“Spirituality” as it has been taught for many years, targets an infantile consciousness. It is the popular “Monkey sees, Monkey does.”
It is understood that we learn by imitation like a 5-year-old child. That is the need for “role models.”
Have you seen a 50-year-old with the consciousness of a 5-year-old?
They may know a lot about the “office world.” They know how to “make money,” how to be “ahead.” They know that “I” is different than “you” and different than Life. They know how to look out for #1.
Life is for ME to make what “I” want of it. Life is for ME, I and MYSELF.
What a dingy bird!
What type of spirituality will be “good” for that? Do this. Don’t Do that. If you do it, you will get punished; but if you follow the instructions, if you copy the “role models,” then you will be “good.” “God” will have a special place for you when you die while a monument will be built on Earth after you. You will be eternal.
That is all about the “I.”
With that kind of spirituality, “I” have to become something better, “I” have to achieve something special, “I” have to show others my value, my capacity… “I” will continue on even when “I” am no longer here. “I” need to achieve heaven and join the political party of angels and saints…
“I” need insurance for the afterlife.
That type of consciousness is not ready yet for “No-I.” That is the other half of your 24-hour day…
Although we may be awake, we are asleep trapped in the routine of “another day at the office.”
When “I” sleep sound and deep, who am “I”? Where am “I”?
When thoughts come into “my” mind, who sent them? Wasn’t it “me”? Why can’t “I” stop them?
The “problem” is that I call that experience “MY” mind.
“I” have not been trained to OBSERVE the mind as when a bird passes flying on the sky. Do I say “my” bird is flying now? 🙂
What are those things that build “ME”? …. “MY” body.
Definitely, but can I observe that IT is getting older without “MY” permission? Nevertheless, emotions, thoughts, beliefs, conditionings have me wrapped up in MY identification of ME.
Enjoy your body! Only know that it is not yours or you… unless your consciousness is still there with that song… Then, embrace that. Acknowledge it … You are not ready for “NO-I” yet, otherwise it will be a dull belief, another “reason” to be dishonest with yourself. …but it doesn’t mean that “No-I” is nonsense. It just means that “I Am” not there yet.
Emotions, thoughts, beliefs, conditionings are shaping ME, for through them, through that filter, “I” perceive the world and “Myself.”
Take those away, who am I?
Wait a minute, that is not easy! I cannot take those away as “I” take my coat off.
No problem. Life DOES IT. 5 years from now, “I” will not be the same.
All it links ME to the idea of ME, are labels: My name. All the rest will have changed at different percentages which “I” cannot control.
Who am “I” then? 🙂
“No-I” and “I” are 2 sides of the coin. “I” can BE and at the same time, “I” cannot BE. Thus, when “I” need to BE… I AM. When I don’t… I AM NOT.
Who am I? 🙂
What I AM NOT and what I AM. Senseless, illogical, irrational stuff. Perhaps the “truth.” 🙂
The ego, the “I,” is the source of mental anguish and suffering. Someone may experience physical suffering; it is just another experience unless it is interpreted as everlasting trauma.
As we know, everything in Life changes. That movement happens all by itself. If the mind is attached to a traumatic experience, then it will be re-lived when a trigger appears.
The trauma is created when there is a rejection to a particular experience.
That is how the “I” separates from Life.
“Spiritual sugarcoating,” is meant to strengthen that “I.” It is meant to support it. There are many ways to do that, but here is a powerful one: It s called CHOICE.
“Choice” is the strongest support. Choice comes from the mind. It is conditioned. If we have 2 paths ahead of us, which one do we take?
If the mind “chooses,” it is for sure the “I” choosing. Many reasons. Weigh the “Pros.” At that point we say: “I choose.”
If the gut feeling is choosing for us, then there is no choice. That feeling is out of our control. It does not depend on our conditioning, our beliefs, our rehearsed moral standards. There is “no- I” in that.
Have you heard the Taoist phrase, “Doing nothing doing, to get things done”? It is about a choice-less decision/action. Actually, there is no decision, no thought, no mind.
To learn to listen to our gut feeling implies to step aside from our conditioning. Honesty resides in learning to listen to our gut feeling.
“So what is the “science” behind listening to our gut feeling?”
This is not science. This is Life. To go according to our feelings will make us “feel good.” Do we need any further explanation? Do we need any other reasoning?
To feel is fulfilling in itself.
