My question is regarding observation. We talk about observing the moment without prejudice. I can observe river, rain, nature, sky, hotness, kid’s innocence etc. All stuff which I feel that is pure and pleasing .
But I am not sure what and how to observe in office work: The effect of work pressure, achievement and loses,the up and downs in personal relationship. How to observe this without prejudice?
I think of making observation part of my office world routine and back at home when I interact with my parents and wife, but it never happens.
I agree if something needs to be changed that can only happen through observation not by resistance or force, but how to make observation part of life.
Thank you for your question.
Observation is not a practice. It is not something that you DO when you remember, or when you have time. It happens when there is “presence,” awareness, consciousness not only of the external elements but mostly what we call “self.”
Ahnanda is not using the word “observation” under the context of the dictionary.
Any of your senses, such as taste, touch, etc. can allow you to observe or be AWARE.
We can use the words observation, awareness and to be conscious interchangeably. Go beyond words. Are you aware of the things you DO, the way you walk, how shallow or deeply you may breathe?
Why not? It happens all the time. There is no need to have “free time” to observe these events.
Your description of what is “pure and pleasing” and what is “impure” and “stressful” are taking you away from observation.
What are those things making you feel? Become AWARE of that. As you are AWARE that those energies are not “you,” then you may walk away from them, easily, effortlessly or just wait until they go away by themselves. Everything that comes to you will go away, that is one of the things you may learn through observation. That is the natural way of things. If the “pure and pleasing” goes away, then the “impure and unpleasant” will arrive. There is nothing wrong with that, things move away; unless we want to make a trauma, a rejection of a natural circular happening in Life. Through our conditioning, we see 2 different things: Pleasant and unpleasant. However, they are one.
The process of becoming aware is similar to having a nagging pain in the shoulder.
It may not be a strong pain, so we keep on living a busy Life, full of activities and accomplishments. Forgetting about that silly pain. Once in while we will become aware of that pain in the shoulder, but unless this pain becomes an obstacle to get us out of our busy schedule, that pain is not important enough in our threshold of consciousness. We will not be aware of it.
Once the pain becomes unbearable, we will observe it. We will be aware of it. Once the pain in the shoulder is at that full intensity, the intellectual question on “how can I observe the pain,” is not necessary at all. We will feel it. We will know.
That nagging pain is a sense of unfulfillment in Life. Something is lacking. You may be looking for the “answer,” something that you believe observation will give to your Life. The nagging pain (observation/awareness) will increase by itself through your own lack of observation. Paradoxical.
One more thing, Observation is not meant to change anything. It is meant to acknowledge it, while resistance and force is meant to reject things.
So how change happens then?
It always happens. It is the nature of Life. Change may not go where you want it to go, and that is the fear. We want to control in our tight grip what is meant to change. That is the illusion of security feeding the “I” and the driven force behind our human conditioning.
AWARENESS, consciousness is not something that we could “create, improve, practice.”
We could only obstruct it, repress it.
If we realize the obstruction, if we become AWARE of it, then consciousness will open.
Society, religions, the whole system is an obstruction. If we are not aware of that obstruction, then there is no space between BEING and being conditioned.
Esteban is a citizen of a third world country. Chauvinism is part of the indoctrination there. Esteban did not realize about it until he went to a different country in another continent.
Esteban could not be AWARE of that chauvinism while living in his country of birth. He was too close to it to become aware. That was a realization.
A realization is a mental “aha!” moment. It is the first step into a different direction.
Even though Esteban thought that he was “free” from chauvinism, he wasn’t. Some ideals popped up once in awhile such as “buy only from XYZ country,” “XYZ country has the best cuisine in the world,” etc. Esteban defined himself, identified himself through his country of birth.
One day, Esteban was on a plane and it crashed. He was the only survivor. He ended up on a secluded island.
Esteban lived in that Island by himself for 10 years before he was taken back into civilization.
Because there was no one to talk with; Esteban’s mind became silent. Because there was no cultural reference, Esteban unlearned the meaning of “country” and because of that, the concept of “patriotism” had no meaning to him anymore. Esteban wasn’t a chauvinistic individual anymore. Esteban was “cured” from stress, from “becoming better,” from his greedy desire to attain whatever ideal in order to “succeed.”
What did he do? What was his “spiritual” method?
Nothing. Life took him away into isolation; then that which is natural in him, resurfaced.
