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.”
Life is like a huge container. It is so big that there are no limits.
Humans have mentally gathered into a small glass of water, to place limits. There, images are created: A car, a house, a job, fame, fortune, health, beauty, power, immortality…
Humans have divided themselves under countless labels as to make the game of “achievement” harder. It becomes a “fight.”
Those images of achievement, become the “purpose of Life.”
But Life is more than a belief in images, greater than a small glass of water!
As a person matures; to become entangled in that game is considered to be sound and “normal.” However, no matter what is “achieved,” there will be un-fulfillment.
Do we know why?
More images will be created. It is never enough. “Achieving” one image is only the beginning into “achieving” another.
Our minds are conditioned to see “Life” under the perspective of “achieving images,” ghosts of conditioning.
We live as if death will never come. When it arrives, a trauma is created; fear arrives and the mind desperately looks for something to hold onto: A belief. It has to preserve the game of achievements: Eternal heaven, to be an angel in the kingdom of God, etc. Stuff that we are used to, because after all, we believe to be the center of the Universe.
We are so naïve.
Life is so big, but to us; very small.
Our “realities” are only images, dreams.
Our achievements are only busy work. Entertainment for the mind; just like watching TV.
Where is the light?
Learn to play another game.
Life does not have a purpose other than Life itself. The purpose of what IS… is to BE. BEING is the most basic and ultimate purpose at the same time. In the human world, a purpose is something different than what IS. It is an ideal of what “should be.”
Life does not bring any sort of learned ideas, ideals and moral values that human beings believe in. Because those things are needed in a society, it does not mean that those are needed in Life. Most human created Gods are supporters of societies’values but not of Life.
Most humans believe that Life is perceived with their 5 senses. That is a self-imposed restriction to know Life.
Humans want to control Life, however; one lesson to learn in Life is that Life cannot be controlled.
Humans have created their own little society with their own little rules and standards, inventing the words “right and wrong.” Humans have invented so many labels such as “property,” “equality,” “control” and “spirituality,” (to name a few amazing inventions) which are only learned perceptions which humans have labeled as “real Life.”
For most humans, “Real Life” is to comply with conditioning.
“Spirituality” has evolved as a way to control, the self and others. To be “better” is a new way to control.
When a society lives in the mind, fulfillment is only another idea. A topic to discuss. Something to “improve” by bringing laws, methods and procedures.
When a person lives in the mind, self-knowledge is out of his experience.
Our little human man-made world, away from Life itself, separated from the harmony of Nature, is alienating us!
Our reliance in the mind is killing what makes us alive, that is our feelings.
Honesty of acknowledging who we ARE now, is replaced by the ideal of what we “should be.” With that teaching, there is no way to “know thyself.”
In Life, learning is to experience. It is not to read and understand what someone wrote.
In life, to “Do more things” does not equal to feeling fulfilled.
In life, to “get ahead” with degrees, titles, certifications, diplomas, etc. is completely meaningless. Those things are only part of a small game, the “office world.” That game has become our daily “bread and butter” to the point that we believe that meal, to be the only one.
What is the outcome?
We are starved and tired of the same thing. We are looking for meaning in Life!
Do we want “answers”? Do we want “solutions”? Do we want to be “saved”?
Yes? Thus, the “market” screamed for religions to appear. The answer is in the future, by following some policy, some behavior. Politicians took note of that.
All we had to DO is to BELIEVE in another “reality.” Something that few perceived to be “true.” Those became the “saviors.”
Tired of that? Then try to BE what you ARE not. Pretend. Practice. Achieve that.
Can we peel the layers of conditioning and learned behaviors from ourselves? Peel the onion. What you find is not “what is,” but rather what needs to be peeled.
Who is peeling? A layer of the onion that we call “me.”
With that discovery, Life could have a different meaning.
What is that meaning? Peel the onion yourself to find out. In Life, we need to “reinvent the wheel” not to come up with a shortcut. “Time is money” is meaningless in Life. Your time is your Life.
Ps: Ahnanda will be sharing once a week from now on. 🙂
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.
We use the word “I” to denote an individuality. It is “me.”
That “me” is static. Even though the body, personality and mind change; we believe to be the same “I.”
The “I” is like the”now.” A ripple in the moving waters of the immense Ocean of Life.
The above explains succinctly, the main issue in “true spirituality” to be aware of.
Most individuals fear death. There was a person who once told me: “I fear death, for that is the end.”
I told her: “It is likely that “you” will not encounter death.”
She looked at me as if “I” spoke in another language.
That individuality who will encounter death is not the one who spoke to me. It will be another. That fear is the product of a mind incapable of living in the “now.”
Can you imagine when I was an 8 year old fearing death? Was that kid the same as Ahnanda now? We have nothing in common, other than the same mind remembering things.
Our society thrives in the enhancement of the “I.” The next worshiped symbol is called “choice.”
That is a self-contained popular “truth” that not too many have explored.
There is no “I” choosing. It is either the mind or the gut feeling.
The mind is not “you” but the accumulation of past experiences, learned behaviors which are extrapolated into the future. Most do not recognize the mind away from the “I.” The mind is static. It likes pictures. Reality is not static, it is a flow, a movie.
Life is flow and so “I.”
If the “gut feeling” is “choosing” there is no-choice. It is what it is. It could be “wrong” for “my” perceived benefit or idea of what is “good or bad” but as far as the Universe is concerned; it is “right.”
Who is choosing then? There is no choice in Life. Choice is an invention of the ego centered mind. Let me use some examples from the well known 1999 movie “The Matrix.”
“You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”
“Neo” (main character) picked the red pill. Didn’t the “Oracle” know that already, before that “choosing” took place? Yes… The “choice” was taken before “choosing.”
The “I” feels pretty awkward with that crazy “idea”!
Consider this: We are ONE with Life. Thus, who is choosing? Who is separating from that oneness to assert its presence?
The “I” through the mind.
What is the mind?
“More important than what is when…” (to paraphrase the Matrix.)
When the mind appears, are you aware of it?
That awareness is you. Awareness is without choice. The rest is happening, it is occurring, there is nothing to DO but what is in your gut feeling; that is to be ONE with Life.
Nevertheless, the “I” wants to choose happiness, it wants to choose paradise, it wants to choose responsibility, etc.
In that “choice” sorrow appears, hell arises and guilt surfaces.
Choice means duality. That “I” will experience what it wants… and what it doesn’t want to.
Life offers that “free-will” package as a bundle. “Your” choice means nothing… but the “office world” gurus will tell you otherwise. That is how “Best-sellers” are sold. 🙂
The perception that most human beings have at this time, is based on separation. Every word defines, words make up a concept which supports the idea of individuality. Therefore, this is the perception of our minds.
For example, because there is “right,” there must be “wrong.” The separation of “right” and “wrong,” is a matter of defining what is “right,” then anything else becomes “wrong.” “Black or White,” easy to follow as the masses like it.
In the “office world,” we need such divisions to make our lives easy, thus; we need the mind to preserve our “order.”
That unchallenged viewpoint is hindering our ability to perceive unity of all.
Without that perception of unity, there is no moving forward for our consciousness.
You see, “brotherhood,” is merely a nice concept that needs to be “practiced,” (we think) that idea doesn’t consider BEING but only DOING.
Nevertheless without the true perception of unity, any kind of brotherhood is nothing but an ideal of the mind, that will never touch BEING, and without that; there is no real change. Our minds are engaged in the duality of unity and separation, for the reality of unity of everything is not there.
Another example? “God” is mostly separated from believers, outside. It is an external being out there. That is a concept of religions of the “outside.” The label “God,” defines something away from “me.” The duality of “outside and inside” is created. “Inside” is defined through our human form, thus anything that it is not that human form, it is not “me,” thus; “outside.” But, as it is outside is inside.
Most religions have exploited duality, in fact; preserving separation. Our society thrives in duality; through the conflict of the “me” vs. “the others.” Laws and moral codes are based on this separation.
Because of the above explanation, unless we learn to observe the works of the mind, we will not be able to perceive unity of all. It will only be pretty words of the mind, a nice concept, something to practice in new year and in some religious celebration.
To transcend the mind, we need to recognize it, experience it, thus know it. Because we are asleep, we have no experience of how the mind appears and what is “doing” to us every day.
What is the mind doing?
Among other things, limiting our ability to enjoy Life.
BEING enjoyment is limited by a thought.
Thinking that it is “my” thought, we are unable to perceive how the thought appears. Without that awareness; then the “I” is born and with that, the mind identifies with that “I.”
That is how ego is born.
In every “spiritual” gathering, the main topic talked about to “evolve” into a “higher” consciousness is related with dissolving ego.
Why does ego develop?
Because we live in a society. A society has rules, laws, traditions, beliefs, taboos, hang ups… all of those are inherited by the members of that society.
When a child is born his ego is minimal. Even though he may bring a baggage from another existence, he needs the “right” environment to develop ego, just as a seed needs the right conditions to flourish.
In a society we have comfort, certain security, some assurance. Those traits are enough to numb an individual from being connected with “reality,” Nature, Life.
Therefore, it has been observed by many “saints” and “illuminated” ones the need to leave a society. Basically that means to be alone.
When alone, many of the things that we take for granted do not have any meaning anymore.
Am I a man or a woman?
That could be answered only in comparison with others. Am I rich or poor? Same thing. Am I beautiful or ugly? It does not matter anymore.
That “going away from society” is how we live through experience most of the teachings of religions. For example: You may repeat many times – “I am a soul.” Thus, I am not rich ugly man or a woman. However, that is merely a mental paradigm. An idea which may need to be “practiced.” There is no way to realize “I am a soul” unless that happens to you, which does not depend on your DOING.
When you are alone, there is no need practice anything.
Gautama Buddha, left society when his child was born. He was a wondering man, like an animal. So did Mahavira and even Jesus. They had their time away from society just to discover their “reality” away from all the things that our society has given us.
Can you live without TV? Can you live without reading a book? Can you live without the internet?
Those are artificial gifts from society. Those things will shape up our personality, our ego. However, those things are not “bad,” although they could create a dependency in many. Those “progress” of society are truly an opportunity to discover our hidden addictive, needy personality. Enjoyment of those things reside in freeing ourselves from our attachments.
Discovering our “truth” will happen when we are away from those things, which we take for granted.
When a person lives in a “black or white” consciousness, their awareness of being inauthentic due to a surrounding society, will move them into a reactionary movement:
“This society is bad, filthy. We need to create a new society.”
That is how many religions have started, many “ashrams,” many “collective gatherings.”
Their belief is that they have the “right” laws, commandments, etc. for they had realized “evil.”
Thus, they create a new society with many opposite values of the previous one, but the structure of the new “creation” comes out of the same frame of mind. “Black or White.” Thus this “new” society will be same as the rejected one.
The same hierarchy with different labels. The same consciousness underneath the word “change.”
Although being in Nature and away from the “technological advanced” society is the most spontaneous way to discover our own truth; that is no longer necessary or practical.
All we need to be aware of, is the work of our own mind. After all, the mind is the open door, getting all the “goodies” from our society.
How to become aware of something, which we believe to be us?
Be away from the crowd. The mind is used to the noise, words, background sounds which bring a sense of company, that is why silence becomes important.
Physical silence is the first step to observe the mind.
Slowing down our DOINGs, our tasks, our “busy” schedule, is the second step.
Slowing down our breathing through conscious movement, may be the third step.
At that point, we may be able to recognize that we are not the mind, that we are not a personality, or a belief system.
Then the mind slows down. The clouds of thoughts will not pass by so quickly. That is ill labeled as “silence of the mind, “ which will bring inner peace. It is actually “no-mind.”
In other words, when we become empty, we are full.
Having tasted that, we could go back to the comfort of a society. We could play the game and “retire” when necessary.
We could enjoy the game of being “busy,” while knowing that it is just a game.
Stress is over unless we “think” about it. 🙂
Is the above too hard to DO?
There is no DOING involved. It is awareness.
Something easier? 🙂
Surrender your ego through love.
Some religions will present God to be the “beloved.” That is only sentimental stuff. It is not that. There is no “beloved” when YOU are not there.
Love is the death of that which we call “I.” 🙂