“But what about if we get a “bad” experience?”
Life is not linear. There is something to learn, ups and downs. Something is needed to be experienced before there is change. To learn to listen to our gut feeling is probably the most important “skill” that we can have in Life.
Because that is our connection with Life. That is what we are meant to DO for Life, for us. It is egoless. That is our mission. Life manifests an action, an activity through us.
If we cannot connect to our “gut feeling,” because we are not sure what it is , then start with the mind. We need to recognize when the mind kicks in, how it interferes with our daily affairs and how we believe that “I am the dictates of the mind.”
That is the only “spiritual practice” that Ahnanda could endorse.
To learn about your own mind by observing it, should be the most precious “spiritual class” that we could ever take, under the setting of the “spiritual retreat” of your own sacred time and space.
Recognize when you are hungry and when the mind tells you that you should eat. Recognize when the mind cuts your enjoyment of looking at a flower, just to throw a thought about your day at the office. Recognize when the “little voice” speaks and how readily we identify with that voice as “Me.”
Observe that as long as we are used to only listen to our mind, we cannot have “choice,” for all there is in the mind… is timeless conditioning, beliefs, taboos, hangups, ideals, learned morality…
“If the “choice” of my mind is not really “my” choice for there is conditioning and the choice of “my gut feeling” is not “my” choice, then where is “my” choice?”
🙂 Nowhere. This ain’t sugarcoat.
Many do not know what I am referring to when I say the “I.”
Why is it important to know about that “I”?
Because that “I” causes separation when there is none. That “I” will give us a perception which is deceitful; and from that point, we will build a society based on a mirage.
The “Office” world, what most individuals call “life,” is not truly Life but a creation of that mirage.
For practical purposes, the “I” is that little internal voice speaking to us, verbally or non-verbally. Many will call that voice “me,” in fact; it is not you, but it is the mind which is made up of previous experiences, beliefs and fears from this life time and beyond. The collective mind, that is the traditions which we have been exposed to, are part of that mind.
For example, many individuals do not feel comfortable caressing their own bodies. As a matter a fact, there is an ambiguous phrase used: ”touching yourself,” which has the connotation of something “sinful.”
Where did we learn that idea? Perhaps when we were babies exploring our own bodies, we touched our sexual organs among other things, and that was something discouraged by our parents. As babies we learned that something was “wrong.” As we grew up, we learned about the “double standards” of a sexually repressed society; repressed because the capacity for enjoyment has been cut off for we use the mind to enjoy pleasure and the mind only knows about repetition, “I want this in the future as well.” Thus, it does not matter how “liberal” we think we may be. The mind will not allow for fulfillment out of an experience.
How is that?
A taboo or a qualifying thought such as “sinful” will appear as we lose ourselves in for example, the enjoyment of pleasure.
Since our society is based on the cultivation of the mind and thinking, any activity that entails “forgetting yourself,” such as the experiences of pleasure, love or just being silly cannot be fully enjoyed, for the mind and its collection of “teachings,” right behaviors and taboos will appear.
Here is a “formula”: More thinking, more mind means less enjoyment of Life.
For example, the phrase: “Sex is mental,” is truly an invention of a society lost in the mind. Actually, less mind means greater fulfillment. For that we need to learn to “lose ourselves,” to be vulnerable, open, to surrender, to allow for things to happen. The “I” showing up as thoughts from the mind is the barrier, the obstacle (ego) which will not allow us to know other than intellectual things, words. Everyone could talk about love, but without knowing that love entails that “you” are not there… Love is just another pretty talk.
A person who hasn’t been able to recognize his mind, cannot know what “silence” is, in the “spiritual” realm.
Most are afraid of physical silence as the absence of outside noise. A background noise such as the TV on or some music is typically needed by many. This does not mean that to have background noise is “bad,” it just means that we have made it a necessity. These individuals are not familiar with BEING quiet, thus the mind will move continually from one dream into another even while “awake.”
The internal noise, the noise of the mind; is the layer to be aware of in order to experience inner silence. That is what is referred to as “no-mind.”
A basic experiment to discover the “I” could be done in your own bathtub. Take a warm bath at night with all lights off so it is pitch dark, without any music or background noise. If you ARE in this completely; you will observe your fear to darkness. That is a learned fear, a collective fear, a tradition which has remained with us. The mind will protest. Many thoughts will appear perhaps with horror stories… That is the first observation. That is one form of that “I.” The other form is the movement of the mind through our thoughts. Observe how the speed of thoughts will not allow us to relax, unwind and enjoy the warm water, the “now.” That is the anxiety of the mind which most every individual experiences every day without noticing it. Anxiety is considered to be “normal” nowadays.