Likewise is the journey of a person who is ready for self-realization. When Life brings the opportunity, that person will be alone to face himself; whether that is through living in a forest away from society for many years to being unable to communicate but conscious for a few days in a deathbed, through anything in between. If someone is not ready yet, Life will not bring the situation.
Many extreme religions have copied this. Followers may believe that they have “renounced the world.” That renunciation is violent for it does not come “naturally” (Paradoxically, “natural” renunciation is not renunciation at all) as Life brings the situation when someone is ready; but as a feature of belonging to a belief system.
Renunciation is rejection. To reject means to struggle, to separate, to strengthen the ego.
The journey of a seeker is to go away just to come back again, as a new, different individual.
Going away is the cocoon of the caterpillar. The butterfly is the new individual. They are the same, but they are not. The caterpillar is death now but alive in a new form.
A seeker will find himself at the end… but to do that; he needs to begin his journey, away from himself.
“Why don’t save time then, and start the journey by looking inside?” 🙂
It does not work that way. Consciousness does not change by having “answers,” and getting “shortcuts.” It changes through Life experiences. The beginning is to go outside. The end is to go inside. The process to get there is the journey. The experience, is “true” change.
Life is paradoxical… as the journey of the seeker.
Everything we are looking for is within us.
Only those things which are an illusion, those things which do not exist, could be dissolved.
Ego is an illusion of the mind, thus it can be dissolved.
If it is “real” it cannot be dissolved.
What is lust, greed, attachment, anger?
Manifestations of that ego.
The paradox is that there is nothing we can DO to dissolve ego. You could only realize it, acknowledge it, become aware of it, to be distant… a witness… a detached observer. Ego is not “bad” but a state of being in the pendulum of experiences.
DOING something to get rid of that ego is like trying to scratch the wind. You could do the effort, you could try different methods but the idea of “success” is in fact, ego… and thus, the idea of failure. Duality.
Most individuals believe that to BE happy, is a matter of reaching a goal, an objective. Whether that goal is in this Life, in the “mundane world” or in the “afterlife,” in “Paradise;” there is some DOING which needs to be DONE to get there… Happiness is state of BEING. It is not something that could be “achieved” through DOING.
Want to conquer the world? Want to be the richest person on Earth? Want to be the most famous person? the most popular? the most beautiful? You could reach those goals, but happiness will not be in that. Why?
Because we ARE something else: Boring, emotional, stressed out, hurt, ego-centered. Anything wrong with that?
NO. It is not about “right or wrong.” It is about acknowledgment of that. Because we are AWARE, we could see it, observe it, feel it, not as a thought or as second hand knowledge from someone, but you must feel it in your skin…then, something will happen… 🙂
DOING cannot touch BEING. Ego is the illusion of BEING. DOING is the illusion of that who is already an illusion (ego.)
In fact, “I do” is full of ego. Who is that “I”?
This is not an intellectual question.
Nevertheless in our language, in our relationship with others… we need to use those words, but we don’t need to be trapped in the meaning.
If we define what we ARE, we create a “doer.”
Action-less action, Doing without a Doer is an egoless action.
We cannot “practice” to be ego-less. Life is taking you there, as long as the “I” is not a solid wall standing in between.
Want to destroy the wall? Want to get rid f it?
If you DO. You will make it stronger. That is the paradox.
Leave your ego-centered desires behind, your expectations aside and learn to acknowledge that the wall is there.
Do not run away from that wall, don’t try to change it… because by knowing that the wall is there, you will also know why change cannot BE.
At that point, the wall will OPEN and through that empty space is how change will pass by.
You are that emptiness when there is no wall.
Because you are that… there is no one there to DO… 🙂 Paradox!
Yesterday, I was with a group of “seekers” sharing in a lovely setting: A park overlooking a lively river.
All individuals from all walks of Life, beliefs and consciousness show up to those meetings. All are heard. It is a great setting to learn about consciousness.
The person leading the conversation read 2 excerpts, one of them from a Deepak Chopra’s book, which mentioned: “Change your thinking to change your Life.”
The other book was the “Hua Hu Ching” attributed to Lao Tzu, it went something like: “There is nothing to teach: no religion, no science, no information which will lead your mind back to oneness. Always the integral way is beyond words and beyond mind. Simply be aware of the oneness of things.”
One of the participants said: “Those teachings are contradictory.”
Without a doubt, that individual has a sharp intellect.
In which way are those teachings contradictory?
Obviously, Chopra’s is about the “I” changing things around: Thoughts, actions, beliefs, attitudes. That “I” is a little changing devil… 🙂 It is the world of the “doer.”
