In a rare sunny afternoon in the middle of Winter, the master and his disciple had a conversation on the master’s house rooftop, while overseeing human “progress” in a classical crowded, busy city: Buildings upon buildings of concrete with the characteristic background noise of cars, motorcycles, horns and even fruit salesmen with megaphones, voicing their latest deals. That setting was perfect to practice observation and appreciation skills. Nevertheless, the master had a few pots there, with gorgeous aloe plants and geraniums to look at, and practice those same skills. The art of appreciating Life is in finding beauty in everything.
The disciple asked: “Master, why is it that good people seem to have so many problems to deal with? My neighbor’s kid ran away from her house then she lost all of her savings during a fire. She is a good person! Why does Life seem to be so unfair?”
The master listened attentively and replied:” Our judgment shows our conditioning. Life events occur as consequences of our actions and emotions. Today you may learn something new. Many are not ready for this yet but, you are. Good and evil are part of the human perception of a society ruled by the misunderstanding of duality. It is conditioning. Life itself is beyond those definitions, those borders created by the human mind.”
The disciple was surprised and replied: “ But master, I see people harming another. We cannot call that good.”
The master listened and smiled: “ If we cannot call that good, we call it bad, evil and we will throw in our emotional charge to demonstrate our rejection. Correct? That is exactly the point. Those labels could be used only to identify something due to the limits of language but if you judge, you are missing the point. If you observe someone harming another, do you reject that one? Look at your emotions. If you find rejection, distaste, you are judging based on your social conditioning. Remain unbiased, even if you participate to avoid further harm. ”
The disciple responded:” But what is wrong with that, master? I will do what is necessary to stop that fight and side with the good ones.”
The master smiled and said: “ Observe how you continue using those dualistic words: good, bad, right, wrong to emit judgment. Do as you wish, but observe that your feelings remain unmovable to either side. Let me explain: A strong Earthquake will kill many. Shall we label that as bad and reject that? Interestingly, many call an Earthquake an ‘act of God’ but yet in their minds, that God is good. Do you see the deceiving game of words and judgment? We do not know about the different events that will happen in Life, for Life is uncertain. There is no security in it; but yet if events are suitable to our viewpoint, we label those as good and pretend to find security in them by holding on with something that will change. We experience fear instead, which we then label as bad. That is the conditioning that we need to become aware of. More important than those labels are the emotions that we send out. Those are actions in itself and that which we emotionally reject, will be attracted toward us like a magnet. Our emotional charge becomes the strength of that magnet. Do you remember the time when you saw a couple fighting? What happened?”
The disciple remembered that episode. The boy was starting to beat up the girl and the disciple tried to separate them. To his surprise, the girl said to him: “ Why do you interfere with our fight? Who gives you that right?”
The disciple said: “ I thought I was doing the right thing. But obviously, they didn’t think so.”
The master smiled and said: “Now, you are starting to understand. You acted with an emotional impulse based on your conditioning of what is right to do. You did not feel inside you whether your presence was required there. You did not ask first, if you could be helpful. You merely thought to be right… and that gave you the right. Similarly, you will find out that our social conditioning is very limited to understand Life. Look at the Sun up there. It is giving light to all. It is not judging who is good or bad, who deserves this or that. Ruminate on this: People are caught in the duality of good and evil but Life and the angelic realm are beyond good and evil.”
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.”
Life means to experience. It is a learning experience of remembering, what paradoxically we already know. Many other beings are there around us to help us recall, if we just have the time and disposition to observe.
It was a huge park with a couple of lakes and walking paths resembling a figure 8 of about 2 miles long. It was surrounded by different trees and small wild animals. There was a “dog park” as well. The master and the disciple decided to walk by the dogs over there.
It was a party of barking dogs, but their attention went to a small dog who was attempting to defecate.
The master said: “ Observe carefully how that dog is trying to relieve itself.”
The disciple looked disconcerted at the dog and thought to himself: “what is so great about dog poop!”
The dog was laboring, squatting and putting most of its weight on its hind legs while arching its lower back and looking straight up. It took about half a minute.
When the dog was done, the master asked to his disciple: “What did you learn?”
The disciple was shocked as he wasn’t expecting such question. Nevertheless, he was trying to come up with something quick, maybe “spiritual” or “intelligent” to say, but he couldn’t.
After a few seconds the master said: “ A long time ago a philosophical friend of mine asked me a deep existential question: Why dogs don’t have to wipe and humans do? There is the answer. Did you see it?”
