Labeling the Journey
“Since Life presents many perspectives which are labeled by humans according to their conditioning, what is the point of a spiritual path?”
To be ONE with Life. However, that cliche answer is not truly what it is.
“Then… what is, what is?” 🙂
We are already ONE, but we are not aware of it.
To “gain” that awareness, there have been 2 apparently contradictory paths. One is the path of Yoga (Union) the other, is the path of Tantra (Openness/Expansion.)
Observe that in Life, paradoxically openness and union are the same exact thing.
The question is: Who opens and who is in union?
Thus, the “I” is the main thing, the link between those 2 apparently contradictory paths. That is why all paths return to the “I.”
In Yoga, the “I” is the last thing for someone to become fully aware of. It is the path of resistance, struggle, suffering of the “I” to become something else, greater, improved, magnificent. I am not referring here about memorizing the definitions of Patanjali about yoga or the practice of pretty asanas like in the “yoga” studio near you.
Yoga is the will power to be someone else and the struggle to make it happen through controlling the mind.
In Tantra, the “I” is the first thing to become aware of, by going into the beliefs systems, taboos, hang ups, ideals, moralities… all of that which makes up the “I.” It is the path of pleasure, enjoyment, openness, by being “nothing,” that is being away from the mind. Thus, emphasis on unlearning, leveling the mind, regaining innocence of a child and not trying to be someone… such as “equal to God.” Taoism is closest to Tantra than any other path. However; to understand it we need to live it, experience it and put all books aside.
I can put this writing together about yoga and tantra into 2 pages long, because it is my Life experience. It does not come from a book. Although many salesman are putting together their own versions of yoga/tantra, know that in “reality” those labels only describe a Life experience and every salesman, only puts their own flavor in it. Their “creation” is ready to be sold with the “right” package. Happily, purchased by the masses who are looking to solve their problems by taking that “magic” pill. Let me share with you something that I have found true in my journey: Every book/writing which has been of any help in my journey, has always been free of charge, easy to download. No salesman involved.
Yoga and Tantra are 2 ends of the same continuity. When the “I” becomes someone equal to “God,” then to be in union with Life, that “someone” will need to go away. But that is at the end of the “yoga” journey.
In Tantra, that “union” preached by Yoga, arrives when the “I” opens up to Life. Open, open, expand, until the “I” is no longer there…
In your Life at this time, you may be living your interpretation, your creation, of one of those 2 paths. However, a fruit matures at the end of the journey. Thus, in spirituality, in Life the journey is to go through both paths without choosing, without making a brainy “selection” coming from the “I.” Life will give the opportunity when the “aspirant” is ready.
I realize that “yoga” has a name recognition. A “good” name. Easy to follow. Easy to understand. Tantra instead, has a “bad reputation.”
To go into the path of pleasure, before having experienced fully the suffering of the “I,” means to find suffering in pleasure. Nevertheless, as we know; all experiences are “good.” They are part of the journey.
“How do you label your own journey then?”
In this life I could call it: From yoga to tantra. The offspring of that marriage is Ahnanda.
Both, yoga and tantra; are paths of self-discovery. Life may give someone a book, another a guru, yet to another a spirit-guide, etc. The means are different, but the end is the same: Self-discovery. To be one with Life.
Questions on ego, control and following a path
“I am observing that most of your articles involve “ego.” The English meaning is little positive, referred as self-esteem or self-importance. But the Hindi meaning says “ahankar” which is a very negative word sometimes associated with the character of Ravan in Ramayan. Your articles also present it in somewhat positive way. However it is considered as a vice by most religions. And there is another thing called “arrogance”. Can you differentiate between ego and arrogance?”
Ego is the part of your identity that you consider your “self.” It is the “I.”
You are caught up with finding what is “positive” and “negative,” or “good and bad.”
Your assessment of my articles is that I present ego “in a somewhat positive way.”
Ahnanda is not concerned about that duality of positive or negative. Ahanda is not a moralist. Ego is neither positive nor negative and those exact words are in many of my articles.
If you look at the meaning of ego, you will find different meanings according to different traditions and schools of thoughts. (For instance, Indian vs. American and schools such as psychology, philosophy, religious meanings, etc.)
