At the elemental level, a person “awakens” to spirituality when he realizes that “he has vices.” Whether that individual joins the AA group or a religion to “fix” that, it will be part of his journey.
At this level of awareness, it could be taught that a person with vices is an “addict” of what the “outside” provides to him. Love, power, self-respect, all of those “virtues” are coming from the “outside” rather than the “inside,” it is said.
Therefore, become “powerful” to avoid that dependency.
The “I” has to become loving. He has to radiate that love and influence the outside with powerful vibrations… That is the goal, the dream.
That level of understanding fully depends on the existence of the “I.”
In another level of awareness, we could observe that there is no difference between the inside and the outside. The Dalai Lama’s outside world of experiences is no different of who he IS “inside.” Similarly is with every one of us.
The outside is not influencing the inside. The outside is the inside. The world is a mirror.
In another level of awareness we could understand that through many experiences, we have accumulated emotional traumas, which have increased the presence of the “I.” The “vices” then, will manifest according to the heaviness of that “I.”
Therefore, in the natural process of living Life; we will accumulate that “rust” (vices) as a nail accumulates rust. We already ARE that perfection that we are looking to become, but that rust which is the byproduct of living Life is surrounding us. Remember, the nail is a nail even when it has rust in it.
Therefore, spirituality is not a matter of “working on a virtue.” It is a matter of taking the rust away.
That dissolution of the “rust” is the dissolution of the “I.” It is not about empowering the “I” so the “I” becomes “powerful.”
It is about dismantling, opening, diminishing the size of the “I.”
That indeed is the ultimate journey of the Life walker, in my experience.
Traumas, hang ups, taboos, beliefs, ideals, emotional dramas; all of that needs to transform. That is the “rust” creating the “I.”
Awareness and observation of who we truly ARE at this time, will allow for Life to dissolve that “rust” by giving us the experiences, tools that we need.
Life is never separated from who we ARE. Awareness is the initiator of change.
When others love us we feel love. That love that we feel is not the “outside” as different from the “inside,” but rather; is the consequence of who we ARE.
When that awareness is lacking, we could say: “ I want more of that love from the outside. It makes me feel nice.” At that point, the “I” will start DOING things to “accomplish that.” That DOING becomes the source of attachment.
That DOING breaks the natural balance of receiving according to what we ARE. The “I” wants to control what he experiences. He wants to control Life… when in reality, we are Life itself.
Life is not about “giving.” Life is not about “receiving.”
Giving and receiving are the same, not different. We are all one.
High tide, low tide. Same type of experience, different polarity.
A rusty nail is still a nail. 🙂
“What is the most important lesson you have learned in your Life as a seeker?”
1) Your perception depends on your state of consciousness which naturally changes.
2) Everything in Life has a process which needs to be respected.
Some perceive a widget to be “good,” others will see the same “widget” as “bad.”
The widget is neither “good” nor “bad” in itself until we change its quality through our conditioning. In Life everything that has happened and that is happening, is necessary as it is; that is why to qualify something as “good” or “bad” means not to understand the process of change.
There is no “ending” state to reach. It is a full circle. For example, “No-I” will bring “I” and in return,”I” will bring “no-I.” This is an eternal process, the “yin” and “yang” which is meant for Life to self-sustain.
“So what I am supposed to DO in this Life then, if there is no goal to accomplish?”
Do what you desire. What you DO does not matter. What matters is if you are fully enjoying the experience, if you are fully AWARE of the experience.
“Can you be more “real” and give down to earth examples to understand?”
You are taking a shower. Are you enjoying it? Do you feel the water caressing your body? Do you fully enjoy that sensation or some mental conditioning appears? Is your mind not allowing you to be fully in that moment? Is your morality not allowing you to caress yourself? Observe. BE AWARE. No judgment is necessary.
Did you work hard to get your 6 figures dream job? Enjoy it. When joy is no longer there, you may need to change. Are you all stressed out and lying to yourself that you “truly enjoy your job”?
