The spiritual “marketplace” is open for buyers! The “office world” has expanded its domain from the mundane to the divine! 🙂
It is a big confusion out there. “Seekers” want something, but they don’t know what that is.
Yesterday, I was with a “spiritual group.” The leader started out reading D. Chopra. The theme of his explanation was “ I am the Universe.”
Evidently someone did not find that interesting and started talking about the “burden of the body and his desire to fly.” Then, someone spoke in a lengthy fashion about being “a flying yogi.” She could fly (levitate/ move around through astral body) while meditating and like her, there were others. Interest appeared, the “I want that too” took over. Finally, someone spoke about meditation and how Science has proven that “meditation is good for you.” This person informed the audience that “meditation can cure many illnesses and make you peaceful by setting up the day for you.”
As I open my email, someone is selling “Tantra.” It can cure ED (erectile dysfunctions) she claimed, and give fantastic orgasms… Not only that, it can also give “illumination.”
What are you looking for?
Do you want to claim “I am the Universe,” even though, your consciousness shows that you are only your ego?
Do you want to fly and say “I can fly, you don’t” and accumulate “flying miles’ points”?
Isn’t meditation the “new thing”? look at all the benefits! We don’t have to DO a thing! Just sit there, close your eyes, repeat a mantra, put some incense, some light music on…But remember to pay to “learn” the technique… better say, give a “Love donation.”
Is Tantra the “magic pill”? Look, you get it all! “Magical thinking” has never been so good! Just bring your plastic (Visa/MC) or your paper money to keep the magic going!
Whoever invented “$$pirituality” created the “elixir of Life.” People are looking for hope to resolve their apparent unsolvable issues. After scientific research is left aside due to its limitations, anything will do. This is good! It creates openness in individuals, it brings them hope and desire for quality of Life.
All of the above is part of the journey of many. Needed experiences that will make them grow, change, transform… but the question remains: What are you looking for?
Thus, go look around! Search for saviors, gurus, god, spirits, ego trips, blissful pleasures! You will learn a lot if AWARE, if not; your search will continue “improving”: Money, power, status, greed in this Life and the one after… Eternal Life!
Until awareness knocks at your door. Are you AWARE?
Who is searching? Isn’t it “I”? Who is that “I”? Aren’t you the “Universe”? Why go into the immensity of “out there” when you can go “in there”? Is there truly a difference between “out there” and “in there”?
Whenever you look in, what do you see? Is that you?
Now we are cooking!
The search is over when you find NOTHING rather than SOMETHING. Even though we may know this intellectually, we must go through the process to KNOW that the object of search does not matter. What matters is the process of searching. That is , Life experiences. 🙂
A reader asked this question:
“Do u believe in God?”
Thank you for your question.
Ahnanda has shared many things about beliefs. Beliefs have a time when they are useful even necessary for us and then a time comes when they are useless. But we may tend to hang on to them.
That is my short answer. Now, let me elaborate on that.
A belief in Santa Claus, had his own time. After going through the experience of Santa Claus, we could realize that the gift given by HIM was the most important item, for the gift gave us a moment of happiness. Once our belief in Santa goes away (we grow up;) then we could see that it is not important to know the “facts,” to have the “right answers” in LIFE as to: Who is the “true” Santa, or How to get Santa to like you, or why he dresses in red and white, or how old is him or if he comes through your chimney or through your door; all of those things which kids (“thanks God!”) have not made into different “faiths” yet.
For an honest spiritual seeker, the “right” answer to a belief in God will be found in his own journey. It may not be as simple as a “Yes or No” a “I believe or I don’t” answer. Remember, Life is a journey. Your “right” answer will dependent on where you ARE in your journey.
Why does God become so important?
Because the “I” is aware of his limitations, of his short life span, of his uncertainties. That is the moment when God becomes important as a belief. God is a support. You FEEL it.
This experience will change you.
For those who are not seekers yet; the logical answer only resides in their mind. It is a simple “yes I believe” or “No, I don’t.” These individuals do not know about the “gift” yet. For them, it is about being “right,” by having “the right answer.” Nothing will change in them yet.
You may have had an extraordinary experience with Santa Claus. He appeared only to you with Rudolph (the red nose reindeer) and his whole crew of elves. You felt happy as you have never felt before. You know that “Santa exists and he has chosen you.” You proclaim to others “Behold! Santa exists. I have seen HIM. He is the “true” Santa! Believe in HIM!”
