Finding “good” in apparently “bad,” is one of the trademarks of a spiritual person. If we look at the symbol of “yin -yang,” (duality) we will see that one side whether black or white, has a little “eye” with opposite color. Therefore, we can “select” to focus on the positive side of an apparent negative situation.
The above is not a “trick” or a “method.” It is simply the recognition through observation of Life. Where we focus, our attention is. That is what becomes “real.”
A person changing through the process of self-realization without a doubt, has experienced a lockdown period in his own Life. It is necessary to process all the inner changes.
Thus, those who are ready to take advantage of this situation, will use time to be completely observant of his own mind.
The mind is very important, for that is the filter to watch and to interpret what we consider “reality.” Observe how the mind will introduce desires in unexpected ways. The mind is eager of constant movement. It wants to be continuously stimulated.
Observing means merely to watch as if we are watching a TV program. The minute we are able to do this without engaging our beliefs, judgments or emotional responses, then we are getting to know what Observation is.
The previous teaching was to change a “bad” thought with a “good” thought. Although that is typical material for a “best-seller;” we are not realizing that this practice only engages more the mind to make such change. The mind sees itself as thinking something “bad.” The mind judges that “it cannot be. I am good. I want good thoughts.” So, the mind changes by picking a thought and label that as “good.” In this exercise, we have given further nourishment to the needed stimulation of the mind.
As long as there is inner chattering, there cannot be observation. When we bypass the mind, we will know no-mind. However, this is not a goal to be achieved. It just happens.
The mind creates a “reality” which is not necessarily there. We need to recall that our focus will dictate what we perceive.
On the other hand, most individuals unaware of the above; are only concerned on distracting their minds. Nothing wrong with that. Just be AWARE that this is happening while it is happening. Many providers are streaming hours of entertainment to “help others cope with stressful times.” Then, their minds will fantasize about the future on and off. The antenna of their minds will pick up the collective vibe of distress, uncertainty and nuisance of having to stay home. In turn that will give them a certain mood, which goes unperceived; so they may call that “my mood.” In extreme cases, a pill will be taken to be able to sleep and send the overworked mind to rest.
It is important to learn to observe in order to pick up the messages and the conditions of the outside which may affect the “inside.”
The mind could be our greatest friend or enemy. It is a tool and as such, we have the opportunity now when we could be out of our “normal” busy schedule, to learn from it.
Without a doubt, a step forward is when we clearly perceive that “I” am not the mind. The tool is not “me.” That is a fantastic Aha! moment.
The mind is a repository of information, memories. It is almost like a hard drive, being filled with videos (MP4) of our recorded life experiences, with the additional “feature” of being able to extrapolate assumptions based on the stored information. However, some information “leaks” as years go by. It is unreliable.
A “normal” person will use those memories and information as a source of “knowledge” and apply it to unknown situations, by assuming that existing trends or past life experiences, will continue as they had. We use Life experiences, the past; to forecast the future and new situations. We can label that as “ thinking” or “reasoning” and feel safe; but notice that this process is as good as flipping a coin to make a “choice,” for truly Life is completely unexpected. The threads of Life situations escape our mental perception.
A person living in the “mind,” will believe that “he” (“I”) is the mind. When Life throws something “new,” then the mind will retrieve information and use that info as bona fide source of action.
Trusting only the contents of the mind is a superficial way to meet Life. There are 2 or more paths opening in our Life at the same time, which one do we follow? That could be a hard “decision.” We have been taught to weigh the “pros” against the “cons.” We are merely speculating. We don’t know. What is perceived as “bad” could be necessary in our Life path in order to grow; but our “reason” may not see that.
Thus, we can flip a coin and odds are the same as “thinking through it.” However, we will be hesitant to do it, for “thinking” gives the false sensation of having some control over circumstances. We are great believers of the mind.
The mind is a static mechanism meant to recall past experiences. There is no creativity in it. Through it we only perpetuate the “same old thing.” That is the false sensation of security that we embrace.
The mind wishes to understand Life. How could it be? A “machine” built to keep, process and understand only pictures and data will feel intimidated when a “real” movie of Life is in front. The mind takes a picture, analyzes it, dissects it and comes up with some theory as to how the next movie frame “should be.” Otherwise, it gets a disappointing feeling, even a bitter taste: A trauma is made. However if the forecast happens, then ego pops up until the upcoming “failure” brings it down.
