depends on it. In a nutshell, the “economy needs global warming to thrive.” More cars, more coal powered electrical stations, more energy dependent sources on petrol and oil which are used in greater quantities as human population increases.
What we DO is in contradiction with what we say. It is called politics.
Do we see how something which we apparently call “bad” could be turned into “good” after a couple of turns in the streets of Life? We could change our perspective of “good and bad,” due to mass media and political pressures, but we cannot change the consequences.
Every belief and support in something labeled as “good” will bring its “bad” effect as well. Observe the current international situation between Iran and the USA. We are used to take sides based on our assesment of the “good and bad;” however, ego manifested as desire for control, is the “real” cause to observe and that ego is more important in the “normal” human mind than to respect Life. No matter what religious or moral teachings we may have superficially accepted about protecting Life; sooner or later the “truth” of who we ARE will come out. Then, the question of choosing countries and pair them with a label such as “good or bad” seems very infantile. Another example? it is said that the belief in God has brought some social order but many lives have been taken as well due to that belief. Our conditioning will follow what mainstream teaches us, but every belief has 2 sides which cannot be taken apart: To separate a duality to support one side and reject the other is insane; however, it is the “bread and butter” of our spiritual/religious/moral teachings.
Many years ago while I was running, a car hit a deer. The deer could hardly walk and went near the bushes to the side of the road. I looked for help as I didn’t know what to do. A couple of firefighters came with a security guard. They offered shooting the deer with a gun and “end its misery.” The firefighters “jokingly” (but seriously) were talking about eating the deer afterwards. I was in my late twenty’s at the time. I wanted for the deer to be in a tranquil space and asked for help because I thought the deer could get well. Nevertheless, I had to forcefully convince the people around me to let the deer go naturally. The “help” I brought, didn’t help in my view. I could see the face of despair of the deer. I couldn’t understand how some people were not sensible to pain and suffering. There was no empathy. Their “economic interests” were more important. From the time the deer was hit until it finally died, about 1 hour lapsed. I saw the deer die, and then the “helpful” people helped themselves.
Now, I understand that other humans will see Life with different eyes. Where some see despair and anguish; others see an opportunity to eat. Who is to say that my view is “good” and theirs “bad”? Judgment is out of the way in Life. There will be consequences for all players. No matter what we believe is “good or bad.” Life is about the experience of consequences. Are we able to OBSERVE the consequences of our own actions? As a consequence of this incident, I developed a trauma: I had to fight with others to impose my views which I thought were “right,” “compassionate,” etc. Superior than other people’s views. Also, the witnessing of pain and suffering in others affected me as if it was my own. Empathy is different than suffering for others. Their experience is not mine. Those traumas were with me for a long time. I am sure other consequences were experienced by the other “players” of the deer scene, although they may not be aware of that.
Beyond duality, there is the common good which cannot be perceived by the conditioned mind. It is only felt when there are no reasons or interests at stake.
The mind is a repository of information, memories. It is almost like a hard drive, being filled with videos (MP4) of our recorded life experiences, with the additional “feature” of being able to extrapolate assumptions based on the stored information. However, some information “leaks” as years go by. It is unreliable.
A “normal” person will use those memories and information as a source of “knowledge” and apply it to unknown situations, by assuming that existing trends or past life experiences, will continue as they had. We use Life experiences, the past; to forecast the future and new situations. We can label that as “ thinking” or “reasoning” and feel safe; but notice that this process is as good as flipping a coin to make a “choice,” for truly Life is completely unexpected. The threads of Life situations escape our mental perception.
A person living in the “mind,” will believe that “he” (“I”) is the mind. When Life throws something “new,” then the mind will retrieve information and use that info as bona fide source of action.
Trusting only the contents of the mind is a superficial way to meet Life. There are 2 or more paths opening in our Life at the same time, which one do we follow? That could be a hard “decision.” We have been taught to weigh the “pros” against the “cons.” We are merely speculating. We don’t know. What is perceived as “bad” could be necessary in our Life path in order to grow; but our “reason” may not see that.