Ahnanda is not concerned with any of those meanings. When Ahnanda says the “I,” then look upon yourself and understand what YOU call “I.” That is all. This is not philosophy or a moralistic debate.
Whether ego is considered a “vice” by most religions; is not a concern of mine, for those religions are trapped in the duality of “vice and virtue.”
Even though I have written several times that one side of a duality cannot exist without the other and that truly both sides are only ONE but with different degrees, even though that is logical, reasonable, still it may not be understood.
Your “positive vs. negative” is like saying that day is positive and night is negative. Day is virtue and Night is vice.
You pick virtue, you want only virtue in your life and reject vice with all your heart… but what happens? Night will come after day. Do you see that?
For God’s sake… Why do you reject something that will be experienced anyway? So you can suffer and feel “guilty”?
Do you see that the separation of day and night is only a mental thing, meant to describe in “black or white” words something that cannot be pinned down so easily?
Because there is continuous movement. The word “Night” does not consider the different degrees of “night” that could be.
There is no single “positive” thing in the world, which haven’t brought its opposite. Every “positive” religion has brought up a reactionary movement of “negativity.” What was the origin of so much negative stuff? The positive thing.
What is the origin of a positive God? A negative Devil. They cannot live without each other. Religions need that duality to preserve the fight, the effort, the battle.
You ask: “What is the difference between ego and arrogance?”
I respond: What is the difference between the Ocean and “ a beach ?
As you wished, that was a simple answer.
Question on the article “out of your control.”
“…Let’s say I enjoy having sex, but if I don’t control that urge (that urge is in the mind), I will end up being a sex freak, masturbating everyday, visualizing people without clothes while walking (Few people have ended up doing rapes of women because of this uncontrollable urge). So in this particular case, we ought to control our mind. Controlling few things in life is necessary.”
Ok. Then control things that you “decide” to control.
Control the mind from sex? Why do you want to do that?
Just because you may masturbate all day and think about naked people?
You overeat and you want to control that. The “solution” is not to control your eating, but to find out in which moment overeating came to you, what was the trigger. That is, to go into your mind.
Look: What is “wrong” about thinking about naked people?
It is your belief in a particular morality. There is nothing wrong with naked people, but your morality is the issue, what your mind has learned to consider to be “good, positive, virtuous,“ etc.
If you are repressing your own nakedness, you will be thinking about it. If you are not, if to be naked or not is not an issue for you, your mind will not be able to create a duality.
Why do you masturbate all day?
Because you are frustrated that sex is not giving you the satisfaction that you aim. Sex is pleasurable but it frustrates you. Your mind wants more but your body and the circumstances are unable to offer that.
Basically, your mind is sick and you want to “control it.”
What do you want to control? Control your need to masturbate all day. Control your need to think about naked people all day.
That is, repress yourself.
Wouldn’t be a more elegant approach, to heal your sick mind?
How do you start?
By emptying it in silence.
By allowing it to slow down.
By using it to retrieve past information when needed and put it away afterwards.
Your feelings increase
Your capacity for enjoyment increases
Your mind decreases… so, it becomes healthier.
With your capacity to enjoy, sex is no longer mental, then it becomes fulfilling, for your whole body, your whole being is involved an not just your mind and your sexual organ looking for a frenetic “orgasm,” which is only and empty release of tension…
By throwing away your prudish views of the body, you may learn to appreciate and enjoy the human form, to see its beauty and perhaps your sex/masturbation may no longer be a possessive, relentless pursue of mental stimuli.
Control is neither “good nor bad.”
To control brings the experience of repression. To be aware of repression brings greater awareness.
When you are aware, there is no need to control.
Best to you…
“Will you elaborate on what is the ultimate aim of life. , And if you believe in 5000 year cycle then should the aim told in brahma Kumaris be true and to be followed ?”
The ultimate aim of Life is whatever you believe it to be. Therefore, why believe in anything? Learn to enjoy the “now” by freeing up your mind from its conditioning, your emotions from the trauma of the ego-mind.
