Tagged: philosophies

The belief of predestination and free-will

Any “serious” religious system or philosophy about life will pretend to answer the question: Are we predestined? Or we have free will?

Whenever a concept is developed, its opposite is in place as well.
If we create darkness, we have created light as well.

If we are able to grasp this, we cannot be caught up in the duality of beliefs.

Let me explain:
For example Christianity and their philosophers (as well as many other monotheistic beliefs) believed in “free will.”
What was the consequence of that belief?
Predestination was born. Calvinism appeared with that “idea.”
Many religions and philosophies are caught up with believing one side of the coin to be the truth, and negating or labeling the other side as “false.”

“God has given us free will” they say, “that is why we will be judged at the end.”
Then, another set of believers will find that “God chooses his people.” They are destined to be the “ones.”
Obviously, a contradiction is born.

That is the “problem” that arises from thinking minds, when only logic and analysis are involved to perceive the world.

Then out of the 2 opposite extremes, consensus arrives… Another religion “marries” Mr. Free-will (groom) with Ms. Predestination (bride.)

Something like: “You are predestined, but you choose first.” 🙂 “If what you wanted did not happen, then that was predestined.”
Or in other religious words: “Everyone will attain Buddhahood at the end” and until that doesn’t happen, you will be (“doomed”) experiencing rebirth again… 🙂

Choice/Free-will, has to be in that sort of belief, so “punishment” could be given if the “laws of God are not strictly followed.”

That keeps fear as “input” in followers and obedience as the logical “output.”

When the drop of water separates itself from the flowing river of life, the scenarios explained above will be experienced.

In another consciousness, none of the above exists as “reality,” for the river flows where it should go and the drop of water is not something separated from it, but the river itself.

Is the “right reality” to see things as the metaphor of the river and the drop?
No. If we understand that as the “only reality” or the “right reality” and label everything else as “illusion” we are in duality again, we have created darkness and thus, light.

That has been the “problem” of most religions and philosophies.

A mind that is beyond duality is not concerned in labels, which bring duality… it goes beyond thinking to grasp “what is.”

Ananda was observing how the picturesque river was flowing aimlessly heading west into nowhere. That park had a wooden sidewalk where many animals dwelled. Squirrels, alligators, ducks, birds, insects, as well as many types of flowers… All of them brought a particular perspective of life. The wind was blowing west and the Sun was sharing its warm space with voluble clouds who were about to speak “fluently rain” to the visitors of that park.

Analysis and descriptions separate the whole into parts, creating a perfect duality for mankind to choose from: Right or wrong, good and bad, free-will or predestination… Trapped in those concepts we are unable to see “what is” beyond beliefs…and when we “escape” the mental prison, in that second of illumination; we could understand that enjoyment of “what is” goes well beyond our mental indoctrination.

Birds, Alligators, Bees.. How can they be together, One… if they are different?

That is a human perspective. That could be the perspective of the majority, but that does not make it the “reality.”
Birds, Alligators, Bees… bring togetherness, they bring their own beings to make “what is.”
When we learn to see from different perspectives we cannot help it but to be amazed at the beauty of different shades of the same color.

What I think is no longer what is right, nor what you think.
No one is “right” because there is no one “wrong.”

Duality is out of the mind and with that, our beliefs.

It is “what is.” Enjoy it.

In that consciousness is when freedom “to be” arises. The box of sacred beliefs is thrown away and thus in that moment, we could be who we are meant to be.

Enjoyment of the carousel of life


The last 7 posts had some depth. This one could be the last one in that series. This post will attempt to put everything together.

In Oneness there is no rejection.
The dog cannot reject its tail nor its legs. All of that make up a dog. The world is “I.” What “I” do to “others,” “I” do it to myself.

Duality is a perception. When we apply our “morality” and reject one side of that perceived duality, to only accept the “good” side in our view, we will reject life just like a dog is rejecting its legs.

Life is like a carousel bringing different experiences to the observer. Religions, philosophies and so on, thrive in duality. We have learned to pick the “white horse” because … (fill in the blank) when the carousel of life will move by itself and then a black horse will be in front of us just to show us its own particular beauty; but there are other horses as well: A pinto horse, a brown horse, etc.
The “white horse” will appear all by itself again in its right time, just like the phases of the moon.

Choosing to live our lives in rejection of what life brings in this moment is to close our consciousness to the experience of enjoyment.