How does this anxiety work? You will not be able to enjoy doing “nothing.” There is something which needs to be done: Eat and listen to music. Call someone at the same time. A minute later, do something else before becoming “bored.”
It is just the mind moving your Life in different directions, while looking for a “ghost” meaning.
Once we realize the work of the mind, we could experience moments of “no-mind.” It is that experience which will move your consciousness into a different realm.
“Mindfulness” will no longer be “practiced,” for the mind cannot center anyone into the “now.” The mind can only go to the past or to the future, but to be in the “now,” there is a need of “no-mind.”
To be timeless: “No-I.”
It is in that emptiness how fullness, satisfaction appears.
Life is completely paradoxical. It cannot be understood by thinking, logic and the works of the mind. It is in “no-mind” how understanding comes through the experience of fullness.
At that point, you may be able to live with yourself without hurting yourself. When we learn that, we will be incapable of hurting others.
Now do we see how silly it may be to hear: “God will punish you if you hurt others. You will go to hell.” How elemental, how basic such a teaching of fear could be…
Don’t want to hurt others? Don’t hurt yourself.
Don’t want to hurt yourself? Be AWARE of the workings of your mind.
It is in that observation, how silence, peace could be experienced… “no-mind.”
It is through “no-mind” how there is no longer separation.
If there is no separation, who are you going to hurt?
… and so are “you.”
To look outside is a way to look inside… but the thing is neither outside nor inside. There is no-thing.
As many individuals gather to celebrate the “new thought” that we are all One, we could wonder if that “new thought” is not just another fashion, something that will keep us busy into a new direction to follow, to believe and to teach “others.”
Destiny is already made. That is a simple but deep axiom of knowing that we are all ONE.
One in destiny. Sharing the experience of being in relationship in the space of Life.
It is in that game how the perception of individuality arrives: “I want to do this in Life. I want to teach others about love. I want to go to the moon when I grow up.”
Nothing wrong with that.
Because that perception of “I-ness” is all pervasive, we could assume that it is the truth, even though; it is just a perception.
That is how the search for meaning in Life arrives to our minds. That is how the search for something greater than ourselves becomes paranoia, as we seek for protection, comfort and love. Something that could take away our own sense of pettiness when we separate from what it seems to be hostile; the “other,” Life itself.
Fear is born and with that, all imaginable beliefs to “save” us from ourselves.
A seeker is born.
The journey is to go away from us just to come back.
Away from us, there are so many experiences to taste and enjoy.
Religions, Gods, Devils, Angels… all waiting for your unconditional love in exchange of “conditional” love, promises, etc.
The “office world” seeks believers as well. We could get busy in so many political directions, social inequalities and economic laws. Science is a good preacher, when all we know is thought, logic and reason.
Have you tried all of those avenues in your search for meaning?
Those are part of my experiences to expand my horizons, until there is no other way but to come back…
It is said that peace, happiness, joy and all happy dictionary words are “inside.”
I tell you, there is no “inside” as there is no “outside.”
But… there is an “I” making that division, there is a perception of “inside,” because there is a “Me.”
That “Me” changes, evolves, continues on; but our static minds will not allow for that to happen. It will fight to continue “status quo,” even though destiny has defined change as the way of Life.
Transformation is change, isn’t it?
The idea of “self-transformation” is misleading. Life transforms and so are we. We are One.
Dear seeker, once your journey takes you back into “Me,” then you are a step closer to find out who you may be. Allow for Life to peel the layers off that “Me.” The “I” cannot do that to itself.
What do you find?
Nothing? Eureka! The eye of the hurricane.
What is that made of?
Nothing… and because of that, there is everything.
You found Oneness.
Fulfillment is. 🙂
At the end… it is all good…
Acceptance is a word conveying openness to Life.
Acceptance is not a practice. There is no way to “practice” it.
There is no way to define it. There is no way to know “it” until it happens to you.
Experience of it will allow you to talk about it, but whatever it is said, it is never “it.”
“Why are you “talking” about it then?”
Because there is no other way to refer to it.