The disciple said: “Well… Dogs are using their four legs. Humans are typically sitting in a water closet… ”
The master said: “Fantastic! Before the water closet was invented humans had to squat. Now that exercise is gone for most. The optimal posture needed is as dogs are showing us. Did you know that bowel movement from wild animals are beneficial for the environment but not the ones from domesticated animals?”
The disciple was turning his face red. He wasn’t expecting such a “crappy” conversation!
The disciple said: “No master, I did not know but I understand that pets eat mostly artificial food and that could have a detrimental consequence on the ecosystem.”
The master said: “Correct! That is why pet owners need to pick up their pets’ waste. Shall we now speak about the need to use toilet paper to wipe ourselves? What was used before that? Do you know that some cultures use the fingers of their left hand to clean themselves?”
The disciple felt very uncomfortable and his face kept turning red.
The master smiled and said: “ I see that you are turning red. What did you learn from that?”
The disciple felt awkward, but he gathered some courage and said: “This conversation about poop in general is getting on my nerves.”
The master observed his disciple, waited for a few seconds to respond and said: “ I understand. Observe the rejection inside you for such topics. It is merely another topic but your traditions, your conditioning is coming out and making a taboo out of this. This conversation is working you out. Most individuals do not observe their rejections through conditioning to different topics but accept them and even defend them; which in turn will close their perspective for new Life experiences. Now perhaps, you could understand to some extent the significance of the word ‘open minded.’ That word does not mean to do whatever another believes, but to acknowledge their opinions as if you were listening to the songs of a nightingale. Don’t need to say anything back, but just listen.”
It was a cozy restaurant near the forest. That was the setting where the master and his disciple decided to eat lunch. The disciple asked for steak with fried onions as the main dish. The master requested for lentils and brown rice with a small salad.
The disciple said: “It is said that spirituality will lead people to become vegetarian or vegan, but I love too much the taste of meat. I don’t want to give it up yet.”
The master replied: “ Sure. I understand.”
The disciple felt awkward as he thought his master was disappointed. The master sensed that and while waiting for food to be served, he said: “ In the world of duality, pleasure without awareness will inevitably lead to addiction and the experience of pain without awareness will lead to fear. Eating meat has been traditionally a symbol of wealth and power. This strong conditioning has been installed on future generations. More people conditioned with similar traditions will cause unrestricted destruction of the natural balance of our ecosystem, for their view of life will take them to pursue pleasure at the expense of other less developed beings and Nature. However, this trend at this time is backfiring humanity, for we are part of that ecosystem as well. We are all one. That was only a nice spiritual theory a few decades back. Now, it is a reality because we experience the consequences. While people used to debate whether eating meat was good or bad for health or moral purposes, at this time it is a social responsibility to refrain from it, as the consequences are affecting humanity.”
The disciple was shocked, but he asked: “Could eating meat affect us?”
The master replied: “The inhumane treatment of sentient beings, is hardening our hearts. Humans have lost their sense of equilibrium with Nature. Eating flesh to live is part of Life for some species even for some humans, but the exploitation and indiscriminate killing beyond our human physical needs, for the sake of profit or to just satisfy our addiction for taste, is an offense against our planet. The Earth, gains nothing. Other sentient beings suffer while some gain plenty of paper with human pictures in it, which will give them power to control other men. It is a mental game of disconnection with Mother Earth.”
The master took a sip of water and continued: “The addiction of meat is so strong that even though most humans are well informed about this situation, they are powerless to do anything about it. Their wills have been broken. There was a time when families had land with animals to provide for their food. Now, it is another reality where action with social responsibility is the rational direction, that is; to avoid consuming animal products, as much as possible.”
The disciple understood the words of his master and felt a bit guilty. He wanted for his master to tell him clearly to stop eating meat. So, he pushed the issue one more time.
The disciple said: “Master, aren’t you going to ask me not to eat meat?”
The master smiled and said: “Spiritual teachings don’t use the word “No;” as in “you should not do this or that,” for Life has its own intelligence and there is a lesson at every corner of it. If we fail to see something, that is because we lack awareness; but the consequences will be felt sooner or later to shake us up and then wake up. It is in that experience how we truly understand. Mental understanding of ideas and philosophies leads to no real personal change, but only help us to follow beliefs. If you just follow what I say without being ready, great repression will be built inside you and that will be my responsibility.”
The disciple felt a big release, smiled and asked: ” Master, how do I know when I have eaten enough or when my addiction for tasty things kicks in?