Anything worthwhile happens right now. To live life to the fullest is about “now.” It is not about the “afterlife” and all the great things that “we will get if we do so and so…” As mentioned before, it is not about “doing.” Ego is “doing things” continually, despite the fact that the carousel of life moves all by itself. Thus, being open in our consciousness is of paramount importance. That is how enjoyment of life appears.

Could God or any enlightened being want anything else from us but to enjoy life? 🙂

Enjoyment of the pinto horse who is right in front of us. Now.

If “I” compare “what is” with some idea about the future “white horse” because I had a dream or a vision about it… I am just living life in my head, not with my whole being. Life is now.

Carousel of Happiness 01

It is great to know about “illuminated ones” or God himself is contacting us in one way or another with teachings; but for God’s sake… 🙂 Your life is not about “them.” It is not about worshiping “them” and counting their “virtues.”

It is about “you”… and getting to know “you,” as you are now, with all the illusions and different personalities, the emotional ups and downs… with all hopes , beliefs and expectations which are not allowing “you” to enjoy life to the fullest.

There is no enlightened being who could be the “founder” of a religion or philosophy.
Because that brings separation, duality.
My group vs. the rest of the world.

It is the followers, who have created a religion and separated from “others” by doing so. It is “they” who have interpreted teachings… It is “us.”

Our language is full of duality. If an enlightened being was to communicate with us, that enlightened being will have a hard time trying to find the words which do not express duality in a teaching.

What is left then for the grasp of the majority, is the well-known: “This is good. That is bad.”

That works well for the ones who just want to follow someone but who are unable to take a deep and honest look at themselves to find the beauty and depth already within them.

Nevertheless, all is good as it is. Different consciousness. Different understanding and none is “better than another,” but every one has their own path, their own journey.
To integrate all of that variety is the challenge for us. When it is no longer a challenge, then we have understood.

If we could grasp these words, we could never laugh at someone who is lost in devotion, for that devotion brings those feelings that are needed to transform the self.
Life will bring the exact experiences that we need to open up in this diversity… We just need to open up our consciousness, like a wide open door. Flow with life. Empty yourself.

All there is left then, is to observe and appreciate the uniqueness of everyone and every moment… Just to enjoy life to the fullest. Enjoy the ride! 🙂

Non-duality is Oneness


Duality is a word used by many philosophies and religious beliefs alike. That word is seldom understood practically. Most are just caught up in conceptual understanding, information, history, research, etc. All of that is “good” but paradoxically it is not important if we are looking to open our consciousness.

Heaven and Hell is a well-known duality. There is no way to separate one and the other. To choose heaven over hell is like choosing the day over the night when the practical experience is that both states need to be experienced. Practically, experientially there is no “choosing.”

We cannot experience heaven without knowing what is hell. As a matter of fact, we cannot know “good” unless we know “evil.”

Religions, philosophies and so on have taught us to label one side of the coin as “good,” while rejecting the other side as “bad.”

That is how the whole game of duality in beliefs are in existence:
Pure vs. impure, black vs. white, paradise vs. hell, god vs. satan, Lucky ones vs. unlucky ones, saints vs. sinners, etc.

As we realize now, every rejection means that our consciousness will close down and align into the “black or white” mentality and thus, choices in life.
Why? 🙂
Because we are rejecting an experience of life and there is no difference between “I” and life.

Here is another “secret formula” 🙂 for those interested in concepts:

Non-duality is Oneness.
The experience of Oneness is included in emptiness.
To be empty means to experience the canvas without paint, the soul.

Nevertheless, if we choose the soul and not the body (duality) we have not experienced the soul.
Because the experience of that soul means non-duality.

In the above “secret” formula all religions and philosophies with their different terminology are included.

The key is inclusion, integration of everything; but through our analytical minds, we only separate.

Where is God in the formula?
You are merged with “him” when you are empty. Isn’t that oneness? 🙂
If God is “love” as the cliché mentions; could love be something different from Oneness? 🙂

If we think that duality is “bad,” we have not understood anything. If we label “hell” as “bad” we have not understood a thing.

Integrate everything.
All experiences are necessary.
There is no experience that could last forever for everything is change (as mentioned in other articles.)
If we reject something, we get caught up in it.

Ego will make a trauma out of an experience which ego does not like.
That experience will not last forever. It will go away like everything else.

Do we feel sad because everything “goes away”? 🙂
Then, we have not understood anything yet.
We get back into duality again and again, that is separation by creating the emotional states of sadness and happiness.

