In a lovely afternoon, the rain was sparsely falling with utmost care. Its main function wihtout doubt, is to nourish all plants. That, we could say it is Nature’s responsibility.
Once the rain stopped, the master and his disciple observed some tiny hummingbirds, flying rapidly from flower to flower. They had another responsibility to fulfill as well.
The master asked: “ As you could see every being in Nature has a task. Something which they are responsible for. I have a question for you: What is responsibility? Search the answer in yourself. I will ask you that question again tomorrow.”
The disciple was confused. He knew that Spiritual teachings are different than merely finding a dictionary definition. But, just in case he read those dictionary definitions but also he looked up written material from spiritual gurus. He wanted to come up with a solid, informative, thought out answer for his master.
The day arrived quickly, and they met at the same place. The master asked: “What is your answer?”
The disciple said: “ Master, there are different views of that word. For most it is about fulfilling an obligation or duty and to accept the consequences of following certain path which was thought to be the best. Now, for a spiritual guru; responsibility is the duty that oneself has to dissipate darkness, and to be our own lighthouse.”
The master said: “ Alright. There is no point in repeating what others have said. Look in Nature. Do you believe that beings in Nature act based on a sense of duty or obligation?”
The disciple said: “No, master. I believe they have an intention guiding them to act. It is almost as if they were in tune, vibrating with what is needed.”
The master said: “ You know we are all one. Most humans do not experience that and they come up with definitions to support their collective individualistic view. In Nature; the intention of all beings is aligned with their actions. That is their responsibility. It is not a duty or an obligation as the dictionary may say. Observe how responsibility for humans, has been tinted with an accountable burden. It is that constant perception of separation given by their minds, which has distorted their feelings.”
The disciple smiled as he thought he gave the “correct answer.”
The master said: “Very good! But there is more.”
The disciple was surprised: “More?”
The master said: “Yes. When we are not conscious of our potential, we do not know our function and we could fall sleep in the belief that we are ‘good responsible people’ to the point where we forget to do what it is truly important. Therefore, discover your potential within; that is how you belong as a particular piece of the totality of Life. Then you will know your responsibility.”
The master and his disciple were greatly amazed, observing a formation of new born ducklings following their mother duck, near a lovely lake.
The master said: “Life has a hierarchy. In the human family, parents have their position and it needs to be respected by offspring during their parents lifetime. Respect means acknowledgment. A family decision which does not consider that hierarchy will have consequences which could be even assumed by later generations. Our genealogical family past stays with us. It is the inheritance from our ancestors. In society we have been taught to consider wealth as the only type of inheritance that we could have inherited from our ancestors, but that is only the more superficial layer.
Society in general gives more importance to wealth, power and influence. Television, movies and news are the means used to indoctrinate those values to unaware individuals. It is taught that an individual ought to be successful in society. Success is defined by the amount of wealth a person has obtained; for that person can buy influence over others, power over many and has the ability to dictate what society adopts. The common good is easily forgotten as each individual is out for himself, his beliefs and his success creating conflict with another.”
The disciple said: “ Master, there are spiritual groups suggesting not to watch television at all.”
The master replied: “Television is neither good or bad. Most unaware individuals cannot recognize the messages. They end up adopting what represents economical gain for few and in time that becomes normal, accepted by them, the new normal. Have you observed that?”
The disciple responded: “Yes, master. I recall watching some TV programs from the 70’s and 80’s. It was very unusual to see killings in them in such a graphical way as it is shown today. It appears that the most sanguinary, brutal and hideous a scene of crime is, the better.”
The master replied: “The level of sensibility has been modified, to create a sadistic pleasure where violence is expected. It is like adding one more teaspoon of sugar to a glass of juice every now and then. Eventually a person becomes used to violence and expresses it in every aspect of living. Violence becomes an addiction which is exploited for the sake of profit. Diabetes is one consequence of consuming too much sugar, but the consequence of being fed with violence is oppression, control, unconcern and disconnection with other living beings. That is why, some spiritual groups may suggest that Television is evil, but that is a reaction to try to protect unaware individuals. However, these same individuals will be repressed in following that. Repression eventually will explode and indulgence will be greater than before. The individual needs to become aware by himself. Then, conflict is not.”
The disciple inquired: “What do suggest to do master, to be out of that loop?”
The master said: “Drink juice without sugar for some time or drink water instead. Experiment. Self willingness without external coercion or fear, shows individual readiness for change. It is in that experience how an individual may discover his sensibility through his own experience. That is the adventure which few are willing to take. Most are told what to do and even though they feel to be free to choose they cannot, for their conditioning is very strong and is part of them. A human being is not violent unless he is afraid. Thus, fear is fed in many ways and the ways to solve that, always point to some form of violence. As the individual becomes heartless, the doses of violence is regularly increased to keep the business going. Become AWARE and the solution arrives by itself.”
The disciple said : “ The other day I watched the presentation of a writer of spiritual topics. In his latest book, he spoke about conquering ego. Someone in the audience asked him: “Your ego probably increased once your book became a best seller. How did you avoid that?” The writer smiled and said that he wrote it with the idea of helping others and the popularity of his book was only icing on the cake. I believe it was a nice answer, but the writer didn’t reply to the question. What could you share with me about ego, master?
Ego is there whether your book is a best seller or not. Observe how obstacles or advantages in Life are behind that ego. However there is a compelling difference according to your level of consciousness on how you look at it.
While in the world, to overcome obstacles in Life or to experience fame are both opportunities for the normal person to increase ego, by showcasing their ‘success story;’ for the one who is ready to change into greater consciousness, those obstacles are ways to polish the diamond of goodness inside. How inner goodness comes out? Through the conscious experience of your own darkness.
Then the disciple asked: “And what is the perception of advantages in Life, that is when everything is good for the one with greater consciousness?” The master smiled and said: “ That one knows that even though his book was written through him, he did not do it. Therefore, how ego could come up? Greater consciousness will allow you to see the insubstantiality, frail and illusory image of that “I,” ego. Everything changes continuously, remember? Even that perception of “I.” It is in that awareness how ego dissolves and not in mental understanding of words.”
The master paused and the continued: “ ‘I wrote the book’ brings a force, a one sided front. That sets up those who will be for and also against that book because they did not like it. If the author feels insulted, he will not separate from his book and his ideas. Greater identification means greater experience of suffering through his fight but also greater experience of pleasure when the media pampers his book. Duality. A person may need to have a degree of conscious awareness to observe this within himself. A ‘normal’ person is not able to. His ‘I’ or ego will be built and caressed through those supporting his identity with the book; but also his ego will be built through his fight or rejection of those who feel against it. Either way, ego will be built.”
“Pardon me,” said the disciple, “but what do you mean by conscious awareness?”
The master said: “It means to be attentive in the moment that ego appears during an episode of Life. Recognize the trigger and the emotional response within. Recognize the identification which originates the ‘I.’ For centuries it has been said that ego is bad. Many wanted to conquer it. However, ego is neither bad nor good. The reality of ego is in being a continuous illusion of separation through identification with something. When we say “I” there is consistency, solidity of something inconsistent.
The disciple added: “But master, how to separate from ego in every day life when we use the word ‘I’ continuously, which is needed to properly communicate ?”
The master said: Ego is not a word. Say the word ‘I’ when you communicate but be aware of who that is while saying it. The key is to BE Aware. I told you enough about ego. Observe this example and its ramifications within yourself.”
The master and his disciple sat in front of the Ocean. It was the Bay according to human knowledge but the Ocean nonetheless. The disciple asked: “ Master, you have said that you are here to help me with consciousness and not to give me answers which I should find myself. Why is consciousness so important?”
The master smiled and said: “ Look at the Ocean. Any comments?” The disciple did not take too long to answer: “ Well, it is moving salty water, kind of bluish/greenish color.”
The master said: “That shows your consciousness. It is only about your senses. You are describing what your senses may perceive. That we may call knowledge. Many will change their consciousness momentarily through the ingestion of potions made of plants and thus their perceptions will be different, but the consciousness that we are interested in is BEING. A seeker wants to become good, loving, open, compassionate. BEING is the ultimate of becoming of any spiritual knowledge. “
As they were talking a Dolphin appeared from the Ocean and both looked at their swift, elegant movement. The master said: “ Do you believe that Dolphin to have the same consciousness as yours?” “No, master.” Responded the disciple.
The master then said: “It is like looking at a painting. Your position in relation with that painting will dictate what you perceive and what you don’t. The issue is that most believe what they perceive to be the only truth.” Then the master took a deep breath and continued: “ The human mind perceives separation, fragmentation and thus, there is continuous fight – There is the homosexual and the heterosexual, both identify with a fragment of their reality -their gender, and fight among each other. There cannot be common good in separation. Their fragmented vision is unable to see that both are still human beings. Different but the same.”
The disciple said: “ Oh! I see it. The mind will give a perception based on differences, separation, contrast, analysis, logic and that collective reality we will call truth. But that is just a perception.” The master then said: “ Now see and experience that reality in yourself. That requires consciousness, awareness to nourish your BEING. That experience cannot be told to another. It is not second hand information. You call me master not teacher. A master does not teach, but a teacher does.”
The disciple didn’t understand completely yet so, he asked more questions: “Master, Do i have other ways to perceive Life?” The master replied emphatically as if he wanted for his words to pierce the ears of his disciple: “FEEL IT. The Ocean is there to be felt just like Life. Feeling brings the common good for in that experience, we can connect with another being. The Ocean is a fabulous experience when you feel it. That could change your consciousness. However if you take the word ‘fabulous’ and merely repeat it because that is the ‘right answer,’ your mind may be content with such empty word, but never your heart.”
FEELING is very difficult for those who have been conditioned to only connect with Life through their minds.
The master said to his disciple: “To know the self, does not require previous knowledge. It is only observation. Likewise, Life requires careful observation not previous knowledge. Knowing yourself, you will understand another and thus, Life itself.”
The master paused for a few seconds and added:
“Society is built on the principle of acquiring knowledge, second hand information and to apply it in a reasonable way. However, when it comes to human relationships as in the government of people, that does not bring the anticipated benefit. For example to elect those who should be in government is based on some information about them, their knowledge. However, what is needed from those in office is honesty, selflessness, and a keen understanding of the common good. There is no knowledge or training, that could give those qualities to a person. Do you see the disconnection?”
The disciple listened attentively and said: “Yes master. Those needed qualities cannot be measured unless that person’s character is known and seen in action in tests, like primitive societies used to do.”
Then the master reacted with a smile. “The ideal is there to be defended with reasons and information but underneath all of that, there is the human psychological and emotional component which brings separation, antagonism and fight. Remember this: The collective consciousness does not operate through reason but yet majority rules in theory. In practice it is about the interests of few. That is another disconnection.”
The world of supply and demand has forgotten about human virtues and qualities, for those cannot be sold to another.