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…
Are you saying that “No- I” is the truth? Are you saying that all religious teachings about God are false?
No. I am not saying that. I am saying that “truth” is a loaded word. All we have are perceptions based on a state of consciousness. There is no way for the “I” to change “his” consciousness, thus it follows that there is no such a thing as “free will” for the “I.” “No-I” is Oneness. If you cannot perceive that, then free will and predestination become important “keywords.”
For instance, someone has a near death experience. His experience is not the “truth” but only his experience at that point in time. Others may have a similar experience. There are some religions believing in a God. There are others which do not even mention God. Which one is the “true” religion?
It depends on the state of consciousness of the followers and their experiences. However, many followers do not honor their state of consciousness, what they can actually perceive, but rather follow blindly what someone else will tell them, hoping to gain some “benefit.” Then, a belief becomes more important than honoring your consciousness.
Let me explain in a different way. Your senses will give you a perception. What you perceive is not the “truth” but merely what your senses are able to perceive.
You see a table. That is what you can see and touch. Humans with similar senses, have agreed that in fact, there is a solid table there. Any scientist versed in quantum physics will tell you that matter is mostly empty space “in reality,” thus our perception of something solid is not “true” although for us, it is.
Is the scientist version the “truth”?
No! for that is not our perception neither the scientist’s perception. It is theoretical. Thus,”No-I” is not the “truth.” It is a perception based on a state of consciousness.
So… the truth is that everything is a perception based on consciousness?
No! Please don’t use the word “truth,” for that little word will not allow you to look deeper. I am pointing out that many perceptions are possible out of a “fact.”
Death is a final fact for some. For others is a transition. Some who have not experienced the “transition” want to believe in that, then at that moment inner dishonesty follows. From that point, a perception is changed into an ideal.
When you are not caught up in finding the “truth,” you may see the “truth” of it… 🙂
Honor your consciousness, allow it to change… That is to be one with Life.
Society and religions have enhanced the perception of the “I” by offering to the world their teachings based on duality: Heaven with Hell, Sinner with Saint, God with Devil, Creation with Destruction, Body with Soul, Pure with Impure, Passing with Failing, Salvation with Damnation, etc. That was the beginning of insanity.
The “I” becomes bigger and stronger when a “choice” is given to decide between the apparent opposites: If you want “Heaven” then, you must follow some rules, which will avoid Hell.
As the concept of “Hell” became fearful, then the masses wanted an “authority figure” to determine what to DO, how to BEHAVE.
That was the beginning of “practices,” labeled as “spiritual practices.”
It is in that misunderstanding, how living Life became a matter of DOING due to fear, what it is considered to be “right.”
A concept was sold and the solution was with the seller.
Every single religion has teachings. Every single teaching as it stands today, has been grossly misinterpreted by followers who did not experience a change of consciousness similar to their founder, but rather; offered loyalty to their religion by DOING and BEHAVING the way their religion expected. As more people “join,” more laws are necessary.
That “loyalty” offers continuity of teachings as static pieces of information, which are unable to change despite the changes in Life. That posture then becomes a dogma.
Therefore, choosing one concept such as “God” implies the rejection of the opposite “Devil.” It is that rejection which will make up insane minds.
Insanity will be proportional to the degree of obsessiveness to attain a concept such as God, Holy, Soul, etc.
Many may have experiences with the spirit world, but the LABEL used to describe that experience is what creates the duality; in that duality lays rejection and with that the inability to change consciousness. We are stuck in that consciousness no matter what we DO or how we BEHAVE.
Every religion believes to have the “truth,” but that is another concept to entertain ourselves, for it has the duality of falsehood.
Observe that a “truth” it is only so, when it can be perceived due to a particular state of consciousness.
When consciousness changes, so the perception of that “truth.”
For we can only perceive “reality” from a perspective, which is not absolute. Perceptions come, perceptions go…
That is why BEING has far more relevance than any “truth.”
God and Devil, Body and Soul, Pure and Impure, etc. are the SAME concepts, the same thing. What is the difference?
Degrees of it. The 2 extremes have labels (God, Devil) but nothing in between. That was explained in the article about “polarities.”
Some believe that God is a person an entity, a soul, a spirit…The label “God” is what shapes their experience and creates a duality in their lives.
The journey of a person is to experience all of those degrees in between the extremes for that is how consciousness will change naturally.
For instance if you pick to go “south” rather than “north.” Eventually by going as far as we can go “south”… we will reach “north.” We could reject “north” all we want, but our obsession of reaching as far “south” as we can, will lead us into “north.” Nevertheless, “north” and “south” do not exist, they are merely concepts.
Do we see that? 🙂
Ahnanda speaks about these matters from his own experience.
By having gone “north” and “south,” all there is to it, is to smile at such a “fun” trip that Life has offered.
What is the outcome?
To be able to smile. Free and unencumbered, with a new consciousness… like a child. 🙂