Tagged: music

On Self-Righteousness

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Our attitude in life, which is naturally perfected through observation and openness to life experiences, is of great importance to take life one day at the time.

Let us say that I entered into a gym to exercise.
The gym features strident music among other things, it could be a mad house if someone turns the volume on of their wall mounted TV while using the stationary bike or headphones or just to see the different TVs displaying different programs with blistering images in all of them.

If my “ego gym” has been built around a tranquil, noise-less scenario; obviously there will be a reaction.
“ I am not exercising in that mad house. Why should I do that? All those people must be deaf in there!”

The above scenario happens in many other aspects of life very often.
We may discriminate “them” for being crazy, out-of touch-with reality, impure, savage, profane, impious, etc.

Then a commandment to live by, is necessary which will give us the sense of “being right” and for “them” to be “wrong.”
That self-righteousness will not allow someone to integrate into the Totality of “what is.”

“You shall have distaste for noisy places,” utters the commandment.

Someone who plays “rebel” to that commandment will support the opposite view: “ Noisy places are good.”

That is life in duality.

When we learn to integrate, there is no questions about “commandments” even if there is a belief that “a higher God has said so.”
Why? Because life is not “black or white.”

When we learn to integrate we will be mindful of our own state of consciousness, how we feel at that moment, the circumstances and the overall context, in such a way that our response is not a rejection, but it is harmonious, in balance with “what is.” That response is non-intellectual, by the way.

The above requires far more sensibility than following a “black and white” commandment. It requires a different state of consciousness.

Sometimes to integrate with the craziness of the noisy Gym is what is required. Many times our minds need a change from linear activities, “the same old thing.”

At other times, to leave the place will be harmonious, yet at other times to go inside for a brief time.

What is important is to acknowledge, “what is,” to appreciate it without an inner rejection just because it goes against our beliefs or commandments or any other idea; for there is a recognition that something that “is” has a reason to be there. Integration is not to “go into it” but to know when to do it, without hurting others, without “teaching” others, without the “ego” of believing that our ways are the “righteous ways.”
Why?
Because our static ways could never be the standard of “righteousness” in an ever changing, surprising Life.

Thinking about nothing

heraclitus

Raymond was finally home after a busy day of work.
Raymond didn’t feel like doing anything for the rest of the night. He relaxed in his couch, turned the lights off and started to look at the window while listening to Jeff Kashiwa’s “Hyde park.” 🙂

Raymond was able to listen attentively that song for the first time!
Even though, he has listened to it many times before, his mind was busy in trips back to the office, or in thinking about someone’s life, the purpose of life, etc.

Raymond was looking at the window but he wasn’t interpreting anything in his mind. There was no script playing. Raymond was thoughtless!

During that time, Raymond appreciated the beginning of silence as a prelude of the song, to a shy start into simplicity, elation and “brightness” of the tune… The slow crescendo into maturity to the fading away into silence…

That was awareness and appreciation at the same time!

Why is it so difficult to stop thinking?
Isn’t it that “I” created the thought? Then, why it is so hard to stop it? 🙂

Let us not bring explanations and theories about it. Let us not bring a belief.
Just observe the inner voice, the movie, the coming and going to different places through the mind, catch-all of that “activity” right now.
Be aware of it. Conscious.

And then, the miracle may happen… It may stop.

If we take our attention into something else, the inner activity with thoughts and ideas will start again.
Unless we are conscious of this thing happening, there is no book or religion or savior that could liberate us from living life in our heads.

Thinking is “good,” only when necessary. In our society, at this time; thinking has transformed into “over-thinking” which is a disease.

Do you want to worry about something? Do you want to plan things out to the last detail?
What about thinking about the unforeseen circumstances? Let us plan for some remedies. Let us make a scenario to think about….

All of that stuff that we have learned so we can theorize about how sound and logical our actions are, and get the approval from someone; all of that is creating a noise which does not allow us to enjoy life, to appreciate it, to sit back and relax…

Do we want tips on how not to over think?
That is, well “thought out” methods? Do we want to meditate about a thought? 🙂

Have you heard the “it is impossible not to think” theory?
That belief is an obstacle in our own discovery.

To meditate, our minds need to be clear from that noise, then that silence is healing, it is comforting, it is fulfilling.

Raymond experienced a meditative state while listening to that song.
Raymond discovered that there was no difference between life and how a song plays.
Everything starts in silence and goes back to silence.
Thus, it is in silence (thoughtless state) how we could know our essence without beliefs.

Let the music take control, let the rhythm move you…

Dance-to-Your-Own-Rhythm

The above words of wisdom are from the lyrics of a well-known song…

To explain life in a paragraph without using beliefs could be a senseless trip.
Nevertheless in the experience of something which we could perform in a day-to-day basis, we could understand the greater picture without boring and brainy intellectual comprehension. 🙂

Life is playing a song. That song could be different for every individual. As a matter of fact, even though it could be the same song, the music will be heard through different ears… That is lesson number 1 in the “Mambo number 5” song.

Lesson number 2 resides in the steps that we perform, commonly known as “actions” or “karma.”
“One step to the left, two to the right. Swing your arms to the front and then turn around.” Those are nice steps to learn. We could learn those steps from a religion or from the school system or from some place. I hear the Guru saying: “Repeat the steps over and over and you will see that they will become second nature to you.”

Great! That is fantastic… Shall I do the same steps to every song that life plays? Here comes the Pop song, followed by some “bachata” and then some “ragtime” music.. and all I know is “One step to the left, two to the right…” 🙂 Maybe those are good steps for some “electric slide” in a group dance… Everyone follows the same steps… Don’t think just follow… Forget about thinking!! The issue is that we forget to feel the music…

Lesson Number 3 comes in handy: Music is something that you feel. Just like life. If you “think” the steps that you are to perform while listening to Music, you will not be dancing. You will not have the openness to let the music “take control and the rhythm move you” in a different way through every song in life.

Then lesson number 4 appears as a question: So that means that I can move however “I feel” like? 🙂
If you move with anger, with force, with violence; you will not be able to dance for too long. In fact, your movements cannot be harmonious; your steps cannot flow through every song, through every transition. You may call that a dance, but to dance means to move flawlessly, with easiness and without exerting yourself, it means balance of rhythm and breath. You may have lots of rhythm but without stamina, your dance will not last for too long.

If you feel enjoyment and appreciation of the song being played, your steps will follow, as you will pick up the rhythm….
You will be dancing every song with different steps! Isn’t variety the spice of life?

And finally lesson number 5: Become “one” with the song. That is “merged” with the music. In that way, there will not be “someone” dancing different songs; and letting life “move him,” but rather there will only be music. The dancer will be part of the “package” so to dance does not feel as if someone is “obligating” someone to dance as a final destiny; but rather the enjoyment of hearing the music will be in dancing it… There is no dance without music and no music without rhythm. Ego is the main element of separation of the dancer and the music.

Being alive is dancing. Knowing how to live means to enjoy the music and the dance. 🙂

Baby steps for inner observation

baby and mirror

Once someone has made the decision to become “spiritual,” that is a self signed contract to observe the self.
You will be the witness of yourself.

Sounds weird?

That is because we are trying to “make sense of it,” conceptualize. It is just a matter of “doing it.” We will be able to do it, when we become aware and remember. That is, when it is important to us.

When we observe we basically could “reject” everything that comes in our way as “illusion” or we can accept everything coming in our way without further judgment and without identifying with it. Those names are meant to label those paths, but they do not offer rejection or acceptance to life. Those are just labels to get to my point.

Please be aware of the above, for as far as I know; all religions and spiritual paths will follow either one of those paths. Very few, both. 🙂

The issue is that religions and philosophies feel that “their path” is the “true” path. Ignoring that there is a need of “different strokes for different folks.” Numberwise is the keyword.

