The concept of “improvement” has many meanings.
In our society, it is about obtaining things: Comfort, a position, wealth, health, etc. This meaning comes from a position of “lack of.”
The mind compares and assesses according to our conditioning. Because this comes from the mind, there is no inner fulfillment.
“Spirituality” for the masses (best sellers) is about transposing this concept into virtues and subtle powers or stages of self-realization. That perception is very simplistic and far from what Life supports; nevertheless, it is easy to understand and to follow. For a seeker, it means that he can assess his own improvement.
“This method changed my Life,” we hear; just like a commercial from TV.
In Life, “improvement” is consciousness. Greater consciousness means greater inner observation. There is inner fulfillment without looking for it.
The masses are unable to understand this.
How is it possible to “improve” by merely observing myself?
In Life, everything has a rhythm. Night changes into day, little by little.
If a human being could “improve” things, that person may want to speed up the timing for that change. “It used to take this long to get to dawn. Now it is less.”
Observe that “improvement.” It is unnatural. It is based on the human ideal to favor day rather than night for economic reasons or any other “reason.”
In Life, when we are not aware of timing of a change, we are acting in a very egoistic way. It does not matter if the DOING is labeled as a “good action.” Something is out of synch.
To “improve” in Life, means to be in tune with Life.
When we OBSERVE, we are attentive to what is natural. Consequently, our actions will consider that.
CHANGE is happening continuously in Life. It happens all the time at every moment; but yet; humans are concerned in DOING their own change. That unnatural movement is detrimental to our environment and consequently to ourselves.
Why are we so concerned in “Saving the Planet”? That is yet another DOING of the mind. Because we separated ourselves from Nature and Life, the interests of our society were our top priority over the common good, that is Nature and all its players (animals, plants, etc.)
Our lack of OBSERVATION took us to this place were the SAVIOR and the SINNER are the same. Do we see that? SAVING the planet from WHO?
To ask our society in general to take a second look and OBSERVE the natural ways is utopia. Society only knows about “spending money” (mental conditioning) and DOING things without understanding of LIFE, to “improve” things.
What is the understanding needed?
As it is inside, it is outside. A chaotic individual cannot “save” something that he perceives as being outside himself. He must start with himself.
“Yeah, but this will take a long time for every individual to DO that. We need a practical solution now!”
The dog is biting its own tail. It is a wonder how it doesn’t feel pain. Perhaps if we buy a band-aid and put it in the “right” spot of the tail, things will improve. Here may be the next campaign: $$upport band-aids! Save the dog!
Observe a flying bird. There is a time for flapping the wings and a time to glide.
There is a variation known as bounding flight.
For a bird those movements are natural, flapping and gliding are together. A circumstance will drive the timing for change, but in general; gliding takes way longer than flapping.
Humans believe that fighting to get what “I want” is a necessary never ending flight. That sort of flapping is tiresome, it is debilitating. Humans do not know how to glide for they fear to give up control.
How could I go faster if I am gliding?
How could I achieve if I take it easy?
When the wind blows against his flying direction, a human will strongly “fight” and swear to “never give up.” That sort of heroic immolation, is only a childish silly situation.
Flapping and gliding in Life go hand in hand. Going with the wind of Life rather than against it, is the art of unity, vitality and preservation.
The mind will ask: How do I know when it is the right moment to glide?
The answer is obvious. Ask the bird.
No answer? Then watch. Observe. Empty your beliefs and conditionings. Shut down the questions.
What is worthwhile in Life to learn, cannot be learned through the mind.
The mind knows about “success.” It knows about “failure.”
Life is without that duality for to glide, is not the opposite of flapping. Those are one. Timing for flapping or gliding is not something to learn, but to feel.
Feeling is something that most humans have not been trained to “do.” Thus, they need to ask questions, to make sure, to “get it right,” “to get ahead,” to be “successful,” “to be saved.”
The ideals become more important than feeling. But without feeling, there is no living.
“I just need to be myself,” is a fashionable “spiritual catchphrase.”
Before that, the “teaching” was to BE like someone else. That could have been a saint, a hero, a politician, a priest anyone else deemed to be “good.”
Then conflict arose: “How should I BE myself if I am a [sinner, impure] not worthy? I have to attain what this other person IS, to be worthy!”
