The shortcomings of Logic
Our society praises logic and reason as a way to gather objective “reality.” Logic becomes the tool to discover if something is “right” or “true.”
Humans have created a society with structure, where something logical could be enforced.
That is right, logic is another ideal of our society. Life is not logical at all. Have we experienced that?
The ways that we try to understand Life are typically the ones taught to us, passed to us by the educational system. It is almost as if we have built our own little world of ideas, supported by dualistic language which do not have the ability to describe the amplitude of Life, but only to make partial, inaccurate references.
What is the logic behind a “good man” experiencing a terrible death?
A “good man” according to who? What do you mean by a “terrible death”?
What is the logic of hunger in the world? Aren’t humans working together to help each other? How long would it take?
Life is not logical. In our society, we have made it to appear as logical. That reminds me about the “logical song” by Supertramp. The ability to feel without the interruptions of the mind is the trademark of a child. A “reasonable” man has so many things to THINK about. The joy of life is taken away.
Logic, reason… Those mental tools have transformed the lives of so many “professionals.” They are efficient, they have degrees, they are comfortable, well off, but not fulfilled. Emotionally they may not be able to connect to another human being, although that one may be physically close; emotionally there is a huge distance.
Without emotional connection, there cannot be fulfillment.
Observe how Sexuality has been transformed into physical pleasure. Sex without emotional connectivity is in fashion. It is more efficient, less complicated. It is practical. Logical. The desire of not “getting involved” brings at the same time, a sense of missing something.
Life requires our complete involvement at every moment.
Logic and reason scrape the surface of “reality,” but yet most believe that “truth” is in them.
Life offers so many experiences which reason is unable to see.
Looking outside the shoe box
The collective consciousness labels and segments experiences: Good, bad, right, wrong. It is all relative to a perspective, a conditioning, a moral standard.
But, the individual experience can only show a limited range. What is a “bad” experience? The passage to a “good” one.
Isn’t “right” born out of what is “wrong”?
Cause and effect are together. All experiences in a person’s life are necessary together. Life is a “togetherness,” although our mind insists in viewing parts and labeling them.
A wall clock is a togetherness. We label 11 AM as “good or bad.” But time never stays fixed; but our labels do.
Sexuality practically, is a range of an experience. Every individual has a particular experience within that range.
The fixation is in achieving some ideal of what “should be.”
“Reality” is that as humans, we ARE not the same…. But we ARE. Language doesn’t allow for that illogical contradiction, but Life is oblivious of our logical constructs. Truly, Life is far from our intellectual understanding, the shoe box.
When we dare to look outside of the shoe box, we will observe that nothing is confined into a container. We make that trick.
The trick works because everyone is conditioned to believe in it.
Watch TV for too long and you will start believing that that world is “real.” It is a dreamy world where the reality of our feelings is confined for the sake of being “right” according to some moral gospel, another shoe box.
Shoes are not meant to be inside shoe boxes. We believe they should be.
Interpreting experiences to create dogmas
Every time we interpret an experience, we create a belief.
Every time we find an intellectual explanation supporting our belief, we have made a dogma.
A dogma cannot stand the movements of Life. A dogma is destined to collapse or to continually re-create itself to survive.
In my Life experience, I had some people telling me about my future. We call those “fortune tellers.”
It is my experience that their prediction became a reality, even when my Life at those past moments did not show any remote likelihood of what I was being told.
Obviously we have different kinds of “fortune tellers.” My experience was with the “good ones.” 🙂
Do we want an explanation about the power of “fortune telling”?
If we live under Yogananda’s experience, we could say something like: “ That person is able to tune into God’s mind.”
If we live under the consciousness of a fundamentalist Christian, we could say: “That is the work of the Devil.”
If we live under the scientific “know it all” consciousness, we could say something like: “It was a subliminal message. You were influenced through that story and you acted it out.”
Do we see that in all of the different consciousness interpreting an experience, there is an explanation?
Which is one right?
That is not the right question. Just observe that there are different states of consciousness formulating an explanation.
Some years after this “fortune telling” experience, my destiny brought me into a religious group who believed in something they call : “The cycle of time.”
Basically, it is the “eternal return” explained by Nietzsche in the West, but understood by many other ancient cultures from different parts of the world with their own spin.