You could know Santa, but you do not know YOURSELF, and because of that; you do not know your potential to BE that gift, which Santa once gave you: The gift of happiness.
You believe that Santa can help you. You do not know about your own strength.
You become a worshiper of Santa because you have not explored your own potential.
You may dress like Him. You may act like HIM. You may even say Ho Ho Ho to be “like HIM.”
Yet, you don’t know yourself, your own gift.
It is my experience that an honest seeker may start his journey believing in God, after that… only “God knows…” 🙂
Lost in concepts to understand the “ego,” the seeker cannot go any further for understanding of the mind is not the experience and without assimilation of an experience, there is no change. That is how Life experiences and living beings are intimately related.
The “vessel,” the human form is naturally empty. Intellectually, that may be known as “illumination.”It is through that emptiness how Life experiences are no longer a trauma which comes through the separation of Life and the “I.” Life is “giving” something which the “I” does not want to and rejects. That is a traumatic experience creating emotional barriers.
The “I” has created his Gods and his Devils. The “I” has created the “office world,” to be “busy,” and to “accomplish” things, to become “someone important” in this Life or the one “beyond.” At the same time, the “I” has created moral standards, laws, beliefs, traditions. Those things are part of the necessary make up of a society, but those things are not ultimate standards.
Emptiness of all of that is not a religious credo. It will happen when our time is ripe. That is how “newness” appears.
There is no need to practice to be “good.” We already are, but covered with that ego, that “I.” Allow for Life to peel the layers of “I-ness.” The “I” cannot peel his own layers of ego.
Inner search then, is not about finding the “true” “I,” but to realize, to experience that there is “no-I.”
Nothing to be “saved.” Nothing that I can “do” to go to “heaven.” Nothing existing with a “purpose.” All is there. If you are conscious of that, enjoy it now for it will change.
The mind cannot create newness. Thought is only a linear recollection of “past” events used to extrapolate “future” events. There is no creativity through thought and thinking. Creativity is beyond it, in that emptiness. When there is no creativity, there is self-destruction, which is another way leading into creativity again. The circle is in movement. The mind can only see a stand still picture and try to desperately hold on to it. Life is a movie, not a picture.
When that emptiness settles in; the “seeker” does not seek anymore, for there is no seeker. Paradoxically, “He” has arrived.
“Now that I know, I can make a shortcut and start from “no-I” and skip the rest…”
To know means to BE. You cannot BE when your mind is. Unless you live every stage, you will not know. 🙂
The first phase of a seeker is to be unconscious of the “I.”
The “I” wants to change the world. The “I” wants to be someone in the future. The “I” needs to make sure that God is with him. The “I” wants “divine” experiences to assure him how “special” he is. All about enhancing “I.”
The above is “pure” ego. That ego can only be increased through a “method.” That method is called a religion, a philosophy, a “truth,” a commandment.
To increase ego is important, awareness will come out of that.
Even though ego is an illusion, it is “real” when there is no awareness of it.
The illusion can only be increased until it becomes unbearable.
Ego is a function of living in a society, thus to step away from it, is the first step into the exploration of the “self.”
Nature is the “natural path” away from the influence of a society. We are “naturally” that. Artificially, we are the mind, separation, I-ness.
In the observation of Nature, there is a connection of sustenance, as a mother does with a child. The sense of belonging is born again.
This is how seeking turns around from the search of the “divine,” to allowing the “mundane” to be divine. The divine is not separated from the mundane. It merely unveils. It is there, but some eyes cannot see it.
Nature is Life. The “office world” is a human creation, but it is part of Life as well. That is how “integration” rather than “separation” is understood.
Little by little, the mind will let go its grip on things. In Nature, when we are part of it, there is no need to use the mind to “solve” any problems. Allow yourself to be “touched” through the sounds, lights and movements of Nature.
Concepts are not needed there.
For someone who has the “concept” of being a “soul” and not a body; the word “soul” merely replaces the word “I.”
“I am an I.”
When consciousness is located in the ego; the reality of “no-I” is completely unknown. That “soul” concept is truly “no-I.”
To say “I am a soul” is not accurate for the “I” does not exist. The soul is not an “I.”
The above cannot be understood by someone trapped in the mind. That is why Nature is the catalyst to be free from the mind.
There is a human vessel identifying with labels, relationships, stories; creating a “center” which is known as personality.