The “Hua Hu Ching” is about observation, awareness, letting the mind go away…
Both teachings will be beneficial according to the consciousness of the individual.
Which one is “true”?
Both and none.
“I” can change my world. “I” can change my Life. “I” can change my thoughts. “I” can go to heaven. “I” am a sinner. “I” am pure. “I” am a son of God, etc.
Most religions, philosophies and scientific “evidence” points out to the fact of an “I” always busy “doing” things, having “control” over destiny…
For those individuals, Chopra’s and other Self-help guru’s teachings will be great. Many “I’s” together create a religion, which in turn holds the “truth.”
On the other hand, the “No-I” is based on awareness without a specific center, observation. That observation in itself is the “doing.”
Because observation “IS,” there is no morality needed, as in for example, “that action is bad. Don’t do it.” “No-I” is not interested in finding the indisputable “truth” when it can appreciate the different consciousness and perceptions.
A person only aware of the “I,” full of “I” could say: “But …just observation will not change anything… “I” want change!” That is the same person who needs a God to believe in, or a moral code to dictate what is “right or wrong.”
That is the same person that will utter: “Ego is bad. I have to conquer it.” Not realizing that this “I,” this ego cannot conquer itself.
What I learned in that gathering was interesting. Most individuals are incapable of self-observation.
Someone asked: “What is the origin of desires? What do you all “THINK”?
Everyone gave his or her “thought.”
For God’s sake, Can you look at “you” for just a bit and talk about “your” experience?
Why is that so hard?
“According to so and so, Ph.D the origin of desires is “this.” Guru XYZ says in his great book, “Tomorrow is another day” that desires are not “bad.” Have you read his book?
Isn’t that a fascinating work? “I” get something new every time “I” read it.” (That is obvious, because “you” are never the same.)
Please….Look at your desire. Look deeper, why is it there?
Could it ever be a desire without an “I”?
“Oh…. I see, is the “I” ….”
Maybe. Maybe not. Let us keep looking. Isn’t that “I” a separation from “what is”?
Are the circumstances, the settings different than “you” since “you” are in those, part of those? Can you exist without circumstances and settings?
“Don’t get that complex with me. Make it simple. Spirituality is very simple. Is desire good or bad?”
🙂 All right. Change your “self.” Transform your self. Self-Transformation… Do it. Change your thoughts. Change your actions. Change your attitude. Change your feelings. What is currently “bad” change into “good.” Connect with God. He can help you. Need extra encouragement? If you fail you will be punished for ever…
Is that simple enough? 🙂
“What book do you recommend I read to improve myself?”
Any book full of “I.” Any book full of God. Any book full of salvation.
Observation. Awareness. That is all.
The minute we could understand that the “I” trying to change himself is a complete illusion, that is the minute when we understand the difference between behavior and consciousness.
When the “I” changes his behavior to appear “saintly,” let me assure you that unless there is a change in consciousness, that “ change” is only in essence a repressed “saint.”
Can the “I” change his consciousness?
Can God change the consciousness of the “I”?
Here a “secret”: The “I” does not exist. Consciousness does. 🙂
“That is not true! …I am this body/soul/mind/whatever/…”
You “are.” That is all. At night when you sleep deeply: Are “you” there?
Yes? Where? Do you need a belief to help you answer the question?
There is no “being” at that time.
Can you “be” if there is no consciousness?
“Your” perception is due to “your” consciousness. “Your” actions will be according to that perception.
When consciousness is allowed to change naturally, so our perceptions will change.
“But… “I” am supposed to stick with my moral standards, with my beliefs and with my ideas and be consistent every time no matter what.”
Dear, that is a human invention.
Consciousness. Some call it “Tao,” others the “Drama.” Consciousness is the script to be performed by the actors, the “instruments” of the stage of Life.
Void of all morality, it is “what is.”
Void of name, it produces all labels.
Void of separation, it arranges for it.
Consciousness is not a religion. It is not a belief. It is what brings all sentient beings together. It cannot be destroyed.
Some call that God, others destiny.
Lost in names, the “I” will create religions and philosophies to separate people.
The “I” lost in itself will experience the suffering of never being fulfilled.
The “I” looking to survive will look into “enlightenment,” or to “become like God.”
Observe. Become aware… and enjoy the game…
We could understand about “black or white” belief systems. It will be more difficult to understand that “rationality” is as “black or white” as those beliefs.
It is either A or B. It cannot be both.
Observe how our labeling will give us something to choose from.
It is in that “choice” where the “I” thrives.