Brahma Kumaris is a path. It is neither “right” nor “wrong.” It is path for those who are in a certain state of consciousness. You need to walk your own path, to experience it, so you know your “truth.” To follow a path is “good.” But later on, it will be “bad.” If you quit without being ready, you will be bitter. If you continue when you are ready to move on, you will be frustrated.
It is all on You. Be honest with yourself.
Out of your control
“Situations outside are uncertain. If we make our state of mind dependent on them, then also our reactions become uncertain.”
Life is uncertainty. This is something that a neophyte in inner search may be afraid of. Thus, most teachings in that consciousness are about control.
Control yourself. Control your thoughts. Control your environment. Control your feelings. Control your reactions.
There is this division of the “evil” half and the “godly” half inside us. The “godly” half must win. It must control the “evil” half.
Western morality is based on that principle of “good and bad.” Therefore, our gods and devils are shaped accordingly.
Our state of mind is one thing. The environment is another thing. What do I do? “I” control my mind so my state of mind can be whatever “I want.” (What I want is what should be “good” according to someone.)
It is all about control. No wonder many individuals in this particular state of consciousness can become control “freaks,” not only of themselves but also of their relationships.
Without a doubt the above teaching of “controlling my mind,” is an ego builder. Why?
Because the separation, the division between “I” and everything else is supported. As a matter of fact, “I” must be prevalent over everything else.
The above teaching is concerned with “reactions.” Our reactions must follow a determined moral code, a particular behavior given by someone. DOING that means to override through repression what we really ARE. That is the key element to understand.
Nevertheless, to experience repression and to be aware of it, is a step forward into gaining greater consciousness.
That is why the teaching of “controlling everything” is not a “bad” teaching, but it must change as our AWARENESS develops.
The “truth” depends on your state of consciousness. The “truth” cannot be expressed in words, for words are dualistic and unable to express the “reality” of the Totality. However, there are facts. Facts are not “truth.” Carl insulted Bob. That is a fact. The truth may be that Carl was in a drug trip due to some inner insecurity. That insecurity triggered everything else. That is why, there cannot be a “God” for everyone as consciousness will differ among individuals.
BEING is “truth.” We will discover that “truth” as our consciousness develops.
Some may say “I am a soul.” But in “truth” they are not. They ARE bodies lying to themselves through words, making themselves believe something that they ARE not.
The “truth” cannot be spoken. You ARE that truth, when that truth of BEING is repressed; we have the teaching of “control.”
Then, the mind is important, for the mind will remember the teaching. The intellectual teaching becomes important and not the individual, BEING.
In a different consciousness, an uncertain response or reaction, is a sign of truth. BEING is allowed to BE. That can only happen once we have developed some awareness, before that; when we have no awareness whatsoever, repression will be the “right” teaching.
Therefore, if someone asks: “Is repression good or bad?”
That questions reveals a neophyte state of consciousness. Repression is neither good nor bad. It is beyond that. Repression has utility at a certain point of our Life experience but then it becomes an obstacle to thrive.
When do we know that we are ready to change from repression into freedom?
If you realize that much of your suffering is due to a controlling personality, then that openness will bring different Life experiences. If you allow for those experiences to take you by dropping your controlling nature, then the “magic” could happen.
You just need to give up… surrender that “I” just to be someone else… someone out of “your” control. 🙂
God cannot “punish me” for being truly honest with myself
When someone asks a question related with my “past,” it is interesting to note how in their mind, “I have not changed.” If I was to cling with something from “the past” then that change wouldn’t be possible. To let go from the past is essential to continue changing.
Thanks to the question from one reader, I have decided to express the above in my own experience. Hope this may be helpful for some.
One of the most important realizations so far in my path, as mentioned before; is that I cannot lie to myself. I need to be completely honest with myself.
But how can you lie to yourself?
🙂 In many ways.
In relationships: To have someone rather than being alone even though there is no feeling. In business: To do something, which you don’t feel to be “right” because the boss said so.
Let me just bring “my” religious experience.
As a child, I was put into a French Catholic school. That was the place when I learned about Jesus and God. Before my “first communion” before becoming a “soldier of God,” I was supposed to write in my little diary that the priest had given me, how I have done different things for “love of Jesus.”
