Trapped in duality
Many spiritual seekers after learning about duality, may believe that there is no “way out” of that. For instance, what I hear most is in reference to the understanding of pain and pleasure. Certainly, if there is the experience of pleasure, there must be the experience of pain. That is perceived as a trap.
On a different perception, society teaches to maintain something considered “good” or pleasurable as long as possible, and to fight or have a rejection towards what is perceived as painful. On the other hand, some religions take the path of trying to avoid one side such as pleasure, with the idea that pain will be avoided as well.
Also it is believed or perceived that Death is painful, sorrowful while Life is pleasurable and a sunny experience. The observation, is to recognize that one side of that duality has been perceived as something unwelcome. Death is no longer something natural, unavoidable which can happen at any time, but something to be afraid of; thus we are taught to live with fear of an unexpected “final” experience. That is the primordial fear affecting the function of our first chakra and from that, new obstructions will occur. Because we fear death, we fear life; for the perception of separation is just in our imagination and conditioning. Both are a continuous experience.
Life will present moments of pleasure and pain as we know; while Death is something unknown to most of us, for we haven’t had the experience yet, or we don’t remember having it (if we would like to be accurate on this) but we judge and believe according to our conditioning.
I heard one time that the “art of living is to die at every moment,” or in other words, “The purpose of living is to know how to die.” These words may get lost in interpretations and misinterpretations, but they have clear meaning for some.
Those phrases are very insightful and perhaps haven’t been explored enough; but as a matter fact, they represent a healthy, sane way of living where the mind is no recording traumas or events to be rehearsed later on. The mind works almost as when we take pictures or film the beauty of Nature with the added “feature” of adding emotions to spice up the memory. However, the one recording is missing the moment, the now. We feel glad to go back and watch the pictures, but the “change” inside, the “magic touch” which happens at the moment of the experience when the mind is idle, is completely missed.
Life and Death are one movement and so is pleasure and pain. When there is something that we “like,” definitely there is something to “dislike” and so we seem destined to experience these seemingly two different movements without “escape.” Even some have said that pain and pleasure “are the same,” but our experience will tell us otherwise. They are not the same but one.
The world of duality is the world of the experience of the “I.” It is that “I” experienced by most, the one unable to experience lack of duality.
Peace, Love, Bliss. Those have no opposites when there is experience, and even more sublime when the experiencer dissolves away. However mentally; we find opposites through words: Peace with war, love with hate and bliss with misery.
Is it possible for someone to experience Love, and to have feelings of hate at the same time? In the experience of the “I,” it is possible for duality is there, but that cannot be true love, although we label that as “love.” Do we see the issue with words pretending to describe non dual state of consciousness?
True “Love” is not of the “I,” it is an experience of what is beyond that “I.” However, we cannot “get to that level” unless we clearly recognize that “I, ” acknowledge it, study it, observe it, become aware of it. We need to become our own scientist.
The idea to reject pleasure so the experience of pain is not, takes away the experience of being human. Some religions are using the mind and its “natural” duality to express something which is only idealistic. Thus, we may need to get away from the experience of the mind to know what lies “above it,” what is known as the “heart,” for lack of a less romantic label, but it is the world of feeling.
So what is the “solution” to get away from the trap of duality?
As long as someone dwells in the “I” without ulterior awareness, that person will not be able to acknowledge “no-I,” and with that “no-mind,” and with that, a different kind of perception which is beyond the experience of duality.
Yes, “we” can go beyond duality. That is what is known as the state of witnessing.
Will resume writing on August 27th. Until then! 🙂
The pain of society
I could write about hope. I could say that things will get “better,” and that we should have clear “objectives” in our minds to reach them. Isn’t that what most individuals are desiring? After all, we need something inspiring to get ourselves motivated and “become something” in Life and “earn” some serious income, start a family, buy property, etc. That is, to repeat the conditioning one more time.