Thus, we can flip a coin and odds are the same as “thinking through it.” However, we will be hesitant to do it, for “thinking” gives the false sensation of having some control over circumstances. We are great believers of the mind.
The mind is a static mechanism meant to recall past experiences. There is no creativity in it. Through it we only perpetuate the “same old thing.” That is the false sensation of security that we embrace.
The mind wishes to understand Life. How could it be? A “machine” built to keep, process and understand only pictures and data will feel intimidated when a “real” movie of Life is in front. The mind takes a picture, analyzes it, dissects it and comes up with some theory as to how the next movie frame “should be.” Otherwise, it gets a disappointing feeling, even a bitter taste: A trauma is made. However if the forecast happens, then ego pops up until the upcoming “failure” brings it down.
Ironically and philosophically, we may conclude that “Life is a bitch and then we die.”
Understanding Life through the mind is futile. A picture cannot explain the movie. We are spinning our wheels without moving an inch. Life is not meant to be mentally understood but lived. Living is not of the mind, but we assimilate the experience by being observant, quiet which is the way to learn, without making mental conclusions and theories.
When we talk to someone we may hear words and only believe what comes out of her mouth. Those who have a bit more observation, know that the overall feeling, gestures and setting will give a better clue. That “knowing” cannot be put in a book in easy to understand “fool-proof ”steps for everyone to read and “apply.” That “knowing” is more accurate as it fits “reality.”
Tantra moves along those lines. It is the invitation to abandon the mind and its understanding, its signals; which only makes our moves in Life through the path of stored fears. Very predictable, that is lacking creativity.
The very wish to understand Life through the mind, creates the motion of our minds over our hearts.
We will not dare to OBSERVE the movie of ourselves quietly, while moving in Life. We will be content with a “selfie” and hang on to some belief about that picture, which at the end will be shattered when Life moves beyond that point.
Paradoxically, Life is understood without trying to understand it. That may be the only requisite. That understanding is not of the mind; thus, closer to “what is.”
The teaching has been to DO something to become “better” in Life. That conditioning entails to negate who we ARE to pursue what “should be.” It is thought that DOING (some goal oriented action) will attain a “better” state of BEING.
Observe how our society supports this view. We encourage young people to obtain more, gain more, acquire more to become “better.” We encourage greed through the separation of “I” vs. “you.” We call that “ healthy competition.” Our society is founded on that principle. We need to compete and win, to become “better,” but nowadays as the amount of “competitors” have increased tremendously, to “win” is even necessary to survive. Paradoxically, the most “intelligent” species of the planet basically lives Life, to survive.
That ideology has ill consequences for society and the common good.
The same principle is applied into religious teachings and spirituality for the “masses.” Here, the prize is in the afterlife, whereas in society; the prize comes in this lifetime after some years of “sacrifice.”
That “prize,” whatever it may be; becomes the motivation. Therefore, every action that we take to pursue something “better” has a motive; a “because” when someone asks “why?”.
J. Krishnamurti observed:
“How do you observe the fact that you are conditioned? Do you observe it with the desire or motive that you must be free of it? If so, you have created a contradiction. So can you be free to observe without a motive? Motives are born out of your conditioning.”
When we create a contradiction from “what is” into what “should be,” then; our actions are goal oriented; nevertheless, the goal is an ideal, and the ideal is never “real.”
“I want to be humble.” That is the ideal. There will be some actions to follow as to accomplish the ideal of “humble.”
Our idea of “humble” cannot be the full extension of BEING humble no matter how much we practice. Thought out actions cannot attain what is in the realm of BEING. Without deep observation, understanding, acknowledgment of “what is”, the outcome will bring fake transformation. In short, deep observation is action.
To observe, to become deeply aware is the “true” action, and that brings change without motive, thus; true change, for observation is not concerned with labels or moral standards.