Nevertheless, the conditioning of what is “worthy” and the forgetfulness that any so called, “virtue” cannot be attained through a method is apparent; for that virtue is a state of BEING, not a state of DOING. Repetition of what is perceived to be a “good action” does not make you virtuous, but dull. From society’s viewpoint is “better” to DO something considered “good” even though it is not what is felt, a natural outcome of BEING. For someone in the path of self-realization, to OBSERVE what you ARE at one moment is of paramount importance. BE AWARE of that.
METHODS cannot bring a person to a different state of consciousness.
This confusion, is observed for example, in “spiritual sexuality.”
The collective consciousness of the common man is of an angry monkey, ready to be violent and defensive. The belief is that by “teaching” methods and practices, that monkey could be a great lover!
That is an illusion and so is to repress our sexuality. DEEPLY OBSERVE what IS first, then true change is automatic, and not artificial by following commandments, etc.
A person wanting to imitate Gautama Buddha or Jesus, is bound to fail miserably. He can only be a double face, dishonest actor.
Paradoxically, that imitation will only increase his chances to go to “Hell rather than Heaven,” although that is not the objective of the “spiritual” imitation.
Why is that? Inner dishonesty could pass as honest activity (DOING) under the view of society’s rules, but that farce cannot cheat the rules of Life.
“BE yourself” when viewed in depth, is meaningless.
Who is that “YOU” that you want to BE? It is a made up mental ideal. Our conditioned mind has a form made of parameters delimiting that which we call “I.”
“BE” is the “spiritual phrase.” BEING is not limited by the ideas of “myself” or “yourself.” To BE is unexpected, of the moment. It is not directed by the mind. Most individuals in the civilized world, are unable to BE, because their conditioned minds will not allow for that to happen.
Therefore, to BE means to become AWARE of all those conditioning agents running constantly through our minds. It means to OBSERVE how the mind takes over and directs our personality. Without this previous “work” there cannot be “Just BE.”
Another way to explain the above, is by using the label “emptiness.” It is the process of dissolution of the mind and its conditionings as to leave stillness of the mind. This stillness is out of emptiness and not out of artificial control [“I control my mind.”] Picture a room full of stuff, ready to overflow if the door is left open. Control is necessary in that picture to keep things inside the room. However, if the room is empty, there is ample space to decorate that room with newness of Life.
BE YOURSELF is truly a way to chain our experience to a particular form/belief/idiosyncrasy/upbringing, etc. FREEDOM is not there.
We can experiment with BEING SOMEONE else. There are many methods and religions for that. We can experience with BEING YOURSELF, there are many self-help books written about this topic; but we cannot experiment with BEING.
To BE is freedom. It is freedom from the known. The idea of the collective consciousness about freedom, is infantile.
To grow up means to look, to observe, to be aware without judgment, without mind, so the realization of that experience is able to change our lives. 🙂
“…Well, slowly slowly, this observation is becoming a part in my day to day life and it’s really a beautiful experience, because it has started developing a stage of a detached observer of my own drama of life.”
“I was born in a traditional Brahmin house hold – I never used to eat brinjal [eggplant] since it somehow resembled a fish- Now I recently moved to a place which is close to the sea- side- While going to work I used to smell dried fish- initially it was bothersome- [but] Just the mere acceptance of that this is permanent made it easier for me to walk through the place – Your experiences are amazing to observe and relate to in each of our lives- just observation of the self brings in so much awareness of the beauty around you….”
The above are comments of 2 different readers. I’d like to thank both of you for finding in these writings, something useful for your lives.
OBSERVATION, is the first step in the “scientific method.” It has always been about looking “outside.” In that there is an “observer” who is “I.”
However, the type of observation that Ahnanda shares, starts with the “I” looking in. Every occurrence in Life is an opportunity to find how “I feel.” Then we could be aware of triggers, we could be aware of emotions trapped inside us, slowly we can get a picture of who this “I” truly is. Then, we could learn to ACCEPT it, without using that word, without trying to, without “practice.” When that type of acceptance comes, there is a door opening to become someone else. Let Life bring you to that door. When you are ready, you will open it.
This type of ACCEPTANCE is SURRENDERING.
The dictionary may not use those words as synonyms.
A “Brahmin” is a name for a social class in the Indian caste system. That label dictates how someone should view and behave in Life. A Brahmin does not eat meat (fish, chicken, etc.)
That is the conditioning. It doesn’t matter if that code of conduct is “right or wrong.” Life does not work with those perceptions based on duality. Every “reason” lives within duality. In Life we are ONE. What brings ego is the separation of this “I” looking out only for himself, his business, his profits, his needs, etc.