My booklet went something like this: “I didn’t feel like doing my homework, but I did it because I love Jesus.” “I was upset when my mom nagged me to make my bed, but I did it because I love Jesus.”
Teaching: It does not matter how you feel as long as you do things you are asked to. Talk to yourself that you are not doing those things for them, but for God or Jesus.
Now I see, that was the starting point of my inner lies.
I never met Jesus. I never met God; but if the priest told me so; then that must be true. As I became older, my consciousness changed and as I was wondering about the creation of the world, sin and being punished … It was interesting to hear the answers from the priests and nuns.
“Just in the moment when apes became human, that is when the power of God almighty came to Adam, giving him free will.” That was the nun’s explanation on how to make evolution work with creationism. “Yes, the Bible is the word of God. Defend it.”
Everyone around me “believed” in that, so why not me? My consciousness at that time wasn’t able to see anything else.
My consciousness kept changing through other experiences and found out about commercialism and consumerism. “God” from what I experienced there, was a business after all. A way to control individuals rather than an inner path for self-transformation.
Somehow I ended up reading about Marx and Nietzsche when other 17-year-old kids were busy with girlfriends. My consciousness wasn’t the same as theirs.
Life continues and I met a friend who was my running coach. He was a deep Christian who had another side that I didn’t know from priests: “ He let me be as I was without trying to change me, to correct me.” That changed me… My perception about religion changed and I explored other branches of Christianity. However, my consciousness and my intellectual reasoning started to evolve to the point where, their reasons were not logical enough to outdo mine. I enjoyed that very much. It gave me the sense that “I knew” but I was still searching.
Christianity became a “sad religion” for me. I switched into a happy one: “The Hare Krishna.” I learned about being vegetarian there, I learned about dancing as an expression of worship, laughing and being in community as long as “I loved Krishna.”
The followers had experiences with Krishna just as the Catholic priests with Jesus.
The fun stage experienced there, was easily overcome by my reasonable skills. Science knows the answers. Mr. Spock was my “role model.”
All of that scientific stuff was dropped during College days. That is when I met Krishnamurti “randomly” while picking up a book to read at the college library. I was able to relate with what he was talking about: Education, thinking, discover your own path, traditions and so on. Those lines remained in my mind for many years after college.
“Kwai Chang Caine,” became my “role model” before going into the “business world.”
I became a “success story” in the “world at the office” and in the view of society; but inside me a fear of losing everything including my life, was overwhelming.
What if I don’t wake up after a good night sleep?
During that questioning is how I met the Brahma Kumaris through my sister. She was the most “unreligious” person I ever met and thanks to the experience in the Brahma Kumaris, she changed. At least in the surface.
The experience in the Brahma Kumaris was unlike anything before. It was the first time that I had experiences with “other entities,” one of them was the founder of Brahma Kumaris, Brahma Baba. I didn’t know who he was. Didn’t care in the beginning but through that experience my life changed completely.
My world turned upside down, but I thought, I found what I was looking for.
What I completely rejected at one time (Brahma Kumaris,) became completely acceptable thanks to that experience. The “self” that I built through years of “success” in the “office world,” disappeared all of the sudden through different experiences. That was very hurtful.
To put myself in the “furnace heat” of living an isolated life style where I couldn’t mingle with anyone else from “normal” society; was shocking… but I did it, “because I love God.”
How can you love God if you don’t truly know what love is?
Who is the one who needs to know love?
Is loving God (by saying it, or defending a religion) love? or perhaps is the feeling that we “think” is love?
That is the starting point of another path.
The gist of the matter is not about God, but about Me. Through living in the Brahma Kumaris’ isolated environment gave me the chance to know a bit about myself.
The environment was given by the Brahma Kumaris, but to replace my previous conditioned ideology with their ideology, wasn’t allowing me to discover “Me.”
It doesn’t matter how truthful an ideology may be. If I do not discover it by myself, it is just “blind faith.”
I could talk to myself all I want about “I am a soul not a body.” That may be true, but if I do not feel that in my “reality,” I am lying to myself. In Spirituality, to know the path means to walk it.