The master smiled, took another sip of water and said: ” That is truly a meaningful question. Eating is an art. You need a tranquil space where you can place your attention in what you are ingesting. Eat with gratefulness. Chew your food well, taste it, salivate it, let it go to your stomach and then take a couple of breaths; talk if you need to and then go at it again. Be aware of the signals that your body sends. As you are reaching 75% of your stomach capacity, that is a good place to stop. Your body will tell you exactly if you are aware. Your mind on the other hand, will enjoy the taste and say: Get more! How delicious! repeat! Let the mind enjoy, but remember that it is what you feel and not what you think what drives the art of eating. Leave with a sense that you could have eaten more. There are some days, where you could eat a bit more or less. Life is about feeling balance and not following formulas. To learn to feel is the key. Conscious, aware eating is a fine spiritual practice. Nevertheless, there is an indicator which could tell you most of the time, if you are eating sensibly or not…. “
The master stopped talking. After a few seconds, the disciple asked: ” What is that indicator, master?”
“your belly size.” said the master while smiling.
It was a beautiful afternoon. The Sun was about to set. Vivid colors appeared in the sky. There was a shade of bright red mingling with a burst of orange, mixed together with a shy hue of yellow at the foreground. A blue background, was still visible while white and gray clouds were moving slowly south east. Darkness appeared little by little from the right side of the horizon, insinuating a close take over.
The master and his disciple were looking at the sky from the rooftop of the master’s home.
The master asked: “Do you see how subtle and almost imperceptible is the change of colors in the sky?”
The disciple said: “Yes, master. You really have to look carefully to catch up with those changes.”
The master replied: “ Are those changes too quick for you?”
The disciple responded: “ No master, quite the opposite. It is hard to keep my attention in those changes.”
The master said: “ I see. You are not looking. You are expecting for some outcome to occur. Your mind understands that darkness is about to come and that expectation does not allow you to look.”
The disciple felt awkward with that reply and said: “No, master. I am looking.”
The master continued: “ Do you feel nourished by that scene?”
The disciple said: “Master, I am looking, seeing the sky. Where could I possible get nourishment?”
The master sighed and said: “ When you look and become delighted with such spectacle and put all your senses in attentive mode, there is no interference from the mind. Right there, a sense of well being, peace and tender solitude invades you. That is nourishment for the soul. That is to look. On the other hand, when the mind interferes, it only looks to analyze, dissect, label, compare and expect. There is no nourishment there.”
The master took a few seconds to continue: “There is a lesson to learn there as well. Did you learn something?”
The disciple didn’t respond. The master said: “ You mentioned about change of colors. The change of light into darkness is very smooth. Most, probably haven’t even looked at the end of a delightful afternoon and do not know about this lesson from Life itself. Observe: For any change to be non-contentious, it has to be very smooth. It is not quick. It happens little by little. This holds true for any change in society, as well as consciousness. When offering change to another, keep his attention in the colorful parade, for otherwise he will not be able to stand the sudden change from darkness into light. Respect his process and move slowly to avoid any hue of violence. That level of care is in synchronicity with the laws of Nature.”
The master was at the beach with his disciple observing Nature without a reason or purpose in mind.
As they were looking, a bird similar to an eagle appeared flying from behind them. It was quite big and descended quickly like a rocket into the sea, to catch a fish with its claws. It was a successful catch. The bird took the fish to a near electric pole and devoured it.
The disciple exclaimed: “Poor fish!” The master smiled and took a moment to respond: “ To put yourself in the shoes of another ’s fate is empathy, that is laudable. The human world has lost contact with the laws of Nature and thus, perceptions are contradictory. In Nature, the hunter and the prey are merely fulfilling a harmonious order, a balance in Nature. Death is part of Living. The population of birds, fish and other animals and plants are in balance and can fulfill their purpose, their roles of living without being extinguished. That holds true for every species except humans.”
The disciple said: “Then it was right for that bird to kill that fish to survive?”
The master said: “ Let us not think in terms of right or wrong. In Nature, things happen without ultimate reason but the common good. The bird did not act in an evil way despite killing. The fish wasn’t a victim despite being killed. There was an ultimate balance, for there wasn’t a purpose other than the common good.”
The disciple said: “ I don’t understand your lack of empathy for the fish.”
The master said: “Observe. It is not about my empathy or yours. When you judge Nature based on human morality there will be contradiction and misunderstanding. Nature cannot be understood through the mind made reality of written moral standards. Harmonious balance for the common good is the song in Nature not a written paragraph. We cannot judge Nature’s methods.”