That vessel has “things” inside. The exploration of the contents of that vessel is the peeling of the “I.”
When a seeker arrives to this place, emotions, traumas and beliefs will need to be explored to empty the baggage. The realization that there is nothing to acquire, but rather to unlearn, to take away, to release the baggage, will be there. That is healing.
Even though it is said: “You are peace, bliss and happiness.” Still some want to GET peaceful, blissful and happy through some DOING, through some practice. There is nothing to GET, but rather to peel off, to give away.
The irony is: “You” ARE already, but cannot see it. “You” ARE what you are searching for… To be accurate, take away the “You,” then you will know what “I” am trying to convey.
The instant the “I” is aware of his own death, that is the moment where there is a shift. Before that, it is only the “others” dying and even though there is the idea that the “others” death means also “my” own; that “concept” does not sink in deep enough to shake the foundations of unconsciousness.
Then, the “I” experiences sadness.
What is the purpose of living? What is the purpose of being an ignited light destined to vanish? The mind begins to ask futile questions.
That is the “true” beginning of a seeker.
Nevertheless, some will drown in the different branches of society’s “requirements,” and their seeking becomes a languid question for the “end.”
An instant belief system may become “salvation.” Popular belief makes it “truth.” That is known as “truth” by consensus. It is a great way to forge your own “reality.”
Instant salvation for the “I” is the selling gadget. The “I” must continue after this Life.
Religions and religious beliefs are in tune with this type of consciousness. “All you have to do is believe in this one, and through his grace; you will be saved.” That is the ultimate comfort for an “I” who has been lost in the “office world,” trying to become “someone” in Life.
The beauty of believing is that there is nothing which needs to be done. No change required. Only belong to religion XYZ and you are automatically “saved.” What a deal!
Another level of seeking is the one focused on “experiences.” Beliefs do not give satisfaction but only suppress the inner fear for a little while. When someone has an “experience” with spirits, beings of light or experience a different state of consciousness due to using plants and “sacred” beverages, then that person feels “special.” He has finally found something “spiritual.”
The “spiritual” finding may pamper that person’s ego. Labels are important to enhance the experience. Use “God” here. “Angel” over there, Messiah, etc. The flying trips of “Ayahuasca,” may transport the suffering “I” into another dimension, another “reality” without great effort.
The “salvation” needed is to escape from death, or at least to escape from the “mundane” world. To reach that goal, the focus may be to activate your “chakras,” to feel the Kundalini, to experience a bliss out state of not being “here,” in the mundane world.
Beliefs and “spiritual experiences” are only pampering the suffering ego. The “I” feels alone, different from the rest of the world. That artificial separation is causing misery to the “I” but there is no awareness of that yet. The “I” wants the certitude of surviving death, of becoming something important, higher, in the “future.”
Those stages above may last many lifetimes, until the source of separation, the source of desires for “salvation,” “god,” “paradise,” “bliss,” etc. is found in that “I.” It was “I”!! Why “I” was diverted?
Then the seeker automatically makes a “U-turn.” That may be the beginning of a new consciousness. 🙂
AWARENESS, consciousness is not something that we could “create, improve, practice.”
We could only obstruct it, repress it.
If we realize the obstruction, if we become AWARE of it, then consciousness will open.
Society, religions, the whole system is an obstruction. If we are not aware of that obstruction, then there is no space between BEING and being conditioned.
Esteban is a citizen of a third world country. Chauvinism is part of the indoctrination there. Esteban did not realize about it until he went to a different country in another continent.
Esteban could not be AWARE of that chauvinism while living in his country of birth. He was too close to it to become aware. That was a realization.
A realization is a mental “aha!” moment. It is the first step into a different direction.
Even though Esteban thought that he was “free” from chauvinism, he wasn’t. Some ideals popped up once in awhile such as “buy only from XYZ country,” “XYZ country has the best cuisine in the world,” etc. Esteban defined himself, identified himself through his country of birth.
One day, Esteban was on a plane and it crashed. He was the only survivor. He ended up on a secluded island.
Esteban lived in that Island by himself for 10 years before he was taken back into civilization.
Because there was no one to talk with; Esteban’s mind became silent. Because there was no cultural reference, Esteban unlearned the meaning of “country” and because of that, the concept of “patriotism” had no meaning to him anymore. Esteban wasn’t a chauvinistic individual anymore. Esteban was “cured” from stress, from “becoming better,” from his greedy desire to attain whatever ideal in order to “succeed.”