When there is a consciousness of a “real I” making decisions and shaping the world, automatically the realization that the “I” is not capable of some things arise.
Which are those things?
To create itself. To be immortal. To have control of the world.
“God” came as a solution for those problems, which only exist in that “I” consciousness.
The paradox is that this “I” exists in certain consciousness but at the same time that “I” does not exist in another type of consciousness.
When the “I” does not exist, neither God needs to exist. When the “I” does not exist there is nothing, which may need to be accomplished, attained as a “life or death” mission.
It is the “I” wanting to become “better, enlightened, beautiful, famous, immortal, controlling.”
Those “wants” are never ending. There is always something new to accomplish.
Nothing wrong with that, BUT if all of those “goals” of the “I” are not accomplished then “failure” is the label to live by.
That “failure” is mundane as well as “spiritual.” It is the same exact thing.
Want to “make money” so you could retire early?
Sure, why not. That is a good objective for the “I” to accomplish. Nevertheless, if the journey is not being enjoyed for the sake of reaching the objective, if working 60 hrs + per week are accompanied with high doses of stress, that retirement may never happen. If it happens and the “I” is attached to its work for a sense of worth, then the days of retirement will not be enjoyed.
Here is another paradox. Enjoyment of Life is not a function of the “I.” To enjoy Life, there is a need for the no “I” to arrive.
A function of the “I” is to “want” and to “accomplish.”
No “I” could fully enjoy and appreciate Life as it “is.”
Is anything that the “I” can do to become “no I”?
To ask that question means that there is no understanding yet on the above.
There is nothing that the “I” can do to learn to enjoy Life.
It happens when the “I-ness” has reached its full growth.
It is in that “full-growth” when disappointment and suffering is experienced and then, when a new consciousness appears.
Some may experience being fed up with themselves. Some may experience frustration, a meaningless life. Some may experience no “reason” to keep living.
That is all part of the process. The “I” will start dying.
Enjoyment of Life does not mean to be complaisant, to be apathetic or to have simple “fun.”
Enjoyment of Life primarily is to be at peace with oneself, to enjoy our own company and because of that, to be at ease around others and different circumstances.
When the above is lacking, “wanting” to acquire, to become something, is the main pursue. There is no enjoyment until the goal has been obtained, but paradoxically; once something is obtained, it is the time to look for something else to pursue.
The “I” is like a glutton. The “I” could keep feeding itself with a belief that there is something else which needs to be attained.
When we are in Nature, enjoyment comes when there is nothing that we want out of it.
That enjoyment is gone when, our vision is to “use” things for our own mission, objective, goal. As the “I” has no limits, that “use” becomes quickly “abuse.”
Is the “I” bad? Do we need to get rid of it? Do we need to conquer it? 🙂
That is exactly what a person full of “I” will say or think. It is the same “Black or White” mentality at work.
The “end” does not justify the “means.”
There is no “end” other than what we believe to be.
There are no “means” other than a journey.
There is no “justification” but a belief in a rationalization.
Enjoy the scenes without further labeling. Allow yourself the freedom from your own “self.”
We are not alone. There is more than the physical plane in “reality.” Nevertheless, for many individuals, their “reality” is only the physical plane, the 5 senses, logic and analysis.
Some individuals with experiences in the other planes of “reality” have labeled those realms as “subtle region,” “astral region,” “spirit world,” “dream world,” etc.
Those regions have their respective “inhabitants” as well.
There is a continuous relationship between the physical world and the subtle/spirit worlds.
The physical world could be labeled as the “doers.” The subtle/Spirit world as the “influencers.”
As we understand this relationship with greater depth, we could realize the limitations of the “I,” “me,” “free-will,” “predestination” concepts.
What about if what we “think” that we are “thinking” is not necessarily “our thought”?
Anyone scared? 🙂
Lack of awareness is compelling. That is why, one of the main things to understand is to learn to observe.
There is no “center” of attention or “opinion” in observation.
From that “exercise,” we could realize many other things.
Whenever someone claims to have a “spiritual experience;” it is just that… an experience from a perspective in Life.
If we want to glorify that experience and call it “divine” or use any other label, that is our own interpretation.
In my own experience, I had some of these “spiritual experiences” and still have them. However, the interpretation that I used to give to those, has changed as my consciousness has changed.
Remember the time when you flew in an airplane for the first time? To talk about that experience was marvelous. So great that perhaps we had lots of enthusiasm… If someone asked: What does it feel to fly? Ahh! That was the opportunity to “teach them” and to advertise our experience. Perhaps we could gain a follower in the “fly now” club!