Ironically and philosophically, we may conclude that “Life is a bitch and then we die.”
Understanding Life through the mind is futile. A picture cannot explain the movie. We are spinning our wheels without moving an inch. Life is not meant to be mentally understood but lived. Living is not of the mind, but we assimilate the experience by being observant, quiet which is the way to learn, without making mental conclusions and theories.
When we talk to someone we may hear words and only believe what comes out of her mouth. Those who have a bit more observation, know that the overall feeling, gestures and setting will give a better clue. That “knowing” cannot be put in a book in easy to understand “fool-proof ”steps for everyone to read and “apply.” That “knowing” is more accurate as it fits “reality.”
Tantra moves along those lines. It is the invitation to abandon the mind and its understanding, its signals; which only makes our moves in Life through the path of stored fears. Very predictable, that is lacking creativity.
The very wish to understand Life through the mind, creates the motion of our minds over our hearts.
We will not dare to OBSERVE the movie of ourselves quietly, while moving in Life. We will be content with a “selfie” and hang on to some belief about that picture, which at the end will be shattered when Life moves beyond that point.
Paradoxically, Life is understood without trying to understand it. That may be the only requisite. That understanding is not of the mind; thus, closer to “what is.”
Within the words “reason and logic” our society has built its own way of looking and understanding the world. We say “the world around us” but it is truly within us.
The following has been taught and accepted by the great majority:
“There is good and bad. The “good” needs to prevail over the “bad.” We should strive to become good and eliminate evil completely.”
Most “normal” people will agree with that. After all, it is “logical,” “reasonable;” in a world where good and evil exists, one side has to fight the other and “win.” A logical, but violent deduction from a conditioned mind.
99% of movies, are made to fit that paradigm. We are fed with that idea day and night.
Traditional medicine, observes that paradigm as well. “The body fights against pathogens which are the cause of diseases.” That is the belief. Since pathogens are spread out like soldiers, traditional medicine will send a drug (an internal atomic bomb) to destroy “everything,” the pathogens and the defense mechanisms of the body included. Never mind any side effects and complications.
A person may have deep emotional issues or he may be negligent by eating traditional “fast food” on a regular basis; but we only see bacteria as the logical cause of the disease and we need to fight and “win.”
There are many more examples where the mindset of “us” against “them,” prevails.
Do we see the consequences of that limited view of Life? We have been conditioned to fight as a way of living.
Is a “reasonable” explanation enough to gain our belief? The worship of that little word “reason” is truly limiting our understanding of Life. I am not speaking about society with its “reasons.” I am speaking about Life.
Life is birth and death. Life is ups and downs. Life is our ability to enjoy and to mourn. Life is that empty sensation yearning to be filled with some meaning while still alive. We fill that with beliefs trying to convince ourselves that we are on the “right” track.
In the following ending paragraphs, lies my legacy to the “spiritually minded” future generations:
Life cannot be understood by the mind.
Good and bad are not separated.
A theist and an atheist are walking the same path.
Politics is violence.
What we were taught to believe and take as facts, are not the “truth” we thought they were. Go beyond beliefs. Find out for yourself.
Waking up from the dreamy world hasn’t been easy, but when it is our time; there is nothing we can do about it … but open our eyes.
Will resume writing on January 9, 2020.
Best wishes for the new year! 🙂
We are never the same. There is no static moment, no past where we could look back and believe to be completely unchanged since then.
I observed some family members visiting us. They live in another country. The last family gathering was about 20 years ago. Now, they ARE different from what I knew before. It is not just looks. That is the most superficial aspect of change. They are different, “I” am different.
I had an image of them in my mind. That image created an expectation, which resulted in illusion.
The only thing without a change that I knew from before, was their names. The same outcome occurs when we are living closely with others, although we may not realize the changes.
As we grow in relationship with others, we change. An individual is affected by company. Most are aware of that.
Most are oblivious that as we grow older, our own changes will create an inner resistance, when we are aware of them. There is an image, a still picture of the “perfect” self, which we would like to keep.
That “poster” is living in the mind. As any poster, it is static, completely unchanged. It is not real.
Nevertheless, that is our point of inner comparison. Comparison is the mother of unhappiness, at any level.
Practically, we live to keep an image and we relate with our own images of others.
“Pat” has an image of “Carl.” There is “Carl’s image” as perceived by Carl himself.