What did he do? What was his “spiritual” method?
Nothing. Life took him away into isolation; then that which is natural in him, resurfaced.
Likewise is the journey of a person who is ready for self-realization. When Life brings the opportunity, that person will be alone to face himself; whether that is through living in a forest away from society for many years to being unable to communicate but conscious for a few days in a deathbed, through anything in between. If someone is not ready yet, Life will not bring the situation.
Many extreme religions have copied this. Followers may believe that they have “renounced the world.” That renunciation is violent for it does not come “naturally” (Paradoxically, “natural” renunciation is not renunciation at all) as Life brings the situation when someone is ready; but as a feature of belonging to a belief system.
Renunciation is rejection. To reject means to struggle, to separate, to strengthen the ego.
The journey of a seeker is to go away just to come back again, as a new, different individual.
Going away is the cocoon of the caterpillar. The butterfly is the new individual. They are the same, but they are not. The caterpillar is death now but alive in a new form.
A seeker will find himself at the end… but to do that; he needs to begin his journey, away from himself.
“Why don’t save time then, and start the journey by looking inside?” 🙂
It does not work that way. Consciousness does not change by having “answers,” and getting “shortcuts.” It changes through Life experiences. The beginning is to go outside. The end is to go inside. The process to get there is the journey. The experience, is “true” change.
Life is paradoxical… as the journey of the seeker.
A religious person is someone who has built an ego.
His belief, the religion he represents, his behavior are representations of an ideal. That defined ideal is significative for the presence of ego.
It is the same scenario for a “mundane” employee of company “XYZ.” As long as there is identification with that company, there will be ego.
There is nothing wrong with defending something we believe in, but the keyword to note is IDENTIFIED with that which we believe in.
For instance, I could believe in Christian teachings, but if I am willing to fight and kill, to give my life for a belief, that is extreme identification, extreme ego. We may praise those as “saints,” but that is just extreme ego. “I am a Christian.” That is ego.
A “spiritual” person cannot define himself with a belief, a religion, a tradition. Otherwise, his views are narrowed down to HIS beliefs. That is ego.
Similarly, a seeker who wants to “find” God, is merely trying to fulfill his ego.
How is that?
Why would someone want to find God?
To be saved? To go to paradise? To become “special”? To get favors from him? To be taught by him, so this seeker can teach others?
All of those things are just ego trips… but nothing wrong with that. 🙂
A seeker wanting an “experience” with God, with cloud nine and its blissful purple golden light… so he can feel “special,” a “chosen one” is pampering his ego. That seeker will be happy with that experience, for he will feel “unique, special, a selected one.”
That is exactly what ego needs to survive, to become bigger.
A “true” seeker is not searching for “experiences” that he can talk about to others. A “true seeker” is only looking to find himself.
That is the search that a seeker cannot talk about. That search will not make him “special” under anyone’s eyes.
When a religion has a belief system which claims to be the “truth,” there will be another belief system with opposite beliefs which will claim to be the “truth” as well.
Paradoxically, because they are opposite, both are truth.
Because the Totality entails everything, the “yes and the no.”
That is why, a partial belief system wanting to embrace only one side of the duality, is not really teaching the “truth” but is merely a method for the follower to find his own truth.
How? When you identify yourself with one side of a duality, you will need to be aware of your rejection of the other side. That rejection creates ego. If you are not AWARE of that ego, you will not know what ego is. You will only have concepts, definitions; that is another way to distract your awareness.
That is why, at the end of the road, religions, philosophies, and gurus do not matter as source of “truth,” but as methods for inner search.
Some may think: “When the ego searches for God, that will be a failure, right?”
No. It will be a necessary experience for the ego to increase its size until is ready to blow up, to be torn apart through the experience of surrendering that ego.
Why do you write so much about ego?
Because happiness, love, compassion, surrendering, joy and gratitude are only pretty words used in some political/religious talk, without any meaning until ego is confronted.
Most are lost in beliefs, worship, rituals and traditions hoping to get “heaven” or some other “golden star in their chart” when they die. They are not aware of their ego minds, they are not aware that unless the “I” disappears, there cannot be that “divinity” that they are searching for.
In a nutshell, “God” is always there, but you cannot be in communion with Him, because “You” are there.
When we are empty and not full of ourselves, we may discover it.