There is the person, the “I,” which is mostly viewed as a separate entity.
That perception is the origin of our society, laws and views about Life.
We perceive Life as a set of separate things, circumstances or beings. Typically, we do not see the relationship, but Life is truly relationship.
Life is like a movie. A movie has different characters just like Life. A movie has a protagonist, the main character; the center of the plot. However, in Life there is no protagonist, there are different stories which could be weaved at one point in time just to be unweaved.
In the perception of separation, the end justifies the means. Nevertheless, what is the end to be justified if something is weaved to be unweaved again? Perhaps to control. That is usually detrimental for the common good.
In Life things evolve in a subtle way, little by little so change is not grossly perceived. In the Human world change is typically abrupt, violent, with hidden agendas.
The perception of separation builds division but creates the ideal of unity at the same time, which cannot be achieved. Laws will be created to support behaviors which call for unity but yet are contradictory to the essence of the perception of separation, which is egotism: We are taught to build our egos but yet “teach” Love.
We talk about Love, but we AREN’T Love: How could we accept someone at every moment just as that person IS, even ourselves (which is Love) without judgment, when we have different teachings and conditioning inside to separate, label and classify another?
In Life, every story is different although with similar plots. Each story is delimited by our ability to perceive relationships. Thus, someone could only see two people involved while others could see many more.
The ones who have been greatly influenced by separation, cannot see beyond themselves or their small group. Therefore, how could this person be concerned with the common good, Love and unity?
Our perception becomes our world. However, is that the “real world”?
Most are concerned with interpreting their perception; so the mind can make sense of it. To make that perception fit our conditioning as much as possible, is to “make sense.”
Interpretation through conditioning becomes our experience.
We say: “I acted by following my previous experience.” That is how the old becomes the new. We do not meet newness with newness.
What is happening does not require interpretation. It is only there. Acknowledge it. Accept it.
For if it is there, it has the right to be. In that acceptance of “what is,” is when unity with “what is” starts.
When unity is not, there is judgment. As we judge, we label, we separate. That is the beginning of antagonism.
The master and his disciple were in front of a big tree. It was very wide and tall. The disciple used that tree to energize himself, by resting his back on the wide trunk for a few minutes. That tree had many branches and cracks which showed its resilience through the passage of time.
The master said: “ Every living thing has a role in Life. For example, a tree has a good role because it brings many benefits. However, some people may say that a tree brings some obstacles, others may say that a tree is dirty because leaves will fall and dogs will urinate at the base of the trunk. Yet many may say: Thanks to a tree I have a comforting shadow in a sunny afternoon, or perhaps they may say: I can have better oxygen. See? Everything depends on how we perceive a tree. That is our point of reference. Likewise, everything depends on how you perceive your particular living experience. If that experience gives shadow or not. You could be confined in a place with nothing else to do, perhaps suffering some discomfort. You could abandon yourself to endless complaint and crack the freshness of your visage with lines on your face made out of anger, and bitterness or… use the time in a worthwhile way to edify yourself. See? ”
The disciple said: “ Master, many times events in Life may be very harsh. Yes, I may have time to enlighten myself but I could be depressed, or my mind could be bothering me with incessant hostile thoughts, not allowing me to do what I ought to.”
The master responded: “That is the perfect scenario to learn about yourself. You do not need to fight back. Just become conscious on how those things appeared and realize that, they will disappear as well. Don’t wind up that clock with negativity. In the world of duality you will have 2 options, that is; there is always an alternative. If your perception dictates one option, find the other. By knowing the options you can change your posture. Just remember this: Be aware of tension. It is tension what doesn’t allow for openness. It is tension what does not allow for joy. In tension there is rigidity, boredom, there is confusion… ”
The disciple realized that truly every situation in Life will bring those 2 options. But he had yet another question: “Master, what about if I pick an option which is not the best for me? That will worry me…”
The master smiled and said: “To worry is not a solution. It doesn’t solve anything. It only adds tension. Look, what is the worst that could happen to you?”
The disciple thought for a second and hesitantly replied: “ To die.”
The master laughed and said: “ At that point all worries will be over! We spoke about 2 options. What is the alternative of death?”
The disciple understood the ‘concept’ so he replied: “Life, master. But in that duality of life an death, if I am already experiencing life, the counterpart is death and that should be all, the complete experience, correct?”
The master smiled and said: ” If you started with Life, doesn’t that mean that death was before that? for you were not. Thus under your perception, the complete experience should finish in Life, but it is not.”
The disciple was perplexed and said: “How could that be, master?”
The master replied: ” Have you seen the depiction of Yin and Yang? It shows duality but also it is in a circle. What is the meaning of that? Life is a circle. I will leave this conversation here, for you need some time to muse about this interesting finding, but I will finish saying this: Contraction follows expansion, but also expansion follows contraction. People believe that a caterpillar knows how to become a butterfly. They perceive those two as different. However, the caterpillar IS the butterfly. Ponder on that one too, and you may find the depth behind life and death and your own perception.”