Carl would like to be treated according to the image that he has of himself. Anything lower than that, is considered an insult. Pat will mingle with Carl, by using the image that she has of Carl. Those are the untold boundaries.
Typically, when we meet someone for the first time, we spend that meeting in creating an image of that person. If we like that person, then the image grows in accolades, until one day we may “realize” and say to her: “You have changed since I first met you.”
It could be many years before we awaken from the dream.
Similarly if we dislike a person. Our image about that person can only go down, as we strive for consistency. “We cannot be wrong.” Observe the inner game of placing images into simple containers of likes and dislikes and to consider those as the standards of accuracy, reality, etc.
Could we relate without images?
That may require great awareness of the tricks of our own minds.
To meet someone without “pictures and posters” in our minds, will allow that other person to BE, for there is no inner need for the other to comply with our own picture of expectations, requirements and ideals.
For that we need to be free from psychological neediness, at any level in regards to the other. If there is a need, there will be a picture and our desire to maintain that picture as the ideal. Consciously or unconsciously, we will manipulate “reality” to look like that picture.
Psychological neediness does not allow for a “true,” open, caring relationship; for we are concerned in keeping the validity of personal images, rather than becoming aware of and accepting unconditionally “what is.”
Will be taking a break until October 31st. Enjoy yourself! 🙂
Because most of humanity has a mind concerned with separation, division as a perception of Life, then unhappiness will be the outcome of such mind.
Observe your own mind. There is “I” and there is “you.” Also all personal pronouns are part of the division. We know to be bound by language syntax, but we believe deep inside that “innocent” division to be true. That carries an existential problem beyond language. Observe how the main tool that we use to figure out “Life,” is based on “analysis.”
Analysis is a tool for further division. We want to know something which is whole by dividing it in parts. However, parts do not make up what is meant to be whole. The “whole is equal to the sum of its parts” we say, it is a nice theory in society, but doesn’t quite work out in “real” Life. Can we take apart a human being in its numerous parts, and make it “work” as a live human as it was before the division?
Our vision of the world is meant to analyze things. Observe politics. It deals with government, administration of people in a society. Politics relies heavily in all sorts of analysis. We don’t take people as “people”, we divide people. We create groups and out of that we create struggle between groups. We forget the common good; but become biased and select what is most convenient for a particular group. That is “Democracy.” Not the nice theory of what is supposed to be; but the “real,” practical aspect ongoing around the world.
There will not be a self realized individual dealing with politics. Not because “politics is dirty business” but because politics is a fictitious, one sided way of looking at Life. That political vision is incapable of putting things together in synthesis.
Politics is about conflict among groups and power struggle of certain groups. That is the outcome of a mind which has been trained to divide.
How is it possible to find “solutions” for problems created in our society which such mind?
It is not possible. “Problems cannot be solved with the same mind set that created them.”
That is a quote from A. Einstein. “Division” is a mind set.
Where is the root problem in need of a “solution”?
The human mind.
Happiness is not a creation of the mind. What our society considers as happiness is truly infantile, nevertheless; we cannot find a happy person there, but rather a sedated one. Someone who lives in the comfort zone of his mind’s achievements which, are only another reflection of a mind trained to divide, to fight, to conquer, to compete, to become “someone” in Life, as the utmost value.
Most know that happiness is not brought by material things. Nevertheless, we strive to obtain those at all cost. Happiness is not in circumstances, settings, relationships. It is not bound by what is “out there”.
Happiness is inner fulfillment. It is an inseparable sensation when we breathe, which makes us alive and vital. That cannot be found in the mind. That is why, there is “no-mind.”
But, what our educational system knows about it? Not much. In fact, what we are so eager to learn in our educational system is all about living in the ego mind. Most individuals are only concerned with their own achievements, the well being of their own group and the continuous struggle to maintain an ideal status quo during their life times, which they fight to provide to their own kind, their succesors. Conditioning is very strong and will continue on from generations.
Therefore, a sensitive, intelligent person will look into this. His personal journey will deal with recognizing and knowing his own mind. There lies the conditioning. There lies the madness.
This route doesn’t take the traveler into “name and fame.” There are no medals or prize money at the end of the journey.
There is only this sense of fulfillment, which indicates that we found our place in Life. This “achievement” happens without being “someone”, without doing something “special”, without fighting and trying to “conquer” our self created demons.
The “normal” conditioned mind, will be unable to understand that unless, the actual “mind set” is left behind.
