There was a long walking path by the Bay. Many people used to walk there at night. The rhythmic on going waves incessantly caressed the shore, which had a small long wall separating the water from the side walk. There were many sitting benches around. The master and his disciple sat on one, to watch the moon and the stars while enjoying the gentle breeze coming from the Ocean.
As they were enjoying themselves, they overheard a conversation from the adjacent bench. It was a young couple. They had to break up from their relationship. That sitting bench was the lovely place they picked to say ‘good bye.’ After they departed on their own separate ways, the disciple said:
“Master, all departures could be painful and sad. I am sure that couple loved each other but for some reason they had to separate. Why is life so unfair?”
The master listened to the emotional question and after a brief moment responded: “ If you find someone, it is sure that at time will come when that one will go away, a good bye. That is not unfairness, it is the way the laws abide in this world of duality. Even tough we have this human experience, many do not want to understand that reality, and suffer instead. Observe that departure is the opposite of arrival. Just like in the airport! Both must be experienced by all. Observe that Life will bring a variety of scenes with different individuals and circumstances, but yet portraying the same story. This couple had the chance to say good bye. Others do not. That is another duality. Some say good bye with the chance to see each other again if destiny allows it, while others will depart for good. Another duality. Although at the end, as time goes by everyone will change and that experience will be the past. No one is never the same. Life only has one time and that is the present, the now. Observe how important is to be conscious of every unique moment that Life brings; but yet we rather dwell in the mind, and live in the past or the future which are no longer Life.”
The disciple listened and he understood how emotional suffering arrives, when there is no awareness of the coin of Life and its two faces, but he had another question: ” But master… That couple were in love. How could that be to find someone so close and that experience does not last too much, that seems sad.”
The master had a smirk in his face and replied: “ Fair and unfair. Sad and happy. Duality. We tend to judge Life as if we understood this wonderful unique movement. Time is irrelevant for the soul. It is just the experience that matters, for that can change you within 1 second. All of these experiences that we experience in Life, have only one purpose. Do you know what that is?”
“No master, said the disciple.”
The master then said: ”To allow us to be someone different: Good, bad, right, wrong… Those are labels that we use to describe what we judge through our conditioning, but every actor in Life has the chance to change; but yet we want to remain the same. Wouldn’t that stubbornness open another door for bitterness and sorrow? Of course. “
The disciple insisted: “but, love master. They were in love…”
The master took a few moments to respond: “Human love is a peak. After the peak comes a valley. Life will give many experiences which will be a peak for us, and we will try to maintain those or become addicted to those peaks, without recognizing the valleys. In human love, the most intense experiences will tend to have a shorter life span while the less intense, will be longer. Have you observed that?
Many couples grow used to each other. After many years, their love is only a comfortable same-old-thing experience. While others may have lived a peak for a short time, enough to change their lives and then their paths will separate. Destiny will bring you exactly what you need to experience at this time. Have you experienced that sort of romantic separation? “
The disciple smiled and said: “ A few years back, I loved someone dearly. Life didn’t allow us to be together at that time for she did not feel the same for me. After a couple of years of feeling rejected, she passed away unexpectedly.”
The master replied: “I understand. But do you? You were rejected, that was the experience. The opposite of that duality may be in the horizon, unless you want to remain the same. If you do not reject that experience but allow yourself to heal and hope for the best, then your next experience will definitely be different. As a changed experienced person, perhaps you will experience when both meet in a peak of love to allow Life to change both of you. But remember that a peak will bring a valley. Accept and enjoy both and you will be in continuous harmony with the duality of Life.”
The master and the disciple sat in a comfy bench near a small park, that had narrow walking pathways. A girl came close by while walking her little puppy dog. The disciple started playing with the puppy and the master smiled during that “free time.”
After the girl left with her puppy dog, the master said: “ That puppy is playfulness. Everything is a new experience for that dog. If the experience in front is comforting, the dog will wag its tail. If the next experience is not that comforting, the dog may cry. The response is clear and does not carry over for another time in the future. That dog has the capacity to move on unburdened, for a new experience in Life.”
The disciple said: “ Yes, master. The mood of a puppy is stable in playfulness.”
The master then said: “ Have you observed that many people have lost that zest for playfulness in Life?”
The disciple responded: “Yes, master. As we grow older we tend to accumulate experiences in our memory and use the outcome of those to meet other experiences in our lives. If we get enough good experiences, we end up with an overall happy mood; but if our experiences are overall bad, then we could become bitter and revengeful.”
The master said: “Most cannot let go. However; all experiences are fleeting and the perception of good experiences, are followed by bad ones for this is the world of duality. Everything that you believe to be yours, will go away. Even what you believe to be, will change. Do you see this tremendous fact?”
The disciple nodded his head in agreement.
The master continued: “Intellectually we make sense of that fact. But we cannot process it when a challenging experience appears to make our theoretical learning practical. Do you know why?”
The disciple took a few seconds and responded: “ No, master. It is said that most people are just theory when challenges occur in their lives. If all of the sudden I lose everything I have, I will react and become bitter, angry and will fight to recover what is mine.”
The master said: “Correct. Even though we understand things intellectually, those do not make a change in what we are. Listen to this carefully: Human beings believe that Life is an intellectual experience. The mind always wants to understand. That procedure mostly works in society but not in Life. The Universe is not intellectual. It is more on the emotional side. Love is the way to understand it.”
The disciple said: “ But love is not an emotion, master.”
The master responded: “You are correct again. The Universe, Life is not to be understood intellectually. It is to be Loved. Probably that didn’t make much sense? Those are the limitations and nuances of language.”
The disciple said: “ Interesting master. But what is Love then?”
The master smiled and said: “Intellectually, when there is no difference between the observer and the observed. When the perceiver is the perceived… Everything. Just like the Universe, Life. If that did not make much sense, it is because it was said quite accurately. It is said that God is Love. Thus, Love is God. ”
The master perceived that his disciple was uncomfortable, for he was challenging some of his disciple’s deep rooted beliefs. Then, the master looked at his disciple with Love and said: “Love is not a romantic emotion. It is conscious presence. Open your heart to newness and clean your mind from the old, just like that puppy dog. That is the door to feel Love and thus, to know it.”
Justice, equality, love… pretty words used by many when looking for support.
The human journey is to go from the merely intellectual understanding of those words to the actual feeling and thus BEING it.
Love IS. Justice and equality are man-made inventions in a world full of violence. Human beings ARE violent creatures.
Life has “justice” in it. Although, “justice” is not the correct word; which should be “balance” instead, human perception of justice is not the paradigm used by Life itself.
A few days ago, the International women’s day was celebrated. Women’s constant struggle to find equality with men has been the theme of many years now. The invention of a new pretty word -empowerment- (of women) has been used to show society’s efforts to work towards that equality.
Why does society perceives men and women not to be equal? Because conditioned human beings find and concentrate on differences and use violence as a tool to demonstrate supremacy over “different ones.” However, that perception is an illusion, for differences create a complementary quality which creates wholesomeness, unity. We are one.
In short, differences are not opposite but complementary. Life moves along those lines. Society moves through conflict, through discrimination, oppression and violence of one side towards the other. Paradoxically, it is that same violent mind the one that has created “rights” to defend the oppressed side.
At the most obvious and superficial perception, differences of men and women create the complementary quality needed to live Life in harmony. In its depth, we could find that every man and woman irrespective of sexual orientation, has a masculine and a feminine side. Our perception as society will change once a human being is able to harmonize those 2 sides within. Otherwise, the predominant side will prevail and dominate the other. That is exactly what happens at the level of society.
It is too bad that politicians and law makers are completely unaware of the above, for “laws” are only intellectual cover ups unable to change how actually a person feels. It is indeed those feelings, the ones that will be expressed and despite the enactment of “pretty” laws, we will witness further violence.
Yes, laws are better than nothing in a dormant society. At least we could say that “we are trying.”
Observe that we ARE violence. Laws only cover that fact by forcing a behavior, because most humans are unable to look inside. There is no time. There is no profit in such activity. No demand.
Among men, there has been separation as well. Exploitation due to differences of skin color, religion, etc. Not long ago, a man could have been a slave to another, due to his skin color or national origin.
The same type of violence is showcased with animals. I always wondered about the “symbiotic” relationship of domesticated animals with human beings: What benefit do animals obtain? They could be better off all by themselves. On the other hand, humans have benefited through the free exploitation of animals. Animals have been used even for “entertainment” (bull fight, cock fight, dog fight, etc.) as still some countries keep obsolete and inhumane traditions as forms of “entertainment” and many times use another “pretty” word to hide their violent nature, they use the word “art” to hide the slaughter.
But, where is “justice” in those inhumane practices with animals?
Well… It comes to mind the epidemic diseases: COVID-19. SARS, MERS, Avian influenza, Swine flu, etc. Those viruses have an origin in animals.
Balance. In Life, a human being is no better than a fish. Although human religions and law makers may believe otherwise. Want “proof”? Death is everywhere. Hardship strikes to hunters and prey “equally.”
It is important to recognize that we are all together in this. Our distinctions, separations, differences, etc. do not control the way Life works.
When we DO something to OTHERS, we do it to OURSELVES.
Looking forward to see that “law” in “practice” in some country showcasing a “progressive,” democratic constitution.
Many years ago, it was taught: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It seems we still have issues properly defining and understanding what “others” means, for most only see “I” but cannot understand what it is.
When we sleep at night, who are we?
Are we conscious of BEING? No? Where are We?
We could say “logically” that we are the body which is resting on the bed. But, experientially; we are not. Logically that is a “truth,” but experientially is a falsehood.
We ARE but we ARE NOT. That is the totality. The illogical “reality” which our conditioning is unable to make us understand.
When we ARE, when we awaken from sleep, we do not realize how the environment affects our disposition. The collective consciousness is affected, but yet, we believe that we are separated from all of that.
Even though awake, we are asleep.
Some are affected by a profound lethargy due to their efforts to keep the “same old thing.” Life changes around but yet, the way we meet those changes is with the same “old tricks” from the past. In that conditioning, we cannot meet the “now.”
Once a change is visible as it screams in front of our faces, we meet that change with resistance, comparing what it used to be with what IS.
In our “logical” society we have learned that if A is different than B, then B cannot be ever he same as A.
In Life, both are the same; for the recognition of A as the opposite of B, means that both are naturally inseparable, as a head follows a body. Due to our “efforts” to fight by keeping the head but not the body, we kill the whole thing in the name of some belief. We only see a different form, and label it to make a conceptual difference, but we do not see the substance.
“I am this, not that.” Infantile perception. Superficial observation.
In Life “opposites” are together. That is the totality in the world of duality.
What was said in this article, cannot be “explained” logically or through a “spiritual” course without lying and getting into logical “loopholes.”
Who are we?
What we ARE and what we ARE not. That wholeness is an experience, not an intellectual understanding.
When we ARE, we are afraid of what we ARE NOT.
When we ARE NOT, fear is not.
As long as we ARE, there will be fear.
Fear is the opposite of love. So in the duality of Life, both are like a body with a head.
Some may say: Hate is the opposite of love not fear! I am not talking about a dictionary word here. The game of antonyms. Look inside you! FEAR is there as the cause. The siblings are hate, greed, attachment, add any other “bad” word here…
Yet, Love is experienced when we ARE NOT while WE ARE. That is to be AWAKE by integrating the opposites. That was labeled as “egoless” by some misunderstood religious book, beliefs, etc.
However, we are busy rejecting fear with its siblings and praising love. That we call “spiritual,” “moral,” etc.
By denying what IS, we live in a made-up world of concepts and illusions; truly sleeping while walking around.
To fall in Love is very easy. To love, is something that very few are able to know. Love cannot be learned.
Love appears when we are able to appreciate and give.
Appreciate the moment. Give yourself. This is not a “practice,” this is BEING those things without trying.
How can I “achieve” those things then?
By being completely AWARE of who you ARE now and allowing for the inner barriers to fall.
Otherwise, we bring the past to the “now,” we try to control outcomes and expect to receive what we desire, what we think is “fair.” For most, that is their version of love.
To bring the past means to feed grudges. To point out “mistakes.” To believe that someone cannot change. Control brings jealousy, the need to possess. Because there is this psychological separation, there is always the “Me “and “you” that cannot fuse into “us.” Thus, to give yourself under those terms, is only another pretty idea.
Everything in Life is meant to change. When we live through the identity of another, we will suffer when the other is gone.
Many will avoid becoming closer to another, for the fear of being hurt; but yet miss an opportunity for growth and enjoyment. They are not AWARE that inner fears do not allow someone to experience the way Life IS. With fear there cannot be love.
That emotional dependency of illusory security, does not go away when we protect ourselves from others, but when we are wide open, vulnerable, alive.
Some relationships are meant to last 1 day. Others a lifetime. Truly, there is no difference for the one who is open to Life.
The moment, the “now,” that is all that matters. Once it is gone, a new door will open if we do not bring the past with us. A new adventure will arrive if we do not try to control the surroundings. If we give ourselves to Life at every moment, we may find what Love IS.
We find by letting go.
Mary told John: “You need to become compassionate.”
John looked up the word compassionate in the dictionary.
It said: “Feeling or showing sympathy and concern for others.” John wasn’t quite sure what compassionate meant through that definition for he always thought that he felt concerned for others, so he looked for another definition: “A feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.”
John understood the meaning of compassion better through the second definition. Then, he decided that from now on, he will “practice” that compassion.
Mary had a severe cold. John could see that Mary was suffering. John “practiced” feeling sympathy for Mary. He also followed up with a “desire to alleviate” her cold. “Can I hand you some tissue?” He asked.
Mary saw “improvement” in John. She said “Thank you for asking.”
That created the necessary rapport for John to practice that “compassion.”
He thought he was being compassionate now… He was “improving.” 🙂
Reality is that John wasn’t compassionate even after “practicing” for many months. For instance, he wasn’t able to feel empathy for suffering animals. That wasn’t part of his “practice” of “compassion.”
John was merely conditioned to practice his improved “good manners” in front of people.
This little example, shows how our “spirituality of practice” have been shaping individuals into fake ones.
There are things which need “practice” to become more proficient at, but values are not part of that.
So what do we DO to become “better”?
Nothing at all. The thing is not to BECOME something which we don’t even know what IS, what is the extent of it.
“Love your neighbor as yourself” sounds good to “practice,” but apparently that doesn’t work in a war… or even as close as the “office world.”
The thing is to OBSERVE to BE AWARE of what IS… what we ARE.
WHAT IS, is not necessarily the way we ACT: I can pet the neighbor’s dog and look “loving and concerned,” while inside me a thought could be saying: “Nasty mutt.”
If we are AWARE of that inner conflict, that is where “betterment” starts…. But we have been trained to suppress that thought with a “loving” one: “ You are such a precious dog.”
That is the greatest lie.
We have been trained to add words as “objective to achieve,” as in: “I need to be more caring with animals and people.” This mitigates our sense of guilt, whenever we see that our attempt to BECOME some moral value, does not work.
All we need is a little AWARENESS of the NOW.
Forget the nice words: Love, compassion, gentleness, peace, etc. and the opposite words as well. Those words don’t help at all. Those are only words.
Awareness of what we feel. Awareness of our own relaxed presence or lack of. Awareness of the stream of thoughts and words. That is all.
One day, we may even question ourselves after our observation: Is that ME?
That is a sign that betterment is on the way, without “practice.”
Our mindset pursues what it believes to be the “truth,” what is “real” according to conditioning.
Some type of human consciousness are self-righteous and have narrow perceptions, which they call “truth,” reality: “what is real is what exists, what exists is what I can perceive with my 5 senses.” Easy enough to make that “truth” into a commandment.
Our society and collective consciousness are in agreement with that, for the majority of people have 5 senses working somewhat in a similar way.
All is “good” until scientists “discover” that what we perceive is not necessarily what is “real.”
At that point, we may ask ourselves, what is “reality”? 🙂
That question in fact, synthesizes the main problem with our vision and understanding of Life.
The issue is not to concentrate our efforts in discovering what is “real” out there. The main issue is to understand ourselves and the way we perceive Life. Our perception of it.
In short, Life can be perceived in many different ways according to our consciousness.
For example, imagine that all people in the world were born blind. They never perceived light through their eyes. Certainly, we could have built a “normal” society made for blind people. Other senses rather than vision could have taken precedence.
To speak about colors, rainbows, clouds, etc. in that world of blindness, will not make any sense. If someone speaks about being able to see light, that one could be crucified or labeled as “crazy.” That gift of vision may be a curse in disguise, for “normal” people will not be able to understand.
Thus, greater ability to perceive means an expanded vision of reality.
Our “standard” is the way of perception of the collective consciousness in society, but that perception is far from what could be labeled as “real.”
When we place our energy in understanding our own perceptions, rather than in using the convenient labels of “right, wrong, true, false, bad and good,” then any sort of judgment is out. Certainly we may need to act as our society dictates.
If someone harms another, there are laws. There are consequences, but judgment is a human invention that we have added into the personality of our beloved Gods.
Compassion arrives when we understand that there are many ways to perceive/experience Life. A particular way followed by someone may be condemned by the laws of our society and labeled as “bad,” but we know it is only a perception. That openness will free us with further understanding which will reflect in a peaceful disposition.
Moral talk says: “We must be peaceful, loving, etc.” but as our barriers of perceptions open up allowing us to have a greater vision of the valley of Life; that moral wishy, washy talk; will not be needed.
BEING peaceful is not morality. It is not to obey a law or a commandment. Those DOINGS are fake behaviors.
The “reality” of compassion and love is in extent of the openness of our consciousness, and not the openness of our mouths.