Self-discovery is not a method. It is a process of unfolding what is “there,” to the point where “that” is no longer there.
What is left?
Nothing. At that instant, we are everything.
How long does it take?
As long as it is needed. The game is to go from one extreme of the range of experiences into the other, just to come back again.
The minute we acknowledge suffering, injustice, death and pain, that is the instant that we will look for “solutions.” A seeker is born, full of “I.”
The “I” will look for “salvation.” The “I” is aware of its own pettiness and will seek out for a savior. That is the beginning of “paths for salvation.”
Let us believe in a God. Let us worship Him. Let us seek His favors. Let us be the “chosen” ones.
There is no better way to enhance the worth of that “I.”
If you are a rebel, if you don’t want to believe in a savior, then you will believe in yourself.
Again, the same trap of the “I.” Destiny is solely in “my” hands, “I” make choices, “I” want to become better, “I” want, desire, need… My Life is about fulfilling those needs/wants/whims, etc.
Let me worship with others, sing “halleluiah” and read the holy books about my savior. “I am” safe.
Perhaps at some time in our path, we may want to stop believing about someone or myself and engaging our awareness into that which we call the “I.” That is a different consciousness.
At that point, beliefs are of no use. Rather than looking for the savior, there is a need to “know myself.”
Seekers who are experiencing this stage, will usually talk about “the world being a mirror of the self,” everything goes back to “me.” Every event happens so I can know myself, etc. It is a “Me” world.
That is the time for healing emotions, discarding beliefs, separating from the world, just to come back to it.
As we discover many things about the self, we will get stuck into the emotions of pain, guilt, shame, cowardice, anger, lust, attachment, etc. believing that this is “me” and wanting to let those emotions go away… then, we may be ready to explore another state of consciousness…
Then perhaps, we could experience that this “I” is not a static thing. It is changing. Thus, an emotion felt is not “me” but it was “me” at one point in time. The attachment to a perception of what “I” think is true, right, reality, perfection, moral, etc. is not allowing the static “image” of that “I,” what “I” believe to be myself, to move on.
Everyone of us, is not who we think we are… however, we hold on to the idea, the mental paradigm which gives Life to the “same old thing” under all circumstances.
Perhaps at this point, we could discover that this “I” is like a rainbow. It only becomes visible to us according to some circumstances even though it is the same light of the day in a different package, but we think that it is only “real after the rain” and then it disappears, it dies, it goes away… but the rainbow is always there…
If we could understand this mystery of the rainbow, at least intellectually; we could perceive the mystery of the “I.”
It is there, Yes. But at the same time, it does not exist. When our consciousness is taken away from the rainbow, what is left?
Everything… the whole day and light including that rainbow which is there although we cannot see it.
Where God could be then, when there is no “I”? Where is the healing of the “I” if there is no “I”? Where is “spirituality” when there is no “I”?
Everything has a new meaning. New words with new meanings. At that instant we are Oneness. We are the Totality… when we are everything, what is lacking then?
When the “I” becomes “Nothing,” we lack nothing for we are everything. That is a “full circle.” The search and the seeker are over, gone… Nothing. 🙂
It is interesting how a belief in “God” could trigger different reactions in people. Because that word represents one half of duality, then a separation has been given.
From what was shared here last week, someone could say:
“ Ananda does not believe in God.”
That interpretation does not understand the message about beliefs. That is how, these sharings may become less and less understood, more and more controversial… for some. I am sure that very few… very, very few… could understand these limited words by the guidance of their own experience. In life, without experience there is no understanding and even that experience, it is not “the experience,” but just an experience.
The other day I was speaking with a friend from India. She said: “This is where I am right now. That is my perception at this point of reality, although someone could say that it is a belief.”
That is correct. Once something is in words as the “only” way, it is a belief.
Something becomes a belief when it is the statement of truth to follow every single time. Something becomes a belief when we decide to put “all our eggs in that basket.”
That is why any dogma is full of beliefs.
Anything that someone may say about “God,” is just a belief.
What do we know about omnipresence?
Nothing without experience. It is just a concept. If we knew about it, we will act naturally accordingly. There is no need to “cultivate” ourselves when there is experience.
Without experience “to cultivate” ourselves to become a “concept” is all there is. That is the path of religions for the masses.