Either path will take you to the same place, that is a greater awareness of the inner world in relationship.

How that works?

In the path of “rejection,” we are aware that everything that I sense, that I think, that I believe is an illusion. Whatever is going on in my head an heart are illusions. This realization could be backed up with intellectual knowledge or a simple strong belief, the point is to see “illusion” in “my” perceptions rather than the “holy truth.” 🙂

Then the question of what is real? Will arise. At that point we know that thinking is not, feeling is not but still there is something or someone “there.” The depth of this realization and self-discovery will bring greater awareness in the individual.

In the path of “acceptance,” we take everything in, we let it be. However, we do not identify with anything. I am not labeling things as “illusions,” there is a perception of things, but my mind and heart do not hold on into anything. We become open doors. Everything goes through it. That is self-less.

Let me give an example to explain this.

Let us say that we are listening to this song: “He is the greatest dancer” by Sister Sledge.. [oh my… a spiritual sister! ;-)]

In a “normal” individual, her emotions will be stirred up when listening to the tune. Fantasizing will be unavoidable. At the same time, the message of the song will be “subliminally” incorporated into the psyche of this unaware person: “He is a good dancer, He wears designer clothing, He is good-looking, He does not leave the disco alone…” For a female that could be translated into “my type of guy,” for a male; “the type I want to be.”

Now let us see some other “reactions” from the public:

1. For a “religious God fearing person,” this song is sinful. There is no question about listening to it. That song brings “bad moral standards.” You must never listen to such song. As a matter of fact, just to be on the safe side, you must never listen to any songs from the 70’s. 😦 and if you do not listen to any songs at all, then you will maintain your ears holy and clear…This works good at the beginning, but closing doors to the world means rejecting the world for what it “is” and that will definitely bring karmic accounts…

2. For a person who does not know English, that song has a lively beat, it helps to create a fun environment. It is about having a good time, so no moral decisions have to be made.

3. For a person who is observing the self, if he lets everything in; then he will not “process” anything. His mind will be like an empty glass. He could dance, he could enjoy the tune but once it is over, it is over.

For a person who “rejects” everything, he will know that he is enjoying an illusion and because of that, once it is over; it will be over as well.

Here may lie one of the greatest misunderstandings of those “following” the path of rejection. Most adherents feel that it is about “not doing.” – I will not listen to such a song, I will not dance such a song… as a matter of fact to have a “good time” is “bad,” for we are “wasting time.”

There is no “waste of time” when the wholesomeness of the individual’s life is at stake.

and the 1 million dollar question arises… Is that song “good or bad” Is it “holy or sinful”?

As we can see, it depends on the consciousness of the individual. This is an important rule of thumb to remember in the Spiritual path.

Please note that in both paths, the important item is to live the moment. Enjoy it. Then if the mind is being pulled to those things continuously, there is certainly attachment, there is emptiness which needs to be fulfilled somehow. There is identification. This is the path of the “normal” individual.

Once there is observation, then we could realize all of this in ourselves and filter things when we are aware or when we have reached some mastery of the mind, then nothing will bother us; either because it goes right through us or because we know about its illusory nature, or because we are aware and “filtering” and we realize that someone who selects a partner just because he is good-looking, a good dancer and wearing designer clothes may need some “growing up” to do and hopefully that will not happen in the company of a cute baby on her side…

A 5-year-old dances a song. That 5-year-old is not concerned about buying the song afterwards or remembering the tune of the song. Because he has innocence, he is not concerned about designer clothing although he may wear it. He is not concerned about having a pretty face because he is not-self aware yet. Because his mind is empty, he does not have those prejudices yet, which we grown ups are easy prey to pick up.

Therefore, the task of someone in the spiritual path is to liberate his mind and to clean it up with soap and bleach so it becomes innocent again. Like the one of a 5-year-old. 🙂