The conditioning of imitation
“You should be like your brother, a good student, obedient and respectful…”
Parents may not realize it, but comparisons will leave deep scars in the “bad” son. Correcting is one thing, but comparing with another is only showing blunt rejection of a particular individuality. The “bad” son must imitate the “good” one to fit the standard. The unwilling separation (good/bad) made by the parent with his progeny, will bring further issues.
We have learned to imitate to gain acceptance. There is always a “model” to copy and to follow.
We experience consequences when acting. If we are AWARE we will learn from our own actions as well as other people’s activities. However; that does not happen very often, that is why a “role model” is important in our society. We just need to follow, imitate. That “authority” is the IDEAL, the standard. That person could be an athlete, a politician, a religious person… All IDEALS. Their behaviors in turn, must fit expectations of that IDEAL for them to continue as “role models.”
Therefore, imitation is the avenue for “success.” Our personality, our BEING may not fit the IDEAL, but our behavior must fit in. That creates hypocrisy, dishonesty. Our DOING is not the same as our BEING.
In the spiritual world, we have the image of Jesus (or some other realized being) to follow, even though we have never met him. There are expectations of what Jesus should have been like. There is this ideal of a “saint” which is painted in the minds of mainstream society. Society is interested in the IDEAL not in the person behind Jesus.
We are conditioned to imitate an IDEAL.
Tantra is sold to the masses as the IDEAL of blissful sex. What the masses shouldn’t know at all costs, is that sex is a personal experience. What is blissful for you, may not be for someone else. The IDEAL of “bliss” is sold, comparison arrives and a “problem” is created. Thus, someone should sell the “solution” or better yet, the IDEAL of a solution.
Do you know why the IDEAL of a solution is better than a complete “solution” itself?
The IDEAL continuously sells… we are always close to the full solution, but not quite yet. A “solution” once applied and proven cannot longer sell.
Imitation is based on an IDEAL. The IDEAL is something that cannot be reached. That is the appeal of it. The masses strive to get the IDEAL of a “saint,” a “holy man,” but it cannot be reached for the IDEAL is not “real.”
Nevertheless, for many imitators, there is no better “reality” than the IDEAL.
Living through IDEALS, we are unable to let go of the mind.
Living though IDEALS we believe in a world which only exists in our minds.
For instance, the word “Love.” It is an IDEAL. The use of that word in a speech could make us look “good,” “caring,” etc. Love thy neighbor, Love the world, Peace and Love, Love and Light… All pretty IDEALS.
What is “real” cannot be put into words, cannot be defined. Once we understand this deeply, we will not try to find meaning in the words that someone says, but we will go right into the feelings, we will feel someone and what we feel will not be put into words…. But we will know.
Then, Love may have a different meaning. 🙂
Acknowledging “what is,” rather than what “should be”
Rishie realized that when he was in his low 20’s he used to like certain type of girls. When Rishie became older, in his mid 40’s he wasn’t aware that his “preference” had changed. He no longer pursued girls in their low 20’s anymore for what he considered to be desirable at one point in his life, all of the sudden… wasn’t.
In a “normal” awareness, we call that “getting old,” but “getting old” should not change someone’s taste of what it is considered “desirable” or “beautiful.”
How is it possible for that change to take place without Rishie’s awareness?
Rishie may have realized that “his preference had changed” but he would never think about the possibility that “he” had changed as well. That “he” is actually, Rishie’s consciousness.
That is the “proof” of consciousness changing all by itself. It does not depend on Rishie’s willful desire to change.
To make things easy to grasp, here an easy example.
Rishie’s father was a black man and his mother a Spanish lady. Rishie had a natural preference for black girls. That is what “he liked.” Rishie’s parents divorced when Rishie was 18. Note that Rishie’s liking is already “built-in.”
Let us say that Rishie became indoctrinated by his mother who urged Rishie to find a brown eyed, brown haired Spanish woman; because that is “correct” and “right” in their social circles, their traditions.
Rishie had a special connection with his mother and wanted to please her. Rishie made “efforts” to change his “preference.” He fought with his “inner devils” and finally decided to have a relationship with someone who pleased his mother.
That was the story of Rishie, the “effort maker,” the one who does everything to please his mother, the one who would like to be labeled as a “good son,” as an “example” for others.
The price that Rishie paid to obtain those nice labels from his mother was pretty steep.
It is the same when we force our “change” into whatever belief system we believe in.
Beliefs are not “bad.” However, there is a time limit that every single belief is attached to. What is that time limit?
When consciousness changes, of course.
To go beyond that limit is what allows someone to open up to a different consciousness.