The disciple tried to understand but had a puzzled look in his face. The master then continued: “In the human world there is an ultimate purpose. It is called profit, gain. That is not for the common good but for the perceived benefit of few above the rest. That is why their killing or any other action behind that purpose is ugly. Look at how people succumb to Nature. That is what is labeled as natural disasters. Balance is the ultimate purpose and humans are in that as well as any other beings on Earth. We are all one. There is no will for profit there. Observe how humans kill each other or other defenseless beings for a reason which only fit their own interests. Remember this: Your intention behind your action is the most important ingredient for the type of Life that you will experience. If your intention is service for the common good, how wonderful your life would be. Life itself will be with you. Knowing that, you wouldn’t live without serving others. You may need to go beyond good and evil to observe a different reality.”
Then the master sighed and continued: “What I said may be misunderstood for our human conditioning and beliefs are very strong. Just remember this: I am not here to change your beliefs. What you need to understand will come to you naturally without effort, without struggle.”
The “reality” of the “normal” person is surrounded by a man made “reality” of formulas, formalisms and philosophy known as economics. The poor and the rich are man made. That is not something coming from Nature or Life. That “reality” is what most humans are conscious of. A man made illusion which has become “real.”
Similarly, at this time in Spirituality; there is the “reality” of the “ethereal body” for some individuals. This is related with the touted “Ascencion to the 5th Dimension.” where it is said that “everyone in the planet will go through that.” That “5th dimension” is not a place. It is a state of consciousness where the bagagge of emotionality will be dropped by some individuals (those who are ready) with the outcome of a non-violent being who is ready to explore the meaning of love. Thus, the development and awareness of this vehicle (ethereal body) has importance according to this time.
Below is the conversation between Mathias ( A being of light manifesting as a tree of Nature) and Ahnanda about some ontologycal questions surrounding BEING. I am reproducing it, for it shows the interconnection of BEING with the Totality. The question of “who I am?” is answered in an orignal way. Note that many religions or philosophies may use other labels.
Ahnanda: Now that you mention about the importance of developing the ethereal body at this time, I read many articles with contradicting information about the ethereal body. Could you tell me what the ethereal body is?
Mathias: It is “you” but bigger. It is a world of giants. En each part of those worlds, there is “you” as well, but you are under the illusion that you are only here. The ethereal body is the body limit which unites these dimensions with another sublime reality where density is not nor duality. It maintains a connection and interaction. It is like the roots, stem, leaves and the flower. The ethereal body is the leaves before the flower.
Ahnanda: What is the flower in this analogy?
Mathias: The essence, my friend.
Ahnanda: The essence? That is what is known as “soul.”
Mathias: That is what is known as “spirit,” that is “you” not “I.”
Ahnanda: Isn’t the soul the essence, as I have been taught by religions?
Mathias: If you wish, we can call that soul.
Ahnanda: But, you call it spirit…
Ahnanda: And that flower is the one having experiences of many lives?
Mathias: The stem has the experience of many lives, my friend. What would you call the stem? The stem has two parts. The first one is the emotional body and the second part is the physical body made to enter duality. Then you have the roots.
Ahnanda: But that stem unites everything.
Mathias: Of course, my friend.
Ahnanda: And… where is consciousness then? I mean, the plant who is conscious of the stem, the roots and the flower.
Mathias: In the water, my friend.
Ahnanda: Water is the Universe?
Mathias: Everything. Water here is everything. It is called Totality.
Ahnanda: But there is a difference between the plant and the Totality, right?
Mathias: Correct. Do you want to know a label for that?
Mathias: It is called nothingness.
After the talk with Mathias, I was wondering what would be the “root” in this analogy of the plant.
When I recalled that he used the word “root” to refer to my ancestors, my “roots.” My past, my genes which make up my personality. That is the connection with the past, which is part of the stem.
Thanks to this talk, I understood how spiritual schools, religions and philosophies emphasize only one label, one thing as the most important aspect of the human being when responding to the question “who am I?”: Soul, spirit, genes, physical body, consciousness, etc. without seeing the connection.
The plant is not only the flower or the roots. The plant requires water to survive.
Every human being is living their own “reality” of “who am I?”and thereby, the answers that he will validate as “the truth” are the ones fitting that “reality.” Very convenient indeed.
Who am “I”? 🙂
Laughing at that question, is my “rational” answer.