Why is it so hard for most of us to take a look at “what is”? Why is it that we rather continue dreaming with something that isn’t? I understand that we need a “goal” something to strive for; but isn’t that at the same time some form of diverting our focus from what is, and little by little become self-centered and isolated from everything else?
“What is” may not be what we desire. It may not be part of our goals in Life, but anything we build without considering “what is,” will be like a card castle. Even though an amazing feat to build, it will fall easily for there is no strong foundation.
We don’t look because we don’t want to feel pain. That looking is not only about what is “out there,” but mostly what is “inside,” for as we “know” that which is within; we will see it out there too.
We are society. Every single one of us is part of it, thus the pain of society is also my pain. We need courage to look, for pain will not go away by focusing on some ideal or objective.
In Life, typically we don’t consider the collective. We only care about individualistic views; that is why; it is difficult to work towards the collective good.
“My pain,” “My depression,” “My violence,” we want to “solve” that. It is difficult to observe that those are part of society as well.
Our minds cannot grasp Life paradoxes. Although we are individuals, we are one unit called humanity. We may have different experiences which make us different; but that “difference” paradoxically, is the one that will make us also the same.
These are exciting times. Not because of what I can get out of it, but because these times will be challenging. That is another way to look at things.
We may see that all the security that we thought our structures brought, will fall apart.
We may see that to be “right” is no longer valid and that will not be “wrong.”
We may see that emotions will rule over reason and logic.
We may see that a new form of dementia will be confronting our highly conditioned, structured minds; for the mind had had its due time.
The most exciting part is that none of those items will be the product of our willful direct DOING, these things will just happen, they will just BE.
As our society has created psychological isolation between humans, where we can only see “me, I and myself” as the center of the Universe; what is coming will break that apart; just like what
“Covid” did to our highly routinized lives; then perhaps we could finally challenge the conditioned notion that “I am the master of my destiny” and observe that “I move together with everyone else.”
I cannot help but observe human misery as “what is” there (wars, hunger, corruption, widespread violence, despair with some shades of gentleness, goodwill and joy in the human psychological rainbow) which is mine as well. All we need to do is to read the current international news.
Is there a “bright” future for the new generation to come? Shall we sit and think of “solutions”?
No. Times are not calling for that sort of “action.” We had plenty of that: Superficial solutions brought about by the same mind that created the issues- a greedy, self centered, violent mind.
Times are calling for us to become AWARE on how humanity, society is in “me.”
“Action” is in transforming what is in “me,” rather than selfishly pretending to “change the world.”
Beyond the “spiritual” vision of pleasure and pain
When the mind is caught up with a duality, it has no option but to choose. Paradoxically, is that choice the one that will bring a terrible fight with the nonchosen one.
Pleasure and Pain are one example of such duality.
For centuries, the religious and moral teachings have been made to frown upon pleasure. Even the word “sinful” has been used to label it.
The “spiritual” teachings to deny the physical world and the senses, in the imaginary pursue of something “pure” in the “spirit” world; is utopia.
Life has many dimensions. Every dimension has a particular consciousness, a particular experience.
To deny the physical experience for the sake of pretending to attain a subtler state of being, is to deny Life.
When we deny Life in pursue of an ideal, we are not living harmoniously in the “now.”
The conditioned mind, understands what is “right” or “wrong.” That is the duality that our minds feel comfortable with.
Throw the word “harmony,” and the mind can only think of that as being the opposite of “imbalance.”
A dictionary definition does not bring the experience.
Harmony is the equilibrium of opposites.
Life works through opposites. Pain and pleasure are opposite experiences which are part of living Life in our dimension.
To deny them to attain the ideal of “freedom” is to become paradoxically, slave of such duality.
Humans throughout time; have chosen to embrace pain, sacrifice, martyrdom as the epitome of goodness, moral, sainthood, etc. In this “choice,” rejection of pleasure has brought an unbalanced Life.