Observation requires attention, it has to occur without motive; that is without the mental explanation: “I am doing this because…”
On attention, J. Krishnamurti pointed out:
“Attention may last a second. That is good enough. Don’t be greedy to have more. In the greed to have more, you have already created the centre, and then you are caught.”
There is a motive which brings the conditioned “I” to the surface; that is the one who “wants to be better,” but that wanting is the reason why we cannot BE.
Observe that this “self-improvement” of “not wanting,” is the complete opposite of what our society has conditioned us to believe.
Awareness and deep observation has been replaced by the pursue of an empty ideal, which may bring “economical progress” to our society, but where quality of life is lacking.
A world taught to compete by dividing itself into little groups and little flags is deep sleep, as it is incapable of realizing that those divisions are illusions, which participants are unable to break free from. It is a strong conditioning.
For them, “freedom” is merely to comply with the ideal of “going away from one country flag to stay in another,” without realizing that we are still slaves of the illusion of division which is fueled by competition, which in turn; provides a motive, a purpose to live Life in society, which is bound to exist in contradiction with the ideas and illusions of other human beings.
We are never the same. There is no static moment, no past where we could look back and believe to be completely unchanged since then.
I observed some family members visiting us. They live in another country. The last family gathering was about 20 years ago. Now, they ARE different from what I knew before. It is not just looks. That is the most superficial aspect of change. They are different, “I” am different.
I had an image of them in my mind. That image created an expectation, which resulted in illusion.
The only thing without a change that I knew from before, was their names. The same outcome occurs when we are living closely with others, although we may not realize the changes.
As we grow in relationship with others, we change. An individual is affected by company. Most are aware of that.
Most are oblivious that as we grow older, our own changes will create an inner resistance, when we are aware of them. There is an image, a still picture of the “perfect” self, which we would like to keep.
That “poster” is living in the mind. As any poster, it is static, completely unchanged. It is not real.
Nevertheless, that is our point of inner comparison. Comparison is the mother of unhappiness, at any level.
Practically, we live to keep an image and we relate with our own images of others.
“Pat” has an image of “Carl.” There is “Carl’s image” as perceived by Carl himself.
Carl would like to be treated according to the image that he has of himself. Anything lower than that, is considered an insult. Pat will mingle with Carl, by using the image that she has of Carl. Those are the untold boundaries.
Typically, when we meet someone for the first time, we spend that meeting in creating an image of that person. If we like that person, then the image grows in accolades, until one day we may “realize” and say to her: “You have changed since I first met you.”
It could be many years before we awaken from the dream.
Similarly if we dislike a person. Our image about that person can only go down, as we strive for consistency. “We cannot be wrong.” Observe the inner game of placing images into simple containers of likes and dislikes and to consider those as the standards of accuracy, reality, etc.
Could we relate without images?
That may require great awareness of the tricks of our own minds.
To meet someone without “pictures and posters” in our minds, will allow that other person to BE, for there is no inner need for the other to comply with our own picture of expectations, requirements and ideals.
For that we need to be free from psychological neediness, at any level in regards to the other. If there is a need, there will be a picture and our desire to maintain that picture as the ideal. Consciously or unconsciously, we will manipulate “reality” to look like that picture.
Psychological neediness does not allow for a “true,” open, caring relationship; for we are concerned in keeping the validity of personal images, rather than becoming aware of and accepting unconditionally “what is.”
Will be taking a break until October 31st. Enjoy yourself! 🙂
Everyone has its share of sorrow in Life. Why?
Because everyone as well, has its share of joy. Duality.
To answer “Why” doesn’t give any comfort, when we deal with emotions in Life. A “why/because” answer is useless, for there is no way to avoid or to “tackle the problem”. We need to go through the whole experience.
There is the type of sorrow and joy which “happen to us” due to circumstances. “I feel sorrow/joyful because…” Those are the types where duality manifests.
Also, there is a kind of “joy” which is the expression of BEING. That one is little known by most. Duality does not affect it. We usually cannot feel it for we have other garments covering it: Emotional traumas.
Observe our typical Joy. Like anything in Life, it is a transient state.
An episode of sorrow, precedes Joy. They follow each other.
The “answer” to go beyond that duality is right in the middle, between that duality; between the yin and yang. However, to experience that balance, that equanimity, may take many other experiences to center our consciousness to feel that equilibrium. It is a feeling.
Experiencing Life with impartiality, is key to ride the ups and downs in Life.
Impartiality is not a “practice”. That equilibrium is cumulative, as we are able to assimilate different Life experiences: Joyful, sorrowful or in between, all included without distinction. With some we laugh, others cry. Smile. That is the middle.
Impartiality has been known as the “Middle Way”, for it is the middle between dualities; however, typically that is understood in a different way.
Sorrow may remain despite the ending of the situation causing it, for “I” will keep the memory of that incident as a traumatic experience. Fear will be born, and that weight will be with “me” as long as “I” live, unless “I” release that emotion.
Unavoidably, there will be the experience of sorrow in Life. Sorrow is meant to change a person through a new perspective of Life. No intellectual understanding can ever do that.
It doesn’t matter whether those perspectives are “true or false.” What matters is the imminent change in consciousness once we cross the obscure passage. Change upon change, eventually we will learn to see the “mirror” rather than the outside perception of an episode. However, the trauma may remain. We still need to clean the slate, dissolve the emotion.
Life will bring a way to free ourselves from past traumas as long as we are aware of them, acknowledge them and be willing to open up. In this way, every Life experience will increase our maturity, our insight; and that will bring us closer to that state of impartiality where dualities are experienced, but there is no traumatic footprint inside. The Middle way.
While living Life, we may learn to witness it without unneeded commentaries coming from the mind.
That creates the perfect soil for inner joy, the type of “inner smile” untouched by the dualities of Life.
Because most of humanity has a mind concerned with separation, division as a perception of Life, then unhappiness will be the outcome of such mind.
Observe your own mind. There is “I” and there is “you.” Also all personal pronouns are part of the division. We know to be bound by language syntax, but we believe deep inside that “innocent” division to be true. That carries an existential problem beyond language. Observe how the main tool that we use to figure out “Life,” is based on “analysis.”
Analysis is a tool for further division. We want to know something which is whole by dividing it in parts. However, parts do not make up what is meant to be whole. The “whole is equal to the sum of its parts” we say, it is a nice theory in society, but doesn’t quite work out in “real” Life. Can we take apart a human being in its numerous parts, and make it “work” as a live human as it was before the division?
Our vision of the world is meant to analyze things. Observe politics. It deals with government, administration of people in a society. Politics relies heavily in all sorts of analysis. We don’t take people as “people”, we divide people. We create groups and out of that we create struggle between groups. We forget the common good; but become biased and select what is most convenient for a particular group. That is “Democracy.” Not the nice theory of what is supposed to be; but the “real,” practical aspect ongoing around the world.
There will not be a self realized individual dealing with politics. Not because “politics is dirty business” but because politics is a fictitious, one sided way of looking at Life. That political vision is incapable of putting things together in synthesis.
Politics is about conflict among groups and power struggle of certain groups. That is the outcome of a mind which has been trained to divide.
How is it possible to find “solutions” for problems created in our society which such mind?
It is not possible. “Problems cannot be solved with the same mind set that created them.”
That is a quote from A. Einstein. “Division” is a mind set.
Where is the root problem in need of a “solution”?
The human mind.
Happiness is not a creation of the mind. What our society considers as happiness is truly infantile, nevertheless; we cannot find a happy person there, but rather a sedated one. Someone who lives in the comfort zone of his mind’s achievements which, are only another reflection of a mind trained to divide, to fight, to conquer, to compete, to become “someone” in Life, as the utmost value.
Most know that happiness is not brought by material things. Nevertheless, we strive to obtain those at all cost. Happiness is not in circumstances, settings, relationships. It is not bound by what is “out there”.