If this sounds like the way most religious beliefs are, it is just a coincidence. ☺
If those experiences are separated by time, then that is the “carrot” the donkey needs to get out of the mundane, the trivial “same ol’ thing,” and feel “special.”
Those experiences add newness to our lives. Those experiences may be different from the majority; they have a meaning; they may be beautiful but… those experiences are unable to change our consciousness.
That is how, someone who encounters a subtle being, could label him with many names, which are part of his learned tradition: Angel, God, Demon, etc.
What is important to understand is that any experience with subtle beings is meant for a purpose in our life journey. These experiences will appear when necessary. There is no need to look for them. They just happen.
Some have experienced “rock climbing” I have not. Shall I suffer because of that, when there is lots of things to experience in Life?
One more thing. Those experiences are not meant to be “followed by everyone.” These are personal experiences.
When we understand that everyone has a different perspective of Life, all experiences are never equal.
As we become prepared through an openness of our consciousness, we will experience what is necessary to continue on.
That is the guarantee that Life has for everyone of us.
That is how, “spirituality” cannot be separated from Life.
Some religions and philosophies pretend to make that separation, but that is fictitious, artificial and… “unreal.”
Life is a continuous. “Spirituality” is to be in Life, not outside of it in a golden box of regulations and beliefs.
The “spirit world” is there. It is not “better” nor worse than “this” world, just different.
We are “here” but at the same time, we are all in this… together. Paradoxical, huh?
Life is One. There are no divisions in it. No parts. No stages.
All of those concepts/ideals are added by human beings in their quest to dominate, control, possess something, which is perceived as different from “them.”
“Morality” is a human invention, which has been consistently used to “teach” others.
For example, if Mike decides to walk completely naked on a congested street; more likely, Mike will be arrested. Why?
He is acting against the law. Some may label him as being “immoral.” Some others as being “offensive, “ etc.
The interesting thing to observe is how such a belief arises. This is not meant to go against the rules of society, but just to observe the “moral” invention behind it.
A “Life walker” will merely observe and perceive if there is any contempt or rejection arising inside. If there is, that becomes “food” for further discoveries about the self and its beliefs.
The sinner mentality is part of that “morality.”
Every action that we perform toward “others,” we do it to ourselves.
Because there is Oneness. There is no separation.
Some may call that “karma” and create a fictitious web of separations between the “doer” and the “receiver” of an action.
When we are lost in “actions” we oversee the intention.
What was Mike’s intention while walking naked on the street?
That is his “doing” to others and thus, to “himself.”
Because a society cannot control an individual by intentions, then “actions” became the most important item.
A religion is based on the premise of actions. Good actions. Bad actions= Karma = Heaven or Hell.
That is not Life.
That is just a religious belief.
A God watching everyone to punish some or to reward others is not Life.
It is a belief.
That is the starting point of the sinner mentality.
In Oneness there is no such a thing as a “sin.” There are consequences.
Human consciousness changes through the experience of those consequences and not through the adoption of a belief system.
If we are One with Life, Life will teach us when we are ready to assimilate… In the meantime, the experience of suffering will prepare the “student.”
Suffering is not “bad” at all… Neither good nor bad. It just “is.”
A belief system is a human invention. It is a limited perception, an attempt to explain something that cannot be explained without a human point of reference (previous beliefs, traditions, moral values, etc.)
Here is another paradoxical realization: Every belief there is, it is not “bad.” However, it has its timing.
That timing is observed when consciousness changes.
The belief in Santa Claus is not bad at all. But it has timing. If we persist in believing in something well beyond the lapse of that particular consciousness, then inner conflict will arise and inner dishonesty will be felt. Dissonance.
The belief of being a “sinner” has elapsed for many. However, many others are still living in that “reality.” It is a matter of consciousness.
I could write many convincing rational arguments to demonstrate that the sinner mentality is an illusion; however, intellectual arguments or logical premises cannot erase what we feel. To believe that rationality can overcome feelings and emotions means not to understand human nature.
Here another paradoxical realization:
Rationality is great for making a living in our society but… It is deficient for the experience of living Life in joy. Rationally, most will look for the accumulation of wealth to feel happy but… 🙂 there will be disappointment (suffering) when the result is not as expected.
Rationality kills our feelings and without feelings there is no experience of fullness.
Is rationality “bad”?
It is neither “good” nor “bad” like everything else in Life. It “is,” thus observe it and enjoy it.