Others have embraced pleasure as a reaction, as to desperately indulge in it to take their painful existence away from it; but as we deny one side of a duality, it will appear stronger in our lives.
Overcoming a duality is not a matter of rejection. It is a matter of balance, that is the ability to live Life in harmony with the internal and external elements, moment by moment. This balance needs to have the capacity to change and modify according to the circumstances, it is dynamic.
As we could see, it is not about defining ideals by embracing some and rejecting others.
As we dare to live outside of the conditioned mind, we will observe that balance as a gut feeling will take us back to the sensation of harmony. In that state, the word “overcoming” has no meaning. The “inner equalizer” will bring the stability to BE life itself. Equal to Life.
How do I get there?
You don’t. There is nothing to accomplish. Nothing to “work on.” When you ARE, you will not know it.
It is openness. There is no method to “achieve it.”
Be AWARE that only something that is closed, could be open.
Your potential to be open, is equal to your potential to be closed.
That is why, inner knowledge is about finding out how closed we are.
But we don’t want to see that. We want the fairy stories of “achieving” love and happiness, we “want” the utmost open state of BEING; when we ARE closing down… However, once the door is shut down, it could be open.
What do you tell someone who is suffering emotional pain?
Someone may be pleading for a way out of her insurmountable pain.
Pain has the characteristic of making someone focus, concentrate, or unwillingly give its full attention to suffering.
As pain increases, so is the strong desire to be spared of pain.
For most, that is the first episode in their lives; when vulnerability is felt. The “I” is incapable of escaping at will. There could be amelioration of physical pain through medicine, but emotional pain can only be postponed: We could become drunk to numb ourselves; but that pain will return; the complications will increase and hope of being “better” as time passes by, could be the only comfort at sight.
Yes, everything passes by. As it came, it will go away.
Have you ever experienced a broken relationship?
The death of a loving relative?
A deep disappointment in Life?
The pounding feeling, the relentless revival of the experience, the endless taste of guilt mixed with despair, anguish…
All of that will pass. It will go away.
The size of your “I” will decide how long that experience stays.
Many times, we make yet another trauma of those painful experiences, but I assure you; those are not there to feed the “Poor I, Poor me,” pose, which only adds ego.
Those are there, to show you what your “I” is made of. Be aware of that, for nothing else will be able to make you aware of what you are made of.
See it. Acknowledge it. Accept it.
Instead, we defend “ourselves,” we create a story where “I” need to save face despite what Life is showing me.
The “I” don’t want to see that, arrives… but in time it will open her eyes.
Life experiences are able to change someone. Nothing else will do.
When suffering is there, you may wish that you did not exist, just so the “I” could run away from the pain.
Many times we have been able to do that, but there are other times; when it is impossible.
Want to try suicide, perhaps?
That only postpones and amplifies the experience of pain. As long as the “I” escapes, there cannot be change, and Life… is change.
It is in that impossibility where the “I” will die, to be someone else.
Newness comes after death of the “I.” It has always been like that. 🙂
When “Love” is not corresponded
A reader asked to go into this topic.
First, for most people “love” is the duality between hate and love.
For most people, you “love” what you possess and you hate it, if you cannot.
For most people, you suffer if you don’t love, and if you do; you still suffer for there is fear of abandonment. You want security.
For most people, “love” is a problem.
In a “romantic” relationship as long as someone is not psychologically independent, self-sufficient, there will be neediness. How do you “fix” this?
By loving yourself first. By being at ease with your own company.
Love to the self is not an idea. By caressing yourself, touching your hand with love, taking care of your body and your overall wellness, by enjoying your own presence alone… we will learn to feel love for our presence, to pamper ourselves. Crazy?
That is what we have learned in our society. You DO those things to another, but never to yourself… That is sickening… Well, if you want to go somewhere as as a seeker, you must start with acceptance of “you.” That acceptance means to understand that in “You,” the 2 poles of masculine and feminine are present.