Someone living and breathing duality, could say now: “Ananda is an atheist.” 🙂
With that label, Ananda was comfortably put into the container of duality.
Ananda is neither a believer nor a non-believer. Do not place me into a container for your own comfort. Is Ananda an agnostic?
Just to stop the labeling….Yes and No.
Everyone has a belief which is so important for our perceived well being, which triggers a strong reaction.
If I write about predestination and the illusion of free will, then self proclaimed atheists may feel that this blog is no longer useful for them.
That is all it takes.
The interesting part about beliefs, is when we believe in contradictory beliefs such as predestination and the existence of a God or “free-will” and the existence of damnation.
Perhaps someone would like for me to go into detail on those topics?
I will not. Ananda respects all beliefs. Those beliefs have a purpose for the believers.
Are these sharings known as “non-duality”?
No. these sharings do not have a label. They cannot be put into a dogma. They cannot be put into a religion. They cannot be put into a box for someone to study, memorize and believe in it.
All Ananda is sharing is his own experience.
Any belief becomes a hurdle that will need to be overcome in order to face, that which is known as the “self.”
Without being able to see that “self” without the curtain of beliefs; to observe the self completely naked, as it is may be very difficult.
When the Buddha mentioned that “he does not deal with God” and that was interpreted as “atheism,” by popular understanding, then perhaps now, we could see that he was misinterpreted.
A belief in God or atheism distracts from self-discovery.
That is the path of “non-duality,” to let both concepts aside… BUT, it is not “non-duality.”
The age of duality is changing into non-duality.
Self-discovery is not a concept, a belief or an intellectual philosophy.
Interestingly, the experiences of the Buddha were made into “Buddhism” and with that, his personal experiences and self-discoveries, were put into a dogma for followers. Every religion has that same destiny.
Shall we put the discoveries of Ananda into Anandism?
That will be very lame. That lacks total understanding of what is being shared.
We need to discover for ourselves. Self-discovery.
In the “world at the office” we are told not to “re-discover the wheel.” In the world of self-discovery unless we experience something, we will not understand. We need to “re-discover the wheel” and then we will use our own words to describe that discovery.
However, those words are not the “truth” but a distortion of “what is.”
Is Ananda sharing distortions then?
You bet… but at the same time, how could I share something? 🙂
With that understanding,we may be in the same page now.
One of the most fascinating aspects of self-knowledge is the ability to sit down at the couch with nothing to do or think about and just enjoy that moment for the emptiness of it.
To be empty is a delightful feeling.
No thoughts to think about. No beliefs to be fearful of. No memories to fantasize with.
The thoughts appear slowly, but then to observe them as we see a distant star in the sky, is all there is. I wouldn’t dare to call that “my thought” as I wouldn’t call that star, “my star.”
If there is identification with that thought, then that thought becomes “mine” and with that an emotion will appear as a consequence of that possession.
Do we need any scientific evidence to become aware that those thoughts are not created by “us”?
Find out for yourself by getting rid of all beliefs in your mind. The first and most challenging belief is the existence of the “I.”
is it too drastic, huh?
Maybe we just need less distraction and entertainment and more idle time to reflect, to recharge, to feel life, to observe.
Seeing life and feeling it, does not require interpretation of any kind.
Any belief system or tradition is merely a way to interpret life.
If you are a seeker and you worry that “idle hands are the devil’s workshop” let me share a secret with you: When you feel gratitude and appreciation of life from your heart, there is no one who can take you to the “underworld.”
My friend Mathias shared that with me, but I put that advice into practice, so it is “my” secret now.
On the other hand, if you become an intellectual head, thinking and analyzing beliefs, then you’d better do lots of “good things” to get “busy” with, before your unobserved mind takes you to wild trips.
Seeing the world through borrowed glasses of some ideology or tradition will not allow someone to put the time where it is most important.
What is that place?
That which is known as the “I.”
To discover that which we call “the self” is to fully live life.
Without that self-discovery all we have left is pointless activities, which we may call with several glorious labels… but at the end it is just to kill time… until time kills the one… who practiced killing time. Karma! 🙂
No interpretations in that.
Life is change. Movement. Continuity.
Change is all-pervading. To hold onto something will be a source of suffering for that something will change.
Our bodies change. This is a tough realization for an athlete but not so much for a “normal” person. Different awareness. Different priorities.
Our surroundings change. The same people who we used to hang out with, will not be there. It is a matter of fact. A matter of time.
Our thoughts and ideas will change. They need to, for in that change there is the possibility for further change, further discoveries.
The truth is not a still picture. Something to hold on to, something to talk about, something to recite and to keep it unchanged. The truth cannot be a dogma.
Simply because it needs to fit life, the reality of living; and that is change in all respects.
Even what I am sharing, is not the “last word,” it cannot be. From the minute that it is put in writing, most of the truth behind the realization is gone; it cannot be put into words.
If I hold onto this realization with my intellectual abilities; If I continually recite that “the truth is that everything changes,” then; I am incurring in a greater falsehood, which is to conceptualize something that cannot be put into concepts, into ideas.
A shared realization is merely a point of reference to start a journey of self discovery. This article is just that, a point of reference.
If I hold on to something which will change and deposit my hopes and desires in that, I will suffer for sure.
Marriage is one of those situations where change happens and our ideas about the “other” will bring disillusionment once we realize that our ideas do not match “reality.” Then, we could say something like: “You changed. You weren’t like that when I met you.”
The picture, that still in our minds is the cause of that disillusion. Life is a movie not a picture.
To embrace that change without talking about it, to be in tune with the possibilities that things will not go according to our plans, is to be the unencumbered traveler of life, who is flexible enough to go where life goes.
It is not a question of finding who is “right or wrong.” It is about going along in unity, flowing and letting everyone find out for themselves where they are.
I am with change. I flow with change, I let life present the gifts that will allow me to understand me better; for living, in a way is nothing more but knowing ourselves; to realize that all the dramas of life are merely products of our own inability to let go; to flow.
Life seems like a “me” game; but it is not. There cannot be unity where there is only “me.” However; to know “me” is a necessity for that is all that I could ever hope to know. To know “me” means to know others. Then, there is flowing with life. “Me” goes away.
To know “me” so “me” can go away.
Attachment is a serious mental disease, once we realize that water must flow to be alive, to heal; to endure, to last.
To welcome life changes is a sure way to know how in tune we are with our destination.
To embrace our destiny as it is, requires to know ourselves; for then, we will know that nothing happens in life just for the “heck of it.” It happens because of “me.”
Spirituality is a path of self-discovery. It is an individual path by all means. How do I know that? Because one of the most important points of gyan is that we are “numberwise.” Numberwise means that there is a difference, that we are not the same. Being “equal” is out of reality.
We arrive to Spirituality with so many lived experiences which will affect us in the way we process something “new” like Spiritual knowledge. Granted, that knowledge needs to be put into practice to be meaningful. Theoretical Spirituality makes for a good dinner conversation, but it does not have the strength to transform the individual, to allow growth in that person.
The issue arrives when spirituality wants to be made available for all. Then, that spiritual unique path must be put into a box which is easy to manage by another. Laws, regulations, expectations and so forth, appear. Then spirituality turns around into a religious dogma which is meant to control, to manage.
Then, a sense of loyalty is asked. A sense of belonging to an organized religion becomes the ideal. Spirituality little by little succumbs into rigidity, structure and imposed disciplinarian activities. An organized religion may offer support to their followers, with the condition to “follow.” Following becomes the keyword and it could be interpreted in many ways according to the interest of the ones in charge of that organized religion.
This is not “new.” This is the history of all religions. All religions sooner or later have to deal with this issue of restriction vs. independence; dogma vs. new ideas and loyalty to the “one path” vs. being exposed to other paths.
Spirituality is an individual path. Religious knowledge and practices can help the seed of Spirituality to grow, to protect that growing flower, to nourish that spiritual baby in their first baby steps; but ultimately; for growth to occur, that “baby milk bottle” needs to be put aside at the right time, which changes among individuals.
Everyone has a different timing. A Religious path which respects that growth is the one that grows with the individual, the one that is able to protect the individual and the one who is able to respect the individual. Hopefully we can experience this from a religious path.
A growing seed needs to become a tree. A grown tree does not need a gardener anymore but, the tree sustains other beings as well. A seed changes into a tree. The Gardener retires after the tree becomes self-capable. That is exactly what God does.
Religions then are like a gardener, they help prepare the individual to find their own path. Spirituality is that individual path which could be born out of that experience in a religious path. The end result should be a strong and flexible tree, able to adapt to all circumstances in life.