The disciple asked: “Master, It seems like awareness is the solution to every problem. What is awareness? I gather it deals with being awake and to realize the underlying thing as it occurs, but is that all?
The master listened carefully and responded: “ Many times our conditioning is so strong that it will not allow us to consider other ways of looking at Life. To begin, when we refer to the word ‘problem,’ we have the conditioning of society, where Life is about solving problems. If there is something that we do not like, then we have a problem and we put our efforts to resolve that. Anything which doesn’t fit our vision of Life becomes a problem to solve. We usually do not believe in changing ourselves to fit the setting. Awareness inside society, is about the perception of a situation or a fact. However, the very act of perception is colored with our own conditioning. Therefore, there are many degrees of perceptions, some closer to the fact than others.”
The disciple asked: “could you be more specific, master?”
The master continued: “For example; for many individuals, Life is about survival. The economy has great importance even though that is a man made game. Nevertheless, we take that as a fact of Life, and many individuals could suffer if we don’t. For instance, if someone is hungry that is because she has no money. Money is a human creation, we are stuck in that mind game. Similarly with political systems. Individuals believe that there is a system which is the best. However, human beings run those systems and ultimately, human moral values have utmost importance behind any system where the common good is the objective, rather than group or party loyalty.”
The disciple said: “ I understand now. We have a socio-economical, political, religious conditioning which act as reading glasses and we see the world through those. We see problems there, and we try to solve those but we cannot take those glasses off.”
Then the master said: “It takes awareness to take those glasses off but at the same time, to be able to wear them when dealing with the world of those wearing glasses. They call that world ‘reality.’ That is the irony of Life to live in a ‘real’ world of individuals wearing distorted glasses.”
The disciple said: “ I understand master. But, is that the extent of awareness?”
The master looked at the disciple before responding to assess his readiness. The master said:” There is way more. That is just the most superficial layer. Greater awareness will take you into self knowledge and the nature of being and reality. This is not a study. This doesn’t deal with picking up a book and be informed with someone’s ideas. You need to experience all of those things under a setting of tranquility and silence, away from the conditioning of any system. Great deal of unlearning needs to take place first. The idea that “I know” will dissolve into oblivion. As you change, you will be wearing a different set of glasses, which others will not understand. Even though you will suffer a much lesser degree of nearsightedness, you will need to be aware that glasses are still being worn.”
The disciple said: “ Ah! The goal is to take those glasses off.”
The master smiled and said: “There is no goal. It happens when we are ready. Remember this riddle: The ‘problem’ is not the glasses being worn but the belief that there is someone wearing them. Awareness is required to figure that one out.”
Our mindset pursues what it believes to be the “truth,” what is “real” according to conditioning.
Some type of human consciousness are self-righteous and have narrow perceptions, which they call “truth,” reality: “what is real is what exists, what exists is what I can perceive with my 5 senses.” Easy enough to make that “truth” into a commandment.
Our society and collective consciousness are in agreement with that, for the majority of people have 5 senses working somewhat in a similar way.
All is “good” until scientists “discover” that what we perceive is not necessarily what is “real.”
At that point, we may ask ourselves, what is “reality”? 🙂
That question in fact, synthesizes the main problem with our vision and understanding of Life.
The issue is not to concentrate our efforts in discovering what is “real” out there. The main issue is to understand ourselves and the way we perceive Life. Our perception of it.
In short, Life can be perceived in many different ways according to our consciousness.
For example, imagine that all people in the world were born blind. They never perceived light through their eyes. Certainly, we could have built a “normal” society made for blind people. Other senses rather than vision could have taken precedence.
To speak about colors, rainbows, clouds, etc. in that world of blindness, will not make any sense. If someone speaks about being able to see light, that one could be crucified or labeled as “crazy.” That gift of vision may be a curse in disguise, for “normal” people will not be able to understand.
Thus, greater ability to perceive means an expanded vision of reality.
Our “standard” is the way of perception of the collective consciousness in society, but that perception is far from what could be labeled as “real.”
When we place our energy in understanding our own perceptions, rather than in using the convenient labels of “right, wrong, true, false, bad and good,” then any sort of judgment is out. Certainly we may need to act as our society dictates.
If someone harms another, there are laws. There are consequences, but judgment is a human invention that we have added into the personality of our beloved Gods.
Compassion arrives when we understand that there are many ways to perceive/experience Life. A particular way followed by someone may be condemned by the laws of our society and labeled as “bad,” but we know it is only a perception. That openness will free us with further understanding which will reflect in a peaceful disposition.
Moral talk says: “We must be peaceful, loving, etc.” but as our barriers of perceptions open up allowing us to have a greater vision of the valley of Life; that moral wishy, washy talk; will not be needed.
BEING peaceful is not morality. It is not to obey a law or a commandment. Those DOINGS are fake behaviors.
The “reality” of compassion and love is in extent of the openness of our consciousness, and not the openness of our mouths.
Life is about experiences and every experience is different. If we talk about a particular experience such as “swimming,” every participant will have a different experience out of the same thing.
The collective way of perception (Office world/ afterlife insurance) is looking for some objective, something to attain constantly out of any experience.
Boredom is typically lack of attainment. There is no objective to achieve. Nothing to DO. That same mentality is used to make sense out of Life, that is to find a “purpose” to it.
That mentality pollutes our ability to enjoy Life.
We were taught to make sure that we are getting the” best” out of Life; “milking” Life through constant activities to avoid boredom with the idea of achieving something “worthwhile in Life.”
Take a closer look at that mentality and you will find out why there is so much anxiety and stress in most minds.
Ahnanda is not promoting the life of a “loser”, that is without objectives and goals. Ahnanda is not promoting the life of a “winner” either: The one who is achieving, getting, becoming.
That duality brings its own issues.
Ahnanda is merely observing that enjoyment of Life is not in a duality.
Have objectives, dream about them. Nothing wrong with that. Achieve them if you want to, but do not expect “self-realization” out of that. Plainly, there is nothing special about it… unless you believe so. It doesn’t matter if the whole world believes in the same thing. It doesn’t make it “true” or “real.” It is only a perspective at the end of the day.
Our experience is not enough. We want more, for the mind is insatiable. We want “the” experience. Welcome to the world of beliefs.
A belief keeps the mind busy. It is the dangling carrot, always away from the donkey. The donkey may come up with pretty good “ideas” and “methods” to reach the carrot, but there is no donkey who has ever reached it, although there are stories about it.
How do I know?
Can somebody accurately describe the taste of a carrot?
That is the world of religions, belief systems and political ideals.
In Life there are no teachings. There are only experiences. The teaching is made up by the student, it is his own “aha!” moment.
If we could clearly see that every experience is different and we can only have perspectives of what we call “reality,” then we could clearly understand that there cannot be accurate written teachings, reflecting the “truth.”
Consider this: The best teachings are never written. They are never shown as teachings. They are never spoken of as teachings.
Thus, if we have “teachings” what we have in our minds, is second rated material.
Acknowledge the experience of Life knowing that it is not the only way to perceive it. That in itself will give us the openness for further perception, expansion.
If we replace our experience with a belief, inner dishonesty is unavoidable.
That is the biggest lie: The one that we tell ourselves. There cannot be “reality” there, but a perception in the land of illusions…. Like a dream.
Your experience is your truth. But it is only yours. No one else’s.
“I am afraid that I don’t become self conscious in the name of awareness as I find being self-conscious actually limiting. I think we need to become one with our feeling not separate right ?! Can u please point out a clear difference between the two ( awareness and self consciousness ) ?”
Thank you for your question.
Observe that you have 2 words which are confusing your mind. You asked me to “point out a clear difference” between those 2 words.
When we are dealing with the world of the mind, we use analysis, we compare two “different” things to find its similarities and differences, then we think we “know.” All of that is what we have been taught in the “office world.” Just to keep the mind with information. In Life, things are not necessarily about using the mind and information.
So, in light of those “office world” teachings; let us take a look at the dictionary:
Self-Conscious: Feeling undue awareness of oneself, one’s appearance, or one’s actions.
Awareness: Knowledge or perception of a situation or fact.
The mind searches for a difference between those 2 words. Ah!! One is about the “I,” oneself; the other word is about perceiving everything with or without the “I.” Great answer!
Now, that you “know,” you may start “practicing” the definition of one word and not the other. That is what most people call “spirituality.”
That practice will take you to an ideal created by your mind through the interpretation of words.
Thus, your practice is about agreeing with your mind. There is no change in consciousness with that. To think that you are “better” because you practice what your mind believes to be “right,” is not “what is,” but merely an idea.
Once we get out of the mind, we see things in a different light.
A word is not to be taken literally, for it can only be a pointer of something that cannot be exactly described. What matters is your experience of that word, knowing that everyone may have a different experience of that word AND that your experience could change.
When Ahnanda uses the word AWARENESS, it is not the dictionary word. It is what you already KNOW as awareness through your own experience. In my words I could add some bits that you were not AWARE of; but as you experience them, then those will become part of your AWARENESS.
Please do not analyze words. Just recognize them in yourself, if they are familiar with you. Be aware that we use words just to try to describe our experience the best we can, but that is not enough.
You said:”I think we need to become one with our feeling not separate right?!”
Feel “what is.” Forget the ideals. Once you know/aware of “what is,” without beliefs, mental judgments, inhibitions and emotional difficulties…it will change by itself. 🙂
Thus, the important aspect is the dissolution of beliefs, judgments, inhibitions, taboos and emotional difficulties to be open, healthy, innocent again…