I felt drawn to Nature and Taoism. I explored organized Zen as well, but what I discovered is that followers in a higher position without the experience of what they believe in, tend to put everything into what they know: A business or a dogmatic hierarchy based on who supports the institution the most. In short: Followers destroy little by little the experience of the founders. When a place meant for inner transformation becomes a “lifestyle” instead, then fashion arrives and with that depth goes out of the window.
When the student is ready, the teacher appears. “Mathias” the wise tree, appeared little by little for many years already. He is a good friend of mine. He knew my sister since she was a kid. I got to know him when I started my “career” in the Brahma Kumaris. He is a manifestation of Nature through a tree. That is the presentation that he prefers.
What I learn from him is to know myself and to feel universal love. Mathias introduced me to Tantra; then I understood Osho’s teachings on that. From there, I met “Miguel” (a being of light) who is “teaching” me to explore the feelings of the heart.
I value all the paths that I have been. Every single one of them has taught me something important in my life.
The paths outlined above are not for everyone; those are not the “true paths” but they are part of our individual paths.
When consciousness originates the change, there is no sense of guilt or feeling bad when changing previous ideologies or beliefs, because it is like going from high school into College; still learning but different things according to our consciousness.
On the other hand, when change happens through a reaction or collision, through feeling cheated or through conflicts of egos or even through not listening to our consciousness, then guilt will arrive.
As mentioned many times already, this blog is meant to share my experiences and my state of consciousness at a particular time. That is why it may appear as if 2 individuals wrote it (Avyakt7 and Ahnanda). Those are the same person.
If someone is looking for the only “truth,” this is not the place for it. If someone is looking for God, you may have to go through different paths, to give him the opportunity to manifest in different ways. If you are looking for salvation, a place in Paradise or some other “upgrade,” this is not the place.
However, if you are looking for an honest sharing without any strings attached…Perhaps you’d like this blog.
In a nutshell: God cannot punish me for being honest with myself.
Dishonesty is the only illusion
In my “career” as a “seeker” I have been involved in many paths to search “something” such as : Peace, happiness, purpose, heaven, God and the list goes on.
The above “spiritual search” is driven by the same “I’ which is looking for something different in the “mundane” such as: Wealth, power, fame, beauty, possessions, etc.
Do we see that the “driving force” is the same?
It is the “I.” Even when we say: “I am peace.”
The “I” lingers there in the background for identity. The word “I” is not “bad.” If we use it by feeling part of the Totality, then it is inclusive rather than the exclusive use that we typically give: Separation.
If I have to put everything I have learned so far in a word or phrase, that could be honesty with myself.
Why should I believe in something that I don’t feel?
Why should I believe is something that everyone else “sees as true”?
In that realization, I will honor my own perceptions.
It may be an illusion, but I want to find out by myself. Learning is included in that experience and with that a new consciousness.
Change in consciousness, does not come by accepting someone else’s explanations about life, what is good or bad. It comes through an experience that life may be offering but many times, we are not willing to open the door and experience the teaching.
For example, meeting someone for a life partnership may be desirable, but If our feelings do not agree with that, even though that experience may be desirable or “good” or any label, then that experience may not be for us yet. There is something inside which we may call “consciousness, guardian angel, superego, etc.” which could be our own measure of inner honesty.
It may be different for someone else.
The obstacle is that many times, that “guardian angel” may be surrounded by many voices inside ourselves, which are fighting for supremacy: Emotions, ego, beliefs, taboos, etc.
When we see the above, we could realize the need to “heal” from all those voices, which are not allowing us to hear that “inner feeling.”
That is what I may label, “honoring our role in life.”
If I observe that to experience death is part of living, then why should I be dishonest with myself by believing things or doing things, which are not what I feel?
Granted. Many times it is about a compromise with “others” who may be experiencing another perception of “reality” of life, but the bottom line in my finding so far, is to still hear that inner feeling when the inner chatter and reasoning are gone.
Living life with joy, is related with learning to listen to that silent voice of destiny. The turmoil is “outside,” pushing into different directions. We could call those: Traditions, cultural and religious beliefs, emotional traumas, hang ups, etc. To respect those means not rejecting them but at the same time to hear our own pristine calling in life.
To allow life (God) to take us where we are meant to be, by listening to that inner voice; could be the greatest degree of honesty there is.
In that utmost honesty, there cannot be room for an illusion.
The many players in the game of life
“Life is like a monopoly game. There are players playing on the board of life, but also there are other players who are influencing the players in the game.”
Mathias, the wise tree; said that to his friend Ananda.
Many “spiritual,” metaphysical paths bring the awareness of the players who are influencing the “real” players on the board of life.
They call them “beings of light,” “ghosts,” “spirits,” “archangels,” “angels,” etc.
These beings are the ones influencing the game.
We don’t see them. We may not be able to communicate with them, but they can do that with us if needed.
Some may know the darker side of this experience for there are many types of consciousness in the “spirit” realm reflecting the human world.
But some may know the beneficial side of this experience when a being of light contacts someone. A being of light contacts a human being, chooses a human being. It cannot be the other way around.
Yet for some, all of the above is nothing but rubbish.
It is all according to what we need to experience at the time. Everything changes and as our awareness increases, we could be able to experience other things in life.
A being of light may be playing “Santa Claus” for some individuals. Worshiping them has been the typical behavior from many. As our consciousness develops, then we could see that the motive for such a connection is to increase our consciousness, our awareness for our next level of experience.
The path is different for everyone, although it is the same path. This is paradoxical.
If we are able to perceive our own immortality then because of that our acceptance of what life offers becomes complete and unconditional. The seed for a new state of consciousness is born at that time. When the student is ready, the teacher may appear…
However, just like when we change grades in school, we also change teachers.
Self-realization may be the apparent destination, but that journey has so many different paths according to the state of consciousness of the student.
Self-realization is a “one-to-one” individualized training. It cannot be put as a “mass teaching” in a book or in a religion. Of course, “Mass teachings” and religions are not “bad” but part of the experience of life. Those experiences are the “agents” for change in consciousness.
That is why, anything and everything that occurs throughout our paths in life is necessary, useful and perfect. When we learn to accept that without thinking about it and move on, life can flow through us and change the chapter onto the next one.
When we complete the different chapters of the book of life, the book is no longer needed and then we may discover that reading the chapters of the book until the last page, was meant so we could start forgetting about it…
What is the purpose of living then?
To enjoy the experience. 🙂
Searching for God or illumination?
In the world of religions there are many faiths, beliefs and behaviors.
Typically 2 different paths have been embraced by the world. The first one is the monotheistic belief. That is, there is an all-powerful God to believe in. The second path is represented by Dharmic religions. Mainly Buddhism. For them, the question is not about knowing God, but on being illuminated, reaching self-realization.
Two different paths, we think.
In reality, it is the same thing just understood in two different ways.
Monotheistic religions have emphasized God as the ultimate goal. We cannot possess God. We can only become “like Him.”
Becoming “like Him” is the ultimate. Here is where plenty of interpretations have occurred in our perceptions: From asking God to help us, to worshipping God, to fighting for God, to praying to God for miracles, to loving God alone, to fearing God alone, to living for God alone, etc.
Very few have gotten to “being like Him.”
The question is:
What actually “being like Him” entails? 🙂
Simple. To be illuminated, self realized.
Two different paths leading to the same thing.
The Taoist verse below explains this paradox with greater elucidation:
“Do you wish to free yourself of mental and emotional knots and become one with the Tao? If so, there are two paths available to you. The first is the path of acceptance. Affirm everyone and everything. Freely extend your goodwill and virtue in every direction, regardless of circumstances. Embrace all things as part of the Harmonious Oneness, and then you will begin to perceive it. The second path is that of denial. Recognize that everything you see and think is a falsehood, an illusion, a veil over the truth. Peel all the veils away, and you will arrive at the Oneness. Though these paths are entirely different, they will deliver you to the same place: spontaneous awareness of the Great Oneness. Once you arrive there, remember: it isn’t necessary to struggle to maintain unity with it. All you have to do is participate in it. “
Hua Hu Ching CH 48