Perhaps Rishie could have ended up marrying a woman as her Mother’s likes… Perhaps.
Perhaps Rishie could have ended up with another woman from another race after he realized through his own experience that the paper wrapping of a candy bar is not the candy bar.
There are many possibilities that life could bring when there is no active participation to change things according to someone else’s wishes.
Those possibilities are in itself the “Guru,” the “life teacher,” “the hand of God,” for those who can see that consciousness changes according to what it “has to be.”
But of course, Rishie’s mother was full of expectations and her beliefs are overwhelming to the point of being self-righteous about what she knew to be “right.”
Rishie’s mother wanted to be “happy” at the expense of her son. That will have a consequence. There is a lesson that Rishie’s mother will need to learn.
We could call the above scene of life, with different labels. “God has punished Rishie. That is why he was unhappy.” “God has punished Rishie’s mother, that is why she is suffering for the wrong she did to her son.”
Or…”That is Rishie’s karma,” or “If you don’t obey your mother, then there are serious consequences. That is the law.”
Labels are not important. What is important to perceive is that Life has a flowing thread. To go along with it, is to be in harmony with “what is.” That harmony has no way to be put into labels or codes or commandments. If consciousness is not allowed to change by itself, (that is through assimilation of life experiences) then we create an inner conflict.
The “I” against Life.
The game of going away just to come back
Can you change yourself?
Can you ask for God’s mercy to change yourself?
Our society is training us to lack complete awareness of our internal relationship with everything that is.
It is in that ignorance how we have developed a society of “pushers” to “get what we want” or “effort makers” in “Spirituality.”
I need to use the “right” terminology to be understood. “Spirituality” means nothing, but when I convey those magic words, there are some ears trained already to listen to those words.
“Spirituality” is not separated from living life, from “mundane” everyday tasks. Going to the bathroom to “do our business” is as divine as having the greatest meditation by the Taj Mahal. All experiences, all good.
It is our mind who has been trained by traditions and beliefs to make differences and to select certain aspects of life as “elevated” and others as “low.”
Again is the duality “business,” which does not allow us to see something greater than our continuous dichotomies.
Because we have created our own little world with rules and regulations, moral standards and values; we believe that Life follows the same. We believe in our separation from Life, that we could change Life to fit our whims.
I hear: “If life pushes you aside, push even harder…don’t give up.” It is that mentality which continues the trip of complete lack of awareness. In top of that, we want for a God to “help us,” to be in our side of “righteousness.” 🙂
Do you want to be a “good man”?
Have you followed Yogananda’s steps? Have you embraced a guru? Is your search for God aimed at experimenting the powerful bliss that Yogananda experienced so you too have that same experience? Or are you looking for some magical powers to be called a “saint” or “self-realized” and to be worshiped and praised for that?
That is the spiritual egotistical mind.
The answer to “achieve” that is: “You have to make effort. Austerities, penances, follow a list of “do not’s,” follow the guru, become involved in some religion, help others, etc.”
All of that is of no use by itself when we lack awareness. It becomes a “monkey sees, monkey does” type of activity.
To follow the life experience of person is not the rule of “sainthood” to be followed by everyone else.
Because everyone has different experiences in life. Everyone comes equipped with different “tools” and different needs.
Do we want to “act like a saint”?
Actions by itself are not the benchmark of “sainthood” but our feelings brought about by our intentions in life.
Intentions are not thoughts. Intentions are what we truly are, when there is no make up of being “politically correct” devised by our minds.
When we allow for life to shape us through the assimilation of the different experiences that come along, then we could start to understand how consciousness changes all by itself without our willful intervention, but that change happens in a very subtle way as not to hurt the one who is changing.
The issue appears when we force things because we want things quickly, when we want to “fight with life” to “look out for number one,” it is at that point when the separation, the rupture happens and then a new lesson will arrive trying to teach us the art of balance.
The teacher is known as sorrow. Our society has taught us to reject it.
Because we continue in our ways without understanding the language of life, our experience of suffering will increase. That is not “bad,” for when the limit is reached, then we finally “give up.” It is at that point, when an inner “empty” space is created, and we become “open” to newness. Not before.
There cannot be true personal change by following a method however “holy” it may be, for otherwise we become dependent on that method. The method is useful up to a point, but then it needs to go away, just like everything in Life.
Life is change in itself. If we align with that change…We will change. 🙂 Nevertheless our “pushy ways” will not allow for that to happen and our search for “ways to change,” for methods, CDs and Gurus will take us outside of ourselves.
That is not “bad.” We go away just to come back. That is the name of the game.
It is the process of going slowly back to the self once we have finished exploring what is “out there,” just to let the self go away.