Observe how the inner negation or rejection of fish, will bring the fish closer to your experience. Notice how acceptance, surrendering to the experience, makes Life easier. You ARE “open.” To say:”Open minded” is not the same as BEING open.
What brings emotional “problems” and traumas, are our human standards of how life “should be.”
Because we live in a society, we need to respect human laws; but it doesn’t mean that we need to create a trauma inside us when circumstances arrive which are different than what is expected. We need to learn to play the game. It is a game.
Jesus “Christ,” drove out merchants from the temple. He overturned their tables and even it is said, that he had a whip. Many interpreted that as “holy anger.” But, he just played the game. Jesus IS not anger. Anything he DOES, is anger free.
Ahnanda loves fish. They are his friends. Ahnanda wouldn’t eat them unless the circumstances dictate otherwise. There is no rejection of fish through a label such as “I am vegetarian.” On the other hand, most humans are stuck with a “code of conduct,” which is not what they truly FEEL, but what they THINK is “right.” In that duality, they THINK Life rather than FEEL it.
That is how ego feeds itself through that conditioning.
“What is MIND? Can you explain through words what is MIND? How to move from MIND to NO-MIND? No-mind is also called pure space, emptiness, what does this mean? I personally feel the mind is total illusion (Correct me please if I am wrong). And if the mind is illusion, how illusion can be associated with purity and impurity? You know they refer it as “Pure Mind” and “Impure Mind”.”
Thank you for your question.
A description will set limits. This may work for tangible items; but when we are referring to intangible such as the “Mind,” is not that easy.
For example, let us take a look at a dictionary definition of MIND: “The element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think, and to feel; the faculty of consciousness and thought.”
From my experience, that definition is quite inaccurate; but yet because it is a “dictionary definition” most will believe in that. Of course, if there was AWARENESS we could know the answer, but yet we want words to make intellectual sense of something that is readily observable.
Consciousness is AWARENESS. The MIND is accumulation of experiences and conditioning which shapes our perspective of Life. We use the filter of the mind to make sense of the world. The mind is the one knowing “what is right or wrong” according to society’s teachings. It is the internal voice speaking which brings our conditioning forward.
For example: “masturbation is sinful.” That is conditioning. That is stored in our mind. That becomes our guiding “truth.” Thoughts will appear to support that core belief. Once those thoughts have drilled down in us and we believe them despite our inner conflict; then feelings will settle and those will create emotions, that is; the body will be affected. Then we may play the “dishonest” game of defending that “truth” verbally, while still DOING it. This will increase our sense of guilt and from there, it is only a step into emotional and mental disturbances.
If you want to understand, do not try to make sense of my words. Just use those as guiding symbols. OBSERVATION, AWARENESS is what will allow you to know.
If you go deeper into this, you may be able to recognize that the MIND is not YOU, but conditioning that have shaped YOU into something. It has given you a “form.”
For example, you are clay; but the mind will present that clay into the form of a little house made with clay. The mind will defend that “form” at all costs for it thrives in identity, which will create the ego-mind. Ego is mind.
You said “The mind is total illusion.” I ask you to confirm that through your own observable experience, after reading this.
Is the house made of clay an “illusion”? Yes and No.
However, what is important is to see clay in every “form.”
That is deconditioning. It is not to negate by saying that everything is an “illusion,” but by OBSERVING that clay will present itself in different forms. Every form is a perspective, the way we look at Life.
“Reality” presents itself through different “forms.” All of them are “real,” but illusions at the same time. It all depends on the one observing. His conditioning. His perspective.
This is the reason why the “I” is real for most, it presents itself with a marvelous form… but it is an illusion at the same time.
When there is no-conditioning, what is there then? An Empty mind. That is space, emptiness. Many labels to refer to “no-mind.”
My friend Mathias, one day explained that “emptiness allows for decoration of a room.” If the room has already stuff in it, there are limits as to how we could decorate. For most individuals, the mind is full of stuff, full of furniture, there is no space for anything “new.”
The terms “purity and impurity” are mental abstractions. A duality created by the mind. Concepts to play with.
“Purity” is not to DO some things and to avoid others.
“Impurity” is not to DO things which are not “pure.” Observe the trap. We must define what is “pure.” That definition entails a particular perspective, a particular reality. For example, some religions believe that sex is “impure.” Thus, their definition of “purity” is no-sex, celibacy.
It is not that sex is pure or impure, but it has been defined in a certain way. There is a particular perspective in such statement.
Since the mind is more less a “computer hard drive” full of experiences and conditioning influencing the output of our actions, there cannot be such a thing as “pure or impure” mind, but rather pure and impure experiences, which can’t be. Experiences are only that, experiences.
No-Mind is not the negation of mind, but to empty the conditioning of it, the “furniture” in the room. That is how it is said: “A pure mind is an empty mind.”
The next question will be: How do I empty my mind?
“You” don’t DO it. Once AWARENESS sets in, it happens while at the same time, emotional disturbances may need to be dissolved; but that is part of someone’s particular path. There are no “recipes.”
You want to DO something? OBSERVE yourself, BE AWARE of your thoughts, emotions, reactions, movements. Learn from yourself. “Know thyself.”
Beyond the trap of purity and impurity, there is AWARENESS and lack of it.
AWARENESS is like breathing. We are so used to “automatic pilot” that we need to read what the “expert” says about “how to breathe.” That is the conditioning of the mind: Believe the “experts” if you want to know.
Once we read the opinion of the “authority,” thoughts will arrive saying that “I know what breathing is.” To de-condition means to open to the possibility that “I don’t know anything, despite reading about it” and go through the breathing experience ourselves.
The mind will try to make “my” findings about breathing into a “best-seller.” That is conditioning. Got to make money! Get ahead!
My moral values will tell me that “I shouldn’t make a profit through spiritual teachings.” That is conditioning as well. That conflict will come from the mind.
An empty mind, is empty of that sort of conflict, for BEING knows the direction in Life. There is no need to make a choice, for that is mind.
To listen to that message without distortions, means to discover no-mind.
“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 core of any worthwhile “spirituality” or self-help/psychology is in the understanding of our own mind.
I am not saying “study” of our minds. This is not about what scientists have discovered and for us to use that information just to be “right.”
When we are understanding ourselves, to “reinvent the wheel” is necessary. No one can give us insight through second hand information, unless we are ready to look, become aware and learn from that.
Observe the conditioning in our minds. What we know about or “civilized” society is conditioning. We expect “reality” to follow those guidelines but we may find out that Life does not follow the commandments, laws and guidelines of the “Office world.”
We have a thought. Did we willfully come up with it? Or perhaps, it just appeared? Have we observed that.
Do we become aware of the thought arising, or we simply IDENTIFY with it and call it “mine”? This question is the beginning to find out more about our minds.
At this time, there are millions of people suffering from some kind of mental issue.
What do they have in common? Contact is lost with external “reality.”
In other words, these individuals strongly believe in what their minds dictate.
Someone suffering from schizophrenia, have a “reality” which is undeniable to them. They feel very strong about it. That creates the clash with a different reality of “normal” people. Psychosis, depression, bipolar disorder, dementia… all of those fancy terms, basically describe a mind that is not in touch with “reality.”
If we identify with the contents of our minds, we may live a miserable life. Ego resides right there. Ego is interested in being “right.”
As a person evolves into a different consciousness, that person will realize how forceful our minds could be.
Someone suffering from OCD, is bound to perform certain repetitive actions because in his mind, those activities will bring some benefit. If those actions are not performed, then a sense of guilt and uneasiness will arrive. The mind has control over that person.
Because our society lives in the mind, there is no other “authority” to trust but the conditioning and contents of that mind. That is until we know about out gut-feeling, our heart feelings or any other fancy label to describe a direct knowing which is not necessarily logical or follows a particular benefit for ourselves. To be able to trust “that,” and discern it from the mind, is to create the gap from the rule of the mind.
It is that space, the one that will allow us to observe our own mind.
For example, when we interview someone for a job. We could ask the same questions to all candidates, grade them, add them up and see who is the top candidate. That is the world of the mind, what we have been conditioned to believe. The worshiped idea to be “fair” is there. Nevertheless, personality traits may be covered by someone who is a good talker, a funny person, etc. To observe beyond the answers, becomes important, and to listen to our gut feeling is even more important. Nevertheless, that is not considered to be “fair,” for it is not following “guidelines,” etc. That is the dilemma.
The bottom line is that, we could learn about this experience only if we are AWARE, otherwise; we will perform mechanically the same steps every time there is the label “interview” in our minds, for the conditioning is strong.
We are asleep.
Thus, in that example we could follow the strict steps of the mind to hire someone, or we could go with our gut feeling; but what creates insight and open up our consciousness, is simply to be AWARE that we went with the mind or the heart.
That AWARENESS is the choice-less choice where freedom from the tyranny of the mind resides.