In a nutshell: Every moment is eternal. We could say that every moment will repeat again; however; that is merely intellectual “information.”
In “reality” every moment is completely new.
Paradoxically, because every moment already “has happened,” some “fortune tellers” with that gift, could see it. Life is a movie and some individuals have the gift of “fast forwarding” or “rewind” the movie of Life.
The above merely shows that the “I” is an illusion. We are part of that movie, not something separated.
From that perception, we could perceive the beauty of Totality which others may call “omnipresence” and yet others, “God.”
Let us say that I believed in the religious explanation of the cycle of time given by this religion.
“This is the time to change your destiny. If you don’t do it now, you will not be in Paradise and that unfortunate event will repeat for ever.”
Obviously, my experience of “fortune telling” was supported by the explanation of “eternal return” which at the same time was interpreted in a religious way by some religion due to another experience that I had.
What is the result of so many interpretations?
A dogmatic view of Life.
The fact of recognizing that the “I” is an illusion in a continuously changing world, will clearly allow me to see that the “I” is not “doing anything.” Because everything changes there cannot be a static entity such as the “I.”
Nevertheless, the consciousness of the “I” and the “Me,” (normal consciousness) will compel me to see the “reality” of the “I” doing things.
“I need to go to Paradise.” “I need to achieve God consciousness.” “I need to be saved.” “I need to become a guru.” “I need to be an angel.”
All of that is the illusion of the ego to maintain the “I.”
Are you saying that we are predestined and that there is no free will, then?
I am saying to forget that intellectual nonsense of believing in labels and to feel the moment as “it is,” that means to enjoy it. Isn’t that “good karma” after all?
I am saying, that Life is not pressuring anyone to accomplish anything. Just enjoy the moment.
I am saying that “YOU” as “YOU” are right now, cannot go to Paradise or any other “holy” place until that “YOU” goes away… and at that point, there is no need to go anywhere….
Ananda’s Life experience is already showing in the palms of his hands. Ananda’s Life is related with the position of the planets and stars in the sky. Why?
Because Ananda belongs to everything and he is related with everything. Ananda is not something existing by itself.
The ego arrives and says: “ I can do whatever I want with my life.”
Right. Just like regulating my breathing or stopping my heart beats or changing my consciousness or stopping my thoughts or becoming “more intelligent”… Sure, we can change all of that at “will.” No self-help books needed or Gurus for that…
Are you saying that “I” am a “puppet” of destiny then?
No. Once the “I” goes away, the “right” answer in that consciousness will arrive … all by itself. 🙂
If the “I” remains then the duality of being “predestined” or having “free will” will exist and with that, more beliefs to believe in…
Beyond our limits
Let us say that the world is a “shoe box.” There is “John” all by himself in it.
What would be “moral or immoral” for John? What would be “right or wrong” for John?
Answer: What he believes to be.
Let us say that there is another person who joins John later on.
What would be “moral or immoral” to do? What would be “right or wrong” to do?
Answer: it depends on their belief.
Besides beliefs, there are matter of fact consequences. John may enjoy the company of that other being for he was alone before, but at the same time, John likes to have his own space all for himself.
If john was a “black or white” type of individual; he will either choose to be alone or to have company. There is no awareness of integrating both experiences without choosing.
The paradoxical and beautiful thing about the world is that every moral value, every belief system that someone may cherish as “truth” is contradicted by another living species in Nature.
Do you think that a caste system, a hierarchy based on being born in certain social class is “bad”?
Take a look at bees and ants.
Do you think that family life is a thing of the past?
Take a look at how wolves live.
Do you think that to be a loner and to mingle with the opposite gender just to procreate is to take advantage of someone?
Take a look at the life of tigers.
If we observe life as it is in Nature and not the artificially created “world at the office,” we will discover those beautiful contradictions, which make this world what is.
What could be God’s law then, in the observation that every species of “his” creation acts contradicting any written law that could ever be?
Perhaps there is a law for every species?
I have not seen any written codes of conduct for Tigers yet. But because there is that diversity around, could I make myself such a narrow minded, judgmental person who takes sides to label something as “good or bad”?
If there was a law of “good and bad” coming from God himself wouldn’t that be a contradiction of what already exists?
That is why many individuals have decided to create their “own world” in their own “shoe box” to fit their beliefs as “righteous” in their world.