Life flows. From one perspective (point of reference,) life flows away… that is why it will necessarily come back again. 🙂 That is the game.

Non emotional happiness is non-dual.
That is contentment, joy, elation, bliss… all of those words… but the real thing is beyond the definitions, beyond what ideas, beliefs and dogmas could bring.

Practical openness to life so we could enjoy life:Through our thoughts, feelings, good wishes… actions.
That is all. 🙂

Beyond the collective comfort of beliefs


Any religion or philosophy will have a set of ideas, a belief system which becomes dogmatic.
As our consciousness evolves, however; those ideas may no longer fit our “reality.” It is obvious, as everything changes in life including our consciousness.

For example, “God is the creator of the Universe.” It is a dogmatic belief. Some may use their whole life trying to prove this to be “true.”
However, this “truth” is just another belief.
The belief of “Knowing about God” is not a matter of throwing concepts and definitions to repeat and recite. Numbers of followers does not make something “true or false.”

Our belief may be that our “truth” is something which cannot change, which must be constant, which is the same… Just like a religious dogma. 🙂

Because of our inability to live with uncertainty, we have searched for answers as if to fill up our heads with information is going to give us the medicine of “certainty.”
Then, we created a “dogmatic” science based on our consciousness of “I don’t like change.” This consciousness is embedded in anything we “observe,” it becomes part of our “reality.”

Nevertheless, Science is also changing and rather than giving us a: “This is the way it is,” type of answer to the questions of life, creation, God and all of those “hot” topics; now we could get a “ There is a probability… there is a chance…” type of answer.
The world of probabilities is not an exact science 🙂

That is why a human being interested in discovering his potential for fulfillment, which could be called, happiness, contentment, enjoyment, etc…may no longer be interested in more theories, ideas, beliefs or dogmatic views as a way for inner discovery. This individual may be interested in opening his consciousness by going beyond beliefs, ideas, viewpoints and reasonable, logical answers…

The above may sound nihilistic… but it is not. We are not rejecting anything, but merely “stopping to play with dolls and lollipops” sort of speaking… that is when our consciousness has a different realization.
It is not that lollipops and dolls are “bad” for you, but the timing for those things have reached its end in us.

We are no looking for meaning in life, but to find our potential as the meaning, for we are life itself. Life is not something outside of us and separated from “us.”

This is spiritual “growth.” Suffering may be there for doubts and fears may pop up. “But what about if I stop playing with dolls… my friends will not play with me anymore…” Those doubts will appear as long as our consciousness hasn’t developed enough to be able to see through its own eyes.

It is way more comfortable to “see” through the eyes of others, through the eyes of a comfortable collective belief and ideal; but in this comfort we cannot develop what it takes to stand up on our own two feet.

That is the challenge.

God is the truth


God is the truth, is a statement that we hear all the time from different sources.
Let us inquire into this.

We know as “truth” as “that which is in accordance with a fact or reality.”
Throughout these writings we have been able to observe that only perceptions are all we could ever obtain, because there are different roles performed by different actors in this Drama of life, which have different stages of consciousness.
Human beings do not perceive things in the same way.
As we progress in our knowledge of the world and the universe, what we call as “fact” is merely a perception. That is why to “know that we don’t know” is to be “real.” 🙂

When we approach God, we have religions and philosophies dealing with him in several ways as something “outside” us. That becomes a source of debate about “who has the truth. Who has God.”
It is important to note that we could only get perceptions of that experience which we may call God. Some may say, that God is this or that. Perceptions.

Every religion has its own procedures to deal with the perception by extending the experience of one individual as the “way” of knowing God. That becomes a belief. Something to have faith on.

That is why, some will extend the meaning of “knowing God” as knowing “the word of God,” that is someone knows God when that one hears “his words” and follows those words literally.
Those words accordingly are written in some sort of scripture, some sort of book or booklet, where we could “get the truth.”
Nevertheless, as shared many times in this blog; there is no way that words could reflect truth, specially spiritual truth.

Because any ordinary language can only express duality, and the depth of spirituality resides in understanding that duality exists, but also to go beyond it.

That “going beyond,” is not in the realm of words.

That is why to connect with feelings of the heart has been used by religions to connect with the “truth,” with God. Nevertheless, the outcome of that connection has to be shown in our own actions; otherwise those feelings become mere sentimental, emotional outlets, a source for devotional upliftment for the heart, but without the force to express itself in our own activity.