If you are not ready for this, then you will look for another to “love” as a hungry man looks for food, for his belly has a need that must be satisfied.
That is why, LOVE is the natural consequence of BEING at PEACE with yourself.
Before that, we cannot speak about love, but about the duality of hate/love- Infatuation.
Thus, according to our consciousness, we will respond to a not corresponded romantic love.
In the most common type of consciousness, it will be about feeling anger, hate to protect our ego. When the ego is traumatized, even some “romantics” could take their life away. For them, Life has ended.
As we reach internal maturity, when we ARE love; Love still will exist, although the original person may not be there to share it with. That experience is welcomed for that is how we learn to remain vulnerable and open despite emotional pain. To learn to deal with that emotional anguish is certainly a proof of maturity.
Hope is over. It is time to move on. Moving on means to be open for another experience without the burden of the past.
What we see as attractive in another is not our choice. The way we feel for another, we did not choose. Do we see that?
The experience of not being corresponded only increases the size of our heart through assimilated pain when the ego does not make it into a traumatic experience. Life is a game! Our openness to love shall remain to grow. When you close yourself, Life is over. You may have security, but your mental jail cannot be called Life or to be free.
Paradoxically, emotional pain is what allows the expansion of our consciousness when accepted.
If we see the “educational” side of that experience, there will growth. If we focus on the trauma, there will be pain, bitterness, hate and insecurity… More ego.
That same emotional experience can have 2 different effects to different type of consciousness.
Therefore, every situation depends on who you ARE at that time.
…And just when I thought that to be tough is all there is in Life, I found that toughness is the biggest vulnerability someone could have.
When there is no awareness, we could be taught to put up an image in front of the world just to protect our own pettiness.
It is the typical “office world” mentality of “marketing ourselves” to boast about our strengths and to “fake it until we make it.”
That is the world of pressuring ourselves to “succeed.”
Nothing wrong with that world.
Nevertheless, in Life in our relationships with people it is of great importance to show who we are.
A relationship grows in depth as we take off our layers of protection, as we stripe our image and show our vulnerabilities… At that point we are not an ideal anymore, a prototype for everyone to follow…
There is no need to make a list of our own vulnerabilities and to “practice” those in front of loved ones. We just need to allow ourselves to be.
Censorship and rejection could be experienced, and that is fine. We are not supposed to be like everyone else.
That is the first point in self-awareness: Totally acceptance of ourselves; our shadow and our light.
If we have not reached that point, if there is not acceptance, then our interaction with ourselves and others will be a faked one. There will not be fulfillment experienced in relationships as we cannot be ourselves.
When we display our vulnerabilities in awareness, we could know others. For those will be triggers for others to react in judgment, censorship or advice. In turn, that will give us the chance to test our “strength,” meaning our emptiness of “I.”
Without awareness, to display our vulnerabilities will be a source of pain and suffering, for we will feel hurt. That trauma will need to be healed.
The image of the “tough guy” is in vogue. That “toughness” is just meant to conceal the fear of being just who we are. To be tough, we need to set aside our true feelings and with that the opportunity to experience living from the heart.
Vulnerabilities will dissolve in relationship with others, but only for the one who is aware. For the one who is not, it will be the source of belittlement and the need to work on his “image” by building a mental layer of shielding armor.
Emotionally, when our heart is vulnerable, when it is trusting and open, it may get hurt and that is the opportunity to heal through our accumulated strength. It is the perfect chance to see how far we have gone.
If that same heart is tough, hard and closed… not trusting anything…it may not get hurt, because it is already in pain. That is another paradox of Life.
For that closed heart, to live is a fearful experience and to close itself into a small box just to feel safe, is the extent of its “toughness.”
To open our heart despite the possibility of being hurt is an act of courage, and act of affirming the intrinsic necessity to feel Life…and at the same time; the path to experience no-self.
Pain is not to be feared, but transformed. 🙂
The gift of self-realization
Self-realization is a gift to mankind. The “I” offers itself to be no-self.
The “I” with all its tricks, desires, wants, plans, etc. will go away little by little creating pain and agony in “going away” from Life, just to be someone different, unknown, mysterious.
That offer is not related with an ulterior motive. It is to be part of the Totality through a particular role, according to time.
In a way self-realization is unpredictable like death. We could plan all we want for the future, but when the time arrives, there is no going back.
While experiencing this “death,” there is very little interest in any hopeful belief system for the future; in the “after life.”
Being one with Life is not in the future. It is right now.
The wonderful “I” with all his beliefs of salvation and a better Life in the future are left aside to embrace what is now. Fulfillment, enjoyment, appreciation of Life are in the “now.”
Here there is no praying necessary, nor any special offers to the Gods to be made. There is no promise of any kind to no one.
Life has no promises other than being what is, thus a feeling of appreciation to Life is the ingredient to enjoy it.
We are free.
Do we want a method to reach “heaven”?
Do we want everlasting “insurance” and good “karma”?
Do we want to be happy in this Life?
Then, why is it that Self-realization is not being preached to others, why is it not being taught to others rather than beliefs in everlasting life in the afterlife?
We cannot teach it or preach it. It is not something to be taught or learned from a book. No one knows how to get “there,” even if there is experience of it.
That is why there are so many beliefs and so many holy books instead. Those are things that most everyone could understand or interpret, the method to “get there;” to attain that “special” state, everyone wants to play it safe by following a “planned out” trip to “Heaven,” “risk free.”
All you need to do is to believe, to follow, to entertain yourself with the thought that you are getting there, becoming, arriving … soon…
If there is no method, if there is no way to proactively pursue and obtain that self-realization, what could be “done” to attain it?
Nothing. So enjoy what is.
It is not about “doing.”
It will happen when we are ready, not before or after. “Being” ready is not about “doing” things.
When we have gone through the experiences of the pendulum of Life from one extreme to the other, and our capacity for experiencing suffering has reached its peak, in the depth of that darkness; perhaps light could be seen.
As the “I” takes that helping light to move out of that space of suffering, the “I” perhaps will realize through the experiences of Life, that there is only suffering because there is “I.”
That is a day to celebrate!
The very thing the “I“ has been struggling to and searching everywhere to attain, is in the absence of that “I.”
The medicine resides in the disease.
Suffering= “I.” Pleasure= “I.”
Thus, duality = “I.”
Nevertheless, observe how our society from time immemorial, has been trying to build up that “I,” through beliefs in the eternal permanence of that “I.” Isn’t that ironic?
Some say “Life is suffering.”
That is nonsense; although many are repeating and spreading that line of “spiritual wisdom.”
Life is the mirror of the “I.”
The “I” suffers.
How is the “I” capable of being one with Life?
It does not mean that we shouldn’t feel pleasure or pain. NO! It means that while experiencing those experiences we could understand the “I.”
The trauma of the experience, the anxiety, the neediness, the “I cannot live without it” state or the “I need more of that;” those are the ingredients which acknowledge a well built up “I.”
If we stop the urge out of compulsion to practice asceticism or if we go all out for it in full indulgence, both extremes will increase our experience of suffering. It is the “I” driving the show.
Do we see that?
Thus, the middle-way… which is not “middle-way,” but there are no words to express inner balance within Life.
The word is harmony. Behind that word there is absolute emptiness.
Ohh.. now I get it! That is why the “I” cannot “do” anything to become one with Life!
Because anything the “I” does, takes the “I” away from Life. It is the doing of the “I” which gives greater presence to the “I.”
You said it. However, know that it cannot be said. For everything which is said, it is half-truth and half-false. Duality within words.
Words are only deceiving pointers to a place with no name.
Do you see the “truth” of this article?
See its “falsehood” as well.
The “truth” cannot be written in words.
Until July 6th! 🙂