You see a beggar outside asking for money.
Those “trying to be good,” will use that opportunity to feel good about themselves. They will practice a virtue such as “charity,” so they can tell others: “ I practiced charity today.” Then they will keep track of that “good action” for judgment day. There is “proof” of “good deeds.” “Salvation” is the goal. 🙂
“I did something “good.” I am working towards earning Heaven.”
The above practice is completely meaningless for those who are aware of the “I” in action.
For those who are not, the above practice has meaning. It is part of their necessary development in Life.
Therefore, all is good.
“Acceptance sounds good; but how do you deal with a violent behavior against you? What do you? Flow with it, accept it and do nothing?”
Accept yourself first and do according to what you ARE. If you do according to what you are told, you will repress who you ARE.
Whatever you “do” will have a consequence.
It was a “good” consequence? Then great.
It was a “bad” consequence? Then it is a lesson.
Therefore, “good.” 🙂
That lesson will shape your consciousness. It is an experience to learn from.
Therefore, all is good.
Repression has a limit. It could save you momentarily from “getting in trouble,” but the pressure inside will explode sooner or later, then all things which were repressed; will come out to the open and without restriction.
Who you ARE, will be known sooner or later.
It does not matter if others know or do not know about it.
You will know. Unless you are not aware.
Is not being aware “bad”?
No! Then you will get the chance to repeat the lesson again, until it is learned.
Thus, all is good.
If the lesson of inner honesty hasn’t been learned, then we will try to cover those things, which we do not like about ourselves. We could try to look “saintly,” “respectable,” etc. but any actions of the “I” to “fix ourselves” are meant to deceive ourselves, for it is a rejection of who we ARE.
This rejection will build repression again and with that we will repeat the same pattern of explosion-repression.
“But… how do I fix it, if I find something “wrong” in me?
Definitely it is not by labeling it as “bad.” It is not by changing behavior but by understanding the ramifications, the consequences of that. If playing with fire causes to burn my hand; labeling fire as “bad” will not do a thing. Telling myself that I “should never play with fire again” will only create fear in me, a rejection. Do we see that?
Acceptance of everything around us, cannot happen unless there is complete acceptance of who we ARE.
Without knowing who we ARE, there is no acceptance and because of that, no openness in consciousness.
Who we ARE is not related with a belief or a concept such as: I am a soul, I am a spirit, I am a body, I am a brain, etc.
Who we ARE is known by the observation of the type of unrehearsed, raw, “natural” activities that we perform.
If you are alone, if no one is seeing you or watching you, what will you do? How do you act?
Observe that this is not a religious belief or social agreement to act in a certain way to look “good” or to look “respectable.” To do that is to be dishonest for the one who is aware of the “I.”
For the one who is not aware of the “I,” the above practice is “good” until that individual becomes aware of the “I.”
Thus, all is good.
Life is change, and so “what is.” Whatever change that may be… it is all good. 🙂
Ananda was sharing with Mathias, the wise tree; about the experience of his father, who is in the hospital about to depart to a new experience; which is known as death or life, depending on our perspective.
Ananda: Here is a good person suffering by being conscious of his organs shutting down one by one and knowing that he will not survive. How is that going to be helpful for him to learn about detachment from the perception of the self, the “I,” in less than a month?
Mathias: He needs to die of the self. Look at you, how many years have it taken you to die from your old self?
Ananda: It has taken me at least 11 years, but you have helped me. What about him?
Mathias: Look. It has taken you 11 years of your life for Ananda to appear. Your father will learn that experience in less than a month. Do you remember your experience of feeling alone for such long time? Is your father alone?
Ananda: He is not alone.
Mathias: He is walking towards the abyss, the wind is blowing on his face and he does not want to jump because he feels that emptiness. We tell him: Jump! Do you need a push? But he will not jump.
Even though he has a powerful mind which is able to keep him alive despite major organs of his body not working, he does not realize about the beliefs that he has in his mind which are keeping him afraid.
Jump! Nothing will happen to you, you are eternal…
Ananda: He needs someone to trust. Just like when people have a belief in a God who will help them. I don’t know who he may trust like that.
Mathias: What would you tell your father in a few lines about the experience of dying from the self?
Ananda: To embrace the experience. To disconnect from the pain with his powerful mind and to erase all beliefs about death.
Mathias: Did that experience of dissolving the arrogance of the self happened to you because you did something specific in your life?