Better stop lying to yourself. Sooner or later things will change, because Life is change.
It does not matter what you choose to DO in Life. In our society it matters because we live with mental ideals and moral standards to accomplish something in this Life or the one beyond. You could become a “beach bum” and sell margaritas for a “living.” Are you enjoying it? Someone may tell you “Why are you wasting your Life in that way?”
If your focus is enjoyment, every moment is joy. Life will go and you will be gone in joy.
That is the most spiritual, grateful way to live Life in my humble opinion. You will teach others without speaking a word. You will be “highly” spiritual, without practicing any ritual. You will be true to yourself, honest; without wearing the mask of trying to BE someone who you are not meant to BE. You will be DOING “good” without intending to DO it; thus “true,” egoless DOING.
When you are naked like that… is when society/religions and “isms” will desperately try to “save you,” by dressing you up.
All wrapped up in beliefs, hang ups, dogmas, moral standards, traditions, emotional traumas and perspectives… the inner child is unable to enjoy Life.
The innocence of the child is replaced by the self-righteousness of the “I,” who is not looking to play, to enjoy, to give himself… but to be “right.”
Without a healthy inner child, there cannot be enjoyment of Life.
Enjoyment is not just pleasure… but pleasure is part of it. Enjoyment is the ability to taste the “now” as it is, to wonder, to smile… and to move on “naturally.”
Enjoyment is not something that could be learned through a method, or some spiritual practice; but it is the outcome of unleashing the inner child from the oppression of the compulsive “adult,” who is only interested in “righteousness” for the sake of looking holy, saintly, moral, conservative, a “good example for others.”
When following by the “dot” a made up moral standard, law or tradition without the ability to move as circumstances dictate… is when the inner child is lost.
Someone who is used to follow a paragraph of law for the sake of being “right,” is compromising his intelligence and his originality just to fit in, to feel accepted.
Without intelligence and originality, we have a society of robots, unable to feel, unable to leave their minds aside, unable to be aware of themselves.
It doesn’t matter what type of “practice” someone in that state may perform, as holy as it could be; that practice is not considering the mental, emotional and physical health of the individual and thus, it will not be effective.
Where do we start?
Obviously, the starting point is to unleash the inner child in the “now,” for without enjoyment of Life, all we will have is the promise of the future; “the future will be better.” That could be the “biggest lie,” a person could rely on. Some like to label that as “hope.” A nice label for uncertainty. An empty promise to exchange the “now.”
The “sin” entails in not living the present for the sake of a “better future.”
Observe a child. As the number of “Do’s and Don’t s” increases; emotional trauma will increase.
As the number of beliefs increases; fear will increase.
As his actions are catalogued as “right or wrong,” judgment will appear in his mind.
Isn’t there anything “right” that our society and “spiritual” community are doing for our upbringing?
Nothing “right” nor “wrong.” It is the awake individual who will have the courage to step out of the cycle, not as a rebellion or as an antagonist step, but as a “natural” step as when we go from kindergarten into first grade.
An awake individual is aware of his own process and that awareness will give him openness to understand anyone else’s.
If that “natural awakening” doesn’t happen, then we have idealists or intellectuals pretending to know the “solution” of the “problem” as if they were trying to escape from quicksand… When in reality they are trapped, deep in it…
Because their consciousness is the same despite their intellectual ability, their talk will not match their walk.
The observation of the process on how a fruit matures in a tree, may be one of the greatest teachings in Life.
Intelligence, wits, understanding, knowledge… Those traits could be defined, confined and imitated.
Nevertheless, once a lifetime ends, then all of the above will end as well.
Insight is what remains in the journey of Lifetimes.
Insight will develop through the assimilation of those experiences in Life.
Wisdom is not something learned. It is not something acquired by reading, by getting a degree or by becoming “old.”
Wisdom is the natural unknowingly, unrehearsed, application of that insight in Life.
That is what some people may refer as the trait of “old souls.”
That terminology is not accurate, for there is no such a thing as an “old soul” but just range of experienced experiences.