As John’s “shoe box” becomes populated, there is obviously a problem of “logistics” in the human world that animals are unaware of.
Thinking, logic, analysis creates that contradiction which a human being will pretend to resolve through moral standards.
An animal adapts and harmoniously is able to live in balance with its surroundings.
A thinking, “rational” human being is unable to adapt like that.
The question is not “why is that?” because that will take our logic and rationality into greater contradictions.
The point is to observe, feel and act.
Nature has a completely different way of manifesting beyond logic, rationality and belief systems… well beyond our “office world” morality.
The “world of the office,” John’s “shoe box” has rationality, analysis, judgment, comparisons, separation, and, ifs, or, not … computer operations, that we have learned to troubleshoot by breaking the problems in “halfs” until we discover the “culprit.”
Nature does not work like that.
Which world do we choose?
Wrong question if we could see beyond duality, but a rational “good” question for those who cannot.
Integrate everything. Welcome the “office world” and Nature. Experience both.
At that point, we could understand practically that “God” could never have given us any laws to be followed, but to allow us to make sense of things for ourselves…Not intellectually, but by using our “instincts.”
That is insight, intuition, love for the Totality, appreciation of what is, gratefulness and a sense of balance.
When we discover in ourselves what is beautiful, then we have discovered what we have in common with “his” creation.
Relationships in Life
When we become trapped in labels and traditions from society, we may not be able to listen to our inner voice based on an indisputable feeling, which will let us know the way we should act in life.
Ananda does not feel the same feelings for his family members as his sister Raysha does.
Even though Ananda had mostly a good relationship with his parents; the feeling is not as strong as it could be for Raysha.
Ananda asked Mathias, the wise tree about that.
Mathias responded: “Raysha is related with both family trees; your father and your mother.
You Ananda… you are related through them indirectly, through Raysha.”
Ananda then asked: “Which one is my direct family link?”
Mathias responded: “The Universe.” 🙂
Obviously, there is information that has value at a particular point in time. Knowing what is Ananda’s direct family link will be only intellectual information at this point. That is of no consequence.
Mathias also added: “Raysha will have feelings of motherhood towards her father who is almost ready to depart into another experience. Raysha had been her mother in another life.”
Then, Mr. Intellectual and Mrs. Devotional come into the picture:
“ But … that is not logical… That is nonsense.
If you are the daughter how could you be the mother at the same time? “
“My belief is that this is the only lifetime and then you either go to hell or heaven. There is only one life according to the Holy book written by God.”
Feelings don’t lie.
As we learn to observe all the labels that we use to categorize people into brothers, sisters, aunts, etc. Those categories already define the type of relationship that we are allowed to have now.
That is neither “good nor bad.” Our feelings and not our thoughts are the catalyst for action or reaction, that is why it becomes important to know ourselves by acknowledging our emotions first, to find our feelings.
Sometimes, we may meet someone that we would like to get to know better in a relationship, just to find out that “she feels like a daughter.” What do you do?
Do you rationalize that experience as: “ That is nonsense. She is not your daughter.”
The feeling will not go away, could you get married with your daughter? 🙂
Honesty is not just a word.
Life has many “spider webs” which will connect us in different ways and at different times. That is, what you feel very strong about today may not be later on; (that is why dogmas are necessary to keep the same thing in our awareness) the interesting challenge is to learn to act according to the present time, by respecting the whole experience, the circumstances, the individuals involved and our feelings as well.
That comes with growth in life.
Life is truly a teacher.
Living with concepts, logic and ideas
The conversation below was prompted by the article “What is the point of living?” Sharing that conversation here, may bring some value for some.