It has been said that: “The highest truth cannot be put into words. Therefore, the greatest teacher has nothing to say. He simply gives himself in service, and never worries.” (Hua Hu Ching )
Activity over words and language. Don’t talk, for, it could be misunderstood. Just do the walk and let everyone see.

For example, some scriptures could express that marriage is “bad.” Others that celibacy is “good,” etc.
Please note that this “all or nothing” approach is not reflecting truth but is reflecting a teaching according to time and to certain individuals according to traditions and levels of understanding.

If marriage was “bad,” then societies wouldn’t be able to survive. For a society depends on a couple as the building block to survive.
Likewise, celibacy is not for everyone. As we know, “actors” need to come on to this “stage” of the Drama of life and that happens through reproduction.

Similarly if we go to an extreme, like in killing, we could observe that life may offer “tests” when
killing may be necessary as a last resort as in self-defense or even when euthanasia is considered.
We also know that there is “no killing” in the unlimited, for, we are eternal beings, but there is “cause and effect,” thus, what we do will come back to us.

A commandment such as “you shall not murder” could be extended to murder of animals for some, while for others that is not the “true” meaning of that commandment.

Note that religious teachings have been given according to the consciousness of those being taught.

Note that “black or white” statements are meant to reform personalities, their ways of living. They are meant for a particular type of people at a particular time. That is why, the “word of God,” cannot be put into words as the “ultimate truth,” but rather as a reference for behavioral change.

Therefore, the only thing that I could truly attempt to know in its fullest extent is the self, for no one can know more about myself than myself.

Below some quotes to spark the need for self-knowledge:

* Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.
Proverbs 21:2
(Actions are in itself neutral. Our hearts, our intentions, our consciousness make those activities “good or bad.”)

* When asked what was the most difficult thing, Thales replied, “To know thyself.”
When asked what was easiest, he replied, “To give advice.”

* Katha Upanishad: The Self lies beyond the senses and can only be understood by him who knows It is.

* Ramayana: Enquiry into the truth of the Self is knowledge.

* Koran: And Do thou, Oh Muhammad, remember thy Lord within thyself.

* Tao Te Ching: Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering
others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.

A spiritual seeker, perhaps will start looking for the truth. He will start looking for anything outside him including the idea that he has about God. However, that search sooner or later will go back to the inner self, that is the only truth we could ever get close to in a world ruled by perceptions where our perception about ourselves is our own reality.
Spirituality then is meant to change that perception to the highest one of ourselves.

That truth cannot be put into words.

The ever changing Truth


What color is the sun?
it is the million dollar question
the right answer, will get the prize
there is no “catch” in disguise!

It is red! No, yellow …
it is white as light even mellow!
those were the common answers
moving the voting pole as dancers
even orange named as a color
gave the contest a bad odor

Religions and philosophies appeared
supporting their own ideas
“Sun is red,” had greater appeal
that belief was a big deal
“Sun is yellow” had the proof
but it was nothing but a goof
“Sun is white” had no bite
among the big ideologies in fight

The contest came to an end
the judges delivered their mend:
“single answers are good but delusion
together they bring the right conclusion!”

The Sun has all those colors
for time is the incognito victor
squeezing that beloved truth
as a boa constrictor!

The truth is not a still picture
hidden in concepts and definitions
the truth is beyond all traditions

It is a continuous movie
on how a red Sun becomes orange
from light white and then yellow
just to unite all thinking fellows!

Ego, Golden Age and Eckhart Tolle

Interesting to note how nowadays, we have different philosophies and approaches to spirituality but all of them seem to point to the same Self Realization, Awakening, Soul consciousness, etc.

This video explains how the “Golden age,” or “Paradise” (depending on your belief) depicts that time before the presence of ego.
Ego appears as a consequence of that entropy which is what gives the experience of duality.

Note how in Christianity, some of the teachings of Christ point to egoless-ness when well “interpreted;” that is from those who have experienced the experience and not from those who only have the degrees (known as “experts” and dwell in “theory.”)

Ego is not “bad” but part of that experience which we call life. It is through the experience of ego, how we will return to “soul consciousness” again, that is awakening.

As Mr. Tolle explained through one of the teachings of Christ, (the parable known as “The prodigal son”) that is how we will go back home, through the understanding of that ego, or by “conquering ego.”
“Back to the Father’s home;” (as in the parable) which is a well known line in Brahma Kumaris.

Good video to watch: