First I would like to thank you for your sharing of your experiences in life and how to live life with more meaning with freedom and connection:)
I have used your blog to experience for myself and the most useful thing has been about really just re-connected with now, being present and being in the flow of life. It has made me appreciate how narrow minded it seemed I had become whilst living what I thought was the ultimate spiritual life!
I guess I have a few questions for you, which you may like to answer?! I don’t wish to depend on any one individual anymore or anyone for that matter, so I ask you whilst aware of dependency traps!
I have been walking the path of life closely with the Brahma Kumaris for the last 10 years. I felt it was the truth, that this was God, that heaven was my birthright and many other things which are taught by the BKs. I feel now that I am questioning all of what I believed in and finding that if feels like I don’t necassarily find all of the BK teaching to be so much ‘the only path’ now….what concerns me though is that to be open to life and to really make the journey of life my own, opens up a lot of joy and possibilities, whilst also opening up loneliness and uncertainty. I really feel in some ways that I have neglected many things in life over the last 10 years, whilst in the pursuit of purity and peace…whilst I have had many beautiful experiences as a BK, I also feel I have rejected a lot of life and suppressed a lot of feelings/emotions…life isn’t always so easy;-/
I guess I have isolated myself from the bigger picture of life in pursuit of a ‘spiritual lifestyle’. By being more open recently I can see that people in the world are much broader than simply ‘shrudras’ and that there is a lot to be gained and experienced through friendships with people who don’t label themselves as BKs!
In going with the flow and as you shared recently about flowing with the wind, I can see when I allow this, it is a beautiful experience. I have a concern though!-0…If (hypothetical question) I am in a relationship and with children who depend on me and if in going with the flow, I find I connect with someone else who I’d like to spend more time with than my partner and children, then is this still going with the flow?! Sometimes, it seems desires can drive us more than our deeper purpose and the ‘damage’ caused could be greater….of course, suppression of lust, desire, needs for companionship wouldn’t be helpful either….
Last comment/question (honest) as otherwise I am going on too much! It feels like the last 10 years has been a lot about battling with lust and suppressing many interests in life, including being close to people, in particular females. I used to have the best (and worst!) time with girlfriends in the past. Somehow, I feel that I have been suppressing my desires, emotions and that nothing has really gone away…now I’m confused. Do I want a pure lifestyle? Would I rather be close to another person again? In being close to another, would I open up to being extreme in lust again?!
Right! That’s it! Muchas gracias mi amigo
Thank you for your honest question. Last year I decided not to answer questions any more… So I am “lying” now, because I plan to fully answer your question.
Is Ananda a liar? Is that bad?
“Avyakt7” is the one who made that statement not Ananda but paradoxically, it is the same guy but not the same. 🙂
Things change. Life changes and our consciousness will change as well. It is the way of life. There is no “I” statically living life, but we are life itself with those changes.
I recall one time that I was speaking with a dear Brahma Kumaris friend of mine. She has been a friend of many lives (even though she does not realize it yet) about the intricacies of “Good and Bad.”
She said to me: “ For me there is a clear line between good and bad.”
I listened to her and didn’t say a word for there was nothing else to say.
A couple of years later, she said to me: “I don’t have a clear line between good and bad now” I said to her: “Good.” She just smiled.
What changed her perception?
It was an experience that she was going through at that time. That experience represented the very thing that she was repressing in her life.
Life experiences will make the changes in our lives, not intellectual understanding.
Repression is not the answer when trying to “conquer a vice.” Don’t separate yourself from what is. Don’t consider that to be “you.” Just observe, accept and transform that energy which we label as “lust” into good wishes from the heart. Feel. Don’t label as “good or bad.” It is important to “learn” to feel again.
A religious practice based on beliefs is able to put layers of things in top of our “vices,” but a dependency on a system is unavoidable. We are not free. We become dependent.
Ananda is very thankful of the experience that he had in the Brahma Kumaris.
Without that experience, he wouldn’t be able to understand (not intellectually) many things that he does now.
Let me share some of those realizations.
We are caught up with this thing, which we call morality, the “good and bad.” That is a belief that we have acquired in this world. Many of us, need to experience that belief to the utmost.
That is the role of the Brahma Kumaris in my view. It is a path of reformation by changing our minds to be conscious of that duality which otherwise, we wouldn’t be aware that even existed practically, not just intellectually.
“God says that broccoli is good. Ice cream is bad. Ice cream and sweets will make you suffer by taking you to the dentist office or even worse, the doctor. You must eat all your broccoli if you want to be good and then, God will be happy with you. “
Then, God will change his words when the kids are becoming “smarter” according to time and he will say something like: “OK. If you eat all your vegetables and broccoli, then at the end of the day, you will have a piece of dessert.”
When the time comes, the kid cannot eat dessert because his stomach is full of vegetables and so he claims that “God has cheated on him.” Then other kids will find out that “God gave ice cream to so and so when he preaches that ice cream is bad.” God is liar, they will say.
What is God’s task? To keep the kids fed with “good” vegetables as much as possible, for when someone’s mentality is fixed in “good or bad,” they do not have the ability to see something else. “Black or White” are not the only colors, but how could that be taught when someone does not want to see other colors?
That kid mentality does not allow someone to look at the bigger picture.
The path of asceticism will take our experience to one extreme. Buddha was an example. He went to that extreme and then he was left alone by his “friends” and disciples when he no longer wanted to do that practice because of a realization. That is how the path of the “middle way “ started. Many followers will say: “I will follow the middle way only. I will not go into extremes. Everything in moderation.”
In life unless you experience things in your own skin, you will not know. Intellectual understanding is completely and utterly useless. (Although “good” at the office world.)
We may need to experience that extreme in us.
The Brahma Kumaris offers that valuable opportunity for those who need that in their life experience. Ananda understands that there are many who still may need to experience that path. They have the right to experience that path themselves without “my” input. My experience is just my experience.
For the serious seeker, to be alone, to feel alone is part of the ride. That is the chance to become one with yourself, but that is not the end of the road, for we live in relationship and that oneness that we have realized, needs to be observed under the mirror of relationships.
Let me add another thing.
Brahma Baba is truly a being of light. However, he is not the only one. Brahma Baba’s path is not the “only one” although his follower may think that to be the case.
Every being has a role, which is not depending in our petty morality or how well it fits it, but in the common good.
Life my friend, is not concerned with our beliefs or moral standards; however, there is a consequence for every action as we know.
Flowing in life is to take away the baggage, the weight of the “I.”
In your hypothetical question, when we learn to feel that who we need to be in that occasion, that is when we are honest with ourselves, we will know that we have acted, as we should. That action does not need for people to applaud us or to say “Good boy, you did good.”
We need to learn to discern our emotions and desires from that calling of life. One thing is to realize something and a different thing is to put that realization in action.
When your feeling is honest, then it is honest also to accept the consequences of that honesty and to move on in life.
Note that Ananda is not giving formulas of “good or bad” for life changes at every moment, every time and to flow with life is to appreciate that change, to ride with the wind while it lasts.
We are eternal. Enjoy the ride of experiences, amigo… 🙂
Religions are tools to reform the self.
Reform from what?
Reform from our consciousness of separation, to bring us back to the initial “togetherness.”
That “togetherness” is not only related with looking at each other as “brothers and sisters.” That is perhaps the most elementary way to look at oneness.
The “brother wolf,” and the “sister flower,” still convey separation. There are 2 distinct personalities there. The label of being a “family” is needed for this type of understanding because for a child, there is nothing better which is known to him, which will bring a sense of unity.
Every person, no matter how old they are has a child within. That child is the one who could understand “reformation,” for the “adult” in us “thinks” about self sufficiency. No one has the right to “reform” an adult. Nevertheless, if you find a father figure for the child within us, that child will be able to listen and hopefully change.
That is how God came into the picture. The Father. Nevertheless, a child matures. A child grows and with that, changes will inevitably happen. That is life and that is each one’s destiny. There is variety on that. That is why, it is very important to allow the child inside to explore, to play, to learn.
Learning is not always fun; but always beneficial.
Religions have taken this archetype as tools to reform the self. As the “spirit of the teachings” have been forgotten through time due to several reasons, then interpretations arrived and with those creative interpretations, different branches within the same ideology of the same religion.
The above is the story of all monotheistic religions.
However, there is more to it.
Interbeingness, inter-relationship is not easily grasped at the practical level. As a matter of fact, this “concept” is illogical, irrational… so those intellectuals looking for logic and rationality will be easily turned off.
For a child, the answer is always with the Father. A child cannot see that “the Father” is truly within as well. The Father and the son are not just different, but equal. Avyakt7 has a physical father. Avyakt7 can’t help but to notice how many of the characteristics of his physical father are within him due to having spent time together. It cannot be otherwise and of course, this is not just about the external looks.
Truly, being a son, is not related with having “the same blood.” That is the most external characteristic; however; this is the one that through time the world has believed in.
Just another belief.
Oneness is not concerned with labels as “brother” or “family.” Oneness is beyond those words. Oneness is not concerned with “helping your brother” when in this consciousness we can see that we are all integrated, not only separated by personalities and a physical body. In Oneness, we can see clearly that the answer is never one thing, but also the other thing that we left out.
For example, here is the “mental” exercise: 🙂
Is Avyakt7 a Christian? Not only a Christian but more than that.
Is Avyakt7 a BK? Not only a BK but more than that…
Ia Avyakt7 a Taoist, Zen Buddhist? Not only those, but more than that…
Avyakt7, is nothing and because of that, Avyakt7 belongs and accepts everything. Avyakt7 respects every faith. A label does not define Avyakt7 for Avyakt7 is more than a label.
This is to be experienced, not to be analyzed.
Is that logical? No.
Then, it could be “right.” 🙂
Any belief system separates. Thought and analysis separates. Concepts and “isms,” will separate.
Is Avyakt7 a philosopher? Yes, but he is more than that.
Is Avyakt7 an artist? Yes, but he is more than that.
Is Avyakt7 a scientist? Yes, but he is more than that.
Avyakt7 is none of that “only” and because of that. Avyakt7 is all of that.
Is that logical?
Then, it could be “right”… 🙂
Now the exercise is to apply this “logic” to yourself and see how many labels you think that you are, and due to that belief; you negate yourself the opportunity to be part of the world and not just a group.
Note: The above is not for intellectual analysis. Feel it. See the logic beyond logical words…
Enjoy your freedom from beliefs!
Searching for “truth,” could take someone through different paths.
That which makes you look forward to living. That which gives you passion to live.
In that search there maybe different paths:
Religious paths, “self-created” paths out of conceptual understanding, and the path of “doing what everyone does,” all of those paths will bring different experiences.
Religious paths are ways of reforming the self. In other words, the belief that we are “sinful” beings who need to be reformed to align with some “plan.”
That is, God’s plan or some other “elevated” vision of whom I should be. The issue is that most of the time, the emphasis on changing into a virtuous being, is surrounded and manipulated by rituals and devotional practices which are meant so we can belong to a particular creed, rather than allowing that person to explore his own limits and discover by himself what being virtuous is all about.
After all, it is truly a pathless path which may need a little “push” from “up above” to get us started.
Therefore, that original reform becomes a source of dependency, that is “I am virtuous, or I am with God as long as I belong to that particular path.” With that narrowed vision of what is truly meant to be unlimited, universal and wholesome; fear will be built rather than trust in life, in my own capacity and abilities.
That is, doubting in my own honesty to be spiritual.
Thus, someone is not spiritual just because that person does not practice a particular ritual, but because there is no sense of inner balance and inner beauty in their life; harmony is lacking. In a sentence:
“When the smile in the face does not come from serenity of the heart.”
“Self-created paths,” means to create your own flavor according to the whim of the moment. There is the danger of misunderstanding in this path.
For instance if I want to try Taoism as a guiding path, there is the main teaching there of “being natural” and doing what is “natural.”
Obviously this word “natural” may get interpreted in different ways according to my whims and my state of consciousness.
Thus, doing what is “natural” may not be what is “right.”
For that reason, it may be important to start our spiritual quest through the direction of some sort of reformation.
Why is reformation important?
Because as long as a person does not know about his “higher” destination in life (other than getting a great job, a big house and a beautiful partner,) that person will be lost in life. What we are looking in life is not something more to “do,” BUT to “BE.”
Peace, serenity, love…those are not small things to “be.”
Those things cannot be bought with money or degrees or social status.
If that is your goal and you do not know where to start, you may need to look into reforming the self, for the “brainwashing” of “doing” before “being” needs to get out of our system.
Then, your search has truly started.
The Path of “doing what everyone does,” is the path to be like everyone. More “doing.” That simply means entropy. Going down.
Why is that?
Because it is the world of duality, the world of search for pleasure over pain. The world of “me” versus “them.” The world of divisions, the world of “getting things done.”
None of the above mentioned paths is the “only path.” As a matter of fact, different combinations of those paths will be experienced by many.
In life we can recognize that there are no 2 people who are the same. Similarly, there cannot be 2 paths which are alike.
Nevertheless, “true” spirituality starts with a search. It has to be a search of something, which we know exists, even though we cannot put it in words. We cannot search for something, which we do not know what it is.
Life will bring the other ingredients towards finding that which we are looking for according to our sincerity, our honesty.
Then, honesty is the most important part in “being spiritual.”
Spirituality is for those who are sincere, honest. For those who are not afraid of viewing themselves as who they are, without covers. For those who do not perform to satisfy the “normal” status quo. For those who do not pretend.
It is in the heart of that main virtue of honesty, where all other virtues could appear.
Life will only peel the layers of confusion out, so the gem could shine. Chiseled by the experiences of living life; it will be bright; all by itself, as the sun rises in the horizon dispelling the clouds of confusion of the mind.