Some individuals may stay awake 22 hours to experience most waking moments offered by the day. Others, will sleep 8 hours and stay awake for 16. Some will label the one who was awake longer as an “old soul,” but the range of experiences in both cases is different.
“Who is better? Who is worse?”
Those are not valid questions to ask. It is just different for everyone. Sleeping is not better than being awake. Both are necessary, complements of each other.
It is in that range of experiences in Life how insight is developed through many Lifetimes.
There is a process behind that insight. Continuous change, continuous becoming, which is BEING at the same time.
When I was 8, I thought and felt like an 8 year old kid.
When I was 30, I thought and felt like a 30 year old man.
Am I the same person?
Yes and No.
Despite that contradictory answer, what matters is to observe the process of change.
Can you teach a 2 year old how to solve a differential equation?
Why not? He will be the same person 30 years later! Why wait until then?
Simply because the 2 year old “now” is not ready. There is a process to go through, which is beyond the hands of any human to decide.
The same is with insight.
Living Life is the process to it. Experiencing Life to the fullest is the catalyst to that insight.
There is no religion that could teach insight. There is no book or university able to confer a degree in that. There is no human being who could develop his insight by “making effort.”
Because we are ONE with Life. Not separated.
Insight is the fruit of living Life with “open hands.” The minute those hands are closed, the minute we think that we “have it,” we have “arrived,” that is the self-placed limit to that potential growth of insight.
3 years ago Ron said that sex was “bad.” The day before today, Ron said that sex is “good.”
That is the range of experiences. The process, the journey to be walked to know. That cannot be gathered by intellectual reasoning. You have to live it to know.
An outsider may say: “You are contradicting yourself. You are a traitor to your former cause.”
Human moral standards of “righteousness” do not understand the walk, the journey, the process.
Open your hands. Keep them open.
What is the teaching? we may ask.
Embrace all. Integrate all.
You can only know when it is your experience and not the product of intellectual minds.
But…By keeping your hands open, you will know that “your experience” at one point in time, will not be the same always.
Never ate strawberries before?
Here is one for you.
That was a sour strawberry for you?
Here… take another.
No? You remember the bitter taste of it. It created a trauma in “you”? Do you want to generalize, now?
Open your hands. Keep them open.
There is a difference between trust in Life and making the same mistake.
Your own “walk” in Life will give the answer to that.
Insight perhaps will tell you that a mistake… is not a mistake after all. 🙂
When the “I” is hurt and wants healing, there is something important to understand:
Healing is not to forbid, but to trust.
There are many perspectives out there to look at Life. There are many types of consciousness.
Anyone would like to come up with the “true” way of looking at things?
Any God who could give humans the “truth” as everything depends on a perspective given by our consciousness, which the “I” has no control of changing? 🙂
It is obviously out of the question when we understand by experience, how consciousness changes by itself and how the range of experiences must change, as Life is change itself.
In simple terms, our experience brings the duality of ego and ego-lessness.
Do we want to call one stage of the full experience as “good” and the other as “bad”?
That is the prevalent human issue, the “black or white” mentality.
“Bad” is part of the journey to “Good” which in turn will turn to “Bad” again…
What is the destination?
None. It is all about experiences.
Isn’t that great? Isn’t Life wonderful?
That is why Ananda repeats. Enjoy the experience of that “now.” It is unique. It is necessary as “it is,” it does not have a goal other than “what is” which will allow further changes in our consciousness.
How did we get into this suffering business?
Obviously, because the “I” is growing up.
Shall we destroy the “I”?
The “I” cannot destroy itself. The “I” cannot dissolve itself. Neither God can do that “miracle” for it is part of our own growth.
The “I” is just a process in the journey of “no-I.”
“Dissolving” ego will happen. There is nothing, which needs to be done.
Only observe, become aware of the process. There is no one who could raise “your awareness.” It happens when you are ready. Timing. Synchronicity.
All the experiences that we gather in Life will take us to that point. The timing is different for everyone. That is all.
That is why there is “nothing” which has happened in our Life that we could label as “bad.”
To do that is to bring guilt and fear into our lives. But even if we bring guilt and fear, that is not “bad” at all… It is part of the process of what some call “healing.”
Lost in labels we cannot observe what is actually happening in our lives. We could observe what is happening out there but to see inside is something, which we have not been “taught.”
Here a riddle: 🙂
The “I” cannot observe itself…but, nevertheless; there is observation.
Want to learn inner–observation?
Want to know the “steps,” the “method”? 🙂
I am sure, everyone of us could discover it, once we “empty our minds.”
Empty… from what?
From all the beliefs that we have acquired.
But… what is a belief?
Anything that we have not experienced. Anything that we perceive only under one perspective. Anything that we think that defines who we “are.”
To be trapped in ideas and ideals, in mental constructs, is to live under a belief system.
If “I” allow for my perspective to change, I will be able to see my experience under another light. If what “I think” of me is static, I will not be able to observe the changes in “me.” If my life is guided by rigid ideas, there is no way to expand my consciousness.
Can we “do” that?
Awareness is all that is needed. No “doing” necessary.
Learning happens when there is the chance to unlearn.
Everything has a process in life. The process between being born and dying is what we call life.
The process on how daylight changes into night, we call day.
The process on how an infant becomes an engineer, we call “studying.”
The process on how an enemy becomes a friend, we call conciliation.
In Spirituality to respect that process of change is very important.
For example, any sort of denial of something that we used to like, “cold turkey;” will have later consequences if we have not “processed” that process.
If I am used to eating meat and I have developed a taste for it; there is a process in becoming vegetarian.
If I am to live alone to discover my inner world; there is a process to that end.
If celibacy is my chosen path; there is a process to get there.
That process changes among individuals. We are not the same. That is what is truly important to respect.
Many times, we acquire a disease unknowingly, due to lack of self-observation: Anger could be what I express through my feelings due to a situation/person which is not desirable. That emotional outburst has a build up process, which will manifest clearly in the body as a disease, in time.
It takes time to get there and because there is a process; it will take time to come out.
However, once there is a realization of this disease, a desire to be “cured” right away, “miraculously” will appear.
At that point, we have forgotten the “process” to heal.
In life, we may have experienced something which is bringing us down, that is something which is triggering suffering in us, unless we use the Spiritual tool of observation and become able to catch this episode; then suffering will continue on.
It is “me” rejecting what is happening.
To realize that pain, that suffering through acceptance; means to start the process of healing.
Any process of healing related with emotional pain, starts in solitude. Our tendency is to busy ourselves, but only by letting that pain in, completely and accept it without escape; is how that pain will move on by itself. There is a process in that. We need to nurture that process.
Energetically speaking, the energy of pain and sorrow, could be let go through our hands in contact with Nature. Someone who is not at ease, will be “overcharged” with negativity which needs to come out and that energy, be transformed by Mother Nature.
At that point, the inner work with our mind could take place.
Mind created thoughts are not real. That life in our heads is merely an illusion. Life continues on shining, when we come out of our self-absorption; that trance which only allows us to see gray shadows in our lives. We only see “Me,” alone through our minds.
The process of healing will finish once our feelings have changed. That is, once the situation has been transcended; once a smile comes out easily and unexpectedly from the vibes of our heart. An open heart is an accepting heart.
How long does it take for this process? As long as it takes us to realize and “implement” an open, accepting heart.
New energy will be expressed once feelings have been transformed.
When a spiritual teaching recommends to always “give pure feelings and good wishes to all;” that teaching is stating that process of energetic transformation.
That teaching is truly acknowledging that change of feelings, which is the end product of that self-healing process.
In a way, the experience of emotional pain and suffering are the ingredients for good wishes and pure feelings to all; for in that experience of transformation of self energies through feelings; is how we will know the practical aspect.
Transforming our own energies is a matter of having the chance to do it.
That is , we will be experienced in our own process of emotional healing.