Robert: You said “Any “Life teaching” is just theory until someone has experienced that teaching in his life. Then he can understand the teaching and verbalize it.” How do you know then that there is “no death” and that everything you mentioned is eternal? How do you know there isn’t a deity or deities that will exact punishment on those that did not show obedience to him/her/them and by not performing good deeds? Those are not concepts I personally buy into, but who knows? Certainly this doesn’t come from your own experience. It seems that your “I” is biased against certain religious beliefs, that there is something “wrong” in the way certain people live their lives and what they believe. In your words “However, that individual does not realize about his own immortality. That individual is unwilling to trust life and the experiences in it when is trapped in duality and the belief that “this is good and that is bad.” To me, that statement smacks of ego and duality. In fact the whole premise of non-dualism versus dualism seems to be unable to escape the latter, not unlike the desire to extinguish desire. All that being said, this whole messy thing called life is both wonderfully and tragically absurd to me. Thanks for your posts. They help me question the stories and concepts that I tell myself and hear from others. Peace out! 🙂
As an aside, living with the fear of death at any moment is very different than living with the awareness of death at any moment, which is a somewhat common spiritual practice in the East. The latter leads to a greater appreciation of life in the moment and a deeper understanding and acceptance of impermanence. One can realize more gratitude for every in breath and is less likely to take take “time” for granted.
Ananda: That “knowing” is not intellectual information, which requires logical, reasonable premises with scientific evidence.
Nevertheless, let me be “intellectual.” Let me use intellectual logic to answer your question.
The first law of thermodynamics “matter cannot be created neither destroyed, only transforms” may give an intellectual clue. If matter is not created, where Deities, God and so on come into the picture of creation? If matter cannot be destroyed, then what is the fear of those who could destroy it?
When we talk about consciousness, who has created consciousness? Isn’t consciousness already there and manifested through beings in a physical form?
Eternity deals with time. Logically, there cannot be a “beginning of time.” For then, we will need to find a “creator” and then who created that creator? This is the “chicken or the egg” paradox, which I had the chance to write about back in 2007 when I was enjoying the intellectual consciousness.
In the novel “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” Luna Lovegood answers a question regarding the chicken or the egg by stating that “a circle has no beginning.”
That is known as cyclical time, which originates the concept of “eternal return.”
How do I know practically that the intellectual, informational stuff above is true?
By my own experience, of course.
I have experienced “fortune telling.”
I have experienced several times when someone has told me exactly what is going to happen in my “future.” One of those is my sister who has that gift.
How does she know about my future if I have not “done” it yet?
Some intellectual answers: Maybe she influenced me psychologically so I made that reality to be mine. Isn’t that logical? But when it is about relatives passing away or events not related with me personally, then I’d better find another “reasonable” explanation.
How about the devil telling her things? How about a deity punishing those people for their “bad” deeds? It is possible.
However, when I understand logically from all the stuff shared above that “my past is my future and my future my past,” then I could see how time is relative to a point of reference (the “I”) and how what we perceive as life is truly a movie which paradoxically “has been made” but it is being made “now” at the same time.
That is not logical. It is a paradox. Some may not be able to understand paradoxes for our educational system does not teach that but only logic.
The above is what some call predestination. We are part of that “movie” as individuals but as a Totality as well. Both at the same time.
I have other experiences confirming this, but obviously those who have in their experience the ability to remember previous lifetimes, cannot deny that experience for the sake of being “reasonable.”
Death is in our experience already, but most don’t remember it.
Anne mentioned in the last thread: “A while back, I had an amazing experience. I was sitting outside and the wind blew and these tiny flowers on a tree started falling like snow. It was so beautiful, I was enjoying the moment and All of a sudden time stopped and I became a part of everything…I was the wind, I was the flowers falling, and the tree…the whole universe.”
Isn’t that an experience which confirms that we may not only be that “I” which we perceive to be?
Isn’t that “I” the one who experiences death? But how it could be… if everything recycles, because nothing can be destroyed neither created?
Finally, there is “nothing wrong” in the way people perceive life. It is their perception, but I am sharing here “mine.”
Our language is dualistic and comparisons are unavoidable when trying to explain something.
Robert: To me, that statement smacks of ego and duality. In fact the whole premise of non-dualism versus dualism seems to be unable to escape the latter, not unlike the desire to extinguish desire.”
Ananda: “duality vs. non-duality” isn’t that perception duality?
What I am sharing here is not “non-duality” neither duality. It is easy to label these things to say : Ahhh! this is Taoism or Zen or Buddhism, or other thing… but I do not represent any religious beliefs or philosophical currents.
I am just sharing my experiences based on my consciousness that is all.
Robert: Reading your stuff and hearing your sharing feels a bit how I was when I first started reading Alan Watts. It was hard for me to understand. after letting things sit for a few years I found his book “The Wisdom of Insecurity” which I found to be very powerful, especially his statement that experience, I, and the present moment are all the same. So now I feel like I am a manifestation of the moment as is everything that exists. Hard to articulate but I’m feeling it. My understanding is that predestination is a religious term-there is even double pre-destination. This effects who gets to heaven and who doesn’t I believe, depending on the writer and denomination. To me, spirituality is a stripping away of the unnecessary, the stories, concepts, and labels that are “real but not true (Tara Brach)” and those that no longer serve us. Still, I’ve spent years delving into different notions of spirituality and spiritual worldviews. The result is I’ve had my head in the clouds trying to figure things out that I cannot. I need to be back on solid ground where I can relate to more practical (for me) rather than esoteric (to me) practices for living my life with equanimity, serenity, and love. The Stoics, I think are a good way to go.
Ananda: … That is Alan Watts’ way of saying “Totality.” “Oneness,” “we are all one,” or “I am the world, the world is I,” “interbeingness,” “we are all God,” etc. Note that any of the above “catch phrases” could be grossly misinterpreted by those who do not have the experience but just intellectual understanding. Generalizing, that is how a religion appears.
Predestination is just another concept, just like Heaven, sin, etc. When a religion makes a dogma out of an experience labeled with a concept, duality is brought and with that many misunderstandings. When we discover that we are not concepts, because “we are the now and the experience,” then those concepts are automatically and painlessly dropped.
To me “spirituality” is just another label which I don’t want to make a religion of. What matters to me is to live life with joy, to enjoy life… because if “I” am the “now”, and the experience; then… let that be a joyful “me.”
Anne: I had a near death experience in my 20’s which at the time I did not understand, but have had many years to process and think about it. I realize now that I feel fortunate to have had the experience and a “knowing” of what is is like on the other side. To know that we are consciousness and our soul is just in the earth suit (body) while we are here. When we die the soul leaves the body and returns to source, which I call God. We can call it (God) many different things but it is what it is…all being… All knowing…omnipresent and most importantly, unconditional love.
God welcomes you home, he…it…whatever, certainly does not want us to live by a set of rules to be “good” and “accepted”. And God certainly doesn’t punish anyone for anything. It doesn’t matter if you are baptized, not baptized or if you stand on your head…or do things that are unloving to any degree…God is love, unconditional love…he will welcome you home and based on my experience, he will ask you what you’ve learned. I believe we are here to learn, give and experience unconditional love.
I had a vision of my son 7 years before he was born. A flash of a picture of him at about 1 year old came to my mind. I didn’t know his name. I didn’t know when, where or how he would come, but I knew like I know my name and in the depth of my soul, he was my son. I KNEW I would have a son.
I have often wondered…how did I see him when he didn’t exist yet… I don’t have an answer. But I guess it goes with the all time is happening at once, past, present, future theory…”
Ananda: Many times confusion arises with so many “keywords.”
Consciousness, soul, God, body, me, I, omnipresent…
Reason says: If “I am a soul” how can “I” be omnipresent?
The paradox is that we are both the individual and the totality and all the concepts… Consciousness, soul, God, body, me, I, omnipresent.
Who am I? That is not the right question for we cannot define ourselves.
The question could be: What I am not?
Better yet, if there are no questions..
Concepts…. When in our deathbed, all that intellectual stuff will not do a thing to liberate us from fear or uncertainty. Do we know why?
That is what we will find out while living life in our own experiences. As Socrates mentioned: “to live is a preparation to die… “ and I should add that death is a preparation to live.
When you saw your son before he was born, you could have labeled that as a “miracle” but you didn’t… That could have been an “upgraded” label.
To confuse matters, we may say that time “is an illusion” intellectually we have created time, through our thinking.
Thus, time exists for our consciousness is entangled in the changes of matter by using the “I” as a referential point; or paradoxically, we could boldly affirm that time does not exist… it is an illusion.
Logically, we can say; but If time exists how is it possible for time not to exist?
Then I could affirm: Drop your logic. Throw it away and perhaps we could see something different from a different perspective.
It just happened that you were able to see what you had done before. Did you fast-forward the movie of life? No. It just happened.
Everything just happens when it needs to happen. There is no need for an “I” to do anything. The “I’ could do, but in that doing, duality will be experienced. The “I” searches for pleasure and because of that, the “I” finds sorrow. That is why some religions have ascetic practices avoiding pleasure, believing that pleasure is “bad.” Nevertheless, the “I” is the “culprit” coloring the experience.
Is that bad?
No. It just happens…
Life is a game. Some people think that they “lose the game” and others win and that turns around… but at the end, everyone is just playing a game.
Awareness may be just to see with appreciation this game called “Monopoly” with many players and many incidents that could happen while going around the board of life… and if it is a game, we may as well enjoy it !
Anne: You are really deep!
What do you mean we can’t define ourselves? or is the question defining ourselves to whom?
I can say Anne – you know…she lives in the USA, loves music, they call her peace-child….etc. or explain things about me, my experience that are unique to me and my life as opposed to anyone else, then you would know I was talking about Anne.
You said, “better yet if there are no questions.”
What? Its human nature to question…Our brains are wired for it.
But I guess I am more peaceful when I don’t question. Acceptance is a beautiful thing.
Ananda: The question defines the answer.
You said about me: “You are really deep!”
That is a definition, but in that definition in your mind; you don’t allow me to be shallow… and I am very shallow as well… For the mind, to be shallow and deep at the same time is “illogical,” unreasonable non- scientifical nonsense.
I am shallow, I am deep, I am fear, I am love, I am all the opposites at the same time and with the same intensity.
What I am not?
If I define something such as life or anything else, we could see that I am basically shutting down in my mind the opportunity for life or anything else to be different, to change… and life… changes.
Therefore, we could see the limitation of language, concepts and verbalized ideas, however; If I want to convey something using words, I must bear with that shortcoming. (that is why no scripture could be the whole truth.)
Whatever we think life is… is limiting, thus it is not the complete truth… but a static concept, a static thought and when we live with concepts we do not allow ourselves to experience the changes of life, but life is conceptually caged in a comfortable space in our heads.
But, didn’t I say that life is a game? Wasn’t that a definition?
Logically, Yes and No.
When thinking is not the driving force for knowing about life, then we can contemplate life and the answers will arrive without asking “logical” questions, the experience of being peaceful and not intellectual knowledge is what we look for at the end of the day… and there are not “this is the only way” paths for that is to be closed to what life could offer 🙂
My “own” religion
What would be the main “beliefs to believe in” if these sharings were turned into a religious dogma?
Something “easy” to believe in must be offered, right?
Perhaps the following beliefs could be enough:
1) “We” believe in the self. It is a creation of the mind/brain, etc. However, we believe in “no-self” as well for the “self” is a non-material entity, there is nothing concrete in it. Thus, self and no-self are logically illogical.
2) “We” believe in the individual even though the individual is “nothing” without everything else. That is why, we believe in the Totality for that gives the individual “reason to be something.” Thus, we truly believe in “nothing,” for the individual and the Totality are words to make separations when there is none.
3) “We” believe in one personal God when we believe in the individual. We believe in the Totality as being God when we believe in the Totality rather than the individual. To make things easier for believers, we will believe in one personal God on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We will be believe in Omnipresence on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
What about Sunday?
We rest on that day. No beliefs allowed.
4) “We” believe in reality. In reality, reality is a perception of reality… but Science is the “real thing” even though is just a perception. We perceive according to what we ARE, since we don’t know what we are, what do we perceive?
5) “We” believe that the truth is a paradox. The answer is not “black” or “white.” It is both, but none of them at the same time. A belief is a perception of reality, but when many believe in the same belief, then that could be called “truth.” Thus, in truth, the truth is a belief.
Well… I better stop now… too much “non-sense” isn’t it? 🙂
What about something easier non-paradoxical for followers to believe such as: “We believe only in light. Light is the truth.”
In that way believers will have something to feel good about. Something to fight for and to debate with others.
If a heathen says: “If you believe in light, you must believe in darkness as well for one gives the other,” then we could label such individuals as “bad, devilish, unfit, pagans,” etc. In that way, we are the “good” guys and they are … the “bad” ones…
What could be added in this belief for those who had a Godly, Divine experience in a religious path?
Just ask them if that experience came together with a belief to believe in, or if they learned those beliefs from other followers…. 😉
Perhaps these sharings cannot be put into a religion? Is that “good or bad”? 🙂 🙂