Ananda: No. It just happened.
Mathias: Share that with everyone. It does not matter what you do in life to make something happen, what is meant to happen… will happen despite your doings.
Ananda spoke with his father for the last time. Ananda thought he could help him “jump” for his father had listened to him in the past.
“Dad. You have always had a powerful mind. Your mind controls your body as you are doing it now. But your mind has also beliefs which are giving you fear of what we know as death.
Fear because of having a “Me.” When the “Me” faces that there is no “Me,” there is fear of losing that, which is known.
That is death.
We are eternal. There is only life.
Embrace that experience!
With much love, always.”
In the world of concepts and analysis, we have been taught to separate things. Even the word “things” implies differences, categories. “Many things.”
When we use that perspective to observe the world, obviously the way that we will perceive it is by separation.
“This is a fish. A fish cannot be the Ocean. The Ocean is by itself and fish are different.”
Ananda was looking at the Ocean. He saw a fish jumping up as if it wanted to take a look outside the water, and then dived into the Ocean.
Could a fish live without the Ocean? We could put that fish in a tank of water, but then we will need to change that water often, for otherwise it will stagnate. Eventually the fish may not survive.
Could the Ocean exist without fish? Evidently no. As otherwise, water without anything in it, will stagnate. Fish need Ocean plants. Every being in the Ocean is necessary to maintain freshness of that Ocean. Every being has a “task” to maintain the Totality alive. Every being is necessary.
We observe different forms but many times we do not realize that those “things” are integrated. They share a common “breath” to survive.
From the perspective of the fish, there is no difference between “it” and everything else… unless the fish learns to “think,” which means separation.
A 3 year old child does not have an identity yet. That child does not know about male and female, ugly or beautiful. That child only observes and imitates “others.”
Once that child learns to differentiate “others” from himself, then a personality will appear that will separate “things.” That is, thinking has appeared.
The adult way of seeing things is very limited and seldom integrated with the Totality.
Notice that religious beliefs as well as moral codes and educational values are built up under the perspective of this separation.
Why is it important to reflect on this view of separation?
Because judgments, comparisons, beliefs, critics, expectations, etc. come from this view, this awareness.
That is why it seems very odd when some moralist tells someone: “You must not criticize. It is “bad.” God is going to punish you, if you do. It has “bad” karma.”
When the whole understanding of this person resides in the awareness of separation.
Obviously, We may even create commandments to “shape up” “others” into not criticizing or judging or comparing; but if my consciousness is rigidly situated in the perception of separation, I will only be kidding myself.
“We are all brothers.” But yet we could kill each other…as brothers… 🙂
“ Let us go green. Let us save the planet.” But yet dump garbage at any other place but “my house.”
“Save the manatee” but who cares about the bees.
This is not some religious, end-of –the-world story. Please observe how that consciousness of separation from our common roots is damaging not only “our” planet but is taking away the sanity within human beings.
Let us take a look at this page in Wikipedia about personality disorders.
The common aspects of those personality disorders are the avoidance of “others” (separation: Paranoid, schizoid) through the need for admiration of the self (ego-centered: Narcissism) on the other side. In other words, those diseases are about strengthening the “I” in separation with everything else (others.)
We are unable to integrate into the Totality. Even some may pray to the one God, who is the big boss, separated from us, to save us all, when we are unable to perceive that same God as part of the Totality, Nature, the Universe, etc.
That is why in Spirituality there are many phases of awareness which all depend on how open our consciousness is.
There are some religions preaching “salvation” if we just accept so and so as the savior of all. Other religions imply that only by “belonging to them” you could be saved.
Nevertheless, when our consciousness is no longer restricted to the individual; when we could finally integrate ourselves into that Totality like that 3-year-old kid or the fish in the Ocean, then what is the need for “ME” to be saved? 🙂
To pretend to save that “ME” is merely the continuation of that ego supporting separation.
A sane, conscious individual will be able to be aware that everything is changing and thus, everything is momentarily. Those changes are unavoidable for change in itself is that recycling movement in life.
That is why enjoyment of the moment is all there is. So, enjoy! 🙂
When we realize that, we could observe things from a center which is beyond the expectation, desires of ego… and we could enjoy the scenes in life not as separated from it, but in integration.
That is where the “true” smile appears, just like the one of a 3-year-old kid: spontaneous, sincere, unrehearsed, alive.