“Self” is the most misunderstood label there is, from the dictionary word to the “spiritual” connection.
A seeker will be confused depending on their level of consciousness, for “self” is the very beginning of “spirituality” but at the same time, the very end. It is Alpha and Omega.
Most “think” they know what “self” is. It is “me.” That is kindergarten a priori “knowledge” however, it is readily accepted without further observation.
There is the “self” of “Google”: “a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.”
There is the “self” of Krishnamurti:
“ …the idea, the memory, the conclusion, the experience, the various forms of namable and unnamable intentions, the conscious endeavor to be or not to be, the accumulated memory of the unconscious, the racial, the group, the individual, the clan, and the whole of it all, whether it is projected outwardly in action, or projected spiritually as virtue; the striving after all this is the self.”
There is the “Self” of Ramana Maharshi : “That state which transcends speech and thought is mouna. That which is, is mouna. How can mouna be explained in words? Sages say that the state in which the thought”I” (the ego) does not rise even in the least, alone is Self (swarupa) which is silence (mouna). That silent Self alone is God; Self alone is the jiva (individual soul). Self alone is this ancient world. All other kinds of knowledge are only petty and trivial knowledge; the experience of silence alone is the real and perfect knowledge. Know that the many objective differences are not real but are mere superimpositions on Self, which is the form of true knowledge.”
And then, there is the “real self” of Osho: “The Real Self is dangerous: dangerous to the established church, dangerous to the state, dangerous to the crowd, dangerous to tradition, because once a man knows his real self, he becomes an individual.”
And then there is Lao Tzu: “Knowing others is wisdom. Knowing the self is enlightenment.”
And …there is “Nosce te Ipsum” (Know thyself).
An individual will be seeking to “save and continue” his perception of “self” through the belief in “heaven,” the “soul” (Atma or Atman, which is also known as the “real self” by some or Swaroop, etc.) after this lifetime is over, while others believe that everything is over at death time.
Lost in theories, beliefs and what not, we are unable to OBSERVE.
In my experience, when we want to find out something related with “spirituality”, there is no sense in following words. It doesn’t matter how “enlightened” they may be. There are many interferences in between: The level of consciousness of the one describing and the one listening (even “Death” depends on the level of consciousness of a person); the word used to describe a personal experience is a barrier for intellectual understanding; there is interpretation of the word, then there is translation (if it comes from another language) and finally, there is the emotional attachment to that word: “atman /atma/soul” is an example. It has a positive connotation which for many means “self or real-self.”
Confusion is the mother of all religions.
Look at “yourself.” Do you perceive thoughts (the little guy/gal talking to you in your “head”?) Do you perceive his fears, dreams, hopes, desires, activity, patterns, memories? That is typically known as “self.” That is also known as “I.” That is what many are concerned in “saving” for the “afterlife.”
Look at a wall. Hold your breath. Stop breathing for a few seconds. Notice how “your” thoughts will stop. Just notice. Keep focused on that wall.
There is an “observer” and there is the “object” observed (wall).
When the “observer” disappears as well as the “object” although the eyes are looking at a wall, that IS. We could name that infinitesimal experience as “Me without baggage” or “naked me.” “Bagagge” is all the stuff that we perceive when we observe the content of the mind.
Some will describe the experience above as “when the observer and the object merge in each other”, or “when the observer and object are one”. Same experience different words.
That “IS” will be called with many names: “real self”, “swaroop”, “atma”, “atman”, “God”, “Brahman”, that state of “mouna” (according to Ramana Mahrshi- above) which cannot be explained in words, is where “silence” resides.
However a glimpse is not the “state of being” of a self-realized individual. An attempt to float in the Ocean, is not swimming. However, the EXPERIENCE will allow us to “observe” that which we call personality, self, etc. which Krishnamurti points out, and OBSERVE the difference “without using the mind.” Just look.
“Meditation” has been used to experience that which IS. However, a meditation related only with the mind by trying to stop thoughts, still the mind, etc. will not allow us to experience what is beyond the mind (no-mind). Thus, Contemplation.
Looking at a wall in a relaxed way, without any aim whatsoever is contemplation. We could feel our breathing, our heart, we can open our inner senses for what IS to arrive. That could be experienced by some as bouts of bliss. The “inner smile.” We could observe that “thoughts” become an interference, that is why the artifice of stoping to breathe was used. How can we contemplate if thoughts are bothersome then? The power of your feelings shall be used. Feel from you heart and your gut as we breathe in and out. That will overcome our “habit” of “thinking” or “daydreaming.”
When words arrive in our heads, the mind has entered. The show is over.
If you never learned a language to speak, how would you relate with that which we typically call “self”? How the “little guy/gal” in your head could communicate with you?
Experience that. There is more to “self” than what is described here, but this is just a “finger pointing to the moon.” It is not the moon.
Nosce te Ipsum. There is no other “knowledge” more fascinating in Life.
The other day, I took a taxi to go home. The taxi driver started a conversation which ended in knowing about his “spiritual” experience: “ I lost my wife by being unfaithful and then I resorted into heavy drinking. I even had sex with guys… and then, I was saved (by his new religious belief) when I decided to go to the temple and heard the pastor talking. The pastor said that I could hear the voice of God. He gave me the versicle in the Bible. I prayed to God and then my Life turned around. I heard his voice. From that moment on, I decided to spend more time at the temple and share the word of God.” He handed me the Bible where he had underlined several passages that he knew by heart for me to read out-loud during the drive, while he was explaining those to me. I thanked him for sharing his story and finally he gave me some literature from his church to read in my spare time. Then he said: “I want to pray for you, what is your name? I said, “Ahnanda.” Thanked him again and left.
I was happy for him. I let him express what he IS and that gave him a little boost of reassurance of his own beliefs and experience. Little did he know that I had my own spiritual journey. He thought that he found “God” just like many other believers. That belief is uplifting him.
I learned the importance of allowing others to express their own religious experience even though they may be looking to proselytize.
Living in the “heart center” is not concerned in being “right” and “teaching others.” It is only concerned in naturally harmonizing with everyone. The above is by no means an example to follow. Life is unexpected and as we get in tune with feeling, our actions will be unexpected as well, rather than rehearsed. We could go through forethought, preconceived activity which maybe thought to be “correct, right” but which hides our true nature. As a person evolves through what we know as “spirituality”, it will be important to observe the raw self, without the disguise of DOING a determined action.
For instance, there was a Buddhist monk who said that if someone offers him a plate with meat in it, he wouldn’t reject it; for he will be rejecting the person who offered him a gift. But if he was offered to choose between a plate with meat or one with vegetables; he will pick vegetables.
That is a preconceived action. The motto is : “Do not reject anything.” However we need to look at “rejection” from a broader perspective: Is rejection showed through an ACTION (taking the plate or not) or is it an inner FEELING?
Can you reject your own well being for the sake of agreeing with someone? I am not saying to “make someone happy,” for the act of accepting a meal is not about making someone “happy or unhappy.”
In the heart center, we could observe that if the feeling is of rejecting meat but accepting it for the sake of conforming to a belief; then even though there was outside acceptance; there was inner rejection. No one else but ourselves could confirm that.
As we move into the heart center, there is no preconceived way of ACTION. There is no performance to follow out of some belief or tradition. Every person we meet, every exchange with others will bring its own way to ACT. That action comes from who we ARE.
How do we know if the action was proper?
There is harmony within. We could feel that. The mind does not bring some inner chat to tell us if we were “right or wrong.”
Personally, I do not reject meat or people who likes to eat meat; but at the same time, I know what agrees with my physical body at this time. That may change. Others may be alright with eating meat.
Everyone is different and different situations will arrive in our lives. I feel that to have a preconceived way of acting is truly emphasizing the mind over exploring the feeling of the moment.
Similarly, the cab driver is acting through preconceived directions by following a “holy” book. In his level of consciousness, that may be desirable at this time, but again; that may change. If we still follow preconceived patterns, then the mind will be at ease with a belief but not the heart .
Is following a particular moral code, enough to make us feel in harmony within? If yes, our lives could be a script to follow, from daylight to nighttime. This is “right” that is “wrong.”
Those parameters are necessary in society as they are simple to follow, but at the same time are limiting our own experience of feeling from the heart center.
Giving is not always “good”. Taking is not always “bad.” Those are only beliefs. Through the mind we can try to analyze the circumstances, the people involved, we could try to read the intentions, etc. and evaluate the situation to believe that we have acted “right,” for we have conformed to some pattern. There is no sensation, no feeling of harmony within.
Without that feeling, there could not be fulfillment in Life. Life is meant to be felt not thought out.