Happiness is inner fulfillment. It is an inseparable sensation when we breathe, which makes us alive and vital. That cannot be found in the mind. That is why, there is “no-mind.”
But, what our educational system knows about it? Not much. In fact, what we are so eager to learn in our educational system is all about living in the ego mind. Most individuals are only concerned with their own achievements, the well being of their own group and the continuous struggle to maintain an ideal status quo during their life times, which they fight to provide to their own kind, their succesors. Conditioning is very strong and will continue on from generations.
Therefore, a sensitive, intelligent person will look into this. His personal journey will deal with recognizing and knowing his own mind. There lies the conditioning. There lies the madness.
This route doesn’t take the traveler into “name and fame.” There are no medals or prize money at the end of the journey.
There is only this sense of fulfillment, which indicates that we found our place in Life. This “achievement” happens without being “someone”, without doing something “special”, without fighting and trying to “conquer” our self created demons.
The “normal” conditioned mind, will be unable to understand that unless, the actual “mind set” is left behind.
The experience of Life is typically seen as duality: Going up means to go down.
There is day and there is night. Can we select one without the experience of the other?
Those selecting or being attached to only day or only night haven’t understood this.
Do you look for success? There must be failure. Do you look for truth? There must be the experience of falsehood. Do you want good? There must be the experience of evil.
Thus, how insane is to place high regard, high value on one side of a duality and reject the other, when both are complementary. Both come together as a “package.” Therefore, it is ONE.
Our society is suffocated by the experience of a misunderstood duality. There is no “two” opposites but “one” complementary experience.
Life is not concerned with human morality. It merely presents the whole range of experiences. That is a strong reason to observe that most religions do not fit the way of Life itself, but will support the conditioning of human morality, that is; one side of a duality. Life constantly will show us the whole experience.
If the above needs further clarification, I will add this example.
Are you familiar with the teachings of J. Krishnamurti and Osho Rajneesh ?
Most “spiritual seekers” are. Both are like day and night. “Dawn” (between day and night) is the rebellious attitude which they have in common.
Krishnamurti says that there is no method to reach the “truth.” Osho will give plenty of methods for that. Krishnamurti did not follow any books. Osho gave some of his teachings using some books that he had read. Krishnamurti did not want followers. He did not choose someone to replace him. Osho had followers. It is said that he picked before his death, someone to continue with his “dream.”
Both observed that we live in a sick society. That is “dawn” again for both. Krishnamurti, supported to look deep within and inquire within to freed yourself through a new consciousness. He believed in the change of the individual. Osho wanted to build a “Noah’s ark” with followers who would be living outside society in a new paradigm, with a new consciousness. That is collective change.
Since their teachings were opposite of each other, who is “right” and who is “wrong”? Isn’t that the typical conditioned question which we cleverly ask to side with something and be “right”?
Because they are opposite, it doesn’t mean that one of them has to be “wrong”. That is the old conditioning. Rather; because they are opposite, they are complementary of each other. They are ONE.
Both teachings will show us the complete Life experience.
Do you want a “method” to reach “truth”? Osho is the man for you. Once you have gone through that, you’ll be ready for Krishnamurti and you will have no more methods. If you start with Krishnamurti without going through Osho; you will not be ready. Do you want to know the extent of love? Start with Krishnamurti to end up with Osho.
What is my point?
Embrace both opposites in Life. This is not a question of morality. It is a matter of knowing Life. Not from the conditioned “intellectual” perspective of society, but without the parameters which are holding us back to be open to the uncertainty of Life.
Life is not interested on who is “right” or “wrong”. Why should we? IT IS as IT IS. It is not a matter of “choosing one” over the other. It is a matter of accepting both and OBSERVING honestly, where you fit within that range, and go from there.
There are more “teachers” than Osho and Krishnamurti. A person may go through many of those teachers. Some may even embrace religions which will be necessary for a particular path. The “Yes” and the “No” will need to be experienced for a complete experience. This cannot be only intellectual information. There must be experience.
We need to go through it. That is when there is true change. That is your unique path.